Why I Worry About Turnout

On the CBS Evening News, Bob Schieffer just made the point that no matter what the polls say, everything ultimately depends on voter turnout, and that Republicans have been better with turning out their supporters in recent elections.  This really worries me.  I am not registered with a party but I am, philosophically, a liberal.  I believe put those policies are best for America and so I nearly always vote Democratic.  But I must confess that in this election my interests are also personal.

I worry Republican advances in Congress will jeopardize aspects of the new health care law.  Provisions of the law are still coming into effect, so many people don’t realize how beneficial it is. Rollbacks will have minimal impact on me as a resident of Massachusetts, but I spent last year in another state and I can assure you, this system is better. I’m still cleaning up some of the financial mess from an inadequate insurance plan last year.

Continue reading

Academic Freedom Media Review – September 15-21, 2012

Scholars at Risk monitors reports of threats to academic freedom and higher education communities worldwide, including media articles, blogs, opinion pieces and other announcements.  Unless otherwise indicated (such as in articles written by SAR), the language and views contained in the search results reflect those of the originating author and/or publication and do not necessarily represent the views of Scholars at Risk or its members, affiliates, board or staff. Archived media reviews are available here.

——————————————————-

Iran: Ensure Equal Access to Higher Education
Human Rights Watch, 9/22

A professor in defense of tenure and academic freedom at SLU
Tim Lomperis, The University News of Saint Louis University, 9/20

Interview with Pınar Selek: ”The Old Mindset Is Still in Place in Turkey”
Ceyda Nurtsch, Qantara, 9/19

Writer Held Over Japan Comments
Luisetta Mudie, Radio Free Asia, 9/19

Continue reading

SAR Academic Freedom Media Review – May 5-11, 2012

The Scholars at Risk media review seeks to raise awareness about academic freedom issues in the news. Subscription information and archived media reviews are available here. The views and opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily those of Scholars at Risk.

——————————————————-

‘New York University’ Is Added to China’s List of Banned Internet Search Terms
The Chronicle of Higher Education, 5/11

Sea turtles homing in on China must swim against academic tide
Carolynne Wheeler, Times Higher Education, 5/10

Scholar lost in desert of despair guided by beacon of hope to oasis
Matthew Reisz, Times Higher Education, 5/10

Cabinet may consider accreditation bill today
Himanshi Dawan, Times of India, 5/10

Continue reading

Academic Freedom Media Review – April 28-May 4, 2012

The Scholars at Risk media review seeks to raise awareness about academic freedom issues in the news. Subscription information and archived media reviews are available here. The views and opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily those of Scholars at Risk.

——————————————————-

Chinese Activist Says He Will Study at NYU
The Chronicle of Higher Education, 5/4

CERN Scientist Sentenced to 5 Years in French Terrorism Case
Scott Sayare, The New York Times, 5/4

Movement to Protest Israel’s Policies Triggers Bitter Fights Over U.S. Scholars’ Speech
Peter Schmidt, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 5/4

Independent UN experts urge Iran to ensure protection for rights defenders
UN News Centre, 5/4 Continue reading

Academic Freedom Media Review – March 11 – 16, 2012

The Scholars at Risk media review seeks to raise awareness about academic freedom issues in the news. Subscription information and archived media reviews are available here. The views and opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily those of Scholars at Risk.

——————————————————-

AAUP Will Investigate U. of Northern Iowa Over Faculty Cuts
The Chronicle of Higher Education, 3/16

Scholars at Risk calls for letters on behalf of imprisoned Iranian scholars
Scholars at Risk, 3/16

Chicago State U. Is Ordered to Reinstate Adviser to Student Newspaper
The Chronicle of Higher Education, 3/15

Cambridge student protester suspended from University until 2014
Emily Loud, The Cambridge Student, 3/15

Continue reading

CAIR Asks South Dakota Governor to Veto Anti-Sharia Bill

No Bigotry in Our LawsCAIR Asks South Dakota Governor to Veto Anti-Sharia Bill.

Have you heard about this bill?  Well it’s pissing me off and South Dakota isn’t the only state with one in process!  I urge you to click on the link above and read what the Council on  American-Islamic Relations has to say about it.  I’m not angry about it because  it once again demonstrates the appalling lack of understanding and intolerable amount of prejudice must be endured by Muslims in the United States. That deeply saddens me more than it pisses me off.  As an educator, I will do my best to fight against this kind of ignorance.    Americans are innately curious and open-minded, there is simply so much misinformation that has  so massively skewed perceptions.

I am annoyed, ok a little pissed off, that not only South Dakota, but approximately two dozen other state legislatures are wasting time on such frivolous bills when there are so many other pressing issues facing the states and our nation as a whole.  What’s all this talk I keep hearing about budget crunches,  fiscal austerity, and cutbacks?  Both Virginia and West Virginia have debated this kind of a law, as well.  These people, our elected representatives, don’t even understand our system of government, it seems. They pass frivolous, unnecessary legislation to prevent things that are already impossible, instead of dealing with real issues.

Continue reading

Academic Freedom Media Review, February 11-17, 2012

The Scholars at Risk media review seeks to raise awareness about academic freedom issues in the news. Subscription information and archived media reviews are available here. The views and opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily those of Scholars at Risk.

——————————————————-

Syria ‘arrests iconic blogger Razan Ghazzawi and leading activists’
The Telegraph, 2/16

US for-profit universities ‘unworthy of the name’
Paul Jump, Times Higher Education, 2/16

Faculty Cry Foul Over Intellectual-Property Policy at U. of Louisiana System
Katherine Mangan, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2/16

Leak Offers Glimpse of Campaign Against Climate Science
Justin Gillis and Leslie Kaufman, The New York Times, 2/15

Continue reading

Which Side of History?

Dear Virginia,

I am proud to be a Virginian. I’ve not been a full time resident for a while, but I miss it immensely. Many of my family and friends are there, and I have so many fond memories of my childhood, youth and college. It’s a beautiful state, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Appalachian Mountains, and it has a rich history. Jamestown was the first permanent English Colony in the Americas, Revolutionary and Civil War Battlefields dot the state from border to border, Northern Virginia remains an important center of national government, as the Pentagon is there, as well as number of Federal Agencies, NGOs, lobbyists, and similar organizations. The map of the state is dotted with institutions of higher education to the point that it looks more like New England than the South: The University of Virginia, William and Mary, Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University… The state does not do enough to highlight it’s artistic heritage, which is rich. Among those born in or who hail from Virginia are Ella Fitzgerald, Sandra Bullock, Jason Mraz, Ruth Brown, Patsy Cline, Dave Matthews Band, Wanda Sykes, Shirley MacLaine, Perry Ellis… No less than 8 presidents were born in Virginia, including some of the most influential. Where would the US be if not for George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison or Woodrow Wilson?

And yet my state has a dark history, as well. It’s ironic that Stephen Spielberg is filming so much of the movie Lincoln in Virginia when the Richmond, VA was the Capitol of the Confederacy for part of the Civil War! Virginia was solidly on the wrong side in that one. We’ve been on the wrong side a lot! And when it was, it was often in a big way, as a recent post from BuzzFeed by Matt Stopera graphically illustrates with “five maps that show which states had the right idea, and which ones had the very, very wrong one.”

Here, for your consideration, are the first and last.

Continue reading

Academic Freedom Media Review – January 14 – 20, 2012

The Scholars at Risk media review seeks to raise awareness about academic freedom issues in the news. Subscription information and archived media reviews are available here. The views and opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily those of Scholars at Risk.

——————————————————-

A Good and Bad Week for Free Speech
Christopher Jon Sprigman, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 1/20

Information update: Scholars at Risk welcomes the release of Vietnamese professor, Pham Minh Hoang; Syrian activist’s brother, Yassin Ziadeh
Scholars at Risk, 1/20

IAEA Rejects Iran Accusation Over Scientist Killing
The New York Times, 1/20

KENYA: Bogus colleges crackdown, 21 charged
Gilbert Nganga, University World News, 1/19

College Groups Back U. of Colorado’s Immunity Claim in Churchill Case
The Chronicle of Higher Education, 1/19

Continue reading