I’m a liberal professor, and I’m not afraid of students who question me

badprofessor

Edward Schlosser says, “I’m a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me”. Strangely, he doesn’t give any evidence that he’s at all liberal, and the one personal incident he cites involves a conservative student.

The next week, I got called into my director’s office. I was shown an email, sender name redacted, alleging that I “possessed communistical [sic] sympathies and refused to tell more than one side of the story.” The story in question wasn’t described, but I suspect it had do to with whether or not the economic collapse was caused by poor black people.

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Beyond parody

Now we know why Colbert retired. There was no way he could ever adequately satirize reality.

This is an actual, genuine, real ad from America’s Liberty PAC, a pro-Rand Paul SuperPAC. I lost it with the opening scene of fire-breathing bald eagles, dubbed in with the screech of the red-tailed hawk, as is traditional…and then the explosions. Explosions everywhere.

Please, international readers, close your eyes and pretend American politics isn’t happening. We’re embarrassed enough.

Institutionalized reluctance to question

NY Magazine has the best summary of the LaCour affair. This is the recent case of a study published by a graduate student that showed the effectiveness of gay & lesbian survey-takers of persuading people to support marriage equality…which has since been found to consist of falsified data. The article summarizes how the study was exposed, and there were grounds for suspicion long before the news broke. Reading the protocols and doing a little math, for instance, revealed that this graduate student had apparently paid out about a million dollars for this survey. And it just unraveled from there.

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Goodbye, UW Madison

uwmadison

Many years ago, when I first hit the job market after completing a post-doc, I applied for positions at many universities…but my top choice was UW Madison. I didn’t think I had a chance, so I was thrilled when I actually got as far as landing an interview there. I didn’t get the job obviously, but I was happy to just get a shot at it (maybe too happy: I was so wound up, my interview went dismally).

If I were back in that same position today, though, the last place I’d apply to would be UW Madison. It’s still a great university, but I wonder for how much longer — the state seems committed to gutting it.

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Oh, joy

clown

Yet another wacky far-right conservative has announced his candidacy for president: Rick Santorum. It’s becoming a crowded field in opposition to the Democrats.

He is facing heavy competition for those voters this year from rivals like Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and the retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

I don’t think it’s a good thing for the Republic that one side of our two party system is promoting a circus full of clowns.

Gender Workshop: Justice Foreshortened is Justice Only in the Eyes of Jerkwads Edition

Online Gender Workshop, as ever, is brought to you by your friendly, neighborhood Crip Dyke.

Recently prolific news aggregator Lynna brought to my attention a legal case concerning someone guilty of sexual assault out of the Land of Silver that, shall we say, fails to glister overmuch. Unlike the attractive sparkle of a rich acanthite vein (which, it should be noted, was never found in Argentina: a premature naming by aspiring and greedy colonizers), this case burns with the unflickering monochromaticity of a neon sign reading, “ALL THE TRIGGER WARNINGS”.

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Brave Ron Lindsay

El_Tres_de_Mayo

Lindsay is immensely courageous. He is willing to have bad people executed, and he’s not afraid to say so! Everyone should go and give him a cookie because he is willing to be unorthodox and support the death penalty.

About ten days ago, I wrote an essay for Huffington Post on the death penalty, in particular, focusing on how some of those who oppose the death penalty support imprisonment in a supermax facility as a supposedly more humane alternative—a position I find logically dubious if not hypocritical. The recent decision of the Dzhohkar Tsarnaev jury to sentence him to death made me think about this issue again. It also made me think about how humanists all too often commit the cardinal intellectual sin of many of the religious. That is, they hold certain principles as beyond question. This is not a good thing.

All of you people who say the state shouldn’t kill people are just being dogmatic: it’s positively sinful that you don’t think through the issues and agree with Ron. The only way you could possibly be disagreeing is because you’re unwilling to question everything.

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So that’s where higher ed funding disappeared to…

For-profits

Big piles of cash have been getting sucked up into the for-profit college scam — con artists figured out ways to tap into federal student aid money by providing a crappy, cheap ‘education’ to poor but ambitious students. It’s been exploitation all around: there are lots of desperate academics willing to take any job, the economy has been poor and young people see education as a way out, and you just knew someone would see a way to bring those two together and make a buck off it.

It looks like the gravy train might be ending, though. Corinthian Colleges are in collapse.

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