Still home of the (renamed) Kirkland Project, Hamilton College 'indefinitely suspends' plans for Alexander Hamilton Center. Studying "Diversity and Social Justice" (whatever those terms mean) is apparently more important than studying freedom, democracy and capitalism. Sure. That makes sense.
OT: Academia will soon be adding Fat Studies to its catalog of eminently important fields of scholarship (free registration may be required)
Also OT: Oklahoma political science professor calls for voting rights for illegal immigrants
The American Federation of Teachers (AFL-CIO) debunks all the surveys that point to a liberal bias in academia (ht B.D.)
From our Dog Bites Man department: Ambush journalism provokes appropriate response
Two Comparative Ethnics Studies professors at Washington State University demonstrate the quality of judgment, moral rectitude, and mental acuity necessary to achieve professorship in something called "Comparative Ethnic Studies" (ht Terry Hastings)
Another College Republicans member, Dan Ryder, said he was called a "white (expletive)" by professor John Streamas.Oh! Well, that's different. Never mind.
Streamas admitted to using the phrase, but said it wasn't directed at any individual student.
From our Gifts That Just Keep Giving department: In "End The Racist War Crime in Iraq", English Professor Peter N. Kirstein brings to bear his mighty (not to mention heroic) intellectual prowess upon solving the Iraqi situation, but not before he shares his equally heroic (not to mention mighty) opinion of Senator John S. McCain.
Excerpt (emphasis in the original):
This man has no conception of war from below. A navy pilot who bombed innocent civilians and other collateral targets in North Vietnam, besides possibly aiming at North Vietnam troops as well, he was shot down and has played his P.O.W. status into heroism. Why? He was shot down and caught by a nation and a people that were victims of genocide. He was a participant in that genocide and is a violent, imperialist who has no restraint when it comes to the use of American military power. Here he is advocating more war, more destruction, more military forces when he sits in splendor as a Senator with bodyguards and national-press adulation as he runs for president in 2008. He is a reactionary, hateful man who is utterly opposed to negotiations, diplomacy and reaching out to our adversaries as a means of conflict resolution. He is utterly shameless.Update: Looks like Kirstein is an illiterate in History, rather than in English (so why's his blog under the auspice of "Saint Xavier University English Education Program Portal"? Huh? Huh?). And does it really matter whether Kirstein's office wall is adorned with a poster of Che Guevara instead of Virginia Woolf? He's still fun to poke with a stick.
Disengagement from Iraq will never result from training Iraqi police and military units to slaughter and annihilate the resistance. It will only lead to more death and horror. This is a guerilla war fought as in Vietnam by small units, sometimes by single suicide combatants, and cannot be defeated by increasing the numbers or firepower of an indigenous Iraqi miilitary. It failed in Vietnam when the A.R.V.N. had over a milliion soldiers. It will fail in Iraq with numbers so much less than that. The war is over but the fighting. No sarcasm intended as criminal America perpetrates more death and destruction on these innocent people whose nation and world has been destroyed by this disgraceful war.
Disengagement from Iraq will not succed in bringing Iran and Syria, two noble nations that have resisted American imperialism and violent Zionism for years, into a regional peace conference to confirm America's war aims.
According to this website, Ward Churchill and his wife, Natsu Taylor Saito, will be in Philadelphia December 9, 2006 "to commemorate [convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal's] 25 years of resistance, and our determination to get him out from the hell hole where he has been all these years. Ward and Natsu will then go to New York City with us for the 'Ode' rally on behalf of Lynne Stewart." [links added].
From our We Knew We'd Heard That Name Somewhere Before department: The first signature listed on the recent Resolution published on the Ward Churchill Solidarity Network is Faith Attaguile, which we now recall is the same name as the contributing editor to the Dark Night field notes and ostensible author of "Why Do You Think We Call It Struggle?" The "Struggle" essay, as we commented over a year ago, reads very much like a Ward Churchill screed, which leads us to wonder if "Faith Attaguile" might have chaired the Ethnic Studies department at CU a year or so ago, perhaps under a different name....
In any case, here's a review "Faith Attaguile" wrote of Churchill's booklength version of On The Justice of Roosting Chickens back in 2004. Odd, but with a couple of exceptions, "Faith Attaguile" has confined her literary output over the years to the defense or review of Ward Churchill's platform. Quite focused, for a "contributing editor."
Incidentally, back in 1998, "Attaguile" formed Dark Night Press in Rancho Santa Fe, California as a nonprofit publisher. Browsing the Dark Night Press website, we encountered the name of Nick Cheung, who appears to have been the designer of the Dark Night Press website, and we wondered if Nick is any relation to Michele Cheung, another signatory to the Resolution, who once interviewed James Craven, yet another Resolution signatory, for Dark Night Press; Craven once transcribed a speech on residential schools by Roland Chrisjohn, still another Resolution signer, who wrote an article on residential schools for Dark Night Press, which also published "The Kingdom of Hawai'i Declaration of Independence" (subtitled "The Kingdom of Hawai’i Nou Ke Akua Ke Aupuni O’ Hawai’i Announces Secession From the United States of America"); coincidentally, Resolution signatory Haunani Kay Trask claims she is a member of the Kanaka Maoli (Hawaii's indigenents), in whose name the "Declaration of Independence" was made.
It's a small world, after all.
Update on Ward Churchill's recent self-identification as a UKB Cherokee: At Sudbury University (and possibly at Laurentian University, as well) on October 30, 2006, Churchill introduced himself by saying: "Hello, my relatives. It's good to see you here. Since I'm where I am I [inaudible]. I bring you greetings for the elders of my people, Tsalagi—it's pronounced as 'Cherokee'—[the] Keetoowah Band in particular, and for the Colorado Chapter of the American Indian Movement, of which I'm a part."
Those zany anonymous posters over at the Ward Churchill Solidarity Network have finally published a "Resolution from the Emergency Summit of Scholars and Activists Defending Critical Thinking [sic] and Indigenous Studies" (pdf) from that confab in Lawrence, Kansas two months ago. The resolution—actually just another iteration of the same specious arguments Churchill himself made months ago—is so rife with unintentional knee-slapping hilarity and so void of critical thinking (in the actual sense, not in the newspeak of the Left) that we felt compelled to pub it here in its entirety:
WHEREAS Indigenous Peoples continue to defend their sovereignty and resist ongoing efforts to eliminate their (our) peoples, cultures, lands, resources, and histories, and we recognize that access to, and promotion of, historical truths and analyses that challenge the oppressive aspects of the status quo are essential to the survival of all of all Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and youth; and
WHEREAS the University of Colorado has expanded its attacks on Professor Ward Churchill to encompass not only his critique of U.S. foreign policy, but to undermine his analysis of the history and lived realities of Indigenous Peoples; and
WHEREAS the University of Colorado is attempting to fire Ward Churchill based upon pretextual charges of research misconduct which have been "investigated" by a committee of non-Indigenous academics, none of whom are experts in American Indian Studies; and
WHEREAS the University of Colorado’s investigative committee has chosen to reinforce mainstream "truths" concerning the 1837 smallpox epidemic and other matters while accusing Ward Churchill of "disrespecting American Indian oral traditions" despite extensive testimony by Indigenous scholars supporting Professor Churchill’s historical interpretations; and
WHEREAS the biased nature of the University of Colorado’s investigation into Professor Churchill’s scholarship can be seen in the University’s repeated violations of its own rules and in its committee’s insistence that Professor Churchill be held to arbitrarily chosen standards which have not applied to other scholars; and
WHEREAS the University of Colorado’s investigative committee has justified the severity of its recommended sanctions on the basis of Professor Churchill’s "bad attitude," i.e., his refusal to recant his understandings of historical truth; and
WHEREAS the attacks on Ward Churchill, one of the most prolific scholars in the field of American Indian Studies, are being used to chill the expression of counterhegemonic truths, to re-impose a "consensus" history dictated by the perspective of the colonizers, and to fuel racist attacks on students and scholars of color; and
WHEREAS we recognize that the attacks on Ward Churchill are part of a national and international movement to undermine the disciplines of Indigenous, Ethnic, and Gender studies which emerged as a result of protracted community-based struggles in response to the failures of mainstream disciplines to accurately reflect our collective histories and realities;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we, the undersigned Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars and activists, call upon those who value academic freedom, the unconstrained pursuit of truth, and true diversity in education to join us in urging the University of Colorado to: (1) acknowledge that its investigation was deeply flawed, (2) rescind the report of the investigative committee, (3) fully reinstate Professor Churchill, and (4) acknowledge the value and necessity of perspectives which challenge orthodoxy in the pursuit of truth.
The Resolution currently has 33 signatories, including our old friends Bruce E. Johansen (third item) and Robert A. Williams, Jr. (first item), who resigned their posts on the Ward Churchill Investigating Subcommittee last year. Other signers include Grant "Tink" Tinker, Glenn Morris, Russell Means, Haunani Kay Trask, and the rest of Churchill's Christmas card list. Say what you will, you can't help but admire such determined stupidity. Incidentally, you can sign this resolution by sending an email to email@example.com. Be sure to include your full name and affiliation. Far be it from us to impede access to such a useful list.
Update: Well, that didn't take long. Noj, one of our more frequent commenters, directs our attention to one of the Investigating Subcommittee's members, Robert N. Clinton—who is, (at least according to the Resolution above) one of the committee's "non-Indigenous academics, none of whom are experts in American Indian Studies"—appears to be somewhat less than blissfully unaware of Indian law (pdf). Fancy that.
According to one of our sources, Ward Churchill—as recently as the end of October 2006 in Canada—is still identifying himself as "Keetoowah Cherokee." The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee disagrees (third item).
According to Joshua Frank's "personal profile" page over at Atlantic Free Press, Ward Churchill has a new book coming out in early 2007 entitled Speaking Truth In The Teeth of Power (AK Press). As always, it's entertaining (and educational) to learn what Churchill considers "truth." Speaking of truth: Churchill's 2005 CV lists this book as forthcoming from AK Press in 2005, but AK Press doesn't list it at all, not in its backlist, not in "latest publications," nor among those forthcoming.
Community college students in Orange County, California have banned the Pledge of Allegiance at their meetings (via LGF).
[Student trustee Jason] Bell said the ban largely came about because the trustees didn’t want to publicly vow loyalty to the American government before their meetings. “Loyalty ought to be something the government earns through performance, not through reciting a pledge,” he said.Tough talk from someone enjoying an education primarily at the government's expense. Unfortunately, the administrators at the college are defenseless in the face of this ignorant bluster. From the same article:
Martha Parham, a spokeswoman for the Coast Community College District, said her office had no standing on the student board and took no position on the flag salute ban.
Atas Shrugs posts a rather pointless email exchange between a medical student and Ward Churchill (pointless for the medical student, that is; we link out of duty to Churchilliana completists. Incidentally, we recall our own correspondence with Churchill was nearly as pointless).
Drunkablog slips into his hazmat suit and bravely dumpster-dives into the Bizarro World of the Maoist Internationalist Movement, where he discovers not only an incipient heretic-purge, but an entire poem cycle dedicated to Ward Churchill's Agents of Repression.
From our mothballed-until-today Good News department: Michigan Bans Affirmative Action in Government, Higher Education
Not Really OT: Bill Whittle has produced a long but endlessly rewarding essay that dissects some of the most dearly-held beliefs of the Left (via LGF)
Excerpt from the section on "US Imperialism":
It is a staple of the left to accuse the US of “Imperialism.” That so many people can level such a charge with a straight face is a testament to the efficacy of forty years of standards-free education reform here and around the world....and later, discussing appeasement (but equally applicable to Our Favorite Professor), this gem:
An “Empire” is defined as a nation state that has political control over other nation states, and uses that political control to extract the wealth and resources from the subjugated country.
The United States of America does not have any political control over any other sovereign nation on the face of the Earth. We have influence, but influence is to control as a rich uncle is to a prison warden. That’s all you need to know. The entire idea of American Empire and U.S. Imperialism is dead on its face after that. No control means no empire. Period.
But we do have a large footprint in the rest of the world, and have military bases all across the globe. Is that a form of empire?
Look, the whole point of having an empire is to take the wealth out of the colonies and return them to enrich the home country. The US not only does not pull in the resources of other nations…it does exactly the reverse. We pump billions and billions of dollars annually into those nations that host our facilities, and the minute any one of those nations decides we are no longer welcome, we pack our bags, leave and turn those billion-dollar institutions over to the host country. (Look up Subic Bay and Clark AFB in the Philippines for some recent examples)
This is not “imperial behavior.” It is, in fact, the precise opposite of imperial behavior. I guess somehow STOP U.S. ANTI-IMPERIALISM just doesn’t have the same snap somehow for the North Korean-backed International A.N.S.W.E.R. crowd. Color me shocked.
There are millions of people – actually, probably billions now – who genuinely believe that the wealth of the US was stolen from third world countries. This is one of the great perks of living a life free of the ability to think critically and do a little research. I have heard this slander repeated so many times I decided to look into some actual numbers to see if there is anything to this charge. This is a perfect example of how critical thinking allows you to see the unseen. That attitude, Google and ten minutes is all you need to shoot lies like this down in flames.
Okay. The US Per capita income is $41,300. That of a poor, third world country –Djibouti, say -- is $2,070.
Now it gets interesting. The US gross domestic product – the value of everything we produce in a year -- was last measured as $12 trillion, 277 billion dollars (hundreds of millions of dollars being too insignificant to count in this economy).
The GDP of Djibouti is 1 billion, 641 million US dollars.
A little basic arithmetic shows me that the US has a GDP 7,481 times greater than Djibouti. A 365 day year, composed of 24 hours in a day, yields 8,760 hours per year. Hang on to that for a sec.
Now, let’s suppose the U.S. went into Djibouti with the Marines, and stole every single thing that’s produced there in a year…just grant the premise and say we stole every goddam thing they make. If we hauled away all of Djibouti’s annual wealth, how long would it run the U.S. Economy, which is 7,481 times greater?
Well, 8,760 hours divided by 7,481 gives you an answer of 1.17 hours. In other words, it takes the U.S. 1.17 hours to produce what Djibouti produces in a year.
If the US really did go in and steal everything that the bottom thirty countries in the world produce, it might power the US economy for two or three days.
Conversely, the billions and billions of dollars the US spends annually in aid, rent, etc. – plus uncounted billions more from private American charities – would supply the entire GDP of Djibouti for hundreds of years.
Where’s your Imperialism argument now?
Bluster costs nothing. If you can scare a person into giving you his hard-earned wealth, and suffer no loss in return, well then you my friend have hit the Vandal Jackpot.
Wildly OT: For those sickened unto death by campaign ads.
University of Missouri, professor, et al sued over violation of student's rights
Lawyers at the Alliance Defense Fund have filed a complaint in federal district court on behalf of a former Missouri State University student who says that the university punished her for failing to take part in a class assignment that went against her beliefs as a Christian....Incidentally, Professor Kaufman was recently promoted from assistant professor to Director of the university's Masters of Social Work Program.
Emily Brooker, who graduated from the university’s School of Social Work last spring, took issue with a project in which students were asked to draft and individually sign a letter to Missouri legislators that supported the right of gay people to be foster parents, according to the complaint.
The assignment was eventually shelved, but the complaint says officials in the social work school charged Brooker with the highest-level grievance for not following guidelines on diversity, interpersonal skills and professional behavior. According to the complaint, during a hearing before an ethics committee, faculty members asked Brooker: “Do you think gays and lesbians are sinners? Do you think I am a sinner?” and questioned whether she could assist gay men and women as a professional social worker.
David French, a senior legal counsel with the ADF and the director of their Center for Academic Freedom, says the class assignment was more than a case of political role-playing — it amounted to a restriction of students’ free speech, he said.
“A person was forced to publicly state a position on a hot-button cultural issue to her own government that she disagrees with. You can’t get a more fundamental violation of the First Amendment than that,” French said. “[Brooker] objected, and then she was subject to investigation and punishment.”
We've received an email from CU's Director of Communications, Michele McKinney, in response to a request for information we sent last week concerning a rumored proposal to conduct criminal background checks on new-hires at CU. Ms. McKinney's response:
One of the recommendations from the Independent Report on Tenure-related Processes study recommended that criminal background checks should become a standard part of the hiring process.
The policy which is still in draft form and needs the president's signature, calls for criminal background checks on all people newly hired into tenured or tenure-track faculty positions.
After a few days of the snippy, puerile name-calling of Professor Peter N. Kirstein, it's refreshing, after a fashion, to encounter Princeton University Professor Emeritus Richard Falk's eloquent defense of Ward Churchill. Wrongheaded as ever, filled with self-aggrandizing asides and clever evasions—but eloquent, nonetheless.
To be this concerned about academic freedom is itself a warning bell. Ideally, academic freedom would function as the oxygen of the life of the mind-indispensable, yet invisible and so strongly presupposed that its defense is superfluous. As with oxygen we become acutely conscious of academic freedom when it is not present in sufficient quantities for normal breathing. When academic freedom is threatened, the most sustaining response, is vigorous defense on principle.We've observed this before, but it bears repeating: What part of Ward Churchill's historical fraud, deception, and plagiarism requires such a principled, vigorous defense?
Professor Peter Kirstein posts an interesting email exchange between himself and Heidi McCann in 'Native American C.U. Graduate Student Questions Professor Churchill’s Provenance and Standing.' McCann, who appears to have initiated the exchange, says she came to Kirstein's blog by way of "the horrible and terrible PirateBallerina" (probably in reference to our criticism of her idol, David Yeagley (fourth item)). It's also interesting that Kirstein praises McCann (rather clumsily), saying "[y]ou are a college graduate and write with elan and elegance."
Here's an example of McCann's elan and elegance:
On a larger scale as an American Indian we usually leave all the bickering that has nothing to do with us as a people to the people who want to bicker over it, however, the Churchill fiasco has forced me to break out of the role box.Here's another:
For American Indians to be defined out of existence by non-Indians is when conflicts are created for it causes great harm like a two-way street.
Elan? Elegance? To paraphrase Inego Montoya: We do not think these words mean what you think they mean, Professor Kirstein.
From our Brave Little Toaster department: "Courageous University of Colorado A.A.U.P. Chapter Defends Ward Churchill from Dismissal." (That's Peter Kirstein's headline for his repost of a statement that appears to have been issued last month.) The UC-B AAUP is so courageous, in fact, that within the statement one finds the following bold sentence: "The membership of CU-B AAUP takes no position on whether or not any of the substantive charges of research misconduct leveled against Professor Churchill are justified."
CU Regents Considering Criminal Background Checks for Tenure Candidates
Our apologies to visitors to PirateBallerina who have been unable to comment here for the past 24 hours. An editing mistake made yesterday in our post-format template was the culprit; we've corrected the error, and comments are again working. Opine away!
Today's Denver Post has a round-up article concerning yesterday's hearing (ht Retired Bill). Mostly old news (if you've been following the case), but the article contains this interesting quote from Ward Churchill's legal sock-puppet, David Lane: "Professor Churchill doesn't have $20,000. As of Nov. 6, they will commence a process that could result in the termination of Ward Churchill," Lane said. "His chances [before the CU privilege and tenure committee] are enhanced with an attorney."
Thorough (albeit obsequious) coverage of Ward Churchill's visit to Toronto last weekend
The author of numerous books, and a professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Colorado/Boulder, Ward Churchill urged about 150 students to look outside the "white studies" perspective, and see through the eyes of the oppressed. While this country may have gained independence from the British Empire, the deeply ingrained racism and oppression towards native people - which was one of the driving forces of colonization - continues unabated in our time, Churchill argued.The article unsurprisingly fails to note the powerful orator and accomplished scholar's impending dismissal from CU for repeated plagiarism and historical fraud.
A powerful orator and accomplished scholar, Churchill quoted the great French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, who said colonialism equals genocide. A nation can not engage in colonizing without it having a genocidal impact on indigenous people - without it nullifying their culture, language, religion and way of life. Genocide can be committed, Churchill said, without killing a single person.
From our Smooth Move, Einstein department: University library will purchase second copy of Ward Churchill's On The Justice Of Roosting Chickens after discovering first copy in toilet
A Law Professor's Prognosis
[editor's note: University of Denver Law Professor Thomas D. Russell posted the following commentary on our CNews post for 1November06, but we felt it was important enough to give it a more prominent place on PB. This version of Prof. Russell's comment has been edited slightly—by Prof. Russell—for clarity.]
Prof. Churchill, through his attorneys, has filed his complaint. His lawsuit will proceed, even though the judge refused to order CU to cough up $20K right now. His lawsuit continues, and for this reason "denouement" is not quite the right word. He lost a skirmish, that's all.
As for a jury trial, I agree with you. I live in Denver. I do not believe that Prof. Churchill would do well with a jury in Denver County nor, for that matter, elsewhere in the state.
I have wrestled, for some time, with the damages issue. Here is a hypothetical. Let's say that I hire Jim Paine to be a blogger for me with a 5-year contract at $50K per year. A week into the contract, I fire you for no good reason at all. That is, I breach. What are your damages?
If you say $250K, you are wrong and not just because of present value. If, the day after I fire you, you get a job blogging for David Horowitz at $60K per year for 5 years, then you have no damages at all. In fact, you are better off—at least in money terms.
If you get a job for $45K per year, then you have $5K damages per year for 5 years at the utmost. (There might be a reduction to present value.)
The third possibility is that you sit at your desk at home, don't look for a job at all, and just surf the web all day and work on pirateballerina. In this case, you get $50K minus what you could have made if you got off your sorry ass and looked for a job.
For our Churchill completists, the full text of Ward Churchill's complaint (pdf; see item below for the denouement to this legal tale) as filed in District Court yesterday (courtesy Prof. Thomas D. Russell). Interesting that Churchill and his legal sock-puppets wanted a jury trial. For an insightful and educational perspective on what might happen as the lawsuit continues, see Professor Russell's commentary here.
Looks like Ward Churchill-David Lane finally pulled the trigger: Churchill sues to make CU pay legal fees, halt dismissal
Update: Judge to hear arguments later today on injunction
Update II: Churchill firing can proceed, judge rules (ht Leah) (important caveat: this is not being reported by other Denver media, and exists as a headline only on the Denver Post website; the story itself is not available, neither as an rss feed nor as a regular article; clicking on the links obtains a "We are sorry the article that you requested is no longer available" message. Hard to say if this is a soon-to-be-corrected web screw-up or a "Dewey Wins!" error). In any case, the text accompanying the Yahoo! News link to the Denver Post headline (and ostensibly taken from the story itself, when it existed) is: "The University of Colorado can proceed with dismissal proceedings against Professor Ward Churchill and doesn't have to pay his legal fees as he fights dismissal, a Denver judge ruled today." We'll keep you posted.
Update IV: Churchill firing can proceed, judge rules (via slapstickpolitics)
The University of Colorado can proceed with dismissal proceedings against Professor Ward Churchill and doesn't have to pay his legal fees as he fights dismissal, a Denver judge ruled today....Meanwhile, the Colorado Daily does a background piece on the provenance of the "$20,000 promise"
Churchill's lawyer, David Lane, wanted Denver District Judge Stephen Phillips to stop the proceedings until the court decided whether CU had to pay Churchill up to $20,000.
But Patrick O'Rourke, CU's lawyer, said that the university is only required to pay attorneys fees in the narrowest of circumstances, and this was not one of them.
Phillips said he agreed with the university and that if Churchill prevails, he can later seek reimbursement for legal fees and lost wages.
Walter E. Williams takes a look at "Diversity Adulation"
Americans, as taxpayers and benefactors, have been exceedingly generous to our institutions of higher learning. That generosity has been betrayed. Rich Americans, who acquired their wealth through our capitalist system, give billions to universities. Unbeknownst to them, much of that money often goes to faculty members and programs that are openly hostile to donor values. Universities have also failed in their function of the pursuit of academic excellence by having dumbed down classes and granting degrees to students who are just barely literate and computationally incompetent....speaking of diversity (and who isn't?), Thomas Bray takes a look at the University of Michigan's racial quotas
What's part of Williams' solution? Benefactors should stop giving money to universities that engage in racist diversity policy. Simply go to the university's website, and if you find offices of diversity, close your pocketbook. There's nothing like the sound of pocketbooks snapping shut to open the closed minds of administrators.
According to data once again wrested from the university under a Freedom of Information Act request, the Center for Equal Opportunity, based in Herndon, Va., found that a black applicant with a cumulative SAT score of 1240 and a 3.2 grade point average in high school has a 9-in-10 chance of being admitted to Michigan's undergraduate program. For whites or Asians, the chances were 1-in-10.