October 10, 2006

"Like Bush and the neocons, Hitler and the Nazis inaugurated their new era by destroying an architectural monument...."

From the required textbook for Kevin Barrett's course on Islam, here at the University of Wisconsin. The book is: "9/11 and American Empire: Muslims, Jews, and Christians Speak Out," a collection of essays including one by Barrett. Lots more quotes from the book at the link.

UPDATE: Blue Crab wants him fired. Note that I'm supporting the decision not to fire him. But I advocate criticizing him -- harshly and disrespectfully.

68 comments:

Simon said...

Isn't it vaguely embarassing to be associated with a University that thinks that this fellow should be teaching this material to students? I just feel terribly for the alumni, staff and students of UW whose prestige is being negatively affected by this extraordinary decision.

UW: You can't stop morons from believing what they want, but as an institution, you can refuse to lend them your resources, your prestige and your imprimatur.

Simon said...

"UW-Madison spokesperson Brian Matmiller told 27 News Department Chair Ellen Rafferty declined comment on '9/11 and American Empire' because she was unfamiliar with the book and was not an expert on 9/11 and its implications."

Yeah, I'll bet he refused to comment. But the real irony is that Barret is not an "expert" on anything relevant to 9/11 either - materials science, structural engineering, and so on. Mainstream Republicans have Fred Phelps to make us cringe by association; mainstream Democrats have Barrett and his ilk. I suppose the difference is that no major university gives Phelps a platform.

Ann Althouse said...

Simon: I do not believe the university "thinks that this fellow should be teaching this material to students." I think the university thinks that he should not be fired but also that he should not have been hired. I believe this story has brought strong attention to a problem that exists at the hiring level. Firing Barrett would have been a distraction and quite possibly counterproductive. Stay turned and see how things shake out in the future.

Simon said...

If my employer thought I should not have been hired, they would fire me. If UW truly thought that what this fellow was teaching was beyond the pale, his feet would not touch the ground. If he was teaching holocaust denial -- which could also, in warped minds of Barrett's ilk, be tangentially connected to "an introduction to Islam", insofar as the leader of a major Islamic nation has repeatedly denied the holocaust -- his feet would not touch the ground. He would be fired almost instantly, in response to either immense media outcry or an innate sense of shame on the part of UW, a desire to correct their mistake. That UW ever let him step into a classroom, knowing what he was going to do, is an endorsement that his viewpoint is valid, even if it doesn't rise to an endorsement that his viewpoint is accurate.

Goatwhacker said...

UW-Madison spokesperson Brian Matmiller told 27 News Department Chair Ellen Rafferty declined comment on "9/11 and American Empire" because she was unfamiliar with the book and was not an expert on 9/11 and its implications.

I'm no academic, but maybe the departmental chair needs a little better handle on things. It's not like this topic just became controversial this morning.

Anyway I understand the point that keeping Barrett is the "lesser evil" when compared to firing him. From a practical standpoint though, UW has given Barrett not only resources, but a measure of credibility. Whatever disclaimers may come from UW, he'll have "lecturer, University of Wisconsin-Madison" after his name forever. And the attitude that the UW administration is projecting is that they're not particularly concerned about that.

DBrooks said...

Well said, Simon. I can think of many areas of study that are no more unhinged than this, but wouldn't last one week on any major college campus. That Barrett continues to "teach" says a lot about academia, UW, and our current political environment.

Ann Althouse said...

You have to take into account the legitimate concern that if he were fired, there would be demands to fire others who have controversial ideas. The UW is following a tradition of academic freedom, and in the broad view, there are good reasons to maintain a strong policy here.

George said...

And the slug was nude, having neither plate nor shell....Such beauty disdains any covering save the perfect stocking of its own integument. The enchantment it evokes is quite enough protection.

From "The Slug," an essay by Dr. Richard Selzer, M.D.

Telecomedian said...

A video recently released to the web shows a fuel tanker truck that caught on fire on a bridge. The resulting blaze structurally damaged the bridge until it collapsed.

Here's the link - http://www.nothingtoxic.com/media/1159550048/Tanker_Truck_Crashes_and_Blows_Up_a_Bridge - though I'm sure Barrett will blame the thermite or some other nonesense.

MadisonMan said...

I wonder what the other 14 essays are like.

Speaking as an alum, and the son of 2 alums, and the grandson of 4 alums, I don't see how this affects the prestige of the UW. It's not like the UW is a world-class leader in Languages and Culture of Asia, the department in which this class is taught. Among alumni that I know, this kind of thing is usually met with eyerolls. Now if I worked at the UW Foundation, I might sing a different tune; I don't know how the episode is affecting donations.

Mike said...

Ann said: "I think the university thinks ... that he should not have been hired.'

Ann, do you have any evidence for this? I can't recall anyone in the Administration saying anything like this.

Old Dad said...

Ann,

I'll be the first to admit that I don't have a good handle on what "academic freedom" means, but from this layman's perspective, it appears to be the last refuge of academic scoundrels--like Ward Churchill.

Can't reasonable people make reasonable distinctions between controversial ideas and obvious bullshit? I think they can, and Barret's stuff stinks to high heaven.

Richard Fagin said...

Better yet, as they should, let the universities continue their policies of not taking adverse employment action against insructors who hold controversial views, but at the same time let the alums feel free to tell their alma maters where to go when its time to beg for money. As long as MIT keeps the likes of Noam Chomsky on the payroll, they won't get one red cent from me.

Zeb Quinn said...

"You have to take into account the legitimate concern that if he were fired, there would be demands to fire others who have controversial ideas. The UW is following a tradition of academic freedom, and in the broad view, there are good reasons to maintain a strong policy here."

Does his free pass on that basis apply to all who teach kooky ideas, without discernment? Or is this something judged on a case-by-case basis? If the latter, the "academic freedom" argument is just a sound-good feel-good sanctimoneous ruse.

Sloanasaurus said...

I went to UW for 8 years including grad school, and agree with MadisonMan, I don't see how Barret affects the long term reputation for the UW.

Maybe they should offset Barret's left wing conpiracy class by at lease hiring some mainstream professors to teach military history....maybe military history that actually concentrated on the military part of it rather than some left wing construct of the military... but that would be too much for UW.

Still my best memory of the UW has to be the free beer that was offered me to attend the no blood for oil march during Gulf War I. I was proud to be part of a rent-a-crowd.

RSwan said...

Simon, although you may associate his beliefs with Republicans, Fred Phelps is a Democrat.

Ann Althouse said...

Well, see, the argument that Noam Chomsky should be fired proves my point about the larger picture.

Mike said...

So Ann, I take it that your assertion that the UW thinks Barrett should not have been hired is actually wishful thinking on your part, not something the UW administration has ever said.

MadisonMan said...

mike, there is not an administrator alive who likes to make work for himself (herself). Whomever signed off on the hiring of Barrett added a whole slew of hours to their workload. Do you think they're willing to make that same mistake again.

Of course, these are University Administrators we're talking about. (rimshot)

Mike said...

MM: You're saying they regret the hassle, not the what this guy is teaching at the UW.

This point matters to me, because I think the issue is academic integrity and standards. I disagree with you that Barrett does not degrade the prestige of the UW. I think he is a huge blot on our reputation. I could live with the argument that this as a mistake that slipped through, but now, for this semester, the UW has to honor his contract if the UW actually said that. But I don't believe they have. Rather, they misconstrue the principle of academic freedom, thus compounding the problem.

george said...

So the UW has a pr problem on its hands over hiring Bartlett as a lecturer, and it appears to be too late to fire him now that he has wrapped himself in the flowing robes of academic freedom. But we aren't talking Socrates here, Dude. So that leaves out the hemlock solution. Just kidding, folks.
But here's a radical idea: Let the students decide for themselves about Bartlett. Have a little faith in your sons and daughters to come to their own reasonable conclusions. I am sure they are evolving into intelligent, responsible adults and citizens during their education at UW.
Bartlett just lucked out landing a temporary gig to play air guitar for one course. He's probably getting paid as a lecturer about 1/3 the amount of money he could make as a waiter at an upscale Italian restaurant in New York City. And I'm not even including all the excellent Barolo, Brunello and Chianti wine that he can drink on the side at the waiter's station! So he's definitely a classic underachiever enjoying his 15 minutes of fame.
I just wish that one of his students would tape his looney tune rants and post them on YouTube. I've always been a sucker for cheap entertainment and like a good laugh over my morning cup of coffee.
Of course, the real issue is the less than rigorous standards that administration officials used during the hiring process. Direct your criticism toward that venue and reform the hiring process, so UW administration officials and concerned alumni can avoid any future embarrassments.

Kent said...

Barrett isn't tenured, is he? My impression is that he is on contract. Even the most spineless of administrations should feel free to not renew that contract.

Am I wrong?

Sloanasaurus said...

The UW already has a left wing reputation. Barrett just reminds us of that. If it wasn't for sports, the UW would lose a major portion of their alumni support and giving because most of the alumni that I know think the acadmics there are a leftwing sham

Mike said...

Kent - You are correct, Barrett is not tenured. However, this episode has revealed that, at least according to some, while tenured professor may be removed for teaching wacky things outside their field. temporary instructors may not.

RogerA said...

Barrett is an adjunct, I believe, and adjuncts are part of many college "stack 'em deep and teach 'em cheap" philosophy with respect to student enrollment.

Most administrators in my experience don't pay a lot of attention to adjunct hiring--that is usually delegated to department chair level. And also from my experience, Academic administrators are loath to ever admit a mistake; but as both our hostess and MM point out, they are most certainly figuring out ways to avoid such mistakes in the future as well as checking out the effect on the endowment.

From their perspective, benign neglect is the preferred policy, but they most certainly will be reevaluating adjunct hiring policies in the future. Their policies must apply to the entire faculty, and not just a flake like Barrett.

Elizabeth said...

"Like Bush and the neocons, Hitler and the Nazis, the Taliban in Afghanistan inaugurated their new era by destroying an architectural monument..."

My suggested revision to that chapter. I'm still pissed off about the Buddhas.

ronin1516 said...

Dont worry folks, if U-W Madison does not renew Barrett's contrace, I bet the Residential College, or Prof Juan Cole's Department at the Univ of michigan in ANn arbor, would be dying to hire Barrett.
Sorry Anne, but, the institution, U-M of which both you and I are alums of, has really sunk low.

Joan said...

Elizabeth, what did Bush and the neo-cons have to do with the destruction of the Buddhas? I'm pretty sure the original quote meant to blame the administration, not the Taliban, for their destruction.

This quote I found even more disturbing: We have erected a wall of repression around 9/11 because deep down inside, we experienced a powerful wave of forbidden pleasure at the destructive spectacle.

That's just sick. I'd also like some clarification on who this "we" is, so I can avoid them in the future.

I'm curious as to how this is affecting fundraising at UW, also. Like Richard Fagin, I've quit donating to MIT. For me the trigger was Nancy Hopkins getting the vapors over Larry Summer's completely innocuous remarks, and the way the Institute failed to repudiate her. In the grand scheme, the loss of my annual contribution probably doesn't mean much to the institution, but I'm hoping that there are a lot of alums that feel the way I do.

Simon said...

Ann, I'm not convinced. Sorry. To be sure, with my Scalian sympathies, I'm certainly sympathetic to arguments like "where might the broader principle behind this point lead us?" or "what is the logic that limits the application of that principle?" but in my view, there is a difference in kind, not just in degree, between what Barret is doing and any legitimate concerns for academic freedom. If Barrett was teaching a materials science class (and was qualified to do so), or some other controversial subject within his acknowledged sphere of learning, then there might be a legitimate academic freedom argument. But academic freedom does not (and should not) protect a lecturer who teaches something in which he has no academic (or other) expertise in the forum of a class where the material relates to the subject only tangentially at best. And, arguendo, even if there were legitimate concerns at issue here, then that would only mandate a particularized balancing of harms, rather than a blanket rule, and it should be readily apparent that such a test would not cut in Barrett's favor.


RSwan said...
"Simon, although you may associate his beliefs with Republicans, Fred Phelps is a Democrat."

The question is not whether I personally associate Fred Phelps with the Republican Party, or with anyone else; the question is, with whom does the average reasonable person associate him? In the public mind, Phelps is associated with the religious right (albeit its fringe) and the religious right is associated with the Republican Party. Hence, no matter how inaccurate, we Republicans must often suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous association. Likewise, I find it hard to believe that most Democrats -- who are, in the main, reasonable and intelligent people who simply happen to be deeply misguided -- share Barrett's paranoid delusions, yet they, too, are tarred by his behavior because his views are identified with their extreme fringe. The ability of a few high-profile idiots to associate their crap with major political parties is one of the downfalls of a party system where one is not, in the sense of political parties in most other countries, a "member" of a party from which one can be expelled.

Doyle said...

While I haven't been convinced by any conspiracy theory regarding Bush and 9/11, I'm not embarrassed by them, and, like Ann, I don't think professors should be fired for espousing them.

Doyle said...

Hmmm... I want to hedge a little bit on not being embarrassed by any of them.

Suffice it to say there are many legitimate questions raised by the conspiracy theorists which are by no means answered by the publicly available information.

The non-comprehensiveness of the 9/11 Commission's report is adequately demonstrated by its total omission of the 7/10/01 meeting w/ Tenet, Black and Rice.

...Plus the planted-explosive theory is rather compelling :-)

Theo Boehm said...

I once feared that Barrett could trigger a backlash that might damage academic freedom. As a University of California alum of a certain age, I know about backlashes.

It looks, however, like all this is going to fade away, and UW will roll along as usual, with perhaps a bit more caution on the part of administrators, but nothing else much changed. To put it in slightly economic terms, I think the reason for this is that academic loonyness has been thoroughly discounted by the "market," i.e., parents, students, and to a certain extent, the general public. Everyone "knows" professors in the humanities and social sciences are leftwing moonbats, so what's different here? Not much, so it would appear.

Most parents I know of college students are making damn sure their kids study the sciences or pre-professional subjects. "You wanna take Sociology? Not on my dime you won't," so the argument goes. I'm at an age where most of my contemporaries are parents of college kids, while I still have elementary and middle school students. I'm looking for a good Catholic college when the time comes.

BTW, Interlink Books is located in Northampton, Mass., the heart of the Happy Valley, the closest thing we have in Massachusetts to Madison in terms of profusion of the Looney Left. Visit their Web site and see for yourself. We're not talking Houghton Mifflin here.

And I know Barrett is not a "professor." My use of the term above was in a generic sense.

Doyle said...

From the blurb for the above-linked "The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions"

In fact, there are holes in the places where detail ought to be thickest: Is it possible that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld has given three different stories of what he was doing the morning of September 11, and that the Commission combines two of them and ignores eyewitness reports to the contrary? Is it possible that the man in charge of the military that day, Acting Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Myers, saw the first tower hit on TV, and then went into a meeting, where he remained unaware of what was happening for the next 40 minutes? Is it possible, as the Commission reports, that the FAA did not inform military that the fourth airplane appeared to have been hijacked—contrary to both common sense and the word of FAA employees?

"Respectable" imprimateur:

“With this new book, David Ray Griffin establishes himself, alongside Seymour Hersh, as America’s number one bearer of unpleasant, yet necessary, public truths.” – Richard Falk, professor emeritus, Princeton

Sounds like good stuff!
Thanks for the tip.

Elizabeth said...

Elizabeth, what did Bush and the neo-cons have to do with the destruction of the Buddhas? I'm pretty sure the original quote meant to blame the administration, not the Taliban, for their destruction.

Joan, you missed my point. I'm lampooning the chapter for its bias in overlooking the obvious parallel of the Taliban's destruction of the Buddhas.

Richard Fagin said...

Ann, I didn't say Chomsky should be fired. Let him rant on the MIT payroll to his heart's content. What I did say is as long as he's on that payroll, MIT isn't getting any money from me. Enough like-minded alums might have an impact on the Insitute's hiring policies, and no doubt would have a similar effect elsewhere.

Withholding donations is just as much a right of the alums as allowing tenured professors to dish out baloney unhindered.

Careless reading is quite unbecoming of our favorite con law professor.

Doyle said...

Making Chomsky's termination a condition for your financial support of MIT is effectively saying "I think MIT should fire Chomsky."

Cowing to outraged alums by removing faculty who are too controversial is probably not a precedent universities are apt to want to set.

Mike said...

It's perfectly reasonable to, on the one hand, not explicitly advocate for Chomsky's removal while, on the other hand, finding his behaviour so odius that one refuses to subsidize it.

MIT is not entitled to Richard's money. It's not like they're the government or something.

Doyle said...

Richard would give money to MIT if they fired Chomsky... but he doesn't want him fired?

JohnF said...

"Firing Barrett would have been a distraction and quite possibly counterproductive. Stay turned and see how things shake out in the future."

When the Barrett stuff was hot many weeks ago several commenters, including me, said if he were fired then there would be the usual flurry, and then all would be calm. Now that he is marching forward, there will be disruption until the end. Keeping him on is what will turn out to be counterproductive.

As for his firing encouraging a look at who else might be fired, well, tenure blocks a lot of that, and, as to the rest, it's a good idea. Personally, I think tenure is a bad idea (I come from, how do I put it, the real world, where tenure generally doesn't exist) and more professors should have their ideas put on the block for examination.

Of course government universities have first amendment issues to contend with that private universities do not, but having a marketplace of ideas doesn't require a private university (or any other organization) to give equal treatment, equal access, and equal stature, to every idea.

chickenlittle said...

Do certain universities protect their reputations as "left wing"? Once upon a time, universities like Madison, Berkeley, etc., were top notch public research universities without a left or right (especially radical) flavor. Here's hoping that one day Madison slowly lose some of its left wing charm, and return to being an oasis of real knowledge in the Midwest.

Mike said...

Doyle asked: "Richard would give money to MIT if they fired Chomsky... but he doesn't want him fired?"

Makes sense to me. Assume that Richard does not want to give money to MIT, but is willing to when they call. Now add the additional point that Richard objects to Chomsky. Willing but not eager is now converted to unwilling. It makes perfect sense. I'd be in the same boat. In fact, I am, given that my alma mater employs Barrett.

Harkonnendog said...

Ann,

Maybe you have some inside info we don't, but sans that your answer is a bit naive.

If the guy was saying comparably kooky stuff the left didn't like he would be fired in a heartbeat. (Then again, he would never have been hired in the first place.) Academic freedom is nothing more than an excuse. It is politically correct for him to be a lie spreading conspiracy theorist nutjob as long as Bush is his target. That's why he hasn't been fired, and that's why he was hired in the first place.

Cheers!

Dawn said...

Wow, not not only can the UW Alumni Fund kiss our annual donation goodbye this year, they can kiss it goodbye for good!

Really, did someone there in Madison not think to review what 'text' this clown would be using for this class?

Word verification: UIOGH, which is the sound I made when I read this.

AJ Lynch said...

Madison Man- let's take something libs really believe in- like the idea that Kerry was unfairly "Swiftboated". Would you care if John O'Neill was teaching a course at UW where the students were required to examine the many,many affadavits and statements by the 100 or so Swift Boat Vets for accuracy, validity and relevance?

ignacio said...

Someone said "Leave it up to the students" -- which struck me as giving entirely too much credit to 18-22 minds.

I taught, by the way, but decided that it was having a bad effect on me, by for one thing overly encouraging personal vanity.

Professors often are worshipped; some bask in this state.

Garage Mahal said...

Madison Man- let's take something libs really believe in- like the idea that Kerry was unfairly "Swiftboated". Would you care if John O'Neill was teaching a course at UW where the students were required to examine the many,many affadavits and statements by the 100 or so Swift Boat Vets for accuracy, validity and relevance?


I think most Repubs would rather just leave this in 2004, rather than shine any sunlight on it. It reeks to high heaven, and this is the last thing they would want "taught"

Especially John O'Neill and William Franke.

Joe R. said...

RE: Fire Chomsky
Chomsky is a linguist. This year he is teaching a class in graduate linguistics. He doesn't* teach courses on his political beliefs. I disagree with his approach to linguistics, but he is the premier linguist living today. He is the only person alive on the top ten list of most cited scholars (by other scholars). Firing him for his controversial views would lower the value of an MIT education, especially for those training in linguistics. Tenure was made to give scholars who had established themselves room to go a little crazy in the sense that it provokes much needed discussion. Even if you don't agree with his stance on politics and America in the world (I don't), no one has articulated the same ideas and had the same impact he has had in this area. The anger and ad hominem attacks against him seems to come from some who oppose him and their lack of ability to articulate a response to his arguments.

Barret doesn't have tenure which, in my mind, establishes he hasn't done anything remotely relevant or important in his field. Perhaps he should focus on that before wondering off into other fields. He should not have been hired and his contract should not be renewed.


*That I can find any reference to, but maybe he has.

Mike said...

I agree with Joe R. that Chomsky and Barrett are two completely different situations. "Firing" Chomsky for his out-of-classroom activities is not at all appropriate, nor do I know anyone who advocates it (Ann brought it up in this thread). I think Richard's choice to not contribute to MIT due to Chomsky's presence on the faculty, however, is completely reasonable. It's his money, after all.

Tibore said...

"The major television networks, largely owned by defense contractors that would be lapping up 9/11's trillion dollar windfall, made absolutely sure we couldn't forget it, by running the same footage over...and over...and over."

"The obviously false 'let's roll' heroic mini-myth of Flight 93."

"It was intended to set the American empire in stone for at least a hundred years, perhaps even to found a new, imperial 1000-year Reich like the ones the Nazis dreamed of."

""We have erected a wall of repression around 9/11 because deep down inside, we experienced a powerful wave of forbidden pleasure at the destructive spectacle."

Good God... is this guy a complete idiot? I'm not sure which of the above were actually written by Barrett, and which were not, but if he actually 1. Believes in this crap, and 2. Is not teaching these as controversial topics to be analyzed and accepted or rejected on their merits, but is teaching them as existing facts, then I'm no longer going to pussyfoot around: He needs to be removed from teaching.

Now, I admit, if he was admitting these were not proven, but mere assertions, and challenging students to come to their own conclusions, I can grudgingly live with it. I still have concerns about the power of the teacher over the student in influencing belief, but if he really challenges the students to come to their own conclusions, and doesn't penalize students from coming to different ones, all right. I still don't like the guy, I still think he's full of (*bleep*), and I'd completely challenge the narrative he believes is true, but I could live with him keeping his job.

But that's if...

The unfortunate reality is that too many conspiracy fantasists aren't trying to let people come to their own conclusions. They're around to preach, not teach. If that's the case - and the cynical side of me believes it is, while the charitible side is sort of ducking it's head and not saying anything - then Barrett really needs to be removed. Really, seriously needs to be removed.

dick said...

I can agree that Chomsky and Barrett should not be fired for their political beliefs. If they teach thoughts as facts in areas they are not qualified to teach, then fire them.

In addition, do you really believe that Noam Chomsky or Barrett would have gotten a book published if they were Joe Sixpack rather than prof at MIT or teaches at U of Wisconsin? These two are parlaying their association with the universities into money making schemes without merit. For that their respective universities should stomp them. If they want to publish anything it has to be without any mention of the respective universities.

I also would not donate to either university given what is going on there. I would also include U of Michigan for having Juan Cole teach. He is marketing himself as a real expert on anything in the middle east, yet when he wrote a learned article about the history of Iraq and the past governments the bloggers of Iraq the Model cried foul. They refuted almost everything "fact" Cole brought up.

Mike said...

Chomsky has earned his position and has been granted tenure. He should be accorded the priviledge of academic freedom. Barrett, not so much.

The Drill SGT said...

a couple of thoughts:

1. Chomsky disgusts me on a personal level, but he doesn't teach that garbage in the class room and has tenure. I would give the same pass to a Nobel prize winner. I'd cut them a break on any additional loony fancies.

2. WRT Barrett, I'm with Dawn. After the Barrett story broke, the UW Provost and the Dept Chairman were supposed to have reviewed the syllabus and given it/Barrett their blessing. Doesn't that include the reading list? That's the second time that those 2 have demonstrated they are incompetent.

MadisonMan said...

Madison Man- let's take something libs really believe in- like the idea that Kerry was unfairly "Swiftboated". Would you care if John O'Neill was teaching a course at UW where the students were required to examine the many,many affadavits and statements by the 100 or so Swift Boat Vets for accuracy, validity and relevance?

What's the course? Algebra? Material Science? Examining all those statements would be very tedious, I would think, but it could also be very educational, given the right department. Political Scientists might find it actually interesting. I'd be completely snoring through it. I'd have no problem with it being taught -- if there's a market for it.

downtownlad said...

Barf.

Fenrisulven said...

Speaking as an alum, and the son of 2 alums, and the grandson of 4 alums, I don't see how this affects the prestige of the UW.

I'm not sending my kid to a college that supports Barret's crap.

AJ Lynch said...

Madison Man- I applaud you for being consistent in support of free speech. Honestly, your answer surprised me a little.

To answer your question, the course could be under the pol sci or maybe marketing/ communications curriculum.

Richard Fagin said...

Drill Sgt., have I got a candidate for you - William Shockley.

1956 Nobel in physics with Walter Brattain and John Bardeen of Bell Labs for inventing the transistor, and author of the truly reviled 1960s studies on race and intelligence.

If you don't like shocking Bill, there's always vitamin C nutcase Linus Pauling, just about the best chemist the world had ever seen.

Smilin' Jack said...

"Like Bush and the neocons, Hitler and the Nazis inaugurated their new era by destroying an architectural monument...."

Look, we all know Hitler had his faults, but I'm getting tired of seeing him constantly compared to Bush...that's just going too far.

More seriously, I agree that Chomsky and Barrett are completely different cases. Chomsky may be politically wacko, but there's not much question he's a genius and he essentially founded modern linguistics. As far as I know, Barrett has no redeeming educational value.

Clayton said...

According to this news account, Barrett knows Hitler's IQ, and Bush's IQ:

Barrett said Tuesday he was comparing the attacks to the burning of the German parliament building, the Reichstag, in 1933, a key event in the establishment of the Nazi dictatorship.

"That's not comparing them as people, that's comparing the Reichstag fire to the demolition of the World Trade Center, and that's an accurate comparison that I would stand by," he said.

But he did say in an interview: "Hitler had a good 20 to 30 IQ points on Bush so comparing Bush to Hitler would in many ways be an insult to Hitler."

Revenant said...

Chomsky may be politically wacko, but there's not much question he's a genius and he essentially founded modern linguistics.

Chomsky certainly stirred things up and spawned a wave of new thinking in linguistics. But the jury is still out on whether he's more of an Einstein (who revolutionized physics) or a Freud (who got people interested in studying the mind, but was wrong about practically everything). Chomsky's linguistic theories have for the most part not been confirmed, are often criticized for being unfalsifiable.

Rev Exile said...

I wish more people would ask... WHAT IF? Im not saying its true or false... but eris be damned its possible... but if no one is questions it how can we get answers?


What if Bush did it? What if his Brother's security company did look the other way when rouge elements in our government were prepping for this...

It scares me to no end that its possible, and all the propaganda out there its hard to know whats real... so since by protecting us they are claiming to be a savior. but at the same time everything our fore fathers are working on are being tored to shreads and personally I cant trust this kingdom of fear thats around.

Its a shame no ones requiring them to read... 'Kingdom of Fear : Loathsome Secrets of a Star-Crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century' then again I think if since the author "murdered" no one wants to put their life as well as job on the line.

~rev exile

Impeach-Bush-Now! said...

Stop being ignorant..If you are willing to trade your freedom for tempeorary safety than you don't deserve safety or freedom...Don't you ignorant people get it...look at the videos on youtube.com proving that the twin towers made of pure concrete were systematically demolished..Do you really think the steel melted by fire...Do you know about heat resistant steel...Wake up and fight for your rights...And if you believe in this president than you believe in the war...Go to the fronline than...Stop talking and leave..Rumsfeld needs you. For all those that are going to try to put me down or provide a rebuttal...Please just look at some videos on youtube about 9/11 or the so called conspiracy theories...there are short and long ones...C'mon do it for your country.

Impeach-Bush-Now! said...

Stop being ignorant..If you are willing to trade your freedom for tempeorary safety than you don't deserve safety or freedom...Don't you ignorant people get it...look at the videos on youtube.com proving that the twin towers made of pure concrete were systematically demolished..Do you really think the steel melted by fire...Do you know about heat resistant steel...Wake up and fight for your rights...And if you believe in this president than you believe in the war...Go to the fronline than...Stop talking and leave..Rumsfeld needs you. For all those that are going to try to put me down or provide a rebuttal...Please just look at some videos on youtube about 9/11 or the so called conspiracy theories...there are short and long ones...C'mon do it for your country.

Impeach-Bush-Now! said...

Stop being ignorant..If you are willing to trade your freedom for tempeorary safety than you don't deserve safety or freedom...Don't you ignorant people get it...look at the videos on youtube.com proving that the twin towers made of pure concrete were systematically demolished..Do you really think the steel melted by fire...Do you know about heat resistant steel...Wake up and fight for your rights...And if you believe in this president than you believe in the war...Go to the fronline than...Stop talking and leave..Rumsfeld needs you. For all those that are going to try to put me down or provide a rebuttal...Please just look at some videos on youtube about 9/11 or the so called conspiracy theories...there are short and long ones...C'mon do it for your country.

Impeach-Bush-Now! said...

Stop being ignorant..If you are willing to trade your freedom for tempeorary safety than you don't deserve safety or freedom...Don't you ignorant people get it...look at the videos on youtube.com proving that the twin towers made of pure concrete were systematically demolished..Do you really think the steel melted by fire...Do you know about heat resistant steel...Wake up and fight for your rights...And if you believe in this president than you believe in the war...Go to the fronline than...Stop talking and leave..Rumsfeld needs you. For all those that are going to try to put me down or provide a rebuttal...Please just look at some videos on youtube about 9/11 or the so called conspiracy theories...there are short and long ones...C'mon do it for your country.

Stephen said...

Stop being ignorant..If you are willing to trade your freedom for tempeorary safety than you don't deserve safety or freedom...Don't you ignorant people get it...look at the videos on youtube.com proving that the twin towers made of pure concrete were systematically demolished..Do you really think the steel melted by fire...Do you know about heat resistant steel...Wake up and fight for your rights...And if you believe in this president than you believe in the war...Go to the fronline than...Stop talking and leave..Rumsfeld needs you. For all those that are going to try to put me down or provide a rebuttal...Please just look at some videos on youtube about 9/11 or the so called conspiracy theories...there are short and long ones...C'mon do it for your country.

I like this video better

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3214024953129565561&q=Screw+Loose+Change&hl=en

RatMan said...

Here is one of the fathers of neoconservatism joking about his communist past. What a great mentor for the current republicans in the white house.

video: http://rattube.com/blog1/2006/10/15/irving-kristol-jokes-about-his-communist-roots/

Stephen said...

RatMan,

I just want to take a second to congratulate you--I'm not sure this is the first time I've heard the term neoconservative used correctly in a couple years, but it's definitely one of the few.

I'm not sure what I should be outraged about re: the clip, though. It's well known by anybody who knows Irving Kristol that the guy was a communist in the 30s and that he moved to the right in the 50s/60s. He's never made a secret of it. What's the gist of this?