Facebook Censorship: Can’t Criticize Transgenderism
UpdateThe above was posted on our Facebook timeline, and embedded here.
Facebook censored it on our timeline. So here is the post for all to see:
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Tucker: There's No Denying it Now
"Even as ominous signs accumulated, we struggled against calling the Mueller investigation a partisan witch hunt designed to topple a president. We didn't want to think that it was. Unfortunately, it's getting harder to deny that now." — Tucker Carlson https://fxn.ws/2HYcyH5
Posted by Fox News on Monday, May 7, 2018
Activists are pressuring businesses to ditch plastic straws because they can end up in the ocean and hurt marine life.And just how will plastic straws at Marquette end up in the ocean and hurt marine life?
Pictures of turtles with straws up their noses are certainly jarring. However most plastic, whatever form it enters the ocean as, will eventually be broken up into much smaller pieces known as micro-plastics. It is these micro-plastics that form those giant ocean garbage patches, pile up on the ocean floor, and leech into the stomachs and flesh of sea creatures.This figure is derived from data here:
Reducing the amount of micro-plastics in the ocean thus requires cutting down on the aggregate weight of plastics entering the ocean each year. It cannot be stressed enough that straws, by weight, are a tiny portion of this plastic.
At most, straws account for about 2,000 tons of the 9 million tons of plastic that are estimated to enter the ocean each year . . . —.02 percent of all plastic waste.
. . . a ban may be a bit of a straw man in the discussions about plastics pollution. Straws make up about 4 percent of the plastic trash by piece, but far less by weight.Back to Britschgi:
Straws on average weigh so little—about one sixty-seventh of an ounce or .42 grams—that all those billions of straws add up to only about 2,000 tons of the nearly 9 million tons of plastic waste that yearly hits the waters.
The pollution problem posed by straws looks even smaller when considering that the United States is responsible for about one percent of plastic waste entering the oceans, with straws being a smaller percentage still.A scholarly treatment in the journal Science lists the twenty countries that put the most waste plastic in the oceans. The United States barely makes the list, putting an estimated 0.04–0.11 million metric tons of plastic per year. This is all plastics, not just straws. As we have seen, straws are a tiny proportion. And this compares to 1.32–3.53 million metric tons from China.
As countless experts have stressed, truly addressing the problem of marine plastic pollution will require going after the source of this pollution, namely all the uncollected litter from poorer coastal countries that lack developed waste management systems.
Straw banners have proven stubbornly resistant to this logic. Instead, they have chosen to rely on either debunked statistics (such as the claim that Americans use 500 million straws a day, which was the product of a 9-year-old’s research) or totally unproven notions (like the theory that straws are a “gateway plastic”) in order to justify petty prohibitions on innocuous straws. And they have been helped along by an uncritical media.The simple fact about environmentalists is that they are busy-bodies, wanting to control people’s behavior. They are also adverse to any sort of sophisticated analysis, latching onto simple-minded crusades (anti-fracking, anti-nuclear, anti-Keystone pipeline).
¶42 Under any reasonable standard of impartiality, Dr. Turner would be disqualified. She publicly inserted herself into the dispute and expressed a personal interest in its outcome. And she did not just express her opinions on these matters in passing—she committed herself to them in writing. Having done so, she could not decide the FHC proceedings in favor of Dr. McAdams without contradicting what she had already said to the entire Marquette University campus. These are not anonymous members of the public to whom she would be admitting that her initial convictions were mistaken. They are her professional colleagues and students. The natural human impulse to resist acknowledging a mistake, especially in light of the audience to whom she would be making the acknowledgement, is sufficiently powerful to affect Dr. Turner’s consideration of the dispute. If an arbitrator evidenced this level of bias, we would set aside the resulting award. The FHC’s composition was unacceptably compromised by Dr. Turner’s bias.But more basic was the faulty logic the FHC (and Marquette) used:
¶72 The defects inherent in the University’s alternative analytical structure, however, represent just one of two problems with its assessment. The second is that the University conducted the analysis backwards. With the benefit of hindsight, the University reverse-engineered its conclusion that Dr. McAdams is a plainly unfit professor because of unknown third parties’ reactions to his blog post. The blog post caused “harm,” the University said, in the form of critical, sometimes vile, sometimes violently-worded, responses sent to Instructor Abbate after the story had received national attention. Its “unfitness” analysis proceeded as follows: Instructor Abbate suffered harm because she received offensive communications from third parties; the communications were prompted by Dr. McAdams’ blog post (directly or indirectly); Dr. McAdams has a responsibility not to harm his students; a professor is unfit to serve if he violates his responsibilities to the University’s students. Quod erat demonstrandum. But the University can reach this conclusion only because its analysis traveled in reverse. So quod non erat demonstrandum.Note that it sounds nice to say “professors should always be accurate.” But if any inaccuracy — even a trivial one — can be used as an excuse to fire a troublesome professor, academic freedom doesn’t mean much. Further, what is “accurate” is often a matter of opinion. Can a professor who expresses skepticism about man-made, catastrophic global warming be fired for being “inaccurate?” What about a professor who says that Donald Trump would not have been elected without the interference of the Russians?
¶73 Performing the analysis in the correct direction leads to the unavoidable conclusion that the blog post has nothing relevant to say about Dr. McAdams’ fitness as a professor. The University’s end point is where we start—that is, we consider first whether the challenged extramural comment, on its face, violated Dr. McAdams’ “responsibilities to . . . [the University’s] students.” Although Instructor Abbate was functioning as a University instructor, we will consider only her status as a student for purposes of this analysis. The University identified several aspects of the blog post that it believes were problematic. For instance, it says Dr. McAdams relied on improperly obtained information (the surreptitious recording of the conversation between Instructor Abbate and the student); he identified Instructor Abbate by name; he linked to her contact information; he drafted the post in a way that would subject Instructor Abbate to public contempt; and the post contains factual errors.
¶74 The undisputed facts show that none of the aspects of the blog post about which the University is concerned could have violated Dr. McAdams’ responsibility to Instructor Abbate. The FHC’s Report acknowledged that there is no prohibition against naming a student in a blog post. Nor is it improper for a faculty member to link to a student’s personal webpage, even when that webpage lists the student’s contact information. The Report acknowledged this is still true even when the blog post is critical of the student. Nor do blogging faculty members have a general obligation to ensure every statement they make in a post is accurate.
¶76 Finally, there is the University’s assertion that Dr. McAdams drafted the blog post in such a way that it would subject Instructor Abbate to public contempt. The blog post is certainly critical of her, so one could reasonably foresee that it would engender critical responses. We do not understand the University to argue that an extramural comment that causes such responses is beyond the pale—an extraordinarily unusual argument for an educational institution to make—so we perceive its concern to be about the responses that go beyond the realm of reasonable criticism. But the University did not identify any aspect of what Dr. McAdams actually wrote to support its charge. Instead, it used third-party responses to the blog post as a proxy for its allegedly contempt-inducing nature. Here again, the University demonstrates that reverse-engineering a conclusion is not the most reliable method of conducting an analysis. In this instance, the University caught itself up in the “post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy. Just because vile commentary followed the blog post does not mean the blog post instigated or invited the vileness. The University must identify which part of the blog post is supposed to have been responsible for eliciting the offensive remarks. It did not even attempt to do so. Our review of the blog post reveals that it makes no ad hominem attack on Instructor Abbate, nor does it invite readers to be uncivil to her, either explicitly or implicitly. Because the University’s logical fallacy represents the entirety of its assertion that Dr. McAdams wrote the blog post to subject Instructor Abbate to contempt, we must reject it.The Supreme Court decision was a humiliating defeat for Marquette generally, and specifically for the Faculty Hearing Committee and President Michael Lovell.
“Dismissal will not be used to restrain faculty members in their exercise of academic freedom or other rights guaranteed them by the United States Constitution.”What sort of arrogance on the part of Michael Lovell and mendacity on the part of the Faculty Hearing Committee made them think they could trample on that legally binding promise?
The University denies Dr. McAdams’ right to litigate his breach of contract claim in our courts. Instead, it says, we must defer to its procedure for suspending and dismissing tenured faculty members. It claims we may not question its decision so long as it did not abuse its discretion, infringe any constitutional rights, act in bad faith, or engage in fraud.Why did the court refuse to defer to Marquette? For several reasons.
¶2 The University is mistaken. We may question, and we do not defer. The University’s internal dispute resolution process is not a substitute for Dr. McAdams’ right to sue in our courts. The University’s internal process may serve it well as an informal means of resolving disputes, but as a replacement for litigation in our courts, it is structurally flawed.
¶3 The undisputed facts show that the University breached its contract with Dr. McAdams when it suspended him for engaging in activity protected by the contract’s guarantee of academic freedom. Therefore, we reverse the circuit court and remand this cause with instructions to enter judgment in favor of Dr. McAdams, conduct further proceedings to determine damages (which shall include back pay), and order the University to immediately reinstate Dr. McAdams with unimpaired rank, tenure, compensation, and benefits, as required by § 307.09 of the University’s Statutes on Faculty Appointment, Promotion and Tenure (the “Faculty Statutes”).
¶25 The most obvious reason we will not defer to the University is simply that the parties never agreed that its internal Discipline Procedure would either replace or limit the adjudication of their contract dispute in our courts. They certainly could have agreed to an extra-judicial resolution of their contract dispute. This is a common feature in society today and is accomplished most often through an arbitration agreement. [...]
¶26 Our exhaustive review of the Faculty Statutes reveals no indication that the University and Dr. McAdams agreed the Discipline Procedure would supplant the courts or limit their review of a contractual dispute. Two of the Faculty Statutes acknowledge Dr. McAdams’ right to seek judicial adjudication of his claims. The first describes the right negatively by demarcating a period of time in which the parties agree not to litigate. . . .
¶27 The Faculty Statutes also contain an explicit, positively-stated recognition of Dr. McAdams’ right to litigate. . . .
This provision unambiguously recognizes that the University’s suspension and dismissal decisions are subject to litigation in our courts. It was with good reason that the University conceded, during oral arguments, that it had no express agreement with Dr. McAdams that the Discipline Procedure would preclude his right to litigate his cause here.
¶28 The University and Dr. McAdams could have agreed that the court would defer to the Report and Discipline Letter in the same way we defer to arbitration decisions. They could have done that, but they did not. They did the opposite: The University agreed it would defer to the court’s adjudication of Dr. McAdams’ right to reinstatement.
¶49 As a matter of process, therefore, there is a hard break between the Discipline Procedure and the actual decision to suspend Dr. McAdams. While the dispute was in the hands of a body that had no authority to resolve it (the FHC), the case was subject to the detailed Discipline Procedure. However, once it reached the actual decision-maker (President Lovell), there were no procedures to govern the decision-making process. The Discipline Procedure does not tell President Lovell how to reach his decision, and nothing in the record before us suggests the president’s decision must have any relationship to the FHC’s work. As far as the Faculty Statutes and Faculty Handbook are concerned, the president may proceed as if the Report said nothing but that the FHC had completed the Discipline Procedure. Consequently, the efficient cause of Dr. McAdams’ suspension without pay was the Discipline Letter, and there is no evidence that it resulted from any prescribed procedure at all. It was the product of President Lovell’s exercise of unfettered discretion. Even if we were inclined to defer to the authoritative resolution of Dr. McAdams’ case (as opposed to the FHC’s Report), there is quite literally nothing to which we could apply an arbitration-style review.
¶140 The majority errs in conducting only half of the academic freedom analysis. It fails to recognize, much less analyze, the academic freedom of Marquette as a private, Catholic, Jesuit university. As a result, it dilutes a private educational institution’s autonomy to make its own academic decisions in fulfillment of its unique mission.This, of course, is complete nonsense. The “group of tenured faculty members” (the Faculty Hearing Committee) does not “live by academic freedom.” Most of them have nothing much controversial to say, or if they do, they express the leftist opinions approved by most of the faculty (and thus safe from faculty-centered disciplinary procedures).
¶141 Further, the majority compounds this error by rendering meaningless a key component of shared governance, reducing the faculty’s bargained-for role in reviewing dismissal for cause to “nothing” or a mere “distraction.” In disregarding the faculty hearing committee’s expertise and unanimous recommendation, it throws aside a process that is mutually agreed upon and time-honored. Apparently, the majority thinks it is in a better position to address concerns of academic freedom than a group of tenured faculty members who live the doctrine every day.
¶58 The dissent says we should nonetheless defer to the University, and that failing to do so “renders meaningless a key part of shared governance, reducing the faculty’s role in this decisionmaking to nothing.” Dissent, ¶173. The author, however, does not identify the key part of shared governance we have rendered meaningless, nor could she. The faculty’s authority to share in the University’s governance comes from the Faculty Statutes and Faculty Handbook, not some formless notion of what shared governance ought to be. We have taken these authorities as they are, and scrupulously examined their provisions. The faculty’s role is what our opinion says it is because that is the arrangement upon which the University and its faculty members have agreed. It is not our place to rewrite their management structure to give the faculty a more muscular role in the University’s affairs than they currently have. Because the dissent identified no Faculty Statute or Faculty Handbook provision that we have overlooked or misconstrued, we decline the implicit invitation to disregard what these authorities so plainly say.Marquette’s case was so poor we are left wondering “what were they thinking?” Quite likely, when they began their jihad against us, they expected we would just take some money and walk away. But when they found that wasn’t so, why did they not back off?
The University posited that educational institutions assume academic freedom is just one value that must be balanced against “other values core to their mission.” Some of those values, it says, include the obligation to "take care not to cause harm, directly or indirectly, to members of the university community,” “to respect the dignity of others and to acknowledge their right to express differing opinions,” to “safeguard the conditions for the community to exist,” to “ensur[e] colleagues feel free to explore undeveloped ideas,” and to carry out “the concept of cura personalis,” which involves working and caring “for all aspects of the lives of the members of the institution.” These are worthy aspirations, and they reflect well on the University. But they contain insufficiently certain standards by which a professor’s compliance may be measured. Setting the doctrine of academic freedom adrift amongst these competing values would deprive the doctrine of its instructive power; it would provide faculty members with little to no guidance on what it covers.The Court was doubtless unimpressed with Marquette’s pious rhetoric about “values” in light of the fact that our blog post highlighted an instructor who insulted a student, telling him that his opposition to gay marriage would sound homophobic, would be offensive, and could not be expressed in her class. When he complained to authorities he was blown off, and indeed insulted.
The university has forcefully pushed back against McAdams’s narrative that the key issue is academic freedom. It pressed its case in advertisements in newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal. It set up a web page, complete with a timeline and fact-vs.-myth section. It hired a public-relations firm with a storytelling team.Marquette, in fact, even bought Google ads to lead web surfers to a page that attacks us.
“In terms of our brand and public perception,” Lovell says, “we were taking a beating. We thought it was important to at least try to get the truth out about what we felt our side of the story was.”
It bears repeating: We shouldn’t expect only students of color to respond to racism. I’m asking all of @MarquetteU to join me and share why you #StandAgainstRacism pic.twitter.com/ZzS4nlSxqU— Michael Lovell (@PresLovell) April 30, 2018
- A Marquette University student was recently expelled after coming forward to explain the context of a photo that had sparked fears of racism on campus.
- Alex Ruiz said he took responsibility for accidentally sharing the photo with a classmate in hopes of mollifying the outrage on campus by explaining that there was no racist intent.
- Instead, Marquette subjected him to a disciplinary hearing that led to his expulsion for “discriminatory harassment,” a verdict that was upheld on appeal.
One night, according to a campus police “Incident Report” obtained by Campus Reform, Alex and friends were playing a “game” in which they would randomly scroll through their phones while the “Apple Airdrop” function was on, which allows photos to be sent to all nearby devices without specifying a recipient, resulting in the photo being unintentionally shared with a classmate.Sending photos to random people who happen to be connected to the same Wi-Fi hotspot is pretty dumb. But undergraduates do dumb things. Intentions matter. There was no intention to send the photo to a black female student, and the photo was not racist — unless you really, badly want it to be racist.
According to the university, “sending [photos] to another person is harassment.” Ruiz and his father both told Campus Reform that they are deeply “apologetic” about what occurred, but feel that the university was not fair in its handling of the matter.
Ruiz’s father asserted that he had made “multiple attempts” to contact university officials, even calling President Michael Lovell, but said Lovell ignored “multiple requests” to speak to the family even after they flew from Colorado to Marquette to meet with school administrators.Note that Ruiz would be a “person of color” and entitled to special treatment in other circumstances. But when it’s convenient for Marquette officials, he’s just another privileged white male.
Ruiz’s family originally immigrated to the United States three years ago from Mexico, and continues to struggle with English fluency. The father claims that the university summarily “dismissed” his outreach, and was looking to “out a student” to calm the outrage on campus.
RUIZ stated that the photos were not racially motivated other than some friends taking random pictures for fun. RUIZ stated the second photo of a gorilla with a M/B, face attached to the body of the gorilla, is a cropped photo of his high school. RUIZ identified the M/B as HS Friend. RUIZ stated the circumstances surrounding this photo was just more friends having fun and sending out funny pictures among each other via group massaging.Given that Ruiz was a teenager, and migrated to the U.S. from Mexico only three years ago, it’s unlikely he would know how toxic the meme of associating black people with simians has been.
I contacted Milwaukee County District Attorney Kelly HEDGE and informed her of the incident and due to the lack of intent by RUIZ no criminal charges for harassment would be issued.
I then spoke with [the complainant] at MUPD and informed her that the investigation was wrapping up and informed that the individual that sent the photos had no intent to harass her and was not targeting her.
Next, the court considered whether Marquette had “discretionary cause” to suspend McAdams. The court began by citing the relevant contractual provisions, which defined “discretionary cause” as conduct that “clearly and substantially fail to meet the standard of personal and professional excellence which generally characterizes University faculties.”But Cleveland goes on to highlight the fundamental social problems behind this whole incident:
However, as the court highlighted, the faculty contract expressly stated that discretionary cause will not “be interpreted so as to impair the full and free enjoyment of legitimate personal or academic freedoms of thought, doctrine, discourse, association, advocacy, or action.” The court then methodically considered Marquette’s rationale for suspending McAdams, stressing that it was McAdams’ conduct—and not the response of third parties—that mattered, explaining:
Just because vile commentary followed the blog post does not mean the blog post instigated or invited the vileness. The University must identify which part of the blog post is supposed to have been responsible for eliciting the offensive remarks. It did not even attempt to do so. Our review of the blog post reveals that it makes no ad hominem attack on Instructor Abbate, nor does it invite readers to be uncivil to her, either explicitly or implicitly. Because the University’s logical fallacy represents the entirety of its assertion that Dr. McAdams wrote the blog post to subject Instructor Abbate to contempt, we must reject it.
Further, Marquette’s attempt to hold McAdams responsible for threats meted out by third parties upends academic freedom. It implies a faculty member must self-censor and limit criticism out of a fear that others will respond with threats or even violence. Yet nothing McAdams wrote reeked of an incitement to harassment or violence. The Wisconsin Supreme Court published the entire blog post and a quick read confirms the court’s view that McAdams had not invited the vile emails Abbate received.
Yet Abbate did receive emails that made her fear for her safety. I am not unsympathic to Abbate’s concerns, and few conservative journalists or politicians would be. But McAdams isn’t the problem. The problem is a society that teaches that words spoken in a classroom debate are so offensive that they must be silenced; a society that resorts to doxxing to silence speech instead of countering speech; and a society that views harassment and violence as appropriate responses to “offensive” speech.
This says nothing about McAdams, who criticized Abbate on the merits of her conduct, and everything about the decline of civility facing our country.
Two Wisconsin Supreme Court justices dissented from the majority’s decision in favor of McAdams. The dissent merits consideration, not because of the faulty analysis of McAdams’ case, but because of the helpful discussion of academic freedom.Marquette claims the right to hire “for mission.” This means Marquette has the right to hire people loyal to Catholic teaching, and even to prefer practicing Catholics.
Many wrongly believe academic freedom rests solely with faculty members, but the dissent, authored by Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, highlights that academic freedom includes two components: academic freedom of the faculty and academic freedom of the institution. Marquette’s “institutional academic freedom is inclusive of four ‘essential freedoms’: ‘to determine for itself on academic grounds who may teach, what may be taught, how it shall be taught, and who may be admitted to study.’“
As a Catholic, Jesuit institution, Marquette possesses the right to exercise these four “essential freedoms” consistent with its guiding values, described by the dissent as the “holistic development of students” and a “commitment to the Jesuit tradition and Catholic social teaching.” Marquette could, then, have hired only faculty members willing to instruct students consistent with the university’s professed Catholic mission, in which case it could fire faculty members who do not live up to that commitment.
But it didn’t, as is obvious from the university’s decision to employ an instructor who, in contradiction of clear church teaching, taught students that “everybody agrees” on “gay rights.” Marquette instead promised faculty members the right to individual academic freedom, without regard to the university’s Catholic character. By committing itself “not to impair the full and free enjoyment of legitimate personal or academic freedoms,” Marquette forfeited its right to rein in McAdams’ speech as purportedly contrary to the university’s mission.
In its news release, Marquette hinted that it intends to reassert its institutional right to academic freedom, explaining that “in light of today’s decision, Marquette will work with its faculty to re-examine its policies, with the goal of providing every assurance possible that this never happens again” (emphasis added). Of course, by “this,” Marquette means public criticism of an instructor. If only the Jesuit university meant assuring faculty members do not silence student speech, especially speech defending Catholic teaching against a professor’s heresy. That is something I could get behind.
MILWAUKEE — A disturbing and racially charged photo posted on Snapchat has some students on Marquette University’s campus upset.So what does this scary image look like? Guys in KKK hoods? Rednecks with guns and a Confederate battle flag? Not at all. This is the image.
“As a black student on this campus, I’m ashamed of what happened. It’s not right,” said Richard Nwabuzor, the vice president of the campus chapter of the NAACP.
[Deija] Richards said a lot of students in the black campus community don’t feel safe.
“I felt personally attacked, and I know a lot of people around me did,” she added.
|Click on Image to Enlarge|
I have the right to be at this university just like every other white student. I worked my ass off for my spot, twice as hard. And for the Lovell to laugh in the face of my struggle and oppression. Go fuck yourself. I am Marquette too.— Saint Samantha 👑 (@SaintSamantha1) April 26, 2018
Hate crimes have no place on our campus. We expect Marquette University to hold these students accountable for their appalling behavior. This is a Jesuit University and we stand against... https://t.co/nyg4FWWyLt— Marquette Democrats (@marquettedems) April 26, 2018
Our job at Marquette, which we will do much more of, is to help provide safe spaces, provide support for our students of color but also for our majority students to provide tools that we need so we will be able to engage in meaningful conversations, solutions, and dialogues that not only make Marquette better, but our city, and then our state. . . .Campus bureaucrats love “racist incidents,” since they give them an excuse to expand their staffs and budgets with new “initiatives.”
It bears repeating: We shouldn’t expect only students of color to respond to racism. I’m asking all of @MarquetteU to join me and share why you #StandAgainstRacism pic.twitter.com/ZzS4nlSxqU— Michael Lovell (@PresLovell) April 30, 2018
. . . informed her that the investigation was wrapping up and informed [her] that the individual that sent the photos had no intent to harass her and was not targeting her.The campus cops forwarded their report to Campus Conduct officials. Unfortunately, those folks were out for blood.
My son was removed immediately from the dorms and had to find where to stay for the rest of the year and had numerous . . . sleepless nights because of the whole situation.Summarizing the whole incident, the father said:
Somewhere in April the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and other communities gather together and talked about this and we never had the chance to voice our side of the story.
I do not see why [they would] punish a very good person and judging him just by one mistake he made to send a picture anonymously to another person that opted to received it instead of hearing the whole story and judging him by the whole person he is.