How a Nobel prize winner got fired

Timothy Richard Hunt is a biologist who won the Nobel Prize.  A faculty member at University College London, a fellow of the Royal Society, and a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, he was knighted for his accomplishments.  But he said this in a speech:

“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they’re in the lab: You fall in love with them; they fall in love with you; and when you criticize them they cry.”

A lame attempt at humor.  Offensive to women.  Politically incorrect. So he got fired from all of his positions!  Even though he has a Nobel Prize!  (I wonder if they can take that away from him.)

Lesson:  No one is safe making those kinds of remarks.  You can’t joke about this kind of thing.  Your intentions won’t count.  Your career will be in jeopardy.  For all of our alleged lack of inhibitions, we do have social taboos and you will be punished if you break them.  Even if you have a Nobel Prize. [Read more...]

Liberals vs. Leftists on political correctness

Both liberals and leftists share the goal of social and economic equality and other progressive ideals.  But liberals believe those can be attained in terms of the Enlightenment ideals of liberty, human rights, and democracy.  On the other hand, Leftists (think Soviet Union, Maoists, other Communists, etc.) believe that liberty, human rights, and democracy must be restricted in order to attain those goals.

That’s one takeaway from a fascinating study of “political correctness” by William Voegeli in The Claremont Review of Books, who begins by discussing an article on “How the Language Police Are Perverting Liberalism.”

Notice how those who want to punish opponents of gay marriage, restrict religious liberty, not allow certain opinions to be argued, and in other ways emulating the tactics of the Soviet Union, are leftists.  Which covers quite a few people today who present themselves as liberals.

Read Voegeli’s article excerpted and linked after the jump.

[Read more...]

Catholic teaching not allowed at Catholic university?

Marquette is a Roman Catholic institution affiliated with the Jesuit order, one member of which is Pope Francis.  According to Catholic author Howard Kainz, Marquette has suspended and banned from campus a tenured professor for saying that arguments against gay marriage should be allowed to be discussed in class.   Meanwhile, a theology professor who advocates abortion and now considers himself an atheist keeps teaching, with no questions asked. [Read more...]

Defining dissent as violence

First you define the expression of ideas that you disagree with as a form of “violence.”  Which means you are justified in using actual violence against those ideas in the name of self defense.

From Pete Spiliakos, When Dissent is Equated with Violence | First Thoughts | Blogs | First Things:

UC Santa Barbara Professor Mireille Miller-Young is more imprudent, but no more ideologically insane than the administration of Stanford University. Miller Young forcibly took a sign from, and allegedly assaulted a pro-life protestor at her college. The Volokh Conspiracy cites the police report, in which Miller-Young argues that her actions were “in defense of her students and her own safety.” [Read more...]

Being personally offended for someone else

I’ve noticed the phenomenon of someone getting personally offended on behalf of someone else, who, in fact, has not been personally offended.  A complaint has been filed against Catholic University for being insensitive to Muslims–basically by being a Catholic university–even though no Muslims have complained.  From a Washington Post editorial:

The press release announcing complaints against Catholic University of America for alleged bias against Muslim and women students begins with a mention of criminal charges leveled against a bishop in Kansas City for withholding information about suspected child abuse. It’s an irrelevant cheap shot. But it’s a good tipoff to the lack of substance in public-interest lawyer John Banzhaf’s high-profile campaign against Catholic University.

Mr.  Banzhaf, a law professor at George Washington University noted for litigation on behalf of non-smokers and women, recently complained to the D.C. Office of Human Rights that Catholic was violating the rights of its Muslim students. The complaint is focused on the school’s policy of not giving official status to non-Catholic worship groups, but Mr. Banzhaf, in interviews and releases, also suggests that Muslim students are uncomfortable with the symbols of Catholicism on the campus. He faults the university for not setting aside space — free of crucifixes and other religious icons — for Muslims to worship. The complaint follows another action by Mr. Banzhaf in which he alleges that Catholic’s elimination of coed dorm floors is discriminatory (he claims such adverse effects to women as not being able to find males to walk with them to their dorms after dark).

It’s a little hard to take the charges seriously considering no one actually claims to be aggrieved. Mr. Banzhaf acknowledged to The Post’s Michelle Boorstein that he had received no complaint from Muslim students but was acting on the basis of a 2010 Post article (which, to our mind, painted an overall positive experience of Muslim students at Catholic). The university has received no complaints from Muslim students and, in fact, reports a doubling of its Muslim enrollment since 2007, from 56 to 122.

via Campaign against Catholic University – The Washington Post.


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