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Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Ward Churchill a Total Fraud?

The controversy surrounding Colorado University professor and terrorist cheerleader Ward Churchill continues to develop. It was made known just the other day that Churchill is not a member of the Cherokee tribe as he has alleged.

Consider: Churchill has constructed his entire academic career around the claim that he is a Native American, yet it turns out there is no evidence, other than his own statements, that this is the case.

Churchill has said at various times that he is either one-sixteenth or three-sixteenths Cherokee, yet genealogical reporting by the Rocky Mountain News and others has failed to turn up any Cherokee ancestors - or any other Native Americans - in Churchill's family tree. (
I made mention of this and suggested that he claimed Native American ethnicity because it propelled him to the chairmanship of the ethnic studies department at this otherwise prestigious university.

Now it turns out that his credentials are highly suspect as well.

Churchill has used his supposed Indian heritage to bully his way into academia. Indeed Churchill lacks what are normally considered the minimum requirements for a tenure-track job at a research university: he never earned a doctorate, and his only degrees are a bachelor's and a master's from a then-obscure Illinois college.

Churchill's lack of conventional academic credentials was apparently compensated for, at least in part in the eyes of those who hired him at the University of Colorado, by the "fact" that he contributed to the ethnic diversity of the school's tenure-track faculty.
Universities fall all over themselves trying to hire feminists, the more militant the better, Muslim extremists, particularly those who espouse a particular animus toward Jews, and homosexuals, with all the baggage they can bring to the job.

Academics and intellectual pursuits are secondary.


Update 02/05/05, 6:57pm: Glenn Reynolds over at Instapundit has this to add:

At my institution [University of Tennessee], we don't hire people without reading their publications. We don't tenure people without reading them and sending them for outside review by leading scholars in the field. Yet Churchill was both hired and tenured -- and made department chair -- in the ethnic studies program at Colorado. I'm not sure what's more damning: If they didn't perform these checks first, or if they did, and if people on that faculty, and in that field, thought Churchill's work was just fine. As with the Bellesiles scandal, this suggests some serious problems with peer review in the discipline.

What A Mess

Everyone out there who wants your healthcare costs lowered, raise your hand. Those of you who have your hand up: How many of you are willing to have your existing coverage reduced to compensate for lower costs (of course we all say we would until the three-year-old comes down with some exotic illness the treatment for which the insurance company doesn't cover)? And for those of you who are small business owners: How many more increases in your healthcare costs can you withstand before you fold your tent? And those of you who are doctors and are working 70 hours a week: Are you willing to take a cut in pay to ease the financial burden of your patients?

Soaring costs. Ever-expanding coverage. Increasingly sophisticated - and expensive - diagnostic equipment. An array of government mandates. What to do?

Go to war.

Doctors Fight Insurer's CutsTo Auto Workers

Under growing pressure to rein in runaway health-care costs, Detroit's Big Three auto makers are starting to buy medical care the same way they buy steel and plastic -- pushing suppliers to deliver at the lowest possible cost.

But some health-care providers, objecting to being treated like commodity vendors, are pushing back.

Prodded by General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG, the Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance organization of Michigan in September slashed 500 doctors, or almost 5% of the physicians, in a plan covering 120,000 auto workers. In addition, Michigan Blue Cross told the remaining doctors in the plan, called Blues Preferred Plus, that it would reduce payments for a range of medical services -- prompting 1,900 additional doctors to quit the plan voluntarily. In a separate move concerning another Blue Cross plan -- the Auto and UAW Preferred Provider Organization -- Blue Cross informed doctors that it was imposing a new discounted fee structure for doctor's-office visits.

In an effort to block the fee cuts, the Michigan State Medical Society and the Michigan Osteopathic Association, have filed a lawsuit in Ingham County Circuit Court in Lansing, Mich., naming Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

The Michigan doctors say the cuts in both doctors and allowable fees will diminish the quality of care, especially to patients with chronic illnesses who have seen the same doctor for years. (link)
Where will all this end? I'll tell you.

Your government is going to step in and "fix" the problem. And your elected representatives are going to "fix" what they themselves broke. And when that "fix" is in place, they are going to realize the need to "fix" the "fix." We're already half-way down the road to socialized medicine. There is no turning back.

The American healthcare system, the finest the world has ever known, is in the process of deterioration. Everyone wants more from it- and expect to pay less for it - than can be reasonably expected.

Somebody pass the Tylenol.

Race Politics 2005

E.J. Dionne writes for the Democratic party. Via the Washington Post. Unlike so many liberal columnists who I find to be either detached from planet earth - Maureen Dowd, Bob Herbert, Richard Cohen - or who are out of their league - Paul Krugman, Michael Kinsley, William Rasperry - Dionne writes well, seems to have a sense of humor, and (knowing that he is opposed to all initiatives Republican) is entertaining.

I particularly enjoy the columns he devotes to whining about Republicans being unfair to his playmates over in Congress. Today's is one of those columns. And there is a bit of irony to it. He accuses the other side of political correctness.

Among the many double standards in U.S. politics is the contradictory attitude of many conservatives toward "political correctness" and the matter of "playing the race card." Conservatives profess to be horrified by political correctness, which is roughly defined as the habit of stamping out frank discussion about matters related even tangentially to race, class, gender and ethnicity. Whenever a liberal raises concerns over whether a conservative initiative might damage the rights or interests of, say, African Americans or Latinos, that liberal is accused of being "politically correct" and playing the race card -- usually, just to make the sin sound really awful, off "the bottom of the deck."

But increasingly, it is conservatives who are using political correctness to sidestep hard issues. Consider the bait-and-switch in the Gonzales case: Democrats thought it appropriate to use Gonzales's nomination to launch a debate about torture policy. Gonzales is Latino. Therefore, Republicans insisted, Democrats who wanted to debate torture policy were anti-Latino. (link)

Now I agree with Dionne to a point. The effort on the part of Senate Republicans to paint their Democratic colleagues as racists was rather (humorous and) transparent. For politicians like Orrin Hatch and Charles Grassley - two Republicans we could do without - to accuse Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd of being bigots was obviously political in derivation. We know they didn't mean it.

But it is kind of fun to watch.

On another level, though, I think Hatch and Grassley were not all that wrong. I don't think Kennedy is a racist. He is a misogynist. He is a drunk. He is a lout. He is a murderer. But it is difficult for me to believe that he is a racist.

But he is a politician too. And that's what is motivating his - and his Democratic allies' - attacks on Miguel Estrada, Condoleezza Rice, and Alberto Gonzales (as well as the attacks on Ken Blackwell, Ohio Attorney General, who oversaw the election process in Ohio, and who is going to be the state's first black governor). The Democrats know they have the black vote locked up (Ken Blackwell is black). They are battling for the Hispanic vote. They look at Colin Powell, Rice, Estrada, and Gonzales and see black and hispanic people. Black and hispanic Republicans perhaps.

And that scares them. They know the dynamic shifts if the Republicans are able to get their "people of color" out in front of the television camera to talk to their brethren. So Kennedy and his gang are doing whatever they can to discredit (an ever-growing number of) these black and hispanic nominees to high office by calling them dishonest, incompetent, deceitful, cowardly, and on and on.

Racial politics at its worst. Being dragged into the light of day for all to see. E.J. Dionne doesn't like it. But it is worth seeing.