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From our Hubris Squared, Cubed and Deep-Fried department:
Professor Doctor Indian Scholar Churchill drives that picket pin into the ground, ignores bleeding hole in his foot (ht one of PB's legion of Jackbooted Thugs)
Betcha he didn't speak in asterisks.
When asked by The Huffington Post about the "little Eichmanns" remark, now ten years later, Churchill said this:"I retract nothing. What I said has been validated beyond my wildest expectations, to tell you the truth, so let's just say that I rest my case. A lot of people were outraged by my remark, of course, but, to cop a quote from Rick Perry, 'You throw a rock into a pack of dogs, the one who yaps is the one who got hit.' In other words, the people upset were the f***ing Eichmanns. Look in the mirror and own it, guys. You identified yourselves by frothing at the mouth for being called by your right name. See? Perry's good for something, after all."
Westwad brings us a brimming bucket of Churchill-water with an article interviewing the CC-AAUP's lead report writer (see previous post), Don Eron (ht Leah)
"We found that he did not commit academic misconduct." Really? No, fucking really? At this point, absolutely no one can claim ignorance of Churchill's multiple academic misdeeds. Only willful self-delusion and/or contemptuous malice can lead a being sentient enough to beat a dog at checkers to conclude Churchill is anything but a fraud, a liar, a plagiarizer, and a historical fabulist. Anyone associated with this AAUP report should be fired, neutered, hanged, shot, buried, dug up again, stabbed, pissed upon, and then buried once again. And in the case of CC-AAUP "co-president" Dean Saitta, rinse & repeat.
Thus far, Churchill's efforts to be reinstated at the institution have failed to bear fruit -- but the report hardly portrays the evidence against him as damning. "We found that he did not commit academic misconduct," Eron says. "I wasn't surprised by finding that the university caved in under public pressure, because there was something phony about seeking alternative means for firing him. But I was very surprised by the report by the Standing Committee for Research Misconduct. Before the report came out, there was considerable faculty support for Churchill, but afterward, it was widely perceived that he was a fraud, even though our conclusion is that what they called academic misconduct was actually a normative practice used by numerous experts in the field -- and even by some people on the committee itself.
Speaking of a Clown Car Full of Stupid™, the Colorado Conference of the American Association of University Professors just released their ever-so-timely "Report on the Termination of Ward Churchill" (ht Leah, @sspats be upon her)
From the Executive Summary (page 121):
Ward Churchill was dismissed from the University of Colorado (CU) in 2007, having been convicted of plagiarism as well as fabrication and falsification of evidence for his claims that the United States government had been complicit in the genocide of Native Americans. It was Churchill’s essay of September 12, 2001, that drew attention to him—an essay that called victims of the attack on the World Trade Center “little Eichmanns.” For four years the essay, titled “Some People Push Back,” went unnoticed, but in 2005 it caught the attention of faculty and administrators at Hamilton College in New York, and from there it went viral, becoming the topic of nonstop media commentary that lasted for months.Seems pretty damning, huh. Seems like ample grounds to fire an employee, doesn't it. Maybe even charge him with a crime or two, right? Not so fast, pal! A scant three paragraphs later, the report says:
It is obvious that the University would never have begun its investigation of Ward Churchill were it not for his “little Eichmanns” comment, which he made as a citizen, not as a scholar or as a representative of the University. It is also obvious that dismissing Churchill from his position as a professor at the University violated his First Amendment rights. Most U.S. citizens will agree that what keeps America vital are the freedoms enjoyed by its citizens, foremost of which is speech. Without free speech, the U.S. is just another totalitarian state. This is why citizens must jealously guard the rights of their fellow citizens to express opinions, even opinions with which they disagree or that anger them. If Churchill is not allowed to speak freely, none of us are.
Got that? Because Churchill drew attention to himself with his "little Eichmanns" schtick, he should be shielded from punishment for any findings of plagiarism, fraud, and falsification of evidence. "The Truth was askin' for it," Churchill extenuated.
The report goes on (and on, and on) iterating through a distinctly Churchillian set of "defenses" such as "None of the authors whom Churchill is accused of plagiarizing have ever accused him publicly." And let's not forget this exquisite confection of tail-swallowing blather: "Churchill's accounts of the smallpox epidemics of 1616 and 1837 are defensible, based on the evidence he presents, according to experts in Churchill's field." Ahhh, so Teh Perfesser says it's true, huh. Well, case closed, then.
After all this "proof", who wouldn't draw this conclusion: "The Colorado Conference of the AAUP recommends that
faculty liars in search of employment consider a position at the University of Colorado only as a last resort because of the University of Colorado's indifference to the ideals of academic freedom the earnestness and/or cleverness with which you propagate your bullshit." [FIFY-ed.]
Like the report, we could go on (and on, and on), but why bogart the mockery? There's sweet ironic comedy in every bite, so don't let us stop you. Dig in.
Oh, lest we forget: DrunkaMediaWhore actually gets mentioned in the report's endnotes for an item concerning Marjorie McIntosh's admission that she'd never heard of Critical Race Theory. Well, she is an actual academic. She's probably never heard of a Cleveland Steamer, either.
BTW: The first 115 pages of the report concern the nonrenewal of senior instructor Phil Mitchell's contract at CU. Mitchell's case is included, we suppose, because the nonrenewal of his employment contract happened the same year Churchill's peccadilloes came to light (his actual termination was in 2007), and also because he is considered by AAUP to be a member of the Christian Right. His case (like that of Teh Perfesser's) seems more illustrative of the contortions academic employers must perform to rid themselves of unwanted professorial baggage (for which contortions they have no one to blame, of course, but their own codified
stupidity political correctness). We haven't read the AAUP dissection of the Mitchell case, mainly because we have no interest in it; the university fired him. Move on. It does seem interesting, though, that the AAUP cites every one of Churchill's mendacious supporters, and fails to include a single citation of a detractor. History, like statistics, can be tortured to say anything one wants, provided one has the stomach for it.
Update the First: Both Inside Higher Education and The Chronicle of Higher Education note the release of the AAUP report, the first (surprisingly) with a noncommittal squib, and the latter with a slightly more fleshed-out article—but neither notes (anywhere) the "Sieg Heil" aloha Churchill gave a university president's wife in a crowded lecture hall last week. Goodness gracious, no. (ht Leah, naturalmente)
Update the Second: Our old friend Dean Saitta is something called a co-president of the CC-AAUP.
CU is starting to consider discussing a rethink of that whole "Keep professors on the payroll a year after you fire them" thing (ht one of PB's Jack-Booted Thugs)
Baby steps, people. Baby steps. By the end of this decade, they could be poised to pass a rule that permits firing a convicted serial killer with just a majority vote from the Privilege & Tenure Committee.
The University of Colorado regents will reconsider a 45-year-old, rarely used policy that allows fired tenured professors to stay on the school's payroll for a year unless they are ousted for "moral turpitude."
The policy surfaced when firebrand ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill was fired for academic misconduct in 2007 but collected about $96,000 in a salary payout.
The new policy would require that faculty members make a recommendation to the board that a fired professor receive the one-year payout.
Ward Churchill, a controversial activist for academic freedom, at a speech at Trinity University on Tuesday accused the university's president, Dennis Ahlburg, of a smear campaign against him some years ago in Colorado.
He also invoked the Hitler salute of “Sieg Heil” to Ahlburg's wife, Penelope Harley, as she stormed out of the auditorium after defending her husband in front of the audience of students and faculty.
“This personal vindictiveness in an institution that has welcomed you ... I find very, very hard to listen to. And quite frankly, pretty darn insulting,” said Harley, before leaving for her son's soccer match.
Ahlburg was in New York, but was reached by phone later.
“He comes in and insults me in my absence... and screams ‘Sieg Heil' at my wife?” Ahlburg said. “This is a champion for free speech that America does not need. The only speech he wants to hear is his own voice.”
Ahlburg said he had previously told professors that inviting Churchill was a bad idea, but allowed it because he is a proponent of free speech.
“It is not for this clown (Ahlburg) to make the determination of who is entitled to speak on campus and who is not,” Churchill said later, outside the auditorium. “That is academic freedom in a nutshell.”
"Activist for academic freedom"? Does that mean he's given up on that guy still in that cage?
In any case, the real mystery here is why an institution of higher learning would invite a known plagiarist, historical fabulist, and liar to speak on any subject (unless the subject under discussion, of course, is plagiarism, fabulism, and mendacity at the university level). Read the whole article; the comments from David Spener, the associate professor of sociology and anthropology at Trinity who invited Churchill to speak, are both priceless and clueless.
Update the First: The Trintonian (Trinity University's campus newspaper) editorializes on Teh Perfesser's visit
It is hopefully not lost on anyone how groaningly ironic it is that Churchill chose to emulate the infamous, fascist Third Reich at an academic colloquium on terrorism. The true nature of academic freedom is the ability to present every angle and opinion on an issue in order to generate meaningful discourse. Churchill’s implied name-calling and use of a symbol universally identified with tyranny is a perpetuation of hate rather than meaningful discussion.Churchill declined our request for a phone interview and any documentation corroborating his claims against Ahlburg, replying by email that he was “not much interested in something focusing exclusively on 2 sentences lifted out of a 35 minute talk.” He did, however, offer to participate in an investigation of “the real story” on Ahlburg.
The real story here is that Trinity got duped. Instead of generating discussion in the spirit of academic freedom, Churchill strung a line for his dirty laundry. Perhaps it’s time that we draw the line between personal freedom and personal attacks.
Churchill was also contacted by the Trinitonian for a phone interview about the series of events that took place Tuesday. His response, via email, was as follows: “I’m not much interested in something focusing exclusively on 2 sentences lifted out of a 35 minute talk. If you’re inclined to do something with the real story with regard to Dennis Ahlberg [sic] — that Trinity’s board of trustees hired a guy rated 26th out of 27 deans at the University of Colorado in terms of administrative effectiveness to be your president — let me know. I’ll send you a copy of his UCB administrative evaluation and we can go from there.”Confidential to Chutch: Like you, music hath charms, so next time, soothe them with some background music. May we suggest "El Degüello"? Them Texicans luv them some background music.
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