Hello Ben. I decided to write you an email because we always end up playing phone tag when I try to call. I guess that?s because of the three time zone difference. That won?t be a problem when you leave the Left Coast for Cambridge next year. At any rate, I just finished reading your new book ?Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America?s Youth.? As you might expect, I have a few comments.
When I first heard about the book, I wondered whether you would try to provide systematic evidence of liberal bias in higher education or whether you would just tell a bunch of wacky university stories. I was glad to see that you did both. And, regarding the latter, I am pleased that you named names in the process. Some of the nuts at your university need to be ?outed,? so to speak. It was a nice present to give to your professors on the very week of your graduation from the University of Commie Liberal Activism (UCLA).
For years, I have wanted someone to write a book like ?Brainwashed.? So many times, I have found myself walking down a hall accidentally overhearing some liberal professor telling the class something like the following: ?Transsexuals are just the same as you and me? or ?Marriage is a form of capitalist oppression, which is only beneficial to men. Studies prove it!? After overhearing such garbage, I just wanted to be a student again for a day so I could take notes and publish them later. That is what you have done and it is classic reading.
Some people reading the opening pages of your book might take issue with your assertion that ?the spectrum of ideas (at the modern university) extends only from the left to the far left.? But how would they explain an email that you reprint on the very next page? In that email, a UCLA administrator asks that you not ?out? him for writing to compliment you on your conservative column for the school newspaper because ?it?s professional suicide to engage in free expression? at UCLA. Your school is obviously such an oppressive environment that administrators know and admit it, at least privately.
I also believe that you were wise to address the issue of moral relativism in the first full chapter of your book. When you say that ?The assault on absolute morality is the basis for every brainwashing scheme of the Left,? you are not overstating the case. It was smart to point that out before you addressed the issue of partisan politics in the next chapter. I think that moral relativism has taken most universities from the left to the far left in recent years and, as such, deserves even more attention than the issue of political affiliation. Nonetheless, I loved your extensive documentation on the latter. I also loved the end of the chapter when you discussed Harvard?s decision to give Stuart Smalley (I mean, Al Franken) a fellowship and fourteen assistants to write chapters such as ?I bitch-slap Bernie Goldberg? for his recent book. Are you sure you want to go to Harvard for Law School?
One of my favorite chapters is Chapter Three, which deals with the inability of professors to recognize the failure of Marxism. When I speak on college campuses I will occasionally refer to a colleague as a communist. I always have to tell my audience that I am being descriptive, not intentionally insulting. I just loved it when your Geography professor said, ?If being a communist means that I care about all people, that I want to reduce inequality and help the poor, then yes, I?m a communist.? If it was a Geology class you could have handed him a chunk of the Berlin Wall and asked him to explain it within the Marxist dialectic. Personally, I would have asked him if he cared enough to murder 100 million people in 72 years in the name of equality. Your suggestion that ?the far left of the university faculty are as red as overripe tomatoes? was pretty good though. Have you been hanging out with Ann Coulter or something? Don?t answer that question, Ben; I?m already jealous about the book.
Without question, my favorite chapter was Chapter Five, ?Sex in the Classroom.? This is the chapter that best supports your contention that moral relativism is the underpinning of the university?s attempt to indoctrinate students. I absolutely loved it when your political science teacher claimed that the founding fathers would have wanted gays to be teachers. You were correct to point out that Thomas Jefferson supported the penalty of castration for sodomy. I?m sure he would have supported gay marriage and taxpayer supported Gay and Lesbian Student Centers, too. Our founding fathers were really gay activists and the US Constitution really is a ?living, breathing? document. Are you writing all this down, Ben?
My favorite quote in the chapter was actually from UCLA Professor Peter Hammond as he discussed the courage that it takes to be trans-gendered. If I?m ever in Los Angeles, I plan to audit his course on same-sex erotic behavior in foreign cultures. Just in case he recognizes me I will probably put on a dress and stuff a tape recorder in my bra to make sure I fit in with the class and that I don?t miss anything important in his lecture. You were right to say that getting your genitalia surgically altered is not courageous. It is just strange. Isn?t it odd how it takes courage to state the obvious on college campuses these days?
Also, thanks for letting me know that Professor Gilbert Herdt of San Francisco State University believes that the term ?child? is merely a rhetorical device for an ?irrational set of values? about pedophilia. Our Office of Campus Diversity at UNC-Wilmington sponsors his works. I also thank you for quoting Peter Singer of Princeton when he says that ?sex with animals does not always involve cruelty.? That was almost as bad as his assertion that ?mutually satisfying activities may develop? from having your leg humped by a dog. And this guy just wrote a book criticizing the ethics of George W. Bush? How can we trust him to teach college kids, if we can?t trust him to watch the family pet? Oh, I wish I was an Ivy League professor (as opposed to an Oscar Meyer wiener)!
Now, Ben, I am afraid that I must offer one small bit of criticism concerning a remark you made in Chapter Seven, entitled ?The War on God.? After you quoted Professor Camille Paglia as saying that she favors the legalization of prostitution, you should not have asked whether she wants to legalize prostitution because professors are underpaid. (But I?m glad you did say it because it sure was funny). You are getting to be quite a wise acre, Ben. Have you been hanging out with Michelle Malkin? Don?t answer that question, I?m already jealous.
Perhaps my favorite quote in the book comes from Ann McClintock of the University of Wisconsin, who actually said that referring to the civilian deaths in Afghanistan as collateral damage calls for referring to the deaths of Americans on 911 as ?collateral damage.? As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, ?Even a dog distinguishes between being stumbled over and being kicked.? In other words, dogs know the difference between accidental and intentional harm. Dogs know, but not all college professors. Hopefully, most dogs know better than to hump Peter Singer?s leg.
Perhaps what I liked most about your book was that it concluded with suggestions for improving higher education and ending indoctrination. We should not be complaining about the current situation in academia unless we are also willing to take action.
On a personal note, I noticed that you are about to go to Harvard Law School after graduating at the age of 20 as a nationally syndicated columnist with one published book. I think that you have a lot of potential if you can do something about your lack of motivation. Give me a call some time, Ben. You really need a pep talk.
Mike Adams is a professor at UNC-Wilmington. His website (www.DrAdams.org) now features a ?Hate Mail of the Week? link. You can also go to his site to watch a video of his recent talk at the American Enterprise Institute. Dr Adams is currently proposing a new Peter Singer action figure that makes stupid comments every time a dog humps its leg. It will soon be available in university bookstores and pet stores across America!