Saturday, December 31, 2016
Not Sure Why a Brit is an Alabama Fan, but Why Not?
Friday, December 30, 2016
Settlements and Peace in the Middle East
Now We Are Going to Get Tough?
Marquette Near Bottom in College Ranking on Free Expression
We are a politically diverse group of social scientists, natural scientists, humanists, and other scholars who want to improve our academic disciplines and universities.“Politically diverse” here doubtless means conservatives, libertarians, and old-style liberals and leftists. Remember, it was once liberals and leftists who espoused free expression and a “free market of ideas.” Those days are over, but some of the old-style liberals and leftists are still around, and a few younger liberals and leftists continue to favor free speech.
We share a concern about a growing problem: the loss or lack of “viewpoint diversity.” When nearly everyone in a field shares the same political orientation, certain ideas become orthodoxy, dissent is discouraged, and errors can go unchallenged.
To reverse this process, we have come together to advocate for a more intellectually diverse and heterodox academy.
The organization rates schools on “viewpoint diversity.” In practice this means that conservative and libertarian ideas can be expressed on campus. The expression of politically correct leftist ideas is never in doubt, at least not among the schools rated (which are the top 150 colleges and universities as ranked by U.S. News and World Report).
Guess where Marquette ends up? That’s right. Near the very bottom. You can search for Marquette here.
Rankings like this are hardly perfect. The people who put it together may not know that Marquette students are, on net, pretty moderate. But on the other hand, they may not know that Marquette has a Bias Incident Reporting System which means that any even mildly politically incorrect statement by a student may result in a meeting with an administrator. Even if the student is not formally punished, the process is the punishment.
Likewise, the people who put together the list apparently don’t know that feminist students on campus were free to vandalize an anti-abortion display, with no apparent disciplinary consequences.
Thus Marquette fully deserves its low ranking. This supposed “Catholic university” is not merely a secular university, it’s a rather intolerant secular university.
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Marquette President Michael Lovell: One of the Scariest People of 2016
Marquette University President Michael Lovell has brought back the Inquisition to Catholic universities.
When political science professor John McAdams criticized Philosophy Department instructor Cheryl Abbate on his blog in November 2014 for not allowing a student to defend Catholic teaching on same-sex marriage in her classroom, Lovell dropped the PC hammer on McAdams by suspending the professor and banning him from campus pending termination.
McAdams’ crime, in the view of Marquette University, was criticizing Abbate publicly because, in addition to being an instructor, she was also a prized graduate student. But what made it worse was that McAdams’ blog post went “viral” and Abbate received hate mail, even though McAdams did not encourage anyone to contact her.
McAdams appealed his termination and was placed in limbo while a faculty committee debated his fate. The suspension continued until April of this year when the panel completed its investigation. It recommended his suspension continue through the end of 2016, but that wasn’t good enough for Lowell.
Lowell said McAdams could not be reinstated until he acknowledged the blog post was “reckless,” accepted the judgment of the faculty committee and expressed regret over the hostile emails Abbate received. McAdams refused, instead demanding that Marquette live up to the promise of academic freedom in McAdams’ contract.
Now McAdams is suing to get reinstated, and the two sides are scheduled to appear in court Feb. 2.
Lovell’s actions have placed Marquette University on the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s list of Ten Worst Universities for Free Speech. Meanwhile, McAdams, a nationally respected expert on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, is unable to teach students or even visit the campus.
But Lovell continues to govern Marquette, turning a once-proud university into a bastion of political correctness.
Saturday, December 17, 2016
On Transgender Nonsense
No, not at all.
In an essay in a Canadian journal, he skewers the transgender movement. Some key points:
Gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder affects a very small number of people. Estimates range from 0.1-0.5 percent of the population. If you only consider transsexuals who medically transition from one sex to another, you’re at the extreme lower end of that estimate. The latest data from the U.K. suggests that 20 in 100,000 are transsexual. But the transgender population seems to be significantly larger than that, and growing. It includes an increasing number of children who are convinced, perhaps partly by the ubiquity of the phenomenon in popular culture, that they are growing up in the wrong bodies.. . .
Referrals to gender dysphoria clinics are skyrocketing. The British Guardian newspaper recently reported that “a clinic in Nottingham reported a 28-fold increase in referrals in eight years, from 30 in 2008 to 850 in 2015. It is expected to increase to more than 1,000 referrals in 2016.” Edmonton psychiatrist Lorne Warneke, who has been helping people transition for decades, told the CBC in October that he’s seeing more and younger trans patients than ever before. The internet is awash in videos where trans adolescents tell their stories of transitioning.
Activists are pushing the medical community to offer treatment at earlier and earlier ages. It is not uncommon to start patients on hormone blockers around age 13 to delay puberty, then prescribe cross-sex hormones at age 16, so the child is ready for surgical transition at age 18.
Dr. Frankenstein as pediatrician
There is very little data on the long term effects of hormone blockers but what there is indicates that these drugs may stunt growth and affect bone density. One of the drugs, Lupron, which is manufactured by the U.S. pharmaceutical giant AbbVie, is intended for treating endometriosis and uterine fibroids. AbbVie has never tested Lupron for blocking puberty and has no plans to do so. Adverse events in clinical studies of females included “hot flashes, headaches, emotional lability (uncontrollable laughing or crying), decreased libido, acne, myalgia, reduction in breast size, and vaginal dryness.”
The American College of Pediatricians reports that “puberty-blocking hormones induce a state of disease – the absence of puberty – and inhibit growth and fertility in a previously biologically healthy child.” Dr. Lisa Brinkman, a clinical psychologist in Ireland told the Irish Examiner that “cross-sex hormones have irreversible effects on fertility. There’s no going back.”
That’s just the puberty blockers. Cross-sex hormones also have not been studied for their use in adolescents. Dr. Lisa Simons, a pediatrician at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, told the Frontline show on PBS that “we don’t really know how sex hormones impact any adolescent’s brain development,” adding that there are no “specific studies that look at the neurocognitive effects of puberty blockers.” What is known is that some of the physiological changes caused by cross-sex hormones cannot be undone if a child decides to revert back to their original sex.
The lust to overthrow convention has reached new heights of ambition – and absurdity – in the Trans movement. It has succeeded in badgering New York City to recognize 31 different genders in its civic human rights code: Bi-Gendered, Cross-Dresser, Drag King, Drag Queen, Femme Queen, Female to Male, FTM, Gender Bender, Genderqueer, Male to Female, MTF, Non-Op, Hijra, Pangender, Transsexual/Transsexual, Trans Person, Woman, Man, Butch, Two-spirit, Trans, Agender, Third Sex, Gender Fluid, Non-binary Transgender, Adrogyne, Gender Gifted, Gender Blender, Femm, Person of Transgender Experience, Androgynous.. . .
The dating app Tinder worked with the LGBT group GLAAD to add 37 genders to its website, and they have plans to continually update their current list: Agender, Androgyne, Androgynous, Bigender, Female to Male, FTM, Gender Fluid, Gender Nonconforming, Gender Questioning, Gender Variant, Genderqueer, Male to Female, MTF, Neither, Neutrois, Non-binary, Other, Pangender, Trans, Trans Man, Trans Woman, Transfeminine, Transgender, Transgender Female, Transgender Male, Transgender Person, Transgender Woman, Transmasculine, Transsexual, Transsexual Female, Transsexual Male, Transssexual Person, Transsexual Woman, Two-Spirit.
What’s the way forward? Well, we certainly need more Jordan Petersons, people with a backbone who can firmly challenge this nonsense.Like all identity politics movements, the transgender movement tends toward the totalitarian. Tolerating people involves leaving them alone. If somebody with a penis thinks he’s a woman, he is free to think that. But when he demands that he be called “ze” he is making a demand he has no right to make. And when he insists on running around unclothed in the women’s locker room or sauna, as Adelaide Kramer did at UWM, he is showing intolerance of other people’s sensibilities.
We also need more people who stand up for science. Dr. Kenneth Zucker is one such person. He used to run the Youth and Family Identity Clinic at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. But in December 2015, he was abruptly fired and the clinic was shut. Zucker had enraged trans activists by advising the parents of dysphoric children to hold off on medical intervention because most kids eventually accept their biological reality. Zucker now practices privately and offers an important alternative for parents who are looking for real answers.
Perhaps we can also use some ridicule.
Grant Strobl, a junior at the University of Michigan, decided that his preferred pronoun was “His Majesty.” He told the Washington Post that “When I realized that the university decided to live a fantasy of allowing students to insert words that aren’t actual pronouns into the university online database that updates the rosters, I decided, well, I might as well be the king of that fantasy, and I henceforth shall be referred to as His Majesty.”
Why should his desire to be accepted as a woman trump women’s desire for privacy in a locker room? For the politically correct, because he is a member of a “marginalized group” and is due special privileges. For sensible people, it should not.
Friday, December 16, 2016
Pro-Trump versus Anti-Trump Violence in the Wake of the Election
And worse, they have claimed that newly empowered Trump supporters have gone on a rampage, attacking members of all their favored victim groups. “Reports of Racist Attacks Surge After Trump Win” one headline screamed.
It’s difficult to know how often this has happened, since:
- People who keep track of such things usually have a liberal bias,
- It’s sometimes hard to know whether a real assault was provoked by politics, or something else — there are two examples below.
- Many of these incidents have been faked by people with a liberal agenda, knowing that sympathetic media will eat up their account
First, there have been many faked incidents, committed by anti-Trump people and blamed on pro-Trump people.
Second, there have been many violent attacks by leftists on pro-Trump people.
First, bogus claims of attacks by pro-Trump people:
- Black woman at gas station in Delaware. More on this here.
- Muslim woman lied about being harassed on subway.
- Supposed homophobic attack at North State Park University.
- Northwestern students and swastika.
- Attack on gay man outside bar in Santa Monica. The attack really occurred, but was apparently the result of an argument in a bar that escalated on both sides. It is not clear that the Trump supporters the man argued with are the men who attacked him.
- Muslim woman at the University of Louisiana Lafayette claimed to have been attacked.
- Fifteen hoaxes (supposed pro-Trump hate crimes) that have been exposed.
- High school girl attacked for supporting Trump.
- Black men attack white guy on public street. Note: this incident started with a routine auto accident, but the attackers seemed to believe that the victim voting for Trump justified the beating.
- 15 year-old Trump supporter beaten during Rockville, Maryland protest.
- President of College Republicans at Cornell assaulted.
- A compilation of attacks on Trump supporters from Lifezette.
- Another compilation from the Daily Wire.
- Still more cases from The American Thinker.
- Yet more cases from Breitbart.
- Still more from the Daily Caller.
- Video compilation of anti-Trump people attacking Trump supporters.
Media outlets, of course, report news that fits their favored narrative. This applies to the New York Times and CNN, but it also applies to the conservative outlets we have linked to above. So as noted, there is no hard data on the actual number of pro-Trump assaults as opposed to anti-Trump assaults.
But the reader might ask himself or herself: which side has been most emotional? Which side has staged enraged protests that devolved into riots. Indeed, which side has gone on YouTube expressing extreme emotion about the outcome of the election? The answer to those questions is clear.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
[Link to Video]
In order to see the face of fascism, watch the first few minutes, where leftist students demonstrate against Milo.
To see more academic fascism, check out the petition demanding that Milo be banned from the UWM campus. The people who have signed have, in effect, brazenly proclaimed their own intolerance.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Any Discipline for Students Who Vandalized Anti-Abortion Display?
Even worse, in a huge display of chutzpah, two students bragged about doing it on Facebook, one in her own post, and another in comments to a post from the Young Americans for Freedom. One of the students admitted to a reporter that she had “tagged along” with members of Empowerment when they trashed the display.
Both the College Democrats, and the group Empowerment came out with statements supporting the vandalism.
Had any conservative group supported the vandalism of any leftist display on campus, the group would have been quickly suspended.
But what about the students who actually did the vandalism? Were they punished in any way? We have been trying to find out, and have been stonewalled by Marquette.
Starting on October 24, we have sent three e-mails to Xavier Cole, Vice President for Student Affairs, within whose bureaucracy discipline would be administered. We also sent him one Tweet, and sent an e-mail to Brian Dorrington, Marquette’s official spokesman.
From: John McAdamsMarquette has failed to provide any response.
Sent: Monday, October 24, 2016 2:52 PM
To: Cole, Xavier
Subject: Investigation of Vandalizing of Anti-Abortion Display
I’m wondering whether you can tell me anything about the progress of the investigation into the vandalizing of the anti-abortion display of Marquette for Life.
I’m sure you are aware of two students who have confessed to (actually bragged about) taking part in it. And further that one of those students told a local reporter that she “tagged along” with members of Empowerment, who did the vandalizing.
Regardless of whether you can comment on the investigation, I’m assuming you can answer a question of policy: will Marquette announce the results of the investigation and what punishment has been meted out to the guilty parties?
On the record (unless you tell me otherwise).
Marquette Warrior Blog
From: John McAdams@DrXavierCole Are students who vandalized the anti-abortion display being disciplined in any way?— jmcadams (@jmcadams) November 18, 2016
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2016 4:15 PM
To: Cole, Xavier
Subject: RE: Investigation of Vandalizing of Anti-Abortion Display
I haven’t heard from you on this, perhaps because when you got it, there was no actual information you could share.
But now, I’m assuming that the case has progressed.
I’m particularly interested in knowing whether any discipline has been imposed on the students who engaged in the vandalism.
I would also be interested in knowing whether the student group whose members engaged in the vandalism (Empowerment) and a student group which explicitly endorsed the vandalism (College Democrats) have faced any consequences.
Again, on the record unless you tell me otherwise. I’ll most certainly be blogging about this.
Marquette Warrior Blog
Tue 12/6/2016 4:13 PM
From: John McAdams
To: Brian Dorrington
Can you give me an official statement as to whether any discipline was imposed on the Marquette students who vandalized an anti-abortion display on campus?
I’m sure you are aware that Marquette’s silence on this will necessarily lead to the conclusion that nothing was done, and Marquette implicitly condoned the vandalism.
Interestingly, Penn State does take vandalism of a political display seriously.
Marquette Warrior Blog
From: John McAdams To: Xavier Cole
I still haven’t heard from you on this.
I’m sure you know that, in the absence of any comment from Marquette to the contrary, it has to be assumed that the students in question were not disciplined at all.
Some universities take attacks on speech seriously.
I hope to hear from you by the end of the day.
Marquette Warrior Blog
The inference is obvious: the students have gotten off scott-free. Even if Marquette refused to reveal the identity of the students, they could explain what punishment has been meted out. But apparently, none has been.
Marquette has been pandering mightily to the campus leftists. One particularly egregious example was when both Michael Lovell (President) and Daniel J. Myers (Provost) demonstrated with students in support of the bullies at the University of Missouri.
As the links above show, Penn State was willing to discipline students who tore up Donald Trump signs. It’s ironic that Marquette, apparently, is unwilling to defend free expression on campus, and even to defend expression of the Catholic position on abortion.
UpdateThe vandals in fact received a minor, “slap on the wrist” punishment.
Monday, December 12, 2016
Anti-cop Bigotry at Loyola University New Orleans
Josh Collins, a sheriff’s sergeant in New Orleans, attends classes at Loyola University when he is not working. This week, one of his professors called the police on Collins himself — apparently because he showed up in class wearing his uniform, which freaked out one of the other students.The Facebook post is below, and note how much bigotry he has to tolerate at a supposedly Catholic university. But most “Catholic universities” these days are no more tolerant that secular ones, and indeed probably less tolerant, on average.
His professor then called the police, but Collins says he was “not privileged to either of these conversations as they took place behind my back.” His professor then approached him and informed him that they had called the police, but the police never came because Collins was perfectly within the law.
Collins, who works in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, points out in his Facebook post that it is incredibly ironic that the reaction to being scared of a police officer is to call the police. He also writes that “as a police officer, I feel as though I must hide my profession in order to obtain a fair education.”
UpdateThe professor who called the police when a uniformed cop entered the class is apparently Jonathan Peterson.
He is the only member of the Loyola Philosophy faculty identified as teaching “Law and Morality.”
Further, his contact information has disappeared from the list of Loyola Philosophy faculty.
We e-mailed him to ask for his account of what happened, and he did not respond.
Further UpdateLoyola has reportedly apologized to the student, and come out with a statement in support of law enforcement. According to Loyola, Collins was wearing fatigues, and not a standard police uniform, and was carrying a gun. This might have contributed to the “misunderstanding.” Of course, his comments about anti-white and anti-police bigotry are based on more than this incident.
MoreLoyola has claimed that Collins was in “fatigues” raising the possibility that students did not know he was a police officer. But in fact, his uniform clearly identified him as a SWAT team member and employee of the Sheriff’s office. It was not just “fatigues” that anybody could wear.
Sunday, December 04, 2016
Friday, December 02, 2016
A Libertarian Evaluates Trump
Well, for starters, allowing liberals to determine my level of anxiety — which would be full-blown, round-the-clock histrionics — over what’s nothing more than another election would be foolish. Until it’s not. The era of Trump hasn’t even started yet, and the entire establishment keeps using the term “era of Trump” as if things have actually changed.Trump, in other words, has been a much better President Elect than he was a candidate — a few crazy tweets to the contrary.
They haven’t. If you’re genuinely interesting in being an effective critic of the next president, acting like Adolf Hitler is pounding at your doorstep every time Trump tweets something might not be the most effective plan in the long run.
Not to mention, the left has been such an astonishing hypocrite on so many issues related to Trump that it’s a bit difficult to move forward without pointing it out. Joining activists who’ve spent years attacking the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth and Tenth Amendments— and now the Electoral College — in a newfound veneration of the Emoluments Clause is a bit much. Of course, Trump should be held accountable for his potential conflicts of interest, and one hopes conservatives who value good government will stand up when tangible evidence emerges that they exist. But the critics on the left aren’t serious about the Constitution. They’re serious about the Democratic Party.
Who can take journalists seriously — who’ve never once uttered a word of concern over the Democratic Party’s crusade to empower government to ban political speech by overturning Citizens United — when they lose it over a tweet about flag-burning? If it were up to them over the past eight years, Trump would now be imbued with far more power to achieve the things they fear — unilaterally. There was more angst over the president-elect ditching a reporting pool to have a steak than there was over any of President Obama’s numerous executive abuses. So when you hear people say democracy needs journalism “now more than ever,” remember that they’re admitting they weren’t doing their job yesterday. We also needed journalism more than ever back then.
Those who kept telling us that Hillary Clinton’s corrupt foundation and blatant favor-trading with the world’s most illiberal regimes were merely a conspiracy theory now act as if the republic will crumble if Trump’s hotel hosts the same Bahraini princes that were buying access in the Obama administration. The same people who told us Clinton’s emails were “bullshit” and a silly distraction are now horrified that former Gen. David Petraeus — who, like Clinton, shouldn’t be in any Cabinet, but who, unlike Clinton, actually paid a price for his mishandling of classified information — is under consideration for a position in the new administration.
Moreover, Trump hasn’t really done anything out of the ordinary — not yet.
What’s really upset Democrats, it seems to me, is that traditional conservative policy proposals — the sorts of thing Republicans have campaigned on for years, and the policies that have helped them win over 1,000 local seats and governorships and two wave elections — will probably be moving forward. The overwrought rhetoric used to describe the overturning of Obamacare or the reforming of entitlements — “gutting,” “privatizing” etc. — would be precisely the same if we had President-elect John Kasich.
Trump’s Cabinet nominees are the kind of run-of-the-mill selections any Republican would pick. You’ll remember that last week America was supposed to freak out about the chaos and sluggishness of the transition process. Then it was supposed to freak out about the potential white-maleness of the Cabinet. Well, his Cabinet members Nikki Haley, Elaine Chao, Seema Verma and Betsy DeVos are going to be just as extreme to the left as an actual extremist.
Harsanyi (the author of the piece) goes on to criticize Trump on sound libertarian grounds: his crony bailout of Carrier Corporation and his massive infrastructure proposal. But Harsanyi adds that these don’t signal a new era of American politics. They are a very traditional, if deplorable, way of doing things.
Trumps actions vindicate those, like local talk show host Mark Belling, who decided to suck it up and support Trump as the least bad of two bad choices. As for the never Trump people, like talk show host Charlie Sykes, they are slightly embarrassing — but only slightly, since Trump was a truly terrible candidate.
American democracy will survive, and its prospects are a lot better than they seemed a mere month ago.