“Surviving the religion of Mao”

September 13, 2007

Real information about real struggles for human rights, as opposed to mere efforts to set the record straight: American Public Media’s radio program, Speaking of Faith features a program on the “religion” of Mao, how life under the long-time communist ruler of the Peoples Republic of China really was closer to religious fervor than reason.

Maoist era propaganda poster;

Propaganda poster from Maoist era: “I’m a battlefield hero, as well as a labor hero!”

It’s an encore presentation, from a year ago. Featured is an interview with Anchee Min, author of The Red Azalea and The Last Empress.

Speaking of Faith’s host Krista Tippett is one of the better interviewers on spirituality and faith. The program may be carried on your local public radio station (not in Dallas, alas); if not, you can listen on-line. Read the rest of this entry »


Academic freedom: No liberals need apply?

September 13, 2007

(No, this isn’t a proper academic freedom issue; disgraceful, but not an issue of viewpoint suppression. Conservatives who claim such things when the shoe is on the right foot still won’t complain, though, I’ll bet.)

The University of California at Irvine is in the process of setting up a new law school. They had asked distinguished law scholar Erwin Chemerinsky of Duke to be dean, and he’d agreed.

Then, abruptly, UC-Irvine asked to cancel the contractconservatives opposed Chemerinsky, according to one claim.

Sources and commentary:

(Waiting for conservatives who complained about breaches of academic freedom for conservatives to explain the injustice . . . still waiting . . . still waiting . . .)
Not waiting any more. Instapundit links to a bunch of conservatives who have sprung to Chemerinsky’s defense. Great news that they’d do it at all!


On-line workshop: How to do good oral history

September 13, 2007

Here’s what you need to get going on oral histories, especially for student projects:  A how-to guide (warning — 16 megabytes in .pdf), a workshop on doing oral histories, suggested questions to get you started, a budget sheet, interviewer and interviewee release forms — instant oral history project for your class, complete with lesson plans.

The T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History is a branch of the Louisiana State University (LSU) Library.  These materials are offered in workshops the library will do for you, but there is no reason not to use them yourself.

An important issue for student projects is where the oral histories they do should be archived — these are not just student projects, after all, but real, live, semi-pro history.  If you’re in Louisiana, the Williams Center will be happy to take some submissions (see their guidelines).  The Library of Congress is looking for interviews with veterans.  What other depositories invite submissions, and what local archives should you grace with new oral histories?  The LSU site offers links to dozens of other oral history depositories and sources.  See for example the University of North Texas Oral History Program, which has a focus on World War II veterans,  and The Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin.


Post-Labor Day: Unions and pay inequality

September 13, 2007

Stumbling and Mumbling has some pithy thoughts on whether unions aid or abet pay inequality.


Rainbows of August, Taos, New Mexico

September 13, 2007

Rainbow over Taos valley, New Mexico, 8-31-2007; photo by Composite photo by Melody Romancito

“At twilight Friday (Aug. 31) a complete rainbow arched over Taos Valley.  Composite photo by Melody Romancito”

From the Taos News Online.

There is just something about Taos that brings out the beauty of things, and the artistic nature of people in order to capture the beauty.


%d bloggers like this: