Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wisconsin Teacher Threatened for Speaking Out

A Wisconsin teacher who exercised her First Amendment rights to support Scott Walker and oppose the attempt to unseat him in the recall effort is being harassed and threatened by union operatives using "Saul Alinsky" tactics: notes the irony: "We could have sworn we recently read something about teachers unions in various states working to curb school bullying. Apparently they don’t practice what they preach."

The sky actually didn't fall after Walker's modest collective bargaining reforms went into effect:

Is Law Review Another Scam?

If you've ever sat down in a college library (as we have) and read through some of the humanities journals, you would have discovered that much of academic scholarship consists of tedious political propaganda masquerading as legitimate research.

We always thought that the legal scholarship as published in (presumed) prestigious and resume-enhancing law reviews was in general different. After all, the material is based on real-world cases--at least as appeals courts review the "facts"--with real-world application.

So in the spirit (or more particularly, dis-spirit) of the season, is it time to stop believing in Santa Claus as it were?

In yet another compelling blog post at the muckraking Inside the Law School Scam, "LawProf" maintains that law reviews are also bogus and, to make matters worse, lack the peer review that is usually standard in other disciplines:
Legal scholarship is produced under pseudo-academic conditions that form a fertile breeding ground for (very heavily footnoted) bullshit. Consider how legal academic publication almost always takes place. People who generally possess no formal academic training beyond what they received in law school (that is, none) write "law review articles." In the vast majority of cases, these articles consist of "doctrinal analysis," i.e., treating appellate court opinions... as texts that deserve to be taken seriously on their own terms. We are already, in other words, knee-deep in bullshit.
But it gets worse. Who is doing the evaluating of the supposed cogency of this analysis? Law students, that's who. So people who, incredibly enough, are even more ignorant than law professors about the actual legal system are charged with undertaking the equivalent of academic peer review for the purposes of legal scholarship. That contemporary research universities tolerate this charade can best be explained by examining the average law school's balance sheet, which will reveal that a nice chunk of the revenue generated by the school's operations is mulcted by central administrators in an example of what medieval Vikings called "raiding," but contemporary academic bureaucrats refer to as "cross-subsidization."
Read the whole posting here.