Friday, December 03, 2004

Sigh
Well, we've made the Wall Street Journal again, and for all the wrong reasons: "A recent informal survey at Yale, where students answered questions about academic freedom posed by the Yale Free Press, the conservative/libertarian student paper, also deserves attention. Although the entire first run of its November issue containing the study was stolen on campus, it can be downloaded at www.yale.edu/yfp. To sum up: While some Yalies said that politics either didn't arise in class or caused no problem because they shared the professor's views, others recounted unpleasant experiences. One example:
'My teacher came into class the day after the election proclaiming, "That's it. This is the death of America." The rest of the class was eager to agree, and twenty minutes of Bush-bashing ensued. At one point, one student asked our teacher whether she should be so vocal, lest any students be conservatives. She then asked us whether any of us were Republicans. Naturally, no one volunteered that information, whereupon our teacher turned to the inquisitive student and said, "See? No one in here would be stupid enough to vote for Bush." ' "


Unfortunately, this is all too common, and I know plenty of conservatives who've had similar experiences. I had a class last year that contained so much Bush-bashing from the professor (a lecture class with no response forum available) that once or twice I found myself packing up noisily, standing, making eye contact with the professor, and walking out. Sure, I still got a good grade because he had no idea what my name was, but it was still an extremely awkward environment where I was supposed to be learning something useful about politics and its relation to the media.

Sigh. On the plus side, I find myself more capable of debating the logic behind conservatism thanks to the intolerance found at this school. I guess you have to take the good with the bad.

UPDATE [12/3/2004 - 17:02]: All of this via InstaPundit.

The Boston Globe reports on A left-wing monopoly on campuses: "Today campus leftism is not merely prevalent. It is radical, aggressive, and deeply intolerant, as another newly minted graduate of another prominent university -- Ben Shapiro of UCLA -- shows in 'Brainwashed,' a recent bestseller. 'Under higher education's facade of objectivity,' Shapiro writes, 'lies a grave and overpowering bias' -- a charge he backs up with example after freakish example of academics going to ideological extremes[...]

At about the same time, a poll of Ivy League professors commissioned by the Center for the Study of Popular Culture found that more than 80 percent of those who voted in 2000 had cast their ballots for Democrat Al Gore while just 9 percent backed Republican George W. Bush. While 64 percent said they were "liberal" or "somewhat liberal," only 6 percent described themselves as "somewhat conservative' -- and none at all as 'conservative.'[...]

The New York Times reports that a new national survey of more than 1,000 academics shows Democratic professors outnumbering Republicans by at least 7 to 1 in the humanities and social sciences. At Berkeley and Stanford, according to a separate study that included professors of engineering and the hard sciences, the ratio of Democrats to Republicans is even more lopsided: 9 to 1."


As I've pointed to before a great documentary has been made on the subject, viewable for free at AcademicBias.com.


The Economist has a great piece covering a new book by Tom Wolfe, which satirizes (quite accurately, I might add from what I've read) the college life. They also relate it to the classic God and Man at Yale by Willian F. Buckley (both available at Amazon via links below). The main point: "Academia is simultaneously both the part of America that is most obsessed with diversity, and the least diverse part of the country. On the one hand, colleges bend over backwards to hire minority professors and recruit minority students, aided by an ever-burgeoning bureaucracy of 'diversity officers'. Yet, when it comes to politics, they are not just indifferent to diversity, but downright allergic to it."

                         


UPDATE [12/3/2004 - 17:56]: Not everyone accepts the mounting evidence listed above as proof. Today's Yale Daily News offers a guest column by Kanishk Tharoor: "It is undeniable that Democrats disproportionately outnumber Republicans in the halls of higher education, yet this imbalance does not breed an atmosphere of censorship. Most Yalies would be hard-pressed to remember a single occasion of genuine political discrimination by a teacher against a student. Moreover, leftists often feel as embattled on campus as right-wingers."

Maybe he should read a bit more of the news before making his claims. Remember the Yale Free Press article I quoted earlier in this post (via the Wall Street Journal)? Well, here's another quote: "In many cases, I've had professors write on essays that they do not agree with a statement made or the viewpoint of my papers. In terms of analyzing a piece of literature, this may be acceptable. However, I've had this occur when writing on topical issues or opinions. And when asked why I received a certain grade, I've been told, 'I don't agree with your position.'"

And another: "It's not so much that I feel indoctrinated as I feel intimidated. In a small class, English class of 15, current political issues and figures are often discussed, with one side being ridiculed by the prof and students. I am the only one who doesn't share those views, but won't say so."

Mr. Tharoor may be right in his assertion that "Most Yalies would be hard-pressed to remember a single occasion of genuine political discrimination by a teacher against a student" I'll concede that. But maybe that's just an indication that most Yalies are liberal and totally oblivious to the real discrimination conservatives at this institution feel, and the chilling effect it has over us.

All I can hope is that all of this media coverage will eventually result in a less-liberal academic community in this country.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

I've always said
...that it's a short step from supporting abortion based on terminal illness, or on the probability of an impoverished life, to saying "hey, this two year-old is terminally ill, so let's just kill him now." Well, the Netherlands has taken a step in that direction: "A hospital in the Netherlands - the first nation to permit euthanasia - recently proposed guidelines for mercy killings of terminally ill newborns, and then made a startling revelation: It has already begun carrying out such procedures, which include administering a lethal dose of sedatives."

Despicable and sickening. "Mercy killings of... newborns."

UPDATE [12/2/2004 - 21:02]: It's even worse than I thought. According to Hugh Hewitt: "The protocol is likely to be used primarily for newborns, but it covers any child up to age 12."

This is just disgusting, and Hewitt's analysis is spot-on in my opinion: "This is either a low point, or a point of no return. The establishment of "independent committees" to dispatch non-consenting humans is nothing but a death penalty committee for innocents. Once begun, it is impossible--simply impossible--to limit the concept with any bright line. Abortion, of course, has always been limited by the physical act of birth, and once out of the womb, only the most extreme "reproductive rights" advocates have argued that the baby's natural right to live can be compromised by the mother. But now the Netherlands has gone farther--much, much farther. If the "severely retarded" may be killed upon appropriate motion, second, debate, and majority vote, why not the moderately retarded? Why not the mildly retarded? Why not, in fact, anyone the "independent committee" deems as usefully dispatched."

How can anyone think this is ok? And why isn't it being covered by any of the national media?

What supporting the troops is all about
I wouldn't pretend to be able to explain this the same way as he does, so read what Russ Vaughn, a poet, has to say about supporting the troops: "You see, what I'm wholeheartedly for is the troops, and not in the sense that most liberal Americans profess to be, in that they believe they are demonstrating their support of the troops by calling for them to be brought home and removed from harm's way. If that's what you call supporting the troops, then take it from an old trooper who's been there and done that, the troops don't see you as supportive at all. They see you as undermining their mission, which is to go in harm's way, with deliberate intent to prevail by force of arms.
What the troops perceive as support is hearing you cheering not jeering when they are seriously kicking the butts of jihadi terrorists. So, on behalf of the troops you support, it's with you peace-at-any-price liberals and your synergistic media pals that I have an ax to grind."


Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

More on the Climate of Fear
The Yale Daily News reports today that copies of the Yale Free Press, a conservative magazine, were stolen. No big deal, right? Well, this was not as simple a theft as I just made it soud: "Approximately 2,400 issues, costing $600, were discarded, Feygin said. The magazine, which had been distributed to all 11 residential colleges and Swing Space, was stolen from all 12 locations."

There are no leads, and no signs of who the perpetrators might be. The only thing that is clear is that someone undertook a large-scale effort to stifle dissent on the Yale campus. Oh, and the ironic part? "Feygin and her staff said they were horrified at the theft of this month's issues, which Feygin said was particularly ironic as the issue addressed academic freedom at Yale. The issue featured a survey conducted by Yale's Students for Academic Freedom asking students whether they considered political freedom in the classroom to be an issue on campus. Feygin said the poll, which quoted anonymously what students had said in their survey replies, had angered some people.

'It's frustrating that the way of countering things that people don't like is to suppress them,' said YFP contributing writer William Britt '06, who discovered the issues missing from Morse College. 'We publish letters to the editor that put anyone who wants to in dialogue with the writers, so there's lots of space for people to disagree in a way that's more helpful.'"


This is a magazine that allows anyone to write in and disagree, with the right to be published in the next issue, writing a feature about the stiffling of dissent on campus. And what happens? The issue is stolen. I tell you, this campus, in some ways, gets worse and worse every day.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Awesome, Simply Awesome
Now there's VIDEO.
(And yes, I know the people who did this, and the majority of the people on the video. Harvard Sucks, Yale Rocks, and, since they were the masterminds behind it, The P is for the P in Pierson College, baby! If you don't go to Yale, or don't know anyone who does, email me if you'd like to know what that means.)

For the full story of what went on (a mere supplement to the video, really), check out the Yale Daily News.

Why we should all be Republicans
Pete DuPont offers a great column about why the Republican Party is growing in strength, and what some of us mean when we say that the Democrats are out of touch with America: "Rather than applauding Hillary Clinton's telling them last summer that their taxes must be raised because 'we're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good,' they prefer Newt Gingrich's observation that the Declaration of Independence's Pursuit of Happiness includes an active verb: 'Not happiness stamps; not a department of happiness; not therapy for happiness. Pursuit.'
If the Democratic Party allows itself to be defined by Ted Kennedy, Michael Moore and the editorial page of the New York Times, while Republicans, their president and their strengthened congressional majorities encourage the pursuit of happiness in an opportunity and ownership society, then Mr. and Mrs. America will make sure conservatives are in power for a great many years to come."

Sunday, November 28, 2004

The Height of Laziness
And clear evidence once and for all that Maureen Dowd looks at me the same way I look at her.

Her column today discusses her family, and their Thanksgiving interactions. Specifically, she describes them by saying "They're beyond red - more like crimson. My sister flew to West Virginia in October to work a phone bank for W."

God, how awful. Who could do such a thing? Making phone calls for the President's reelection campaign, especially one that won with a majority of votes, is just an absurdity. She must be a part of the lunatic right fringe.

She also reprints a letter written by her brother to family and friends. (This is where the laziness comes in—over half of her column is made up of her brother's words, not her own). The letter is a celebration of the President's reelection victory, and addresses the liberal fringe (including Ms. Dowd though he does not name her specifically), thanking them for their efforts toward that end.

She introduces the letter as if it's a representation of the most reactionary thought in the world, and I was all geared-up to read the words of a Limbaugh nut—in other words, a Republican who cannot express his own views and simply regurgitates the words of Limbaugh, Hannity, and others without a nugget of intelligence. Some nuggets that allegedly prove her point? I thought you'd never ask:

[Despite major media arraying themselves against Bush,] He never complained, just systematically set about delivering the same consistent message.
A very big thank you to Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, Rob Reiner, Bill Maher, Barbra Streisand, Alec Baldwin, Al Franken and Jon Stewart for your involvement. You certainly energized the base. Now, please have the courage of your convictions and leave the country.
To Bob Shrum - Cut your fee.
To Mike McCurry, Joe Lockhart and Paul Begala - You don't seem quite as smart without a great candidate.
To The New York Times and The Washington Post - If Bush and Reagan were so stupid, how did they both go four for four in elections involving two of our biggest states and the presidency without your endorsement?
[Describing members of the non-secular community that is the US,] They are not all 'wacky evangelicals.' They are people who don't like Howard Stern piping a hard porn show over the airwaves and wrapping himself in the freedom of the First Amendment. They don't like being told that a young girl does not have to seek her mother's counsel about an abortion. They don't like seeing an eight-month-old fetus having his head punctured and his brains sucked out. They don't like being told the Pledge of Allegiance, a moment of silent prayer and the words 'under God' are offensive to an enlightened few so nobody should be allowed to use them.
To Dan Rather - Good luck in your retirement.
To Gavin Newsom - Thanks for all of the great shots of the San Francisco couples embracing their mates at City Hall in direct defiance of the law.
To P. Diddy - 'Vote or Die' might need a little work.
To John Edwards - Thanks for being there.
With all due respect to Ms. Dowd (not much due), though she may not understand her brother's positions, she is wrong to think them so extreme. Sure, they may not exist among her colleagues at the NYT, among American academia, or among any of several other prominent groups in this country, but that does not make them extreme or wacky. And the fact that she writes this column with the implied assumption that everyone reading her column would agree with her (there's no other way to look at it), just proves how limited, and liberal, the NYT readership has become.

Another pet idea of mine
And another writer who explains it better than I can. Read what George Will wants to tell you.