The Noble Lie loses its nobility

My workplace has a new President; based on his periodic pronouncements I’ve started calling him President Diversity. Notre Dame’s Professor Patrick Deneen calls this The Ignoble Lie: Meritocratic ideology disguises the ruling class’s own role in perpetuating inequality from itself, and even fosters a broader social ecology in which those who are not among the ruling class suffer an array of social and economic pathologies that are increasingly the defining feature of ­America’s underclass. Facing up to reality would require hard questions about the agenda underlying commitments to “diversity and inclusion.” Our ­stated commitment to “critical thinking” demands no less, … Continue reading The Noble Lie loses its nobility

Whether to ask the question invites an answer

The Justice Department and the Census Bureau are engaged in a kerfuffle over the 2020 Census.  It’s all about a question of citizenship: “What country are you a citizen of?”  With the inevitable congressional reapportionment that occurs based on the Census, this is a question that many states really don’t want to know the answer to. My take:  the Census Bureau has been crying poor for years now.  The Trump Administration should jawbone Congress into increasing the Bureau’s funding, but only if they ASK THE QUESTION (and report the answers). Update:  Now folks should really be worried.  Combine citizenship data … Continue reading Whether to ask the question invites an answer

The Feds are not your friends

Writing in the New York Times Magazine, Jennifer Percy describes Fear of the Federal Government in the Ranchlands of Oregon.  Try though she might, her east coast acculturation won’t let her quite get into the heads of the folks in towns where she spent her childhood. They visited Yellowstone Nation Park and saw, they said, two million acres of natural resources gone to waste. “At least one day a year,” Robin said, “we ought to be able to go in and take advantage.” Emily thought the trees were too close together. “Didn’t look healthy,” she said, “because they don’t log.” … Continue reading The Feds are not your friends

Some Hard Stats about University Teaching

Thinking about becoming a university professor?  Read Kevin Birmingham’s “The Great Shame of Our Profession” before making definite plans. A 2014 congressional report suggests that 89 percent of adjuncts work at more than one institution; 13 percent work at four or more. The need for several appointments becomes obvious when we realize how little any one of them pays…. According to the 2014 congressional report, adjuncts’ median pay per course is $2,700. An annual report by the American Association of University Professors indicated that last year “the average part-time faculty member earned $16,718” from a single employer. Other studies have … Continue reading Some Hard Stats about University Teaching

The Inside Scoop on Women’s Studies

Toni Airaksinen, a rising junior at Barnard College in Manhattan, gives us all the skinny on what women’s studies is all about.  It’s all WLB-iness.* So, if you’re not finding oppression: look harder.  The unfortunate consequence of this theory is that oppression will be found everywhere — even where it doesn’t exist. Ashe Schow takes it one step further describing “Where feminism went wrong” No longer are feminists devoted to equality — because men and women do have equal rights under the law (although Janet Bloomfield has pointed out five legal rights women have that men don’t). The focus now … Continue reading The Inside Scoop on Women’s Studies