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It’s indisputable that Mark Jaede, a professor at St. Cloud State and a long-time DFL activist, used government property to help plan a political rally that was organized by Jane Conrad, a staffer at the Minnesota AFL-CIO. Apparently, Prof. Jaede doesn’t think that the rules apply to him.

Specifically, he must think this rule doesn’t apply to him:

Subpart D. Use of state property. All system property is also state property. With limited exceptions, state property is not to be used for personal or private use except as specifically authorized, such as limited personal use of computers as provided in System Procedure 5.22.1 and incidental use of system cell phones, as provided in System Procedure 5.22.1.

Earlier this week, Prof. Jaede posted this political announcement on St. Cloud State’s listserv system:

This message is from Jane Conrad, who can be reached at 320-267-0899:

A rally was planned to counter racist speaker Ron Branstner who was speaking at the VFW at 9 18th Ave N in St Cloud. Two hours after I let the police know about our action and after the police talked with management at the VFW the speaker was canceled. So I canceled the rally. However, I did find out that the VFW did allow the event to go forward with a racist speaker from Willmar, Bob Enos. To counter this we are planning a rally this Saturday at 1:00 in front of the VFW. Please join us a peaceful collective community action. We are all in this together.

When Prof. Jaede used his SCSU email address to highlight an AFL-CIO political rally, he used state property “for personal or private use.” He wasn’t conducting University business when he posted this event information. He seems to admit that in signing off:

Mark (writing as an individual faculty member who is concerned about having a community that welcomes all)

Considering the fact that Jaede’s been a DFL activist for years and considering the fact that he was using state resources to highlight an AFL-CIO political rally, does anyone take Prof. Jaede seriously when he insists that he’s doing this “as an individual faculty member who is concerned about having a community that welcomes all” and not as a DFL activist?

This morning, I got a copy of an email that Mark Jaede, a faculty member at St. Cloud State, published on SCSU’s Announce listserv. Here’s what Prof. Jaede published:

According to Jane Conrad’s email, Ron Branstner’s presentation was cancelled. According to Prof. Jaede’s second email, Bob Enos stepped in and made a speech. Here’s Prof. Jaede’s email about the Enos speech:

In both of Prof. Jaede’s emails, he referred to Jane Conrad. For those who aren’t familiar with her, here’s more information about Ms. Conrad:

This isn’t insignificant because Prof. Jaede is using a taxpayer-funded resource (SCSU’s email system) to highlight a political rally organized by Jane Conrad, a self-described AFL-CIO staffer, at the St. Cloud VFW.

Greg Jarrett is a private citizen who is interested in the State Department’s refugee resettlement program. Mssrs. Branstner and Enos have dealt with and researched this program. Here’s part of what Jarrett wrote when contacted by LFR:

The time has come for the Mayor and associated City Staff, President of SCSU, MNSCU Chancellor, St Cloud City Council and State Representatives to STOP an escalating and explosive situation that is in itself going to embarrass SCSU and the City of St Cloud again.

Here we have an AFL-CIO union-affiliated representative, Ms. Jane Conrad working in concert with a SCSU professor who was on the University time clock and is on SCSU’s payroll using internal taxpayer-funded email communications for purposes not associated with SCSU, not on SCSU property, NON SCSU Business for the purpose of agitation and SELF labeling of a public event for the second time. They have turned this into a “racial event”.

There is nothing “racial” about the economic impact of out of control Refugee Resettlement. Allowing these 2 radical militants to spin the topic and manipulate the Constitutional rights of others for personal beliefs and reasons is beyond insulting, irrational and borderline criminal in its direct purpose and intent.

Ms Jane Conrad and Professor Mark Jaede have taken upon themselves to self label and describe speaker Mr. Ron Branstner as “racist” and target the event for the sole purpose of starting an uprising of outrage. The St Cloud Police Department has also been made a pawn in this matter by Ms Conrad and Mr. Jaede by the now known threats prior to Mr. Branstner’s scheduled engagement. Ms Conrad was successful in her misguided mission to strong arm the Police Department and the VFW management to cancel the event.

Using taxpayer-funded resources to advance a political agenda is wrong, to say the least. Another thing that’s at stake here is SCSU’s reputation. If President Potter doesn’t immediately act to prevent Prof. Jaede’s improper use of SCSU’s email system, then he’s sending the signal that he’s ok with SCSU’s employees using SCSU’s taxpayer-funded email system for political use.

I’m not a lawyer but I’m still 100% certain that’s improper, if not illegal.

The St. Cloud Times published House DFL Leader Paul Thissen’s op-ed this weekend. Suffice it to say that it would’ve been about 22 words if you omitted the DFL’s dishonest chanting points. Let’s debunk the most disgusting of Thissen’s dishonesties, starting with this:

Students at the St. Cloud State University recently learned they will receive a tuition hike next year. Raising tuition is essentially a tax increase because you’re taking money out of the pockets of students, many who simply can’t afford it. Now, thanks to these misplaced priorities, the cost of tuition, room and board for 2015-16 in St. Cloud will be almost $17,000.

This tuition hike wasn’t caused by the GOP legislature. It’s been caused by 5 years of mismanagement by President Potter. He insisted that enrollment was fine while it was dropping by 20+ % in a 5 year period. He insisted that we needed to build an upscale apartment complex even though there wasn’t a demand for it. That project has cost SCSU $7.7 million in 5 years. He paid EMG $417,000 to rebrand SCSU. Potter spent another $50,000 to find out that the professors think he plays office politics and that he doesn’t mean what he says.

SCSU’s scholastic reputation has taken a significant hit. SCSU’s financial standing has taken a significant hit, too, because FY2015’s deficit was more than $9,500,000. That’s before the news that there’s a good chance SCSU’s deficit for FY2016 will be in the millions of dollars, too.

Rep. Thissen wants to blame the GOP legislature for the SCSU tuition increase when President Potter is the one to blame. Rep. Thissen’s never let important things like facts get in the way of a dishonest diatribe, though.

Making college affordable should be a higher priority for our Legislature, as it was over the past two years. In 2013, Gov. Dayton and our DFL-led Legislature froze tuition for all Minnesota students for two years, despite a $627 million deficit.

It’s disgusting that Rep. Thissen thinks that the tuition problem is caused by the legislature not spending enough. Why hasn’t Rep. Thissen looked at the possibility that DFL legislators have let the MnSCU Central Office and university presidents spend like drunken sailors?

Chancellor Rosenstone paid McKinsey & Co. $2,000,000 for a couple months of work that college professors could’ve done. Why isn’t Rep. Thissen complaining about wasting money on Charting the Future? Is it because he doesn’t care about how much gets spent as long as he gets to play Santa Claus with the taxpayers’ money?

If Rep. Thissen’s attitude is that he isn’t interested in spending money wisely, then he’s part of the problem. He definitely isn’t part of the solution.

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Laurence Tribe’s op-ed about the King v. Burwell ruling is typical progressivism. It’s all about rationalizing a terrible, wrong-headed decision. Tribe made some statements that deserve rebutting. This is one of those statements:

The Supreme Court correctly applied standard interpretive methods in holding that, despite the apparent clarity of those four words, the law makes subsidies available on all exchanges, state and federal. Looking to the overall purpose, structure, and context of the Act, the court asked with incredulity why Congress would risk total implosion of the ACA just to encourage states to create their own exchanges especially when Congress itself provided the federal backstop.

When the words are clear, which they are, the test that Tribe mentioned isn’t applied. Typically, that test is only applied if the words are ambiguous. Chief Justice Roberts said that the 4 words were “inartful drafting.” Justice Scalia’s response was that it wasn’t likely that that inartful drafting would appear in the ACA’s language 7 different times.

As for whether Congress “would risk total implosion of the ACA just to encourage states to create their own exchanges”, the answer is yes. That’s why the federal government didn’t start building their website right away. Their plan — their concerted plan — was to pressure states into creating their own exchanges. Further, the IRS didn’t write its rule extending subsidies to people who bought their insurance through HealthCare.gov until it was clear that a substantial number of states weren’t going to create state-run exchanges.

Isn’t it curious that that clarification wasn’t the first thing mentioned in the rules? The instructions to the IRS weren’t written until late in the process. Why wasn’t it the first rule written? If the ACA’s success hinged on the subsidies, shouldn’t that have been the first rule written?

The people also won because the Roberts Court has given them a solid basis for trusting that hard-won victories in Congress will remain intact when challenged in the court. When it decides constitutional cases, like the much-anticipated same-sex marriage cases, the court’s role is to serve as a check on the people, ensuring that legislative or popular majorities don’t act in violation of the Constitution. This is the sense in which the court has famously been described as “counter-majoritarian.”

The Constitution was built to restrict what government isn’t authorized to do. That’s insanity. The Fourth Amendment wasn’t written to tell people what they couldn’t do. It was written to tell government what it can’t do. Specifically, the Fourth Amendment prohibits the government from conducting unreasonable searches against private citizens and publicly-traded companies.

The First Amendment prohibits Congress from writing laws that restrict people’s ability to speak out against politicians and government. It isn’t a check on people. It’s another check on government.

If Prof. Tribe can’t understand the most basic principles underpinning the Constitution, then his opinions on Supreme Court rulings is questionable.

When I’ve written about censorship on college campuses, it’s usually been because people have argued that they have the right to never be offended. Jon Stewart recently interviewed Judge Napolitano about the First Amendment, specifically citing the right to fly the Confederate Flag. Here’s the entire interview:

Here’s the heart of what Judge Napolitano told Stewart:

NAPOLITANO: I say you have the right to fly that flag on your private property. You have the right to any opinion or thought you want, even one manifested or animated by hate. And the government has no business regulating thought. If the First Amendment protects anything, it protects your absolute unfettered right to think what you want and say what you think.

Last week, I heard something simple, yet profound. Someone said that there’s no need to protect popular speech because nobody objects to it. The First Amendment is the most important part of the Bill of Rights because it tells the government that We The People will decide what’s said and that the government shall not have the right to tell us to shut up or restrict what we say.

Judge Napolitano quickly pointed out, however, that if he said something controversial, or even hateful, he doesn’t have the right to not hear from people who disagree with him. Napolitano said that nobody in the United States has “the right to not be offended.”

Apparently, the enlightened people on college campuses didn’t get that memo. Apparently, Cass Sunstein didn’t learn that in civics class either:

In recent months, universities have turned their attention to an important problem that should be included in our national effort to examine and root out bigotry. They have identified, and attempted to reduce, “microaggressions” — words or behavior that might stigmatize or humiliate women or members of minority groups, with particular emphasis on African-Americans, disabled people, and gays and lesbians. The effort has admirable goals, but there is a risk that schools will overshoot the mark.

University administrators don’t have the authority to ban words from campus. Further, administrators aren’t doing students a favor by limiting students’ exposure to repulsive language. Just like there’s no way to totally eliminate gun violence, there’s no way to stop people from saying disgusting things.

That’s because there will always be hate-filled, ill-tempered people.

The solution to this isn’t banning words or flags that trigger hurt feelings. The solution is criticizing people who say hurtful things. BTW, Hillary Clinton has called for banning certain types of flags.

I’d way rather live in a world that lives according to Judge Napolitano’s principles than a world living by Hillary’s principles. It isn’t even close.

The last 2 nights, Megyn Kelly has featured Amherst University’s decision to expel a student after a woman accused him of rape. Here’s the video of Monday night’s segment:

There’s no excuse for what Amherst University did. First, the fact that a woman waited 2 years before ‘reporting’ a rape should’ve been a hint to Amherst that this case should be viewed with a healthy bit of skepticism. Second, after the alleged rape was reported, the female student’s texts were recovered from a third party. They showed that the female student did more than consent to having sex. The texts showed she initiated sexual contact. In fact, it went further than that. After having sex with the man she accused of raping her, she texted another male student and asked him to “entertain” her.

It’s disturbing is that Amherst didn’t reverse the male student’s ejection from Amherst after the texts were discovered. What’s more disturbing is that the accused student wasn’t allowed representation. Further, it was against US Department of Education rules to let that female student to be cross-examined by the male student’s attorney because it might be a traumatic experience for the accuser.

This unnamed male student has hired legal counsel. They’re likely to file a lawsuit against Amherst and the Department of Education for violating the student’s due process rights. If ever there was a slam dunk case, this is it. Amherst didn’t show any interest in the accused student’s constitutional rights. The accused student was stripped of his ability to defend himself. When exculpatory evidence was discovered and presented to Amherst, it was treated as if it didn’t exist.

This is the video of last night’s segment on the Amherst story:

That the US Department of Education put together these guidelines that leave students essentially defenseless against accusers is disgusting. Brit Hume is right. It’s an article of faith that there’s a culture of rape on college campuses. The studies that purport to show this epidemic have been thoroughly discredited. Another thing that’s disgusting is that the US Department of Education would implement a plan that ignores students’ constitutional rights. The DOE didn’t water down the accused students’ constitutional rights. The US DOE just threw these students’ constitutional rights out entirely.

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There was just so much to Prof. David Schultz’s post that it required a Part II. Let’s pick up where Part I left off:

But if Bill Clinton’s presidency did not kill off this type of progressive politics, surely Barack Obama has. If Obama did not do it directly, he did so indirectly with the 2010 and 2014 backlashes against him that has done more to kill progressive politics than can be imagined. With less than two years to go Obama is liberated and you would think he would be more bold, but he is not. Why? He never was the liberal folks wanted to believe. In 2008 his liberalism was far distant to the right compared to Dennis Kucinich and even John Edwards.

President Obama’s agenda was the farthest left agenda in presidential history. Further, President Obama’s utter disdain for the legislative process and the Constitution’s Separation of Powers clause aren’t ideological matters as much as they are a matter of President Obama’s lawlessness. It isn’t difficult to make a powerful case that President Obama is both the most incompetent president in the last century and the most lawless president in recent history. Yes, that’s including Richard Nixon.

There’s a difference between Bill Clinton and President Obama that’s worth noting. Bill Clinton was a policy wonk. The economy grew during his administration. President Obama was a community organizer. His economic record is spotty at best. FYI for Prof. Schultz- Hillary isn’t a policy wonk nor is she a community organizer. She’s a machine politician. Check Baltimore and Detroit for how well machine politicians do.

Mark Dayton gets nothing his first year in office then supports corporate welfare for the billionaire Vikings owner. Now again in 2014 he gives in and Tom Bakk is complicit. Progressives are on the run everywhere. It is not just on matters of public policy such as with taxes, government regulation, and health care, but also in the rhetorical battle for the hearts and minds of the people. You can’t even call yourself a liberal anymore without being red baited. Thus the reason for switching to the term progressive. Conservatives have successfully labeled as left or socialist anyone who does not agree with them.

A little paranoia and a ton of frustration goes a long way. Wow. People are growing tired of the left’s dishonest attacks and failed policies.

People see the smoldering refuse that is Baltimore. They’ve noticed that Detroit is an eyesore, too. Cities across the country from California to Illinois to the East Coast are getting noticed for their pension problems. Collectivism is failing all across the nation. It’s difficult to defend failure when those failures are showing up on the nightly news 2-3 times a week. Good policies make for good politics. Lately, progressive policies have stunk.

This is frightening:

Fourth, conservatives understand how to make structural reforms and policy changes that both benefit their supporters and enhance their power. Tax cuts and cuts in regulation are simple ways to benefit supporters, but there is more. Voter ID disempowers their opposition, attacking union rights undercuts labor support for Democrats and opposition to business in the workplace, and gutting regulations on money in politics strengthens corporations and rich individuals. Obama’s biggest mistake in his first two years was his failure to act accordingly. Instead of health care reform he should have used his sizable majorities in Congress to support the Employee Free Choice Act to strengthen unions, adopt national legislation banning voter ID and permitting day of election registration in federal elections, and adopting real Wall Street and bank reforms that would have limited their power, including reauthorizing Glass-Steagall.

President Obama’s regulatory overreach was designed to cripple miners. That’s because President Obama’s hostility towards blue collar America has been evident throughout his political career. As for federal legislation banning Photo ID, that’s frightening coming from a college professor with a law degree. On April 28, 2008, the Supreme Court ruled (in Crawford v. the Marion County Board of Elections) that photo ID wasn’t a poll tax, which meant it was legal. Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in his majority opinion that “Under Harper, even rational restrictions on the right to vote are invidious if they are unrelated to voter qualifications. However,
‘even handed restrictions’ protecting the ‘integrity and reliability of the electoral process itself’ satisfy Harper’s standard.”

Justice Stevens highlighted the fact that protecting election integrity is a compelling reason for implementing photo ID. That refutes Prof. Schultz’s ill-informed statement that “Voter ID disempowers [the Republicans’] opposition.” If Prof. Schultz wants to argue that Justice Stevens is a hard right ideologue, I’ll just wish him good luck with that project. He’ll need it.

If there’s a central theme to David Schultz’s post, it’s that liberalism has died. If he would’ve called me, I could’ve told him that. Liberalism is dead in the Democratic Party. It’s been replaced by collectivism and progressivism. In the late 1970s, the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan declared that the Democratic had stopped being the party of ideas. He was right. Prof. Schultz apparently is just noticing:

What the hell ever happened to progressive politics and liberalism in the Democratic Party?

When I first moved out here DFLers bowed to the memory of Humphrey, McCarthy, Freeman, and Mondale. Later they added to that Wellstone. But such homage is living in past, shallow in the sense that the DFL today lacks the courage of the convictions it once had. The same is true for Democrats at the national level.

It’s clear that Prof. Schultz is extremely agitated. Look at the number of punctuation mistakes that are contained in those 71 words. But I digress.

If Prof. Schultz hasn’t noticed that the DFL locally and the Democratic Party nationally have become political machines only, then I question whether he has the expertise to be a college professor. While there’s no question that Prof. Schultz is a lefty, there’s a question about whether he’s thought things through. In case he hadn’t noticed, machine politics has failed. Detroit and Baltimore are prime examples of machine politics failing nationally. Duluth and the Iron Range are perfect examples of how progressive machine politics has failed in Minnesota.

In Minnesota a governor who just a few months was heralded in the national media as the most liberal one in America who got the job done, just folded to the Republicans on almost any measure. The giveaways on the environment, gun silencers, gutting the State Auditor’s office, and retreating on universal pre-K send signals that Republicans can win if they hold long enough. And then there is Senate majority Leader Tom Bakk- why he is a Democrat is anyone’s guess. His leadership was deplorable, his messaging horrific, and his negotiating skills next to none. If he thinks that his capitulation will defend and protect Senate seats in 2016 he is simply wrong. His gaffes and missteps only make suburban DFLers more vulnerable and he has done nothing to convince rural voters to support Democrats. He made the classic mistake Democrats have made for so long, believing that by acting like Republicans they are more electable. The reality is that the more the Democrat brand is muddled and undistinguished the harder it is to win an election.

Actually, Gov. Dayton giving up on universal pre-K was mostly a matter of Republicans having the superior argument. (Apparently, public policy isn’t Prof. Schultz’s strong suit.) Ditto with the MPCA’s Citizens Board. There simply wasn’t a justification for what is essentially a patronage board with real life implications. The Citizens Board didn’t serve a useful function.

Prof. Schultz, when you fight for bad policies, don’t be surprised if you lose. This year, the DFL fought for one terrible idea after another. The DFL came into this session thinking that they could just force House Republicans into capitulating. That was a big mistake.

The politics that looks dead is good old-fashioned economic liberalism. The progressive politics that appears dead is that of Lyndon Johnson, John Kennedy, Franklin Roosevelt, and even Teddy Roosevelt. It is about the Great Society and the New Deal. It is about redistributive politics that sought to raise those at the economic bottom, narrow the gap between the rich and poor, and wrestle control of political power in the United States from corporations and plutocrats. It was a commitment to believing that the government had an important role in make sure we had a nation that was not one-third ill-fed, ill-clothed, and ill-housed, that kids should not go off to school hungry, and that corporations should not have the same rights as people.

That’s stunning. The Democrats sold their soul to the corporations. Think Christopher Dodd, Bill and Hillary Clinton, not to mention Barack Obama. They’re frequently feeding at the corporate trough.

That Prof. Schultz is just noticing these developments now says that he should’ve taken off his rose-colored glasses a generation ago.

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Zach Dorholt is back for another bite at the apple:

Former state Rep. Zachary Dorholt announced Monday he will run for the Minnesota House District 14B seat. Dorholt was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012, but was defeated by Rep. Jim Knoblach by a narrow margin in the 2014 election.

The news isn’t surprising. The next announcement I expect is that Dan Wolgamott will run for John Pederson’s SD-14 Senate seat.

It’s true that Jim Knoblach’s margin of victory was thin but that’s soon forgotten. Since getting elected, Rep. Knoblach has become the chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which essentially is the nerve center in the House for the budget. That’s why he’s frequently been part of the budget negotiations, starting back in March.

When Dorholt represented HD-14B, he was vice-chair of the House Higher Education Committee. During his watch, St. Cloud State’s enrollment declined precipitously and SCSU’s financial troubles got worse. Then-Rep. Dorholt did nothing to push President Potter to get SCSU’s financial house in order. Thanks to Dorholt’s inaction, there’s a huge budget deficit and dozens of professors will get laid off.

I’ll be clear about this. President Potter’s decisions caused the problem. Dorholt’s inaction sent the message to President Potter that he could do whatever he wanted with impunity.

Dorholt, a mental health professional and small business owner, said he is running to put the priorities of St. Cloud-area families, students and businesses first, according to a news release.

That’s pure BS. During his term in office, Dorholt consistently voted with the special interest groups. Dorholt’s version of putting businesses first is raising their taxes by $2,000,000,000 dollars while temporarily creating new business sales taxes. After the business community expressed their outrage, Dorholt voted to repeal the sales taxes he’d just voted for.

The biggest difference between Chairman Knoblach and Mr. Dorholt is that Dorholt is Rep. Thissen’s puppet while Chairman Knoblach is an important leader in the House of Representatives. The question HD-14B voters have to ask is whether they’d rather vote for a puppet or for an influential leader.

I’ve made my decision. I’ll vote for Jim Knoblach because he’s a leader, a man of integrity and someone who gets important things done.

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When Wayne Lela and John McCartney wanted to distribute literature that contained their views on homosexuality and other sexual matters at Waubunsee Community College, the administration tried barring them from distributing their literature. Thankfully, Lela and McCartney fought back:

As FIRE reported last July, the pair filed their lawsuit after an administrator barred them from distributing literature on campus containing their views on homosexuality, religious liberty, and free speech rights because it was not “consistent with the philosophy, goals and mission of the college” and would be “disruptive of the college’s educational mission.” According to the complaint, a letter to Lela and McCartney from WCC’s attorney made clear that the literature’s criticism of homosexuality was the motivating factor behind the ban. Lela and McCartney are represented by the Rutherford Institute and Chicago attorneys Whitman Brisky and Noel Sterett of the law firm Mauck & Baker, LLC.

In January, my colleague Susan Kruth reported that U.S. District Court Judge Robert W. Gettleman issued a preliminary injunction ordering WCC to cease its viewpoint-based censorship and allow Lela and McCartney to resume distributing literature on campus, noting that “provocative speech is entitled to the same protection as speech promoting popular notions.” Today, the Rutherford Institute and Mauck & Baker announced that the parties have settled, with WCC paying $132,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees and agreeing to allow Lela and McCartney to distribute their literature outside the doors to the student center without having to sit behind a table.

I particularly appreciate this part of the judge’s opinion:

“provocative speech is entitled to the same protection as speech promoting popular notions.”

There’s no need to protect popular speech because nobody objects to it. The only speech that needs protection is controversial or upsetting speech. That’s the category of speech that people object to. This is what’s disappointing:

While we are pleased that WCC seems to have recognized the futility of continuing to seek the authority to censor views it disagrees with, it is unfortunate and unacceptable that it took nearly a year of litigation, a court order, and a $132,000 bill to get there. After decades of judicial opinions, it should not be news to any public college administrator that the First Amendment applies fully on campus. Sadly, as FIRE’s Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project proves, it appears that some administrators will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into compliance with the First Amendment.

FIRE has been kicking college administrators’ butts in court for quite a while. Universities’ attorneys know what the precedents are. They’re aware of the judges’ rulings. It shouldn’t have to be this way.