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Old 03-11-2006, 07:27 PM   #1
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Here we go.....

That's what the poster titled this thread I'm linking, and it's a good title....

The FBI sending detectives to interrogate a college professor, and then questioning his students outside his office afterwards about his life. Here we go down the slippery path of dictatorship.

The responses are just as intetesting, esp to the whole "bloggers" business. Remember all the woe that has been wrought due to anonymous "blogs" ...the "witch hunts" that that are now routinely enabled and legitimized that were virtually impossible before the Net. For ANYONE deemed "dangerous" or wrong.

Sounds to me like someone in the Bush camp is REALLY desperate to get rid of Mr Chavez, who is so popular with his people that he was voted back into office after a mysterious "coup" forced him out of office a few yrs ago. Last I read, Mr Chavez was not encountering any street demonsrations, etc, or any overt opposition to his rule. He can't be covertly shot because this would arouse too much suspicion. We can't afford to let an outspoken critic of US foreign policy and Bush specifically, who is sitting on precious US oil, continue to remain in power.

So the final measure, the only one that has proved successful in the Us a number of times, will be tried: pay someone to start an anonymous "blog"maligning Mr Chavez, the govt will get upset over it, and THEN conveniently Condi and crew will pounce and start banging the drum about lack of press freedom and (from there) "Human rights abuses" maybe. All they need is one incident to start the balloon blowing up. So if Chavez is toppled it will be by his own enraged populace...(maybe)?

Conspiracy theorist? The world proves more and more of therm true every day.

Hey, maybe Mr Chavez is another Saddam Hussein. Maybe he IS a "dictator" who did business with Jeb Bush in the past, maybe his Florida firm helped rig both the 2000 and 2004 elections, both sides making a tidy profit, and now that Mr Chavez is being asked to do things by The Bushies he doesn't like. So now they are trying to paint him a dicator and force him out, now that he won't do what we want him to anymore. (read all the posts.) How many times in recent US history have we turned on leaders who don't do what we want them to anymore, but try to be independent and look out for their OWN people first?

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Old 03-11-2006, 07:31 PM   #2
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Old 03-12-2006, 01:32 AM   #3
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Re: Here we go.....

Originally posted by Teta040
The FBI sending detectives to interrogate a college professor, and then questioning his students outside his office afterwards about his life.
Some other recent cases involving government scrutiny of academics:

--U of Nebraska and Notre Dame locked horns with Homeland Security over, respectively, a Bolivian history professor invited to teach at U of N and a Swiss Muslim professor of religion and politics invited to teach at ND (the latter eventually gave up and resigned the position). Both had previously taught in the US with no problem, but apparently they are now known to "espouse terrorism," a claim for which no evidence was provided and for which neither their academic publications records nor their home governments' dossiers on them provide any support.
--An Asian history professor at U of Kansas had his personal correspondences with a colleague in the Phillipines (on the terrorism-breeding-grounds watch list) opened by Homeland Security.
--Several academic journals and publishers have received notification from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (Treasury Dep't) that publishing collaborations between US scholars and their colleagues in countries subject to US trade embargoes, as well as publishing manuscripts from scholars in these countries, now requires governmental approval. This in direct contradiction of what Congress has stipulated regarding the exemption of intellectual materials from embargoes.
--The Office of Foreign Assets Control recently prevented a group of American scholars from attending an international conference on brain injury in Cuba (a type of exchange which has previously been permitted) because they "lacked sufficient information" about the interests of the scholars attending. Twice in the last 2 years, Cuban scholars have likewise been prevented from attending Latin American Studies conferences in the US, which was also previously permitted.
Remember all the woe that has been wrought due to anonymous "blogs" ...the "witch hunts" that that are now routinely enabled and legitimized that were virtually impossible before the Net.
A national organization, the "Students For Academic Freedom," has been taking out ads in public universities' newspapers ("Our tax dollars support you, so you can't reject us") calling on college students to report on and "out" to the media professors who "impose their political views in the classroom." And a UCLA alumni association officer has taken out ads in their campus paper offering money to students to tape lectures and provide copies of lecture notes (both illegal in CA), as well as class handouts and readings lists, for professors who signed petitions or spoke at public events said officer doesn't approve of.

Then there are these websites students can go to to post their defamatory evaluations (pedagogical, political, personal and likewise) of their professors "so future students know how to get their money's worth." Of course, some can and do use their own personal blogs for the same thing. That's supposed to be what course evaluation forms are for, folks--we're here to teach, not to provide you with a pleasant customer service experience. Meanwhile, if I were to create my own blog to comment on my students by name (or even not, if they could still be identified by the description), I would be out of a job overnight.

We're a long ways from dictatorship, but academics are definitely feeling a lot more scrutinized nowadays, and too often for all the wrong reasons.
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Old 03-12-2006, 11:39 AM   #4
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They should leave these guys alone. Snooping on a person's personal affairs by the government has no place in a democracy.
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