Wednesday, 15 December 2004

Boo-F*cking Hoo

I’m really with Volokh conspirator Orin Kerr on this one: it’s hard to throw a pity party for a professor who has to “endure” Kerry / Edwards bumper stickers and a left-leaning faculty. His biggest gripe—horror of horrors—is that some faculty members will skip the RNC. Hardly evidence of oppression. Here’s “William Pilger’s” take:

My new tenure-track digs include a large office in a historic building with leaded-pane windows, sills deep enough to stack files on, and shelves on three walls filled with my own books, departmental gems, and junk from years past.

All the signs point to it: I’m finally a bona-fide member of academe.

Yet I’m gradually coming to realize that my membership card should read “in but not of”—something the 2004 presidential election set in stark relief. Maybe I should have seen it coming all along.

I was just finishing up the requisite two-year temporary appointment last spring—at my alma mater, of all places—when a relatively small group of conservative students asserted itself more publicly than the administration wished. Their claim: A leftist bias emanating from the college administration and faculty stifled discussion and real thinking in the classroom.

I had reached the same conclusion when I was a student there. During an “Introduction to Political Science” class, for example, I was required to write paper on how to solve global warming. My paper suggested that perhaps there was no reason to, since the scientific evidence was inconclusive. I got a D.

On the paper, I’m not sure what to say other than his paper was off-topic. He could have easily written on the virtues of carbon sinks and “the Geritol solution” if he were required to write about global warming as if it were real. Admittedly, it’s open to dispute and it’s an odd topic for a “political” science class, but it seems within bounds.


Any views expressed in these comments are solely those of their authors; they do not reflect the views of the authors of Signifying Nothing, unless attributed to one of us.

Indeed, I don’t think this is the article that conservative and libertarian-leaning academics want to have making their case to their liberal colleagues. Nor is my impression particularly improved by the author’s hiding behind anonymity.


Yep, it occurred to me that the blogosphere is perfect for vetting this kind of junk. If people that are right-leaning can’t get behind this, they need to revise and resubmit. As I’ve said in other contexts, there’s an argument to be made on this subject, but this ain’t it.

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