Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Feminist Professor Sally Jacobson Redefines Free Speech

Some of the feminists at the Northern Kentucky University have been acting a bit goofy of late, even by leftist standards. When a pro-life group on the campus erected a field of crosses as a memorial to aborted fetuses, English professor Sally Jacobsen encouraged the women in one of her graduate classes to take action. About ten students led by Dr. Jacobsen proceeded to rip up all of the offending crosses and dump them in various trashcans around campus. The act was caught on tape, and Jacobsen was quickly identified. What’s really bizarre here is not just that this event occurred, but the justification offered by Jacobsen:

“I did, outside of class during the break, invite students to express their freedom-of-speech rights to destroy the display if they wished to.”

OK. But didn’t she feel bad in retrospect, considering that the pro-life group had gone through the long process of getting university approval for the display, and then devoted considerable amounts of time and money to erecting it?

“Any violence perpetrated against that silly display was minor compared to how I felt when I saw it. Some of my students felt the same way, just outraged.”

So when someone feels outraged, it gives them the right to destroy property. Sounds like the basis for a stable society to me.

When it became clear that the authorities were planning on pressing charges against Dr. Jacobsen, and that the pro-life student group intended to sue her, the offending professor did an about face and offered an apology. The apology seems rather disingenuous when one considers that around the same time Jacobsen sent off an e-mail to the students involved in the vandalism urging them to avoid talking to the police, saying “If you have not yet been interrogated, you do not have to talk to them without an attorney. You can make it hard to find you.” She also incorrectly advised them that "The well-funded Right to Life groups that are pushing for this need felony convictions, I believe, in order to file civil suits for damages." Unfortunately for her, no criminal conviction is needed for a person or group to file a civil suit.

As you might expect, the right-wing blogs have been having a field day with this. Dr. Jacobson’s name and phone number have been removed from the campus directory, probably as the result of the harassment and threats she no doubt received from all the pro-life fanatics out there. The school administration handled the situation surprisingly responsibly, removing Dr. Jacobsen from the classroom and declaring that she will retire at the end of this semester (though whether she had already planned her retirement or had it pushed on her by the administration is unclear).

The interesting thing to note here is that in America, the only places you will find lefties displaying this level of complete craziness are the San Francisco bay area and college campuses. Were it not for academia, ideological freaks like Sally Jacobsen, Ward Churchill and Noam Chomsky would probably only be able to find gainful employment as the conspiracy-spouting weirdo at your local head shop.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

An ALF Member Speaks

Here’s an interesting first-person account of a break-in committed by a cell of the British Animal Liberation Front (ALF). The author goes into quite a bit of detail into how they staked the laboratory in question and eventually carried out the raid, resulting in the taking of several animals that were undergoing experimentation. It’s surprising how lax security was at the lab when one considers the level of animal rights activism currently going on in the UK. Not surprisingly, the author expresses absolutely no remorse for his actions, and states that he plans to commit similar acts in the future. It kind of makes you wonder if it might be a good idea to mix in some counseling with imprisonment in cases like this, as regular jail time seems to do nothing but harden the beliefs of persons such as these.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The American Taliban

The Southern Poverty Law Center recently published this rather informative article on Christian reconstrctionists and their efforts to win coverts among more mainstream protestant churches. Reconstrctionists, for those of you unfamiliar with the term, are Christians who believe that our society and government should be run according to a literal interpretation of the Old Testament. For an amusing look at some of the more bizarre laws we would have to obey under such a system, check out this site. (Thanks to Dan for the link.) While you’re at it log onto Texe Mars’ site. He’s an old school reconstructionist, and his newsletter is a hoot. A recent quote regarding mainstream Christian churches:

At any given time you can take a look across the bow of today’s Christian establishment and you’ll see a vast sea of unfathomable, bizarre conduct. Wild men and women everywhere, doing their thing, blaspheming God and His Word, partying, frolicking, laughing like hyenas, wild as loons. God must surely be heartsick at what he is seeing.

Geez, I went I got dragged off to church as a kid there was defiantly no partying or frolicking of any kind going on. I must have gone to one of the uncool churches or something.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Moral Failing Of Watchdog Groups

“Watchdog groups”, as they are called, are organizations that devote themselves to monitoring the activities of political extremists. There a quite a few of them currently operating in the U.S., mostly from a liberal or leftist viewpoint. A few, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, are large enough to provide a comfortable living to their owners. While providing a lot of valuable information on the groups they monitor, the activities of watchdog groups raise several troubling ethical questions. One of the greatest of these is the lack of any sort of outreach program directed at the persons they keep tabs on. I don’t know of a single watchdog groups that makes any sort of effort to lure political extremists away from their activities. Given that most people choose their political affiliations based on the perceived social relationships they think they will gain as a result, it stands to reason that an outreach program offering a substitute social network might be quite successful. It seems that for whatever reason, watchdog groups would rather mock and disrupt the extremist movements they monitor rather than try to help their members to quit. Of course, an outreach program would also require quite a bit more work and a true desire to help others.