Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thought for Sunday, February 27

The wages of sin are death; but after they’re done taking out taxes, it’s just a tired feeling.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Want a Kenyan Birth Certificate?

We, of course, have an interest in conspiracy theories, and one of the more wacky ones holds that Barack Obama was born in Kenya.

Of course, conspiracy theories often generate forged documents. With UFOs it was the “Majestic 12” letter, and with the JFK assassination it was the fake “Dear Mr. Hunt” note (the latter now known to be a KGB forgery).

And of course, there have been forged Obama Kenyan birth certificates.

But why not have some fun with this? You can go to a web site that allows you to produce your own fake Kenyan birth certificate.

Impress your friends. Convince them that your background is so much more exotic and interesting than they thought.

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Hate Speech Laws Work Both Ways: Muslims Arrested for Dissing Pope

From Breitbart:
ROME (AP) - Italian police on Friday arrested six Moroccan men suspected of inciting hatred against Pope Benedict XVI for converting a Muslim journalist in Italy to Catholicism.

Stefano Fonsi, head of Brescia police’s anti-terrorism squad in northern Italy, said the suspects allegedly banded together and met privately with the goal of stirring up religious hatred against non-Muslims, including the pope.

Investigators say they found literature exhorting Muslim immigrants against integrating into Italian society and saying the pope should be punished for having baptized the journalist during an Easter vigil ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The investigation grew out of security checks ahead of a pastoral visit by Benedict to Brescia in 2009, but authorities insisted that their probe revealed no plot against the pontiff or other terrorism aims.

Brescia Prosecutors Fabio Salmone said there was “absolutely no” indication that the group had attacks in mind. “I rule that out,” he told reporters. “There wasn’t even a plan” to organize attacks, he said.

In 2008, Egyptian-born journalist Magdi Allam angered some Muslims by becoming a Catholic. After being baptized, he changed his name to Magdi Cristiano Allam. He had built a career in Italy as a newspaper commentator and author attacking Islamic extremism and supporting Israel.
We consider hate speech laws an outrage, and think they should exist nowhere.

Happily, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that they can’t exist in this country.

But if there are going to be such laws, we want them enforced not only against people who verbally attack politically correct victim groups (blacks, gays, feminists, Muslims) but also against people who attack politically incorrect groups (conservative Christians, whites, males).

Hate speech laws, of course, are part of a leftist agenda to shut up speech that liberals and leftists disapprove of. And so long as they can, with impunity, shut up speech they disapprove of, they will continue to do so -- sometimes by actually punishing people who utter politically incorrect speech, and sometimes by simply chilling politically incorrect speech with the threat of punishment.

But this is a prisoner’s dilemma.

If the left knows that they themselves may be punished for their own hateful speech, they are likely to back off a bit on the issue.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

University Academic Senate Approves Domestic Partner Benefits for Gay and Lesbian Faculty

As we predicted, the proposal passed.

The vote was 26 in favor, 0 opposed, 3 abstained. Real opposition among faculty in the Academic Senate was higher than this (although not nearly a majority), but nobody apparently was bold enough to openly oppose the proposal.

Here is the proposal.

This is called the spiral of silence. The campus gay lobby and liberal allies have essentially intimidated the opposition.

This vote, of course, is not binding on the Marquette administration.

This issue will be a major test for the new Marquette president, Scott Pilarz. Will he be just another bureaucrat, doing what is fashionable and placating interest groups, or will he actually stand up for the Catholic mission of Marquette?

We are not at all optimistic.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Madison Protesters Shout Down Fox News Segment

Faculty Academic Senate Set to Endorse Domestic Partner Benefits for Gay and Lesbian Faculty

At 4:15 today, the University Academic Senate is scheduled to take up a committee proposal to provide gay and lesbian “partners” of Marquette faculty and staff the same benefits and married spouses.

We won’t be there, unfortunately, since Political Science is hiring and our candidate is doing a job talk.

It’s virtually certain that the proposal will be approved.

Not only is the Marquette faculty generally liberal and rather secular, the faculty politicians in the Academic Senate are even more so.

A committee considering the issue voted 7-2 in favor of domestic partner benefits.

The vote will be a show of hands, so expect any members of the Senate who have reservations to be very reticent to show opposition.

The gay lobby on campus has shown itself willing to attack and demean those who oppose its agenda. It will be a real show of courage if even a substantial minority of members vote against the proposal.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Indoctrination in a Marquette Theology Class

A student of ours provided this e-mail, sent out by an unnamed professor in a Theology Class the student is taking.

The e-mail above bears a strong resemblance to a recent essay by leftist Theology Prof. Daniel Maguire. Maguire has confirmed to us that he sent the message to students.
Thursday, February 17, 2011 6:30 PM

This fits into the exam question on the triangle of justice.

The Ed Schulz Show on MSNBC, Channel 46 is on at 9:00 pm broadcasting from Madison. I’m not assigning that but you might find it of interest.

************************************************

Neoliberalism (neoconservatism) is the operating system in the political economy of the Right.

It has these characteristics:

1) “Possessive individualism.” Greedy individualism would describe it better. It embodies the Social Darwinism—survival of the fittest—mentality. It is “Greed is good” theory.

(2) It is anti-government, wanting to minimize the role of the government, and remove regulations. Therefore it stresses “privatization,” taking things out of government hands and giving it to private business. Following the neoliberal script, George W. Bush tried to “privatize” Social Security, handing over retirement benefits to the mercy of the stock market. Water supply has in some places been privatized; airports and roads have been targeted for privatizing.

(3) Neoliberalism is anti-unions. Reagan went after the air traffic controllers union. Governor Walker is going after public worker’s union--teachers, etc.-- denying them the right to collective bargaining.

(4) Neoliberalism asks us to put our trust in the market and in corporations and to allow them to have unfettered freedom.

In England, Maggie Thatcher was an apostle of Neoliberalism. The results were clear: wealth was shifted from the bottom to the top. When she entered office one in ten Britons were listed as below the poverty line. When she finished one in four were in poverty and one in three children.

Ronald Reagan was another devotee of Neoliberalism. As Kevin Phillips, a Republican analysys [sic] and former aide to President Nixon reported in his book The Politics of Rich and Poor: in the 1980s the top 10 percent of American families increased their average family income by 16 percent, the top 5 percent by 23 percent, and the top one percent by 50 percent. The bottom 80 percent of families and workers all lost something and the lower they were on the scale, the more they lost. The bottom 10% lost 15% of their already meager incomes.

Neoliberalism lacks a sense of social justice. It is basically opposed to sharing. Therefore it is wildly opposed to taxes regardless of what taxes do for the common good. It particularly opposes taxes for the wealthy. The billionaire Warren Buffett pays 17%; his secretary pays 30%. It is the opposite of Jesus’ “Blessed are the poor;” it is “Blessed are the rich.”

Remember Aristotle said “Justice holds the city together.” and Thomas Aquinas said “Justice consists in sharing.”

Neoliberalism is basically opposed to justice. It naturally opposes government since government enforces sharing, e.g. in taxes and in curbing monopolies.

The current demonstrations in Madison are in effect protesting neoliberalism.
As is typical with leftist professors, especially those in disciplines far removed from empirical social reality, this message is absurdly ignorant of the facts. For example, during the evil neo-liberal Reagan Administration, the mean income of the poorest 20% of the population increased. It was $10,682 in constant 2009 dollars in 1980, and $11,681 in the same constant dollars in 1989. Of course, the income of the top earners increased faster. But does “social justice” mean that we should envy and want to hurt affluent people?

Poverty rates in the U.K. are misleading, since they are usually measured as the percentage of people below (say) 40% or 50% of the median income. That way if everybody gets equally better off, poverty fails to decline. And if most of society gets better off, and low income groups remain equally well-off, poverty “increases” (notwithstanding that the poor are no worse off).

So this kind of data is perfect for people who want to play games with statistics.

Neo-liberalism

Of course, neo-liberal policies have been all the rage in recent years, and not just in the capitalist USA. European socialist countries have slashed top tax rates, and privatized nationalized industries. And they have done that not because greed has triumphed, but because socialist policies don’t work.

The opposite of neo-liberalism, in fact, is not compassion or social justice, it’s statism.

Indoctrination

All professors, us included, have their biases, and students can usually figure out what they are. But the majority allow views on both sides to be presented, and don’t push one side of contemporary political conflict.

We, for example, have not said a single word to our classes either in support of or opposition to the union protests in Madison.

But this professor tells students that this e-mail “fits into the exam question on the triangle of justice.” Students, apparently, are supposed to write about the evil of greedy neo-liberalism and how social justice demands that they side with union demands.

It would require a very gutsy student to take a different view in this class.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Madison Union Supporters Given Fake Doctor’s Notes

From Media Trackers, an account of how a reporter got a fake doctor’s note, given (apparently) so that a teacher who abandoned her class and called in sick would have an excuse.
At the Madison rally on 2/19/11, doctors were signing fake excuses for teachers. I am not a teacher, but I managed to get a note. They did not ask for any identification or where I might teach. They were literally handing these out to anyone and everyone.
The actual note is reproduced with the story.

The name on the note (Dr. Hannah Keevil) is that of a real Madison physician.

With only this evidence, it’s possible that somebody was impersonating Dr. Keevil.

However, a source (we will only call her “Susan”) at the Nurse Triage Center at the University of Wisconsin confirms that it was in fact Dr. Keevil.

This is a serious example of medical fraud.

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Friday, February 18, 2011

More on the Union Goons in Madison

From the Daily Caller. By all means read the article, but also this list of sources:
P.S. Matt Welch at Reason magazine asks: “Is This How a President Should Act?” (Hint: No.)

P.P.S. Oh yeah, almost forgot: Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin are getting death threats, and these union guys are showing up at their homes and businesses. Let’s hear it for the New Tone.

P.P.P.S. They’re not even trying to hide the astroturfing.

P.P.P.P.S. Stephen Green: An Open Letter to Mr. Daily Kos.

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Liberal Hypocrisy About Political Rhetoric: Tea Party vs. Scott Walker

Vagina Monologues Comes to Marquette Again

According to the website vday.org, The Vagina Monologues will be performed at Marquette again this year, with performances on April 14, 15 and 16.

Vice President for Student Affairs Chris Miller has confirmed that no student organization has approval to perform the play. Rather some academic unit (last time it was the Honors Program) will be sponsoring it.

[Update]:

Anthony Peressini, Director of the Honors Program, has heard nothing about this.

The person listed as the contact on the Vday website, Anahi Sanchez, has not yet responded to our e-mail.

Could it be that somebody has merely thought about presenting the play, without any firm plans?

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Obama’s Rail Boondoggle

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Washington Post: Scott Walker is Right About Rail

Actually, they don’t mention the name of the Wisconsin governor, but the message is clear. This, by the way, is not some conservative writing an Op-Ed for the Post, it’s an editorial.
PRESIDENT OBAMA’S fiscal 2012 budget includes $8 billion for high-speed rail next year and $53 billion over six years. In the president’s view, the United States needs to spend big on high-speed rail so that we can catch up with Europe, Japan - and you-know-who. “China is building faster trains and newer airports,” the president warned in his State of the Union address. But of all the reasons to build high-speed rail in the United States, keeping up with the international Joneses may be one of the worst. In fact, experience abroad has repeatedly raised questions about the cost-effectiveness of high-speed rail.

China would seem to be an especially dubious role model, given the problems its high-speed rail system has been going through of late. Beijing just fired its railway minister amid corruption allegations; this is the sort of thing that can happen when a government suddenly starts throwing $100 billion at a gargantuan public works project, as China did with rail in 2008. Sleek as they may be, China’s new fast trains are too expensive for ordinary workers to ride, so they are not achieving their ostensible goal of moving passengers from the roads to the rails. Last year, the Chinese Academy of Sciences asked the government to reconsider its high-speed rail plans because of the system’s huge debts.

Of course, if the Chinese do finish their system, it is likely to require operating subsidies for many years - possibly forever. A recent World Bank report on high-speed rail systems around the world noted that ridership forecasts rarely materialize and warned that “governments contemplating the benefits of a new high-speed railway, whether procured by public or private or combined public-private project structures, should also contemplate the near-certainty of copious and continuing budget support for the debt.”

That’s certainly what happened in Japan, where only a single bullet-train line, between Japan and Osaka, breaks even; it’s what happened in France, where only the Paris-Lyon line is in the black. Taiwan tried a privately financed system, but it ended up losing so much money that the government had to bail it out in 2009.

When it comes to high-speed rail, Europe, Japan and Taiwan have two natural advantages over every region of the United States, with the possible exception of the Northeast Corridor - high gas taxes and high population density. If high-speed rail turned into a money pit under relatively favorable circumstances, imagine the subsidies it would require here. Every dollar spent to subsidize high-speed rail is a dollar that cannot be spent modernizing highways, expanding the freight rail system or creating private-sector jobs. The Obama administration insists we dare not lag the rest of the world in high-speed rail. Actually, this is a race everyone loses.
It’s long been obvious to us that the mania for rail can’t be explained in terms of rational policy analysis.

Some, of course, is just old-fashioned pork barrel politics.

But most of the explanation is cultural. Liberal elites -- the New Class -- see cars, highways and suburbs as representing the uppity nature of ordinary Americans. They go where they want to go. They want to live some place with green space that they own (a yard) and a free market economy allows it.

They don’t respect their “betters” -- the liberal elites. The latter, who are always convinced they know better, lack the ability to plan and control the lives of ordinary people.

Of course, Obama’s high speed rail project would not change the lives of Americans perceptibly, since so few people would ride.

But, for the New Class, striking a symbolic blow against the populist culture of this nation seems well worth billions of other people’s money.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Racial Bean Counters

From Jeff Jacoby:
THE CENSUS BUREAU has begun rolling out state-by-state demographic data distilled from the 2010 Census. They include statistics on race and Hispanic origin that can be broken down with meticulous geographic precision. If you want to know how many African Americans live in Arkansas’s Benton School District (1,302), or whether Maryland’s white population has gone up or down since 2000 (down 0.9 percent), or which Vermont county has the most Hispanics (Chittenden, with 2,586), the Census Bureau can tell you. Spend a while with the census search engine, and you could be forgiven for thinking that the nation’s racial composition has never been defined with such pinpoint accuracy.

In fact, the nation’s racial composition has never been defined with less accuracy, and the margin of error is widening. Why? Because of the growing number of Americans like Michelle López-Mullins, who render the government’s racial categories meaningless or obsolete. The University of Maryland student was introduced last week in a New York Times story that illustrates the difficulties faced by the bean-counters in an increasingly post-racial society:
“The federal Department of Education would categorize Michelle López-Mullins -- a university student who is of Peruvian, Chinese, Irish, Shawnee, and Cherokee descent -- as ‘Hispanic,’” Susan Saulny’s story began. “But the National Center for Health Statistics, the government agency that tracks data on births and deaths, would pronounce her ‘Asian’ and ‘Hispanic.’ And what does Ms. López-Mullins’s birth certificate from the State of Maryland say? It doesn’t mention her race.

“Ms. López-Mullins, 20, usually marks ‘other’ on surveys these days. But when she filled out a census form last year, she chose Asian, Hispanic, Native American, and white.”
Though most Americans may still think of themselves as belonging to a single race, the multiracial population is surging. Racial boundaries are more permeable and easier to ignore than they have ever been before.

Today, one in seven new marriages -- 14.6 percent -- unites spouses of different races, according to the Pew Research Center. The interracial marriage rate has doubled since 1980, and is six times what it was in 1960. For some combinations, the rate of increase has been even more rapid. When Barack Obama was born in 1961, less than one new marriage in 1,000 was, like his parents’, that of a black person and a white person. “By 1980, that share had risen to about one in 150 new marriages,” Pew notes. “By 2008, it had risen to one in 60.”

Yet instead of shutting down the racial bean-counters, the government is giving them new powers. The Times reports that new Department of Education rules require any student who acknowledges any Hispanic ethnicity at all to be reported solely as “Hispanic” in federal filings. That doesn’t sit well with López-Mullins, whose Peruvian-Chinese-Irish-Shawnee-Cherokee family tree is considerably more diverse and interesting than the word “Hispanic” alone can possibly convey.

To be sure, some lobbies and grievance groups profit handsomely from aggravating racial distinctions. But most Americans have moved beyond the color-consciousness of generations past, and it’s time federal agencies did too.
The problem, and it’s a huge one, is that as American society is becoming more tolerant, more multi-racial and more diverse, a very large infrastructure exists to divide people and put them into categories. And people put into some politically correct victim category are supposed to nurse grievances against American society.

Thus, the bureaucrats and activists who talk most about “diversity” and “inclusion” have a vested interest in promoting social division.

And there are plenty of them at Marquette.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Roundtable on Egypt Tomorrow Afternoon

The Department of Political Science and the
Political Science Graduate Student Association

PRESENT A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION ON:

The Crisis in Egypt:
What Happened, and What Does It
Mean for Egypt and the Middle East?


Wednesday, February 16th, 2011
3:00–4:30 p.m.
William Wehr Physics Bldg., Room 141

Roundtable Participants:

Moderator
Prof. Barry McCormick, Department of Political Science

Speakers
Prof. Risa Brooks, Department of Political Science
“Explaining the Role of Egypt’s Military in the Uprising”

Prof. Philip Naylor, Department of History
“Egypt’s Upheaval in Historical Context”

Riman Barakat, Department of Political Science
“Youth and Technology in Egypt’s Uprising”

The presenters will make brief presentations, and discussion with the audience will follow. Refreshments will be provided.



The recent (or perhaps “ongoing”) revolution in Egypt is either (most likely) the best thing ever to happen to that very important nation, or (possibly) another disaster of the magnitude that brought the Mullahs to power in Iran.

We’re talking monumentally important stuff here, and we wouldn’t dream of missing this.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Is the Westboro Baptist Church Coming to Marquette?

Yes, these are the Pastor Fred Phelps folks, whose motto is “God Hates Fags.”

Listed among events on their website, are these two:
Weasler Auditorium in Milwaukee, WI March 1, 2011 6:15 PM - 7:00 PM

WBC will picket the fag pimp Judy Shepard as she lectures the youth of this nation -- teaching them that God lied when He said “thou shalt not lie with mankind as with woman kind, it is abomination” (Lev. 18:22).

Halfaer Theatre in Milwaukee, WI March 6, 2011 1:45 PM - 2:30

PMWBC will picket The Laramie Project production at the Halfaer Theatre. Listen up! These people are promoting soul-damning sin! Sodomy is an abomination to God (Lev. 18:22).
We frankly doubt they will show up. It’s unlikely their merry band of bigots actually has the organizational capacity to demonstrate in every location on their schedule.

We aren’t keen on the gay lobby exploiting Matthew Shepard’s death to promote a gay agenda far beyond the legitimate one of protecting the lives, liberty and property of every American. And indeed, one of the two killers turned state’s evidence and got life in prison (rather than execution), and the other escaped the death penalty only due to a last minute deal brokered by Shepard’s family. We favor the death penalty, and would have been happy to see both executed.

But of course, such nuances are beyond the ken of the Phelps crowd.

In fact, the Phelps crowd are a huge boon to the gay lobby, promoting the stereotype that anybody who opposes the gay political agenda must be evil and intolerant. In a sense, they are the mirror image of the gays at the Folsom Stree Fair, who promote a stereotype of gays as degenerate.

The chief lesson to be taken from the antics of Phelps and his followers is that a tiny, insignificant group of people can, by being utterly outrageous, come to actually seem important. Partly it’s because they fit the liberal template: people who oppose the gay lobby must be bigots. But partly it’s part of a bigger problem with politics and the media in America.

We wouldn’t want a media cabal to be able to decide that these folks are freaks who should be ignored, since we fear the other things an effective media cabal would do.

And yes, we understand the irony of the fact that we are blogging about them, in spite of saying they are insignificant. The truth is they have become significant as a media phenomenon.

Phelp’s folks, of course, have a right to picket whatever events they want (but not on Marquette property, rather on nearby public streets).

But we expect that they won’t show up. That would be far and away the best outcome.

[Update, March 1:]

As we predicted, the Westboro folks did not show up.

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Marquette Faculty Senate Plots Concealing Information From the Public

When politically correct activists at a nominally Catholic university (like Marquette) plan policies that they know will be controversial, they of course like to do it in private.

Thus when Student Affairs (with the cooperation of the entire Marquette Administration) invited lesbian activist Ronni Sanlo to campus to “consult” (read: “tell Marquette how to placate the campus gay lobby”) her visit was essentially a secret. It was nowhere mentioned on the Marquette website.

A fair number of people were invited to speak with her, but all were either liberal student organizations (the Gay/Straight Alliance, for example), or faculty who were gay, lesbian or “allies.”

We, however, got wind of the event, and outed it here.

Another project of the campus gay lobby is domestic partner benefits for gay and lesbian faculty and employees. As this was being considered by a committee of the Academic Senate, we found out about it and outed this campaign too.

Of course, this didn’t make the faculty activists happy. So the issue came up before the University Academic Senate. The following occurred at a faculty council meeting:
I. Chair’s report - Dr. Christine Krueger
  1. Dr. Krueger provided the members a handout regarding Transparency and Confidentiality in Shared Governance Processes. The Chair read the statement into the record:
    UAS Chair’s Report: Transparency and Confidentiality in Shared Governance Processes

    Many sources of feedback over the past several years have identified timely consultation with faculty in decision making and transparency in UAS business as priorities for improving shared governance. To that end, this year’s UAS has built upon previous practices to enhance communication of UAS and standing committee business to faculty, students and administrators. Actions have included a new UAS website, providing access to UAS agendas, minutes, meeting materials, reports, and other documents, as well as lists of standing committee members and standing committee minutes. In addition, UAS senators and standing committee members have been encouraged to consult with their constituencies and faculty have been invited to communicate their views on upcoming UAS business. These actions have received considerable positive feedback.

    These improvements in timely consultation and transparency are surely to be preserved and enhanced. However, in the past semester, UAS business, including committee motions yet to come before the UAS and emails regarding UAS business, have found their way beyond the Marquette community. These actions have raised serious concerns among committee members and faculty generally, which have repeatedly been brought to the attention of the UAS officers. It is clear that such actions impede the work of elected and appointed members of shared governance bodies and erode faculty trust in shared governance. Shared governance bodies need opportunity to discuss, research, and consult with constituents about their business before taking public stands. At present, the UAS does not have policies in place governing the dissemination of UAS documents and communications beyond the Marquette community. I am inviting UAS advice on how to address these very legitimate concerns.

    Two considerations should be kept in mind. First, as Provost Pauly has indicated, the privacy of email communications cannot be expected. Second, implicit in the practice of limiting website access for many UAS documents to the Marquette community is the sense that they should not be shared beyond the MU community. UPP 1-28 Information Sensitivity Policy, which provides guidelines for sharing and storing physical and electronic information, states that “In general, the employees and functions responsible for creating or for obtaining information are responsible for determining into which classification the information falls, how it should be stored, and under what circumstances it should be disclosed to third parties or to the public.”

    With these considerations in mind, I have the following questions for the UAS:

    1. Should UAS formulate policy regarding email communication of UAS business?

      These might include
      • Limiting reproduction of prior email chains
      • Avoiding email as a means of disseminating UAS and committee documents in process

    2. Should UAS and standing committees employ Share Point sites limited to appropriate members for disseminating documents in progress?

    3. Should UAS provide committees with guidelines for using executive sessions for discussing sensitive topics?

    4. Should the UAS have stated policy limiting the sharing of documents and committee communications beyond the Marquette community? For example, should there be a policy regarding sharing information beyond the Marquette community which would apply to both UAS/committee members and guests at UAS/committee meetings?

    While no policy could prevent someone who had legitimately accessed UAS and committee documents and communications from disseminating them outside the Marquette community, policy would make explicit the imperative that these documents are intended exclusively for members of the Marquette community. Such policy might also include sanctions against those who violate the policy.

    Finally, I wish to emphasize that no policy should aim to impede communication with the Marquette community on which the success of shared governance depends. Nor would it restrict Marquette community access to UAS or committee meetings beyond the current option of executive sessions under appropriate circumstances. Nor would it restrict the right of any member of the Marquette community to discuss publicly posted shared governance minutes in public fora.

    In addition to discussion in the UAS, I recommend that CAPI be asked to take up these matters and bring recommendations back to the UAS.

  2. Discussion:
    1. What motivated you to produce this statement?
      Chair: Emailed information concerning on-going committee deliberations that were considered private were excerpted and posted on a public blog.
    2. Are recommendations proposed in this statement binding?

      Provost: Yes. FERPA [Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act] designs confidentiality that is binding. The UAS has not discussed this issue, but we do need to think about limits of accessibility to our deliberations or access to information.

      Chair: members on other committees are now worried about how they should be conducting their work and deliberations.

    3. Similar to WikiLeaks, indiscriminate release of information is not necessarily good for Marquette.
    4. The open invitation to attend UAS meetings indicates that UAS information can be shared.

      Chair: According to UPP 1-28, it is up to the UAS to decide what information needs what degree of confidentiality. We need to consider a policy that neither impedes access to information by the Marquette community nor impinges on academic freedom.
    5. This issue raises red flags for shared governance. What do we mean by “open”? We should err on the side of openness rather than secrecy.

    This matter was brought forth after several discussions in committees appeared in public forums. Such a situation negatively impacts the good work conducted by committee members. Dr. Krueger asked the Senators to consider this issue as a deliberative body.
  1. Any information can be manipulated by taking it out of context and publically shared.
  2. Suggestion: Committee members cannot forward an email without the sender’s permission. Or, do not use email.
  3. The Board of Graduate Studies circulates it’s [sic] agenda, implying that meetings are open to faculty. But are the meetings really open?

    Vice-Chair: Meetings are open to faculty and administrators, but rarely do visitors attend.
  4. In its deliberations of this charge, CAPI needs to consider how to protect privacy and transparency.
  5. Leaks can stifle robust discussion, including oral comments. This is a significant issue particularly for untenured faculty.

The motion was made that:
CAPI take up the matter of confidentiality regarding UAS materials and its subsequent committees.
The motion was seconded.
Vote: 26 - Yes 0 - No 0 - Abstentions The motion carried
This would be laughable, if it did not reflect so badly on Marquette faculty.

What we have here is a lot of rhetoric about “transparency,” while the faculty political activists are plotting to keep what they do secret!

George Orwell, call Dr. Christine Krueger.

Worse than that, they can’t keep secret the fact that they are plotting to keep their machinations secret. You, after all, are reading about them right now.

So what we have here is a combination of bad faith and ineptness. Being worried about leaks of their secret, sensitive discussions, they suggest that e-mail be eliminated, perhaps in favor of the Sharepoint server. Or maybe they mean that material should be distributed in the old way, with printed pages being sent around via campus mail.

But of course, anybody who would forward an e-mail to us would happily download and send a document on Sharepoint. Or indeed, xerox it and send it via campus mail.

Most of the arguments are odd too. For example (quoting the document above):
Shared governance bodies need opportunity to discuss, research, and consult with constituents about their business before taking public stands.
But admittedly, most of their “constituents” aren’t going to know what their representatives are doing unless somebody makes these secret deliberations public. And why should they be taking private stands that will, if revealed prove embarrassing if they are so attentive to the people they supposedly represent?

And does transparency “impede the work of elected and appointed members of shared governance bodies and erode faculty trust in shared governance?” Only if “the work” somehow needs to be conducted in secret, behind closed doors. But these folks aren’t planning a military operation. And somehow they interpret “shared governance” as requiring that information not be shared!

And if transparency will “erode trust,” what does that say about the people who claim to deserve the “trust” of other faculty?

It’s also interesting that the politically correct faculty who are always urging gays to “come out” about their homosexuality are so loath to come out of the closet about their own schemes.

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David Horowitz’ Speech at CPAC 2011

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

A University in Wisconsin With a Vital Catholic Ministry (not Marquette)

A few days ago with blogged about the very vital Catholic campus ministry at Texas A & M University. A commenter on that post pointed out yet another public university with an active and successful Catholic presence.
The St. Paul’s center in Madison has daily Masses, some of them in Latin, daily Rosary, long lines for confessions, uses Gregorian chant in some of the liturgies, etc. The homilies are frank and address topics like moral relativism, salvation, etc.

Most kids coming to college never got any of this in their Catholic childhoods at home, they are having an encounter with stuff they had only heard about (and were often told was bad, old-fashioned, backward, rigid, judgmental etc.) Sure this may turn some people off, but it attracts others, at St. Paul’s they are experiencing growth.

Kids don’t want to be patronized, they want to learn something.
We wondered whether this was in fact all true, and e-mailed Scott Hacki of St. Paul’s and asked him to comment. His response:
The campus ministry at St. Paul’s is indeed thriving. I wouldn’t necessarily say there are long lines for confession. We have two daily Masses and four Sunday Masses with confession heard thirty minutes before Mass every day. There is a line everyday but it depends on what you call long. Usually it’s about 5-10 people waiting in line before each Mass. On Ash Wed and Good Friday we have priests in the confessional the entire day and students coming in and out the entire day as well.

On a better note we also have about 300 students involved weekly in our bible studies all over campus and a Thursday night weekly program that usually brings in another 200 or so. St. Paul’s is truly a very exciting Catholic place that has experienced a tremendous amount of growth. Ten years ago we had one Bible study with ten students, now we have 72 weekly studies with 300+ involved. I would say the rest of this persons comments are accurate.
So why is it that public universities can have a more vital and active Catholic campus ministry than the nominally Catholic Marquette?

We would suggest it’s the “established religion syndrome.” The bland assumption is that since Marquette is “Catholic” evangelism is really out of place. Somehow not needed. And besides, who would want students to be the sort of traditional Catholics who might want to celebrate a Latin Mass, or might actually believe church teaching on sexuality?

But it follows from this that a job at Marquette is a rather bland sinecure. It is not the sort of place where people with any missionary zeal would particularly want to be.

But places like Marquette are attractive to people whose agenda is more political than spiritual. Thus Marquette’s campus ministry seems more interested in opposing Church teaching on homosexuality and demonstrating at the School of the Americas than in gaining converts. Or deepening the faith of merely nominal Catholic students (unless “deepening” is interpreted in terms of leftist political activism).

But ironically, the percentage of entering Marquette Freshmen who call themselves “Catholic” has declined to the point that (among the class entering in the fall of 2010) only 44% will claim to be Catholic.

Ironically, for parents who want a Catholic college experience for their children, Marquette and similar institutions may be about the worst places to send them, inferior not only to newer, smaller schools that take their Catholicism seriously, but to public universities.

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“Queer Week” at Xavier

Via Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit, “Queer Week” at Xavier University:
A week to embrace and celebrate the use of queer as an inclusive, unifying socio-political term for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, straight, transsexual, intersexual, gender queer, or anyone else who supports the equality of all identities and expressions. Monday: 1:30 Distribution of ‘Gay, Fine By Me’ T-Shirts on the Greenspace 7pm Candlelight Vigil for Victims of Hate Crimes Tuesday: Queer Awareness Display and Tabling in Gallagher Wednesday: 7pm An academic performance by Kate Bornstein “On Women, Men and the Rest of Us” in Kelley Auditorium Thursday: 7pm Showing of ‘Milk’ with panel discussion in Gallagher Theater Friday: 4pm Same-Sex Hand Holding Day/Solidarity and Closing Ceremonies.
Marquette hasn’t gone quite this far in “embracing” and “celebrating” homosexuality, but given the power of the campus gay lobby, and the support it has from the University bureaucracy, it might not be long until we see something just like this.

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Monday, February 07, 2011

Campus Fascism at the University of California, Irvine

Muslim students, taking their cues from 60s campus leftists, shout down a speaker whose views they disagree with.

(Sorry, but you’ll have to put up with a short commercial going in.)

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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

A Campus Where Catholicism Thrives (not Marquette)

From First Things, an article by George Weigel:
Aggie Catholic Renaissance

Feb 2, 2011
George Weigel

Where can you find a Catholic chaplaincy at an institution of higher learning that’s looking to expand its church to seat 1,400, because the current 850 just isn’t enough?

South Bend, Indiana, perhaps? Well, no, actually: College Station, Texas, where the Catholic chaplaincy at Texas A&M, St. Mary’s Catholic Center, is setting a new national standard for Catholic campus ministry.

Aggie Catholicism is something to behold. Daily Mass attendance averages 175; there were closer to 300 Catholic Aggies at Mass on a weekday afternoon when I visited a few years back. Sunday Masses draw between 4,000 and 5,000 worshippers. There are 10 weekly time-slots for confessions, which are also heard all day long on Mondays. Eucharistic adoration, rosary groups, the Liturgy of the Hours, and the traditional First Friday devotion are staples of Aggie Catholicism’s devotional life.

A rich retreat program is available, and each year some 1,250 students make or staff a retreat sponsored by St. Mary’s. “Aggie Awakening,” an adaptation of Cursillo for students, is one of the cornerstones of the campus ministry; other, specially designed programs include a silent retreat and a retreat titled “Genius of Women.” In 2009-10, 200 students participated in bi-weekly spiritual direction programs, and another 70 took part in the “Samuel Group,” an exercise in Ignatian discernment that includes a commitment to curb what one campus minister describes as “unnecessary TV and Internet use.” Two thousand A&M students, not all of them Catholics, have participated in introductory sessions exploring the theology of the body, and many have continued that exploration in follow-on study groups.

Then there is service. Aggie Catholics participate in domestic and international missions, work with Habitat for Humanity, take part in a ministry to prisoners, and are involved in various pro-life activities. In fact, the 40 Days for Life program is an outgrowth of the Catholic campus ministry at Texas A&M; the national office of 40 Days is staffed by Aggie grads. The campus ministry also works with a local Life Center that helps mothers and families in difficult situations.

All this energy has had a discernible effect on vocational formation and discernment. Since 2000, the campus ministry has averaged some nine students per year entering the seminary or religious novitiates; 132 Catholic Aggies have been ordained priests or made final religious vows in the past two decades. And then there is the vocation to marriage and family, which the campus ministry takes very seriously. Aggie Catholics are also a powerful witness to the rest of Aggieland; 175 new Catholics have entered the Church the past two years through St. Mary’s RCIA program.

The Catholic renaissance at Texas A&M is staffed by two full-time priests, three part-time and semi-retired deacons, one part-time priest, three full-time lay campus ministers, three sisters from the Apostles of the Interior Life, three part-time campus ministers, and four part-time student interns. That probably strikes many campus ministers as a rather large staff. In fact, the people who lead St. Mary’s are stretched—and they began where many others are today.

Catholic campus ministry at Texas A&M is a striking example of “If you build it, they will come.” The program is unapologetically orthodox. There is no fudging the demands of the faith. And yet they come, and come, and come, because Aggie Catholicism shows the campus a dynamic orthodoxy that is not a retreat into the past but a way of seizing the future and bending it in a more humane direction. The premise that informed John Paul II’s approach to students his entire life—that young people want to be challenged to lead lives of heroic virtue, in which the search for love is the search for a pure and noble love—is the premise that guides Catholic campus ministry at College Station.

Texas A&M is a special place, culturally; in many respects, it seems to have skipped the ‘60s, such that its 21st-century life is in palpable continuity with its past. That’s a deeply Catholic cultural instinct, which St. Mary’s has seized to build a program that is a model for the entire country.
A commenter notes, sourly:
Prediction: in 50 years the American Catholic Church will be dumbfounded by the amount of time, resources and energy it spent building a system of higher education that produced....almost nothing. I exaggerate only slightly.
The fundamental virtue at A & M is that the Catholic Campus Ministry there is actually Catholic, while the Campus Ministry at Marquette is liberal/left and politically correct. At Marquette, promoting the gay agenda and demonstrating against the School of the Americas seem to be the first two priorities.

But an authentic Catholicism is attractive to young people, who may have fallen away a bit from the religion views of their parents (which might be Protestant, secular, or bland, nominal Catholicism) but are looking for meaning in their lives.

But to attract people, a Catholic ministry has to actually be Catholic. Nominally Catholic political correctness won’t hack it.

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