Sunday, May 24, 2009

Liberty at Stake

Liberty University is in the news. It seems that it will no longer recognize its campus Democratic club because, officials say, the national party's platform goes against the conservative Christian school's moral principles:

Officials at the private Lynchburg school, which was founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, said they made the decision after receiving complaints from trustees, parents and donors.

"They really are great kids and good friends of mine," said Jerry Falwell Jr., who became the school's chancellor after his father died in 2007. "It's just an issue of what Liberty's mission is."

The decision led to swift and strong criticism by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and the three Democrats running to replace him. Kaine, who spoke on the campus on behalf of then-Sen. Barack Obama last year, urged the school to reconsider.

"For Liberty University to deprive the College Democrats of the same opportunity as College Republicans ... violates that fundamental principle of fairness and teaches the students the wrong message," Kaine said.

This is a story not lacking in ironies. To be sure, the university has an obligation to guarantee that its values and mission are not weakened, and it's certainly understandable that the administrative honchos would see the national Democrat party as a serious threat to those values, but banishing one mainstream political organization while allowing its competitor seems a bit, well, unChristian and unAmerican. Indeed, its the sort of thing that happens most often on liberal campuses which makes it funny that the Democrat governor would complain about it. How loudly have Democrats complained about the indoctrination, intimidation, and suppression of conservative views in public universities across the nation? Not loud enough so's anyone would notice.

Anyway, I'm frankly conflicted on this. I'm not sure Liberty should stifle their students' political views unless the students are publicly and overtly undermining the mission of the school - which, indeed, they may have been doing in campaigning for a radical pro-choice presidential candidate. However, there's nothing about being a Democrat or belonging to a Democrat campus organization that inherently requires one to have the same moral outlook as Nancy Pelosi, John Murtha, Barney Frank and Ted Kennedy. Surely, student Democrats can espouse positions on issues of foreign and economic policy that don't obviously clash with the mission statement of the university.

On the other hand, the university, being a private school, has the right and the obligation to set the limits of acceptable discourse on campus. I don't think a school like Liberty should feel the need to balance a pro-life student organization with a pro-choice group nor should they feel constrained to permit groups on campus that advocate gay marriage. If the national Democratic party takes these positions, and it does, then it's understandable that the university would wish to derecognize the campus affiliate.

Nevertheless, perhaps Liberty should consider changing its name.


Future Draft Choice

In 2008 my first choice for the Republican candidate for president was Dick Cheney, my second was Jeb Bush. I knew that neither had a chance of being nominated even were they interested in running, which neither were, and both had even less chance of being elected were they nominated. Even so, I'm convinced that the country would've been much better off under either than it is today, which isn't saying a whole lot, I guess.

But now comes another possibility, albeit with a name that's bound to be hard to overcome, but someone who has all the fire and punch of Sarah Palin alloyed with the gravitas that distinguishes her father. I speak of Liz Cheney. The woman is quickly endearing herself to the hearts of every American grown weary of the bloviations and pretensions of the Left and tired also of liberal nostrums and shibboleths going unchallenged by a media more inclined to genuflect at the name of Barack Obama than to ask of him critical questions.

To be sure Liz, Dick's daughter, is not yet ready for the office of POTUS (which didn't stop a mesmerized nation from electing Mr. Obama, of course), but in four or eight years, who knows? Meanwhile, here's some video of her taking on one of the more execrable of our media bullies, Lawrence O'Donnell. The video couldn't be embedded but it can be accessed at

Liz Cheney is a formidable woman, intelligent and charming, just like her mom, and she appears to have a potentially great future in American politics if she wants it. I hope she does.



In a post a couple of days ago I wondered (facetiously) if Barack Obama may have MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder). Then along comes this article in the Jerusalem Post and I wonder whether I should drop the word "facetiously."

President Barack Obama agreed Wednesday to share US nuclear power technology with the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, giving his consent to a deal signed in the final days of George W. Bush's administration.

The agreement creates a legal framework for the US to transfer sensitive nuclear items to the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven Middle Eastern states that wants nuclear power to satisfy growing demand for electricity.

Although flush with oil, the emirates imports 60 percent of the natural gas they use to generate electricity. The United Arab Emerates wants to break its dependence on outside sources for its energy needs and settled on nuclear power as the best option.

There's something very odd about this. The President opposes developing more nuclear power plants in the U.S. to alleviate our own dependence upon outside sources of energy because that's bad for the environment, what with radiation and whatnot, but he's prepared to help Middle East countries build nuclear facilities to help them meet their energy demands. Does he think it's okay if it's just Arabs who get exposed to radiation?

Anyway, while one Obama personality is explaining why we can't build more nuclear power plants in this country, even though it's the cleanest, safest energy available on a mass scale, another personality is making deals with the U.A.E. to help them build those very same plants.

I think his various personalities ought to sit down and have a long talk with each other.