We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our reliable and always enjoyable youthful News Junkie posted this link early this morning:
Georgetown and Harvard accept 20 million dollar bribes from Saudi. "For understanding." I think we already understand enough. NYT . For me, the real question is "Do the moslems understand us yet?"
Good point, but beside the point at hand. The point at hand is what the great universities will take money for. When Yale turned down the Lee Bass donation for study of Western civilization, I was "mugged by reality," and convinced that academia was truly a scurrilous operation.
So here we find our great universities taking money to "understand" moslems, and refusing money to understand ourselves and our own civilization and culture. What's wrong with this picture?
Harvard taking the money I can understand. It will do anything to preserve the absurd quantities of its endowment. Georgetown, though, is a puzzle. Does Georgetown realize that if any of its clerical staff stepped foot in KSA wearing their standard priestly or nunnery garb, or simply carrying their Bible, or simply wearing a crucifix about their neck, they would be detained, imprisoned, flogged and/or, in the most extreme of possibilities, beheaded for proselytizing their faith? The mere act of believing in Christ is a crime there. How does Georgetown fathom that it is the institution requiring the establishment of a multi-million dollar program designed to advance Islamic studies and further understanding of the Islamic world? I'd be most interested to see what kind of study abroad program Catholic Georgetown students can expect to see out of such a program. For, how can one study Islam and the Middle East without going there? And once those students are confronted with denying their very own faith in order to enter the country of their program's benefactor, what else is there to really understand about that country, its rulers, and its intolerant and fascist culture?