Friday, December 19, 2014

Harvard Cowardice in Action (Soda Machines)

Hat tip Daily Caller


“These machines can be seen as a microaggression to Palestinian students and their families and like the University doesn’t care about Palestinian human rights,” sophomore Rachel J. Sandalow-Ash, a member of the Harvard College Progressive Jewish Alliance, told the Crimson. A “microaggression,” according to modern campus activists, is some minor everyday statement or action that entrenches discrimination or degrades a person based on their group identity."

The insanity in academia and war against anything Israel continues. In this case Harvard has removed the labels from soda machines because they come from a company owned by the Israeli firm SodaStream, which has a plant in the West Bank (and employs Arab workers).

Bill Cosby and the Subject of Sexual Assault

This originally appeared in Eagle Rising.

It seems everybody is talking about Bill Cosby and the numerous rape charges being made against him. Yet, I wonder where everybody was for the past three decades. Not being a woman, I should be cautious before asking why so  many of the two dozen or so women never went to the police at the time. (One woman reported Cosby in Pennsylvania in 2004. The DA declined to prosecute for lack of sufficient evidence.) Far be it from me to see inside the head of a rape victim. I consider this to be one of the most heinous crimes there is, and the psychological effects must be devastating.

Of course, one must be cautious when it comes to sexual abuse allegations. I just finished reading a  comprehensive book on the 2006 Duke University lacrosse rape case (The Price of Silence) and false charges can be made-as it was in this case. As we speak, the University of Virginia (from where I got my masters degree in 1993) is reeling from a gang rape accusation made by a coed that was published in Rolling Stone-and now retracted. A couple of weeks ago, I received a mass e-mail from UVA assuring all the alumni that they are taking it all very seriously, cooperating with the authorities, and blah blah blah, woof woof woof, quack quack quack. At this point, we don't know what the truth is.

While we are on the topic of universities, the whole question of sexual abuse is front and center these days including where I teach at UC Irvine. Cosby, of course, is not accused of raping any coeds on any campus (that I am aware of), but he still has ties to Temple University, his alma mater. In all the discussion on sexual abuse I have read on college sites, I have seen no mention of the Cosby matter. Since Cosby is accused of slipping something into his victims' drinks, it seems there should be some relevance since the number one cause of campus rape seems to be binge drinking at parties. (There also seems to be a reluctance to point that out as if it were blaming the victim.)

Of course, Cosby under the law is presumed innocent until proven guilty. As such, it is unlikely he will ever see the inside of a court of law-civil or criminal- due to the statute of limitations. Recently, LA's number one ambulance-chasing attorney, Gloria Allred jumped (predictably) into the fray. She is representing one of the accusers and asking Cosby to waive the statute of limitations so he can be sued by her client. Fat Albert chance of that happening.

Cosby, however, is not entitled to the presumption of innocence in the court of public opinion. He has acted abysmally when asked by interviewers about the charges. Last month, he twice refused to say one word about the charges when asked by NPR's Scott Simon preferring only to shake his head.

 And just days ago, he told an interviewer that he expected the "black media' to to maintain neutrality.

If it were me being accused I would be jumping up and down in front of every camera I could find proclaiming my innocence.

I also wonder where Hollywood has been all these years when it comes to Cosby. If there have been two dozen victims, mostly young women trying to make it in show business, it seems to me that there would be plenty of scuttlebutt about Cosby going around over the past three decades. Has Hollywood hushed it up until now?

Let the lawyers proclaim Cosby's innocence. If he isn't willing to do it himself, why should I?

Obama Gets His First Cuban Cigar

Fousesquawk Exclusive Photo!!!

Well, perhaps it's a cigarillo.

President Obama got the jump on lifting the Cuban embargo at a White House reception Wednesday when a guest presented him with a Cuban cigar.

(Aren't they still technically illegal in the US?)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Face of Hate (University of Michigan Style)

Hat tip In These Times

Look Into the Face of Hate

Susan Douglas is a professor of communications at the University of Michigan. In the below article she explains why she hates Republicans. I mean she really hates them. This story was featured tonight on Megyn Kelly's show on Fox News.

".....championing fetal “personhood.”

Well, who wouldn't hate a Republican for doing that?

How many times have you seen some liberal publication show a photo of say, a Tea Party demonstration, a rally against illegal immigration, or a Stop the Islamization of America rally with the caption, "The Face of Hate"? And then you read a rant like this. I have news for you. This is typical in American universities.

If you want to see some real visceral, red in the face, screaming  hate, visit your college campus sometime when there is a controversial event or issue like Israel, for example, being discussed.

In fact, just walk up to the first professor you see and mention the word, "Israel". Then you will see hate.

Another SONY Shame: CEO Begs Absolution From Al Sharpton

Hat tip Daily Caller

Amy Pascal, the SONY CEO who was found to have mocked President Obama and his alleged preference for black-themed movies, is doing the sackcloth and ashes tour. And guess who she reaches out to but Al Sharpton.

I can only wonder what behind-the-scenes payout Pascal and SONY will have to make to Sharpton's National Action Network. Maybe North Korea can find that out before our own media can.

And what makes Pascal think that Sharpton is a moral authority on anything? This is the hero of Crown Heights, the Tawana Brawley hoax, and countless others, what moral standing does this guy have?

I guess I should ask his current employers at MSNBC.

Geert Wilders to be Prosecuted Again in Holland

Hat tip Gates of Vienna

Dutch politician Geert Wilders will be prosecuted a second time for his outspoken views on the topic of Muslim immigration in the Netherlands.

In a more encouraging note, a solid majority of Dutch citizens support Wilders as shown in a recent poll.

Wilders is a courageous hero who deserves the respect and support of free people everywhere.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Has Supporters

View image on Twitter

Indecency has no limits.

As Boston Marathon bombing defendant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev made a scheduled court appearance in Boston, he had his supporters both inside and outside the courthouse. One bombing victim showed two of the demonstrators his prosthetic leg. It made no impression.

And a woman identified as Elena Teyer, the Russian mother-in-law of a Tsarnaev associate who was killed by the FBI, had to be escorted out of the courtroom.


AMCHA Initiative to UC Chancellors

I am cross-posting the below letter from 22 organizations (listed below) to 9 University of California chancellors regarding the issue of graduate student instructors using the classroom as an anti-Israel bully pulpit.


From: Tammi Benjamin 
Subject: Following up on Provost Dorr's letter regarding UC policies and graduate student instructors
Date: December 18, 2014 at 8:44:22 AM PST

Dear Chancellors Block, Blumenthal, Dirks, Gillman, Katehi, Khosla, Leland, Wilcox and Yang:

We represent 22 organizations with hundreds and thousands of members and supporters nationwide, who are deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of Jewish students at colleges and universities across the country in light of the rising tide of anti-Israel sentiment and the rapid growth of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement on many campuses.

We are writing to you now about the recent vote of the UAW 2865 in favor of participating in the BDS movement, with 1,411 of the 2,168 voting union members (65%) favoring the resolution. In addition to the union's adoption of BDS, a pledge was taken by 1,136 graduate student instructors to personally adhere to a discriminatory boycott of Israeli universities and scholars.

While we support the right of every member of UAW 2865 to exercise his or her freedom of speech outside of the instructional setting, we are greatly concerned that these union members, who are responsible for instructing hundreds of thousands of undergraduate students, will bring their unscholarly, politically motivated and antisemitic propaganda and advocacy into UC classrooms, where it certainly does not belong.

The BDS movement has become increasingly explicit in expressing its ultimate goal of eliminating Israel. This goal was echoed by members of the UAW 2865 BDS Caucus panel at UC Berkeley last month, when they stated that the purpose of BDS is “isolating Zionism” and “bringing down Israel.”  In embracing a movement that calls for the elimination of the world’s only Jewish state, UAW 2865 members are trafficking in open antisemitism.

Furthermore, the BDS movement calls for a campaign of anti-normalization whose goal is to delegitimize and silence anyone who accepts the legitimacy of the Jewish state. On numerous college campuses, including at the University of California, aggressive anti-normalization campaigns have targeted Jewish and pro-Israel students for harassment, intimidation, bullying, and even physical assault. 

UC policy, particularly the Regents Policy on Course Content, prohibits graduate students from using their instructional positions to promote anti-Israel propaganda and the antisemitic boycott of Israel inside their classrooms.  We are aware that Provost Dorr has sent to each of you a letter enumerating these University policies.

Given the antisemitic and discriminatory nature of the BDS movement, graduate student instructors who choose to use their classroom as a platform for advancing the goals of the BDS movement cannot help but create a hostile and threatening environment for many Jewish and pro-Israel students.  We therefore call on each of you to issue a public statement affirming your commitment to strictly enforcing the Regents Policy on Course Content and to ensuring that Jewish and pro-Israel students are provided with a safe and non-discriminatory learning environment.


Accuracy in Academia
AMCHA Initiative
American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists
Americans for Peace and Tolerance
Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law
California Association of Scholars
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)
CUFI on Campus
David Horowitz Freedom Center
Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET)
Hasbara Fellowships
Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel 
National Conference on Jewish Affairs  
Proclaiming Justice to the Nations   
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East   
Simon Wiesenthal Center 
Students and Parents Against Campus Anti-Semitism
The Lawfare Project
Training and Education About the Middle East (T.E.A.M.)
Verity Educate
Zionist Organization of America

Cc:  UC President Janet Napolitano
UC Provost Aimee Dorr
UC Regents
California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson
California Senator Carol Liu, Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Education
California Assembly Member Das Williams, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education
California Assembly Member Shirley Weber, Chair of the Select Committee on Campus Climate
California State Senator Marty Block, Chair of Legislative Jewish Caucus
California Jewish Community Leaders

I heartily concur, and I think it should extend to full-time faculty as well-on a whole range of political topics.

What Will Bill Maher Say at Berkeley?

Bill Maher's commencement speech at UC Berkeley is just two days away (December 20) in spite of the best efforts of the fascist elements of Berkeley that don't believe in free speech. The question I have is what Maher will say in his remarks.

First of all, I don't think he should bash Islam as he has on his show. There will be Muslim students in the class and nobody should hear their religion bashed in that forum. A commencement speech is not the proper venue.

I do think that rather than telling the students to "follow their dreams" or something like that, Maher should speak very forcefully on the principles of free speech and how they have been circumscribed in the universities. In fact, I can think of no more important message that these young people need to hear given the controversy over his appearance.

In addition, I would encourage the university to pump the live feed from the speech into the office of Hatem Bazian, the professor who has been leading the drive to have Maher cancelled. He might learn something about America-something he is woefully ignorant of.

What Is Going on at Marquette University?

Last I checked the Catholic Church was opposed to same-sex marriages. In addition, the last time I checked, Marquette University in Milwaukee is a Catholic university. This story was first reported last month and picked up here at Fousesquawk. I find this story about the suspension of a tenured professor confusing and troubling.  Todd Starnes of Fox News has the followup report.

So Professor John McAdams, a conservative professor who has taught at Marquette for 37 years, has been suspended for writing this post on his blog about graduate teaching asst. Cheryl Abbate.

After reading McAdams' post, I do not think that he was harassing Abbate. Personally, I would probably have left her name out of the post. In my own position as a part-time teacher at UC Irvine, I feel that there is a line between teacher and student that must be respected. Thus, I don't attack UCI students by name. That is my personal policy, but I suppose there is a lesson to be learned by the Marquette example. I should add that I have not bothered to delete the names of students at other universities though I still feel that their tender age should always be a mitigating factor when they say something stupid. Professors? That's a different story. They are fair game, and that is especially so when they become activists in issues of public interest; they are, in effect, public figures.

Do I think Ms Abbate was wrong in what she reportedly told the student? Yes, I do. Being against the idea of gay marriage does not necessarily mean you are homophobic or a hateful person. The student had every right to raise that question-in a respectful way- in the class.

I should also add that I have a bias against the idea of graduate assistants being the teachers in a college class to begin with. Parents are students are not paying those high tuition fees to be taught by graduate students. Professors, of course, need all that time to do their research.

Not that some professor couldn't have made the same comments that Abbate did.

PS: I have just linked McAdams' blog, Marquette Warrior here at Fousesquawk. Check it out.

Today is Thursday and.........

(I should start a regular Fousesquawk feature on this because virtually every day that passes, more people are murdered every day by the dozens or hundreds all in the name of Islam.)

Today, we have this from Nigeria where Boko Haram has kidnapped another 180 or so women to be there sex slaves.

And in that newly-created nation called the Islamic State, we have a report that one ISIS fighter-one- has executed over 150 women and girls who refused to enter into forced marriages with ISIS fighters.

"Allahu Akbar."

Tomorrow is Friday. I wonder what that will bring.

Jihad and Porn

Hat tip Investigative Project on Terrorism

"Usama! We have guests."

"Good. Show them up."

I've heard a lot of excuses for terrorism coming from Islamist apologists, but this one takes the cake. Hamza Yusuf, a co-founder of Zaytuna College (an Islamic college at UC Berkeley), is blaming jihadist violence on Western pornography. This comes out of a panel discussion at Georgetown University hosted by Georgetown's chief Islamist apologist John Esposito.

"After George noted that intelligence agents routinely find sexually explicit materials on laptops belonging to captured jihadists, Yusuf offered a theory in which young men "become deeply defiled" by the pornography habits and blame the West for providing the corrupting influences. They turn to jihad for religious purification and redemption."

And what could purify a young man's soul more than flying an airplane into buildings or beheading children?

And note this leading question from the event's announcement (see link):

"How has the persecution of Muslim minorities affected their well-being in Europe and North America, the overall health of Muslim-majority nations, and the growth of violent Islamist extremism?"

Excuse me-what persecution of Muslim minorities? Don't they have that backwards? It is the Muslims who are persecuting religious minorities these days-including Jews in Europe. 

"Jasser also criticized Yusuf's connection with Zaid Shakir, his Zaytuna College partner and co-founder, who told the New York Times he wanted to see America become a Muslim nation ruled by Islamic law."

And don't forget that other co-founder of Zaytuna, UC Berkeley professor Hatem Bazian, who was last seen leading the charge to get Bill Maher's commencement address at UCB cancelled. He's the guy who called for an intifada in the US.

But as for Yusuf's blaming jihad and terrorist violence on Western pornography, I mean really-haven't they run out of excuses?