No 501(C)(3) Tax-Exemption Status for Brain-Washers
Some sociologists – in effect indoctrinating political lobbyists – are planning a biased campus “teach-in” on climate change.
Why should campuses that sanction and give free rein to such brain-washing be tax-exempt? Good question, as Mitchell Langbert notes.
Columbia Prof’s Abode Brimming With Pipe Bombs and More
An arsenal was discovered this past weekend in the apartment of a Columbia University professor after his roommate, Ivaylo Ivanov, accidentally shot himself. Police removed seven homemade pipe bombs, a 9 mm shotgun, a rifle, a crossbow and arrows, a machete, ammunition, gun silencers, and several bulletproof vests from the dwelling that neighbors say is owned by Michael Clatts, an AIDS researcher at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. One of the suspected bombs is reported to have been inserted into a toy football.
Police are investigating whether Ivanov has ties to terrorist groups. (The New York Sun)
Student Haberer and the Academic Bill of Rights
Phil Orenstein recounts the history and status of the Academic Bill of Rights legislation in New York State and the story of how student Aaron Haberer, encouraged by this declaration of academic rights for students, fought and prevailed against a professor, Anthony Gronowicz. The professor gave Haberer a failing grade for disputing what Orenstein calls his “virulent anti-America, anti-religious demagoguery in the classroom.” Haberer filed a formal complaint, and the wrong against him was corrected.
NYU, Columbia Profs Back Democrats
…big-time. No surprise, of course, that they donate nearly three times more to Democratic presidential candidates than to Republicans.
One Obama supporter, Karl Kroeber, a professor at Columbia, sniffed haughtily, “I can’t see how any intelligent person could arrive at a different view.” In a surprisingly candid blast at his fellow academics, however, he broadcasts that “our so-called intellectuals make up their minds on the basis of no solid evidence they have examined personally.” (New York Sun)
A Tribute to Himmelfarb
From Daniel Johnson, in his defense of the great historian against the moronic charge that she is a “great doyenne of reactionary history”:
It was the concatenation of freedom, both political and economic, democratic representation, and the rule of law, together with the revival of Judaeo-Christian morality that made it possible for the “idea of poverty” to take hold of the “moral imagination” of Victorian society on a scale that previously did not exist. And the historian who has done most to teach us about this revolution in sensibility is actually an American: Gertrude Himmelfarb. (The New York Sun)
More in Defense of Major Coughlin
From David Bethune, Ph.D., Newport, Rhode Island:
Thanks for the information regarding the firing of Major Coughlin. However, it does not surprise me all, considering the many horror stories that are related by Ken Timmerman in his new book, Shadow Warriors: The Untold Story of Traitors, Saboteurs, and the Party of Surrender. The CIA, Pentagon and State Department are polluted by liberal/Democrat Party partisans who are intent on opposing the war against Islamofascism and eagerly looking for patriots to eliminate, like Major Coughlin.
It is heartening to hear that there are those like yourself, Bostom, Gertz and Congresswoman Myrick who are intent on reversing this decison. President Bush has been much too weak in defending those who have been so very willing to defend him and his policies. Unfortunately, his recent trip to the Middle East is not helping matters at all.
The Sins of the Parents
The Washington Post ran a story this week on the thorny issue of illegal immigrants and higher education. The article points out that, while these students have a Supreme Court–granted right to public education up through high school, it’s difficult for them to go to college.
The problem isn’t that applying to college will get them deported, but that they have trouble paying for it: “About 65,000 illegal immigrants graduate from U.S. high schools every year, unable to work legally and often unable to afford college without access to in-state tuition or government-backed financial aid, according to the Urban Institute.”
I’ve interviewed some illegal immigrant children about the subject, and it is not hard to feel bad for them. After all, their parents broke the law, and as a result they have to watch their peers receive benefits they don’t have access to.
But what’s important — and what the WaPo article doesn’t address (so much for balance) — is the question of incentives. One of the main reasons that parents come here illegally is to give their kids better opportunities. As noble a goal as that may be, for government to help them realize it only encourages more illegal immigration.
Recently I remarked on a report that greatly exaggerated the casualties in Iraq. Because it was issued weeks before the 2006 election, it was labeled a “political hit” by the Wall Street Journal.
According to the New York Sun, the report was written by professors at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, to which the mayor of New York has donated $200 million.
Mayor Bloomberg, it seems, could care less about getting to the truth about this shamefully partisan “scholarship” and, as a major donor funding what amounts to propaganda, washes his hands of any responsibility for it.
He says professors at the school “are just some of the great, honest academics, the most talented academics around. They will do their studies and you will have to talk to them.” In any case, he hedges, universities don’t ask their donors “to vet studies.” Claiming ignorance of what the professors wrote – despite readily available press accounts – he deems “it would be totally inappropriate for me to criticize.”
This kind of willful blindness in leaders and philanthropists is pernicious, particularly when a crucial foreign policy matter is at issue. The public deserves better.
Student Thrilled to Spy for Islamists
Of course one can’t judge whether the following account by Atlanta terrorism defendant Syed Haris Ahmed is true or not. But his recent testimony to counterterrorist agents could shed light on the mentality of youth who turn to radicalism and, in the process, abet terrorism. Ahmed said he felt
it would be “thrilling” to be a spy for “people over there” … Ahmed later admitted that the “people over there” were “brothers” overseas whose goal was to fight Muslim oppressors everywhere. Ahmed, then a 21-year-old Georgia Tech student, initially minimized his actions to the agents. “I was being childish,” he said. “I was dumb” … [he] stands indicted … of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Columbia’s Imperial Reach
The abuse of eminent domain in New York State gives new meaning to the designation “Empire State.” As the New York Sun notes, “Virtual empires benefiting private interests — secured through government force — are springing up especially across New York City,” notably, at Columbia University, which “seeks land that rightfully belongs to its West Harlem neighbors so it can expand its campus.”
La Sapienza (or “Wisdom”) University Censors the Pope
More than 60 professors signed a letter to the campus’s leadership saying that Pope Benedict XVI’s forthcoming appearance would be an insult to scientists and the “secular” nature of the institution, and students commenced “anti-cleric week.”
The protest had to do primarily with the church’s position today on stem-cell research, evolution, and genetic engineering – regarding which “LSU” faculty do not tolerate opposing views.
After the Pope declined to appear, university students showed up at his audience, shouting “Freedom!” (New York Post, “Students rally ‘round pope,” January 17)
The Pope had intended to address the role of popes and universities, no doubt to include one of his main themes, as stated in The Wall Street Journal, “that European civilization derives from the rapprochement between Greek philosophy and religious belief.” It is a duty of a pope, he has written, to “’maintain high the sensibility for the truth, to always invite reason to put itself anew at the service of the search for the true, the good, for God.’” (Editorial, “Papal Inquisition,” January 17)
U.S. Catholic colleges should immediately offer the pope a forum in which to elaborate on this message.
A “Green” Teach-In
This IHE story discusses a planned “teach-in” on January 31 on campuses. The subject will be the environment and the organizers say they want to go beyond “preaching to the choir” and get far more students involved.
Naturally, this “teaching” will be one-sided. Don’t expect any doubts about our date with doom unless mankind drastically changes its ways.
I wonder what would happen if some students insisted on showing The Great Global Warming Swindle?
Would the “teach-in” professors refuse to allow their propagandizing to be disrupted by any dissent?
Diversity Versus Free Speech
This illuminating article about the attempt to create a regime of free speech at DePaul University should not be missed.
Here’s a taste:
Manley and Cho told us our Principles were fundamentally invalid because we lacked a diverse racial make-up in membership. Isn¹t it important to note the ideological diversity on this Task Force? ³No,² Manley said, and pointing to the back of his hand added, ³it is about this: skin color.² Cho then highlighted words and phrases in the Principles she considered to be ³hegemonic.² Hegemonic phrases allegedly exclude the marginalized and oppressed. Among the highlighted phrases were: ³free speech and expression,² ³exercise of reason,² ³competing arguments,² and ³immeasurably enriched by exposure to differing points of view.² According to Cho, free speech should provide ³an environment that encourages enfranchising the disenfranchised² and discontinues ³the practice of exclusion and marginalization.² According to Cho, ³hegemonic free speech² (her term) does the opposite. If this is the first time you¹ve ever encountered the phrase ³hegemonic free speech,² don¹t assume you¹re alone in that experience.
Read the whole thing to find out how far DePaul (and many other universities) have gone into the pit of quicksand that is the diversity agenda.
“Jena Six” Doesn’t Add Up
Charlotte Allen writes a devastating piece on the “Jena Six” episode, in which the placing of nooses under a tree at a Louisiana high school was linked to the beating by six blacks of a white student. It was subsequently charged by outraged civil rights activists that the punishment meted out to the white students who placed the nooses was negligible, while the black students were severely prosecuted. It was also believed that the beating was somehow in retaliation for the insult represented by the nooses. Allen handles all these details but more importantly shows how the whole tale as reported and sensationalized in the press was really a “narrative” pieced together by Alan Bean, a white Baptist minister who heads an organization called Friends of Justice. “Nearly all the symbolic themes–hate crimes, Jim Crow justice, rogue prosecution, and the ghosts of the Old South that were supposed to be alive and well in Jena–that attached themselves to the Jena Six case as the months rolled by can be traced to the work” of this man, reports Allen. Bean’s ”narrative” was of course fortified by the participation of racial provocateurs such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and was amplified by the full array of racial fictions that operate in our country today, and were so conspicuous in the persecution of the Duke lacrosse players.
One might add to the story that the judgements in the case of Donald Washington, the black United States Attorney for Central Louisiana, though infuriating to black and white liberals who wanted to relive the glory days of the civil rights movement, can now be seen as solid and plausibly based on the evidence — the nooses under the tree were believable as just a prank in bad taste and not a deliberate hate crime, there was no black protest of the nooses, there was no connection between the nooses and the beating of the white student by the six blacks. But this clarity did not come soon enough to prevent the unbelievably arrogant and condescending and inappropriate lecture delivered by Congressman Keith Ellison to Washington when the latter appeared at a congressional committee hearing, aired on C-Span some time ago.
Keith denounced Washington for forgetting that Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement were not about Washington’s being able to have his good job and an SUV and stuff like that, and hectored him about how he had somehow betrayed the civil rights movement and his race. That’s how a black man is treated who does his job like a professional and doesn’t serve the agenda as seen by his “betters.” Shame.
Dept. of Wow
American universities aren’t the only places where politically incorrect speakers are silenced nowadays. This week in Rome, of all places, Pope Benedict XVI found himself censored by scholars, of all people, at one of Europe’s most prestigious universities.On Tuesday the pontiff canceled a speech scheduled for today at Sapienza University of Rome in the wake of a threat by students and 67 faculty members to disrupt his appearance. The scholars argued that it was inappropriate for a religious figure to speak at their university.
Up and Away
Despite the yeoman efforts of George Leef and Richard Vedder, demand for college keeps rising:
Applications to selective colleges and universities are reaching new heights this year, promising another season of high rejection rates and dashed hopes for many more students.
More on Stanley Fish
I question everything Stanley Fish says because he likes to be of the devil’s party, as Blake said of Milton, more or less. We want the arts and humanities to be taught because we want to give the best that has been thought and said in our civilization and culture to our young people. Their lives will be the richer for it and they will understand themselves as part of a great tradition and a great civilization, and also be poised to understand other cultures as well. Many times I have spoken to people with little education who recalled fondly the play by Shakespeare, the verses by Milton, the rhythmic rhyming poem of Longfellow’s, or the quirky lines of Dickinson that they read in school. Or the reproductions of great paintings they were shown, or the classic songs they sang in assembly. It was clear that even the little bit that they had received was precious to them. We should do all we can to teach the arts and humanities in both lower and higher education. The arts and humanities have been discredited largely due to the kind of criticism to which they have been subject, in which Fish and his fellow postmodernists have made them appear meaningless.
Intellectuals’ Hopes Deflated
The Edge asked scientists and other prominent intellectuals “What have you changed your mind about? Why?” – only to discover that when they do change their mind about lofty matters, their new outlook often is more lugubrious.
For example, Simon Baron-Cohen, an autism researcher at Cambridge University no longer views absolute equality among people as a leading concept. Classicist James O’Donnell lost faith in ancient Romans when he learned more about the foibles of emperors. (Wall Street Journal)
I won’t find myself among those who, perhaps feeling pangs of pity for these disillusioned intellectuals, respond, “so sorry for your loss.” Instead, these survey results strike me as showing that intellectuals are not exempted from having to grow up and face facts like everyone else.
‘God and Globalization’
…is a remarkable project from the Center of Theological Inquiry at Princeton. It is remarkable in its receptivity to the role free-market capitalism has played in raising millions of people out of poverty as well as to its pursuit of a “public philosophy …that would rise above prevailing orthodoxies and create a universal ethos.” (George Melloan, “Faith Without Borders,” The Wall Street Journal, January 11)
Update on the Fight Against Libel Tourism
Bruce Kesler reports on the recent “Rally for Freedom of Speech” to support a strengthened law in New York State, as in many other states, to protect writers from international libel tourism. For more background, you may access prior posts here. The intrepid Rachel Ehrenfeld is leading the charge, and the movement is gaining steam. (Democracy Project)