Monday, February 29, 2016

Marquette Tribune Taken to Task for Intolerance of Academic Freedom

Given the leftist bias of journalists, and especially schools of communication, it was not a huge surprise that Marquette’s student newspaper, the Tribune, came out in support of Marquette’s attempt to fire this blogger.

Of course, the editorial taking that position was a model of journalistic bias and illogic.

Three commenters quickly responded, taking the paper to task. First, Paul Quirk:
Punishing McAdams for what third parties wrote to Abbate is obviously not justified. For one thing, he has criticized a lot of people, and praised others, over many years, and there has been no other case of such abuse. Someone who reads your editorial may threaten McAdams. Will you expect to be punished?

The language of the post was not “demeaning,” unless all sharp criticism is demeaning.

In any case, none of this matters. Freedom of speech and academic freedom do not have a limiting condition: “as long as the speaker is (in the authorities’ opinion) polite, no one is seriously inconvenienced, and no one who hears or reads the expression acts improperly.”

The reason that all the significant national commentary (FIRE, AAUP, the Atlantic, Slate, the Washington Post, not to mention conservative outlets) has rejected the University’s position is that the principles here are not in doubt. If the University fires McAdams, he will sue and he will win. (BTW, FIRE participates in such lawsuits, and thus far, has never lost.)

It would be better if the University faced up to its serious, damaging mistake and dropped the matter. The stalling tells you how strong its case is.
Quirk is a Marquette alum, and Phil Lind Chair in US Politics and Representation, Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia. Quirk is a liberal, and apparently one of the old-style liberals: the sort who liked to argue politics. The sort who, if a conservative student spoke up in class, would welcome the debate and discussion.

The kind that are becoming much rarer in academia.

The next comment was from Marquette’s own Dan Maguire:
The Editorial on McAdams misses the main point of this case. McAdams was severely punished without due process. The American Association of University Professors allows for the suspension of a professor but never without due process.
Maguire has openly supported us in a previous statement. In that statement, he notes that we have excoriated him on this blog, which is absolutely true.

So why would he support our academic freedom? Maguire is apparently a happy warrior. He will dole out criticism on popes, archbishops, and presidents of Marquette University. But when he is criticized in return, he doesn’t whine about it.

A final commenter is Sterling Silver (not a pseudonym):
The snowflake response to free speech is embarrassing. I’d like to point out that the two actions you predominantly go after McAdams for were actually not done by him. His release of the blog post may have “offended” some individuals, but the nationwide criticism and death threats were from other people, not McAdams. Also, Abatte’s choice to leave after the criticism was also her choice, not something McAdams told her to do or pressured her into. Ultimately, she made the final decision.

The use of the Nov 12, 2015 story is also laughable. Although I am proud of the students for having a safe and responsible protest, protesting in support of the student actions at the University of Missouri goes against the idea of the First Amendment. You want freedom of speech and (later mentioned in the story) freedom of consequence but when the protest in Missouri blocked other journalists, the students denied both freedom of speech and freedom of consequence, even though the journalists were looking to ask questions. Those actions, the silent protest at Marquette, and the editorial seem to suggest that rather than enjoying the freedom of free speech, we should focus on suppression because it might offend someone or because it bothers people.

But, rather than looking for things to be offended by, students at Marquette should learn to grow up and get stronger in the face of adversity. Your not always going to be told that the actions you’ve made are great or may be criticized with offensive language in life, but how you respond is one of the ways you go from being a kid to an adult. Going after this list and its view on the First Amendment is child’s play.

(Also, the university has the right to hire and fire anybody, but to fire a tenured professor for a blog post is why the story has gone national).
The Tribune’s support of the Black Lives Matter protest, and the protest in sympathy with students at the University of Missouri, is revealing.

Black Lives Matter is a movement that fosters hatred of law enforcement, and has routinely called, before all the facts are in, for the arrest and charging of police officers who shoot black suspects. In several cases the officer in question was justified in shooting a black who attacked him.

Leftist students at the University of Missouri bullied and forced out of office their president over supposed racial incidents, some of which were faked or nonexistent, and none of which the president could do anything about.

Of course, the Tribune could have reasonably endorsed the right of Marquette students to protest in these cases.

But given that they endorsed free speech for the student protesters, but not the right of an undergraduate to argue against gay marriage, and not our right to blog about the stifling of the undergraduate, only one inference is possible.

The Tribune only favors free speech for people with whom they agree.

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Republican February 29

George Will: What an Honest Commencement Address Would Sound Like

Prominent Evangelical Pastor: Demand Decency in a Presidential Candidate

Max Lucado is a best selling author and the pastor of a highly successful megachurch in San Antonio. He usually avoids politics, beyond calling on his congregation to pray for the nation’s leaders and urging them to vote. But the Donald Trump candidacy has provoked him to issue the following statement:
DECENCY FOR PRESIDENT - February 24, 2016

As the father of three daughters, I reserved the right to interview their dates. Seemed only fair to me. After all, my wife and I’d spent 16 or 17 years feeding them, dressing them, funding braces, and driving them to volleyball tournaments and piano recitals. A five-minute face-to-face with the guy was a fair expectation. I was entrusting the love of my life to him. For the next few hours, she would be dependent upon his ability to drive a car, avoid the bad crowds, and stay sober. I wanted to know if he could do it. I wanted to know if he was decent.

This was my word: “decent.” Did he behave in a decent manner? Would he treat my daughter with kindness and respect? Could he be trusted to bring her home on time? In his language, actions, and decisions, would he be a decent guy?

Decency mattered to me as a dad.

Decency matters to you. We take note of the person who pays their debts. We appreciate the physician who takes time to listen. When the husband honors his wedding vows, when the teacher makes time for the struggling student, when the employee refuses to gossip about her co-worker, when the losing team congratulates the winning team, we can characterize their behavior with the word decent.

We appreciate decency. We applaud decency. We teach decency. We seek to develop decency. Decency matters, right?

Then why isn’t decency doing better in the presidential race?

The leading candidate to be the next leader of the free world would not pass my decency interview. I’d send him away. I’d tell my daughter to stay home. I wouldn’t entrust her to his care.

I don’t know Mr. Trump. But I’ve been chagrined at his antics. He ridiculed a war hero. He made mockery of a reporter’s menstrual cycle. He made fun of a disabled reporter. He referred to the former first lady, Barbara Bush as “mommy,” and belittled Jeb Bush for bringing her on the campaign trail. He routinely calls people “stupid,” “loser,” and “dummy.” These were not off-line, backstage, overheard, not-to-be-repeated comments. They were publicly and intentionally tweeted, recorded, and presented.

Such insensitivities wouldn’t even be acceptable even for a middle school student body election. But for the Oval Office? And to do so while brandishing a Bible and boasting of his Christian faith? I’m bewildered, both by his behavior and the public’s support of it.

The stock explanation for his success is this: he has tapped into the anger of the American people. As one man said, “We are voting with our middle finger.” Sounds more like a comment for a gang-fight than a presidential election. Anger-fueled reactions have caused trouble ever since Cain was angry at Abel.

We can only hope, and pray, for a return to decency. Perhaps Mr. Trump will better manage his antics. (Worthy of a prayer, for sure.) Or, perhaps the American public will remember the key role of the president is to be the face of America. When he/she speaks, he/she speaks for us. Whether we agree or disagree with the policies of the president, do we not hope that they behave in a way that is consistent with the status of the office?

As far as I remember, I never turned away one of my daughter’s dates. They weren’t perfect, but they were decent fellows. That was all I could ask.

It seems that we should ask the same.
More on Lucado’s decision to “dis-endorse” Trump can be found in an interview with Christianity Today.

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Zombie Ideology Emerges

Marquette Tribune: Coming Down Against Free Speech for Warrior Blogger

One expects a liberal/left bias on the part of the mainstream media, but where campus free speech is concerned, those folks have been pretty solidly behind free expression, and rather critical of campus intolerance.

But that doesn’t apply to the fledgling journalists at the Marquette Tribune. They have endorsed Marquette’s attempt to fire us in an editorial that is breathtaking in its lack of logic and tortured reasoning.

The bias starts in the description of the incident that provoked our blog post of November 9, 2014:
Last year, Marquette was embroiled in controversy after McAdams was suspended from campus in November 2014 when he wrote a post on his blog, the Marquette Warrior. The post criticized the way former teaching assistant Cheryl Abbate handled a disagreement in class with a student concerning gay marriage in a Theory of Ethics philosophy class.
How did she “handle a disagreement?”

When the student confronted her after class, and made it clear that he wanted the opportunity in class to argue against gay marriage, she told him “you don’t have a right in this class to make homophobic comments.” She further asked if there were any gay students in class, and said that any gay students would be offended if arguments against gay marriage were allowed. She went on to say: “In this class, homophobic comments, racist comments, will not be tolerated.”

The Tribune, in other words, entirely sanitized the intolerant comments of Abbate.

The Tribune goes on:
McAdams used his personal blog to demean a student. Abbate may have been a teaching assistant, but she was still a student equally deserving of the right to free speech, whether she chose to engage in the disagreement or not.
Thus reporting on the intolerant conduct of an instructor becomes “demeaning” a student. Abbate was not merely a student, she was the Instructor of Record of the class, a person in authority over the student. When the incident occurred, she was 29 years old and a member of the U.S. military, and had been teaching the course for two years.

But somehow, for the Tribune, Abbate calling an undergraduate a “homophobe” for opposing gay marriage is not demeaning.

But what is out and out bizarre is the invocation of “free speech” to defend the intolerant behavior of Abbate. Abbate, who had authority over the student, told him he was not allowed to speak. We, who had no authority over Abbate, criticized her. Marquette has tried to fire us for criticizing her.

The Tribune doesn’t think the student had a right to free speech, and doesn’t think we have a right to free speech. The only free speech they are defending is the right to shut up speech.

Threats?

The Tribune goes on:
McAdams has written skeptically about Marquette’s administration, other professors and various organizations on his blog. But when he publicly shamed Abbate, he stopped working to create an educational environment. After McAdams’ post, Abbate received threats against her life and eventually left Marquette because of the intense criticism.
So the undergraduate, who wanted to discuss gay marriage in class, had an “educational environment,” but Abbate, who wanted to stifle the student, was the victim?

The claim that Abbate received “threats against her life” is simply untrue, as she admitted on her blog.

She did received some quite nasty comments. Of course, anybody whose misconduct is exposed by journalists might be the object of nasty communications. This had never happened with our blog until the November 9 post.  But when fraternity brothers of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at the University of Oklahoma engaged in a racist chant and it was reported, some of them received death threats. Nobody seems to be blaming the media for that.

Promoting Only One Sort of Speech

The Tribune then goes on to laud Marquette for its efforts to promote free speech:
For Marquette to make FIRE’s list solely for the McAdams controversy is an unfair representation of the university. In placing Marquette on this list, FIRE overlooked the university’s several efforts over the past year to foster freedom of speech.

For example, Nov. 12, 2015, Marquette students held a silent protest standing in solidarity with University of Missouri students outside of Raynor Library. The protest happened shortly after Missouri’s president Tim Wolfe resigned when he mishandled racial controversy on campus. Faculty and administration here at Marquette, including University President Michael Lovell, stood in solidarity with the students.

Additionally, on Dec. 8, 2014, a Black Lives Matter ‘die-in’ took place on the second floor of the Alumni Memorial Union with no interference from the university.
So for the Tribune, free speech is for leftist student organizations. It’s not for students who want to oppose gay marriage, or for professors who blog about the stifling of discussion on campus.

That is to say, it’s only for people with whose politics the Tribune editors agree.

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Remembering Eugenics

From the journal Nature: A review of a book about a particularly sordid chapter in the history of science.
Eugenics is a well-known low point in the modern history of science. In the United States, from the late nineteenth century to the 1940s, credence was given to this pseudoscience focused on the notional ‘improvement’ of human populations by halting the reproduction of supposedly lesser genes. Less well known is the story of how US law rendered eugenics intellectually respectable across the world, supporting programmes from Canada to Sweden. Ultimately, this egregious failing led to the enforced sterilization of at least 60,000 US citizens, and was used by the Nazi regime to justify its own programme of sterilization and, later, extermination.
The book reviewed, Adam Cohen’s Imbeciles, deals with one particular case which led to the Supreme Court decision Buck v. Bell which held that persons viewed as mentally defective could be sterilized.

There was a lot remarkable about the case, including the fact that celebrated Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote the opinion.

But even more important is the intellectual infrastructure that surrounded eugenics. It was a product of the “best and brightest” thinkers of the era. The review in Nature names several of the leading lights of the movement:
Before Buck v. Bell, eugenic sterilization had been advocated for decades by US reformers and scientists, including prominent biologist Charles Davenport, but it had been used only sporadically because of fears that it was illegal. Eugenics itself was born in Britain in the late nineteenth century, nurtured by polymath Francis Galton, a half-cousin of Charles Darwin. The concept resonated with contemporary interpretations of ‘social Darwinism,’ which hinged on engineering the ‘survival of the fittest’ — a gross caricature of Darwin’s idea.

By 1928, a total of 375 US universities and colleges were teaching eugenics, and 70% of high-school biology textbooks endorsed the pseudoscience in some form. Eugenics was also endorsed by presidents including Theodore Roosevelt, funded by philanthropic organizations including the Carnegie Institution, and touted by award-winning scientists such as biologist Edwin Grant Conklin and the Nobel laureate Hermann Muller, discoverer of X-ray mutagenesis, as well as prominent inventors such as Alexander Graham Bell. Eugenics came to be seen as the solution to everything from hearing loss to criminality. In Britain, advocates tended to focus on segregation and voluntary sterilization. Major British eugenicists included left-leaning scientists J. B. S. Haldane and Havelock Ellis, and supporters included the economist John Maynard Keynes, social reformers Sidney and Beatrice Webb, and writer H. G. Wells.
So what can we conclude from this era in the history of science? Largely, to have a bit of skepticism of science.

And both on empirical and moral grounds.

The author of the review calls eugenics “a gross caricature of Darwin’s idea.” But it wasn’t. It was a straightforward application if you buy two propositions:

First, the notion, pioneered early in the century, that it is possible to measure innate intelligence. Even early on, scientists like Alfred Binet cautioned that measured intelligence could be affected by the environment, but the notion that IQ tests measured genetic endowment and that differences among groups reflected innate intelligence became prevalent.

Secondly, the idea that the good of society can override the rights of individuals. One of the most fundamental human rights is the right to procreate. In any decent society, schemes of social engineering should give way to basic human rights. But elites who are convinced of their own superior intelligence and enlightenment are all too quick to decide that the behavior of “lesser breeds” needs to be brought into line with “the public interest,” which the elites are always convinced they embody.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Crack Up

Pope Center: Why So Much Intolerance of Speech on College Campuses?

George Leef, of the Pope Center, discusses the familiar list of The 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech: 2016, and then offers his analysis of the causes of the upsurge of intolerance:
New attacks on free speech occur almost daily, so there is no question but that FIRE will have many colleges and universities to consider when it compiles its list of the worst schools of 2016.

Why do we see such hostility to free speech on college campuses, though? Why the haste to silence or punish people just for having said something? Colleges have always been contentious places—remember the Vietnam era?—but things have dramatically changed in recent years.

One reason why is that mid-level university administrators now hold so much power to control speech and behavior through speech codes and anti-harassment policies. As GMU law professor Todd Zywicki explained in this article, those people seldom have any strong attachment to unfettered discussion, but do have a strong preference for a campus with as little turmoil as possible.

Another reason for the increasing hostility to free speech is that far more faculty members than in the past think that free speech is actually bad. Those people, found overwhelmingly in the humanities, social sciences, and especially all the rather new identity studies programs, see their mission as changing society far more than enlightening young minds and encouraging them to search for truth. For them, free speech that might cause students to question their deep beliefs is unwanted.

Finally, many students arrive on campus already dedicated to various social causes and are so certain of their righteousness that they regard anyone who disagrees as an evil person who deserves to be silenced. Instead of advocating academic freedom, they insist on “academic justice,” which means controlling what may be said on campus—as one Harvard student wanted.

Free speech won’t return to its vital position until our schools again teach students that the only civilized way to deal with people who disagree with you is through rational discourse, not through silencing or punishing them.
We have long pointed out that “diversity” initiatives, which often involve restricting speech, are a dandy way for administrators to expand their bureaucratic empires with more and more “diversity” bureaucrats. These bureaucrats, of course, have no commitment to robust debate and discussion, but are committed to making the campus comfortable for politically correct identity groups.

Add these bureaucrats to intolerant members of the faculty, and you have a really toxic brew.

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Where Will We Be When the Music Stops?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Conservative Campus Speaker Censored / Case 11205

We don’t actually know it’s case 11205, but you get the point. From the Alliance Defending Freedom:
LOS ANGELES – Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter Monday on behalf of a student group to California State University, Los Angeles, for charging the group unconstitutional fees in order to exercise its freedom of speech. The university president responded immediately by cancelling the event, having “decided that it will be best” to include the speaker in a “more inclusive event” featuring “a group of speakers with differing viewpoints on diversity.” The student organization, Young Americans for Freedom, is now considering a lawsuit against the university.

University officials charged YAF $621.50 for security officers because it deemed an event that the group is sponsoring “controversial.” The university has broad guidelines for such a designation and leaves it to the whim of officials, a practice that the U.S. Supreme Court has found to be unconstitutional in other cases. After the university received the ADF letter explaining this, CSU–Los Angeles President William Covino sent an e-mail to the student group to inform them that its event has been cancelled.

“Public universities should encourage, not stifle, the free exchange of ideas,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Hacker. “YAF has every bit as much right to hold its event as any other student group does, and the university can’t stop that because it prefers to water down the speaker’s message with other viewpoints that officials find more palatable to their own political views. The courts have made it clear that university officials cannot deem an event ‘controversial’ and then weigh down students with burdensome fees to engage in constitutionally protected free speech just because some people consider it controversial, but it’s even worse to take that a step further and try to silence the speech altogether.”

YAF is a chapter affiliate of Young America’s Foundation and a registered student organization at the university. YAF followed the university’s policies and procedures for planning an event Thursday in the U-SU Theatre on campus with conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro. YAF has been promoting it through social media and fliers for several weeks.

In reaction, some university students and staff commented on the social media posts and called the YAF chapter “intolerant” and “racists.” In particular, University Associate Professor of Sociology Robert Weide called the YAF students “white supremacists” and invited the YAF students to fight him in the U-SU gym. On Feb. 18, the university told YAF that it must hire three security officers and one university police officer for the event at a cost of $621.50 because “Mr. Shapiro’s topics and views are controversial.” ADF attorneys pointed out in their letter that the U.S. Supreme Court has already invalidated that rationale and asked that the university “immediately rescind the security fees assessed to YAF for the February 25 event.”

In an e-mail to YAF late Monday, Covino wrote, “After careful consideration, I have decided that it will be best for our campus community if we reschedule Ben Shapiro’s appearance for a later date, so that we can arrange for him to appear as part of a group of speakers with differing viewpoints on diversity…. We will be happy to work with Mr. Shapiro to schedule the more inclusive event that I have in mind. I have informed the university staff involved in facilitating the February 25 event that it will be rescheduled and reconfigured for a later date.”

“The First Amendment does not require YAF to consolidate its viewpoint with others,” Hacker noted. “The number of events on university campuses with speakers who have different viewpoints from Mr. Shapiro’s and YAF’s are plentiful. No need or legitimate basis exists for cancelling YAF’s event.”
Demanding that a group pay for “security” when they bring a conservative speaker to campus is a common tactic used by university bureaucrats.  The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee tried it when a speaker was invited to campus whom Palestinian students disliked.

This, of course, gives a “heckler’s veto” to the most intolerant groups on campus, those that will explicitly or implicitly threaten violence and disorder.

And of course, rewarding this kind of behavior results in more of it, as the intolerant campus left learns they can successfully shut up speech they don’t like.

Demanding “differing viewpoints” and an “inclusive event” are likewise merely ploys to burden the expression of speech of which the left doesn’t disapproves. It’s shame the YAF gave in on this. Often, conservative students are simply too nice.

That’s not to say that debates with diverse points of view are a bad idea. They are a very good idea, but the campus left doesn’t seem to understand that until somebody wants to bring a conservative to campus.

Update

The administration at CSU-LA backed down, and allowed the speech. But leftist protesters blocked the entrance to the venue, preventing some students from entering, and tried to disrupt the speech by setting off a fire alarm. Police had to escort Shapiro out to insure his safety.

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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Warrior Blogger on Marquette and Free Speech

Matt Kittle, filling in for Vicki McKenna, talked to us about our case at Marquette, and Marquette’s very dubious honor of being among “The 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech: 2016.”

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Tough Times

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Marquette on FIRE Dishonors List / More on Academic Intolerance

Two Generations of Feminist Democrats

Social Conservatives Call Out Trump

From Wisconsin Family Action (and multiple other organizations) a challenge to Donald Trump on his socially liberal record:
Mr. Trump:

We, the undersigned, represent millions of pro-family Americans who are dedicated to a nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished. As a national alliance with nearly 40 state-based organizations, we have invited you to participate in our Presidential Teleconference Series to share your views on the issues important to values voters. We have interviewed most of the leading candidates, but after several attempts, we have not yet been able to schedule such a call with you. Therefore, we direct the following questions to you on policy issues important to our constituents:
  1. After years of describing yourself as “pro-choice in every respect”—even supporting partial-birth abortion—you now say that you are pro-life. Your explanation for this change of position – that a baby who was nearly aborted ended up being a “superstar” – is confusing, particularly since you acknowledged that if the child had been “a loser,” your pro-abortion position probably wouldn’thave changed. Please explain this utilitarian view of the sanctity of human life. Do you consider life only worth protecting if it meets certain criteria, and, if so, what are those criteria?
  2. How do you square your new position on life with your statements in 2015 supporting continued taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion seller?
  3. The next president is expected to nominate two to four U.S. Supreme Court justices, beginning immediately with the vacancy caused by the passing of Justice Scalia. These nominations will likely decide critical issues such as abortion. You’ve recommended your sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, for the High Court. Yet, as a federal judge, she overturned the New Jersey Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, writing that it “burdened a woman's constitutional right to obtain an abortion.” How can we trust you to nominate judges who will respect the constitutional limits on judicial power and uphold the sanctity of human life?
  4. You claim to support religious freedom, yet a leading gay-activist organization calls you “one of the best, if not the best, pro-gay Republican candidates to ever run for the presidency” – particularly because of your “standout position” when it comes to legislation that forces Christian business owners – and others of faith – to either betray their conscience or lose their business. How do you reconcile these contradictory positions?
  5. You have built your campaign on lifting the economic outlook of lower-income Americans, yet you built your fortune in part on gambling, which preys on those very people. How will you make America great when you’ve run businesses associated with increased crime, bankruptcies, brokenmarriages and suicides?
  6. The first casino in the nation to add a strip club was Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, which boasts of “36,000 square feet of adult entertainment.” What would you say to young girls and women who are concerned about a president who is directly connected with the exploitation of women?
  7. As someone who claims to be a fiscal conservative, how do you justify your statements in support of a huge tax increase and government bailouts. Regarding the bank bailouts, you even stated: “I do agree with what they're doing with the banks. Whether they fund them or nationalize them, it doesn't matter, but you have to keep the banks going.” Perhaps most concerning of all is your continued admiration for single-payer, government-run healthcare systems. Please explain how this is consistent with the party of limited government?
  8. One of your favorite campaign themes is that you are going to “run America” if elected. Considering our system of checks and balances, and especially in light of the last seven years of government by fiat, how will you demonstrate your respect for the U.S. Constitution and the limited power the Founding Fathers intended for the federal government in general, and the executive branch in particular?
Mr. Trump, we look forward to your response to these, and many other questions, affecting the lives of American families nationwide.
Liberals may look at this list and say “good for Trump.” But, of course, his record does not suggest that he is so much a liberal as an opportunist with no abiding convictions — except for the promotion of Donald Trump.

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A Blow to Liberty

Marquette Again on Dishonor Roll: Among 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech

From the (liberal) Huffington Post: In a year when a large number of colleges did things to stifle speech, Marquette made the top ten:
Marquette University makes this year’s list for the same reason it made last year’s list: its ongoing campaign to strip the tenure of longtime professor John McAdams based on the writings on his personal blog. McAdams criticized a graduate student instructor for suppressing a student’s opinions against same-sex marriage during a class discussion. After the instructor received criticism from readers of McAdams’ blog, Marquette suspended McAdams without due process and without a hint of regard for his free speech or academic freedom rights.

But that was only the beginning. In public statements the university repeatedly insinuated, without any evidence, that McAdams had violated Marquette’s harassment policy, labeled him a threat to safety, and effectively held him directly responsible for the comments and actions of his readers a position wildly opposed to basic free speech principles.

Marquette announced it was seeking his termination last January, and McAdams is now in his third semester of being banned from teaching and being on campus as he appeals his case. Unless it wants to take up permanent residence in this feature, Marquette must resolve McAdams’ case and return him to the classroom without further delay.
This is the second year Marquette has received this dishonor.

Not only has the Huffington Post (and numerous other outlets) weighed in, Minding the Campus has awarded Marquette President Michael Lovell the “3rd Runner Up” position among the worse college presidents of 2015. Why only “3rd Runner Up?” Because there was a lot of competition in a year when left-wing students bullied faculty and administrators, and college presidents pandered mightily.

It is difficult to know exactly what Marquette administrators are thinking. The people most adamant that we should be fired are a few dozen leftist faculty, virtually all in the humanities and social sciences. Certainly not alumni. And not even mainstream media, who (in spite of their liberal politics) have by a lopsided margin favored free expression in our case and in the many similar cases across the nation.

One has to conclude that Marquette administrators are simply personally offended that any faculty member would have the temerity to criticize them, or bring bad publicity on the institution by outing misconduct at Marquette.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

We Already Told You Son, It’s Not Really Gonna Be Free

Bernie Sanders Loves the “War Machine”

From the Daily Beast:

The socialist trumpets his antiwar record. But he doesn’t mind expensive war machines—if they’re based in his home state.

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — Sen. Bernie Sanders has railed against big defense corporations at rallies, but he has a more complex history with the military-industrial complex. Most notably, he’s supported a $1.2 trillion stealth fighter that’s considered by many to be one of the bigger boondoggles in Pentagon history.

Sanders has made his opposition to Hillary Clinton’s hawkishness a cornerstone of his campaign. But he hasn’t exactly been antiwar all his career. When it has come time to choose between defense jobs and a dovish defense policy, Sanders has consistently chosen to stand with the arms-makers rather than the peaceniks—leading to tension with some of the most adamant adherents of progressive ideology.

When it comes time to make speeches, Sanders has slammed defense corporations for political gain.

“We know that there is massive fraud going on in the defense industry. Virtually every major defense contractor has either been convicted of fraud or reached a settlement with the government,” Sanders said in Iowa City last year at a town hall. “We need a strong military, it is a dangerous world. But I think we can make judicious cuts.”

But when those defense corporations come to his own backyard, he quietly welcomes them in.

The Vermont senator persuaded Lockheed Martin to place a research center in Burlington, according to Newsweek, and managed to get 18 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets stationed at the city’s airport for the Vermont National Guard.

“In very clever ways, the military-industrial complex puts plants all over the country, so that if people try to cut back on our weapons system what they’re saying is you’re going to be losing jobs in that area,” Sanders said at a Q&A in New Hampshire back in 2014. “[W]e’ve got to have the courage to understand that we cannot afford a lot of wasteful, unnecessary weapons systems, and I hope we can do that.”

History has shown that Sanders has not had the courage to do that.

Immediately after he made those comments, an audience member pointed out that the F-35 fighter jet project had a lifetime cost of $1.2 trillion: “When you talk about cutting wasteful military spending, does that include the F-35 program?” the questioner asked.

The F-35 stealth fighter is untold billions over budget, years behind schedule, and plagued with embarrassing problems. There have been problems with its software, its sensors, and its gun (which won’t be able to fire until 2019). A few months ago a military spokesman said that the fighter jet “wasn’t optimized for dogfighting.” In fact, in a test battle with the 40-year-old F-16, the brand new F-35 jet lost.

“The F-35 will, in my opinion, be 10 years behind legacy fighters,” one Air Force official affiliated with the F-35 program told The Daily Beast about a year ago.

Sanders countered that the plane was “essentially built.” He acknowledged in his 2014 Q&A that while the F-35 was “incredibly wasteful,” it is now the “plane of record… and it is not going to be discarded.”

During his 2012 reelection campaign, Sanders ran against a Republican who opposed the F-35 as a waste of resources. Sanders was all for it. In a 2012 statement, Sanders made the point that the F-35 would have to be located somewhere, whether in Florida or South Carolina or Vermont. “I would rather it be here,” he said.

Much of the criticism of Sanders’s foreign policy stances have come from his left flank. The World Socialist Web Site called Sanders a “silent partner of American militarism.” And Counterpunch, a left-wing magazine, has criticized Sanders on more than one occasion for being insufficiently pacifist.

“He behaves more like a technofascist disguised as a liberal, who backs all of President Obama’s nasty little wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen,” wrote Thomas Naylor in the magazine. “Since he always ‘supports the troops,’ Sanders never opposes any defense spending bill. He stands behind all military contractors who bring much-needed jobs to Vermont.”

Sanders’s support of the Kosovo War led to the resignation of an adviser; when antiwar activists occupied his office, he had them arrested; and Sanders voted to authorize the war in Afghanistan, Howard Lisnoff wrote in the same publication.
So just as with campaign fundraising, Bernie Sanders looks like a rather conventional politician, doing the things that conventional politicians do.

Can we blame him for that?

Since he attacks conventional politics, and claims to somehow be above the things that conventional politicians do, most certainly. People generally (and with some justification) prefer a conventional conformist to a hypocritical prude.

But do his naïve, starry-eyed supporters know he’s a hypocritical prude? Not yet.

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Campus Rape: Scholars Accused of Misconduct for Politically Incorrect Findings



Of course, the claim of “misconduct” will eventually be found to be baseless. But until that happens, the authors will have to endure a tedious “investigation.” The process is the punishment.

Ironically, Mary Koss is one of the people responsible for the current hysteria about campus sexual assault. Her pioneering study in the 1980s, financed by Ms. Magazine, claimed that one in four college women have been victims of date rape. The number was entirely bogus.
Koss’s study had serious flaws. Her survey instrument was highly ambiguous, as University of California at Berkeley social-welfare professor Neil Gilbert has pointed out. But the most powerful refutation of Koss’s research came from her own subjects: 73 percent of the women whom she characterized as rape victims said that they hadn’t been raped. Further—though it is inconceivable that a raped woman would voluntarily have sex again with the fiend who attacked her—42 percent of Koss’s supposed victims had intercourse again with their alleged assailants.
So one could view her current troubles as poetic justice. We think this would be unfair, and credit her with being honest about the data in spite of the current politically correct dogmatism.

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Monday, February 08, 2016

First O.J., Now Hillary

Bernie Sanders: Hypocrite on Fat Cat Campaign Contributions

From the very mainstream media CNN:

Bernie Sanders rails against big money in politics, but has consistently helped and benefited from the Democratic Party fundraising apparatus

Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN)Bernie Sanders complained on the campaign trail Friday that dialing for dollars “affects your entire being.”

What he didn’t mention: The Vermont senator and presidential candidate is a prolific fundraiser himself and has regularly benefited from the Democratic Party apparatus.

In recent years, Sanders has been billed as one of the hosts for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s retreats for the “Majority Trust” an elite group of top donors who give more than $30,000 per year at Martha’s Vineyard in the summer and Palm Beach, Florida, in the winter. CNN has obtained invitations that listed Sanders as a host for at least one Majority Trust event in each year since 2011.

The retreats are typically attended by 100 or more donors who have either contributed the annual legal maximum of $33,400 to the DSCC, raised more than $100,000 for the party or both.

Sanders has based his presidential campaign on a fire-and-brimstone critique of a broken campaign finance system -- and of Hillary Clinton for her reliance on big-dollar Wall Street donors. But Sanders is part of that system, and has helped Democrats court many of the same donors.

A Democratic lobbyist and donor who has attended the retreats told CNN that about 25% of the attendees there represent the financial sector and that Sanders and his wife, Jane, are always present.

“At each of the events all the senators speak. And I don’t recall him ever giving a speech attacking us,” the donor said. “While progressive, his remarks were always in the mainstream of what you hear from senators.”

Sanders’ political leanings were well known by the donors who attended the retreats. “Nobody was more surprised that Bernie was there than the donors were,” said another Democrat who attended the retreats.

Michael Briggs, a Sanders spokesman, said Sanders has “raised more money for the Senate Democrats than almost any other member of the Senate Democratic caucus” because he sees helping the party regain the majority as critical.

In 2006, when Sanders ran for the Senate, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee pumped $37,300 into his race and included him in fundraising efforts for the party’s Senate candidates.

The party also spent $60,000 on ads for Sanders, and contributed $100,000 to the Vermont Democratic Party which was behind Sanders even as he ran as an independent.

Among the DSCC’s top contributors that year: Goldman Sachs at $685,000, Citigroup at $326,000, Morgan Stanley at $260,000 and JPMorgan Chase & Co. at $207,000.

During that 2006 campaign, Sanders attended a fundraiser at the Cambridge, Massachusetts home of Abby Rockefeller a member of the same family whose wealth he had one proposed confiscating.

Two years later, when then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama was being nominated at the Democratic National Convention in 2008, Sanders was among the senators who met with Sen. Chuck Schumer’s “Legacy Circle” donors who had given the legal maximum to the DSCC five years in a row or $500,000 over their lifetimes.

He paid dues to the DSCC, too, with his Progressive Voters of America political action committee cutting checks for $30,000 to the group during the 2014 election cycle.

Sanders told the “Politics and Eggs” crowd that he favors a public financing system for elections, eliminating campaign contributions entirely. But his presidential campaign, just as Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s in 2008 and 2012, has chosen to bypass that system, allowing Sanders to raise millions of dollars more.

He has repeatedly touted his campaign’s vast online fundraising apparatus, which has pulled in 3.5 million individual contributions, averaging $27 apiece, Sanders said Friday.

Pressed by MSNBC moderator Chuck Todd on why he hasn’t accepted public financing in Thursday night’s debate, Sanders said the system as it exists now is “a disaster” and “very antiquated” because it limits spending in early-voting primary states.

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Friday, February 05, 2016

Learning from His Elders

Marquette’s Questionable “Catholic Identity:” More in the Media

From the Cardinal Newman Society: an article on recent events at Marquette and particularly a meeting of “Concerned Catholics” that we reported on here.

Some excerpts:
Last year, Marquette announced that it would conduct a “climate study” to determine the positivity and inclusivity of the University’s atmosphere. The study’s final report cited several concerns about ongoing hostility towards Catholic values: “Many respondents cited their Catholic or conservative values being marginalized, saying ‘Conservative Catholic views on the expression of human sexuality are not respected — not even room for dialogue’ and that ‘There is an ongoing sense of disrespect, anger, and assumptions related to the Catholic identity of our university.’”
And further:
“How can a theology professor not talk about the Church’s teaching on human sexuality?” a participant asked during the forum, according to the meeting minutes. “But, under Title IX, any student who claims to take offense at what is heard in the classroom can anonymously report the professor and cause him or her a world of problems. This is hugely intimidating.”

The Cardinal Newman Society spoke to Dr. John McAdams, professor of political science at Marquette, on the issues raised by Concerned Catholics at MU. He noted that such a system of investigation “has a chilling effect” on Catholics at Marquette.

“If anything you say in class could have you dragged before someone from Human Resources or a department chair or dean with a demand that you explain what you said,” fewer faculty and staff will feel comfortable expressing even Catholic values and beliefs, McAdams warned.
And again:
Mary Jarvis of the Louis Joliet Society, a group of concerned alumni, parents and Marquette associates seeking Catholic renewal at the University, noted that this initial forum “is very encouraging, and we pray that this group’s expressed concerns do not fall on deaf ears.”

“The revelations about Title IX’s chilling effect on teachers and students are jaw-dropping; something those of faith and of no faith, liberal and conservative can all agree is poisonous to a university that identifies itself as Catholic,” Jarvis continued. “The Marquette administration should consider the group’s recommendations seriously.”
Given how strongly Marquette is committed to pandering to the politically correct lobby on campus, it’s questionable they will pay much attention to Concerned Catholics. But some counter pressure against the forces of political correctness can’t hurt.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

It’s Not Really Free, Son

Monday, February 01, 2016

Perspective: Should Catholics (or Anybody Else) Vote for Trump?

From CatholicVote. And no, do not tune out if you are not Catholic. There are points here that any Protestant, atheist, Jew, Orthodox Christian or anybody else should find compelling.

CV cannot remain on the sidelines any longer.

As Iowans prepare to cast the first votes in the 2016 nomination process, we owe you our thoughts. While we are not officially endorsing a candidate at this time, we believe it is important to share some critical thoughts on the race, or at least on one candidate in particular.

As Catholics, we are called to participate in the democratic process. The Church does not endorse candidates for public office. That job rests with us, the laity. No candidate is perfect, and no simple checklist is sufficient. Prudence is a necessity. Some candidates ought to be disqualified from receiving the support of a Catholic voter. Others must be weighed in light of the moral principles given to us by our Church.

We have asked for your feedback on multiple occasions. Thousands of CV members have written. We’ve read them all. In addition we follow the daily news, analysis, polling, and have crafted our strategy for 2016.

And so today we begin with the elephant in the room.

Should Catholics support Donald Trump? No.

We have sifted through the most popular arguments in defense of Trump and listed them below along with our own take. Here they are:

1. “Trump is a leader we can trust”

While we share much of the frustration over the failure of the GOP to make significant progress, we are reminded of Republicans’ once oft-quoted criticism of President Bill Clinton: character matters.

Donald J. Trump left his first wife and married his mistress, only to leave her a few years later for another mistress. Reportedly he left his second wife by leaking the news to a NY newspaper and left the headline on the bed for his wife to find. In his book, The Art of the Deal, Trump bragged about having sex with many women, including some who were married. He has appeared on the cover of Playboy Magazine with a model wearing only his tuxedo jacket. He has mocked the disability of a NY Times reporter. He belittled John McCain for being a prisoner of war. His casino in Atlantic City was the first in the country to open up a strip club. His Twitter account is a running barrage of insults, lies, and personal attacks on anyone who disagrees with him. And did we mention he famously cheats at golf? Now who does that remind you of?

Now ask yourself: does this man have the character becoming of the President of the United States?

2. “Trump can’t be bought because he is rich!”

Trump is a salesmen, and salesmen don’t buy, they sell. So he won’t be “bought.” Instead he will sell out everyone and anyone when it benefits him, as he has his entire career. He was a liberal democrat, pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-universal health care, pro-government bailouts, and a financial backer and friend of Hillary Clinton until he decided to run as a Republican last summer. He is the definition of an opportunist with no guiding principles.

3. “Trump is a leader who will get things done”

Trump markets himself as an effective leader who will get things done simply by making “smart deals.” He refuses to explain precisely how he intends to deliver results, and more often than not, promises to use force or work around or outside the law. Such a leader mirrors what we currently see in the White House. It would be incredibly harmful to our system of government, which is limited by our Constitution — even if we like the policy outcome. We must be a nation of laws. For Trump, it is all about power. For a Christian, the presidency should be about service.

4. “Trump is a successful businessman who will make great deals”

If you believe the headlines, you would assume everything Donald Trump touches turns to gold. Not so. Trump has only demonstrated an ability to make deals that benefit him personally. Four times he bailed on his own casinos to shield himself from their impending bankruptcies. And then there is Trump Magazine, Trump Airlines, Trump Steaks/Steakhouse, Trump Vodka, and most famously Trump University, to name only a few — all bankrupt or closed, and massive failures. “Losers” as Trump is fond of saying.

He has constantly cozied up to big government to trample the little guy, either by abusing private property rights, or selling out small contractors and vendors, many of whom lost their life savings. Just ask elderly widow Vera Coking, whom Trump attempted to displace via eminent domain laws to make way for a limousine parking lot for his New Jersey casino — the same casino he put into bankruptcy. Vera stood tall against the politically-connected billionaire Trump for years in court, enduring his practice of belittling personal attacks. She eventually won and called Trump a “maggot, a cockroach, and a crumb.”

5. “Trump will end illegal immigration”

Trump has pledged to build a massive wall on our southern border and to make Mexico pay for it. Meanwhile he has promised to deport 11 million+ illegals, without explaining how, then plans to allow them all back in legally according to criteria he has yet to fully explain.

We agree illegal immigration is a problem that must be solved. Trump’s solution is delusional, strikes us as xenophobic — and truthfully, will never happen. If anything, Trump’s demagoguery on immigration showcases the emptiness of many of his promises. As President Obama has learned, American presidents don’t dictate laws. The Senate and House would have to pass any change of this magnitude, and such a solution has little to no chance of being approved. Border security and immigration enforcement are realistic fixes. Rounding up 11 million+ people and sending them back to Mexico is not practical or realistic, let alone humane. Those who rightfully want to solve the problem of illegal immigration deserve more than crowd pleasing platitudes. And it’s certainly worth noting that Donald Trump criticized Mitt Romney for being too harsh on immigration back in 2012. This is just another issue where Donald Trump had a very recent and rather convenient conversion.

Several other presidential candidates have outlined more realistic policies to deal with problem. And that’s what real leaders do. They outline solutions and build consensus. Hyperbole and demagoguery are tools of salesmen (see above) out for your money or your vote. Trump’s lack of detail reminds us of another famous politician who proclaimed: “we have to pass the bill before you can see what’s in it.”

6. “Trump will fight the Establishment!”

This defense of Trump is somewhat rich, given the irony that Trump himself has boasted of playing the game, paying off politicians and enriching himself from the very system he now purports to reform. Case in point: in the past week a growing number of so-called “establishment Republicans” have warmed to supporting Trump, people like Bob Dole and Trent Lott — including establishment Republicans in Iowa like Gov. Terry Branstad. Why? Because they believe, rightly in our view, that Trump doesn’t have any principles at the end of the day. He’s someone who will wheel and deal — and you and I will be stuck with the bill.

Electing Donald Trump would send the pro-life movement back to the 1990s, when the Republican Party wanted to run away from defending the unborn. In fact, Trump recommended his own sister, Maryanne Trump Berry, for the Supreme Court. She’s the federal judge who overturned New Jersey’s ban on grisly partial-birth abortions. The next President may choose as many as three or more new justices. Trump’s suggestion of his pro-abortion sister as an example ought to worry anyone who cares about the Court. And let’s not forget he once said Oprah would make a great Vice President. Enough said.

7. “Trump is one of us”

Trump’s political conversions have all happened at very convenient times. As recently as 2000, Trump was firmly “pro-choice,” even refusing to oppose partial birth abortion! He was in favor of gay civil unions. He is open, even now, to subsidizing abortion giant Planned Parenthood with our tax dollars. He considers gay marriage a settled issue and has offered no plan to protect religious freedom. He is pro-universal health care, supported the stimulus package and government bailouts, supported gun control and a host of radical positions. Trump is like many Democrats we know. He is a political opportunist.

Conclusion

Trump is right about something — it is time for a change. We do need to shake things up and make America great again. And his awakening of working class voters who are often sidelined by terrible policy and poor leadership is a lesson every Republican must take seriously or they will lose in November.

But the power to change does not require a fear mongering business mogul, appealing to our worst fears instead of our best hopes.

With other good candidates in the race, we encourage our members to look beyond Trump.

This is an historic opportunity to win back the White House with someone we can be proud to have as President.

Iowa, New Hampshire… we’re looking to you to lead the way.
As of this writing, Iowa has put a dent in the notion of Trump inevitability, with Trump having been beaten by Cruz and having barely edged out Rubio.

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