Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Oh, Dear

Not realizing that my new sign-in has to be my email address, I managed to rack up another episode of incompetence with Google. I certainly haven't done well in helping Dr M. out, have I?

Fortunately, Gina has, and Dr M. will be returning shortly.

Tonight, I wanted to update you on the Barret/University of Wisconsin saga. Barrett is the instructor of Islamic Studies who finds it necessary to teach that Bush/Cheney took down the WTC in his introductory Islamic studies course. Under the rubric of academic freedom, the Chancellor of UW has been stout in defending Barrett's right to teach drivel that has nothing to do with Islam, and is on record as expressing his utter assurance that Barrett can teach this topic "objectively".

In the wake of the Barrett fiasco, I wrote that it was obvious that free speech was dead at UW, because such a silly idea clearly cannot be countered if a member of a minority (Muslim) expresses it. Their "proof" is indeed extremely silly, consisting of statements such as that steel can't be melted by hydrocarbon fires (eliciting a bemused contradiction by a welder at Ann Althouse's blog).

In any case, UW has released a new speech code for its students which proves the point. This speech code, btw, does not apply to faculty, just the students. The speech code provides the following:

A bias incident is a threat or act of bigotry, harassment or intimidation - verbal, written or physical - that is personally directed against or targets a University of Wisconsin-Madison student because of that student's race, age, gender identity or expression, disability, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, or other actual or perceived characteristic.
"Actual or perceived characteristic" covers quite a bit of territory, doesn't it? If a student does feel that anyone has violated the code, UW-M's enlightened administration invites the student to report it using a form, following which staff will:
* Provide support & help in dealing with the emotional or psychological results
* Help you sort out alternative courses of action to stop the discrimination or the harassment, including meetings, mediation, written or verbal apologies
* Indicate whether your situation involves a violation of University rules
* Explain the instances in which disciplinary action can be taken; see University Rules on Academic and Nonacademic Misconduct for more information
How, how cute! This policy clearly puts the hyper-sensitives fully in control of student life at UW-M. I would think it will go a long way toward suppressing any sort of discussion about absolutely anything controversial, except that those bastards Bush & Cheney blew up the World Trade Center in an attempt to unfairly malign the religion of peace (opposing view not permitted expression due to its offensiveness).

You might be wondering how a university administration collapses into this sort of idiocy. It's all in the training. FIRE is an excellent resource for looking up the consistent attacks on the First Amendment at US universities. Peruse, for example, Columbia University's bizarre thought requirements for students at its Teachers College:
Teachers College’s Conceptual Framework, which represents the “philosophy for teacher education at Teachers College,” requires students to possess a “commitment to social justice.” Moreover, students are expected to recognize that “social inequalities are often produced and perpetuated through systematic discrimination and justified by societal ideology of merit, social mobility, and individual responsibility.”
Get that? Any student who is not willing to agree that social inequalities are justified by "societal ideology of merit, social mobility, and individual responsibility" is not fit to be a teacher, according to Columbia University. Would Martin Luther King's "The content of their character" ideal conform to this standard? Some think not. This sort of thing is pretty much the rule at education colleges around the country. Our universities embody a searing, institutionalized lunacy that threatens our nation.


Anonymous said...

This policy clearly puts the hyper-sensitives fully in control of student life at UW-M.

Another milestone in the global triumph of Islam...

David said...

Think how exciting it will be when people trained up in hyper-sensitivity graduate and hit the corporate world. Managers can look forward to all whining, all the time.

For those who don't think this sounds fun & profitable, there *is* an alternative: put more emphasis on hiring those who have not come off the kindergarten-through-grad-school conveyor belt.

MaxedOutMama said...

"Another milestone in the global triumph of Islam..."

Exactly. The Islamicists who are making all the trouble are the world's champion whiners and temper tantrum throwers.

MaxedOutMama said...

David, believe it or not, I have been working with a young product of this educational philosophy for the last month. Every time I point out that he hasn't done what he said he did, his lip practically quivers.

Anonymous said...

Does he burst into tears because "YOU'RE BEING SO *MEAN* TO MEEEEEE!"?

Such exquisite sensitivity to their own feelings usually goes hand-in-hand with utter callousness towards anything other than MEEEEEEE!

After all, when your cosmos has room only for yourself...

MaxedOutMama said...

He didn't actually cry, but you could tell he was coming close. He sunk into a self-righteous trench of morose offended sludgedom. I could have been more sympathetic if it weren't for the fact that his job was hanging by the proverbial thread, and that only I stood a chance of saving it for him.

You can lead a person with great self-esteem to water, but you certainly can't make them drink unless it is handed to them in a cup emblazoned with "You're so wonderful!" on it.

Dr. Melissa said...

"self-righteous trench of morose offended sludgedom"

I love it! If that state isn't expunged in the childhood years, it gets increasingly entrenched. It is no fun seeing a pouty toddler. It is much less fun seeing a pouty grown man.