Friday, April 29, 2005


Todd Purdum in today's Times on last night's less than scintillating press conference:
So Mr. Bush did what he likes to do best: He took his case directly to the people.
Really? That what Bush likes to do best? Then why is this only his fourth prime time press conference? Why has he done far, far fewer press conferences than any recent President? Why did he limit campaign appearances to hand-picked loyalist audiences? I can only say that I'd hate to have to persuade Bush to do something he didn't like....


I Really Hope They're Disappointed 

Amp is amused that "'Alas' is currently the number one google result for 'prostitution porn.'"

How should I feel that Stone Court is number three for "pathetic putz"?

No. Don't answer that.


Thursday, April 28, 2005

No Blood For Oil ... Or Blood For No Oil? 

Maybe the Bush Administration was telling the truth when it said Iraq wasn't all about getting control of Iraq's oil.

What else is one to conclude when Iranian spy Ahmad Chalabi takes over the Iraqi Oil Ministry?


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

What To Say When Someone Says The Media Is Liberal 

It will not surprise most readers of this blog that the so-called "liberal media" is a myth and that, in fact, the media tilts substantially toward conservative interests. Nonetheless, myths die hard and, inevitably, we are faced with conservatives who, with absolute confidence, assert as fact beyond debate that the media is liberal. These debates often go nowhere because they tend to be heavily anecdotal -- the comparison of the media's feeding frenzy over Clinton's evasive deposition answers to its collective shrug as Bush took the Nation to war based on a lie is met with "What about Dan Rather?" or the like.

I suggest another response. Remember the "Fairness Doctrine", which beginning in 1949 required broadcasters to present balance in broadcasting of controversial issues? Conservatives hate the Fairness Doctrine. Reagan ended it. The Heritage Foundation and Rush Limbaugh condemn it. Meanwhile, it has been reintroduced into Congress by a who's who of progressive members (Slaughter, Holt, Grijalva, Filner, Rangel, Owens, Watson, Kucinich, Hinchey, McDermott, Woolsey, Miller, and Jackson-Lee). It is supported by a variety of liberal organizations (e.g., Common Dreams).

Why would liberals conceivably want more "balance" if the media were liberal already and balance meant more conservative views on the air? Why would conservatives conceivably want less balance if the media were liberal? I think the reasons are obvious -- and should be especially so to our conservative interlocutor, who presumably believes that the market is efficient and that people act in their own self interest.


Monday, April 25, 2005

Lies The Holy Father Told Me 

In a much quoted post, Body and Soul accuses Pope Benedict XVI of lying when he claims that he chose not to resist Nazism because resistance was "impossible".

Did the Pope lie again today, about a different subject? Here's what he said about his election:
"As the trend in the ballots slowly made me realize that β€” in a manner of speaking the guillotine would fall on me β€” I started to feel quite dizzy," the 78-year-old Benedict told his countrymen in his native German, smiling and chuckling. "I thought that I had done my life's work and could now hope to live out my days in peace.

"I told the Lord with deep conviction, 'Don't do this to me. You have younger and better (candidates) who could take up this great task with a totally different energy and with different strength.'"
An interesting prayer, given the Washington Post's report (via Kieran Healy) that other Cardinals reported that Ratzinger actively campaigned for the job:
In any case, the 78-year-old German cardinal steadily built support before and during the two-day conclave, according to these accounts. He ate breakfast with African and Asian cardinals. He assured U.S. prelates that he was in tune with their efforts to deal with child sexual abuse by priests. He sought to allay fears that he would set back attempts at interfaith dialogue....

On Monday morning, the cardinals attended the traditional Mass for the election of a pope at St. Peter's, where Ratzinger gave a stinging homily against the West's creeping "dictatorship of relativism."...

In effect, it laid out the philosophy behind Ratzinger's two decades of work as head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith....

But every cardinal had some earthly guidance on what that right decision should be.

On the morning of the second day of the conclave, Ratzinger had breakfast with cardinals from Asia and Africa, according to Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles. Egan, the archbishop of New York, recalled another occasion when Ratzinger spoke in four languages to keep everyone around the table in the conversation.

George, of Chicago, said that a few days before the conclave, he talked with the future pope about maintaining "the canonical structures we need to respond" to the sex abuse crisis....



Not sure what I can add to this. Via Uncle Horn Head, via Austrian McDonald's....


The Death Of Reason 

Large numbers of people in the second largest city in the richest nation in the history of the world are worshipping a water stain:
A wall stain that some believe depicts the Virgin Mary drew scores of faithful on Thursday to a gritty highway underpass that has become a shrine with flowers, candles and prayers.

The image, which highway engineers said was probably formed by leaking water and winter road salt from the highway above, first began drawing visitors last week. Their numbers grew daily, causing traffic tie-ups in the vicinity and police later blocked-off part of the area.

Some visitors said the yellow, white and gray mark resembles Mexico's Virgin of Guadalupe, a figure popular in the neighborhood northwest of downtown Chicago where the Kennedy Expressway crosses Fullerton Avenue.

"It's a miracle," said one woman, claiming she could see the face of the woman many Christians revere as the mother of Jesus Christ. Some knelt in prayer, others touched the image on the wall and many took pictures using cellular phones....

Highway officials said they planned to leave the wall as it is.


Friday, April 22, 2005

Good News Friday 

While a lot of things seem to be getting worse, here's some very good news:
Contraceptive Sponge to Return to Market


Christian Charity 

Would that it were a spoof a la Jesus' General, but I came across the following discussion thread on Christian Forums:
Christian Forums > For Christians Only > Ministry > Social Justice
Let the poor pay their fair share of taxes.
Fortunately, some of the commenters were repulsed by the underlying hatred for the poor, while others had things like this to say:
You are quite right, Hitch. The Word of God is clear: Let him who will not work not eat free food. That surely sounds like telling everyone to get to work. Well stated.

It is not the government's job to feed the poor, to provide medical care and free drugs, or to provide a retirement. Let my tithes and donations provide for the poor and spare the taxpayers. This is how it used to be in the early days of America and it worked much better. The lazy poor starved and the poor who were willing to work quickly earned their way up and out of poverty.

Government handouts are not a lifestyle option for the Christian believer. If the local gov't wants to provide, that seems more fair. They know better what public works projects they need and can create an effective work for food program at the local level.
Calling Hugo and Chris....


Filibuster Follies 

An internal Republican poll (via AP) indicates that "only about 20 percent of Americans believe the Republican statement that Bush is the first president in history whose court appointees have been subjected to a filibuster".

There's a reason for that.

It's a fucking lie.

From the official Senate website (which I guess Mr. Frist forgot to have scrubbed -- maybe he doesn't want Tom DeLay thinking he uses the internet):
October 1, 1968
Filibuster Derails Supreme Court Appointment

...To replace [Chief Justice Earl] Warren, [President Lyndon Johnson] nominated Associate Justice Abe Fortas, his longtime confidant. Anticipating Senate concerns about the prospective chief justice's liberal opinions, Johnson simultaneously declared his intention to fill the vacancy created by Fortas' elevation with Appeals Court Judge Homer Thornberry....

Although the committee recommended confirmation, floor consideration sparked the first filibuster in Senate history on a Supreme Court nomination.

On October 1, 1968, the Senate failed to invoke cloture. Johnson then withdrew the nomination, privately observing that if he had another term, "the Fortas appointment would have been different."
Coming soon: The Republican position, reported as fact by the New York Times (and many others), that "[t]o change the rule, Republicans need 50 votes, plus that of Vice President Dick Cheney, who could break a tie" is hardly more factual than their claim that no Supreme Court Justice has ever been filibustered.

UPDATE: E-Mart in comments points to this report by Senate legislative specialist Richard Beth documenting cloture votes on many prior nominations (judicial and non-judicial). While Beth points out that cloture votes do not correspond precisely to filibusters, they certainly evidence an understanding that filibusters may be used for nominations.

Perhaps even more significant, the report indicates that from 1917 (when cloture was instituted) until 1949, cloture could only be used for legislation, not nominations. In other words, the historical practice was that filibusters received more deference in the appointments context, not less. Moreover, the fact that this distinction was erased in 1949 is itself evidence of an understanding in 1949 that filibusters did apply to nominations.

Related Post: The Last Rampart


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition* 

Just in case anyone was unclear about Ratzinger/Benedict's previous role in the Catholic church (as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith):

On July 21, 1542 Pope Paul III, with the Constitution Licet ab initio, established the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition, staffed with cardinals and other officials whose task it was "to maintain and defend the integrity of the faith and to examine and proscribe errors and false doctrines".

This body was renamed Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office in 1908 by Pope Pius X. It was changed to Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on December 7, 1965, at the end of the Second Vatican Council. In 1983,with the new code of canon law, "Sacred" was dropped from the names of Vatican Congregations. It has become the supervisory body of local Roman Inquisitions.

Queue "Inquisition Song."

*If you want the full Monty, as it were...


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

"Conscience is but a word that cowards use....", Wal-Mart Edition 

Via Trish Wilson, I signed the NARAL petition to the major pharmacy chains which permit pharmacists to refuse to fill birth control prescriptions.

I'll give Wal-Mart credit for an almost instantaneous response (nothing from any of the others), but on the merits the response is just one more reason to boycott Wal-Mart (as I suspect most readers of this site already do):
Wal-Mart does not carry emergency contraceptives. Our pharmacists may decline to fill a prescription based on personal convictions. However, they must find another pharmacist, either at Wal-Mart or anotherpharmacy, who can assist you by filling your prescription.
I wish Wal-Mart's "pro life" and "pro conscience" policies extended to, you know, not selling guns.

Related Posts: "Conscience is but a word that cowards use....", Pro-Choice ... For Pharmacists ... Edition; "Conscience is but a word that cowards use....", Pontificating Edition; "Conscience is but a word that cowards use....", Texas Edition; "Conscience is but a word that cowards use....", Georgia Edition; "Conscience is but a word that cowards use....", Mississippi Edition


Did Sexism Cost Us Bin Laden? 

Amanda (via Avedon Carol) points to a Conservative Voice piece blaming Bush's failure to capture Bin Laden on the presence of women in the military:
For those on Capitol Hill, the Pentagon and at the White House who think that women in land combat is a ho-hum non-issue, there is strong evidence the U.S. lost the opportunity to capture or kill Osama bin Laden because of politically correct Pentagon policies to have more female warriors....

[Elaine] Donnelly[, president of the Committee for Military Readiness,] concludes that the recent remarks by Army Chief of Staff Peter Shoomaker tacitly endorsing a new breed of women warriors is more than an object for moral reflection on the weaker sex's role in the fighting and dying, but a tactical mistake that can have the highest costs to the nation's security.
What is, perhaps, most extraordinary about this piece is that the facts (if true) cited by the Conservative Voice actually support precisely the opposite conclusion -- namely, that the cause of losing Bin Laden was not the excess of "politcally correct" regulation, but the need for more:
Bin Laden was last seen heading out of the Afghan city of Jalalabad toward Tora Bora in a convoy on Nov. 15, 2001. U.S. officials even thought they'd heard him on a local radio transmission in Tora Bora in December.

It may have been the best and last chance to grab chief terrorist thug bin Laden....

At that critical moment, one well-connected military source says the U.S. was unable to commit desperately needed personnel because women had been mixed into units that were at strong risk of seeing combat....

Donnelly says the source disclosed that someone came up with the idea of sending some of the RSTA troops over there early - more than a year before scheduled deployment - in order to learn some "real-time" lessons under fire.

And herein the bombshell: "The idea was squelched, however, because someone mentioned that there were female soldiers being trained in the first of these outfits, being formed at Fort Lewis, Washington....

Essentially, U.S. ground troops without the reconnaissance component were partially blinded in their efforts to hunt down bin Laden and his gang because p.c. Pentagon officials had placed women into the reconnaissance ranks - a clear violation of Congressional rules.
In other words, assuming this is true (Donnelly admits saying nothing public about it at the time) and that these recon. troops were as critical as she implies, the real problem was the prohibition against having women in combat. If only we'd had a little more "p.c." regulation, the RSTA women would have been combat authorized, the unit would have been deployed, and maybe Bush's swaggering promise would actually have been fulfilled.


Friday, April 15, 2005

From The Meaningless Statistics Department 

If you have blood pressure problems, do not click on the repugnant Family Research Council poster reprinted on Kos. While the comparison of using the fillibuster to subvert civil rights legislation to using the fillibuster to oppose judicial nominees who defend cross burners is odious enough, the link takes you to all manner of bitter, ugly, hatred.

Along with the plain evil, FRC is sure to include the banal evil:
A study of 229 convicted child molesters in Archives of Sexual Behavior found that "eighty-six percent of offenders against males described themselves as homosexual or bisexual."
This is meaningless in so many ways. I couldn't find the original study, so I don't know whether the remaining 14% are straight men or women, but what's the difference? Why should it be surprising that gay men are more likely to want to have sex with male children than are straight men? If you showed me a study that said gay men were more likely than straight men to abuse girls, that would be an interesting finding, but of course no such study exists.

More substantively, this factoid makes no sense for any agenda other than instilling hatred against gays. If the FRC's position is that homosexuality is wrong and that people should not act on homosexual feelings, I think that's nuts, but there is no doubt that some gay people may in fact choose to do just that. But child molesters? There is already overwhelming legal and social pressure against child molestation. Adults who molest children are people who are not constrained by those pressures, so what possibly could FRC hope to accomplish other than whipping up hatred? Since it is FRC's poster that brought up civil rights, I think it's well to remember that a leading cause of lynchings was accusations against black men of raping white women. FRC would do well not to be making such similar charges against an entire class of people.

UPDATE: Ted at Crooked Timber has the same reaction.


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Bitchslapping Judges 

Phyllis Schlafly's tone of sexual violence is well captured by the title of Amanda's Jesse's post ("Fuck The Courts") on her latest rant, but it is so noxious that it merits amplification. Here's Schlafly:
The courts so purposely humiliated Congress in the Terri Schiavo case that some U.S. representatives are finally beginning to talk back....

When a man's honor is impugned, he can pretend he didn't hear the insult or he can come out fighting. Congress can't pretend it didn't hear [Eleventh Circuit] Judge [Stanley] Birch's insult, so Congress must take action to curb the imperial action of supremacist judges....

Congress and the president should not pass the buck to judges in black robes and hide behind their skirts when they make outrageous decisions.
Could Schlafly be clearer? Judges (male in this case) are just a bunch of women -- doing unmanly stuff like applying rules. Congress and the President should stop acting like little boys hiding behind their mother's skirts and put those uppity women judges in their place.

Am I being too sensitive? Am I drawing a connection that's not there? If you think so, here's Schlafly's previous article (also on Schiavo):
Where are the feminists who are forever whining about abusive husbands?

Why are they mute about a husband conniving with a lawyer and a judge to kill his wife?
Stop whining about domestic violence. Domestic violence is nothing to complain about. In fact, some judges could use a good smackdown too....


Monday, April 11, 2005

Who's Right? 

Jonathan Rauch weighs in that the public's "overwhelming" rejection of Jeb and DeLay's meddling in the Terri Schiavo dispute was ... a vindication of conservative principles:
Democrats, Emery explained, "are the party of malleable standards, in the interests of what they think of as just." They "want courts and well-intended politicians to intervene to engineer outcomes they think are fair." Conservatives, in contrast, know that life is unfair, but "they do not believe laws should be calibrated to account for individual instances of unfairness, as there is no legal system conceivable that can begin to account for all the myriad forms of unfairness life metes out." After all, "there is no way to remove error from human endeavor. Life is chaotic, which is why we need rules to channel it, to give order to happenstance, and keep things from reeling out of control."

Conservatives believe that sound law depends on predictability and finality -- or at least they did before the Schiavo case....

Although Republicans forgot those principles in the Schiavo case, the public remembered them....

The surprise in the Schiavo case was not that Democrats were so confused and conflicted (what else is new?) but that Republicans came down so solidly against the law-and-order principles -- regularity, finality -- in which they have invested so much.
Is this, as Volokh suggests, "a serious and important challenge to conservatives", or is it just a self-serving, after-the-fact rationalization?


Thursday, April 07, 2005

"Conscience is but a word that cowards use....", Pro-Choice ... For Pharmacists ... Edition 

In comments to Erin's post at Prairie Sociology rightly praising Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich for an executive order requiring pharmacists to fill prescriptions for contraceptives, Carolyn asks:
I can't help but wonder if pharmacists with strong religious beliefs refuse to fill other types of prescriptions as well as BC. Accutane (a popular and very strong acne drug) causes birth defects. Or how about pain killers? Morphine comes to mind, considering that in high doses it can be lethal. Do pharmacists who disagree with euthanasia refuse to sell morphine? I wonder if this also has to do with gender and power. Are these pharmacists standing in the way of a woman's right to control her own body and fertility? Do they refuse to sell condoms too? How about women who are on the pill for medical reasons (and there are a lot of them)?
In fact, the "conscientious" pharmacists feel entitled to make just those distinctions. For example, Karen Brauer of Pharmacists for Life (see Riffle (via Amanda) for more on her) made clear in a recent CNN interview that she's happy to prescribe contraceptives for reasons other than, you know, contraception. What's particularly creepy is her reasoning -- it's essentially a cost-benefit analysis, so in her view the risks of oral contraceptives are justified for a "real" benefit (treating a medical condition), but not for birth control because, in her unilateral view, there's no benefit to that:
[CAROL] COSTELLO: Well, a lot of people might say a birth control pill is not a black and white issue either. But if a doctor prescribes this for a patient...

BRAUER: That's true, because sometimes birth control can be used to take care of a problem. Sometimes those pills are used to take care of a hormonal deficiency or an illness in the woman, and in which case they can be given for that reason.

COSTELLO: So, if a woman came in and said, you know, I'm not taking these for birth control, you would prescribe the birth control pills?

BRAUER: I would dispense if they are being given for another reason other than contraception. If the woman is ill and the risk does not outweigh the benefit, then it's appropriate.
(I should add, since I've been pretty tough on CNN (for example, here), that Carol Costello deserves some credit for this interview -- in an era of fawning interviews and softball questions, she did a good job of following up and of challenging Brauer's claims.)

Related Posts: "Conscience is but a word that cowards use....", Pontificating Edition; "Conscience is but a word that cowards use....", Texas Edition; "Conscience is but a word that cowards use....", Georgia Edition; "Conscience is but a word that cowards use....", Mississippi Edition


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A Culture of Life 

Let's say you come home one night to find some fellow trying to jimmy your lock. Obviously, a terrifying occurrence. But, luckily, he hasn't seen you, so you could go down the block and call the police on your cell phone. Luckier still, you happen to be packing heat and you're pretty sure that a gun to the temple and a well-timed "Do I feel lucky?" will send this punk running for the hills.

Or ... you could just blow him away. The Florida legislature has passed a bill that would provide you with complete immunity from prosecution for doing just that. Jeb Bush is planning to sign it.

But it gets better. Your aim's not so good and this chap is bleeding and needs emergency surgery. Who's going to pay for that? We know for sure it's not you -- the bill also exempts you from civil liability. Somehow, I'm just guessing here, the bill gets passed on to the taxpayer....


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Nudity And Humiliation In India 

The Tribune (of India) reports:
Woman paraded naked on donkey

Allahabad, March 6 -- A woman has been paraded naked on a donkey in Chandu village under Sarai Akil police station in Kaushambi district. Six persons were arrested after the father of the woman lodged an FIR in this connection. Three others are absconding.

The decision to tonsure and parade the woman on a donkey was taken on Friday last week in a Dalit panchayat.

The allegation against the 20-year-old Dalit woman was that she had murdered a five-year-old boy and thrown his body in the village pond.
I'm glad that the Indian authorities appear to be taking this form of vigilante justice seriously.

(As an aside, I found this article from following up on a Google search that located Stone Court from the search term "Naked Donkey" (!). I hope the visitor found what he or she was looking for.)


Monday, April 04, 2005

"Conscience is but a word that cowards use....", Pontificating Edition1 

Turns out that it's not the left that's disrespecting John Paul II's death to score cheap political points:
A bishop lectured Gov. Blagojevich Sunday night.

It came during a service of mourning for Pope John Paul II at St. Hyacinth's Basilica. Bishop Thomas Paprocki appealed to Blagojevich to rescind his order compelling pharmacists to sell contraceptives, even if they believe the drugs kill the unborn.

"Mr. Governor, out of respect for John Paul II, please respect his wishes," Paprocki said. "Please rescind your order. Let our pharmacists be free to follow their faith."

Blagojevich was seated near the front of the church. After mass, Paprocki and Blagojevich shook hands as the governor said: "I understand, I understand." (Emphasis added.)
Guess Bishop Paprocki won't be getting any love letters from Jessica....

1 - Mary's pun.

Related Posts: "Conscience is but a word that cowards use....", Texas Edition; "Conscience is but a word that cowards use....", Georgia Edition; "Conscience is but a word that cowards use....", Mississippi Edition


John Paul Is Dead, Part II 

Thank you to all of you who responded thoughtfully (including in comments and here and here and here (this last not technically a "response")) to my inquiry concerning liberals' feelings for John Paul II.

While the responses showed little of the adulation implied by Christiana Amanpour's comment that prompted my question, the responses range from a strong dislike for the man to a qualified positive regard based principally on his concern for the poor and for peace. While I incline toward the former group, those in the latter group make valid points that are also worthy of consideration in coming to a fair evaluation of John Paul's papacy. In making such an evaluation, we (and the media) should keep in mind that the papacy is a political as well as a religious position, both practically and literally.


Saturday, April 02, 2005

John Paul Is Dead 

Christiana Amanpour is going on now about how John Paul II "touched" and was loved by people on all parts of the political spectrum. Just curious -- do folks agree with that? There is no doubt he was a charismatic man, but I have a hard time feeling affection for someone who worked so hard to exclude women from the priesthood, to oppose birth control, abortion, and stem cell research, and to stigmatize gays.


Friday, April 01, 2005

The Law Of Unintended Consequences 

This was inevitable, I suppose, but it still tickles me that the GOP is working so hard to make lawyers, its erstwhile bêtes noires, richer:
Schiavo Case Prompts Jump in Living Wills


Whitewash at Baby Blue? 

I have not been closely following the controversy over Columbia's Middle East and Asian Language and Cultures Department (MEALAC), but I found it notable that the ink was literally not dry before Columbia's critics were accusing it of a "whitewash" (Powerline's, Jewish Collegiate News', and Campus Watch's word).

I've read the Columbia report. Maybe it's a "whitewash", but frankly it reads as a sober and evenhanded evaluation of allegations that are, by their nature, difficult to evaluate because they occurred a number of years ago and depend heavily on the credibility of differing recollections.

Campus Watch claims that the report found "little or nothing of concern occurred". That is incorrect. The Columbia Committee was clearly troubled by the three main allegations it considered, though it acknowledged that precisely what occurred is uncertain and may be highly relevant, as well as charges that professors had cancelled classes to attend political rallies or pressured students to attend rallies. The Committee also found:
Many of the matters brought before us did not, in our opinion, constitute the basis for formal grievances but were issues that warranted sympathetic hearing and an appropriate university response. We therefore recommend consideration of a common, central university site to which students, faculty and administrators could turn to express concerns, though not necessarily grievances, about the quality of their experience at Columbia. This might be attached to the Ombuds Office, but it should be advisory to the University administration and empowered to recommend action, not merely to mediate.
Campus Watch also objects that the Committee found that "the real problem at Columbia is not anti-Semitism, biased and untruthful teaching, or harassment of pro-Israel students, but pro-Israel troublemakers. Wouldn't you know." (Powerline echoed similar concerns.) The Committee found no such thing. Indeed, far from being a whitewash, the Committee found that the very reason outside groups were heard was because Columbia had failed in its handling of grievances:
Almost none of the issues enumerated in the preceding pages found their way into the normal channels for addressing student concerns about curriculum and instruction, particularly complaints about individual faculty and specific courses. The establishment of this committee was a response to the failure to address such concerns clearly, promptly, and consistently. These failures reflected both the negligent or misguided behavior of individuals and widespread systemic confusion about responsibility and authority. As a result of these failures, outside advocacy groups devoted to purposes tangential to those of the University were able to intervene to take up complaints expressed by some students, further confusing the location of responsibility and authority for addressing student concerns about instruction at Columbia. (Emphasis added.)
The report is critical of outside groups, but I guess Campus Watch just wants investigations and accountability for the other side, not for its own.

Jewish Collegiate News adopts a student's complaint that β€œThe report only focuses on three incidents, and we brought to them a lot more incidents that were not reported and they made no mention of them.” The report actually goes beyond three incidents, but it is true that there are matters raised with the Committee that the Committee did not address. However, the Committee is careful to make clear that it is not absolving Columbia of anything with respect to those charges:
Our decision not to deal with every kind of claim should not be taken as a determination that they do or do not have merit. Following our charge, although many individuals raised these issues with us, we did not review the Middle East and Asian Language and Cultures Department (MEALAC), or indeed any other department, the curriculum or content of individual courses, or the relationship between the views of any instructor and his or her pedagogy.
Finally, the Committee recommends the creation of "speedy", "accessible", and "transparent" grievance procedures (and related reforms). That seems like it should be exactly what groups like Campus Watch want -- unless their agenda really is less about addressing faculty misconduct and more about intimidating faculty.


Friday Cat Blogging 

You ate every single one of the Reese's and left me with kisses? (UPDATE: More animals at Friday Ark.)


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