Tuesday, March 13, 2018

"A long-time Toronto psychiatrist, who believes homosexuality is a 'sexual disorder' that can be overcome, has been found guilty by Ontario’s medical regulator of sexually abusing two of his male patients."

His license has been suspended. 

"What is the actual state of the U? Fairly typical, extremely dire, in need of change, not without hope."

Robert Katz of the U library writes in MinnPost:

On March 1 the president of the University of Minnesota gave a superlative-saturated State of the University Address. The university described in this speech is not the one I am familiar with. My own perception is that the U is a pretty average large public university. I do not see mediocrity in itself as a bad thing. Most of the people I know are quite average. And most of the things that make our society possible are produced by normal people. By its very nature being average is, well, average.

But, given the dysfunctional state of the “higher education industry” as a whole, a typical university ruins the lives of many of its students, and threatens the economic well-being of the entire nation. The cost of higher education has long been increasing much faster than our ability to afford it. Last year saw a new record in the number of defaulted student loans. The current amount of government-backed student loans exceeds $1.3 trillion. Much of this debt will not be repaid, but will add to the looming federal debt crisis. In 2011 the Wall Street Journal printed a story that identified the growth in administrative costs as the major source of this problem. The article identified the U as a prime example of this trend: It added 1,000 administrators in 10 years. The level of administrative costs is one area where the U cannot afford to be average.

The Gospel of Eureka

The Gospel of Eureka, the new documentary by Mike Palmieri and Donal Mosher -- who brought you Off Label -- is getting rave reviews at South by Southwest. Have a look at the reviews in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.  

Amy Nicholson writes:

“The Gospel of Eureka” is on the hunt for connection. Mosher and Palmieri find it even in a hamlet of 2,073 that’s in the crosshairs of a bigoted anti-transgender bathroom bill. You might already be imagining which people are on both sides, but the residents shun stereotypes. Ask Jayme Brandt, a pastor’s son who owns the religious gift shop, what he thinks of the bill, and it turns out his dad is openly out of the closet. Plus, notes Jayme, according to scripture it was Judas, not Jesus, who tried to inject faith into politics. Here in this rhinestone on the Bible Belt, the filmmakers find that most residents just want to get along, despite loudmouths on the news rattling their sabers. This cheerful small town portrait makes for an idealistic crowd-pleaser (after all, Eureka Springs is the rumored home of healing waters), but this beautiful, and beautifully shot, documentary is a cure for the angry headline blues.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

One-month reprieve for Augsburg professor facing deportation

From the Star Tribune:
An Augsburg University literature professor who faces deportation after losing an asylum bid years ago will report back to immigration officials next month after a Friday check-in that brought out dozens of students and other supporters.
News this week that Immigration and Customs Enforcement is gearing up to act on a long-standing deportation order against Mzenga Wanyama galvanized the campus. Wanyama, who first came to the United States in 1992 to attend graduate school, has taught at Augsburg for more than a decade. The university’s president and the mayor of Minneapolis voiced support, and students started an online petition on his behalf that drew more than 7,000 signatures in a day.

The case against ICE

From The Nation:

“ICE​ is terrorizing American communities right now,” said Angel Padilla, policy director of the Indivisible Project. “They’re going into schools, entering hospitals, conducting massive raids, and separating children from parents every day. We are funding those activities, and we need to use all the leverage we have to stop it.”