I know that a lot of folks here both left and right disdain the language police, so the revelation from CNN that textbooks "can't say someone has a boyish figure, or is a busboy, or is blind, or suffers a birth defect, or is a biddy, or the best man for the job, a babe, a bookworm, or even a barbarian" is kinda distrubing.
I can't imagine where we're going to be in 25 years; very Orwellian.
(edited by Grimis on 30.5.03 0802) "You will never get that TV show. You'll never, ever get the Republican TV show. The Writers Guild of America, my union, is at a minimum, 99 percent leftist liberal and, like me, socialist. And we don't know how to write it. We don't." - Lawrence O'Donnell, former Capitol Hill aide; co-producer/executive story editor/writer for "The West Wing"; and, creator/Executive Producer of "Mister Sterling" on why Republicans and conservatives are "practically invisible" on TV during CNN's "Relibable Sources", 3/25.
Reminds me of one of my favorites from the Chronicle of Higher Education. About three years ago, they reported that a publishing house in Britain was going to be bringing out new editions of C.S. Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narnia" that removed all of the Christian references and allegories. I've often wondered what ever became of that particular project.
As for the inappropriate language, go to any diversity training session for graduate instructors and you'll see and hear much sillier/worse.
"Verhoeven's _Starship Troopers_: Based on the back cover of the book by Robert Heinlein."
I heard something about that C.S. Lewis project as well; I don't know if it ever came about though.
I've found that private 2 year and vocational colleges have much less of a P.C. climate than the traditional community colleges and universities do. Then again, there is zero job security for faculty, and the student body are often more difficult to deal with, so even instructors who may want to search out a more balanced educational environment may still try to go to the more traditional, liberal institutions.
Of course, if you define yourself as conservative as I do, then good luck trying to get a teaching job, even a part-time one, at a community college. You have to have a pretty impressive C.V. before they'll even consider you.
"Despite the above explanation, some people, especially among scientists, suggest that science may not entertain intelligent causes. This notion is certainly mistaken. The abductive inference is very much at home in modern science. Retrospective causal reasoning is routinely used by NASA scientists as they explore the heavens looking for signs of intelligence in their SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) program. If signals from space conveyed artificial electromagnetic pulses sent in code to give, for example, the first thousand digits in the transcendental number 3.14159..., this would be considered so improbable an occurrence that we concur that intelligence had sent it. If scientists ever receive radio signals that are distinguished from noise and have the indicia of intelligence, we can surely expect a jubilant announcement from Washington." -Charles Thaxton
Most of those things you mentioned fall under - what Jon Stewart called - the President Bush policy of "calling things the opposite of what the are". And comparing Bush to Nixon, for all of Nixons's faults, is a pretty big insult to Nixon.