пятница, 11 февраля 2005 г.

February 11, 2005

Friday, February 11, 2005
Out Of The Office
Heading up to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this weekend. Back Sunday.


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One in the fray
Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Greg Hartmann (R-Hyde Park) is running for Secretary of State of Ohio.

He says he won't accept a public role in any political campaign if he wins, unlike Ken Blackwell (who was the Bush Re-Elect chair in Ohio). He shouldn't accept any private role either.


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Music's important role in the enrichment of the human spirit
It's good to see articles like this one about Peter Kamnitzer, a violinist in the world-famous LaSalle Quartet.

Folks, when music programs in the schools are cut, programs like the Corryville Suzuki Project attempt to fill the gap. They do lots of good work, but it's a shame they have to fill that gap instead of add to the experience.


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All Politics Is Local
Our "friends" in the GOP wing of the Hamilton County Commission have hired a $70-per-hour "super-consultant." The savior in question is Mr. Ron Roberts, a former head of the Cincinnati Business Committee and a noted supporter of conservative causes and people (like the anti-repeal folks from the last election).

This is nothing more than an attempt to dismantle county government, just as Heimlich and DeWine's ideological partners are attempting to do to state and federal government. They loathe anything that helps non-rich and non-white folk, and are determined to destroy any community that isn't based around a gathering of CEOs or a conservative megachurch.


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Thursday, February 10, 2005
'Bout time.
The Enquirer FINALLY prints a story on Senate Bill 24, aka "The Assault On Academic Freedom Act of 2005."

The student profiled in the opening, Charis Bridgman, is originally from Lakota East (if Google is to be believed), so there's a local connection. What jumped out at ME is this quote:

College sophomore Charis Bridgman tends to keep quiet in class if she thinks her professor might disagree with her Christian-influenced ideas[emphasis added].

The 19-year-old says schools such as her Otterbein College in suburban Columbus should be a place for open discussion, but she thinks some professors make students afraid to speak up.

"They might chastise me, or not even listen to my opinion or give me a chance to explain," she said.

Compare that to what the bill's sponsor, Sen. Larry Mumper (R-Marion), has to say about the bill:

"I see students coming out having gone in without any ideological leanings one way or another[emphasis added], coming out with an indoctrination of a lot of left-wing issues," said bill sponsor Sen. Larry Mumper, a former high school teacher whose Republican party controls the legislature.

So which is it? No ideological leanings, or "Christian-influenced ideas?" The two are mutually exclusive.

NOTE: I'm not saying that Christians cannot be liberals. Far from it - I think those who actually heed the words of Jesus (and not JEEEEEzus!) tend to be progressives. What I'm saying is that to say the students have no "ideological leanings" when a student flat-out admits to having them is disingenuous at best and hypocritical at worst. If your ideas are influenced by something, those are "ideological leanings." Sen. Mumper and his ilk don't want honest, open discussion. They want indoctrination from THEIR side.


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Busy Morning
I'll be blogging after about 11am. In the meantime, try not to kill each other.


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Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Churchill redux
Via Covington Jim, someone who groks and groks well, we find this piece by Swarthmore College professor Tim Burke. It's worth reading.

If Prof. Churchill's scholarship isn't "up to code," then I have a problem with him being a tenured professor. We have to make sure we maintain our own standards. There are conflicting accounts as to his current scholarship, but apparently his earlier work was quite solid.

Prof. Burke says something quite potent in his next blog entry:

Tenure is a system that recognizes people for what they have done and offers them blanket protection on that basis for what they will do. The best career trajectories in academia, in my view, are those where a scholar does something after tenure, with its protections, that is fundamentally unlike his or her pre-tenure work. Better, richer, more daring or provocative, less constricted or constrained.

So in the best-case scenario, what are you really looking for in the tenure process? If you don’t want a guarantee that what someone has already written, they will write again and again, you are looking for quality of intellect and for some sort of evidence of a lifelong commitment to the academic ideal. That ideal is not a mirror image of what the larger public sphere should or does look like. Churchill’s defenders have observed that his books have sold many more copies than all of the books and writings of his various critics. Indeed so. Ward Churchill is an important and legitimate figure in the wider democratic public sphere. He speaks to and for his audience. There ought to be Ward Churchills as long as there are audiences who seek out what he has to say, or even audiences which might learn something from the intensity of his polemical response to American history and society.

But this is not what we claim to be doing with academic standards. If the point of academia was to mirror the wider American public sphere precisely, then the conservative critique of the leftward tilt of academic life becomes devastatingly on-target. The academic humanities and social sciences, whatever they are and should be, bear little resemblance to the distribution of opinion and argument in American public culture.

It's my conjecture that the point of academia is NOT to mirror the public sphere, but to provide a place for discussion.

But hey, that's me, your mileage may vary, and I don't even know how long I'll be in academia.


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Tuesday, February 08, 2005
State of the State
Right now, Gov. Bob Taft (R-Cincinnati) is giving his State of the State address. I'm listening to it on WVXU. If anything big is said, I'll let you know. (Hint: probably won't happen.)


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I hope he gets it together.
If Mr. Robert Boomershine can get all the paperwork right, he'll get his Gay-Straight Alliance, and people like Ms. Rhonda York will see that different does not equal bad.


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In other news, water is wet.
Normally, I would leave the Bronson-bashing to Brian Griffin, but Pete just does not get it. Senate Bill 24 *IS* McCarthyism, pure and simple. It would not change things; if anything, it would make things worse for people like Bronson, for what would happen if the State Legislature, which is charged with defining what is "controversial" (according to the tenets of the bill), were to become suddenly of opposite viewpoints than Bronson and stifle HIS viewpoints? According to this bill, they'd have that right. Peter, don't be stupid. Don't open Pandora's box here.

I'd like to get the perspective of someone who was actually AT the event at Miami where Churchill spoke, and not someone like Mr. Steve Szaronos, who serves on some committees at Miami (don't know his affiliation, but I'm wagering he got on there with his connections to the College Republicans) or Prof. Ben Voth, who is extremely active in groups like University Faculty For Life. Once again, Bronson uses extremely one-sided sources in an attempt to stir up trouble. (Google is an amazing thing, ne c'est pas?)

Folks, let's make one thing clear: I find what Prof. Churchill said to be abhorrent. I'm thinking Prof. Voth wasn't there to ask an honest question, though. This looks like the standard conservative trick of "being controversial" and trying to make trouble, then claiming "Freedom of Speech! Help! Help! I'm being repressed!" I'm not buyin' it.


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Amen and amen
Timothy Leonard explains why we need music in schools.

Full Disclosure: I've worked with Paulette Meier, helping her with transcriptions of her music. What Mr. Leonard says about her is true.


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Monday, February 07, 2005
As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, some changes are en route. I'm still nailing down details.

Also, hopefully within a couple of weeks I'll have a draft of a chapter of my dissertation on my personal website for your perusal.


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Sunday, February 06, 2005
Someone gets it again
Specifically, Ms. Sally Miller of Finneytown (first letter). In the matter of Postcards from Buster and WCET's refusal to air the episode on Vermont, she has this to say:

Why should I support a channel that feels no obligation to offer programs that might, possibly, offend their more conservative viewers? Are these the same viewers who let their children watch the sleaze that the networks offer daily and nightly? I thought the P in PBS stood for public. There's more to the public than the conservative right.

Keith Olbermann said it earlier: the right-wing isn't looking upset that there's a pro-homosexual agenda (there is none) - they're upset there's NOT an ANTI-homosexual agenda.