In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

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Updating for fun and profit

Where are you?

henwy is on the Santa Cluster, subcluster 0.

Apparently santa wasn't in a giving mood today since it was down for maintanace for what seemed like forever. Actually, for all I know it will be forever since after taking thespacecowgirl's advice, I'm typing this out in notepad and I'll post it later whenever things right themselves and all is good with the world again.

So there's actually three things I've been thinking about posting about and the question is whether to put all three things into one long, rambling entry that feels disjointed or do the ton of entries in a short period of time thing that's almost as equally annoying. Heck, lets just go with the latter and start with the simpliest topic.

So I was looking through newsweek and I found a pretty spiffy article about conservative students at dartmouth. It got me thinking about how conservatives are almost always outnumbered on college campuses and what that often means. So anyway, here's the article: (BTW, do people have a preference whether I paste the entire darn article or if I just link it? It's a large waste of space but at least you don't have to open a new browser window and deal with popups, right?)

Minority Opinion

Dean rules Dartmouth, but the school's conservatives are hanging tough
Gorsche: 'Why are liberals so reluctant to speak out against terror?'

By Ryan Gorsche

Jan. 17 - Dartmouth is Dean country. The former Vermont governor won over the college's hemp-necklace-wearing-bootleg-tape-trading set long ago. But now, even the students salivating for Wall Street internships are stumping for the good doctor. HOWARD DEAN FOR AMERICA signs are affixed to dorm windows. As the Democrats prepare to descend on the small New Hampshire town of Hanover for a Jan. 25 debate, backpacks on campus and off are festooned with buttons that read THE DOCTOR IS IN.

This might surprise some outsiders who think of Dartmouth as a conservative school. But the triumph of liberal sentiment in this election season isn't just anecdotal—there is mathematical evidence, too. The Dartmouth, the college's student newspaper, paired a story headlined ADMISSIONS OFFICE CONFRONTS CONSERVATIVE STEREOTYPE with a student-conducted poll reporting that only 22 percent of the Dartmouth community approves of the job being done by President George W. Bush—this while Bush's national approval rating stood solidly near 60 percent. And Dean's popularity isn't merely youthful idealism: Just 3 percent of Dartmouth professors back Bush.

Why shouldn't they? Dean's campaign resembles a page from the average Dartmouth classroom syllabus. For example, a history profes sor compared the Patriot Act to Draconian practices used in the Roman empire. Dean's recent statement that "dealing with race is about educating white folks" so closely resembled Dartmouth President James Wright's 2002 convocation speech on purported "white privilege" that the words could have been penned by the same author.

Some of us, however, are still standing up for conservatism at this newly left-leaning school. Despite being outnumbered by resident Deaniacs, most campus conservatives remain fervent in their support of the president and find the rhetoric of many Democratic campaigns unconvincing. On no issue is this division more clearly manifested than the global war on terror.

Campus conservatives have been in the hawk's nest since the beginning, with no intention of spreading their wings and flying elsewhere. But, contrary to the claims of the antiwar crowd, conservative support of the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq has little to do with the imperial soul-cleansing of blood and steel. Conservative student support is best outlined in the demands of Bush's Sept. 12, 2002, United Nations speech: an end to Saddam Hussein's state-sponsored terrorism—such as funding the Palestinian Arab Liberation Front and Mujahedin-e Khalq; an end to WMD programs—whether stockpiles exist, the programs did; and an end to illegal trade outside the oil-for-food program. Most importantly, as Bush said, "If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will cease persecution of its civilian population, including Shia, Sunnis, Kurds, Turkomans and others, again as required by Security Council resolutions." Talk of human shredding machines and mass graves should have softened the hardened hearts of any antiwar protester. But it did not.

Why are liberals so reluctant to speak out against terror? Dartmouth senior and campus conservative Stefan Beck explains it this way. "Liberals have always believed they have a monopoly on compassion," he said, "but when it came time to make a decision on Iraq, they were more concerned about hypothetical business deals or the wounded ego of the 'international community' than they were about real suffering people. Most war supporters at Dartmouth were swayed by horror stories about Iraq. Whether or not Halliburton might turn a big profit was a small matter when we had the will and means to save 24 million people from a mass murderer. The justification really couldn't have been any simpler."

Words like these don't win many hearts here. When Beck aired his views at an open discussion of the war, the microphone was wrested from his hands by the "impartial" moderator, a Dartmouth government professor.

Dean has carried campus antiwar sentiment to the national scene. While Coalition forces have been playing 52-card pickup with the Iraqi-most-wanted deck, Dean has been bluffing the table: unilateralism, WMDs and the occasional conspiracy theory about Saudi 9/11 warnings. But for all the discussion of the lack of WMD stockpiles and the oxymoronic idea of a supposed unilateral multinational war effort, Dean has not provided any coherent solution. Sometimes he says we need more troops; sometimes he says troops should come home; sometimes he says we should finish the job; sometimes he says we should stop spending money on the war effort.

Such wavering is fine for many students here. But those are the students who've never been concerned with the war's success. With Saddam's capture, many Iraqis began slapping Baathist statues with their shoes and firing off celebratory gunshots. Campus reaction was more cynical: one contributor to the Dartmouth Free Press's Weblog posted the headline TERRIBLE NEWS: SADDAM IS CAPTURED. THE CHICKEN HAWKS WILL GAIN IN POWER NOW. A few tender-hearted students discussed the "dignity" of Paul Bremer's "We got him" speech.

We campus conservatives try to ignore such talk. Another Dartmouth senior, Rollo Begley, said, "National security and the war are the most important campaign issues right now, and among the candidates, Bush has it best. I doubt anyone thought that the terrorist attacks would stop after 9/11, but two years later, the best they've mustered is a shootout in LAX. And look what America has accomplished: Afghanistan nearly has a constitution, Iraqis are free from torture, and Kaddafi's quaking with fear."

That's enough to make any college conservative celebrate.

It's amazing how biased the political spectrum is on most college campuses. Maybe it has something to do with that old saying that if you're not a liberal in your 20's and 30's you have no heart, if you aren't a conservative in your 40's and on, you have no brain. I prefer to think of it as maybe that young people are just more stupid in general and eventually grow out of it. The disparity is not limited to the student body either as professors that self-describe themselves as liberal outnumber conservatives by over a 4 to 1 margin on average and at some ivy league universities has been known to exceed 95%. Either purposefully or perhaps unconciously, many of these professors attempt to indoctrinate students in their own political world view. It's pretty disturbing that higher education, a place that's supposed to expose you to the pleathora of opinions and viewpoints is this one sided on this particular issue. I just saw something on the daily show a few days ago about a conservative student at a U of Cali school who actually held a national conservative coming out day where students could declair their political affiliation and views without feeling ostracized.

I feel pretty lucky that the U of C is generally apolitical and more balanced in its view than a lot of other universities. It's not many places where you find people even bothering to espouse an opposing view much less championing it. For instance:

An article about Cho's performance from the school paper that ran right after the show. It seems this person had many of the same complaints as I did about the event and it's always nice to see that.

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