EDUCATED FOLK

Shock! Academics trend left:

College faculties, long assumed to be a liberal bastion, lean further to the left than even the most conspiratorial conservatives might have imagined, a new study says.

By their own description, 72 percent of those teaching at American universities and colleges are liberal and 15 percent are conservative, says the study being published this week. The imbalance is almost as striking in partisan terms, with 50 percent of the faculty members surveyed identifying themselves as Democrats and 11 percent as Republicans.

The same imbalance is in evident in Australia; all the more reason to keep our children out of universities. Here’s unstable Australian academic Professor John Quiggin:

As far as terrorism is concerned, there can be few instances more horrible and terrifying than the kidnappings and televised beheadings we’ve seen in Iraq. There are, however, equally awful things going on that are not televised, and that are carried out by the United States government.

The US government is engaged in activities as awful as the kidnapping and beheading of civilians? Quiggin is out of his mind. Tim Dunlop is another Australian academic prone to occasional lapses of reason:

Funny how many of those in Australia who are so purportedly concerned about the fate of the (put simply) brain-dead Terri Schiavo couldn’t give a shit about the fully functioning kids locked in our own detention centres.

Terri Schiavo is being starved to death. Children in Australian detention centres are fed, clothed, and educated; educated outside of the centres, in most cases. Were they to be denied food and water, Tim’s comparison might make sense. He continues:

No mystery really when you remember a simple fact: for such people, issues are decided on the basis of political affiliation rather than the facts of the matter. Terri Schiavo matters, therefore, because rightwing politicians say she does. Kids in detention don’t because locking them up indefinitely is part of Howard government policy.

Jesse Jackson is a right-wing politician? Ralph Nader? And kids aren’t locked up indefinitely because of Howard government policy; they’re locked up only as long as their parents wish them to be: “Parents and their children are free to leave immigration detention at any time by leaving Australia.”

More on this from J.F. Beck. Also from Iowahawk: Profs Gone Wild: Extreme Ultimate Spring Break Volume 6 – It’s Hot, Tenured, and Out of Control!

UPDATE. US-based Melbourne Age correspondent Michael Gawenda appears to be channelling US-based Dunlop. Here’s Tim on March 22:

Surely, in any given circumstance, we should err on the side of life, but as even George W. Bush–chief citer of said “doctrine”–will tell you, the subject is fraught. How else to explain that then-Governor Bush was the nation’s most execution-happy State leader? Where was the culture of life as he signed each execution warrant? It seems to me that there is a reasonable case that every one of those subjects of Governor Bush’s death warrants had a better claim to the “culture of life” (that is, life)–on a purely physical human level–than a poor woman whose cerebral cortex has liquified.

And here’s Gawenda in today’s Age:

When George Bush talks about “erring on the side of life” if there is any doubt about whether Terri Schiavo is really in a persistent vegetative state, what does it mean then that during his two terms as governor of Texas, 152 people were executed? When George Bush refused to commute all but one of the death sentences of the executed to life in prison, was this evidence of “erring on the side of life”? Forget for a moment the issue of whether supporting capital punishment is consistent with believing that God gives life and only God can decide when a life should end. Improved DNA testing procedures have revealed that innocent people have been convicted and sentenced to death in recent years; some may even have been executed. It is not immediately obvious how this squares with “erring on the side of life”.

What’s Bush’s term as governor of Texas got to do with Terri Schiavo? Oh, right. Politics.

UPDATE II. Quiggin, with whose “equally awful” notion Dunlop disagreed, has amended his remarks: “I shouldn’t have said ‘equally awful.’”

Posted by Tim B. on 03/30/2005 at 12:04 PM
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