Dicta

The home of “things said” by the National Association of Scholars.

One-and-a-Half Cheers for Claremont McKenna

Rachelle Peterson

Rachelle Peterson applauds the school's decision to discipline several students who obstructed free speech and calls for increased vigilance from all college administrators to protect free speech.

NAS President Peter Wood's Letter to Claremont McKenna College President Chodosh

Peter Wood

After students at Claremont protested the speech of Heather Mac Donald two weeks ago, what do free speech and academic freedom mean at Claremont Mckenna?

Harry Boyte Condemns Middlebury Violence

David Randall

Harry Boyte, founder of Public Achievement, condemns the recent student violence at Middlebury.

Peter Wood in Real Clear Education on the Berkeley Riots

NAS

NAS President Peter Wood explains the causes of the Berkeley Riot--the New Civics in action.

Campus Tolerance for Violence

Peter Wood

Peter Wood examines how academics have promoted and contributed to lawlessness and violence.

The Clery Act: More Campus Safety Or Just a Wasteful Mandate?

George Leef

Top-down controls have been put in place on college campuses to improve campus safety, but these efforts waste resources and do little to solve the problem.

Triggers, Metaphoric and Real

Ashley Thorne

The killings in and around UCSB brought gruesome realism to the buzzword "trigger warnings."

How Academe Turned Zimmerman into a Racist

Peter Wood

Intense outrage over the George Zimmerman verdict does little actual good toward easing racial tension and saving future lives.

Did College Create Occupy Wall Street?

Jason Fertig

The actions of the Occupy Wall Street protesters do not help refute the notion that Millennials are the Peter Pan Generation.

Unanswered Questions: UW-Madison Students Protest CEO Report on Racial and Ethnic Preferences in Admissions

Roger Clegg

What really happened during the student protest against the findings of the Center for Equal Opportunity? NAS member W. Lee Hansen, Professor Emeritus of Economics at UW-Madison, documents what he observed on September 13 and offers a new assessment of the controversy.

Mobbing For Preferences

Peter Wood

Peter Wood discusses students' live-action defense of racial preferences at UW Madison.

Madness and Civilization

Peter Wood

NAS President Peter Wood responds to the Manifesto of Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik.

Systemic Anti-Semitism at UCSC

Mitchell Langbert

Dr. Ken Marcus of the Institute for Jewish and Community Research sent me this link to a Scribd file copy of Tammi Rossman-Benjamin's 29 page letter of complaint date to the San Francisco Office of Civil Rights concerning systemic anti-Semitism at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The atmosphere at UCSC sounds terrifying and disturbing, but the facts are not surprising given the reception that I witnessed David Horowitz receive at Brooklyn College. Given the left-liberal orienation at most universities, anti-Semitism increasingly characterizes them. What is puzzling is that the majority of Jews continue to identify themselves as left liberals. Ms. Rossman-Benjamin's complaint hit the headlines on Wednesday in a CBS San Francisco report.

Conflict at Brooklyn College: Horowitz Talk on Video

Mitchell Langbert

Video of David Horowitz's presentation at Brooklyn College is here. Horowitz writes an extensive article about his talk at Brooklyn College on Frontpagemag, which appeared Friday. I attempted to serve as a moderator but was only moderately successful. The Brooklyn College Palestinian club's protests were aggressive. 

How Frances Fox Piven and Glenn Beck Incited Righteous Indignation in the Academy

Ashley Thorne

Peter Wood has a column on the Piven-Beck controversy in today's Chronicle. He writes, "Beck’s attention to Piven has driven much of the media interest in the story—but also much of the interest among faculty members, a great deal of which has been overheated." 

Second Guesses in Tucson

Glenn Ricketts

There's a piece in today's Inside Higher Education raising the question of whether more could have been done to prevent the recent shooting rampage in Arizona, that left six dead. In my experience, not untypical of community colleges, I've seen a fair number of students who come because they don't know what else to do, others from dysfunctional family backgrounds, as well as those with drug problems, debt problems, antisocial problems, etc., along with a very tiny few who were a little scary. But I've never seen any potential homicidal psychotics, and haven't figured out how I'd spot one before he actually opened fire.

Sustainability News: October 2010

Ashley Thorne

"Sustainability is no longer a buzz word," says an MSU administrator. So if it's not a buzzword, what's all the buzz on college campuses about?

Come to the 'Marxism in America' Conference in D.C. Tomorrow

Mary Grabar

While Bill Ayers’ colleagues may be fussing about the denial of his emeritus status, America’s Survival will be sponsoring a conference that will include former FBI informant, Larry Grathwohl about a case involving Ayers and the bomb-killing of San Francisco policeman Brian V. McDonnell in 1970.  If you are in Washington, D.C., this Thursday, October 21, please come to the Marxism in America conference at the National Press Club to hear Grathwohl and others. The 1970 case is still open. Grathwohl has testified under oath that Bill Ayers had told him that his wife Bernardine Dohrn had planted the bomb that killed McDonnell.  Grathwohl will speak about the need to re-establish a Congressional committee on internal security.  Excerpts from video interviews with him and Former FBI agent Max Noel, member of the Weatherman Task Force, will be premiered. Grove City College Political Science Professor Paul Kengor will discuss his just-released book, Dupes, a detailed and fascinating look at the communist manipulation of progressives.  His talk will focus on Barack Obama’s mentor, Frank Marshall Davis. America’s Survival President Cliff Kincaid will speak about “Why People Believe the Dangerous

Lies of Marxism,” and Trevor Loudon, who broke the Frank Marshall Davis and Van Jones stories, will speak on the “perils which lie ahead for the U.S. and the Western world. Robert Knight, author of Radical Rulers, will speak on Department of Education official Kevin Jennings.  And I will be presenting my report on Howard Zinn’s “bad history” and his influence in the schools. This conference will present an opportunity to hear from the men who did the dangerous work with Bill Ayers and others who are investigating the still-present threat of communist ideology. Details: Thursday, October 21 National Press Club, First Amendment Lounge 529 14th St. NW, Washington, CD 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.  No charge.  Lunch and refreshments provided. Website: http://www.usasurvival.org/ck09.18.10.html

A Modest Proposal for Campus Safety

David Clemens

Since the NAS report on summer reading, “Beach Books,” U.C. Berkeley has announced its own summer reading recommendations.   The theme is “Education Matters” and, not surprisingly, multicultural “social justice” predominates.  Happily, Benjamin Franklin and The Education of Henry Adams are included.  There is also No Right to Remain Silent: The Tragedy at Virginia Tech by Lucinda Roy.  As Chair of the English Department, Roy tutored Seung-Hui Cho in poetry after he was ejected from a course for terrifying classmates.  Post-tutoring, Cho proceeded to murder 32 other human beings before killing himself.  Roy argues that VaTech did not adequately address Cho’s disabilities and alleges multiple institutional failures.  I would argue that VaTech also failed to help students and teachers protect themselves. My friend the Philosophy professor enjoys alarming his students by telling them “Professor Clemens says that a gun society is a polite society.”  Well, yes.  Gun shows are the most decorous events imaginable because you never know who’s packing.  As Webster’s NRA Dictionary says, “democracy” is two wolves fighting over a lamb; “liberty” is an armed lamb. Call me perverse but I do enjoy that mine is the only car in the faculty lot with the decals “Wild Alaska,” “NRA  Supports Our Troops,” and “Armed With Pride.”  It's particularly amusing when I park next to the Volvo whose bumper sticker reads “The Goddess Is Alive and Magic Is Afoot.” Magic and the Goddess notwithstanding, I wish that more responsible teachers were armed.  I have an in-law who teaches at Virginia Tech; he heard the gunfire.  A local student brought an automatic weapon to acting class; one teacher’s office is regularly trespassed at night (hopefully only by amorous custodians). At one Cow Palace gun show, I bought MACE and a billy club for my division’s office staff.  Diminutive Rosa is alone in the evening; more than once she has had to face deranged, medicated, or otherwise menacing students.  Rosa is a tough cookie, straight outta Compton (wore a bullet-proof vest to high school), but even she gets rattled.  Better if she had training, a concealed carry permit, and a Beretta.  All campus personnel should at least handle guns so that they are not afraid of them.  To the gentle and nonviolent, this no doubt sounds like macho posturing but I grew up shooting, BB gun to 30.06 and .303, Enfield to M-1 carbine, Ruger .22 to S&W .357 magnum. I always carry a Kershaw Blur, but I’d like to be better equipped to protect my students and colleagues.  Our campus emergency plan tells us to freeze if there is an “active shooter.”  Better it if it read, “keep moving, don’t be a target, shoot back.”  Freeze?  Our victim culture is ideal for the psychopaths who desire helpless victims.

Intellectuals, MIA in Defense of Islamist Victims

Candace de Russy

Michael Totten, a foreign correspondent, extols Paul Berman's new book, The Flight of the Intellectuals:

While we haven't had a repeat of the apocalyptic terrorist attacks on September 11, what we do have is an entirely new class of people in the Western democracies who live in hiding and under armed guard from the same sorts of killers. Salman Rushdie was but the first, and Somalia-born feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, one-time collaborator with the butchered Theo Van Gogh, is now but the most famous.

Totten describes Berman's condemnation of much of the intellectual class to this persecution: "The killers' would-be victims have been excoriated ... , and even, in some cases, blamed for their predicament." Kudos to Berman for his defense of those preyed upon by Islamic extremists.

Profile in Cowardice: Allah is Great! Die South Park Die!

Jonathan Bean

In recent years, threats from Islamic extremists have resulted in murder of those simply depicting Mohammed (forbidden by Islamic tradition, although not unknown to Islamic culture). From a prominent woman who fled Islamic death threats: "'South Park' and the Informal Fatwa" In a profile of cowardice, Comedy Central responded to a recent death threat by censoring the image of Mohammed on South Park You can "piss Christ," bash Buddha, mock the Pope, but humor is apparently not in the hadith.

Read: http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2010/apr/22/south-park-censored-fatwa-muhammad http://article.nationalreview.com/432601/self-censoring-isouth-parki/nina-shea

And here is the image (censored) that Comedy Central now allows:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SP-s10e04-censor.jpg

When Danish cartoonists published cartoons of Mohammed, Islamic extremists rampaged worldwide and killed 100 people. Those who published the cartoons in the "land of the free" (USA) lost their jobs or were forced to grovel with apologies. Others had to go into hiding. Academics, of course, led the way by rotting out the foundations of any reasoned defense of a free and civil society. "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civ has got to go" was the chant during the culture wars. There isn't much left of "Western Civ" or any civilization, unless it is Nihilism with cowardly fear (but not reverence) for Islam. Case in point: Years ago, Yale University admitted "Yale Taliban"--the propaganda minister for the Taliban--despite the fact he had only a fourth-grade education. Then, when Yale University Press published a book on the cartoon controversy, they censored the images for fear of death threats. Now it is another sniveling retreat in popular culture (South Park). "Land of the free"? "Home of the brave? More of the same. Shame on you Comedy Central!

The Saga of Barbaric Paul Robeson HS

Candace de Russy

A teen went public about her failing high school -- a sick, sick place in Brooklyn where students have sex and smoke dope in the stairwells, where pregnancies and smoking pot are the stuff of every day, and where administrators and security guards are lazy and incompetent. For her efforts, according to the New York Post, the student, Alisha Strawder, was barred from the school and told that it cannot guarantee her safety. One student told the Post: "Everyone wants to fight her, to jump her. If they find her, they're going to beat her up." Is it possible to reverse such institutionalized depravity? This young girl, unlike most of the educational establishment, has had the courage to try.

Character Lessons: What We Can Learn From the Huntsville Killings

Peter Wood

The murders at the University of Alabama at Huntsville evince a dire need for universities to shape the character, not just the ability, of intellectually gifted individuals.

Fear of Profiling Trumps Fear of Assault on Campus

Ashley Thorne

An anonymous reader commenting on the NAS.org article "National Security Threatened by Devotion to Diversity" recently reported:

The diversity doctrine not only harms the quality of higher education and, quite possibly, national security; it can also get in the way of campus crime prevention. The following incident illustrates just that. On Tuesday, November 10, a woman employee at my college answered a knock on her office door. Upon opening the door, she was immediately sexually assaulted. A violent struggle ensued between her and her attacker. Due to her screams, the assailant eventually fled the scene. The victim was taken to the hospital and treated for her injuries. She was able to give a competent description of the man who assaulted her. The crime, committed in broad daylight, was scary enough. However, what followed was even scarier. In the aftermath of the crime, campus police posted a sketch and a description of the suspect. The perpetrator was described as a "stocky, five-foot-five Hispanic male" who wore a white sleeveless T-shirt and black gloves. Students and employees were urged to be aware of their surroundings and to alert campus police of any suspicious individuals fitting the description. So far, so good. Then, within 24 hours of the incident, the campus police chief sent a warning via college e-mail, asking that everyone "refrain from engaging in profiling." According to the chief, the sketch had resulted in a number of calls that had "inordinately focused on race, rather than suspicious behavior." The college president also chimed in, cautioning the campus community to not "stereotype anyone on a visual basis," and a couple of well-known PC devotees on the faculty seconded the president's motion. It was truly laughable -- if it had not been so serious. Considering the possibility that descriptions of criminals by race, gender, color or ethnicity will soon be taboo -- and that estimates of a perpetrator's age, height and weight might also be viewed as politically incorrect -- I can easily envision the PC version of the crime that recently happened on my campus. It would sound something like this: "The victim was a person employed by the college. He/she described his/her attacker as another person. In an effort to avoid profiling, a sketch of the assailant will not be made public. What we can tell you is that the person wore a white sleeveless T-shirt and black gloves. However, we caution against any visual stereotyping, particularly of persons wearing white T-shirts and black gloves. We also urge everyone to focus on suspicious behavior, not on the person him/herself." Unfortunately, Army Chief of Staff George Casey does not have to worry about diversity becoming "a casualty." It looks like it is here to stay.

Ivory Tower Teaching Explains Fort Hood

Candace de Russy

Cross-posted from Phi Beta Cons: In the aftermath of the Fort Hood massacre, and the mounting evidence that the shooter, Nidal Malik Hasan, was motivated by Islamist beliefs, the MSM is calling for explanations from Middle East studies professors. What they're getting from these "experts," as Cinnamon Stillwell describes in a disturbing, important, and well-researched survey, "is the moral relativism and obfuscation that too often meets any effort to address Islamism or jihadism in an intellectually honest manner." Example? Writing for the Washington Post, Georgetown University's John Esposito, conflates Hasan's  deeds with "extremists" of all religions, all the while professing ignorance as to why Islam should have been the object of suspicion since 9/11. Stillwell concludes:

Americans rightly concerned about the culture of political correctness and willful blindness towards Islamist ideology that has infected the U.S. military, intelligence agencies, and so many other institutions need only look to the denizens of the Ivory Tower for an explanation. Instead of explaining events like the Fort Hood shooting to the American public, all too often Middle East studies academics refuse to state the obvious and choose to obfuscate rather than clarify the events at hand. The rush to judgment against those who express valid concerns about Islamism only adds to the self-censorship that was in large part responsible for allowing Hasan to remain in the military and murder his fellow soldiers in cold blood.

Student Blogs: Speaking Truth to Pooh-bahs

Jonathan Bean

In a previous post, I noted how military bloggers are writing the "first pages of history." Likewise, student bloggers are offering a place to speak out against the abuses on their campuses: from official racial segregation (in the name of Diversity) to expulsion for being pro-life and much more. During the 1990s, many upscale universities had students who said "Enough!" and established newspapers to advocate for academic freedom, mock the Mickey Mouse courses taught on campus, and generally play the role of watchdog. Needless to say, those newspapers were not welcomed by administrators or the PC thugs who "police" what happens on campus. Blessed by administrators who looked the other way, the thugs stole newspapers en masse and otherwise bullied these reporters in a style worthy of the Ku Klux Klan. Flash forward ten years: the Internet offers students, alumni and faculty the opportunity to watch and report on the crazy shenanigans of those in power and those who feel empowered to act as foot soldiers in the "long march through the institutions" that has done so much damage to academic rigor and freedom. (Disclosure: I have my own blog, FreeU, focusing primarily on Illinois issues). Here I'd like to profile one excellent student blog: ClaremontConservative.com Issues of interest to NAS readers include the following:

*Thought reform *Expulsion for the "wrong" views *Racial segregation promoted by the administration.

The military bloggers have a central directory; perhaps it is time to gather a EDUblogging directory? Meanwhile, search and you will find someone blogging about your campus, whether the pooh-bahs approve or not. Postscript: Alumni need to get into the act. They have nothing to fear--and administrators sometimes listen to them. Using the web, I got alumni at my alma mater to pressure the administration and get rid of a mandatory "white guilt" seminar for freshmen.

Freedom from Fear: Crime and the Diversity Hustle

Jonathan Bean

By now, most Americans have watched the newscast on the brutal killing of Chicago honors student Derrion Albert. FDR made "freedom from fear" one of his Four Freedoms. Many Chicago students flee to my rural university to secure "freedom from fear." They escape gang violence and the prospect of ending up in jail. They are the Derrion Alberts of the world--kids who want to start over. Alas, college administrators--in the name of "diversity"--promote gang magnet events such as our Player's Ball: a fraternity-sponsored event with "pimps," "hoes," and "bitches." Guilty white administrators cave to demands for "urban culture." After all, "it's a black thing." Diversity officials remain silent (privately, they do not approve but "what are we going to do?"). The same administrators ban credit card vendors on campus, squelch "hate speech" (a term never applied in this context) but will not lift a finger to "do the right thing." At the very least, campus officials could use their bully pulpit to criticize these events. One of my former students escaped his gang, became an honors student and attended the "Ball" in his second year. At the Ball, gang members searched him out and put a "hit" on his head for leaving them. Several of us found a way to relocate him but ultimately this student left for another university. That is not education, it is exodus. Since administrators and diversity deans do nothing, say nothing, hear nothing, I call them out: "Shame on you!" Derrion Albert could have been one of my students, if he lived to attend college. For the Derrions of the world, those of us who teach or lead need to speak up. R.I.P. Derrion Albert

New Fear at the New School

Ashley Thorne

A letter from President Bob Kerrey to the New School community evades the real problems behind the student protests.

Letter from Jakarta

Saera Fernandez

The observations of a young anthropology student in Indonesia are relevent for several reasons to the contemporary American experience.

A Remembrance - 9/11:

Peter Wood

Let us remember 9/11 and rouse from academic detachment from the real world.

Jailhouse Ed

Peter Wood

If prisoners can earn college degrees while incarcerated, can the Liberal Arts liberate?

Miscarriage of Academic Freedom?

Ashley Thorne

A Yale student's senior project raises questions about higher education's approach to art.