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The lefty Professor versus the Arab college Republican president

At Joanne Jacobs I learned about another of these teacher/pupil ruckuses where the teacher would appear to have behaved very stupidly.

17 year old Ahmad Al-Qloushi disagreed with his teacher, Professor Jospeh Woolcock, about America being great. Ahmad Al-Qloushi thinks it is. His teacher, Professor Joseph Woolcock, on the other hand, said to Ahmad Al-Qloushi that he needed therapy for expressing such an obviously bonkers opinion. The story is already bubbling away on the internet and will surely spread. Al-Qloushi has put his version of the story out there, and however much the Professor may curse, he cannot now reverse this. The Professor has filed a grievance, whatever exactly that means, against Al-Qloushi, for putting his, the Professor’s, name out there, but out there it is and out there it will now remain.

Whenever I hear about disagreements like this, I always think to myself: well, maybe the guy is a bit crazy. Maybe, in this case, the essay was a bit bonkers. And maybe Al-Qloushi had said and done other crazy things which he is forgetting about, and this essay was just the final straw in a hayrick of craziness that we are not hearing about. So, I am especially interested that in addition to reading Al’Qloushi’s complaint, we can also read the offending essay. Says Joanne Jacobs:

If the student’s tale is accurate, it’s outrageous. It’s one thing to flunk him – I think the essay is not bad for a 17-year-old immigrant – quite another to treat him like a lunatic because he thinks the Founders were good guys and is grateful America liberated Kuwait from Saddam Hussein.

This guy (IA?), on the other hand, is sceptical about Al-Qloushi. Registration may be needed at the other end of that link, so I quote from this mercurynews.com story at length.

Needed: a grain of salt

“Arab Student Pushed to see Therapist” the headline began. The Foothill College Republicans blasted faxes to reporters this month complaining that a professor had forced a student to see the college therapist merely because the student wrote a pro-American essay.

This, the students fumed, is why the Los Altos Hills campus should adopt an Academic Bill of Rights.

Nationwide, conservatives are pushing the political protection bill, which says that while colleges tolerate different races, sexes and creeds, they only welcome liberal politics.

Ahmad Al-Qloushi seems a poster child for the cause: His political science professor allegedly told him to get psychological help simply because Al-Qloushi wrote a chest-thumping patriotic essay.

But IA was suspicious. Al-Qloushi happens to be president of the Foothill College Republicans – a fact the group’s press materials neglected to mention.

What were the odds of a campaign-perfect case happening to the college Republican president?

“It is a coincidence,” Al-Qloushi said, “but this is the case.”

IA tried to confirm Al-Qloushi’s story – and a subsequent release from the group that said the professor had filed a grievance against Al-Qloushi – but campus officials said they couldn’t discuss confidential professor-student matters.

The professor wouldn’t return calls and e-mails; the therapist simply hung up.

Fair enough. If you criticise someone publicly, you become a target yourself.

My first reaction was that maybe an angry Professorial outburst was being misunderstood, or misinterpreted, as a serious recommendation. But if there is indeed a therapist involved, the Professor presumably meant his recommendation seriously.

And maybe the fact that Al-Qloushi is the college Republican president is all part of what the Professor regards as so crazy about him.

However, I further guess that the combination of a pupil who is also a student politician (and maybe also an aspiring politician period) plus the Internet, faced the Professor with a situation he did not see coming. I guess that this Professor is used to getting away with crap like this, but did not realise that he was dealing with a different sort of pupil to the ones he is used to subjugating. My guess is that this Professor is a lefty who did indeed, despite what the mercurynews.com guy says, do something seriously wrong, but who did not understand that the Internet has changed the rules of these little conflicts.

Maybe he simply underestimated his adversary, regarding him as a confused immigrant without the moxie (as Joanne Jacobs would say) to stand up for himself.

In which case, the Professor is now getting a rapid piece of further education in the subject he is already a Professor of: American government and politics.

32 comments to The lefty Professor versus the Arab college Republican president

  • Charlie (Colorado)

    Look around a bit, and you can find the professor’s on-line student comments/evaluations. Whatever the facts of it may be, it’s clear al Oloushi isn’t alone in his feelings about the professor’s bias.

  • Doug Collins

    Some of the background here is also pretty revealing: The wording of the essay question -essentially directing the student to regurgitate the professor’s revisionist view that the Constitution was forced on “the people” by a “small and wealthy elite” leaves no room for disagreement.

    In the real world, I would expect this sort of thing to be an indoctrination exercise, say in an employment interview by a leftwing NGO. In academia, though, one has to consider the professor to be so out of touch with normal people and normal thought that he may not realize that there are alternatives to his ideas and prejudices. Al-Qloushi’s response may have been a severe shock to the poor man.

    About a year ago, Samizdata referenced an article that described an entrenched trend to a debunking revisionism in the elite US universities. It was already old hat in Britain apparently. The trend has spread. For example, there is a history professor at Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University who has made a career out of defaming the defenders of the Alamo for the last decade. Now community college professors (I didn’t realize that they had professors!) are breathing in this atmosphere too.

    The professor is wrong, incidentally, about the lack of input by “the People” into the Constitutional genesis. The men who wrote it were, first and foremost, politicians. They owed their jobs to voters who had sent them to the constitutional convention. John Adams, according to David MacCullough’s biography, was inspired to go into politics by the nightly conversations he heard in inn after inn during the years he spent as a travelling lawyer. That is about as close to the common man as you can get. The erring professor is also ignoring the Federalist Papers – a collection of what were originally newspaper columns, written mostly by Madison and Monroe to persuade those same common people to vote to ratify the constitution.

    If the professor wants to find an institution where a small privileged elite control things, he needs to look closer to home.

  • Ken

    In academia, though, one has to consider the professor to be so out of touch with normal people and normal thought that he may not realize that there are alternatives to his ideas and prejudices.

    Yes, and it’s one of the biggest reasons why entrenched political movements begin to lose their grip on reality – the Tories in England being a case in point.

    In this case, the actions of the professor are disgraceful – I have no doubt he tried to use his course as a means of indoctrination. So much for academic integrity and objectivity!

  • Bernie

    This “controversy” has a very strong air of having been contrived to outrage.

  • This is not the slighest bit shocking. At my alma malus Colby, anyone not taking the leftie-PC line was treated a bit of they had mental problems. But pushing for the kid to get therapy is, if proven to be true, beyond the pale. Let’s hope the kid excises his right to sue the idiot professor for defamation of character.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    This is a little off-topic, but I’m curious. I pretty much agree with the sentiment in the essay, but is that the tertiary-level standard of a political science essay in the US? Cos if it is…well….it’s shithouse! The piece is a polemic. Where’s the referencing? I’m sure he could find plenty of sources to back up his points, which are very worthy. Why is the author writing in first person? If I had’ve handed in an essay like that in first year uni I would have failed on stylistic grounds; forget the thrust of my argument. I know that colleges ain’t colleges in the States – is this Foothill College a bit on the lowbrow side?

  • Bob the Chemist

    One comment in his story raises a red flag for me. I understand the dumping-babies-out-of-incubators story during the Kuwait invasion was later shown to be fake. I don’t have the links this moment but I will look around.

  • Bob the Chemist

    One comment in his story raises a red flag for me. I understand the dumping-babies-out-of-incubators story during the Kuwait invasion was later shown to be fake. I don’t have the links this moment but I will look around.

  • Paleo Man

    Bob: The fake Kuwaiti story was put into the mouth of a young girl by a PR agency. “Saddam gassed the Kurds” may turn out to be cut from the same cloth.

    The young gent is clearly very confused if he thinks admiration for the Founders is compatible with cheerleading for an interventionist foreign policy and an enormous standing army, but give him time. George Washington’s valediction to Congress is the key text. Neither “Left” nor “Right” like to talk about it, since they both want America to crusade, but from different motives.

    There was nothing democratic about the republicans of 1776. The Founders abominated the rule of mobs and women as much as Burke did. They were squires and merchants defending their economic interests against others on the same continent. The War of Independence was really a civil war. Canada is its monument— not the present-day USA, with its kritarchical centralisation and colossal, ungovernable Federal government apparat. The old USA died in 1860, assassinated by Abraham Lincoln.

  • Shawn

    The truth is that the Left and the Paleocons (who are NOT the ‘Old Right’ ) have come to so despise their own country that any expression of support for it or any positive comment is jumped on and demonised.

    Plaeo Man (does that mean you drag your knuckles on the ground?) claims the US was assasinated by Lincoln (he didint believe in keeping the blacks in their rightful place in the paleo scheme of things), but then goes back to demonise the entire founding of America. According to paleo’s fact free rant, the Revolution, the founding, it was all evil and the US is just a bastard nation without merit. But he would have us believe he’s a “conservative”. Yeah right.

  • Shawn

    Another point. The paleos are always going on about Washington’s speech. But while Washington was a great man his speech was mere opinion. Isolationism was not written into the Constitution, and the US has never been an isolationsit country, the brief period in the 1930′s when the paleo’s stood in solidarity with Hitler aside.

    Washington made his speech at a time when it took months to sail to the US on a ship. We now live in a time when terrorists with chemical or even nuclear weapons can get here in a light aircraft in hours. To claim that Washington’s view on this can be translated into the present day in any meaningful sense is so monumentally stupid that only the radical anti-American Left and their paleo allies could believe, twisted as they are with hatred for their own motherland.

  • J

    The whole affair sounds manufactured to me. The essay deserves an F, and being of the old school of education, I say bit of mockery and humiliation to garnish the F never did any harm (well, to the student obviously, but that’s the point).

    So, big deal. If some libertarian economics professor set a similarly slanted assignment, and the best the whiny lefty at the back of the class could respond with was a rant about the evils of capitalism, then I’d hope the professor told them to see a therapist too.

    Hooray for the freedom of speech that allows teachers to tell stupid, lazy, self important students that they are no damn good.

    Yay!

  • Julian Taylor

    “Saddam gassed the Kurds” may turn out to be cut from the same cloth.

    So I guess the footage of bodies in Halabja must have been done by extras from the Iraqi International Film Institute for Proganda eh?

    One thing there are enough of are witnesses, usually children, from the Halabja massacre. These children don’t tend to be the daughter of the Sheik Saud al Nasir al Sabah, Kuwaiti ambassador to the USA – the famous “Nayirah” who testified regarding the 15 babies being wrenched from their incubators is one of his daughters.

  • Shawn

    “The whole affair sounds manufactured to me.”

    Of course it does. Denying reality is the first step in being a good liberal.

    “Hooray for the freedom of speech that allows teachers to tell stupid, lazy, self important students that they are no damn good.”

    Yes, a recent immigrant to the US, who’s country was liberated by the US from a bloody dictator, and who merely wished to express a more positive view of his new country and its founding, is stupid lazy and self important. Right?

    Thankyou J for giving a good example of the stupid, lazy, ignorant anti-Americanism fostered by liberal morons such as yourself.

  • Alice Bachini

    I can’t believe the blind adoration of authority some commenters on this blog seem to adopt. What are these people doing here?! If an academic seems corrupt, the student must be making it up. If an educational authority seems in the wrong(Link), the parents are neglectful idiots. Lefty trolls, I presume.

  • This all seems too familiar. Yes, his essay could not be published in a magazine, but given that English is his second language, and his ability to look at his professor’s argument objectively, I’d give it a B+., because some of his arguments were repetitive and his introduction regurgitated the assignment. Plus, I disagree that Grant was a ‘great president’. I would have replaced Grant with Andrew Jackson…
    But anyhow, his professor should have leave off campus to ‘cool off’, and the student is brave to be the pres. of republicans at the age of seventeen.

  • Julian Morrison

    I’d flunk him for the essay. It’s off topic, and it doesn’t even validly disagree with the topic. He could have countered by covering how “its formulation [did not exclude] the majority of the people living in America at that time, and how it was [not] dominated by America’s elite interest”. Or, taking another tack, even though it “was written by a small educated and wealthy elite in America who were representative of powerful economic and political interests”, the implied smear is false; the political and economic interests, while powerful, were in alignment with the popular interest.

    Instead he basically wrote “You’re wrong because the USA has been a force for good”. Well, yes, so? That’s tangential.

  • Yes, but obviously he was not sent to a therapist because his essay was poorly written, but rather because of the sentiments that he expressed in it. Un-Dirty-Word-Believable.

  • Stehpinkeln

    When writing for real (seriously, or for profit), I used a software package called “Wordbench”. It was written for the TRS-80 (CP/M, IIRC) and then ported up to DOS, which shows how long ago that was. It kept all the nit-pickers off my back and let me concentrate on ideas.
    As far as the young man’s paper, it does look like he was picking a fight with his professor. That is a good thing for both parties, as long as the student isn’t worried about his GPA. As the mentor it is the responsibility of the Professor to exercise contol of the situation.
    An “F” is too harsh. Give him a “C” for not supporting his arguements and suggest he invest in one of the hundreds of commercially available word processing programs.
    I liked Wordbench because it worked from an outline and kept track of footnotes. It also tracked nouns by the outline which really helps a rambler like myself.

  • Michael Farris

    The essay deserved to fail because the student did not answer the question. Furthermore, I think one reason he didn’t answer it was that he didn’t understand it . In defense of the student, I’ve seen lots of students misinterpret questions (and done my fair share of it myself before I learned better).

    To paraphrase, the question is:

    wait for it

    What, in the constitution, do Dye and Ziegler base their argument on?

    That’s it. It says nothing about the professor’s or the student’s views, which are completely irrelevant to answering the question.
    I can think of two possibilities.
    This also might be a “Hail Mary” paper, where the student doesn’t do the work to answer the question and so writes a bunch of off-topic crap hoping to be entertaining or provocative enough so that the evaluator will give them a passing grade for that.
    I’ve done that myself, but at least I didn’t make a fuss when I was called on it.
    The student is headed for a very short university career if he’s determined to answer his own questions rather than those posed by his instructors.

  • Aaron

    Shawn, after I read your “ad hominid” attack on Paleo Man, I noticed that you seem to have an irrational hatred for Paleoconservatives.

    While I do not claim that obscure title, I would at least like to see the identity represented correctly. They are not racists, anti-American, or cavemen. Here’s a Paleocon explaining how he sees it, which is, I think, a fair representation of-and-by.

    Regarding the “bastard nation without merit” comment, Paleocons do not typically see the U.S. as such. What they do see, however, is a need for dramatic change in U.S. fedgov structure and operation. For inspiration on how things should work, they look back to the structure and nature of the original U.S. government, before Lincoln turned it into a legal fiction.

    I know how Neocons just absolutely love and idolize Lincoln, but in my experience, one of the main differences between Neocons and Paleocons is that the average Paleocon personality is more willing to inquire into the actual facts of a matter rather than simply signing up and joining the fight against whatever Bush says is bad. This is why Paleocons are so often attacked by Neocons – the Neocons see the Paleocons as usurpers of the title “Conservative” because the Paleocons refuse to hold the party line when they think it is wrong.

    Attacking Paleocons is a favorite Neocon past-time (at least it would be if a cultural distinction that is only a few decades old could have a past-time). Such internal conflict could potentially lead to a split in the GOP (at least it would if anyone with Paleocon tendencies remains Republican after the next decade). Then we would have more useful idiot leftists in control of the small electable portion of the government once again. That would just be fantastic.

    I don’t agree with many Paleocon positions (especially on religion and its importance in and to society), but I do recognize the character of most of those who call themselves that – they’re not out to destroy society and culture like the leftists you compare them to. They don’t want to rewrite, they want to return (thus the “Paleo”).

    Their ideas are not all “liberty-perfect”, but their ideas are better than the increasingly socialist and nationalist Neocon substitutes which dictate warfare abroad (on deceitful or shaky foundations) and mandate economic collectivism at home. I can accept Paleocons as members of the larger pro-liberty movement, while I have a hard time doing so with many Neocons which create bureaucratic monsters such as the Homeland Security Department and promise to sign renewed gun control laws, such as Bush has done.

    To attack them by saying they are allied with leftists is simply false. Who said, right after the election, that they want to reach out to the people (namely the leftists) who didn’t vote for him? It wasn’t the non-existent Paleocon leader of the increasingly unfree world, it was GWB, the pro-gun control and massive-federal-agency-through-deficit-spending guy.

    On the war in Iraq, let me make this very clear:

    The American Left, just like the rest of the world’s Left, is against the war in Iraq because Iraq was a socialist nation which used the term “solidarity” and because they hate America, especially when it wins, does good, or helps people, as these actions tend to increase the power of America, which is contrary to their life mission of destroying it and replacing it with the United Soviet Socialist States of America.

    Many Paleoconservatives – not all, but many – are against the war in Iraq because they don’t think it is in America’s best interests to fight a war against death-wish, anti-civilization terrorists in the middle of the Middle East.

    I imagine that many Paleocons felt as I did when our tanks and troops were sweeping through Iraq in the first days of the war – it was nice to see Saddam on the run and the Iraqi people with a chance at freedom. It was particularly awesome to see American volunteer soldiers willingly killing the evil SOBs there. But there was no ignoring the likeliness that it would be long, bloody, costly, and not exactly what we should be doing while our own borders (and the redistributable contents therein) remain as porous as the tear ducts of socialists everywhere as our troops kicked their favorite dictator’s troops’ asses across the sands.

    The allure of the all-powerful state, rushing to hotspots and using expensive weapons bought with stolen dollars to kill evil dictators is strong to American Conservatives. This allure is not, however, strong enough to compel everyone who calls themselves “Conservative” to automatically sign up on the World Police Supporters List, even if it means not getting to kill evil dictators.

    Sorry this was so long; please excuse my long-windedness. Peace and good will from West Texas – the right ventricle of the heart of American Conservatism (in other words, I’m surrounded by it).

  • Aaron

    The U.S. is not a “bastard nation without merit” but there are some problems with its legal history.

  • Paleo Man

    Shawn repeats the neocon myth that Lincoln fought the War Between the States to free black slaves. Lincoln’s real views on slavery, on the innate inferiority of negroes and on the necessity of shipping blacks back to Africa once the war was over, are a matter of record. But neocons don’t care. They adulate Lincoln for being a bankers’ tool and military dictator who trashed the Constitution and precipitated the killing of half a million Americans. Thus they betray their own antecedents as nihilists, leftists and power worshippers who have infiltrated conservatism to destroy it.

    Shawn: “Washington made his speech at a time when it took months to sail to the US on a ship. We now live in a time when terrorists with chemical or even nuclear weapons can get here in a light aircraft in hours.”

    All the more reason to make “defense” spending what the Founders intended it to be, instead of wasting billions provoking enmity thousands of miles from the homeland. Why couldn’t US air defences intercept those hijacked planes on 9/11?

  • Tom

    If that essay earned a pass mark at any university you would have to seriously question the standards there. It might be acceptable for a middle high school piece, but seriously, seperated from the politics, that is nowhere near university standard.

  • Shawn

    In response to Aaron,

    “I noticed that you seem to have an irrational hatred for Paleoconservatives.”

    No, I have a rational dislike of Paleocon anti-Americanism.

    While I do not claim that obscure title, I would at least like to see the identity represented correctly. They are not racists, anti-American, or cavemen.

    Thats a matter of opinion, I disagree. I have been reading Paleocon literature such as Chronicles, and I’m familiar with Paleocon thinking on various issues. There is in fact a strong element of racialism in the writings of many paleocons, and I certainly think some of the arguments made about America’s founding, the Civil War, and the current War on Terror, do in fact rate as anti-American.

    “Here’s a Paleocon explaining how he sees it, which is, I think, a fair representation of-and-by.

    Regarding the “bastard nation without merit” comment, Paleocons do not typically see the U.S. as such. What they do see, however, is a need for dramatic change in U.S. fedgov structure and operation. For inspiration on how things should work, they look back to the structure and nature of the original U.S. government, before Lincoln turned it into a legal fiction.”

    I have certainly met Paleocons who see the entire founding as wrong and as an excersise in Deist/Masonic liberalism. I spent anough time talking to Plaeocons at VFR to come across this view repeatedly. It may not be shared by all Paleocons, but its revealing in itself.

    I have no problem with radical change to a more Constitutional basis, but Plaeocons and Libertarians do not hold a monoply on that view nor on how it can practically be implemented.

    Between idolisation and demonisation it is possible to have a balanced view of Lincoln. I dont agree with everything he did, but the claim that the Union’s war against the South was legally and morally wrong is a fiction based on a highly dubious interpretation of the Constitution and States rights. The moral and constitional imperitive of ending slavery was right. I have heard all the standard arguments in the Souths favour and I think they can all be reasonably refuted. The fact is that I, and many other mainstream conservatives have investigated the Paleo claims regarding Lincoln, and I dont think they stand up. That does not make me a Neocon, it means I have looked at the same inmformation and come to a different conclusion.

    “I know how Neocons”

    Im not a Neocon, I’m a conservative. Contrary to Paleo myth, the conservative movement is not split between Paleocons and Neocons. Both groups are merely recent fringe developments in conservative thought. The vast majority of mainstream conservatives have always held to the same basic principles.

    “This is why Paleocons are so often attacked by Neocons – the Neocons see the Paleocons as usurpers of the title “Conservative” because the Paleocons refuse to hold the party line when they think it is wrong.”

    Paleocons are often attacked not because they dont hold the party line, but because they support America’s enemies in time of war, and because they are critical of the US beyond the point of reason. Many Paleocon attacks on US policy sound little different in content and tone, especially in vitriolic hate, than the rantings of the Euro-Left. For that reason, some criticism of Paleocons is justified.

    “they’re not out to destroy society and culture like the leftists you compare them to. They don’t want to rewrite, they want to return (thus the “Paleo”).”

    So they claim, but I think this claim can be critiqued. In many respects Paleo thought is not a return to early American conservative thinking, nor would it necessarily, in practice, mean a restoration of small government American conservatism. This is because much Paleo thought is inspired mainly by the post-war European New Right, especially people like Alain de Benoist. In this repect it as much a ‘new’ form of American conservatism as the Neocons are. Worse, it is an alien form, based as it is on continental European thought. And like the European New Right, it skates close to the mark with regards to anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism, and in many cases runs right over it. It is also, like the Eropean New Right, fond of conspiracy theories about the world (ZOG, Neocon- Jewish-Likudnk world domination, blah blah blah). This kind of pessimistic and paranoid conservatism has nothing to do with American conservatism, which is far more positive in its thinking. So in truth there is nothing really ‘Paleo’ about Plaeoconservatism.

    “Their ideas are not all “liberty-perfect”, but their ideas are better than the increasingly socialist and nationalist Neocon substitutes”

    Why? Because they support doing nothing against our enemies? How is that conservative? The Neocons arent perfect, but some of their ideas are right. It is the fault of the Paleocons that they cannot see this. I can see some good ides in both camps. I agree with the Paleo’s on immigration and religion. But they are wrong on foriegn policy and defense and the Neocons are largely right. They cannot see that an isolationist policy is not only impossible for the US, it has never been US policy, including in the period before Lincoln. And such a policy would not bring us peace as the Paleocons claim.

    “which dictate warfare abroad”

    Dictate? I seem to remember the Arabs doing some dictating on Sept.11.

    “and mandate economic collectivism at home. ”

    Given that the Paleocons advocate trade protectionism, they can hardly point fingers. The fact remains that we have had economic collectivism since the New Deal, and it is in that environment that politicians have to work. Any party which simply advocates ending the entire edifice of the New Deal and Social Security in one stroke is never going to get elected. Republicans should advocate less government interference in the economy, but we have to argue for gradual reform and make some concessions. Paleocons and libertarians can advocate economic purity because its easy to when you dont have power, and you dont have to get elected.

    “I can accept Paleocons as members of the larger pro-liberty movement, while I have a hard time doing so with many Neocons which create bureaucratic monsters such as the Homeland Security Department ”

    Actually the “Neocons” didint create it. Congress did. Moreover, after Sept.11, anyone arguing against it would not have been elected. But apart from that, there are good arguments that some kind of Dept. of Homeland Security was necessary.

    “and promise to sign renewed gun control laws, such as Bush has done.”

    Bush let the assault weapons ban die.

    “To attack them by saying they are allied with leftists is simply false.”

    No, it is simply true. Paleocon arguments with regards to the US and its foriegn policy are virtually identical to leftist ones. Moreover, Paleocon mags like PB’s American Conservative have featured left wing anti-Americans like Norman Mailer.

    “On the war in Iraq, let me make this very clear:
    Many Paleoconservatives – not all, but many – are against the war in Iraq because they don’t think it is in America’s best interests to fight a war against death-wish, anti-civilization terrorists in the middle of the Middle East.”

    The problem with this argument is that it pretends that death-wish Islamic militants were not already fighting a war against us whether we liked it or not. The Paleo argument, like the leftist one, is that if we leave them alone they will leave us alone. They wont. They declared war on us and our allies. They fully intend to fight and defeat the non-Islamic world. If we do not fight them there, sooner or later we will have to fight them here, and far more of our citizens will die. Sometimes peace is just another word for surrender.

  • The essay could use a bit of work on the punctuation and style, but otherwise is pretty reasonable. I’d give it a B- and tell Al-Qloushi that in addition to proper punctuation, he should offer more and more specific examples of how the Constitution was progressive, address obvious counter arguments (such as it’s counting of slaves as 3/5 of a person), etc.

    But it’s pretty clear that the student in question doesn’t need therapy based on this essay.

  • Michael Farris

    “he should offer more and more specific examples of how the Constitution was progressive”

    But that wasn’t the question, which was to show he understood the reasoning of the authors cited. Whether or not he agreed with them was completely irrelevant.

    “But it’s pretty clear that the student in question doesn’t need therapy based on this essay.”

    Let’s just say that if the professor tried to explain that he didn’t understand the question (which seems fairly obvious) and he stays fixated on expressing his opinion, then he’s not university material (not undergraduate material at least, he may be tenured professor material if he’s pig-headed enough).

  • flugel

    Congratulations to you all for the best set of comments about this case, to be found anywhere on the Web. You have thoughtfully considered that there may be two sides to this issue, and are not obsessed with lynching the professor without verification. This is the best read I have found.

  • Lionstone

    That question was awful. The professor was asking for a regurgitation of his lecture and the text, condensed to a few paragraphs. The student couldn’t even be bothered to do the critical analysis he promised at the beginning.

    Both teacher and student fail to pass muster here. I hope the rest of the college has higher standards.

  • Aaron

    Shawn,

    No, I have a rational dislike of Paleocon anti-Americanism.

    Paleocons love the idea of America but find its condition distasteful.

    Thats a matter of opinion, I disagree. I have been reading Paleocon literature such as Chronicles, and I’m familiar with Paleocon thinking on various issues. There is in fact a strong element of racialism in the writings of many paleocons, and I certainly think some of the arguments made about America’s founding, the Civil War, and the current War on Terror, do in fact rate as anti-American.

    Fair enough, a monopoly on opinion is impossible.

    So they claim, but I think this claim can be critiqued. In many respects Paleo thought is not a return to early American conservative thinking, nor would it necessarily, in practice, mean a restoration of small government American conservatism. This is because much Paleo thought is inspired mainly by the post-war European New Right, especially people like Alain de Benoist. In this repect it as much a ‘new’ form of American conservatism as the Neocons are. Worse, it is an alien form, based as it is on continental European thought. And like the European New Right, it skates close to the mark with regards to anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism, and in many cases runs right over it. It is also, like the Eropean New Right, fond of conspiracy theories about the world (ZOG, Neocon- Jewish-Likudnk world domination, blah blah blah). This kind of pessimistic and paranoid conservatism has nothing to do with American conservatism, which is far more positive in its thinking. So in truth there is nothing really ‘Paleo’ about Plaeoconservatism.

    I’m trying to picture David Duke talking about his new line of “Jew-Stopper” tinfoil hats on the Art Bell show while Pat Buchanan listens approvingly… funny image, but I don’t see this as making any sense or as representative of the majority of those who call themselves Paleocons.

    Dictate? I seem to remember the Arabs doing some dictating on Sept.11.

    The War Against Islam is not the same thing, nor should it be, as a war against the Arabs. The two overlap almost completely, but they are different and it is important to recognize the difference – not recognizing the difference is what the terrorists do.

    Given that the Paleocons advocate trade protectionism, they can hardly point fingers. The fact remains that we have had economic collectivism since the New Deal, and it is in that environment that politicians have to work. Any party which simply advocates ending the entire edifice of the New Deal and Social Security in one stroke is never going to get elected. Republicans should advocate less government interference in the economy, but we have to argue for gradual reform and make some concessions. Paleocons and libertarians can advocate economic purity because its easy to when you dont have power, and you dont have to get elected.

    Conservatives mandate economic collectivism regardless of their stripe. The cool thing about being a conservative is you get to choose which KIND of collectivism you want by calling yourself “X”-conservative.

    If you had to choose between grabbing power and your own conscience, which would you choose, and what sort of person would that make you?

    Why do you support a political party which has an established history of compromising their values to remain in power?

    If economic collectivism really doesn’t work, why not just let it crumble on its own and take up when it leaves off?

    If abortion really is wrong, why do you want to participate in a system which considers it a civil right rather than mass murder?

    “Purity” isn’t the creed of electoral losers, it is the creed of people with conscience, some of which lose elections on a continual basis. Compromising their once core value set is a very un-conservative thing for the GOP to be doing, and if you look closely, you can see the values of the party changing to the compromised set from the original, uncompromised (this is really where Neoconservative values stem from, in the common context). What will it look like in 20 years?

    Actually the “Neocons” didint create it. Congress did. Moreover, after Sept.11, anyone arguing against it would not have been elected. But apart from that, there are good arguments that some kind of Dept. of Homeland Security was necessary.

    The Neocons, along with ‘bi-partisan support’ created the HSD.

    Regarding the re-electability of dissenters, this is a good example, along with Bush’s two-sidedness on the AWB (he said he would sign the AWB if it reached his desk to cover his left cheek -but- refused to push for it in Congress, covering his right cheek), of why those elected who call themselves conservative are just as guilty of the moral and political ambiguity they constantly berate the Left for. Who needs party conflicts when you have inner conflicts?

    No, it is simply true. Paleocon arguments with regards to the US and its foriegn policy are virtually identical to leftist ones. Moreover, Paleocon mags like PB’s American Conservative have featured left wing anti-Americans like Norman Mailer.

    Similar in political function but far from identical in conceptual form, and with different motivations. See my first post.

    The problem with this argument is that it pretends that death-wish Islamic militants were not already fighting a war against us whether we liked it or not. The Paleo argument, like the leftist one, is that if we leave them alone they will leave us alone. They wont. They declared war on us and our allies. They fully intend to fight and defeat the non-Islamic world. If we do not fight them there, sooner or later we will have to fight them here, and far more of our citizens will die. Sometimes peace is just another word for surrender.

    I’m not defending anything – I’m just explaining THEIR position, which is different than mine. I agree with you somewhat on the War On Islamic Terror, but that’s another discussion.

  • Mississippi Mud

    is this Foothill College a bit on the lowbrow side?

    It is obviously not, the paper was graded because it was crap not because the proffessor disagreed with the thesis, this was a final paper, those things (even in junior college) should be at least 10 pages long.

  • Dear Readers,

    Do you want that Palestine will be free?
    If your answer is yes, I recommend you the following home page:
    http://www.alah.hu

    “This image shows the future. A minaret-form skyscraper rises from the mass of the buildings in New York, the most densely populated city of the United States. The building is the “Tower of American-Islamic Friendship”. It symbolizes two things: on one hand there are a growing number of Moslem people in the U.S.; and on the other hand it shows that the U.S. is in alliance with the Islamic countries. Due to the new friendship America does not provide any more financial or military aid to Israel, which leads to the weakening of Israel and consequently, the freedom of Palestine.”

    Sincerely,
    Zoltan Biro