Thursday, September 29, 2011

The News Catches Up With The Onion

An Onion video from April, 2009.


9/11 Conspiracy Theories 'Ridiculous,' Al Qaeda Says

And a very recent headline in the Guardian.
Al-Qaida calls on Ahmadinejad to end 9/11 conspiracy theories

Terrorist organisation’s magazine reportedly says it is ‘ridiculous’ for Iran’s president to blame the attacks on the US government

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Yahoo Professor Hates F-word, But Only if Directed at Obama

Warning: Raw Language

From the Daily Caller:
Insulting the president and other government officials is practically a national pastime in the United States. This is a testament to the freedom of our society; in some parts of the world, insulting those who govern earns you swift punishment, or at least official censorship. That isn’t the case in America — unless you live on a college campus.

Students at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) in Texas found this out the hard way yesterday when they erected a “free speech wall” — a recently popular way for students to highlight the importance of free speech in which students put up a freestanding wall covered in paper, upon which anyone can write anything they want. Students jumped on the chance to participate. To cite a few examples: “Don’t hate against Gays . . .,” “If you make less than $200,000 Republicans don’t care about you,” “Life’s not a bitch, Life is a beautiful woman . . .,” “Han Solo Shot First,” “My boyfriend is a liar!,” “Legalize Weed!!!,” and “NAZI PUNKS FUCK OFF!!!”

But just hours in, the free speech wall was vandalized by a professor — yes, a professor! — who was offended that someone had written “FUCK OBAMA” on the free speech wall. Students being students, the “F-word” was written on the wall many times about many different topics, but apparently the only expletive that offended this professor enough to take action was the one referring to President Obama.

The professor, whom students identified as Joe Kirk, demanded that the student groups sponsoring the wall — including Republicans, Democrats, libertarians and socialists — cover up only the Obama statement. They refused. He then told them that he would come back with a box cutter and cut it out of the wall himself, which he then did. You can see the before and after pictures at thefire.org.

Shocked that a professor would do this, the student organizers got in touch with the campus police. When the police arrived, they interviewed the students and the vandalizing professor. Then came the surprise: The police told the students that since Prof. Kirk was offended by some profanity on the wall, the students were engaging in “disorderly conduct,” a misdemeanor, and had to cover up all the swear words on the wall or take it down. Realizing that this would make a mockery out of the purpose of a free speech wall, the students simply disassembled the wall. Thus ended SHSU’s several hour-long experiment with free speech.

. . . the police, by threatening to charge the students with disorderly conduct rather than Prof. Kirk with vandalism, have established a “heckler’s veto” on SHSU’s campus. Institutions grant a “heckler’s veto” over expression when they allow the reactions of those who hear or see the expression to govern what might be said, creating an incentive for people to act disruptively or violently when confronted with speech they don’t like in the expectation that the police will shut it down. That’s precisely what happened in this case: Prof. Kirk’s destructive vandalism and claims of offense led the police to silence the expression of every student who wrote on the Free Speech Wall.
Of course, trying to use a “heckler’s veto” is a standard tactic of the campus left. Threaten disorder, and way too many college administrations will shut up the speech the left dislikes, rather than clamp down on the disruptors.

It will be interesting to see whether Kirk is subjected to any kind of punishment. We doubt it will happen, since most college administrators (and the loud leftist lobby on most campuses) see nothing wrong with shutting up speech.

Just how many Marquette professors would do this? Very few, if any.

How many Marquette professors would defend what Kirk did, and insist that the student didn’t really have the right to make a vulgar comment on Obama? Quite a lot.

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Cultural Odd Couple

From the Jewish website www.ynetnews.com, an account of something that looks like an interesting multicultural experience.
JNF looks to the future with MC Hammer

Jewish National Fund’s Future Party in Toronto features American rap musician, with proceeds going toward development of sports field in Israel’s Kibbutz Hahotrim

The Jewish National Fund (JNF) has come a long way since the days its Blue Box (pushke) was its most recognizable feature. While the JNF continues to build Israel today, it also continues to have an eye to the future.

So, it should come as no surprise that on Thursday, September 22, the JNF will be holding its Future Party – featuring a talented musical icon, and a man who made balloon pants look good, MC Hammer, at Toronto’s Corus Quay (25 Dockside Drive).

Proceeds raised from the Future Party will go toward the development of a sports field at the Yafit Park complex in Kibbutz Hahotrim in the northern Carmel coast. The project will be an additional element in the park – a multi-functional sports field where the kibbutz residents can enjoy games of football, volleyball and basketball.
Hip hop (even from a fellow who peaked two decades ago) might not seem to go with things Jewish.

But hey, why not?

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Obama Hails America’s Building of the “Intercontinental Railroad”

Yes, he said that.

The Harvard graduate (of course we all suspect he was an affirmative action admit) doesn’t know the difference between “intercontinental” and “transcontinental.”

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Gay Fascism: In Texas This Time

From Fox News:
An honors student in Fort Worth, Texas, was sent to the principal’s office and punished for telling a classmate that he believes homosexuality is wrong.

Holly Pope said she was “absolutely stunned” when she received a telephone call from an assistant principal at Western Hills High School informing her that her son, Dakota Ary, had been sent to in-school suspension.

“Dakota is a very well-grounded 14-year-old,” she told Fox News Radio noting that her son is an honors student, plays on the football team and is active in his church youth group. “He’s been in church his whole life and he’s been taught to stand up for what he believes.”

And that’s what got him in trouble.

Dakota was in a German class at the high school when the conversation shifted to religion and homosexuality in Germany. At some point during the conversation, he turned to a friend and said that he was a Christian and “being a homosexual is wrong.”

“It wasn’t directed to anyone except my friend who was sitting behind me,” Dakota told Fox. “I guess [the teacher] heard me. He started yelling. He told me he was going to write me an infraction and send me to the office.”

Dakota was sentenced to one day in-school suspension – and two days of full suspension. His mother was flabbergasted, noting that her son had a spotless record, was an honor student, volunteered at his church and played on the school football team.

Officials at the high school did not return calls for comment. However, the Fort Worth Independent School District issued a statement that read:

“As a matter of course, Fort Worth ISD does not comment on specific employee or student-related issues. Suffice it to say that we are following district policy in our review of the circumstances and any resolution will likewise be in accordance with district policy.”

After a meeting with Pope and her attorney, the school rescinded the two-day suspension so Dakota would be allowed to play in an upcoming football game.

“They’ve righted all the wrongs,” said Matt Krause, an attorney with the Liberty Counsel. “This should have no lasting effect on his academic or personal record going forward.”

Pope contacted the Liberty Counsel immediately after her son was punished.
It’s good that the intervention of the Liberty Counsel set this right. But the disturbing question is: how many students sit silently intimidated? How many accept punishment for their heretical opinions because they don’t want the publicity or hassle?
“I told the school that he should never have been suspended for exercising his Constitutional rights,” Krause told Fox News Radio. “The principal is sincere in trying to do the right thing and hopefully they will tell the teacher, ‘Do not do that anymore.’ He won’t be pushing his agenda.”

Krause called the incident “mind blowing” and said the teacher had frequently brought homosexuality into ninth grade classroom discussions.

“There has been a history with this teacher in the class regarding homosexual topics,” Krause said. “The teacher had posted a picture of two men kissing on a wall that offended some of the students.”

Krause said the picture was posted on the teacher’s “world wall.”

“He told the students this is happening all over the world and you need to accept the fact that homosexuality is just part of our culture now,” Krause said.
Of course, telling students they “need to accept” homosexuality is a clear violation of religious liberty. If a conservative Christian teacher told students that they “need to accept” that homosexuality is sinful, the teacher would quickly be in big trouble.
The school district would not comment on why a teacher was discussing homosexuality in a ninth grade German class.

“In German class there should be no talk of being pro-Gay or homosexual topics,” Krause said.

Dakota’s mother said she believes the teacher should apologize.

“He should never have been punished,” Pope said. “He didn’t disrupt the class. He wasn’t threatening. He wasn’t hostile. He made a comment to his friend and the teacher overheard it.”

“My son knows people that are homosexual,” she said. “He’s not saying, ‘I don’t like you.’ He’s saying, ‘I’m a Christian and I believe that being that way is wrong.’”

Krause said school leaders told Dakota that in the future he should be careful when and where he talks about his opposition to homosexuality – suggesting that he talk about such matters in the hallway instead of the classroom.
Of course, students wanting to insist that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle would never be told to be careful. Indeed, speaking up in class would be encouraged.
He said Liberty Counsel will monitor the situation to make sure there is no future retaliation. Meantime, Pope said her son will return to the teacher’s classroom.

“I’ve told him to treat this teacher with respect,” she said. “He is your elder. He is your teacher. What his beliefs are or what they are not – outside the school is none of our business.”
The teacher, quite simply, was engaged in indoctrination, and came down on a student who was resisting the indoctrination.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Award: Best Headline on an Opinion Column About Obama

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Arts & Sciences Dean Search Delayed a Year

From an e-mail sent out to Arts and Sciences faculty by Marquette President Scott Pilarz:
The conversations with so many of you and my own conviction about the centrality of this college to the future of Marquette University have helped me to conclude that it is in the best interests of the college — and the university — to have Father Phil Rossi continue as interim dean through the 2012-2013 academic year. I am grateful to Father Rossi both for his past service and for his continuing leadership, and I have pledged my support to him as he continues to help the college move forward. Fr. Rossi’s leadership and the continued involvement of the Arts and Sciences chairs will be critical in our discernment and planning for a new dean.

I have asked Provost John Pauly to work with the college during the next eight months to identify the challenges and opportunities facing the college and what we should be looking for in a new dean. I intend to be part of that process as well, recognizing the importance of this hire. It is then my intent to launch a national search in fall 2012. This decision will be announced to the campus community in this afternoon’s News Briefs.

I want to thank you for the support I am confident you will continue to give Father Rossi and to urge you to be actively involved as we assess the future of the college. Thank you.

Scott Pilarz, S.J.
In the spring of 2010, the search to fill this dean position turned into a monumental fiasco when an outspoken lesbian was offered the job, and then the offer was rescinded when the nature of the things she has written (anti-marriage, discussion of sex toys) became known.

Pilarz apparently decided this entire issue is a hot potato, and that he needs to get his ducks in line before tackles it.

But what sort of ducks does he want to get in line? Among the numerous politically correct faculty and administrators at Marquette, hiring a gay or lesbian dean would be a dandy idea, and especially a way of making amends to the campus gay lobby. Make no mistake, most administrators at Marquette (at least those on the academic side, in Student Affairs and in Mission and Identity) are strong promoters of the gay agenda.

Pilarz himself, judging from the “inclusion initiative” he put in place at Scranton seems to be rather politically correct. But our guess is that he will not want to reopen the issue of a lesbian (or gay) dean.

One thing is sure: when the search takes place, all candidates will received vastly more scrutiny than they have been subjected to in the past.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

College Republican’s 9/11 Memorial

From a press release sent by the Marquette College Republicans:
This morning the College Republicans of Marquette placed 3,000 flags outside the Alumni Memorial Union as a memorial to every life lost ten years ago. Over 20 members of the club worked early to remember the lives and to place a temporary memorial for the Marquette Community to pay their respects to the victims. Passers by commended the club on their willingness to remember the anniversary in a big way.

In addition to the flag display, the College Republicans posted a memorial flag inside the Union. The flag consists of 3x5 pieces of construction paper with memories and thoughts,of the Marquette Community. Marquette’s Republicans collected the handwritten memories last week from both political parties at tables in the Union.

“We had some shocking memories,” said the clubs Chairman Ethan Hollenberger, “several people lost family members ten years ago. While the students at Marquette were only 8,9,10, and 11, the memories and the effects are strong. I think we have effectively recreated the patriotism spurred from ten years ago; however, nothing will replace the pain suffered by those who lost loved ones. The College Republicans are praying for the families of the 2,977 victims.”

The flag display will remain today until 9pm while the Memorial Flag will be up all week inside the Union. Those who have not placed a memory on the flag are encouraged to find an empty space.
Interestingly, events commemorating 9/11 have been pretty scarce on campus. This, in fact is the only one we know of.

(One program — not exactly a memorial but certainly related — is the speech at the Law School of Gordon Haberman, the father of a 9/11 victim.)

It seems odd that such a watershed event would not be the subject of multiple memorials, forums, speeches and discussions.

Is this the result of political correctness, since it is a hard sell to paint America as anything other than the victim of fanatical Muslim extremists? Some people at Marquette try, but it’s not convincing.

Of course, it’s early in the semester, and departments, schools and student organizations may simply not have gotten “up to speed” in programming.

Probably some of both factors are operating.

But kudos to the College Republicans for getting this organized.



[Update]

A couple of commenters have pointed out a worthy event held by the Communications College.

Kudos to the Communications College for that. But the video is a collection of inspiring personal stories, and not any sort of hard-edged political or geopolitical analysis. More of the latter was clearly called for on campus.

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