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It’s ‘Politics and Pizza Night’ in Phoenix …

Screen Shot 2017-11-25 at 4.40.04 PM The Washington Post

… as AZ Democratic State Senator Steve Farley ’85 speaks out!

State Senator Farley, Class of 1985, is running for Governor of Arizona, home of past and present Republican giants.

The Washington Post in a review story headed ‘Elitists, Crybabies, and Junky Degrees’ reports attitudes toward government funding of colleges and universities. While Republican critics  “want to reduce the flow of government cash to what they see as elitist, politically correct institutions that often fail to provide practical skills for the job market, Steve Farley could not disagree more.

Farley says “This whole idea that government should be run more like a business is (so) profoundly morally flawed. We should not be manufacturing them (students) to be products to be consumed. That is a basic ethical and moral flaw in this whole argument, that everything’s got to have financial payback so we can reduce taxes for the Koch brothers.”

I call your attention to the complete article below. The positions will be of interest in the November, 2018 Arizona gubernatorial race. 

I was going to take 30 days to deconstruct the arguments (only 30 shopping days left til Christmas!) and prove that Williams had disputed awarding Farley his degree in Political Science based on his having taken a class or been somewhere on campus during the brief stay of JCD.

But I have reconsidered.

Perhaps, the readers of this blog would like to chime in on the role of the Government in education, decry the state of politics in Arizona, or laud the comfort of their condos in warm-weather retirement communities …

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2017/11/25/elitists-crybabies-and-junky-degrees/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_rigged-college-131pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.2f25aecf237b

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#1 Comment By anonymous On November 26, 2017 @ 12:56 pm

You skipped the best part of the quote: “Government should be run like a family. We should be raising our children to be the best people they can be.” That sounds patriarchal to me.

Another good quote, when speaking of colleges and universities:
“The whole liberal bastion idea is just absurd.”

He apparently doesn’t know about Zach Wood:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?a=&v=YaxeTB9LWE4&feature=youtu.be

#2 Comment By abl On November 26, 2017 @ 1:57 pm

“The whole liberal bastion idea is just absurd.”
He apparently doesn’t know about Zach Wood:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?a=&v=YaxeTB9LWE4&feature=youtu.be

Zach Wood isn’t a rebuttal to the idea that “the whole liberal bastion idea is just absurd”: his viewpoints are not those of the mainstream right and, therefore, pushback against his positions doesn’t represent evidence of any “liberal bastion” at Williams. Moreover, Williams has a pretty strong culture of discouraging internal conflict — and I think much of the pushback that he’s getting comes from this culture: the very name of his organization — uncomfortable learning — is in some sense an anathema to Williams, in which comfortable learning is aggressively promoted (for better and for worse).

#3 Comment By Alum-Anon On November 26, 2017 @ 6:06 pm

Well, this explains why I’ve been receiving near-daily e-mails from the Farley campaign – I was quite vexed as to whose spam list I was on, and now I know…

I find the third and fourth paragraphs interesting, as this is essentially how Arizona operates its mass-sheepskin-manufacture megaversities – but these are all left-wing institutions that in recent years have wasted taxpayer dollars – by (among other questionable uses) donating public dollars to Democrat politicians – $500,000 to Hillary in 2015. https://www.azcentral.com/story/laurieroberts/2015/05/26/clinton-asu-foundation-500000/27960815/?from=global&sessionKey=&autologin=

It’s also hard to be sympathetic to cries of institutional starvation when the president of ASU pulls down $1.5 million (base pay of $838,000, a $150,000 bonus [awarded nearly annually, as far as I can recall], and a ‘retention bonus’ of more than $500,000)… http://ktar.com/story/1638818/arizona-states-michael-crow-earns-1-5m-tops-public-university-president-pay/

…and all the while state universities have been increasing tuition by over 300% over the last 15 years… https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-education/2017/09/08/arizona-attorney-general-lawsuit-against-regents-universities-tuition-increases/647025001/?from=global&sessionKey=&autologin=

#4 Comment By David Dudley Field ’25 On November 26, 2017 @ 9:20 pm

abl: You (surprisingly!) get a bunch wrong in the above.

1) Zach Wood ’18 is a (self-described!) liberal democrat. He supported Obama and voted for Clinton. His only, as far as I know, non-liberal position is in defense of open debate at places like Williams.

2) The name Uncomfortable Learning comes from (perhaps) the (internally) most famous Williams professor of the 20th century, Bob Gaudino, who wrote a book with that title.

3) What would count as “evidence of any “liberal bastion” at Williams” from your point of view? For me, only one Trump-voting faculty member out of 250+ is pretty good evidence, as is wide-spread report for banning non-liberal speakers.

#5 Comment By abl On November 27, 2017 @ 12:54 am

Ah! I did! I assumed Zach agreed with the views of Derbyshire because he brought him to Williams. That’s interesting that he’s a liberal student who is bringing in folks with whom he disagrees simply for the point of promoting debate. (Incidentally, I don’t think that promoting “open debate at places like Williams” is an inherently non-liberal position. See, e.g., the ACLU.)

I also had totally forgotten about Gaudino’s book — that was sloppy of me. I stand behind my point, though, which is that the Williams’ culture is built around learning in comfort (including but not limited to material comfort). That was not a criticism of Williams, although it is probably an area in which Williams should self-reflect. It was simply meant to be a description.

Finally, I don’t think looking to the voting records of the faculty is a particularly good indication of Williams being a liberal bastion–in part because I don’t think publicly-available voting records (esp. with respect to Trump) give a true sense of political leanings, and in part b/c the vast majority of Williams-caliber professors everywhere didn’t vote for Trump.

Re “liberal bastion”: I do think that “wide-spread reports [of] banning non-liberal speakers” would be evidence–albeit non-conclusive evidence. But, I think there’s an important caveat here: there’s an important difference between banning non-liberal speakers and banning alt-right speakers. What it means to ban someone like Derbyshire is just different from what it would mean to ban someone like Mitt Romney. I don’t know the answer to this question: has Williams banned speakers from the mainstream right from coming to campus (if so, how many?), or only speakers representing the far (and controversial) extremes of the party (and besides Derbyshire, who has Williams banned?)?

Most of all, though, I think “liberal bastion” would best apply to Williams if the student body was especially or near-exclusively liberal. My sense is that relative to other schools in its peer group (top LACs and some national research universities like Dartmouth), Williams is on the conservative (and non-activist) end. Excluding the southern schools (like Duke, Davidson, and W&L), Williams might be the most conservative of the schools in its peer group. At least when I was at Williams, in the not-so-distant past, there was a strong and vocal contingent of right-leaning students at Williams (and far less of a far-left outcry than at Amherst or Wesleyan or Swarthmore or many other of Williams’ peers).

Incidentally, this raises an interesting point: what should be done if the “top” students–judged by GPAs and SATs–applying to Williams every year are predominantly liberal? Like virtually all of its peers, the student body at Williams leans strongly to the left. Should Williams practice viewpoint-based affirmative action and admit numerically underperforming students simply because they ascribe to traditionally republican views? If so, why? If so, how deep should Williams be willing to dip into its pool to admit how many additional conservative students? (And what if some of those views–like with regard to climate change–are starkly inconsistent with the overwhelming prevailing scientific evidence?)

#6 Comment By JCD On November 27, 2017 @ 4:28 am

– abl

I think your comments above illustrate the degree to which you are, as they say, “often mistaken, but never in doubt.”

Clearly, you have not been paying close enough attention to campus affairs to realize that Zach Wood ’18 is a liberal Democrat or that the phrase “uncomfortable learning” represents a widely cherished vision expressed by the late Williams College political scientist, Robert Gaudino.

On top of these mistakes, you seem to be completely unaware of the evidence that shows party affiliation is an predictor of liberal ideology. For example, the Pew Research Center reports that In 2015, the share of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters who describe their political views as liberal was 42%. Moreover, this percentage is higher among exactly the populations which are most likely to reflect Williams faculty.

Moreover, the Pew Research Center reports that among Democratic voters with postgraduate experience an overwhelming 58% described their political views as liberal.

Democratic voters increasingly embrace the ‘liberal’ label – especially whites, Millennials and postgrads

Finally, I think you are wrong to assume that conservatives are less intelligent than liberals. In the journal Intelligence, Oxford sociologist Noah Carl found that Republicans have a 5.48 IQ point advantage over Democrats. As a person who once taught in the same department as the great Robert Gaudino, I can report that my conservative students were smarter than my liberal students and that my conservative colleagues were smarter than my liberal colleagues.

Any effort to restore merit based enrollment at Williams College will naturally increase overall IQ, the level of conservative ideology and Republican affiliation. I expect your comments above will help discerning readers at Ephblog properly weigh the value of all of your comments both now and in the past.

#7 Comment By abl On November 27, 2017 @ 10:50 am

JCD –

1. I’ve owned and apologized for my Zach Wood mistake (which is more than you can say for the countless errors you regularly make on this board). As I have already stated, though, I don’t think that this mistake renders my larger point incorrect. If anything, if Zach Wood is a liberal, I think that further undermines the notion that pushback against Zach at Williams is decisive evidence of Williams being a liberal bastion.

2. I am obviously aware that party identification is a predictor of ideology (although it is worth noting that there is an important distinction here between something being a predictor and something being a perfect predictor). I didn’t claim otherwise. Go back and re-read my post and respond to the substance of what I actually wrote.

3. I also did not claim that liberals were smarter than conservatives. My claim, which I think is factually supported, is that the pool of numerically superior applicants at Williams and at schools like Williams is predominantly left-leaning.* This tilt is sufficiently strong that you could eliminate affirmative action entirely at Williams and it would remain a school with a substantially left-leaning student body (e.g., although affirmative action programs, in their current form, likely contribute somewhat to the left-leaning student bodies at schools like Williams, they are not the sole or primary “culprit”).

*I have consistently argued in this blog that I do not believe that SATs and GPAs, alone, are determinative of intelligence.

#8 Comment By JCD On November 27, 2017 @ 2:27 pm

– abl

I don’t think you appreciate the gravity of your mistake regarding Zach Wood’s ideology. As you write: “I assumed Zach agreed with the views of Derbyshire because he brought him to Williams.”

A mistake of this level tells all of us at Ephblog a great deal about your judgment, your maturity, your level of understanding, your impulsiveness and — above all — your willingness to make confident statements on matters that you clearly know nothing about. This mistake is particularly helpful in illustrating the low quality of your posts because it is common knowledge that Zach is a liberal Democrat.

Leftist, Democrat student Zach Wood labeled ‘Uncle Tom’ over free speech stance

Black, Democrat student called ‘Uncle Tom’ for defending free speech

Written Testimony of Zachary R. Wood

Black Democrat Student is Called ‘Uncle Tom’ for Defending Free Speech

I tried to confront racism head-on. People called me a sellout.

BLACK, LIBERAL STUDENT WHO STANDS FOR FIRST AMENDMENT CALLED “UNCLE TOM”

For you to make a mistake of this magnitude makes me wonder if it is worthwhile to even respond to your comments in the future. It is no fun for me to debate someone who really hasn’t taken the time to inform themselves about what is going on at Williams College. It is an embarrassment for me to waste my time dealing with someone, hiding behind a cloak of anonymity, who has revealed themselves to be so completely unacquainted with reality.

#9 Comment By abl On November 27, 2017 @ 3:53 pm

JCD –

Give me a break. I have never professed to be an expert about things related to Zach Wood and I have never professed to have any sort of inside knowledge as to him or the issues surrounding him. The substance of what I wrote (and the substance of what I have previously written) is not materially impacted by this mistake–which I quickly acknowledged. This is petty and personal and you’re above that.

If you want an easy ad hominem out from contending with the substance of my posts, by all mean manufacture one. I obviously can’t stop you.

#10 Comment By Fendertweed On November 27, 2017 @ 3:54 pm

@JCD

Your drift into comedic excess here is promising. Keep working on it.

#11 Comment By JCD On November 27, 2017 @ 4:51 pm

– abl

I’m sorry. As far as I’m concerned, you aren’t bright enough or mature enough or responsible enough to offer useful insights at Ephblog.

Your bizarre belief that Zach Wood ’18 “agreed with the views of Derbyshire” makes you unqualified to merit our attention and causes me to wonder about your mental health. You have apparently held this wildly unhinged belief for as long as you have posted at this blog.

Your owning and apologizing for this error is really not exculpatory at all because you are posting anonymously. Unlike me, you have no skin in this game, no public reputation to maintain. Instead, you have been wasting our time with reckless, anonymous, uninformed, and unsupported comments, comments which have been released with little concern about their accuracy.

I think your factually incorrect take on young Zach Wood ’18 is perhaps evidence that you were right to think you were not bright enough to be a Williams College student. Moreover, I think there is good reason to doubt that you were even a student here. You have demonstrated only the most limited knowledge of the most important controversy facing the college, its most famous contemporary student, and arguably its most famous faculty member, Robert Gaudino.

I don’t see how any sane, careful, responsible person could read any article written about Zach Wood ’18 and come away from it thinking that, as you say, he “agreed with the views of Derbyshire.” I’ve decided you’re playing us.

#12 Comment By anonymous On November 27, 2017 @ 5:30 pm

abl wrote “This is petty and personal and you’re above that.”

You must be a stranger: welcome to Ephblog!

#13 Comment By Williams Alum On November 27, 2017 @ 5:37 pm

abl- Dr John C Drew always will disappoint. Don’t expect him to ever step up.

JCD – Wildly unhinged beliefs now comprise factual errors that were corrected when brought to the author’s attention? Sounds wildly unhinged to me.

Your bizarre belief that abl is “wildly unhinged” makes you unqualified to merit our attention and causes me to wonder about your mental health.

In case it’s not clear that is tongue in cheek, albeit a direct quote of JCD above.

WA

#14 Comment By JCD On November 27, 2017 @ 5:52 pm

– Williams Alum

It is virtually impossible for a normal person with normal intelligence and normal ties to William College to sincerely believe that Zach Wood ’18 agreed with the views of Derbyshire for an extended period of time. As a matter of common sense, if Wood agreed with Derbyshire, then we would see completely different coverage of this event, particularly regarding Wood’s comments before Congress. I don’t think it is worth any more of our time to deal with an anonymous person who is most likely playing a joke on us.

#15 Comment By abl On November 27, 2017 @ 6:09 pm

ad ho·mi·nem
ad ˈhämənəm

adverb & adjective

1. (of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.

#16 Comment By Alum-Anon On November 27, 2017 @ 6:21 pm

Knock it off.

#17 Comment By Dick Swart On November 28, 2017 @ 1:06 pm

Thanks, Alum-Anon,

I was in Portland all day visiting ailing Hermes Babies, an Olivetti Lettera 22, and a brace of Groma Kolibri typewriters. I missed this exchange.

I have turned off comments.