Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Hyman Chair in Illogical Studies



Hyman offers yet another retread commentary, this one on law schools that are against allowing the military on their campuses to recruit potential military lawyers.

As we pointed out more than six months ago when Hyman brought up this subject, most accredited law schools subscribe to a mission statement that repudiates discrimination, including against sexual orientation. Given this, many law schools feel they can’t in good conscience invite and assist the military in recruiting their students, given the military’s avowed discrimination against gay and lesbian individuals.

But Hyman sees this ethical dilemma as a non-issue; rather, he claims it’s simply a ruse to hide the fact that law school professors (altogether now—you know the words!) “hate our military.”

Hyman says that the law schools are demanding government money despite the fact that they won’t allow the military on their campuses. But law schools don’t get huge amounts of federal money. That’s why some right wing activists have been pushing to have all federal money taken away from any university as a whole which houses a law school that does not allow the military to recruit its students. Given that much of the research that leads to technologies used by the government (and the military in particular) are carried out by major research universities, this seems more than a bit dopey.

About the only new twist Hyman adds to this issue is the specific example of Columbia University. In yet another example of convoluted reasoning, Hyman says that the university is being hypocritical because it the United Arab Emirates (where, Hyman claims, homosexuality is punishable by death) contributes to Edward Said Chair professorship at Columbia.

Gosh, where to start?

First, although Hyman suggests that the Edward Said Chair is a position in the law school, it is not. It is a chair in Middle Eastern studies.

Second, Hyman’s right in principle about the UAE’s attitudes toward homosexuality, but exaggerates the facts to make his point. While the UAE has incredibly backward notions about homosexuality and does have barbaric punishments, these don’t seem to include death (apparently detention or deportation are the most common punishments). The UAE did come into some criticism for threatening to treat men arrested attending a gay wedding with male hormones in order to decrease their “gay tendencies.” This is better than death, but still medieval in its conception (although apparently some
right wingers seem to think this is just a dandy idea).

Third, and most importantly, the comparison simply doesn’t make any sense logically. By giving Columbia University money (even if it actually was to the law school), the UAE is not getting access to Columbia Students to recruit them to act as judges and litigators in fundamentalist Islamic religious courts. If the UAE were demanding and receiving some sort of quid pro quo, the analogy might have a leg to stand on, but Hyman doesn’t even suggest that they are. He’s simply muddying the waters with an analogy that crumbles into nothing when you actually stop to think about it.


But, as we know all too well, the logic and facts never get in the way of Hyman’s love of bashing anyone in academics and finding more people whom he can accuse of “hating the troops.”

Which raises the question: should schools of journalism allow Sinclair Broadcasting Group to recruit on their campuses? I’m just wondering.

And that’s The Counterpoint.

Hyman Index: 4.90

3 Comments:

At 3:14 PM, Anonymous Sickofspin said...

Ted,

What seems to be your problem with addressing a topic on more than one occasion? So there was a current event and related comment six months ago. So what? Time passes, and here we have 'another' current event and a related comment. Why is that for some reason a big deal to you?

Doesn't this make your 'counter-point' retread commentary as well?

Pitiful angle Ted. As if issues don't cycle and resurface.

Methinks you like to bitch for the sake of bitching.

And that's the Remington exposure.

 
At 3:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Sick Smear-o-Meter: TWELVE
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This is now at least the TWELFTH time Sick of Spin has refused to provide any evidence for his smear against Ted Remington (Sick claimed the Ted abused his academic position by politicizing his work.)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sick complains about complaining!
That's perfect, coming from a guy who smears Ted and then, in a cowardly fashion, refuses to back up his "bitch".

What about it, Sick? No one on this blog will respect someone who lashes out but refuses to back up his accusations.

 
At 11:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Keeper of the Meter,

It is funny how ol Sicko falls silent when confronted with a simple challenge, like, back up your own smear!

to quote our prez, he's a piece of work!

 

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