As promised, I have put up the propaganda questions from the Muslim Student Association. They disseminated these fliers before and after the talk. My favorite of the planted questions are the ones that attack Ms. Ali for not being a scholar of Islam and that suggest that all Muslim women are offended by her. Please click on the images for the pages in full.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
The campaign’s latest online ad spoofs the stimulus package now being debated in the U.S. Senate, drawing a comparison to the massive pork barrel spending bill Boxer supports to the Prego Spaghetti sauce “It’s in there!” ad campaign of the early 1980s. About the almost $1 trillion bill, Boxer said “Writing this bill is like making sausage” so comparing it to spaghetti sauce is not a stretch.
Also, DeVore's New Media Director, Justin Hart, won a "Shorty Award" for his Twitter feed, which he's used to find new donors and raise money:
The DeVore for California campaign beat out prominent competitors to win the Shorty with its use of a first-of-a-kind fully integrated Twitter fundraising effort at www.TweetforChuck.com. The goal of www.TweetforChuck.com was to net the campaign 100 new donors in 24 hours. So far, 169 supporters from all over America have signed up to help Chuck DeVore defeat Senator Barbara Boxer in 2010.
Here's the mention in The Economist.
Gregory Paul, an independent researcher on evolution, and Phil Zuckerman, a sociologist at Pitzer College in California, have argued controversially that a belief in God is inversely correlated with the level of what might be described as the intensity of the struggle for existence. In countries where food is plentiful, health care is universal and housing is accessible, people believe less in God than in those countries where their lives are insecure. A belief in God, and rejection of evolution, they suggest, is most valuable in those societies that are most subject to Darwinian pressures. [Emphasis mine]First things first. What is meant by "universal" health care? If by government rationed health care, we might be closer to the mark. Just ask the Canadians who stream across our borders to get quick, affordable heath care. Or the pets in Canada who enjoy affordable, pleasant health care care. On the housing as accessible question, I wonder if there might be a difference between having a government provided home and one that you bought yourself.
And food being plentiful hasn't been a problem for quite some time in much of the world. In fact, Mexico and China, among other places, are having problems with diabetes and overweight children!
So let's move on to the main charge, that as Salon has put it in reference to Dr. Zuckerman's book, a non-religious, even atheist, society is better.
In "Society Without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment," he tells of a magical land where life expectancy is high and infant mortality low, where wealth is spread and genders live in equity, where happy, fish-fed citizens score high in every quality-of-life index: economic competitiveness, healthcare, environmental protection, lack of corruption, educational investment, technological literacy ... well, you get the idea.But is this really so? Much of Dr. Zuckerman's "methodology" consists of interviewing 149 Swedes and Danes off the street who happen to speak English. Not only is this biased in many different directions, but it's bad sociology. This is a heavy charge, so I'll let Salon back me up.
To speak true, Zuckerman's research boils down to 149 formal interviews, conducted entirely in Denmark and Sweden (and mostly in English), and his convenience-sample methodology -- talking "to whomever I could in whatever social situations I found myself" -- greatly limits his ability to extrapolate from his findings. Still, in his own impressionistic fashion, Zuckerman (who has explored the sociology of religion in two previous books) has managed to show what nonbelief looks like when it's "normal, regular, mainstream, common."The glaring exception to this trend toward secularism would, of course, be the United States, where religious adherence is quite high. I'm not convinced that wealth breeds the welfare state. On the contrary, I think that the stronger correlation is one with the state entering religion and ones where the state does not. In much of Europe, there are established churches. In the United States, we take more of a free market approach to religion. And there might be great benefits to a society that places high values on religion. Again, from the Salon review,
Zuckerman isn't quite so eager to bring up the dark undercurrents of Scandinavian life: dismal weather, a heavy tax burden, low fertility, high alcoholism, a suicide rate twice that of America. (Maybe godlessness has its downsides?) Nor does he spend a lot of time wondering how the placidity of Scandinavia's insular and homogenous societies will bear up under the influx of highly religious non-Western immigrants.By having a religious element present, Americans can attract new souls both to religion, but also to America. Perhaps that's why America has been so spectacularly successful at Americanizing recent immigrants. After all, every new American is in some sense, at least, already a convert.
Pomona College head named to AACU post
The Association of American Colleges and Universities has named Pomona College President David Oxtoby as its vice chairman.
The Association of American Colleges and Universities is a leading national educational association with more than 1,150 accredited private and public colleges and universities.
The AACU focuses on public standing, quality and vitality of undergraduate liberal education.
In the topsy turvy world which we all inhabit, we knew some kind of accolades were to be coming toward President Oxtoby after he did the bidding of those who wanted to eliminate the alma mater on the altar of diversity after no evidence existed that the song in question had a racist past.
Just who are the AACU?
Why, they are one of the many academic groups that once advocated for a classical, liberal education and now advocate for multicultural pabulum. One of their more frequent issues is "diversity," by which they mean protected classes of students.
Here's just one example from September 2006 courtesy Frederick M. Hess of AEI's educational policy studies department.
Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner, author of Diversifying the Faculty: A Guidebook for Search Committees (published by the Association of American Colleges and Universities), explained in the Chronicle of Higher Education that universities seeking minority faculty should require “a record of scholarship in areas related to diversity,” “previous experience interacting with communities of color,” or “interest in developing and implementing curricula that address multicultural issues.”
Call me silly, but something tells me Oxtoby won't have a hard time fitting in.