And so it begins again . . . Horowitz targets me with lies, exaggerations, and distortions

On April 9, 2009, a rowdy group of about 60 students protested the appearance of  neo-McCarthyite culture warrior David Horowitz in Austin. Because Horowitz repeatedly targets me in his attacks on progressive and critical intellectuals, I was part of the protest.

On April 18, The Wall Street Journal published a lengthy opinion column by David Horowitz in which he condemned the demonstration and impugned me, University of Texas students, and several activist organizations. He not only claimed that the protest was an attempt to silence his free speech, but also argued that my reasonable contribution to the discussion was a pretense.  In spite of a recent rash of withdrawn speaking invitations to left-wing professors (e.g., Norman Finkelstein, fired at DePaul and refused a scheduled lecture at Clark College)–not to mention the spate of firings and denials of tenure on political bases at universities across the country–he claimed that leftists never face protest or censorship when they speak.

In response to his account here in The Wall Street Journal, I shall make three arguments. First, his account and his demagoguery in general are full of lies, distortions, and exaggerations. Second, protest, even disruptive protest, is neither violent nor censorious. Finally, David Horowitz should be confronted loudly and often wherever he goes, because he represents nothing less than the thought police. In Orwellian fashion, he projects his thought-police role onto his opponents as a disingenuous strategy of disciplining academics who hold views contrary to his (unfortunately influential) orthodoxy–and who might actually make sense to independent-minded students.

First, Horowitz’s account of the evening, not to mention the content of his entire lecture, is full of lies, distortions, and exaggerations. The only assault he has ever “faced” involved a cream pie. That he travels around with a hunky bodyguard and routinely calls the police on protesters (now, there’s censorship) is a bit of over-the-top self-aggrandizing drama. He is no victim of the left. 60 students posed no threat to his safety, and neither did I, a 45-year-old professor. Furthermore, when I rose to speak, and when I began to make sense, he cut off discussion and launched into a hysterical rant, calling students little fascists. I had merely asked why he disrespected students so much as to think that they are so vulnerable to indoctrination. I explained how how his targeting of me has resulted in real, actual threats and voluminous hate mail against me; I discussed how his activities and that of others amounted to a New McCarthyism that has put numerous scholars across the country at risk (now, there’s censorship). I also explained that just as I keep my family life separate from the undergraduate classroom, so do I separate my activism from my pedagogy. He had no answer to these criticisms and questions. Instead, he and others started claiming that my appearing reasonable and genuine (even going so far as to invite any audience member into my class) was a manipulative act.

His “work,” likewise, is shoddy and riddled with lies. I invite readers to the check website freeexchangeoncampus.org for detailed account of his misrepresentations about me and others in their report “Facts Still Count.” In general, his presentation made a number of questionable claims. For example, he claimed that race is no longer a barrier to achievement in the U.S., that gender is biological (and therefore so is women’s alleged inability to do math), that renowned Black scholars like Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson are “buffoons” and “clowns” (note the invocation of slavery-era stereotypes.)

In an infamous instance during his round of “Islamofascism Awareness Week” tours, Horowitz claimed that a photo used to dramatize the oppression of women in Islam (in which a woman is shown being beaten and buried alive); it turns out that the photo is from a Dutch film, De Steen.

He claims that he humanities are riddled with nefarious faculty indoctrinating their students in disciplines that don’t count as scholarship, yet he says nothing about the evident ideological uniformity of the business school, aerospace engineering, and the like. Contrary to his accusations, Sami-al-Arian does not lead a terrorist group and Iranians for Peace and Justice have not officially endorsed or supported Hezbollah or Hamas. My courses do, in fact, include readings in anti-feminism and the conservative movement. One can discover the same errors with regard to the syllabi and records of all of my award-winning colleagues. (One rather humorous error is that he claims that the author of my text on social movements is the radical Robert Jensen, when it is a much less scary Richard Jensen.)

As Horowitz publicist Patricia Jackson noted, “We don’t generally fact check.” Yet Horowitz claims that his right to free speech has been abridged. Last time I checked, libel is illegal and not covered by the First Amendment.

Second, it is wrong to equate protest–even loud, disruptive protest–with censorship. Public disruption has been a staple of movements for social change in this country from the Boston Tea Party forward. (In this light, it is incredibly ironic that conservatives who claimed to be acting in the tradition of the Boston Tea Party last week also would condemn our protest. The BTP was nothing if not rude and disruptive.) Our norms of decorum are ridiculous when compared to other countries’ forms of political discourse. Take, for example, the British Parliament, where booing, heckling, and shouting are the order of the day.

Protest is not censorship; it is simply the exercise of more speech. Where would our democracy be without disruptive protests for women’s rights, civil rights for minorities, and for the meager protections and rights afforded gays and lesbians today? Indeed, where would our democracy be without the (very violent and disruptive) war  for independence or without Sherman’s  (very violent and disruptive) march to the sea?

Third, I hear the argument from all quarters that even witch-hunters like Horowitz deserve their say and that they should be allowed to speak respectfully and uninterrupted. However, if one acknowledges that the man is a witch-hunter, giving him a platform is akin to aiding and abetting his program of imposed orthodoxy and the purging of radicals from the academy. One recent case in point was reported today in InsideHigherEd: The College of DuPage just adopted his Orwellian-misnamed “Academic Bill of Rights,” which, among other things, “includes language that some professors fear will make it impossible for them to explain to students that issues such as evolution are not in question in reputable scientific circles. . . . The measure also seems to rule out the possibility that faculty members could teach a course from their philosophical perspective, and seems to equate doing so with disrespect for students.” The climate that David Horowitz and others of his ilk have fostered legitimates the firing and disciplining of faculty. He says he doesn’t call for people to be fired. He doesn’t have to.

Do you know at whom I wish someone had hollered early, loudly, and often?

Joe McCarthy.

The Joe McCarthy of the “I have here a list”–or, in Horowitz’s case, a book, or two books, or three books, or the Internet network of intellectuals as terrorists–fame. In hindsight, many defenders of freedom would have challenged him more vociferously had they recognized what he represented. David Horowitz is a modern-day McCarthy. Award winning teachers and dedicated, respected scholars face censorship and dismissal because of the climate that David Horowitz fosters. We do not let witch-hunters or other complete and total enemies of free speech take a platform unchallenged. (Appallingly, some conservative respondents to Horowitz’s column have argued that McCarthy had the right idea.)

I am a socialist. However, contrary to Horowitz’s rantings, I am not a Stalinist. My politics are quite the opposite of fascism, and I invite readers to explore the differences between, say, Trotskyism and fascism before making any further accusations. To seek a world in which ordinary people control the conditions of their existence is neither fascism nor Stalinism. To criticize a world in which we get devastating wars for oil but not universal health care is not terrorism. To recognize the sickening fact that capitalism goes into crisis not because there is too little to go around, but because there is too much–while people starve on the streets, join the unemployment lines, and lose their homes, vast office buildings stand vacant and tons of grain are dumped each year because they cannot be sold– does not make one a Stalinist. Working people are paying for the crisis that greed and power made. It is no wonder that a Rasmussen poll taken last week indicated that only 53% of Americans believe today that capitalism is better than socialism. (see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/10/rasmussen-capitalism-poll_n_185665.html) I’d like to keep the campuses a space where we can debate these matters of grave significance–not whether faculty are involved in an imaginary program of insidious mind control.

Horowitz’s inflamed rhetoric is no more than casuistry and demagoguery, aimed at getting universities to discipline their faculty even as campus social movements emerge from their doldrums. There is a connection here. Campuses are historically sites of truly open debate, critique, and activism. The ground has shifted radically under the feet of conservatives as recent events have inspired Americans to question the terms of existing society and to protest inequality and injustice. It seems that the academy is the final flag in the culture war, and conservatives like Horowitz are holding on by their teeth. That his column was published in The Wall Street Journal lays bare the connection between this culture war and the defense of capitalism as an economic system.

Even when desperate, the speech and action of David Horowitz have consequences, and these consequences have absolutely nothing to do with protecting undergraduates from left-wing indoctrination. I invite you to look up the cases of Jonathon Kovel and Norman Finkelstein, and the lesser known cases of political harassment and dismissal of teachers like Loretta Capeheart.

No, we will not stand by silently while the hysteria of an increasingly desperate witch-hunt builds. We will not leave the new McCarthys to speak in peace so long as they threaten actual academic freedom.

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77 thoughts on “And so it begins again . . . Horowitz targets me with lies, exaggerations, and distortions

  1. Ya know, as it turns out, Joe McCarthy was right about a lot of things…

    Regardless, in general, your ideas are idiotic. The thought that Horowitz or others “threaten your actual academic freedom” is utterly insane. You live, work, and operate in an environment of like-minded “professors.” Your rhetoric has no connection with reality. It’s just empty, emotion-laden rhetoric. If you truly believe that rhetoric, then lay out, in detail, the process by which your “academic freedom” will be impinged upon (and explain what you mean by academic freedom, too). There are conservative professors who can’t get into the university. Are you actively working to help them get in, out of your desire to promote and defend academic freedom? Of course you aren’t, because ultimately even you know that what you’re saying is rubbish.

    But to test your internal integrity, I presume that you also support conservative individuals shouting down and name-calling you, as a genuine and respectable means of expressing their views, and would not want them suppressed. On the contrary, you might actually defend them and encourage them to keep up the good work of expressing their views.

    Quite some university you seem to want, where people shout and scream at each other, and call each other names.

  2. Don,

    Calling arguments “idiotic,” “utterly insane,” “empty,” and the like is hardly a response to their content.

    That said, by “academic freedom” we mean the ability to express one’s politics freely in campus life while retaining a high level of professionalism and ethics in the classroom, encouraging students to think critically, argue with evidence, and debate a variety of ideas. We mean the ability to talk about feminism in Women’s Studies courses, or socialism in courses on social movements. We mean the right to criticize our university, local, state, and federal officials for enacting policies we find unjust and to do so without fear for our jobs (see the case of Prof. Loretta Capeheart). We mean the right to say disagreeable things as part of scholarly inquiry.

    That freedom would be impinged if Horowitz’ “academic freedom” legislation were adopted here in full. It would prevent academics from expressing opinions out of fear for their jobs, it would stifle classroom discussion, and it would muzzle the criticism – so necessary to the operation of any democracy – of officials and policies.

    As to your claim, which conservatives cannot get into which universities? (Do you mean they can’t get in to study, to work, or to give speeches?) Meanwhile, some names from the left: Bill Ayers was forbiden to speak by Boston College and Norman Finkelstein by Clark College. Other scholars have been driven from their jobs (Finkelstein, Sami Al-Arian, Ward Churchill and others).

    Finally, while protesters have not disrupted one of Dana’s public speeches, Horowitz supporters have sent her hate mail, threatened her, and called for her firing. At least protesters are honest enough to be impolite in public and in person.

  3. K,
    As for your description of academic freedom, sounds great, but from what I’ve seen, it simply doesn’t work that way in actual practice. The only professors being “silenced” are conservative.

    But also, it isn’t quite so easy as just that. Is there absolutely nothing a “professor” might want to teach, which even you’d find unacceptable and unworthy of the university? Are there no bounds? Nothing which one might call crazy and outside the realm of credible study? No speaker who’s opinions are so far outside acceptable bounds of the civilized world, that he not be allowed to speak by the administration?

    What’s more, it’s one thing to explore ideas, quite another to indoctrinate and intimidate. What method do you suppose DC uses, given her self-description of a “dangerous and loud” socialist?

    I’ve taken many courses, and the differences is clear. For example, some prof might describe socialism, even though he himself is not a socialist. He might even assign some readings from prominent socialist leaders, so that we get a good idea for what they think and why they think their ideas are good. That’s academic freedom. In contrast, Ward Churchill is a kook. And teaching that Americans killed on 9/11 were “little Eichmans” is obscene, weird, and grotesquely offensive to the vast majority of Americans, thus showing extremely bad judgment on his part, EVEN IF he has a valid point. Any college which retains such a person as a professor will get a bad reputation, and rightly so. People pay a lot of money to go to a university, and spend a lot of time and effort to complete the studies, and they don’t want to be subjected to the ravings of an America-hating lunatic. And so if I were a college administrator, I’d have no problem showing him the door. (Mr. Horowitz, in contrast, has argued that they should not fire Churchill). And so in summary, the greatest freedom I’d want to grant within academia, is for the university itself to set the standard. They’re free to have any professor they want, and free to kick out any professor they want. And then the rest of us are free to decide how much we respect that university’s collection of professors.

    As for conservatives, I mean professors who don’t get hired, and all of the prominent conservative speakers who don’t get invited to speak. There are so many excellent conservative speakers. Clarence Thomas; Thomas Sowell; Dennis Prager; Bill Bennett; and the list goes on and on. That should tell you something about campus culture.

    As for hate mail being sent to Dana Cloud, that’s rotten and unacceptable, but it’s disingenuous to compare it to the disruptive behavior that she herself led, against an invited guest of the college. EVERY public figure gets hate mail. And it is indicative of no one except that one individual who sent the mail. You can’t saddle Horowitz with the actions of any person on earth who decides to write an e-mail, unless Horowitz explicitly condones it or supports it. Which of course, he hasn’t. What’s more, if DC wants to proudly proclaim that she’s “dangerous and loud,” then upon what moral, ethical, logical grounds can she possibly complain against someone else doing the same thing? She is announcing that it’s acceptable and good, even within the halls of academia, to be “dangerous and loud.”

    K, it’s not that complex. Explore ideas all you like, but do so with “detached professionalism,” not “dangerous and loud” social activism. Otherwise it’s not academic freedom, but rather a brainwashing of vulnerable kids, who don’t know any better, and aren’t equipped to argue with a professional adult.

  4. > We mean the right to say disagreeable things as part of scholarly inquiry.

    Well, as long as they don’t disagree with you.

    THEN it’s perfectly all right to shout them down…

    Ms. Cloud says it herself — I quote: “David Horowitz does not deserve a fair hearing and should be confronted loudly and often wherever he goes.”

    Here, let me xlate: “Only people *I* think worthy deserve to speak unhindered”.

    Free speech? What’s that?

    What? No, there’s no need to challenge him with FACTS!! We don’ neeeeed no STEEEENKIN’ FACTS!!.

    Anyone wants to know the heart of Feminism and the Left need only ask why there is almost always a Department of Women’s Studies, never a Department of Men’s Studies, and rarely a neutral Department of Gender Studies (and that NEVER with an even vaguely neutral catalog of courses being offered on a steady, egalitarian basis).

    Modern Feminism isn’t about equality. It’s about special rules and special privileges for women. Period.

  5. OBH,

    “Modern Feminism isn’t about equality. It’s about special rules and special privileges for women. Period.”

    Oh, it’s much worse than that 🙂 . Feminists really couldn’t care less about women. Case in point, Monica Lewinsky and Paula Jones. By feminist standards of proper behavior, both of them were subject to a “power differential” of a superior wanting sex from them. And therefore, it was (according to feminist ‘logic’) inherently a case of “sexual harassment” (whether the women say so or not) because of the implied threat of being fired if they rejected the advances. So, you’d think that feminist organizations would have gone ballistic, right? You can’t get much more of a “power differential” than the president of the US, and these two young women (one of them barely older than his daughter). But no, there was barely but the softest of hand-slaps (followed by a wink) upon their boy Bill. Why? Because feminists are far more interested in politics than they are women. Other examples: The Clarence Thomas hearings (the pain and tears seen in his wife, as the senators tried to rip him apart, are totally unimportant to feminists — they liked Anita Hill, because they share her politics); Sarah Palin (has all the feminist “credentials”, and is lined up to be the most politically powerful woman in US history, but the wrong politics and religion for them, and so she’s worthy of destruction); “Clitadoretomies” performed on girls in Africa and elsewhere, barely appear on feminist radars as a significant woman’s issue; and so on. It parallels the “civil rights” organizations which purport to be the voice of minorities, but in reality, you only get support if you share their politics (Clarence Thomas is a great example here too). The whole thing is a sham. They fling out PC rhetoric with blinding speed, but only so long as it supports their politics, and then it swings 180 degrees in the opposite direction. “Freedom of speech” is just another example of the Left’s inconsistency and incoherence.

  6. Don,

    As to who gets invited to speak on campus and who does not, most speakers are invited at the behest of student groups who want to hear them speak. At UT, conservative speakers who have been invited include: Ward Connerly, Henry Kissinger, John Ashcroft and David Horowitz, among others. If any speaker declines the invitation because he fears public opposition, that is a personal decision for which the administration is not responsible. Meanwhile, as I pointed out, administrations have blocked leftist speakers in spite of students’ desire to hear them speak.

    As to who is hired and who is not, that is up to individual departments and usually the Provost. If some conservative scholars don’t make the cut, they perhaps should have demonstrated a better scholarly record. I would be interested in seeing evidence that conservative scholars are excluded from hire simply because of their politics. On the other hand, an example of political exclusion for controversial scholarship not of a leftist, but of a person whose work might be perceived as coming from that direction, is Tom Nakayama. His article “Sextext” made departments and administrators uncomfortable enough that his application was dropped in spite of his stellar scholarly record.

    On the question of whether there are subjects I find objectionable? I have the right to avoid taking such classes. I trust my university enough to weed out such things as “How to Burn Crosses and Intimidate Non-Whites.” Though courses that examine white supremacy and the movements involved are not the same thing, and I would tolerate them quite well, for it is important to understand these movements.

    Tom Tancredo is a speaker that I would find even more objectionable than Horowitz. Tancredo is an outspoken racist scapegoater. If he were invited by a student group I would not ask the administration to forbid it. Rather, I would help organize one hell of a protest to show that there are plenty among the university community who object to his presence on our campus.

    That professors may show questionable judgment in their commentary, or may say something objectionable, is not grounds for removing them, particularly if they are protected by tenure (a policy that is intended to afford potentially controversial scholars freedom of speech). If students object to comments made by an academic, they can refrain from taking her/his classes. And universities develop reputations all the time for being conservative (Texas A&M), liberal (many liberal arts colleges), or leftist (Evergreen State, Hampshire College). Students can choose which environments are best for them, unless you don’t trust students and their parents to make such choices.

    On Dana’s hate mail: In articles found on DH’s site (like writings from Tammy Bruce – if I have her name right) there is active encouragement for rightists to harangue her and call for her job. The messages they send (particularly the Freepers) are not part of public protest discourse, but private (and often quite nasty) slurs, threats and insults. Protest, on the other hand, is public, active and for the most part rational. And to be sure, if DH had accepted Dana’s invitation to debate, the opposition would very likely have been far less rowdy.

    That Dana calls herself “dangerous and loud” is a play on the image DH has created of her in the media and elsewhere. (Really, she’s not so scary.) Good for her that a man who spends millions of rightist foundation dollars witch-hunting and slandering leftist academics (and no right-wingers) finds her dangerous. We certainly find him quite insidious.

    You’re right on one thing: the issue is pretty simple. Dana is “dangerous and loud” in public discourse and professional and ethical in the classroom. You should see her teach and interact with students before you claim otherwise.

    What it sounds like is that you don’t actually want to defend academic freedom, but restrict it. It also sounds like you think students are so gullible that they can’t critically evaluate the ideas they encounter. After all, critical thinking is what Dana and others teach them to do.

  7. K,

    O.k., so, it sounds like there are indeed individuals/circumstances in which a professor would not be welcome at a university, for reasons which have nothing to do with his “scholarly record.” And you support those decisions. But who gets to make those judgment calls, and upon what grounds? And why isn’t that considered a limit to “academic freedom”? Rejecting a professor, for no other reason that feeling “uncomfortable” with something he wrote? And why couldn’t there be a course in ““How to Burn Crosses and Intimidate Non-Whites”? It could be an objective analysis of what the KKK did and how they did it. Or heck, the professor could even be a KKK member, with a stellar academic record. Who are you to say that their opinions are wrong? As long as they have a good academic record, that’s ALL that should matter, otherwise it’s a restriction of academic freedom. Students are smart enough, wise enough, can muster suitable counter-arguments, and can see through the nonsense, even though they’ve never encountered such ideas before, aren’t as skilled at debate as the prof., and the prof is ultimately in control of the classroom (I presume). Right, K? I think David Duke might be available for a position… (or are only left-wing kooks offered jobs, and not right-wing kooks?).

    She renamed her entire blog, in response to David Horowitz? Wow. He has a lot of influence over her.

    Re: The e-mails, calls to “harangue her and call for her job” are non-violent. And “harangue” sounds gentler than what she did to DH. And isn’t “calling for her job” something which could be considered “free speech”? Would you (or Dana) ever consider calling for some other professor’s job? Anyway, none of that includes any physical threats, and so it can’t be attributed to Horowitz. As for Dana being “dangerous and loud” in “public discourse”, why be violent in “public”? If you think that’s good and normal, then likewise, you have no argument against others being “dangerous and loud” towards her. Maybe she likes the excitement? Maybe she feels that she can get away with it on the university campus, because it’s such a protected, cloistered environment? Maybe she’d like to take a trip to Saudi Arabia, and scream at the religious police about women’s rights, where women truly are second-class citizens, academic freedom is non-existent, and there is no freedom of speech.

  8. That was the original name of the blog, btw.

    No message sent to me from a minion of DH was gentle; I would have loved a harangue. And I have faced physical threats. Let’s not minimize his effects on professors.

    Also, since when does free speech apply to the deliberate spreading of lies and the incitement of harassment?

    I appreciate the discussion here, but insist that protest is not violent, nor does it violate anyone’s free speech rights. David Horowitz is not marginalized. He seeks to marginalize others in the name of freedom.

    I’m not getting away with anything except great teaching and research.

    dc

  9. Dr. Cloud,

    Re: “Dangerous and Loud,” well then, I have to revert back to what I wrote earlier, which is that you don’t have any argument against others being “dangerous and loud” towards you. Why do you even want to “go there”? “Dangerous and loud” is violent — a means of forcing your views on others. Intimidating them. Scaring them. Why? And why shouldn’t others do the same to you, if that’s an honorable means of expressing your views?

    Re: E-mails, again, unless David sent them or wrote them, then they can’t be attributed to him. In contrast, you LED the attack on David, in-person, and so you are directly responsible for it.

    Re: Spreading of lies, I now have seen you write that countless times, but haven’t seen a single lie actually described. And you understand what a lie is (a lot of people on Left don’t seem to, given how often they said that GWB “lied” about WMDs): Telling an untruth that you know to be false.

    Re: “incitement of harassment” isn’t that exactly what you did when you led the attack on DH when he was invited to speak at the university?

    Screaming and name-calling is violent. And DH was an invited guest.

    BTW, what did you think about Ahmadinejad being a speaker at a university? Do you think he should have been screamed at and shouted down, and all attempts made to prevent him from speaking? How do you explain the respectful reception he got?

  10. I have revised my post to provide the evidence that folks seek.
    I did not lead that protest, but I would have if called upon to do so.
    And I re-iterate, shouting and name-calling is not violence. It is not even against precedent in the application of the First Amendment.

  11. O.k., well, you can reiterate it, but that doesn’t make it anymore true. Violence is a means of forcing one’s will upon others. It is the antithesis of calm and gentle persuasion. Screaming is a verbal sledgehammer, designed to beat the opposition into submission. To frighten, scare, and intimidate. It is a weapon, and it is violent.

  12. Don writes:
    “O.k., so, it sounds like there are indeed individuals/circumstances in which a professor would not be welcome at a university, for reasons which have nothing to do with his “scholarly record.””

    Which would those be? What I pointed out were politicized exclusions on the part of uncomfortable administrations under pressure from conservatives. Disagree with me all you like, but please don’t misrepresent me again.

    As for the Klan course, a “how-to” would be quite inappropriate, while a course about white supremacists movements would be fine. One enacts and encourages racist violence, while the other examines it. To call the “how-to” course “objective” would be similar to advocating courses like “How to Commit Murder” or “Child Abuse 101.” As to a prof being a Klan member, I would look forward to protesting him, too.

    You write: “Students…aren’t as skilled at debate as the prof., and the prof is ultimately in control of the classroom (I presume).”

    An ethical instructor, one such as Dr. Cloud, uses her “control” of the classroom to open space for students to debate their ideas with each other and with her. Her own ideas are subject to scrutiny. And she has never graded a student based upon that student’s politics.

    Back to Dana’s hate mail: Some of it is indeed violent – feel free to look some of it up on the blog to get a taste. And while DH was not treated gently during his visit to UT, not one protester threatened his safety.

    Whence the accusation of violence on Dana’s part? Rowdiness is not violence. Criticism is not violence. Disruptive protest is not violence. And if name-calling were violence, DH would be a serial killer.

    Unlike DH, I wouldn’t be afraid to be met with protest. I’d be surprised, perhaps even a little grumpy. But I would not be inclined to suppress protesters or whine to the Wall Street Journal.

    And last: Why would Dana want to go to Saudi Arabia, when there are plenty of bigots and hypocrites here to yell at? Do you recommend deportation of all those who disagree with you? Hardly a democratic proposition.

  13. Uh boy. You slipped off the rails there, K. But I’ll try to extract the essential points, which might have one wheel still on the rails…

    O.k., so it’s your contention that an excellent university would have no limits on who teaches there, as long as their “academic credentials” are in order. He might believe that Jews or or some racial group are subhuman, but that’s o.k., right? Personally, I’d find that to be an example of just how absurd the university has become, a perpetual playground for many, and is not worth the time, effort, and money to attend it, aside from maybe a diploma to help get a job (although it won’t help you keep that job…). There’s something we unwashed masses know about, and it’s called “common sense and human decency.” It may be flawed, but it’s better than the postmodernist disconnect of the brain, which paralyzes people from noticing the elephant in the room.

    BTW, I didn’t “misrepresent” you, nor was any reprimand needed. I misunderstood you. Do you understand the difference? You’re a little trigger-happy on the offense there, for a simple misunderstanding, eager to presume something devious. And BTW, what motivation might I have had for such a “misrepresentation”, particularly when it was written TO you?

    As for the distinction between objective analysis vs. an activist promoting an agenda, if what you’re saying is true, then Dr. Cloud is a rare exception. I’ve seen it countless times, in person, and in accounts described by others, including friends. And it’s always done by a left-leaning prof., not a conservative one.

    “Back to the hate mail” (why, I don’t know): For the gazillionth time, so what? I’ve gotten hate mail. Every single public figure has gotten hate mail. And try reading the mail bag of a conservative radio talk show host or blogger sometime. Endless streams of four-letter words, threats, etc.. Would you like to say that such messages are symbolic of the Left? (the Left does seem to resort to swearing and verbal violence, far more than the Right, but that’s for another discussion…). All of that is wrong and bad, got it? But any bozo with a computer and an internet connection can send it, and so it’s indicative of only one person: The one who sent it.

    As for DH’s visit, while I wasn’t there, nor have I seen any pictures/videos of it, I’m picturing being surrounded by a crowd of people screaming at me, calling me names, and viciously angry looks on their faces. I would not feel comfortable being in such a situation, feeling that any one of the participants could choose to do harm at any moment. Such crowds often do such things, particularly Leftist crowds. The adrenaline is pumping, everyone in your gang hates this person and views him as a demon, and you’re just a few feet away from him. It happens all the time, and the university Left has a track record of throwing things and physically attacking guest speakers. And so, regardless if anything was done (but what if there had been no security, and no university discipline?) there was plenty of implied threat in the “demonstration”. And it is a disgusting and pathetic thing to see, particularly within the university, the place where, ideally, diverse opinions are explored with intelligence, not screaming.

    As for “Saudi Arabia”, I’m starting to see a pattern here. Twice now I’ve mentioned Ahmadinejad’s speaking tour, and it has not been responded to. You gals and your penchant for yelling at people you don’t like. You’re total wimps when it comes to facing up to real evil, real discrimination, real suppression of freedom. Total, complete wimps. And this is a classic symptom of it: Those who don’t get angry at those who most deserve it, end up “displacing” that anger on those who don’t (and/or, do it in measures disproportionate to the offense). You Lefties kiss up the likes of Ahmadinejad (and the Saudi regime) because ultimately, you’re afraid of him. And then you go wildly crazy vicious on some (ultimately) non-threatening target, to unload that tension.

  14. O.k., I’ve read through DC’s lengthy blog post, including the updates. I’ll start going through it line-by-line, but I can see that there’s just so much nonsense in there, that an analysis of the entire thing will take hours to complete, and many pages, and so I’ll basically just stop when it gets too long and/or I get tired of it (not that I’m not already tired of it). But in summary, I can no longer accept K’s claim that DC has the scruples to describe ideas and events in an objective manner. But anyway, here goes…

    “On April 9, 2009, a rowdy group of about 60 students protested the appearance of neo-McCarthyite culture warrior David Horowitz in Austin”

    So right in the first sentence, we have a lot of subjective commentary: The group of students were “rowdy”. What is meant by “rowdy”. It could mean lots of things, positive or negative. Maybe that’s the reason why the word was used: it’s ambivalent, and so the reader can project anything he wants onto it. Rowdy could mean playful, fun, and happy, and it could mean “dangerous” loud and threatening. So why include the word at all? I.e., it’s totally unhelpful for setting the scene and describing the events as they unfolded.

    As for “neo-McCarthyite,” that’s just rhetoric, designed to whip up emotions. “McCarthy” has social implications, based on the actions of Leo McCarthy, but as I stated earlier, as it turns out, Mr. McCarthy was actually more right than he was wrong. What’s more, the problem with “witch hunts” was that the people they found, weren’t really “witches”. In contrast, it’s no secret that DC is a communist and socialist. She’s quite proud of that fact. So, the whole analogy simply doesn’t work, other than to whip up her supporters, who don’t know much of anything about Leo McCarthy, or witch hunts, or how to form a good analogy.

    What’s more, some people find socialism and communism to be horrible social systems. Capitalism isn’t great, but the others are worse. Socialism simply doesn’t work in the real world, thus, only professors, isolated from real life, can love it.

    But anyway, a PhD professor who feels the need to use such rhetoric in the first paragraph of her article, tells me she’s not objective. I.e., there was no point to it, if the goal is to help the reader form an objective opinion about what happened. It’s lacing the article with author’s strongly held opinion, from the get-go. An objective and thoughtful article would describe the events in as detached and descriptive manner as possible, and let the facts speak for themselves.

    “Because Horowitz repeatedly targets me in his attacks on progressive and critical intellectuals, I was part of the protest.”

    O.k., but why use the word “attack”? How about “criticize” or maybe “critique”? Again, it’s an emotion-laden term, inserting commentary. And in the very first paragraph. A PhD should know better.

    “On April 18, The Wall Street Journal published a lengthy opinion column by David Horowitz in which he condemned the demonstration and impugned me, University of Texas students, and several activist organizations.”

    You call that “lengthy”? Seems quite short to me. One of the shorter opinion pieces to be found in the WSJ, including those by Mr. ultra-liberal himself, Thomas Frank. And your blog post is much longer.

    You also played a little rhetorical slight-of-hand there. By writing “condemned . . . University of Texas students” you imply that Mr. Horowitz condemned all UT students. He did no such thing. He merely described the actions of the “protesters” at the event, which was a LOT more than just expressing some opinions (which, by the way, has no place when a guest is invited to speak — the point is for the speaker to speak, not for everyone in attendance to speak). Their goal obviously was to obstruct and prevent him from speaking, period. If there had been no security there to forcefully get the “protesters” to shut up and sit down, then Mr. Horowitz wouldn’t have been allowed to speak, at all. So, all of this pretense you and K have flung out here, is utter nonsense. A lie, if you will.

    Moving along…

    “He not only claimed that the protest was an attempt to silence his free speech, but also argued that my reasonable contribution to the discussion was a pretense. ”

    He did not. The word “pretense” is nowhere to be found in the article. He claimed that you came to the mike and gave a speech, which is against the protocol for such events. And the speech was basically about how sweet and wonderful you are, and what a horrible monster he is. Quite a “reasonable contribution to the discussion”.

    O.k., I’ve had enough, and need to get back to real life, and work. It’s become clear to me that DH is right. Get a grip, lady. Face up to reality. Feel free to have your opinions, and express them, but for goodness sake, get a grip on reality. Engage the other side of your brain, which does more than just emote your feelings. Think objectively and ethically. Repeatedly ask yourself “what if someone else said or did what I’m doing, to me?”. That will help you work on your ethics, and your clear-thinking abilities. Nobody’s out to get you. We just disagree with your opinions, and it is our opinion, that a good healthy university does indeed have outer boundaries of what constitutes a good professor. And without a doubt, the Left is far more uncivilized than the Right. Far more. That you can find examples of the right going too far (you need to use Churchhill and Ayers as your best examples?) says nothing. That Horowitz needs security and body guards to be able to speak, as an invited guest, says everything. Goodbye.

  15. Don writes: “As for the distinction between objective analysis vs. an activist promoting an agenda, if what you’re saying is true, then Dr. Cloud is a rare exception.”

    She’s not as rare as you might think, but I am very glad to see that you have eased up on her. She is indeed quite good.

    Further: “It may be flawed, but it’s better than the postmodernist disconnect of the brain, which paralyzes people from noticing the elephant in the room.”

    I agree that there are standards of fact and standards of ethical behavior. That is why I will not hesitate to protest those who bring their racist ideas or smear campaigns to our campus. If anything, you seem more inclined to restrictions on speech. I find that somewhat puzzling, since our debate began with your support of Horowitz’ “academic freedom” campaign and your denunciation of Dana Cloud.

    As for Ahmedinejad, people had every right to protest him. I don’t agree with the protesters in that case, but I defend their right. (Just as I would support others’ right to counter-protest.)

    Back to the DH protest: It was intended to make him uncomfortable, to feel opposed and even unwelcome. It was intended to show that his agenda will be vehemently opposed when he comes to campus to slander our scholars. And notwithstanding your journey into the psyche of the protesters, I reiterate that not one protester threatened DH’s safety.

    The greatest threat to his safety throughout his smear campaign has been a cream pie. Calling him a liar is not a threat to his safety. Calling him a bigot is not a threat to his safety.

    On your further psychologizing, I have addressed the Ahmedinejad issue. And if you want to discuss a relationship to the Saudi regime, you should take it up with the State Department. They can’t seem to criticize or divest from the oil-rich regime, just as the US couldn’t be bothered to oppose Pinochet, just as the US supported Iraq vs. Iran, Iran vs. Iraq, and the future Taliban vs. the USSR. Do you really want to have a discussion about American foreign policy regarding tyrants?

    Meanwhile, if you detect some pique in my responses to you it is very likely because you have participated in a baseless attack on the character, professionalism, and person of Dana Cloud, who is not only my colleague and comrade, but also my wife. I do appreciate that you have softened your stance.

    (That is, at least until you decided to call us crazy, vicious wimps. Aside from how confusing that formulation is, I have to ask: Are you looking for another reprimand, Don?)

  16. Not confusing at all. Wimps are frequently vicious towards “safe” targets, specifically because they don’t have the courage to stand up to those who truly deserve standing-up to, out of fear of the consequences.

    So, anyway, really, I’ll let you two girls get back to your playground. I didn’t know you two were “married” — you merely presented yourself as one of her students. That does add more insight to the discussion. Have fun, living off of your government salary and tenure, chasing butterflies, and attending “protests” for excitement. The rest of out here will face reality and earn a living by actually being productive. Bye bye.

  17. As much as being drawn into the personal argument fray irks me, the misrepresentation thing irks me more.

    I am a student at UT, and not Dana’s student. I am working outside the academy so I can make a living wage and have health insurance. (Professors also work – you’d be surprised how much.) Your assumptions about me are as baseless as your claims about my wife, the academy, and the nature of democracy in general – what freedom of speech is, how it can and should be practiced, the relationship of academics and the government to foreign regimes…

    So here’s my reprimand: Shame on you for taking refuge in ad hominem attacks when you run out of arguments (arguments, by the way, that run counter to available evidence). Shame on you for your baseless assumptions and accusations. Shame on you for advocating restrictions on our democratic right to speak freely without fear of official repression. And shame on you for insulting my marriage, my family, and my occupation and purporting to claim the high ground.

    It’s bad enough when Horowitz does it.

  18. K,

    Here’s what you wrote:

    “An ethical instructor, one such as Dr. Cloud, uses her ‘control’ of the classroom to open space for students to debate their ideas with each other and with her. Her own ideas are subject to scrutiny. And she has never graded a student based upon that student’s politics.”

    Without knowing anything else about you, that implies that you have been a student of hers, at least once, probably more. And now you’re telling me that you’ve never taken one of her courses, and have a sexual relationship with her.

    What’s more, with your deep insights to DC, you also earlier claimed that the title “Dangerous and Loud” was added in response to the conflict with Horowitz. But as DC herself clarified, that’s not true — it’s been there since day-1.

    You seem to like the word “misrepresentation” and now I can see why.

  19. Don,

    You may think that DC has no grip on reality, but I assure you she is not. She is a scholar of the highest ethics and one of the most recognized within the field of communication studies. There have been a variety of posts back and forth. Thus, I don’t have the opportunity to debate all the claims you have put forth.

    First, I didn’t see where you mentioned Ahmadenijad’s speaking tour twice….you mentioned Saudi Arabia, but I didn’t see it, so forgive me. However, you accuse both DC and K of being “wimps” because they protest DH’s activities. For one, it is easy to understand why these two and others would focus on DH than say the Iranian president. DH happens to be the most present person that is in direct opposition to DC. If DC was in Iran it would probably be the other way around, just as it for most people who protest a variety of items being done in their backyard (i.e. NIMBY syndrome) yet those people don’t protest the Iranian leader and you don’t call them wimps. Why? Are those people who protest a power plant or some kind of monument or whatever it is being put up in their neighborhood are they going after safe targets as well? Should they be shunned b/c they don’t protest in the streets Saudi Arabian and Iranian leaders? Choosing to protest DH vs. Saudi Arabia and Iran doesn’t make them wimps. Rather, it is demonstrative of what their core causes are at that time and their cause against DH (or if a conservative was doing it against a liberal) is just as valid as those larger issues. If not, then you have better condemn every single neighborhood protest that has some NIMBY element too it. Second, how do you know that Professor Cloud hasn’t protested against Iran and Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women? B/c it doesn’t receive national headlines? Or b/c there aren’t venues for those protests to be noticed? Your claim is specious at best.

    Additionally, you claim that Professor Cloud isn’t “productive” like you because as it seems you imply that she doesn’t produce a product. Well, her productivity in fact should not be in question because she, like other academics, produce knowledge. Knowledge that has to go through a rigourous peer review process before it can see the light of day. Even if it educates one person then she has been productive.

    Moreover, you seem to not understand what the university has always been. It has always been a place where learned men (and later women) were exposed to a variety of ideas so that they could go out and make their society’s a better place, whether that be conservative, liberal, green or blue. From the early Greek Academies to modern universities and liberal arts colleges that is the purpose of a university. To allow a university to be merely shown the door denigrates that time honored purpose and degrades the very premise of academic freedom. I admit that I do not agree with some of DC’s politics, but her ideas are well thought, articulated well, and enhance the larger marketplace of ideas.

    Regarding DH’s editorial….and Dana’s “speech.” Well, I have seen the video and DC did speak for about a minute and a half or so and then asked a question. The question, and I am paraphrasing, was basically if you believe that UT students, and students in general, are bright, competent individuals who can make up their own minds then why do you deny their ability to make decisions through your protest. DH never answered the question and proceeded to accuse the people against him in the room as engaging in “hysterics” and that they were “little fascists.” Frankly, I think that debate should be done in a rational, civil manner, but one thing that has always troubled me about DH is his claim about “indoctrination U.” One of his central claims is that professors indoctrinate students with their viewpoints. I find this argument interesting considering that their is overwhelming evidence that students political and social attitudes are often socialized prior to them even stepping foot into college. Thus, the fact that DH chose not to answer DC’s question, throws his claims and credibility into question.

    One final thing (and then I must end this) you argue that the right is much more civilized than the left. My question is in comparison to what? Public Protest? Talk Radio? Public Protest, perhaps you are right, the right is more civilized. But in terms of talk radio the answer would be negative. Talk radio on the right is much more uncivilized and reaches more voices than those protests of the left. To argue carte blanche that the left is much more uncivilized than the right is again a specious argument without much evidence. At best the right and left are equal. If you want uncivilized argumentation all you need to do is to check out sites like Democratic Underground, Free Republic, Daily Kos, and Hannity.com.

    Finally, the commentary made at the end of your post such as “get a grip on reality,” getting back to her “playground,” and “chasing butterflies” only destroys your credibilty further. Not that I think you care whether people believe you are credible, but if you want more civilized discourse. If you want serious, academic, lively, and open discussion, that engages in reason and not ad hominem attacks, I suggest you take your own advice and don’t engage in them yourself.

  20. Don. Please. Really? K. and I are as married as society will let us be; I have never had occasion to grade her as a student, although she has sat in on my classes as a visitor. There is no ethical issue there.

    As for the Dangerous and Loud–it was a response to DH’s first book, a little joke on my part. All of that about butterflies and playgrounds is really sexist and offensive.

    Come and visit sometime to get a glimpse of a reality that you clearly won’t recognize until you see it for yourself: productive scholars and teachers going about the business of education with ethics and integrity.

  21. Dana,

    Anyone involved in an intimate relationship with someone has difficulty viewing that person objectively, particularly as it pertains to professional behavior, as a stranger might. It’s similar to if one saw a review of a book somewhere, but then found out that the person who wrote it never read the book (or maybe just skimmed through it a bit) and was living with that person. Ergo, “misrepresentation”.

    As for “Dangerous and Loud”, ugh, I don’t even care anymore. It’s your blog, and it’s the first thing anyone sees. And there is no clarification or indication that it’s a “little joke”. On the contrary, from everything I’ve gathered so far, you’re much more dangerous to DH, than he is to you. And you’re obviously proud of being loud, and intimidating those you don’t like, so I’m not seeing humor, irony, satire, or anything else but an accurate description. Whatever.

    As for playgrounds and butterflies, you are right to take offense, because it was intended as such. As for it being “sexist”, it’s only sexist if you believe that there’s something insulting about implying that little girls like chasing butterflies. I think it’s darling, and a marvelous part of girlhood.

    And prof., as I’ve said many times before, I’ve been in many a classroom, and have degrees, licenses, certificates, etc., coming out my ears. And I have friends taking classes (here in California) and I hear the stories, read the term paper “corrections”, read the “assignments”, and browse the textbooks. It’s no mystery to me. You people live in a very insular world of the liberal left, so much so, that whenever you encounter a conservative idea, you freak out. In contrast, no conservative can live in America, without getting pummeled by liberalism every damn day, from all sides. You simply can’t operate in America, and not know every little thing that liberals desire, and want to force on every last American. Your rhetoric is upside down and inside out. You say “freedom” but it only applies to you. You say “tolerance” but it only applies to what you want. “Freedom of speech” is just one more example of the whole truckload of empty nonsense rhetoric coming from liberals and lefties (if there’s a difference anymore).

  22. Sigh. Don, I was hoping that you would see reason by now. I invite you once again to visit my office or my classes, but know you won’t because it might contradict the image DH has whipped up of me and your preconceptions. Let me know if you are going to be in Austin and I will tell you my course schedule.

    So long,

    dc

  23. Dana, my impression of your work (as opposed to what you’re like on a personal level, with friends, which may well be quite friendly, pleasant, and caring — I have moderately liberal friends who are like that) came from the DH article, which fits with everything else I’ve seen and heard of campus leftists. But I was quite open to having my mind changed. And I’ll even tell you how you could have done it: Prove yourself to be the calmer, more thoughtful, more intelligent, more reasonable, more decent person, thus showing DH to be off his rocker. You didn’t do that. DH’s article is much more believable, than your blog post is.

    I wish you well on a personal level, but cannot support your professional efforts.

  24. I give up. It is unreasonable to claim that someone personally nice and a tyrant in the classroom.

    K. was having trouble posting so here is her latest:

    Don, seriously. Which professors, which conservatives, are persecuted, how, and by whom? You claim it, but you don’t back it up. Rather “it happens all the time,” and “I hear the stories.” That’s not evidence.

    As for my marriage to Dr. Cloud and its influence upon my professional view of her, don’t take my word for it then. Take a student’s word (who disagrees with Dana, and who is heterosexual enough for you to find credible):

    ____________________________
    “To the Editor:

    “Let’s get two things straight before we begin. I am a fervent capitalist and extremely conservative, so no one can say I’m writing this for any reason except out of my absolute admiration for Dr. Cloud. And before anyone dismisses me as a young, easily impressionable college kid, I’m 43 years old and the mother of children older than many of you reading this. With that said, I would like to go on record in saying that Dana Cloud is one of the finest teachers I have had the joy to encounter during my college experience….It is painfully and pathetically obvious that Mr. Horowitz did not have the intellectual honesty nor the journalistic integrity to interview any of Dr. Cloud’s students before writing his hit piece. I rather strongly disagree with some of Dr. Cloud’s positions, but while I was her student, I felt completely comfortable stating my opinions in class, regardless of whether I agreed with her or not.

    “Dr. Cloud did what a good educator is supposed to do: she provided a forum for an open and lively debate of ideas. She encouraged everyone to give their opinions. She provided materials that were thought-provoking, which, as far as I understand it, is the very point of going to college. As a person, I find Dr. Cloud delightful. As an educator, I find Dr. Cloud exemplary. One of the 101 most dangerous professors? Only if you think a professor who is unfailingly open and honest is dangerous…I point out again, that as an educator, she never forced her beliefs on anyone, never tried to “indoctrinate” in the classroom. She is an intelligent, vibrant, and wonderfully effective educator, and I pray that this situation serves as a springboard for people to discuss the vital issues of civil rights and freedom of speech…Dr. Cloud, without one second’s hesitation, is the top of those four and I consider it an honor to speak for her publicly.

    Paula Hudson
    Senior, Corporate Communication”
    ___________________________

    Don, you have not one scrap of evidence that Dana behaves inappropriately in the classroom. You have presented not one scrap of evidence that conservatives are excluded from the academy because of their politics. Your preferred methods of argument are: 1) slurs, and 2) focusing on insignificant details (like Dana’s blog title. Seriously, Don?) to dodge the substance of arguments about academic freedom, democracy, and the conduct of one Dana Cloud.

    You claim our “rhetoric is upside-down and inside out, but have failed to demonstrate in what ways and based on what facts this is so. You claim that we think “freedom” only applies to us, when it is clear throughout our exchange that you would place more restrictions on freedom than I would as a socialist.

    One claim you’ve got right is that we’re intolerant. We’re intolerant of witch hunters, personal attacks, pronouncements without evidence, and craven retreats (like yours) from lost arguments into plain and simple insults.

    In the words of Joseph Welch: “Have you no sense of decency, sir?”

  25. Uh boy.

    DC, I suspect that you’re not a “tyrant” in the classroom (and I never used that word) but rather are quite masterful at making yourself look sweet and nice, and those who disagree with, ogres. Your speech at the DH speech was one such example, by DH’s account. But that was a blatant example. I’ve seen real masters at work, who are amazingly good at it, painting themselves as harmless pussycats, and the opposition as stupid and mean. And it’s even easier to do when you’re the leader of the group. Your writing in this blog reinforces the idea that this is your tactic. But I bet that if I met you in person, and we steered clear of subjects related to politics and many social issues, then I might just find you to be a nice person. Maybe even nicer than many of the people I agree with on “macro” issues. Liberals can make great neighbors. I just don’t want them leading the country, because they seem to have difficulties with “big” abstract ideas. Their specialty seems to be “micro”, interpersonal stuff, which is why then tend towards careers like music, teaching, social workers, and the like, while conservatives tend to choose careers like business and engineering, which have more abstract thinking required, and have built-in reality checks.

    K,

    I can’t provide names, because I simply don’t take the time to record it and document for later retrieval. It’s not my job. I simply have heard stories, which I found credible, where “Christian” or “Republican” was enough to get them excluded from consideration. Take my word for it or not (and consider if you think it’s a reasonable possibility of happening) I found it credible, so I’m sticking with it.

    K wrote:
    ‘As for my marriage to Dr. Cloud and its influence upon my professional view of her, don’t take my word for it then.”
    That is a distortion of what I wrote. What you did, was come into the conversation, without any background info., and provide a summary of Dr. Cloud’s professional conduct, speaking from personal knowledge. This implies you to be a student who’s been through at least one of her courses, start to finish. But as it turns out, you’ve never been a student of hers (other than sitting in on a few classes) and have a sexual/intimate relationship with her. I feel confident to declare that if anything in this conversation can be called “misrepresentation”, it’s that incident. And the analogy I provided, was if we read a book review, only to find out later that the reviewer never read the book (maybe skimmed through it a bit) and had a sexual relationship with the author. Anyone and everyone would consider that misrepresentation. The “review” might just be true and accurate, but it’s misrepresentation just the same.

    “Take a student’s word … who is heterosexual enough for you to find credible”

    Quote me somewhere stating or implying that heterosexual = credible. I contend that you’re sooooo eager to get attacked for your homosexual behavior, so that you can launch into your angry victim mode, and demonize me. Something, I’ll bet, you do on a regular basis with many heterosexuals who believe that same-sex marriage would be a disastrous change for America (and can back that statement up with arguments I’ve never heard responded to by same-sex marriage activists) while at the same time wishing that such individuals be treated with all the decency given to any other person. Doesn’t matter though, to the activists: oppose them, and you’re the worst person on earth. Black-and-white. Simple.

    Re: Paula Hudson’s comment, presuming it’s all true and accurate, I have to admit that it’s a glowingly positive statement, reflecting well on Dr. Cloud.

    Re: Joe Welch’s comment, I do have some scraps of evidence:
    1) Her conduct at the DH speech.
    2) Her promotion of communism and socialism, in connection with her professional career. E.g., linking this blog from her UT profile.
    3) It’s inconceivable to me that her beliefs don’t infiltrate her teaching. Even the best of teachers, will tend to steer the conversation in the direction they view as good and healthy, which reflects their worldview and politics to some degree. You just can’t fully sterilize yourself from it. Similarly, when reading the NY Times, it’s clear that the editors and reporters and liberal, and tend to present a view of the world through that lens.
    4) Her writing in this blog is far from detached and objective. It displays tactics of propaganda, even within carefully prepared statements (i.e., the blog posts, as opposed to the comment areas, which can be considered quickly written and off-the-cuff).
    So, yes, I do have evidence. It’s not proof, but it is strong evidence.

    As for Dana’s blog title, I do not find that insignificant. Much of the source of the conflict here, is the aggressive “protest” she led against DH. And the WSJ op-ed response, titled “Campus Leftists don’t believe in free speech”. Titling her blog “dangerous and loud”, as if she’s proud of that description, does not help her case that she’s just a harmless little lady voicing her opposition to his views in an respectful and intelligent manner. And the responses I got from Dana and K were not clear on it, nor is it clearly identified as being anything but a serious self-description. I repeat, THAT is much of what started this in the first place: Her conduct at the DH speech. So, you’d better believe it’s significant. If she and her followers hadn’t tried to intimidate, silence, and shout down an invited guest, I wouldn’t be here, nor would DH have written that WSJ piece.

    Academic freedom: I did address that, at length and depth. I’ll summarize it for you: Ultimately, if I were king of the world, universities would be free to hire and fire anyone they like, and for any reason at all. And then the rest of us would be free to decide how much we respect that university’s judgment, and whether it’s worth our time, money, and effort to attend it. What’s more, anyone in America is free to pursue any academic quest they like. Absolutely no one is blocked from studying anything, nor are they blocked from teaching it. The question is whether tax money, forcibly taken away from Americans, should be used to pay the salaries of anyone with the “right” credentials, regardless what they believe or what they teach. I find it an outrage, to think that tax money is used to pay the salaries of professors like Ward Churchill. And the fact that you guys have to point to Ward Churchill as a poster child for your cause, doesn’t help your cause. I recognize the risks of being too limiting on who or what is taught in the university. But you don’t recognize the risks of having no standards at all. K even stating that she’d have no problem with David Duke being on the government payroll, being paid to teach in the university. To me, that makes the university into a crazy playground for kids who don’t need to do anything productive, or have to work to actually make the world a better place. “Academic freedom” can be code for “I’ll do whatever I damn well please, and you’d better pay me for it!”. Good luck with that kind of thinking outside the cloistered world of government-funded academia.

    And yes, there’s nothing wrong with intolerance. The question is upon what basis your intolerance is founded. You say you’re opposed to witch hunts. I am too. The next step is to define what a witch hunt is, and whether or not the analogy applies to any one situation or not.

    And yes, BTW, Decency is my middle name. And my last name is Truth, which refuses to be intimidated by anyone, I don’t care how dangerous or loud you are.

    P.S. I don’t have time to proof read all of this, so apologies in advance if there are typos.

  26. Joe Welch,

    One more thought, I’d really like to add:

    You claimed zero-tolerance for witch hunts. I’ll test your self-honesty here, to see if this is just empty rhetoric, designed to justify whatever it is you want to do in this instance, or if it truly is an inner Constitution of yours — a line you never cross, no matter what:

    When lefties said “Bush lied” about WMDs, did you take the time to research it fully, reading all arguments from both sides, and all available evidence, to find out if it was a true statement? And if so, in hindsight, was your assessment correct?

    Or how about Bush waged war on Iraq for Halliburton? Did you jump on the leftist bandwagon of demonizing President Bush, or did you research it fully, to see if it was true?

  27. Don, you write:

    “DC, I suspect that you’re not a “tyrant” in the classroom (and I never used that word) but rather are quite masterful at making yourself look sweet and nice, and those who disagree with, ogres. Your speech at the DH speech was one such example, by DH’s account.”

    Are you actually arguing that because she seemed reasonable at the Horowitz event that she must actually be deceitful? To be sure, Dana can be rude. She can even be loud. But to accuse her (again, with no evidence) of being deceitful is hardly called for. Besides, it’s like arguing that an oak tree in public must actually a pine tree when you’re not looking.

    As for conservative examples for which you can provide no names, saying that you didn’t do your homework doesn’t enhance the credibility of your argument.

    Let’s talk about research: Yes, I did look into the claim that Bush lied about WMDs. And indeed he did use the claim (without evidence – you two have something in common, then) that there were such weapons as a pretext for war. He did so illegally, for he overrode congressional approval. He did so immorally, since there was no evidence that Iraq had any connection to the attack on the US. And he did so with the greatest hypocrisy, speaking of taking down a tyrant while the US was quite content to abide other tyrants in power – Musharraf in Pakistan, the Saudi regime, and so on. (I’ve already mentioned the US’ history with tyrants.)

    Did he wage war specifically for Halliburton? Perhaps, perhaps not. But he did oversee the granting of millions of dollars’ worth of no-bid contracts to Halliburton for products and services in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of which have been shown to be defective and downright dangerous to servicemembers – showers with a risk of electrocution, water purification systems that taint water, etc.

    And as for David Duke, there was no point at which I said I would approve of him as a colleague. (In fact, I think I said that if there were a Klukker on the faculty, I’d look forward to protesting the hell out of him). All the same, Duke wouldn’t make the cut anyhow, since he doesn’t possess the credentials. His “doctorate” in Personnel Management is not a real PhD – look up the Ukrainian higher educational system to find out why not.

    What is a witch hunt? As I have been using the term, it is a campaign to have someone rooted out for public shaming (and often firing) as something nefarious based on untruths and innuendoes. The untruths he has put forth are that Dana is inappropriate in the classroom, indoctrinating students; that she physically threatened him; that she is unfit for her job (which, in legal terms, is slander). He makes these claims – both directly and by implication – with no substantiation, no reports from students, no evidence of threats, and no demonstration that she is anything other than excellent at her job. He has even less evidence than you do, and you believe his line uncritically? All because Dana and others yelled at him? (Backtrack to your own comments on public figures having unpleasant discourse aimed in their direction.)

    They used their first amendment right, taking part in a long American tradition of rowdy protest – without which, by the way, you wouldn’t have weekends off (if you do – I don’t claim to know your boss), or sick days, for that matter. In fact, you’d still be paying taxes to the British for tea. Look up Sam Adams if you want to talk rowdy.

    Finally, as for beliefs in the classroom, Dana is very open about them and encourages students to debate them freely, as they should debate perspectives from all over the spectrum. Again, before you claim otherwise, get some evidence. Visit her classes. And notice the disclaimer on the blog that it – as well as her other political activity – is not affiliated with nor endorsed by the university.

    Do your research, Don Decency Truth – I’ve certainly given you plenty of evidence to evaluate.

  28. K,

    Too much junk and noise in there to pick through it all, but I will respond to one — your defense of saying “Bush lied” about WMDs:

    “Let’s talk about research: Yes, I did look into the claim that Bush lied about WMDs. And indeed he did use the claim (without evidence – you two have something in common, then) that there were such weapons as a pretext for war. He did so illegally, for he overrode congressional approval. He did so immorally, since there was no evidence that Iraq had any connection to the attack on the US. And he did so with the greatest hypocrisy, speaking of taking down a tyrant while the US was quite content to abide other tyrants in power – Musharraf in Pakistan, the Saudi regime, and so on. (I’ve already mentioned the US’ history with tyrants.)”

    O.k., now where in all of that is evidence of lying? A lie is intentionally telling an untruth, which you know to be untrue.

    Regardless (and this is hardly new, so I’m SURE it will have no effect here — you’ll just blank it out and move on to something else): Democrats had access to all the same information, and they too concluded that Saddam had WMDs. Saddam thought he had WMDs. His commanders thought he had WMDs. France thought he had WMDs. Brittain thought he had WMDs. EVERYBODY, left and right, thought he had WMDs. All available evidence suggested it. Did all of these people “lie”?

    What’s more, there have been Congressional investigations into whether or not there was deceit, and none was found. None. If any “lie” were found, then you can bet your blog that it would be shouted from every liberal mountaintop from now until the end of time. So where is it? Why aren’t leading Democrats, the NY Times, etc., reporting on the “lie” about GWB’s knowledge of WMDs? Why? Quite some research you did there. And you ripped into our president for it, during war time, against an enemy that wants us dead, or submitting to Sharia. Nice goin’, moral genius. Nice goin’.

    As for “you’re a hypocrite, if you only go after one tyrant, and not all of them”, do you have the same attitude towards scientists seeking cures for deadly diseases? I.e., unless you seek to cure all disease, then you shouldn’t seek to cure any?

    Saddam was one of the worst, and Iraqis are better off for it. A functioning Democracy is developing there, no thanks to the liberal left, which fought US every step of the way. A Democracy, smack dab in the middle of the Middle East, is a huge step forward to cleaning up the sewer pit of ideology that spawned 9/11. You say you care about freedom of speech. We (mostly conservatives) fought and died to bring it to Iraq, and it’s happening there now — the free flow of ideas, struggling to develop a decent culture and politic. You deserve zero credit (at best) for that achievement.

  29. Don,

    A couple of things: First, you make an argument about DC’s pedagogy because of the account that DH offered. My question to you is have you viewed the video of DC’s question and protest at UT toward Mr. Horowitz. It is up, I believe on youtube…or a little google and you can find it. I have seen it and, particularly at the question stage, found nothing aborrent about DC’s behavior. In fact, she asked a question that was never answered by Mr. Horowitz (the indoctrination question…which I find to be one of DH’s insufficient claims at best…as I noted there is more than enough evidence to offer that one’s political socialization, for most, occurs long before they enter a classroom at the collegiate level). That very fact alone would knock down Horowitz’s entire thesis for the book.

    Second, and this has to do with the fact check post (sorry to derail this thread). A variety of innacuracies (sp?), falsehoods, and misrepresentations were documented within Horowitz’s books. Your argument appeared to be that this evidence didn’t controvert the overall theses of DH’s books. My question to you is how could that be? If your evidence is tainted then your thesis doesn’t hold up. Think of it this way. If you are a lawyer and claim that x defendant is guilty, but that evidence is shown to be suspect. Then the guilt verdict cannot stand. How does not the same thing work with DH’s accounts of professors?

    Additionally, I just want to comment about the Iraq war. I, like you, don’t believe that Bush lied. My specialty is the American presidency and I have a larger understanding of the office, its constraints, etc. However, my problem with your claim is a couple of things. 1) You insinuate the “we conservatives” fought and died to bring that to Iraq. Now I hope you are not suggesting that liberals had no hand in it. My cousin, a liberal, died in Iraq because he felt it was his duty. I, was not a supporter of decision to go to war, but argue that once we were there we had to get the job done. And you have to admit from July 2003-May 2007…the U.S. did a piss poor job of managing the situation in Iraq. The U.S. and Bush deserves credit for stemming the violence, but Iraq is far from being a democracy that has a “free flow of ideas” without recrimination. Most Baghdad neighborhoods are still segregated, there has been no reconciliation between any of the parties, they have passed an important revenue sharing bill for oil, all of which are prereqs before that democratic “free flow” can begin. I am not saying it won’t happen, but to: 1) argue that only conservatives supported fighting it and not some liberals is a broad brush stroke that lacks total credibility–hell, some conservatives advocated (i.e. William Kristol, Max Boot) that the U.S. should go beyond Iraq and establish a permanent empire in the Middle East; 2) to put a rosy gloss on serious problems that undermine its growth on democracy is disingenous.

    Additionally, this probably bothers me more is your comment that a democracy in the middle east is “a huge step to cleaning up the sew pit of ideology that spawned 9/11.” Your implication seems to be that there is one dominant ideology within the Middle East that inspires Al-Qaeda and other Islamists (call is Islamofascism or whatever you want). If that is the case then your claim, is again specious at best. I mean the United States isn’t even fighting a uniform enemy within the Middle East, let alone a uniform ideology. This is my problem with the former President and others who lump all of this stuff together into one “sewer pit of ideology” and doesn’t parse out who the United States is fighting and what they stand for. Even Al-Qaeda has had shifts in its ideology over the past few years. It can’t even agree on basic tenets (Evidence of this can be found in Reza Aslan’s book How to fight a Cosmic War, along with the work of Robert Ivie, and some of my own writing on the subject). Democracy, I think, is inherently good and I largely, as an empirical matter subscribe to the democratic peace thesis. But for you to extend the idea that Iraq’s democracy will begin the clean up of that “sewer pit of ideology” is a larger overstretch because of the non-uniformity of ideology amongst all parites (including Islamists…Sunnis and Shiites, along with the different groups have vastly different goals and beliefs depending on their religious sect and country experience) and the non-uniformity of the enemy in general.

  30. Jason,

    It looks like it thoughtful post. I really don’t have time for this, but will go through yours…

    Thank you for the head’s up on the YouTube video. That helps. It is a little bit different than I had imagined (e.g., for whatever reason, I imagined a larger attendance). First impressions: DH was right, in that DC basically gave a speech, which was inappropriate. She should have just asked her question. And you’re right, DH didn’t answer it. He’s not the best of speakers, but I give him credit for jumping into the lion’s den as often as he does. And given his Leftist background, he knows to whom he speaks, very well. Regardless, I would have liked to answer her question. Here’s what I would have said: Then what you’re telling me, is that college students — kids barely out of high school, many of whom have never worked, raised a family, sparred with intellectuals, etc. — are immune to even the most slick and skilled orators and leaders. If you believe that, then why do you accuse anyone who supports what I [DH] am warning about the university, as being some blind, thoughtless follower? College students are immune to it, but adults are stupid suckers? Lots of young adults may think they’re fully independent geniuses, and their elders are idiots, but that doesn’t make it so. Anyway, please explain, why you think your supporters are completely immune to manipulation, while your opposition is filled with nothing but manipulated fools.

    That’s how I would have answered it.

    You wrote:
    “as I noted there is more than enough evidence to offer that one’s political socialization, for most, occurs long before they enter a classroom at the collegiate level). That very fact alone would knock down Horowitz’s entire thesis for the book.”

    As you noted? Isn’t this your first comment to this thread? Anyway, where do you get that idea? And what the heck is “political socialization”? I thought the point here was decisions of how best to structure society. People change political parties all the time. What’s most common, actually, is that young adults tend to be more liberal. That’s always been the case. And then as they get older, take on more responsibility, have more years under their belt, etc., they become more conservative (this is a generalization, of course, and there are always old liberals). This is particularly pronounced in women: young single women tend to be very liberal, but married-with-children women tend to become conservative. Go ahead and check the stats on that.

    You wrote:
    “Your argument appeared to be that this evidence didn’t controvert the overall theses of DH’s books. My question to you is how could that be? If your evidence is tainted then your thesis doesn’t hold up.”
    No, I *asked* if the overall theses were controverted, I didn’t say it was. A game some people play, is to look for an imperfection in someone or some idea they don’t like, and then drill into it, implying that it proves the idea or person has NO credibility. But that’s deceitful. Real people make mistakes. All people. Even liberals 🙂 . To err is human, and so to presume that unless you’re perfect you have no credibility, is inhuman. And so, what mature and decent people do, is look at the big picture. The details matter, don’t get me wrong. But one needs to weigh the significance and quantity of the details being identified as mistaken. And maybe even look for intention: Can it reasonably be assumed that the error was intentional, or was it an honest, reasonable mistake, which simply needs to be clarified? All of the details combine to form the big picture. And so be alert to that: Is this an attempt to clarify the big picture, or is it an attempt to pick apart something in order to discredit it? That’s why I asked if the overall thesis was accurate.

    Using your example:
    “If you are a lawyer and claim that x defendant is guilty, but that evidence is shown to be suspect. Then the guilt verdict cannot stand.”
    I disagree. The question is whether the defendant is guilty or not. The question isn’t whether every single bit of evidence against him is true. One bit of evidence can turn out to be something other than the prosecution thought it was, but that doesn’t mean that the defendant is innocent of the charge.

    Iraq.

    “I, was not a supporter of decision to go to war, but argue that once we were there we had to get the job done.”
    Thank you. That’s what many of us conservatives were arguing, all along. But surely you know that you were a rare exception, particularly among the Left.
    And I recognize that there are Democrats fighting in Iraq. That’s why I said “mostly”. And really what I meant, had more to do with the social-political situation back here in the U.S.. Liberals (including those in other countries) were not helpful. They spent their days demonizing the administration, rather than coming up with ways to win the war. Surely you know that. And it was regularly referred to as Bush’s war, by liberals. They wanted us to pull out, immediately. They claimed we were there for “oil” and “Halliburton”. They fought against “The Surge” (which worked). Etc. and so on. Liberals such as yourself were not a part of the public discourse to any significant degree. I wish you had been.

    Yes, the U.S. made big mistakes in Iraq. But the same is true of every war we’ve ever been in. There is nothing unique about making mistakes. War is ugly, messy, and rarely goes according to plan.

    As for the free flow of ideas, Iraq has a free press, open TV broadcasts where ideas are discussed and debated, and unlimited internet access (check out those Iraqi bloggers…), none of which was available under Saddam. They have a long way to go, but so did the U.S. during it’s first years. We fought a civil war over it.

    As for Middle East ideology, I fully accept that there are many different variations of Islam to be found there, and I don’t think I implied that there was just one. But there are cultures, social environments, politics, etc., which are breeding grounds for this stuff. The Middle East is one such cultural region, and it’s because there is such a tight fascistic control over ideas and culture. If a kid grows up in such an environment, he’s indoctrinated from birth to believe all non-Muslims are dirty and evil (Jews in particular), that killing as many Americans as possible will get him a bus full of “virgins”, etc. etc. etc. and doesn’t have any way to say “hey, wait a minute guys. Uh, this doesn’t sound right. Let’s talk about this…” without risking his life for it, then it’s going to have consequences. Combine that with Wahabi and Muslim Brotherhood type ideologies held by a large portion of Muslims, and the rest of Muslims being quite apathetic about mass murder in the name of Islam, and you have a big problem indeed. Democracy in the middle of the Middle East isn’t the solution, but it helps. Al Qaeda knows this, and that’s why they’ve fought so hard to take over Iraq. Intercepted communications from their top commanders proves this.

  31. Don, in 2004 Colin Powell backtracked on his report of the previous year to the UN on the basis of which France, Britain, and others followed the US into war. In 2007, CIA officers confirmed that Bush knew quite well that there was no reliable evidence for the existence of WMD in Iraq, and that he was briefed on that very fact in 2002. So, did he intentionally proceed untruthfully? I may not know what was in his head at the time, but he certainly justified going to war by making a claim that was contrary to what his own intelligence agency had told him.

    You ask: “Why aren’t leading Democrats, the NY Times, etc., reporting on the “lie” about GWB’s knowledge of WMDs?” Perhaps it is because they went along. Even after the WMD reports were shown to be false, the Dems still failed to put up an opposition to the war. This continued even after they had made themselves out to be a real opposition in 2006 Congressional elections, and it continues today. There’s plenty of culpability to go around, because it takes far more than one disingenuous soul to take a country to war.

    But in truth, I don’t know whether he or they intended to deceive. And it is far from important what their intentions were. It’s the consequences that matter. Those consequences include the suicide epidemic among returning vets who do not receive adequate health care from their government – including PTSD treatment – in return for their service. They include, according to a 2006 report in the Lancet (British medical journal), at least 1 million civilian deaths in Iraq on top of the thousands of US soldiers dead. And among the latter we can include family and friends of mine, whose politics you should not presume to know.

    Onward to the disease of tyranny – that enemy of free speech. Are there little tyrannies, teensy muzzlings of the press, or not-terribly-worrisome uses of violence against an oppressed populace? I doubt those on the receiving end of police bullets often stop choking on their own blood to compare notes on their respective tyrants.

    Are you really saying you’d consider one tyrant a cancer, while another is what? A bad case of the clap? Even if we were to quantify, hold Saddam up to Pinochet, Suharto, Musharraf. Count the crimes. Count the bodies. Then go tell the Indonesians, Pakistanis, or Chileans that their tyrannies simply weren’t all that serious by comparison. And try to explain why the US lent arms, money, and political support to all of these regimes, including Saddam’s, in any terms that resemble your noble commitment to democracy.

    To close, wasn’t our original debate about academic freedom, freedom of speech, and David Horowitz’ witch hunt? Why now the kitchen sink (and such an empty sink at that)? Tsk-tsk, Don.

  32. Don,

    I have to get to conference so I don’t have time for a full response.

    1) This isn’t my first post, I posted earlier (check #18 or #19)

    2) The evidence that DH sites is the basic crux of his thesis. Free exchange express has put forth ample evidence that DH’s research was not only disingenuous, but just plain shoddy. No court in the land would hold that up, unless you literally had a smoking gun. Having read all of DH’s books, his conclusions are made upon inferences from a collected mosaic of anecdotes. That isn’t evidence. It is cherry-picking and any good attorney (my wife) would pick his case apart to pieces.

    3) In terms of political socialization. I mentioned it in my earlier post, but PS is how you go about getting your attitudes about the world (i.e. who you are influenced by family, religion, school, etc.). There is no doubt that some kids are influenced by professors at college, but they are also influenced by a lot of things (i.e. the party scene). What I am saying is that DH proposes that students are being indoctrinated like mindless automotons who have no ability to think. Rather, as DC points out, the vast majority of students are smart, have sharp opinions, and the like. It is our job to hone those opinions and provide other ideas. Not to change their minds, per se, but to provide other perspectives. Something DC does eminently well in her classrooms.

    I would speak about the Iraq stuff but I have to go.

  33. Don, don’t tell people to relax when they are winning an argument. K. had a lot of evidence, which is not a sign of her being stressed.

    BTW I just came from my speechwriting and criticism class where:
    –one student heading for seminary gave the most excellent “commencement address” about Jesus; I asked him if he needed a letter of recommendation;
    –I urged another student, my most conservative, to critique the ideology of communism in his next paper if he is uncomfortable criticizing capitalism (his last paper was remarkably good);
    –I announced that I am the speaker for UT’s “Lavender Graduation” (glbtq ceremony) after one of my students gave a mock commencement address in that setting;
    –I involved all of my students in discussion.

    Seeing seems to be the only thing that will get you believing. I invite you, again, to visit.

  34. Don, I certainly admit to expressing my displeasure with your arguments, though throughout our debates I have emphasized evidence over hearsay, opinion, innuendo, and name-calling.

    You, however, have engaged in and endorsed baseless personal attacks, maligning my wife’s character and impugning her professionalism and ethics. You have claimed that she is a crazy, vicious, violent, brainwashing wimp who kisses up to dictators. The only support you have presented for your claims are 1) that she and others raised their voices, and 2) DH’s version of events, which you seem to have accepted uncritically without any fact-checking. Our political activity, engaged in outside the classroom, is not evidence for anything you’ve said about her (or me, for that matter).

    All you can say in fact from this exchange is that we are socialists and you disagree with our politics. (There’s plenty of evidence for that.)

    Perhaps you would be so civil as to apologize for your baseless and ad hominem attacks. If not, you even lack evidence for your claim to mean no harm.

  35. Dana,

    I sensed that K slipped a cog last night, and I was trying to be helpful. There were a lot of signs of “losing it” in there, as in, mental illness. Thus, my response was out of care and concern for her as an individual, that’s all. That you presume rhetorical gamesmanship on my part, only reflects poorly on you, not me. And that you want to argue that she was “winning,” well, what can I say, except that it doesn’t give me confidence that anything else you say is an accurate depiction of reality.

    Jason,

    1) O.k.., apparently I forgot about your earlier post.

    2) Re: anecdotes, do you mean, similar to the ones Dana just listed? 🙂 Regardless, I don’t think DH’s books are intended to build a case which would stand up in a court of law 🙂 . Outside the courtroom, we’re free to weigh and assign value to anecdotes and evidence any way we see fit, for better or worse. E.g., O.J. Simpson was not found guilty (and the “glove” evidence played a part in that) but does anyone really think he was innocent of the crime? And defense attorneys, I’m sad to say, are not known for defending truth and justice, but rather for helping criminals avoid prosecution. But anyway, if I really wanted to get into this, then I’d read DH’s books (I haven’t) and read through the evidence you cite, and any counterpoints DH and DC have to offer. And there’s good reason to do that. But I just don’t have time for it. The economy has hit me hard, and I must put my greatest efforts into earning a living. And on top of that, I do want to keep up with everything else going on. So, I doubt it will ‘happen’.

    3) Reading between the lines, are you a professor at UT? Anyway, nothing you wrote synchronizes with experiences I’ve had, first hand, with countless college students. Or of my own college years, back when I was fresh out of high school. For instance, I recall an English 200 prof, a “hippie” type, whom I was particularly impressed with. He seemed really deep, caring, kind, and insightful. We read books that were very emotionally moving, and seemed to care about the plight of the downtrodden and marginalized. He was a gentle and nice guy, and one would be hard-pressed to find fault with what he taught. But in hindsight, the course was a total waste, and an exercise in narcissism, which sent me down a path which took years to recover from. The imagery put in the students was not an accurate depiction of reality, regardless how vivid, intense, and caring it seemed at the time. And it was impossible for me to know that at the time, because I had no experience with the real world — I went straight from high school to college. How could I know? But after many years of living within that mindset, it became apparent that I was out of touch with how things really are, which out in the real world, is rough and messy, for *everyone*. But again, had no way of knowing that when I was 20. And if anything, I see LESS objectivity and critical thinking skills in most of the younger generation of today, not more. Say something un-PC in front of a kid today, and they jump all over you in full Hitler Youth-style fashion, not engage you in an thoughtful discussion on the matter (which as you can guess, I’m fully prepared to do). And yes, that includes college students and recent graduates, and so, I have every reason to believe voices like DH, who warn of our schools, universities included, being more PC training and indoctrination camps, than they are places to explore ideas in an unbiased environment. The mindset of these kids is so closed and self-assured, I simply can’t even start a conversation, much less get past a few lines of standard-brand rhetoric they’ve learned. And I’ve attended classes and lectures at UCLA and USC in recent years, and it’s truly like a different world in there.

    I’d like to add, that if you have all of this evidence available to discredit DH’s claims, then why is it that when Dana had an opportunity to pose just one question to him, in person, in front of an audience, all she had to say is (basically) “they can think for themselves”? That’s not an argument that his claims are untrue. Taking mental note of such things mean more to me than anything else. I also took note of Dana’s official response to the WSJ article, which likewise wasn’t very impressive.

    I’ve watched a few of DH’s campus lectures, and in general, I think they have a lot of really good points made in them. But I’ll admit that the Q&A periods usually aren’t very good, as he does tend to launch off onto rants, which have little to do with the question asked. The end result is a mess, as the wild and shouting Left is a much bigger mess. Put two messes together and the mess grows exponentially.

    One of DH’s contentions is that the Left doesn’t care about the free speech of those they disagree with. There have been comments made in this discussion which reinforce that contention. It seems that at least some of you believe that once you’ve made your mind up that you don’t like what someone has to say, then you can take it upon yourself to silence that person. Cuz after all, you’re right and they’re wrong. So face up to that. If you believe yourself to be the final arbiter of what “speech” is allowable, then you are the “fascists” DH accuses you of.

  36. It is the epitome of gamespersonship to claim that someone who is arguing hard with you has “slipped a cog.” Given the strength of evidence K. was presenting, attributions of mental illness seem to have been an easy way to discredit the source.

    Argue if you like, but we don’t need to you take care of us. That’s just plain condescending.

    The debate has become rather circular. We have provided evidence of the misleading character of Bush administration rhetoric on Iraq; I have provided detail on what happens in my classroom; I have invited you to visit my courses; We have provided a rationale for our protest. There is really nothing else to be said. If you’re ever in Austin, email me and I can tell you when my classes meet.

    dc

  37. Don, you write: “Say something un-PC in front of a kid today, and they jump all over you in full Hitler Youth-style fashion, not engage you in an thoughtful discussion on the matter (which as you can guess, I’m fully prepared to do).”

    Could you stop preparing and actually do so? Because so far it’s just been insults and unsubstantiated claims.

    Indeed, students are still learning to form their arguments and – like you – some will occasionally go off without mustering all of their facts. But you, as an adult, should be able to defend yourself in a debate beyond casting your interlocutor as a nazi. (Dare I remind you again that doing so is not really a counterargument, and even less the sort of thoughtful discussion you are prepared to engage in?)

    So, let me get all of this sorted: You seem to be saying 1) that people who disagree with you are Hitler-Youth-like, while you are a paragon (or at least prepared to be one) of thoughful discussion; 2) that those who argue vigorously with you are mentally ill; 3) that disagreeing with you amounts to not caring about free speech; 4) that continuing to argue is an attempt to silence you.

    Again, which comments reinforce our ostensible lack of concern for free speech? Where has anyone told you to be silent?

    Yes, we do think you’re wrong. And we have argued in good faith. I, for one, have insulted only your arguments, while you try to get by on insulting our character.

    Your evidence is shoddy (where you present any), your manner is spiteful, and your tactics are insult and distraction. DH would be proud to have such a disciple.

  38. Don,

    1) I am not a prof at UT, nor have I ever been a student of DCs. I know and respect DC and K and their work in communication studies. As I noted before, I don’t necessarily agree with all of her political views (although I am sure there is much we would find common ground on, just as you and I would probably find a good chunk on common ground). However, she is a scholar of the highest caliber and I know that her personal activism is seperate from her pedagogy. Does that mean she leaves all her biases behind? Of course not? No one ever does? But I do know that she runs a fair classroom.

    2) Regarding DH and a court of law. Well, you are right DH is not meant to win in a court of law (although his writings are meant to influence policy, a la his campus bill of rights). However, his books are meant to persuade. His talks and evidence are meant to persuade. His evidence, however, has enough holes in it to make swiss cheese for a thousand sandwiches (ooh a grilled swiss cheese sandwich). DH’s work is meant to discredit these “leftist” professors and to push his agenda. Part of that agenda is his evidence of this indoctrination. Frankly, after reading his books and looking at the evidence his claims don’t hold up.

    3) In terms of political socialization. Well, there is a difference between true critical thinking and political socialization. PS is where you get your attitudes from, your belief system. That doesn’t make you a critical thinker. My argument was above was that students are not being indoctrinated as easily as DH would propose they are. When it comes to things that are presented within the classroom, there will be some students who will read something and it will change their world. There will be students will slugs (that doesn’t mean they have political beliefs…it just means they maybe apathetic, non-caring, etc.) And then there will be students who may oppose those readings and provide outlandish and thoughtful opinions about them. In DCs classes all of those opinions come about and in my classes I push students to challenge their own political beliefs, not to persuade them to my side, but to get them to reflect on them, find out where they are and hone them further, even if it means further reinforcing beliefs I disagree with. My experience with students is that, in terms, of their attitudes and beliefs concerning politics that they have already formed a good chunk of them. Thus, DHs indoctrination thesis doesn’t hold water.

    4) In terms of DHs argument that the left doesn’t care about the free speech that is against it and that some of the comments here represent that. In terms of DHs argument I think that his experience has colored his judgment (perhaps both sides have their judgments colored). For one, he paints with a broad brush when talking about the left. He lumps them all together and throws it out there without hard evidence. More importantly to this context is this debate that is going on between you, DC, K, and I guess now myself. I, first, would ask you what specific “comments” help you to reinforce that position? Is the arguments battered back and forth between us? Is it the ad hominems? What is it? If it is the claims…well, then I think you are in left field (pardon the pun). The claims you make, which DC and K have argued, as well as I have, are short on evidence (as much evidence as one can put up in a blog…but specific examples can suffice). Those claims, IMHO, should be countered. And you should counter the other arguments. That is the whole purpose of debate. If you feel that makes the left intolerant of “free speech” well so be it. I think it is a good old fashioned matching of wits and that is always healthy. If not, I would like some specificity as to what “comments” you feel made by DC, K, or myself have reinforced DHs contention.

  39. DC wrote (the next three paragraphs):
    “Third, I hear the argument from all quarters that even witch-hunters like Horowitz deserve their say and that they should be allowed to speak respectfully and uninterrupted. However, if one acknowledges that the man is a witch-hunter, giving him a platform is akin to aiding and abetting his program of imposed orthodoxy and the purging of radicals from the academy.”

    “We will not leave the new McCarthys to speak in peace”

    “One claim you’ve got right is that we’re intolerant. We’re intolerant of witch hunters, personal attacks,…”

    Can we conservatives do that too, but according to OUR standards of what is good, healthy, and decent? And if so, will you defend it in the same manner as good and healthy behavior for the halls of academia, when a liberal speaker visits whom we find morally repugnant and unworthy of a stage to promote his ideas? Or do you only think it’s a good thing to do when you personally agree with it?

    And again, if you’re so courageous of speaking out against really, really bad people like DH, why were campus leftists so respectful and courteous of Ahmadinejad when he came to give a talk?

    Anyway, I’ll leave this zoo now, and others can decide who’s arguments are more on-track, reasonable, thoughtful, accurately interpret what the other person said, made the best points, etc.

  40. The votes are in:

    The Reason and Patience Award goes to Jason;

    The Whipping-Boy Award goes to Dana;

    K., unfortunately, takes home the Snarky Award;

    The award for Evidence in Argument was a three-way tie among the above contestants; and

    The Horowitz “If-You-Can’t-Beat-Em-Smear-Em” Award is taken by none other than Don Decency Truth-Johnson.

    Congratulations to all.

  41. Wow, I am honored. Do I get a plaque? A gift certificate to Waffle House? Or just your kind words?

    Hope you are are all and I do mean all, well.

  42. Jason Writes:
    “In terms of DHs argument that the left doesn’t care about the free speech … More importantly to this context is this debate that is going on between you, DC, K, and I guess now myself. I, first, would ask you what specific “comments” help you to reinforce that position?”

    K Writes:
    “Again, which comments reinforce our ostensible lack of concern for free speech? ”

    Then I quote Dana, saying (paraphrased) that DH doesn’t deserve a platform on which to speak, and will do what she can to disrupt any attempts on his part to do so.

    To which, the Lefties respond, “yippe, we win!”

    O.k. As I was saying, the university has become a mad house. A big playground for perpetual children. And worse, they demand to be paid for it by the rest of us (via taxes, and in the name of “academic freedom”).

    I was going to walk away from this, as there are a LOT of other things that are a LOT more important. But this toxic waste dump of loons can’t be ignored, or it will grow and get worse. And so, time to read The Professors, and see if I can assist DH and others in their efforts. I recommend the same to others.

  43. Don,

    I don’t have a problem with DH having a forum. He can have the well of the Senate. But if he is going to have a forum then, at least for me, his research shouldn’t be shoddy.

    I never said “yippe we win.” All I have tried to do from the beginning is engage your arguments. If you make claims, you should back it up with evidence, plain and simple (not saying that you haven’t for some of your stuff). However, your defense of DH (without having been informed of his actual work) makes your claims, IMO, suspect and should be challenged.

    In terms of the university. Well, you can call it a mad house all you want. However, kids aren’t walking around like stepford children and trying to destroy the world at the behest of liberal professors. That’s plain paranoia. And you don’t seem to get what the university has always been (for the last 2500 years) it has not only been a place of education, but it has been a place of debate, of challenge, of pushing people beyond their limits. My job is not spit information to my students and see here is how the world works now deal. My job is to prevent many aspects of the world, provide them with knowledge, vocabulary, critical skills, and the like to deal with that world. Some of my students would prefer that I merely tell them what they need to know and be done. Well, that isn’t what i do. I will never do that b/c that isn’t education. I am one of those idealistic types that still believes one should go to university to become as, Isocrates put it (a greek philosopher and teacher of rhetoric, “citizen orators.” My job is to help students to be better civic minded people whether they are cons, libs, apathetic or not. If that means I introduce students to topics that challenge their thinking and make them uncomfortable so be it. The university shouldn’t be run like a business. It should be a bastion of knowledge for all to come. I think DH has his place and I have mine. I think all views are welcome (that is just me) but those that have those views better be prepared to be challenged b/c if they can’t make a simple argument in a classroom or on the street or in a blog or facebook or texting, whatever, then they are worse for ware and at a huge disadvantage. If that makes one of the “loons” who are running the asylum, well call me a mallard b/c i won’t back down from that for anyone. Just as I want you to continue to verbally spar with me, with DC, and K. Ultimately, it makes the world a better place, at least IMHO.

  44. Jason,

    You sound very pleasant, but a closer analysis of your words doesn’t pan out.

    1) “Yippie we win” is my summary of the response (which you piled-on to) not a quote from you (or anyone else) and you know it. Thus, responding with “I didn’t say that,” was stupid.

    2) You wrote “I don’t have a problem with DH having a forum. He can have the well of the Senate.” Well goodie for you. But yet, I don’t see you saying ANYTHING to your fellow Leftist, DC, who obviously doesn’t hold such an opinion. Your silence tells me all I need to know. On the other hand, if I saw you telling DC that she was wrong to do what she did, and she should back off, and you agree with DH on the matter of free speech, then you’d have credibility here. You don’t.

    3. You wrote: “However, your defense of DH (without having been informed of his actual work) makes your claims, IMO, suspect and should be challenged.” Huh? What “claims” have I made about DH? And “suspect” of what? But speaking of “claims” you have inferred that you know DC VERY well, and could speak very confidently about her. How is that? You’ve never explained your relationship to her, or how you have such deep knowledge of how her classroom operates. You’ve stated that you’re a professor, but not at UT. And you’ve not been a student of hers. So where does this deep and confident knowledge come from? Regardless, there have been countless points made throughout this discussion, from all sides, which have not been responded to, yourself included. Speaking for myself, I skip over some issues simply because there’s just too much to respond to, particularly with it being 3 against 1. But also because I find some points to be insignificant and/or a diversionary tactic. And again, you, K, and Dana have likewise not responded to many points. So ALL of you are just playing disingenuous word games, hoping to “win!”, not seek the truth, by playing this “card”. And that includes you, Jason.

    4. Re: the university, thanks for presuming I’m not as open-minded about exploring ideas as you. It’s one thing to be open-minded, and explore new ideas and from new perspectives. I know, I do it all the time. I’m unusual that way, in that my whole life, I’ve re-thought far more than most. ***THAT*** is why I have the opinions I do! Pursuing academic excellence doesn’t mean “anything goes”. Academic excellence means being SHARP. Clear-minded. Consistent. Extremely disciplined of the mind. And that is why I have little tolerance for things which I think interfere with it. Screaming and name-calling is counter-productive to explorations of the Truth, and I doubt Socrates would approve. What’s more, I find it self-evident that a university should have minimum standards for its professors, and what they teach. And no, that doesn’t just include “academic credentials”. It should include things such as loyalty to this nation, its principles, and its people, particularly if the university is publicly funded. That is a basic presumption, and is why we pay for it with public funds — we believe it’s making a better America. If a professor is hostile to America, then that’s his right, but we damn well don’t want to pay him for it, nor send our kids to get filled with his ideas. I provide that as an example, of how, yes, I do indeed think there must be outer boundaries of what is acceptable in a professor, not just “PhD” attached to his name. If that’s too limiting, then he can study on his own dime, or do it in a different country. It won’t be a loss for us. Quite the contrary.

  45. Wow. Here we go again.

    To say that Horowitz doesn’t deserve a platform does *not* mean that he should be prevented from speaking by the administration or any other authority. What it does mean is that what he has on offer is not worthy of a hearing (for its lack of real evidence, for the damage it can do). That’s quite different from saying he should have his right to speak legally restricted.

    Also, Dana said that he has no right to speak *unopposed*. That means that if he appears in public he should expect protest from those whom his campaign affects. Free speech for free speech. Check the first amendment; it frees us from governmental restriction, not from the free speech – e.g., protest – of others.

    As for your claims:
    1) You write that the university is “a mad house. A big playground for perpetual children,” and “a toxic waste dump for loons.”
    2) You call a debate that you have failed to win a “zoo.”
    3) You call Jason’s argument “stupid,” and you seek to undermine his credibility by stating that he has not clarified his relationship to Dana. (You are aware that she has published in our field, aren’t you? And that scholars do talk to each other about professors, classes, and the like.)

    As with most of your contributions it’s more smears, no substance. It’s especially low of you to malign Jason, who has been far more patient with you than I have.

    Really, Don, if you had taken any of our classes you would have learned how to argue from evidence, rather than from its absence.

    On unanswered claims: Bring your points up again to which we have not responded, and we will oblige. Particularly if you have anything other than your opinion, hearsay, or puerile insults upon which to base the claims you make.

    On protest: Dana and I have stated over and over again that protest is not censorship. Nor is it violence. Nor does it violate the first amendment. Nor is it, in this instance and many others, illegal. Nor is it intended to be a polite debate. It is designed to be a show of opposition (which is kind of implied by it being called ‘protest’, rather than ‘discussion.’)

    As for Socrates, he was pretty cheeky in argument, often dismissive, and occasionally a name-caller. Granted, he may not have been much of a yeller, but he sure would use his logical means of argument as license to poke his interlocutor in the ribs, so to speak.

    I’d like to think he’d find our discussion entertaining, though I doubt he’d approve of your reliance on jabs alone without the support at least of reason.

    And back to your commitment to democracy: It comes around again that you are no friend to free speech, or at least not for scholars with whose politics you disagree. You would prevent the free flow of ideas from all over the political spectrum at our public universities by restricting employment to only those scholars whose perspectives you like.

    That would make it so that only those students (fewer and fewer) who can afford private schools would have access to different ideas – even un-american ideas. Public universities are where democratic practice should be most on display, not least, since private schools are allowed to set their own rules, regardless of public practice. Besides, according to your argument you can send your kid to private school if you want to shelter her or his defenseless mind from the sinister, yet democratically guaranteed, free flow of ideas.

    So, did you actually mean to say that the marketplace of ideas is intended only for those who can afford to buy from it? Or only for those who agree with you? Perhaps in your ideal America, Don.

  46. K,

    Don wins!

    Thank you. 🙂

    P.S., “K” why did you attempt to publicize my last name, when I have not provided it?

    P.S.2, Our dialog is over, and I’m not wasting my time and effort reading what you wrote. You are one creepy, sick-o little puppy.

  47. Sorry about the name – I got you confused with someone on the WSJ forum who was maligning my spouse after the DH article. My apologies, Don Decency Truth-[Other-Last Name].

  48. But you see, not EVERYONE agrees with you, so you can’t just shout over someone who people came to see speak. That’s disturbing the peace. And you still live in a free country. As a Communist, it’s obvious you don’t want to allow anyone else’s opinion. Communist kill dissenters, so I don’t understand your anger over him saying you were trying to silence his freedom of speech.

  49. 1) Your “yippie we win” is another broadbrush distortion that you want to lump all “leftists” together. If you note my posts throughout, I have engaged you on specific issues. Those issues, in particular, DH v. DC and their right to speak, the place of the university, side issues as to Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan, my knowledge and “defense” of DC, and the credentials of professors (I am sure there are other ones, but those are what I see are most pertinent to the discussion.

    2) I don’t need to say anything to my fellow leftist. If Dana wants to protest the way she does, so be it that is her right. I personally prefer a more toned down debate, not as confrontational. However, I am not going to impose myself on her and tell her that she is wrong. She is doing what she believes in. That is what she should so. What I do is different. I work within the system in a variety of ways. This “either/or” fallacious argument of yours is b/s. Because it is argument fallacy (I must speak up or if I don’t then I automatically side with her). My silence on this issue has to do with her DCs ability to tackle the problem how she wants it. I don’t believe in uniformity for everything. I believe in a plurality of ways making your point. DC has hers and I have mind and we are not of the same mind on the subject.

    3) You have admitted to not reading any of DHs books, but you make arguments that the university has become a basic indoctrination center (a DH claim that you buy into); moreover, you buy into the idea that these professors that DH has named, DC, in particular are dangerous….even though his evidence is shoddy. When you try to point out that his overall theses might still be sound, even with shoddy evidence. That is a claim in support of DHs work.

    In terms of DC. Well, I know Dana, we have talked at conferences. I know many of her colleagues. I have read her scholarly work both inside and outside the classroom, and I know her students, along with the lessons that she teaches. Thus, i have an informed claim about DC and her pedagogy v. activism.

    In terms of issues that I haven’t covered…well I have mentioned what issues I have been arguing throughout. I don’t cover all of the things talked about by K or DC (some of them I just don’t comment on b/c of space). However, if I am missing arguments, please make them directly toward me and I am more than happy to respond.

    4) You seem like a pleasant person, Don. You and I appear to have similar goals for a university, in that we want our students to be “sharp.” Obviously, we have a disagreement about how we get there. And here is where you lost me completely. To argue that you feel it is “self-evident” that we should have standards in a university such as loyalty to this nation, its values, its principles is: 1) extremely dangerous b/c how do you decide what those values are. Is DC advocacy of socialism disloyalty? Does her questioning of DH amount of going against American values? My problem is that you want to dictate to universities what those ideas are. But, as I noted, universities that have been “tax payer funded” and paid for by city-states, countries, and America, have been a place where you probably woudln’t like them b/c they encouraged dissent, protest, etc. That is why I believe I don’t think you have an understanding of what a university has traditionally been and should be.

    The implication of your argument is that you want me and colleagues to teach a certain set of values, principles, and the like, along with classes that meet our academic credentials. Sorry, I won’t do that. I will teach my students all of the good and bad that is with America and with the world. My job is to help them understand and explore a variety of ideas, even if that makes them uncomfortable. Even if it goes against, what you may consider “loyalty to the nation? To do otherwise is to create stepford children who have the depth of thought of a jellyfish.

    What this comes down to is your vision of what America is and what a university should do vs. what I or DC or k (who are different with respect to me) believe it is.

    I would like to hear more specifically, what your vision of America is and what we should and shouldn’t say in the classroom.

    And if there is a claim you want me to answer specifically, please just ask me. I am more than happy to answer. Although I suspect you might not come back b/c I actually think, at least for me, this is a productive discussion.

  50. Pub, if protesters were disturbing the peace, they would have been arrested. There were plenty of police on hand at the DH event, and they warned the activists of the possibility of arrest should things have gotten out of hand. However, they determined that the protesters were acting lawfully.

    Throughout, all you and Don have been able to argue with any success is that the protesters were rude. You have yet to prove that there was any first amendment violation on their part – chiefly because there was not.

    You have also yet to back up your claim that we, as socialists, are opponents of free speech and dissent. We would be happy to discuss what our politics actually are, and you could learn that our politics have nothing to do with Stalinism, the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, North Korea and the like. Accuse us all you like of dictatorial ambitions, but let’s make it very, very clear that you have no basis for doing so.

    Speaking of dictatorial ambitions vs. democracy, Don has shown that he would restrict the free flow of ideas, while we are arguing against such restrictions. You cannot rightfully claim a commitment to democracy while advocating the removal from our public universities those scholars who disagree with your perspective.

    On the violent suppression of dissent: The United States’ hands are far from clean. For example, in 1884 the government hanged August Spies, Albert Parsons, Adolf Fischer, and George Engel after falsely convicting them of terrorism. These men were targeted because they were anarchists, free-speech advocates, and union organizers (as prosecutors presented “evidence” no demonstration of any crime other than their political leanings. They and three other defendants were pardoned in 1893 after being found innocent.

    In 1914 the National Guard in Colorado burned down a tent city of striking miners and their families during the Ludlow Massacre, killing 20, including 11 children.

    Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, hundreds of union organizers and strikers were killed by police all across the country. These were people who only wanted safe workplaces, fair wages, hours and working conditions.

    In 1970 four students at Kent State University were shot by the National Guard during a peaceful protest against the Vietnam War.

    In 1985 the FBI bombed a building that housed black activists from the MOVE organization, killing six adults and five children. It was later determined in a civil suit that the bombing was unjustified.

    These instances are only a few. Yet they should be enough to call into question the claim that US democracy doesn’t violently suppress dissent.

    And before you claim that those killed by Pol Pot, Stalin and other dictators is somehow related to our vision of how the world should be, I challenge you to look up the politics of the International Socialist Organization and find even one instance of support for those regimes. Visit http://socialistworker.org (the section entitled “About Us”).

  51. J:
    1) “Your ‘yippie we win’ is another broadbrush distortion that you want to lump all “leftists” together.”

    Really, Jason? I thought it only applied to the three Leftist participants here. You like documentation, so provide it in support of your assertion, or accept that your “claims” are unsubstantiated, unsupported, suspicious, weak, and blah blah blah. Another stupid comment, reinforcing the idea that this is an utter waste of time and effort. And you “professors” are lost in a gooey mess of your own minds and self-indulgence. Get out and try earning a living for a change.

    J:
    “If you note my posts throughout, I have engaged you on specific issues.”

    You’ve done fairly well, but you have dodged some of my points, as I recall. And the previous one was particularly telling. For the bazillionth time, you challenged me. I responded. You then accepted your “award” from “K” and didn’t respond to me. So, you lose the award you so gleefully accepted.

    J:
    “2) I don’t need to say anything to my fellow leftist. If Dana wants to protest the way she does, so be it that is her right. I personally prefer a more toned down debate, not as confrontational”

    Then you are irrelevant to this discussion, in the same way that “moderate” Muslims are irrelevant to the worldwide problem of murderous and fascistic Muslims, who likewise say “I personally don’t agree with that, but I don’t do it” and then go about their business, as if millions of Muslims being viciously cruel and intolerant of others, in the name of Islam, is something they don’t need to speak out against.

    And do you have that same attitude about all other people and groups? That is, do you judge groups based on their most vocal proponents, or do you ignore the voices of the most active activists, declaring that they only represent themselves, and no one else? Somehow, I suspect that what you’re “selling” here is not what you sell elsewhere.

    If anyone wants his group to have moral credibility, then he must criticize members of his own group. For instance, let’s say that a nutjob Christian blows up an abortion clinic, in the name of Christ. If no Christian comes forward to condemn such actions, then does that not reflect poorly on Christians as a whole? You bet it does. (as it happens, most all Christians condemn such actions, loud and clear, no exquisite word games or non-apology apologies).

    J:
    “However, I am not going to impose myself on her and tell her that she is wrong. She is doing what she believes in.”

    Well now there’s some moral backbone hard at work (sarcasm intended). And if I read nothing else from you, that’s enough to tell me what I need to know. And it’s hogwash. DH is doing “what he believes in” but you have no problem whatsoever trying to impose yourself on him. You’re full of BS, Jason. And a world without ANY judgment calls, is a world of chaos. Maybe that’s what you want.

    J:
    “My silence on this issue has to do with her DCs ability to tackle the problem how she wants it. I don’t believe in uniformity for everything. I believe in a plurality of ways making your point. DC has hers and I have mind and we are not of the same mind on the subject.”

    What a heapin’, steamin’ gigantic pile of BS. Allow me to translate: As long as you agree with the person, then she or he can do anything. If you disagree, then prepare for the anal-exam detailed scrutiny of every last word and action. Excuse me as I go vomit.

    J:
    “3) You have admitted to not reading any of DHs books, but you make arguments that the university has become a basic indoctrination center”

    That is correct, Mr. Genius Professor guy with the attorney wife. Would you like to ask your attorney wife to provide you with all of the gigantic holes in the case you’re trying to make? You’ve claimed the DH’s claims are filled with holes, and yet you make a point such as this? I’ll give you a hint, Genius Guy: I actually have a life outside of DH’s books. I actually have seen, heard, and learned things, elsewhere. I know that’s a pretty wild and exotic concept, but try to wrap your gigantic brain around it.

    J:
    “you buy into the idea that these professors that DH has named, DC, in particular are dangerous….even though his evidence is shoddy.”

    I do believe that, but not because of anything written in the book. It’s because I’ve seen Leftists in action, and what DH said in the video, and the WSJ article, and needing security to be able to speak at the university, and the campus administration needing to threaten the Lefties in order to get them to back off, is completely believable, nor has it been challenged by DC or her supporters. And in this comment area alone, “K” displays some psycho-like behavior, and attempts to reveal my last name. I’ve also known other lefties, who likewise justify vandalism and violence, against those they perceive as bad (even if it’s something random, like “capitalism” or “the rich”). Oh, and last year, here in California, there was vote on same-sex marriage. Homes which displayed “Yes On 8” (in support of marriage as it’s always been understood) were frequently vandalized. There was nothing comparable for homes decorated with “No On 8”. And that’s just getting warmed-up, jack. Face it: You use and abuse rhetoric, to support your agenda, not seek the truth.

    J:
    “4) You seem like a pleasant person, Don. You and I appear to have similar goals for a university, in that we want our students to be “sharp.” Obviously, we have a disagreement about how we get there. And here is where you lost me completely. To argue that you feel it is “self-evident” that we should have standards in a university such as loyalty to this nation, its values, its principles is: 1) extremely dangerous b/c how do you decide what those values are.”

    Thanks, and I am, when I’m not tangling with others in heated debates.

    But, ooh, “extremely dangerous”? Not even just “dangerous” but “extremely”? Get a life, Jason. Get out more. This displays that you have no concept, or appreciation, for America. If you did, then you’d want to protect it. Anything goes, protects nothing.

    A problem you modern-day brainiacs get all tangled up with, is that unless something is defined with air-tight, computer-like logic, then you just can’t deal with it. No doubt, that’s what has fostered intellectuals being “so open minded, their brains fall out”. Being smart and inquisitive doesn’t mean you cease being human, or cease having subjective judgement calls. Quite the contrary, and I’ll argue that people in the university, who’s opinions are not tempered by gritty-reality life outside the university, sail off into la-la land of weirdness. You need both. Academics alone, can lead to absurdity. No academics, can lead to a lot of stupidity and cruelty. You academics need to view yourselves as servants of the Common Man, not some high priests of culture. Academics are NOT the center of life, they’re just one part of it. A tool. A means to an ends, not an ends unto themselves. A vehicle for seeking truth, but not truth unto themselves. Case-in-point, “global warming”. Mark my words, ten years from now this will be shown to be bunk. And yet, we have a majority of PhDs, in the PHYSICAL sciences, pushing it. Supposedly, the physical sciences are immune to social pressure to conform, relying instead on the scientific method. And yet, here we have scientists being pressured and swayed to give the ‘right’ answers, and they’re doing it. So, one can only imagine how such social mind games play out in other academic areas, where there are far fewer “reality-checks” and are more easily played around with, to produce the socially-accepted PC answers of the day.

    J:
    ” Is DC advocacy of socialism disloyalty? Does her questioning of DH amount of going against American values? ”

    Advocating socialism against America? I’m not sure, but it could be considered that.

    Questioning DH against American values? Don’t be stupid, or ask such stupid questions. You know full well that NO ONE here is opposed to “questioning”. Comments such as this bely your pretensions of being non-judgmental, and seeking open and honest dialog between different parties.

    J:
    ” My problem is that you want to dictate to universities what those ideas are.”

    No, but my problem is that you’re not what you present yourself as. Quote me with anything where I even suggested that i “want to dictate to universities” what their ideas are. I provided an “example” and specifically stated as such. Jason, as I’ve stated earlier, I fully recognize the risk of being too restricting (in all areas of life, not just the one instance of which professors are suitable for the university). But you and others like you don’t seem to have any concept of the risks on the other end of the spectrum: Of being so open, your brains fall out, and the university ends up being populated by a bunch of nutballs, and others who are hostile to American values. Once more, I recognize the risk on my end. It’s you who doesn’t recognize the risk on your end. In real life, we HAVE to make judgement calls for what is good, healthy, and decent. If we don’t do that, then chaos and confusion ensues. We can make 100,000 laws, attempting to define social perfection, but in the end, it won’t make a better world, unless we make subjective, qualitative judgment calls about good-bad, better-worse, smart-stupid, healthy-unhealthy, etc. That’s life in the big city. The university seems to think it’s immune to such things. They aren’t, and the people out here, who don’t know what goes on in the hallowed halls of academia, are getting wind of it, and are getting nauseated. And then when you demand that we give you money that we’ve worked for (via taxes) the blood rises to the boiling point, and we’ve had enough of it. Look down your noses at us all you like, but I respect day laborers I know, more than I do many professors. At least the laborers are putting in an honest day’s work, producing something which truly is making America a better place.

    J:
    “The implication of your argument is that you want me and colleagues to teach a certain set of values, principles, and the like:”

    It is not, and you lose yet another point on the clear-thinking scale. I said that there should be boundaries — outer limits — on HOW it is taught. E.g., it’s one thing to teach what socialism is, quite another to “sell” it. It’s one thing to identify flaws in America, quite another to dump on America endlessly, from a person who, ultimately, hates it.

    J:
    “To do otherwise is to create stepford children who have the depth of thought of a jellyfish”

    As I just described, that’s not so. But to give another example, let’s compare someone doing a college course on your wife, talking about who she is, what she’s done, what she stands for, etc.. As you can imagine, the content of that course could span quite a wide spectrum, from, let’s say, how you might teach it, to how one of her courtroom opponents, who hates her (but has access to comprehensive data on her life) and wants to tear her down, might conduct it. If ultimately We like your wife (I’m trying to continue the analogy here…) and want her to stay strong and successful, but at the same time, recognizing her flaws, then we won’t want the Jason Wife-hater teaching the course. Is that overly-limiting? No. Again, one can analyze and discuss things, while at the same time recognizing that we have a good thing here, and we want to preserve it. We identify flaws, but the goal is to build it up better, not tear it down or completely rebuild it into something different. If someone wants something totally different, then they don’t belong here.

  52. Dana,

    Thanks for clarifying that bombing an abortion clinic is not like protesting a speech. I didn’t know that (sarcasm intended). The point was (and I quote): “If anyone wants his group to have moral credibility, then he must criticize members of his own group.” And no, I would not limit that to the use of explosives 🙂

    And previously I’m accused of not responding to points (although I have no idea what those points they are). Now, after responding to Jason point-by-point, leaving nothing out, I’m asked “don’t you have something better to do?” ROFL.

  53. Don:
    “And in this comment area alone, “K” displays some psycho-like behavior, and attempts to reveal my last name.”

    I already (and graciously) apologized for the accidental confusion of you with some other Don (who posted his name as Johnson) on the WSJ forum who was maligning my wife. So quit bellyaching, already. You’ve got my last name, so what’s to worry? And if you need the first one, it’s Kathleen.

    Another interesting claim you make: “I’ll argue that people in the university, who’s opinions are not tempered by gritty-reality life outside the university, sail off into la-la land of weirdness.”

    That’s quite an assumption, particularly as you have no idea what our backgrounds are, what other jobs we’ve had. You also don’t seem to understand that the university shares a reality with the rest of the world. It is our workplace, not some monastery at the top of a mountain. Though I suppose it could be flattering that you think we’re magical creatures in a magical place imbued with mind control powers. (Of course, if that were true we wouldn’t have to bother arguing with the likes of you, because you would have already succumbed to the brainwashing effects of your matriculation.)

    You write: “Quote me with anything where I even suggested that i “want to dictate to universities” what their ideas are. ”

    Okay. Post #46, where you write: “I find it self-evident that a university should have minimum standards for its professors, and what they teach. And no, that doesn’t just include “academic credentials”. It should include things such as loyalty to this nation, its principles, and its people, particularly if the university is publicly funded. That is a basic presumption, and is why we pay for it with public funds — we believe it’s making a better America. If a professor is hostile to America, then that’s his right, but we damn well don’t want to pay him for it, nor send our kids to get filled with his ideas. I provide that as an example, of how, yes, I do indeed think there must be outer boundaries of what is acceptable in a professor, not just “PhD” attached to his name.”

    You do want to dictate to universities what their ideas are. You want them to be places that either endorse your political perspectives or lose public funding. You don’t seem to realize that it would be completely unconstitutional for a public entity to curtail the free flow of ideas that way. I continue to find it quite odd that you purport to respect democracy, yet you keep promoting restrictions upon its practice. In fact, it seems as if you want to do precisely what you accuse us of. You are advocating censorship, while we are defending our first amendment right to protest.

    You write further: “I said that there should be boundaries — outer limits — on HOW it is taught. E.g., it’s one thing to teach what socialism is, quite another to “sell” it. It’s one thing to identify flaws in America, quite another to dump on America endlessly, from a person who, ultimately, hates it.”

    Again, you seem to have trouble telling the difference between what goes on inside the classroom and what goes on outside. The DH event was outside the classroom – a public forum, where free speech (from DH’s neo-McCarthyite rants to our impolite protest) is unrestricted.

    Let me break it down for you in very simple terms, Don, so you can remember: Teaching with high professional and ethical standards and giving voice to a variety of perspectives is what goes on *inside* the classroom. Public speaking, protest, and the like are what goes on *outside* the classroom.

    Sure, we all bring our perspectives to bear, even when we teach. But we are open about our commitments and have never graded students on anything but their ability to perform the required assignments. For example, Dana already mentioned her evangelical Christian student who gave one of the best speeches she has ever heard a student give. Does his speech correspond with her views? Likely not. Is he going to get an A on his speech? Indeed, because he earned it.

    Would you prefer to have a bunch of closet Bolsheviks lurking about in classrooms, able to grade students politically without anyone knowing it? I’d prefer our scholars to be quite up front about their views, so that I could ponder whether their perspectives are being brought to bear unfairly upon my grades.

    You write: ” If ultimately We like your wife (I’m trying to continue the analogy here…) and want her to stay strong and successful, but at the same time, recognizing her flaws, then we won’t want the Jason Wife-hater teaching the course. Is that overly-limiting? ”

    Actually, yes. It shouldn’t matter whether the instructor likes or dislikes Jason’s wife, as long as s/he makes it clear that there are other perspectives that the students would do well to explore. Even better, s/he can mention that s/he doesn’t like his wife and will be teaching with that perspective in mind, and that that perspective is open to criticism from the students. Again, we don’t assume our students are stupid – and we *do* require that they do research outside the classroom. We call it homework.

    Finally, you write: “Again, one can analyze and discuss things, while at the same time recognizing that we have a good thing here, and we want to preserve it. We identify flaws, but the goal is to build it up better, not tear it down or completely rebuild it into something different. If someone wants something totally different, then they don’t belong here.”

    If I didn’t like the first amendment, I wouldn’t be arguing with you about the need to preserve it. But I won’t settle for just that – I don’t think it’s necessary for people to starve when we produce plenty of food, or go homeless while there are so many empty homes. I want more, not less democracy.

    You, on the other hand, want more institutional – and that means governmental – restrictions on speech and the free flow of ideas. You want people who disagree with the policies and direction of the country to shut up or get out.

    Is that democracy in *your* America, Don?

  54. But wait, come to think of it, that’s an interesting comparison to make.

    Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Dana (or her unbalanced little friend) decided to use explosives as a means of “protest.” Would Jason criticize it and say it was wrong? Or would he say that he personally wouldn’t do such a thing, but Dana is free to “do what she believes in”? And if not, then why not, and what’s the basis for the distinction? (I feel like I’m playing the professor here…).

  55. Whoa, no, wait a minute! This just keeps getting better and better 🙂

    Bill Ayers used explosives as a means of “protest.” How about it, Jason. Here we have a real-world example of a Leftist using explosives as a means of protest. Can you bring yourself to condemn those acts?

    And, whoa, K has defended that Bill Ayers should be a speaker at universities, even though he continues to defend blowing up property, to this day. Whoa.

    Thanks for jogging my thought processes on this, Dana.

    Whoa.

  56. Where do I begin…

    1) Your “yippie we win” is a broadbrush stroke even with the three of us. B/c I have acknowledged that there are differences in opinion between DC and I in terms of politics. And even in terms of the approach of how we debate. DC, K, and I are arguing a similar point about DCs protest and DHs shoddy work. However, that’s about where it stops. If you want to know my personal politics (not that you care). I am not, nor have I even been a socialist. I certainly lean center left in terms of my politics, but this argument isn’t about that it is about DH v. DC, academic freedom, and her quality of protest. Thus, by taking the entire argument structure we have put together and saying “yippie we win”, which you yourself said is your “summary” of everything without acknowledging nuance between all of us is a broadbrush stroke.

    2)Name the issues I have dodged and I will argue them, as I noted in the last post. And the “award” I accepted was, as you know, done in tongue in cheek. C’mon, you know better than that. Throughout this entire debate I haven’t engaged in ad hominems with you. If you want to do that that is fine, but if someone outside of the four of us is viewing us (and I say this to K and DC as well) the credibility of engaging in that kind of debate is piss-poor. So I ask that none of us engage in it.

    3)I am not “irrelevant to this discussion” because I don’t call upon DC to conduct herself in a particular manner in her protest. If you want to live in an either/or, black or white world fine. That isn’t the way the real world works and it certainly isn’t how true debate, discussion, etc. should be conducted.

    In terms of other groups, I don’t paint with broad brush strokes (except for reality TV stars). However, let’s take your analogy…I think that if some Christian nutjob did that then you actually don’t need to say something. However, if it appears there is a pattern, a pattern where a large number of those “nutjobs” are engaging in nefarious behavior, then yes I would stand up. As it stands, there are “leftist” professors around every corner indoctrinating children, causing chaos in the university, and the like. Moreover, when I do protest I do it from within the faculty. I keep it in house and express my dissatisfaction. It doesn’t make headline news, but I do speak up and usually lead depending on that issue.

    In terms of the imposition, my problem with DH, as I have continually pointed out, is not his ability to say what he says or even the actual content of what he says. My contention is the shoddy way he conducts his research, which has led him to his conclusions, and the way he has conducted the issue. DH, to me, doesn’t seem like he is trying to change the university for better. Rather, he is a firebrand for a larger cause. That is fine. Nothing wrong with that. However, when he makes his arguments as public as he does and the evidence he uses is so piss poor that you could drive a mack truck through it, which in turn hurts me b/c people come to think of me, my colleagues (liberal, con, whatever) as doing a shoddy job of teaching, then I have a problem with it. If he had better research, conducted it in a manner that had gone with peer review. Worked with other universities and the like to study the attitudes of professors, etc, then I wouldn’t have as much of a problem with him.

    Additionally, I have made a judgment call. That is not to impose my specific views on DCs manner of protest. You may not like it because it doesn’t exist in that stark world of yours, but it is a judgment call. And judgment calls like that don’t lead to chaos. They lead to understanding, deliberation, negotiation (that is how most issues, not all, but most issues are fixed). And moral credibility to whom? What does that mean and who gets to make those judgments? I ask, for your opinion, in all sincerity. I am not trying to be coy, but want to hear your opinion on the subject and how that is generated.

    Moreover, you can consider my not coming and protesting DCs actions as huge pile of “BS.” But I don’t live in a world with conspiracy on every corner, where everything is black and white. I live in the actual world with nuance, grey, and realizing that most things come from compromise and pragmatic thought not one way or the other.

    3)Your first part is basically non-responsive. You have no evidence regarding DH, the website the we have discussed, as well as others have poked enough holes in his claims about those profs that they show shoddy worksmanship.

    BTW, like you I worked and do work in the real world (I consult for different companies and organizations). I have worked in the corporate world and had other jobs like a detox technician, a farmhand, working in the oil fields of Wyoming and North Dakota, working in a grocery store (not in that order) before I came to a life of academia. I have seen more of the real world than most and I still live in it every day. Hell, the life of a teacher is living in the real world. We have to deal with the same issues that everyone else does. The product I produce is knowledge, just as valuable as someone who creates a new financial product. My product won’t make you rich, but it will provide people with a greater understanding of the world (or at least from a certain perspective) and if you don’t value that, well then I pity the world that you live in.

    Further, well, what you have seen is just that what you have seen and heard. You want to lump all “leftists,” (maybe I would be part of that b/c i am center left) into one big category. To the people that engage in vandalism and property damage, I actively scathe those people, both in public and private forums (I actually was interviewed about it by a local news station last year). However, the people that protest, like DC, where no violence has been committed (police protection comes at a number of protests, including those of the 60s, for and against gay rights and marriage, womens rights, etc…it isn’t lisolated)then those people, in my opinion, have the right to protest all they want. Just as DH has the right to speak his mind. I would hope that they would have a dual forum together, but that was not the case in this instance. Your broadbrush of people, without seeing the difference between a variety of different liberals, leftists, democrats, and conservatives (because there are certainly a variety of types) is something that maybe comfortable to you, but it doesn’t help elevate public discourse. It just creates more noise (and I would include those that commit vandalism and the like…they are nothing but noise as well).

    4) When you call for universities to set limits on the content that professors can teach that engenders loyalty to America, its principles, and its values that is extremely dangerous. B/c you are creating a one-size fits all prescription for how a university operates. And that can’t be the way it should operate. Not in a world that has too many things to understand, too many nunaces, too many shades of gray, too many items to be explored, even if they are uncomfortable. It is dangerous b/c that imposition puts us at a disadvantage in that it doesn’t allow for a full spectrum of ideas to be explored. Democracy is strengthened, not threatened, when all subjects are open to debate. It may be messy, but democracy is messy. It is supposed to be. It isn’t supposed to be. America, as Michael Douglas said in the American president, isn’t easy. It is advanced citizenship. By putting forth boundaries on a university’s mission and what it can explore you put constraints on that advanced citizenship, even when it is subjects that are uncomfortable and maybe get your blood boiling. Not putting constraints on the ideas explored in a university setting is a quintessential American value.

    BTW, what American values? What loyalty are we talking about? That is why that commentary is so dangerous b/c the values that you would come up with and another person would come up with and the like (would most likely be different, although there would be probably overlap). Questions would be like how far can we explore that value? What are its dimensions? What is loyalty to the nation? What are its characteristics and dimensions? Those questions are the very ones we deal with in our political, social, and cultural lives. They have changed overtime and will continue to change (i.e. what constitutes freedom and equality has obviously changed over the years). To put constraints on that denigrates, to an extent, IMO, “American values” whatever that may mean to a variety of people.

    Now that is a larger point, down to more some of your smaller points in #4. 1) You obviously think that academics live in la-la land that we dont’ live in the real world. Perhaps, your experience with the English professor colored your experience. It appears you believe that we don’t make judgment calls and offer qualitative judgments on what is good/bad, healthy/unhealty. In terms of the real world, my students and I talk about it and live it everyday. Their experiences, as well as mine, as well as their friends, and what we see in the media in the U.S. and around the world become part of that experience. Both I and my students know plenty of the real world, both its hardships and its highs. What I offer my students is both a theory and practice idea of what goes on in life. I live in the world and I have worked (aside from academia in the world…a cumulative experience of over a dozen years working…something I alluded to earlier). To argue that academics offer some la la experience, I believe to be disingenous. I suspect no matter that both our experiences will inform our opinions and nothing we could say could persuade either way (which isn’t bad at all). Those academics that you accuse of not living, working, and being in the real world teach their students about it all the time. They also have them live it through experiences, anecdotes, and classroom material, all of which provides a multiperspectived vision of the “real world” because there is no one specific vision. You are right, academics are not “immune.” We (and I am using a broadbrush I know….and I know that there are exceptions) try to provide an innoculation all the time to show the way the world is (both good and bad…not dump on it…and how many would like it to be…from various perspectives).

    In terms of your idea on limiting “how” a subject is taught. Well, I again find that to be too limiting. Even if a professor “sells” socialism. Let them sell it. Let them scream it from the rooftops. There are plenty of voices that will provide counter information. I don’t think you give kids enough credit to discern a variety of arguments. My students aren’t as malleable as you think b/c they have been raised with a certain set of values, attitudes, and beliefs. Certainly, some of those kids may go for it, but if that is there choice let them do it. They will pay the consequences later (depending on how they choose to live their lives, which is something no one can really control…and I know you are not advocating that…just making a point). And if that person hates America. Let them hate it. Let them scream it from the rooftops and there will be voices to counter them. In my case, it will most likely be internal (I mean I don’t hear that many I hate America voices in academia. Despite what some would say there really aren’t that many and DC and K don’t hate America).

    Finally, I agree with you about the flaws and the like. My wife would say, let that person teach (the hater) the course the way s/he wants it. I would most likely say (again trying to continue the analogy) the same. I would be offering my voice at every turn to oppose it, but let them teach it that way. In terms if someone wants to tear it down and wanting something totally different, I get the feeling that you are talking about many academics. That they want to tear America down and replace it with something totally different. Well, in terms of DC and K, they don’t want to tear the whole thing down and build anew…they want change, but they certainly don’t want to create another Soviet Union (maybe the Czech republic…ha, ha…a little joke there). But even if they did. Let them advocate it.

    1) Students aren’t mindless automotons. They aren’t as malleable as I believe you think they are (at least in my discussions with other faculty and over a decade of teaching…obviously there are some).

    2) There would be voices to oppose them. Let the debate occur. As long as it is non-violent (and I don’t believe protest is violence). Ultimately, the extremes on both are eventually shut out and the real work of compromise and the like does get done (although it takes a helluva a long time)

    3) I think that there is a fundamental disagreement (not surprisingly) about what and how something should be “taught” and sold. I don’t think that many limits should exist on classroom discourse and the subject matter that is taught. As long as that professor is not advocating violence and violent ends, well then what is taught and how it is taught should be open. This doesn’t invite chaos or anarchy, but invites free form of thought and I think leads to students being sharper. Their brains don’t fall out, but rather are expanded. (the reality is neither one of us will win b/c a good chunk of students want to hear what they need for the exam, get their degree and get a job…that is fine…but I stilll feel that we should provide a what and how that is expansive and not limiting.

    Finally, Don, I appreciate your strong views. You, DC, K, and myself have disagreements. Ultimately, this comes down to agreeing to disagree, but the dialogue is good even if it doesn’t lead to a kumbya moment. Obviously, we come from different positions regarding the world, our experiences and the like. That is to ultimately be celebrated, even if we argue back and forth. Now, I know I didn’t directly get to all of your points (I hope I did…but it is a long post and this took a bit to write…so if I didn’t please address me and I will answer them).

  57. Jason,

    You said a lot there. And I kinda wish you could have written it with fewer words. No intention to offend here, but it sometimes feels like a snowjob. A steamroller. I think that writing excellence comes from paring down one’s words, to make one’s point with as few words as possible. I recognize this is just a blog comment area, not an exercise in professional writing, but still, please try to get to the point a little quicker. Again, no intention to offend. It’s just my impression.

    In response to the many inferences you made, that I think in black-and-white, while you think in shades of grey, nonsense. I hear such inferences often from liberals, but yet, I see liberals with very sharp black-and-white views, all the time (e.g., anything related to “Republican” results in very black-and-white responses, not an in-depth, open-minded dialog). And I know full well that I have very nuanced thought processes. I know all about the messiness of life, and the messiness within each and every one of us. What I think you’re confusing with black-and-white-ness, is decisiveness, which I do indeed have, when I’m at my best. You may imply that it’s a byproduct of unsophisticated, small-mindedness (i.e., not recognizing the complications) but I assure you that is not the case. My decisiveness comes from working through the fine details, and then eventually coming to a conclusion about it, putting it into action. But even that conclusion is open to new data, new information, new ideas, which can lead to a different conclusion. That is the goal that everyone should have: To come to conclusions about what is good, right, true, decent, … , based on everything you’ve learned to date, but to be open to credible, reasonable counterpoints. To never come to conclusions, is a life lived without wisdom. I get the idea that many “baby boomers” live like that. So unsure of themselves, they stand for nothing. They have no moral backbone. They try to be buddies with their children, rather than parents, as if they don’t know anything more about life than their kids do. They’re pals, rather than leaders. Big mistake. That one isn’t perfect, is no reason to be timid. There is a point to learning, and that is to live it, not constantly doubt it. And if you do that — you continue learning and growing — then indeed one should become more and more confident in his beliefs, the older and wiser he gets. That is where my decisiveness emanates from. I may get knocked off my feet at times, but when I get back up, I’m stronger than before, and a lot more resistant to the sucker-punch that caught me last time. That’s learning and growing. And it doesn’t require ignorance or insensitivity to do it, as many on the liberal left think. Quite the contrary.

    On the issue of limits, it sounds like you’re saying that you see absolutely no risk in being too open. I’ll grant that you’re consistent, by accepting the Jason-wife-hating professor as a credible professor, to teach students about who your wife is an what she stands for (even if there are no other professors at the college who teach such a course, and/or students are extremely unlikely to take the course a second time, to get the “second opinion”?). I’m not so open, and have no problem drawing lines. Using America as an example, I do indeed think that we in America can start from a presumption that we like it, and want to be a productive part of it (rather than destructive). That is a requirement for being a citizen here, and I think it’s crazy to think otherwise. Compare marriage: There is a presumption that you love each other (the action, if not the feeling — feelings come and go) and want to help each other be better people. If one or both parties become mostly destructive influences on the relationship, then the relationship is over (or at least it should be). That is a judgement call, and requires a decisive decision. Black-and-white, if you will. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a deeply considered decision or unsophisticated.

    There’s more I could respond to, but I’m tired. Long day. Signing off.

  58. You write: “Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Dana (or her unbalanced little friend) decided to use explosives as a means of “protest.” Would Jason criticize it and say it was wrong? Or would he say that he personally wouldn’t do such a thing, but Dana is free to “do what she believes in”? And if not, then why not, and what’s the basis for the distinction? (I feel like I’m playing the professor here…).”

    Are you honestly comparing the exercise of free speech in the form of protest to the use of explosives? The basis for the distinction is, well, explosives. (I feel like you’re playing the disingenuous interlocutor here.) BTW, the government dismissed the charges against Ayers, who is now a professor of education.

    You write: “Using America as an example, I do indeed think that we in America can start from a presumption that we like it, and want to be a productive part of it (rather than destructive). That is a requirement for being a citizen here, and I think it’s crazy to think otherwise.”

    Actually, liking America is not a requirement of citizenship. And criticizing America is a right that we as citizens possess. You’re still not coming across as much of a democracy fan. I ask again, is there democracy in your America, or is there only one set of ideas that it is acceptable to possess? It certainly seems to be the latter.

    Don, we didn’t marry America; we were born to it. It is our right and responsibility to protest injustice within it. Though if you want to keep the marriage analogy going, let’s talk about destructiveness. Think about some of America’s less than shining moments – e.g., slavery, Jim Crow laws in the south, violence against dissenters. Would you have urged everyone to be loyal, to refrain from protesting?

    After everything you’ve said, you still have nothing to contribute other than that you don’t like our politics (though you don’t seem all that familiar with where we actually stand) and you don’t think the first amendment applies to us. (If there’s more, it’s hard to find under the heap of petty insults you’ve hurled. Don’t you know any other tricks, Don Decency Truth?)

    I ask again: How can you in good conscience claim to honor democracy while advocating the restriction – amounting to public censorship – of ideas other than your own?

  59. Don,

    I am in an airport and can’t respond fully. I will try to later.

    1) My long writing is not a snowjob, just trying to respond to your posts (also it was about 11:30 when I answered it EST so I was tired)

    2) If Dana were to advocate protests with explosives, of course I would say it is wrong. I thought I had made that clear, that as long as that protest is non-violent (without vandalism, physical violence, etc), then that protest I feel is actually a help to democracy, not a hindrance.

    3) My inferences about your black/white thinking isn’t to you about you life or your job but in relation to the issues that we have discussed here. From what I have read here, I have gotten the impression that when it comes to certain things (i.e. what a university is about, the loyalty of America, proper avenues of protest, etc.) That you have a bright line. I mean you have suggested there are times when you have to talk about good/bad, healthy/unhealthy decisions and put forth a bright line with the issues that we have discussed. Moreover, you suggest that I don’t come to conclusions. Rather, I dilly dally on those responses. I do reach conclusions, but only after deliberation. And typically those conclusions, particularly as is related to politics and international relations, are nuance. For me that means I try to not make broad brush assumptions, look at case specific items, try to use language that acknoweldges a gray world. You may do so as well, but for the most part you have presented (and again I could be wrong) the idea that you should make a decision and just live with it. I don’t see most of the world in terms of good and evil (and I say most), healthy v. unhealthy. I think those decisions that are not bright lines are often better.

    In terms of the America analogy. Well, speaking for me personally, I do like it. However, I do see many problems that I try to advocate for and fix. I think that DC and K’s protest, while it goes against items you believe in (and some things I don’t get down with) that it is also productive and not destructive. I personally don’t believe it will happen and that is based on my study and writing about American political culture, but that doesn’t mean there fight isn’t productive. You may not see it as such, but I would presume that you wouldn’t see it as such b/c you have an opposition to socialist ideals.

    I will try to answer more later…but have to get on a plane.

  60. Call me unbalanced, but I think the coast is clear for Jason to reclaim his award for patience. Waffle House field trip on me. 😉

  61. Jason,
    You write:
    “2) If Dana were to advocate protests with explosives, of course I would say it is wrong. I thought I had made that clear, that as long as that protest is non-violent (without vandalism, physical violence, etc), then that protest I feel is actually a help to democracy, not a hindrance.”

    You did make that clear. I’m not sure why you’re repeating it. I didn’t mention violence in my previous comment-post.

    As for everything short of (physical) violence helping democracy (but note, I don’t think that anyone here has argued that democracy is the ultimate good. Palestine has democracy, and yet they elected Hamas into leadership. Thus, more abstract things such as truth, shared values, etc., are what’s most important to America’s quality and success), it’s depressing to think I have to explain this, particularly to a professor, but no, I don’t think that shouting down invited guests, throwing pies at them, screaming name-calling, etc., has any place in the university. Dana and her followers are far from exceptions. Liberal-left students all over the country feel it their duty to forcefully shut down and interfere with conservative students inviting guests, and hearing what they have to say. The end result is that the university campus is far from the open, tolerant, exploratory environment you profess to promote. If you truly believe what you say, then the front line of your efforts should be to reel in those who are forcefully preventing those they don’t like, to speak. You say you find it “extremely dangerous” to put any limits on what professors we want in our publicly funded universities, and yet you take a hands-off, non-judgmental approach when there are things happening, right now, which are violating the free exchange of ideas. Could it be that your opinions vary, based on whether or not you like it? I.e., that you have this nonjudgemental, “I personally wouldn’t do it, but they should do what ever they believe in” viewpoint, solely because you personally agree with their social-political aims?

    On your second point, you’ve suggested that I have “bright lines” while you’re in the shades-of-grey category. I don’t think I’ve presented that at all. On the contrary, I provided the example of a marriage going south. The decision to divorce is a black-and-white decision (one can’t be 75% divorced, or 23.5% divorced, but rather it’s 100% vs. 0%) but that doesn’t mean that coming to that decision isn’t filled with deep and complex thoughts and feelings, pro and con about the decision. I have said, several times, that I recognize the risk of setting standards. With ANY standard, there is a risk that it will be unjustly applied. To use a simple example, when driving in Los Angeles a few years ago, I was given a fine for entering an intersection after the light had turned red. Given the details of the circumstances, I still contend that it was the right thing to do, and actually would have caused more of a danger and obstruction of traffic, had I NOT gone through. There was no other oncoming traffic, and no sign or indication of any risk. The entire point of traffic laws, are for safety and the smooth flow of traffic. I complied with the intent of the law, while violating the letter of it. Now to the point: Do you want to eliminate laws which state that one may not enter an intersection after the light turns red? I don’t, even though it cost me in this circumstance, and I find it unjust. What I hear you saying (to extend the analogy) is that you don’t want any laws about red lights, because you can always find a circumstance where not only is it unhelpful, but it actually might interfere with safety and traffic flow. That’s your solution: no limits, no laws, no standards, because there are always exceptions, and you’re just very very sensitive to all of the shades-of-greys of driving, and how complex it is out there on the road. And my response is that without traffic laws, the highways would be chaos, taken over by whomever owns the bigger monster truck. What’s more, in “my” world, we have good cops who are allowed to use common sense and good judgment — they aren’t computer programs which write fines. That too is open to abuse, but it also is open to a much more realistic and humane society. The goal then is to create a society of good people, not a society of 10,000 laws governing everything we do. But back to the university, my thesis here is, a combination of common sense, about American values as well as intellectual pursuits, and subjective judgment calls, made by our best and brightest.

    Which brings me to “American Values”. You asked me earlier what was meant by that (which pains me, that a professor doesn’t already know). But here’s an excellent online ‘university’ course in it (5 minutes long):

  62. That was my first post on this topic. I asked a question on another topic that has gone unanswered and I have only been checking that topic, but I don’t know what you mean by “you and Don”. If you are chanting too loud, people can’t hear who came to speak.

    I’m curious — if your ideology has nothing to do with Stalin, etc., why does the name of your blog have ‘commie’ in it?

  63. Don,

    1) In terms of violence i was responding to your hypothetical about if Dana advocated using bombs as a form of protest. My reasoning would be that violence, in my mind, is not lawful and productive protest (it maybe for some but certainly not for me) and that I have no problem setting a limit there.

    Additionally, you are correct, I am the one who brought in democracy. I think that protest (even ones that “shout down” people or are disruptive to daily lives) are good for democracy, society, and the university in general, which is an underlying subtext of this conversation. If you felt I derailed the conversation through my invocation of democracy, I apologize, I only meant it as a point of reference for the idea of openness and transparency (even with things that are truly disruptive). To your more specific point, about liberal students and reeling them and protesters in. Well, if I did that I would be contravening the principle of wanting expression on campuses to take the form in all kinds of ways (including ways like DCs). My holding onto that principle supports the notion of a university that open to controversial viewpoints. I would fully wsupport conservative students doing the same thing. And again, it isn’t a non-judgmental attitude. I make judgments about the arguments that are put forth, the tone of people to put them forth, etc, but I think the larger principle is the idea of openness and if I agree/disagree with those ideas then discussing/arguing with those people (whoever is the one engaging in the protest) in that forum or in another classroom, etc. I have no problem with conservative students shouting down and protesting someone controversial on the right like Bill Ayers. Now, I may disagree with their arguments (I am speaking in general now…not my support of Ayers) but I support their right to protest. No problem.

    2) Of course their need to be standards with regard to laws for criminal and civil ideas. I think those ideas are completely seperate from brightlines when condemning certain behaviors of speech and the like. From your analogy, you make it appear that the idea of standards is uniform across the board. There are certainly limits to ideas with regard to speech (i.e. incendiary speech or violent protest, etc.). Those are protests. I set my own personal standards when it comes to the idea of my conduct in my life or with my students (i.e. I never associate with undergrads outside the university until they graduate–just my personal belief). However, when it comes to the university and the teaching of subjects, I feel that the standards within the classroom should be left up to the professor teaching the course. I don’t think that causes chaos because every department has standards that are different for different classes (i.e. we have a specific set of stuff we teach in one course than say another). Thus, there are limits, but those limits change depending on the course, depending on the situation, etc. Those kinds of standards and not imposing on the professor to teach or imposition on his/her ability to speak are far different than legal standards, which I am sure you would acknowledge are much different. There are gradations all around. Thus, to some up, legal standards (while I understand your analogy) are far different those than say toward a university and its promotion of speech, free thought, and the like. Even a university will set standards (i.e. students must take a certain number of courses, from a certain set of departments, etc). However, those standards are more akin to laws than what should/should not be promoted in the classroom and in the speech of the professor outside the classroom. It is here, where I argue that a professor should be allowed to teach (and even sell if you want to use that term) the subject matter pertinent to that course. I would hope that professor would promote an open classroom where s/he would be open to viewpoints, even those that oppose her. If s/he is not, well then I have a huge problem with that instructor and would defend a student (if I found evidence of such an occurence) if that instructor punished that student for his/her viewpoints. Thus, I support the judgment and standard of a faculty member teaching what they feel is pertinent to that particular course (and protesting outside the classroom) but I would also defend students who stand up for their own viewpoints. They should not be punished for those (unless they write a crappy paper with no evidence, support, etc…I think you would agree that kind of work would be subpar). That is the way I run my classroom, the way I think classrooms should be run, and the way I know my colleagues behave (I can speak for others). Thus, I guess you could say that I have created standards. They may be a bit too open for some, but they are standards.

    3)The video by Prager was entertaining and ironic. Ironic, in the sense, that I am actually writing a book on American Exceptionalism and a good chunk of my first book deals with that subject (I think you might like my explanation….yes, shameless plug for my book, but what the hell). In terms of Prager’s points…I think that Prager’s ideas about what makes America unique and exceptional. Some argue that the U.S. is not exceptional, it is no better than other countries. We may believe that, but every countries believes it is exceptional (China, France, Turkey, etc). BTW, I am not saying that I don’t agree with AE, but just making the larger point that AE is fundamentally questioned (and there are persuasive arguments to question it…particularly the U.S. and exceptionalism in FP…Ron Paul does that a lot–I think he is kind of a bit nutty..).

    In terms of what Prager feels are America’s exceptional qualities:

    I would agree with him that people that emigrate to the U.S. tend to assimilate faster than say in France. Part of that though is not our celebration of assimilation, but our celebration of diversity, difference. We argue that our multicultural state is a strength, rather than a hindrance. So I think Prager is right on the basic point, but not in the logic going further. We are exceptional not because of the assimilation and being like “Americans” but our embrace of diversity and that it adds to the great salad bowl of America.

    That idea leads to this notion of out of many one…again, I disagree with Prager on this point. America is not exceptional because we promote one America, but we promote and exalt a diverse America. An America where you have to fight other factions to get your voice herad, but that was the genius of Madison’s theory of a large republic was it not. The diversity of factions and the fighting would create a system that would endure forever.

    In terms of god as a source of our values. I would again disagree with Mr. Prager that that is what makes us exceptional. The source of our rights come from us “We the people.” Now that does’t mean the U.S. hasn’t been influenced by Christianity. However, rights like the pursuit of happiness, liberty, life, etc. are derived from the evolution of man’s thinking about his natural state as a free individual (i.e. Locke, Montesquieu, etc.). What makes America exceptional, in my view, is not the recognition of those rights, but the way they are packaged and the creation of a large republic (i.e. Madison) and how that republic can be supported…with different factions fighting etc for their place in the American scene.

    Finally, the idea of liberty and we are born free. Well, I agree with Prager that America and the Europeans have a different definition of liberty. And I also agree that the ideal is that we put forth the idea that anyone can make it, no matter their background. However, the idea of where you end up is up to you, well in theory it sounds great, but in practice it doesn’t work out that way. I mean there are all kinds of impediments to people that doesn’t let them lead an exceptional life (i.e. like it or not race, class, gender, and ethnicity still does matter. I wish they didn’t, but those elements serve as impediments who want to climb the corporate or social later). I think what makes America exceptional, in terms of liberty, is not the choice of where one ends up, but the basic choice itself. That choice is important.

    Thus, I think that America does have specific exceptional values–but I would disagree with Mr. Prager’s logic as to how they are fulfilled and what those values are. And I think my arguments about the university (diversity, plurality, and choice…which I am sure you also support) support those values.

    Again, Don, I appreciate the debate. We may not agree on our positions, but I respect your viewpoints. Cheers. We can certainly keep this up if you want (not a gauntlet thrown down, but I am enjoying the reparte (sp?)

  64. Jason,

    So, it sounds like you’re not a fan of E. Pluribus Unum. You’re for the “big salad bowl” where (I’ll posit) it doesn’t even matter if the various flavors in the bowl taste good together, or are healthy, or even edible (any of those factors would require a judgment call of what does/doesn’t belong in the bowl).

    I understand the concept of factions, but none of that disputes any of Prager’s “Trinity”. I.e., there is a presupposition that we have basic values we share.

    As for “fighting” being an inherent good, I don’t think that’s the idea at all for the balance of powers. The idea is so that no one “faction” can become a tyranny. Thus, it’s an ongoing competition for how the country is directed, and by whom. So what’s the best way to conduct this “competition”? You think that shouting down guest speakers from “the other side” is a productive part of it. Swell. That’s good to know, professor. Then I recommend to students that they bring a bullhorn to your classes, and to any speaker they disagree with. Quite a university you got there. A real bastion of “higher” learning, where the “winning” ideas are determined by who has the more powerful bullhorn. Or maybe just a 200W. Boom Box would do the trick, for “students” to “express their feelings”. As I’ve said many times, what a zoo. A playground for perpetual children. There is nothing adult-like or impressive about such an environment.

    Re: God being the ultimate source of our values, nothing you wrote argued against DP’s thesis, which is that no man may infringe upon our God-given rights (DP will explain what that means in further detail, in future courses). But if John Locke says “x”, it may sound great to a lot of people, but ultimately it has no more weight than if Jason or Don said something counter to it, and if we had enough “votes” to push our agenda, then it would become law, no matter if the minority liked it or not, and no matter if Locke would have agreed. Thus, it is not “inalienable,” which is what DP said. What’s more, there’s more to it than just “rights”. The whole commentary, is about what makes American Values/Experiment unique, or “exceptional”. God is a part of that. To use one example, if you take God out of the equation, then you’ll have a difficult time arguing against the “ethicist” from Princeton who believes that parents should be allowed to kill their children up to a certain age. Who are you, or anyone else, to say they shouldn’t? Your vote has no more weight than that of parents who might think otherwise. Or to use another example, why would Americans risk our lives and spend hundreds of millions to defend the likes of Bosnians being slaughtered, or starving Somalians? We have nothing to gain, on a selfish level, from doing either of those. Nor do we even get thanks from the recipient nations, or kudos from “the international community”. So why bother, if we *only* have selfish motivations to consider? A godless society has no motivation to risk everything to protect the innocent, who have nothing to offer in return. Thus the reason why Europeans, in their ultra sophistication, have done so little to help in the midst of these international crises. And that’s true even when President Obama, whom they love so much, asks them (as the recent world tour showed).

    J:
    “I mean there are all kinds of impediments to people that doesn’t let them lead an exceptional life (i.e. like it or not race, class, gender, and ethnicity still does matter. I wish they didn’t, but those elements serve as impediments who want to climb the corporate or social later)”

    Our goal, is to eliminate any practices which interfere with a level playing field, and that’s the end of the story. If there truly are impediments to a “class” then we try to eliminate that. That is our history, and it is enshrined in our founding documents. It’s why we eventually outlawed slavery and segregation, or any other overt acts of racism. No decent person is opposed to that. But to argue that today, any of the things you mentioned are significant barriers, tells me you are consumed with PC thinking, not objectively viewing the world around you. I’ve studied and debated these issues at length and depth, and am convinced there is no basis to them, at all, in 2009, much less warranting a conclusion such as “impediments to people that doesn’t let them lead an exceptional life”. The only impediment I see, is professors and other liberal “cultural elite”, filling ordinary people with the idea that no matter what they do, they can’t succeed, because the white man is going to stop them. Talk about paralyzing any attempt to work hard, and giving such a person “license” for doing unethical things towards The Evil White Man.

    J:
    “I think what makes America exceptional, in terms of liberty, is not the choice of where one ends up, but the basic choice itself. That choice is important.”

    I don’t know what you mean by that. Are you saying that (to give an example) Joe can decide he wants to be a physician, and then that’s the end of the story? He gets to be a physician, no matter how well he does in med. school? And/or, that it’s up to the rest of society to pay his way through med. school, simply because he said he wants to go?

    No time to proof-read. Apologies for typos…

  65. Don, you write: “So, it sounds like you’re not a fan of E. Pluribus Unum.” Actually, your fan-dom seems not to include the “pluribus” part. Your comments still come off as touting democracy only when it corresponds to values that you share, and that is sketchy territory, indeed.

    Taking the election of Hamas as an example: While I don’t subscribe to their platform (except for their opposition to the Israeli occupation of Palestine), I unequivocally support the right of Palestinians to elect their representatives. To discuss that as a failure of democracy – and to advocate interference in that result – would be opening the door for other countries to interfere in our elections should they disagree with the result.

    To insist on shared values over democracy in governance is a recipe for dictatorship. That is, you may well think that too much democracy is a bad thing. But you should be very careful about what controls you would put on it and where. We’ve already been over what constitutes a violation of free speech rights (shouting is not one such), as well as the difference between what goes on inside the classroom and what happens on campus and in the community at large. If you still advocate the suppression of left academics’ free speech, and if you would put in place institutional restrictions on same, then you are leaving open the possibility that your “shared values” would receive the same treatment should the political winds change. (And you have yet to produce actual evidence other than “I’ve heard,” or “I’ve seen,” or “it happens all the time” that conservative academics’ rights are suppressed in the ways that you think our rights should be.)

    Back to “shared values”: A recent Rasmussen poll (hardly a fringe outlet) reported that only 53% of Americans polled believe that capitalism is better than socialism. Granted, 53% is still a majority – but it’s by no means the overwhelming support that folks claim who call this a conservative country or who say that socialism is widely despised.

  66. (Pacing the comments for ease of reading – this is Part II)

    You write: “The idea is so that no one “faction” can become a tyranny.”

    That is the idea, exactly. And that is why I advocate for the fullest possible democracy, unless you think that the population of our country somehow constitutes a “faction,” or an “interest group.” (If that were the case, what would the other faction(s) be?)

    Further, you write: “You think that shouting down guest speakers from “the other side” is a productive part of it. Swell. That’s good to know, professor. Then I recommend to students that they bring a bullhorn to your classes, and to any speaker they disagree with.”

    The DH event was not a class, but a public forum. The protest was not a discussion or debate, but a show of opposition. His rights were not violated, protesters did not break any laws. He actually got to speak. His response is little more than whining about being opposed in public.

    Further, you write: “But to argue that today, any of the things you mentioned are significant barriers, tells me you are consumed with PC thinking, not objectively viewing the world around you.”

    Here’s some PC thinking on racism from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development: “In the pricing regressions for first mortgages in the conventional market, even when controlling for differentials in available household, loan, and property characteristics, blacks and Hispanics (particularly non-white Hispanics) have significantly higher interest rates than comparable white households. For African-Americans this differential is 21 to 42 basis points, while for non-white Hispanics the range is 13 to 15 basis points.” This is among households of comparable income and education. Higher interest rates on loans for blacks and latinos means more difficult access to housing and higher education, among other things. Granted, this is just one statistic, but it is suggestive. I can provide you with many others if you wish.

    Finally, back to the original point: Throughout our exchange you have been advocating for the purge of leftists from the academy, without the slightest evidence of professional impropriety, simply because you don’t like our politics or our outside-the-classroom activities. That is a contortion of the concept of democracy, one with perilous implications for even the limited version of democracy that you cherish. It also – and you have yet to respond to this – would actually put in practice that which you wrongfully accuse us of, namely the suppression of differing points of view.

  67. I think you’re forgetting that Horowitz was the son of card carrying communists and a major figure in the New Left. He also secured funds to start schools for children in Oakland for the Black Panthers who I recall, were pretty much an all black organization. Now all of a sudden he’s a racsist, right-wing McCarthyite, and anti-intellectual. What he does is call out blatant hypocrisy on the left. He calls out crappy professors like Dyson, Churchill, and West, who are all racist. Go to You Tube and look up conservative speakers on college campuses. It’s quite obvious why Horowitz would need some protection. They have been threatened called every name in the book and completely shouted down when trying to speak. Nothing like that happens to liberal speakers. I think Horowitz is qualified to sniff out and make distinctions when it comes to calling people Trotskyites, Maoists, Stalinists, or any other form of debunked idealogue. Was McCarthy wrong? Absolutely not. Communists had infiltrated every almost every institution in America. Did he go overboard? Sure. Now on todays college campus we have a bunch of professors who were part of the new left who don’t call themselves Marxists, Trotskyites, Stalinists, or Maoists anymore but still have and teach the same ideaology. Dana Cloud is a self proclaimed socialist, lets get real. I would have more respect for you guys if you were like the Marxists of the 60’s and early 70’s and told people you communists of whatever persuasion you favored.

  68. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in
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  69. Can I just say what a relief to discover somebody that really knows what they’re talking about on the web. You certainly know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More people should read this and understand this side of your story. I was surprised you aren’t more popular since you most certainly have the gift.

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