aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, April 11, 2005
There are liberals in the academy
Then last week Media Matters took it on:
Over the past week, The Washington Times ran one news report and columns by Suzanne Fields and Cal Thomas about a recent study indicating that more self-identified liberals than conservatives are serving as professors at U.S. colleges and universities, a conclusion reached by comparing data from faculty surveys taken in 1984 and 1999. Two of the articles repeat the claim that the study demonstrates a profound “ideological shift to the left among college faculty” and a pervasive anti-conservative bias in hiring and tenure decisions. In fact, neither conclusion is warranted based on the study itself.
The 1984 data was from 5,000 respondents at a broad range of schools; the 1999 data is from 1,643 respondents from a much narrower range of schools. One survey was multiple choice; one was choose from a ten-point scale.
Oh, and it was funded “by the Randolph Foundation, a private philanthropy that funds many conservative organizations, such as Americans for Tax Reform, the Independent Women’s Forum, and right-wing pundit David Horowitz’s Center for the Study of Popular Culture.”
The Supreme Court & the Klan
Josh Marshall notes, in “Genuine, certified nutcase,” that James Dobson today compared the “men in white robes, the Ku Klux Klan” to the “black-robed men” on the Supreme Court. (Listen here, go to timestamp 22:52).
Nathan Newman says, remember that the Court did historically protect mass murder by the Klan. (Nathan made the argument last week. And I argued with him. And lost.)
Media Matters says Dobson relied on false and misleading statements on his April 4 show.
The Presidential iPod
Greg at Wonkette on the president’s iPod:
A couple weeks ago, Elisabeth Bumiller broke the news of President Bush’s Sunday afternoon massages. Today, she investigates the Presidential iPod. Biggest surprise: the Knack’s “My Sharona” made the presidential playlist, but not because Dubya has a thing for jailbait. (Sample lyric: “Always get it up for the touch of the younger kind, my my my woooh!")
From the NY TImes:
Mr. Bush has had his Apple iPod since July, when he received it from his twin daughters as a birthday gift. He has some 250 songs on it, a paltry number compared to the 10,000 selections it can hold. Mr. Bush, as leader of the free world, does not take the time to download the music himself; that task falls to his personal aide, Blake Gottesman, who buys individual songs and albums, including Mr. Jones’s and Mr. Jackson’s greatest hits, from the iTunes music store...As for an analysis of Mr. Bush’s playlist, Mr. Levy of Rolling Stone started out with this: “One thing that’s interesting is that the president likes artists who don’t like him.”
The Republican opposition to Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
The Military Readiness Enhancement Act was introduced last month by Rep. Marty Meehan (D-Mass.) and framed so that it’s not about civil rights; it’s about a stronger military.
The bill continues to be a real long shot, but it’s nevertheless nice to see the bill pick up a few Republican co-sponsors.
At odds with her party’s leadership, Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami is urging the Pentagon to allow gay men and lesbians to serve in the military - a direct challenge to “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
“We’ve tried the policy. I don’t think it works. And we’ve spent a lot of money enforcing it,” said Ros-Lehtinen, a member of the Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations, who Tuesday co-sponsored a bill allowing gays to serve.
“We investigate people. Bring them up on charges. Basically wreck their lives,” she told The Herald. “People who’ve signed up to serve our country. We should be thanking them.”
I know; I couldn’t believe it either.
Ros-Lehtinen, who’s always been pretty progressive on gay issues, particularly for a Republican, is now one of three - count ‘em, three - GOP House members to sign onto the legislation. The other two are Connecticut’s Chris Shays and Arizona’s Jim Kolbe.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) has more on the issue.
As a (white) child growing up in the Deep South in the 1950s and 1960s, I looked forward in history class to the tale of the Appomattox surrender, because it marked the end of the interminable period of time we spent studying--or more accurately, saturating ourselves in--the War Between the States each year. Indeed, such was the extent of our wallowing in the Confederacy that we rarely made it past World War I in American history.
Far beyond elementary school, in the broader southern white culture I grew up in, there was an odd exultancy about Appomattox that had nothing to do with vicarious relief at the end of that brutal war. No, we drank in the details of Lee’s peerless dress and manner at the moment of surrender, and were encouraged to think of the shabby Grant’s generosity in victory as little more than the acknowledgement of a superior being--and a superior, if Lost, Cause. A Cause, moreover, that was about everything other than the ownership of human beings--about states’ rights, about agrarian resistance to capitalism, about cultured Cavaliers defending civilization against philistine Puritans, about Honor, about Duty.
I was raised not far from Gettysburg, with a very different take on the “Civil War.” I live now in what was the Confederate capital of Georgia. The local trolley tour guides explain to visitors that the “War Between the States” (the “war of northern aggression” as Doug’s grandmother knew it) was not about slavery. I am learning the truth of Southern Heritage.