Sunday, October 27, 2013


Glenn Beck's Blaze posted this today:
A new online course featuring several notable conservative figures aims to teach students about the history of the conservative movement, a Washington D.C. area based non-profit said this week.

The 14-segment course, sponsored by the Leadership Institute and Free Think University, features "some of the conservative movement’s most influential voices," including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), talk-show host Mark Levin and the Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore.

"Leadership Institute believes in equipping the next generation of leaders in America with a clear view of the values and ideals of the American Conservative Tradition," Morton Blackwell, president of the Leadership Institute, said. "We're happy to help bring this world-class college course experience to thousands of students." ...
(Morton Blackwell, you may recall, is the guy behind the Kerry-mocking purple heart Band-Aids at the 2004 Republican convention.)

So Free Think University is an (alleged) institution of higher learning? How does it work exactly? Well, here's one explanation:

Or, if you want more detail, The Chronicle of Higher Education says this, quoting Free Think's co-founder:
Jim Van Eerden has come up with a resource that he says will give conservative parents a chance to counteract any liberal indoctrination of their children before it happens. His plan would let parents deposit tuition money into a "scholarship" that would go to a child's college only after the student had passed one or more short online courses offering a "more balanced" take on various issues.

Mr. Van Eerden, who serves as an "entrepreneur in residence" at Grove City College, a Christian college in Pennsylvania, has opened a nonprofit Web site, FreeThinkU, that offers almost 30 free "courses" -- each designed to last only a few hours, culminating in a multiple-choice quiz—on topics such as global warming, the Second Amendment, and American exceptionalism....

The idea, said Mr. Van Eerden, is that rather than paying their children's tuition outright, parents and grandparents will sponsor scholarships through FreeThinkU. In order to unlock the scholarship funds, their college-going progeny will have to take a series of FreeThinkU courses....

That type of arrangement, called an "UP! Scholarship," will become available to concerned parents and grandparents this spring for a $76 membership fee.

Members can set up other scholarships as well, such as funds aimed at students at particular universities. FreeThinkU believes it can harness money that alumni might have donated to their alma maters, and instead get them to sponsor scholarships that would send current students through FreeThinkU courses, rewarding the students with money for tuition....
Now, let me say something to anyone who thinks that, yes, Ted Cruz and the other new right-wing extremists are bad, and their voters are nuts, but you've got the exact same thing taking place on the liberal side of the spectrum. Well, no, you don't. There is no liberal senator whose speeches are repurposed by a phony-baloney "university" that seems like nothing more than a clever means of extracting cash and e-mail addresses from credulous conservatives.

Yeah, Elizabeth Warren taught students, but she was a tenured professor. Her lectures had real educational value. No one on the left is going to pay money to subsidize an ersatz school with "courses" that consists of warmed-over political speeches from Warren or other Democratic pols. We don't operate that way. We don't think political speeches by pols and pundits we like contain all the collected wisdom of the ages. The only major political party whose adherents engage in that sort of cult thinking is the GOP.


Danp said...

FreeThinkU? As in twitter-speak for freethinkers, the religious movement that rejected authoritarian dogma,relying instead on scientific inquiry and logical process as opposed to cultural and religious biases? The only thing that would be more ironic is if FreeThinkU adopted the Freethinkers' symbol - the pansy.

Victor said...

"American Conservatism" - the longest running grift on Broadway!

And Main Street, and any street, and every street, where Conservatives may live!!!

Being Conservative, is the FSM's way of telling you, you either have too much money, or are too stupid to keep whatever money you do have.

Danp said...

I apologize for the end of my earlier comment. Where I grew up a pansy was someone who was easily duped. On-line dictionaries seem to only define it as a homophobic slur.

Glennis said...

Yet another opportunity for the conservative grift machine to suck money out of the wallets of the gullible.

Karen said...

Oh. My. God.

I worked for Jim Van Eerden for three years back in the late 90's when he was trying to ride the Internet wave to billionaire-hood. That company, Stream Technology, went bankrupt in 2002 leaving a lot of very unhappy investors whom he scammed along with a lot of very unhappy companies who were brought in with tales of how everyone was going to make money because Jeebus was smiling on him and him alone.

I left two years prior to the bankruptcy but kept in touch with my co-workers there who also ended up unpaid at the end of the business. NC Department of Revenue came after him and his brother-in-law, Gregg Schmidt for failure to pay the employees' state income taxes and taking money out of their paychecks for health insurance, but pocketing it instead.

Jim and his wife, Rachel, have 12 (or maybe 13. She was always pregnant during my tenure) kids since they subscribe to the Quiverful school of theology.

The guy and his family are scary, crazy hypocrites. They scam people who think they are devout and caring Christians, when they only thing they worship is the dollar.

Joey Blau said...

well I for one sincerely want to question the conventional wisdom about creation science and that scary Charlie Darwin.

Knight of Nothing said...

@Danp: I think the word you're looking for is "patsy."

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