Happy New Year, Saladeers! Sorry, I have nothing appropriate to the
day: no retrospectives, no resolutions, no predictions. But:
Oh, OK, I lied: my close personal friend Dave Barry has written
only year-in-review article worth reading for the Miami Herald:
It was the Year of the Woman. But not in a good way.
Back in my Usenet days, I commented to the effect that "social justice"
was the type of "justice"
that penalizes people
who haven't done anything wrong, and rewards people who haven't had any
wrong done unto them. In other words: George Orwell, call your office.
Hayek famously titled the middle volume
of his Law, Legislation, and
Liberty trilogy The Mirage of Social Justice.
Unfortunately, despite this devastating
criticism from both me and Hayek,
this hazy (yet insidious) concept has wormed its way into
academe anyway, where it's embraced without criticism. And vague concepts
enshrined as policy leave the door open to abuses of power. Tara Sweeney
at "The Torch"
notes the case of Prof. Thomas Klocek at DePaul University:
At a September 15 activity fair, Klocek got into an argument with some
members of two student groups, Students for Justice in Palestine and
United Muslims Moving Ahead. Klocek, a religious studies scholar trained
at the University of Chicago, expressed informed opinions on the Middle
East and the argument grew mutually offensive. DePaul administrators
responded by suspending Klocek without a hearing, prohibiting him from
contacting the press, and threatening to monitor his classes when he was
Klocek's dean justified this heavy-handedness by
pointing to the fact that DePaul had "defined commitment to social
justice as one of its core values."
Tara comments: "Here we see social justice being used as justification
for suppressing academic freedom, and as an excuse to bypass any
semblance of fairness."
Asking the Google to find the phrase "social justice" at UNH websites
reveals a depressingly large number of hits.
Kausfiles points to yet another instance where the fabled LA Times fact-checking process passed on a bogus report from "sources" as fact. This is fast becoming a dog-bites-man kind of story, isn't it?
And the Public Editor at the New York Times
a difficult time hiding his frustration with his bosses:
THE New York Times's explanation of its decision to report, after what
it said was a one-year delay, that the National Security Agency is
eavesdropping domestically without court-approved warrants was woefully
inadequate. And I have had unusual difficulty getting a better
explanation for readers, despite the paper's repeated pledges of greater
Of course, one of the reasons for the stonewall might be that jail time
could be involved.
For the first time since I became public editor, the executive editor
and the publisher have declined to respond to my requests for
information about news-related decision-making.
2006-01-01 9:08 AM EST
Last Modified 2006-01-08 7:37 AM EST