Friday, January 24 2003
NO INDOCTRINATION: A reader emailed this story about a new web site called Luann Wright started the web site to protest the liberal bias among college educators after her son complained about the leftward slant of one of his UC San Diego classes.

Check out the responses of two members of the UCSD faculty when they were asked about bias in the classroom:

UCSD Professor Linda Brodkey, who designed Kyle Wright's writing course, argues that it's not necessary to teach conservative views alongside liberal ones as long as students know their own views are legitimate.

"I tell students this is a free society," she said, "and that there is always free debate."

Her supervisor, UCSD provost David Jordan, gives a more pointed argument: "Why should I teach a point of view I don't agree with? I should teach what is useful to the student. I don't know that I have the responsibility to teach somebody's view that is benighted or irrelevant."

For all of us rubes outside the ivory tower, benighted means "intellectually or morally ignorant; unenlightened." I hope parents everywhere - many of whom are helping their children fill out college applications even as I write - recognize not only the supreme arrogance of Mr. Jordan's words, but also the amount of power he and his fellow academics exercise over college students. These are the people you are trusting to educate your children. Very scary stuff. (Thanks to HP for the link). - T. Bevan 10:42 am

Thursday, January 23 2003
McKINNEY & BRAUN: The name may sound like a law firm but it's really two of the potential candidates for President in 2004. Seth Gitell writes that former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney is entertaining the idea of running on the Green party ticket, while Lynn Sweet says she's checked around and the Carol Mosley-Braun for President campaign is the real deal. This is shaping up to be an absolute circus.....

COLD WAR HISTORY: John Arquilla writes that we must stop Iraq from acquiring WMD's - but we shouldn't do it with force. Instead, Arquilla advises:

A better approach is to rely on and renew our commitment to arms control, the means by which the Cold War ended without a holocaust -- and the means by which we may yet keep the terrorists from winning.

I'm afraid Arquilla has it exactly backwards. It's now clear that one of the main reasons the Cold War ended without a holocaust is because we armed ourselves to the teeth and the Soviet Empire crumbled under the economic pressure of trying to keep pace. The straw that broke the Communists' back was Reagan's refusal to sign onto yet another "arms control" deal in Reykjavik in 1986. - T. Bevan 10:42 am

Wednesday, January 22 2003
ABOMINATION: I can't think of any other word to describe this poem by Harold Pinter printed in the Guardian today:

Here they go again,
The Yanks in their armoured parade
Chanting their ballads of joy
As they gallop across the big world
Praising America's God.

The gutters are clogged with the dead
The ones who couldn't join in
The others refusing to sing
The ones who are losing their voice
The ones who've forgotten the tune.

The riders have whips which cut.
Your head rolls onto the sand
Your head is a pool in the dirt
Your head is a stain in the dust
Your eyes have gone out and your nose
Sniffs only the pong of the dead
And all the dead air is alive
With the smell of America's God.

Pinter's poem is so offensive on so many levels it's difficult to know where to begin. My initial reaction to things like this which display such a warped view of America's values and such a blatant disregard for her historical benevolence is to toss up my hands and quit altogether.

Let the ricin flow in the subways of London, sarin rain down in Paris and bombs rock Berlin. Let Saddam annex Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and march unfettered across the landscape of the Middle East. Let him continue to torture, mutilate and kill hundreds of thousands of own people. Let Arab armies march to Jerusalem and set up gas chambers to exterminate the Jewish people.

Who does Mr. Pinter think is working desperately to prevent all of these terrible things from happening? Yet this is the sort of world Mr. Pinter would rather live in, a world where anything is tolerated and moral relativism does backflips to insure that America is the paramount evil.

And because Pinter is so convinced of America's evil, he would rather plead, negotiate and compromise with radicals and tyrants - anything to shield his eyes from confronting their true nature. Only after they've raped his wife, killed his children, and are holding a knife to his throat will Pinter beg for America to come running to his rescue. And guess what? We will. We always do.

POWERLINE: I'm ranted out for this morning, so I don't have the energy to address the University of Michigan's affirmative action case. The good news is the guys over at Powerline have got it covered. - T. Bevan 7:52 am

Tuesday, January 21 2003
BRITAIN'S REACTION: After a reasoned editorial in the Observer the other day regarding action in Iraq, I woke this morning expecting to find some sober commentary in the British press reflecting on the raid that uncovered weapons in a London mosque yesterday. Very slim pickings.

As expected, the Times of London printed a strong rebuke on its editorial page, much stronger than the one offered up in the Guardian.

Of course, the radical-left Daily Mirror closed its eyes and printed this instead. And the Guardian also rushed to print this specious "Muslims-are-being-persecuted-by-the-state" piece by Faisal Bodi. Bodi writes:

"Police have violated the sanctity of a mosque to silence a preacher in a way that would be inconceivable for any other faith."

Forgive me if I fail to believe that police wouldn't take action against a Catholic priest (or any other religious leader) who openly espoused killing people - especially those of another faith - and had a known history of supporting terrorist organizations and terrorist activity.

Even more to the point, however, is that this sort of hateful rhetoric and subversive behavior would never occur (let alone be tolerated) in a Christian church or Jewish synagogue anywhere in the world. The fact that true peace-loving Muslims didn't raid the mosque themselves and publicly expel Abu Hamza for hijacking their religion speaks volumes about where stand with respect to Islamic "tolerance." Unfortunately, it's a tolerance not of other religious beliefs but of violence.

CASTRO IS NO SADDAM: Poor Fidel could only muster a 97% vote in favor of socialism in Cuba's one-party election the other day. Here's my favorite quote from the BBC piece:

Mr Castro - who has been the country's president for 44 years - has said Cuba's elections are more democratic than those of other nations, because voter turnout is higher and campaigns do not involve large amounts of money and propaganda.

Castro also said Cubans "are perfecting our revolutionary and socialist democracy." I'm sure this was deeply moving to the Cuban people as they headed off to stand in line for 10 hours to get a piece of bread and a handful of rice.

SPEND OR ELSE: Will somebody tell Gray Davis the election is over in California? He's still in full-out pander mode, arguing that no matter how dire the financial situation in California becomes (here we must gratuitously point out that while other states are suffering similar budget crunches, California's massive $34.5 billion dollar shortfall is due at least in part to Davis's poor leadership), spending must continue to increase at an unabated rate. Imagine the havoc this man could have wreaked at the federal level. - T. Bevan 8:12 am

Monday, January 20 2003
KING DAY: Not much time to blog this morning as we are observing MLK Day. Recommended reading for today includes this and this.

THE ANTI-KING: Harry Belafonte spoke to a rapt audience at St. Sabina's in Chicago yesterday saying:

  • "We move about the world arrogantly, calling wars when we want, overthrowing governments when we want. There is a price to be paid for it--look at 9/11."
  • "Affirmative action is the next to go, and a woman's right to choice is the next to go."
  • Belafonte questioned why Powell hadn't responded to being publicly called a house slave saying: "Why doesn't Colin Powell want to talk about it?"What embarrasses him? His ancestry? The history of it? Or the fact that he may have betrayed it and doesn't want to hear it?''
  • Belafonte labeled the Homeland Security Act "a great piece of villainy'' and said that "our Constitution has just been taken away from us."

So there you have it: America is responsible for 9/11, abortion is on its way to being illegal (though I'm not quite sure what this has to do with Martin Luther King), and Colin Powell is a betrayer of his race. Actually, Belafonte does a nice job of succinctly summarizing the paranoid, hateful feelings of those on the far left.

MORE KING DAY FUN: Andrew Sullivan questions this item and Josh Marshall simultaneously explodes with glee. Given Bush's propensity for delegating details it's hard to imagine he was directly involved in this decision, but that doesn't make it any less of a PR blunder - one that Rove & Co. should have clearly avoided. Unfortunately, it's yet more grist for the "Bush is racist" liberal media mill and is destined to get 10,000 times more attention than this story. - T. Bevan 7:58 am

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