A little of this and a little of that

Still working on coordinating my stiff, unresponsive brain this morning, so I have nothing interesting to say.  I mean, my dog is perfect, and that’s always of interest to me, but it makes for very limited blog posts.

Fortunately, as is always the case with the internet, even when my synapses are moving as slowly as maple sap in the winter, there’s other stuff there.  For some reason, today’s National Review Online was the one that just riveted me.  The site had three posts that I think are worth sharing with you:

Charles C.W. Cooke talks about the fact that Jill Biden, who has a very Lefty type of PhD in education insists on going by the honorific “doctor.”  This is kind of peculiar on its face, because people with PhD’s in education usually go by professor, but never mind that.  Cooke’s real point is to highlight the American class system the Left has created with its emphasis on doctorates.  With all due respect to those who worked hard to earn doctorates (and I hold one myself, in law, as does every other lawyer in this degree inflated world), the doctorate does not make for a better or more knowledgeable person.  Indeed, one of the problems with doctorates is that they narrow ones knowledge.  We have more and more people who wave around an obscure doctorate in puppetry or a subset of fruit fly cell reproduction and then claim based upon the letters after their names that they have all the answers.  That’s just so not true . . . except perhaps in my case.  In future, please feel free to call me Dr. B.

John Fund points out that, after its initial bout of navel gazing when Kirsten Powers excoriated the media for ignoring the Gosnell trial, the media is right back to ignoring the Gosnell trial — as well as two other trials in which abortion clinics are accused of putting women’s health and life at serious risk.  This adds that little bit of extra irony to the wrap-up to Obama’s speech before Planned Parenthood:

As long as we’ve got to fight to make sure women have access to quality, affordable health care, and as long as we’ve got to fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you’ve also got a president who’s going to be right there with you, fighting every step of the way.  Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you.  (Emphasis mine.)

Repeat after me:  “It’s not about health care.  It’s about abortion.”  Until we acknowledge that, we will never have an honest debate about abortion — and its limits — in this country.

Congress awarded posthumous Congressional Medals of Honor Gold Medals to the four little girls who died in a Birmingham, Alabama church in 1963, the victims of a horrific extremist bombing.  Looking at that event and comparing it to the Boston bombing, Mona Charen makes an excellent point:

As Americans, we are not confused about the morality of what happened in Birmingham that September morning in 1963, nor during the Jim Crow era in America generally. We do not hesitate to condemn utterly the behavior and the beliefs of the Ku Klux Klan (the perpetrators of this bombing and others) and their white-supremacist fellow travelers. We do not worry that reviling white supremacists and their grotesque deeds will somehow taint all white people. (Though some on the left won’t mind if you generalize about white people.)

But when it comes to other groups and other motives for the same kind of terrorism — we lose our moral focus. Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, and Kathy Boudin have become honored members of the faculties at leading universities. Ayers is even a friend of the president of the United States. Regarding his own record of setting bombs that kill and dismember innocent people, Ayers told the New York Times on the ironic date of September 11, 2001, that “I feel we didn’t do enough. . . .  [There’s] a certain eloquence to bombs, a poetry and a pattern from a safe distance.” So says a retired “distinguished professor” at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Today, American liberals are obsessed not with terrorism but with the color and ethnicity of terrorists.

How’s that for moral clarity?

Andrew Breitbart was right all along about the massive Pigford scandal, one that saw a reparations law turn into a major scam to rip off American taxpayers.  To give credit where credit is due, the New York Times has reported the details of this fraud.  I’d like to believe there’s a conscious afterlife, simply so that I can also believe that Andrew Breitbart is up there, somewhere, pumping his fist with glee.  Perhaps the New York Times will become inspired by this effort and turn to real reporting, rather than spending 90% of its time serving as a propaganda arm for Leftist politicians and activists.

And finally, speaking of newspapers, over at the WaPo, an opinion piece says that the way to destroy the Koch brothers’ proposed LA Times purchase is for all the reporters to walk out!  That’ll show them.  I had to laugh.  First, why would the Koch brothers want to keep a staff that has been responsible for purveying such horrible Leftist claptrap, the paper is seconds away from bankruptcy.  Second, this assumes that there are no good conservative writers, which reveals a level of bias so enormous as to be almost incomprehensible.  And third, does Steven Pearlstein really think that, in a tight economy, hundreds of reporters are simply going to abandon their jobs?

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  • Gringo

    Charles C.W. Cooke talks about the fact that Jill Biden, who has a very Lefty type of PhD in education insists on going by the honorific “doctor.”  This is kind of peculiar on its face, because people with PhD’s in education usually go by professor, but never mind that.  Cooke’s real point is to highlight the American class system the Left has created with its emphasis on doctorates.
    I have had instructors with Ph.D.s in a wide variety of disciplines. I have respected all of them for their knowledge of their subjects, with the exception of Ph.D.s in Education. Why? When I, with no training in the subject, can find in an hour of library research material which utterly refutes claims that Ph.D.s in Education make in class, I have to conclude that the minimal requirement for attaining a Ph.D. in Education is rather low. I recognize that there are wise, knowledgeable people with Ph.D.s in Education. Unfortunately, there are also a bunch of utter fools with Ph.D.s in Education.

  • Charles Martel

    I’m confused. Congress awarded Medals of Honor to four victims whose only claim to heroism is that they died horribly in a terror bombing? Does that mean that any of us who die in a politically correct manner will receive the medal? Sign me up!

  • Libby

    My first thought when I read posthumous Congressional Medals of Honor was of Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, who saved (around?) 30 people in Benghazi. How sad that they instead have chosen to honor four victims from a 50 year old crime. Nothing against these girls, but why? What’s the point here – to yet again remind us that there was/is racism in America? 
    Man, if that isn’t the ultimate “take your ball and go home” strategy for the LA Times – how childish. The MSM consistently hires people from liberal think tanks and blogs, so there’s a great pool of conservative talent there that has been mostly shut out of transitioning to a “mainstream” publications.

  • Ron19

    Dear Dr. B and Dr. M:
    It was not Congressional Medals of Honor (military), but rather Congressional Gold Medals, according to Mona Charen’s article.
    Yours truly, WLIJC,
    SubDr. 19

  • Birthday unit

    Re Jill Biden’s education … /contempt it’s in education /contempt 
    My father-in-law was a medical doctor, a neuro-radiologist, to be exact.  Not rocket surgery, but getting close.  He never objected to being called “Mr.”  I’ve noticed this about a lot of medical doctors, actually.
    But those education PhD’s … nasty stuff there, very touchy … almost like the characters in a Regency novel who are so particular about all the permutations of English gentry titles.

  • Texan99

    Re the Koch Bros.:  Rule number one for a boycott or strike:  be sure you’ll be missed.  I absolutely love the idea of the biased reporters walking out in protest.  That is adorable.

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    Thanks, Ron19….I was REALLY bummed by the misinformation.  This is a big relief.
    As for Education degrees – it used to be an EdD, but I guess they started feeling a loss of self-esteem because of the contrast with their (actually-educated) colleagues.
    And, since feelings are everything, now they’ve got a PhD.
    One of my profs at Colorado State used to introduce himself by declaiming the following: Everyone knows what B.S. stands for, right?  Well, M.S. stands for More of the Same…..and PhD simply means Piled Higher and Deeper!
    We all laughed….but as we progressed along the educational path we’d chosen, we found that he was (in many, if not all cases) speaking the absolute truth.

  • lee

    According to Wikipedia, Dr. J holds an Ed. D., not a Ph.D. I am inclined to believe Wikipedia. And Gringo, odds are those people you are writing about are also holders of Ed. D. degrees, doctorate of education.
    To continue referencing Wikipedia, “Ed.D. is a degree that prepares educational practitioners [to] solve educational problems using existing knowledge […. The] Ph.D. in education is the more theoretical of the two as a traditional social science research degree that prepares students for careers as scholars and academics, often from a particular disciplinary perspective (e.g., sociology of education).” Bascially, the Ed.D. tended to be based on a specific project, and the Ph.D. was more theoretical. Also, Ed.D. holders tended to go out and screw up the school systems, while the holders of Ph.D.’s tended to stay and screw of the Schools of Eduction (and future teachers.)
    How’s them apples?
    Wikipedia also goes on to state that they have overlapped so much, and that many schools are dropping the Ed.D. and just going with the Ph.D., or looking to revamp the Ed.D. Because it’s gotten the reputation of being a fluff degree. Hmmm…

  • lee

    When I was reading the Charles Cooke article I thought of something:
    Obscure narrow Ph.D. dissertations are SCREWING up higher education in America. The Ph.D. candidate spends so many years working on some silly topic, and writing a massive tome on it, and they fall so deeply in love with it that they can’t let go. They get the degree–it’s be YEARS since they had any contact with the basic nuts and bolts of whatever-the-hell they were in: American History, English Literature, Some-Other Literature, Western Drama, blah, blah, blah… that ALL they CAN teach–is their worthless dissertation. Which is why we now have courses that: A) Sound like a dissertation title (because IT IS!); and B) Are goofy, obscure Po-Mo crap. (“Performance and Popular Culture through a Transnational Feminist Lens” Or how ’bout “Queer and Feminist Latin/o American Performance since the 1980s” Puh-leeze! I think we can safely guess what the Grad Student Instructors’ disseration topics are…)

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    Europeans, and especially Germans, often have their degrees on their business cards, which I’ve always found a little weird. If I’m trying to put together a deal with, say, the head of the Gerbilator business unit at Siemens, why do I care what sort of degree he has or doesn’t have? Seems to me that should be entirely between him and Siemens.

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    First, after I got my degree (College of Forestry and Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Department, dissertation topic to do with small mammal distributions in the Andean forests of Venezuela), my father-in-law always used to provide my educational pedigree whenever he introduced me to people.  He was a physician from a really poor TX-OK family and was genuinely proud of (his and) my accomplishments, so I never brought it up to him and asked him to stop.  But it made me VERY uncomfortable, because I could see the other person change at the moment that he did it, and I wanted them to relate to ME, and not to some degree that didn’t change me in any way for the purposes of friendship or even acquaintance.
    OK, funny story.  After 30+ years of teaching Biology to pre-meds (the degree was simply my “union card” to do what I’d learned I wanted to do as a freshman Biology major – teach at my alma mater) I’m now retired.  The church I attend has perhaps a dozen physicians I taught basic Biology (and other things if they were majors), which is GREAT fun!  The hospital I volunteer a day a week at has another dozen, as well.  Teaching in church college never paid munificently, but I loved it, and I’m now reaping enormous psychic rewards for all those years…..OH!  the story!  Sorry – 65-year old brain.
    Had to go to the hospital in 2011 to have a twisted piece of small intestine removed.  The “hospitalist” (see Wikipedia) looked familiar to me, but at my age so do a lot of people – thousands of college students will do that to you.  Besides, I didn’t recognize her name, and she was an attractive young woman, and I have a sincere disinclination to be seen as a dirty old man, so I didn’t say anything.  After three or four visits, she came in one morning and asked “Didn’t you teach at PUC?”  I admitted it, and she said “But you were Dr. Aagaard back then.”  I said “Well, I was a college professor back then.” and we had a very nice reunion.  I remembered her very well, and fondly, because she was a good student, and curious about the material, and used to come to my office now and then to discuss something that interested her or that she was having trouble understanding. 
    But, I’m “Mr.” these days, because I know what the degree was for, and because my ego is big enough without the artificial stroking provided by a title.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Women are no more than the fat to grease the Left and the Democrat’s wheels of social justice. No more than that.
    Those that expected better… unfortunately, there’s no refund for you. They don’t give refunds to biological material after they’ve been used.
    The New Aristocracy on the Left has to have some “title” to differentiate themselves from the poor, pathetic, masses that they will indoctrinate and control. There has to be some significant barrier between those who are born to rule and those who are born to serve. Dialect, accent, college degrees… something. If you don’t understand the group’s “in joke”, then you aren’t “In the Group” now are you.
    Abortion=controlling women and the next generation by killing off the weaklings. Until people acknowledge that, they aren’t going to get anywhere against the Left, especially not in any debate.
    “Perhaps the New York Times will become inspired by this effort and turn to real reporting”
    That’s sort of like saying, “if only evil dictators became inspired to help their people”…

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    “why do I care what sort of degree he has or doesn’t have?”
    Europe, and to an extent Australia, still works on the guild system. Meaning, you aren’t authorized to do work unless the universities give you credit. That’s basically how it is in the US with engineering too. I find it likely that the degree is assigned to a person’s title as a demonstration of accreditation or competency, as judged by either one’s peers or the society at large.
    Much the same as how aristocrats never let anyone forget what title they should be addressed by.

  • Danny Lemieux

    “Indeed, one of the problems with doctorates is that they narrow ones knowledge.”
    Yes, yes and yes again! 
    “I’m confused. Congress awarded Medals of Honor to four victims whose only claim to heroism is that they died horribly in a terror bombing? Does that mean that any of us who die in a politically correct manner will receive the medal? Sign me up!” – So, Hammer, maybe me and thee should agree to have heart attacks laughing at each others’ jokes over cocktail hour. Then we could claim that we died as substance abusers and get medals (again, I post during Friday night cocktail hour). 

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    Danny and Hammer (and anyone else still working under a misconception) – Note that this is NOT the “Medal of Honor” that they’re getting.  That means something fairly specific.
    As Ron19 pointed out above, it’s the “Congressional Gold Medal”…which means that Congress wants to honor you for some reason….and no more than that.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Congress can honor us by committing ritual suicide first.

  • jj

    The Medal of Honor is a military decoration, and congress has nothing to do with it.  I’m not sure where the appellation “Congressional Medal of Honor” got its start, but that was just as wrong the first time anyone ever said it as it’s been the most recent.  It’s the Medal of Honor, plain and simple.  Leave congress out of it.

  • Beth

    Congressional Gold Medal…..reminds me, I need to put flour on the shopping list…

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Btw, who wants to bet that Zachriel would make people call him a doctor instead of Z man if he had the credits to back that claim up?

  • Gringo

    There is a difference between how Democrat and Republican Administrations approach the issue of a doctorate-holding Second Lady/ wife of the Vice President. Jill Biden is continually referred to as Dr. Biden this, and Dr. Biden that. While Lynne Cheney, the wife of Vice President Cheney, has a Ph.D, in British Literature from the University of Wisconsin, she was hardly ever referred to as Dr. Cheney.
    I would presume that Dr. Cheney’s doctorate in British Literature involved more use of intellect than Dr. Biden’s doctorate in Edjumication. [did I spell that right? :) }
    Part of the difference in referring to someone as Dr. is  that Republican politicians do not want to appear to be high-falutin  to their constituents, who would interpret “Dr. Cheney” as putting on airs. Democrat constituents, it would appear, have more of a tendency to grovel before their superiors.

  • shirleyelizabeth

    The first in my family to finish a doctorate program was my brother in law, who received a PhD in (some long title that I always forget but that basically means) math. His dissertation was mathematically mapping out the stages of prostate cancer to enable doctors to estimate progression and etc of the cancer. Mayo hired him on to use and continue this research. But he didn’t like that. He also worked for American Express (earning quite a hefty chunk of money) creating equations and other stuff I don’t understand for their fraud detection and prevention. He also didn’t like that. So what is he doing now? Teaching at a university. I do not understand it.

  • Gringo

    Btw, who wants to bet that Zachriel would make people call him a doctor instead of Z man if he had the credits to back that claim up?
    You would think that out of the many members of the Z-Team, at least one of them would have a Ph.D. OTOH, every member of the Z-Team was well-practiced in one definition of the Ph.D.: Piled Higher and Deeper.  [You know what BS means. MS= More of the Same…]

  • Michael Adams

    When I was an undergrad at the University of Texas, I had some full professors who were authorities in their field, without PhD’s, therefore, no dissertation, but who had written THE definitive book on the topic. The UT catalog also called all the professors and Associate Professors, “Mr” or “Mrs”, whether they had one or more PhD’s, or none. Since then, there has been a lot of guilding the lily, and maybe a good bit of gelding, too.

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    Michael Adams: I’ve been told that British physicians are (or were at one time) all referred to as “Mr.” because their’s is a professional degree, and the title of “Dr.” is reserved for those who have completed the academic slog that leads to the doctorate of philosophy. 
    Can’t confirm that this is (still) true, but it does make an interesting contrast with life on this side of the pond.