Friday, November 14, 2008

The Clown-Chancellor: John Wiley

To think this intellectual pygmy will be teaching children...

We all know that John Wiley, ex-Chancellor of the UW, was.....ahhhh.......'liberally inclined.' And that's not a bad thing, altogether. But you'd think that a Big 10 Chancellor would have at least some intellectual firepower with which to support his argumentation.

And you'd be wrong.

Club for Growth obtained a bunch of Wiley's emails pertaining to his bilious screed against Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. They amply demonstrate that the real man behind the "Chancellor" curtain is......well, you read it and judge.

Here he writes Judy Faulkner. She had asked for specific examples of 'why WMC's positions were bad for education.' Your assignment, class, is to find the 'specific examples' in Wiley's rant, reproduced here:

WMCs policies and practices are bad for education because they are bad for everything that is a part of, or that depends on, public (tax) support.

I am loathe to attribute motives to the things people do. All we really know is what they did - not why they did it. But everything WMC does is perfectly consistent with the philosophy that drove (and still drives) the Republican party's position in recent years, starting most clearly with the "Contract with America " campaign, led by Newt Gingrich. The simplest, clearest and most widely-quoted admission of that goal is attributed to its theoretical architect, Grover Norquist: "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown It in the bathtub." You can learn more about Norquist at: You can learn more about Norquist at:

Or at the following Wikipedia entry which includes the quote I cited and also gives a reference to another cite where you can hear him say it in his own voice, (on National Public Radio, ironically):

Now, I can't prove that WMC and the three Jim s have adopted this philosophy as their own, but: everything they do is consistent without it. They Insist that all of Wisconsin's problems will go away If we just keep cutting taxes (all taxes, and every year), and eliminating. Government (an reQuiations, again year-after-year). They seem to truly believe that there is no, need for a public sector- that everything would be fine if we had a totally unregulated "free-market economy" and no government or public sector (except perhaps to maintain police, fire, and military services - I don't think: they would even concede the need for public -financing of roads. After all, roads could be built with private capital and financed by tolls.) They seem to believe social security is socialist theft public: employment is welfare; etc.

When it comes to education, they seem to believe this, too, should be private and be financed by tuition, period. When I've told WMC that their candidates were killing the university with their budget cuts with budget cuts they said we should just raise some more• "no problem, look how cheap you are compared, or Stanford, or Marquette. Isn't UW-Madison worth as mum as Marquette? In the Norquist refs above, you can learn that he believes the best K-12 schooling is home schooling. These people live in worlds of wealth and privilege, and they simply have, no concern at all for anyone who doesn't.

So, yes, WMC has been and is killing public education (at all levels) in Wisconsin. Enjoy Ireland! My stepdaughter did her study-abroad in Gallway and loved it.


Clearly, the Professor has forgotten most lessons from his Elementary Composition coursework (assuming he took such a course). I was struck by the use of the term "reQuiations", so I went to the online Oxford which, admittedly, is not the 'complete' Oxford. You, too, can check the results. So then I consulted with a friend who is a veritable walking lexicon. He couldn't figure it out, either, except to offer the possibility that the Professor cannot type very well...

I was also charmed by his knowledge of Ireland, so I looked up "Gallway" in Wikipedia, which Chancellor Riley uses as a factual and accurate repository of knowledge.

Here's what Wiki said: No page with that title exists

Not surprising, since the name is actually "Galway."

You'd think that for $300++K/year, plus a free house, that this poor fellow could afford an editor, or at least a Remedial Writing course at, say, Madison Area Tech College.

Club for Growth's article provides a number of other criticisms of Wiley's intellectual slovenliness; in the end, the ex-Chancellor shows himself to be the reductio ad absurdum, rather than the Republican Party which, along with WMC, he disdains.

Except that Chancellors are not supposed to be cartoons. Right?

HT: Sykes


Anonymous said...

The real joke is that the best argument that you can come up with against the WMC is a couple of misspellings in a PERSONAL email.

The last time I saw the ex-Chancellor I congratulated him on joining the fight against the WMC, and I hope he will continue to do the same.

Dad29 said...


That PERSONAL email was sent from a STATE-OWNED computer and used STATE-OWNED routers, telecom lines, etc.

And composition is composition. I don't really care what one writes...but if it's slop, it tells you something.

Anonymous said...

Are you actually suggesting that just because a packet of information passes through a "STATE-OWNED" computer that packet is no longer personal? How do you define personal, then?

You truly have your values messed up when you call someone with a Ph.D in psychics, and a chancellor of a university with over 40,000 students a "intellectual pygmy" over a few typos. Or the fact that you would call him an "intellectual pygmy" at all.

Anonymous said...

Sorry 29, I'll beat you to it and ignore my entire point just to comment on the fact that I am guilty of typos as well.

psychics != physics

Dad29 said...

Try working on the substance of the post, Anony.

Wiley's assignment was to provide specifics, not to ruminate, (or diarrheate) about Republicans.

So why don't you find specifics in his memo?

Oh--that's right--you can't. Gee, I guess with a PhD in Physics and a Chancellorate on his resume, he STILL can't write, nor argue with substance.

Oh, well.

Anonymous said...

Look at your own post before asking me to work on the substance, 29.

A few points:
First, you are using misleading language when you say that Wiley had an "assignment" or that this was a "memo". Like I said before, this was a PERSONAL email about a public topic. Certainly not a memo.
Secondly, I have honestly no idea where you are getting that he was requested to ruminate on republicans. The question Faulkner actually asked him was, I quote, "The question I am sometimes asked is 'why is WMC bad for education'. I believe I have heard you say that it is. Could you help me answer that question with a few specifics? Thanks." How you read this as "Ruminate on Republicans please" is beyond me.

The irony certainly doesn't get past me that you are criticizing him for not being able to "argue with substance", and then proceed to make an argument based on typos. Look in the mirror.