The Left’s Theft of the Open Society and the Scientific Method
by Jonathan David Carson
The Left misappropriates intellectual capital for perverse ends, in order to lend itself a veneer of respectability and befuddle its critics. According to the website of the Open Society Institute, the George Soros funded nerve-center of today’s Left, “The term ‘open society’ was popularized by the philosopher Karl Popper in his 1945 book Open Society and Its Enemies. Popper’s work deeply influenced George Soros, the founder of the Open Society Institute, and it is upon the concept of an open society that Soros bases his philanthropic activity.”
Obama’s Real Bill Ayers Problem
by Sol Stern
Barack Obama complains that he’s been unfairly attacked for a casual political and social relationship with his neighbor, former Weatherman Bill Ayers. Obama has a point. In the ultraliberal Hyde Park community where the presidential candidate first earned his political spurs, Ayers is widely regarded as a member in good standing of the city’s civic establishment, not an unrepentant domestic terrorist. But Obama and his critics are arguing about the wrong moral question. The more pressing issue is not the damage done by the Weather Underground 40 years ago, but the far greater harm inflicted on the nation’s schoolchildren by the political and educational movement in which Ayers plays a leading role today.
The Pope’s Challenge to Conservatives
by Christopher Chantrill
Pope Benedict XVI is a role model for conservatives. He shows that you can engage with the German tradition [of relativism as in Kant, Marx, and Nietzsche] and not just survive but come out drenched in Christian love and faith.
He’s not the only conservative to have engaged German relativism. British conservative Roger Scruton, author of a book on Kant, has also dared to engage the German philosophers and lived to tell the tale. Jewish conservative Jonah Goldberg had to study the German canon to be able to annoy liberals with his Liberal Fascism.
Follow the logic to understand the stratospheric costs of higher education today.
In a normal market situation, each competing enterprise has an incentive to lower prices if that would attract business away from competitors and increase its profits.
Unfortunately, the academic world is not a normal market situation.
Some of the ways of cutting costs that a business might use are not available to a college or university because of restrictions by the accrediting agencies and the American Association of University Professors.
There was a time, back in the early 1960s, when my academic career began, when many — if not most — colleges had their faculty teaching 12 semester hours and a few had teaching loads of 15 semester hours.
Spending even 15 hours a week in a classroom may not seem like a lot to people who spend 35 or 40 hours a week on the job. However, there is also the time required to prepare lectures, grade tests and do other miscellaneous campus chores.
Even so, 12 hours a week in a classroom is not a killing pace, especially for professors who have taught a few years and have their lecture notes from previous years to help prepare for the current year’s classes.
But that was then and this is now. Today, a teaching load of more than 6 semester hours is considered sweatshop labor on many campuses.
Incidentally, since academic class hours are 50 minutes long, 6 semester hours mean actually 5 hours a week in the classroom.
Why was it considered necessary to cut the teaching load in half? Mainly because professors were expected to do more research.
Why was more research considered necessary? Because research brings in more money from the government, from foundations and from other sources.
On many campuses, a beginning faculty member cannot expect to be promoted to a tenure position unless he or she brings research money into the campus coffers.
Once 6 semester hours of teaching becomes the norm, an individual college that tried to economize by having its faculty teach 9 or 12 semester hours could run into trouble with the American Association of University Professors and the accrediting agencies.
The University of Colorado law school had its accreditation by the American Bar Association put in jeopardy simply because they did not spend enough money on books for their law library — even though their students passed the bar exam on the first try at a higher rate than the law students at Harvard and Yale.
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