Peter Boghossian Shrugs And The Trembles Are Starting

Peter Boghossian Shrugs And The Trembles Are Starting — Swarthmore’s Bob Small has informed us that Portland State’s truth-telling philosophy professor Peter Boghossian has had enough of the school’s Orwellian wokeness and called it quits.

Peter Boghossian Shrugs And The Trembles Are Starting
Peter Boghossian

Portland State’s loss.

Boghossian earned the ire of the arbitrary rule setters when he began inviting speakers with views contrarian to what the school held as dogma. Their ire increased as their hypocrisy became more revealed.

Don’t think of this as a defeat for the cause of good. Think of this as Atlas Shrugging. You are going to see a lot of shrugging as Biden tries to impose his anti-science health fiats.

Boghossian included this beautiful letter with his exit.

Dear Provost Susan Jeffords,

​​I’m writing to you today to resign as assistant professor of philosophy at Portland State University.

Over the last decade, it has been my privilege to teach at the university. My specialties are critical thinking, ethics and the Socratic method, and I teach classes like Science and Pseudoscience and The Philosophy of Education. But in addition to exploring classic philosophers and traditional texts, I’ve invited a wide range of guest lecturers to address my classes, from Flat-Earthers to Christian apologists to global climate skeptics to Occupy Wall Street advocates. I’m proud of my work.

I invited those speakers not because I agreed with their worldviews, but primarily because I didn’t. From those messy and difficult conversations, I’ve seen the best of what our students can achieve: questioning beliefs while respecting believers; staying even-tempered in challenging circumstances; and even changing their minds. 

I never once believed —  nor do I now —  that the purpose of instruction was to lead my students to a particular conclusion. Rather, I sought to create the conditions for rigorous thought; to help them gain the tools to hunt and furrow for their own conclusions. This is why I became a teacher and why I love teaching.

But brick by brick, the university has made this kind of intellectual exploration impossible. It has transformed a bastion of free inquiry into a Social Justice factory whose only inputs were race, gender, and victimhood and whose only outputs were grievance and division.

Students at Portland State are not being taught to think. Rather, they are being trained to mimic the moral certainty of ideologues. Faculty and administrators have abdicated the university’s truth-seeking mission and instead drive intolerance of divergent beliefs and opinions. This has created a culture of offense where students are now afraid to speak openly and honestly. 

I noticed signs of the illiberalism that has now fully swallowed the academy quite early during my time at Portland State. I witnessed students refusing to engage with different points of view.  Questions from faculty at diversity trainings that challenged approved narratives were instantly dismissed. Those who asked for evidence to justify new institutional policies were accused of microaggressions. And professors were accused of bigotry for assigning canonical texts written by philosophers who happened to have been European and male.  

At first, I didn’t realize how systemic this was and I believed I could question this new culture. So I began asking questions. What is the evidence that trigger warnings and safe spaces contribute to student learning? Why should racial consciousness be the lens through which we view our role as educators? How did we decide that “cultural appropriation” is immoral?

Unlike my colleagues, I asked these questions out loud and in public. 

I decided to study the new values that were engulfing Portland State and so many other educational institutions — values that sound wonderful, like diversity, equity, and inclusion, but might actually be just the opposite. The more I read the primary source material produced by critical theorists, the more I suspected that their conclusions reflected the postulates of an ideology, not insights based on evidence.

I began networking with student groups who had similar concerns and brought in speakers to explore these subjects from a critical perspective. And it became increasingly clear to me that the incidents of illiberalism I had witnessed over the years were not just isolated events, but part of an institution-wide problem.

The more I spoke out about these issues, the more retaliation I faced. 

Early in the 2016-17 academic year, a former student complained about me and the university initiated a Title IX investigation.  (Title IX investigations are a part of federal law designed to protect “people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.”) My accuser, a white male, made a slew of baseless accusations against me, which university confidentiality rules unfortunately prohibit me from discussing further. What I can share is that students of mine who were interviewed during the process told me the Title IX investigator asked them if they knew anything about me beating my wife and children. This horrifying accusation soon became a widespread rumor. 

With Title IX investigations there is no due process, so I didn’t have access to the particular accusations, the ability to confront my accuser, and I had no opportunity to defend myself. Finally, the results of the investigation were revealed in December 2017. Here are the last two sentences of the report: “Global Diversity & Inclusion finds there is insufficient evidence that Boghossian violated PSU’s Prohibited Discrimination & Harassment policy. GDI recommends Boghossian receive coaching.”

Not only was there no apology for the false accusations, but the investigator also told me that in the future I was not allowed to render my opinion about “protected classes” or teach in such a way that my opinion about protected classes could be known — a bizarre conclusion to absurd charges. Universities can enforce ideological conformity just through the threat of these investigations.

I eventually became convinced that corrupted bodies of scholarship were responsible for justifying radical departures from the traditional role of liberal arts schools and basic civility on campus. There was an urgent need to demonstrate that morally fashionable papers — no matter how absurd — could be published. I believed then that if I exposed the theoretical flaws of this body of literature, I could help the university community avoid building edifices on such shaky ground.

So, in 2017, I co-published an intentionally garbled peer-reviewed paper that took aim at the new orthodoxy. Its title: “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct.” This example of pseudo-scholarship, which was published in Cogent Social Sciences, argued that penises were products of the human mind and responsible for climate change. Immediately thereafter, I revealed the article as a hoax designed to shed light on the flaws of the peer-review and academic publishing systems.

Shortly thereafter, swastikas in the bathroom with my name under them began appearing in two bathrooms near the philosophy department. They also occasionally showed up on my office door, in one instance accompanied by bags of feces. Our university remained silent. When it acted, it was against me, not the perpetrators.

I continued to believe, perhaps naively, that if I exposed the flawed thinking on which Portland State’s new values were based, I could shake the university from its madness. In 2018 I co-published a series of absurd or morally repugnant peer-reviewed articles in journals that focused on issues of race and gender. In one of them we argued that there was an epidemic of dog rape at dog parks and proposed that we leash men the way we leash dogs. Our purpose was to show that certain kinds of “scholarship” are based not on finding truth but on advancing social grievances. This worldview is not scientific, and it is not rigorous. 

Administrators and faculty were so angered by the papers that they published an anonymous piece in the student paper and Portland State filed formal charges against me. Their accusation? “Research misconduct” based on the absurd premise that the journal editors who accepted our intentionally deranged articles were “human subjects.” I was found guilty of not receiving approval to experiment on human subjects. 

Meanwhile, ideological intolerance continued to grow at Portland State. In March 2018, a tenured professor disrupted a public discussion I was holding with author Christina Hoff Sommers and evolutionary biologists Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying. In June 2018, someone triggered the fire alarm during my conversation with popular cultural critic Carl Benjamin. In October 2018, an activist pulled out the speaker wires to interrupt a panel with former Google engineer James Damore. The university did nothing to stop or address this behavior. No one was punished or disciplined. 

For me, the years that followed were marked by continued harassment. I’d find flyers around campus of me with a Pinocchio nose. I was spit on and threatened by passersby while walking to class. I was informed by students that my colleagues were telling them to avoid my classes. And, of course, I was subjected to more investigation.

I wish I could say that what I am describing hasn’t taken a personal toll. But it has taken exactly the toll it was intended to: an increasingly intolerable working life and without the protection of tenure.

This isn’t about me. This is about the kind of institutions we want and the values we choose. Every idea that has advanced human freedom has always, and without fail, been initially condemned. As individuals, we often seem incapable of remembering this lesson, but that is exactly what our institutions are for: to remind us that the freedom to question is our fundamental right. Educational institutions should remind us that that right is also our duty.  

Portland State University has failed in fulfilling this duty. In doing so it has failed not only its students but the public that supports it. While I am grateful for the opportunity to have taught at Portland State for over a decade, it has become clear to me that this institution is no place for people who intend to think freely and explore ideas. 

This is not the outcome I wanted. But I feel morally obligated to make this choice. For ten years, I have taught my students the importance of living by your principles. One of mine is to defend our system of liberal education from those who seek to destroy it. Who would I be if I didn’t?

Sincerely,

Peter Boghossian

Peter Boghossian Shrugs And The Trembles Are Starting
Peter Boghossian Shrugs And The Trembles Are Starting

Peter Boghossian Shrugs And The Trembles Are Starting

Peter Boghossian Shrugs And The Trembles Are Starting

Peter Boghossian Shrugs And The Trembles Are Starting

Peter Boghossian Shrugs And The Trembles Are Starting

Science Says Liberal Women Are Nuts

Science Says Liberal Women Are Nuts –A 2020 Pew Research study has revealed that over half of white, liberal women have been diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point. 

Now, some might say that this study is a ploy to maintain the patriarchy based on perpetuating ancient and demeaning stereotypes.

We respond with but one word.

Science.

That’s right. Science has spoken. This must be accepted.

Granted, a white, liberal woman might not accept this unfortunate truth.

But then, she’s very likely crazy.

Fortunately, there is a cure. Stop being liberal. Turn off The View. Stop watching MSNBC. Cancel The Handmaid’s Tale. Delete your Facebook account.

You’ll return to sanity and be much, much happier.

Science Says Liberal Women Are Nuts

Former Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynee submissively listening to a misogynistic rant at a mosque in Canada to show solidarity with supporters of Sharia. Crazy, right?

Science Says Liberal Women Are Nuts

Oregon Libraries Keeping Seuss

Oregon Libraries Keeping Seuss — Bob Small of Swarthmore sent us this link about how libraries in Oregon are dealing with the bizarre decision by Dr. Seuss Enterprises to stop publication of six classic titles due to anti-intellecutal and arrogant wokeness.

The libraries — believe it or not — plan to keep them on the shelves until it is time to remove them due to well-established criteria i.e. the books become worn or are no longer checked out.

So kudos to the libraries for not caving into virtue signaling hypocrites.

Oregon Libraries Keeping Seuss
Oregon Libraries Keeping Seuss

St Joe Cowards Persecute Greg Manco

St Joe Cowards Persecute Greg Manco — Bob Small of Swarthmore sent us this link to a Philadelphia Weekly article about the plight of St. Joseph University math teacher Greg Manco.

Manco, who had taught at the school for 17 years, published this tweet on Feb. 17 questioning the wisdom of racial reparations.

St Joe Cowards Persecute Greg Manco

Manco was placed on paid leave and is under investigation for expressing this opinion.

The tweet had been circulated among the school’s activist community with instructions to contact the school administrators to demand Manco’s firing.

The problem isn’t the activist community. Spoiled activists will spoil. It’s their nature. They can’t help it. The problem is the school administration for not dismissing the complaints out of hand. Cowards will coward you might say but we should never tolerate cowards in school administration or any type of leadership role.

The St. Joseph administrators are clearly cowards. They must be replaced.

With regard to racial reparations, it is a disgusting racist concept that must not be merely questioned but dismissed out of hand.

Congrats to PW for good journalism and to Bob for letting us know about it.

St Joe Cowards Persecute Greg Manco

Designed to Debunk Lies About America

Bob Small of Swarthmore has forwarded this information about a free online-class at Hillsdale College that many of our readers might find of interest. The class is designed to debunk the premeditated lies about our nation being promoted by what has become the establishment.

It is widely claimed today that our nation is irredeemably flawed—that America has been fundamentally unjust from the beginning due to the “systemic racism.”

The purpose of promoting this falsehood is to sever Americans’ patriotic attachment to our country and its founding principles in order to replace our limited government Constitution with radically different form of government.

The only way to confront this false and dangerous narrative—and preserve free government—is to counter it with the true and honest story of America’s quest to achieve justice.

Next month, Hillsdale College will be releasing its latest free online course: “Civil Rights in American History.” I invite you to pre-register for this free online course by visiting this secure link:

https://lp.hillsdale.edu/civil-rights-in-american-history-course-pre-registration

Topics covered by this nine-lecture course include:

  • The American Founders’ understanding of equality and natural rights
  • The arguments over slavery from the founding period through the Civil War
  • The true history of Reconstruction
  • The importance of civil rights leaders from Booker T. Washington to Martin Luther King, Jr. in the quest for justice
  • The impact and legacy of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • The danger posed to civil rights by identity politics today

Given the divisions in our country and the violence in our cities, this new course on “Civil Rights in American History” could not be more timely.

To guarantee the impact of this timely and important new course, we have set a goal to raise $350,000 by midnight on November 21.

You can pre-register now for this important free online course at this secure page.

https://lp.hillsdale.edu/civil-rights-in-american-history-course-pre-registration

And after you pre-register, please consider how you can help promote Hillsdale’s free online courses and other educational outreach efforts in this critical time for America by giving your best gift today.

Designed to Debunk Lies About America
Designed to Debunk Lies About America

New York Times Opposes Free Speech

New York Times Opposes Free Speech— Swarthmore’s Bob Small has sent us this link from an Oct. 11 Glen Greenwald article that appeared in The Intercept, describing how the union representing the dead trees inksters — no, they are not journalists –of The New York Times has taken a bold stand against dissent and free speech.

What has invoked the ire of The New York Times Newspaper Guild is an column by Bret Stephens taking to task the discredited 1619 Project promoted by the greedy tree killing corporation.

We have written about the 1619 Project before. It’s garbage befitting The New York Times.

New York Times Opposes Free Speech
New York Times Opposes Free Speech

Enrollment Plummets At Pennsylvania State Universities

Enrollment Plummets At Pennsylvania State Universities

By Lowman S. Henry 

Governor Tom Wolf’s address to a joint session of the General Assembly in early February marked the official beginning of the annual state budget process. Higher education, specifically the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), became a dominant issue.

Enrollment Plummets At Pennsylvania State Universities

Unfettered by economic reality, the costs of higher education have skyrocketed. The result is massive student debt and never-ending calls for more taxpayer dollars to subsidize our education institutions. This despite declining enrollment and an economy more in need of individuals trained for technical jobs or skilled in the trades.

Adding fuel to the fire, the governor proposed diverting more than $200 million from subsidies to the state’s horse racing industry to pay for scholarships or to help reduce the debt burden for students attending state-run colleges. Most of the money to pay for the scholarship program would be diverted from the Horse Racing Development Fund.

Revenue to supply that fund is generated by taxes from the slot machines that now dot the commonwealth’s landscape. That is ironic because casino gambling in the state began as a plan to place slots at race tracks in an effort to save the then floundering horse racing industry. What gaming has become is a subject for another day, but taking away that revenue stream resulted in predictable howls of protest from those in the equine community.

Governor Wolf’s solution to every problem is to spend more taxpayer money. He is especially fond of throwing more dollars at education, without ever demanding those dollars be spent prudently and with no means of measuring quality. Likewise, as predictable as Punxsutawney Phil emerging from his burrow, the reigning chancellor of PASSHE every February petitions the legislature for more money.

In so doing they have turned a blind eye to market forces. This is because most in the higher education community don’t view education as a product. While there is merit to valuing education for the sake of adding to the societal pool of knowledge or even for personal edification, the main reason for obtaining a higher education is to equip oneself to earn money – presumably at a higher level than one would have earned without a degree.

To that end, state system schools have become the retail equivalent of shopping malls – overbuilt behemoths with a rapidly declining customer base. According to the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy in Pittsburgh, enrollment at the 14-university system peaked in 2010 at 119,513 students. By the fall of 2019 enrollment had dropped by 20 percent to 95,494 students. Mansfield University saw an enrollment decline of 51 percent, while Cheney’s enrollment fell by 61 percent.

With a declining customer base, the schools have not only failed to contain costs but have actually increased both annual spending and debt. The schools’ combined financial liability has increased from $2.07 billion in 2010 to $5.46 billion in 2019. Pension liabilities are up 53 percent.

The decline in enrollment can be attributed to several factors. First, Pennsylvania’s high schools are graduating fewer students, thus the “customer base” is shrinking. Second, state-related universities such as Penn State and the nation’s private universities are doing a better job of attracting students.

And while all of the above have made adaptations to accommodate non-traditional students, adult continuing education, and on-line learning, they have failed to adequately respond to the fact the nation’s workforce has less and less need for classically educated individuals and a greater need for those with a technical education or ability to work in the building trades.

Yes, there will always be a need for those equipped with four-year college degrees and higher. But, the failure of the higher education community to contain costs and adapt to market forces has made such an education unaffordable for many potential students. This is especially true when high paying, family-sustaining jobs in manufacturing and the trades are readily available, and for significantly less cost for training.

In the age of Amazon, Governor Wolf and the higher education establishment are stuck in a brick and mortar world. They are over-built, inefficient, and fail to deliver a needed product. Cost containment, consolidation, and a realistic assessment of workforce needs are necessary steps. Simply giving them more taxpayer dollars will only make the problem worse.

Lowman Henry is chairman and CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal.

Enrollment Plummets At Pennsylvania State Universities Enrollment Plummets

Dark Art of Framing From Prager U

PragerU has a great video — The Dark Art of Framing — that explains why many believe lies about our society told by very bad people and how these very bad people convince those many to believe those lies.

Check it out here: https://www.prageru.com/video/the-dark-art-of-framing/

Dark Art of Framing
PragerU has a great video -- The Dark Art of Framing -- that explains why many believe lies about our society told by very bad people and how these very bad people convince those many to believe those lies.

Trump Extends Pell Grants; Black Colleges Benefit

Trump Extends Pell Grants; Black Colleges Benefit — Students at historically Black colleges had petitioned Barack Obama for years to make Pell Grants year-round for college students as many of them attend summer school.

Obama ignored this as was typical.

Trump approved this in less than two years and giving students fresh financial aid options, notes Deroy Murdock.

Hat tip Tom C.

Trump Extends Pell Grants

Sarah Honeychurch Attacked By The Sick And Evil

Sarah Honeychurch Attacked By The Sick And Evil — Swarthmore free speech activist Bob Small has informed us of some twisted news from the U.K.

Sarah Honeychurch, a fellow in the Adam Smith Business School at Glasgow University, has criticized an LGBT training program pushed by the rich and powerful in that country on the grounds that the claims it makes are “anti-scientific” yet are presented as an “objective fact.”

Pretty reasonable objection.

So why are there serious calls for her to lose her job?

Do sick and evil perverts predominate among the rich and powerful?

OK, silly question.

For the rest of us, let us stand up for the principle that bullies are always bad whether they are picking on a gay guy or attacking an honest dissenter speaking truth to power.

The program is run by the charity Stonewall.

Sarah Honeychurch Attacked By The Sick And Evil
Sarah Honeychurch Attacked By The Sick And Evil
And the real evil is ignored