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Archive for April 1st, 2009

Political Litmus Test: Virginia Tech mandates “diversity-related accomplishments” for tenure and faculty performance reports. FIRE launches massive PR offensive.

Posted by iusbvision on April 1, 2009

Diversity and multiculturalism, we get buried in it at universities these days, yet in spite of that, college faculty as a group, remains among the most intolerant of any I have encountered. The anti-semitism, hostility to traditional Americana, capitalism and intellectual diversity are such huge problems at universities these days that I am authoring a book on the subject.

For those of you who are not on campus and aren’t familiar with “diversity and multiculturalism”, in short it is a focus on our differences, the devaluation of and a propagandized attack against Western Civilization, an attack on capitalism, the tribalization of many foreign cultures, and the preaching of cultural and political Marxism. The far left will not describe it that way, but after years of exposure to it the goals become crystal clear.

It is no secret that there are ideological litmus tests used in the tenure process. There are respected studies that demonstrate this. One of the more famous cases is the example of Dr. Mike Adams at UNC, who was the teacher of the year and the darling of his department, until he converted to Christianity and announced that he was going to vote Republican and all of the sudden he was not fit to keep his position. We have many cases of similar illegal and unfair intolerance in our category:

https://iusbvision.wordpress.com/category/campus-freedom-indoctrination-censorship/

Our friends at FIRE have countless examples if this behavior. What makes this story so unusual is that instead of the laughable denials that are so often given by administrators and faculty of such illegal and discriminatory practices, Virginia Tech has written their illegal political/cultural litmus test right into their official policy! In a way I have a strange respect for Virginia Tech for putting this in writing instead of continuing to have this as the unwritten rule that is so often the case at too many universities.

Without further delay, here are the goods straight from FIRE:

Here are some more documents that show the requirements to be ingrained at Virginia Tech, not just aspirational. At the very least, these are far from viewpoint-neutral bases for faculty assessment:

http://www.provost.vt.edu/documents/instructor_timeline_process_format.pdf — dossier section X.D.: “Contributions to diversity initiatives.”

http://www.provost.vt.edu/documents/pt_guidelines_07-08.pdf — VII.C.: “Contributions to diversity.”

http://www.provost.vt.edu/documents/Dossier_Guidelines.pdf — even nominations for appointments to the rank of Distinguished Professor are, in section VII, to “Highlight contributions to diversity.”

http://www.minutes.governance.vt.edu/uc0506/CEOD-Resolution-2005-06A.pdf — a resolution “that diversity-related accomplishments be reported as part of the annual faculty activity reports (FAR) beginning with the next annual evaluation cycle which ends spring 2007; and [t]hat during fall 2006, colleges and vice presidential areas develop formats for the FAR that embed diversity accomplishments and goals as appropriate for the university’s mission; and [t]hat personnel committees and department heads give consistent attention to these activities in the evaluation process and provide appropriate feedback to faculty members concerning their diversity contributions and goals…”

Bauerlein is absolutely right: “What else would a junior faculty [member] think when looking at those guidelines but, “Hey, I better get a couple of diversity activities on my CV this year”?

Here is More:

NAS reports today, a May 29, 2008 memorandumto Virginia Tech’s department heads basically demands “diversity accomplishments”:

Diversity accomplishments: Diversity accomplishments are a meaningful part of the faculty review process. Candidates must do a better job of participating in and documenting their involvement in diversity initiatives. Diversity accomplishments are especially important for candidates seeking promotion to full professor.Please use the categories developed by the Commission on Equal Opportunity and Diversity to prompt and organize diversity-related contributions. The categories may be found at section VII. C. 1. – 8. of the promotion and tenure guidelines. They are also available at http://www.provost.vt.edu/documents/reporting_diversity.php. Committees are asked to develop working expectations for department members, perhaps sharing good examples, and to review diversity contributions included in the dossier with those expectations in mind. (Emphasis added.)

When questioned about this, Provost McNamee issued the standard non-denial denial that is par for the course out of college administrators and he says that none of these guidelines are a requirement.

After looking at the published guidelines FIRE says, just as we at IUSB Vision say, it seems like a requirement to us. Which is it, Provost McNamee? This writer has long ago ceased to be amazed when a college administrator issues a denial in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Let us digress for a moment and bring you the letter that FIRE’s Adam Kissel sent to Virginia Tech. This letter is a MUST read for anyone interested in academics. It is highly educational and we cannot help but comment on the letter’s sheer entertainment value as a legal nasty-gram in which Adam has shown unswerving ability at penning.

We encourage you to read the entire letter. Here are our favorite parts (excerpted):

If Virginia Tech truly believes in tolerance (leaving aside issues of academic freedom) it simply cannot require professors to incorporate a political orthodoxy into their courses, no matter how much the university may believe in the tenets of that orthodoxy and wish others to embrace those tenets. Presumably, faculty are employed by Virginia Tech for the purpose of “discovery and dissemination of new knowledge” (quoting Virginia Tech’s “Statement of Mission and Purpose”), not to demonstrate fealty to an abstract and ill-defined participatory ideal. Their prospects for promotion and tenure should be evaluated accordingly.

As a public institution, Virginia Tech is legally and morally bound by the First Amendment and the decisions of the Supreme Court concerning academic freedom at public colleges and universities. In Keyishian v. Board of Regents, 385 U.S. 589, 603 (1967) the Supreme Court noted that “[o]ur Nation is deeply committed to safeguarding academic freedom, which is of transcendent value to all of us and not merely to the teachers concerned.” This being the case, the Court further explained that the First Amendment “does not tolerate laws that cast a pall of orthodoxy over the classroom . . . [which] is peculiarly the ‘marketplace of ideas.'” In the landmark case of West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 642 (1943) the Court made clear the importance of freedom of conscience in our liberal democracy: “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.” The Court concluded that “the purpose of the First Amendment to our Constitution” was precisely to protect “from all official control” the domain that was “the sphere of intellect and spirit.”

Your policy, in short, requires professors to affirm that their classes incorporate assumptions about bias, race, gender, other group identities, and cultural differences. This is no different from requiring that instructors demonstrate their belief in Americanism, empiricism, biological determinism, or creationism. These may be perfectly valid intellectual viewpoints, but viewpoints may not be imposed at a public institution (and should not be imposed by any institution devoted to academic freedom) by fiat through official requirements.

It is a human failing common to us all that we rarely see our own abuses of power, and no one, right, left, or center, is innocent of that failing. Once these abuses are called to consciousness, however, it becomes a moral imperative to restrain ourselves and to grant to others the academic freedom that we would demand for ourselves. The sad days of “loyalty oaths” to political ideologies have already once darkened the academy. Let us not revive them ourselves or tolerate their resurrection by others.

We ask that Virginia Tech’s existing and proposed evaluative criteria for promotion and tenure candidates be revised to accord with the First Amendment and common sense.

FIRE hopes to resolve this situation amicably and swiftly; we are, however, prepared to use all of our resources to see this situation through to a just conclusion. We request a response by April 15, 2009.

Sincerely,

Adam Kissel

The National Association of Scholars issued this statement:

NAS has published an expose article on how Virginia Tech has imposed a political test on candidates for promotion and tenure. Specifically, Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences is making active support and advancement of “diversity”a requirement for faculty to keep their positions and for promotion.

This is a highly unusual step-one that flouts academic freedom. “Diversity” is not a category of academic accomplishment equivalent to high-quality teaching or success in scholarly research and publishing. “Diversity” is an ideology. The term summarizes a set of objectives popular on one part of the political spectrum. Virginia Tech, which is a public university, has no business turning a partisan political credo into a test that must be passed for faculty members to win tenure or to advance in rank.

To read Peter Wood’s article (“Free to Agree”) on the Virginia Tech policy, click here.

Adam Kissel authored another article on FIRE’s blog which brings even more clarity to FIRE’s position in this matter.

Suppose the provost at your college started a new “patriotism” initiative. In the first year, he would permit faculty members to self-report their “patriotism accomplishments.” In the second year, faculty members would be strongly encouraged to report their “patriotism accomplishments” on their annual reports of their activities. In the third year, faculty members would be told that “patriotism accomplishments are especially important for faculty seeking tenure and promotion,” and dossiers for tenure and promotion would include a multi-part section on “patriotism.” There would be a list of kinds of activities that would count as sufficiently “patriotic.” Faculty assessment in the area of “patriotism” would include attention to patriotism in one’s publications and one’s syllabus, and faculty members would be encouraged to further educate themselves about “patriotism” by going to patriotic events.

Or put the word “Christianity” in place of “patriotism.” Suppose the provost tells all faculty, graduate students, and tenure and review committees that Christian activities are something they can choose to report in their self-assessments. After three years, there is a “Christian accomplishments” section in the tenure dossier, a list of approved activities, and strong pressure to incorporate Christian themes into faculty members’ research, teaching, and professional development.

Checkmate!

Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Culture War | Leave a Comment »

Bloomberg: Government has spent 12.8 Trillion buying up/shoring up banks. Still no mortgage help.

Posted by iusbvision on April 1, 2009

As we reported earlier, when it was at 9.7 Trillion that was enough to pay off 90% of all mortgages in the United States – LINK. Instead of fixing toxic assets, mortgages and housing the government decided to turn around and use out money to buy up and get control of the banks – LINK. Now it is 12.8 trillion which is more than enough to buy up all of the toxic assets and essentially fix most of the problem, but none of that has been done. We are being scammed.

Bloomberg News now reports 12.8 trillion.

March 31 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have spent, lent or committed $12.8 trillion, an amount that approaches the value of everything produced in the country last year, to stem the longest recession since the 1930s.

New pledges from the Fed, the Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. include $1 trillion for the Public-Private Investment Program, designed to help investors buy distressed loans and other assets from U.S. banks. The money works out to $42,105 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. and 14 times the $899.8 billion of currency in circulation. The nation’s gross domestic product was $14.2 trillion in 2008.

Posted in Chuck Norton, Economics 101, Government Gone Wild, Mortgage Crisis, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | 3 Comments »

Stimulus working great: 742,000 Americans lose their jobs in March.

Posted by iusbvision on April 1, 2009

Al-Reuters:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Job losses in the U.S. private sector accelerated in March, more than economists’ expectations, according to a report by ADP Employer Services on Wednesday.

Private employers cut jobs by a record 742,000 in March versus a 706,000 revised cut in February that was originally reported at 697,000 jobs, said ADP, which has been carrying out the survey since 2001.

The big drop foreshadows a huge decline in the non-farm payroll reading in the government’s employment report that will be released on Friday, some analysts said.

“It’s a terrible number. It is almost a loss of three quarters of a million jobs which is possibly the highest we have seen so far over the length of this crisis,” said Matt Esteve, foreign exchange trader with Tempus Consulting in Washington.

Jay Leno all over Obama –

Posted in Chuck Norton, Economics 101, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »

Byron York: Congress floats a bill to control your salary. – Is government big enough yet?

Posted by iusbvision on April 1, 2009

Byron York in the DC Examiner:

But now, in a little-noticed move, the House Financial Services Committee, led by chairman Barney Frank, has approved a measure that would, in some key ways, go beyond the most draconian features of the original AIG bill. The new legislation, the “Pay for Performance Act of 2009,” would impose government controls on the pay of all employees — not just top executives — of companies that have received a capital investment from the U.S. government. It would, like the tax measure, be retroactive, changing the terms of compensation agreements already in place. And it would give Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner extraordinary power to determine the pay of thousands of employees of American companies.

Posted in Chuck Norton, Government Gone Wild, Mortgage Crisis, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »

Jason Mattera shows just how marxist and quite frankly stupid the far left is, by just letting them speak.

Posted by iusbvision on April 1, 2009

Petition to abolish greed, abolition of private property and make the Communist Manifesto the new constitution and these leftist college students at a protest are eating it up, they love it. Kids do not leave high school like this.

Special thanks to Michelle Malkin for posting these videos.

Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Economics 101, Leftist Hate in Action | Leave a Comment »

Julie Limbaugh on her own intolerance & the intolerance of the left.

Posted by iusbvision on April 1, 2009

Julie Limbaugh has a piece at Salon.com. She is the lefty Limbaugh who admits that she doesn’t really listen to his show and hates Ann Coulter although while admitting that she has never read her books and hasn’t listened to her either. Julie also complains about the intolerance of the left and how she had to avoid leftist professors in fear of having them tank her grade just because of her last name.

Our friend RW Sparkle has a nice analysis piece that pretty much says what we were planning to say about the piece. So here is en excerpt of what Sparkle (who is a hugely popular and influential blogger) had to say; be sure to visit her site and see the rest:

Julie Limbaugh, Rush’s cousin has a piece at Salon.

It’s a well written piece where she whines about how she is treated as a “Limbaugh” by those oh so tolerant liberals who don’t even realize that she actually doesn’t’ agree with Rush (she wants to make that very very clear). How is she treated? Rudely, of course.

In her piece she accidentally reveals two things. One is that Rush is really the nice generous person those of us who do like him hope that he is.

Second, that she is a typical liberal. She hates Ann Coulter although she has never read any of her books or listened to anything she has to say. She bases it all on the media’s perception of Ann. At least Julie admits that and realizes this:

“And suddenly I realize that I have become the person I can’t stand.”

I am assuming the “person she can’t stand” is one who judges people before she knows them. One who is so closed minded that she cannot bring herself to actually listen to her cousin Rush on the radio, and maybe open her mind to the possibility that he might have some great ideas (but of course she listens to Jon Stewart).

Julie is a good writer and she realizes some of her flaws, but not all.

Posted in Chuck Norton, Leftist Hate in Action, Limbaugh | 1 Comment »

Bush deficits vs Obama’s – The Ship Is Sinking So Lets Add Water!

Posted by iusbvision on April 1, 2009

SOURCE: CBO, White House Office of Management and Budget | The Washington Post – March 21, 2009

Mona Charen, who is one of the finest thinkers alive, has the best column explaining this:

Let’s imagine that President Obama decides to go help out in Fargo, N.D., where they are experiencing floods. Mr. Obama enters the home of a flooded family. The water is already six inches high in the living room. The president produces a fire hose and begins to douse the room with even more water. “What are you doing?” cry the anguished homeowners. The president fixes them with one of his impatient looks, and explains “May I remind you that I inherited this flood?” 
 
President Obama has reminded us countless times that he inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit. Even if he were about to propose the most responsible, prudent, visionary budget imaginable, that complaint would still be petulant and unseemly. But considering what Obama’s own spending will do to the deficit, it’s jaw-droppingly galling. He now proposes to increase that deficit to $7 trillion in ten years. And that $7 trillion is probably a low estimate (the Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will be $2.3 trillion higher). When the new spending for programs like Pell grants, education for handicapped children, and so forth comes up for renewal in a few years, Congress is not going to let it lapse. So, to review, it was terrible for President Bush and the Democratic Congress (the president neglects to mention the latter) to saddle him with all this debt. His answer is to triple it. That’s showing ’em!

UPDATE – The WSJ has an update on the Republican budget alternative”

gop-budget-alternativeHouse Republicans will offer an alternative plan. This too is no ordinary budget. As the opposition party, we believe this moment must be met by offering the American people a different way forward — one based on our belief that America is an exceptional nation, and we want to keep it that way. Our budget applies our country’s enduring first principles to the problems of our day. Rather than attempting to equalize the results of peoples’ lives and micromanaging their affairs, we seek to preserve our system of protecting our natural rights and equalizing opportunity for all. The plan works to accomplish four main goals: 1) fulfill the mission of health and retirement security; 2) control our nation’s debts; 3) put the economy on a path of growth and leadership in the global economy; and 4) preserve the American legacy of leaving the next generation better off.

Under the president’s plan, spending will top $4 trillion this year alone, and consume 28.5% of our nation’s economy. His plan would mean a $1 trillion increase to the already unsustainable spending growth of our nation’s entitlement programs — including a “down payment” toward government-controlled health care and education; a $1.5 trillion tax increase to further shackle the small businesses and investors we rely on to create jobs; a massive increase in energy costs for families via cap and trade. Moreover, the Obama plan would result in an exploding deficit, a doubling of the nation’s debt in five years, and an increase of that debt to more than 82% of our nation’s GDP by the last year of the budget. This approach will ultimately debase our currency and reduce the living standards of the American people.

Posted in 2012, Campaign 2008, Chuck Norton, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »

Senator Stevens walks, prosecutor misconduct. We predicted it months ago. – UPDATED!

Posted by iusbvision on April 1, 2009

We predicted this would happen on December 26 – LINK.

Prosecutors and attorney generals are politicians just like anyone else and if ruining someone gets you a chance to advance there is every incentive to do it. To get that conviction prosecutors and police and even the FBI are pressured, or in some cases all to willing to break the law in order to get that conviction, whether the accused is actually guilty or not.

As we told you on January 28 (LINK) one of the FBI agents in the case had a sexual relationship with a chief witness and they leaked to him secret grand jury testimony of other witnesses in order to “help” his testimony against Senator Stevens. The prosecutors were aware of it and decided that the judge and the defense didn’t need to know it.

As we reported Feb. 19 (LINK) the judge cited prosecutors in contempt of court for repeatedly violating the judges orders and the Justice Department finally removed the prosecutors from the case.

March 24 (LINK) we reported to you another case study in prosecutor misconduct from the Heritage Foundation.

Today’s news from Al-Reuters:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday moved to dismiss charges against former Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens amid accusations of prosecutorial misconduct, according to a motion filed in federal court.

Stevens, a Republican who served longer than any other U.S. senator before losing a November re-election race, was convicted in October of seven counts of lying on a Senate disclosure form to conceal $250,000 in gifts and home renovations from an oil industry executive and other friends.

Allegations of prosecutorial misconduct have delayed his sentencing.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder reviewed the case himself and decided not to continue to defend the conviction in the face of questions about prosecutors” actions, National Public Radio reported on its website.

As our society continues to decline, lose its morals, history, and traditions the result is more and more lawlessness even from those most entrusted with it.

UPDATE – Ed Morrissey at Hotair.com comments HERE.

UPDATE IIA former US Attorney in Alaska has been trying to get the press to report the prosecutorial misconduct more, but he says that just would not listen (LINK):

Wev Shea, another former U.S. attorney for Alaska, said Wednesday he’s been trying for months to call attention to what he calls the corrupt prosecution of Stevens, but only got a forum for his views on the Alaska Dispatch blog and the Mike Porcaro radio show.

“I think the media coverage was totally disgraceful,” Shea said. “I am outraged and I am really frustrated.”

He said the Stevens case involves “the worst prosecutorial misconduct I’ve ever seen.” He said the FBI agents and prosecutors who did wrong should be fired, “and a close look should be made at prosecuting them.”

Posted in Chuck Norton, Government Gone Wild, Palin Truth Squad | Leave a Comment »