Katie gives her take on Burger King's 2019 revival breakfast sandwich
Katie gives her take on Burger King's 2019 revival breakfast sandwich
The "Global and Chinese Goniophotometer Industry, 2021 Market Research Report" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.
Derek Chauvin is now in jail, guilty of murder and manslaughter. Experts say overturning the convictions on appeal is a long shot.
Global Blue, today, announced the launch of Global Blue Ventures, a new entity created to identify, invest in and/or partner with third parties that offer market-leading retail technology solutions.
In a year when the school-choice movement is gaining traction across the nation, progress in Arkansas had appeared to stall. But a month after the Arkansas legislature killed a school-choice bill, the state senate has breathed new life into efforts to expand educational opportunity. In response to families demanding more educational options, six states have already passed new choice policies or expanded existing ones this year, and similar bills are still making their way through more than a dozen other state legislatures. West Virginia even passed a new state-funded K–12 education savings account for all children switching out of a public school or entering kindergarten. This is now the most expansive educational-choice policy in the nation. By contrast, the Arkansas House of Representatives failed to pass a bill to create even a very modest educational-choice policy for children from low-income families, foster children, students with disabilities, and the children of military personnel. Had House Bill 1371 passed, up to $4 million would have been available to provide scholarships worth up to $7,000 to about 570 kids, which is barely 0.1 percent of K–12 students in the state. For comparison, Arkansas’s district schools spend an average of more than $11,000 per pupil annually. According to the bill’s sponsor, Representative Ken Bragg (R., Sheridan), the bill’s demise was due to the fierce opposition from the state’s public-school superintendents. “Most of the people that I talked to felt like it was a good bill and they saw a lot of merits in it,” Bragg lamented, but sadly “the pressure superseded the merits of the bill.” Fortunately, the Arkansas state senate did not succumb to any pressure. On Thursday, it passed Senate Bill 680, which has the support of Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Education, by an overwhelming margin. Although only half the size of the previous proposal and limited only to low-income children, the bill still represents a major step toward providing broad access to educational choice. The Arkansas House now has another opportunity to do right by Arkansas families desperate for more educational options. Yesterday, the Arkansas House Revenue and Taxation Committee voted to recommend that the full House pass the bill. For that to happen, state legislators will have to recognize that the superintendents’ dire warnings of systemic collapse are no more credible than Chicken Little crying that the sky is falling. The research about the effects of educational-choice policies on public schools tells a very different story. It overwhelmingly finds that such policies benefit not only participating students, but also the students who remain in their assigned district schools. Out of 27 studies, 25 find that students attending district schools improve their performance on standardized tests after the introduction of a choice program, while only one study found a negative effect, and one found no visible effect. In other words, contrary to the fears of school-choice opponents, expanding choice and competition encourages traditional public schools to improve their performance. In fact, a recent study by the University of Arkansas found that states with robust educational-choice policies saw significant improvements on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (known as the “Nation’s Report Card”) over the last two decades. The study concluded that “higher levels of education freedom are significantly associated with higher NAEP achievement levels and higher NAEP achievement gains.” Even after controlling for factors such as per-pupil education spending, student-teacher ratios, teacher quality, household income, and more, the study found that “expanding parental options in education, in all its forms, is consistent with improvements in average student performance for U.S. states.” The study highlights the experience of Arizona, the top state for educational freedom with the highest share of students in private-school-choice programs, charter schools, and utilizing public school open enrollment. If the Chicken Littles were right, Arizona’s public-school system should have collapsed by now. Instead, Arizona has been one of the national leaders for learning gains on the NAEP over the last two decades. The sky isn’t falling in any of the 29 states that have some form of private-school-choice program. Indeed, the sun is still shining on their public-school systems, which have not only not collapsed but are actually performing better than before. Arkansas legislators now have the opportunity to expand educational opportunity for families in their state. They should seize it.
Black poverty was close to double that of the overall rate, and childhood poverty soared to 17.4 percent.
Why isn’t The Simpsons funny anymore? That question is provoked by this week’s Simpsons episode, “Panic on the Streets of Springfield,” which made it clear that the best-paid wits in showbiz have gone beyond mere political partisanship into a power exercise: unabashed, shameless meanness and character assassination. The answer to the question is bigger than the series itself and more important than each routine announcement of its corporate sensitivity in which millionaire cast members change their participation (ceasing to play roles that don’t match their ethnicity) simply to appease social fashion. Right on the heels of the extraordinary, compassionate film Shoplifters of the World, about the cultural impact of the British pop group the Smiths, comes this “Panic on the Streets of Springfield” episode (titled after the 1986 song “Panic” by the Smiths) that besmirches lyricist-singer Morrissey. The foul, sour premise attempts to revise cultural history in an opposite direction from the movie Shoplifters. Lisa Simpson, the show’s eternal eight-year-old, belatedly discovers a band called the Snuffs and its leader named Quilloughby. She mistakes his iconoclasm for her own lonely superiority and makes him her imaginary friend, but she soon finds him unkind, unacceptable, and politically incorrect. This caricature (featuring Morrissey’s large, sprung-coif hairstyle and effete mannerisms) posits that the Smiths’ Eighties music — timeless herald of an age — was the work of an insensitive, inhumane bigot. Joining social-media-mob complaints that led BMG records to drop Morrissey’s recording contract last year, the episode is a cartoon version of cancel culture. It’s obvious that The Simpsons’ makers meant to be defamatory (scriptwriter Tim Long disingenuously claimed that Quilloughby is a composite of Ian Curtis and Robert Smith). The Shoplifters movie proved that the Smiths reached deeper places than The Simpsons. But that little eco-terrorist vegan Lisa was always the show’s sponsored character, a stunt that liberal viewers enjoyed and conservative viewers tolerated. (Homer was its Archie Bunker.) Are the Simpsons colored yellow because the show is cowardly, its one-time edginess just a relic from before the days of PC fascism? When The Simpsons stirred animated television 32 years ago, with cartoonist Matt Groening’s eccentric alternative-press satire of the American-family archetype and sitcom vet James L. Brooks’s professional finesse, it was the acme of modern wit. Now, it’s been outwitted by its evil twin, Seth McFarland’s Family Guy (which regularly bashes famous conservatives). It’s just another example of modern decadence. The show’s creators have given up being funny and opted instead to scold and censure. It’s the same peculiarly decayed savvy and perverted social perception that ruined late-night television comedy. The Simpsons crew is another Hollywood outfit intent on dividing America and the pop audience. This insult goes to the heart of contemporary cultural betrayal. The Smiths’ “Panic” is an evergreen song about the effects of the political tyranny — it’s strikingly relevant today. But The Simpsons avoids noting the song’s prescience and chooses cheap mockery. Unlike past Simpsons celebrity parodies (Barbra Streisand, the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith), this pointedly political offense exposes today’s craven showbiz practices. Not surprisingly, Quilloughby was voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, an actor who ironically won fame and an Oscar nomination (for playing Alan Turing in The Imitation Game) through Harvey Weinstein’s influence. The Simpsons slams Morrissey by ridiculing and misrepresenting his animal-rights stance and repeating media calumny that accuses him of racism. Lisa comes out and says it: “You’re a huge racist!” Lisa’s fractured psyche compels her need to attack others. When the empowered Left eats itself, no hypocrisy is out of bounds. One cultural institution viciously attacks another. Instead of teaching the complex moral lessons in Morrissey’s art, The Simpsons continues its practice of PC superiority. (One Simpsons actor apologized to the nation of India for the portrayal of the Apu character, yet the show’s producers have never apologized for the Reverend Lovejoy and Ned Flanders characters that trash Christianity.) Don’t let press chuckling over this episode get in the way of recognizing its offense. None of the Internet writers are informed enough to mention that Morrissey has had a long battle with the media, at least since the right-on 1991 song “Journalists Who Lie.” Morrissey won pop-star status — and enemies — for romanticizing unconventional, misunderstood passions. His songs for the Smiths were trailblazing inspiration for the acceptance of social perspectives and emotional sensitivity that cool hipster rock had forbidden. Morrissey’s response to all this has been characteristically pithy: “In a world obsessed with Hate Laws, there are none that protect me — free speech no longer exists.” Now The Simpsons attempts to cancel him as it patronizes its audience. By perpetuating the shallowest perception of the Smiths legacy, the episode is designed to keep audiences dumb and smug, like Leninist Lisa herself. How wrong can a once-great show be?
President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday he wanted Russia to reach collective COVID-19 immunity by the autumn and called on Russians to get vaccinated against the new coronavirus. Russia has vaccinated more than 8 million citizens out of around 144 million, a senior official said last week. The Kremlin has said demand to get vaccinated in Russia is disappointing.
In the past few months, there have been countless stories of K–12 schools succumbing to and endorsing the excesses of progressive ideology — teachers required to make public anti-racism statements, the canceling of AP tests if black students do not score as well as whites, class materials that celebrate communism, and “ethnomathematics” which de-emphasizes the need to find the “right answer.” Thankfully, most teachers that I know don’t align with such extremes. My own colleagues whisper their concerns and discuss their disapproval after such meetings. A poll from Education Week found that most teachers identify as moderate. These stories do expose a problem, but it’s not the political progressivism of most teachers. It’s akin to shining a light on and fixing individual cases of water damage while ignoring the flooding all around. We must address the broken faucet; in this case, the universities that are pumping out progressive educational theory. I’m a conservative, but I began my career as an advocate of progressive pedagogy simply because I didn’t know anything else existed. While most teachers don’t openly align with political progressivism, they still look to the university for pedagogical guidance and curricular materials. So long as the university develops our teachers, influences our practices, and crafts educational materials, the faucet will run unchecked. To combat the progressivism in public schools, conservatives need to aim their focus at the university, not public schools or their teachers. Progressive education falls into two broad iterations. The first is relatively benign — albeit questionably effective. In the minds of educational theorists such as Dewey and Rousseau, schools are not meant to transmit the best of any culture or shape the character of their students, but merely to observe and suggest. In place of teacher-directed classrooms and classical curricula, students choose their own literature and follow their own interests. Many conservatives and libertarians are quite comfortable with such child-centric philosophies of learning. The second iteration features structuralists, Marxists, and feminists such as Michel Foucault, Paolo Freire, and bell hooks, who advanced an approach to instruction called “Critical Pedagogy,” one which goes beyond Rousseauean ideas of self-directed learning to instead deconstruct the very idea of being “educated.” Progressive pedagogy in the Rousseauean tradition is mediocre in its results but politically neutral; critical pedagogy is propaganda attempting to pass as instruction. At its most egregious, schools of education push ideas such as “activist pedagogy,” which, as the name implies, would see students who will grow up to be activists deconstructing the society in which they live. In the ’90s, far before Critical Race Theory entered the common lexicon, Gloria Ladson-Billings advanced the need for “Critical Race Theory” in schools. Even Billings still maintained a belief in academic excellence, though, which authors like Ibram X. Kendi now renounce to instead suggest we test students on the mere knowledge of their own environments. In my own graduate program, our textbook suggested teachers should, if required to teach classic literature, do so through a Marxist, feminist, post-colonial, or critical-race “lens.” Such ideas are not on the fringes of educational theory, either. Critical pedagogy wasn’t a class or element of my teacher training; it was the foundation. Such ideas were not relegated to individual courses but influenced even our seemingly unrelated classes in policy and instruction. Foucault, bell hooks, and Freire were canon. Frederick M. Hess, the director of education-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, found that this approach is common across university departments. This reality has repercussions. Our administrators, instructional materials, policy wonks, politicians, union leaders, and current trends in education all come from the university. So long as the faucet remains running, our schools will flood with such ideas, regardless of the political identification of the teachers. The consequences of this ideological approach to education are far more pernicious than just a few propagandistic lesson plans. Ideas have consequences, and these ideas manifest in vapid instruction. Reviewing one popular curriculum to come from these ideas, Professor Timothy Shanahan wrote that these methods are “unlikely to lead to literacy success for all of America’s public school children.” Fundamentally, our schools need to reckon with such ideology and embrace effective pedagogy in the classroom. I began my career as a proponent of critical pedagogy, allowed my students to select their own books, provided independent reading time, and always opted for a conversation over a consequence. Seeing meager results, I sought out other methods. I began to take my students through Romeo and Juliet and established clear behavioral expectations to which I held my students. Critical theories of education would predict anarchy in my classroom. Quite the contrary happened. One student came up to me and told me, “No book before this has really understood me, has given me so much guidance for my own life.” Another wrote me a letter thanking me for showing her that books have so much to teach. My most difficult student behaviorally, to whom I gave many detentions, thanked me years later and asked me to be his mentor; he said he knew I cared about him because I didn’t cast a blind eye to his misbehavior. Thankfully, this endeavor needn’t only be one of individual persuasion. There are policies that can decentralize the university’s influence and pressure the adoption of effective pedagogy. To begin, teacher licensure needn’t remain solely the domain of the university. As professor of education Gary Houchens succinctly contends, if educational training “can be delivered with equal quality in a different environment — say in a district-based professional development program — the market should certainly be open to them.” Already, individual district programs and organizations such as ResearchEd and Teach for America all offer robust alternatives that could collectively unbalance the university monopoly. Perhaps a former business owner with a few classes in pedagogy would make a useful addition to any school building, even without a degree. Second, and perhaps more importantly, in the past 20 years, countless charter schools such as Michaela School and even entire systems such as Uncommon Schools boast incredible academic success despite working with predominantly poor and minority students. To do so, they reject progressive theories of education and instead rely upon classic literature, clear behavioral expectations, and direct instruction. As these schools continue to expand in number, they become the best argument against the theories of the university. Regardless of what a few ethnographies say, if these charters get the results, why listen to the academic foibles of some discontented scholars? Katharine Birbalsingh and Doug Lemov, the leading minds behind Michaela and Uncommon respectively, have put traditional theories of education into practice and shown that they can succeed. What’s more, they have published best-selling books to spread effective pedagogy. Finally, ideology and self-interest are calcifying fundamentals of human nature. Op-eds such as this and the examples that Lemov and Birbalsingh set forth can persuade a few people, but the holistic adoption of best practices will remain years away until the bottom line of a school is threatened. Words can be persuasive, but money effects change. If a school cannot achieve even mediocrity but still receives funding, there is little pressure to improve. Conversely, school choice is a policy that ties funding to student attendance instead of property taxes; if a student moves, the funding follows. Under such a system, if a parent saw progressive politics trying to pass as instruction or a school’s pedagogy left their students illiterate, parents could take their child and their money elsewhere. Some parents could still select a building that pushed woke ideology, but I wonder if enough people would opt into that choice for any institution to remain viable. In short, most teachers at least claim to be moderate. The institutions that train them are not. If we only focus our attention on a few outlandish lesson plans or individual districts, we’ll spend our time scooping out floodwater while the faucet remains running.
The youthful general Mahamat Idriss Deby, who stood watch over his father as head of the presidential guard, wore trademark dark glasses that hid a strong, little known personality.
The Reds announced on Tuesday night, along with the other five English clubs involved, that they were withdrawing from the European Super League.
The accident in an Indian hospital happened when an oxygen tank was refilling the storage tank.
Modesty is not a defining characteristic for numerous policy-makers in Washington, among them regulators asserting that climate “risks” are significant for individual firms and economic sectors — precisely how do they know? — and that, therefore, they must be reported so that investors can have more rather than less information. Allison Herren Lee, the acting Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, argued recently as follows: Investors are demanding more and better information on climate and ESG, and that demand is not being met by the current voluntary framework. Not all companies do or will disclose without a mandatory framework, raising the cost, or resulting in the misallocation, of capital. Investors also aren’t getting the benefits of comparability that would come with standardization. And there are real questions about reliability and level of assurance for the disclosures that do exist. Meanwhile issuers are assailed from all sides by competing and potentially conflicting demands for information. That’s why we have begun to take critical steps toward a comprehensive ESG disclosure framework aimed at producing the consistent, comparable, and reliable data that investors need. Where to begin? An SEC interpretative rule finalized in 2010 “provide[s] guidance to public companies regarding the Commission’s existing disclosure requirements as they apply to climate change matters.” In other words, firms already must disclose how they are evaluating and mitigating the risks of future climate regulations and impacts to physical assets. This is a bottom-up (that is, decentralized) approach under which disclosures can be tailored to the innumerable differences among companies and sectors, thus allowing a broad range of disclosure frameworks for investors to evaluate in the context of their portfolios. Because companies are long-lived concerns, or at least are expected to be, they have powerful incentives to provide unbiased information so to maintain their credibility, notwithstanding Lee’s unthinking assertion that “not all companies do or will disclose without a mandatory framework.” Lee’s argument for consistency, comparability, and standardization would replace that existing framework with a top-down mandate, justified on the grounds that such standardization would yield a straightforward view of a climate “risk” issue, despite the reality that it remains massively complex. In other words, she is arguing that the existing disclosure system fails to provide “material” information because the disclosures are not comparable. That assertion is incorrect precisely because companies and sectors are different. Top-down “comparability” is an illusion: Investors would have to interpret the “standardized” information in the context of their specific investments. Moreover, as John Cochrane of Stanford University has pointed out, “material” risks are short term — say, over a ten-year horizon — while climate risks are very far in the future, and thus are afflicted with enormous uncertainty: “‘Risk’ means unforeseen events. We know exactly where the climate is going over the horizon that financial regulation can contemplate.” A requirement for “comparable” disclosure of the business “risks” created by anthropogenic climate change would be deeply speculative, and the level of detail and scientific sophistication that would be needed to insulate firms from shareholder lawsuits are staggering. Such self-protective “disclosures” would run thousands of pages, with references to thousands more, and the idea that such “disclosures” would facilitate improved decision-making by investors is laughable. It is easy to predict, however, that this disclosure requirement would be a full-employment act for various consultants, and a disclosure of mild risks followed by, say, a strong storm — never attributed to natural climate variability — would lead to a massive litigation threat. The system envisioned by Lee is guaranteed to elicit disclosures of purported “risks” larger rather than smaller, regardless of the actual evidence: Firms will have powerful incentives to undertake climate analysis under assumptions and methodologies insulating them from adverse regulatory action and litigation. That outcome is the real potential source of Lee’s “misallocation of capital.” Will Lee propose some sort of safe-harbor methodology for climate-risk disclosures? That the answer is not obvious is troubling. Precisely because neither the SEC nor public companies are in a position to evaluate climate phenomena, a bottom-up approach allowing for a multitude of methodologies is preferable to a system yielding “comparable” analyses that might prove highly inconsistent with the future evidence as it unfolds. Notwithstanding ubiquitous assertions to the contrary, future climate phenomena are uncertain, and efforts to distinguish natural from anthropogenic impacts are extremely complex. Uncertainty is a central theme of the most recent assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and IPCC is decidedly dubious (Table 12.4) about the various catastrophic effects for the climate system often asserted to be imminent or likely. And the future evolution of climate policies, whether in the U.S. or at an international level, is unknowable. The evaluation and disclosure of complex climate “risks” would be costly, a reality that will induce some firms that otherwise would opt to acquire capital in public markets not to do so, substituting such alternatives as venture capital. The aggregate allocation of capital would be made less productive, not a salutary outcome for the investors that are the supposed beneficiaries of climate “risk” disclosures.
Baker Hughes announces its results for the first quarter 2021.
Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation (NYSE: ACRE) announced today that it will report earnings for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021 on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 prior to the opening of the New York Stock Exchange. Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation will hold its webcast/conference call on the same day at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss its first quarter ended March 31, 2021 financial results.
SolarWinds (NYSE:SWI), a leading provider of powerful and affordable IT management software, today announced it has improved its placement on the Completeness of Vision axis, in the Niche Quadrant of the April 2021 Gartner® Magic Quadrant® for Application Performance Monitoring (APM)1 for its APM Integrated Experience, which includes its APM products Pingdom®, AppOptics™, and Loggly®—as well as Server & Application Monitor (SAM). The company was also recognized in the Gartner Critical Capabilities for Application Performance Monitoring report.2
The Middleby Corporation (NASDAQ: MIDD) and Welbilt, Inc. (NYSE: WBT) have entered into a definitive agreement under which Middleby will acquire Welbilt in an all-stock transaction, enhancing the Middleby Commercial Foodservice platform with an attractive portfolio of products, brands and technologies. This transaction will bring together two complementary businesses, accelerate the Middleby growth strategy into key markets globally and increase core capabilities in highly attractive segments.
Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) will hold a conference call on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 2 p.m. PT to review its first quarter 2021 results. The call will be broadcast live on the web at http://investor.trimble.com. Investors without internet access may dial into the call at 800-528-9198 (U.S.) or 702-928-6633 (international). The passcode is 1719909.
Walker & Dunlop, Inc. announced today that Walker & Dunlop Investment Partners, Inc. (WDIP), the company's wholly owned alternative investment manager focused on middle-market commercial real estate investments, has hired Marcus Duley as Managing Director. Mr. Duley will be based out the firm's Philadelphia office, where he will lead investment transaction execution for WDIP's equity and debt investment vehicles.
According to the new market research report "TPE Market by Type (SBC, TPU, TPO, TPV, COPE, PEBA), End Use Industry (Automotive, Building & Construction, Footwear, Wire & Cable, Medical, Engineering), Region (North America, Europe, APAC, South America, MEA) - Global Forecast to 2026", published by MarketsandMarkets™, the global Thermoplastic Elastomers Market size is estimated to be USD 19.9 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 26.3 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 5.7% between 2021 and 2026.
The "Mining in East Africa 2020" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.