Graduation

I was at Tim’s graduation last night, and happened to be looking through the PhD theses in the brosure, and some of the sociology and english titles reminded me of this quote

You know, if every “Woman’s Studies” department was closed, and the student loans were used to create businesses that hired women instead of studied them like tragic butterflies impaled on the patriarchal pin, we might be better off. Granted, we’d be without PhDs theses like “Rape Symbolism and Beatrix Potter: A Rake’s Progress,” but the culture would survive; the only noticeable effect at all would be a 17% decrease in Frieda Kahlo poster sales, and a 50% decrease in 33-year old college students.

Marxism

Interesting article on Marxism at the Economist.

Here is the conclusion:

Anti-globalism has been aptly described as a secular religion. So is Marxism: a creed complete with prophet, sacred texts and the promise of a heaven shrouded in mystery. Marx was not a scientist, as he claimed. He founded a faith. The economic and political systems he inspired are dead or dying. But his religion is a broad church, and lives on.

A pacifist speaks his mind.

On October 8, Air Force Academy cadet Robert Kurpiel sent an e-mail to several college professors seeking support for the academy’s annual assembly, which provides a forum for the exchange of political views. His polite request sought advice on publicity for the event and such. One who responded was Professor Peter Kirstein of St. Xavier University in Chicago. Here is his October 31 reply in full and verbatim:

You are a disgrace to this country and I am furious you would even think I would support you and your aggressive baby killing tactics of collateral damage. Help you recruit. Who, top guns to reign [sic] death and destruction upon nonwhite peoples throughout the world? Are you serious sir? Resign your commission and serve your country with honour.

No war, no air force cowards who bomb countries with AAA, without possibility of retaliation. You are worse than the snipers. You are imperialists who are turning the whole damn world against us. September 11 can be blamed in part for what you and your cohorts have done to Palestinians, the VC, the Serbs, a retreating army at Basra.

You are unworthy of my support.

After the national media covered this story, and Dr Kirstein was temporarily removed from his position for his remarks, he gave the following (non)apology:

I have expressed to Cadet Kurpiel my regrets over what I communicated to him in my e-mail. I did not mean to impugn his character. I am sure he is of the highest character. I should have written him in a more thoughtful and contemplative manner. As one who believes in non-violence and the avoidance of conflict, I could have been more circumspect and creative in my communication with him..”

I don’t think I need to add much commentary here, except I can say from some of my experience at Texas A&M that Dr Kirstein is no exception and this this is the ugly underbelly of today’s academia out in the open.

Trent Lott

Here is a quote from MSNBC news:

<font face="Times" Lott appeared on Black Entertainment Television on Monday night to call his gaffe "an opportunity for redemption."
He added, “I am going to have to make changes, make amends and do something about it.” Specifically, he pledged his support for affirmative action programs and for creation of a “task force on reconciliation.”
“There’s an opportunity here,” Lott said. “This is a wake-up call.”
When pressed by moderator Ed Gordon, Lott spoke candidly about his Thurmond comment. “It was insensitive, at the very least,” he said. He also said if he had to vote today he would vote for the federal holiday in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., which he voted against in 1983.”

Note a few things:
Lott doesn’t ever acknowledge that his comment was in fact racist — so what is he apologizing for exactly? He doesn’t say. Instead of admitting his own guilt, he wants a “task force” — as if his racist remarks should be dealt as a social problem, not a racist attitude on his part. (If he’s not racist, he hasn’t explained what he “really” meant by his remarks.)
As a response to his own racism, he decides to force it on others – by affirmative action. So what “convinced” him to support affirmative action and a national holiday for MLK? No answer. So does it then make any logical sense to change one’s political views in response to your actual political views being revealed? Of course not. It only makes sense to a politician who tells the public whatever he believes they want to hear, without bothering to define any principles or ideals to base his position on.