Friday, January 29, 2016

The Socialist Welfare States That Bernie Sanders Loves are Funded by Fossil Fuel Production

From Somewhat Reasonable at the Heartland Institute:
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has often talked about his desire for the United States to emulate the socialist welfare states of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden by providing free college and health care and expanding Social Security. Sanders also wants to ban oil, natural gas, and coal production on lands owned by the federal government, and he has called for a ban on hydraulic fracturing, which has dramatically increased production of oil and natural gas in the United States.

Although many would-be Sanders voters may rejoice at all of these notions, someone really ought to inform the senator and his followers that the socialist spending sprees of Denmark and Norway are bankrolled by oil: Big Oil, to be specific.
The whole notion of the socialist welfare state is based on the notion that people can have lots of goodies, delivered by government, at somebody else’s expense.

Of course, eventually socialists run out of other people’s money. But they can keep the scam going for a while longer if they fully exploit fossil fuel production.

Read the whole thing.

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Big Bold Leader

Concerned Catholics of Marquette Faculty and Staff Speak

We recently published a commentary on a meeting that a group of “concerned Catholics” with members of the Marquette administration. Several serious complaints were expressed about freedom of expression at Marquette, and especially the freedom to express Catholic viewpoints.

It was an insightful commentary, but we are now posting the minutes of the meeting, which give the full tenor of the meeting.

We are redacting a fair amount of material that might serve the identify the individuals involved. Many of the participants would not want to be identified — itself a sad commentary on the state of free expression at Marquette.

Concerned Catholics at Marquette University
Inaugural Meeting 12-2-15
Minutes
  • 20 or so in attendance. Many faculty ([...]), the rest were staff ([...]). No students, though invitation was extended to Students for Life, Bellarmine Society and Adoration Guardians.
  • Cheryl Maranto and Alix Riley facilitating
    • “Dr. Lovell wants this survey to have impact. He doesn’t want to “put it on a shelf.”
  • One of the attendees asked why the adjective “Conservative” was applied to the group in the invitation to the forum.
    • [...] explained how this was the language that appeared in the Climate Survey Final Report, particularly in excerpts from pages 86 and 135.
    • The group agreed that the term “conservative” was marginalizing and that simply “Catholic” or “Concerned Catholics” would be a more accurate and effective descriptor.
  • Instead of breaking up into small groups, the forum opted to work together as a single group.
  • It was noted that we had all just received another reminder re: mandatory Title IX training. An attending [...] professor said the Title IX mandate is “very dangerous”.
    • He cited an instance where a fellow MU theo professor was accused of harassment for presenting basic Catholic teaching on sexuality.
    • The LGBTQ agenda is fundamentally against the Catholic faith, yet we are not allowed to challenge for fear of retribution.
    • Those who hold traditional Catholic values are not free to speak up.
  • Another professor of [...] noted that there is actual persecution going on in that faculty who stand up for Catholic teaching are marginalized and have measures taken against them – denial of promotion etc.
  • A professor from the [...] noted that the anthropology of the survey itself was not in line with Catholic teaching (offering numerous gender options).
    • Also – only 31% participated.
  • A fundraiser from [...] noted that many alumni tell [...] of their disappointment and disenchantment with Marquette because of its departure from its Catholic identity.
    • An Alumni “Climate” Survey was discussed. Not feasible at this point, but a good idea for the future.
  • Another [...] professor said that the persecution experienced by those who stand up for Catholic doctrine and values is not organized, but it is clear that you are putting yourself at risk (“As we all saw in our own department.”)
    • How can a theology professor not talk about the Church’s teaching on human sexuality? 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.”
    • Few, if any, feel free to discuss Catholic teaching on marriage.
      • Another [...] professor said he does – and so far with no negative consequence – but he said he has not yet tried for a promotion.
  • A professor said he had heard that faculty and administrators at other colleges and universities were protesting Title IX on the basis that it restricts academic freedom.
    • “Where is the backbone of Marquette administration in protesting Title IX mandates which necessarily restrict the free exchange of ideas, particularly in theology and philosophy – the very core of Catholic, Jesuit education?”
    • It is impossible for a professor who has taken the Mandatum to not represent Catholic teaching. But in so doing, he or she will inevitably violate Title IX policies as they now exist sooner or later.
  • A [...] representative noted that CheckMarq now has five or six gender categories. How is this representative of Catholic teaching (at a Catholic university)?
  • A [...] representative asked, “Are we Catholic or are we not? And if we are, what does that mean?”
    • Little “c” catholic means universal. Big “C” Catholic means the Church and Her teachings.
    • Being at Marquette (as faculty, staff, student) means respecting the university’s tradition and the faith it was founded upon.
  • Another [...] representative added that, as it currently conducts itself, Marquette is almost indistinguishable from secular schools.
  • A [...] professor quoted his dean saying “Catholic means whatever you want it to mean.”
  • Another [...] professor said that what we’re witnessing is the confluence of a number of university decisions/policies/concessions that – over time -- have had the cumulative effect of diminishing or negating Marquette’s Catholic identity and intellectual quality.
    • “Suddenly you wake up one day and you can’t do what you’re supposed to do” (i.e. educate students in the Catholic tradition).
    • Administration needs to understand that there are unintended consequences resulting from their decisions/policies/concessions to secular demands.
    • “We always do what everyone else is doing.” Why? Why not be Catholic?
  • Another [...] professor said “If Marquette were really Catholic, we would be diverse” (i.e. a distinguished and alternative voice in the increasingly homogeneous ideological ethos of higher education).
  • A [...] professor noted that complaints from students or others about being exposed to basic legitimate Catholic teachings ought to be dismissed on the face of it. Someone may not like it and no one is being forced to believe in it, but the teaching is what it is.
  • A [...] professor asked the UA representatives if they are questioned as to why someone should pay more money for a Catholic education that isn’t in anyway identifiably Catholic.
    • [...] said – yes – more and more that conversation is occurring.
  • Another [...] noted that in Marquette’s strategic plan, and in a recent high level discussion about it, there was barely any mention of “Catholic.” Where it is mentioned it is shallow and gratuitous.
  • Another [...] said that we also need to protect students – there are few if any clear and authentically Catholic experiences available to them.
    • Campus Ministry is a grave disappointment
  • A [...] professor noted that he discovered a group of serious Catholic students who were meeting in secret. When he encouraged them to make themselves known and grow their membership, they stopped communicating with him.
    • Catholic students are scared.
    • A [...] reported of a student who told him of a professor who has made slurs against the Church e.g. mocking the idea of Mary’s virginity etc. in class.
  • Many agreed that Campus Ministry contributes to the diminishment of Catholic identity
    • A [...] professor related an incident wherein he and his colleagues were informed that Campus Ministry had declared, “The real problem with making progress at Marquette is the Theology Department” and that, consequently, focus groups would be conducted to assess the perception of the Theo department across campus. The dept. staff were told (by the Dept. Chair) that they would be informed of the outcome of the study. They never were.
  • Another [...] professor acknowledged that the Theology Department fell into intense disfavor after the Jodi O’Brien incident as a number of theology profs were critical of her being hired and supported her offer being rescinded. “Other departments hate the Theology Department because of this.”
  • [...] professor: “I’m concerned about not being allowed to be a scholar. I can’t say the truth. I am not allowed to say what Catholics believe, even if I was an atheist, I could not communicate what Catholic doctrine” as a result of anti-Catholic/Title IX environment at MU.
    • “Basically now we have the students teaching us.” Students call the shots as to what can and cannot be discussed in class.
    • If we were to take Title IX literally, we would say that the Theo Department suffers from a majority of individuals who self-identify as male and thus lacks diversity. “We need to address this rampant self-definition as male problem.”
      • University needs to decide – is diversity a serious issue or is it a matter of self-definition? If a number of male faculty decide to self-identify as female, is the problem of a majority male staff solved? This is the absurdity we are entering into and encouraging.
  • [...] has opposite issue. [example of anti-male discrimination redacted]
    • There are very few males on CON faculty.
    • “Catholic” was removed from the dean search criteria
    • “Catholic” was very nearly removed from CON mission statement (per faculty who wanted it removed.)
  • A [...] representative noted that “Catholic” is largely missing from our advertising and marketing branding.
    • “Social Justice” has replaced “Catholic” Social Justice is a vague term that is often applied to definitively anti-Catholic practices e.g. “Reproductive Rights”
  • [...] continued – there is no plan for how we are going to be a Catholic Jesuit institution for the future.
    • Do we want to be a Catholic university or not?
  • [...] professor said he had cause to address embryonic stem cell research in a lecture.
    • He explicitly told students it was wrong, unnecessary and that they shouldn’t participate in it in their future work.
    • He quickly received an email from Academic Affairs asking, “What did you say???” Evidently there was a strong complaint, maybe more.
    • Prof addressed directly in class saying “This is what the Catholic teaching is and what I advocate. If you don’t like it, go take a different course.”
    • His point was that faculty need to be bold and not afraid to teach Catholic doctrine and in accordance with Catholic doctrine.
  • A [...] professor recounted a moment from Dr. Pat Carey’s “Is MU Still Catholic” talk a few years ago.
    • An undergraduate student stood up and said, “I’m afraid to affirm my Catholicism.”
  • Students are laboring under a heavier burden than faculty.
    • Students don’t speak up in class. They are policing each other and censoring themselves.
    • There is a climate of repression, not of learning.
    • No one is insisting that anyone believe this or that, but we all must be able to speak freely.
  • A staff member from [...] said that real diversity should include respect for Catholic views.
  • A [...] representative wondered if we should consider proposing MU remove “Catholic” from its name
    • Misrepresenting the faith to an uncatechized world does untold damage to souls, hearts and minds. Better not to claim to be Catholic than to overtly misrepresent it.
  • [...] prof insisted that senior leadership recognizes that Catholic identity is essential to Marquette’s survival.
    • Another agreed and said that he strongly believes President Lovell is trying to make Marquette Catholic again.
    • We (this group) need to support him in this. All agreed.
    • The student group IGNITE was mentioned – trying to restore Catholicism among students. We need to support them and other such student groups as well.
  • A [...] professor who has served on the Faculty Hearing Committee and is also an MU Parent said he is very concerned about the state of our core curriculum.
    • “You have to be very careful with theology and philosophy, what’s happening in some of these classes (regarding Catholic identity) is a crime.”
    • Core classes need special scrutiny.
    • He has tried to steer his kids to best teachers etc.
    • Mention was made of Notre Dame’s Fr. Miscamble’s attempt to formalize such a selection process at ND (http://www.ndcatholic.com/) and that he was shut down in the attempt.
  • A [...] prof added that Title IX brings all this into focus – “It is ideologically fascist.”
    • A [...] prof added that Title IX represents the imposition of a value system, a creed upon Marquette (all universities).
    • Students and faculty are self-silencing.
  • Concept of hiring for mission has completely disappeared.
    • If MU tried this now, they might find an expanded talent pool
    • Some departments adamantly refuse to hire for mission. This needs to be addressed by administration.
    • Hiring for mission can just be words. Just say “social justice” and you’re in.
    • Admitting to devout Catholicism has and can backfire on candidates.
  • [...] prof asked [...] reps – Do you seek funds for Catholic aspects of the university?
    • [...] rep said we do: monstrance for adoration, March for Life … but there aren’t many opportunities
    • Office of Mission and Ministry/ Campus Ministry are in some disarray, hard to identify funding priorities
  • [...] prof mentioned that a proposal is in the works for a Catholic Studies program
    • Similar to St. Thomas and others, but more inter-disciplinary/comprehensive.
    • This could be a fundraising priority and an item in the MU strategic plan
  • Another professor emphasized that it’s very important we not accept the notion of a dichotomy between Catholicism and diversity.
    • Catholicism truly embraces all.
    • MU’s challenge is in balancing its commitment to Catholic identity and embracing all
    • Another theo professor added, “The Catholic Church is the most inclusive organization in the world.”
  • A professor asked if there wasn’t a class action lawsuit or some legal action being taken by colleges and universities against restrictions of Title IX – which is harmful to secular institutions as well.
    • Can MU administration take some kind of stand at all?
    • Can MU Legal look into how faculty, students and staff can be protected from Title IX consequences merely for articulating Catholic doctrine?
PROPOSED ACTION ITEMS:
  • Commitment to academic freedom for Catholic scholars – protection & articulation - for staff and students too. 11 voted this most important, 1 important, 1 less important
  • Hiring for mission – proactive from the top thru to departments. Need clarity 8 voted this important, 1 less important
  • Need to include Catholic in our branding and strategic plan. 2 voted this most important, 5 less important
  • Have General Counsel determine options to challenge Title IX mandates. 1 voted most important, 1 important, 3 less important
  • Board of Trustees needs to show commitment to Catholic identity. 1 voted this important, 2 less important
  • Start Catholic Studies program (interdisciplinary). 1 voted this important, 2 less important
  • Administration should actively protect Catholic faculty, staff and students. When there’s a complaint, don’t presume guilt. 1 voted this most important, 2 important
  • Encourage student Catholic organizations. 1 voted this important 1 less important
  • Avoid dichotomizing Catholic and diversity.
  • Serious promotion and implementation of Ex Corde Ecclesiae
  • Increase physical manifestations/visibility of Catholic faith around campus – Crucifixes (not just crosses), statues of Mary, better promotion of liturgical events, Rosaries, Adoration etc.
  • Avoid scrutiny/risk of persecution for articulating traditional Catholic teachings – in classrooms and elsewhere.
  • Affirm that people can say that they accept and even like that Marquette is a Catholic institution.
  • What happened to focus group re: Theology Department by campus ministry?
  • Need physical manifestations of Catholic faith – Crucifix (not just cross)/Statue of Mary.
  • Affirm Catholic identity.
  • Campus Ministry needs a “Catholic tract” programming for Catholic students, in addition to other faiths.
  • Encourage Catholic Student Organizations in and outside of Campus Ministry

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Big Baby

Marquette Faculty: Title IX a Threat to Academic Freedom

From the National Catholic Register:
WASHINGTON — The federal government’s broadening interpretations of Title IX, the 1972 anti-sexual-discrimination statute that applies to educational institutions, has raised concerns that the freedom of Catholic colleges and universities to teach and govern themselves according to the Church’s teachings on sexuality is at risk.

At least five Catholic educational institutions are among a wave of Christian colleges and universities that have applied for Title IX exemptions, in the wake of the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights’ expansion of Title IX’s interpretation to include “discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity.” These Catholic colleges and universities have argued that the new rule interferes with their ability to govern themselves in full accord with Catholic teaching.

There are also academic freedom concerns related to Catholic identity: At Marquette University, professors have complained that the aggressive implementation of Title IX’s expansive interpretations, combined with vague definitions of what constitutes a “hostile environment,” are suppressing their academic freedom to teach Catholic theology in the classroom and promote Marquette’s Catholic identity on campus. According to the meeting minutes of Concerned Catholics at Marquette University that were provided to the Register, a number of faculty expressed concern that the new Title IX mandates being implemented at the Catholic institution “necessarily restrict the free exchange of ideas, particularly in theology and philosophy — the very core of Catholic, Jesuit education.”

The concerns were not limited to professors alone. One professor said some students shared they did not feel comfortable sharing Church teaching in that environment.

“This is the opposite of university education,” one professor at Marquette University, who declined to be identified for this article, told the Register. The professor said the university’s Title IX compliance on issues of gender and sexuality is dampening classroom discussion of Church teaching in these areas and throwing another wrench in ongoing efforts to strengthen the university’s Catholic identity and mission.

A number of colleagues, the professor added, related that the recent Title IX training and campus environment made it “very intimidating” to speak about Catholic doctrine on sexuality in their classrooms, because that might be perceived by a student as a “hostile environment” and thus worthy of a Title IX complaint. At least one theology faculty member teaching about Genesis in his classroom received a complaint, after a student who had two fathers objected to the classroom presentation of the Church’s teaching of marriage. [emphasis added - ed.] “Don’t people come to universities so they can grow up? If they’re going into safe houses, how can they grow up if they can’t even deal with someone who disagrees?” the professor said.

The Register reached out to Marquette for an explanation of its Title IX policies and enforcement practices. A Marquette representative pointed to the university’s Title IX policies posted on its website, but declined to comment further.
The fact that the professor quoted in this piece refused to be identified is significant. Given the climate of intolerance on the Marquette campus, it would be foolish to invite the enmity of the politically correct crowd.

An Issue at Secular Schools

If this seems like a parochial “Catholic” issue, it’s not. The article goes on:
But academic voices on secular campuses, including feminist professors, have expressed concern that Title IX is being used to silence unpopular opinions instead of dealing with serious complaints of sexual assault or harassment. One famous case involves Laura Kipnis, a Northwestern University professor and feminist, who was accused of creating a hostile environment against reporting sexual assault over an article she wrote in The Chronicle of Higher Education called “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe” in which she criticized campus sexual conduct codes that “infantilized students while vastly increasing the power of university administrators over all our lives.”

Kipnis was eventually cleared in 2015, but by that time her case became a cause celebre of Title IX excesses and due process failures. At Harvard University, 28 faculty of the law school wrote a public letter in October 2014, saying that Harvard was going far beyond what Title IX actually required, trampling over the due-process rights of the accused and adopting overbroad definitions of sexual harassment that threatened academic freedom and faculty governance.

Janet Halley, the Royall Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, told the Register that the improper application of Title IX does pose a threat to academic freedom on campuses and that “these problems are emerging all over the country.”

“There is plenty of evidence that Title IX is being expanded in application, way beyond its proper legal scope,” she said. Halley explained this has happened in several steps. First, the OCR issued “non-binding advice documents” that do not have the status of legal regulation, but “massively expand the Supreme Court’s definition of sexual harassment.”

“This creates a lot of confusion about what sexual harassment actually is,” she said. Second, she said the OCR has threatened loss of funds if colleges do not integrate “those expansive and confusing definitions into their campus policies and apply them in cases.” As a result, college and university administers are “scared out of their minds,” Halley added, and in an effort to protect their institutions’ funding “are over-complying, even with those expansive definitions.”

“Finally, the people doing adjudications, handling those cases on the ground, are not stopping cases that are manifestly ungrounded,” she said. “I am hearing about too many people who are being put through the process, on the basis of complaints that should simply lead to a conversation with the complaining students that these facts, even if true, do not violate our policy, and sometimes the process is truncated with massive due-process violations.”
We were the victim of one such case, when a prissy little feminist in our introductory American Government class was unhappy that we told the class that feminists grossly exaggerate the prevalence of campus date rape. She charged us with sexual harassment.

Marquette eventually decided we had a right to say that, but only after we were required to explain what we had said to Barry McCormick, Chair of Political Science. Of course, the process is the punishment.

Harvard Law

Another Harvard Law Professor, Jeannie Suk, discussed the consequences when several Harvard Law professors publicly objected to a CNN documentary titled “The Hunting Ground,” which levied false rape charges against a Harvard Law student. The school thoroughly investigated the charges and found them to be bogus. The result:
. . . last week the filmmakers did more than understandably disagree with criticism of the film, which has been short-listed for the Academy Award for best documentary. They wrote, in a statement to the Harvard Crimson, that “the very public bias these professors have shown in favor of an assailant contributes to a hostile climate at Harvard Law.” The words “hostile climate” contain a serious claim. At Harvard, sexual harassment is “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature,” including verbal conduct that is “sufficiently persistent, pervasive, or severe” so as to create a “hostile environment.” If, as the filmmakers suggest, the professors’ statement about the film has created a hostile environment at the school, then, under Title IX, the professors should be investigated and potentially disciplined.

To my knowledge, no complaint of sexual harassment has been filed with Harvard’s Title IX office—though I’ve been told by a high-level administrator that several people have inquired about the possibility—and I don’t know if the school would proceed with an investigation. . . . A handful of students have said that they feel unsafe at Harvard because of the professors’ statement about the film. If a Title IX complaint were filed and an investigation launched, the professors wouldn’t be permitted to speak about it, as that could be considered “retaliation” against those who filed the complaint, which would violate the campus sexual-harassment policy.
In short, leftist students have used Title IX to try to shut down speech they don’t like. Not merely do legitimate statements made in class result in “investigations,” but public statements that students don’t even have to read result in charges.

Even though the charges are usually found to be baseless, the chilling effect is huge. Who wants to be dragged before a department chair, dean or human resources official and required to explain oneself?

No Protection for Conservative Students

Of course, civil rights law protects males as well as females, whites as well as blacks, and conservative Christians as well as gays and lesbians.

But somehow, we never hear of complaints by whites who are insulted and bullied by talk of “white privilege,” complaints from men who face anti-male sexism from feminist professors, or conservative Catholics and other Christians who have their beliefs insulted by secular professors.

Partly, this is because the politically incorrect groups know perfectly well that the campus grievance bureaucracy is set up to protect the tender sensibilities of “victim groups.” But partly it is that they are not culturally inclined to weaponize their sense of “offense.” But we think they should. Only when the campus left faces the consequences of the system they have set up and exploited will there be effective pressure to back off, and protect speech.

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Political Pied Piper

Mark Belling: Marquette’s War on Catholicism

A commentary on some recent events at Marquette, interesting in that Belling blames (in addition to the usual suspects in the administration) (1.) the Trustees, and (2.) alumni who have accepted the transformation of the institution into a conventional politically correct place.

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A Concise View of Donald Trump


Of course, liberals will like the things they hear here. Which is why conservatives should not support Trump.

But even when he says something mildly sensible (we can’t deport all the illegal immigrants), he hasn’t stuck with that position.

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Disappearing

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Marquette Handed Out Birth Conrol - Kept It Secret

From Marquette Wire:
Until last summer, the Marquette Neighborhood Health Center offered birth control and contraceptives to students, faculty and staff.

Operated by the College of Nursing, the clinic began to focus on women’s healthcare in 2011 and moved off campus in 2013. Heather Saucedo, formerly a case worker at MNHC, said students had taken advantage of the center’s services since it began as a primary care practice on campus in 2007.

Like the medical clinic, the center offered STI testing, men and women’s healthcare and other basic services. Unlike the medical clinic though, the university allowed the center to offer birth control to those who asked for it – though they could not advertise this service.

“It was a constant struggle, and we talked about it in every meeting,” Saucedo said. They were told that the subject was controversial and the goal was to respect Marquette’s Catholic roots. They could give birth control out, but few people knew.
We are not Catholic, and thus have no quarrel with birth control per se. But we have a huge problem with an institution that calls itself Catholic giving out birth control. And we have an even larger problem with a supposedly Catholic university that claims not to provide birth control, but does so surreptitiously.

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Lucky Day!

Tonight: Warrior Blogger to Speak on Academic Freedom

We are late posting this, but as of now (Thursday morning), there are a few places left.

Join

Wisconsin Policy Research Institute

for a conversation with
Professor John McAdams

“Safe Zones & Snowflakes:
The Future of Free Speech in Academia.”


Thursday, January 21st, 2016
The Wisconsin Club
Deutscher Room

5:30PM-7:00PM
5:30 – 6:00 p.m. Registration & Reception
6:00 – 6:10 p.m. Introduction
6:10 – 6:30 p.m. Professor John McAdams
6:30 – 6:50 p.m. Q&A
Cost: $15 registration includes hors d’oeuvres.
CASH BAR

To register: Go to www.wpri.org/Contribute.htm

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Marquette’s English Department: Gender Neutral Pronouns

It’s the latest politically correct fashion, as explained by The Atlantic Citylab:
While younger generations and progressive companies like Facebook are more likely to embrace the fact that gender is not dichotomous, older generations and slow-changing institutions—such as K-12 schools and prisons—still have catching up to do. For those who don’t identify with the gender marker assigned to them at birth and don’t want to be pinned down by binary labels, the moves made by Harvard and UVM are a good first step.

With lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) folks fighting for more social and legal recognition, the restrictive options of “he” and “she” don’t cut it anymore. The singular “they” is one gender-neutral option, but some people just can’t get used to how grammatically unfamiliar it sounds in sentences like “Riley thought they would be late.”
That same article gives some examples of how to use gender neutral pronouns.

Nominative (subject) Objective (object) Possessive determiner Possessive Pronoun Reflexive
Invented pronouns
Ne Ne laughed I called nem Nir eyes gleam That is nirs Ne likes nemself
Ve Ve laughed I called ver Vis eyes gleam That is vis Ve likes verself
Spivak Ey laughed I called em Eir eyes gleam That is eirs Ey likes
emself
Ze (or zie) and hir Ze laughed I called hir Hir eyes gleam That is hirs Ze likes hirself
Ze (or zie) and zir Ze laughed I called zir Zir eyes gleam That is zirs Ze likes zirself
Xe Xe laughed I called xem Xyr eyes gleam That is xyrs Xe likes xemself


That’s right. Politically correct types actually expect people to talk like that.

Would something this crazy come to Marquette? Of course. We cannot expect Marquette to resist any trendy notion that is being adopted elsewhere in academia, and one of the places that is most politically correct at Marquette is the English Department.

From an Arts & Science College mailing to all faculty dated January 19, 2016:

Department of English job talk series (Spring 2016)

Name
Job talk
Title
1
Kantor, Roanne
Ro-Ann Can-ter
Pronoun: She/hers
(Anglophone)
Th 1/21
3:30-4:50
LL 296
“‘Even if You Gain the World’: The Twining Routes of Latin American and South Asian Authors.”
2
Edoro, Ainehi
/aɪnehi/
Pronoun: She
(Anglophone)
M 1/25
3:30-4:50
MH 105
“Achebe’s Signature: African Literary Archive and the Ancestral Principle.”
3
Bronstein, Michaela
mih-KAY-luh BRAWN-steen
Pronoun: feminine
(Anglophone)
W 1/27
3:30-4:50
MH 105
“The Revolutionary Tradition: Authorship and Assassination from Russia to South Africa.”
4
Grohowski, Mariana
Mary-anna 
Preferred pronouns: She, Her (RhetComp)
Th 1/28
3:30-4:50
LL 296
“Understanding Current, Former, and Future Military Personnel’s Rhetorical Practices.”
5
Campbell, Lilly
- l IH - l ee   k AE m - b uh l
Pronoun: she
(RhetComp)
M 2/1
3:30-4:50
MH 105
“Embodied Genre Learning in Clinical Nursing Simulations.”
6
Sanchez, Fernando
fur-NAN-doe
Preferred pronouns: him, his, and he
(RhetComp)
W 2/3
3:30-4:50
MH 105
“Multimodal Composition in Urban Design.”
7
Angeli, Liz
ændʒəli: (it’s like “Angela” except with lee” at the end)
Pronoun: she, her, hers (RhetComp)
Th 2/4
3:30-4:50
LL 296
“Dispatched and Responding: Rhetorical Work in Emergency Medical Services.”
8
Patterson, G
G (“gee”) or GPat (“gee-pat”)
Pronouns: They/Them or Ze/Zir
(RhetComp)
M 2/8
3:30-4:50
MH 105
“Negotiating Difficult Dialogues at the LGBTQ-Religious Junction.”
9
Martinez, Aja
“Asia”
Pronoun: Her/she
(RhetComp)
W 2/10
3:30-4:50
MH 105
“Counterstory: The Writing and Rhetoric of Critical Race Theory”

Of course, almost all the people on the program are happy with the traditional pronouns. But a certain “G Patterson” wants to be “They/Them” even though he or she (or whatever) is just one person. Or even worse “Ze/Zir.”

Why Not?

So why not simply call people what they want to be called? Isn’t that just polite?

In the first place, it puts a huge burden on everybody in society to learn how each and every person wants to be addressed. Referring to a female-looking person as “she” can become a social gaffe. Using “Ze” sounds downright bizarre.

But Worse

Far worse is that demands to use gender neutral language are an attempt to bully society into accepting a particular idea about gender: that people are not either male or female. Pope Benedict has roundly condemned this view. He says of Chief Rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim:
He quotes the famous saying of Simone de Beauvoir: “one is not born a woman, one becomes so” (on ne naît pas femme, on le devient). These words lay the foundation for what is put forward today under the term “gender” as a new philosophy of sexuality. According to this philosophy, sex is no longer a given element of nature, that man has to accept and personally make sense of: it is a social role that we choose for ourselves, while in the past it was chosen for us by society. The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves. According to the biblical creation account, being created by God as male and female pertains to the essence of the human creature. This duality is an essential aspect of what being human is all about, as ordained by God. This very duality as something previously given is what is now disputed. The words of the creation account: “male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27) no longer apply. No, what applies now is this: it was not God who created them male and female – hitherto society did this, now we decide for ourselves. Man and woman as created realities, as the nature of the human being, no longer exist. Man calls his nature into question. From now on he is merely spirit and will. The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned. From now on there is only the abstract human being, who chooses for himself what his nature is to be. Man and woman in their created state as complementary versions of what it means to be human are disputed.
Pope Francis takes the same view. According to the National Catholic Reporter:
Pope Francis has strongly criticized modern theories that consider people’s gender identities to exist along a spectrum, saying such theories do not “recognize the order of creation.”

Speaking of gender theory in an interview in a new book released in Italy, the pope even compares such theories to genetic manipulation and nuclear weapons.

Gender theory is a broad term for an academic school of thought that considers how people learn to identify themselves sexually and how they may become typed into certain roles based on societal expectations.

“God has placed man and woman at the summit of creation and has entrusted them with the earth,” Francis says. “The design of the Creator is written in nature.”

More

Another hotbed of political correctness is the Center for Gender and Sexualities Studies. Yes, they specify the pronouns to be used of each staffer. And all of the staff are happy to be called “she.”

But how long will it be at Marquette until somebody is accused of a microaggression, or even harassment for calling somebody “she” or “he” when the person wants to be called “Ze.”

At a university that quickly embraces every politically correct fad — notwithstanding that it is flatly at odds with Catholic teaching — not very long.

Update

A search of the Marquette website shows that this is (so far) an isolated case. Looking for “zirself” and “Xyr” and “zir” and “eirs” turns up no relevant hits. But given Marquette’s pattern of adopting every politically correct initiative trending anywhere else in academia, you can expect this to change.

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

It’s All Your Fault

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

University of Alabama Football

It was one of the greatest college games of all time: the University of Alabama beat Clemson Monday night to win the national championship.

It was college football at its best, with two well-matched, immensely talented and splendidly coached teams fighting it out to almost the last second.

The pundits gave a lot of credit to Nick Sabin. According to the Los Angeles Times:
Early in the fourth quarter of a deadlocked Southern dust-up Monday night, Alabama’s stoic boss man lost his mind.

He ordered his team to attempt to kick the football to itself.

The game was tied, a college football championship was at stake, and Alabama’s curled-lip curmudgeon decided this was the perfect time to play a trick.

An onside kick? Really? Really.

The Alabama popup was perfect, the Clemson kids were perfectly fooled, the ball was recovered by Alabama, the momentum was lost by Clemson, and Alabama stunningly blew open a tie into a 45-40 victory in the College Football Playoff championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Before describing how the Crimson Tide ultimately washed over an inspirationally game group of Clemson Tigers — who fought the inevitable down to the last dozen seconds — can we just get this game’s most compelling takeaway first?

Nick Saban is now the best coach in college football history.
Alabama, used to dominating with rather conventional football, was not dominating against Clemson. Sabin explained:
“When the other team squeezes the formation like that, we call the ‘pop kick,’” Saban said. “I made the decision to do it because the score was [24-24] and we were getting tired on defense, and if we didn’t do something to take a chance and change the momentum of the game, we wouldn’t have a chance to win.”
That it worked so well was not a fluke. Alabama players had been practicing it. Saban’s teams are prepared.

Clemson Coach

Folks in Alabama can be happy for a multitude of reasons, one of them being that the coach of opposing Clemson, which played brilliantly all season and brilliantly against Alabama, is a native of their state. As ESPN put it, “Dabo Swinney overcame pain and poverty to be on the cusp of history.” Swinny actually played for the Crimson Tide in the early 1990s, although he was far from a star player. But he must have learned some important lessons. And he must have learned a good many since.

And Saban and Swinney are good buddies, who respect each other and have learned from each other. Indeed, the older and much more experienced Saban insists he continues to learn from younger coaches.


This is as good as college football gets.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Colleges: Unsafe for Dissenting Views

Who Needs Guns?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

National Organization for Women Defends Woman Who Made False Rape Charge at the University of Virginia

It was a celebrated case: a women named “Jackie” at the University of Virginia claimed to have been victim of a gang rape at a fraternity house. This perfectly fit the politically correct narrative about women as victims, the evil of fraternities, the evil of white males, and negligence by universities dealing with sexual assault.

But the whole thing proved to be bogus, debunked by The Washington Post.

Of course, lawsuits followed. According to Wikipedia:
On May 12, 2015, UVA associate dean Nicole Eramo, chief administrator for handling sexual assault issues at the school, filed a $7.5 million defamation lawsuit in Charlottesville Circuit Court against Rolling Stone and [author Sabrina] Erdely, claiming damage to her reputation and emotional distress. Said the filing, “Rolling Stone and Erdely's highly defamatory and false statements about Dean Eramo were not the result of an innocent mistake. They were the result of a wanton journalist who was more concerned with writing an article that fulfilled her preconceived narrative about the victimization of women on American college campuses, and a malicious publisher who was more concerned about selling magazines to boost the economic bottom line for its faltering magazine, than they were about discovering the truth or actual facts.”

On July 29, 2015, three individual members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity who had been named and shamed online after the publication of the story, filed a defamation suit against the magazine in New York City, stating that the published story, while not explicitly naming them, provided enough details for people to identify them. The following December, attorneys for Rolling Stone filed a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed, stating that the article “cannot reasonably be read as accusing all members of these groups [the University of Virginia chapter of Phi Kappa Psi] of committing rape.”

Phi Kappa Psi filed a $25 million lawsuit against Rolling Stone on November 9, 2015 on behalf of 54 undergraduates who were members of the fraternity at the time of the story's printing. The complaint reads, in part, “This defamation action is brought to seek redress for the wanton destruction caused to Phi Kappa Psi by Rolling Stone’s intentional, reckless, and unethical behavior.”
The woman who made the bogus accusation, Jackie Coakley, has of course been involved in the legal proceedings surrounding the suits.

In a bizarre twist, the National Organization for Women has come to the defense of Coakley.

You read that right, they have come to the defense of a woman who made a false accusation of rape, resulting in the suspension of all fraternities at the University of Virginia, the demonization of members of the fraternity (Phi Kappa Psi), some of whom received death threats, and the vandalizing of the fraternity house.

Here are some excerpts from their statement:
An open letter to UVA President Teresa A. Sullivan

01.06.2016
Dear President Sullivan,

We recently learned about deeply disturbing actions by one of your Deans against a sexual assault survivor and member of the UVA community. We are writing to request that you put a stop to what we regard as a re-victimization of this young woman.

A lawsuit has been filed naming as plaintiff Dean Nicole Eramo, an associate dean of students at the University of Virginia, and former chair of the Sexual Misconduct Board. The suit names as defendant the Rolling Stone Magazine and seeks damages for defamation relating to the November 2014 article about sexual assault at UVA. We have followed this case and reviewed the plaintiff’s filings. In our view, the filings display a very troubling pattern of abuse towards “Jackie”, a woman profiled in that article, which cannot be allowed to continue.

. . .

Your dean’s demands recite nearly every false argument made to undermine victims of sexual assault. It is exactly this kind of victim blaming and shaming that fosters rape culture, re-victimizes those brave enough to have come forward, and silences countless other victims. It is deeply disturbing to see what UVA students are now witnessing: A senior University official, whose job was to counsel and support rape survivors, publicly attacking one such survivor in court filings. We do not see how students who experience sexual assault at UVA will be able to trust University officials tasked with protecting them if this conduct is allowed to continue.

. . .

The National Organization for Women considers these court filings by a UVA official attacking “Jackie” as occurring with the approval and participation of the University. We believe that women on UVA’s campus, prospective students and their parents, and alumni will likely reach the same conclusion. We respectfully ask you to take the necessary steps to put a stop to these actions, make clear that the University does not support them, and to continue to foster a more positive environment where all students can feel safe and protected. We look forward to your response and are available to discuss this important matter with you at your convenience.
By all means read the entire statement.

Bizarrely, the statement calls Jackie Coakley a “survivor” in spite of the fact she was not raped!

And wanting a place were “all students can feel safe and protected” clearly doesn’t mean a place where falsely accused males are “safe and protected.”

NOW is conforming to the worst stereotypes of feminism. They want males punished, and don’t care too much whether they are actually guilty. Even questioning whether they might be guilty is evil misogyny. That females might victimize males is something they find inconceivable. And if forced to admit that such a thing happened in a particular case, they will explain that men deserve it.

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Saturday, January 09, 2016

Hillary: New Low in Pandering (and Exploiting a Child)

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Let’s Just Take that One Out

Does Obama Want to Take Away People’s Guns?



Simple answer: yes he does.

He does not have the political power to do so, and thus is forced to settle for some measures that have virtually no chance of reducing gun violence. But like liberals generally, he would like to mimic Australia and European countries and confiscate firearms.

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Leftist Intolerance in Academia

From Bloomberg News:
Consider this recent account of a graduate admissions committee meeting. An applicant to a linguistics Ph.D. program is a matriculating senior at a small historically black college unknown to some committee members. “Left-wing black nationalists,” one committee member said of the college, while another said, to much laughter, that the college was “the academic arm of Black Lives Matter.”

The committee then spent more time discussing details of the applicant’s GRE scores and background high GRE scores, high-poverty urban school district than it did with some other candidates. The chair of the committee said, “I would like to beat that college out of her,” and asked, to laughter from committee members, “You don’t think she’s a nutcase?”

Other committee members defended her, but didn’t challenge the assumptions about the historically black college or the people who attend it. One noted that the college had a good reputation in the humanities. And another said that her personal statement indicated intellectual independence from her college and good critical thinking. She was eventually passed on to the second round but rejected there, and given the comments of the earlier reviewers, it’s reasonable to think that in that second round, her background probably counted against her.

This is beyond outrageous. Giving a candidate a harder look because they grew up in a high poverty school district, and attended a historically black college? No, no one said “we don’t want blacks in this program”; they don’t have to. They just have to decide that traits common to black candidates, like growing up in a high-poverty neighborhood, or attending a historically black college, disqualify you from being “one of us.”

While characters in movies often make explicit speeches about how they hate black people, in reality they aren’t necessary. Racists build their racist consensus in coded language, perhaps sometimes language so coded the speaker doesn’t think about the true message.

That makes it that much harder to root this kind of pervasive bigotry out of our society. And why it’s so outrageous to hear this kind of racist talk on a graduate admissions committee in this day and age.
“But,” you are thinking, “I can’t imagine a bunch of liberal professors talking this way.” And you would be right. Read on.
Or it would be, if graduate admissions committees talked like that. I changed a few of the important details. In fact, the conversation I’m alluding to concerned a young woman who was home-schooled before attending a small Christian college, which the reviewers of her application dismissed as a place of “right-wing religious fundamentalists” that was “supported by the Koch brothers.”

What happened on that committee is bigotry, plain and simple. And it’s not just a problem for conservative Christians, and people seen as conservative Christians. It’s a problem for academia.
Needless to say, the woman did not get admitted. The author goes on:
In fact, few other professional spheres are as strongly skewed to the right as academia is to the left; when I looked into this a few years ago, the only professional group I could find with a similar rightward skew was Southern Baptist ministers, a comparison that neither group probably finds very flattering. Military officers are weakly conservative (two-thirds to one-third), but the enlisted are less so, and whether your business skews Democratic or Republican varies by industry and job description. Professors really do stand out as extremely politically concentrated on the left in a way that few other groups are, especially in areas like social psychology.

As Jonathan Haidt and the good folks at Heterodox Academy have argued, this makes it too easy for the group to adopt weak theories that flatter consensus beliefs without giving them the rigorous interrogation they’d get from a more balanced profession.

There’s another harm: The leftward skew disconnects academia from the society that it is supposed to serve. The bitter culture wars we’ve been living through, and the increasingly nasty partisanship, are the signs of a society whose factions no longer know how to talk to one another.
This reminds us of a conversation over lunch with one of our colleagues in the Marquette Political Science Department. He was fussing and fuming about the fact that the American Political Science Association convention was being held in New Orleans, in spite of a campaign by the political science gay lobby to have it moved. It seems the good citizens of Louisiana had voted against gay marriage.

It did not occur to him to ask whether the APSA should violate its own constitution, which forbids it to take positions on partisan political issues.

It also didn’t occur to him to ask why the gay lobby should pick on Louisiana, since many other states (including Wisconsin and California) had voted against gay marriage.

When we brought up the notion of political correctness, he responded that he didn’t know what “political correctness” meant.

But of course, fish don’t know what it means to be wet. That’s an apt metaphor for academics. They are so immersed in their insular culture that they don’t know that they have any particular culture.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Poor Shot

Public Opinion Running Against Gun Control

It wasn’t widely reported, but ABC News recently conducted a poll of citizens, and for the first time in the history of major polls, a majority of respondents opposed an assault weapons ban.



This does not seem to be a fluke. Where long time-series of opinion data exist, the trend seems to be moving in the direction of protecting gun rights.

For example, since the 1960s, Gallup has been asking people whether the private ownership of handguns should be forbidden. The trend, which has the normal number of temporary ups and downs, has been from a robust majority who would support that proposition, to a robust majority who oppose it.



Since 1990, Gallup has been asking respondents whether the nation’s gun control laws on the sale of firearms should be “more strict,” “less strict” or should “kept as they are now.” The trend is downward, although again with some ups and downs depending on what gun violence is in the news.



A large collection of polls on the issue is found here.

Liberals who think that public opinion is on their side are simply kidding themselves. Although some polls show majorities in favor of this or that policy, the long term trend is in favor of the Second Amendment.

Further, demonizing the National Rifle Association is not a winning strategy in a general election (although it may mobilize core partisans in a primary). Gallup has found that a majority of respondents have a favorable view of the NRA.



And this leaves out of account the asymmetry of intensity: the fact that people who favor gun rights are more intense in their opinions than those who oppose them.

The push for gun control, fundamentally, reflects the cultural bias of the latte sipping, Prius driving, NPR listening liberals. It gives them a warm rush of self-righteousness. But increasingly, they are at odds with the broad public.

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