Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Nickname Fiasco!

Marquette to stick with “Golden Eagles”

By a vote of 12,562 (54%) to 10,535 (46%) “Golden Eagles” beat “Hilltoppers” as the Marquette nickname.

So, after a Wild ride (pun intended) lasting a year, we are back precisely to where we were before Wayne Sanders raised the nickname issue during the 2004 Graduation ceremonies.

And Marquette has a nickname that the Administration admitted was so bland and insipid that it had to be dropped, and replaced with “Gold.”

Perhaps the most significant thing about the second round of voting was the low turnout. Only 23,097 people voted in round two, as opposed to 31,501 in round one. Quite obviously, neither “Hilltoppers” nor “Golden Eagles” was exciting enough to get people to participate. And put against a name that nobody under aged 70 can remember being associated with Marquette, “Golden Eagles” won by only an 8% margin.

The administration did release the results from the first round of voting, and “Warriors” (a write-in, not on the ballot) got 10% of the vote. This in an election were everybody who participated was told:
“To be counted, write-in nicknames must be consistent with the University’s Catholic, Jesuit mission and the Board of Trustees resolution forbidding Native American imagery and references. Additionally, write-in suggestions of nicknames that are intended to mock or embarrass the university will not be counted. Any nicknames under review by the NCAA for their relationship to Native American imagery will not be counted. Examples of nicknames that will not be counted include Warriors (or any variation of the word, i.e., war) and Jumpin’ Jesuits.”
So in spite of the fact that people were explicitly told “don’t vote for Warriors,” 10% of them did.

When the University, last fall, did a survey that explicitly pitted “Warriors” and “Golden Eagles,” the former won hands down, and “Golden Eagles” so lacked support that the Trustees decided Marquette needed an entirely different name -- and they came up with Gold.

Indeed, the University’s own version of the results notes that:
Additionally, ten years after its introduction, the survey indicates that the Golden Eagles nickname, logo and mascot have not generated a strong sense of pride or sense of identity with the Marquette community. In fact, the words most often used to describe the Golden Eagles nickname are boring (57%), weak (55%) and common (52%).
Marquette’s attempts to put a positive spin on the “Golden Eagles” name have been pretty pathetic. For example, an e-mail sent by Fr. Wild today said:
The name Golden Eagles has a proud association in Marquette’s history since it was our name from 1994 to the present. I am pleased that this tradition will continue in the Big East Conference, one of the most prestigious and competitive conferences in the nation.
It seems that, just a couple of months ago, that “proud association” wasn’t adequate to keep Marquette from adopting “Gold” in the most disastrous public relations fiasco in the institution’s history.

Such are the wages of political correctness. Lacking the courage to return to the overwhelmingly popular “Warriors,” the University has floundered and wavered and looked foolish for a year.

And looks even more foolish to still be “Golden Eagles.”

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Australia Outlaws Criticism of Islam

From the Washington Times, an article that compares the fates of terrorist hostage Douglas Wood, who was freed, and two Christian pastors in Australia who said unkind things about Islam.
What a twist, then, that this same week, in that same corner of Australia, just as Mr. Wood was exulting in his renewed pursuit of life and liberty, two of his fellow Aussies, Christian pastors Danny Nalliah and Daniel Scot, were finding their own such pursuits derailed, not by vicious criminals in Iraq, but by civilized state statute. Mr. Wood could breathe freely in Australia and speak his mind once again; but Pastors Nalliah and Scot have been ordered by a tribunal in the state of Victoria to make public statements against their will, their conscience and their faith: namely, to apologize for their teachings on Islam, and to promise never to so teach again.

As the first to be convicted of vilifying Islam under Victoria’s “1984”-style Racial and Religious Tolerance Act, these men have vowed to go to jail rather than surrender their freedom of speech.

What is car-wreck fascinating here is Judge Michael Higgins’ conclusion that simply pointing out what the Koran says now constitutes outlawed speech in Victoria. During court proceedings, when Mr. Scot began to read verses from the Koran that denigrate women, a lawyer for the Islamic Council of Victoria, the plaintiff, cut him off, explaining that reading such verses aloud is itself an act of vilification. How, wondered Mr. Scot, can it be vilifying to Muslims in the room when I am just reading from the Koran?
Americans are much more inclined to protect free speech than citizens of pretty much any other nation.

But there are people here who would pass “hate speech” laws and outlaw criticism of politically correct victims and doctrines. Indeed, the administrations of many universities have passed “speech codes” banning speech that might be deemed “offensive.” These have fared badly in court, but the impulse to censor remains strong.

If these laws and codes protected all people equally, it might be just a little tempting to support them (but still not tempting enough). But in fact, it’s only politically incorrect speech that ever really gets outlawed.

Real Diversity at the New York Times?

From Editor & Publisher, a rather astonishing document from the New York Times.

From the Credibility Committee of the paper, an admission that the staff of the paper lacks “diversity.”

What’s so odd about that, you might ask? Liberal journalist types are always fretting about “diversity.”

Quite simply, “diversity” here means actually having people with different and diverse political and cultural views.
NEW YORK In a lengthy memo published on the newspaper’s Web site, Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times, announced several new policies in response to a recent report by the paper’s Credibility Committee. Among them is a fresh attempt to diversify the Times’ staff and viewpoints, and not in the usual racial or gender ways, but in political, religious and cultural areas as well.

The aim, he wrote, is “to stretch beyond our predominantly urban, culturally liberal orientation, to cover the full range of our national conversation.”
Wow!

The report goes on:
“First and foremost we hire the best reporters, editors, photographers and artists in the business. But we will make an extra effort to focus on diversity of religious upbringing and military experience, of region and class.”
Christians working for the New York Times? People who have been in the military?

Wonder what liberals who have been insisting that there is no liberal bias in the Times are going to say about this?

Of course, rhetoric is cheap, and changing the provincial, hidebound and elitist culture in mainstream media organizations will be a tall order. Our guess is that it simply won’t happen.

But the use of the word “diversity” to indicate people with different opinions — and not merely fashionable minorities who have the same opinions — has obvious implications for universities too.

But don’t expect monolithically liberal and leftist departments and schools at Marquette to make any effort to hire conservatives any time soon. The faculty in those places are not really very tolerant, they consider it an imposition to have to deal with dissenting views and they think conservatives are evil.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Gwen Moore: Marquette’s Pet Anti-Life Representative

At the moment on the front page of the official Marquette University web site, a laudatory article on Gwendolyn Moore, a Marquette alumna and Representative in the U.S. Congress from Wisconsin’s 4th Congressional District. The effusive rhetoric in the article includes the following:
Congresswoman Gwendolyn Moore took an untraditional path to Washington, one that gave Wisconsin voters a sense of what she’s made of. She will tell you the journey prepared her in a unique way to represent the interests of the people in the 4th Congressional District, a cross section of socioeconomic and cultural groups who share a compelling interest in issues battering southeastern Wisconsin. She has not only walked in their shoes, but overcame the daunting challenge of being a teen mother on welfare putting herself through Marquette.
What has been sanitized out of the article? The fact that Moore has a pro-abortion voting record both in the Wisconsin legislature and in the U.S. House. Indeed, she had not only votes for abortion to be legal, she has opposed even the most modest limits on the practice.

Let’s look at the record:
  • In 1991, in the Wisconsin Assembly, she voted against Assembly Bill 180 that would have required a minor girl to get her parents permission to have an abortion. Not only did she vote against the bill, she supported several amendments the purpose of which was to gut it before it came up for a final vote.
  • In 1997, Assembly Bill 220, to outlaw partial birth abortion, came before the State Senate. Although liberal Senate leadership evaded a roll-call vote on the issue, Moore opposed the bill in one key procedural vote, and also offered several amendments that had the intention of watering the bill down.
  • In the 2001-2002 session, Moore voted against a bill (Senate Bill 379) that would have outlawed cloning human beings.
  • Also in the 2001-2002 session she voted in favor of stem cell research by voting in favor of a Senate Joint Resolution (SJR 46) to commend a stem cell researcher (Dr. James Thompson) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison for stem cell research.
  • In the same session she voted for Senate Bill 128 that would have forced employers (including Catholic organizations with religious objections) to provide contraceptives as part of employee health benefits.
  • In the 2003-2004 term of the legislature she voted against the Conscience Clause Bill that protected the rights of health care workers and organizations to refuse to participate in activities that involve the deliberate destruction of human life. Under the bill, people could not be forced to participate in abortions, assisted suicide, or the deliberate destruction of human embryos.
  • When Moore entered the U.S. House of Representatives in 2005, her voting didn’t improve. She voted against the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, which would have made it a Federal crime to transport a minor across state lines to evade parental notification requirements in the state where the minor lives.
  • She voted in favor of Federal funding of embryo-killing stem cell research (H.R. 810).
  • She voted to allow abortion in U.S. military hospitals.
Gwen Moore, in other words, is not somebody who has concluded, perhaps reluctantly, that abortion should be legal. She has decided that it should be legal, that it should be legal for minors no matter what their parents think, that health care workers should be forced to perform abortions and that even partial-birth abortion should be legal.

And when the usual feminist suspects turn out to support abortion, Moore is right there with them.

The current puff piece on the Marquette web page isn’t the first honor Marquette has bestowed on Moore. Marquette’s Les Aspin Center honored her with a lavish reception when she was sworn in as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. According to the Journal-Sentinel:
Sponsors of the Washington reception include Broydrick & Associates, Marquette University, Miller Brewing Co., Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. and We Energies.

Jay Heck, executive director of the government watchdog group Common Cause in Wisconsin, said it’s not uncommon for corporations to sponsor such receptions for members of Congress, a practice that is prohibited for members of the state Legislature.
What kind of interests gave Moore money (and will expect her to vote their way)?
Campaign finance reports show Northwestern Mutual’s political action committee donated $5,000 to Moore; Miller’s PAC contributed $3,000 to Moore’s campaign, and executive vice president Virgis Colbert added another $1,000; and the We Energies PAC donated $2,500, and retired chief executive officer Richard Abdoo kicked in another $2,000.

Moore’s campaign took in money from a broad range of business, labor and activist groups. Among those donating at the $10,000 maximum were PACs for 10 unions, plus Johnson Controls Inc., the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the National Abortion Rights Action League and the Human Rights Campaign Fund, which backs candidates who support gay rights. She also received $2,000 each from the Ho-Chunk and Oneida American Indian tribes.

But Moore’s largest benefactor remained EMILY’s List, the national organization that backs Democratic women who support abortion rights. EMILY’s List served as a conduit for $289,736 in contributions from its members and spent more than $600,000 on its own, mostly on independent efforts backing Moore.

Overall, political action committees contributed 30% of the $1 million that Moore raised, and EMILY’s List members accounted for another 27%. Her campaign spent $858,578 and had $172,553 left as of Nov. 22.
Moore, in other words, was elected with the money of feminists and gay rights activists. She also got the support of the Trial Lawyers and the Indian Tribes. But business interests also chipped in considerable cash.

While Catholic social teaching has little or nothing to say about tort reform nor about Indian Casinos, it certainly has a lot to say about abortion and “gay rights,” and Moore is about as diametrically opposed to the Catholic position as it’s possible to be.

Why in the world would Marquette go out of its way to honor her?

An article on a black alumna, of course, fits nicely into Marquette’s desire to be seen as favoring “diversity.” But among the blacks who have graduated from Marquette, aren’t there many who have done outstanding things without pushing an anti-life anti-Catholic teaching agenda?

Likewise, the Aspin Center has an incentive to curry favor with the “movers and shakers” in Washington, especially since they are always seeking attractive internship opportunities for their students.

But those “movers and shakers” have an incentive to have good relationships with the Aspin Center, even if the latter isn’t sucking up to them. They, after all, want good interns.

It appears that key decision makers, both the the Office of Public Affairs (which was responsible for the article) and at the Aspin Center, simply aren’t much concerned with the Catholic mission of the University. They will use the rhetoric when it’s convenient (trying to convince students and parents to choose Marquette), and especially when it’s convenient for doing something politically correct — like refusing to go back to “Warriors” as a nickname or refusing to allow the College Republicans to raise money for American military snipers.

But at other times, it’s just not something that they care about. They say they do, but actions speak louder than words.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Leftist Bias at the Public Broadcasting Service

From the Office of Homeland Security: The Media Research Center details the lobbying activities used by PBS in the face of a move in Congress to cut Federal taxpayer funding for the organization.

Much of the campaign of PBS is just the standard tactics used by government bureaucrats faced with having to live with less money than they would like to have — not much different from the Racine School Board, in fact.

But one revealing passage in the article speaks volumes about the political bias surrounding PBS:
In 1999, WETA was exposed as helping a number of Democratic or liberal political causes. As the July 28, 1999 CyberAlert recounted:

Washington’s WETA-TV, a major provider of programming to the PBS system, has conceded its list exchanges for fundraising tilted heavily toward liberal lists.

In a front page story in the July 27 Fairfax Journal, a Virginia suburban daily, reporter Stephen Henn wrote: “The Virginia Democratic Party, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and Mary Sue Terry, former Virginia Attorney General and 1993 Democratic gubernatorial candidate, swapped fundraising lists with the region’s largest public television broadcaster, Arlington-based WETA, a station official conceded yesterday.

“WETA, which carries Sesame Street, Nova and the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer among other programs on channel 26, began swapping its contributors list with partisan groups more than a decade ago and sold donor lists to a third-party broker working for Mikulski’s Senate campaign as recently as last year....”

Later, Henn added that WETA spokeswoman Mary “Stewart said most of the partisan groups that traded with WETA were Democratic, but she noted several Republican organizations also swapped with the station.”

The statement by the WETA spokeswoman that “several Republican organizations also swapped” their mailing lists with the station turned out to be false, according to an investigation conducted by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The September 13, 1999 CyberAlert included details of the probe’s finding: Contrary to earlier claims by PBS officials, PBS stations only rented or bought lists from Democratic groups for direct mail fundraising, but you wouldn’t know that from the Washington Post story which ignored that conclusion nor would you have learned that from ABC’s World News Tonight which had relayed PBS’s bi-partisan spin back in July.

Washington Times reporter Barbara Saffir opened a September 10 front page story on Friday:

An audit that shows WETA and 52 other federally funded TV stations swapped their donor lists exclusively with Democratic organizations is inflaming a debate over federal funding for public broadcasting.

A six-week long audit by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s inspector general found that:

-- “Virtually all of the exchange or rental transactions of station membership/donor names were to apparently Democratic organizations.”

-- Public broadcasting officials incorrectly told Congress that stations also rented from several Republican groups but the “organizations” typically turned out to be names of donor lists dubbed by the list brokers who compiled them.
Thus it’s no accident that conservatives say that PBS has a liberal bias, and liberals say it’s unbiased. Liberals see their own worldview reflected in the taxpayer supported network.

Now one might suppose that a government owned and financed broadcasting network would have a pro-government bias. But in fact, in democraties, such organizations have almost complete autonomy. Not only do they not have to worry about what government figures think about them (they can expect liberal partisans and a small but very affluent audience to protect them), they don’t have to worry about commercial pressures either.

So what happens — with the CBC and the BBC just as at PBS — is that the liberal worldview and biases of reporters get free play.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Marquette: “Warriors” Outlawed, “Braves” OK

An e-mail from an alum brings news that Marquette doesn’t mind one particular Indian nickname:
I am forwarding to you an advert forwarded to me by the MU Young Alumni for a sponsored outing, called Milwaukee Braves Night (apparently a baseball game at Miller Park featuring the Brewers in Braves regalia).

I find this hysterically hypocritical. The University is condoning attending a baseball game honoring a past team with a horribly offensive Native American mascot, yet will not allow its sports teams to be renamed a Native American-associated mascot (despite a willingness to drop any Indian logo, imagery, etc.).

Oh, the humanity!

Andy Vaughn
Arts and Science, 97’
School of Ed, 00’

Karl Rove Speech

From the New York Post, this is the passage of Karl Rove’s speech that has sent liberals up the wall. Read it for yourself and ask whether it’s out of bounds by the traditional standards of American political rhetoric. And especially ask: is it anywere close to the comments made by Richard Durbin.
WHY THE LEFT IS LOSING
By KARL ROVE

Below are excerpts of a speech delivered by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove at the New York State Conservative Party dinner on Wednesday. Most of the talk focused on changes on the right that have led to the Republicans’ recent national success. But it is these comments on the left that have generated controversy. — THE EDITORS


LET me now say a few words about the state of liberalism. Perhaps the place to begin is with this stinging indictment:

“Liberalism is at greater risk now than at any time in recent American history. The risk is of political marginality, even irrelevance . . . [L]iberalism risks getting defined, as conservatism once was, entirely in negative terms.”

These are not the words of William F. Buckley, Jr. or Sean Hannity; they are the words of Paul Starr, co-editor of The American Prospect, a leading liberal publication.

There is much merit in what Mr. Starr writes — though he and I fundamentally disagree as to why liberalism is edging toward irrelevance. I believe the reason can be seen when comparing conservatism with liberalism.

Conservatives believe in lower taxes; liberals believe in higher taxes. We want few regulations; they want more. Conservatives measure the effectiveness of government programs by results; liberals measure the effectiveness of government programs by inputs. We believe in curbing the size of government; they believe in expanding the size of government. Conservatives believe in making America a less litigious society; liberals believe in making America a more litigious society. We believe in accountability and parental choice in education; they don’t. Conservatives believe in advancing what Pope John Paul II called a “culture of life;” liberals believe there is an absolute unlimited right to abortion.

But perhaps the most important difference between conservatives and liberals can be found in the area of national security. Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war. Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. In the wake of 9/11, conservatives believed it was time to unleash the might and power of the United States military against the Taliban.

In the wake of 9/11, the liberals believed it was time to submit a petition. I’m not joking. Submitting a petition was precisely what Moveon.org, then known as 9/11peace.org did. You may have seen it in The New York Times or The Washington Post, the San Francisco Examiner or the L.A. Times. (Funny, I didn’t see it in the Amarillo Globe News.)

It was a petition that “implored the powers that be” to “use moderation and restraint” in responding to the terrorist attacks against the United States. I don’t know about you but moderation and restraint is not what I felt when I watched the Twin Towers crumble to the ground, the side of the Pentagon destroyed and almost 3,000 of our fellow citizens perish in flames and rubble.

Moveon.org and Michael Moore and Howard Dean may dominate the Democratic Party and liberalism — but their moderation and restraint is not what America felt needed to be done, and moderation and restraint was not what was called for. It was a time to summon our national will and to brandish steel.

Conservatives saw what happened to us on 9/11 and said we will defeat our enemies. Liberals saw what happened to us and said we must understand our enemies. Conservatives see the United States as a great nation involved in a noble cause of self-defense. Liberals are concerned with what our enemies will think of us and whether every government approves of our actions.

Has there ever been a more revealing moment than this year. when the Democratic senator, Democrat Richard Durbin, speaking on the Senate floor, compared what Americans have done to prisoners in our control in Guantanamo with what was done by Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot — three of the most brutal and malevolent figures of the 20th century?

Let me put in this in really simple terms. Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Sen. Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Media Double Standard

The media often decry the “partisanship” and “mean spiritedness” of Washington politics, but somehow it’s the Democrats claims of “offensive” rhetoric from the Republicans that get covered in the mainstream media.

From the Media Research Center: an analysis of how the mainstream media covered . . .
  • on the one hand, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, who equated American servicemen at Guantanamo with Nazis and with the men who ran the Soviet gulag
  • and on the other hand Republican Karl Rove, who accused the Democrats of wanting to “understand” terrorists, rather than fight them.
It seems that the mainstream media ignored Durbin’s comments until they had Rove to bash, such that they could make some show of being even handed. Never mind that Rove was accurate, and cited evidence that Democratic liberals had done exactly what he accused them of.

Happily, the conservative alternative media was able to keep the heat on Durbin, and eventually forced him to apologize. Had it been up the the Mainstream Media, you would have never heard of his irresponsible tirade.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Canadian Campaign to Give U.S. Deserters Refuge

Yes, it reinforces one’s worst stereotypes of leftist politics in Canada. There is an active campaign to give refugee status to American army deserters. According to CTV:
NDP MP Bill Siksay is lending his support to a campaign aimed at allowing a growing number of American military deserters to find refuge in Canada.

According to the British Columbia MP, the issue resonates with a lot of Canadians.

For example, Siksay told CTV’s Canada AM early Wednesday, Canadians are widely opposed to the prison abuse reported at the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay prisons.

“They’re (also) outraged at the failure to produce any weapons of mass destruction, since that was one of the main reasons for going into this war,” he added.

So far, that support has translated into 15,000 signatures on a petition organized by the community-based War Resisters Support Campaign.

“There’s huge public support for these war resisters in Canada,” Siksay said.
Happily, the campaign is itself meeting “resistence” in Canada. Our Canadian correspondent writes:
Even the left-wing talk-radio host on CFRB, John Moore, doesn’t agree with Siksay’s position.

Moore believes, as do I, that U.S. soldiers who flee to Canada seeking refugee status are nothing more than cowards. If you don’t want to live up to your military obligations, you should at least have the courage to face the consequences at home.
And in the most important case to actually be adjudicated, the Immigration and Refugee Board refused to give refugee status to a deserter named Jeremy Hinzman.

We had little sympathy with Vietnam-era deserters, and we obviously have even less for deserters in this era of the all volunteer military. Some of the arguments from the deserters would be hilarious if such a serious matter were not at issue. A fellow named Joshua Key is one example.
When asked whether that’s not just part of the job, Key told Canada AM his Iraq tour wasn’t exactly what he enlisted for. “Everybody has a false interpretation that battle’s supposed to be fought with tanks or between soldier and soldier,” Key said, describing his frustration fighting a more amorphous enemy.
Unfortunately for Key, he didn’t enlist to fight only the kind of war he had in mind. He enlisted to fight whatever kind of war his country needed him to fight.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Amnesty International: Attempted Damage Control

Amnesty International has, quite properly, gotten a lot of flack for calling the American terrorist detention camp at Guantanamo Bay the “gulag of our time.”

In an attempt at damage control, an Amnesty staffer phoned Pavel Litvinov, a veteran of the real gulag, and asked for support. Litvinovn revealed the incident in the Washington Post.
Several days ago I received a telephone call from an old friend who is a longtime Amnesty International staffer. He asked me whether I, as a former Soviet “prisoner of conscience” adopted by Amnesty, would support the statement by Amnesty’s executive director, Irene Khan, that the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba is the “gulag of our time.”

“Don’t you think that there’s an enormous difference?” I asked him.

“Sure,” he said, “but after all, it attracts attention to the problem of Guantanamo detainees.”
Translation: we don’t mind making extreme and inflammatory statements if it serves our political agenda.

Litvinov goes on to say:
There is ample reason for Amnesty to be critical of certain U.S. actions. But by using hyperbole and muddling the difference between repressive regimes and the imperfections of democracy, Amnesty’s spokesmen put its authority at risk. U.S. human rights violations seem almost trifling in comparison with those committed by Cuba, South Korea, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.
The partisan politicization of Amnesty is part of a broader polarization and radicalization of American liberals.

Once a non-partisan do gooder organization that worked to free “prisoners of conscience,” Amnesty has been caught up in the reality that to appeal to its liberal base it has to become more and more overtly political, and more and more hostile to American policy — at least for as long as a Republican is President.

The necessary consequence: Amnesty becomes just another liberal interest group with no moral authority.

Tolerant Liberals — 108

From the Wigderson Library & Pub, something that’s last week’s news, but needs a comment anyway.
Schwarzenegger relentlessly jeered at speech at alma mater

Politics followed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to his alma mater Tuesday, where he was jeered relentlessly by protesters while delivering a commencement speech.

His address to 600 graduates in blue robes and caps at Santa Monica College turned into an exercise in perseverance, as virtually his every word was accompanied by catcalls, howls and piercing whistles from the audience of several thousand people watching the graduation.

Schwarzenegger has been feuding for months with groups he calls “special interests” — teachers, nurses and other public employee unions who accuse him of selling out to big business while shortchanging education, health care and other programs. Those groups have hounded Schwarzenegger at his public appearances, sometimes attracting crowds in the thousands.
So the California leftists feel free to disrupt and shout down politicians with whom they are at odds.

Our first instinct is to say that there are some people on the right who are equally intolerant, but frankly, that just doesn’t wash anymore.

The simple fact is that bigotry and intolerance in American politics are now found among leftists and liberals. The notion that one has the right to shout down people with whom one disagrees was popular on campuses during the Vietnam War protests in the 60s, and the 60s leftists as they age haven’t turned tolerant. Often, they have passed their intolerance on to the next generation.

Why is intolerance in American politics such a distinctively liberal and leftist thing? Part of it stems from the anger and frustration that results from political battles lost.

But much of it, in our opinion, stems from the fact that liberals and leftists have better opportunities to segregate themselves into ghettos in which attitudes are uniform and people who hold contrary beliefs are demonized.

Liberals typically grew up getting their news from Jennings, Brokaw or Rather, may well have had liberal high-school social studies teachers, and most certainly had an overwhelming majority of liberal college professors.

On graduation, they have gone into professions like academia, journalism or “public interest” activism where uniformity of opinion reigns. They get their news from National Public Radio and the New York Times. They segregate themselves geographically in places like the East Side of Milwaukee.

Having always lived in a world of intellectual uniformity, they see no need and have no desire to be tolerant of opposing beliefs.

The typical conservative, in contrast, also got his or her news from Jennings, Brokaw or Rather and also had an overwhelming majority of liberal college professors. He or she may have conservative opinions, but has never been able to so easily dismiss liberal opinions, nor assume that conservative opinions are the “obviously” true and right views.

Thus we live in a world where the bigots — or at least the most belligerent and brazen bigots — are on the political left. The effect of this, of course, is to make people who are by temperament tolerant and easy-going gravitate to the right and to the Republican party. Thus the death spiral of liberalism continues.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Marquette Nickname Vote

As per Brigid O’Brien, of the office of Public Affairs at Marquette:

As of about noon last Friday, 20,097 votes had been cast for a new Marquette nickname.

In the first round of voting, 31,501 people cast votes.

The voting will continue until 9:00 p.m. this Friday night.

It is difficult to know whether this is “a few” or “about the expected number.” During the first round, a lot of people voted at the last minute. It is unclear whether that will happen this time.

Our position is that refusing to vote sends the right message: that “Warriors” is the best nickname, and that anything else is really unacceptable. But a fair number of people who would prefer Warriors have some clear favorite as between the final two.

Monday, June 20, 2005

European Elites’ Corrupt Opposition to the Death Penalty

American liberals would have us believe that European nations have abolished the death penalty because they are just oh so more civilized than we redneck Americans. The reality, as outlined by an article in the Washington Post, is that the death penalty was abolished to protect Nazi war criminals.
Contrasting their nation’s policy with that of the Americans, Germans point proudly to Article 102 of their Basic Law, adopted in 1949. It reads, simply: “The death penalty is abolished.” They often say that this 56-year-old provision shows how thoroughly the postwar Federal Republic has learned — and applied — the lessons of Nazi state-sponsored killing. (Communist East Germany kept the death penalty until 1987.)

But the actual history of the German death penalty ban casts this claim in a different light. Article 102 was in fact the brainchild of a right-wing politician who sympathized with convicted Nazi war criminals — and sought to prevent their execution by British and American occupation authorities. Far from intending to repudiate the barbarism of Hitler, the author of Article 102 wanted to make a statement about the supposed excesses of Allied victors’ justice.

The International War Crimes Tribunal at Nuremberg sentenced 11 top Nazis to death, all of whom were hanged in November 1946 except for Hermann Goering, who committed suicide. The Western Allies hanged or shot dozens of lesser-known war criminals — including 284 at a U.S. Army prison in Landsberg between November 1945 and June 1951. Though SS men who had supervised death camps and massacred Jews were among the condemned, many Germans bristled at victors’ justice. “The longer the executions went on,” reports a town history on the Landsberg Civic Association’s Web site, “the louder became the voices demanding an end to them. There was a broad political alliance in favor of clemency efforts.”
The Italian case is equally corrupt — with with a bit of a comedic touch. Italy abolished the death penalty immediately after World War II.

Savor the absurdity. They had a fascist dictator, but then they turned against the dictator and lynched him (and, for good measure, his mistress). They then promptly decided they were too civilized to have a death penalty.

It is indeed elites in Europe (and in places like Canada) that are responsible for the abolition of the death penalty. As an article in the European Studies Newsletter explains:
Yet the public opinion explanation does not appear to explain the basic transatlantic divergence we observe. European public opinion, and that of other advanced industrial abolitionist nations, views the death penalty positively. In France, for example, President Mitterrand abolished the death penalty in 1982 despite 62% percent of the French being retentionists; only last year did poll support dip for the first time below 50%. Two-thirds of the German population favored the death penalty at the time of its abolition. Today 65-70% of Britons, nearly 70% of Canadians, a majority of Austrians, around 50% of Italians, and 49% of the Swedes favor its reinstatement. It is difficult to argue, therefore, that the United States and Japan differ from Europe primarily in terms of public opinion. Public opinion in Europe appears to follow national political decisions—and, even then, only slowly—rather than leading it. This suggests that the difference lies not in the public, but in the public’s relationship to politicians—to which we now turn.
As Joshua Micah Marshall observed in an article in The New Republic:
Basically, then, Europe doesn’t have the death penalty because its political systems are less democratic, or at least more insulated from populist impulses, than the U.S. government. And elites know it. Referring to France, a recent article in the UNESCO Courier noted that “action by courageous political leaders has been needed to overcome local public opinion that has remained mostly in favour of the death penalty.” When a 1997 poll showed that 49 percent of Swedes wanted the death penalty reinstated, the country’s justice minister told a reporter: “They don’t really want the death penalty; they are objecting to the increasing violence. I see this as a call to politicians and the justice system to do more.”
The dirty little secret of American liberals is that they like Europe not in spite of the more elitist culture and political institutions but because of those things.

They envy Europe because they see people like themselves in charge, and they disdain America because ordinary citizens have the power to frustrate them.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

True Diversity

A very poignant post from the new Marquette student blog Logres, deals with the admission of foreign students to Marquette.

The blogger in question, Therese Gotcher, explains that she works in the Admissions office at Marquette, and that the office regularly gets e-mails like the following:
hillo, sir/madam iam interest in study inthe us but i have no money.nigeria is a very poor natin and my famly cant afford to school me but i want to educate so i can be a bussinesman and have a gud life,thankx to youand god bless, omagi talumi
She then explains her reaction to this situation:
Usually we laugh and then send them a form email, politely informing them that Marquette has limited scholarships and won’t admit them if they can’t pay. And then we go on our merry way.

But it’s heartbreaking, really. Besides my faith, my education is the greatest gift I’ve ever received, and one of the few that I actually remember to thank God for. But some people just have no chance of getting one. Period.
The situation is particularly ironic in light of the constant prating about “diversity” that Marquette and other U.S. universities engage in. The intention of “diversity” programs is to stack the faculty and student body with people who are thought to be (sometimes wrongly) dependably liberal and left and think just like the liberal and left faculty who push such programs.

But real diversity would require giving students who have radically different backgrounds and experiences a place at Marquette. Blacks from Africa fill this requirement much better than middle class blacks from the typical American city. Indeed, students from poor and working class backgrounds (regardless of their race) fit the bill better than middle class students.

Interestingly, the same Marquette Admissions office that gives the back of its hand to students from Africa planned to recruit students at a “Gay Pride” festival in Washington, DC.

It seems there is diversity, and there is political correctness. They are not the same, regardless of what the politically correct people claim.

Seminoles Stand Firm in Support of Indian Mascot

Our e-mail brings an interesting piece of information from Marquette faculty member Greg Rajala.
Hello John,

I have linked an article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel which reports that the Seminole Nation of Florida has adopted a formal resolution supporting Florida State University and its use of the Seminole name and mascot images. Max Osceola, a tribal council member said, “We thought it would be appropriate to put in black and white our endorsement.” T.K. Wetherell, FSU president, was invited to the Seminole Tribal Council on 17 June 2005 to receive the resolution at the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation. Wetherell said, “The tribe believes that they haven’t signed a peace treaty with the federal government, and they are not about to roll over for the NCAA.”

I issue an open challenge to Father Wild and any Marquette faculty member or student who can cite any major study that suggests Native American nicknames and mascots are offensive to the majority of Native Americans. Sports Illustrated published a study (4 March 2002 issue) which reported that more than 80% of Native Americans both on and off reservations are not offended by Native American nicknames and mascots. The entire “Warrior” nickname issue as presented by the Marquette administration has been nothing but a sham. The Seminole Nation of Florida won’t be putting up with any shams perpetrated on them.

Greg Rajala

Friday, June 17, 2005

Why the Administration Probably Wants “Hilltoppers”

An e-mail from an alumnus suggested that the Marquette Administration is trying to bias the results of the nickname poll in favor of “Hilltoppers.” We aren’t persuaded there is any overt attempt at manipulation, but an e-mail from a different alum outlines why the Administration may well want “Hilltoppers” to win:
Logically, in spite of all that has transpired with this nickname thing, especially the following:
1). Lack of enthusiasm for Golden Eagles
2). Flat-out blow-out of “Gold”
3). Board of Trustees and Administration unwillingness to listen to the real choice everyone selected (e.g., Warriors)
4). The collective need to distance themselves from Golden Eagles, Gold, and Warriors,

. . . I think the suggestion that there might be a pro-Hilltopper bias (albeit subtle) might have merit. Think about it, if after all this Golden Eagles is selected, Wild and the Board of Trustees are going to look awfully dumb when they announce: “The majority of our voters selected Golden Eagles. It obviously has strong support.” Can you hear the roofs popping off, as alumni go through the roof?

If they announce Hilltoppers as the selected new nickname, I think they take a “third way,” and actually, can somwhat put the DiUlio debacle behind them. How? 1) Many older alumns can live with and abide Hilltoppers; 2) the focus on the “new” nickname will generate fawning press stories, etc., from the media, and “buzz” will be generated by the creation of a new mascot. 3) the high school will be excited and will join the happy throng of media liberal elites in praising MU for “giving the stakeholders what they want.”

Of course, since there has been little to no logic in the board’s actions, if Golden Eagles remains, I will go through the roof, but not be really surprised.
We think this analysis is pretty solid, although if Golden Eagles wins the University will be spared the cost of changing all kind of insignia.

But the people doing the voting (which does not include us) may simply prefer Golden Eagles.

Further, if the Administration had really been opposed to Golden Eagles, they could have simply declared that it, like Warriors, would be “out of bounds.” Given the dismal image that the University’s survey showed “Golden Eagles” has among stakeholders, this would have met with very little opposition.

We think the University has done plenty of dumb things, but see little evidence of manipulation at this stage. When the University has been guilty of manipulation, it has been clumsy and entirely obvious.

More on Socialized Medicine in Canada

Proponents of socialized medicine have always quoted rather suspect statistics purporting to show that foreign health care systems are better than that of the United States. Chicago Tribune writer Steve Chapman puts the numbers into perspective.
Admirers of our good neighbor to the north say the United States pours money into all sorts of fancy equipment but doesn’t get better results by such measures as life expectancy. But life expectancy is affected by multiple factors, including education, crime rates and diet — with health care playing only a modest role. In those areas where modern medicine can make a big difference, the United States does very well.

Take breast cancer. In Britain, which is famous for its socialized system, close to half of all victims die of the disease, according to a recent Cato Institute study by John Goodman, head of the National Center for Policy Analysis. In Germany and France, almost one-third do. In Canada, the figure is 28 percent — and here, it’s 25 percent. Our mortality rate for prostate cancer is 67 percent lower than Britain’s and 24 percent lower than Canada’s.
The apparent cost savings of socialized medicine have always been dependent on having populations that will accept what Americans won’t — restrictions on access enforced by government bureaucrats in order to meet budget limits.

University of Kansas E-mail Blunder Outs Failing Students

An Associated Press story reported in USA Today:
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Due to an e-mail mistake by the University of Kansas, 119 students who failed all their classes during the last semester found out who shared their misfortune. The students were notified earlier this week that they were in jeopardy of having their financial aid revoked. The e-mail sent Monday by the Office of Student Financial Aid asked for additional information to determine if they were still eligible for aid.

The e-mail address list included the names of all 119 students, with the result that everyone on it could see the names of all the others.

“It was a completely inadvertent, unintentional mistake,” university spokesman Todd Cohen said Thursday. “It was our error, our mistake and we deeply regret it.”
The only comment we have on this is: “Oops!”

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Moonbat Watch: The “Bush Stole the Election” Crowd

It really does look like a cult: the people who think that John Kerry actually won the 2004 election, and the evil Republican minions stole it with various electoral shenanigans.

But even the liberal Salon.com doesn’t give too much credence to these theories.

An article in the online e-zine deals particularly with the claim that the exit polls showed Kerry winning — which supposedly reflects how people really voted.

[Note: hitting the link above, you will likely find you have to watch a short advertisement before gaining free access.]

In reality, exit polls are like other polls, with numerous sources of error.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Administration Pro-Hilltoppers Bias?

An alumnus sends us a copy of an e-mail that went out to an alumni mailing list today, and asks a question:
I received this evening the official MU email with the subject heading “HAVE YOU VOTED FOR MARQUETTE’S NEW NICKNAME?” Might this subject line be unfairly disposing voters to stand behind the “Hilltoppers” name, rather than “Golden Eagles,” since by voting for the latter, one would not, in fact, be voting for “Marquette’s New Nickname” but only for the existing nickname? The headline seems to be pro-Hilltoppers.
Interestingly, faculty and staff got a similar e-mail with the subject header “‘MU Voice’ Marquette nickname vote continues through June 24.”

It does make sense that the Administration would favor “Hilltoppers.” Golden Eagles is a nickname that failed, over eleven years and by the University’s own admission, to generate any enthusiasm.

If the vote favors “Hilltoppers” the Administration can crow that there is a new nickname and that everybody is going to get behind that and be delighted.

But we think the subject header on the e-mail is more likely to be an example of infelicitous prose than an attempt to bias the result.

What today’s e-mails do seem to indicate is that the voting participation is anemic, and very few people can summon any enthusiasm for either potential nickname.

Slavery Shakedown

From Jeff Jacoby, in the Boston Globe:
AS SOON as he learned the ugly truth, the chairman of financial-services giant Wachovia Corp. issued a remorseful nostra culpa. “We are deeply saddened by these findings,” Ken Thompson said last week. “I apologize to all Americans, and especially to African-Americans.” Wachovia acknowledged that it “cannot change the past or atone for the harm that was done.” But it promised to make amends by subsidizing the work of organizations involved in “furthering awareness and education of African-American history.”
What did Wachovia do to black Americans? Companies that were bought by companies that were bought by companies that Wachovia eventually bought owned slaves. Jacoby explains:
The 13th Amendment abolished slavery in 1865, and Wachovia wasn’t founded until 1879. The slaves for which Thompson was so apologetic were owned decades before the Civil War, when slavery was still lawful throughout the South. They were owned not by Wachovia but by the Bank of Charleston and the Georgia Railroad and Banking Co. — two of the approximately 400 financial institutions dating back to 1781 that over the centuries merged with or were acquired by other institutions that eventually became part of the conglomerate known today as Wachovia.

In other words, Thompson’s apology was for something Wachovia didn’t do, in an era when it didn’t exist, under laws it didn’t break. And as an act of contrition for this wrong it never committed, it can now expect to pay millions of dollars to activists for a wrong they never suffered.
Thus a relatively new kind of racial hustle is articulated. It doesn’t much matter to the race hustlers that:
  • No living American was either a slave or a slave owner
  • Many blacks are now affluent, and have more money than the average Wachovia stockholder, and this is especially true if one considers that pension funds and individual retirement accounts own much of the company’s stock
  • Many Americans descend from immigrant stock that came to America after slavery was abolished
  • Many other Americans are descended from men who fought in the Union army to abolish slavery, and indeed may have died in the effort
  • We have had “reparations” in the form of affirmative action and generous welfare programs for more than a generation in this country
Americans ought to be willing to say to reparations proponents: “You are not victims. You are sleazeballs engaged in a con game and a protection racket.”

But saying that has certain political risks. Just as it has always been cheaper in certain urban neighborhoods to pay protection to the Mafia than to fight the Mafia, modern corporate executives find it cheaper to try and buy off leftist activists rather than stand up to them.

But as Jacoby makes clear, this isn’t a very good strategy:
If Thompson thought he would put the slavery issue to rest by apologizing abjectly and promising to put even more money into “diversity” and “organizations that support African-Americans,” he was mistaken. No sooner had he issued his statement than it was dismissed as insufficient. “Wachovia can and must do more,” declared the head of one advocacy group in the Raleigh News & Observer. “It . . . must reinvest in the communities and the people who have been wronged.” Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree, a key reparations strategist, warned Wachovia that if it doesn’t “provide comfort to the descendants of slaves,” this issue “will haunt them for a long time.”
What will haunt Wachovia for a long time is the craven willingness of its executives to try and buy off the race hustlers.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Mixing Religion and Politics — On the Left

From the new conservative blogger Dennis York, an account of how Wisconsin political activists — especially Lutheran and Jewish activists — don’t seem to mind “mixing religion and politics.”

It seems that, in their view, a religious agenda is utterly indistinguishable from the standard liberal political agenda. York says:
I’m no Bible scholar, but I missed the part where the Lord lectured about the siting of nuclear power plants. Just which sermon was it that Jesus voiced his opposition to product liability? Was the burning bush not adequately flame-retardant? Did Jesus encourage the use of hybrid-electric vehicles right after he expressed his preference for Bo Bice to win American Idol?
This sort of thing needs to be thrown in the face of every liberal one finds bitching about Christian conservatives and their political activism.

Patriot Act Discussion in Chicago, June 21, 2005

Our e-mail brings us this notice:
The Chicago Lawyers’ Chapter of the Federalist Society presents

A Debate on the Renewal of
the USA PATRIOT Act

Featuring:

Professor Richard Epstein
James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law
University of Chicago Law School

Patrick J. Fitzgerald
United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois

Professor Geoffrey R. Stone
Harry Kalven, Jr. Distinguished Service Professor of Law
University of Chicago Law School

Moderated by:

Craig Dellimore
Political Editor, WBBM Newsradio 780 AM

Co-sponsored by the Criminal Law Practice Group

Tuesday, June 21, 2005
5:30 p.m. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres
6:00 p.m. Dinner
7:00 p.m. Program

Admission $35.00 ($20.00 for students)
Cash Bar

Chicago Athletic Association
12 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago Illinois
(business attire requested)

Please RSVP to
Christopher Rohrbacher
312/407-0940
christopher_rohrbacher@yahoo.com
by June 17, 2005

The sponsors appears to have gotten a fairly balanced panel. The presumptions are that Epstein will take a libertarian position and is likely to oppose at least substantial portions of the act, that Fitzgerald, as a prosecutor, will be favorable, and that Stone is a liberal who will be generally critical.

Marquette students who happen to be in the Chicago area on that date have an opportunity not only to hear a first rate discussion of the Patriot Act, but to schmooze with some top people in the Chicago legal community.

Bradley University Will Stick With “Braves”

Not every University administration is as politically correct as Marquette’s. Bradley University, which has the nickname “Braves,” has faced the same attacks from politically correct people that Marquette has, but the President is standing firm.

Interestingly, at Bradley they actually let the students vote on the issue, and they voted overwhelmingly not to change the nickname — which Marquette students would have done had the Administration had the courage to let them vote.

That didn’t stop the liberal activists in the Student Senate for demanding a name change. But the President sided with the students.

Nanny Government in Canada (Not Different from Nanny Government in the U.S.)

Three fine spoof public service announcements from Canadian tobacco interests:

http://mychoice.ca/psa/

Monday, June 13, 2005

Blow to Canada’s System of Socialized Medicine

From the Toronto Globe and Mail:
The Supreme Court of Canada struck down Thursday a Quebec prohibition on private health-care insurance, in what members of Canada’s medical profession called a “historic” decision with the potential to dramatically change the face of care in this country.

“In sum, the prohibition on obtaining private health insurance is not constitutional where the public system fails to deliver reasonable services,” the court found.

In a decision handed down Thursday, the country’s highest court said the Quebec prohibition contravenes Quebec’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

The case centres on a claim of Quebec doctor Jacques Chaoulli and his patient, George Zeliotis, who charged that the Quebec ban on buying private insurance ran afoul of both the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as the Quebec charter.

Mr. Zeliotis launched the challenge after being forced to spend a year on a waiting list for a hip replacement in 1997 because he was prevented from paying to get faster service. Dr. Chaoulli has also long argued for the right to set up his own private medical business.
That’s right: in Canada, people were forbidden to buy their own medical care with their own money.

Socialism run amok — not that socialism ever runs anywhere else.

But equally striking — and on this the Canadian Supreme Court is ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court — the Court held that people have a constitutional right to engage in certain economic transactions.

Terrorists Abuse Koran

The media obsession about supposed abuse of the Koran at Guantanamo is a classic example of much ado about nothing — or at least next to nothing. In general, religious artifacts about which people feel strongly should be treated with respect, but let’s get our priorities straight.

One of the things the mainstream media have overlooked is the extent to which they, themselves, have been inadvertent accomplices in the terrorists campaign of disinformation and progaganda. Peter Bronson, in The Cincinnati Inquirer, has provided some facts from the military’s own investigation into charges:
“A detainee refused recreation time and his cell was searched. A rock hidden in a canteen and a nail hidden in a bucket were found during the search. The detainee was returned to his cell after the search and he fell on the ground. He claimed that the guards hit him in the groin, threw him on the ground and then kicked his Quran.”

Another detainee complained that an obscenity had been written in his Quran. “It is possible that a guard committed this act,” the report said. “It is equally possible that the detainee wrote in his own Quran; however, we consider this a confirmed incident.”

And that’s about the best the press and the loony America-haters at Amnesty International could find. A holy book was touched. Stepped on. Desecrated. Some were thrown in toilets — by not by guards. Detainees did that. In several cases, inmates ripped and urinated on Qurans or tried to flush them, which is not so surprising when their al-Qaida “brothers” are blowing up mosques and desecrating real Muslims to death.

And here’s what the manual tells terrorists who get captured and detained somewhere — say, Gitmo: “brothers must insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them,” and, “complain about mistreatment in prison.”
It is extremely hard to defend a mainstream media that obsesses over issues like Koran abuse at Guantanamo when terrorists are killing people in Iraq. It’s equally hard to defend the media’s assumption that charges made by terrorists against American soldiers are true. American soldiers are assumed to be guilty until proven innocent, and terrorists innocent until proven guilty.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Gilbert & Sullivan Lampoon Trustees’ Nickname Fiasco

Well, OK . . . Gilbert died in 1911 and Sullivan in 1900, but when Milwaukee’s Skylight Opera did “The Mikado,” they chose to update some of the lyrics with current happenings.

When the Mikado (Emperior of Japan) sings “A More Humane Mikado” (whose motto is “let the punishment fit the crime”) he explains how various miscreants will get a punishment appropriate to their offense. Here is the first verse:
- All deadly dull society sinners who chatter and bleat and bore
- Are sent to hear sermons from mystical Germans who preach from ten ‘til four
- The amateur tenor whose vocal villainies all desire to flee
- Shall sing obbligato or strain for castrato, in the original key
- The board of trustees who did as they please when changing the Marquette name
- Will rack their brains and go to great pains, but every idea will be lame.
Yes, the Marquette nickname fiasco is an object of ridicule in local musical theater!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Golden Eagles or Hilltoppers? Neither.

We won’t be voting in the new round of the Marquette nickname election.

Of course, somebody who really, really likes “Golden Eagles” or “Hilltoppers” will have no trouble going online and voting for their favorite.

But how many people is that?

The best thing that can happen in this election is for relatively few people to vote. In the first round, one could write in “Warriors.” The University refused to count it, but clearly a huge number of people did that. That was doubtless one of the reasons for the large number of votes: people could vote for the nickname they really wanted.

A vote much lower than the first round says “we don’t really like or want either of those names.” It says, pretty clearly, “it’s Warriors we want.”

It’s true that if “Golden Eagles” wins, the University will be terribly embarrassed to have returned to a nickname that the University’s own survey, biased strongly in favor of “Golden Eagles,” showed was viewed as wimpish and insipid. The obvious conclusion will be that more people like “Golden Eagles” than any alternative the University allowed. But it will be equally obvious that the vast majority preferred the nickname the University didn’t allow: Warriors.

On the other hand, there may be a bit of residual loyalty to “Golden Eagles” among some students and younger alumni, so for those of us who want “Warriors” back, having the third nickname in eleven years - and having one that nobody has any attachment to – is a dandy outcome.

In sum, there is no particular reason to prefer “Golden Eagles” to “Hilltoppers” or vice versa. Under those circumstances, not voting at all sends the right message.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

PC Purchasing at Marquette (Politically Correct, not Personal Computer)

Marquette’s Purchasing Department has a reputation for imposing bureaucratic hassles on University departments and programs that want to buy things.

Now, they are pushing political correctness too.

If one goes to the list of “approved” and “preferred” vendors on the Purchasing web site, and dig down into specific classes of goods and services, one will find that “woman owned” and “minority owned” businesses are listed first, and emphasized with a colored background.

Marquette explains as follows:
Diversity, As a Catholic, Jesuit and urban university, Marquette has launched a Vendor Diversity Initiative. This initiative is to increase the amount of minority, woman owned, and small business participation in the university supply chain. To assist you in this effort the Purchasing Department has identified those supply and service categories with the letter “D” in the left column below which indicates the existence of a diversity provider in that particular category. You will find these vendors listed on the top of the linked page.
As is usually the case, the “Catholic” and “Jesuit” nature of the University is thought to require affirmative action preferences, but not to stand in the way of a University Ministry that pushes a “gay rights” agenda, nor to having the Admissions office target students in a gay pride event for recruitment.

Do they think they are fooling anybody with this “Catholic” and “Jesuit” nonsense?

The notion of “approved” or “preferred” vendors is, in the first place, silly since departments and programs are typically better positioned than Purchasing to know what vendors to use. In the cases where somebody at Purchasing actually knows something about the relative merits of various vendors, they can of course give advice to anybody on campus who asks.

But the system of “approved” and “preferred” vendors does keep Purchasing bureaucrats busy, and it increases their power, since vendors wanting this status have to pander to and suck up to those same bureaucrats.

And now, it seems, the system opens the door to a politically correct initiative that the University can brag about when the issue of “diversity” comes up.

This whole “woman owned” and “minority owned” thing is obviously open to a lot of scams. We used to know a fellow in the computer business who saw to it that 51% of the business was owned by his wife. Thus it qualified as a “woman owned” business, although in fact it was his business and his wife was in an entirely different line of work.

One wonders how many “minority owned” business have a black guy out front, but some white partners reaping the lion’s share of the profits.

Worse, it’s rather demeaning to women and minorities to imply that they can’t compete with white males on an equal basis.

Finally, like affirmative action programs in general, such policies tend to create minorities and women who can’t compete on an equal basis. Every hour’s time, and every minute’s thought put into schemes for parlaying female or minority status into some profit is time and thought that can’t be put into figuring out how to provide a better product, or the same product cheaper, and the same product and price with better service attached.

But such policies certainly serve the interests of the bureaucrats.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Howard Dean Calls G.O.P. “a white Christian party”

That’s right, it’s those evil white Christians who vote Republican.

As a simple matter of social science, whites and Christians are more likely to vote Republican. And it’s equally true that blacks and atheists are more likely to vote Democratic. Imagine the firestorm in the mainstream media if a Republican official derisively said that the Democrats are “the party of blacks and atheists.”

And since white Christians are a majority of voters, and since the Republicans are making big inroads among Hispanics, denigrating white Christians isn’t the greatest electoral strategy.

What the Democrats are doing is what they did during the election of 2004: give the bigots a free rein to mobilize the faithful, and assume that the nastiness will be overlooked by the broad middle that decides elections.

It’s a strategy that would work if the mainstream media had the stranglehold they once had on political communication in this country. But the conservative alternative media can be counted on to hold people like Dean responsible for their remarks.

Thus the Democrats can’t hope to send out one message (a moderate, hopeful one) to the nation at large, and a different one (angry and hostile) to the faithful. They are to politics what General Motors is to automobile manufacturing: an operation living in an age now past.

(Hat tip to the Badger Blog Alliance.

Arrogant European Elites

The recent rejection of the European Union constitution by voters in both France and the Netherlands raises some fundamental questions about politics and political culture in Europe. Max Boot offers some observations in the Los Angeles Times:
So why are the guardians of the new Europe so hated? Words such as arrogance and elitism come to mind. Although the EU has its own parliament, there is a well-founded fear throughout the continent that decisions are being made by unelected mandarins. The populations of the 25 EU member states may not agree on what should be done. What unites them is a desire to determine their own destinies, which is impossible as long as Brussels is calling the shots.

Nothing symbolizes the disconnect between the people and their rulers more than the European Union constitution, a 300-page monstrosity drafted by former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing and heartily endorsed by current French President Jacques Chirac. This was supposed to be another step toward creation of a European state with its own president and foreign minister. For Gaullists like Giscard and Chirac, it was also part of a cherished ambition to build a great power in competition with les Anglo-Saxons. The skepticism of Poles and Britons to this project was well-known, but ultimately it was undone by the yawning indifference of the French themselves.

The lives of ordinary French people are not dominated by dreams of lost glory; they simply want a decent job and public services that work. It was telling that only professionals and senior executives — i.e., France’s top occupational rung — voted for the constitution last week. Everyone else opted for “non.”
Glenn Reynolds suggests deeper problems in Europe:
Europe’s problem is that it wants two inconsistent things. Some Europeans — the ruling classes, basically — care about prestige, and want Europe to be a superpower that can compete with the United States, returning to Europe some of the world-dominating glory that it lost in the 20th Century’s world wars. Others — the working classes, basically — want the kind of easy life, low workload, and overarching social safety net, developed when Europe was an American protectorate, whose enormous and growing cost makes any sort of superpower status a pipedream. To be a superpower like America, Europe would have to become more like America in other ways: Harder-working, more capitalistic, less cushioned. After decades of being told that Europe’s superiority was to be found in generous welfare benefits and short work-weeks, Europeans chose those over their leaders’ geopolitical ambitions.
While both elites and ordinary Europeans want different things, both can find plenty of basis for anti-Americanism. The elites envy American power, and the masses have been propagandized to see America as a heartless hyper-capitalist state. Both have some learning to do.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

John Kerry: Lackluster Student

Liberal elitists like to flatter themselves by believing that they are the smart people, and that those who disagree with them must be dumb, or uneducated, or unenlightened boobs. So how are they going to spin this?

According to the Boston Globe, John Kerry’s undergraduate grades at Yale were virtually identical to those of George Bush.
WASHINGTON — During last year’s presidential campaign, John F. Kerry was the candidate often portrayed as intellectual and complex, while George W. Bush was the populist who mangled his sentences.

But newly released records show that Bush and Kerry had a virtually identical grade average at Yale University four decades ago.

In 1999, The New Yorker published a transcript indicating that Bush had received a cumulative score of 77 for his first three years at Yale and a roughly similar average under a non-numerical rating system during his senior year.

Kerry, who graduated two years before Bush, got a cumulative 76 for his four years, according to a transcript that Kerry sent to the Navy when he was applying for officer training school. He received four D’s in his freshman year out of 10 courses, but improved his average in later years.
All this echos the 2000 election, in which the mainstream media portrayed Al Gore as a distinguished intellectual, and Bush as a doofus. In reality, Gore was a poor student who flunked out of divinity school.

The simple fact is that assessments of intelligence are heavily culturally biased. We all tend to think that people who agree with us are smarter than those who don’t.

So the next time you hear a bunch of liberals deride Bush for being “dumb” or “stupid,” take note of the fact that you are hearing people who may or may not be reasonably bright, but who are certainly intensely provincial.

It’s Golden Eagles, Hilltoppers

And the reaction is: ho hum.

Marquette’s official story on this says:
Marquette will provide detailed information about the first vote after the entire process is completed, including the number of votes cast for each individual nickname option and the number of write-in votes. It was mutually agreed between Marquette and Advantage Research Inc, the independent research firm conducting the poll, that information from the first poll will be released after the second poll has been completed so as not to introduce bias into the second vote.

“Advantage Research Inc. certifies that the two nicknames presented in the second poll received the most votes in the nickname poll conducted from May 24 through June 5, 2005. As mutually agreed upon, the details from the first vote will be held by Advantage Research until the entire voting process is completed,” said Scott Segrin, vice president of operations, Advantage Research Inc.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Nickname Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy theories about the selection of the new Marquette nickname have abounded — which shows the lack of trust that stakeholders have in the Administration, and also the fact that some of the decisions the University has made have been so irrational that it has seemed that something beyond what meets the eye must be happening.

One conspiracy theory that we aired, but did not endorse, was the notion that the “fix is in” for Golden Knights to be chosen.

The logic is that “Golden Knights” is so close to “Warriors” that pro-Warrior alumni and students will be placated, but the wrath of the Vengeful Gods of Political Correctness will not be aroused.

Bradley Kalscheur, a member of the committee that chose the 10 nickname candidates strongly rejects this notion:
To those conspiracy theorists who are concerned about a rigged election, unlike 1994, this decision and vote are absolutely not predetermined. If the process was, or there was even a hint there was the slightest possibility this process was predetermined, I would not have agreed to serve on the Nickname Advisory Committee. On my oath as one of the most vocal and pro-Warrior people out there, this choice will be completely up to the voters. Granted, the choice the vast majority wants isn’t allowed on the ballot, but, for now we, live with the current parameters laid out before us. Committee members remember 1994 and will not allow the mistakes of the past to be repeated.
Of course, a really good conspiracy should be able to hoodwink Kalscheur, just as it’s hoodwinking everybody else.

Another theory is that a secret agreement with the Potawatomi Indians, made when Marquette got the valley athletic fields, requires that Marquette never use “Warriors” as a nickname. Some versions of this theory have Mayor Norquist brokering the deal in a move to keep the Potawatomi from expanding all the way to the Menomonie River.

Some of these theories come from sensible people who show no inclination to put a shooter on the Grassy Knoll in Dallas in 1963. But ultimately, all have their problems.

The “secret contract” theory, for example, has difficulty explaining why Fr. Wild ever let the issue be opened at all, when he knew that Marquette could not, on pain of breach of contract, ever go back to Warriors.

Of course, there is always some variation or wrinkle to a conspiracy theory to evade any objection. Perhaps while an elaborate charade of consulting with the Indian tribes was going on, a real effort to get the Potawatomi to agree to a change in the contract terms was happening in secret.

We are skeptical about this because, in the first place, we think the Potawatomi are to venal to care about an issue like a team nickname. And in the second place, the theory is just too darn complicated, requiring an elaborate burlesque of consulting with the tribes while the real action was a super secret back channel strategy with the Potawatomi.

Likewise, the “Golden Knights” theory (which will probably be shown to be baseless in a few hours) runs up against the demonstrated willingness of the Administration to dismiss and derogate any opinion tending toward “Warriors.”

Our conclusion is that what we are seeing from the Administration is indeed what we are getting — political correctness with a large dollop of arrogance and a healthy dose of stupidity.

If they were smart enough to pull off any sort of elaborate conspiracy, they would be smart enough to simply change the nickname to “Warriors.”

Belling’s Nickname Straw Poll

Just announced on his show:

Warriors - 2,680

Blue and Gold - 7

Explorers - 25

Golden Avalanche – 25

Golden Eagles – 48

Golden Knights – 26

Hilltoppers – 35

Saints – 7

Spirit – 26

Voyagers – 10

Wolves – 6

According to Belling: “This issue is not going to die until arrogant and condescending old Wild gets off his high horse.”

Further, Belling added that all of Marquette’s spinning has done nothing to depress the support for Warriors. Indeed, the incompetence of Marquette has probably built even more support for the name “Warriors.”

Belling characterized people who object to “Warriors” as “holier than thou” and elitist. Indeed, he called them “intellectual fascists who think they can decide what is appropriate for someone else.”

Strong rhetoric, but hard to dispute. Fr. Wild’s refusal to allow alumni, students and faculty to decide implies that he and like-thinking University bureaucrats somehow have superior moral judgment.

Certainly, there is a large degree of self-selection in the Belling poll, with conservatives over represented.

But even the University’s poll this past fall showed that “Warriors” was much better liked than “Golden Eagles.” Indeed, it’s been impossible for anybody to conduct any poll that doesn’t show “Warriors” far ahead of everything else.

More on the Marquette Nickname Vote

According to Brigid O’Brien, Associate Director of University Communication, no decision has been made on whether to release data on the number of “Warriors” write-in votes.

O’Brien, in fact, insists that she has no information yet from Advantage Research as to how many votes any of the proposed nicknames got.

According to O’Brien, an e-mail will go out tomorrow morning announcing the results of the first round of voting. This will be virtually simultaneous with the beginning of the second round of voting.

Coverage of the Ward Churchill Fiasco

The best source for the ongoing Ward Churchill fiasco at the University of Colorado is the Pirate Ballerina blog.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Nickname Vote

From a source at Advantage Research: as of yesterday, over 35,000 votes had been cast in the Marquette nickname poll.

Asked how many people had written in “Warriors” the source simply said “a lot of them.” Apparently, a lot of people have expressed resentment at having to write in “Warriors,” feeling it should have been on the ballot.

[Correction: we earlier reported that over 35,000 people had voted as of Saturday. This was apparently the result of confusing the number of people voting with the number of votes cast.]

Ann Coulter’s Next Book

Conservative author Ann Coulter is famous for her “in your face” and “take no prisoners” style of attacking liberals. From The Nose On Your Face blog, nine suggestions for the title of her next book. The first three are:
9. Ann Coulter’s Guide To Self Defense Against Non-violent, Tolerant, Peace Protesters

8. Ted Kennedy Is To Politics What Ted Kennedy Is To Designated Drivers

7. Reasoning With Liberals, Stapling Jell-O To Your Shoe & Other Exercises In Futility

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Ward Churchill: Poster Child for Affirmative Action

While the University of Colorado very slowly, via a committee, looks at charges of misconduct against incendiary “multicultural” professor Ward Churchill, the Rocky Mountain News has uncovered much additional evidence of his unethical behavior.

In brief outline form, the paper’s findings are as follows:
At issue

Did Ward Churchill falsely accuse the U.S. Army of using smallpox as a weapon of genocide against American Indians?

Our findings

His claim cannot be supported by the sources he has cited.

At issue

Did Churchill commmit plagiarism by publishing the work of others as his own?

Our findings

An essay he “prepared” for a book was actually taken from a Canadian scholar.

At issue

Did Churchill mischaracterize two important pieces of federal Indian law?

Our findings

His contentions about the Dawes Act of 1887 and the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 are incorrect.

At issue

Did Churchill misrepresent himself as having American Indian ancestry?

Our findings

His assertions that he is descended from Cherokee and Creek ancestors aren’t supported by extensive genealogical records.
An editorial in the paper gives one example of Churchill’s plagarism:
If anything, reporter Laura Frank has unearthed the most alarming example yet of possible plagiarism by Churchill, involving a 1972 document by an environmental group that the CU ethnic studies professor seems to have gradually appropriated over the years as his own. This case differs from the others in two respects: First, the content allegedly lifted is out of date and discredited - the equivalent of a conspiracy theory that no serious person, let alone a reputable scholar, would want associated with his name. Yet Churchill didn’t mind.

And second, Churchill seems to have no link whatever to the actual authors or their project. He might as well have affixed his byline to the 9/11 commission report.
The Churchill case is important less for what it says about one academic sleazeball than what it says about “diversity” in academia. Churchill is the poster child for academic affirmative action. Thinking him to be an Indian, the university hired him in preference to white candidates who had much better credentials. He was promoted to full professor, and made chair of his department in spite of an academic record that (even assuming that none of it was plagarized) was far below standard.

And now that his ethical failures are out in the open, the University of Colorado can’t proceed in any effective way against him. One of the members of the committee that is reviewing charges against him, for example, was among 200 faculty members who opposed even investigating the charges against Churchill.

The implications of this are clear. The message is: “he’s an affirmative action hire, and not only do we not care that he’s no good as a scholar, we don’t even care much that he’s dishonest.”

Friday, June 03, 2005

Why It’s Rational to Write In Warriors

Some people voting in the Marquette nickname poll may be inclined to cast votes for two of the names on the University approved list, and not bother to write-in Warriors since they don’t want to “throw away one of their votes.”

In fact, casting a write-in vote for Warriors is a highly rational thing to do.

In the first place, the University had claimed that it won’t tabulate “Warrior” votes, nor other votes that they don’t like (anything with “war,” “Jumping Jesuits” etc.).

But lately, we have a slightly different story. According to the Journal-Sentinel:
Advantage Research is tabulating all votes, [University spokeswoman Brigid] O’Brien said, including votes for Warriors. Even though the school will not consider a vote for Warriors to be a valid vote, O’Brien said the total number of votes cast for Warriors might be disclosed.
Might be disclosed?

Under what conditions would the number be disclosed? If the number is relatively small, and not enough to embarrass Marquette.

No doubt, if there are a large number of write-in votes for Warriors, the University will staunchly refuse to say how many there were. And that’s good. It will send the message that Warriors was what the alumni and students really wanted. Their silence, in other words, will be . . . uh . . . “golden.”

In the second place, if somebody has a clear favorite among the ten approved nicknames, voting for that one and then writing in Warriors is a dandy thing to do.

If somebody votes for their favorite among the ten approved nicknames, and then votes for their second choice among the ten, they are risking casting a vote that may allow their second choice nickname to edge out their favorite.

Put another way, if somebody really, really likes (say) “Hilltoppers,” it would not be rational to vote for any name on the official list besides “Hilltoppers.”

But this would leave one with another free vote, which would be best used by writing in “Warriors.”

Mark Belling’s Marquette Nickname Poll

Mark Belling’s online straw poll uses the same list of nicknames that Marquette uses in its “official” poll, but with one addition: “Warriors.”

Belling’s poll closes at the same time the Marquette poll closes: late Sunday night.

The current tabulation isn’t visible on Belling’s site, but he will presumably release it on his show Monday.

Of course the poll can be criticized because of a lot of self-selection among people who vote. Conservatives who listen to Belling and people disgruntled that they aren’t allowed to officially vote for “Warriors” will presumably be overrepresented.

On the other hand, it will be interesting to see how people vote when the alternative that most people favor is included. How many people really want “Golden Eagles” or “Hilltoppers” rather than considering those names merely the least bland alternative to “Warriors?”

Nickname Conspiracy?

The choice of the new nickname and (eventually) a new mascot has engendered a huge about of speculation and conjecture — which of course was to be expected, given the way the process that dumped “Warriors” and adopted “Gold” was entirely closed and highly manipulative. Our e-mail has brought this interesting piece of conjecture from an alumnus:
As an alum who was present during the 1994 DiUlio debacle, whereby a pre-determined mascot was named before the end of student voting on the final choice (remember Lightning vs. Golden Eagles), I wonder if we’re not headed down that same road with this vote.

The existence of an independent polling firm notwithstanding, the inclusion of Golden Knights on the ballot makes me wonder. Is this the dark horse candidate that may end up winning? Why? Because (a) the Knight figure would represent what many of us believe a new Warrior would represent: strength, honor, valor, pursuit of right ideals, goodness (something this process and BOT lack at this point), and (b) this would allow Wild and the BOT an “out,” should Golden Eagles advance to the final round, or should the second round end up pitting Golden Avalanche or the Hilltoppers vs. GEs. While I don’t subscribe to Grassy Knoll theories in general, knowing the history with the process of “selecting” a nickname (which it isn’t, because everyone wants Warrior back), does Golden Knights actually make sense from the Board of Trustee’s point of view?

It: (a) allows the board to disconnect itself from Golden Eagles/DiUlio.

(b) puts out a mascot that embodies the Warrior ideals without going back to the Warriors (and yes this would be awfully patronizing), and

(c) gives Wild some marketing potential, because there are not many schools with Golden Knights.

I have talked to several people — alums and MU staffers (academic and non) who seem to think the result has been pre-ordained and the votes will be “tailored” to this outcome.
We aren’t big believers in conspiracy theories. Indeed, we like the maxim “never resort to conspiracy to explain anything that can be adequately explained by mere incompetence.” The second premise is: “the two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and incompetence.”

Thus it follows that the best argument against an Administration plot to choose “Golden Knights” is that it’s such a good choice!

Those who haven’t voted might want to consider the writer’s arguments in favor of Golden Knights, and perhaps vote for it — as well as casting a write-in vote for Warriors!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Fr. Pere Marquette: White European Male Oppressor

Alumni keep writing with critiques of the Administration’s politically correct behavior. Here is one who clearly did his part to throw a spanner or two into the Marquette PC machine:
I suggested the nickname “Politically Correct Sports Persons” in 1994, but apparently it was censored, as it did not appear on the list of over 2,000 suggestions posted on the MU website. (I was happy to see that “Bleeding Hearts” was missed by the politically-correct censors.) I submitted this suggestion again this year, even though they clearly state on the submission form that all politically incorrect submissions will not be counted. This censorship is clearly to avoid reporting the fact that a very high percentage of voters will write in “Warriors.”

I am very disturbed that MU is now as politically correct as every other college. To carry political correctness to its natural conclusion, they should change the name from “Marquette.” After all, Father Marquette is a discredited DWEM (“Dead White European Male” in PC-speak) who came to North America to impose his male-dominated, Euro-centric religion on the Native Americans. If Father Marquette was as politically correct as Fr. Wild, he would have shown true respect for Native Americans, and would have been non-judgmental and accepted their religious views as just as valid as Christianity. If the PC-MU community truly respects Native American tradition, they should remove Fr. Marquette’s name and apologize for his politically-incorrect behavior.

The Board should wake up: As the Jesuit schools become more and more like the Politically Correct state schools, parents will lose their willingness to pay the inflated prices.

Tom Penrice
Arts & Sciences 1976
Penrice has an excellent point about Fr. Marquette. The people who complain about Indian nicknames also hate Christopher Columbus, and Marquette was clearly of the same ilk.