« War and "Proofiness" | Main | Unbelievable »

September 20, 2010

Quantifying the Hypocrisy of Lefty Academicians

More fun with numbers:

Prof. Fred Gottheil told Front Page Magazine that he compiled a list of 675 email addresses from 900 signatures on a 2009 petition authored by Dr. David Lloyd, professor of English at the University of Southern California, urging the U.S. to abandon its ally, Israel. Prof. Gottheil discovered that six of the signers, who hailed from more than 150 college campuses, were members of his own faculty.

“Would these same 900 sign onto a statement expressing concern about human rights violations in the Muslim Middle East, such as honor killing, wife beating, female genital mutilation, and violence against gays and lesbians?” he wondered. “I felt it was worth a try.”

The results? “Almost non existent,” he told Front Page editor Jamie Glazov. Only 27 of the 675 “self-described social-justice seeking academics” agreed to sign Gottheil’s Statement of Concern – less than 5 percent of the total who had publicly called for the censure of Israel for human rights violations.

As we just saw with The Nation's selective angst over the "unfairness" of wartime sacrifices, it appears that some human rights violations are more equal than others too.

Posted by Cassandra at September 20, 2010 08:46 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.villainouscompany.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/3896

Comments

"Because they are sanctimonious bigots, they did not reply to my email!"

More likely:

"Because I only knew 6 of the 675 people I emailed, they did not reply to my email!"

Also, according to these numbers, he really should spend more time working on improving his ability to teach:

http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=114009

Posted by: Craig at September 20, 2010 11:06 AM

Yes, Craig. You're right.

Personally, whether or not I agree with (or am outraged by) the subject of a petition has NOTHING to do with my willingness to sign it.

Hell, I'll sign anything (so long as I know the person who emailed it to me!).

*rolling eyes*

Posted by: Cassandra at September 20, 2010 11:22 AM

Hell, I'll sign anything (so long as I know the person who emailed it to me!).

Hi, Cassandra, pleased to make your acquaintance. I wonder if you'd be so good as to sign this petition I here present to you, please to ignore that it seems to appear as a bank draught....

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at September 20, 2010 11:53 AM

:)

Posted by: Cassandra at September 20, 2010 12:03 PM

Here are a few criticisms Craig could have made to this study that I would have had a hard time refuting (if I were even inclined):

1. We have no idea what the response rate was to the original survey. It's possible that the 695 folks who signed the original survey were actually only 5% of the number who read about it. I'd be hard pressed to think of any petition that had a 100% signing rate.

Kitten bouncing, maybe?

2. The sample of 695 is biased, in that these are people who were willing to sign a petition AT ALL. Thus, one might reasonably infer that they are "pre-selected" for willingness to sign petitions (and I would expect a higher response rate than for a randomly selected sample of academicians). "How much higher" is a question I don't know the answer to.

Also, a trial of one doesn't mean all that much - sometimes I will sign petitions and other days even if I agree there's no way in hell I"m going to go through the aggravation.

Lately I have been short on time.

So sometimes I post things, sort of half hoping they will prompt people to think (as opposed to me "gifting" the half vast readership with my tired and boring opinions).

That's not the most efficient way to get a point across, but given how much time it takes to write a more nuanced and informative post (and these often fall flat), sometimes it's what I have to offer.

I don't think a professor's student evals (I know exactly how much thought I put into those, and I took them seriously) have anything to do with the validity of this study.

I also think that my sense of humor falls flat more often than my over long posts. Oh well.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 20, 2010 12:25 PM

More likely:
"Because I only knew 6 of the 675 people I emailed, they did not reply to my email!"

Using that irrefutable logic, ever single one of the 900 original signatories of Dr. Lloyd's petition must have known him -- otherwise, they wouldn't have signed...

Posted by: BillT at September 20, 2010 12:25 PM

Actually, Lloyd's petition was in regards to Israel's invasion of Gaza and was posted on a website called "Teachers Against Occupation" where the signatures were added.

Gottheil’s four-page diatribe, called the "Statement of Concern", was emailed to a bunch of people, 99% of whom he did not know.

I think posting a petition in protest of a specific event on a website visited by like-minded individuals will draw a significantly greater response than a long-winded, islamophobic email from a total stranger.

Posted by: Craig at September 20, 2010 12:48 PM

posting a petition in protest of a specific event on a website visited by like-minded individuals

Is this your way of suggesting that more people saw the petition? Or that, being already on a web site protesting occupation, people were more likely to sign it (assumes they were there b/c they agree, which I'm not sure is valid).

Finally, do you think the term "human rights" applies only to Palestinians? Or would it be reasonable to assume that people who profess to care about human rights would care about the rights of *all* humans?

Posted by: Cassandra at September 20, 2010 12:59 PM

"Is this your way of suggesting that more people saw the petition?"

Yes.


"Or that, being already on a web site protesting occupation, people were more likely to sign it (assumes they were there b/c they agree, which I'm not sure is valid)."

And yes, even if you don't think that is valid.


"Finally, do you think the term "human rights" applies only to Palestinians?"

No.


"Or would it be reasonable to assume that people who profess to care about human rights would care about the rights of *all* humans?"

It would be reasonable to assume that people who profess to care about human rights would care about the rights of *all* humans.

Posted by: Craig at September 20, 2010 01:27 PM

HEADLINES FROM THE YEAR: 2029

Ozone created by electric cars now killing millions in the seventh largest country in the world, Mexifornia,formerly known as California.

White minorities still trying to have English recognized as Mexifornia's third language.

Spotted Owl plague threatens northwestern United States crops and livestock.


Baby conceived naturally! Scientists stumped.

Couple petitions court to reinstate heterosexual marriage.


Iran still closed off; physicists estimate it will take at least 10 more years before radioactivity decreases to safe levels.

France pleads for global help after being taken over by Jamaica . No other country comes forward to help the beleaguered nation!


Castro finally dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking.


George Z. Bush says he will run for President in 2036.

Postal Service raises price of first class stamp to $17.89 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesdays only.

85-year $75.8 billion study: Diet and exercise is the key to weight loss.


Average weight of Americans drops to 250 lbs.


Global cooling blamed for citrus crop fail ure for third consecutive year in Mexifornia and Floruba

Japanese scientists have created a camera with such a fast shutter speed they now can photograph a woman with her mouth shut.

Abortion clinics now available in every
High School in United States.

Senate still blocking drilling in ANWR even though gas is selling for 4532 Pesos per liter and gas stations are only open on Tuesdays and Fridays.


Massachusetts
executes last remaining conservative.


Supreme Court rules punishment of criminals violates their civil rights.


Average height of NBA players is now nine feet, seven inches.


New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters and rolled-up newspapers must be registered by January 2030.

IRS sets lowest tax rate at 75 percent.


Floruba voters still having trouble with voting machines.

Now, send this to whomever you want and as many as you want, then, guess what?....NOTHING will happen. No miracles, no money, absolutely nothing, except you might make someone smile or very very scared.

I Love This Country!

It's The Government That Scares Me!



_____________________________________________________________________________

Posted by: Mark at September 20, 2010 02:19 PM

Craig,
I care about the rights of all humans. That is why I support the nasty, puppy-kicking thugs known as the U.S. Military.

But I will not sign a petition that appears to give rights to a group of people (small in numbers, tis true, but large in influence) who denies me and mine the rights the puppy-eaters protect.

Good grief, I nearly swore.

Cassandra, your opinions are anything but tired.
They give insight into how your mind works, and how a reasonable conclusion can be drawn.

You write with just enough teases that sometimes, I can connect the dots. I don't always comment, but I do try to keep up.

Posted by: Cricket at September 20, 2010 02:57 PM

Cricket,

I have no idea what would make you almost swear, but I was one of those "puppy-kicking/eating thugs" in the US military many moons ago.

For the record, I haven't knowingly consumed any puppies.

There is a disturbingly distinct possibility they could have been served up in some unrecognizable form on the chow line on midnights...

Posted by: Craig at September 20, 2010 03:23 PM

Legitimate issues, but results are still suggestive. Way to improve validity would have been to Send two petitions, each to half the Sample..the one he did seNd, and something lefty.

Posted by: David foster at September 20, 2010 03:37 PM

There is a disturbingly distinct possibility they could have been served up in some unrecognizable form on the chow line on midnights

HAH!!! GOTCHA! So you *do* admit to eating helpless, adorably crunchable little puppies!!!! :)

Posted by: I'm gonna pay for this... at September 20, 2010 04:09 PM

Thanks for the laugh, Mark:)

Ciao.

Posted by: I'm gonna pay for this... at September 20, 2010 04:10 PM

There is a disturbingly distinct possibility they could have been served up in some unrecognizable form on the chow line on midnights...

The potatoes and peppers with the bits of unidentifiable chewiness. Not all those little hairs fell out of the fry-cook's mustache, yanno...

Posted by: BillT at September 21, 2010 12:46 AM

I do find the reporting of this "experiment" of Gottheil's to be unaccountably and unnecessarily vague.

So far as I can tell, the "experiment" was first reported by Gottheil himself ( http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/09/what_kind_of_academic_signs_th.html ), and neither Gottheil nor any subsequent reporter/interviewer apparently thought it important (or even interesting) to provide the text of Gottleib's "Statement of Concern". (Nor the text of the Lloyd letter/petition, either).

Since that document is an essential element for any moderately rigorous/critical consideration of the "experiment", its absence from all reports (at least all reports that I've seen) is as striking as it is unexplained. (The text of the email accompanying the Statement (an equally material datum) was likewise not provided - again, a point as striking as it is unexplained.)

Apparently Gottheil put quite a bit of time and effort into (what would become) his experiment (e.g., [Frontpage Interview:] "I began searching through their web sites, making note of the signers’ research interests and department affiliations." [Gottheil's own article:} "The process of authenticating those signatories was anything but problem-free. It required painstakingly checking through the websites of the nine hundred signatories, and through appropriate department or college websites when personal ones were unavailable.")

One hopes that Gottheil's "research" in subjects of his professional expertise is more rigorous than this "study" suggests. Craig (above) notes some flaws, others could readily be raised on the basis of the reports-at-hand, and further flaws yet might well be revealed, had the Statement and the email(s) accompanying the Statement been provided. For all the effort apparently expended, what has the otherwise neutral (and moderately critical) reader gained? Apparently little, aside from the fact that Professor Gottheil has convinced himself that many who signed the Lloyd letter are "sanctimonious bigots" ([FrontPage:] "What conclusions do I draw from this? The academic leftists are caught in an ideologically discriminatory trap of their own making. It turns out that with all their professing of principle, they are sanctimonious bigots at heart.") One suspects, however, that he believed this already, before he so rigorously convinced himself.

Posted by: pond at September 21, 2010 01:28 AM

pond,

Great breakdown, as usual!


David foster,

That would have been the way to go, IMHO.


I'm gonna,

I can neither confirm or deny the presence of "adorably crunchable little puppies!!!!" in my chow.

Only God and the cooks know what I was eating back then and I much prefer that it stay that way.:)

Posted by: Craig at September 21, 2010 06:48 AM

but I was one of those "puppy-kicking/eating thugs" in the US military many moons ago.

So was Markos Kos. Guess he learned the "screw em" technique.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 21, 2010 10:40 AM

I was going to post a comment, but Craig and pond said pretty much everything I was going to say.

I was kind of intrigued by this story, however and went so far as to contact Dr. Gottheil directly, and write several posts about the story on my blog. (The latest of one, currently, is: Attn Conservatives: You've (figuratively) 'received the e-mail' from Fred Gottheil... So how have YOU replied?. It contains links back through the previous posts, for anyone interested.)

And because I thought Dr Gottheil's Statement of Concern was well written and worthy of support, (even while I question his methods and his motivations), I posted it on PetitionsOnline.com, where it'll hopefully get a better response rate than Dr Gottheil was able to achieve, putting it, y'know, out in public where people can actually see it, n'all: Support Regarding Discrimination in the Middle East against Women, Gays, and Lesbians Petition

Posted by: repsac3 at September 24, 2010 02:41 PM

repsac!

Good to see you again :)

Can't respond right now b/c I have a con call coming up in a few moments, but will try to get over and read your posts when I get a moment.

Busy day and I have to go to dinner tonight so it may not be right away, but thanks for commenting.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 24, 2010 02:52 PM

Excellent, repsac. Many thanks.

I look forward to taking a closer look at it, and at the various pages at your website relating to the subject. And to the response that your posting of the Statement engenders, both commentariat-wise, as well as re: actual signings.

If you should stop by and re-read this thread, perhaps you can let me (& others) know if (to your knowledge) the "packaging" of the Statement has been posted somewhere - i.e., the email itself.

I seem to recall that someone somewhere (perhaps Dr. Gottheil himself, in his original reporting) said that the Statement was "attached" to the email(s) which the Professor sent out; if that's accurate, one would want to have the email made available. (Or the emails, plural, if more than one version were sent out.)

On the other hand, perhaps what went out in the emails was simply the Statement on its lonesome, as the "text" of that email/those emails.

If the latter is the case, we obviously have, at present, (all-but) all the "basic" relevant data. (I suppose just for completeness sake that it might also conceivably be relevant to also know whether it was a "bulk mailing" (to listed or to (generally) "undisclosed" email addressees) or individual emails sent to each addressee ...)

Thanks again.

Posted by: pond at September 24, 2010 09:01 PM

Oh (and for completeness perhaps bordering on beating a dead horse), if the Statement were sent out only as an attachment, I suppose it conceivably would be helpful to have that attachment posted for download, or at the very least to know what the format(s) of that attached document was (html; txt; rtf; doc; wpd; whatever).

Posted by: pond at September 24, 2010 09:13 PM

If you've been over to my place, you probably noticed the "state of the horse," there. Dead as Monty Python's parrot, it is... ...and then some.

I'll have to go back and read everything more carefully, but I just assumed the statement itself was the text of the e-mail, with "Statement of Concern," (or something similar, perhaps mentioning "rights" "women" "gays" and "lesbians") in the header. That's the way the statement itself reads to me, anyway... Like it was the e-mail.

I'm still more curious about whether it was 675 separate e-mails, or fewer multi-addressed versions, more likely to get caught up in spam filters. But yeah. Attachments, too, and suchlike.

More questions than answers.

Doubt Dr Lloyd sent out 900+ unsolicited e-mails to strangers, especially not all by himself, with no rights or sociopolitical educator group or history of action in the region behind him. (In fact, the "divest from Israel" movement among educators worldwide had been going on for several years before Dr. Lloyd wrote word one of his 900 signature petition.) Bet he did more than nothin' to follow up with those who didn't sign initially, too.

Whatever one thinks of the merits of either "rights" movement or petition, comparing them as though the same amount of effort was put into each, and trying to glean anything about what these 675 (or 900) professors do and do not care about based on the responses seems... ...well... ...unproductive and unwise to me.

(Man, this ol' horse is one ugly sight. And my arms are sooo tired...)

Posted by: repsac3 at September 25, 2010 05:02 PM

Post a comment

To reduce comment spam, comments on older posts are put into moderation 5 days after the last activity. Comments with more than one link also go into moderation. If you don't see your comment after posting it, try refreshing the screen. If you still don't see it, your comment is probably in the moderation queue.




Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)