CNews 31July05


OT: Ken Blanchard over at the South Dakota Politics blog discovers yet another college professor who can't argue his way out of a wet paperback:

Noxious Numbskullery

[quoting Professor of Religion emeritus Richard Crouder's opinion piece in the Minneapolis, Minnesota Star-Tribune]:

If mass killings such as occur daily in Iraq took place in a Western country, and especially if they arose through foreign intervention and an ambition to change our civilization, we also would be radicalized. We, too, would be in the vanguard of a desperate movement to drive the disturbing presence from our midst.

Now consider cause and effect here: what has driven the insurgents into the "vanguard of a desperate movement to drive the disturbing presence from [their] midst"? It is the mass killings that occur daily in Iraq, which arise "through foreign intervention." Now by mass killings daily he surely means the persistent bombings. So the bombings are both the cause and effect of the terrorist campaign. They are blowing up their fellow citizens because they are offended that so many of their fellow citizens are being blown up. That's noxious numbskullery.

* * *

Can you say 'puff'?

The Denver Post waxes sweetly elegiac over departing CU president Betsy Hoffman...

"Like anyone in the public eye, mistakes get more attention than accomplishments," Regent Michael Carrigan said. "She was an exceptional advocate for the faculty and had uncompromising dedication to what was needed to keep CU a top-tier university. In some ways, this stubbornness may have contributed to her downfall, but it is admirable."

...while the Rocky Mountain News presents an equally saccharine paean to incoming CU president Hank Brown

"One thing you can say about Hank," says Bob Heiny, a friend for 32 years, "he really likes to come in and take on a challenge and make things better."

Should Brown, in fact, make things better at CU, chances are it will be with a minimum of histrionics or angst.

"The one thing about Hank that has never changed is his calming effect on people," says his wife, Nan. "If there's a lot of stress and hysteria going on around him, he makes you feel it's going to be OK."

And, chances are, he'll make you feel that you're OK in the process.

The Post does not explain why such a sterling example of a university president like Hoffman could possibly have been responsible for the worst scandals to rock an institution of higher learning, preferring to imply that, like Topsy, they jes' growed.

And one can only hope that the RMN's reporter reads Hank Brown all wrong when he paints him as everybody's buddy. The last thing CU needs is another "consensus builder." What it desperately needs is adult supervision.

CNews 27July05


CU requests additional documentation on Churchill

The University of Colorado has requested information needed to further pursue research misconduct complaints made against Ward Churchill by the family of his deceased third wife, Leah Kelly.

Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano has not announced whether he will refer the Kelly family's grievance to CU's standing faculty committee on research misconduct. That panel is investigating several complaints of plagiarism, fabrication and violation of copyright law against the tenured ethnic studies professor.

When DiStefano on March 24 asked the committee to examine aspects of Churchill's work, he said the Kellys' criticisms of Churchill's preface to Leah Kelly's posthumous book In My Own Voice would not be examined by the committee. CU, he said, had been "unable to obtain independent verification" on the Kellys' complaints.

The Kellys, at that time, said that was because CU had made no effort to do so.

Rhonda Kelly, Leah Kelly's 41-year-old sister and a law student living in Winnipeg, Manitoba, wrote to DiStefano on June 13 asking CU to reconsider its decision.

"There are too many flaws with Churchill's writings of this book, and it is unfortunate the University of Colorado does not have higher standards for professors who teach and write about the history of the first peoples of this land," she wrote.

You can read a long excerpt from Churchill's preface to Kelly's book here.

* * *

Mildly OT: One of CU's two high-priced media flacks resigns 'for personal reasons'

"It was what I thought it would be - I thought it would be chaotic, and I thought it would be political, and I thought it would be tumultuous, and it has been all of those things," [Ray] Gomez said Tuesday.

What Gomez fails to observe is that it would also be a test of his professionalism, and that he would miserably fail that test.

CNews 25July05


All great men have their moments of televised glory...

For the Ward Churchill completists among us, here's a video clip of the professor interviewing with what appears to be a cow hand-puppet during his visit to the Bay area a few weeks ago. Let's not even consider why the cow's lipstick is smeared. (the entire Street Level TV program may be of some interest; you can download the entire 128 meg's worth here)




* * *

Incidentally, we're still miffed about WorldNetDaily's incompetent plagiarism of PirateBallerina, and its non-apology for said plagiarism.

CNews 22July05


OT: A bland commentary condemning the London bombings from Dr. Amer Araim, an adjunct professor of Middle East Studies at Diablo Valley College in northern California

...and a much more revealing and in-depth look at this proponent of the Religion of Peace and fulltime historical revisionist

“The worst was when [Amer Araim] taught Islam in class. He told us it was a religion of peace and tolerance. In fact, he handed out a sheet that had several verses from the Koran implying just that. But when I took my copy of the Koran and asked him specifically about verses 190-192 in Surah 2 The Cow (The verse says “slay all non-believers wherever they are found”) and I mentioned I’d read several other verses from other books that said the same thing, he went into a dissertation about how translators don’t translate properly and I obviously had one of those translations! He said in his opinion, as an imam, the best translation was Pickthall’s Glorious Koran, displaying one from his bag. I got that copy and found verbatim what I’d read in class also quoted by Pickthall. When I pointed this out in the next class he changed the subject saying we were not studying the Koran that evening! He also denied Arabs played an active role in the slave trade!”

...and what students say about Araim

CNews 20July05


Speaking of conspiracy theories, Counterpunch has a long, long, long interview with Ward Churchill (and this is just the first half) on why the Left is attacking him (ht Terry Hastings)

Update: Michelle Malkin (who Churchill attacks in this interview) is having her own problems with CounterPunch "disappearing" quotes and failing to acknowlege errors. And we thought we were the only ones.

* * *

At least he's an equal opportunity moonbat honeytrap
Anti-abortion group drops by CU to protest Churchill, says he's 'inhabited by demons'

CNews 15July05


Grant Crowell (who PB has noted before, and whom Ward Churchill deemed a "fascist cartoonist") offers up an explosive TV news blast from 1994, when his editorial cartoon featuring a University of Hawaii professor's poem "Racist White Woman" caused a furor among the victims studies crowd on campus, and later earned the enmity of Ward Churchill. Well worth downloading and watching. By the way, you can read the poem itself and see the editorial cartoon here, and then judge for yourself who overreacted, and who needs a hug.

...Crowell has made available exclusive video of Ward Churchill's press conference the day prior to his University of Hawaii speech back in February

  • SEE shrill tenured moonbats defend Churchill!
  • THRILL to Hawaii Reporter journalist Malia Zimmerman's incisive questions regarding Churchill's Indian heritage!
  • MARVEL at Churchill's professorial use of circular logic, self-refuting proof, ad hominem attack, and finally, disengagment to win the argument!
Update: We fixed the link to the video noted above, and it should work fine.

* * *

We're not still miffed about WorldNetDaily's incompetent plagiarism of PirateBallerina, or its non-apology for said plagiarism, are we?

CNews 12July05


If the commentariat misunderstood Ward Churchill's words, this radical website didn't

From an entry titled "We Support Our Troops- When They Frag Their Officers!"

Warmongering flag-wavers might not approve, but you better believe there's a reason for fragging. The US invasion of Iraq ranks with the Nazi invasion of Poland and Soviet invasion of Afghanistan as one of the most despicable war crimes in recent history. Thank the Lord that the American military and "intelligence" services are so brain-dead that rag-tag bands of rebels armed with homemade bombs are kicking their asses a la "Red Dawn."

The Real Reason Churchill Says Outrageous Things


by Jim Paine


It's not big news any more—Ward Churchill makes yet another cleverly-worded comment that outrages everyone but the moonbat Left with its crude and violent illogic. Reasonable people marvel that Churchill would draw such attention to himself when his very career is in peril.

Has it not occurred to anyone that this is part—a very large and important part—of his overall legal strategy? While those opposed to Churchill rail loudly for his immediate severance from CU (And the Right is playing right into this strategy; some are so ignorant of the stakes that they don't even wait for Churchill to actually utter scandalous statements, but instead imagine in print what he might say, for instance, about the London terrorist bombings Thursday), Churchill keeps his eye on the prize: Winning the legal fight over his employment. All else is secondary.

The looming court battle over Churchill's tenure (and employment) with the University of Colorado will boil down to a single question: Is Churchill being terminated due to plagiarism, scholarly misconduct and race fraud, or is he being fired over free speech and academic freedom issues? If CU can prove it terminated his tenure/employment because of misconduct rather than for what he said, CU wins. That outcome seems less likely with each new speaking engagement.

In this light, it's easy to understand why his latest remarks concerning the fragging of line officers in Iraq are slyly short of actual incitement (inevitably couched in rhetorical terms in what should be considered a rather daring prostitution of the Socratic method), as have been most of his other provocative comments. It's increasingly clear that as long as Churchill can keep the argument (and outrage) centered on his words rather than his actions (without stepping into "incitement" territory), the outcome of the legal question of "Why is he losing his job?" will most certainly be "because he said outrageous and hurtful things."

We pointed out here back in February that Churchill (and the Left) would work strenuously to recast the argument in First Amendment and academic freedom terms. We didn't realize at the time, however, that Churchill would take such a proactive approach to that recasting, ensuring with each new "frag the officers" outrage that it would be more difficult for a judge to see the argument as anything but a freedom of speech issue.

And that means Churchill wins—he keeps his job or gets a huge settlement from CU, or both—and the CU system and the people of the State of Colorado lose. CU's reputation and that of academia in general will, of course, be damaged—but not irreparably so. But that will not change the fact that Ward Churchill will have won.

Very clever.

Opportunity Missed, Opportunity Open


"[T]he pressing question is not what should befall Churchill, but what kind of educational system hires a man like him in the first place?"


an editorial by Stephen H. Balch, President, National Association of Scholars


"Have you no shame?" cried Joseph Welch in his legendary retort to Joe McCarthy. Having artfully provoked a crude act of bullying, Welch forever broke McCarthy's power to intimidate. Censure and irrelevancy soon followed.

Harvard president Larry Summers's recent collision with political correctness offered a similar opportunity. But instead of shaming the hounding mob, Summers collapsed in shame himself.

What a chance lost for our country's leading educator! What a simple thing to have said, "the university is about reasoned discourse, and if the president of Harvard can't take part, who can? If my critics wish to debate the merits of my statements about sex and career choice, they have my welcome. But a university is no place for intimidation, and I won't submit to it." The verdict of public opinion—even of university opinion once coaxed from hiding—would have been overwhelmingly on his side. And with his baiter buried in ridicule and obloquy, American higher education would now be a better place.

Why Summers didn't see this opportunity is a mystery. He clearly missed rendering the greatest service to academe in his power. Early episodes in his presidency gave hope that he understood the university's pathologies. But altogether blindsided by the furor over his commonsensical speculations, he chose, instead, a crawling supplication.

Perhaps Summers never viewed his presidency other than in the most conventional terms, that is, as an exercise in fundraising and institutional development. He also appears to have been persuaded that, as Harvard's CEO, his comments would keep women from pursuing university careers—although one might better suspect that discrimination's omnipresence (the politically correct thesis), not the notion that career differentials reflect female choice (Summers's argument), would be the more effective deterrent. In any event, by ingloriously fleeing when he could have won, Summers assured that his presidency would be chiefly remembered for its pathetic spectacle.

By contrast, the Ward Churchill story is yet to be fully told. The outrage felt at his celebration of mass murder is natural, as is the desire for punishment. Yet the pressing question is not what should befall Churchill, but what kind of educational system hires a man like him in the first place? Academic freedom is only justified on the assumption of rigorous intellectual quality controls that give short shift to cranks posing as scholars. Defenders of the academic status-quo must squirm in their realization that, if not typical, Churchill isn't anomalous either.

No one should lose a faculty post because his views offend. That's never a legitimate academic test. In the case of Churchill, of course, there are also allegations of fraud and plagiarism which, if proven, could justify dismissal. But short of that, or something comparable, the University of Colorado is stuck with its history. Tenure is a contract, and, unfortunately, no specifications were made in Churchill's about reasonableness, rigor, temperateness, or other intellectual qualities foreign to his rabble-rouser's métier. Contracts may not be sacred, but they are enforceable in courts of law. And there, indeed, lies a lesson that may lead to opportunity. If mistakes can't be undone, make sure they're not repeated.

Tenure, of course, was once more than contract, it was high principle—a principle that assured those who possessed specialized knowledge, mastery of method, and a commitment to dispassionate inquiry, that they would not have to suffer from ignorant meddling. But this was an immunity to be earned through an exacting apprenticeship under seniors for whom the preservation of standards was of transcending importance. To the extent that causes and livings, instead of inquiry and understanding, are what academics now favor, to that same extent they no longer deserve tenure's protections.

But there is an even more disturbing implication. Tenure was not just a privilege for the individually worthy, it was designed to be a cornerstone of academic governance—a key guarantor that the ideals of knowledge, method, and dispassion would remain sacrosanct. Because tenure would effectively neutralize external pressure, each scholarly generation would be free to pass its high ideals inviolate to its successors. Yet, as the Churchill affair helps illustrate, outside the natural sciences, this succession has been gravely compromised. Tenure's failure is thus more than just the bestowal of undeserved prizes; it is deeply systemic, reaching to the heart of the assumptions on which academic governance is based.

In the wake of the Churchill affair, the Regents of the University of Colorado intend to oversee a comprehensive review of the workings of the tenure process, probably the first within a major university since the formalization of the modern system in 1940. Their opportunity is not simply to avoid being stuck with more Churchills, but to restore to the process the integrity it was originally supposed to possess, or to change it as necessary. Tenure's weak point has always been its susceptibility to favor-trading—the all-too-human inclination to help the other guy if he'll be equally nice in return. Academe was once thought too high-minded for such cheapening accommodations, but apparently that is no longer so. If tenure is to be preserved in its present form, means need to be found for restoring the primacy of intellectual criteria over political ones, and frustrating the reciprocal "rent seeking" that drives down all standards. Given the strength of vested interests, this won't be easy to do. But it is an opportunity that still beckons.

—————————————
Originally published in Vol. 14, Number 3 of NAS Update, The Newsletter of the National Association of Scholars. Reprinted here with permission.


Our thanks to PB reader 'Retired Bill' for alerting us to this article

CNews 6July05, Part II





Churchill documentarian and cartoonist Grant Crowell provided the idea for this Ron Leishman (of Toon-a-Day.com) rendering of the possible results of Ward Churchill's latest "misunderstood" speech. For WorldNetDaily reporters who don't "get it", this cartoon represents Churchill in both his misunderstood professor persona and (according to the American Indian Movement's claims) FBI informant. See, WorldNetDaily reporters, since Churchill rhetorically suggested fragging officers, and since he is (according to AIM) an FBI informant (which, if true, would make him an "officer" of sorts), this is one possible and admittedly hilarious result. Sheesh. Do we have to explain everything to you WorldNetDaily guys?

CNews 6July05


Fox's O'Reilly Factor has a video clip of an O'Reilly segment on Ward Churchill's latest uproar, including commentary from Eugene Volokh and David Oblon; unfortunately, Fox's javascript has a typo in it and cannot be played as it is linked. Here's how to view the video:
1. Go to The O'Reilly Factor's page on the Fox website
2. Paste this text into your address window and hit enter
javascript:videoPlayer('062905/oreilly_churchill_062905','\'Fragging\' Rights?','OReilly_Factor','acc','OReilly Factor','-1');

BTW: We'd be paranoid if we wondered aloud that O'Reilly's text of the Churchill quote he uses in the clip seems identical (down to the "[and]" we inserted for clarity) to our report. Is it merely coincidence? Did O'Reilly's producers swipe it from WorldNetDaily, or were they justifiably concerned about WorldNetDaily's accuracy and so swiped it directly from us?

* * *

Editorial in Inside Higher Education pinpoints the current crisis in academia

Excerpt:

As we have seen, the 1966 AAUP [American Association of University Professors] statement implies the crucial importance of an ethical foundation to academic life. Yet ethics no longer occupies a central place in campus life, and universities are not always run ethically. With news of academic misdeeds (not to mention more spectacular academic scandals, such as the Churchill affair) continuing to unfold, the public rightly grows distrustful of universities.

It is time for the academy to heed the AAUP's 1915 declaration, which warned that if the professoriate "should prove itself unwilling to purge its ranks of … the unworthy… it is certain that the task will be performed by others."

Must universities learn the practical value of ethical virtue by having it imposed from without? Or is ethical revival possible from within?

CNews 5July05


Churchill supporter and journalism professor Robert Jensen makes a reasoned, thoughtful, and completely wrongheaded defense of academic freedom in Counterpunch

Excerpt:

That's the lie of the whole project—this whole notion of balance. [David] Horowitz and others are not really interested in balance across the whole curriculum. Also, balance is a useless term in academics, when you're talking about intellectual life. You can't balance all positions. Some positions have been presumptively excluded from the conversation because of the weight of the evidence and development of theory in a field. For example, you don't let flat earth people teach geography, you don't let people who believe in the earth-centered solar system teach astrophysics. There is a process by which knowledge goes forward.

[...]

That's what the attack on Ward Churchill (the radical University of Colorado professor who has been investigated by the university for a post-9/11 article) is about. That's what Joseph Massad is about. You don't need to bust everybody; you just need to scare them. It's the same principle that an authoritarian government might apply to a resistance movement: You don't have to kill them all, you just have to hang a few of them every now and then when you find them, and hang them up from the lamppost to make sure everyone knows what is happening. That's what is going on.

Naturally, idiotic theories such as "flat earth" or Terra-centric cosmognomy that can easily be disproven shouldn't be included "for balance" in any teaching curricula—and they aren't. Jensen's rationale is correct, but he conveniently overlooks one crucial fact: Churchill's "smallpox" genocides and his assertions of the moral superiority of the NVA are the Left's equivalents to the theory of a flat earth, but without the charming anachronistic flair.

And except for a few idiot extremists, we can think of nobody who wants to see Churchill hanging from a lamppost. Losing his place at the public trough will be satisfactory. By the way, we first noticed Jensen in February, when he wrote "Churchill has rights, and he's right"

* * *


Chicago newspaper does feature on Grant Crowell, who is producing an anti-Churchill documentary
In the article, Crowell claims Churchill has made as much as $50,000 $5,000 per speaking engagement
Update: Grant Crowell informs us that the Suburban Chicago News got the number he told them wrong—it's as much as $5,000 per speaking engagement, not $50,000.

* * *

Hamilton College faculty still don't get it
Faculty think deeply on the recent budget cuts to the Kirkland Project

Excerpt (emphasis ours):

Margaret Thickstun, an English professor who is chair of the faculty at Hamilton, was on the faculty committee that reviewed Kirkland and gave recommendations to [Hamilton’s president, Joan Hinde] Stewart. She noted that Stewart’s decision was “more restrictive” than what faculty members recommended. The faculty panel saw no need to cut Kirkland’s budget, Thickstun said.

“I think that the faculty as a whole felt that the Kirkland Project wasn’t the issue. The media coverage was the issue,” she said.

Thickstun said that she saw the new reporting policy on most invitations as an attempt “to be more savvy about what kinds of controversy a speaker might draw,” not a way to limit invitations. “It’s certainly not our intention that the kinds of speakers and variety of speakers would change at all,” she said.

Asked if professors were being sent a message about inviting Churchill-like speakers when the center that invited Churchill is having its budget cut — against faculty wishes — Thickstun said, “That may be what the message is attempting to communicate. People are free to send messages.”

Jinnie Garrett, a biology professor who is director of the Kirkland Project, said that professors were “very disappointed” in the budget cuts, which she described as “fairly significant.” Given the limited funds and the president’s request that the center review its mission, Garrett said that it was unlikely that the Kirkland Project would be inviting anyone to campus in the next year.

She added, however, that she was pleased that the project was not being disbanded, and that she had been assured by college leaders that future growth was possible.

Garrett said that, despite all of the controversy, she saw nothing wrong with the Churchill or Rosenberg invitations. Churchill, she said, is “a perfectly legitimate person who had spoken at many colleges and universities — not somebody who it would be obvious that questions would be raised about.”


* * *

You'd think by now, we'd be tired of busting WorldNetDaily's chops over its amateurish plagiarism of PirateBallerina, and its cowardly non-apology for said plagiarism. You'd be wrong.

A Guide to PirateBallerina Churchilliana


Our library of Churchill prevarications, misdirections, and general arcania has grown very large, and, we're afraid, largely unread. As a public service, we offer a refresher course in our coverage of Ward Churchill:

We noted back in February '05 that academia would attempt to recast the debate over Churchill as a "freedom of speech" and "academic freedom" issue. And that's what's happened.

We compiled a basic Churchill history as well as a chronology of life events to assist readers and researchers alike.

We shed light on his scholarly pretentions back in March

We were first to publish a four-page rant by one of Churchill's ex-wives, M. Annette Jaimes (scooping The Denver Post , which earned us a huffily dismissive reference to PB from the DP in the bargain)

We were first to publish a plea for support from Churchill's current wife, Natsu Taylor Saito

We parsed Churchill's incendiary "On the Justice of Roosting Chickens" essay to show that he meant everyone in the twin towers, not just the bankers, when he said "these technocrats of empire."

We catalogued Churchill's numerous "invitations to violence" (we explain why we call them invitations rather than incitements in the essay).

We refuted his UKB membership as anything but honorary back in February.

In March, we highlighted an apparent identity theft by Churchill (still unnoticed by the MSM).

We showed he couldn't be anything more than 1/64th Native American weeks before the Rocky Mountain News did—and then we assisted the RMN with its genealogy that pared the possible "blood quantum" down to 1/128th.
Update: Kevin Flynn reminds us our dates are wrong, and his initial genealogy article in the RMN actually preceded ours by a month—and scooped the Denver Post by a week. Our apologies for the error.

We were first to report on Churchill's "frag the officers" advice

We were first to expose the apparent bias of two of the Investigating Committee members, resulting in their resignations
Update: We share the honor of being first to report this; on the same day, Elizabeth Mattern Clark of the Boulder Daily Camera also reported the apparent bias.

We were first to report the resignation of Professor Natsu Saito, Churchill's fourth wife, from CU.

We catalogued all the contributions to improving Indian life Churchill hasn't made while noting what he has been doing

We discussed the eerie similarities between Churchill and radical Islamists, and exposed the only true goal he can have

We broke the story of Mrs. Ward Churchill's (Professor Natsu Taylor Saito) apparent pseudonymous lauding of her own book on amazon.com

.. and that's all in addition to our huge compilation of newspaper articles, essays, and editorials covering the Churchill debacle. Patting ourselves on the back, are we? Why shouldn't we? After all, if our stuff is good enough for WorldNetDaily to steal, it's certainly good enough to brag about.

CNews 3July05


Well, it's a start
Hamilton College Curtails Kirkland Project's Budget
Excerpt:

CLINTON — The committee responsible for inviting controversial speakers to Hamilton College during the last school year will have its programming curtailed and operate on a much smaller budget, Hamilton College President Joan Hinde Stewart said in a letter to the college community.

The Kirkland Project brought the college into the national spotlight with invitations to Ward Churchill, a University of Colorado professor who compared victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks to a Nazi leader, and Susan Rosenberg, a former radical who spent 16 years in prison for possessing for explosives and was linked to a bank robbery in which three people were killed. Both appearances were cancelled, but the invitations led to a formal review of the project by college officials and the resignation of its director, Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz.

Update: Not everyone at Hamilton is a moonbat. The Hamilton College Alumni for Governance Reform (HCAGR) is working to reform college policies that led to the current sorry state of affairs. You can check them out here.  

* * *

A Vietnam vet talks about why officers and non-coms got "fragged":

Fragging of officers did happen, as did the occasional death of green (rookie) platoon leaders "from behind", on rare occasions. These actions were always precipitated by incompetence on the part of newly arrived officers eager to "make their bones" and whose actions endangered the lives and welfare of an established combat unit and experienced troops. That, of course, is murder. It should be charged as such when it's suspected.

Most often, though, it was classified as "death by friendly fire".

Combat soldiers survive the best way they can, and anyway they can.

And history shows us that the killing of incompetent commissioned and non-commissioned officers was not unique to the Vietnam experience. I did not then and do not now condone such actions.

But you should know why it happened. And that it absolutely did happen, but not the way Churchill said it did.

Churchill's allegations that it occurred during Vietnam for political reasons is bullshit. His suggestion that it should happen now for political reasons is nothing short of treasonous.


* * *

Lucky for Churchill, the Maoist International Movement rushes to his defense (and they even get it right about WorldNetDaily swiping our story—though where they get the idea we're a "self-styled witch-hunter" remains a mystery)

...this Maoist International Movement seems quite fascinated with Ward Churchill; they've been tracking his case—albeit from a somewhat different perspective—with near PirateBallerina-like persistence

(hat tip for both MIM links to Surf Ballroom)

CNews 2July05


Oh, and he gets a 2.8% pay-raise
More on Churchill's self-complaint

Excerpt:

In a letter to [CU interim Chancellor Phil] DiStefano dated Monday, [Ward] Churchill wrote, "I feel it imperative to register a complaint against myself, to wit: In a review of my award-winning book, On the Justice of Roosting Chickens, appearing in the Spring-Summer 2005 issue of Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed (Vol. 23, No. 1), the reviewer, Aragorn!, observes at page 30, that I should 'have given (my) grad students the credit they so richly deserve for putting (the book) together' (copy attached and marked).

"As you are no doubt aware, appropriation by faculty members of research undertaken by graduate students is a ubiquitous practice, often blending into outright plagiarism by the faculty members involved, and thus constitutes a major ethical issue in the academy. It is high time the University of Colorado finally began to treat the problem with the degree of seriousness it warrants, beginning with my own case."

Churchill went on to tell DiStefano, "The mere fact that I do not and have never had 'grad students' - or research assistants of any sort - should by no means deter you from referring the matter at hand, without further examination, to the (faculty committee). The allegation concerning my misconduct has, after all, appeared in print."

And, Churchill added, "The very future of the institution as well as the market value of all degrees it has heretofore granted are undoubtedly at stake."

Update: The award Churchill mentions is the Honorable Mention his book received from the 2004 Gustavus Myers Human Rights Awards. Here, The Gustavus Myers Center defends that Honorable Mention. Also, a review of the Center's previous award winners and honorable mentions is instructive.

* * *

Our sometime-contributor Dianna Deeley explores the Denver Post's editorial-page cognitive dissonance on her Squishy! blog

* * *

If this is July second, it must be time to mention WorldNetDaily's enormously stupid plagiarism of PirateBallerina, and its egregiously hamhanded non-apology for said plagiarism.

CNews 1July05 Part II


It's a tribute of sorts to the depths to which the Churchill spectacle has sunk that even we here at PB aren't sure if this is a real news story or a satire:

Churchill files formal complaint with CU against himself

BOULDER - In a swipe at his critics, embattled University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill said Friday he has filed a formal complaint against himself, demanding that school officials investigate a spurious claim that he failed to acknowledge research help from graduate students.

With a broad smile, Churchill told The Associated Press he has never had a research assistant. But in a letter to university officials dated Monday, he said "that ... should by no means deter you."

Churchill, who touched off a firestorm with an essay that likened some of the World Trade Center victims to a Nazi architect of the Holocaust, is under investigation by the university on allegations that he committed plagiarism, fabricated some research findings and falsely claimed to be an American Indian.

Churchill denied the allegations and compared them to the claims about failing to credit research assistants, which appeared in a Berkeley, Calif., magazine called Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed. "They are no more credible than that," he said.

The magazine has no listed phone number and editors did not immediately respond to e-mails.

University spokeswoman Pauline Hale said the school has received Churchill's complaint against himself and "is taking it under advisement."


Note to WorldNetDaily: You're on your own on this one


Update: It appears that Churchill, if the above article is factual, may be referencing a 1993 "Bob Black tribute" issue of Anarchy magazine, in which Black—a longtime Ward Churchill critic (PB has something purportedly by Black here)—or one of his supporters alleges Churchill failed to give credit to research assistants. Since we at PB don't have access to the publication in question, we can not confirm this. Anybody have some back issues of Anarchy laying around?

Update: Well, if it's a put-on, it's a successful one. We count 34 major news sources across the country that have picked up the story. If the story is true—and we're prepared to admit that it may be—this is not a spoof on Churchill's detractors so much as a thumb in the eye of CU's Standing Committee on Research Misconduct, which is currently reviewing other allegations of academic and racial fraud.

Partial Transcript of Churchill's Portland Remarks


For our more skeptical readers, we've transcribed the first few minutes of Churchill's Portland speech to show more context to the statements he made that we published last Sunday. The quotes we used earlier are in boldface.

Note: On the MP3 we found on indymedia.com and copied to PB, Churchill's comments begin mid-sentence at 21:36. We have been unable to locate a recording that covers his prior remarks. 

(btw: Did you know Churchill was a grandfather? Neither did we.)


[starts at 21:36]

[abrupt click]

(unintelligible) they killed the landlords, turned the landlords into a sport. How you see things is very much involved with how you act in the world. If you purport to be in opposition to war, well for starters you might as well be purporting to be in support of the sky. War we can all oppose. War is bad. We have just said nothing. Is there anything—any kind of specificity—that might be involved in that opposition to war? Is there a particular kind of war or is it just all war? 'I oppose oppression. I oppose violence; I oppose everything not nice. I blow bubbles and look at butterflies. I am groovy and cool. Like me! I'm different than the ones who would kill you.' No, you're not, because you're not stopping the killers from doing what it is that they do.

Question to the group, and actually it's sort of a statement of solidarity. I'm an old guy and I'm gonna be talking like an old guy in part tonight. I'm 57 years old. I'm coming on to 60. I'm a grandfather. I shouldn't be doing this. I shouldn't have to be doing this because I was part of something that happened 30 years ago that was supposed to prevent this sort of thing from being necessary now. but in that conjuncture—'cause a lot that was learned has been lost and forgotten maybe has to be relearned or maybe there can be a sort of conveyance. I make my statement of solidarity to the brother who was up here from the resistance. I remember that Omega from back in the day. Funny that we would have to be talking about it again 30-35 years after the fact, whole new generation here and we're gonna have to teach them about the necessity of resisting military induction. Thought that was over and done with.

And solidarity to the brother who spoke earlier from the lawyer's guild. Thanks not to you personally but to the organization for keeping me out of jail more than once over the last 30 years. There's other things I coulda been doing, like stamping out license plates or working for Bill Gates on circuit boards and things like that. 'Cause you know under those reconstruction amendments slavery's still legal in this country—you've got the greatest slave archipelago on the planet right here in the land of the free. One in three black men between the ages of 18 and 25—either doin' time, just got done doin' time, or getting ready to do time. Think of the implications of that, because those are legally enslaved people. And they're being selected on the basis of melanin content just like they used to be, like livestock, [and] they're being impressed into service to fuel this economy just like they were back in the early part of the 19th century. Taken at the prime of child-bearing age and disenfranchised and dispossessed. Forty acres and a mule my ass! That system hasn't changed much and that relates to what we're talking about now too.

Talkin' about, comin from a lawyer's guild perspective, teaching people about conscientious objection, well, that goes directly to the point I raised a moment ago: Is it all war you oppose, or is there particular forms of war that you find more reprehensible than others or are there actually forms of physical resistance—what might be called warfare—that you could actually support? I come from a background of supporting, say, the National Liberation Front in Vietnam, North Vietnamese army. Having fought in the [unintelligible] [least?] I could do is support them in the aftermath of that. [I] never did oppose all war. But for those of you who do, as a matter of principle, oppose war in any form, the idea of supporting a conscientious objector who's already been inducted [and] in his combat service in Iraq might have a certain appeal. But let me ask you this: Would you render the same support to someone who hadn't conscientiously objected, but rather instead rolled a grenade under their line officer in order to neutralize the combat capacity of their unit? That kind of resistance.

Lesson to be learned. the United States Army in that field in southeast Asia disintegrated in that field on the basis of in 1970 the reported number of 1100 incidents of which soldiers did exactly what I was talking about. The life expectancy in combat of a second lieutenant in an infantry unit was shorter than that of a sand-flea. The ability of the military to project what it was engaged in doing upon its opponents in the field disintegrated accordingly. that's 1100 reported incidents of what they call 'fragging." The cannon fodder, the troops, taking out the officers and neutralizing their capacity to direct them in combat operations in the field. And the unofficial number put out by the army that year was over 10,000. You cannot maintain a military projection of force in the field when your own troops are taking out the line officers who are directing them in combat. It is as simple as that. Conscientious objection removes a given piece of the cannon fodder from the fray; fragging an officer has a much more impactful effect.

CNews 1July05


CU interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano is sending out a form letter in response to the (we'd guess voluminous) emails and phone calls he's getting concerning Churchill's latest harangue:

Subject: Response to emails/phone calls regarding Ward Churchill's Recent Remarks
From: "collect" collect@ad.colorado.edu
To: "collect" collect@ad.colorado.edu

Thank you for your message regarding recent remarks by Professor Ward Churchill.  In response to inquiries, I have issued the following statement on behalf of President Hoffman, the Board of Regents and the University of Colorado at Boulder administration:

Prof Ward Churchill's remarks do not represent the views of the University or the vast majority of our community.

The University is in the midst of conducting a thorough investigation of allegations related to possible research misconduct by Professor Churchill.  It is important that the current inquiry be allowed to proceed with due process according to the laws of the Regents.  Until that review is concluded, it would not be appropriate to comment further.

Sincerely,

Philip P. DiStefano
Interim Chancellor
University of Colorado at Boulder


* * *

Trey Jackson of Jackson's Junction is emailing leftist bloggers to get their reactions to Churchill's commentary on fragging line officers. So far, two responses

* * *

The Denver Post, generally at the forefront of Churchill's defense, turns strident in editorial today:
'Escort Churchill to the door'

Churchill has the right to free expression, but he doesn't have the right to a tenured University of Colorado teaching position. CU needs to take away his disguise as a scholar and let Churchill make his way as a political activist.

Unfortunately, as Drunkablog points out, the Post's preferred method of "escorting Churchill to the door" is the same old "buy him out" advice they've been hawking for months:

In the case of tenured professors, due process can take years. But it's high time for Churchill to go. A buyout might even save the taxpayers a bundle since officials figure it could cost $750,000 or more if the university has to defend a firing in court. Meanwhile, the cost to CU's reputation for keeping Churchill on its teaching staff is incalculable.


* * *

Denver and Boulder press aswarm with news of Churchill's denials he advocated fragging line officers:

The Denver Post:
Opinions split over CU prof's war comments

Rocky Mountain News:
Ward Churchill stirs new hornets' nest

Boulder Daily Camera:
Churchill says remark misunderstood

Colorado Daily:
A Problem in Portland

* * *

We're not going to keep thumping the tub about WorldNetDaily's enormously stupid plagiarism of PirateBallerina, and its egregiously hamhanded non-apology for said plagiarism, are we? Guess we are.

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