Thursday, January 19, 2006

Right Wing Group Pays Students To Rat on Teachers That Are Not Conservative

This story disturbed me when I heard about it last night on The Situation with Tucker Carlson. Of course, the bow-tied blowhard completely supported the practice of this far-right alumni group paying students $100 to report on teachers that they view as "liberal." First off, the far right attacking higher education is nothing new. They despise intellectuals -- look who they chose to be President!

But I thought that universities were places where students were exposed to different ideas and different ways to look at the world. That, right there, is what the right has a problem with. Notice that the real objection this group has is that someone might have "...positions against President Bush, the military and multinational corporations." So the right says they want academic freedom, but professors should be prohibited from voicing an opinion against George W. Bush? Glad to see the right is so in favor of increased freedom for Iraqis, but limited freedom for Americans. How interesting.

"Radical" UCLA professors targeted by alumni group
(AP) An alumni group is offering students up to $100 per class to supply tapes and notes exposing University of California, Los Angeles professors who allegedly express extreme left-wing political views.

The year-old Bruin Alumni Association on its Web site says it is concerned about professors who use lecture time to press positions against President Bush, the military and multinational corporations, among other things.

The site includes a list of what the group calls the college's 30 most radical professors.

"We're just trying to get people back on a professional level of things," said the group's president and founder, Andrew Jones, a 2003 UCLA graduate and former chairman of the student Bruin Republicans.

"Having been a student myself up until 2003, and then watching what other students like myself have gone through, I'm very concerned about the level of professional teaching at UCLA."

Some of the group's targets accuse it of conducting a witch-hunt.

"Any sober, concerned citizen would look at this and see right through it as a reactionary form of McCarthyism," said education professor Peter McLaren, whom the associated named as No. 1 on its "The Dirty Thirty: Ranking the Worst of the Worst."

"Any decent American is going to see through this kind of right-wing propaganda. I just find it has no credibility."

The association's decision to name targets and pay students for information led to the resignation of at least one of its 20-plus advisory board members.

"That just seems to me way too intrusive," said Harvard historian Stephan Thernstrom, an affirmative action opponent and former UCLA professor. "It seems to me a kind of vigilantism that I very much object to."

Other advisory board members, according to the association Web site, include Linda Chavez, a former federal civil rights commissioner in the Reagan administration and head of a Virginia-based anti-affirmative action group; former Republican Rep. Jim Rogan; KABC-AM (790) radio host Al Rantel; and activist Joe Hicks.

UCLA officials said they will warn the association that selling copies of professors' lectures would violate campus rules and raise copyright issues.

The nonprofit association has raised $22,000 from 100 donors, said Jones, 24.

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