Thursday, June 14, 2018

Goodbye Miss America

Monday, June 11, 2018

Obama Lied About the Iran Deal

From columnist Marc A. Thiessen in the Washington Post: a blow by blow account of how the Obama Administration allowed Iran access to international financial markets, contradicting terms of the deal, and then lied about it to Congress. You can read the blow-by-blow, but here is the summary:
In other words, the Obama administration: (1) told Congress it would not allow Iran access to U.S. financial institutions; (2) issued a special license allowing Iran to do exactly that; (3) unsuccessfully pressured U.S. banks to help Iran; (4) lied to Congress and the American people about what it had done; (5) admitted in internal emails that these efforts “exceeded” U.S. obligations under the nuclear deal; (6) sent officials, including bank regulators, around the world to urge foreign financial institutions to do business with Iran; and (7) promised that they would get nothing more than a slap on the wrist for violating U.S. sanctions.
But even before this:
First, President Barack Obama failed to disclose to Congress the existence of secret side deals on inspections when he transmitted the nuclear accord to Capitol Hill. (They were only uncovered by chance when then-Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) learned about them during a meeting with International Atomic Energy Agency officials in Vienna.) Then, we learned that the Obama administration had secretly sent a plane to Tehran loaded with $400 million in Swiss francs, euros and other currencies on the same day Iran released four American hostages, which was followed by two more secret flights carrying another $1.3 billion in cash.
The fundamental problem here, aside from the fact that liberal Democrats like Obama take a tolerant attitude toward America’s enemies, is they desire to get an “agreement” that can be touted as “fixing the problem” and draw plaudits from the goody-two-shoes internationalists.

Obama’s Paris Climate Accord is a classic example.

Let’s hope that Trump doesn’t get subverted by the same mentality in dealing with Little Rocket Man.

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Bill is Disappointed

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Chris Matthews: Democratic Party is Elitist

Sometimes a buffoon, Chris Matthews sometimes seems to “get it” as a Democrat who remembers a time when working class people identified with and voted with Democrats.

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Bogus Racial Grievance at Portland Bakery

Bogus racial grievance. Black women claims she was not served because of her race. She walked in after the place was closed, and after two white women were refused service on the grounds that the place was closed.

This being Portland, the two employees involved were fired, and the very politically correct coffee shop abases itself and kowtows to the activists.

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Thursday, June 07, 2018

Catholic Schools are Better at Instilling Self-Discipline

From Right Wisconsin, an article on the ability of various kinds of schools to engender self-discipline in student. Will Flanders, policy wonk at the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, explains:
In the last several months, WILL has argued that currently popular systems of discipline in American public schools are problematic from the standpoint of promoting a good learning environment. Perhaps in reaction to the overzealousness of the “Zero Tolerance” policies of the late 90s and early 2000s, many school systems have gone the opposite direction, promoting “feel good” discipline policies that result in worsened academic outcomes and reports of unsafe conditions for teachers and students.

But, like in many other contexts, private schools may offer an alternative solution on school discipline. A new study by the Thomas Fordham Institute examines student behavior in Catholic schools compared to other private and public schools. They argue that Catholic schools, far more so than other schools, focus on the notion of self–discipline. Self-discipline, in general, is an intrinsic motivation to engage in positive behavior. In the context of the classroom, this can be exhibited by properly dealing with anger, or avoiding impulsive behavior without the teacher having to intervene. It is a regular point of emphasis for Catholic schools around the country. Indeed, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee lists “self-discipline” as one of the core meanings of a Catholic education. But does this emphasis manifest in better behavioral outcomes?

Using rigorous methods to create comparable samples of students, the study’s authors found that students in Catholic schools were more likely to exhibit self-disciplined behavior. This finding held in comparison to both public schools and other private schools. It also held for students of different races and income levels.
Flanders asks whether this result could be generalized to other religious schools, and even to secular private schools. The Fordham study lumps “non-religious” schools with “other religious” schools, leaving unanswered the question of whether religious schools, per se, conduce to self-discipline.

Further, so far as we can tell, the study does not preclude the possibility that Catholic schools have more latitude to impose discipline — defined a punishing bad behavior. Simply being isolated from Obama Administration policies that make it hard to discipline may be a huge advantage. Letting kids learn that bad behavior produces no consequences (or trivial consequences) is a dandy way to discourage self-discipline.

Indeed, some of the “mission statements” of Catholic schools imply their staff think this way. For example:
In 2012 Chilton Area Catholic School adopted the “Discipline With Purpose” program. This program helps children learn to become self-directed adults. It helps teach responsibility and respect in language children can understand. It also encourages educators to rethink their role as disciplinarians to teachers of self-discipline.
This sounds like pious rhetoric describing the fact that you discipline to teach self-discipline.

Regardless, Catholic schools have long provided both a congenial choice for practicing Catholic parents and a valuable refuge for kids (many non-Catholic) from dysfunctional inner city public schools.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Doing and Undoing

Monday, May 21, 2018

The U.S. Does Not Have More Homeless People than Other Nations

Homelessness, like any other hardship, invites people to push an ideological agenda. Especially, homelessness in the U.S. invites people on the left to blame capitalism, or the American political culture, or a Republican incumbent administration.

One writer in the Huffington Post, for example, asks “How Well is American Capitalism Working?” and claims that:
If you ask the 15% of our population living in poverty, their answer is that they can’t find a decent job and they survive on food stamps, food kitchens, clothing handouts, and cheap housing or even homelessness.
And a letter writer to the New York Times asked:
As our own United States homeless population grows, the question arises whether the causes of homelessness can be explained by a transition to a harsher and crueler form of capitalism under the Bush-Reagan Administrations or, if not explicable by such a transition, is homelessness simply a necessary component to our present brand of capitalism?
This would imply that less “capitalistic” nations — socialist states in Europe, for example — should have lower rates of homelessness. Apparently, however, this is not so.

Cross National Data

The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) compiles data on a large number of indicators across advanced industrial nations, and this includes data on homelessness.

The data do not show the U.S. having an especially large number of homeless.

For example, they show the 0.18% of the U.S. population to be homeless, as opposed to 0.25% of the population of the United Kingdom, 0.42% of the German population and 0.42% of the French population.

In the supposed socialist utopia of Sweden, 0.36% of the population is homeless, according to this tabulation.

How Do We Define Homelessness

Of course, any cross-national data must be questioned for comparability, and that is the case here.

The most basic definition of homelessness is:
Homelessness counts in most countries include rough sleepers, people living in accommodation for the homeless and in emergency temporary accommodation. . . .
This is fair enough. While “sleeping rough” (on a park bench, heating grate or in a subway) most certainly corresponds to our notion of homelessness, sleeping in a shelter where you are usually required to leave every morning does too.

But some nations define “homelessness” much more broadly. Sometimes, it includes the following:
  • People living in institutions: Including people who stay longer than needed in health institutions due to lack of housing; and people in penal institutions with no housing available prior to release
  • People living in non-conventional dwellings due to lack of housing : where accommodation consists of mobile homes, non-conventional building or temporary structure, and is used due to a lack of housing and is not the person’s usual place of residence
  • People living temporarily in conventional housing with family and friends due to lack of housing
Some of this is pretty ridiculous. If you stay in prison for a few extra days, you are not homeless, notwithstanding that you would rather be out. Living is a trailer is not being homeless either, even if you do get stereotyped as white trash.

And if you have been evicted and are sleeping on the couch at your sister and brother-in-law’s place, you are not homeless, no matter how much you would like your own pad.

More Comparisons

The OECD document includes a comprehensive list of the definitions of “homelessness” used in each nation, and allows us to make some rough comparisons.

And also note some senseless definitions. In Australia, for example, the “homeless” include:
People living in boarding houses (due to lack of suitable accommodation alternatives); people living in severely crowded dwellings.
Perhaps this broad definition is part of the reason Australia has 2.6 times the reported homeless population of the U.S. But it would be hard to argue that Australia has fewer homeless, even taking the different definitions into account.

Much the same analysis would apply to Sweden, which defines “homelessness” more broadly than the U.S, but reports twice as many people as being homeless. And also to Germany, with a broad definition of “homelessness,” but an estimate of 2.3 times as many homeless as the U.S.

But France, for example, defines “homelessness” pretty much the same way the U.S. does, but reports 22% more homeless people.

The United Kingdom

The definition “homelessness” in the U.K. is wordy, and apparently quite narrow.
Number of households who after applying for housing assistance are accepted by local authorities as being “Statutory homeless” (i.e. those who are unintentionally homeless and fall into a ‘priority need’ category. Somebody is statutorily homeless if they do not have accommodation that they have a legal right to occupy, which is accessible and physically available to them (and their household) and which it would be reasonable for them to continue to live in. It would not be reasonable for someone to continue to live in their home, for example, if that was likely to lead to violence against them (or a member of their family).
It seems unlikely that all (or perhaps even most) people who really are homeless would be among the “Statutory homeless.” Indeed a private organization estimated that in 2017 307,000 people were sleeping rough or in inadequate housing in the U.K. This compares to 57,750 households in the OECD data (but for England alone).

No matter what adjustments are made, the U.K. has at least as many — and probably more — homeless as does the U.S.

Conclusion

The homeless are not victims of capitalism. They are not even victims of structural changes in the economy. They are victims of their own bad behavior, including untreated clinical depression, substance abuse and involvement in criminal activity.

That does not mean they should not be helped, but it does mean they should not be enabled by liberal public policies. Simply providing “affordable housing” is just an enabler — at least, unless there is a set of fairly rigorous conditions attached. Allowing homeless encampments to despoil public streets and green space is another enabler.

Indeed, to help them a fair amount of coercion might be necessary, which would be justified for a population which, left to its own devices, lives a wretched existence.

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Los Angeles: New Housing for Homeless Costs $476,000 Per Unit

Yes, that’s what an investigation by the Los Angeles Times revealed. Quoting:
A Times analysis of the 29 projects [for the homeless] currently approved for funding found their average cost to be more than $476,000 per unit. Two projects will cost more than $650,000 per unit and five more than $550,000.

An analysis of state tax credit projects during the year before the bond measure vote found that supportive housing projects in Los Angeles County cost an average of $420,000 per unit.
So is the story here how liberal policies in California attract a lot of homeless people, or how inefficient governments can’t accomplish anything at any reasonable cost?

Both.

But the real crux of the problem is the politically incorrect fact that homeless people are seldom merely average folks who have had a run of bad luck. There is a massive incidence of substance abuse among the homeless.

Clinical depression is also common. One scholarly review of the literature notes:
Using standardized measures, researchers consistently find that between 40 percent and 47 percent of homeless men meet criteria for mild to severe depression
Then there is the fact that a large number of homeless people engage in illegal activity. One study of a large sample in the journal Psychiatric Services shows that 28.8% of the ever “ever homeless” in the sample reported having been arrested.

The same study shows that 26.4% of the “ever homeless” has been diagnosed as having depression.

Plenty in this study should engender some sympathy for the homeless: an extremely high number reported they had ever run away, been ordered out of their home by parents, or subjected to parent/caregiver neglect and/or abuse.

But that doesn’t change the fact that what they need is not a very expensive rent free or subsidized pad of their own. Rather, it’s more likely a facility where they will be drug tested, required to take their meds, given regular meals, and the necessary medical and social services. That doesn’t have to be something as draconian as a jail cell. But it does have to be something that doesn’t merely enable bad behavior.

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Saturday, May 12, 2018

How to Identify the Racists

Author James Baldwin explained it:
Every time I attend a conference of white writers, I have a method for finding out if my colleagues are racist. It consists of uttering stupidities and maintaining absurd theses. If they listen respectfully and, at the end, overwhelm me with applause, there isn’t the slightest doubt: they are filthy racists.
Hat tip to Ron McCamy, who responded on Facebook to our post on Ta-Nehisi Coates with this quote.

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Squashed

GLENN MCCOY © Belleville News-Democrat. Dist. By UNIVERSAL UCLICK. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Ta-Nehisi Coates: The Liberals House Negro

Yes, he’s the black guy the liberals love: always ranting about white racism and how terrible it is to lock up black men. The fact that they got locked up for crimes (and not because racist whites want to hurt blacks) is something beyond his ken.


But what would an honest inventory of the problems of the black community show? Kay Hymowitz explains, discussing one of Coates’ articles:
This is not a one-time lapse. Coates’s article is marked by the sin of omission. You might think that an article on the Moynihan report and the black family would mention somewhere that today 72 percent of black children, up from 24 percent when the report was written, are born to unmarried mothers. You might assume that an analyst of the black family would explain that large numbers of those children — far more than mass incarceration can explain, by the way — will have at best erratic relationships with their fathers. You would expect him to show how one of the main reasons fathers fade out of their children’s lives is “multi-partner fertility” — parents who have children by a series of partners — and that multi-partner fertility is particularly widespread among blacks and incarcerated men. He might look at the research suggesting that children living with an unrelated father are more likely to suffer abuse. You would expect him to ponder all of this because there is abundant evidence that boys growing up under these conditions have less self-control than those growing up in more stable families, and most of all, because those boys are far more prone to commit crimes. You would think at least some of this would find its way into the pages of a 17,000-word piece called “The Black Family in an Age of Mass Incarceration,” but you would be wrong.
Coates is, to be blunt about it, the liberals house negro. His job it to tell them what they want to hear, in an angry and impassioned voice. And when they can, they will use him to try to guilt or intimidate other whites who might be reticent to admit their “white privilege” or go along with some “diversity” hustle.

Colleges and universities have a lot of people like him. It’s a growth industry.

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The “Racist” Photo that Has Been Roiling Marquette

It has been the pretext for an orgy of hand wringing, virtue signalling and irate screeds from students “of color” at Marquette: a supposedly racist photo that was apparently sent to a Marquette student.

Of the four male students in the photo, only one is apparently a Marquette student. He has been identified, and will presumably face disciplinary proceedings.

But just what does that “racist photo” actually show. Here is the best copy we could find. We have obscured the faces in the photo, but it is uncropped.

Click on Image to Enlarge

OK, there is a black doll, and a toy gun. Are they going to shoot the black doll? The doll is wearing sunglasses and a pinstripe vest.

One of the guys is wearing a hoodie. The fellow at the top right seems to be giving a gang sign of some sort.

The gun has “Chuuch” written over it on the photo. The Urban Dictionary says this is a pimp way of saying “amen.”

But “Chuuch” is also a rap from a fellow named Slim Thug. Most of his lyrics do make him sound like a thug, but ironically “Chuuch” is an inspirational song. Some lyrics:
Trying to soar high with them eagles
Can’t chill with none of you chickens
I’m tray get rich with my people
Too high to see you haters
Too blessed to play y’all mind
I ain’t got nothing to be mad at
I’m drop head top down
Thank you, God, all the time for helping me live my dreams
And for exposing all of those who wasn't right for my team
I’mma keep receiving this games
If it’s for the better, I’ll change
Only live once, better do it right
I’m trying to leave a legacy, man
So what are these guys doing? Their demeanor toward the black doll does not seem hostile or aggressive at all. It looks for all the world like they are staging some sort of gangsta rap tableau. If this is true, the worst thing they are guilty of is cultural appropriation — which is to say, guilty of nothing at all.

If so, they are being a bit silly. And in the racially hyper-sensitive environment of a contemporary university, mailing it to people, and especially allowing it to fall into the hands of a campus grievance monger, is stupid.

But stupid is not racist.

We would love to hear what the guys in the photo say about what they were doing. Presumably, one of them is explaining himself to Marquette officials — assuming he’s still at the university.

Marquette, of course, will conceal what they know, claiming the confidentially of the disciplinary process. If they find out it was a silly goof, and not some racist incident, this confidentiality will allow them to go on denouncing rampant racism on campus, and mounting yet more “diversity” initiatives.

But the blunt truth is: campus bureaucrats, right up to President Lovell, love incidents like this.


Hat Tip: Vicki McKenna first questioned whether the photo was really racist.

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Russian Facebook Influence: Coming Down on Both Sides

In the Woody Allen movie “Bananas,” one scene has U.S. paratroopers flying down to intervene in the fictional Central American republic of San Marcos. The dialogue:
  • First Paratrooper: Which side are we on?
  • Second Paratrooper: The CIA is not taking any chances this time. Half of us are for, half of us against!
In spite of all the hysteria, and hyperventilating, this is the story of the much ballyhooed Russian “intervention” in U.S. politics.

From the Washington Post:
Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday released about 3,500 Facebook ads purchased by Russian agents around the 2016 presidential election on issues from immigration to gun control, a reminder of the complexity of the manipulation that Facebook is trying to contain ahead of the midterm elections.

The ads, from mid-2015 to mid-2017, illustrate the extent to which Kremlin-aligned forces sought to stoke social, cultural and political unrest on one of the Web’s most powerful platforms. With the help of Facebook’s targeting tools, they delivered their disinformation to narrow categories of users – from black or gay users to fans of Fox News.

In doing so, Russia’s online army reached at least 146 million people on Facebook and Instagram, its photo-sharing service, with ads and other posts. Sometimes, Russian trolls also tried to fuel rallies and protests, endeavoring at one point in 2016 to pit Beyoncé fans and critics against each other in New York City.
You read that right. The Russians were on both sides.
“They sought to harness Americans’ very real frustrations and anger over sensitive political matters in order to influence American thinking, voting and behavior,” [Adam] Schiff said in a statement. “The only way we can begin to inoculate ourselves against a future attack is to see first-hand the types of messages, themes and imagery the Russians used to divide us.”

For its part, Facebook stressed in a statement: “This will never be a solved problem because we’re up against determined, creative and well-funded adversaries. But we are making steady progress.”
Note the assumption that this is a terrible problem that needs to be “solved.” The highly partisan Democrat Adam Schiff (along with Facebook) are doing what liberals have long chided conservatives for doing: hyping the sinister, evil machinations of the Red Menace.
In total, ads purchased by agents tied to the Kremlin-backed IRA reached about 10 million U.S. users around the 2016 presidential election, according to Facebook’s own estimates. But the ads are only part of the story: They sought to hook American voters into clicking “Like” or following Russia-created Facebook profiles and pages, which published organic content, like status updates, videos and other posts, which would later appear in users’ News Feeds.
Yes, we know that the sinister Russians scored a major propaganda coup by getting their posts “liked” on Facebook. We can’t imagine the damage that Facebook “likes” will do our republic.

Click on image to enlarge
In many cases, the Kremlin-tied ads took multiple sides of the same issue. Accounts like United Muslims of America urged viewers in New York in March 2016 to “stop Islamophobia and the fear of Muslims.” That same account, days later, crafted an open letter in another ad that accused Clinton of failing to support Muslims before the election. And other accounts linked to the IRA sought to target Muslims: One ad highlighted by the House Intelligence Committee called President Barack Obama a “traitor” who had acted as a “pawn in the hands of Arabian Sheikhs.”

For two years, Russian agents proffered similar ads around issues like racism and causes like Black Lives Matter. They relied on Facebook features to target specific categories of users. An IRA-backed account on Instagram aimed a January 2016 ad about “white supremacy” specifically to those whose interests included HuffPost’s “black voices” section.

At times, Russian agents also sought to influence Facebook users’ offline activities: One ad from the IRA-aligned page Black Matters promoted a March 26, 2016, rally against “confederate heritage,” which had 161 people saying they would attend. Another by Heart of Texas urged viewers to “honor your ancestors” and join a rally for the state to secede – a post that had been shared 266 times before Facebook removed Russian-generated content.

On Instagram, one of the IRA’s ads in February 2016 sought to target people believed to be police officers, firefighters and military officers, urging them to appear at a protest of Beyoncé outside of NFL headquarters. At the same time, another account — targeting black users — directed viewers to a pro-Beyoncé protest at the same location. Neither effort appeared to gain any traction, according to data supplied by the social giant to Democratic lawmakers. But it offered one example of the extent to which Russian trolls sought to exploit both sides of major national debates – including football players who knelt during the national anthem to bring attention to issues of racism.

The documents released Thursday also reflect that Russian agents continued advertising on Facebook well after the presidential election. Until August 2017, Russian-aligned pages and profiles advertised their opposition to immigrants, targeting a range of users, including those who appear to like Fox News. They marketed a page called Born Liberal to likely supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the data show, an ad that had more than 49,000 impressions into 2017. Together, the ads affirmed the fears of some lawmakers, including Republicans, that Russian agents have continued to try to influence U.S. politics even after the 2016 election.

Conclusion

The notion that the Russians somehow elected Trump gets no support at all from these ads. It’s true that after Trump because the nominee, the weight of the ads supported Trump and opposed Hillary. This could not have been because the Russians thought Hillary could win.

If they thought that, their analysts should be brought to the U.S. and installed as pundits in every major news organization.

Rather, they wanted to weaken Hillary, whom they viewed as the certain winner.

They, of course, would have nothing to fear from Hillary, associated as she was with the feckless, passive foreign policy of Barack Obama. Trump, on the other hand, they would have viewed as a loose cannon. Who would know what he might do?

But the efforts of a handful of geeks in St. Petersburg were pretty trivial. What defeated Hillary was her own defects as a person and a candidate. And the polarization in American politics is all “Made in the U.S.A.” The Russians’ efforts were not even a drop in the bucket.

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Sunday, May 06, 2018

Going Nowhere

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

The Infrastructure of Political Correctness at Marquette

From the Louis Joliet Society, a blog post that takes off from the fact that Marquette is going to impose a five percent tuition increase, in spite of the fact that inflation has been running at 2.5 percent.

And what is the reason? Not to provide more scholarship money for students. Not to pay for more faculty lines, so that students can have smaller classes, more attention from faculty and more class choices.

No, a large part is to support a massive infrastructure in political correctness.
For starters, Marquette’s Office of the Provost carries a staff of at least 65 individuals, many of whom are presumably well-compensated, holding titles like vice-provost, vice-president, executive director and dean. Clearly, a number of the functions performed by these individuals are entirely legitimate for the successful administration of the university. But, in some cases, we have our doubts. 
For example, one entity under the Provost’s watch is the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. Myers created this office in 2015 “to elevate the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion at Marquette.” But, alas, despite a lengthy and lofty strategic plan and numerous initiatives and programs, Marquette is still pretty much all white and evidently, still racist (also here and here). The office’s Hispanic Initiatives include resources for undocumented students, not the least of which are university-funded grants and scholarships for non-citizens. The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion also houses Marquette’s Title IX coordinator who is presumably responsible for selecting the LGBTQ-agenda advancing Title IX vendor employed by the university.
Another entity under the Provost’s office is the Division of Student Affairs. While the division has been around for quite some time, Myers expanded it in 2015 to include a new LGBTQ Resource Center (host of the infamous Pride Prom). Also added to the division in 2015 was the Office of Intercultural Engagement, which, as far as we can tell, is a source of institutional reinforcement and reiteration of the race and LGBTQ agendas on campus, and is not to be confused with the CENTER for Intercultural Engagement which provides still more reinforcement and reiteration of the race and LGBTQ agendas on campus. Lastly, under the Division of Student Affairs is the Office of Residence Life, which championed the introduction of “transgendered bathrooms” at Marquette in 2015 and was recently exposed for forcing Resident Assistants to participate in Leftist “social justice” indoctrination in the student dorms. 
Other entities under the Provosts Office include the Office of Community Engagement and Social Responsibility, created in 2016 as “a central clearinghouse for community engagement activities and promotion of the scholarship of engagement.” Got it? As an interesting aside, the Executive Director of the Office of Community Engagement, Dan Bergen, serves on the board of directors of the Cream City Foundation, an organization whose mission is to “mobilize philanthropic resources by harnessing the pride, passion, and commitment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their allies to advance the human rights and respond to the human needs of LGBTQ+ people in Southeastern Wisconsin.” As for what the Office of Community Engagement has actually accomplished in its two years of existence is anybody’s guess; all activities listed on its webpage appear to have already been in motion by 2016. 
Marquette’s Center for Teaching and Learning is also under the auspices of the Office of the Provost. This center is charged with teaching Marquette teachers how to teach. It is also charged with teaching non-Catholic and under-catechized faculty and staff about the history and importance of Catholic higher education. The director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, however, is openly homosexual. So much for Catholic teaching.
Also inaugurated by Provost Myers in 2015, but not as part of his office, is the new and improved Center for Gender and Sexualities Studies (to replace the ignominious and disastrous Gender and Sexualities Resource Center). Like the Provost’s LGBTQ Center, Office of Intercultural Engagement and Center for Intercultural Engagement, this center also provides institutional reinforcement and reiteration of race and LGBTQ agendas on campus. (Are we seeing a pattern here?) 
We move now to the Office of Mission and Ministry. This office is, presumably, most directly charged with preserving and advancing Marquette’s Catholic identity. And yet, despite some good efforts, through the Office of Mission and Ministry we get: anti-Catholic Marquette Mission Weeks, LGBTQ Glitter Ashes on Ash Wednesday, LGBTQ Masses, LGBTQ+ prayer services, LGBTQ indoctrination from the university’s Center for Ignatian Spirituality, and a Center for Peacemaking which for nearly ten years has been little more than a training center for progressive political activism.
The post summarizes by asking:
  • How much do all these positions, offices and activities cost and where does the money to pay for them come from?
  • What demonstrable value do they bring to the education of students or the betterment of Marquette’s culture as a Catholic, Jesuit university?
  • Why does a Catholic university invest so heavily in things that have little to do with/are often contrary to its Catholic identity?
  • Why should students not transfer to public colleges and universities which offer the same secularized higher education at half or less the cost?
In the meantime, however, you and your families better get busy finding those extra tuition dollars.

Conclusion

It’s typical of higher education today that university bureaucrats build a huge bureaucracy dedicated to political correctness. It’s slightly less expected that a large part of that bureaucracy at a “Catholic university” should be engaged in trashing Catholic teaching. But only slightly.

Two things are behind this trend. First, there is the felt need by campus bureaucrats to pander to every politically correct victim group on campus. Such groups will be supported by leftist faculty capable of making noise if the demands are not acceded to.

Secondly, all bureaucrats want to build their little empires. But the faculty are never the “empire” of any bureaucrat — faculty control their own affairs.

So to build an empire, you need lots of “initiatives” and staff to “implement” those “initiatives.”

This quickly leads to whole university offices where most of the staff are involved, not in some useful work, but in pushing political correctness.

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Sunday, April 29, 2018

That’s a Minimalist View

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Vicki McKenna Calls BS on Supposed Marquette Hate incident

From McKenna’s Facebook Page:
Vicki McKenna First, the story is that these guys are pointing guns AT the doll. They are not. They are holding airsoft guns WITH the doll. Airsofts are TOYS, NOT guns and the doll is a TOY, NOT a person. I have no idea what is going on in the pic, except it looks like 4 guys goofing on a doll that one of them bought, received or somehow chanced upon. Or maybe they’re playing “gangsta.” It doesn’t immediately look threatening, or racist. Just juvenile. No one knows the story behind the picture, though I am sure there IS a story behind the picture.

And it’s a PICTURE. There are whole videos of gang bangers from Milwaukee driving around in stolen cars flashing loaded REAL guns, and filming themselves beating the sh*t out of people. But that’s NOT ever a story for the local press.

Now, maybe these boys are just a bunch of future-white supremacists — but that is NOT evident from this dumb picture.

Lastly, I ask the two obviously rhetorical questions: 1. Why is this a story? 2. Why did Marquette apologize as an institution for a picture the institution did not issue or sanction?
A report on Channel 12 indicates that Marquette is not talking, due to an “ongoing investigation.”

McKenna does some more investigation, and notes:
Vicki McKenna So the picture says “Chuuch.” I google “Chuuch.” What pops up in a “song” (if that’s what you can call it) from a rapper named “Slim Thug” called “Chuuch.” Listen if you want. It’s 5:38 seconds of your life you won’t get back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-dM6ZpOvEE.

Then, because I am a glutton for punishment and time wasting, I googled “Slim Thug” generally, and listened to a few of his “songs,” one of them called “Boss.” Seems to me that that these white boys could very well be playing “gangsta,” and that little doll could be Slim Thug, perhaps even as “Boss.” Never mind, I’m sure it’s just racist.

What Was the Point?

It’s difficult to interpret the intention of the picture (see it in the Channel 12 story linked above). It is the case that the video McKenna linked to features an inspirational rap, apparently done in conjunction with megachurch pastor Joel Osteen.

It’s easy enough to Google the lyrics, and here is the first verse:
[Verse 1: Slim Thug]
Gotta get these blessings
So tired of stressing
Learning new lessons
Planning questions
It’s time for testing
Never ever resting
I’mma stay grinding
So I stay shining like a diamond
I’mma stay climbing to the next level
And do time and
Trying to line up with them bosses
Trying to soar high with them eagles
Can’t chill with none of you chickens
I’m tray get rich with my people
Too high to see you haters
Too blessed to play y’all mind
I ain’t got nothing to be mad at
I’m drop head top down
Thank you, God, all the time for helping me live my dreams
And for exposing all of those who wasn’t right for my team
I’mma keep receiving this games
If it’s for the better, I’ll change
Only live once, better do it right
I’m trying to leave a legacy, man
Slim Thug is apparently a rather mainstream figure in Houston.

Did the clowns who made the photo simply think that since the fellow’s name is “Slim Thug” that his persona is really “thug?” If so, they might be playing “gangsta.”  Other songs of his have much more aggressive and questionable lyrics.  But they named “Chuuch.”

Questions

What was the intention of this photo (and apparently others like it)? Were they implying they might shoot a black person? Or was it silly clowning?

Was the photo sent to a black person (it which case it might be interpreted as harassment), or was it floating around, and finally came to the attention of somebody at Marquette?

Just who were these guys? Marquette students? Or not?

Conclusion

A lot of people on college campuses just love “racist” incidents. For the bureaucrats, it allows them a huge opportunity to virtue signal with fervent and unctuous rhetoric, and implement programs that expand the bureaucracy.

For the Social Justice Warriors, it reinforces the illusion that they are the noble few defending “marginalized groups” against the sea of bigotry and intolerance that is American society.

But before we draw any conclusions about this incident, we need answers.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Another Marquette Falsehood Before Wisconsin Supreme Court

We have already blogged about one falsehood that Marquette lawyer Ralph Weber told to the Wisconsin Supreme Court at our hearing last Thursday: the claim that Cheryl Abbate left Marquette because of the blow-back from our blog post detailing how she insulted and demeaned a student who wanted to express opposition to gay marriage in a class discussion.

In reality, she had wanted to leave Marquette and enter the philosophy graduate program at the University of Colorado the year before. Further, she was unhappy with Marquette’s graduate program.

Judge Michael Gableman thoroughly humiliated Weber on this point.

Was Abbate Disciplined?

Less noticed was a part of the hearing when Gableman asked whether Abbate had violated Marquette’s supposed “Guiding Values,” which Marquette claimed we had transgressed.



Weber admitted that “she could have handled that exchange better, a more experienced teacher would have deescalated the situation . . .” and further that “She was counseled and explained that the way she handled that conversation with the undergraduate . . . [Gableman interrupts, and then] yes, she was counseled.”

This is flatly untrue. As Rick Esenberg has explained (using information gained during “discovery” in our lawsuit):
The student complained to Dr. Susanne Foster in the College of Arts & Sciences, and was sent to the Philosophy Department where he spoke with then-chair Dr. Nancy Snow and Dr. Sebastian Luft. Neither Dr. Snow nor Dr. Luft took any action on behalf of the student. In fact, Dr. Snow referred to him as an “insolent little twerp” in a communication with the College of Arts & Sciences. What Dr. Snow did do was communicate immediately with Ms. Abbate to tell her, in essence, that they had her back. Dr. Snow reported to Ms. Abbate that she told the student that he “needed to change his attitude” and that she would be “monitoring” the situation. Dr. Snow told Ms. Abbate to let her know if the student did anything that Ms. Abbate found objectionable. Ms. Abbate thanked Dr. Snow and said that hopefully the student learned that “oppressive discourse is not acceptable.”
Abbate was, in other words, not some green, inexperienced instructor who needed some tips on how to deescalate a confrontation. She was a politically correct leftist whose suppression of politically incorrect ideas reflected the views of her faculty mentors, and of the leadership of the Marquette Philosophy Department.

See the Entire Hearing

You can see the entire hearing at the website of Wisconsin Eye.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

All Hanging Out to Dry