Pot Shots and Pit Stops
As most of you know, I am often pointing out the problems I have with liberal arts colleges. I am bothered by the cost of their tuitions, by the radical politics of their professors and by the craven cowardice of their administrators.
Taken in order, there is no good reason why parents and students should have to go into debt. The price of books hasn’t increased to such an extent that an education that used to run a few thousand dollars now runs to six figures. Next, if there is any place where freedom of thought and expression should be encouraged, it’s on college campuses. But, thanks to an ever-vigilant academic gestapo, conservatives are persona non grata, both on the faculty and in the student body.
Finally, in short order, we have seen one notable guest speaker after another being uninvited to have their say at Smith, Brandeis, Haverford and Rutgers. People as diverse as ex-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; Robert Birgeneau, the former chancellor of UC Berkeley; Christine Lagarde, the first female head of the International Monetary Fund; and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, upon whose head the Islamists have placed a fatwa because she has dared to speak out about the atrocities visited on females in the Muslim world; have all been publicly insulted by the pinheads of academia.
I used to wonder why I was never invited to speak sense to the young grads. Who better to point out to the young narcissists that they’re not the be-all and end-all of the human race? But these days, the real honor is in being uninvited. However, proof that cowardice pays is to be found in the salaries of college presidents, nine of whom currently rake in over a million dollars a year, with scores of others not far behind.
But all is not lost. Hillsdale College in Michigan has long been a beacon of light. Because of the college’s refusal to accept federal grants, Hillsdale attracts an open-minded faculty and, therefore, a student body that isn’t indoctrinated by over-paid pinheads promoting such moronic beliefs as redistribution of wealth, a world governed by the U.N. and global warming.
Another exemplary institution is Missouri’s College of the Ozarks. It collects no tuition. Instead, the 1400 students work their way through college by helping to run the school’s power plant, museum, lodge, fire station and dairy farm or by cooking, cleaning and providing campus security. Those found to be goldbricks get the old heave-ho.
Perhaps some of you who regularly donate to your alma mater might consider making out those checks to colleges that actually reflect your values. Perhaps you might even consider endowing a few more such colleges, thus providing conservative professors with a few places other than McDonald’s and White Castle where they could actually find employment.
The brouhaha over Jill Abramson being fired at the NY Times, allegedly because she wasn’t being paid the same salary as her male predecessor, reminds me that liberals often talk a much better game than they play.
Many years ago, when I had my first job, as a copywriter at the Carson-Roberts Advertising Agency, I made it my policy to find out what other people were being paid. When I found out that in spite of Carson and Roberts being avowed liberals, a female colleague of mine was only making $8,000 a-year when her exact equal in terms of length of employment and responsibility, a male, was making $12,000, I let her know she was being played for a chump.
She was reluctant to ask for a raise, saying that she would be embarrassed to confront her bosses. I pointed out that she had the job because she was good at it, not because she was a charity case. What’s more, I told her she would ultimately ask for more money because I would otherwise confront her every day and tease her by pointing out that the guy in the next office was being paid 50% more than she was.
As you can imagine, anything was better than being taunted by a fellow born to taunt. So she asked for a raise that afternoon, and, naturally, she got it.
The next time I discovered that liberals were as hypocritical about pay scales as about everything else is when I was invited to Virginia to take part in a symposium devoted to television. One of the other guests was a woman who was one of two vice-presidents in Norman Lear’s production company. Over late night drinks, she confessed that she was being paid $75,000-a-year, a very good salary in 1980, except that her male counterpart was pulling down $125,000.
It didn’t stop there. When Norman Lear was honored at a National Organization of Women convention soon after, he got a standing ovation when he announced that he was making a $250,000 donation to NOW in the name of his fictional “All in the Family” creation, Edith Bunker. The harridans in NOW didn’t know that Lear was only a feminist when it came to being feted in public and, what’s worse, they wouldn’t have cared if they had known. In the same way, they and Hillary Clinton never cared if slimy politicians such as Bob Packwood and Bill Clinton preyed on their female staffers just so long as they said the right things in their speeches and voted the right way when it came to abortions.
Speaking of Mrs. Clinton, when the 3 a.m. call she kept referring to during the 2008 primary campaign finally came in response to the terrorist attack on Benghazi, was anyone really surprised when the exchange between her and Obama took the form of “You take it!” “No, you take it!”?
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