Should This Professor Be Fired? - Page 2 - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-05-2005, 04:14 AM   #16
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
speedracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: MD
Posts: 7,574
Local Time: 05:34 PM
I don't know how credible Jodi Rave's story is, but if Churchill knocked her course grade down from an A to a C- just for questioning his background, that's a serious offense. Possibly even a terminal offense.
__________________

__________________
speedracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2005, 01:16 PM   #17
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 370
Local Time: 05:34 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by speedracer


Jon, this is not a First Amendment issue -- the First Amendment doesn't protect government-funded employees from being fired when they say monumentally stupid things.

This is an academic freedom issue. It's generally understood (and written into tenure contracts, though to what extent I don't know) that tenured faculty are supposed to have a lot of leeway in the things they say and publish, in the spirit of scholarly inquiry. (How "scholarly" Churchill's statements are, of course, is open to debate.)

Big difference.

Just thought this point should be clarified.

I disagree with you, respectfully. What "monumentally stupid things" he said are a matter of opinion and free speech (opinions) are allowed in free societies. To fire someone on these grounds is inconsistent with the first ammendment. It brings education down to the level of a political practice or business. I don't know everything he said but if the point of his analogy was to draw a link between the American public and the terror of the US gov't around the world, then I don't think his point is monumentally stupid. Maybe the context of his thoughts could shed some light on this. Professors often dedicate their lives to studying something and I don't think their positions should be limited by people with political agendas. That undermines the integrity of education. I do happen to think this is a first ammendment issue.

Personal attacks like "loser" do not make what he says untrue.

Jon
__________________

__________________
Klink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2005, 01:29 PM   #18
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 370
Local Time: 05:34 PM
I should also add that there's plenty of academic research and evidence that the US public (and public in other democratic countries) voted for governments that terrorized people in various countries. That doesn't mean that the indiscriminate WTC attacks are in any way justifiable, but lets not pretend that we're not responsible for the governments we elect. The denial of responsibility is scary to me.

I find the general attitude in this thread quite scary, in fact. There seem to be a lot of people who are against others expressing unpopular and controversial opinions. Why should someone be fired for that? You may argue that it's inappropriate, but I think it might be beneficial to check facts and context and make sure that we're not firing somebody just because his research and positions run contrary to those of the general public. Again, where's the integrity in education if it becomes a matter of political wind.

Jon
__________________
Klink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2005, 01:50 PM   #20
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Tempe, Az USA
Posts: 12,856
Local Time: 03:34 PM

not only should the professor be fired,
i think he should be banned from Interference.Com

db9
__________________
diamond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2005, 01:55 PM   #21
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 10,881
Local Time: 05:34 PM
Here is the part of his writing that makes me want to puke:

[Q]They did not license themselves to "target innocent civilians."

There is simply no argument to be made that the Pentagon personnel killed on September 11 fill that bill. The building and those inside comprised military targets, pure and simple. As to those in the World Trade Center . . . Well, really. Let's get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America's global financial empire – the "mighty engine of profit" to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved – and they did so both willingly and knowingly. Recourse to "ignorance" – a derivative, after all, of the word "ignore" – counts as less than an excuse among this relatively well-educated elite. To the extent that any of them were unaware of the costs and consequences to others of what they were involved in – and in many cases excelling at – it was because of their absolute refusal to see. More likely, it was because they were too busy braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight, mind and smelling distance, into the starved and rotting flesh of infants. If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I'd really be interested in hearing about it.[/Q]
__________________
Dreadsox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2005, 02:16 PM   #22
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
speedracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: MD
Posts: 7,574
Local Time: 05:34 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Klink


I disagree with you, respectfully. What "monumentally stupid things" he said are a matter of opinion and free speech (opinions) are allowed in free societies. To fire someone on these grounds is inconsistent with the first ammendment. It brings education down to the level of a political practice or business.
The First Amendment doesn't prevent you from being fired if you say or print things that your employer could reasonably say hurts its business. People in most public-sector jobs would be canned for publicly saying and printing the things Churchill has.

The question is whether Churchill is hurting the university with what he has done, given that a university is supposed to promote academic inquiry.

As an academic myself, I'd say that Churchill should not be fired, but some of the things he's said are indefensible, both morally and scholastically.

Quote:

I don't know everything he said but if the point of his analogy was to draw a link between the American public and the terror of the US gov't around the world, then I don't think his point is monumentally stupid. Maybe the context of his thoughts could shed some light on this. Professors often dedicate their lives to studying something and I don't think their positions should be limited by people with political agendas. That undermines the integrity of education. I do happen to think this is a first ammendment issue.

Personal attacks like "loser" do not make what he says untrue.

Jon
Well, there's a difference between saying that the WTC attacks were blowback and saying that all the people who died in the WTC were "little Eichmanns" who deserved to die. Tenured academics like Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn have been saying the former for years, and neither of them has ever been in danger of being fired for it.
__________________
speedracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2005, 02:55 PM   #23
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 370
Local Time: 05:34 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by speedracer


The First Amendment doesn't prevent you from being fired if you say or print things that your employer could reasonably say hurts its business. People in most public-sector jobs would be canned for publicly saying and printing the things Churchill has.
The First Ammendment guarantees you the right to speak freely, assemble freely and think freely among other things: "Article [I.]
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. "

The public-sector is an extension of the government, which is supposed to protect those rights. That, in fact, makes it even worse for them to fire him because of what he said. Inconsistent and does nothing for academic integrity.


Quote:
The question is whether Churchill is hurting the university with what he has done, given that a university is supposed to promote academic inquiry.

As an academic myself, I'd say that Churchill should not be fired, but some of the things he's said are indefensible, both morally and scholastically.
The first part again, makes education subject to political will and allegiance. You are the first academic I've ever heard to believe that that is ok.

What did he say that is indefensible, I'm curious? I think the above quote is a perfectly acceptable analysis of the events of September 11th, while not mine and not a real justification for the attacks. But US gov't intervention, elected and sponsored by the public is certaily the root cause of todays terrorism and that of September 11th.


Quote:
Well, there's a difference between saying that the WTC attacks were blowback and saying that all the people who died in the WTC were "little Eichmanns" who deserved to die. Tenured academics like Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn have been saying the former for years, and neither of them has ever been in danger of being fired for it.
And what makes his analysis any less defesible than Chomsky's? I wouldn't hold his point of view, but why should it be discounted? Simply because the popular opinion isn't consistent with it? You're treating your conception of morals as an absolute, which I'm not so sure is defesible.

Jon
__________________
Klink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2005, 02:59 PM   #24
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 08:34 AM
What if a hypothetical academic were to say that all Muslims are the moral equivalent of Nazi's and they are all responsible for terrorism? If they said that all the Muslims that died in the war in Iraq are the equivalent of "little Himmlers" and that their deaths could be justified? Would you be so quick to leap to the defence of such free speech even though it is blantantly politically incorrect and anti-Muslim?

We are free to say profoundly stupid things in this world but you must accept that people will call you on it and criticism does not equal censorship.

I think that you are talking out one side that opinions cannot be silenced and that there must be diversity but on the other you claim it as a fact, undisputed, that 9/11 and terrorism in general is caused by US government intervention. This is the almost unanimous opinion of the left and it represents a dangerous level of group think. Do you not consider the religious factors involved? The US has meddles in every country and screws over many but not all of those produce terrorism. Is it so inconcievable that religion and believe is a tool for indoctrination of a totalitarian political system and that much of the terrorism in the world today is a spread off effect of this. Do we consider the role reversal in the victim mentality ~ the attacker becomes the poor defenseless victim of America's actions in the world and is driven to murder thousands of innocents (yes innocent, the people in the towers did not all go about murdering children or running wars). Do we not question what we are told about Islam by organisations such as CAIR or do we wallow in sweet PC ignorance about the various factions involved - there are definitely moderate peaceful Muslims out there but it does them a disservice to ignore their suffering so that we can host terror supporting bastards as pillars of the Moderate community.

There is a level of blame for terrorism on the US ~ things that it has done in the past or could have done may have made tragedy inevitable but to only blame the US and totally ignore the decades of Islamic Terrorism around the world ~ from the Middle East to the Subcontinent all the way to Indonesia and the Phillipines ~ is wrong.
__________________
A_Wanderer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2005, 03:05 PM   #25
ONE
love, blood, life
 
melon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 11,781
Local Time: 05:34 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
We are free to say profoundly stupid things in this world but you must accept that people will call you on it and criticism does not equal censorship.
I would not be a hypocrite on this issue. I still think that myopic politicians should get their nose out of these issues. What the hell do they know about education?

Melon
__________________
melon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2005, 03:12 PM   #26
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 08:34 AM
They know that parents pay good money to get and education and that many may not like their kids being taught to hate America (very selective quoting applies of course) ~ its all about the votes.
__________________
A_Wanderer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2005, 03:26 PM   #27
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 370
Local Time: 05:34 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
What if a hypothetical academic were to say that all Muslims are the moral equivalent of Nazi's and they are all responsible for terrorism? If they said that all the Muslims that died in the war in Iraq are the equivalent of "little Himmlers" and that their deaths could be justified? Would you be so quick to leap to the defence of such free speech even though it is blantantly politically incorrect and anti-Muslim?

We are free to say profoundly stupid things in this world but you must accept that people will call you on it and criticism does not equal censorship.

I am careful to draw conlcusions based on ultra-soft terms like "political correctness" because they are simply opinions often premised on people's personal moral beliefs. That's not a lot of solid land to build a house on.

To answer your question: I would find such comments inflammatory and lacking inference, no doubt. The Eichmann comment is certainly very contentious and I don't agree with it. But in its context as an analogy meant to link the American public to the state terror of its government and the retail terror that is its consequence (9/11), I find it less insulting and more thought provoking. The most he is guilty of, is a gross exaggeration. Exaggerations are often used to drive home a point and I don't think they are legitimate reasons for dsimissal, especially when the point has legitimate academic justification. The justification for the root of his exaggeration is what differentiates what he is said from your Himmler-Muslim example.

If that is a reason for dismissal, then I would imagine that you support the dismissal of the entire Bush administration for their "exaggeration" (lie) about WMD in Iraq, which has now cost the lives of over 100,000 civilians?

Criticism does not equal censorship, but dismissal of dissenting academics critical of the apathetic public and US foreign policy does equal censorship.

Jon
__________________
Klink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2005, 03:29 PM   #28
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
speedracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: MD
Posts: 7,574
Local Time: 05:34 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Klink


The First Ammendment guarantees you the right to speak freely, assemble freely and think freely among other things: "Article [I.]
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. "

The public-sector is an extension of the government, which is supposed to protect those rights. That, in fact, makes it even worse for them to fire him because of what he said. Inconsistent and does nothing for academic integrity.
Churchill has a right to say these things. He doesn't necessarily have a right to get paid to say these things.

Quote:

The first part again, makes education subject to political will and allegiance. You are the first academic I've ever heard to believe that that is ok.
I said that Churchill's writings were morally reprehensible and intellectually dubious. I don't think that all leftists have to act this way.

Quote:

What did he say that is indefensible, I'm curious? I think the above quote is a perfectly acceptable analysis of the events of September 11th, while not a justification for the attacks. US gov't intervention is certaily the root cause of todays terrorism and that of September 11th.

And what makes his analysis any less defesible than Chomsky's? I wouldn't hold his point of view, but why should it be discounted? Simply because the popular opinion isn't consistent with it? Not so sure about that.

Adolf Eichmann was one of the chief architects of the Nazi extermination schemes. Churchill is trying to draw a comparision between WTC workers and Eichmann. And make no mistake, Churchill applauded the attacks and said that the WTC victims got what they deserved. (The quote that Dreadsox posted was taken from Churchill's book "The Justice of Roosting Chickens", if I'm not mistaken.)

Okay, so let's look at his analysis:

1. The US military commits atrocities in other countries.
2. The US military is "enslaved" to America's "global financial empire".
3. Therefore, America's global financial empire is complicit in these atrocities.
4. The WTC victims are intelligent people who should understand point (3), yet willingly choose to work for the large banks and firms that constitute America's global financial empire.
5. Therefore, the WTC victims are complicit in US military atrocities.
6. Therefore, the WTC victims deserve death.

Let's see...I'd say that points (1) and (2) are sufficiently vague and controversial that it's morally acceptable not to agree with point (3). Hence points (4) and (5) are invalid, and the argument breaks down.

Or instead of analyzing the argument point-by-point, we can argue by reductio ad absurdum: Churchill's analysis could be extended to imply that secretaries in the WTC, people who use credit cards, people who drink coffee, and George Soros all deserve death.

Or even better: Churchill is an employee of the University of Colorado, a large research university that does military research and receives funds from the DoD for a wide variety of other projects. Hence Churchill deserves death.

That's why I think Churchill's work is intellectually dubious. And claiming that people deserve to die based on such work is morally reprehensible.
__________________
speedracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2005, 03:32 PM   #29
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 370
Local Time: 05:34 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
They know that parents pay good money to get and education and that many may not like their kids being taught to hate America (very selective quoting applies of course) ~ its all about the votes.
Again, academic integrity is lost here. There has to be a balance between political and educational agendas. Breeding an ignorant society is certain to lead to future ignorant interventions (state terrorism) by Western govt's and more reciprocal terrorism at home, like 9/11. Neither are justified, but isolating the causes is not difficult. Maybe it's an ignorant, apathetic public which will no doubt be accentuated by the firing of dissenting, controversial educators.

Jon
__________________
Klink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2005, 03:42 PM   #30
Blue Crack Addict
 
joyfulgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 16,615
Local Time: 03:34 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by deep


But a bigger problem is that he may have been passing himself off as American Indian, while that is not the case.
Wow, I don't know why I didn't bother to read this yesterday; it's actually quite interesting and especially to me since I have met Ward Churchill through my work a number of times. The guy is definitely far out there and I've never quite known what to make of him; not sure that I like him, actually. I too have heard allegations that he is not Indian but I certainly thought he was when I met him (not that I'm any expert). His comments are certainly inflammatory but he is a rather brilliant man and I don't think teachers should be fired everytime they say something controversial. Let there be an open debate about it in the classroom.
__________________

__________________
joyfulgirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com