Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Scholarly Game...

Building on the previous post…

A colleague of mine teaches a rhetorical criticism. In her early class, she asked the class to define the following terms and then discuss their similarities and differences: Rhetoric and Education. To this list I would add Propaganda and Indoctrination.

What do these terms means and how do we understand them and use them in the classroom?

Advocates for the “Student Bill of Rights” argue for a balanced classroom (though they never petition business schools to teach Marx.) What does this ultimately mean? What are the limits to having a balance of ideas in a class? (I imagine that business schools would not teach Marx because they would say Marx is wrong. But is this a correct view of history?)

This is not about indoctrination...

One of my students told me about this film. I have not seen it yet. Here is a clip from ABC News.

The preview of the movie states that the movie is well balanced. It does not state whether or not the people at the camp are sane or insane.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Where do Iraqis stand on Roe v. Wade?

Yesterday, an article in The Washington Post discussed the number one characteristic potential Defense Department employees would need in order to work in Iraq: no, it is not knowledge about the Middle East nor knowledge on post-war reconstruction; these would be beneficial. No, the number one characteristic was loyalty to President Bush.

Some great excerpts from the article:

"O'Beirne's staff posed blunt questions to some candidates about domestic politics: Did you vote for George W. Bush in 2000? Do you support the way the president is fighting the war on terror? Two people who sought jobs with the U.S. occupation authority said they were even asked their views on Roe v. Wade."

"A 24-year-old who had never worked in finance -- but had applied for a White House job -- was sent to reopen Baghdad's stock exchange. The daughter of a prominent neoconservative commentator and a recent graduate from an evangelical university for home-schooled children were tapped to manage Iraq's $13 billion budget, even though they didn't have a background in accounting."

"To recruit the people he wanted, O'Beirne sought résumés from the offices of Republican congressmen, conservative think tanks and GOP activists. He discarded applications from those his staff deemed ideologically suspect, even if the applicants possessed Arabic language skills or postwar rebuilding experience."

"Smith said O'Beirne once pointed to a young man's résumé and pronounced him "an ideal candidate." His chief qualification was that he had worked for the Republican Party in Florida during the presidential election recount in 2000."

"One former CPA employee who had an office near O'Beirne's wrote an e-mail to a friend describing the recruitment process: "I watched résumés of immensely talented individuals who had sought out CPA to help the country thrown in the trash because their adherence to 'the President's vision for Iraq' (a frequently heard phrase at CPA) was 'uncertain.' I saw senior civil servants from agencies like Treasury, Energy . . . and Commerce denied advisory positions in Baghdad that were instead handed to prominent RNC (Republican National Committee) contributors."

I have very little faith in either party, and if the Republicans win the mid-term elections, I will have even less faith. How can one party diminish almost their entire ethos and still hold office and still receive support from citizens in this republic?

Plato may be correct.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Fanatical Devotion to the Pope

Over the weekend I found out that certain people-- certain people who write for this blog-- have never watched "The Spanish Inquisition." Ha. Ha. Ha. (Diabolical Laughter.) Nobody expecs the Spanish Inquisition.