1) If a report in The Chronicle of Higher Education (excerpted here) is correct, then Rensselaer Polytechnic president Shirley Jackson seems a little…imperious…in her approach to her job.
Having created the very model of an undemocratic, corporate university, President Jackson is appropriately imperious. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, she has a series of rules that are clear to everyone. These include: 1) Only she is authorized to set the temperature in conference rooms; 2) Cabinet members all rise when she enters the room; 3) If food is served at a meeting, vice presidents clear her plate; and 4) She is always to be publicly introduced as “The Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson.” Falling into rages on occasion, she publicly abuses her staff and frequently remarks: “You know, I could fire you all.” In 2011, RPI’s Student Senate passed a resolution criticizing her “abrasive style,” “top-down leadership,” and the climate of “fear” she had instilled among administrators and staff. It even called upon RPI’s board of trustees to consider Jackson’s removal from office. But, once again, the board merely rallied in her defense.
2) Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri, blocked the nomination of Lt General Susan Helms to head the Air Force Space Command, leading to Helms’ subsequent retirement from the service. McCaskill assailed Helms’ 2012 decision to grant clemency to an officer serving at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., who had been convicted of aggravated sexual assault.
Helms used her judgment and her command authority to prevent what she apparently viewed as an injustice, based on her review of evidence in the case. McCaskill said that the clemency decision “sent a damaging message to survivors of sexual assault who are seeking justice in the military justice system.” Apparently, McCaskill cares much more about “sending messages” than about justice to individuals. The message that she has sent to all American military commanders is this: Do not ever extend clemency in a matter where an individual has been accused of an offense which is of particular concern to the Democratic Party, or your career will be immediately destroyed.
If a governor pardons someone accused of witchcraft, then the governor himself must be a witch. That seems to be the level of McCaskill’s thinking here.
Much more about the case at this link.
3) Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a very courageous woman who was raised as a Muslim and has been attempting, in the face of many threats, to warn the western world about the danger of Islamic extremism. At an event in Washington, Joe Biden informed her that “ISIS had nothing to do with Islam.” Hirsi Ali disagreed. To which Slow Joe responded “Let me tell you one or two things about Islam.”
4) Speaking of Muslims…Omar Mahmood, a Muslim conservative who is a student at the University of Michigan, wrote a satire on political correctness, mocking the current vogue for claiming “microaggressions.” He was denounced by students of the “progressive” persuasion…”people attacked his dorm room door, egging it and leaving copies of his satirical article with notes on the backs including “Shut the f— up!” and “You scum embarrass us” and “DO YOU EVEN GO HERE?! LEAVE!!” along with various others, including an image of a creature with horns and another one of him with his eyes crossed out.” Mahmood was also fired from the student newspaper. He says that “the political environment on campus is radically left-wing and intolerant,” noting that:
“Almost all student clubs have ‘social justice’ wings… some use violent rhetoric, shameless rhetoric, to promote their ideology, and call it ‘liberation.’ They call it ‘tolerance’ and ‘equality’ and ‘creating a safe space’ — which is all very ironic.”
The students who reacted to Mahmood’s satire in this way are not worthy of being university students, or for that matter American citizens, and the administrators of this university should be ashamed of themselves for allowing such a climate to develop. They won’t be, though.