Season of Silly continues: “Civility Institute” to open in AZ

Via the NYT:

The University of Arizona — whose Tucson campus President Obama used for his nationwide address on civility after the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords last month — will announce on Monday that it is establishing an institute to promote compromise among opposing political parties and views, the organization’s director said on Sunday.

The honorary chairmen of the foundation, to be called the National Institute for Civil Discourse, will be President Bill Clinton and President George H. W. Bush, said the director, Brint Milward, who also leads the university’s School of Government and Public Policy.

Dr. Milward said the institute would focus on political disagreements “from the grass roots all the way to the top.”

“In a great democracy, it’s important for people to hold fast to principles, but at the same time to understand where they might be able to compromise,” he said.

The idea for the institute, he said, grew out of the national conversation that began in January after the shootings in Tucson that killed six people and injured 13 others, including Ms. Giffords, a Democrat who represented the Tucson area in Congress. Politicians and pundits raised questions and criticisms about the nation’s political discourse, with many calling for calmer rhetoric while pointing out commentary they considered incendiary.

[…]

One portion of the speech was particularly inspiring for Fred DuVal, vice chairman of the Arizona Board of Regents, who came up with the idea for the institute while listening to the president’s address.

Mr. Obama, speaking of Christina-Taylor Green, 9, the youngest victim of the shooting, said he wanted an American democracy as “good as Christina imagined it.”

Mr. DuVal, who was a friend of Ms. Giffords’s and was a co-chairman of her finance committee, said he hoped the institute would be one way the nation could work toward such a goal. One of the first steps, he said, would be to attempt defining “best practices and corrosive practices.”

“How do we nurture robustness on one hand and not in any way chill speech, and keep it in bounds that are not destructive to democracy?” he said. “Will it change the nature of dialogue? That will be a tall order.”

Hmmm. I’m thinking that a much better, more fitting place to start such an institute would be, say, Wisconsin or … DC? Nah, that would make too much sense and put too much of the focus on from where the majority of hateful, “old tone” rhetoric comes: The left, starting with the high and mighty movers and shakers like left wing financier and hater of conservatives George Soros. Won’t happen, though, because it works out much better for the left to keep the myth alive that the attempted murder of Rep. Giffords was the result of “violent right wing rhetoric”, so naturally America needs a “civility institute” near the scene of the crime.

In much happier news, Giffords continues to make good progress in her recovery:

HOUSTON – U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords continues to show progress in her recovery at a Houston rehabilitation hospital.

KGUN9 reports that Tucson Rabbi Stephanie Aaron just returned from visiting the congresswoman in Texas and says Giffords chanted prayers with her and even sang the nine minute folk rock classic, Don McLean’s, “American Pie.”

“So Mark and his daughters were singing with her, singing “American Pie” and Gabby was singing with it,” Aaron said. “Honestly, she knew more of the words then they did and she was singing it, so it’s very wonderful.”

Aaron said they sang about three verses of the lengthy song.

Awesome.

Another example of the left’s “support” of free speech

I’ve documented several instances of liberal “tolerance” for opposing views in the past, in effect helping expose the lie that far lefties often tell about how they are the “real” defenders of free speech and open debate.

We have another example to add to the list today. US Rep. Tom Tancredo’s speech yesterday before a small group at UNC-CH was disrupted by shouts and acts of violence by a group of leftist juveniles masquerading as college students. The Raleigh N&O reported:

CHAPEL HILL – UNC-CH police released pepper spray and threatened to use a Taser on student protesters Tuesday evening when a crowd disrupted a speech by former Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo opposing in-state tuition benefits to unauthorized immigrants.

Hundreds of protesters converged on Bingham Hall, shouting profanities and accusations of racism while Tancredo and the student who introduced him tried to speak. Minutes into the speech, a protester pounded a window of the classroom until the glass shattered, prompting Tancredo to flee and campus police to shut down the event.

Tancredo was brought to campus by a UNC chapter of Youth for Western Civilization, a national organization of students who oppose mass immigration, multiculturalism and affirmative action.

University Chancellor Holden Thorp said in an e-mail message to students and faculty that he had called Tancredo today to apologize for his treatment.

Campus police are investigating the incident and will pursue criminal charges if warranted, Thorp said. The students involved also could face Honor Court proceedings if there is sufficient evidence, he said.

Before the event, campus security removed two women who delayed Tancredo’s speech by stretching a 12-foot banner across the front of the classroom. It read, “No dialogue with hate.”

Police escorted the women into the hallway, amid more than 30 protesters who clashed with the officers trying to keep them out of the overcrowded classroom. After police released pepper spray and threatened the crowd with a Taser, the protesters gathered outside Bingham Hall.

Police spokesman Randy Young said the pepper spray was “broadcast” to clear the hallway. He said officers’ use of force was under investigation by the department.

Inside the classroom, several student protesters screamed curses at Tancredo and Riley Matheson, president of the UNC-Chapel Hill chapter of Youth for Western Civilization.

“This is the free speech crowd, right?” Tancredo joked.

Only if it’s approved by the left wing speech patrol, apparently.

The article went on to note that a CH professor even got in on the act, but that others were calling for cooler heads to prevail:

UNC-CH geography professor Alpha Cravey joined protesters in chanting the names of Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus.

But campus visitors and some faculty members in the capacity crowd of 150 urged the students to let Tancredo speak.

“We are the children of immigrants, and this concerns us,” said junior Lizette Lopez, 22, vice president of the Carolina Hispanic Association. “So we would at least like to hear what he has to say if you want to hear what we have to say.”

The protesters relented, and Tancredo began to speak, describing failed state and federal legislation aimed at providing in-state tuition benefits for undocumented immigrants.

Two women stretched out another banner, first along one of the aisles and then right in front of Tancredo. Tancredo grabbed the middle of the banner and tried to pull it away from one of the girls. “You don’t want to hear what I have to say because you don’t agree with me,” he said.

The sound of breaking glass from behind a window shade interrupted the tug-of-war.

Tancredo was escorted from the room by campus police.

About 200 protesters reconvened outside the building. “We shut him down; no racists in our town,” they shouted. “Yes, racists, we will fight, we know where you sleep at night!”

Ah, such maturity. Such eloquence. Such tolerance.

Here’s a short video of what went down, courtesy of the student-produced Carolina Week. One woman, interviewed towards the end of the video, was the voice of sanity by suggesting that all voices needed to be heard. The Chancellor at UNC-CH issued a strong rebuke of those who effectively stopped Tancredo from finishing his speech.

It’s one thing to protest a visit by a madman from an Islamofascistic country. It’s another thing to use violence and shouting to keep a US Congressman from making a scheduled speech. So people disagree with Tancredo. So what? That’s what this country is all about.

Somebody should remind the so-called “defenders of free speech” about that sometime.

Related/Flashback:

If this story is true …

… then it’s probably one of the most, if not THE most, disgusting “art displays” I’ve ever heard of:

Art major Aliza Shvarts ’08 wants to make a statement.

Beginning next Tuesday, Shvarts will be displaying her senior art project, a documentation of a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself “as often as possible” while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages. Her exhibition will feature video recordings of these forced miscarriages as well as preserved collections of the blood from the process.

The goal in creating the art exhibition, Shvarts said, was to spark conversation and debate on the relationship between art and the human body. But her project has already provoked more than just debate, inciting, for instance, outcry at a forum for fellow senior art majors held last week. And when told about Shvarts’ project, students on both ends of the abortion debate have expressed shock — saying the project does everything from violate moral code to trivialize abortion.

But Shvarts insists her concept was not designed for “shock value.”

“I hope it inspires some sort of discourse” Shvarts said. “Sure, some people will be upset with the message and will not agree with it, but it’s not the intention of the piece to scandalize anyone.”

The “fabricators” or donors, of the sperm were not paid for their services, but Shvarts required them to periodically take tests for sexually transmitted diseases. She said she was not concerned about any medical effects the forced miscarriages may have had on her body. The abortifacient drugs she took were legal and herbal, she said, and she did not feel the need to consult a doctor about her repeated miscarriages.

Shvarts declined to specify the number of sperm donors she used, as well as the number of times she inseminated herself.

Yuval Levin is skeptical:

Color me dubious about the Yale art project story. In talking to a few knowledgeable docs this morning, the facts don’t add up very well. Self-insemination of the sort she seems to be claiming is no easy feat, and “herbal” abortifacients are extremely dangerous and not at all reliably effective. It’s highly unlikely that these two improbable elements would both be carried off successfully multiple times, and with no side effects. It’s more likely that her senior art project is to see how many people she can upset with a hoax.

I hope he’s right. I mean, I know far left feministas have advocated and in all too many cases done some very very disturbing, disgusting things, but this would take it to an all new low level of depravity. I really don’t want to believe that any woman out there would be so incredibly stupid.

Fri AM Update: My intrepid commenters are on the case, and have linked up to a NY Sun story where Yale officials stated yesterday that the story was a hoax. All the same, it’s disturbing that anyone would make up such a claim. I hope Aliza Shvarts isn’t a symbol of things to come from other young women in this country. If so, the jobs of anti-feminists like myself have just gotten a lot tougher.

Liberal “tolerance” in action

The Young America’s Foundation reports on a disturbing instance of liberal “tolerance” on a college campus involving conservative writer Star Parker:

Herndon, VA – Liberal administrators at the University of St. Thomas, a Catholic university and private college in Minnesota, censored the appearance of prominent pro-life and black speaker Star Parker. On April 21, 2008, Star—the best-selling author of numerous books—was slated to speak on campus about the devastating impact abortion has on minority communities. UST Vice President of Student Affairs Jane Canney nixed the idea entirely, citing “concerns” that the lecture was being underwritten by Young America’s Foundation.

Katie Kieffer, a 2005 alumna of St. Thomas and founder of the independent conservative newspaper on campus, the St. Thomas Standard, as well as the non-profit Conservative Student News Inc., was an organizer of the Star Parker lecture. She confronted Canney on her refusal to allow Star on campus. “Our Catholic university has hosted two decidedly liberal speakers in the past year, Al Franken and Debra Davis, an outspoken transgender woman” Kieffer wrote in the St. Thomas Standard.

Why, then, won’t St. Thomas welcome Star Parker—a pro-life, Christian speaker?

Jane Canney told Katie and her sister, Amie Kieffer, a senior at St. Thomas and editor of the St. Thomas Standard, “As long as I am a vice president at St. Thomas, the Young America’s Foundation will not be allowed on campus.” Canney didn’t return the Foundation’s phone calls seeking comment. The Student Life Committee, on which Jane Canney resides, denied the Students for Human Life and the St. Thomas Standard a room on campus for Star Parker’s lecture. The young conservatives only needed a room and advertising space to host Parker, as Young America’s Foundation and Conservative Student News Inc. were covering all other costs.

Canney’s hostility toward Young America’s Foundation originated when the Foundation sponsored Ann Coulter at St. Thomas two years ago—an event attracting more than 750 students. Canney claimed she felt “uncomfortable” and “disturbed” while listening to Coulter, adding that she will never allow another Foundation-sponsored speaker on campus again

Scott Johnson at Powerline recaps the Coulter event in question:

After Ann Coulter addressed a standing room only crowd that mobbed the university”s O’Shaughnessy Auditorium in 2005, the school’s president — Father Dennis Dease — condemned Coulter’s talk as “hateful speech.” Father Dease was nowhere to be seen when Coulter appeared at St. Thomas, and couldn’t be troubled to specify how Coulter’s speech exceeded the bounds of civility at St. Thomas.

Father Dease expressed displeasure with Coulter’s “vitriolic criticism of ‘liberals'” and the allegedly “disrespectful and mean-spirited manner” with which she responded to “audience members who challenged her viewpoints.” One such challenge came from a member of the audience who had taken the microphone to tell Coulter “**** you” and salute her with the middle finger of both hands. Father Dease of course missed that, because he had missed the whole event. We covered the ensuing controversy in several posts including “Exceeding the bounds at UST,” “Hateful speech revisited,” “Drawing lines,” and “In which St. Thomas keeps digging.”

Now, I know that Coulter can be inflammatory, but instead of painting Parker with a broad brush by assuming she’s no different than AC, the powers that be should have judged her on the content of her character and what she’s written. Hmmm. Come to think of it, even if they had, the end result still would have been the same, considering how the far left typically treats opposing viewpoints on campus.

The school’s VP of Student Affairs reminds me of what David Horowitz wrote in his 2007 book Indoctrination U: The Left’s War Against Academic Freedom (emphasis added):

“By the time I began speaking on campuses at the end of the Eighties, the academic community had become a zone of agitation in a way that would have been unthinkable to earlier generations … Causes like ‘social justice’ were even inscribed in the mission statements of entire departments. More often than not the campus leaders of these political causes were members of the faculty. In parallel with these developments, there was a visibly diminishing presence of conservatives on faculties, as older generations retired and conservative replacements were not hired.

These new attitudes translated into an institutional hostility to conservative speakers visiting campus. As one of them, I rarely arrived at a school without being identified in advance as a ‘controversial’ figure, which meant that I constituted a threat to the prejudices faculty had designated ‘politically correct.’ When I addressed three hundred students at the University of Chicago in 2006, for example, the school’s Student Activities Coordinator, who was present, never introduced me. Instead, she stepped to the microphone before I spoke to inform students that a ‘safe room’ was available for anyone who might need it – in other words, relief was at hand for anyone traumatized by what I might have to say.”

Interestingly enough, as the YAF article points out, Canney appears to be in violation of both the college’s speaker policy and Mission, Vision and Convictions Statement:

Jane Canney is violating the school’s speaker policy to boot. The policy states that decisions to invite speakers are governed by “fairness and equity toward various conflicting views and interests, being mindful of the needs for wider information on the part of students and the larger community…Another factor governing speakers on campus is our concern that a wide variety of issues and viewpoints be given expression.”

She’s also violating her school’s expressed convictions, including “intellectual inquiry” “faith and reason” “the pursuit of truth” “diversity” and “meaningful dialogue.”

Looks like the liberal myth about being “accepting” of alternative points of view has been turned on its ugly head – again.

Selling votes – for iPods and college tuition

Take a look at some of the things for which college students at NYU would sell their vote:

Two-thirds say they’ll do it for a year’s tuition. And for a few, even an iPod touch will do.

That’s what NYU students said they’d take in exchange for their right to vote in the next presidential election, a recent survey by an NYU journalism class found.

Only 20 percent said they’d exchange their vote for an iPod touch.

But 66 percent said they’d forfeit their vote for a free ride to NYU. And half said they’d give up the right to vote forever for $1 million.

As pathetic as that is, the answer to the question of whether or not every vote counted was, thankfully, “yes”:

Also, 70.5 percent said they believe that one vote can make a difference — including 70 percent of the students who said they’d give up their vote for free tuition.

Betsy Newmark makes an imporant point about how “selling votes” is not exactly a new concept:

And for people tut-tutting over those who would be willing to sell their votes for an iPod Touch, college tuition or a million dollars, I’d ask how many have sold their votes for promises about Social Security or universal health care?

[…]

Does selling your vote for college tuition or a million dollars make less sense than selling your vote for your promised largess from the federal government? I don’t think so.

Good point. Politicians (especially Democrat politicians like Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama) “buy” votes all the time with promises of “free” this and “free” that. So it’s not exactly surprising to find that some people are willing to sell – and in some cases – give up their right to – their vote, in exchange for something “free” or in exchange for … money.

What struck me about this survey is what it indicates about a certain segment of our society today – specifically, the “me” generation.” What we are seeing here are the politics of narcissism in full effect: the majority of those surveyed believe their vote counts and could make a difference … but that they’d give up that right to vote if that meant they could go to college for “free,” or if they were given a million dollars without doing anything to earn it.

This is what happens when our society abandons teaching the virtues of personal responsibilty, gives up on expecting the best out of young people, and starts encouraging them to take the easy way out, and to feel like they are “owed” or “entitled” to something they didn’t work to earn. Ironically, some of the same people who teach their sons and daughters this type of selfish behavior are the same people who would chastize others for supposedly “not doing more to help the poor, disadvantaged, etc.” And some of the same people who practice this behavior would be the first to wag their fingers at you for not living up to their standards of selflessness – the standards that they don’t hold themselves up to.

Flashback:

Another fake “hate” incident at GWU

There must be something in the water at GWU. A few weeks ago, several GWU students admitted to putting up fake “hate Muslim” posters around the university in response to Islamofascism Awareness Week. Robert Stacy McCain reports on another hoax a student has admitted to perpetrating on herself (h/t: BCB):

A student at George Washington University has admitted drawing swastikas on her own door, university officials say:

After evaluating evidence from a hidden camera positioned in response to the swastika postings in Mitchell Hall, University Police have linked the student who filed the complaints to several of the incidents.

Following a final interview with investigators today, the student admitted responsibility for those incidents.

The student in question is an 18-year-old freshman. The GW Hatchet reports:

Using footage from a hidden video camera, the University Police Department linked freshman Sarah Marshak with the vandalism. She will now appear before Student Judicial Services and could face federal and District charges, a spokesperson announced Monday afternoon.

In an interview with The Hatchet Monday afternoon, Marshak, who had been a reporter for this newspaper, categorically denied drawing the swastikas on her residence hall door.

Marshak saw six swastikas on her residence hall door, where she lived alone.

What causes people to engage in “hate crime” hoaxes? McCain speculates:

Self-inflicted fake hate crimes are an increasingly common phenomena, especially on college campuses. Why? Perhaps because students are told that “hate” is ubiquitous, and that being a victim of oppression is akin to sainthood.

It’s the “American Idol” syndrome: Everybody wants their 15 minutes of fame, and faking a hate crime against yourself is a quick shortcut to the limelight.

Not only that, but it’s also a a devious way for some of the most intolerant people in this country to try and “prove” the alleged “hate” that supposedly lurks inside people with whom they disagree. But as I’ve said here before, if real “hate crimes” were as widespread as the usual suspects claim they are, then it wouldn’t be necessary to make them up.

JammieWearingFool questions why we haven’t heard more on the Columbia noose incident, and wonders if it was because it, too, might have been a fake “hate crime.”

Stay tuned …

Taking indoctrination to a whole new level

To say what’s happening at the University of Delaware is shocking is an understatement. I mean, we all know that the majority of college faculties across the country are liberal, and as a result liberal indoctrination through “education” ensues, but, as Jason Steck explains, the program at the University of Delaware goes much further than that:

The details of the program at the University of Delaware are positively Orwellian. Students living in residence halls are required to attend a lengthy list of seminars explicitly intended as “treatment” for attitudes that are presumed to be politically deficient. Their progress through these seminars and their compliance with the list of mandatory ideologies is monitored and reported up a hierarchical chain with written reports. Students that fail to express their enthusiastic support for the required thoughts can receive negative reports and, given the mandatory nature of the program, may be subject to academic or other sanctions.

John Leo at Minding the Campus writes:

The indoctrination program pushes students to accept the university’s ideas on politics, race, sex, sociology, moral philosophy and environmentalism. The training is run by Kathleen Kerr, director of residential life, who reportedly considers it a “cutting-edge” program that can be exported to other universities around the country. Residential assistants usually provide services to residents and have light duties, such as settling squabbles among students. Kerr and her program are more ambitious. She has been quoted as saying that the job of RAs is to educate the whole human being with a “curricular approach to residential education.” In this curricular approach, students are required to report their thoughts and opinions. One professor says: “You have to confess what you believe to the RA.” The RAs write reports to their superiors on student progress in cooperating with the “treatment.”

Here’s an example of some of the UDel’s “required thoughts”:

“A RACIST: A racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality. By this definition, people of color cannot be racists, because as peoples within the U.S. system, they do not have the power to back up their prejudices, hostilities, or acts of discrimination. (This does not deny the existence of such prejudices, hostilities, acts of rage or discrimination.)” – Page 3

—–

“REVERSE RACISM: A term created and used by white people to deny their white privilege. Those in denial use the term reverse racism to refer to hostile behavior by people of color toward whites, and to affirmative action policies, which allegedly give ‘preferential treatment’ to people of color over whites. In the U.S., there is no such thing as ‘reverse racism.'” – Page 3

—–

“A NON-RACIST: A non-term. The term was created by whites to deny responsibility for systemic racism, to maintain an aura of innocence in the face of racial oppression, and to shift responsibility for that oppression from whites to people of color (called “blaming the victim”). Responsibility for perpetuating and legitimizing a racist system rests both on those who actively maintain it, and on those who refuse to challenge it. Silence is consent.” – Page 3

Read more here. The PDF document FIRE has obtained detailing UDel’s “residence life education program” can be perused here.

Put another nail in the coffin on the liberal lie about supporting “free thought.”

Islamofascism Awareness Week – Day 2

Robert Stacy McCain is all over it, as is Gateway Pundit.

On the opposite end of things, Josh Marshall apparently doesn’t take Islamofascism seriously (surprise).

Here’s a helpful flashback (and another here) of why you should take it seriously, Josh, as you seem sorely in need of a few reminders.

Prior:

Islamofascism Awareness Week starts

For all the latest on the conservative groups at colleges across the country who are holding Islamofascism Awareness Week, and the nutty leftists who are protesting them, Gateway Pundit has tons of links and pix. Just keep scrolling.

Radio Equalizer blogs about more nonsense campus lefties are up to in response to IAW.

Jimmie at The Sundries Shack has links on IAW as well, and talks a bit more about the Islamofascist-loving far left’s antics.

And as a reminder for the super-sensitive panderers to Dhimmitude on the left, Chris Hitchens explains – and defends – the term “Islamofascism” here (h/t: Instapundit). Bravo. Another great piece on the meaning of Islamofascism, which I’ve linked to before, can be found here.

One more reminder for Islamofascist-apologists: This is what you are defending (content warning: very graphic images).

Prior:

Racial hoax on the Columbia U. campus?

Via AP:

NEW YORK (AP) — Columbia University has refused to turn over security videotape that could help identify who hung a noose on a black professor’s office door, police said Thursday.

Investigators began asking on Wednesday for tapes from cameras in the building, but have been rebuffed by administrators, said Paul Browne, the New York Police Department’s top spokesman.

He said police will have to get a court order to force the school to provide video they believe could crack the case.

“It’s unfortunate because it adds a time-consuming step to the investigation,” Browne said.

A Columbia spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.

Authorities were testing the 4-foot-long twine noose for DNA evidence, but had no suspects as of Thursday morning.

On Wednesday, the professor who was the target of the attack, Madonna Constantine, told hundreds of faculty and students at a rally on the Ivy League campus that the incident was a “blatant act of racism” that “reeks of cowardice and fear.”

“I’m upset that our community has been exposed to such an unbelievably vile incident,” she said.

Police believe the noose was placed on the doorknob of Constantine’s office at Teachers College — Columbia’s graduate school of education — Tuesday morning, when a colleague spotted it and notified authorities.

It’s odd how Columbia won’t turn over the video. Jonah Goldberg speculates:

I wonder why that is? Perhaps it’s yet another racial hoax on campus? Or perhaps the perpetrator is another professor? It sounds more like the latter according to the reported victim:

[…]

Either way, I bet if the perpetrator were the head of the college Republicans, the tape would be on YouTube by now.

Yep.

Gateway Pundit has more.