Monday, June 4, 2007

Gonzalez Appeal Rejected

Iowa State astronomy professor Guillermo Gonzalez has had his appeal of the decision to deny him tenure rejected by university president Gregory Geoffroy. Why did this happen? ISU will not open up the records of their deliberations despite being legally required to do so thus we're left to draw our own conclusions. Most of the rationales we've heard sound pretty flimsy. Gonzalez has led his department in authoring scholarly papers and textbooks (See also here) and consistently receives good reviews for his teaching.

We're left to conclude that the ISU authorities succumbed, like the 17th century town sages in Salem, Massachusetts, to the hysterics of a few of Gonzalez's faculty colleagues who wanted to get him fired because, of all things, Gonzalez is not a naturalistic materialist.

Gonzalez believes the order and fine-tuning of the cosmos point to an intelligence behind it and for that, it appears, he is being led to the academic equivalent of the stake. Meanwhile, professional frauds like Ward Churchill are still drawing paychecks at the University of Colorado for telling students that the people who died on 9/11 deserved it.

Who says universities are about diversity and tolerance and the marketplace of ideas? Schools like ISU are in the business of regimentation, indoctrination, and conformity. If you're doubtful perhaps the accounts of the Gonzalez affair at the above links and elsewhere on the web will change your mind.

Thanks to Evolution News Network for the picture.


Tyranny vs. Free Speech

Like tyrants and tyrant-wannabes everywhere, whether on American college campuses, North Korea or the old Soviet Union, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela will do whatever he can to eliminate free speech and the free exchange of ideas.

His latest move, however, closing down a popular television station, may prove to be the catalyst that leads to his downfall among the Venezuelan people.


Divisive Issue

The editors of National Review Online have challenged the editors of the Wall Street Journal to a public debate on the merits of the pending immigration legislation. As of this writing there has been no response from the WSJ. Apparently they're not so sure they can defend their support for this bill and their hostility to its opponents. I'm not surprised. It's pretty much indefensible.

Speaking of hostility, immigration reform is ripping the conservative movement apart. There are some things being said by those who favor the current bill put together by Ted Kennedy and John McCain that are creating wounds that may never heal. The otherwise estimable Linda Chavez has joined President Bush, Michael Chertoff, Ken Mehlman, and others in completely disparaging the motives of her opponents and misrepresenting their position.

I have to say that I have yet to hear an actual argument from supporters of the Kennedy bill on either the left or right as to why illegal aliens are good for America. President Bush and his spokespersons say they are, but they never really tell us why except to offer platitudes about doing jobs Americans won't do. Nor do they ever tell us why it is wrong to want to secure our borders, nor tell us why it is wrong to want to control who comes into this country.

Our country is our home. I'll be more impressed with the President's reluctance to build a fence to keep people from breaking into our home when he has the barriers around the White House removed and orders the secret service to stop shooting people who try to get in without permission.