Category Archives: professors and intellectuals

Your tax dollars at work: $390k grant to study duck penis

Elizabeth Harrington reports for Washington Free Beacon that among the protesters at the “March for Science” on Earth Day, April 22, 2017, against the Trump administration’s budget cuts was Patricia Brennan, a visiting lecturer of biological sciences at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, and a native of Columbia.

Brennan has a vested interest in taxpayers’ largesse as she is a leading researcher of a taxpayer-funded duck penis study that received $384,949 from the National Science Foundation. The grant was funded through the Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus package. The study looked at the differences in the corkscrew-shaped penises of ducks.

A recent interview with New England Public Radio revealed that Brennan is still fascinated by the genitalia of marine animals. She is now using her expertise on the penises of orca whales.

When an orca whale penis recently was delivered from Sea World to her lab, Brennan exclaimed, “Holy cow. Oh wow. Oh my goodness. It’s enormous! So this is the tip right there. It’s not super long, it’s just wide.”

New England Public Radio reported that “Although Brennan has spent 20 years studying the sex organs of marine animals, she’s never seen anything this big. It takes up an entire lab sink.”

In the face of a national debt of $20 trillion, President Trump wants to cut funding for frivolous research, among other cuts. Trump’s budget blueprint would leave the National Institutes of Health with $25.9 billion, but makes no mention of the National Science Foundation that currently gets about $7 billion annually.

Since taxpayers were informed about how much her duck penis study cost, Brennan has become a “sought-after science activist,” giving lectures on how scientists can defend their research.

Brennan said of news outlets reporting the nearly $390k grant for her duck penis study, “They were attacking everything. They were attacking the science itself, like, ‘what a waste of money.’ They were attacking me, as a person, like, I must be some kind of deviant to be looking at penises. Like, who does that?”

In a self-righteous article in Slate, Brennan justified her $390k duck penis study by its important, earth-shaking findings that:

  • Male ducks rape female ducks. (It doesn’t take a $390k study to know this. Anyone who lives near a lake, as I did, would have seen female ducks being gang-raped by males in springtime.)
  • Both the vaginas and penises of ducks have evolved in response to “sexual conflict”. As Brennan puts it, with barely suppressed outrage: “Males have counterclockwise spiraling penises, while females have clockwise spiraling vaginas and blind pockets that prevent full eversion of the male penis. Male ducks force copulations on females, and males and females are engaged in a genital arms race with surprising consequences. Male competition is a driving force behind these male traits that can be harmful to females.”

New England Public Radio calls Brennan a “basic scientist,” meaning she only observes how things work and is not “necessarily applying that knowledge to a particular problem.” In other words, there is no particular reason why she studies duck and orca whale penises. In Brennan’s words, “Just the fact that we just don’t know what we’re going to find is so exciting.”

Why, like, already beleaguered taxpayers must, like, fund her, like, “basic” pointless research on, like, marine animal penises is, like, not her concern.

~Eowyn

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KSU Has Finally Crossed Over to the Dark Side

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For the last seventeen or so years, I have watched with some horror (and not a little disgust) as my former institution of “higher learning” began to slowly slip into the hell of political correctness.

I suppose back then I rather naively thought that KSU would somehow manage to stay above the PC lunacy many colleges and universities have been rapidly descending into over the last two decades. After all, this area of the country is not exactly known as a bastion of liberalism.

Whatever hope I once had for my former university has now evaporated:

Via heatst.com:

College Puts White People in Separate Room For ‘Privilege Workshop’

By Jillian Kay Melchior|1:37 pm, April 18, 2017

When Kennesaw State University held an event last week on privilege and interracial relations, it asked “those who identify as white” to go to one room and “those who identify as people of color” to go to another.

“The goal of the workshop, which was led by an outside expert, was to foster learning and create an environment of understanding and support for one another,” said Kennesaw State University spokeswoman Tammy DeMel. “Attendees were asked to work together and then were invited to join the group with which they identify.”

The April 13 event “is being mischaracterized” as segregation, DeMel added.

The event, a workshop called “Being, Becoming and Fostering Allies: Building Relationships Across Privilege,” was taught by two psychology professors and one grad student from the University of Massachusetts, as well as a Kennesaw State University professor.

In it, students learned about becoming an ally for less privileged people, as well as “the essential roles of self-reflection, cultural humility, and re-engagement after failures.”

Kennesaw State University is the latest to grapple with the implications of separating students by race. In the last academic year, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Michigan, and Concordia University all found themselves facing accusations of segregation after they held events divided by race or focused on one particular racial group.

— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum

End-

Despite the (weak) protestations to the contrary, does anyone actually believe the true goal of this blatantly racist, bull-squeeze “workshop” is not meant to drive a wedge even deeper between the races?

I have a bridge to sell you if you do.

Had something like this been attempted when I was enrolled there back in the day, most of my fellow students would have pitched a fit.

But that was another time in an America that apparently no-longer exists.

Dave

(H/t: Drudge)

Fake anti-Muslim hate-crime: Indiana State U. fires professor for lying about being a victim

The Left’s conferment of special victim status on favored groups creates incentives for members of those groups to make false claims. See, for example:

The latest is a professor at Indiana State University, Azhar Hussain, 56, who is caught lying about being the victim of anti-Muslim hate crime.

Terra Haute’s Tribune Star reports that Azhar Hussain, an assistant professor of aviation technology at Indiana State University (ISU) was arrested for making false reports of being the victim of anti-Islamic threats and of an assault that authorities say never happened.

The charges stem from a series of emails, beginning on March 8, which were received on campus, containing anti-Muslim messages and threats of potential violence against members of the Muslim community. The messages specifically mentioned Hussain as a target.

On March 24, Hussain reported being assaulted in the College of Technology. He claimed he was attacked from behind and thrown to the floor as he was entering his office early that morning. He said he had not seen his attacker, and no words were spoken. ISU Police at the time said Hussein’s story was not corroborated by four people in the vicinity who had seen no suspicious activity or people.

Investigators tracked the computers from which the hate emails had originated and uncovered evidence that Hussain had sent the emails himself. He was booked into Vigo County Jail at at 4:51 p.m. on April 21, 2017, and faces a felony charge of obstruction of justice and a misdemeanor charge of harassment. Bond has been set at $10,000 cash.

Earlier, before the fake hate-emails, Hussain had been notified by Provost Mike Licari that he would not be reappointed to his faculty position beyond the 2017-18 academic year due to his inability “to fulfill the conditions of his original appointment”. ISU’s chief of police Joseph Newport thinks Hussein concocted the fake hate-crime to solicit sympathy from the university administration.

Newport said:

“Based upon the investigation, it is our belief that Hussain was trying to gain sympathy by becoming a victim of anti-Muslim threats, which he had created himself. It is extremely unfortunate that this situation caused undue concern on other members of the ISU community.”

In a news releass, ISU said Hussain has been suspended from teaching duties and that the university is initiating formal dismissal proceedings against him in accordance with university policy. Arrangements are being made to cover his remaining classes and administer final exams.

According to a resume that Hussain posted on a job site, he holds an MBA in aviation management from Embry-Riddle University and a bachelor’s in aviation from the Florida Institute of Technology. The resume also claims he has a doctorate from ISU in curriculum design earned in 2017, which the Tribune Star could not independently verify.

Hussain’s resume also claims prior teaching experience at Everglades University, as well as former aviation jobs including airport operations coordinator at Kissimmee, Florida, Gateway Airport and airside operations officer at the Broward County, Florida, Aviation Department.

H/t Constitution.com

See also “News the MSM won’t report: Homosexual haters deface church in Calif”.

~Eowyn

After losing 2016 election, Democrats are defecting to Communist Party USA

People’s World, the bilingual news site of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), reports on April 19, 2017, that CPUSA “has been receiving membership requests ever since Donald Trump was elected President.”

Emile Schepers, CPUSA’s International Secretary and an anthropologist by profession who was born in South Africa, told Granma International that “Although the phantom of the McCarthy era still looms across the U.S., there is growing interest in communist ideas. The global financial crisis affected many people and left the sense that today’s youth are worse off than their parents. Neither recent Democratic nor Republican administrations have been able to resolve the serious problems affecting the majority of the country’s citizens. Although the United States is in no way experiencing a pre-revolutionary situation in the communist sense, capitalism is showing terminal signs worldwide.”

What Schepers neglected to say is that Marxist intellectuals have been insisting that “capitalism is showing terminal signs worldwide” for more than a century.

But how to explain the 2016 U.S. election that voted uber capitalist Donald Trump as president?

Schepers attributes that to an “ideological manipulation” that unleashed a right-wing upsurge because “popular discontent doesn’t always take a progressive route.” Even in his current home state of Virginia, not only the wealthy, but also many poor whites with “false class consciousness” voted for Trump. Schepers blames Americans’ “false class consciousness” on the corporate mass media and “local news stations in the interior of the country [that] only broadcast preachers announcing the end of the world.”

Schepers is convinced that if Bernie Sanders had been Trump’s opponent, Sanders would have won — the same avowed socialist Sanders who is a millionaire with three homes, including a $600,000 lakefront estate purchased just five days after the 2016 Democratic National Convention that selected Hillary Clinton as the party’s presidential candidate.

Schepers admits that the great challenge for CPUSA continues to be organizing American workers and trade unions.

CPUSA stopped offering its own candidate in US presidential elections years ago. Instead, CPUSA has endorsed Democratic Party presidential candidates in every election since 1988, beginning with Michael Dukakis to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The CPUSA opposes U.S. militarism and supports the Palestinian cause, the Cuban Revolution and more recently the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela — the same corrupt regime that mismanaged and destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and ignores and suppresses the tens of thousands of Venezuelans who protest and march against the government. Way to go, CPUSA!

Unlike Emile Schepers, the Democrats who have gone over to the Communist Party USA at least are honest, as the Democrat Party long ago had morphed into the communist party in all but in name. See:

~Eowyn

Avoiding making eye contact or asking where someone is from are signs of racism says Oxford University

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From Daily Mail: Avoiding making eye contact with someone or asking where they are originally from have been deemed as racist micro-aggressions in a newsletter issued by Oxford University.  The institution’s Equality and Diversity Unit states these two common behaviours could potentially cause the listener ‘mental ill-health’. 

The Trinity term newsletter claims asking someone where they are ‘originally’ from implies that the questioner does not believe they are British.  The Trinity term newsletter also mentions ‘not speaking directly to people’ and ‘jokes drawing attention to someone’s difference’ as possible forms of everyday racism.

It says people doing these things are often ‘well-meaning’, but insists they are still reinforcing negative stereotypes and making people feel like they ‘do not belong’.

But Professor Frank Furedi, author of What’s Happened To The University, said the advice was ‘Orwellian’ and called on Oxford to ‘wake up to reality’.  He told MailOnline: ‘To go from simply stating someone is racist based on what they say to assume they are unconsciously racist is a very Orwellian turn. Microaggressions empower the accuser to say that it doesn’t matter what you intend by that look, I just know by the look of your eyes you are racist.

‘It is a very insidious way of thinking. Universities used to understand the reality that humans are complex.  It would be nice if Oxford could wake up to reality.’

Oxford University said the advice was part of an attempt to fight discrimination and encourage equality of opportunity. Students at the university recently took part in a campaign called ‘I, too, am Oxford’, to raise awareness of unconscious racism.

At one college, Pembroke, students are advised by their representatives to report ‘macro and microaggressions’ to a welfare officer. She will then deal with the issue by ‘mediation with the other party’ or ‘through the harassment policy’.

Professor Furedi said giving advice on avoiding microaggressions happens at ‘virtually every’ university in the USA, but is fairly new to the UK. The Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Kent University urged British students to resist the trend, adding: ‘A minority of students make it their own cause. ‘But there are usually a lot of people who think it is stupid but they acquiesce to it and eventually the influence of these ideas becomes more prominent.’

An Oxford University spokesman told MailOnline: ‘The Equality and Diversity Unit works with University bodies to ensure that the University’s pursuit of excellence goes hand in hand with freedom from discrimination and equality of opportunity.

‘The newsletter is one way of advising and supporting staff towards achieving these aims.’

The row comes two months after a Cambridge college was accused of ‘cultural misrepresentation’ by students after serving ‘Jamaican stew’ and ‘Tunisian rice’.  Students argued the dishes served at Pembroke College were not authentic to countries they were described to be from, The Sunday Times reported.

The original complainant said: ‘I’m used to as a minority student being constantly invalidated when flagging up specific issues but if people feel their cultures are misrepresented they have the right to address this. Micro-aggressions are a reality of the everyday exist­ence of many people of colour.’

DCG

Celebrated moral philosopher Peter Singer: It’s okay to rape the mentally disabled

Do you know someone who’s mentally disabled?

If so, you should know that celebrated moral philosopher Peter Singer says it’s okay for them to be raped.

Peter Singer

Peter Singer, 70, is an Australian moral philosopher who is widely celebrated and recognized with:

  • The Order of Australia from the Australian government “for achievement or meritorious service”.
  • An endowed Ira W. DeCamp professorship at Princeton University.
  • A Laureate professorship at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne.

Singer specializes in applied ethics from a secular, utilitarian perspective. He calls his brand of ethics hedonistic utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is the Bentham principle of “the greatest good of the greatest number”. Hedonistic utilitarianism is the belief that the best action is the one that maximizes utility, as defined in terms of the happiness and well-being of sentient entities, such as human beings and other animals. Hedonistic utilitarianism considers all interests — those of humans and nonhuman animals — equally.

Singer’s hedonistic utilitarianism led him to espouse:

  • Reduction of world poverty via citizens of rich nations giving some of their disposable income to charities that help the global poor.
  • Reduction of animal suffering via animal liberation and veganism.
  • Women’s absolute right to abort on the grounds that fetuses are not persons: they are neither rational nor self-aware, and can therefore hold no preferences.
  • Voluntary and some cases of involuntary (infanticide) euthanasia.
  • Bestiality that does not “harm” the animal and is “mutually satisfying”.
  • Infanticide of disabled newborn babies because “Human babies are not born self-aware, or capable of grasping that they exist over time. They are not persons.” Therefore, “the life of a newborn is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee.” See DCG’s post here.

Singer’s latest contribution to ethics is in a New York Times op/ed he co-authored with Oxford moral philosopher Jeff McMahan, in defense of Anna Stubblefield, 45, a former professor of ethics at Rutgers University, recently convicted of sexually assaulting D.J., a 34-year-old black man with severe cerebral palsy who is non-verbal, wears a diaper, and requires assistance with common everyday tasks like bathing, eating and walking.

Although D.J. is incapable of communication, Stubblefield maintains that her use of a controversial method called “facilitated communication” enabled D.J. to express himself to her.

Note: “Facilitated communication” is a discredited technique whereby a facilitator helps a mentally disabled person to “communicate” by moving (or simply pulling) the disabled’s hand across a board showing the alphabet.

Stubblefield spent the next two years working with D.J. on his communication skills, during which time she claimed he was able to write essays and academic papers, including one which was presented at the 2010 Society for Disabilities Studies conference. She came to “love” D.J. and to believe that he loved her and wanted to have sex with her. (Daily Mail)

In May 2011, D.J. revealed his sexual relationship with Stubblefield to his brother and mother, who are his legal guardians. The family went to the police and sued Stubblefield.

In October 2015, a New Jersey jury convicted Anna Stubblefield on two counts of aggravated sexual assault on D.J., and sentenced her to 12 years in prison. The prosecution claimed that Stubblefield had exploited and raped D.J. because he is sufficiently intellectually disabled to be incapable of consenting to sex. The conviction is being appealed.

In their NYT op/ed, Singer and McMahan accuse the trial’s female judge of having prevented the defense from making a case that D.J. was a cognitively aware adult who is mentally and morally capable of consenting to sex. Singer and McMahan then argue that even if the prosecution is right and D.J. is mentally incapacitated, Stubblefield had done him no real harm in having sexual intercourse with him because D.J. is incapable of undertanding what she did. Furthermore, Stubblefield actually did D.J. “good” because he “experienced pleasure” from the sexual intercourse. The two ethicists write:

“If we assume that he is profoundly cognitively impaired … in that case, he is incapable of giving or withholding informed consent to sexual relations; indeed, he may lack the concept of consent altogether.

On the assumption that he is profoundly cognitively impaired, therefore, it seems that if Stubblefield wronged or harmed him, it must have been in a way that he is incapable of understanding and that affected his experience only pleasurably.”

As reported by Steve Weatherbe for LifeSiteNews, April 7, 2017, writing in Current Affairs, Nathan Robinson calls the ethicists’ argument one of Singer’s “most outrageous arguments yet” and that it’s Singer’s stance on the disabled that “has led some disabled people to get the not unreasonable impression that Peter Singer, perhaps the world’s most prominent ethicist, would prefer it if they died . . . . The continued presence of Peter Singer in national dialogue about disability shows just how far we have to go before people like D.J. will actually be granted their full humanity, by prosecutors and philosophers alike.”

Robinson condemns utilitarianism in general for being “meticulous and Spock-like in their deductions from premises,” which leads them to “constantly end up endorsing the moral necessity of an endless number of inhumane acts. It’s a terrible philosophy that leads to brutal and perverse conclusions and, at its worst, it turns you into Peter Singer.”

The German Nazis, too, had their brand of hedonistic utilitarianism which justified their extermination of whole groups of people, including homosexuals, gypsies, the handicapped, and Jews — whom the Nazis called the bacillus race, responsible for humankind’s moral filth and degeneracy.

From “The Strange Case of Anna Stubblefield,” New York Times Magazine, October 20, 2015:

“Marjorie Anna Stubblefield goes by her middle name, pronounced with an aristocratic a, as in the word ‘‘nirvana.’’ Her last name is her former husband’s. Years ago, she was Margie McClennen, an honors student who grew up Jewish in the nearly all-white town of Plymouth, Mich.”

Peter Singer, too, is Jewish. His parents were Austrian Jews who immigrated from Vienna to Australia, where he was born. Singer’s grandparents were less fortunate: his paternal grandparents were taken by the German Nazis to Łódź, and were never heard from again; his maternal grandfather died in the Theresienstadt concentration camp.

But the irony of what Stubblefield did to D.J. and the similarities of Singer’s brand of ethics with Nazism evidently is lost on the esteemed ethicist.

~Eowyn

U. of Alaska exhibits professor’s painting of Captain America holding President Trump’s severed head

Despite complaints from the public, the administration of University of Alaska – Anchorage (UAA) refused to remove from an exhibition in the university’s fine arts gallery, a deeply offensive, vaguely-homoerotic painting of a naked Chris Evans (an anti-Trump actor best known for portraying Captain America on screen) holding the severed head of President Trump.

Blood from the severed head drips onto a ridiculously young Hillary Clinton in virginal white, clinging to Evans’ left leg, while on his right is the carcass of a dead buffalo with the words “Make America White Again” inscribed on its torso.

Amber Athey reports for Campus Reform that the painting by Assistant Professor of Painting Thomas Chung, is displayed as part of a month-long faculty art exhibition that ends today, April 20.

Thomas Chung, who claims a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from Yale University and a B.F.A. from San Francisco Art Institute, said he had wavered about putting the painting on display out of concern that it might make some students feel uncomfortable, but defends his painting:

“It’s an image of the actor who plays Captain America, and two eagles are sort of screaming into his ears, and he’s holding the severed head of Trump, and there’s a young Hillary Clinton clinging to his leg. I was reminded of those 80’s rock posters, where there’s a woman in tattered clothes clinging to a strong male hero’s leg.

I was really torn about putting this piece up a faculty show, because I would never talk about my own political beliefs to my students. But I realized that I feel very strongly about this, and I think even students that might be pro-Trump supporters could benefit from having a conversation with me about why I feel this way—why I painted this.”

Paul Berger, a former UAA faculty member, points out that Chung’s painting is visible from outside of the gallery entrance and is the first thing people see as they enter.

Steven Godfrey, the chair of UAA’s Fine Arts Department, said they would “protect” anyone who made a controversial piece of art: “I guess the people are upset about the work that’s being shown. If they were taking a class at the university and made art that was considered controversial, no matter what their political or religious bent is, we would do our best to protect them and protect their rights to make that kind of work in the institution, whether it would be a student or faculty.”

UAA Chancellor Tom Case defends the exhibition of Chung’s painting on the grounds of “protected expression” and the university as “a place for free exchange of ideas, diversity of thoughts and of opinions”.

For his part, UAA President Jim Johnsen also defends the art exhibit as free speech: “A vital and vibrant university, regardless of the campus, must be a place of ideas, opinion, and debate. Not all ideas, opinions, or artistic expressions stand the test of open debate or time. “he dust bin of history is filled with such ideas…I can think of no better place than a university to test ideas, especially those that are highly controversial and objectionable, through open and rigorous debate.”

But Professor Berger, who calls himself a conservative,questions if the administration and students of UAA would approve of the painting if it depicted Obama’s severed head instead of Trump’s. Berger also asks if such an art display is appropriate for a university that is funded by taxpayers.

Quite aside from the offensiveness of Chung’s severed-head painting, it’s not even a good painting from the point of view of artistry. Any number of amateur painters can do better.

Chung’s other paintings show an obsession with demonic images of death, snakes, and homoeroticism. Here’s a sample from his Facebook page (h/t FOTM‘s CP):

Thomas Chung can be reached at (907) 786-1738 and tpchung@alaska.edu (email).

UAA President Jim Johnsen can be reached at ua.president@alaska.edu; 907.450.8000 (phone); 907.450.8012 (fax).

See also:

~Eowyn