The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Archive for January 29th, 2010

Yale Bans F. Scott Fitzgerald Quotes

Posted by iusbvision on January 29, 2010

Our friends at FIRE once again have to fight the most idiotic examples of censorship, which usually come from academics and college adfministrators. Adem Kissel sends the first shot across Yale’s bow:

President Richard C. Levin
Yale University
President’s Office
P.O. Box 208229
New Haven, Connecticut 06520

Sent via U.S. Mail and Facsimile (203-432-7105)

Dear President Levin:

     “You’ll hate school for a while, too, but I’m glad you’re going to St. Regis’s.”

     “Why?”

     “Because it’s a gentleman’s school, and democracy won’t hit you so early. You’ll find plenty of that in college.”

     “I want to go to Princeton,” said Amory. “I don’t know why, but I think of all Harvard men as sissies, like I used to be, and all Yale men as wearing big blue sweaters and smoking pipes.”

     Monsignor chuckled.

     “I’m one, you know.”

     “Oh, you’re different—I think of Princeton as being lazy and good-looking and aristocratic—you know, like a spring day. Harvard seems sort of indoors—”

     “And Yale is November, crisp and energetic,” finished Monsignor.

     “That’s it.”

     They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.

—F. Scott Fitzgerald, Princeton X ’17, This Side of Paradise

It is not a happy day when a Yale College dean with degrees from Yale and Princeton, an historian of art, declares that T-shirts quoting Fitzgerald are “not acceptable.” “What purports to be humor by targeting a group through slurs is not acceptable,” Dean Mary Miller wrote to the Yale Daily News, explaining her decision to “pull” the Freshman Class Council’s democratically chosen design targeting Harvard students as “sissies.”

No, not acceptable, not at Yale, the institution that issued the Woodward Report as official policy under President Brewster. This inspiring document argues that free speech “is a barrier to the tyranny of authoritarian or even majority opinion as to the rightness or wrongness of particular doctrines or thoughts” and argues for “the right to think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable.” Yet, Dean Miller apparently knew what had to be done. She did not even see a need to consult the senior academics, diplomats, or national security experts who had so carefully assessed Jytte Klausen’s book.

Does it help the university’s case that the Freshman Class Council independently, afterward, decided to pull the design? It helps the students’ case; they listened to Dean Miller but made up their own minds, if we believe them. It does not, however, help Dean Miller’s case. Or did the Yale Daily News report incorrectly on November 19 that Dean of Freshman Affairs Raymond Ou “told” the Freshman Class Council to meet with students concerned about the T-shirts, and that Miller “decided to pull the design”?

President Levin, I trust that you are aware of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and some of our work on America’s college campuses. FIRE unites leaders in the fields of civil rights and civil liberties, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, academic freedom, freedom of association, and freedom of religion—as well as due process and legal equality. You might have seen FIRE’s name among many on the September 14, 2009, letter to you from Joan Bertin, Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Censorship, regarding Yale’s removal of cartoons of Mohammed from Jytte Klausen’s The Cartoons That Shook the World. Just a few weeks earlier, Yale’s press had defended this censorship but qualified its moral position with this contradictory statement:

The University has no speech code, and the response to “hate speech” on campus has always been the assertion that the appropriate response to hate speech is not suppression but more speech, leading to a full airing of views.

The world—and Yale—are facing challenges much more serious than a word on a shirt. Yet, the world and the Yale community ought to be able to count on Yale College deans to respect freedom of expression enough to hold in abeyance any urge to censor. Does the Woodward Report exclude the word “sissies” from the principle that “the results of free expression are to the general benefit in the long run, however unpleasant they may appear at the time”? Does the report exclude images in a book from Yale’s stated principle that “a free interchange of ideas is necessary not only within its walls but with the world beyond as well”?

In matters large and small, Yale has taken steps that erode the freedom it once championed, teaching its students that the authorities ultimately decide which expressions are acceptable or unacceptable. This seems the very opposite of a liberal education in a free society.

Now that these decisions have been made, others may follow more easily and more quickly. Meanwhile, will students and even faculty members self-censor to avoid the deans’ hands, or will they test the boundaries of the deans’ tolerance? Are the deans prepared to spend time and resources on further censorship? Please let Yale be governed by its own admirable policies, including its own Woodward Report. In the end, these policies will serve truth and tolerance more than censorship will. Please respond by January 12, 2010, and reassure us that Yale will no longer seek to censor “the unmentionable.” We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Adam Kissel (Harvard ’94)
Director, Individual Rights Defense Program

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

Obama administration reverses course on TARP

Posted by iusbvision on January 29, 2010

He said he was winding the bailout program down and now has expanded it till almost 2011. Once again the rhetoric is 180 degrees apart from the action.

Our friends at Hotair.com have the details – go check it out HERE.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Journalism Is Dead, Mortgage Crisis, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | 1 Comment »

Congressional Candidate Lieutenant Colonel Allen West: We Were Tricked in 2008

Posted by iusbvision on January 29, 2010

Wow, this guy reminds me of Sam Adams. 1.9 million hits on Youtube.

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

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Swiss ban on minarets was a vote for tolerance and inclusion

Posted by iusbvision on January 29, 2010

Editor’s Note – Ayaan Hirsi Ali escaped from radical Islam, female genital mutilation, an arranged marriage and a life of servitude under islamic culture. When sent on a plane to her forced marriage she fled to the Netherlands and received political asylum where she went to school, became a scholar and was elected to parliament. Ali made a film about how women are treated in the Islamic world with the famed Theo van Gogh. Van Gogh was stabbed in the chest and murdered with a death note addressed to Ali. Ali now lives with an islamic death mark and requires 24 hour security. Ali is the winner of many human rights awards. Her memoir is entitled Infidel.

CS Monitor:

The recent Swiss referendum that bans construction of minarets has caused controversy across the world. There are two ways to interpret the vote. First, as a rejection of political Islam, not a rejection of Muslims. In this sense it was a vote for tolerance and inclusion, which political Islam rejects. Second, the vote was a revelation of the big gap between how the Swiss people and the Swiss elite judge political Islam.

In the battle of ideas, symbols are important.

What if the Swiss voters were asked in a referendum to ban the building of an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles as a symbol of the belief of a small minority? Or imagine a referendum on building towers topped with a hammer and sickle – another symbol dear to the hearts of a very small minority in Switzerland.

Political ideas have symbols: A swastika, a hammer and sickle, a minaret, a crescent with a star in the middle (usually on top of a minaret) all represent a collectivist political theory of supremacy by one group over all others.

On controversial issues, the Swiss listen to debate, read newspapers, and otherwise investigate when they make up their minds for a vote.

What Europeans are finding out about Islam as they investigate is that it is more than just a religion. Islam offers not only a spiritual framework for dealing with such human questions as birth, death, and what ought to come after this world; it prescribes a way of life.

Islam is an idea about how society should be organized: the individual’s relationship to the state; the relationship between men and women; rules for the interaction between believers and unbelievers; how to enforce such rules; and why a government under Islam is better than a government founded on other ideas. These political ideas of Islam have their symbols: the minaret, the crescent; the head scarf, and the sword.

The minaret is a symbol of Islamist supremacy, a token of domination that came to symbolize Islamic conquest. It was introduced decades after the founding of Islam.

In Europe, as in other places in the world where Muslims settle, the places of worship are simple at first. All that a Muslim needs to fulfill the obligation of prayer is a compass to indicate the direction of Mecca, water for ablution, a clean prayer mat, and a way of telling the time so as to pray five times a day in the allocated period.

The construction of large mosques with extremely tall towers that cost millions of dollars to erect are considered only after the demography of Muslims becomes significant.

The mosque evolves from a prayer house to a political center.

Imams can then preach a message of self-segregation and a bold rejection of the ways of the non-Muslims.

Men and women are separated; gays, apostates and Jews are openly condemned; and believers organize around political goals that call for the introduction of forms of sharia (Islamic) law, starting with family law.

This is the trend we have seen in Europe, and also in other countries where Muslims have settled. None of those Western academics, diplomats, and politicians who condemn the Swiss vote to ban the minaret address, let alone dispute, these facts.

In their response to the presence of Islam in their midst, Europeans have developed what one can discern as roughly two competing views. The first view emphasizes accuracy. Is it accurate to equate political symbols like those used by Communists and Nazis with a religious symbol like the minaret and its accessories of crescent and star; the uniforms of the Third Reich with the burqa and beards of current Islamists?

If it is accurate, then Islam, as a political movement, should be rejected on the basis of its own bigotry. In this view, Muslims should not be rejected as residents or citizens. The objection is to practices that are justified in the name of Islam, like honor killings, jihad, the we-versus-they perspective, the self-segregation. In short, Islamist supremacy.

The second view refuses to equate political symbols of various forms of white fascism with the symbols of a religion. In this school of thought, Islamic Scripture is compared to Christian and Jewish Scripture. Those who reason from this perspective preach pragmatism. According to them, the key to the assimilation of Muslims is dialogue. They are prepared to appease some of the demands that Muslim minorities make in the hope that one day their attachment to radical Scripture will wear off like that of Christian and Jewish peoples.

These two contrasting perspectives correspond to two quite distinct groups in Europe. The first are mainly the working class. The second are the classes that George Orwell described as “indeterminate.” Cosmopolitan in outlook, they include diplomats, businesspeople, mainstream politicians, and journalists. They are well versed in globalization and tend to focus on the international image of their respective countries. With every conflict between Islam and the West, they emphasize the possible backlash from Muslim countries and how that will affect the image of their country.

By contrast, those who reject the ideas and practices of political Islam are in touch with Muslims on a local level. They have been asked to accept Muslim immigrants as neighbors, classmates, colleagues – they are what Americans would refer to as Main Street. Here is the great paradox of today’s Europe: that the working class, who voted for generations for the left, now find themselves voting for right-wing parties because they feel that the social democratic parties are out of touch.

The pragmatists, most of whom are power holders, are partially right when they insist that the integration of Muslims will take a very long time. Their calls for dialogue are sensible. But as long as they do not engage Muslims to make a choice between the values of the countries that they have come to and those of the countries they left, they will find themselves faced with more surprises. And this is what the Swiss vote shows us. This is a confrontation between local, working-class voters (and some middle-class feminists) and Muslim immigrant newcomers who feel that they are entitled, not only to practice their religion, but also to replace the local political order with that of their own.

Look carefully at the reactions of the Swiss, EU and UN elites. The Swiss government is embarrassed by the outcome of the vote. The Swedes, who are currently chairing EU meetings, have condemned the Swiss vote as intolerant and xenophobic. It is remarkable that the Swedish foreign minister, Carl Bildt, said in public that the Swiss vote is a poor act of diplomacy. What he overlooks is that this is a discussion of Islam as a domestic issue. It has nothing to do with foreign policy.

The Swiss vote highlights the debate on Islam as a domestic issue in Europe. That is, Islam as a set of political and collectivist ideas. Native Europeans have been asked over and over again by their leaders to be tolerant and accepting of Muslims. They have done that. And that can be measured a) by the amount of taxpayer money that is invested in healthcare, housing, education, and welfare for Muslims and b) the hundreds of thousands of Muslims who are knocking on the doors of Europe to be admitted. If those people who cry that Europe is intolerant are right, if there was, indeed, xenophobia and a rejection of Muslims, then we would have observed the reverse. There would have been an exodus of Muslims out of Europe.

There is indeed a wider international confrontation between Islam and the West. The Iraq and Afghan wars are part of that, not to mention the ongoing struggle between Israelis and Palestinians and the nuclear ambitions of Iran. That confrontation should never be confused with the local problem of absorbing those Muslims who have been permitted to become permanent residents and citizens into European societies.

Posted in Other Links | Leave a Comment »

British National Health Service: late cancer diagnosis kills 10,000 a year

Posted by iusbvision on January 29, 2010

Sadly, this speaks for itself.

UK Daily Mail:

Late diagnosis of cancer needlessly kills up to 10,000 patients every year, the Government’s director of cancer services has revealed.

Professor Mike Richards will this week unveil a shocking study of the three deadliest forms  –  lung, bowel and breast cancer  –  showing that early detection could save twice as many lives as previously thought.

He blamed the ‘unacceptable’ situation on both GPs and patients who fail to seek medical attention in time.

Professor Richards said: ‘Efforts now need to be directed at promoting early diagnosis for the very large number of patients  –  over 90 per cent  –  who are diagnosed as a result of their symptoms rather than by screening.’

The findings will add to the pressure on the NHS to make sure doctors recognise the vital signs which can enable a patient to benefit from life-saving surgery or chemotherapy.

Professor Richards, who compared one-year survival rates for the three cancers in England and other European countries, told the Guardian the number of preventable deaths was between 5,000 and 10,000.

His research will appear in the forthcoming British Journal of Cancer, published by Cancer Research UK.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Economics 101, Health Law, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | 1 Comment »

CNN: Palin’s Popularity on the Rise

Posted by iusbvision on January 29, 2010

In December Governor Palin’s favorable rating matched President Obama’s at 46%. While it is interesting that CNN reported this, we are now at the end of January so the trajectory of Obama going down and Palin going up means that her approval by now is greater than the Presidents, so I do not expect to CNN to continue reporting these numbers. We shall see.

Governor Palin’s charm and credibility offensive has been pretty effective so far, especially the onslaught of mostly baseless attacks made against her by the elite media (To see a list of these attacks and how they were debunked mostly without retraction follow this LINK ; it starts on page 6 of our Palin category and continue forward). 

After Oprah she decided to talk only talks about serious policy issues which has served her well. Of course, those of us who have studied her record as Mayor, Energy Regulator and Governor are well aware that her record of accomplishment is outstanding, which is why her opponents either attack her children or just make up accusations that don’t bear 10 minutes of fact checking.

CNN:

Washington (CNN) – Sarah Palin has erased her drop in the polls that followed her resignation as Alaska governor, according to new national survey.

But when it comes to opinions of Palin, a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Monday suggests a partisan divide and a gender gap.

The survey indicates that Americans are split on Palin, with 46 percent saying they have a favorable opinion of her and an equal amount saying they have an unfavorable view of last year’s Republican vice presidential nominee.

By the way, the Battleground Poll and Gallup Poll give similar results just as other have in recent weeks, once again the CBS Poll comes up with a way lower result for Palin, and (shocker) its a partial weekend poll; about what we have come to expect from CBS.

Posted in 2012, Campaign 2008, Chuck Norton, Palin Truth Squad | Leave a Comment »