By Suzanne Eovaldi, staff writer
The restoration of the University of Illinois’ iconic Alma Mater statue in April of this year comes with very mixed emotions. After undergoing a $300,000, two year restoration effort, our academic mother rests on her pedestal, arms outstretched once again welcoming us to Wright and Green Streets. But haven’t our university and other Illinois colleges and universities really made Illini citizens the children of cobblers who have no shoes? How can the state with such a proud academic and medical reputation be in such horrific disarray? Reading the most recent alumni magazine is disconcerting.
“Blue Waters supercomputer on the Urbana campus (University of Illinois) is so fast that in one second it can run the same number of calculations that a human with a calculator would require 32 MILLION years to do.” (1) “Such power allows measurement-intensive modeling of complex systems of all kinds, from virus cells to hurricanes…” Yet, such academic prowess can’t or won’t figure out how to fix the abject dysfunction of Chicago, America’s number one city per capita in killings, murder, violence, shootings, and pure misery for many neighborhoods.
Consider the terrible contrast between the proposed Digital Manufacturing Design Innovation Institute and the third world violence zones that allow citizens to live in fear and misery 24/7! Less than a three hour drive separates the two vastly different realities. “Unless we have economic rebirth in our state, our children are going to seek jobs and careers elsewhere,” says Chris Kennedy, UI Board of Trustees Chairman. YOU THINK? If they manage to survive, that is.
An Email I received at about the same time as the Illini Alumni Magazine states the following about Illinois and Cook County:
“State pension fund $78 Billion in debt, WORST IN COUNTRY. Cook County (Chicago) sales tax 10.25%, HIGHEST IN COUNTRY. Four former governors in jail, MOST IN COUNTRY! This astounding paragraph in the anonymous Email goes on: “Perhaps the US should pull out of Chicago. Body count: in the last six months, 292 killed (murdered) in Chicago. 221 killed in Iraq. AND, Chicago has one of the strictest gun laws in the entire US.” (2)
How can a State worthy of international recognition for astounding research and development in the fields of space, medical research, engineering and digital excellence and mathematical acclaim have such a glaring negative sum with its soft subject offerings? How can ruin, crime and bankruptcy plague Chicago’s urban population while state universities achieve international renown in hard subject studies?
One answer here: Political Correctness is killing Illinois! Silly curriculum offerings present sex week, encouraging nubile young people to enjoy a week of sex, lies, and videotape on the student debt dime. But few participants can recite—let alone comprehend– the evil speech of Shakespeare’s Iago who used his cunning and brilliant intellect to harm his fellows, rather than help, as former Illinois students once were taught. Refusing to require competency in the greatness of Classic Literature (perhaps written by old white guys) is turning out computer freaks without moral imperatives.
The anonymous Email goes on to pound the Springfield legislature that is All Democrat, All of the Time. “There are more people on welfare in Illinois than there are people working. Chicago pays the highest wages to teachers of anywhere else in the US averaging $110,000 a year. Their pensions average 80-90% of their incomes.” (3) Many teacher union dues donations go straight into Democrat party coffers; the “contributions” coming right off of the top of paychecks, btw. A researcher with ties to Urbana years ago went on to document how many state officials and politicians have done jail time over the years.
We know that POLITICAL CORRECTNESS is destroying our country. And since we have to admit this horror has a death grip on Illinois’ academic community, may we also deduce that PC is the reason for Illinois’ severe decline? What is wrong with a blinkered mentality that fosters such futuristic development yet foments such third world decay and violence? The failure rests, I submit, with the once proud Journalistic tradition that taught students how to hold politicians accountable. Is it true that over 80% of reporters and editors vote Democrat, supporting the Party and its ideology? Have we forgotten how to write unbiased news stories?
For to praise each other for digital futurism yet fail to recognize academia’s pyrrhic victories is for naught. Is my anonymous Email any emptier than academia’s self-aggrandizement?
(1) ILLINOIS, Vol. 26, issue 4, University of Illinois Alumni Association, Summer 2014, pg. 34
(2) (3) Anonymous Email sent to me by my Illinois relatives.