Tales Told

[Crossposted from Free Exchange on Campus]Sometimes, when I think I have misread something, I don’t bother to check but move on, hoping what I perceived was what was written, knowing full well it was not. Years ago, I read something by Cornelia Otis Skinner about this—she commented that she had once read a sign on … Continue reading Tales Told

The Battle of Olustee

One thing that always interests me is people who argue based on the weight of their experience yet who don’t have the courage to admit who they are. Someone using the name “olustee” responded in just this manner to a piece of mine first published by the ePluribus Media Journal and reprinted by David Horowitz’s … Continue reading The Battle of Olustee

The Authoritarian, Horowitz

[Cross-posted from Free Exchange on Campus]One thing about accusations of lying: They are an excellent way of diverting attention from what had been the issue at hand. Add a little outrage at the 'insult,' and it's rare that focus ever returns to the issue at hand.Addressing Jacob Heilbrunn (author of the new book They Knew … Continue reading The Authoritarian, Horowitz

Classroom Rights and Responsibilities

[Cross-posted from Free Exchange on Campus]Way back in the 1970s, I heard an ad on the radio that got me so annoyed that I still remember it. The tag line was, “Your children have a right to have whales in their world.” It wasn’t the aim of the ad that bothered me—I was soon to … Continue reading Classroom Rights and Responsibilities

Invite a Conservative to Class Week

[Crossposted on Free Exchange on Campus]In a couple of weeks (starting October 22, I believe), the David Horowitz Freedom Center is sponsoring something called “Islamo Fascism Awareness Week,” something my Moslem students (and I have a number) look at in confusion and with a certain amount of horror. The promoters of the “Week” claim they … Continue reading Invite a Conservative to Class Week

Balancing Acts

[Crossposted from Free Exchange on Campus]Writing today for David Horowitz’s Front Page Magazine in an article on the Campus Watch organization, Daniel Pipes says:Campus Watch's highest priority is to help stimulate a diversity of opinion, so that pro-American scholars… reach parity with the anti-Americans. This goal has two implications.• That professors today can no longer … Continue reading Balancing Acts

Covering Old Ground

[Originally published on the Free Exchange on Campus blog.]As a new academic year is starting this week, I’d like to renew discussion that, while old hat to some, may be as yet unexplored by others. My concern is the subtle twisting of words and phrases that puts an entirely new spin on them—something that David … Continue reading Covering Old Ground

The Marketplace of Ideas?

One of the best discussions of the role of the classroom that I have seen in quite some time appeared yesterday on the Free Exchange on Campus blog. Kurt Smith, a professor of Philosophy at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania makes the point that the "marketplace of ideas" concept of the classroom (as used by the … Continue reading The Marketplace of Ideas?

Which Is More Important: Teaching or Politics?

It’s galling to (1) find oneself quoted positively in a story posted on David Horowitz’s propaganda site (though they now seem to have taken the story down: It can still be found at its original home) and (2) to see oneself criticized by someone as dedicated to the protection of academic freedom as I am. … Continue reading Which Is More Important: Teaching or Politics?

Last Thoughts on Ward Churchill?

Well, as expected, Ward Churchill was fired yesterday. I don’t know how I feel about it. Certainly, I have never been a supporter of his, but the whole brouhaha disturbs me greatly. Academia had let itself slip into a spot with no room for a graceful exit.Everyone seems to “know” the “truth” about all of … Continue reading Last Thoughts on Ward Churchill?