Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Tribune and the Office of Student Development

Just yesterday blogger Ryan Alexander broke a story based on his conversation with a student reporter for the Marquette Tribune. The reporter told him that in a front page Tribune story reporting on Alexander’s online petition to have Pam Peters fired by the Office of Student Development, there was no mention of the web address of the petition because the Tribune feared the response of OSD.

Jen Haberkorn, Editor-in-Chief of the Tribune, has confirmed that the conversation was as Alexander reported it, but disputes the accuracy of what the student reporter told him.

She insists that there was no discussion of any repercussions from OSD should the link be included in the story. According to Haberkorn, the story as written contained no link to the petition, and when she read the story in her capacity as editor she saw no need to include any link, nor any discussion of the fact that the petition was available online.

Haberkorn says that it’s not standard Tribune practice to include web addresses in stories.

We find it a bit odd that the story not only omitted any mention of the web address of Alexander’s petition, but failed to even mention that it was online.

But Haberkorn argues, quite plausibly, that the Tribune has a history of reporting things that various people around the university find embarrassing or uncomfortable. Indeed, she points out that the Tribune would not have run the story at all had it been excessively concerned with what OSD thought.

But then why did the reporter tell Alexander the things that Alexander accurately recounted?

Attempts to reach the reporter for comment have been unsuccessful. One can only speculate that it was an attempt to placate him, or perhaps the reporter simply misunderstood the culture at the Tribune and actually believed that including the web address would be frowned upon.

Tolerant Liberals – 105

Shut Up Those Talk Radio Guys

From Sykes Writes, how liberal journalists at the Journal-Sentinel want to shut up Charlie Sykes and Jeff Wagner, conservative talk radio hosts who often criticize the paper. An e-mail sent out by a former copy editor at the paper named Stephen Maersch shows him asking the following question at shareholders’ meeting of Journal Communications, which owns both the paper and WTMJ radio.
Why do you allow Charlie Sykes and Jeff Wagner to continually bash the Journal Sentinel over WTMJ? Don’t you think this is damaging the newspaper? Also, why doesn’t WTMJ embrace a policy of fairness and equal time?
Maersch then goes on to editorialize to the recipients of his e-mail:
My read: I think what JournalComm is doing with WTMJ is extremely unethical. The most powerful radio station in the state is being used to promote the fortunes of one political party over those of another. The people are trapped. The only two stations in Milwaukee that have bona fide news desks, WTMJ and WISN, are fornicating with the Republican Party. And allowing Sykes and Wagner to conduct a dirty war against the Journal Sentinel is the stupidest thing I ever heard of. We’re using one division of the company to damage another. It’s like Chevrolet taking cheap shots at Buick. . . .
The executives at Journal Communications gave a somewhat convoluted answer, the gist of which was “Sykes and Wagner make us money.”

Score one for capitalism.

The Mainstream Media tend to be living in an era – decades ago – before there was vigorous competition in the news business. The three “major networks” had news operations that were in business not to make a profit, but to bring prestige to the network. Local newspapers were very powerful, and mostly monopolies, and the major ones were all liberal (with the exception of the Wall Street Journal). Talk radio was less important. With pretty much monopoly control over both both broadcast and print media, the liberal journalists were sitting pretty.

With the rise cable news (especially Fox News), the rise of conservative talk radio and the transformation of the Internet into a mass medium, the liberal journalists find themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to actually compete with conservative voices.

And often being held accountable for their biases and mistakes by the conservative media.

They don’t like that. In fact they really hate that.

So their gut instinct is to try to shut down competing voices. If they are smart they don’t admit that this is what they really want. But sometimes the truth slips out.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Tolerant Liberals – 104

Screw Your Moral Scruples, We Are Going to Force You to Do This

Liberals claim to believe in “choice:” so long as they approve of the choice. Guns and SUVs aren’t things they approve of.

But what if somebody isn’t trying to use government to interfere with somebody else’s choice, but simply refuses to become involved with something they think is immoral?

This is the case when some pharmacists have moral objections to birth-control pills and emergency-contraception pills such as RU-486 and Plan B. Some pharmacists also object to selling drugs for executions by lethal injection.

Do liberals respect the pharmacist’s “right to choose?” Of course not!

Democrats such as Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., have introduced bills in the U.S. Congress that would force a pharmacist to sell such medications, notwithstanding any conscientious objections he or she might have.

As Debra Saunders asks:
How can feminists – read Boxer – say they support “choice,” as they conspire to outlaw the right of pharmacists to make a choice they don’t like?
The answer to this is straightforward. Feminists – or at least the committed hard core among them – are not tolerant libertarians. They are nasty authoritarians who won’t hesitate for one second to use government to impose their agenda on others, and individual conscience be damned.

The Marquette Tribune -- Fearless Watchdog?

An explosive piece of information from Ryan Alexander on the 1832 blog. Alexander has been rather miffed at the Tribune because, although they reported his petition to fire Pam Peters of the Office of Student Development, they failed to provide a URL that would let anybody who was interested find the petition and perhaps sign it.

A Tribune reporter called him last night for a follow-up story, and the following discussion ensued:
Tribune Reporter: Hi, Ryan. I am calling because we are doing a follow up story on your petition could you tell me what the response has been on your petition since our first story and could you tell us how many signatures you currently have?

Ryan Alexander: Well, first of all I will not release any information about the petition until the end of the semester, as stated in the petition blog. Secondly, It is hard to judge the response to our petition because the front-page story did not give any information to students on where they could find the petition or find my blog.

Tribune Reporter: Well just so you know, we decided not to publish an address to your blog or or your petition because THE OFFICE OF STUDENT DEVELOPMENT WOULD COME DOWN ON US AND WE DIDN’T WANT TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH THAT. [Emphasis added]
It’s puzzling that the Tribune would be scared of the Office of Student Development. That office is on the “business side” of the University, reporting to Greg Kliebhan. The Tribune is part of the Journalism School. Nobody at OSD has any power over the Tribune, just as nobody at OSD has any power over faculty.

In the past, Journalism faculty have stood up for the Tribune in disputes with the “business side” of the University. Two years ago, Union employees confiscated copies of the Tribune that carried a front page story of a savage beating death in Milwaukee, apparently because it was Parents Weekend and they wanted to protect the parents from seeing any bad news about Milwaukee.

Journalism faculty demanded, and got, an apology for that action.

Why Tribune staffers are now running scared of OSD bureaucrats is something of a mystery, unless they are simply underestimating their own ability to independently report the news.

Tribune staffers were unavailable for comment.

Liberal Tolerance in Madison

When a group of conservative students at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, staged a rally to support American troops, they were confronted by “anti-war” protestors. According to the (very liberal) campus paper, one of the conservative students pushed an anti-war protestor. But that, as explained by one of the participants in The Mendota Beacon, was not at all what happened:
Having been there to support the troops myself, I can tell you that there were a lot of emotions flying, but everything was physically controlled. In fact, if anyone pushed anyone (which they did not) it would have been the anti-war protestors. The hands that went up, as seen on the front page of a campus paper, were actually an attempt to keep the protestors from spitting insults into our faces, which seemed to be the popular theme that day. The protestors felt a need to steal our flags, take our signs, and bang their large drums inches from our faces. They do not know what respect means, and apparently, freedom of speech is great, unless the rhetoric is conservative in nature.

Our message was clear. We were there to show our support for the men and women fighting in Iraq who protect our freedom so that the protestors can say what they like. We were there to support the liberation and freedom of a country that has been under tyranny and to support the right for all people to be free. All of our chants were to support the troops and our country- none of which were messages of hatred or that would instigate a confrontation with the protestors.

Unfortunately, the other side could not say same. They enjoyed yelling “you don’t fight” and laughing in our faces, making angry accusations that belittled our beliefs. If anyone was there for a confrontation, the protestors were. We stood in our place and said our piece, while the protestors attempted to physically run into our group.
We sometimes have some qualms about bashing liberals for intolerance, because not all liberals are intolerant. But in spite of this, intolerance is a liberal problem in America today. The reason for that is simple: liberals have the ability to segregate themselves and avoid contrary viewpoints and opinions. They congregate in media organizations, academic departments like the English Department at Marquette, foundations and activist organizations. They live in certain neighborhoods like Milwaukee’s East Side. The listen to National Public Radio and read the New York Times. They had very few, if any, conservative professors in college.

If they should, by accident, have to confront a conservative opinion, they feel comfortable dismissing it out of hand. After all, none of their friends think that way!

Their environment, in short, is lacking in diversity. In such a setting, the demonization of one’s opponents is easy, and hate festers. Michael Moore and Al Franken and Howard Dean become heros.

In different circumstances and in a different historical era, it might be the conservatives who become the bigots and the haters. But for now, intolerance in America is something coming particularly from the left.

Student Development Afraid of Independent Voice on Campus

From the GOP3.COM blog, a priceless account of the exchange between College Republican Chairman Brandon Henak and Pam Peters of the Office of Student Development. In Henak’s words:
When I posted an ad for The Warrior on the Marquette University College Republican’s website I was almost immediately contacted by controversial Office of Student Development employee Pam Peters asking what it was. I replied with the aforementioned details on the publication. Her response then included the following points:
  1. The publication would have to be approved by OSD. I responded that it wouldn’t because it was not associated with the university.
  2. She said the MU College Republicans could not support or advertise for it unless they were also approved by OSD and I stated our website is not under their jurisdiction.
  3. She said The Warrior could not distribute on campus unless it was submitted for approval, to which I responded that it could be distributed on public property.
  4. She finally warned me the MU College Republicans could not officially sponsor The Warrior and were to use caution on this matter and then requested more information. I said I am not officially a part of The Warrior board and she should contact Katie Dorman, the editor, for more information.
This incident fully demonstrates Marquette University’s fear of a loud, clear and independent student voice. Thanks to the courageous efforts of Katie Dorman, Chuck Rickert and the rest of The Warrior team, that voice will be heard loud and clear.
OSD is a bureaucracy that seems to live in constant fear that somewhere, somehow, one of the student organizations that they control will say something “out of line” and cause them to get into trouble.

Of course, this fear of student expression often backfires and creates a public relations fiasco for Marquette. On the afternoon of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, the College Republicans asked to stage an event where people would gather around an American flag and observe a moment of silence. The Administration forbade it. One Student Development bureaucrat was heard to say that the event “might be offensive to Arab students.” The inevitable firestorm of media criticism ensued.

University bureaucrats, right up to the level of Rev. Andy Thon and Vice President for Public Affairs Rana Altenburg failed to learn any lessons from this, since less than four years later they shut down the College Republicans’ “Adopt A Sniper” fundraiser. This blunder earned the University another mother lode of bad publicity.

Has the University learned anything from all this? Probably not. The Administration — especially those parts dealing with student affairs, “mission,” and the University Ministry — is deeply disfunctional, marked by both a leftist ideological bias and an obsessive groupthink.

Our only reservation about blogger Ryan Alexander’s campaign to have Pam Peters of OSD fired was based on the fact that the problems go much higher. There are at least three levels of bureaucracy above her that need to be replaced, and replaced with people who have an entirely different way of thinking.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Marquette Law School Doesn’t Discriminate Against Whites Enough

Something that’s not news, but that the Marquette Tribune has chosen to make news via a front page story in today’s paper: the fact that Marquette’s Law School lacks some quota of minority students.

The Tribune cites a “new study” (actually, it’s been around for a long time) showing that Marquette’s Law School is the “ninth-whitest in the nation with a 92.6 percent white student body.”

The woman who did the “study,” one Vernellia Randall, appears to be a racial hustler in the Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton mode. For example, she starts her web page with a blurb about how (quoting):
I grew up in Texas during Jim Crow. During that time going on long distance road trips had a distinct flavor for Blacks and I remember it vividly – the packing enough food for the entire trip (no restaurants), the using the bathroom on the side of the road (no gas station bathrooms), the sleeping in the car on the side of the road (no motels).
It’s of course deplorable that this ever happened, but unfortunately the fact that your ancestors lived as slaves in 1860 or that you lived under segregation in 1960 doesn’t mean you are making any sense in 2005. Indeed, members of the Axis of Grievance are probably, on a university campus, less likely to be making sense, since their arguments are rarely challenged. If they are, shouts of “racist” or “sexist” or “homophobe” are enough silence dissent and demonstrate that thinking is not only unnecessary, but downright dangerous.

The “study” adopts an explicit racial quota. The racial composition of law schools is compared, state by state, with the racial composition of all people aged 21-39. If there are more whites in a law school than in the state’s population, the school is claimed to have “excess whiteness” in its law schools. In Wisconsin, for example, the population of that age cohort is 85.21 percent white, but Marquette’s Law School is 92.6 percent white. This translates to an “excess whiteness” of 7.39 percent.

The problem of course is that blacks are underrepresented among people with college degrees. Nationwide, in 2001, 33.0 percent of whites aged 25-29 had a college degree, but only 17.9 percent of blacks, and 11.1 percent of Hispanics.

Quite obviously, the people who might get admitted to law schools are people with a bachelor’s degree, not everybody in the population.

In 1994-95, in Wisconsin, 93.8 percent of the bachelor’s degrees conferred were conferred on non-Hispanic whites. So it seems that Marquette’s Law School is about as white as the population of people who have a bachelor’s degree and might actually be qualified to go to law school.

But then how do schools like the University of Wisconsin Madison achieve better “diversity” in spite of being in the same state as Marquette? The answer lies in the fact that virtually all of the “top ten whitest” law schools are second or third tier schools (one is in the fourth tier). The more prestigious schools (which are also usually richer) can “cherry pick” minority applicants, offer them large scholarships, and attract a disproportionate number.

In this politically correct marketplace, minority students are reduced to a commodity the purpose of which is to satisfy the ideological demands of the faculty and the media, and the career interests of administrators. As in any market, the players with the most money can bid the commodity away from the less well-heeled competitors.

We know a fellow who was the Dean of a school at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. One year he was elated that four blacks were slated to enter the school, making for dandy “diversity” in a small entering class. But then the corresponding school at the UW-Madison attracted all four away with lucrative financial offers. “Diversity?” Not really, but certainly political correctness for the more prestigious and better endowed institution.

What this process guarantees, of course, is that everywhere in academia minorities will be the less qualified students. When whites start assuming that their minority cohorts are less academically capable, the politically correct types will whine and bitch and shout “racism!,” but it’s hard to convince people that it’s not true.

(Intimidating them such that they won’t say what they think is possible, and common.)

This has consequences. Richard Sander of the UCLA Law School showed that, at top law schools:
After the first year of law school, 51 percent of black students are in the bottom tenth of their classes compared with 5 percent of white students. About two-thirds of black students are in the bottom fifth of their classes. Without racial preferences, 14 percent fewer black students would be admitted to law schools, but those admitted would be more successful.
And . . .
Of all students who started law school in 1991, 48 percent of blacks and 78 percent of whites graduated, took the bar and passed it on their first attempt. Without racial preferences, 74 percent of black students would be likely to make it from the first day of law school to passing the bar on the first try because fewer unqualified students would be admitted to law school, there would be less attrition and academic performance — the principal predictor of success in passing the bar exam — would improve.
Affirmative action thus has severe human costs, although it’s doubtless good for white liberals and leftists on college faculties, and for administrators.

Diversity?

Proponents of Affirmative Action preferences and quotas will tend to dismiss arguments like these, saying that “diversity” is important since students need to interact with and learn to deal with people of different backgrounds.

The fundamental dishonesty of this claim becomes patent when one realizes how monolithically liberal and leftist faculty opinion is.

If faculty really wanted students to deal with different ideas and viewpoints, they would see this ideological skew as a problem. But in fact, they are more likely to think the existence of any conservatives on campus is a problem.

Even where minorities are concerned, there are politically correct minorities, and politically incorrect minorities. For example, at Harvard two leftist black professors, Lani Guinier (Law School) and Henry Louis Gates (African and African-American Studies Department) complained that, while about eight percent of the students Harvard was admitting were black, a majority of them were West Indian or African immigrants or the children of immigrants. (The New York Times, June 24, 2004)

This supposedly is bad.

Why? A simple question is in order: who is more “diverse,” meaning, who is likely to have a perspective or represent a culture that the average white American knows little about? A black person from Africa, or one from Detroit?

The complaints of Gates and Guinier are the tip-off that what we have here is not any policy of “diversity.” What we have is a racial spoils system, which blacks from elsewhere in the world are not supposed to horn in on.

Some of the things Marquette’s Law School told the Tribune they are doing – like going to recruit at University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana – are benign enough. But they are unlikely to satisfy the hard-core politically correct crowd.

As the Law School tries to deal with demands for more discrimination against whites, they need to heed the words of alumnus Mark S. Kapocius, who observed:
Diversity indexers dehumanize individuals by categorizing and labeling students by their race and ethnicity. This process is distinctly anti-Catholic and anti-Jesuit. Marquette’s own employment policy states, “as a Christian and Catholic institution [Marquette] is dedicated to the proposition that all human beings possess an inherent dignity in the eyes of their Creator, and equality as children of God.” Labeling and judging others by race and ethnicity would seemingly be in direct conflict with this belief.

Marquette, like its Jesuit brethren, subscribes to a set of beliefs that transcend diversity indexes. The values of Catholic education appreciate and respect diversity on a higher level than the shallow and divisive attention-seeking diversity indexers. At Marquette, you are an individual, not a number in a sociological experiment. So, while other law schools can claim a higher diversity index score, Marquette can claim that they are upholding a 450-year-old Jesuit principle that all human beings are equal under God.
That statement has the sort of moral clarity the “diversity” crowd can’t muster.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Pope is Catholic and Catholics Like That

Rather hidden back on page A11 in yesterday’s Washington Post, news that American Catholics like the new Pope a lot better than the media do:
An overwhelming majority of American Catholics approve of the selection of Pope Benedict XVI and predict that he will defend the traditional policies and beliefs of a church that many members say is out of touch with their views, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The survey found that more than eight in 10 Roman Catholics broadly supported the selection of German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to replace Pope John Paul II.

Nearly as many, 73 percent, said they were “enthusiastic” about the new pontiff, though only one in four said they were strongly enthusiastic about the choice.
This support came in spite of the apparent liberalism of about half of Catholics:
Half [of the sample] say they want the church to adhere to tradition, while almost exactly the same proportion believe the church must change its policies to reflect modern lifestyles and beliefs.
For the people asking this question, “reflect modern lifestyles and beliefs” was intended to measure support for abortion, female clergy, cohabitation and other things that liberals think are acceptable. But it’s not at all clear that the respondents interpreted it this way. It might mean responding to the needs of a more educated and mobile nation.

The raw data from the poll can be found here.

That the majority of Catholics are far from being politically correct is made obvious in their rankings of what the new Pope’s priorities should be:
American Catholics say the new pope’s top priority should be to deal with sexual abuse by priests, followed closely by the need to encourage human rights. These priorities were shared by a majority of more active and less active Catholics.

Four in 10 also said the pontiff should follow in his predecessor’s footsteps by paying special attention to the needs of younger churchgoers. Only three in 10 said Benedict's highest priority should be making it attractive for men to serve as priests.

Responding to the specific concerns of women in the church ranked lowest among the seven priorities listed, even among female Catholics.
Thus, the role of women in the Church, an issue over which the mainstream media obsesses, barely registers among rank and file Catholics.

We are all familiar with the rhetorical question: “is the Pope Catholic.” This pope’s media critics are people who would in fact prefer a Unitarian pope, or failing that a gay Episcopalian. The vast majority of American Catholics, in spite of some disagreements on this or that issue, are happy with a pope who is indeed Catholic.

Scholars and Presidents

Political Scientist Andrew Barrett will speak tonight as part of a series sponsored by the College Republicans provocatively titled “What Your Professors Don’t Want You to Know.” The subtitle of his talk will be “The Truth About U.S. Presidents.”

Expect some discussion about how ratings of presidents and the things you read in your history books are biased by the views of the historians.

His presentation will be open to students and the public. It will be held on Wednesday 4/27 (Tonight) at 8:00 PM in Alumni Memorial Union Ballroom C.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Marquette Blogger Breakthrough

On the front page of the Marquette Tribune today: an issue first raised on a student blog by a Democratic blogger which gained support of student Republican bloggers.

Ryan Alexander’s 1832 blog initiated a petition to fire Pam Peters of the Office of Student Development.

The petition quickly got the support of the College Republicans, and of conservative student blogger Joseph Kastner.

The issue was the front page, above the fold story in the Tribune, the first case on campus of an issue initiated in the blogosphere “broke through” into Marquette’s version of the Mainstream Media.

But here’s the kicker: the Tribune entirely failed to mention that the issue was first raised on a campus blog!

The Tribune recently ran a story on campus blogs, but has not heretofore covered an issue first broached on one of them.

The Tribune wrote a dismissive editorial on blogs just two weeks ago, whining about how “opinionated” people publish blogs, and even mentioning the case of a college student who supposedly threatened the police in a blog post.

That editorial was not a journalistic triumph for the Tribune, since it badly mangled the facts of the case.

Clearly, blogs are beginning to become a force on campus – impossible to ignore and sometimes way ahead of more traditional media.

New Blog

The Radical Centrist is a project of Patrick Whitty, a student who is a Democrat, but also anti-abortion. His first post was a critical discussion of John Bolton, Bush’s nominee to be U.N. Ambassador. It will take a while to see how this blog shapes up, but Whitty is bright and earnest and should make a contribution.

Meanwhile, Ryan Alexander’s 1832 blog has added Zach Corey and Rebecca Sjolund to the roster of posters – although Sjolund has yet to make a post. Alexander now has, potentially, a lineup to challenge the GOP3.COM blog. But the Republican students who run the latter are energetic researchers and well-connected politically, and will be tough to overtake.

Some of these blogs may disappear as students lose interest or move on to different projects, but new blogs will arise to replace them – and more.

What is still missing is faculty blogs. We think that the faculty are affected (in come cases) by a reticence to publicly express controversial opinions, in other cases by a somewhat haughty notion that blogs are déclassé, and in still other cases by technical incompetence. The last two of these will be overcome in time.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Liberals’ Intolerance of Religion

It’s predictable. When religious conservatives organize to try to get judges who are more sympathetic to religion and to positions that religious people hold, the mainstream media go ballistic. Secular people – such as the ACLU and People for the American Way – are of course prefectly free to mobilize to oppose religious people, and have done so for decades. Columnist Cal Thomas explains what is going on:
This isn’t really about religion. It’s about results. Liberals have been happy to align themselves with clergy and congregants who preached a social gospel that mostly followed the Democratic Party line.

From abortion to gay rights, the ordination of homosexual priests, same-sex “marriage,” disarmament, peace movements, environmentalism, government programs and a host of other issues, any clergy or lay person who signed off on the agenda and objectives of liberals was more than welcome at the political table and was never thought to be a threat to the Constitution or accused of attempting to impose a theocracy.

But let conservatives organize to express themselves and suddenly we are told they are a danger to our way of life and religious storm troopers can soon be expected at the door to take us away in the middle of the night to dungeons where we will be brainwashed into accepting the religious and political doctrines of the uneducated fanatics.

For better, and sometimes for worse, “people of faith” have spoken to moral and political issues since before the founding of the nation. Why is the republic in danger only when conservative religious people speak and act? Why are only conservatives seeking to impose a “theocracy” and liberals are never charged with such motives?

The answer is that liberals fear their earthly power is slipping away. They are less able to impose a secular leftist world view on the country. They know that the courts have been the only means by which they have been able to force their views on a majority who do not share them.
The liberals always say, as a kind of a mantra, that “you shouldn’t try to impose your religious views on others.” Of course, the people who say that are delighted to impose their secular views on others. They are happy to impose feminism, environmentalism, gay rights, affirmative action and expensive social welfare programs on others.

Basically, saying that people can’t bring their religious views into their political actions is so convenient for secular people. Since they don’t have any religious views – or at least none that matter much to them – they are engaged in trying to disenfranchise the people who disagree with them, while leaving themselves fully empowered to impose their agenda on the nation.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Flipper Denied Right to Die

Via the Office of Homeland Security, a case where the value of life was affirmed:
In early March an estimated 80 rough-toothed dolphins stranded themselves in the shallows off Marathon in the Florida Keys.

Rescue workers and volunteers worked nonstop to help as many as they could to return to deep water. Some dolphins made it. About two dozen died.

. . .

In the pool, volunteers hold the dolphins and keep their blowholes out of the water so they can breathe.

A veterinarian injects the mammals with vitamin E to help with muscle cramping. Unable to eat on their own, they are fitted with a feeding tube to get them the needed nutrition.
Nice that these folks have been allowed to help the dolphins. The people caring for Terri Schiavo weren’t allowed to do the same thing.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Bummer: Course Based Assessment Not Dead

A little over two months ago, we reported that “course based assessment” – the process in which each instructor has to collect data to “assess” a bunch of educational “outcomes” – is dead.

This was based on an interview with Peggy Bloom, assessment honcho in the Provost’s office. Bloom was clear and unequivocal about that, both in her discussions with us, and with some members of the Political Science Department.

In the view of Prof. Nancy Show, Director of Core Curriculum, course-based assessment “in some form” will remain.

There is some sentiment that, where all the “objectives” in the core must be achieved by one course (the core requires only one social science course, for example), that course must be “assessed.” Since students can take any of dozens of social science courses to fulfill the requirement, each of them would have to be “assessed.”

Much will depend on who is recruited to be the Director of the Common Core.

The notion of course based assessment seems to fly in the face of the explicit directions of the North Central Association, which said:
Assessment of the Core Curriculum, as well as assessment of undergraduate and graduate majors will be expected by the Higher Learning Commission. It is suggested that the focus be switched from extensive course assessment to a focus on the nine knowledge areas. This could involve comparing entering freshmen performance to that of juniors who have completed the core. There are standardized tests that could be used for this purpose. (“Advancement Section, Report of a Comprehensive Evaluation Visit,” p. 29)
How course based assessment could still be alive in the face both of fierce faculty opposition and the explicit directions of the North Central is a mystery.

Why anybody would want an assessment of dozens of individual courses when the (say) social science part of the assessment could be done as part of a broader process applying to all students is another mystery.

At least, a mystery to ordinary sensible folk. But not necessarily a mystery to social scientists who study bureaucracies.

Yet More on Marquette and Amnesty International

Another response from Zach Corey to a post of ours:

I would like to respond to some of the points you made in regard to my first e-mail to you.

  • While we fully accept the bona fides of the current leadership of Amnesty International at Marquette, the general pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage thrust of the organization is an invitation to future problems.
Our constitution will not/cannot change. When people join our Amnesty International group at Marquette it is clear that they are not joining Amnesty International, but an affiliated group that has to abide by the rules of Marquette University.

  • Corey, and indeed anybody who cares about human rights, ought to be disturbed at the organization’s apparent endorsement of “hate speech” laws criminalizing criticism of homosexuality.
The sentence that you pulled out of the Amnesty document is simply descriptive and certainly does not “Quite clearly… look forward to the time when simply espousing the Catholic view of homosexuality as “intrinsically disordered” can land one in jail.”
The global trend towards granting explicit protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation has become firmly established at national level. Canada, France, Ireland, Israel, Slovenia and Spain are just some of the countries where specific reference to sexual orientation is included in their anti-discrimination laws relating to areas such as employment, housing, public services and protection against defamation or hate-speech.
I looked for further clarification on Amnesty’s stance on hate speech against homosexuals and I could not find anything that makes the position more clear.

Most people would agree that “fighting words” like telling an angry mob, “Let’s kill these f**king faggots” is something that people should not be free to say. However, a Catholic saying, “I think homosexuality is immoral” is something that most everyone would agree should be allowed. The problem lies in the cases between these two extremes.

  • Corey hasn’t addressed the Administration’s apparent inconsistency in refusing to recognize the Human Rights Campaign, while recognizing Amnesty International. Perhaps this was something so simple as the unwillingness of the former group to include the relevant paragraph in its Constitution.
There is no inconsistency to not recognizing the Human Rights Campaign and recognizing Amnesty International because each organization’s mission statement relates differently to Church teaching.

The HRC Doctrine has nothing in common with Church Doctrine, so it would be impossible for the group on campus to conduct any activities. It is logical, therefore, to not recognize them as a student group.

Although there are parts of Amnesty International that fall outside of Church Doctrine there is still a substantial area that Amnesty International can promote on campus that is both within Church Doctrine and the Amnesty International Mission Statement.
  • Corey hasn’t challenged our characterization of Amnesty as a sort of general-purpose liberal lobby, rather than an organization supporting some consensual notion of human rights. Of course, they have a right to be that if they want to be that. But everybody needs to know that their idea of “human rights” is a liberal/left one.
For any conservative that is not in the moderate wing of the Republican Party, Amnesty International is an organization with whom they will most likely disagree on substantive issues (like the definition of human rights, stances on contraceptives…ad infinitum). For even the most right-wing person there will be many issues with which they will agree with Amnesty International. Amnesty International at Marquette, however, is intentionally working on stopping genocides, freeing prisoners of conscience, and ending torture. These issues should be important to both conservatives and liberals alike.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Pro-Abortion Forces Want to Outlaw Ultrasound

It might be terribly inconvenient if a mother got to look at the “fetus” she is thinking of aborting. She might conclude that the “fetus” is in fact a baby.

So the “pro-choice” forces in Illinois want to make it a crime to do an ultrasound on a pregnant woman without a doctor’s order.

The claimed reason: the process might harm the “fetus.”

Note the irony here: they think a mother has an absolute right to kill the baby, but they want to make it a crime to have its picture taken!

As the Wigderson Library & Pub sarcastically observes: “Nothing to see here, just move along, there’s no baby in there, just a mass of cells, no reason to be against abortion or anything.”

Young Catholics Seek to Restore Old Values on Sex

From, of all places, the New York Times, an article about more conservative attitudes among young Catholics:
John Paul II has left behind a generation of committed young Roman Catholics who are already shaping the church in a more conservative mold than did their parents. Church leaders call them Generation John Paul II.

At Catholic universities, these are the students studying the “theology of the body” - John Paul’s theological justification for a conservative sexual ethic that includes opposition to contraception, abortion, premarital sex and some forms of assisted reproduction.

“One of the great shocks to me was how conservative the people younger than me are, and these are Catholics from all over the world, not just the United States,” said James Keating, 40, an American theologian who is spending his sabbatical in Rome running the Lay Center at Foyer Unitas Institute, a guesthouse for Catholic students.
We are inherently skeptical of “trends” discovered by journalists in the absence of solid survey data. On the other hand, the issue here is not whether all young Catholics are conservative on sexual issues, but rather whether there is a cohort that will remain active in the Church and shape its direction in future years.
Jennifer Miller, 24, from North Carolina, who is studying philosophy and the “theology of the body” at the Angelicum in Rome, said she has been delighted to discover that many younger Catholics, especially the priests, are theological and cultural conservatives like herself.

“I was recently living in Louisiana and saw it especially in the priests,” she said. “They’re very conservative, especially concerning the theology of the body. They’re not afraid to preach it. And they have the parishes that grow.”
That the conservatives have the parishes that grow might seem odd. They are the ones whose faith makes demands on people and imposes restrictions on their behavior, yet they gain adherents. After all, as any economist will tell you, demand curves slope to the right. Increase the cost of something, and the quantity demanded will decrease. Religious conservatives appear to be increasing the “price” of religion by their demands and restrictions.

But this analysis breaks down if the religious liberals are decreasing the quality faster than they are decreasing the price. Somehow, it’s hard to believe that, if there is a God, He doesn’t care much about how people act on fundamental moral matters. One can hardly imagine Moses going up to Mt. Sinai and saying “Lord, have you any commands for us?” and God responding “Do whatever you wish, my children.”

Thus liberal relgion makes it very easy to remain in the pew, but hard to feel that the exercise has any significance. Eventually, remaining in the pew also ceases to matter.

Tribune Viewpoint Column is Anti-Semite Rant

This past Tuesday, the Marquette Tribune printed a viewpoint column attacking George Bush’s “neoconservative” (read: “Jewish”) policy advisors. One William Gartland (identified as a resident of Rio, Wisconsin) attacked the notion that Paul Wolfowitz is a “failure” in foreign policy:
Wolfowitz was a smashing success. He and his neo-conservative brethren — Douglas Feith, Richard Perle et al. — succeeded in engineering a war that removed one of Israel’s principal enemies and neutralized Syria and Iran, without Israel being obliged to spend one shekel nor shed the blood of one of her soldiers. After all, that was the geo-political purpose behind neo-con thinking in promoting the Iraq war.

Wolfowitz and his cronies are “graduates” of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs aka JINSA. (Note the fraudulent use of Jewish in the title when “Israeli” would be the honest and correct adjective.)

Wolfowitz has been most successful in getting some 1,500 young Americans to die on behalf of Israeli security — not to mention the 10,000 maimed and wounded on Israel’s behalf.
There is, of course, nothing wrong with charging the Jews, or any other group for that matter, with having biases. We think they have a deplorable liberal/left bias in their voting habits.

It’s even acceptable to say that the Jews have a special concern for Israel — although we have trouble seeing how this is worse than the concern the Irish have for Ulster or black members of Congress for Haiti.

But when someone starts charging Jews with betraying the United States, we are moving into anti-Semite country. And when someone posits a cabal of Jews selling out the interests of the U.S. for the benefit of Israel, we think of guys goose-stepping in jackboots.

The most interesting thing about these folks is that they give the Jews a huge backhanded compliment. The Jews are supposedly so smart that they can manipulate, willy nilly, people like George Bush, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld — not to speak of left-leaning politicians like Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Tony Blair. While all the dumb Gentiles thought that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, the very intelligent but very malevolent Jews knew better.

Does this guy Gartland have a copy of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion for bedtime reading?

The truth is that the neoconservatives are motivated by a worldview that goes far beyond concern for Israel. As Max Boot explained in the January/February 2004 issue of Foreign Affairs:
The charge that neocons are concerned above all with the welfare of Israel is patently false. In the 1980s, they were the leading proponents of democratization in places as disparate as Nicaragua, Poland, and South Korea. In the 1990s, they were the most ardent champions of interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo-missions designed to rescue Muslims, not Jews. Today neocons agitate for democracy in China (even as Israel has sold arms to Beijing!) and against the abuse of Christians in Sudan. Their advocacy of democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan is entirely consistent with this long track record. If neocons were agents of Likud, they would have advocated an invasion not of Iraq or Afghanistan but of Iran, which Israel considers to be the biggest threat to its own security.
History may eventually decide that the neoconservatives were wrong — although in the wake of the Iraqi election, they are looking pretty good. But if they are wrong, they are wrong because their ideas don’t work, not because many of them are Jews.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

University Ministry and the “Gay Rights” Agenda

Another fine piece of research from GOP3.COM. The University Ministry web site actively promotes a “gay rights” political agenda.

They do not merely link to sites that are somehow “resources” for homosexuals. Rather they link to sites that are dedicated to using politics to impose their views about sexuality upon people who disagree – and this includes Christians, both Catholic and Protestant.

This “gay rights” political slant had long characterized the University Ministry web site. When the University refused to recognize a student chapter of the Human Rights Campaign, the University Ministry removed the link to the national organization’s web site from their web page. Apparently, the contradiction between the University’s negative verdict on the organization and the University Ministry’s endorsement was too glaring.

But any accomodation to the Catholic mission of the University was late, grudging and forced.

This is the same University Ministry, of course, which sponsors Soup with Substance, a noontime speakers series that has an incessantly leftist and propagandistic political agenda.

One might think that a campus ministry, of all places, would be where one could find people fully willing to endorse and support the teachings of the Church. Instead, it seems to merely provide cover for people whose loyalty is to trendy secular ideologies.

Media Bias Toward the New Pope

In a post just yesterday, we stopped short of complete assurance that the media would react hostilely to the selection of Joseph Ratzinger as the new Pope. We speculated that the media might be willing to accept a fait accompli, that they might defer to the sensibilities of Catholics in their audience and that they might even hold out the hope that the new Pope will “grow” in the job – which is how the media describe it when a conservative turns into a liberal.

We were naïve.

As documented by the Weekly Standard and by the Media Research Center, there is no papal “honeymoon.” Consider for example, the rhetoric used by CBS, as reported by the MRC:
All of the networks, broadcast and cable, on Tuesday afternoon and evening, focused at least some coverage on the conservative theological views of the new Pope, Joseph Ratzinger, and the disappointment by some Catholics, particularly women, in his selection. But none were more egregious in applying labels than the CBS Evening News which led with Mark Phillips asking: “He has taken the name of a healer, but where will this arch-conservative lead the Catholic Church?” Anchor Bob Schieffer tagged Ratzinger as “very conservative” before John Roberts described him as “a doctrinal conservative” and “an unswerving hardliner.” Phillips then declared that “the cardinals picked the most polarizing figure in the Catholic Church” who has been “labeled by some as ‘God’s rottweiler.’” After all of that, Sharyn Alfonsi, whose story featured a Catholic woman lamenting how the new Pope is “very conservative,” relayed how “some say...people have been too quick to label this Pope.” Nonetheless, Schieffer proceeded to tag Ratzinger as a “hardliner” and insisted that “a lot of American Catholics were looking for a Pope who might liberalize some of the rules of the Catholic church.”
Readers, ask yourselves:
  • How many times have you heard the mainstream media describe the gay lobby as “polarizing?”
  • How many times have you heard an environmentalist described as a “hardliner?”
  • How many time have your heard a feminist described as an “archfeminist?”
On the face of it, labeling Pope Benedict a “conservative” seems perfectly fair, since that’s what he is. The problem arises from the fact that these same media consistently refuse to label liberals as liberals.

That’s doubtless because for mainstream media liberals, liberalism isn’t any particular sort of ideology, it’s just common sense.

The good news is that Pope Benedict understands the game that the secular media play quite as well as we do.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

New Academic Media Bias Study

Not that there has been any doubt about this for a long time, but a new academic study from a UCLA political scientist and a University of Missouri economist shows a clear liberal political bias in the media.

Tim Groseclose (UCLA) and Jeff Milyo (Missouri) used an innovative technique that took advantage of the fact that liberal members of Congress (as measured by their votes on roll-calls) tend to cite certain activist groups, think tanks and research institutes, while conservatives disproportionately cite different ones. Where liberals are particularly likely to cite (for example) the NAACP and the Childrens’ Defense Fund conservatives are more likely to cite the Manhattan Institute or the Heritage Foundation.

So what about the sources the media cite? Do they more frequently cite the same sources as congressional liberals, or congressional conservatives? Quoting the study:
Our results show a strong liberal bias. All of the news outlets except Fox News’ Special Report and the Washington Times received a score to the left of the average member of Congress. Consistent with many conservative critics, CBS Evening News and the New York Times received a score far left of center. Outlets such as USA Today, NPR’s Morning Edition, NBC’s Nightly News and ABC’s World News Tonight were moderately left. The most centrist outlets (but still left-leaning) by our measure were the Newshour with Jim Lehrer, CNN’s NewsNight with Aaron Brown, and ABC’s Good Morning America. Fox News’ Special Report, while right of center, was closer to the center than any of the three major networks’ evening news broadcasts.
They then go on to explain:
All of our findings refer strictly to the news stories of the outlets. That is, we omitted editorials, book reviews, and letters to the editor from our sample.
Of course, opinion and editorial pieces might show a different result. For example, the study shows the Wall Street Journal to be quite liberal, in spite of having a famously conservative editorial page.

But bias in what purports to be “hard news” is more striking since it is a clear violation of proclaimed journalistic norms of objectivity. And it’s doubtless more insidious, since readers and viewers fully expect editorials and opinion columns to be . . . well . . . opinionated.

When one of the authors presented the paper at a faculty forum that included some members of the Journalism Department, the latter were visibly squirming.

Ten Top Bad Puns

Yes, we know this is out of character for this blog, but can’t resist. From a friend who is usually sending us politically liberal e-mails:
  1. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, “I’m sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.”
  2. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says, “Dam”!
  3. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it too.
  4. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says “I’ve lost my electron.” The other says “Are you sure?” The first replies “Yes, I’m positive.”
  5. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocaine during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.
  6. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. “But why?” they asked, as they moved off. “Because,” he said, “I can’t stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer.”
  7. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named “Ahmal.” The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him “Juan.” Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, “They’re twins! If you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Ahmal.”
  8. These friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to “persuade” them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he’d be back if they didn’t close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.
  9. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him..... A super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.
  10. And finally, there was the person who sent ten different puns to his friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. Unfortunately no pun in ten did.

New Pope: Look for Media Bias in Full Flower?

Just today from the Media Research Center, recent coverage of Cardinal Ratzinger:
Just as Germany’s Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has emerged in the media as a leading papal candidate, the U.S. media have decided to do their best to discredit him by applying extreme and pejorative labels to him and portraying him as the enemy of progress. On Sunday, NBC’s Jim Maceda referred to “the ultraconservative Ratzinger” and reported that “he was briefly a member of Hitler’s youth group in Nazi Germany.” On Monday morning, Katie Couric asserted that Ratzinger is “known to be quite conservative. He’s been called ‘God’s rottweiler’ because of his strict adherence to Catholic doctrine and ‘The Enforcer’ as well.” Echoing Couric, ABC’s David Wright said “he’s been dubbed ‘God’s rottweiler,’ a staunch conservative...” After her viewers voted Ratzinger the “Person of the Day,” CNN’s Paula Zahn on Monday night lamented how “he’s butted heads with theologians and teachers, silencing dissent, shutting down debate over issues such as homosexuality and the ordination of women.”

Picking up where the broadcast networks left off on Sunday night, CNN’s Paula Zahn on Monday night devoted a lengthy story to how “many Catholic women are praying that the white smoke from the Sistine Chapel chimney will signal” a “revolution” which will change policy on abortion, birth control and women as priests. Zahn showed protests, complete with pink smoke “to symbolize what they see as a critical absence of women in the papal election process,” as she centered her piece around the views of the Women’s Ordination Conference, led by a woman who is supposedly “like many Catholic women in the United States -- devout but discouraged.”

Zahn ended with a plea from a 12-year-old girl: “I would ask the Cardinals if they could just, like, let the girls be priests or participate more in the church because, like, girls should get the same opportunities as boys.”

NBC’s Katie Couric asserted on Monday morning that “according to a recent poll, 78 percent of American Catholics would like the Catholic Church to be less conservative,” but the only current poll the MRC could locate with such a finding was an early April CNN/USA Today/Gallup survey of Catholics which found 78 percent said the next Pope should “allow Catholics to use birth control.” But Couric cherry-picked the number she liked since the poll also determined that when asked if the next Pope should “make church doctrine on abortion less strict,” only 37 percent said he should compared to 59 percent who responded that he should not. And, contradicting Couric’s thesis, asked directly if the next Pope should be “more conservative than John Paul II, about the same, or more liberal than John Paul II?,” 59 percent endorsed the conservative status quo.
Will the election of Ratzinger quell the bias a bit, as the media accept a fait accompli and perhaps defer to the sensibilities of Catholics in their audience? That’s possible. They might even hold out the hope that Ratzinger will “grow” in the job and prove less conservative than they fear.

But the simple fact will remain that their worldview is radically different from his, and to succeed in the job he will need to do that Ronald Reagan and John Paul the Great did: go around the media and appeal directly to the people.

More on Marquette and Amnesty International

A response from Zach Corey to our earlier post about Amnesty International:
Dr. McAdams,

I wrote a response to the GOP3’s post on Amnesty International, but I will give you the same information:

Student organizations with a national affiliation or any affiliation are required to put this article into their constitution. The article must be written in exactly this manner (but instead of Amnesty International it must be the name of the proposed organization).

Article IX: Affiliation

This organization shall be affiliated with the Amnesty International and shall abide by its constitution and by-laws in all cases where there is not conflict between their constitution and by-laws and this constitution and/or the rules, regulations, or policies of Marquette University. In instances of conflict, this constitution and/or rules, regulations or policies of Marquette University shall take precedence over the constitution or by-laws of Amnesty International.

The reason Amnesty International was approved as a student rganization was because OSD realized that there are many other facets of the organization that we will/are acting on. Much like how College Republicans would not be allowed to do a “pro-death penalty event or table” we would not be allowed to have a table that gives out condoms. There are other aspects of each organization, however, that are congruous with Catholic teaching that each organization can advocate on campus.

As a recognized student group, we will live up to our part of the constitution and stay away from issues that are contrary to Catholic teaching.

Zach Corey
We were unaware of the requirement that student organizations renounce positions of their national organizations contrary to Church doctrine, and thank Corey for pointing that fact out.

Some issues still remain, however:
  • While we fully accept the bona fides of the current leadership of Amnesty International at Marquette, the general pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage thrust of the organization is an invitation to future problems. The Gay/Straight Alliance sold itself to Marquette on the grounds that it really didn’t violate Church teachings on homosexuality. But in fact, it is entirely dedicated to opposing those teachings.
  • Corey, and indeed anybody who cares about human rights, ought to be disturbed at the organization’s apparent endorsement of “hate speech” laws criminalizing criticism of homosexuality.
  • Corey hasn’t addressed the Administration’s apparent inconsistency in refusing to recognize the Human Rights Campaign, while recognizing Amnesty International. Perhaps this was something so simple as the unwillingness of the former group to include the relevant paragraph in its Constitution.
  • Corey hasn’t challenged our characterization of Amnesty as a sort of general-purpose liberal lobby, rather than an organization supporting some consensual notion of human rights. Of course, they have a right to be that if they want to be that. But everybody needs to know that their idea of “human rights” is a liberal/left one.
Finally, we will repeat what we wrote in a post that dealt with similar issues:
We have long viewed Student Development’s power to approve student organizations and events as an onerous burden, hard to use consistently and embarrassing when used inconsistently. Our tentative conclusion is that this is better than either of the alternatives, which would be (1.) to have Student Development approve everything, or (2.) to have them approve nothing at all. But “everything” isn’t an absurd position to take.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Media Bias on Election of New Pope

From the Media Research Center, a rather typical account of mainstream media bias on the issue of who will be the next Pope:
The night before the Catholic Cardinals were to begin their conclave to choose a new Pope, the U.S. broadcast network evening newscasts painted the role of women as the most important issue and gave a platform to left-wing church activist Joan Chittister. “The future of the church is now in the hands of 115 men. Some Catholic women find that offensive,” ABC’s David Wright asserted Sunday night in leading into a Chittister soundbite. Wright proceeded to showcase a woman upset that her unborn daughter cannot become a priest, before concluding: “Men and women may be equal in the eyes of God, but many Catholics say in the eyes of the church, there’s still a long way to go.” Wright gave a soundbite to a church defender, but not CBS’s John Roberts who sandwiched two denunciation from Chittister around touting how “a new CBS News poll finds the majority of Catholics think the next Pope should admit women into the priesthood, let priests marry, and allow birth control.” Plus, “52 percent of American Catholics think the church is out of touch.”
The mainstream media, of course, has a particular perspective on this issue. Its members, as Robert Lichter and Stanley Rothman have shown, are liberal and highly secular. They don’t look at the Catholic Church through the eyes of faith, they look at it in terms of their secular ideology.

And their secular ideology is not only miles out of tune with the worldview of believers in the United States, it’s even more at odds with the way believers in Africa and Latin America see the world. Nothing would be more self-destructive than a Church intent on placating the latte sipping, Volvo driving folks who determine who gets on the evening news.

Likewise, polls showing “what American Catholics want” aggregate both devout believers and nominal Catholics who may show up at mass on Easter. If diluting or changing the doctrines of the Church would draw some of those nominal Catholics closer, the strategy might be tempting. But all the evidence shows that it doesn’t work that way.

Marquette and Amnesty International

A fine piece of research from the GOP3 blog: Amnesty International, a recognized student organization here on campus, has positions on abortion and condoms flatly contrary to Catholic teaching.

Not only this, but they have loudly criticized the Church for its teaching on condoms.

Amnesty is an organization that made its reputation having members write letters to foreign governments urging the release of “prisoners of conscience” – persons put in jail for nothing more than opposing some dictatorial government.

But with the march of democracy around the world, the organization has faced a “mission crisis” as fewer and fewer such prisoners exist.

The end of the Cold War has also hurt the organization, since a lot of the (mostly liberal) membership particularly relished attacking right-wing anti-communist allies of the U.S. – notwithstanding that the organization was nominally non-partisan.

Thus they have become more and more a mere liberal activist group. Instead of defending “prisoners of conscience” they are defending Philadelphia cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. They are been heavily involved in attacking the death penalty and promoting “gay rights.” While some of their “gay rights” activism seems reasonable enough to most Americans (the death penalty is an excessive punishment for engaging in homosexual acts), their support for homosexual marriage does not. Quoting one of their documents:
Legalized discrimination in the enjoyment of other civil, political, social and economic rights is widespread. In most parts of the world, lesbians and gay men are systematically denied employment, housing and legal recognition of their partnerships. [emphasis added]
This same document appears to reject free speech as a “fundamental human right” if one wants to criticize homosexuality. Quoting again:
The global trend towards granting explicit protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation has become firmly established at national level. Canada, France, Ireland, Israel, Slovenia and Spain are just some of the countries where specific reference to sexual orientation is included in their anti-discrimination laws relating to areas such as employment, housing, public services and protection against defamation or hate-speech. [emphasis added]
Quite clearly, these activists look forward to the time when simply espousing the Catholic view of homosexuality as “intrinsically disordered” can land one in jail.

As GOP3.com points out, it’s difficult to see how Marquette could refuse to recognize the Human Rights Campaign, and yet happily accept an organization equally at odds with Church teaching.

Could it be that some people in the Administration didn’t bother to do their homework? Or is it the case that, in their heart of hearts, they wanted to recognize the Human Rights Campaign, and think they can sneak Amnesty past people?

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Changing the Narrative in Iraq

From the Times of London, Andrew Sullivan on how the corner has been turned in Iraq:
Yes, his former apparatchiks continue to intimidate and murder. But they appear to be weakening under steady assault from coalition forces and better intelligence from local Iraqis now convinced they have a democratic future. Attacks on allied forces are at new lows; and the hideous and often incompetent murders of Iraqi civilians — close to 30 dead in a couple of days last week — are becoming more insights into the nihilism of the insurgency than their brandishing of potential victory.

Why? Because the elections worked. They worked not by showing that Iraq is free of insurgents. The country was in a virtual military lockdown that day. They worked by changing the narrative, what American military leaders call the “IO” — the information operation. Until then, the scenario — brilliantly deployed by the insurgents and stupidly reinforced by the often-disastrous leadership of Paul Bremer — was that of resistance to western occupation.

After January 30, the scenario was that of a nascent democracy being strangled at birth by reactionary forces from within and terrorist forces from outside. That shift in narrative meant that there was little question that the US would stay the course — a critical element in persuading Iraqis to support the new government and in cajoling Americans to keep paying in money and blood for others’ freedom.
Sullivan admits that supporters of the war were badly mistaken on some issues:
It isn’t the success war-supporters like me wanted. We drastically underestimated the potential for a Ba’athist-jihadist insurgency; we got the WMD issue grotesquely wrong. Nostra culpa.
But war supporters got the most important issues right. We were right about the evils of Saddam’s regime. We were right about the ability of Arabs to have a democratic state. We were right to want the elections held in January and not delayed.

We will happily settle for being wrong on the secondary issues, but right on the primary ones.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Ward Churchill Speaking Tour

Matt Labash is clearly a disciple of Tom Wolfe. When he reports on Ward Churchill, the last thing he’s going to do is get exercised about Churchill’s outrageous statements. Rather, he’s interested in the cultural ambiance that surrounds the racist professor from Colorado.
Having headed the Colorado chapter of the American Indian Movement (AIM) for several decades, having boasted of his affiliation with the Black Panthers and his days teaching bomb-making to the Weathermen, he’s more than just an angry professor. He’s a nostalgia ride at the Aging Radical Theme Park. Pay ten bucks, and it’s like watching your parents’ college yearbooks transubstantiated into flesh and blood. Pre-controversy, Churchill already did about three speaking gigs a month. But since, the number of invitations has tripled, and his fee, when he’s not doing pro-bono work, is at five grand plus expenses.
And further:
IN THE BERKELEY STUDENT UNION the next afternoon, it’s the usual fun and games, as Churchill speaks on a panel about academic freedom. Just outside the hall, a concessions kiosk does brisk business, pushing Churchill books and T-shirts with inscriptions such as “My heroes have always killed cowboys.” Revolutionary Worker Communist newspapers are passed around among students, while McCarthyism is decried. During the Q&A after Churchill and several other professors speak, he is given a tongue-bath. One interrogator actually asks him to sign her term paper, which was written about the Churchill saga.
Thus does America reward its extremists and crackpots, with semi-lucrative speaking tours and also with cultural irrelevance.

Like the Columbia professors who are still fighting sixties battles against ROTC they are comfortable but as old-fashioned as a lava lamp or love beads.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Have Your Pet Blessed

We sometimes find events at Marquette innocuous, and sometimes we find them outrageous. Indeed, sometimes we find them laudable – although only rarely. But what in the world should we think of this, coming up on Friday?
22 – Friday
Deadline to register for a “pet blessing” sponsored by the Labor and Employment Law Society at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 30, at Westowne Square outside the AMU. A pet blessing is an opportunity to have your pet “blessed” for good health (and good behavior!) by a nondenominational minister. E-mail lisa.baiocchi@marquette.edu or call 8-3939, ext. 00345.
I’m sure the very last think I would want is a denominational minister blessing my pet.

But I wonder: if the pet really gets into this spirituality thing, can it be baptized? I know. That’s a project for the fall!

The Tribune’s Terrorist Blogger

When the Marquette Tribune wrote an editorial about the dangers of blogs, they cited the case of one Paul Wainwright, a student at Grinnell College who supposedly threatened the Des Moines police with violence. To quote the Tribune:
Passionate advocates for the First Amendment could feasibly suggest that this action amounts to a violation of Wainwright’s rights. People focused on security over civil rights would say that Wainwright’s statement, “This means blood in the streets,” apparently directed at Des Moines Police officers, deserved investigation, and part of that investigation is to detain Wainwright until the verité [sic] of the “imminent threat” could be investigated.
Even as the Tribune staff was writing that editorial, there was plenty of reason to doubt that Wainwright was seriously threatening anybody. The Tribune noted that he is “apparently a member of a Grinnell College Comedy troup [sic] analogous to the Studio 013 Refugees.”

But there was a lot more the Tribune editors didn’t know about this incident, much of it posted on Inside Higher Ed on March 29, more than a week before the Tribune editorial.

In the first place, the message wasn’t written on a blog, but on a private (password protected) discussion board that caters to Grinnell College students. In the second place, it wasn’t the Des Moines police who were supposedly threatened, but those in Grinnell. Wainwright is indeed part of an improvisational comedy troupe called the Ritalin Test Squad.

But most important, the message wasn’t a threat, but rather a jibe at the attitudes of his fellow Grinnell students in the wake of some drug arrests on campus.
If we can’t depend upon the administration to protect the bubble we were promised and that they are selling us for 34,000 goddamn dollars a year, then we will have to take matters in our own hands. That means violence and bloodshed. That means warfare.
The post, which was rather profane, then invoked Ruby Ridge. At left-leaning Grinnell, no mention of Ruby Ridge could be interpreted as showing sympathy.

The Marquette Warrior Blog contacted Wainwright, who declined (on advice of counsel) to say what his intentions were in the post, but he explicitly directed us to the Inside Higher Ed article in which people who know Wainwright insist that his post has to be interpreted as sarcastic.

At the moment, Wainwright, who was briefly suspended from Grinnell but then reinstated, is free on bail but still charged with a Class D felony which could theoretically get him five years in jail.

He is, at most, an undergraduate smart aleck who posted something stupid. At best, he’s a comic who badly miscalculated and pushed the envelope too hard.

But to the Tribune, he’s a terrorist, and a Poster Boy for the evils of blogs!

Dennis Ross to Speak in Early May

Ambassador Dennis Ross will be giving his second public lecture at Marquette on Tuesday, May 3 at 7-9 pm in the Weasler Auditorium. A reception will follow.

Ross has been a bit of a lightening rod at Maquette, drawing the ire of the more activist Arab students, who have derided him as a “Zionist.” “Peacemaker” would be a better term, but for some of the more radical cultivators of Palestinian victimhood, making any peace that allows Israel to exist as a Jewish state is a sell-out.

Those folks will have had their say on campus during the Arab Heritage Celebration, so early May would be a good time to hear from somebody who might be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Anti-Military Bias at Columbia

From the New York Post, a story of prejudice against the military at Columbia University:
Columbia banned ROTC in 1969, a few months after the height of the famous campus demonstrations against the Vietnam war and all things military. Yet that knee-jerk anti-military attitude doesn’t apply to today’s Columbia students: Two years ago, a student referendum to bring ROTC back to campus passed with 65 percent of the vote.

The faculty is another matter. It took a year after the referendum before the faculty-dominated University Senate would even form a task force to study the issue. After a year of town halls, email exchanges and committee meetings, the committee is deadlocked, 5 to 5, over whether to change the existing policy. The full Senate is set to decide on May 6.
That is the story around a lot of college campuses these days, isn’t it? A student body that is tolerant and politically moderate or conservative, while the faculty are living back in the 60s. Even on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madson an anti-war protest drew a rather anemic crowd.

And some administrators get the point. According to an Associated Press story, Madison activists were demanding that military recruiters be kicked off campus.
UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley told reporters last week that students have the right to protest, but also have the right to join the military. He said he wouldn’t even consider getting rid of military recruiters.

“I would just as soon they not even bother bringing me [the petition],” he said.
Real bummer to be stuck back in the 60s, isn’t it?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

University Ministry and the Palestinian Issue: A Fit of Balance?

The University Ministry’s “Soup With Substance” has a long history of leftist bias. During this calendar year, for example, they have sponsored a film about the “Cuban Five” that in fact is propaganda from the Cuban Communist government and a priest who supported Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

This past fall, the series included a speaker who is an apologist for Cuba’s Communist government, and a parade of speakers who presented the standard litany of leftist causes, including abolition of the death penalty, an attack on the School of the Americas, and a leftist view of the Palestinian issue.

Other programs have been less inflammatory, but still range from innocuous to liberal/left. What is entirely missing is the discussion of any issues from a conservative perspective, and this includes issues where the Catholic Church takes a clearly conservative position. There is nothing on the evils of abortion, nor any speaker opposing gay marriage, nor any discussion of the case of Terri Schiavo. There is a program on “living with AIDS,” but no hint of the view that people shouldn’t engage in immoral sexual behavior – which would be a dandy response to the spread of AIDS.

In this context is isn’t surprising that Soup With Substance hosted a woman named Jennifer Lowenstein at the April 5th session. Lowenstein is virulently anti-Israel and anti-American, and has said the following about American policy toward Israel:
Forget about the Road Map. Don’t be seduced by the talk of peace. Israel is an offshore US military base and weapons testing ground. It is a westernized colony for white supremacists seeking ways to discreetly dispose of its nigger [sic] population. It is an American franchise for the new global economy, a consumer outlet, an ad for Disney-World-gone-native, a terrorist training camp for Jewish fundamentalists, the most well-funded terrorist organization outside the mainland United States, a strategic foothold in the Middle East for oil-thirsty, power-hungry neo-cons.

It is suicide’s most willing accomplice.
The Lowenstein event was part of a larger Arab Heritage Celebration that likewise had an anti-Israel and anti-American bias.

Some minor good news came in e-mail yesterday, in the form of a message that Soup With Substance will sponsor Daniel Levy and Rafi Dajani in a program one week from today.

Both are moderates, and might be part of an actual Middle East peace, as opposed to more conflict.

Did the University Ministry all of a sudden get sensible?

No. The program was arranged in response to a request from the Jewish community, which noticed the extreme bias in campus discourse. In this particular case, Harriet McKinney, Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee called Madeline Wake and a person at Wake’s office called Natalie Gross in the Office for Student Development who arranged for the talk. The two speakers happened, by a fortunate coincidence, to be coming to Wisconsin at a time when more moderate voices were badly needed to balance the extreme positions in the University program.

The local Jewish community has taken considerable interest in what’s happening at Marquette, to the extent, for example, of sending representatives to record what some of the more rabid anti-Israel speakers have to say. The Jewish activists respect academic freedom, so don’t look for any demands that any speakers be cancelled.

But do look for more attempts from Jewish students, faculty and community organizations to extend the scope of the debate on campus to include more speakers friendly to Israel, and indeed friendly to the views of Palestinians who respect the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state.

We suppose it’s good that the University Ministry will accomodate a request from the Jewish community and allow at least one balanced program. The point, however, is that their instinct is not to provide balanced programming. Their instinct is to be stiflingly politically correct.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Marquette’s John Paul Priest

We were rather appalled to read an account of widespread hostility to the late Pope John Paul II among Jesuits.

Happily, things appear to be changing in the order, due to an influx of younger priests who identify themselves as “John Paul priests.” One of these is the Rev. William Prospero, S.J. According to the Christian Science Monitor:
“I couldn’t stand the low-church craziness going on in the Catholic community” as informal services were displacing traditional liturgy, says the Rev. William Prospero, S.J., ordained seven years ago and now assistant director of campus ministry at Marquette University. John Paul II renewed pride in tradition, he says: “He didn’t compromise ever. He always proclaimed the truth boldly and clearly and succinctly.”
One of the great “they don’t get it” themes of the mainstream media is their habit of polling Americans and asking them what they want the next Pope to be like.

John Paul II didn’t proclaim what polls said people wanted to hear. He proclaimed the truth as defined by scripture and Church doctine. Sometimes such preaching falls on deaf ears. Jesus’ disciples experienced this and He told them “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town” (Matthew 10:14). In some quarters, the modern approach is to wheedle and cajole and dilute the message until it’s finally within the comfort zone of people who fundamentally don’t want to accept it. That strategy may be tempting in decadent Europe or blue state America, but in fact it’s a recipe for long-term decline. The Monitor goes on to note:
In recruiting priests, America has lagged behind developing nations. Seminarian enrollment is up 73 percent worldwide from the level in 1978 when John Paul II became pope, according to the Rev. Edward Burns, director of vocations at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. In America, however, enrollment numbers are down about 50 percent over the same period.
People of faith will want to pray for a revival in places where faith has fallen on hard times, but in the meantime preach a vital gospel in places where people will listen. John Paul the Great understood that.

Marquette Tribune Dislikes Blogs (Surprise!)

We have described the Marquette Tribune as “Marquette’s junior version of the mainstream media.” This was never more obvious than in an April 7, 2005 editorial, in which the Tribune opined that:

The recent trend of posting opinions on so-called “blogs” ought to be cause for pause and consideration within the Marquette community. While the Tribune welcomes a diversity of opinions on campus (despite what detractors may say), the blogs provide an uncensored look at the inner workings of some of the most opinionated people on campus.
Oh, my! Blogs might allow opinionated people to express their opinions! Apparently, “opinionated people” does not include the editors of the Tribune, who express their opinions in each issue of the paper.

The editorial went on to claim:

A recent example, culled from the pages of the Des Moines Register, is an excellent illustration as to why consideration, and in some cases restraint, should be applied to the content of the developing form of public opinion.

Paul Wainwright of Grinnell College in Des Moines, Iowa, was arrested while at home on spring break in Milwaukee. Apparently he was arrested for a posting on his blog that Des Moines police found threatening and the FBI has been called in to investigate. Wainwright was apparently a member of a Grinnell College Comedy troup [sic] analogous to the Studio 013 Refugees. He is currently being held in the Milwaukee County Jail pending extradition to Iowa for “threatening a terrorist act.”

Passionate advocates for the First Amendment could feasibly suggest that this action amounts to a violation of Wainwright’s rights. People focused on security over civil rights would say that Wainwright’s statement, “This means blood in the streets,” apparently directed at Des Moines Police officers, deserved investigation, and part of that investigation is to detain Wainwright until the verité [sic] of the “imminent threat” could be investigated.
My, my. We used to think that journalists were among “passionate advocates for the First Amendment.”

The Tribune doesn’t explain what the context of this statement was. When Inside Higher Ed looked into it, they found that the language was indeed highly inflammatory, but also that there was plenty of doubt that he meant it seriously. They quote one student as follows:
The post looks very bad when read out of context, but it was all written with tongue firmly — very firmly — in cheek, and no one who knew him at all well doubted that it was a joke. Unfortunately, someone with no sense of proportion or context (probably an administrator, although no one has claimed responsibility for the atrocity) contacted the police about it, and Paul was arrested. Apparently at no point during the process did anyone step back and consider, for instance, whether a student at left-liberal Grinnell would ever refer to “Ruby Ridge” [which the post did] any way but ironically.
Now let’s have a little multiple choice test.
Item: An anonymous student “Viewpoints” writer for the Tribune says there will be “blood in the streets” if the “racist behavior of Milwaukee cops” doesn’t stop. Milwaukee cops visit the Tribune office, and demand information on the writer. Does the Tribune:
  1. Commend the Milwaukee cops for their quick response to a threat?
  2. Editorially apologize for running the column?
  3. Insist the Milwaukee cops aren’t racist?
  4. Run an editorial slamming the cops infringement of Freedom of the Press?
We all know the answer to this one.

But the more fundamental question has to be asked. Just what does any of this have to do with “opinionated” people expressing opinions on Marquette blogs? When Tribune editors see a new blog here, do they immediately think of guns and violence?

Maybe so.

The reasons the mainstream media (MSM) and their campus acolytes (which includes most journalism professors and student journalists) don’t like blogs aren’t hard to figure out.

The first is ideology. Those who identify with the mainstream media look back to the halcyon days when the vast majority of Americans got their news from CBS, NBC and ABC. Those who went to the print media were likely to go to Time or Newsweek, and the real news hounds read the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times.

To find conservative opinions, one had to dig a bit: to get National Review or the Wall Street Journal.

But that was before the rise of conservative talk radio, before Fox News and before the Internet. The modern media scene is much more a level playing field, in which the average, not terribly political, American is likely to be exposed to both liberal and conservative interpretations and opinions.

It’s really hard to enjoy a level playing field when you are used to having it slanted in your favor. It’s easier to believe that something is fundamentally wrong, and that all those irresponsible outsiders have intruded on what is your right: to decide what should be reported, and to interpret what it means.

It’s no coincidence that when the Federal Elections Commission debated whether to treat blogs as a form of journalism, exempt from regulation, the Republican commissioners voted to do this, but all the Democratic commissioners wanted blogs regulated.

Organizational Interests

The other factor is the crass organizational interests of mainstream media organizations. New outlets, and blogs especially, have the potential to bypass traditional outlets, and deprive them of their monopoly in deciding what people get to see and hear.

Further, new media provide competition for old media with the potential to make the latter look bad. The GOP3.com blog, especially, has asked tough questions in cases where the Tribune has been all too happy to simply rewrite University press releases.

This blog too has provided information the Tribune either didn’t provide or was way “behind the curve” printing. When an Engineering professor compared American military snipers to Nazis, and implied that College Republicans support Nazis, the Administration took the matter seriously enough to issue an apology. But the Tribune paid no attention at all.

On February 24th, six days before a meeting of the Board of Trustees on March 2nd, we reported here that the Trustees would not make any decision on the “Warriors” issue at that meeting. But the day before the meeting, the Tribune ran an editorial calling on the trustees, at the March 2nd meeting, not to return to the Warriors nickname.

We have also taken the Tribune to task for their hypocrisy and double standards on free speech issues.

The simple fact is that it’s more comfortable being part of a monopoly than part of a competitive market. When the bloggers – derided by mainstream media types as “guys in pajamas in their living rooms” – brought down Dan Rather that hurt and shocked the mainstream media and their campus acolytes. And it did so in spite of the fact (or perhaps because of the fact) that what CBS reported was untrue, but what the bloggers reported was accurate.

But like it or not, the Era of the New Media is here. The Old Media have no choice about that, and might as well learn to compete. Bitching and whining about the competition isn’t a productive response.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Arab Heritage Celebration: Defending Bias

Greg St. Arnold, co-chair of the left-leaning student organization JUSTICE, has taken exception to our criticism of the “Arab Heritage Celebration” at Marquette.

We pointed out a leftist, anti-American and virulently anti-Israel bias among many of the speakers and the films presented. St. Arnold seems to see no problem at all with the events. He begins:
All of these speakers are controversial. They swim against the mainstream thought of American foreign policy as it has been enacted in the past few decades.
That’s a rather euphemistic way of describing their views. I suppose he would say a holocaust denier expresses “an iconoclastic and independent view of a major historical event.” He continues:
Does this, however, automatically qualify them as 1) “leftist” or 2) “anti-American”? The answer is no on both counts.
That’s correct. But what does qualify them as leftist and anti-American is statements like the following. First, from Jennifer Loewenstein:
Forget about the Road Map. Don’t be seduced by the talk of peace. Israel is an offshore US military base and weapons testing ground. It is a westernized colony for white supremacists seeking ways to discreetly dispose of its nigger [sic] population. It is an American franchise for the new global economy, a consumer outlet, an ad for Disney-World-gone-native, a terrorist training camp for Jewish fundamentalists, the most well-funded terrorist organization outside the mainland United States, a strategic foothold in the Middle East for oil-thirsty, power-hungry neo-cons.

It is suicide’s most willing accomplice.
This was quoted in our original post, but St. Arnold appears to have missed it. Then there is this from Norman Finkelstein:
“What is the raison d’etre of Zionism in the contemporary world save as an outpost of reactionary and imperialist forces against the resurgent East?”
Perhaps St. Arnold doesn’t consider these two statements leftist and anti-American. If so, one wonders just what anybody could possibly say that would qualify. He then continues:
The more meaningful question, however, is even if these speakers were a) “leftist” and b) “anti-American,” should that somehow disqualify them from giving a talk on a college campus, where the ultimate mission is searching for truth through the exchange and critique of ideas and arguments? Once again, the answer is no. To suggest that somehow these speakers do not deserve to speak because what they say may be offensive or provocative is an abridgement of free speech.
We always find the academic freedom argument amusing coming from people who are quick to try to shut up ideas that they don’t like. Coming from, for example, the same people who approved shutting down the College Republican “Adopt a Sniper” fund raising table, or who want Larry Summers fired as President of Harvard because he suggested that men may be inherently superior in math skills to women.

In other words, it’s easy to be tolerant of “provocative” speech when one agrees with it, and other people are being “provoked.”

But St. Arnold misstates the issue here. We see nothing wrong with any of these people speaking at Marquette. But then, we see nothing wrong with a holocaust denier or a Klansman speaking at Marquette.

The issue is what speech is not heard. If there can be X number of speakers on a program, and X-1 crackpot speakers are invited, that leaves room for only one sensible speaker. If somebody put together a panel on race relations, and it included four White Supremacists and one moderate Republican, it would be wrong to try to ban the panel. But it would be perfectly appropriate to question the motives and the judgment of the people who put that panel together.

If student tuition or student activity fee money was being used, that would be an outrage.

St. Arnold then turns to another argument saying, in effect, bias is fine:
It is not the responsibility of the Arab Student Association, JUSTICE, or the College Republicans to provide “balance” in the events they plan, “balance” meaning presenting the opposing view to that endorsed by the group.
Indeed, one does expect the Arab Student Association to take the side of the Palestinians, although if they condone or support terrorism against Israeli civilians, Marquette should reconsider whether they can be a recognized student organization.

But the University Ministry, the Office of Student Development, Marquette University Student Government, and the University Ministry are not supposed to be partisan organizations pushing one side of any issue. But all of them cosponsored some of the extreme and inflammatory speakers and films.

JUSTICE is an interesting case. St. Arnold seems to be saying “we in JUSTICE are free to present one side of an issue – the side our group endorses.” The problem with this is that when we, in a post on this blog, labeled JUSTICE a “left-leaning” organization, St. Arnold as well as his cohort in JUSTICE Jessica Bizub e-mailed us complaining about that characterization. But now, St. Arnold is claiming that of course they have an ideological bias, and they have a right to.

Finally, St. Arnold attacks those who complain of bias as lazy slackers:
If we are to seriously consider victimization as the cause of all ills for all minority groups facing repression, perhaps those who feel the Marquette administration is “repressing” their ideas should stop painting themselves as victims and exercise some agency. Time to pull yourself up by the old bootstraps and exhibit some good old-fashioned work ethic.
The problem with this argument is that conservative students and Jewish students can hardly “exercise some agency” when the entire Axis of Grievance at Marquette is intent on pushing a leftist agenda. It’s well known that people in the University Ministry and the Office of Student Development tend, for reasons both of personal ideology and bureaucratic interest, to cater to official “victim” groups. They work hand in glove with left-leaning student organizations. They insist they are fair to conservative groups, but the relationship is a lot more distant and formal. The leftist students are their pets.

Interestingly, St. Arnold doesn’t even attempt to defend the films shown during the “Celebration” (“Victim Fest” would be a better term). The movie “Jenin Jenin” for example claims to show a massacre that never really happened.

When left-leaning student groups and University bureaucrats provide this sort of stacked deck, they are implicitly admitting that they would get the worst of it in a fair debate where a genuine diversity of opinion is allowed. It’s deeply ironic that St. Arnold speaks of “the exchange and critique of ideas and arguments.” How can there be an “exchange and critique of ideas and arguments” if only one side is presented?

If campus leftists thought they could win a real debate, they would welcome it. Instead, they opt for incessant manipulation.