Friday, January 20, 2006

No rest for the weary

To think that years ago I used to be envious of those who lived through the civil rights and civil liberties battles of the '60s. Is it too late to take it back? I had no idea how exhausting living in a time of relentless attacks on our freedoms could be.

Speaking of the '60s, even those hotbeds of '60s rebellion, university campuses, aren't safe anymore. (Although perhaps that's no coincidence.) Yesterday's news was full of revelations that the UCLA Bruin Alumni Group is offering students $100 to record and report on "radical" statements made in the classroom by "leftist" professors. Check out the Bruin Alumni Association website, which has a special "expose" on all the "radical petitions" that UCLA professors have signed. Last time I checked the right to petition the government and the right to free speech were covered by the Bill of Rights. But maybe they took it out while I wasn't looking. (And don't think they're above trying it.) At least several members of the Alumni Association had the sense to resign when it became clear what the association was doing.

Well, rest up this weekend, my fellow weary civil libertarians. Next week brings us anti-gay marriage amendment proposals in the Pennsylvania House and likely the Senate as well, along with a bad bill on mental retardation and the death penalty in the House Judiciary Committee. More on those next week.

Sara in Philly

2 Comments:

Blogger ForNow said...

Many of us in the VRWC have no argument with you about the Bruin Alumni Association.

David Horowitz, anti-communist and fighter for campus intellectual diversity, has weighed in stompingly against the call, with promises of $100 rewards, for student recordings of profs suspected of leftism.

Horowitz complains that the Bruin Alumni Association's plan is designed not to promote campus intellectual diversity but, instead, to purge the university of leftist ideas.
Horowitz says, "Several of its conservative board members, James Rogan, Stephan Thernstrom, Manny Klauser and Jascha Kessler have already resigned. We applaud them for doing so, and hope they will be followed by others."

To top it off, Horowitz says some very harsh things about Andrew Jones, whose "brainchild" the group is, according to Horowitz, and who, Horowitz says, worked briefly at Horowitz’s Center for the Study of Popular Culture and "was fired for unethical behavior."

VRWC damage control? Yes. Sincere? Yes -- certainly on my part and that of many whom I know and, I believe, that of David Horowitz.

Link to Horowitz's blog post on the subject:
"Bruin Alumni Association: How not wage a campus campaign"

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Phil Karn said...

Be sure to see Horowitz's op-ed piece in the LA Times, Ideologues at the Lectern:

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-op-horowitz22jan22,0,1352484.story

I don't know much about Horowitz, but he certainly doesn't seem very friendly to intellectual freedom and diversity in his piece, demonizing as "radicalized" the many groups that oppose his so-called Academic Bill of Rights. His website, frontpagemag.com, looks like something Rush Limbaugh would produce.

Perhaps the reason university professors tend to be more liberal than average has something to do with their greater than average intelligence, their greater than average education, their greater than average exposure to other cultures, and their greater than average respect for intellectual pursuits. All that used to be called a liberal education.

But supposedly the skewed numbers represent some sort of structural problem that has to be fixed.

I know! Maybe what we need is an University Affirmative Action program with mandatory minimum quotas for Republican faculty. That should go over well, eh?

11:26 PM  

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