Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Leftist attack on history scholarship continues

History is so pesky for Leftists that they grab any opportunity to distort it

Columbia University's bizarre idea of academic freedom continues as its women's college affiliate, Barnard, voted to grant tenure to Nadia Abu El-Haj, who was born in America and is of Palestinian descent:
[She] contended in her first book, "Facts on the Ground," that Israeli archaeologists searched for an ancient Jewish presence to help build the case for a Jewish state. In their quest, she wrote, they sometimes used bulldozers, destroying the remains of Arab and other cultures.

Meanwhile, the Arabs who control the Temple Mount in Jerusalem which not only houses mosques built upon land occupied by synagogues the Arabs demolished over a thousand years ago but many Jewish and some Christian sites, is busily destroying all archeological evidence of Jewish residency there. This continues the religiously destructive practices of the Jordanians who, when they controlled eastern Jerusalem from 1948-1967, did not allow Jews to visit their religious sites despite signing a treaty pledging to do so.

Instead the Jordanians destroyed synagogues and other Jewish buildings, using the stones to pave streets and for urinals, built a hotel on a Jewish cemetery and forbade any Jew from living under their jurisdiction. Naturally the UN or no one else complained about these gross violations of religious rights. And obviously Barnard believes Ms. El-Haj's projecting one's own historical distorted scholarship onto the enemy is worthy of reward:
Tenure, college officials said, "gives scholars the liberty to advance ideas, regardless of their political impact, so that their work may be openly debated and play a critical role in shaping knowledge in the scholar's academic field."

Under this reasoning soon Holocaust denial, flat earth proponents, planets and sun revolving around the earth believers and David Irving's biography of Howard Hughes among others will soon find an honored place in the Columbia-Barnard curriculum. Isn't that what "shaping knowledge" is all about?


The Groves of Academe, or You Can't Make It Up, Episode 8,968

As of now, in the autumn of 2007, it costs $52,202.00 a year to be an undergraduate at New York University. That's Fifty-Two Thousand Dollars, and then some. And what do you get for all that dough? Well, one thing you get are cultural events like today's screening of a 53-minute film called Q2P, followed by a "discussion" with the filmmaker, Paromita Vohra. Larry Craig: listen up! Here's something to get your feet tapping. Sponsored by NYU's Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, the Department of Media, Culture and Communication, the Center for Religion and Media, and the Council on Media and Culture, Q2P, set in Mumbai,

observes who has access to toilets and who doesn't, and how gender, power, and the need to "go" make up public space and bodily well-being.

That's right folks: four separate entities at one of our premier institutions of higher learning got together to bring us a "a day-long conference on Sex, Gender and the Public Toilet: Outing the Water Closet Bringing together pioneering scholars of sex and gender with leading design professionals and activists to consider, critique, and reconstruct the public rest room."

Think about it: "pioneering scholars of sex and gender," "leading design professionals and activists" all under one roof to talk about sex, politics, and public toilets. A load of merde, you say? Quite possibly. An outrageous travesty as well? No doubt. But think of what it means for the art of satire. Who could possibly make this up? Back in the 1950s, Kingsley Amis wrote the splendid academic satire Lucky Jim, wherein he ridiculed that pseudo-scholarship which gloried in a "funeral parade of yawn-enforcing facts, the pseudo-light it threw upon non problems." But how do you satirize "Sex, Gender and the Public Toilet: Outing the Water Closet"? What obloquy is severe enough for these "pioneering scholars of sex and gender," these "leading design professionals and activists"?

I sometimes despair, concluding that these malevolent clowns have forced us to that position Wittgenstein described at the end of the Tractaus: "Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darueber muss man schweigen": "What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence." But I cheer up when I remember that, although phenomena like "Sex, Gender and the Public Toilet" are beneath contempt, that doesn't mean we should fail to let the world know about them. The sponsors of this ludicrous exercise in cultural pathology thoughtfully included contact information: the email address is, the telephone number is 212.998.7608. I hope many right-thinking people will avail themselves of that information to upbraid the people responsible for such hogwash.


Britain: A degree is no guarantee of full-time jobs or equal pay for women

A quarter of graduates do not have full-time jobs more than three years after getting their degrees, according to government figures. The Higher Education Statistics Agency, which examined the career progression of 24,000 people, also found that 20 per cent of those who were employed were not working in graduate occupations.

Women were more satisfied with their careers, although they were paid less than men in their first jobs. “There was a 1,000 pound difference in the average salaries of male and female graduates who had studied full-time, although a higher proportion of men were in higher-paid work,” the report said. “There was a larger gender difference among part-time graduates, where the average male salary was 3,133 higher than for females. Women were more likely to be working part-time than men at every level, regardless of their mode of study and qualification.” Graduates are normally questioned by the agency six months after leaving university, but this was its first follow-up survey, looking at their progress after 3½ years. Catherine Benfield, the project manager, said the gender gap statistics were fascinating. She said: “Women said they were more satisfied with their careers to date but when you look at salaries they are behind. Maybe they have lower expectations.”

While 89 per cent of graduates were in some kind of work – including voluntary and unpaid – only 74 per cent were in full-time paid employment. Five per cent were still studying full-time. Graduates in medicine, dentistry, education and agriculture had among the highest employment rates.


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