I have written columns and blogs through the years about the disturbing trend on U.S. campuses toward free regulation and controls. In the name of diversities and tolerance, college administrators and professors are enforcing greater and greater controls on speech –declaring certain views or terms to be forms of racism or more commonly “microaggressions.” The latter term is gaining support to expand the range of controls over speech and conduct to include things that are indirect or minor forms of perceived intolerance. The crackdown seems most prevalent in California where lists of “micro aggressions” seems to be mounting as a macroaggression on free speech. The new list of verboten terms out of University of California (Berkeley), headed by Janet Napolitano, captures the insatiable appetite for speech regulation. The school has asked faculty to stop using terms like “melting pot” or statements like “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.” They are now all microaggressions. Not only are school buying into the concept of microaggressions and speech regulation, but they are shaping a generation of students who seem to look for any possible interpretation of terms to take offensive at.
A male student identified as “John Doe” has sued Amherst College for allegedly denying him due process and ignoring evidence that he says proved another students Sandra Jones, lied about an alleged rape at the college. This is the second such lawsuit accusing the school of stripping students of due process in the handling of sexual harassment or assault claims. I have previously written about my concerns over the heavy-handed measures that the Obama Administration has forced on universities over the objections of faculty and students alike in such cases.
We previously discussed the bizarre case of Rachel Dolezal, 37, the head of an NAACP chapter accused of lying by her own mother. Worse yet, some have suggested that Rachel Dolezal, who is the head of the NAACP’s chapter in Spokane, planted hate mail at her office. Now it appears that Dolezal once sued Howard University over discriminating against her for being white — before she claimed she was black. If true, it makes a truly bizarre story all the more bizarre.
We previously wrote about the decision of the University of Illinois to withdraw the employment of Professor Steven Salaita due to his publication of anti-Israel views on Twitter. I raised concerns over the decision as punishing an academic for views expressed outside of the classroom. It appear that the American Association of University Professors has the same concerns. The AAUP has passed a censure of the University — a significant sanction for a university that has strived to be included among the top school.
LawDragon has released the results of its increasingly popular survey of the top lawyers in America. I was fortunate to again make the list this year. This year is the 10th anniversary of the annual report which has become very popular in the profession. I have been honored to be on the list in prior years and it is always gladdening to see so many friends and GW graduates on the list.
We have previously discussed the struggle that creationists have with the daily disclosures of scientific research, particularly the discovery of fossils and other items that are dates in the millions rather than thousands of years. It is hard to maintain that the Earth is less than 6,000 years old given the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. However, Canadian Edgar Nernberg has shown just how easy it is to live in denial. Nernberg was not just confronted with a fossil from over 60 million years ago, but he actually found it in his basement. However, Nernberg does not think God is trying to tell him something. He maintains that “There’s no dates stamped on these things” and it proves nothing if you just reject isotopic dating and basic geology.
There is a remarkable story out of Belgium where researchers have not only identified a 200-year old skeleton discovered beneath a parking lot at the Battle of Waterloo site as a German soldier, but identified the soldier as 23-year old Friedrich Brandt, was a member of the King’s German Legion of British monarch George III. The pictures shown here actually reveal the minimal still lodged between Brandt from the wound that killed him.