Saturday, April 19, 2014

Global Warming Alarmism Explained

Friday, March 28, 2014

Archbishop Brought to Campus by Marquette is Anti-Israel Crackpot

He was part of “Israeli Apartheid Week:” a Greek Orthodox Archbishop named Sebastia Atallah Hanna.

He was featured in two events:  A “Soup With Substance” at noon this past Wednesday, and a  “keynote address” at an evening event on the same day.

Some indication of his opinions can be found in any article on the  Al-Alam website:
A top Palestinian Christian cleric in Israel has likened crimes committed by foreign-backed insurgents in Syria to the Israeli regime’s racist policies and practices in the occupied land, describing them two sides of the same racist coin. Addressing a group of Arab students at Haifa University on Friday, Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Sebastia Atallah Hanna further restated his support for Syria in the face of the foreign-backed war targeting it, SANA reported.

Archbishop Hanna went on to emphasize that it has become clear that the terrorist groups in Syria are an extension of Zionism and serve its racist projects and suspicious agendas in the region.

The Palestinian cleric further vowed to continue defending the causes of his native land, underlining that Muslims and Christians will remain united in defending the holy sites, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

He also condemned the Israeli regime’s racist practices against Palestinians.

Hanna then stressed that the targeting of Christians in the Middle East and dividing Arab communities into conflicting sects only serves the Israeli regime and allows it to implement its plots for the region.

The Archbishop also asserted that just as terrorists failed in Syria and elsewhere, they will fail to undermine the Christians’ determination to remain in the Middle East, and that the Israeli regime will also fail to fragment and weaken the Palestinian people.
If Palestinian students want to bring in speaker to bash Israel, we think that is pretty much their prerogative (although it reflects badly on their judgment).

Unfortunately, this incendiary cleric was  supported and sponsored by Marquette officials.

In the first place, the Campus Ministry organizes and schedules Soup with Substance.

In the second place, the Office of International Education paid the Archbishop’s travel expenses to come to Marquette.

We find it odd that the Campus Ministry, which should be working for reconciliation among adversaries everywhere, would sponsor a speaker who demonizes one side in the Arab/Israeli conflict.

And bizarre theories about how “terrorist groups in Syria are an extension of Zionism” and Israeli “plots” are a bit odd coming from an office of Marquette.  Terrorist groups in Syria are Islamic militants, and hate Israel more than Hanna does!

This is yet another example of the insular and parochial political correctness that suffuses the Marquette bureaucracy.  When there is push back, and when Marquette gets wide and negative public attention, top officials will back off (as happened with Femsex).  But the bureaucrats remain in place, with the same politically correct attitudes, and the same culture that thinks calling Israel an “apartheid state” or a “racist state” is something that deserves official Marquette support.

Terence Miller, Director of the Office of International Studies failed to return our phone call asking for comment. Gerry Fischer, who schedules Soup With Substance for the Campus Ministry, was not immediately available for comment.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Marquette Backing Away From Inflammatory Anti-Israel Program

We blogged about this a month ago: a rather virulent program on the Marquette campus that labelled Israel an “apartheid state.”

It was not particularly surprising that Marquette’s Palestinian student association would sponsor such a program although it certainly doesn’t speak well for the students that they would want to use such inflammatory rhetoric.

More surprising was the announcement that two offices at Marquette Intercultural Engagement in the Office of Student Development and the Office of International Education were cosponsoring the program.

Is it now Marquette’s position that Israel is an “apartheid state?”

It seems, however, that the university has now backed off its support for this program.

We queried Vice President for Student Affairs Chris Miller about this, and he responded “Student Development is not sponsoring the event. It is purely student sponsored.”

Terence Miller, of the Office of International Education, was not immediately available for comment. But it appears that they two have withdrawn their sponsorship.

The issue here is “what were they thinking?”  What kind of bureaucratic culture prevails among mid-level bureaucrats at Marquette such that declaring Israel an “apartheid state” seems like a good idea?

We have seen this before, most recently with the Femsex seminar, which was approved by the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. When the true nature of the program was revealed here, Marquette’s top administrators withdrew support.

But the fact that things like this can happen at all is terribly revealing.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Youth Production of “Oliver”

From the Spotlight Youth Theater, a production of the classic musical.

How good are the productions at Spotlight Youth Theater?  Good enough so that you don’t need to be related to one of the kids in the show to enjoy it.

Spotlight productions are probably better than even the best high school productions, because they draw young actors from a broad swath of communities, from all over the Milwaukee metropolitan area.

Also, in the cast of orphan pickpockets, young Luke Hentzell, long term leukemia survivor for whom drama has been a key element in his rehabilitation from a traumatic situation.

Full disclosure:  two of our grandchildren are in the show.  Look for them playing Nancy and Bill Sykes.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Marquette to Sponsor Anti-Israel Program

In the mailbox of Political Science faculty:
Dear Political Science faculty and staff:
My name is John Janulis and I work in the Office of Student Development-Intercultural Engagement. I wanted to apprise you of a series of programs focusing on Israeli apartheid and Palestinian awareness that will be happening on Marquette’s campus between March 24 and March 28.
Students for Justice in Palestine (a registered MU student organization), Intercultural Engagement in the Office of Student Development, Marquette University Student Government, and the Office of International Education will be having the following speakers on campus for a series of programs to raise awareness about Israeli apartheid and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
Details are still emerging regarding times/locations for the events, but a tentative outline is below. We recently finalized funding for these events early this week, so I will have more information regarding times, locations, and topics by this afternoon. We will have publicity/promotion materials emailed to you by the end of the week if you would like, as well.
Tuesday, March 25:
Film screening of either The Stones Cry Out (http://www.thestonescryoutmovie.com/) or Jerusalem: the East Side Story (http://electronicintifada.net/content/film-review-jerusalem-east-side-story/3528).
Wednesday, March 26:
Soup with Substance featuring His Eminence Archbishop Theodosios (Hanna) of Sebastia .
12:00pm, AMU 157
Keynote address featuring His Eminence Archbishop Theodosios (Hanna) of Sebastia.
6:00pm (tentative), Cudahy 001 (tentative)
Thursday, March 27:
Moderated panel discussion featuring:
Rabbi Brant Rosen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brant_Rosen)
Max Blumenthal (http://maxblumenthal.com/about/)
Dr. Osama Abu Irshaid (http://conference.ampalestine.org/index.php/speakers/26-osama-abu-irshaid)
Kathy Kelly (http://vcnv.org/speaker-bio/kathy-kelly)
Time/location TBD.
Thanks and please feel free to contact me with any questions.
John Janulis, M.Ed.
Coordinator for Intercultural Engagement
Office of Student Development, AMU 121
Marquette University
P: 414.288.3214
Perhaps, if Palestinian or Muslim students want to hold a program taking a particular position on the Arab/Israeli conflict, they should be allowed to. Free speech on campus, and so on.

But this event is sponsored by Marquette University Student Government, and the Office of International Education.

Further, John Janulis, a Marquette official, is personally promoting this event.

Marquette officially sponsoring such an absurdly one-sided, propagandistic event is hard to justify.

It seems that people in certain Marquette offices don’t even understand that the phrase “Israeli apartheid” is anything but a simple, uncontroversial statement of fact.

It seems that what we have here is the narrow, parochial political correctness that has raised its head before, coming from the centers of political correctness on campus.

John Janulis, reached by the Marquette Warrior, was not able to comment immediately for the record.

[Update]

In response to our inquiry, we got this e-mail from a Student Government officer:
Regarding the Israeli Apartheid Week Program, the Students for Justice in Palestine went through the Student Organization Funding Process. The process allows for student organizations looking to plan events on and off campus a way to fund things they might not typically have the budget for. This process is open to all student organizations, and their application was approved by the Student Organization Funding committee as well as Senate as a whole.
Hope this answers your question, feel free to reach out with other questions,
Tyler Tucky
Note that if it is the policy of MUSG to fund controversial events proposed by student organizations, and if this policy is applied in a viewpoint neutral way, we have no beef with student government.

That still doesn’t get the Marquette offices and Marquette officials who endorsed this program off the hook, however.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Marquette Professor Makes Flippant, Innocuous Comment in Class, Is Banned from Campus

Sometimes, of course, professors make comments in class that are out of bounds.  And sometimes students get upset about comments that are, in reality, fairly innocuous.  A little of the former and a lot of the latter happened a few weeks ago at Marquette.

According to Marquette Tribune:
According to a call received by the Tribune, a criminology professor was asked to leave his class after a student reported feeling uncomfortable.

The caller said criminology professor Richard Zevitz patted down students as part of a demonstration, and then, when talking about the concealed carry law in Wisconsin, said if an active shooter came into the classroom, he would shoot the shooter and possibly a few students he did not like. Some students reportedly felt uncomfortable enough to report it to the dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.
There was one clear error in what the caller reported. Zevitz did not pat down students. He had student volunteers pat down other students (males patting down males and females females). Quite obviously, in a Criminal Justice class, the proper procedures for a pat down are a legitimate subject. Further, that didn’t happen this semester.

More serious, potentially, was the talk about shooting people. If any student actually had cause to believe the instructor might shoot them, that would be a real cause for alarm.

But nobody could reasonably think that Zevitz might do that.

Bureaucrats often overreact to anything that even vaguely suggests firearms violence. Remember the case of the grade school kid who chewed a pop tart into the shape of a pistol and was expelled.

In this case, Zevitz’ last two classes were cancelled. He was put on paid administrative leave for the Spring semester, and he was banned from campus.  He was told he could not even visit his library carrel.

Most students, doubtless, put this in proper perspective.  According to the Tribune:
Keisha Harper, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said although Zevitz might seem strange at first, he just has a dark sense of humor.

“I remember coming in freshmen year and thinking that this man is a little bit out there, kinda crazy, but then again, I was a freshman at Marquette, and I didn’t really understand the criminology department,” Harper said. “I came to the realization that (Zevitz) isn’t crazy, he just kind of has a sick sense of humor.”

Harper added that through working with police officers and those in the criminology field, she realized that a darker sense of humor is needed to be in that line of work.
Another issue here is the suspicion that the judgment of the Department of Social and Cultural Sciences might not be completely unbiased in dealing with this case.  Zevitz has been in conflict with some of the more politically correct members of the Department, and at least some of his “colleagues” might look favorably on tossing him out – or at least inducing him to leave.

Zevitz is certainly a leftist, but having been in law enforcement for several years, he simply doesn’t have the prissy sense of political correctness of many of his colleagues.

Indeed, one suspects that what they really didn’t like was his claim that he would be willing to shoot a maniac on a murderous rampage.  But in reality, since Marquette doesn’t allow guns on campus (except in the hands of Public Safety), his odds of being able to do that would be slim.

What combination of political bias, interpersonal conflict and bureaucratic timidity caused this fiasco is not entirely clear. But that this was an overreaction is entirely clear.

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Monday, January 20, 2014

College Republicans: Speaker on Obamacare Tomorrow Night

From the Marquette College Republicans: author and blogger Ben Demenech will be speaking about Obamacare tomorrow (Tuesday) night at 7:00 p.m. in Todd Wehr Chemistry, Room 002.

The title of his speech is “Confused About Healthcare?”

We don’t know exactly what he is going to say, but given that he’s a conservative, he can be expected to be negative on Obamacare.

He’s particularly likely to stress that the program victimizes the young by systematically redistributing income from young and healthy people to older, less healthy people. Under Obama’s program, young people pay much more than they should, based on the actuarial risk they present to insurance companies, so that older people can have lower premiums.

This kind of redistribution is perverse, since young people typically have much lower incomes than older people. The young, after all, or likely to be in entry level jobs, maybe unemployed in the Obama economy, may have large student loans to pay off, and have not had time to build up the assets that older people have.

It’s an odd form of socialism that redistributes income from people with less income to people with more.

Even late night comedians have noticed the irony.

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Mitt Romney Documentary / Not a Hit Piece


Apparently, according to The New Republic, the Romney family are as nice and clean cut in reality as they seem to be. And this documentary makes that clear.

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Make Way for Ducks

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Democratic Party Smear Against Scott Walker Debunked

The left in Wisconsin is particularly nasty. Maybe it has something to do with the concentration of leftists in Madison, or maybe it’s the labor tradition in Wisconsin, which is now decaying and leaving a bunch of bitter people.

Exhibit One of this bitterness has been the willingness of leftists to smear Republican Governor Scott Walker. Not merely to disagree (even vehemently) with his policies, but to flat out lie about him as a person, and his history.

Thus we have what was, until very recently, the “Walker bio” on the State Democratic website. It claims that Walker “was kicked out of elections at Marquette after masterminding a scheme scheme that destroyed newspapers critical of him” and that “Walker either dropped out or was forced out not long thereafter.”

One of our liberal colleagues, apparently accepting this, has assured us that Walker was kicked out of Marquette.

Dave Umhoefer of the Journal-Sentinel has investigated this for Politifact.

First finding: Scott Walker was never kicked out or forced out of Marquette.
We heard nothing and found no evidence suggesting Walker was pushed out of the university.

But publicly available documents cannot fully resolve the question, in part because a federal privacy law blocks release of information on former students unless the person consents. In addition, Walker told us he was sticking to an earlier decision not to release his transcript.

With that in mind, we asked Walker if he would allow Marquette to comment on his academic and conduct record. He did.

“Gov. Scott Walker was a student at Marquette from fall of 1986 until spring 1990 and was a senior in good standing when he voluntarily withdrew from Marquette,” the university said in a statement.

That means that no conduct issues, academic or otherwise, blocked Walker from continuing in school at the time of his departure, MU spokesman Brian Dorrington told us in early December 2013.

When we asked Dorrington whether any conduct issues were on Walker’s earlier school record, he said Walker would have to permit release of that information. Walker did so in response to our request.

“Governor Walker was in good standing each term while he was enrolled at Marquette University and when he left Marquette University,” Associate Vice Provost Anne Deahl said in a letter. “Governor Walker was not expelled or suspended from the university at any time.”

Finally, there’s another problem with the Democratic Party’s claims.
According to MU, Walker left school after the spring semester in 1990. That’s more than two years after the 1988 election, instead of the “not long after” the Dems claim.
One claim that can’t be decisively debunked is that Walker and/or his supporters stole copies of a Marquette Tribune issue with an editorial endorsing Walker’s opponent in a student government election. No records exist to debunk that claim, but no records exist to support that claim either. Umhoefer found no evidence that Walker had done that.

Further, as the above statements from Marquette show, no conduct or academic issues prevented Walker from completing his Marquette degree. The now-current version of the Democratic Party website has this claim removed while still being as nasty as it can possibly be. It has dropped the “forced out” [of Marquette] claim, but still has the “masterminded” claim.

Umhoefer does make a bit of an issue about somewhat inconsistent explanations Walker has given about why he did not return to Marquette and complete his degree. In reality, none of this is terribly damning, since in broad terms it’s clear why he didn’t: a lot was going on in his life, and school was not a top priority. When people recount their own motives and thinking, any account may be imprecise, since a lot of different thoughts and ideas go through people’s minds.

How sleazy was the Democratic Party in all this?
Mike Tate, chairman of the state Democrats, told us the party based its post on unnamed sources who he said had privately passed on information about possible “nefarious activity” that Tate did not describe.

Those parties would be reluctant to talk to a reporter, he said. The allegation is defensible, said Tate, because the party is trying to raise questions about the “mystery” of Walker’s departure.

That’s a flimsy case, at best. At worst, it suggests a possible fictional smear.
But “raising questions” by telling (or recklessly repeating) bald faced lies is out of bounds.

Just why is Mike Tate still employed by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin?

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Latin Mass Tonight

From Adam Ryback, a Marquette alum who struggled (unsuccessfully) to get a Latin mass celebrated on the Marquette campus.
Come celebrate the New Evangelization and experience the beauty and mystery of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. A Missa Cantata in the Extraordinary Form will be celebrated by Rev. Canon Benoit Jayr on
December 11, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. at the
National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians (Upper Church) 1525 Carmel Road Hubertus, WI 53033
This event is sponsored by Franciscum, a lay association of the faithful dedicated to participating in the New Evangelization through the promotion of traditional Catholic liturgical practices.
For more information, call 262-490-3844 or email mnoone77@sbcglobal.net.
Ryback adds more information in an e-mail:
The mass will have Advent music in preparation for Christmas. This means: Ave Maria by Schubert, O Sanctissima, Alma Redemptoris Mater, Panis Angelicus and more! The mass will be sung using Missa de Angelis (Mass of the Angels), whose style is Gregorian Chant, which the Second Vatican Council said should take “pride of place” in liturgical music.
Being Protestant, we have no special affinity for the Latin Mass, but unlike some of the more liberal and secular-leaning Catholics, we have no hostility to it either. Our view of worship is (within reason) “whatever floats your boat.” If some traditionalist Catholics feel moved and inspired by the traditional form of the mass, good for them.

But Marquette’s Campus Ministry, which has impeded attempts to celebrate the Latin Mass on campus at every turn, doesn’t seem to feel that way.

It doesn’t seem to be about any theological principle, or coherent philosophy of worship. It seems to be about cultural antipathy.

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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Indoctrination at Marquette: Professor Louise Cainkar

From an e-mail that a Marquette student sent to talk show host Vicki McKenna:
I am a Junior at Marquette University . . . To receive my minor, I have to take a sociology course so I choose to take the Arab and Muslim Americans class.
At first I had high hopes for the class but it steadily became worse. During her time teaching she has provided us with reading material that calls for abolishing the state of Israel, has openly criticized our governor, and repeatedly given us material that criticizes Republicans, “state tea party movements,” and “the right.” Here is an example of an article that she is making us read. It is from the Democratic Center for American Progress and she wanted us to read pages 1-12. Obviously this is not the only article like this she has made us read and I can provide you with more if you would like. When you read it, I would like you note how it refers to “state tea party movements,” “The religious right,” and “Fox News.”
In another e-mail to McKenna, the student provided more details:
Her name is Louise Cainkar, I’ll attach the link to her Marquette page for you. I thought you might be interest. The professor is very frustrating. Two Wednesdays ago we went on a field trip and the guide was explaining how great it was that the state is proving school vouchers because now the school that we were in would be able accept more students. Prof. Cainkar interrupted her and argued trying to get the guide to agree with her that Scott Walker and the Republicans were awful, it was completely unnecessary and unrelated to the your guide’s point. Frankly, it’s shameful what she is able to say and call “teaching.”
It would be too much to expect that any professor should be so good at concealing their political biases that students could not figure out whether the professor leans left or right.

A lot of our students, for example, figure out that we lean to the right, although some others feel the need to ask. In general, when we lecture on something that makes the left look bad, we discuss an analogous case that makes the right look bad. Yesterday, when we talked about arrogant bureaucrats who overstep their authority, we picked on OSHA and the EEOC, and then discussed J. Edgar Hoover’s campaign to discredit Martin Luther King. When we discuss media bias, we tell students that there is no unbiased media, and that they should look at outlets on both sides of the ideological spectrum.

 Further, there is a difference between letting some ideological bias show and creating a hostile learning environment for students who disagree with the professor. The latter is an abuse.

 A related issue is whether the professor feels free to offer all sorts of political opinions unrelated to the subject matter. The classic canons of academic freedom protect the right of a professor to say what he or she wants in the classroom only when discussing the course material, and expressing scholarly opinions. Stray irrelevant political observations are not protected.

Of course, this distinction is largely unenforceable, but it’s still the case that spewing stray political opinions is an abuse. It’s difficult to see how attacking the tea party and Gov. Walker is relevant in a course in Arab-American politics.

But this is the Sociology Department (technically, Social and Cultural Sciences), and it, along with humanities departments is a center of political correctness at Marquette.

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Saturday, November 02, 2013

David Suzuki: Environmentalist, Hypocrite, Crackpot

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Steve Forbes Coming to Campus