Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Republican Budget Hits ASU

Most complete accounting we've seen for how the new Republican budget is touching -- "slamming" would be more like it -- Appalachian State University:

1. 18 -- "at least" -- employees are losing their jobs.

2. 53 vacant faculty positions ... eliminated.

3. 18 graduate and undergraduate programs ... eliminated.

4. 74 tenure-track faculty lost reassigned time, and 30 faculty off-campus scholarly assignments ... stopped.

5. Operating budgets for colleges and departments ... reduced by 30 to 40 percent.

6. Belk Library operating budget ... slashed by 35 percent, with library hours reduced by 25 percent—meaning the facility is no longer open 24 hours any days of the week.

7. Et freakin' cetera.


Liberal POV said...

An educated and informed society is not in the interest of the GOP.

Anonymous said...

Neither is it in the interests of the progressives and Dems.

Liberal POV said...


Progressives want an open society of well educated, healthy, and trained work force who earn a living wage, that will be enough to purchase a modest home, pay for their children's education, pay for transportation, enjoy a modest vacation, have time with their families, have sick day benefits, health care coverage, be able to save a little money for retirement and yes pay taxes.

The conservative movement and GOP want a return to serfdom, with no worker or consumer rights.

Progressives do believe the earth is round, that it billions of years old, global climate change is real and man made activity is a huge contributor.

We progressives don't believe house painters and hotel maids or possible gay marriage caused the current economic recession but that it was caused by corporate greed.

Progressives don't believe that demagoguery, hate and fear should be used as the current conservative movement and local GOP do for petty political gain.

Not Really said...

Level of education has become a major predictor of political affiliation, with those who have a college degree more likely to vote Democratic and those without a college degree more likely to vote Republican.

I'm sure we could have a spirited debate about why that is, but I'll say right now I think it has a lot to do with the anti-science, anti-intellectual wing of the Republican party that has grown more and more influential over the last few decades. It's harder to swallow the misinformation this fringe puts out (no climate change, denial of evolution, etc.) when you've actually studied how science works and gained an appreciation for its (relative) objectivity.

The Data-Driven Teahadist said...

Not Really,

Lose the cliches and try some data. According to the 2008-2009 American National Election Survey (the big bi-annual survey political scientists run to analyze elections), you're wrong.

High school dropouts and post-bachelor graduates are more BOTH likely to identify as Democrat. Republicans tend to come in the middle, though the other groups show no statistically significant differences.

But then again, your anti-science claims are equally false. The General Social Survey annually asks a wide variety of science knowledge questions (As hard as it may be to believe, Science is bigger than just evolution and climate).

According to the last GSS version I saw, Liberals are more likely to believe:
1) The Earth doesn't revolve around the sun
2) Astrology is scientific
3) Radioactivity is all man-made
4) Exposure to radioactivity necessarily leads to death.
But those are all just physics, not REAL science, like climate prediction, huh?

So take your prejudice and your stereotypes back to school and try again.

Anonymous said...

good point NotReally...

And, since college graduates are generally making more money than non college grads, it indicates that the Democrat party is the party of the rich.

Anonymous said...

Lib: After observing for more than 50 years what both the Repubs, fascists, and Dems, progressives have done to this county, state, and country, I have concluded that BOTH Repubs and Dems, plus progressives and neo-con conservatives are working towards totalitarianism, the destruction of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, with concentration of all wealth and property in the control of a few.

Not Really said...


You dismiss my assertion too readily. I'm not sure if your term "post-bachelor graduate" is supposed to mean only those with a Masters or Ph.D. but since those people with MAs or Ph.D.s are of course also college grads, the data you point to does support my claim if HS dropouts are excluded, and does point to a correlation between higher levels of education and affiliation with the Democratic party.

I stand by my statements about science, too. The bit about astrology doesn't surprise me - there is ignorance on both sides. A key difference is that astrology rarely if ever has a bearing on governance (though there was that incident with Nancy Reagan) and you don't hear Democratic politicians going about proudly announcing their belief in astrology the way that Republican politicians wear skepticism about evolution or climate change as a badge of pride.

Since we're talking science and we all love data, I found the information in this poll of scientists from the Pew Research Center quite interesting:

A full 81% lean Democratic!

The Teahadist who doesn't cherry-pick his data said...

the data you point to does support my claim if HS dropouts are excluded

So if you "exclude" any data that contradict your theory, you can prove yourself correct.

Wow. Just wow. You honestly don't see the contradiction between proclaiming your love of science and that instinctive data-fudging to support your own prejudices?

Oh, and on the policy relevance of Liberal scientific ignorance, two words: nuclear power.

Not Really said...

I'll admit I wasn't thinking of HS dropouts in my original post and should probably have said "those w/ college degrees vs. those with only a HS education". I can think of lots of demographic reasons that HS dropouts lean Democratic that have little or nothing to do with education level - the dropout rate for African Americans is about twice that of white students and the dropout rate for Hispanics is even higher. Both of those groups lean very strongly Democratic. This is why we talk about lies, damn lies and statistics - you have to consider many factors when evaluating trends. And honestly, do you thank statistics for that one group makes the trend towards higher education/Democratic leaning irrelevant? Do you think the data showing over 80% of scientists leaning Democratic are also irrelevant?

Nuclear power: you show me the Democratic politicians who have said that all radioactive material is man-made or that it necessarily causes death and then we'll talk. And don't come at me with simple anti-nuke rhetoric; radioactive material may be natural, and not always dangerous, but it would be foolish to act as though it never is. Sorry, this is not the equivalent of denying evolution.

Mike D. said...

Not Really,

I once heard an axiom which went something like this. The best way to identify one of the very few conservative professors is this: if you can't determine what his political views are during the course of the semester, he's probably a conservative. What this means is that conservative teachers, generally speaking (yeah, yeah, I know you had one who didn't), abhor the brainwashing of students with political ideology. They are fundamentally opposed to it. Likewise, whether it's Facebook, Hollywood movies, or scientific journals, liberals are much more liberal about the spreading of their beliefs, and conservatives are much more conservative about the spreading of theirs.

And so your statistic that 81% of scientists are Democrats is deeply troubling and tends to suggest that modern science has been overwhelmingly compromised by ideology-driven individuals.

I can just feel Brushfire's outrage building, reading this. Please, Brushfire, boil over! Last time you boiled over, you accidentally signed "Bridle", the nickname I much preferred from long ago. :-)

The Teahadist said...

I once heard an axiom which went something like this. The best way to identify one of the very few conservative professors is this

Mike D, swing by sometime and I'll show you the secret hand jive we conservative academics use to signal each other.

Not Really, you initially asserted a linear correlation between education and liberalness. My data showed you were wrong; there is a U-shaped relationship.

That complicates the picture. For every rationalization about blacks you offer, I could suggest that higher education selects out conservatives, so your argument about grad school graduates is nothing but selection bias. That also explains the 81% figure (alternative hypothesis: a liberal ideology has taken over and driven out conservatives, rather than the other way around). You've offered nothing to reject either possiblity.

I'll repeat myself: you take complicated patterns and simplify them to match your prejudices. That is neither scientific, nor "liberally open minded." I suspect you know that too.

Not Really said...

"that 81% of scientists are Democrats is deeply troubling and tends to suggest that modern science has been overwhelmingly compromised by ideology-driven individuals."

Or it suggests that the modern Republican party has made itself so antagonistic to science that it has alienated those who work in the field. Since only 33% of the scientists polled said they believed in God, the fact that so many Republicans seem beholden to Christian evangelicals might have something to do with it as well.

Or maybe you'd rather believe that there's a big atheist conspiracy among scientists as well?