Saturday, October 30, 2010

Reporting From the Belly of the Beast: Marquette Warrior at a Meeting of the Campus Gay Lobby

It was supposed to be hush-hush.

Chris Miller, Vice President for Student Affairs, invited lesbian activist and director of the UCLA Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Campus Resource Center Ronni Sanlo to Marquette as a “consultant.”

Marquette’s website contains nothing at all about the visit. E-mailed invitations were sent to people who are apparently gay, lesbian or “allies” on campus. The thing ceased to be hush-hush when we obtained an e-mail chain and “outed” [to coin a phrase] the whole affair.

Miller seemed a bit perturbed that we had obtained the e-mails, and asked us how we got them. Of course we, following standard journalistic practice, declined to give him any information.

Why was Sanlo brought to campus? In an e-mail to us, Miller claimed to “have some data which reflect climate concerns.” Such data is not public, however.

Sanlo’s time on campus included a meeting with graduate students, a “Town Hall” meeting on Thursday night (one that was, like all her events, publicized to only a narrow circle of people), a luncheon with the Executive Board of Marquette University Student Government at noon yesterday (Friday), and two meetings with faculty – one at 1:00 p.m. yesterday, and another at 3:00 p.m.

We were in the 1:00 p.m. meeting, feeling at bit like a lion in a den of Daniels. There were 21 individuals present (plus us and Sanlo).

Her Mission

Sanlo explained that she was invited to campus by Miller, and her job was to “see what the issues might be and find some solutions.” She will produce a report for Miller, with whom she worked at “another institution.” She was vague on who else might see the report, and especially whether anybody higher in the Administration would see it or was in any way invested in the project. “I can’t say how high it will go,” she said, adding that she would like it to be made public.

(If somebody will leak a copy to a certain blogger, it will indeed be public.)

Her visit was set up in early September, “probably” (she said) in response to the brouhaha over Jodi O’Brien.

Although Student Affairs invited her, she alluded to “issues around faculty and staff,” that are “beyond the student area.”

Sanlo referred to what she was told was a “repressive climate on campus,” and further that “Student Affairs has been an agent in stopping” discussions of sexuality.

Her Life Story

Sanlo started by telling her life story, including the fact that as a barely pubescent girl she had the hots for Annette Funicello (one of the few things she has in common with us), and how after leaving college she married her college “default date” when her grandfather asked her “what are you, funny or something?”

She “came out” in 1979, and after some tough times (she was homeless for a spell), got things together and “became a raging activist.”

Faculty Comment & Question

Most of the time consisted of faculty comments and questions. The first comment, from Stephen Franzoi (a member of the Search Committee that selected Jodi O’Brien) questioned whether the people in the room would have any effect. He suggested that they are viewed as “non-credible” by the Administration. Another faculty member claimed that “we are viewed as comical problems.”

On a similar note, one faculty member said she had been told that “most students are over this.” (In reality, most students had nothing to “get over” since they didn’t care one way or the other. The students who talk to the most politically correct faculty are a rather self-selected group.)

Secular vs. Nominally Catholic

Some faculty members wanted Marquette’s response to be nominally Catholic, one saying that Sanlo’s report “has to have a congruence with the language of [Catholic] mission.”

But other faculty made no bones about not caring about the “mission” business. One expressed a desire that Marquette be “like other schools around the country,” and Franzoi pointed out that “many faculty are secular.” He explained that when he came to Marquette he had three job offers (ironically, all from Catholic schools) and he came to do research.

Why Not Set Up a Center?

Anytime academics want recognition for their pet project, the first thing that comes to mind is “let’s set up a center.” And indeed Sanlo talked at length about the issue, pointing out that there are about 200 lesbian and gay centers in universities around the country.

(One of the odd characteristics of people who want Marquette to be much more secular is their using the standard plaint of teenagers, “everybody is doing it.” Having degrees, they ought to know this is the argumentum ad populum fallacy.)

Most of these centers are run by Student Affairs, and Sanlo said they are “all very similar.” She gave a description of the center at UCLA, saying it tries to draw in all kinds of students, with one key inducement being free printing!

A considerable discussion ensued regarding whether any such center at Marquette should be run by Student Affairs or on the academic side of the University. Opinions leaned toward an academic center, one person saying that faculty won’t go to events hosted by Student Affairs. In particular, the Center at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee has a director who does not have a Ph.D. – something that compromises its academic credibility.

A related issue was whether any such Center would deal with broader “gender” issues, like sexual violence. Here opinions were split. Often, across the nation, centers have to deal with multiple issues due to budget constraints.

Domestic Partner Benefits

A final discussion dealt “domestic partner benefits:” the notion that gay or lesbian “partners” of faculty should get the same benefits as spouses. Sanlo, of course, was all for it. She claimed that while at Marquette she had “talked to a number of people about that.”

She further said that she “would not apply to any institution that did not have domestic partner benefits.” This in spite of the fact that she has not had a “partner’ in 10 years. Other faculty chimed in, saying that hiring at Marquette is harmed by the lack of such benefits.

Nobody, of course, suggested that it’s a good thing if people so opposed to Marquette’s Catholic mission and identity self-select out of the pool of job applicants. The demand for “domestic partner benefits” is, after all, a demand that Marquette recognize as legitimate and subsidize illicit sexual behavior.

Sanlo added an inspirational note, telling those assembled “you’ve been called here to create change in the institution.” She was right about that. But the “change” the people at the meeting wanted was for Marquette to become like every conformist politically correct secular institution.

In other words, they want to remake Marquette in their own image. To a substantial degree, they already have.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Obama is Not Hard to Understand

James Taranto, in the Wall Street Journal, mentions a couple of professors who have provided a laudatory analysis of Barack Obama.
Barack Obama is a pragmatist, James Kloppenberg tells the New York Times. No, he doesn’t mean Obama is practical-minded; no one thinks that anymore. In fact, Kloppenberg, a Harvard historian, disparages the “vulgar pragmatism” of Bill Clinton while praising Obama’s “philosophical pragmatism.”
Of course, another professor climes in with an equally laudatory comment:
Those who heard Mr. Kloppenberg present his argument at a conference on intellectual history at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center responded with prolonged applause. “The way he traced Obama’s intellectual influences was fascinating for us, given that Obama’s academic background seems so similar to ours,” said Andrew Hartman, a historian at Illinois State University who helped organize the conference.
Taranto is unimpressed that professors like Obama.
One assumes that Andrew Hartman is a serious scholar, although one doesn’t know for sure because one has never heard of him. Barack Obama, by contrast, is a scholarly dilettante, a professional politician who has moonlighted as a university instructor.

Yet Hartman’s remark about Obama’s “academic background” is revealing. Professors imagine Obama is one of them because he shares their attitudes: their politically correct opinions, their condescending view of ordinary Americans, their belief in their own authority as an intellectual elite. He is the ideal product of the homogeneous world of contemporary academia. In his importance, they see a reflection of their self-importance.

Kloppenberg’s thesis reminds us of another elaborate attempt at explaining Obama: Dinesh D’Souza’s “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.” D’Souza, like Kloppenberg, imputes to Obama a coherent philosophy, in D’Souza’s case “anticolonialism.” It is a needlessly elaborate explanation for an unremarkable set of facts.

Occam’s razor suggests that Obama is a mere conformist — someone who absorbed every left-wing platitude he encountered in college and never seems to have seriously questioned any of them. Kloppenberg characterizes Obama as a skeptic, not a true believer. We’re not sure he has an active enough mind to be either one.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Intolerance at National Public Radio, and in the NPR Audience

It’s not that surprising that National Public Radio fired Juan Williams. The organization, and it’s listeners, have a long history of bigotry toward Fox News. Actually, they have a history of intolerance toward virtually all those who disagree with them.

Two examples.

From the Huffington Post, March 2009:
NPR has asked Fox News not to identify its news analyst, Juan Williams, with NPR branding when he appears on Fox News because of outrage among its largely liberal listener-base. And Fox News has happily agreed to do so.

NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard wrote Wednesday that in 2008 she received 378 “complaints and frustrations about things Williams said on Fox,” including claims that Williams “dishonors NPR” and is an “embarrassment to NPR” and that “NPR should severe [sic] their relationship with him.”

Recent listener complaints have centered around Williams’ comment that Michelle Obama could be a liability to her husband. . . . [emphasis added]
That’s right. The liberal listeners of NPR were “outraged” that Williams had the temerity to appear on a network that they hate. And say some things they disagreed with.

Of course, on Fox Williams is pretty much the liberal. But he’s not a dogmatic liberal whose opinions are always predictable.

Of course, Williams is not the only NPR person who has come under fire. Also from the Huffington Post:
NPR asked its leading political correspondent, Mara Liasson, to reconsider her regular appearances on Fox News, where she is a paid contributor, Politico’s Josh Gerstein reports.

Gerstein reports that “Liasson was summoned in early October by NPR’s executive editor for news, Dick Meyer, and the network’s supervising senior Washington editor, Ron Elving” about concerns they had over Fox News’ programming and its changes since President Obama had taken office. They asked her to spend 30 days watching the network; she obliged, and “reported that she’d seen no significant change in Fox’s programming,” Gerstein reports.

The timing of NPR’s request coincided with the White House’s battle against the network.

An NPR spokesperson refused to comment specifically about Liasson, telling Politico, “As part of our ongoing work we have internal conversations about talent appearances all the time that are part of our regular editorial evaluation.” The spokesperson added, “There’s no relationship between the White House’s criticism of Fox and any discussions about Fox that we’re having.”

A Fox News spokesperson said, “With the ratings we have, NPR should be paying us to even be mentioned on our air.”
It’s a reality of contemporary liberalism: liberals simply can’t stand that people are allowed to say things they disagree with.

While not every liberal is intolerant, intolerance is now very much mainstream among liberals. We see it in attempts to shut up people who want to participate in political campaigns, attempts to shut up conservative talk radio, and speech codes on college campuses.

The reasons are various, but the fundamental problem is that liberals are simply much more able than conservatives to isolate themselves from the mainstream. They had college professors who were virtually uniformly liberal or leftist. They enter occupations (like academia or journalism) where pretty much everybody thinks the same way. They segregate themselves in neighborhoods (like Milwaukee’s East Side) where most of their neighbors think the same way. They get their news from the mainstream media, from NPR and from a highly selected bunch of leftist web sites (Daily Kos, Huffington Post, Talking Points Memo).

Isolation breeds narrow parochialism, and that breeds intolerance of dissenting opinions.

Modern liberals aren’t the first nor the only people this has happened to, but the combination of intolerance and political power among today’s liberals is particularly dangerous.

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James Cameron: Environmentalist Hypocrite



This is the fellow who told the Los Angeles Times that we “will be a dying world if we don’t make some fundamental changes about how we view ourselves and how we view wealth .... We’re going to have to live with less.”

What he meant, of course, is “you little people will have to live with less.”

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Perverted Culture of the European Welfare State

From the Associated Press:
MARSEILLE, France (AP) — Battling for benefits is a tradition in the Gilly family, passed from generation to generation — as it is for families across the country. And that goes some way toward explaining why the protests against plans to raise France’s retirement age have shown such determination and ferocity.

For Gilly and many other Frenchmen and women, social benefits such as long vacations, state-subsidized health care and early retirement are more than just luxuries: They’re seen as a birthright — an essential part of the identity of today’s France.

The protest against a government plan to raise the retirement age to 62 has special meaning for five members of the Eric Gilly clan who are demonstrating in the streets of Marseille.

“We want to stop working at 60 because it’s something our parents, our grandparents and even our great-grandparents fought for,” says Gilly, 50, a union representative at Saint-Pierre Cemetery, the largest in this bustling Mediterranean port city.

“And over the years ... you can see that we’re losing everything they fought for. And that’s unacceptable.”

In Marseille, strikes to protest President Nicolas Sarkozy’s planned retirement reform have shut down docks, left tons of garbage putrefying on sidewalks and drawn tens of thousands into the streets for each of six protest marches since early September.

Gilly, with huge drums strapped over his shoulders, led the parade for the Workers’ Force union Monday. His sister, two daughters and a nephew weren’t far behind.

“Unionism, it’s in the skin,” Gilly said in an interview with Associated Press Television News. “It’s more than a passion. When something is wrong or things aren’t right, they have to be changed.”

Retirement benefits are coveted, by some, perhaps even more than a higher salary, making the issue particularly sensitive. Sarkozy’s plan to raise the retirement age hits a nerve deep in the French psyche.
Just savor, for a minute, how absurd this is. The French are proud of not working.

They demand more and more benefits. But of course, they have to pay for those benefits.

The origin of the European welfare state was socialist politicians appealing to the working class, telling them (in effect) “vote us into power, and we will take money from the rich and give it to you.” The whole edifice, in other words, was built on the selfishness of socialist politicians and low income workers.

But of course, soon enough the bill has to be paid by ordinary workers. But the old notion that you can just make demands on government and get goodies for free persists.

The fundamental problem is that the culture of Europe is not rooted in capitalism, but in feudalism — as political scientist Louis Hartz famously insisted.

For peasants, bettering yourself by working harder just wasn’t possible. You only became better off by being given something — by the Lord of the Manor, or by the King, or by the parliament. It’s a culture of dependency, not of work, responsibility and achievement. It’s a backward culture, and part of the greatness of America is that we have resisted it.

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Lesbian Activist/Administrator To “Consult” With Marquette on Gay Issues

Dr. Ronni Sanlo, a college administrator and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) activist will be coming to campus on Thursday, October 28th to meet with various members of the Marquette community.

Who is Dr. Ronni Sanlo?

Her own web page describes her thus:
Dr. Ronni Sanlo is a Senior Associate Dean of Students and Professor and Director of the UCLA Masters of Education in Student Affairs. Formerly, Ronni was the director of the UCLA Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Center, the University of Michigan LGBT Center, and an HIV epidemiologist in Florida. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, and a masters and doctorate in education from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, FL. Ronni has presented many workshops and seminars about LGBT issues in companies, campuses, and organizations.
Her biography tells how she knew she was a lesbian at age 11 when she was “in love with” Annette Funicello, but stayed in the closet and even got married, “coming out” only in 1979. According to the blurb:
Sanlo teaches a required course, ED 405, which focuses on identity and culture in education. And through her work at the LGBT center, she conducts sensitivity training sessions for faculty, staff and — indirectly — students.
Before going to UCLA, she was at the University of Michigan, where her signal “contribution” was apparently a “lavender graduation ceremony.”

She describes the event as follows:
Lavender Graduation is a cultural celebration that recognizes LGBT students of all races and ethnicities and acknowledges their achievements and contributions to the university as students who survived the college experience. Through such recognition LGBT students may leave the university with a positive last experience of the institution thereby encouraging them to become involved mentors for current students as well as financially contributing alumni.
Within the very narrow confines of student affairs offices and lesbian academia, she has been designated one of “20 Powerful Lesbian Academics.”

The following is the e-mail chain that contains various of the details of her visit.
I have secured AMU 252 for the Dr. Sanlo meeting on October 29th, 2010 from 1pm until 1:50 pm. If I have inadvertently left anyone off the list, I do apologize, but ask that you please feel free to forward this to whomever you deem appropriate. I did get more chairs than there are currently people for, so we should have plenty of room.

Thank you.

Very truly yours,

Stacy Kuras
Administrative Assistant
Dr. L. Christopher Miller
Vice President for Student Affairs
Marquette University
________________________________

From: Franzoi, Stephen
Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 11:13 AM
To: Kuras, Stacy; de St. Aubin, Ed; Snow, Nancy; Engel, Stephen; Hossenlopp, Jeanne; Massingale, Bryan; Hogan, Michael J.; Zurcher, Amelia; South, James; Politano, Michael; Jodi Melamed; Dempsey, Deirdre; Moon, Dawne; Foster, Susanne; Peressini, Anthony; Krueger, Christine
Cc: Miller, Chris (L. Christopher)
Subject: RE: Attending a scheduled meeting with Ronni Sanlo--please reply as soon as possible

I can make 1 PM.

Steve Franzoi
________________________________
From: Kuras, Stacy
Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 11:02 AM
[distribution list identical to the above deleted]
Subject: RE: Attending a scheduled meeting with Ronni Sanlo--please reply as soon as possible

On the 29th of October, I can make it for 1 pm if this works out better for everyone.
________________________________

From: de St. Aubin, Ed
Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 10:48 AM
[distribution list identical to the above deleted]

Subject: RE: Attending a scheduled meeting with Ronni Sanlo--please reply as soon as possible

The inaugural WGST Fellow reception begins at 3:30 on October 29.

MANY faculty interested in meeting with Dr. Sanlo have already committed to attend this hugely important event.

Are there other options in terms of time slots to meet with Dr. Sanlo???

Ed de St. Aubin
Psychology Department
Marquette University
The WGST Fellow program is described on the website of the Women and Gender Studies Program. That “gender studies” has been addeed to “women’s studies” signals a move toward a homosexual emphasis, as shown by one of the papers completed by a WGST fellow this summer: “Homonegativity and lesbian development: the impact of micro-networks and macro-contexts.”
________________________________

From: Snow, Nancy
Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 10:26 AM
[distribution list identical to the above deleted]
Subject: RE: Attending a scheduled meeting with Ronni Sanlo--please reply as soon as possible

Hi, All,

I’ve just called Stacy Kuras of Dr. Miller’s office. We are all invited to meet with Dr. Sanlo from 3-4:30 on Oct. 29th. She will be reserving a room for about 30 people.

Thanks,

Nancy

Nancy E. Snow
Professor of Philosophy
Marquette University
________________________________
From: Engel, Stephen
Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 10:18 AM
[distribution list identical to the above deleted]
Subject: Attending a scheduled meeting with Ronni Sanlo--please reply as soon as possible

Dear 10/21 meeting folks,

Things are moving fast with regard to Ronni Sanlo’s visit. She will be at Marquette on October 28 and 29, and Chris Miller would like to know if any of us would like to meet with her. Time has been set aside for Sanlo to meet with faculty on October 29 from 3 to 4:30 PM.

I have already agreed to meet with Sanlo at this time. I believe that Amelia and Nancy are attending this meeting as well, though I can’t confirm that. Chris Miller’s assistant needs to know who of our group would like to meet with her in order to get a list of attendees and a proper room.

Please let me know as soon as possible if you would like to attend this meeting, and I will pass that on to Miller’s office.

All best,
Steve
________________________________

[The “From” header is missing on our copy of the following, but see below for the apparent sender]

This just came (below) requesting that we meet with a consultant re: LGTB issues. Please reply at your earliest convenience as to whether or not you can attend. We do have our scheduled Faculty Council meeting earlier that day - 11-12:30. Many thanks!

Marilyn Frenn PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF
Chair, Faculty Council

Hi Marilyn and Lisa,

I don’t know if Christopher Miller contacted you directly, but he agreed that the FC and SCE should be on the list of invitees to a meeting with Dr. Ronni Sanlo, associate dean of students at UCLA and expert on LGBT issues on college campuses, who’s been invited as a consultant at MU. If you have not been contacted, could you forward this invitation to your committees and send me a list of attendees?

Thanks (BTW) I’m sorry for the late notice. I just got this message from Miller’s factota this AM.

Chris

Christine L. Krueger, PhD
Associate Professor of English
Director, Who Counts Program
Marquette University

________________________________

From: Kuras, Stacy
Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 10:05 AM
To: Hossenlopp, Jeanne; Engel, Stephen; Krueger, Christine; Snow, Nancy
Cc: Miller, Chris (L. Christopher)
Subject: Dr. Ronni Sanlo

Good morning! We are very excited to have Dr. Sanlo with us on October 28th & 29th. If it works for you and your respective groups, I can schedule you all to meet with Dr. Sanlo from 3pm to 4:30 pm on Friday, October 29th. I just need to get headcount in order to book a room for the various organizations and people. Additionally, I would like to get the individual names of the attendees so that Dr. Sanlo will have them for her contact list that I am creating for her.

Please let me know if this works for you, and we will proceed from there.

Very truly yours,

Stacy Kuras
Administrative Assistant
Dr. L. Christopher Miller
Vice President for Student Affairs
Marquette University
So . . . what precisely is the point of bringing her to Marquette? Does Marquette want to have a “lavender graduation?”

Since she specializes in leading “sensitivity training sessions,” are such sessions going to be imposed on faculty and students?

Is this a sop being thrown to the campus gay lobby, still smarting over Marquette’s failure to hire a lesbian dean?

It’s clear that Chris Miller’s Office of Student Affairs is taking the lead. What created a felt need for Sanlo’s presence?

We’ll continue to report on this as we learn more.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

One of Those E-mails With Wry Sayings

Some people forward these on to their friends. I, in the very unlikely event that I think them worth a chuckle, put them on my blog.
  • I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
  • I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.
  • Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
  • The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on the list.
  • Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  • Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
  • Evening news is where they begin with ‘Good evening,’ and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.
  • To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
  • A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.
  • How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
  • Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.
  • A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don’t need it.
  • Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says “If an emergency, notify:” I put “DOCTOR.”
  • I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
  • I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with “Guess” on it . . . so I said “Implants?”
  • Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?
  • Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
  • A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
  • You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
  • Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.
  • A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.
  • Hospitality: making your guests feel like they’re at home, even if you wish they were.
  • Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
  • I discovered I scream the same way whether I’m about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.
  • Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.
  • I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not sure.
  • When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.
  • You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
  • To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
  • Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
  • Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.
  • A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.
  • If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?
  • Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Obama, Gilbert & Sullivan

Explaining the 10:10 Global Warming/Blowing Up Kids Video

From Forbes, at attempt to explain the mentality behind the video that showed global warming skeptics (including children) being blown to bits.
By hammering for years on the motivations, rather than the science, of skeptics, environmental leaders have built a community of supporters who believe to their core that skeptics are actively plotting to destroy the Earth. While no one would consider violence or government action against those who are arguing questions of science in a fact-based manner, it is not a very long step to advocating such extreme consequences for people one thinks are hatching a Dr. Evil-like plot to destroy the Earth.

In fact, it has not been unusual for prominent activists to publicly call for dire punishments of skeptics. In 2008, NASA’s James Hansen, a leading global warming alarmist, used a speech before Congress to argue that oil company executives should be “put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature” for fostering doubt about global warming. Robert Kennedy, Jr. called coal companies “criminal enterprises” and said that one coal CEO “should be in jail … for all eternity” both for selling a high-carbon product and being publicly skeptical of global warming. Anonymous web posts calling for death to climate skeptics are practically routine, with one blog post (later deleted) at leftish Talking Points Memo asking “at what point do we jail or execute global warming deniers?”

And thus I think we can better understand how a group of probably well-meaning activists and film-makers could create such crazy, totalitarian vision. In many ways, the film reminds me of Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds,” which is a fantasy film about a group of Jewish soldiers killing Hitler and his high command. Viewers are not offended by the bloodshed and brutality, because the fantasy is so delicious. The same must have been true for those who created and screened the 10:10 video prior to its release.

Rather than an isolated aberration, then, the 10:10 video can be seen as the end result of years of ad hominem attacks meant to marginalize skeptics and make it unnecessary to actually address their concerns about the science. Perhaps this video will mark a turning point where we can finally start talking about the science rather than attacking motivations.

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Provost John Pauly Stonewalls On Use of Bogus Data to Support 8:00 a.m. Class Mandate

Back in February, we learned that Provost John Pauly and Registrar Georgia McRae were demanding that more classes be offered at 8:00 a.m.

Since neither students nor faculty like 8:00 a.m. classes, this was not good news.

But, we wondered, was there any need to demand more 8:00 a.m. classes, or was this the sort of bureaucratic silliness that is very common at Marquette.

With a little research, we found that there were plenty of empty classrooms at 9:00 a.m. So why force anybody to take an 8:00 a.m. class when 9:00 a.m classrooms (and presumably rooms at other times) were readily available?

Our blog post got some serious attention from the Provost Pauly, who had staffer Anne Deahl research the issue. Georgia McRae insisted that all the 25 classrooms was had identified in preliminary data we had given to the Arts & Sciences Dean were really in use.

(In reality, we had found 44 free classrooms at MWF 9:00 a.m., and 34 free classrooms at TTh 9:30.)

This claim was not shared with us, but was surreptitiously shared with administrators (including department chairs) around the University, complete with an elaborate PowerPoint presentation. In effect, they were claiming that “McAdams is wrong,” without ever giving us a chance to respond.

A Second Cut at the Data

Of course, we found out about this, and asked Pauly for the data that supposedly refuted our data.

He gave us a response, which we posted, claiming that (1.) some of the rooms we had counted as “open” were labs, (2.) some had fixed seats, (3.) some are occupied only one day a week due to discussion sections, (4.) some are scheduled by departments, and not by the Registrar, and (5.) two lack acceptable video equipment.

Knowing this analysis was bogus, we did a new one, that took into account the issues Pauly raised.

We found that Pauly’s claims were simply baseless.

Our data are found in a spreadsheet here.

We identified available classrooms as follows:
  • MWF 9:00 a.m. – 39
  • MWF 1:00 p.m. - 48
  • TTh 9:30 a.m. - 19
  • TTh 12:30 p.m. - 21
We did not survey literally every building where a class might be held, but only the ones with the largest number of classrooms. Thus the actual number of available classrooms is almost certainly a bit larger.

And quite obviously, there are lots of classrooms available at times we did not survey.

With only two partial exceptions, the classrooms we listed as “available” are scheduled by the Registrar, and not by any department. Only one is a “lab,” and it is configured so it could easily be used as a classroom if not in use as a lab (Cudahy 145). Further, all except three have video equipment. A large number have movable seats.

Unfortunately, our post on this was quickly overshadowed by the brouhaha over the attempt to hire lesbian Dean candidate Jodi O’Brien.

Asking Pauly For an Explanation

We wrote Pauly for an explanation of his assertion that Marquette was short on classrooms, and he put us off – at first reasonably. He wrote us on 4 May 2010, for example, explaining that Georgia McRae was tied up and that it would be “next week” before anything would be available.

We heard nothing for several weeks.

Then, in response to another prod from us, he wrote on 28 August saying:
Georgia tells me that she has, in fact, completed her classroom study and plans to share it with Anne Deahl and me next week. As soon as we look at the data, we’ll be able to answer your question.
We have still heard nothing.

It’s Been Pauly and Not McRae All Along

Pauly, while failing to provide any data showing a shortage of classrooms, did explain why he thinks that a mandate for 8:00 a.m. classes is necessary. In a 28 August e-mail he asserted:
My only position on all this has been clear from the beginning. The course schedule was getting bunched up at certain times of day in ways that were making it harder for the registrar to accommodate all courses and for students to design the schedules they needed. This has happened at many, many universities. Rather than spend money on just adding general classrooms every year or two, we needed to work harder to live with the classroom pool we currently have and spend new money on classrooms that better fit the new pedagogies faculty want to use.

I asked Georgia to reexamine this issue this summer because I wanted to know whether we are meeting those goals in a reasonable way. If faculty and deans agree to other ways to meet the goal that students might find acceptable—e.g., more evening classes and fewer 8 a.m. classes—then I am happy to consider the alternatives.
Pauly, in fact, is pretending that his initial claims of a classroom shortage are correct, while flatly refusing to deal with the actual data.

But notice the threat: we might consider letting faculty and students off the hook for 8:00 a.m. classes if they will accept night classes instead.

Pauly’s claim that “we needed to work harder to live with the classroom pool we currently have” is close to bizarre. In fact, we have been living with the classroom pool we currently have quite nicely, with several dozen empty rooms at 9:00 a.m. (MWF) and 9:30 a.m. (TTh) and 1:00 p.m. (MWF) and 12:30 p.m. (TTh).

Pauly fired off another quick e-mail to us on 28 August, saying:
One quick point. Our freshman classes have increased the last few years. We have been aiming for about 1950 freshmen the last three years. Fall 2010 will likely end up between 1940 and 1950.
In spite of the claim that “our freshman classes have increased the last few years,” the enrollment at Marquette has increased only 2.6 percent between 2006 and 2010. And most of this increase happened before we found dozens of empty classrooms last spring.

In fact, Freshman enrollment actually declined a bit between 2008 and 2010.

It’s a Bureaucratic Thing

It’s obvious why Pauly and Georgia McRae will not deal with the issue of the empty classrooms.

Pauly cooked up the kind of “initiative” that bureaucrats love. It sounds so nice to say we are rationalizing things. That we are “fully utilizing our resources.”

Bureaucrats enamored with some pet initiative are unlikely to ask hard questions about whether the initiative is really needed.

Regardless of whether the issue is “diversity” or a soft drink monopoly or “outcomes assessment,” bureaucrats can convince themselves that it’s a great idea. And if they are isolated from faculty and students (which most bureaucrats at Marquette are) they can get away with being entirely heedless of the effect their initiatives have.

Most of the time, they face only minor grumbling. Most of the time, asymmetries of information mean that people will accept their claims — even if not happily.

But what happens if somebody (say, a faculty blogger) takes up the issue? What happens if just a bit of research shows the claims of a “need” for the initiative to be bogus.

The bureaucrat is likely to hunker down, stonewall, and hope the issue will go away.

The fact that Pauly finds himself in that position does not speak well for him.

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Saturday, October 09, 2010

Liberals to Women Who Don’t Conform: Face Sexist Slurs

From Kirsten Powers on The Daily Beast:
“What about saying that she’s a whore?”

No, I wasn’t eavesdropping on a Duke fraternity meeting. This was the suggestion of an aide to Democrat Jerry Brown on how to deal with his GOP rival for the California governorship, Meg Whitman.

Brown’s response? “Well I’m going to use that.”

Not anymore.

Once a tape of the conversation was leaked, the Brown campaign apologized.

While we, sadly, are all too familiar with the casual misogynistic comment, what perhaps is more surprising is where these slurs lately have been coming from—progressive bastions like the Brown camp, and liberal women.

Last month, liberal talk show host Stephanie Miller laughed uproariously when a female guest on her show said that if she ever met Michelle Malkin, “I would kick [her] right in the nuts,” and warned, “Wear a cup, lady.”

Charming.

Or how about this: “You have to lift their skirts to find out if they are women. You sure can’t find out by how they vote.” This is what Democratic Rep. Janis Baird Sontany of Nashville said earlier this year of her female GOP colleagues.

Or this: “Sarah Palin may be a lady, but she ain’t no woman,” as Cinta Wilson wrote during the tsunami of anti-Palin hysteria in 2008. In her Salon piece, Wilson went on to refer to the Alaska governor as a “Christian Stepford wife in a ‘sexy librarian’ costume” and the GOP’s “hardcore pornographic centerfold spread.”

Who needs misogynist men when liberal women will do the job for you, often sounding that shopworn theme that women GOP candidates are somehow inauthentic women?

Palin, of course, has been the target of many such smears. She was derided as, “Bush in a skirt” on Huffington Post, and at The Washington Post, Wendy Doniger blogged of then-VP candidate Palin: “Her greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman.”

Not that liberal men are much better.

Ann Coulter is often referred to as “Mann-coulter” on political blogs in an effort to de-feminize her. And MSNBC’s Keith Olberman once referred to Malkin as a “mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick.”

In a Salon column last month headlined “Forget about the tea party—what about the crumpets?” Gene Lyons wrote that, “The most entertaining aspect of the 2010 election season has been the rise of the right-wing cuties—political celebrities whose main qualification is looking terrific on television. From where I sit, in a comfortable chair in front of the tube, the GOP Cupcake Factor has enlivened an otherwise dreary campaign season.”

You, Sir, are a pig.

The “cuties” in question are a former Governor (Palin), a current Congresswoman (Michelle Bachmann) and a current Senatorial candidate (Christine O’Donnell.) Lyons take on O’Donnell was this: “Everybody knows some poor fool who married a woman like that.”

To anyone who believes that a man with the same religious views as O’Donnell would have received the same nonstop vicious mockery, I have one name for you: Mike Huckabee.

Yes, sexism matters—as does gender. But whereas you never hear anyone claim that men should vote a particular way because of their gender, feminists have no trouble treating women like pre-schoolers who have to be herded into the right camp, a camp that is apparently preordained at birth. In an interview with Katie Couric last year, Gloria Steinem said that where conservative women stand “is squarely against what most women need and want. If [women] still vote for them, they are voting against themselves, which is quite tragic to me.”

This kind of attitude should be antithetical to feminist thought because it is infantilizing to women.

Politically, I agree very little with any of the conservative women mentioned in this column. But they have the same right as any woman to be treated with respect and dignity. Every time anyone—liberal, conservative, man or a woman—engage in sexist smears, all women lose.
Of course, blacks who fail to play the role assigned to them by white liberals and leftists — the role of perpetual grievance mongers — face the same nasty response.

All of which tells something about contemporary liberalism. It’s not defined (as classical liberalism was) by a set of ethical principles. It’s defined by its division of the whole world into “oppressor” groups and “victim” groups.

Liberals pride themselves on siding with the “victims.”

Thus when the “victims” fail to play their assigned role, it’s a direct frontal assault on liberals sense of self-righteousness and self-worth. Of course, that is met with aggression.

But as Powers points out, this is profoundly demeaning to the “victim” groups in question. It means they are not allowed to reach independent conclusions. It means they are not allowed to stray off the liberals’ plantation.

Happily, liberals can’t (yet) use government coercion to shut such people up. So all they can do is demean and deride them.

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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Interested in Foreign Service or Other Government Jobs?

An e-mail from a colleague:
On Thursday, October 7th, James Benson, a Marquette alumnus and former Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. State Department, will present and take questions on foreign service and working for the federal government. Now retired, Mr. Benson’s final assignment with the State Department was in Havana, Cuba.

Mr. Benson will talk for a short time about his experiences and then take questions. He also welcomes the chance to talk with students individually at the end of the event. The talk is from 2:00-3:30 in Cudahy Hall, room 137. Refreshements will be provided.
If this looks like a splendid opportunity for any student seriously considering a career in the foreign service, that’s because it is.

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On the Issues with Mike Gousha: More Speakers

Tuesday, October 12, 12:15 p.m., Marquette Law School, Eckstein Hall

Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Gregory Thornton—The future of the state’s largest school district will be the topic when the city’s new superintendent visits the Law School. Dr. Thornton will offer his thoughts on improving academic performance in MPS and on stabilizing the district’s fiscal situation.

Reserve your spot now.

Tuesday, November 16, 12:15 p.m., Marquette Law School, Eckstein Hall

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle

Reserve your spot now.

Questions? Please email or call (414.288.3167).

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Saturday, October 02, 2010

Democrats: You Know You Are in Trouble When Jon Stewart Ridicules You

Another Piece of Environmental Nastiness



We just blogged about a video produced by a British environmental group that showed people who would not sign on to an environmentalist agenda being blown to smithereens.

This was far from the only nasty, hateful thing produced by the global warming crowd.

Above is a video from Greenpeace from 2007.

These folks, quite simply, are the New Taliban.

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Friday, October 01, 2010

This Is Not a Parody of How Environmentalists Think, It’s From an Environmentalist Group

WARNING: GRAPHIC VIOLENCE



They figured out that they had gone too far, and apologized.

One extremely good comment from the page of the environmentalist group:
It isn’t that you “missed the mark” or that it wasn’t a funny idea. The video was actually perfect, because it reveals exactly how you people think about the world and how to solve it’s problems. If people don’t believe you, or like what you have to say, or are just plain thick, then obviously someone needs to step up and beat some sense into them with a big enough stick that it will deter other people. Just like you are doing with subsidization of “ecological” foods, wind mills, electric cars, and what not, and penalty taxes for carbon, gasoline and other “dirty” and sinful products. If people don’t follow you, force them, and don’t forget to smile while you hold a gun to their head. It’s hilarious how you eco-leftists, who think so highly of your own enlightened, humanist, scientific ideals, are actually just the 21st century version of the extreme pietists who not too long ago struggled to stamp out sin by banning tobacco, alcohol and other drugs (compare: carbon, gasoline, etc), preaching that you mustn’t enjoy life (compare: stopping “consumerism”), especially not on Sundays (compare: buy nothing day), otherwise the second coming of Jesus will not arrive (compare: polar bears dying, nature wrecking havoc, taking revenge). And just as pietism is essentially an anti-life ideology, so is yours.

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