Wednesday, February 10, 2016

We Already Told You Son, It’s Not Really Gonna Be Free

Bernie Sanders Loves the “War Machine”

From the Daily Beast:

The socialist trumpets his antiwar record. But he doesn’t mind expensive war machines—if they’re based in his home state.

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — Sen. Bernie Sanders has railed against big defense corporations at rallies, but he has a more complex history with the military-industrial complex. Most notably, he’s supported a $1.2 trillion stealth fighter that’s considered by many to be one of the bigger boondoggles in Pentagon history.

Sanders has made his opposition to Hillary Clinton’s hawkishness a cornerstone of his campaign. But he hasn’t exactly been antiwar all his career. When it has come time to choose between defense jobs and a dovish defense policy, Sanders has consistently chosen to stand with the arms-makers rather than the peaceniks—leading to tension with some of the most adamant adherents of progressive ideology.

When it comes time to make speeches, Sanders has slammed defense corporations for political gain.

“We know that there is massive fraud going on in the defense industry. Virtually every major defense contractor has either been convicted of fraud or reached a settlement with the government,” Sanders said in Iowa City last year at a town hall. “We need a strong military, it is a dangerous world. But I think we can make judicious cuts.”

But when those defense corporations come to his own backyard, he quietly welcomes them in.

The Vermont senator persuaded Lockheed Martin to place a research center in Burlington, according to Newsweek, and managed to get 18 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets stationed at the city’s airport for the Vermont National Guard.

“In very clever ways, the military-industrial complex puts plants all over the country, so that if people try to cut back on our weapons system what they’re saying is you’re going to be losing jobs in that area,” Sanders said at a Q&A in New Hampshire back in 2014. “[W]e’ve got to have the courage to understand that we cannot afford a lot of wasteful, unnecessary weapons systems, and I hope we can do that.”

History has shown that Sanders has not had the courage to do that.

Immediately after he made those comments, an audience member pointed out that the F-35 fighter jet project had a lifetime cost of $1.2 trillion: “When you talk about cutting wasteful military spending, does that include the F-35 program?” the questioner asked.

The F-35 stealth fighter is untold billions over budget, years behind schedule, and plagued with embarrassing problems. There have been problems with its software, its sensors, and its gun (which won’t be able to fire until 2019). A few months ago a military spokesman said that the fighter jet “wasn’t optimized for dogfighting.” In fact, in a test battle with the 40-year-old F-16, the brand new F-35 jet lost.

“The F-35 will, in my opinion, be 10 years behind legacy fighters,” one Air Force official affiliated with the F-35 program told The Daily Beast about a year ago.

Sanders countered that the plane was “essentially built.” He acknowledged in his 2014 Q&A that while the F-35 was “incredibly wasteful,” it is now the “plane of record… and it is not going to be discarded.”

During his 2012 reelection campaign, Sanders ran against a Republican who opposed the F-35 as a waste of resources. Sanders was all for it. In a 2012 statement, Sanders made the point that the F-35 would have to be located somewhere, whether in Florida or South Carolina or Vermont. “I would rather it be here,” he said.

Much of the criticism of Sanders’s foreign policy stances have come from his left flank. The World Socialist Web Site called Sanders a “silent partner of American militarism.” And Counterpunch, a left-wing magazine, has criticized Sanders on more than one occasion for being insufficiently pacifist.

“He behaves more like a technofascist disguised as a liberal, who backs all of President Obama’s nasty little wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen,” wrote Thomas Naylor in the magazine. “Since he always ‘supports the troops,’ Sanders never opposes any defense spending bill. He stands behind all military contractors who bring much-needed jobs to Vermont.”

Sanders’s support of the Kosovo War led to the resignation of an adviser; when antiwar activists occupied his office, he had them arrested; and Sanders voted to authorize the war in Afghanistan, Howard Lisnoff wrote in the same publication.
So just as with campaign fundraising, Bernie Sanders looks like a rather conventional politician, doing the things that conventional politicians do.

Can we blame him for that?

Since he attacks conventional politics, and claims to somehow be above the things that conventional politicians do, most certainly. People generally (and with some justification) prefer a conventional conformist to a hypocritical prude.

But do his naïve, starry-eyed supporters know he’s a hypocritical prude? Not yet.

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Campus Rape: Scholars Accused of Misconduct for Politically Incorrect Findings



Of course, the claim of “misconduct” will eventually be found to be baseless. But until that happens, the authors will have to endure a tedious “investigation.” The process is the punishment.

Ironically, Mary Koss is one of the people responsible for the current hysteria about campus sexual assault. Her pioneering study in the 1980s, financed by Ms. Magazine, claimed that one in four college women have been victims of date rape. The number was entirely bogus.
Koss’s study had serious flaws. Her survey instrument was highly ambiguous, as University of California at Berkeley social-welfare professor Neil Gilbert has pointed out. But the most powerful refutation of Koss’s research came from her own subjects: 73 percent of the women whom she characterized as rape victims said that they hadn’t been raped. Further—though it is inconceivable that a raped woman would voluntarily have sex again with the fiend who attacked her—42 percent of Koss’s supposed victims had intercourse again with their alleged assailants.
So one could view her current troubles as poetic justice. We think this would be unfair, and credit her with being honest about the data in spite of the current politically correct dogmatism.

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Monday, February 08, 2016

First O.J., Now Hillary

Bernie Sanders: Hypocrite on Fat Cat Campaign Contributions

From the very mainstream media CNN:

Bernie Sanders rails against big money in politics, but has consistently helped and benefited from the Democratic Party fundraising apparatus

Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN)Bernie Sanders complained on the campaign trail Friday that dialing for dollars “affects your entire being.”

What he didn’t mention: The Vermont senator and presidential candidate is a prolific fundraiser himself and has regularly benefited from the Democratic Party apparatus.

In recent years, Sanders has been billed as one of the hosts for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s retreats for the “Majority Trust” an elite group of top donors who give more than $30,000 per year at Martha’s Vineyard in the summer and Palm Beach, Florida, in the winter. CNN has obtained invitations that listed Sanders as a host for at least one Majority Trust event in each year since 2011.

The retreats are typically attended by 100 or more donors who have either contributed the annual legal maximum of $33,400 to the DSCC, raised more than $100,000 for the party or both.

Sanders has based his presidential campaign on a fire-and-brimstone critique of a broken campaign finance system -- and of Hillary Clinton for her reliance on big-dollar Wall Street donors. But Sanders is part of that system, and has helped Democrats court many of the same donors.

A Democratic lobbyist and donor who has attended the retreats told CNN that about 25% of the attendees there represent the financial sector and that Sanders and his wife, Jane, are always present.

“At each of the events all the senators speak. And I don’t recall him ever giving a speech attacking us,” the donor said. “While progressive, his remarks were always in the mainstream of what you hear from senators.”

Sanders’ political leanings were well known by the donors who attended the retreats. “Nobody was more surprised that Bernie was there than the donors were,” said another Democrat who attended the retreats.

Michael Briggs, a Sanders spokesman, said Sanders has “raised more money for the Senate Democrats than almost any other member of the Senate Democratic caucus” because he sees helping the party regain the majority as critical.

In 2006, when Sanders ran for the Senate, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee pumped $37,300 into his race and included him in fundraising efforts for the party’s Senate candidates.

The party also spent $60,000 on ads for Sanders, and contributed $100,000 to the Vermont Democratic Party which was behind Sanders even as he ran as an independent.

Among the DSCC’s top contributors that year: Goldman Sachs at $685,000, Citigroup at $326,000, Morgan Stanley at $260,000 and JPMorgan Chase & Co. at $207,000.

During that 2006 campaign, Sanders attended a fundraiser at the Cambridge, Massachusetts home of Abby Rockefeller a member of the same family whose wealth he had one proposed confiscating.

Two years later, when then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama was being nominated at the Democratic National Convention in 2008, Sanders was among the senators who met with Sen. Chuck Schumer’s “Legacy Circle” donors who had given the legal maximum to the DSCC five years in a row or $500,000 over their lifetimes.

He paid dues to the DSCC, too, with his Progressive Voters of America political action committee cutting checks for $30,000 to the group during the 2014 election cycle.

Sanders told the “Politics and Eggs” crowd that he favors a public financing system for elections, eliminating campaign contributions entirely. But his presidential campaign, just as Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s in 2008 and 2012, has chosen to bypass that system, allowing Sanders to raise millions of dollars more.

He has repeatedly touted his campaign’s vast online fundraising apparatus, which has pulled in 3.5 million individual contributions, averaging $27 apiece, Sanders said Friday.

Pressed by MSNBC moderator Chuck Todd on why he hasn’t accepted public financing in Thursday night’s debate, Sanders said the system as it exists now is “a disaster” and “very antiquated” because it limits spending in early-voting primary states.

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Friday, February 05, 2016

Learning from His Elders

Marquette’s Questionable “Catholic Identity:” More in the Media

From the Cardinal Newman Society: an article on recent events at Marquette and particularly a meeting of “Concerned Catholics” that we reported on here.

Some excerpts:
Last year, Marquette announced that it would conduct a “climate study” to determine the positivity and inclusivity of the University’s atmosphere. The study’s final report cited several concerns about ongoing hostility towards Catholic values: “Many respondents cited their Catholic or conservative values being marginalized, saying ‘Conservative Catholic views on the expression of human sexuality are not respected — not even room for dialogue’ and that ‘There is an ongoing sense of disrespect, anger, and assumptions related to the Catholic identity of our university.’”
And further:
“How can a theology professor not talk about the Church’s teaching on human sexuality?” a participant asked during the forum, according to the meeting minutes. “But, under Title IX, any student who claims to take offense at what is heard in the classroom can anonymously report the professor and cause him or her a world of problems. This is hugely intimidating.”

The Cardinal Newman Society spoke to Dr. John McAdams, professor of political science at Marquette, on the issues raised by Concerned Catholics at MU. He noted that such a system of investigation “has a chilling effect” on Catholics at Marquette.

“If anything you say in class could have you dragged before someone from Human Resources or a department chair or dean with a demand that you explain what you said,” fewer faculty and staff will feel comfortable expressing even Catholic values and beliefs, McAdams warned.
And again:
Mary Jarvis of the Louis Joliet Society, a group of concerned alumni, parents and Marquette associates seeking Catholic renewal at the University, noted that this initial forum “is very encouraging, and we pray that this group’s expressed concerns do not fall on deaf ears.”

“The revelations about Title IX’s chilling effect on teachers and students are jaw-dropping; something those of faith and of no faith, liberal and conservative can all agree is poisonous to a university that identifies itself as Catholic,” Jarvis continued. “The Marquette administration should consider the group’s recommendations seriously.”
Given how strongly Marquette is committed to pandering to the politically correct lobby on campus, it’s questionable they will pay much attention to Concerned Catholics. But some counter pressure against the forces of political correctness can’t hurt.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

It’s Not Really Free, Son

Monday, February 01, 2016

Perspective: Should Catholics (or Anybody Else) Vote for Trump?

From CatholicVote. And no, do not tune out if you are not Catholic. There are points here that any Protestant, atheist, Jew, Orthodox Christian or anybody else should find compelling.

CV cannot remain on the sidelines any longer.

As Iowans prepare to cast the first votes in the 2016 nomination process, we owe you our thoughts. While we are not officially endorsing a candidate at this time, we believe it is important to share some critical thoughts on the race, or at least on one candidate in particular.

As Catholics, we are called to participate in the democratic process. The Church does not endorse candidates for public office. That job rests with us, the laity. No candidate is perfect, and no simple checklist is sufficient. Prudence is a necessity. Some candidates ought to be disqualified from receiving the support of a Catholic voter. Others must be weighed in light of the moral principles given to us by our Church.

We have asked for your feedback on multiple occasions. Thousands of CV members have written. We’ve read them all. In addition we follow the daily news, analysis, polling, and have crafted our strategy for 2016.

And so today we begin with the elephant in the room.

Should Catholics support Donald Trump? No.

We have sifted through the most popular arguments in defense of Trump and listed them below along with our own take. Here they are:

1. “Trump is a leader we can trust”

While we share much of the frustration over the failure of the GOP to make significant progress, we are reminded of Republicans’ once oft-quoted criticism of President Bill Clinton: character matters.

Donald J. Trump left his first wife and married his mistress, only to leave her a few years later for another mistress. Reportedly he left his second wife by leaking the news to a NY newspaper and left the headline on the bed for his wife to find. In his book, The Art of the Deal, Trump bragged about having sex with many women, including some who were married. He has appeared on the cover of Playboy Magazine with a model wearing only his tuxedo jacket. He has mocked the disability of a NY Times reporter. He belittled John McCain for being a prisoner of war. His casino in Atlantic City was the first in the country to open up a strip club. His Twitter account is a running barrage of insults, lies, and personal attacks on anyone who disagrees with him. And did we mention he famously cheats at golf? Now who does that remind you of?

Now ask yourself: does this man have the character becoming of the President of the United States?

2. “Trump can’t be bought because he is rich!”

Trump is a salesmen, and salesmen don’t buy, they sell. So he won’t be “bought.” Instead he will sell out everyone and anyone when it benefits him, as he has his entire career. He was a liberal democrat, pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-universal health care, pro-government bailouts, and a financial backer and friend of Hillary Clinton until he decided to run as a Republican last summer. He is the definition of an opportunist with no guiding principles.

3. “Trump is a leader who will get things done”

Trump markets himself as an effective leader who will get things done simply by making “smart deals.” He refuses to explain precisely how he intends to deliver results, and more often than not, promises to use force or work around or outside the law. Such a leader mirrors what we currently see in the White House. It would be incredibly harmful to our system of government, which is limited by our Constitution — even if we like the policy outcome. We must be a nation of laws. For Trump, it is all about power. For a Christian, the presidency should be about service.

4. “Trump is a successful businessman who will make great deals”

If you believe the headlines, you would assume everything Donald Trump touches turns to gold. Not so. Trump has only demonstrated an ability to make deals that benefit him personally. Four times he bailed on his own casinos to shield himself from their impending bankruptcies. And then there is Trump Magazine, Trump Airlines, Trump Steaks/Steakhouse, Trump Vodka, and most famously Trump University, to name only a few — all bankrupt or closed, and massive failures. “Losers” as Trump is fond of saying.

He has constantly cozied up to big government to trample the little guy, either by abusing private property rights, or selling out small contractors and vendors, many of whom lost their life savings. Just ask elderly widow Vera Coking, whom Trump attempted to displace via eminent domain laws to make way for a limousine parking lot for his New Jersey casino — the same casino he put into bankruptcy. Vera stood tall against the politically-connected billionaire Trump for years in court, enduring his practice of belittling personal attacks. She eventually won and called Trump a “maggot, a cockroach, and a crumb.”

5. “Trump will end illegal immigration”

Trump has pledged to build a massive wall on our southern border and to make Mexico pay for it. Meanwhile he has promised to deport 11 million+ illegals, without explaining how, then plans to allow them all back in legally according to criteria he has yet to fully explain.

We agree illegal immigration is a problem that must be solved. Trump’s solution is delusional, strikes us as xenophobic — and truthfully, will never happen. If anything, Trump’s demagoguery on immigration showcases the emptiness of many of his promises. As President Obama has learned, American presidents don’t dictate laws. The Senate and House would have to pass any change of this magnitude, and such a solution has little to no chance of being approved. Border security and immigration enforcement are realistic fixes. Rounding up 11 million+ people and sending them back to Mexico is not practical or realistic, let alone humane. Those who rightfully want to solve the problem of illegal immigration deserve more than crowd pleasing platitudes. And it’s certainly worth noting that Donald Trump criticized Mitt Romney for being too harsh on immigration back in 2012. This is just another issue where Donald Trump had a very recent and rather convenient conversion.

Several other presidential candidates have outlined more realistic policies to deal with problem. And that’s what real leaders do. They outline solutions and build consensus. Hyperbole and demagoguery are tools of salesmen (see above) out for your money or your vote. Trump’s lack of detail reminds us of another famous politician who proclaimed: “we have to pass the bill before you can see what’s in it.”

6. “Trump will fight the Establishment!”

This defense of Trump is somewhat rich, given the irony that Trump himself has boasted of playing the game, paying off politicians and enriching himself from the very system he now purports to reform. Case in point: in the past week a growing number of so-called “establishment Republicans” have warmed to supporting Trump, people like Bob Dole and Trent Lott — including establishment Republicans in Iowa like Gov. Terry Branstad. Why? Because they believe, rightly in our view, that Trump doesn’t have any principles at the end of the day. He’s someone who will wheel and deal — and you and I will be stuck with the bill.

Electing Donald Trump would send the pro-life movement back to the 1990s, when the Republican Party wanted to run away from defending the unborn. In fact, Trump recommended his own sister, Maryanne Trump Berry, for the Supreme Court. She’s the federal judge who overturned New Jersey’s ban on grisly partial-birth abortions. The next President may choose as many as three or more new justices. Trump’s suggestion of his pro-abortion sister as an example ought to worry anyone who cares about the Court. And let’s not forget he once said Oprah would make a great Vice President. Enough said.

7. “Trump is one of us”

Trump’s political conversions have all happened at very convenient times. As recently as 2000, Trump was firmly “pro-choice,” even refusing to oppose partial birth abortion! He was in favor of gay civil unions. He is open, even now, to subsidizing abortion giant Planned Parenthood with our tax dollars. He considers gay marriage a settled issue and has offered no plan to protect religious freedom. He is pro-universal health care, supported the stimulus package and government bailouts, supported gun control and a host of radical positions. Trump is like many Democrats we know. He is a political opportunist.

Conclusion

Trump is right about something — it is time for a change. We do need to shake things up and make America great again. And his awakening of working class voters who are often sidelined by terrible policy and poor leadership is a lesson every Republican must take seriously or they will lose in November.

But the power to change does not require a fear mongering business mogul, appealing to our worst fears instead of our best hopes.

With other good candidates in the race, we encourage our members to look beyond Trump.

This is an historic opportunity to win back the White House with someone we can be proud to have as President.

Iowa, New Hampshire… we’re looking to you to lead the way.
As of this writing, Iowa has put a dent in the notion of Trump inevitability, with Trump having been beaten by Cruz and having barely edged out Rubio.

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Friday, January 29, 2016

The Socialist Welfare States That Bernie Sanders Loves are Funded by Fossil Fuel Production

From Somewhat Reasonable at the Heartland Institute:
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has often talked about his desire for the United States to emulate the socialist welfare states of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden by providing free college and health care and expanding Social Security. Sanders also wants to ban oil, natural gas, and coal production on lands owned by the federal government, and he has called for a ban on hydraulic fracturing, which has dramatically increased production of oil and natural gas in the United States.

Although many would-be Sanders voters may rejoice at all of these notions, someone really ought to inform the senator and his followers that the socialist spending sprees of Denmark and Norway are bankrolled by oil: Big Oil, to be specific.
The whole notion of the socialist welfare state is based on the notion that people can have lots of goodies, delivered by government, at somebody else’s expense.

Of course, eventually socialists run out of other people’s money. But they can keep the scam going for a while longer if they fully exploit fossil fuel production.

Read the whole thing.

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Big Bold Leader

Concerned Catholics of Marquette Faculty and Staff Speak

We recently published a commentary on a meeting that a group of “concerned Catholics” with members of the Marquette administration. Several serious complaints were expressed about freedom of expression at Marquette, and especially the freedom to express Catholic viewpoints.

It was an insightful commentary, but we are now posting the minutes of the meeting, which give the full tenor of the meeting.

We are redacting a fair amount of material that might serve the identify the individuals involved. Many of the participants would not want to be identified — itself a sad commentary on the state of free expression at Marquette.

Concerned Catholics at Marquette University
Inaugural Meeting 12-2-15
Minutes
  • 20 or so in attendance. Many faculty ([...]), the rest were staff ([...]). No students, though invitation was extended to Students for Life, Bellarmine Society and Adoration Guardians.
  • Cheryl Maranto and Alix Riley facilitating
    • “Dr. Lovell wants this survey to have impact. He doesn’t want to “put it on a shelf.”
  • One of the attendees asked why the adjective “Conservative” was applied to the group in the invitation to the forum.
    • [...] explained how this was the language that appeared in the Climate Survey Final Report, particularly in excerpts from pages 86 and 135.
    • The group agreed that the term “conservative” was marginalizing and that simply “Catholic” or “Concerned Catholics” would be a more accurate and effective descriptor.
  • Instead of breaking up into small groups, the forum opted to work together as a single group.
  • It was noted that we had all just received another reminder re: mandatory Title IX training. An attending [...] professor said the Title IX mandate is “very dangerous”.
    • He cited an instance where a fellow MU theo professor was accused of harassment for presenting basic Catholic teaching on sexuality.
    • The LGBTQ agenda is fundamentally against the Catholic faith, yet we are not allowed to challenge for fear of retribution.
    • Those who hold traditional Catholic values are not free to speak up.
  • Another professor of [...] noted that there is actual persecution going on in that faculty who stand up for Catholic teaching are marginalized and have measures taken against them – denial of promotion etc.
  • A professor from the [...] noted that the anthropology of the survey itself was not in line with Catholic teaching (offering numerous gender options).
    • Also – only 31% participated.
  • A fundraiser from [...] noted that many alumni tell [...] of their disappointment and disenchantment with Marquette because of its departure from its Catholic identity.
    • An Alumni “Climate” Survey was discussed. Not feasible at this point, but a good idea for the future.
  • Another [...] professor said that the persecution experienced by those who stand up for Catholic doctrine and values is not organized, but it is clear that you are putting yourself at risk (“As we all saw in our own department.”)
    • How can a theology professor not talk about the Church’s teaching on human sexuality? But, under Title IX, any student who claims to take offense at what is heard in the classroom can anonymously report the professor and cause him or her a world of problems. “This is hugely intimidating.”
    • Few, if any, feel free to discuss Catholic teaching on marriage.
      • Another [...] professor said he does – and so far with no negative consequence – but he said he has not yet tried for a promotion.
  • A professor said he had heard that faculty and administrators at other colleges and universities were protesting Title IX on the basis that it restricts academic freedom.
    • “Where is the backbone of Marquette administration in protesting Title IX mandates which necessarily restrict the free exchange of ideas, particularly in theology and philosophy – the very core of Catholic, Jesuit education?”
    • It is impossible for a professor who has taken the Mandatum to not represent Catholic teaching. But in so doing, he or she will inevitably violate Title IX policies as they now exist sooner or later.
  • A [...] representative noted that CheckMarq now has five or six gender categories. How is this representative of Catholic teaching (at a Catholic university)?
  • A [...] representative asked, “Are we Catholic or are we not? And if we are, what does that mean?”
    • Little “c” catholic means universal. Big “C” Catholic means the Church and Her teachings.
    • Being at Marquette (as faculty, staff, student) means respecting the university’s tradition and the faith it was founded upon.
  • Another [...] representative added that, as it currently conducts itself, Marquette is almost indistinguishable from secular schools.
  • A [...] professor quoted his dean saying “Catholic means whatever you want it to mean.”
  • Another [...] professor said that what we’re witnessing is the confluence of a number of university decisions/policies/concessions that – over time -- have had the cumulative effect of diminishing or negating Marquette’s Catholic identity and intellectual quality.
    • “Suddenly you wake up one day and you can’t do what you’re supposed to do” (i.e. educate students in the Catholic tradition).
    • Administration needs to understand that there are unintended consequences resulting from their decisions/policies/concessions to secular demands.
    • “We always do what everyone else is doing.” Why? Why not be Catholic?
  • Another [...] professor said “If Marquette were really Catholic, we would be diverse” (i.e. a distinguished and alternative voice in the increasingly homogeneous ideological ethos of higher education).
  • A [...] professor noted that complaints from students or others about being exposed to basic legitimate Catholic teachings ought to be dismissed on the face of it. Someone may not like it and no one is being forced to believe in it, but the teaching is what it is.
  • A [...] professor asked the UA representatives if they are questioned as to why someone should pay more money for a Catholic education that isn’t in anyway identifiably Catholic.
    • [...] said – yes – more and more that conversation is occurring.
  • Another [...] noted that in Marquette’s strategic plan, and in a recent high level discussion about it, there was barely any mention of “Catholic.” Where it is mentioned it is shallow and gratuitous.
  • Another [...] said that we also need to protect students – there are few if any clear and authentically Catholic experiences available to them.
    • Campus Ministry is a grave disappointment
  • A [...] professor noted that he discovered a group of serious Catholic students who were meeting in secret. When he encouraged them to make themselves known and grow their membership, they stopped communicating with him.
    • Catholic students are scared.
    • A [...] reported of a student who told him of a professor who has made slurs against the Church e.g. mocking the idea of Mary’s virginity etc. in class.
  • Many agreed that Campus Ministry contributes to the diminishment of Catholic identity
    • A [...] professor related an incident wherein he and his colleagues were informed that Campus Ministry had declared, “The real problem with making progress at Marquette is the Theology Department” and that, consequently, focus groups would be conducted to assess the perception of the Theo department across campus. The dept. staff were told (by the Dept. Chair) that they would be informed of the outcome of the study. They never were.
  • Another [...] professor acknowledged that the Theology Department fell into intense disfavor after the Jodi O’Brien incident as a number of theology profs were critical of her being hired and supported her offer being rescinded. “Other departments hate the Theology Department because of this.”
  • [...] professor: “I’m concerned about not being allowed to be a scholar. I can’t say the truth. I am not allowed to say what Catholics believe, even if I was an atheist, I could not communicate what Catholic doctrine” as a result of anti-Catholic/Title IX environment at MU.
    • “Basically now we have the students teaching us.” Students call the shots as to what can and cannot be discussed in class.
    • If we were to take Title IX literally, we would say that the Theo Department suffers from a majority of individuals who self-identify as male and thus lacks diversity. “We need to address this rampant self-definition as male problem.”
      • University needs to decide – is diversity a serious issue or is it a matter of self-definition? If a number of male faculty decide to self-identify as female, is the problem of a majority male staff solved? This is the absurdity we are entering into and encouraging.
  • [...] has opposite issue. [example of anti-male discrimination redacted]
    • There are very few males on CON faculty.
    • “Catholic” was removed from the dean search criteria
    • “Catholic” was very nearly removed from CON mission statement (per faculty who wanted it removed.)
  • A [...] representative noted that “Catholic” is largely missing from our advertising and marketing branding.
    • “Social Justice” has replaced “Catholic” Social Justice is a vague term that is often applied to definitively anti-Catholic practices e.g. “Reproductive Rights”
  • [...] continued – there is no plan for how we are going to be a Catholic Jesuit institution for the future.
    • Do we want to be a Catholic university or not?
  • [...] professor said he had cause to address embryonic stem cell research in a lecture.
    • He explicitly told students it was wrong, unnecessary and that they shouldn’t participate in it in their future work.
    • He quickly received an email from Academic Affairs asking, “What did you say???” Evidently there was a strong complaint, maybe more.
    • Prof addressed directly in class saying “This is what the Catholic teaching is and what I advocate. If you don’t like it, go take a different course.”
    • His point was that faculty need to be bold and not afraid to teach Catholic doctrine and in accordance with Catholic doctrine.
  • A [...] professor recounted a moment from Dr. Pat Carey’s “Is MU Still Catholic” talk a few years ago.
    • An undergraduate student stood up and said, “I’m afraid to affirm my Catholicism.”
  • Students are laboring under a heavier burden than faculty.
    • Students don’t speak up in class. They are policing each other and censoring themselves.
    • There is a climate of repression, not of learning.
    • No one is insisting that anyone believe this or that, but we all must be able to speak freely.
  • A staff member from [...] said that real diversity should include respect for Catholic views.
  • A [...] representative wondered if we should consider proposing MU remove “Catholic” from its name
    • Misrepresenting the faith to an uncatechized world does untold damage to souls, hearts and minds. Better not to claim to be Catholic than to overtly misrepresent it.
  • [...] prof insisted that senior leadership recognizes that Catholic identity is essential to Marquette’s survival.
    • Another agreed and said that he strongly believes President Lovell is trying to make Marquette Catholic again.
    • We (this group) need to support him in this. All agreed.
    • The student group IGNITE was mentioned – trying to restore Catholicism among students. We need to support them and other such student groups as well.
  • A [...] professor who has served on the Faculty Hearing Committee and is also an MU Parent said he is very concerned about the state of our core curriculum.
    • “You have to be very careful with theology and philosophy, what’s happening in some of these classes (regarding Catholic identity) is a crime.”
    • Core classes need special scrutiny.
    • He has tried to steer his kids to best teachers etc.
    • Mention was made of Notre Dame’s Fr. Miscamble’s attempt to formalize such a selection process at ND (http://www.ndcatholic.com/) and that he was shut down in the attempt.
  • A [...] prof added that Title IX brings all this into focus – “It is ideologically fascist.”
    • A [...] prof added that Title IX represents the imposition of a value system, a creed upon Marquette (all universities).
    • Students and faculty are self-silencing.
  • Concept of hiring for mission has completely disappeared.
    • If MU tried this now, they might find an expanded talent pool
    • Some departments adamantly refuse to hire for mission. This needs to be addressed by administration.
    • Hiring for mission can just be words. Just say “social justice” and you’re in.
    • Admitting to devout Catholicism has and can backfire on candidates.
  • [...] prof asked [...] reps – Do you seek funds for Catholic aspects of the university?
    • [...] rep said we do: monstrance for adoration, March for Life … but there aren’t many opportunities
    • Office of Mission and Ministry/ Campus Ministry are in some disarray, hard to identify funding priorities
  • [...] prof mentioned that a proposal is in the works for a Catholic Studies program
    • Similar to St. Thomas and others, but more inter-disciplinary/comprehensive.
    • This could be a fundraising priority and an item in the MU strategic plan
  • Another professor emphasized that it’s very important we not accept the notion of a dichotomy between Catholicism and diversity.
    • Catholicism truly embraces all.
    • MU’s challenge is in balancing its commitment to Catholic identity and embracing all
    • Another theo professor added, “The Catholic Church is the most inclusive organization in the world.”
  • A professor asked if there wasn’t a class action lawsuit or some legal action being taken by colleges and universities against restrictions of Title IX – which is harmful to secular institutions as well.
    • Can MU administration take some kind of stand at all?
    • Can MU Legal look into how faculty, students and staff can be protected from Title IX consequences merely for articulating Catholic doctrine?
PROPOSED ACTION ITEMS:
  • Commitment to academic freedom for Catholic scholars – protection & articulation - for staff and students too. 11 voted this most important, 1 important, 1 less important
  • Hiring for mission – proactive from the top thru to departments. Need clarity 8 voted this important, 1 less important
  • Need to include Catholic in our branding and strategic plan. 2 voted this most important, 5 less important
  • Have General Counsel determine options to challenge Title IX mandates. 1 voted most important, 1 important, 3 less important
  • Board of Trustees needs to show commitment to Catholic identity. 1 voted this important, 2 less important
  • Start Catholic Studies program (interdisciplinary). 1 voted this important, 2 less important
  • Administration should actively protect Catholic faculty, staff and students. When there’s a complaint, don’t presume guilt. 1 voted this most important, 2 important
  • Encourage student Catholic organizations. 1 voted this important 1 less important
  • Avoid dichotomizing Catholic and diversity.
  • Serious promotion and implementation of Ex Corde Ecclesiae
  • Increase physical manifestations/visibility of Catholic faith around campus – Crucifixes (not just crosses), statues of Mary, better promotion of liturgical events, Rosaries, Adoration etc.
  • Avoid scrutiny/risk of persecution for articulating traditional Catholic teachings – in classrooms and elsewhere.
  • Affirm that people can say that they accept and even like that Marquette is a Catholic institution.
  • What happened to focus group re: Theology Department by campus ministry?
  • Need physical manifestations of Catholic faith – Crucifix (not just cross)/Statue of Mary.
  • Affirm Catholic identity.
  • Campus Ministry needs a “Catholic tract” programming for Catholic students, in addition to other faiths.
  • Encourage Catholic Student Organizations in and outside of Campus Ministry

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Big Baby

Marquette Faculty: Title IX a Threat to Academic Freedom

From the National Catholic Register:
WASHINGTON — The federal government’s broadening interpretations of Title IX, the 1972 anti-sexual-discrimination statute that applies to educational institutions, has raised concerns that the freedom of Catholic colleges and universities to teach and govern themselves according to the Church’s teachings on sexuality is at risk.

At least five Catholic educational institutions are among a wave of Christian colleges and universities that have applied for Title IX exemptions, in the wake of the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights’ expansion of Title IX’s interpretation to include “discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity.” These Catholic colleges and universities have argued that the new rule interferes with their ability to govern themselves in full accord with Catholic teaching.

There are also academic freedom concerns related to Catholic identity: At Marquette University, professors have complained that the aggressive implementation of Title IX’s expansive interpretations, combined with vague definitions of what constitutes a “hostile environment,” are suppressing their academic freedom to teach Catholic theology in the classroom and promote Marquette’s Catholic identity on campus. According to the meeting minutes of Concerned Catholics at Marquette University that were provided to the Register, a number of faculty expressed concern that the new Title IX mandates being implemented at the Catholic institution “necessarily restrict the free exchange of ideas, particularly in theology and philosophy — the very core of Catholic, Jesuit education.”

The concerns were not limited to professors alone. One professor said some students shared they did not feel comfortable sharing Church teaching in that environment.

“This is the opposite of university education,” one professor at Marquette University, who declined to be identified for this article, told the Register. The professor said the university’s Title IX compliance on issues of gender and sexuality is dampening classroom discussion of Church teaching in these areas and throwing another wrench in ongoing efforts to strengthen the university’s Catholic identity and mission.

A number of colleagues, the professor added, related that the recent Title IX training and campus environment made it “very intimidating” to speak about Catholic doctrine on sexuality in their classrooms, because that might be perceived by a student as a “hostile environment” and thus worthy of a Title IX complaint. At least one theology faculty member teaching about Genesis in his classroom received a complaint, after a student who had two fathers objected to the classroom presentation of the Church’s teaching of marriage. [emphasis added - ed.] “Don’t people come to universities so they can grow up? If they’re going into safe houses, how can they grow up if they can’t even deal with someone who disagrees?” the professor said.

The Register reached out to Marquette for an explanation of its Title IX policies and enforcement practices. A Marquette representative pointed to the university’s Title IX policies posted on its website, but declined to comment further.
The fact that the professor quoted in this piece refused to be identified is significant. Given the climate of intolerance on the Marquette campus, it would be foolish to invite the enmity of the politically correct crowd.

An Issue at Secular Schools

If this seems like a parochial “Catholic” issue, it’s not. The article goes on:
But academic voices on secular campuses, including feminist professors, have expressed concern that Title IX is being used to silence unpopular opinions instead of dealing with serious complaints of sexual assault or harassment. One famous case involves Laura Kipnis, a Northwestern University professor and feminist, who was accused of creating a hostile environment against reporting sexual assault over an article she wrote in The Chronicle of Higher Education called “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe” in which she criticized campus sexual conduct codes that “infantilized students while vastly increasing the power of university administrators over all our lives.”

Kipnis was eventually cleared in 2015, but by that time her case became a cause celebre of Title IX excesses and due process failures. At Harvard University, 28 faculty of the law school wrote a public letter in October 2014, saying that Harvard was going far beyond what Title IX actually required, trampling over the due-process rights of the accused and adopting overbroad definitions of sexual harassment that threatened academic freedom and faculty governance.

Janet Halley, the Royall Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, told the Register that the improper application of Title IX does pose a threat to academic freedom on campuses and that “these problems are emerging all over the country.”

“There is plenty of evidence that Title IX is being expanded in application, way beyond its proper legal scope,” she said. Halley explained this has happened in several steps. First, the OCR issued “non-binding advice documents” that do not have the status of legal regulation, but “massively expand the Supreme Court’s definition of sexual harassment.”

“This creates a lot of confusion about what sexual harassment actually is,” she said. Second, she said the OCR has threatened loss of funds if colleges do not integrate “those expansive and confusing definitions into their campus policies and apply them in cases.” As a result, college and university administers are “scared out of their minds,” Halley added, and in an effort to protect their institutions’ funding “are over-complying, even with those expansive definitions.”

“Finally, the people doing adjudications, handling those cases on the ground, are not stopping cases that are manifestly ungrounded,” she said. “I am hearing about too many people who are being put through the process, on the basis of complaints that should simply lead to a conversation with the complaining students that these facts, even if true, do not violate our policy, and sometimes the process is truncated with massive due-process violations.”
We were the victim of one such case, when a prissy little feminist in our introductory American Government class was unhappy that we told the class that feminists grossly exaggerate the prevalence of campus date rape. She charged us with sexual harassment.

Marquette eventually decided we had a right to say that, but only after we were required to explain what we had said to Barry McCormick, Chair of Political Science. Of course, the process is the punishment.

Harvard Law

Another Harvard Law Professor, Jeannie Suk, discussed the consequences when several Harvard Law professors publicly objected to a CNN documentary titled “The Hunting Ground,” which levied false rape charges against a Harvard Law student. The school thoroughly investigated the charges and found them to be bogus. The result:
. . . last week the filmmakers did more than understandably disagree with criticism of the film, which has been short-listed for the Academy Award for best documentary. They wrote, in a statement to the Harvard Crimson, that “the very public bias these professors have shown in favor of an assailant contributes to a hostile climate at Harvard Law.” The words “hostile climate” contain a serious claim. At Harvard, sexual harassment is “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature,” including verbal conduct that is “sufficiently persistent, pervasive, or severe” so as to create a “hostile environment.” If, as the filmmakers suggest, the professors’ statement about the film has created a hostile environment at the school, then, under Title IX, the professors should be investigated and potentially disciplined.

To my knowledge, no complaint of sexual harassment has been filed with Harvard’s Title IX office—though I’ve been told by a high-level administrator that several people have inquired about the possibility—and I don’t know if the school would proceed with an investigation. . . . A handful of students have said that they feel unsafe at Harvard because of the professors’ statement about the film. If a Title IX complaint were filed and an investigation launched, the professors wouldn’t be permitted to speak about it, as that could be considered “retaliation” against those who filed the complaint, which would violate the campus sexual-harassment policy.
In short, leftist students have used Title IX to try to shut down speech they don’t like. Not merely do legitimate statements made in class result in “investigations,” but public statements that students don’t even have to read result in charges.

Even though the charges are usually found to be baseless, the chilling effect is huge. Who wants to be dragged before a department chair, dean or human resources official and required to explain oneself?

No Protection for Conservative Students

Of course, civil rights law protects males as well as females, whites as well as blacks, and conservative Christians as well as gays and lesbians.

But somehow, we never hear of complaints by whites who are insulted and bullied by talk of “white privilege,” complaints from men who face anti-male sexism from feminist professors, or conservative Catholics and other Christians who have their beliefs insulted by secular professors.

Partly, this is because the politically incorrect groups know perfectly well that the campus grievance bureaucracy is set up to protect the tender sensibilities of “victim groups.” But partly it is that they are not culturally inclined to weaponize their sense of “offense.” But we think they should. Only when the campus left faces the consequences of the system they have set up and exploited will there be effective pressure to back off, and protect speech.

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Political Pied Piper

Mark Belling: Marquette’s War on Catholicism

A commentary on some recent events at Marquette, interesting in that Belling blames (in addition to the usual suspects in the administration) (1.) the Trustees, and (2.) alumni who have accepted the transformation of the institution into a conventional politically correct place.

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A Concise View of Donald Trump


Of course, liberals will like the things they hear here. Which is why conservatives should not support Trump.

But even when he says something mildly sensible (we can’t deport all the illegal immigrants), he hasn’t stuck with that position.

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Disappearing

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Marquette Handed Out Birth Conrol - Kept It Secret

From Marquette Wire:
Until last summer, the Marquette Neighborhood Health Center offered birth control and contraceptives to students, faculty and staff.

Operated by the College of Nursing, the clinic began to focus on women’s healthcare in 2011 and moved off campus in 2013. Heather Saucedo, formerly a case worker at MNHC, said students had taken advantage of the center’s services since it began as a primary care practice on campus in 2007.

Like the medical clinic, the center offered STI testing, men and women’s healthcare and other basic services. Unlike the medical clinic though, the university allowed the center to offer birth control to those who asked for it – though they could not advertise this service.

“It was a constant struggle, and we talked about it in every meeting,” Saucedo said. They were told that the subject was controversial and the goal was to respect Marquette’s Catholic roots. They could give birth control out, but few people knew.
We are not Catholic, and thus have no quarrel with birth control per se. But we have a huge problem with an institution that calls itself Catholic giving out birth control. And we have an even larger problem with a supposedly Catholic university that claims not to provide birth control, but does so surreptitiously.

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Lucky Day!