Sunday, April 29, 2018

That’s a Minimalist View

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Vicki McKenna Calls BS on Supposed Marquette Hate incident

From McKenna’s Facebook Page:
Vicki McKenna First, the story is that these guys are pointing guns AT the doll. They are not. They are holding airsoft guns WITH the doll. Airsofts are TOYS, NOT guns and the doll is a TOY, NOT a person. I have no idea what is going on in the pic, except it looks like 4 guys goofing on a doll that one of them bought, received or somehow chanced upon. Or maybe they’re playing “gangsta.” It doesn’t immediately look threatening, or racist. Just juvenile. No one knows the story behind the picture, though I am sure there IS a story behind the picture.

And it’s a PICTURE. There are whole videos of gang bangers from Milwaukee driving around in stolen cars flashing loaded REAL guns, and filming themselves beating the sh*t out of people. But that’s NOT ever a story for the local press.

Now, maybe these boys are just a bunch of future-white supremacists — but that is NOT evident from this dumb picture.

Lastly, I ask the two obviously rhetorical questions: 1. Why is this a story? 2. Why did Marquette apologize as an institution for a picture the institution did not issue or sanction?
A report on Channel 12 indicates that Marquette is not talking, due to an “ongoing investigation.”

McKenna does some more investigation, and notes:
Vicki McKenna So the picture says “Chuuch.” I google “Chuuch.” What pops up in a “song” (if that’s what you can call it) from a rapper named “Slim Thug” called “Chuuch.” Listen if you want. It’s 5:38 seconds of your life you won’t get back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-dM6ZpOvEE.

Then, because I am a glutton for punishment and time wasting, I googled “Slim Thug” generally, and listened to a few of his “songs,” one of them called “Boss.” Seems to me that that these white boys could very well be playing “gangsta,” and that little doll could be Slim Thug, perhaps even as “Boss.” Never mind, I’m sure it’s just racist.

What Was the Point?

It’s difficult to interpret the intention of the picture (see it in the Channel 12 story linked above). It is the case that the video McKenna linked to features an inspirational rap, apparently done in conjunction with megachurch pastor Joel Osteen.

It’s easy enough to Google the lyrics, and here is the first verse:
[Verse 1: Slim Thug]
Gotta get these blessings
So tired of stressing
Learning new lessons
Planning questions
It’s time for testing
Never ever resting
I’mma stay grinding
So I stay shining like a diamond
I’mma stay climbing to the next level
And do time and
Trying to line up with them bosses
Trying to soar high with them eagles
Can’t chill with none of you chickens
I’m tray get rich with my people
Too high to see you haters
Too blessed to play y’all mind
I ain’t got nothing to be mad at
I’m drop head top down
Thank you, God, all the time for helping me live my dreams
And for exposing all of those who wasn’t right for my team
I’mma keep receiving this games
If it’s for the better, I’ll change
Only live once, better do it right
I’m trying to leave a legacy, man
Slim Thug is apparently a rather mainstream figure in Houston.

Did the clowns who made the photo simply think that since the fellow’s name is “Slim Thug” that his persona is really “thug?” If so, they might be playing “gangsta.”  Other songs of his have much more aggressive and questionable lyrics.  But they named “Chuuch.”

Questions

What was the intention of this photo (and apparently others like it)? Were they implying they might shoot a black person? Or was it silly clowning?

Was the photo sent to a black person (it which case it might be interpreted as harassment), or was it floating around, and finally came to the attention of somebody at Marquette?

Just who were these guys? Marquette students? Or not?

Conclusion

A lot of people on college campuses just love “racist” incidents. For the bureaucrats, it allows them a huge opportunity to virtue signal with fervent and unctuous rhetoric, and implement programs that expand the bureaucracy.

For the Social Justice Warriors, it reinforces the illusion that they are the noble few defending “marginalized groups” against the sea of bigotry and intolerance that is American society.

But before we draw any conclusions about this incident, we need answers.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Another Marquette Falsehood Before Wisconsin Supreme Court

We have already blogged about one falsehood that Marquette lawyer Ralph Weber told to the Wisconsin Supreme Court at our hearing last Thursday: the claim that Cheryl Abbate left Marquette because of the blow-back from our blog post detailing how she insulted and demeaned a student who wanted to express opposition to gay marriage in a class discussion.

In reality, she had wanted to leave Marquette and enter the philosophy graduate program at the University of Colorado the year before. Further, she was unhappy with Marquette’s graduate program.

Judge Michael Gableman thoroughly humiliated Weber on this point.

Was Abbate Disciplined?

Less noticed was a part of the hearing when Gableman asked whether Abbate had violated Marquette’s supposed “Guiding Values,” which Marquette claimed we had transgressed.



Weber admitted that “she could have handled that exchange better, a more experienced teacher would have deescalated the situation . . .” and further that “She was counseled and explained that the way she handled that conversation with the undergraduate . . . [Gableman interrupts, and then] yes, she was counseled.”

This is flatly untrue. As Rick Esenberg has explained (using information gained during “discovery” in our lawsuit):
The student complained to Dr. Susanne Foster in the College of Arts & Sciences, and was sent to the Philosophy Department where he spoke with then-chair Dr. Nancy Snow and Dr. Sebastian Luft. Neither Dr. Snow nor Dr. Luft took any action on behalf of the student. In fact, Dr. Snow referred to him as an “insolent little twerp” in a communication with the College of Arts & Sciences. What Dr. Snow did do was communicate immediately with Ms. Abbate to tell her, in essence, that they had her back. Dr. Snow reported to Ms. Abbate that she told the student that he “needed to change his attitude” and that she would be “monitoring” the situation. Dr. Snow told Ms. Abbate to let her know if the student did anything that Ms. Abbate found objectionable. Ms. Abbate thanked Dr. Snow and said that hopefully the student learned that “oppressive discourse is not acceptable.”
Abbate was, in other words, not some green, inexperienced instructor who needed some tips on how to deescalate a confrontation. She was a politically correct leftist whose suppression of politically incorrect ideas reflected the views of her faculty mentors, and of the leadership of the Marquette Philosophy Department.

See the Entire Hearing

You can see the entire hearing at the website of Wisconsin Eye.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

All Hanging Out to Dry

Racist Messages at Marquette?

A message from the Marquette administration:
A message from university leaders
APRIL 24, 2018

Dear members of the Marquette community,

Earlier this week, one of our students received a series of electronic images from an unknown sender. These images carried disturbing racial overtones. We are thankful that the student came forward and reported this incident to the Marquette University Police Department, and shared the images. MUPD immediately made our administration aware of the situation, and currently is devoting significant resources to its investigation. Anyone with information related to this incident should contact MUPD at (414) 288-6800.

While we continue working to uncover the source of these troubling images, we must make it clear: Incidents such as this are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated on our campus. This is not who we aim to be.

As a Catholic, Jesuit institution, we must make every effort to ensure that every member of our community feels welcome. This lies at the heart of our mission, and informs everything we do.

As educators, we have an obligation to our students and our community to denounce racism and bigotry, and seek justice. Incidents such as this are a reminder that we must remain vigilant in these efforts.

If you, a friend or a classmate experience an incident like this, we want to know about it right away. Speak out. Here are several ways that you can make us aware, or seek other forms of support:

  • Call MUPD at (414) 288-6800 or stop by their headquarters at 749 N. 16th St.
  • File a bias incident report
  • Contact or visit the following campus resources:
    • Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion
    • Office of Student Development
    • Office of Residence Life
    • Counseling Center
    • Center for Intercultural Engagement
    • Campus Ministry
As always, we remain committed to dialogue around one of the most important issues we face today.

Sincerely,

Michael R. Lovell
President

Daniel J. Myers
Provost

Xavier A. Cole
Vice President for Student Affairs

William C. Welburn
Executive Director, Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion
At the moment, this is all we know. Of course, there is a long of history of “messages” like this sent by social justice warriors to gin up a frenzy of self-righteous virtue signalling on campus.

And administrators rather like incidents like this, since it gives them an excuse to virtue signal, or (worse) implement a bunch of new “diversity” initiatives.

It’s a simple fact: any e-mail communication (or tweet or text, etc.) can be traced back to its source.

If Marquette is less than forthcoming about just who sent the messages with the “disturbing racial overtones” (were they really racist, or just politically incorrect?), that will be highly suspicious.

Update

We just received an update from Marquette. The key part:
Thanks in large part to members of our campus community who came forward with information, MUPD quickly identified a subject and conducted an interview. Our administration also has launched a conduct review process. The details of that process must remain confidential because of student privacy laws, but please know that we take this issue very seriously.

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Friday, April 20, 2018

Rick Esenberg Discusses McAdams v. Marquette Supreme Court Hearing

On Vicki McKenna, April 19, the head of our legal team, Rick Esenberg, discusses the just concluded oral arguments before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

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Supreme Court Hearing: Marquette’s Lawyer Eviscerated

The Supreme Court hearing yesterday on our case, McAdams v. Marquette, was a hoot to watch. While six judges will vote on our case, only five sat on the panel (Abrahamson was not present).

Three of the judges were openly incredulous about Marquette’s claims, voiced by their lawyer, Ralph Weber.

This, unfortunately, does not guarantee the court will come down on our side. But it was fun to watch.

We’ll blog later on some of the details of the arguments, but a highlight of the proceedings was Justice Gableman catching Weber in a flat out misrepresentation.

But some background. Weber was arguing that the court should accept the finding of the Faculty Hearing Committee that we were guilty of misconduct in blogging about Cheryl Abbate, philosophy instructor who told a student he was not allowed to voice opposition to gay marriage since such an opinion about the “homophobic” and “offensive” to any gays in the class.

Gableman questioned the fairness of the Faculty Hearing Committee by bringing up information that had been withheld from the committee by Marquette. One key piece of information was the reason Cheryl Abbate left Marquette.


Abbate, in fact, testified to the Faculty Hearing Committee and cried when she was describing her horrible ordeal of receiving a lot of e-mail messages, some of which were vulgar and abusive (but none were threatening).

All the while she was bragging via private e-mail about how happy she was to be able to leave Marquette for a much superior Ph.D. program at Colorado.

P.S.

Kudos to Badger Pundit for excellent coverage of this case, including posting the video above.

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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Fake News: Associated Press Publishes Falsehoods About Our Case

It just appeared on the Washington Times website (and many other places, doubtless): a story about our suit against Marquette University from the Associated Press.

As has happened before, the reporter (Ivan Moreno) appears to have accepted at face value claims made by Marquette, and pretty much blown off statements from our lawyer (Rick Esenberg) whom Moreno talked to, but apparently paid little attention to.

Doxing Claim

Moreno repeats the claim by Marquette that we “doxed” graduate instructor Cheryl Abbate. Readers of this blog will remember that Abbate told an undergraduate that expressing opposition to gay marriage would not be allowed, since it would be “homophobic” and might “offend” any gay students in the class. We put up a blog post about this. Moreno explains that “Doxing is the practice of publicizing someone’s personal identifying information online to subject them to harassment.”

Moreno claimed:
The post included the student-teacher’s name, a link to her personal website and her email address, and it led to a flood of hateful messages and threats against her.
Moreno quotes Esenberg stating that “all McAdams did was link to publicly available information.”

Had Moreno bothered to get the facts straight, he would have learned that we linked to no contact information at all. Rather, we linked to Abbate’s toxic feminist essay “Yes All Men… Contribute to the Prevalence of Rape,” published on her blog. If somebody dug around her blog, they could have found her e-mail address.

We did absolutely nothing to encourage people to send her any e-mails at all (much less abusive ones) unless merely exposing misconduct amounts to such.

The Washington Post, which published the same “doxing” claim in a column by Kathleen Parker, has now retracted it. From the Post:
Correction: An earlier version of this op-ed incorrectly reported that Marquette University professor John McAdams posted the contact information for a graduate student-teacher online. He posted a link to her personal blog.

Journalistic Norms

Any casual reader of the media will know that when journalists expose misconduct, they name the miscreant. This is certainly the case if a teacher says something racist to a class, or if a coach sexually molests athletes.

We can’t imagine Marquette would have gotten upset if we had exposed a white instructor who said something racist to a black student, or a male instructor who sexually harassed a female student.

Further, Marquette did nothing about the abuse of the undergraduate Abbate insulted and bullied. Indeed, in internal communications, they derided him.

It seems that abuses from politically correct leftists are not merely to be ignored by Marquette, but exposing them should be punished.

Abbate Received No Threats

Moreno repeats Marquette’s claim that Abbate received threats.
The post included the student-teacher’s name, a link to her personal website and her email address, and it led to a flood of hateful messages and threats against her. The threats were bad enough that the university posted a security officer outside of her classroom and she noticeably lost weight.
In fact, Abbate received no threats, as she admitted on her personal blog.

Why Abbate Left Marquette

Moreno, accepting Marquette’s claims, implies that Abbate had to leave Marquette because of our blog post.
The graduate student McAdams named in his blog eventually moved to another university, where she had to repeat three semesters and revise her PhD thesis.
He ignores the fact that Abbate left a Marquette program ranked barely in the top 100 nationally for one (at Colorado) ranked in the top 40.

Further, Marquette Associate Arts and Science Dean (a Philosophy faculty member intimately familiar with the situation) explained other relevant factors. In an e-mail to Dean Rick Holz, he explained:
Friday, December 5, 2014 5:11 PM

Rick,

It’s complicated, but the short version is Cheryl is planning to leave Marquette and go to a different Ph.D. Program, which has offered her significant financial aid and is reputationally superior to MU. She’s working on a letter to Nancy [Snow] about this, which she is also going to send to Jeanne.

We can talk more on Monday. But several programs reached out to her and offered her aid and [she] finds MU to be very uncomfortable and toxic. She walks around afraid for her safety and feels unsupported by the senior faculty of the department.

James
South gave more information in another e-mail to Holz:
Hi Rick,

If you have a few minutes, could we talk about this tomorrow? Cheryl is not just leaving because of McAdams, but because she did not feel comfortable in the department — for several reasons, not least because of how [Department Chair] Nancy [Snow] treated her, her research area, and her mentor, Susanne [Foster].
Moreno throws in a few other claims from Marquette, such as “McAdams had been advised previously, in 2011, not to mention a student’s name on his blog.” In fact, Provost John Pauly demanded we not blog about undergraduate students. We only blog about highly visible political activism among undergraduates, so Pauly’s demand was absurd, and we ignored it. We were never disciplined in any way by Pauly.

Conclusion

What we have here, from Moreno, is a fairly typical example of a journalist who accepts uncritically what Marquette says, and largely ignores facts inconsistent with Marquette’s version.

Any journalist who is familiar with contemporary higher education would know to be skeptical of what university bureaucrats say. Particularly when those bureaucrats are pandering to the forces of political correctness on their campus.

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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Democratic Thinking

Friday, April 13, 2018

Marquette Warrior on Vicki McKenna, April 12

The subject: what else, our ongoing legal battle with Marquette University.

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Liberal Lawyer Discusses Marquette’s Attempt to Fire Warrior Blogger

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Marquette Buys Google Ad to Attack Warrior Blogger

Marquette, knowing they have been taking a public relations beating over their attempt to fire this blogger, has bought a Google ad to point people to their biased and selective page of “resources” on our case.

We do not know how much they are paying per “click through,” but the top position in a Google search does not come cheap.

Click to Enlarge

This ad may not show on every Google search, since even Marquette, which has paid well up into six figures in legal fees in an attempt to fire us, may not have set the “budget” high enough to show on every search. But then, they might raise it.

After all, the money doesn’t come from the pockets of the bureaucrats trying to fire us. It comes from students’ tuition money, and perhaps from endowment given by alumni who thought they were giving to improve the educational experience for students.

Libel

One utterly libelous thing Marquette has posted is the claim that we “doxed” the instructor about whom we posted, one Cheryl Abbate.  Abbate, remember,  told an undergraduate that he was not allowed to express opposition to gay marriage in class since it would be “homophobic” and would “offend” any gay students in class.

“Doxing” is defined as follows:
To dox someone is “to publicly identify or publish private information about (someone) especially as a form of punishment or revenge.”
We, of course, did no such thing. Rather, we linked to Abbate’s toxic feminist essay “Yes All Men… Contribute to the Prevalence of Rape,” published on her blog. If somebody dug around her blog, they could have found her e-mail address.

But just how is an e-mail address somebody publishes on their own blog “private information?”

Marquette, quite simply, is lying about this.

But that increasingly characterizes their jihad against this blogger. Marquette has falsely claimed that Abbate received threats. They claimed that Abbate had to leave Marquette because of our blog post.

The real impetus for the jihad was our several years of exposing misconduct at the University, and revealing the multiple ways Marquette has trashed its supposed “Catholic identity.”

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Trying to Clean Up the Mess

GLENN MCCOY © Belleville News-Democrat. Dist. By UNIVERSAL UCLICK. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Marquette’s Selective, Dishonest List of “Resources” On Our Case

When Marquette, on its own website, gives its side of our suit against the university, we expect it to be biased. But sometimes the bias is so blatant as to defy belief.

The case, remember, involves a graduate instructor (Cheryl Abbate) who told a student who wanted to oppose gay marriage in a class discussion that:
  • “some opinions are not appropriate, such as racist opinions, sexist opinions”
  • “do you know if anyone in your class is homosexual?” . . . “don’t you think it would be offensive to them”
  • “you don’t have a right in this class to make homophobic comments.”
  • “In this class, homophobic comments, racist comments, will not be tolerated.”
This was a clear case of academic intolerance, quite typical of colleges today. It was also ironic, since the student simply wanted to defend the Catholic Church’s position on the issue. We blogged about it, a huge brouhaha ensued, and Marquette proceeded to attempt to fire us.

Bizarre Moralizing

So Marquette has a website of “resources” on the case. Some of Marquette’s rhetoric is almost nausea inducing. For example:
The website emphasizes Marquette’s Guiding Values and how they have influenced the university’s position and actions in response to this case.
This from a university which claims to be Catholic, but has fully embraced the gay agenda, and the transgender agenda. This from a university that not only invited Angela Davis (who proudly claims to be a communist) to campus, but paid her a fee that (according to speaker agencies’ online statements) must be well into five figures.

Even worse, they lauded her on a Marquette web page, on Twitter, and in the introduction to her talk.

Things like this are a better guide to Marquette’s real “guiding values” than any unctuous rhetoric.

Suppressing Information

But one particularly egregious example of bias comes at the bottom of the page, where they note:
Recent amicus briefs for the McAdams vs. Marquette have been filed by:
  • Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC)
  • National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)
  • Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU)
  • Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU)
  • Marquette University Academic Senate
One might think that nobody supports our case, given that list. But on the website of WILL, the public interest law firm that represents us, is a link to every document submitted to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Who has supported us, that Marquette will not tell you about?
  • Great Lakes Justice Center
  • Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
  • Law and University Professors and Academics
  • State of Wisconsin
  • National Association of Scholars
  • Thomas More Society
Interestingly, all the briefs supporting Marquette are from parties with a vested interest in employers being able to fire employers who cause “trouble” for their organizations. It is puzzling, however, why business organizations see any threat in this case, since our argument is not that any employee anywhere has free speech rights on the job, but rather than Marquette has promised us those rights in our contract. The vast majority of businesses don’t do that.

It may be relevant here that three Directors of Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce — Jon Hammes, Todd Adams and Peggy Troy — are also trustees of Marquette University. Anyone with even a slight knowledge of American academia will know that trustees, many of them being business people, have been completely ineffective in tempering intolerant political correctness on campuses. Thus the suppression of conservative speakers (sometimes using violence and disruption), curricula that are essentially indoctrination, the stripping of due process from males accused of sexual assault and so on, never meet any effective opposition from trustees.

Perhaps this is because business types, in their business jobs, are themselves used to pandering to the forces of political correctness. Thus they have to embrace (at least rhetorically) gender and racial “diversity,” the gay and transgender agendas, and “sustainability.” This is the price of being left alone to make money. They are not used to resisting.

The American Association of University Professors

Also not listed on the Marquette website is the brief of the American Association of University Professors. That organization supported the Marquette Faculty Hearing Committee’s claim that we should be suspended for one or two semesters. But the AAUP harshly criticized Marquette’s earlier suspension of this blogger, and also rejected Michael Lovell’s demand that we issue a grovelling apology in order to be reinstated. Those two things kept it off Marquette’s list.

The AAUP, it seems, views “academic freedom” as a collective right that faculty have, but not a right that individual professors have. If faculty as a group will not support the free expression of a particular academic, then neither will the AAUP. This means that faculty out of tune with the reigning orthodoxy in academia are at risk.

The organization did insist that since the Faculty Hearing Committee did not say we should have to issue any apology, Lovell had no right to demand one.

Conclusion

It’s terribly revealing that Marquette would do this, but not unexpected. Marquette has been unable to tell the truth about why Cheryl Abbate left Marquette, whether Abbate received threats, or whether we linked to her contact information.

The rhetoric about “Guiding Values” contrasts sharply with the reality of an institution run by visionless bureaucrats who pander relentlessly to the noisy forces of political correctness on campus, trash vast swaths of Catholic teaching, and try to suppress dissenting voices.

The Jesuits who founded the place would be appalled. Anybody who thinks a Catholic university is a good idea and has been paying any attention is appalled.

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Sunday, April 01, 2018

Job Insecurity