Friday, February 28, 2003 :::
UPDATE: pro-war University of Chicago faculty protest at not having been consulted about the pamphlet below. As I expected, they include Dan Drezner and Jacob Levy, but I did not want to single them out before they had made their own comments. Levy notes that Jean Bethke Elshtain has also publicly supported the war, and both he and Drezner suggest that these three pro-war faculty voices are not alone.
Thursday, February 27, 2003 :::
'NO WAR IN IRAQ,' a group of activists at the University of Chicago, has collected faculty essays on the pros and cons of Allied war against Saddam Hussein. It is an interesting document. Because the group believes that "In modern political debate there seems to be a dangerous tendency to "oversimplify, to turn complex statements into five-word clichés for mass production," it wants "readers to get both sides, to see the complexity and come to an educated decision..." Yet apparently only Richard Posner could be bothered to make the case for Allied war against Saddam. We learn that "While it was fairly easy to find faculty who opposed the war, finding faculty who supported it was a much more difficult task." No kidding. Opposing professor Posner we find no less than seven pro-Saddam, pardon, anti-Allied war views. This, of course, is not at all in danger of oversimplifying the issue. Sigh. I do not wish to ridicule the friends of Mr Hussein on campus, but one thing did raise my eyebrows. They write that they "oppose the war for a multitude of reasons--some of us are pacifists, some think it is motivated by oil interests, some think it is a sign of US imperialism, some believe that it is a threat to US security, some think it is fiscally irresponsible..." Hang on. You oppose war because it would be fiscally irresponsible? Where is the logic in that? We have a lunatic threatening our lives, but hey, we should consider preferring to die in the knowledge that our check books are balanced?
Monday, February 24, 2003 :::
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NANNY STATE WATCH: Violent crime goes unchecked, but the Labour government is proclaiming a crackdown on parents who take their children out of school. "Parents will face instant fines of up to £100 if they take their children on holiday during term time in a fresh crackdown on truancy." The New Labour hack in charge: "We regard taking children out of school for holidays without authorisation as truancy, pure and simple. Parents who are doing it are irresponsible." After all, it's not parents who are responsible, it is the State, and the State simply will not allow "empty desks" -- I mean how can we teach children about oral sex if they don't even bother to show up?