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Horowitz Agonistes

From Marita, in comments to yesterday’s post:

Any of you catch the latest (blog? post?) at FrontPageMag?

Mr. Horowitz provides us with this:

In any case, the professor has evidently learned nothing since from my response to his first post which reminded him that the bien-pensant among us, particularly professors of literature, generally read books before they review them. Here’s how Berube’s response to that idea begins: “Um, no, David, you poor thing. [Oh, did I mention that Michael imagines himself a humorist?] “That’s wasn’t a book review. This is a book review.” (Emphasis Michael’s.) But then he writes: “I got my impression of your ‘book’ … from hearing about my own entry in it.” From “hearing about” his own entry?

OK, so is he seriously so intellectually dishonest that he’s willing to claim that the remainder of the post, rather than the link, constitutes a book review?. . .  Or should I take the more charitable view that maybe he hasn’t quite got the hang of this whole internet thing yet?

Marita, this is not an either/or kind of blog.  We like to think in terms of both/and.  Horowitz is intellectually dishonest, as we’ve established time and again, and he’s kind of clueless about how the Internets work.  There’s always the possibility of a Third Way, as well:  one could imagine that Horowitz is so bag-of-bricks stupid as to think that the “this” in “this is a book review” referred to yesterday’s post rather than to my recently-published review of Theory’s Empire (there, that should make it clear).  But personally, I don’t buy it.

We might also consider the possibility that Horowitz is kind of unethical, as Marita suggests when she notes that he took one of his critics who wrote to him directly, and responded by publishing her email address.  Decent people consider that kind of thing either very childish or very vile, you know.  Or maybe both!

But who knows?  Perhaps, at long last, Horowitz is beginning to come truly and fully unhinged, as Chris Clarke notes.  Here’s Chris (single indent), followed by Horowitz (double indent):

OK, this is funny.

In DHo’s latest, he says:

You need to stop fantasizing that ‘leftwing fascists’ are attacking you,” says the very professor who calls me a liar without checking the facts.

Is the perception of widespread attacks a fantasy of mine? ...  if you Google the words “McCarthy +David Horowitz” you will find over 400,000 references. Not to belabor the point but the most recent issue of the The Chronicle of Higher Education, the principle journal of academic administration, carries as its lead feature, a piece by leftist Ellen Schrecker called “Worse Than McCarthy.” The article purports to be about me and people like me. A version of it was read at the Temple Hearings.) It’s Berube who is the fantasist if he really believes I am not under attack.

For those of you who didn’t follow the link in Michael’s post, he was referring to an exchange I had with Horowitz in which I said:

Hey, maybe you could stage a fake attack on yourself in an airport washroom! That worked for Morton Downey Jr. when HIS fifteen minutes of lukewarm fame was fading.

Oh, wait, I’m wrong. It didn’t.

and Horowitz replied:

Thanks to leftwing fascists like yourself I don’t need to fake attacks on me.

So either DHo really equates criticism in web-based articles with physical assault, or he’s a mendacious O’Reilly wannabe.

Again, Chris, I see no need to fall into the logocentric trap of the binary either/or.  Horowitz obviously considers “McCarthy+David Horowitz” Google hits to be a form of physical assault (they are called “hits,” after all), and he’s a mendacious O’Reilly wannabe.  And I think Ben Alpers deserves some kind of door prize for writing, in yesterday’s comments, that “DHo spends most of his $300k/year time frenetically Googling himself to see what others are saying about him.” Bingo, Ben!  (Second prize goes to the commenter who wrote, “it’s really kind of amazing that Horowitz seems unable to resist the slightest taunt, even a light-hearted, good-humored one.")

But you know, dear friends, I resent being called “the very professor who calls [Horowitz] a liar without checking the facts.” The truth—and I use the term advisedly—is that I called Horowitz a liar while hyperlinking to the facts.  Horowitz lied about the student in Colorado, he lied about the biology professor who allegedly showed Fahrenheit 9/11 to his class, he has lied about me (actually, the line about how my “entire political focus since 9/11 has been in getting our terrorist enemies off the hook” comes closer to actual slander), and—I can’t believe I forgot this one!—he lied—to O’Reilly, on one of his many Fox News appearances—about his speaking engagement at Hamilton College.  Or, as Horowitz put it at the time, “I fibbed about my invitation to Hamilton and about my Academic Bill of Rights . . . because it was truer to say that I had to be invited by students . . . than to say the faculty there—the Kirkland project in particular, which is what we were talking about—would invite me.”

That’s what Hamilton history professor Maurice Isserman got for inviting Horowitz to his campus, folks!  He got himself his very own Horowitz Lie on national television.  Maurice eventually replied in the pages of Academe.  Whereupon Horowitz, being Horowitz, wrote to Academe to complain, capping off his letter by writing, “my only conclusion can be that Isserman must regret bringing David Horowitz to Hamilton.” (Given the strange third-person reference, it’s hard to know whether “Horowitz” was really the “author” of that letter.) To which Isserman replied:

I don’t regret bringing Horowitz to Hamilton College. What I do regret is that Horowitz is an unrepentant liar, and this fact is not better understood within the circles in which he still carries some measure of malign influence.

Touché, Professor Isserman.

Now, from today’s lengthy blog at FrontPage, it appears that Horowitz believes he holds himself to “a higher standard of honesty” (no, I am not making that up) because he refrained from repeating his Fahrenheit 9/11 lie at the recent hearing at Temple University:  “I had been unable to verify it,” Horowitz writes. “Because I could not verify it I had stopped mentioning it long before the hearings started.”

Well, no, David, that doesn’t involve a higher standard of honesty.  In fact, you’ve never really withdrawn the Fahrenheit 9/11 claim at all; you’ve merely whined, “I have a small staff and am unable to check every claim that is brought to me.” So you make claims you can’t verify.  Then you stop for a bit.  Then you make them again in another form, and blame your small staff for mistakes.

So, folks, insofar as Horowitz lies and lies and lies and lies, that makes him a “liar.” An unrepentant one, at that.  And insofar as he writes “the principle journal of academic administration” rather than “the principal journal,” he’s sometimes kinda careless about what he writes, too.  (What, you thought maybe I wouldn’t prounce on that one?)

Anyway, Marita, Chris, Ben, Maurice, and everyone—keep up the good work!  At this rate, by the time David gets onto Hannity and Colmes for his week-long gig ("kind of like John and Yoko on the Mike Douglas Show,” writes Phil Klinkner, also of Hamilton College), he’ll be in a highly explosive state.  That should be fun for the whole family.

Posted by on 02/11 at 11:12 AM
  1. Phew!

    Yesterday’s post was arbitrary fun, as usual for a Friday. Today I think you’re stepping up your game, Prof.

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  01:40 PM
  2. I think DHo gets his stuff printed out and handed to him, so the links are just so many glyphs on paper. I’m just guessing: he may just get them written out in longhand on birchbark by some of minions . . . it seems pretty obvious he’s not reading them himself.

    Posted by paul Beard  on  02/11  at  01:53 PM
  3. if you Google the words “McCarthy +David Horowitz” you will find over 400,000 references.

    Now, this didn’t sound right. And indeed, if you do this Google search correctly (with ‘David Horowitz’ as a single term), you only get about 135,000 references—which honestly should be enough for anyone.

    But then, if you do the search incorrectly, you find over 400,000 references to pages containing all the words, ‘David,’ ‘McCarthy,’ and ‘Horowitz.’

    Google illiterate or dishonest? Or, Google illiterate, dishonest, AND smelly and ugly?

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/11  at  02:11 PM
  4. In all fairness to deez wingnutz, I blame Michael’s style sheet. There’s no difference, visually, between a link and bold text on this blog. In this case it’s probably an honest mistake on their part, unlike the other 999 times.

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  02:18 PM
  5. Interestingly, if you Google the words “David Horowitz” and “McCarthy” within the frontpagemag.com domain (which is his, is it not?), you get almost 350 hits.  So my question now is: is he attacking himself, or just padding his stats?  Or is it both?

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  02:22 PM
  6. After haunting this blog for as long as he has, Horowitz can reasonably be expected to recognize a link when he sees one.

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/11  at  02:26 PM
  7. Also interestingly, you get 104,000 cites for ‘David Horowitz’ and ‘Martin Luther King.’

    So clearly many consider him a civil-rights pioneer.

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/11  at  02:30 PM
  8. It finally struck me this morning, that the only Kevin F, who could do nothing but spin his own singular criticism into vast webs of tit-for-tat elementary school tagbacks, must be that Federline character who would rather live in the blogsphere than take care of his wife, and three children.

    I guess DaHo only pays him for weekdays though.

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  02:41 PM
  9. You get about 110,000 Google hits for David Horowitz and Grateful Dead.

    But if you restrict your search by adding the crucial qualifier “noodling,” guess what?

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  02:45 PM
  10. So what does it mean that Google has 22,500 hits for DH and Gandhi but only 139 hits for DH and Jim Henson?

    Then there’s the postmodern slip of “Third Way” into this post while we’re discussing the confusion of pronouns with links. Does this depend on what the meaning of this is?

    Posted by Sherman Dorn  on  02/11  at  02:53 PM
  11. There are some such searches that return null sets.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  02/11  at  02:54 PM
  12. Damn. That was supposed to be the results for “david horowitz” and “shining wit.”

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  02/11  at  02:55 PM
  13. Shucks. Try here.

    Then noodle here.

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  02:58 PM
  14. Gavin--that’s an amusing point about linking DH and MLK!

    DH should sure drop that line of argument.

    I don’t want to defend DH on THIS blog, but about the U of No. Colorado case:

    As I understand it, DH published a student complaint that on a final exam in a criminology course in spring semester 2003 at UNC she was required to make the argument that Bush was “a war criminal.” She filed a formal grievance procedure with the university.
    The professor involved said he’d destroyed all his final exams for the course (very odd:  I never do that).  As the faculty-member later (a year later) reconstructed the final question from memory, it read:  “Make the argument that the military action of the US attacking Iraq was criminal?” (That is the exact quote, including grammatical errors, as handed out by the University of No. Colorado in the course of the controversy.)
    I don’t think that the difference here is enough to call DH a “liar”.  In fact, to me, there’s not much of a difference between what the student claimed was on the test, and which DH published, and what the faculty-member later claimed was on the test.
    This Iraq question (an odd one for a survey course on criminology) was one of two optional questions which a student had to write on in the final exam in the crim course. There were two previous, required questions.  The Iraq as war crime question (as reconstructed by the faculty-member) was question #4. The other optional question (#3) as reconstructed by the faculty-member, was:  “Make an argument that would support gay marriages and gay families and explain how this additonal type of family could help prevent crime.” According to the faculty-member himself, in the copy of the exam distributed by the UNC administration, a student had to answer one or the other of these optional questions:  make a case for gay marriage, or make a case that the Iraq war was a war crime.

    I support gay marriage myself, and do so openly on my campus.  But forcing a student in one’s class to answer optional question #3 OR optional question #4, and those being the ONLY choices,well--it seems to me an exercize in sheer narcissism by the faculty-member, and enforces upon students the politics of the faculty member.  It cannot be good pedagogy.

    I hope others will agree.

    best,

    Art

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  03:07 PM
  15. Just when you think this couldn’t possibly get any better, well, it does. My personal favorite is Horowitz’s confusion over the use of “this” in your earlier post - misinterpreting a hyperlink is just too perfectly ironic for the head and founder of the “Center for the Study of Popular Culture”.

    But these guilty pleasures aside, the underlying issues are troublesome. Despite David’s best attempts to undermine his own cause, he has generated a certain amount of traction for the sickly Orwellian “Academic Freedom” movement, particularly in quarters that see potential political currency. In that context, “The Professors” may be the best possible vehicle for a compelling, honest rebuttal, directly addressing the misrepresentation and frank slander that - given Horowitz’s record - we can safely assume is pervasive throughout his booklet.

    The concern among academics - being the wimpy camp we are - will be that this course of action will only draw attention to Horowitz’s work (another calculation I think we can safely assume is more than a blip on David’s radar). To which the response should be, ‘fuck that!’. “The Professors” is a terrific opportunity to shine a spotlight on the true agenda of the founder of the ABOR, and if it yields Horowitz a few additional seconds of the attention he so desperately seeks, who cares. Go for it.

    Posted by truth4achange  on  02/11  at  03:15 PM
  16. Two things:

    Art Eckstein:As I understand it, DH published a student complaint that on a final exam in a criminology course in spring semester 2003 at UNC she was required to make the argument that Bush was “a war criminal.”

    In a criminal justice course.  Didn’t conservatives just finish telling us about a thousand times that often lawyers and the like are required to defend positions that they don’t necessarily hold themselves? Isn’t it reasonable to ask criminal justice students—many of whom will go on to work in fields relating to law, if not law itself—to engage in the same kind of project?

    The Harrowing Wit hisself:… if you Google the words “McCarthy +David Horowitz” you will find over 400,000 references. Not to belabor the point but the most recent issue of the The Chronicle of Higher Education, the principle journal of academic administration, carries as its lead feature, a piece by leftist Ellen Schrecker called “Worse Than McCarthy.” The article purports to be about me and people like me.

    I’m confused.  I thought McCarthy was supposed to be a good guy now.  And I thought DH was one of the people who keeps telling us that.  How can he assume that comparing him to McCarthy an attack (putting aside the question of Google methodology, of course)? Shouldn’t he say something like “As an indicator of the high esteem in which I am held by the public at large, there are over 400,000 pages on the Internet thingy that mention me and McCarthy on the same page”?

    Or did they go too far and decide McCarthy was actually a bleeding-heart liberal, and now he’s bad again?

    Posted by Dustin  on  02/11  at  03:23 PM
  17. Hey, this is a fun game! Googling “David Horowitz” and “Michael Berube” together yields 22,600 hits, but “David Horowitz” and “Art Eckstein” together yields a measly 43. But “David Horowitz” and “God” together yields a whopping 292,000. So, Art, I guess Michael can say “nearer my God to thee” to you!

    I think. What the heck does “nearer my God to thee” mean anyway?

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  03:29 PM
  18. So Horowitz finally admits he has a problem with his “small staff.” Did he get that from his analyst?

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  03:29 PM
  19. Have we tried googling “Berube” and God? That would be quite appropriate, according to many people on this blog! (I respect Michael, but not quite THAT much.) Someone do it!

    Art

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  03:37 PM
  20. My small but crack staff of Googlers reports 47 hits of “David Horowitz” and “Thomas McCarthy” (presumably the Northwestern philosophy professor and Habermas translator). As Habermas is a known critic of the Iraq war and hence a known Saddam-symp and Islamofascist-enabler, that means, uh, err, that means ... what exactly does that mean, anyway? I know it means something!

    I’ll next put my small but crack staff of Googlers to work on “David Horowitz” and “Charlie McCarthy.” Results forthcoming.

    Oh, hell, why post again? Here are the results: 138 hits! That means the public associates DH with a ventriloquist’s dummy almost three times as much as with a distinguished professor of philosophy! I think that’s got to mean something!

    Wait, what’s that? My small but crack staff reports a whopping 21,800 hits for “David Horowitz” and “Eugene McCarthy.”

    My small but crack staff needs to go lie down for a bit, but anyone else who can think of a prominent “McCarthy” should feel free. Who wants to do DH and Jenny McCarthy?

    Hey, you know what I mean by “do.”

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  03:45 PM
  21. Horowitz may be a liar, but this blog seems to be populated by self-congratulatory windbags who have little else to do but blow their own horns about how “liberal” and “tolerent” they are when they are simply as narrow-minded and full of self-deceptions as their enemies.

    David Horowitz and Michael Berube seem to share a common interest in each other; they should meet face to face, talk things out, and maybe even write a book together on the pleasures of self-laudatory blogging./

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  03:51 PM
  22. And then they should have sex, as we know they’re dying to.

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  03:53 PM
  23. Troll,

    Before you degenerated into sex-jokes, I thought you had a good point here.  Penn State should invite them both to a debate.  Unfortunately, I think that Michael B. now dislikes DH so much that he wouldn’t agree, whereas Michael B. now appears in DH’s The Professors, which I find unfortunate, and it kills any hope of a personal contact.

    best,

    Art

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  04:06 PM
  24. Alright, I’ll admit it. I don’t have a small or a crack staff. It’s just me, a self-congratulatory windbag with nothing better to do on a Saturday but do silly Google searches.

    Here are two last ones:

    “David Horowitz” and “Joseph McCarthy”: 9,480 hits.

    “David Horowitz” and “Jenny McCarthy”: 39,000 hits.

    So here we have definitive proof: the public associates DH with a clever actress playing a blonde bimbo about 4 times as much at it associates DH with the former senator from Wisconsin.

    What does all this mean?

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  04:06 PM
  25. "and it kills any hope of a personal contact.”

    Well, not the sex part, actually. Maybe their mutual animosities prevent them from appearing together in public forums, but that doesn;t mean they can’t swing the sausage and play hide the baloney together.

    Lots of people do it without liking each other: look at Lady Di and Prince Charles…

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  04:09 PM
  26. Googling David Horowitz and Danish cartoons garners 70,600 hits. This proves two things: Danish cartoons are attacking D. Ho, and Michael Berube should debate D. Ho on the merits of western freedom of speech/dangers of European immigration controversy.

    Take a stand now, I say!

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  04:41 PM
  27. ’What does all this mean?’ -by John Protevi

    it means you might be nutter who wastes their time googling things that make no sense. Dont worry, seems like most of your peers on this blog/log/dog are doing the same thing.

    Is that all you Berube cult members have the mental fortitude to muster?

    captcha word: peace smile

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  04:43 PM
  28. ’David Horowitz’ and ‘McCartney’ yields 19,000 results, therefore many think of him as a gifted but somewhat mawkish songwriter.

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/11  at  04:44 PM
  29. Here’s what i got by googling Berube and ass-licker.

    http://archives.econ.utah.edu/archives/marxism/2002w38/msg00031.htm

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  04:46 PM
  30. I wonder how many of the IP addresses of the Horowitzian commenters lead directly to the office of his small staff?

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  04:53 PM
  31. How come Michael gets trolls like gifts from heaven, while we have to go out, like, constantly replacing ours?

    Hey troll, get in the car. I totally have some candy in here.

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/11  at  04:56 PM
  32. Right you are! Michael simply screeches

    “Fly, my pretties!”

    and we start commenting. Commentating. Something.

    Meanwhile, Michael jumps on his self-dilating broomstick (broom stick?) and sky-writes

    SURRENDER DHOROWITZ

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  06:07 PM
  33. When you google “xanadu” and “david horowitz” you get 356 hits. Here’s the top two:

    Stanford Review [v2.0] - Archive - Volume XXVI - Issue 6 - News For this year, Xanadu chose to include the confederate flag in their theme. ... in reference to David Horowitz’s anti-reparations advertisement.

    BEST SELLERS July 8, 1984 - New York Times
    14 8 DESCENT FROM XANADU, by Harold Robbins. (Simon & Schuster, $15.95. ... 2 132 THE KENNEDYS: An American Drama, by Peter Collier and David Horowitz. ...

    In case you’re wondering, I’ve got a special interest in Xanadu:

    http://tinyurl.com/cwzaj

    I’m not surprised that there is some intersection between DH and xanadu. The intersection of “xanadu” and “martin luther king” gets you 21,600 hits. The intersection of “kubla khan” and “david horowitz” gets you 54 hits. I’ll leave the intersection of “atilla the hun” and “david horowitz” as an exercise for the reader.

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  06:35 PM
  34. Having grown tired of waiting for you sluggards, I finally googled “Michael Berube + God.” The answer was 232,000 hits!

    Art

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  07:08 PM
  35. Thanks, Art! So the finally results are:

    DH + God = 292K
    MB + God = 232K

    So MB is 60K behind.

    Come on, you fellow cult members! Let’s get page-making!

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  07:41 PM
  36. ’David Horowitz’ and ‘Kathryn Lopez’ gives 22,400 results. Therefore, David Horowitz wants to kiss Kathryn Lopez 22,400 times!

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/11  at  07:42 PM
  37. This just in!

    “David Horowitz is God” = 2 hits

    “Michael Berube is God” = 0 hits

    This is shameful! Surely we all worship Michael more than his minions worship David!

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  07:43 PM
  38. "slander”?!

    Ooh, Michael, be careful about going down that road…

    Oh, and re. “lighthearted jest"--I’m not so sure that’s accurate (and I used it in my own comment yesterday because that was kind of my point, that the DHo defender totally mischaracterized Michael’s post, but alas, I didn’t make the irony there clear, even though I also compared Michael to Swift, who was not really known for lighthearted jocularity).  I detect real venom here. 

    And I’m really enjoying it, I have to admit.

    Posted by bitchphd  on  02/11  at  08:04 PM
  39. I googled David Horowitz and chocolate pudding, and got 979 hits. What does that mean?  Actually some of the hits involved chocolate rice pudding, which just sounds icky, but that could just be me.

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  08:07 PM
  40. Ha ha! If you wish to be merry, Try Googling ‘David Horowitz’ and ‘pie.’

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/11  at  08:27 PM
  41. MB + JS = 131 results.

    Posted by bitchphd  on  02/11  at  09:11 PM
  42. I think this search says it all.

    I didn’t even have to Photoshop her head in!

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  02/11  at  09:24 PM
  43. ’David Horowitz’ + ‘erection’ = 9,310 citations.

    ‘David Horowitz’ + ‘impotent’ = 19,000 citations.

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/11  at  09:56 PM
  44. Whew!  I just got back from NYC after an eight-hour trip, and my stars, what a thread this is for a Saturday!

    As always, the most severe critics should get the most love and attention.

    this blog seems to be populated by self-congratulatory windbags who have little else to do but blow their own horns about how “liberal” and “tolerent” they are when they are simply as narrow-minded and full of self-deceptions as their enemies.

    Yes, Troll (if that is your real name), you could say that, but what makes it so much fun is that this blog is populated by really witty self-congratulatory windbags.  The very best kind of self-congratulatory windbags, if you ask me.

    In fact, as I was Amtraking home this evening, I chanced to get temporary wireless access in the wilds of southeastern Pennsylvania, and I read the first 34 of these comments.  I wound up laughing so loudly and embarrassingly that the conductor came and transferred me to the Dilating Car so I would not disturb my fellow passengers.

    I am, however, deeply disappointed that no one has Googled “David Horowitz"+"Charlie McCarthy” (138 hits) or “David Horowitz"+"Mary McCarthy (200).  Though of course that last pairing would lead us right back to the dread Lillian Hellman.

    Now, as for Art.  I told you (in comment 132 of the last thread) Art was all right.  And he certainly deserves an answer to comment 14.  Dustin’s reply in comment 16 is a useful start, but the key thing to remember here—and this is why the term “lie” is appropriate with regard to Horowitz’s account of the affair—is that the initial report of the Colorado “incident” was that a student was flunked by her liberal professor for turning in an essay on why Saddam was a war criminal after she was required to write an essay on why Bush is a war criminal.  Horowitz’s initial account, which he offered on The O’Reilly Factor, can also be found (where else?) at FrontPage.com:

    This year, for example, a criminology class at a Colorado university was given an assignment to write a paper on “Why George Bush Is A War Criminal.” Bad enough. But a student who chose to submit a paper on “Why Saddam Hussein Is A War Criminal” received a failing grade (for political incorrectness).

    This is reasonably accurate, except for the part about the student, the part about the professor, and the part about the grade.  She did not fail the course; her professor was a registered Republican; and the exam question was one of several.

    This last point brings me to a larger observation about Horowitz’s jihad against academe.  He and his allies treat college as if it were sixth grade with ashtrays:  to hear them, you’d think that students were being strapped into chairs and made to attend classes in which they are graded on the enthusiasm with which they chant “all power to the Supreme Soviet.” But Jesus’s mother on a breakaway, folks, we’re talking about adults who choose their own colleges and their own courses—and who, in this case, chose to answer the (not required) Iraq/ war crime exam question.  (Haven’t these people ever read Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose?) Quite apart from the valuable point Dustin makes, then—that it’s pedagogically useful to learn how to argue for things you don’t believe—there’s the broader point that the Horowitz campaign infantilizes the students on whose behalf it presumes to speak.  The fact that some students are willing to be so infantilized does not speak well of them.

    On the narrower point at issue, however, Art, I persist in claiming that the statement “a student who chose to submit a paper on ‘Why Saddam Hussein Is A War Criminal’ received a failing grade (for political incorrectness)” is a lie.

    Thanks for stopping by.  And for Googling “Michael Berube” and “God.” Though I want to note that “Michael Bérubé"+"God" yields 371,000 hits, which suggests that God is, as I have long suspected, French-Canadian. 

    Posted by Michael  on  02/11  at  11:48 PM
  45. Michael, let me congratulate myself on comment #20 above, in which I did in fact google “David Horowitz” and “Charlie McCarthy”! We windbags take our self-congratulation seriously! So, good one, John!

    Posted by  on  02/11  at  11:57 PM
  46. Sorry to be so apparently off-topic, but that’s a great review of Theory’s Empire, by the way.  So simple thanks Michael, for sharing that.

    Posted by Matt  on  02/11  at  11:58 PM
  47. John, you have seized on a mere quirk in the format of this blog, and besides, the claim that “I am, however, deeply disappointed that no one has Googled ‘David Horowitz’+’Charlie McCarthy’ (138 hits)” was a mistake of the author’s, for which I am not responsible.

    Truth is, though, I missed that because I was laughing at the Thomas McCarthy bit, for which you get double extra special self-congratulatory windbag bonus points.

    And Matt, thanks very much.  Still, I thought I needed to clarify the one-line Lacan-Baudrillard dismissal in comment 27 of the last thread.  You know how these things go.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  12:16 AM
  48. "David Horowitz” + abalone = 331 hits
    “David Horowitz” + “the point however” = 229 hits
    “David Horowitz” + “shea butter” = 188 hits
    “David Horowitz” + “reach for my” = 178 hits
    “David Horowitz” + “gabba gabba hey” = 153 hits
    “David Horowitz” + “pet rock” = 141 hits
    “David Horowitz” + buzkashi = 115 hits
    “David Horowitz” + australopithecus = 51 hits
    “David Horowitz” + “the ramparts we watch” = 7 hits
    “David Horowitz” + “well grubbed” = 2 hits
    “David Horowitz” + binturong = 1 hit
    “David Horowitz” + “rich chocolaty goodness” = 1 hit

    .... just sayin’.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  01:05 AM
  49. "David Horowitz"+"gabba gabba hey”?  That’s just perverse, man.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  02:08 AM
  50. God has asked that you Googlebomb the Berube + God meme so he can get more discount hockey tix from his favorite perfesser.

    Meanwhile, what’s the point in challenging Horowitz to a duel? A frontal lobotomy with a butter knife still wouldn’t reduce you to that shallow end of the gene pool, though it’d be more pleasurable than conversing with DH. Debating DH is sorta like shooting a 583 ft duck in a barrel, idn’t it?

    Posted by KevinHayden  on  02/12  at  03:15 AM
  51. Debating DH is sorta like shooting a 583 ft duck in a barrel, idn’t it?

    But there aren’t that many perfect straight-men in the world—one has to cherish them and pay them proper attention.

    Every couple of weeks, Horowitz comes around waving his arms and yelling, and Michael yanks his underwear over his head. Horowitz backs into wet paint, he slips on a banana peel, he falls into a wheelbarrow and clatters down a hill. “Curses!” he shouts, his voice dopplering away, “I’ll get you next time!”

    And then of course a couple of weeks later… See, it’s one of your circular narratives. It’s foreordained. But that fact doesn’t exempt one of his responsibility to perform it.

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/12  at  03:46 AM
  52. Now that you’ve brought up Baudrillard, Michael, I’ll offer this speculation: D’Ho is Merlin.  It’s like this.

    Baudrillard is really Connecticut Yankee in reverse. Merlin was in his workshop and he inhaled some vapors a bit too deeply, lost his balance, tripped and fell, and when he woke up he was in Disneyland. Needless to say, he was very confused. Since he couldn’t make any sense of the world around him, he figured the locals couldn’t either. That’s when he started writing under the name of Jean Baudrillard. But, the confusion continued and he degenerated to become the mysterious cyberbeing, D’Ho.

    It is, of course, but a step from D’Ho to Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh. What goes around, comes around. The eternal return.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  08:30 AM
  53. "David Horowitz” + “nlf is gonna win” = 59 hits

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  08:40 AM
  54. I’m guessing “prounce” is a combination of “pounce” and “pronounce”, right?  From context, anyway.

    Posted by Patrick Nielsen Hayden  on  02/12  at  10:13 AM
  55. "Prounce” is actually a new word invented by Horowitz earlier this week when he wrote, “the fact he is only reading a fund-raising letter . . . doesn’t prevent Berube from prouncing The Professors an outrage.” I prounced on it in the last post, much to Horowitz’s annoyance.

    So the NLF is gonna win?  Wow.

    Posted by Michael  on  02/12  at  10:25 AM
  56. I thank Michael for his kind words.  Now to some substance:  the UNC case.

    Yes, the student in DH’s University of Northern Colorado case wasn’t ultimately flunked in the course, but this was because her initial low grade was raised to a B as a RESULT of an official university grievance process she instituted after receiving the low grade. Does anyone deny that the student instituted a formal grievance process after receiving a low grade and that she was successful in receiving a much higher grade than she initially received?  (This is an unusual result, in my experience.)

    Further, does anyone deny that during this grievance the professor involved revealed that he had destroyed all copies of the exam questions--an action which was a violation of university rules? This cannot be denied, because UNC itself said that the faculty-member did this, and had to reconstruct the final exam from memory.  Michael, do you destroy your final exams?  I don’t.

    Further it turns out that while the question this student especially protested was indeed “optional”, it was optional only in this sense:  it was one of two “optional” questions, ONE of which a student HAD to answer, and BOTH of which consisted of a REQUIRED defence of a position that was politically weighted far to the left.  That I agree with the position in question #3 (gay marriage) is beside the point:  there was no political variation in the questions required to be done, and students were thus FORCED on a final exam to defend one leftist position or--to defend another.  DH was correct about this.

    Michael, I think it’s a weak defense of this situation to speculate that the faculty-member did this in order to force students to defend (leftist) positions they disagreed with.  What if some of the students were leftists? THEY weren’t so required. If this was the object of the exam, why wasn’t there an option in both question #3 and question #4 that forced a leftist to defend a conservative position?  There was not.

    Meanwhile, required question #1 on this test required the student to employ either a Marxist paradigm of the family and its relation to crime OR a paradigm of the family and its relation to crime that focused instead on “patriarchy” and ITS relation to crime (this is called “power control theory").  And required question #2 on this test required the student to discuss the benefits of feminist theory for the study of crime.  Now combine these first two required questions with also being required to defend the propositions either in question #3 or question #4, and you see what kind of “test” this was.

    I think it is obvious what was going on here, and it seems to me that far from “lying”, DH got the story basically correctly.  So I think, Michael, you should drop using this UNC case as an example of DH “lying.”

    best,

    Art

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  11:01 AM
  57. Mr. Eckstein,
    I have no way of knowing if any of the details you provide are true, so I’ll assume for the moment that they are.  Given that, I disagree that asking students to build an argument, for any position, whether they agree or not, is a “weak defense” of this exam.  Asking students to take a given position, even, or perhaps especially, one out of the mainstream, and applying the concepts developed in the course to explain that position, seems like a perfectly reasonable educational technique.  Why should a student pursuing a higher education object to that?  The faculty member wasn’t forcing her to believe anything, just requiring her to look at one position and understand how it might be defended.  If we treat that as ‘bias’, and say that students should only have to think through positions they already hold, then why bother?  And regarding ‘balance’, do we know how many students in the class already considered GWB a war criminal?  In Greeley, CO, I’ll bet not many.  Since only one grievance was filed, I’ll bet quite a few conservative students accepted the question for what it was (an educational exercise), plunged head, and learned something, and their personal beliefs were unchanged.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  12:22 PM
  58. Art,

    I’m afraid that the information you have on the Northern Colorado case is incorrect (the facts in your post come from a statement made by Students for Academic Freedom, an organization founded by David Horowitz.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, these “facts” have proven to be false.).

    Following months of argument and counterargument about this case, Scott Jaschik at Inside Higher Ed did some solid reporting.  He discovered that DHo’s story was essentially untrue.

    Here’s what Jaschik concluded (summary reproduced from Mano Singham’s blog):

    1. Gloria Reynolds, a university spokeswoman, acknowledged Monday that a complaint had been filed two years ago complaining of political bias by a criminal justice professor.
    2. The professor who has been held up as an example of out-of-control liberal academics said in an interview that he’s a registered Republican.
    3. The actual exam question was provided by the university and reads as follows:
    “The American government campaign to attack Iraq was in part based on the assumptions that the Iraqi government has ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction.’ This was never proven prior to the U.S. police action/war and even President Bush, after the capture of Baghdad, stated, ‘we may never find such weapons.’ Cohen’s research on deviance discussed this process of how the media and various moral entrepreneurs and government enforcers can conspire to create a panic. How does Cohen define this process? Explain it in-depth. Where does the social meaning of deviance come from? Argue that the attack on Iraq was deviance based on negotiable statuses. Make the argument that the military action of the U.S. attacking Iraq was criminal.”
    4. The student did not receive an F, and that although the instructions on the test said that answers were supposed to be at least three pages long, the student submitted only two pages on this question. Reynolds said there were clearly non-political reasons for whatever grade was given.
    5. Reynolds said that the student never had to even answer this question. The test, she said, had four questions: two required questions and two others (including the disputed one) from which a student needed to select one.
    6. Robert Dunkley, an assistant professor of criminal justice at Northern Colorado who was identified by Horowitz as the professor involved, said in an interview with Jaschik that politics had nothing to do with the student’s grade, and that the context of his course has been distorted. For instance, Dunkley said that the course focused on the relationship between deviance and being classified as a criminal. “We talked in class about how George Washington was considered a war criminal to the British,” he said. “We were going into the idea that different people define criminal behavior differently.â€? And in case there’s any confusion, Dunkley wants it known that he does not think the father of our country was a war criminal. “I’m an American citizen and I thank God for George Washington. Without George, we wouldn’t be here.”

    Following all this actual reporting, DHo wrote the now infamous piece entitled “Correction: Some of Our Facts Were Wrong; Our Point Was Right”, in which he essentially conceded that all of Jaschik’s reporting was accurate, but that he was sticking to the truthiness of his argument anyway.

    DHo very much did not get this story correct, seems not to have tried very hard at the time to have gotten it correct, and, having been corrected, stands by his essentially false story.  “Lying” seems like a pretty accurate description of his behavior in this matter.  Carry on, Michael.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  12:34 PM
  59. Dear alwsdad:

    1.  U of No. Colorado has a quite active anti-war movement, and a very active Chicano Rights movement. I know people who teach there.  I doubt that any of the activists who might’ve taken this exam learned anything from the final exam that they didn’t already believe. Your description of what students are “probably” like at UNC, on the other hand, seems to me to have no basis in evidence, other than an a priori prejudice about what Greeley, Colorado might be like.

    2. Regarding forcing students to write essays defending positions they don’t agree with:  while there is theoretical value to doing this every once in a while, EVERY question on the final exam in question did this, and EVERY question on the final carried the SAME general leftist political slant (unless you think I’m lying), a political slant which all students HAD to write to defend, in all three required essays, whether they believed in it or not. I do not think this is an example of good pedagogy. The University decided in favor of the student who complained.

    best,

    Art

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  12:47 PM
  60. Dear Ben Alpers,

    Yes, the student didn’t have to answer the “Make the argument that George Bush is a war criminal question.” She could have answered the other optional question, in favor of gay marriage. Don’t you see the issue?  The facts of the four questions of the exam (2 optional, but one of the 2 had to be answered), the text of the exam taken as a whole (as well as the text of question #4 as you present it yourself, which is correct), speaks for itself.  The faculty-member involved may not think that GWashington was a war-criminal (NOTE: in THAT statement of the faculty-member, the issue is indeed the person involved, not his “criminal” act, so the argument that students weren’t really been required to say that Bush was a war criminal falls apart right there).  But the students were given no option (if they chose to answer that question instead of the pro-gay marriage question) but to argue that Bush was one:  the person who commits criminal acts is a criminal. Surely better pegadagy would have been to give the students the option of arguing that the war was or was NOT a criminal act.

    Whatever the University later said in its self-defense, the professor destroyed the exam in violation of university rules, and the
    complaining student’s grade was raised.

    best,

    Art

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  12:58 PM
  61. ARt,

    When it comes down to it, we don’t know the context of the class. The professor seems to have written questions based on material that was assigned and discussions in the class; I write my own tests that way, only asking about material we’ve covered in depth in class, even though we don’t discuss everything we read.  But more importantly, what use is the distinction “rightist” or “leftist” position? Is the position “Bush’s actions were criminal” inherently leftist? Does it make a Republican leftist to assert it? Or does the fact that a Republican asserts it—and the prof isn’t alone in this—make it a righty poisition? And if a lefty agrees, does that make her a righty?

    Well, these are stupid questions.  Why should a professor write a test based on what Horowitz might think constitutes a rightist or leftist position?  Why should a professor aim for some sort of “balance” based on criteria that have nothing to do with the content or context of the course? And why shouldn’t students who intend to go into criminology not struggle to deal with incredibly complex and contentious subjects where a wider audience may well not see anything “criminal”? I suppose the final could have read, “Discuss the actions of Son of Sam in terms of deviance.  Make the argument that his cations were criminal.” But that wouldn’t have been expecting much of his students, would it have?

    Sidebar: if the complaint was filed two years before Horowitz latched onto it, then yes, the prof. was well within SOP to have destroyed the papers.  Only a handful of my students ever ask for their finals back, even though I give them the option to either a) give me a stamped envelope to return them in or b) come to my office hours the following semester.  The policy where I teach is to keep papers for 1 year, which about fills a file drawer.  At the end of the year, papers are thrown out to make room for the new finals.

    Posted by Dustin  on  02/12  at  01:15 PM
  62. Dustin, recycle! I hold on to exams and papers for one year, then release them so that they may become paper towels, grocery bags, toilet paper, you know, useful stuff.

    Does that make me a leftist?

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  01:28 PM
  63. Dear Dustin:
    No,no--the student filed her grievance immediately at the end of the spring 2003 term.  DH reported it at varying times thereafter. His latest post on this (I think) is April 25, 2005, which supersedes the March 15 one. The professor involved admitted that he destroyed both the exam paradigm and the student tests themselves upon completion of the course (his excuse was that he was new: if so, how dumb can he be?  When I was new, I knew not to do THAT!).  The result is that we have no copy of the student’s original exam.  The professor involved admitted,however, that she got a low grade on the exam--because she turned in only two pages on optional question #4, instead of the three required. Remember, #4 was optional ONLY in a limited sense that it was one of 2 optional questions of which the student had to answer one. 

    As far as I can see, all the questions on the final exam have a definite slant, and I have explained why.  For instance:  required question #1 required the students to choose an explanation for the relationship of family structure to crime based on EITHER Marxist analysis OR Patriarchy-theory.  No other choices allowed.

    The university position, after the grievance procedure, is that the student has recieved a grade of “B” in the course on the grounds of her other work in the course.  Well, if she received a “B” in the course on the basis of her other work in the course, but did poorly on the final exam because of question #4 (I think everyone accepts this), that suggests she had done “A” work in the course before, or something close to it. She has emailed Horowitz her account of all of this, and her email can be found in the April 25, 2005 article.

    best,

    Art

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  01:34 PM
  64. You know what we do with paper in Mexico, Carlitos . . .

    Posted by Don Giovanni  on  02/12  at  01:36 PM
  65. Is the position “Bush’s actions were criminal” inherently leftist?

    Oooh, good question.

    Defining tolerance of behavior that might be defined as war crimes as necessarily conservative seems to me a necessarily left position.

    Assuming that criticism of Bush’s behavior in Iraq, based on a recitation of historical fact, is necessarily leftwing… that seems an assumption that’s just as favorable to the left.

    But Art, those assumptions foist Patrick Buchanan onto the left and, well, you’re not going to palm him off on us without a fight.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  02/12  at  01:37 PM
  66. CC, I’m glad to see you accept Buchanan of the right wing fever swamps as your new political ally.  Buchanan also supports the Cartoon Jihad--as he supported the Fatwa against Salman Rushdie, in a TV debate on that with Christopher Hitchins.

    People might be interested in seeing what the student actually said about this, at least as reported by DH on April 25, 2005:

    The student reported to Frontpage that she had originally received an “F” on the exam for writing about Saddam Hussein. Dunkley claimed he gave her a bad grade (he will not say what the grade was) because she handed in a two-page answer when three were required. Since he had destroyed her exam, this claim seemed suspicious on its face, though no independent press source mentioned this fact.

    Although Dunkley and the university referred to her final “B” grade as a refutation of the student’s claim to have received an “F,” neither of them would say (and neither were asked by the press) whether they were claiming she also got a “B” on the original exam and not an “F.” If she did, why would she have gone through an appeal? In fact, the student told us that the “B” grade was her final grade in the course, while the exam grade was indeed an “F”. She had been able to raise her grade through the appeals process when the university had allowed her to receive credit for her class work even though she had been failed on the exam itself. That’s how she ended up with the “B.”

    A short time later, I received this confirming email from the student: “I did fail the final exam, at least that is what I was told, however based on Dunkley’s and the school’s comments you never really know what is truthful. It has always been my understanding and my story that I got an “F” on the exam but a B in the class. I don’t think Dunkley disputed that but he is such a manipulative person you never really know.”

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  01:43 PM
  67. I’m glad to see you accept Buchanan of the right wing fever swamps as your new political ally.

    How clever of you to discern my true intent when I saiid I wouldn’t accept him as an ally. You’re really good at this stuff, art!

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  02/12  at  01:48 PM
  68. Art:

    As the faculty-member later (a year later) reconstructed the final question from memory, it read:  “Make the argument that the military action of the US attacking Iraq was criminal?” (That is the exact quote, including grammatical errors, as handed out by the University of No. Colorado in the course of the controversy.)

    Well, no, Art, that is a selectively quoted extract of an essay topic. Why would you do that? This is the internet. You won’t run out of room by quoting things exactly here. Once again:

    Here is the question, as provided by Gloria Reynolds, a university spokeswoman:

    The American government campaign to attack Iraq was in part based on the assumptions that the Iraqi government has “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” This was never proven prior to the U.S. police action/war and even President Bush, after the capture of Baghdad, stated, “we may never find such weapons.” Cohen’s research on deviance discussed this process of how the media and various moral entrepreneurs and government enforcers can conspire to create a panic. How does Cohen define this process? Explain it in-depth. Where does the social meaning of deviance come from? Argue that the attack on Iraq was deviance based on negotiable statuses. Make the argument that the military action of the U.S. attacking Iraq was criminal?

    You don’t see much difference between that and what you claim was the exact question, do you, Art?

    And you don’t see the difference between that and ”a student at a Colorado university was given an assignment to write a paper on “Why George Bush Is A War Criminal,” do you Art?

    And you don’t see much difference between Horowitz’s claimed “F” and ”her initial low grade,” as you put it, do you?

    Reasonable people can differ, so let’s be reasonable.

    Let’s assume, reasonably, the Cohen referred to above is Stanley Cohen, author of an influential book called Folk Devils and Moral Panics; the Creation of the Mods and Rockers. Let’s pause and read as much of the extract as we can reasonably stand. Ooh, ooh, ooh, it seems full of what we might call Theory, bringing us back around to This argument, but nevermind.

    Let’s agree, reasonably, that the professor expected a discussion of Cohen’s work on deviance, and how it might be used to support an argument that the US attack on Iraq was criminal. Let’s agree that this is a leftist position, leaving aside how reasonable it might be for the moment.

    Let’s also assume, reasonably, that even then an adroit mind sufficiently familiar with Cohen’s work and a good command of the classroom discussion of it might find that it fails to support such an argument and still get a good grade. But you have to show your work in an exam, don’t you? Make the argument, and then demonstrate its shortcomings. This is the stuff of intellectual discourse, isn’t it, Art? You, know, college–level work.

    The professor insisted on a minimum of three pages for a response, and the student submitted two. Do you reasonably guess she showed a command of the material, Art? A “B’s” worth of command? Where is your evidence of that?

    Have you never seen a university make a problem go away, or is that reflex unknown at your institution?

    Horowitz claimed that a Colorado legislative hearing in December 2003 included ”… testimony from a student at the University of Northern Colorado who told legislators that a required essay topic on her criminology mid-term exam was: “Explain why George Bush is a war criminal.” When she submitted an essay explaining why Saddam Hussein was a war criminal instead, she was given an ‘F.’”

    But this didn’t happen, did it, Art?

    The essay topic was not required, the student did not get an “F,” the topic was not what Horowitz explicitly said it was, and the transcript (made by the Students For Academic Freedom) of the legislative hearing he links to in his blog post doesn’t include any testimony from the student telling the legislature any such thing, either.

    And yet you say he was basically correct. I don’t see it.

    Horowitz may be trying to make a larger point with which you agree. But he’s lying to do it.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  01:51 PM
  69. Dear Art, I think Peter Ramus has a good reading of the exchange. MB and his cult followers focus on DH’s statements, while you focus on the behavior of the professor. Now, can’t we all get along? DH’s statements are incorrect, as he himself has admitted, while the professor does seem to have taught a course that centered on various leftist theories, so that, when it came time to test the students on the course, he asked questions about .... various leftist theories. Now you might not like it that he taught such a course, but it doesn’t seem odd to me to ask leftist questions about a leftist course, any more than it would be strange to ask a question about Locke in a course on classical liberalism. Or am I missing something?

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  02:10 PM
  70. I think it is obvious what was going on here, and it seems to me that far from “lying”, DH got the story basically correctly.

    Art, apparently you think it is obvious that . . . um, I’m not sure.  That the professor was forcing students to make arguments that you associate with the political left?  And that this justifies Horowitz’s account of the matter?

    I honestly don’t see any problem with the exam as given, and wouldn’t see one if the questions had asked students to make arguments you associate with the political right.  And I honestly don’t see how someone can come to the conclusion that Horowitz got this one “basically correctly,” or that this student’s refusal to answer the question—because that, in the end, is what is at issue—justifies Horowtiz’s larger jihad against academe.

    That’s all from me today.  I’m taking Jamie on various errands.  Play nice, everyone. 

    Posted by Michael  on  02/12  at  02:10 PM
  71. …what the student actually said about this, at least as reported by DH…

    Ahem…

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  02:13 PM
  72. Heh—that’s what I did at my first teaching gig.  Nobody there ever suggested I should keep papers, and I was moving…

    I never threw out a test, though—they’re on my hard drive so it’s not like they’re taking up any space, and I may want to reuse the questions later.

    Still, students don’t get to write about only the things they like.  Horowitz’s contention is that the professor’s bias led him to construct questions that are inherently leftist.  That’s false—it’s false in the particular case, and it’s false on general principles.  As I said before, the test asked students to apply concepts learned in the course to a case discussed in the course; it only becomes a “lefty” question in a context that has nothing to do with the course (or reality, for that matter).  It was stupid of the prof to throw away the papers; it was stupid of the student to in essence write her own question and expect a decent grade. 

    Funny, though, how the student starts Horowitzing there in that quote: “It has always been my understanding and my story that I got an “F” on the exam but a B in the class.” “May facts may be wrong, but...” I find it hard to believe that an “A” student could mess up only 33% of a test and get a failing grade.  Even a low “A” (90%) on the other two tests would earn a “D”—assuming the prof gave no credit whatsoever for the Bush question.  Which is possible, since she didn’t follow the instructions either on what to write about and how to write about it.  I don’t do that—I rarely give no credit for written work—but maybe the prof is a hard-ass.  Fortunately for her, the only time she will ever have to encounter a hard-ass in her entire life, there’s a mechanism in place through which she can obtain redress—and it works!

    What was Horowitz’s point again...?

    Posted by Dustin  on  02/12  at  02:17 PM
  73. These cases of purported academic persecution seem to presume the existence of a sensibility that is both deeply held conviction and incapable of withstanding any kind of challenge, as few as three sinister essay questions threaten its existence. An intellectual hothouse flower.

    The current administration’s obsessive preoccupation with scrubbing the tiniest hints of dissent from public appearances (Cindy Sheehan’s T-shirt at the State of the Union, the vapors over Rev Lowry’s remarks at the King funeral, etc) argue both the existence and fragility of this strain. DHo’s crusade seems geared more toward silencing critics than creating or promoting knowledge.

    In the end isn’t this an argument for a fugitive and cloistered virtue? (If Godwin’s Law has been updated to include Milton, I lose.)

    Posted by black dog barking  on  02/12  at  02:23 PM
  74. Yes,I do think that DH got the story basically correctly.  The student was asked to “make the argument that the US action in attacking Iraq was criminal,” and GWB is prominent in the question. So the student is forced to explain why GWBush’s actions in attacking Iraq were criminal, i.e., why he was a war criminal.  That’s what the student said, that’s what DH said, and that’s what the university text of the question (as reconstructed by the faculty-member) said.

    Of course, Ramus, it’s possible that DH is lying about the student’s email, or has even made the whole incident up (he’s actually been accused of that on far-left websites).But I think the odds are rather strongly against it.

    I am surprised that Michael finds acceptable a final exam consisting of the required writing of four leftist essays. It’s a real difference in pedgagy between us.  If I give an essay with a pronounced slant (which I often do), I offer the student the opportunity to challenge that slant OR agree with it, as long as he/she provides evidence, and logic of argument. This allows a student real freedom of thought, instead of ramming them into a mimesis of what the professor has said, in order to get a good grade.

    I agree with John Protevi that any reasonable reading of the course as well as its final exam suggests a strong pro-left slant to the entire project, with little counter-argument offered. Well, yes--and although JP doesn’t find that so bad, that is exactly DH’s point, and he got it right.

    I doubt that people would accept a course on Israeli history which presented ONLY the various Israeli slants on things as intellectually legitimate from start to finish, and where on the final, one of two optional questions was “Explain why ‘the Palestinian people’ is an ideological construct with no basis in history”, while the second optional question was “Explain why the history of Israel is that of a peaceful state constantly and viciously attacked by its criminal neighbors; I’m not straightjacketing you:  various reasons for the criminal neighbors’ aggressive behavior are allowed in your essay.”

    That’s the sort of thing I think was going on here, and I’ve presented plenty of evidence for why I think this.  While people may differ on the meaning of the evidence, I think it at least shows that DH hasn’t “lied” about this incident. Yes, he’s occasionally gotten details wrong, e.g., “The student got an ‘F’”, when all we really know, since the professor destroyed her exam, is that the student believed she got an “F” and the professor admitted she got a “low grade”.  But in my view, the main thrust of what DH said is what the evidence shows. And I think lots and lots of people would read it that way.

    best,

    Art

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  02:44 PM
  75. wow… Michael, you are failing to exert the proper and diligent due discipline on these people.  According to David Brooks you have to be much more assertive and aggressive in your eXploitation of the DaHo’vian cheerleaders.

    From this morning on the Chris Matthews show:

    DAVID BROOKS: Whoever the Democratic candidate, that is the weakness of the Democratic party, they’ve got the blogs and the netroots who are semi-nuts and they insist on a Stalinist line of discipline.

    CHRIS MATTHEWS: I love your objectivity.

    DAVID BROOKS: It’s objectively true. I did a psychoanalytic test.

    but then my captcha word is “feeling” which of course is all i have to go on.  Personally i can’t wait until theory tuesday so that the “trollish” among us are once again left to their own devices.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  03:14 PM
  76. Horowitz’s contention is that the professor’s bias led him to construct questions that are inherently leftist. That’s false—it’s false in the particular case, and it’s false on general principles.

    Right. The proposition that the President’s actions might have been criminal is transformed into a ‘leftist’ argument, when in fact it’s a point of law. And Horowitz is angry at the shadowy forces he sees fluttering and whispering behind the scenes—a conspiracy of mind-control whose weapons are the phrasing of exam questions.

    Which is to say, he’s not even fully a post-Soviet wingnut, but still operating tactically out of the paranoid-retro, Richard Hofstadter dealo. 

    A trick that he keeps pulling out of his magic bag is that any criticism of the current administration or its stated policies can legitimately be attacked a priori, as ‘leftist’ or ‘liberal.’ If anyone hasn’t seen Glenn Greenwald’s essay, today, on contemporary conservatism and the Bush cult of personality, it’s worth a look.

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/12  at  03:16 PM
  77. Gavin, re question #4: “Look at the whole board”, to quote President Bartlett. Look at the entire test, and tell me what you see.  Put the Bush question into the context of the other three questions on the test and then tell me it’s intended as right wing.

    And Peter, I’ve served on grade-appeals boards at my university and the only time there is pressure “to make the whole thing go away”, as you put it, is:  when the student has a case.  Here, she obviously did.

    best,

    Art

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  03:31 PM
  78. Dear Art, there are of course other things to consider: (1) did the professor advertise the course accurately as being taught from the left? (2) was it a required or an optional course? (3) when was the next time this course was going to be offered? are there other profs at UNC criminology who teach this course? when they do, do they teach it from the right? when they do so, do they advertise honestly? (4) even if we accept your analogy with a right-wing Israeli course (because, you know, there are “various Israeli slants” that wouldn’t fit your analogy), we’d want to know if the course was required or optional and how it was advertised and if or when a left-wing Israeli course was going to be offered. If it was advertised as a right-wing Israeli course, I take it that any leftist that took the course would expect those kind of questions on the final, and they would answer them, as a sort of going undercover in the belly of the beast experience.

    I guess the problem is this. I don’t see anything wrong with teaching a course from the left, as long as it’s advertised as such. You seem not to want to allow teachers to teach from the left. Like the others, I don’t see how it’s such a scarring experience to write an essay from the “other” perspective.

    Actually, to tell you the truth, I find the terms “leftist” and “rightist” not to be very helpful in discussing my work and how I teach. For instance, I’m teaching a Foucault course this term. He famously described Marxism as a fish that swims in 19th century waters, and in the late seventies he taught a course at the College de France (Naissance de la biopolitique) which sympathetically read Gary Becker and the Chicago School. So despite the easy classification some would make, is he really a “leftist”? And even if he is, how am I supposed to “balance” a course on Foucault? Have the students read Roger Kimball on Foucault?

    Actually, to really tell you the truth, I’m an irrationalist about human behavior. I think people’s emotional structures are embedded in their bodies (some sort of Bourdieu-ian habitus) and condition their political beliefs. In other words, people are turned on or off by various things they encounter in the world (Israeli expansionism, gay sex, the Iraq War, George W. Bush) and then look around for a political viewpoint that validates their feelings. So all of our precious rational discourse in our courses mostly goes to reinforce what people feel, though it may make them a little more clever at their next party. People can change their political positions, but not because someone talked them into or out of a particular position, but because their entire existence, starting with their corporeal emotional patterns, thresholds and triggers, shifts. Sometimes that shift is experienced as a blinding revelation, but I think the body has been unconsciously re-arranging its emotional structure for some time prior to that, and the consciousness is the last thing to catch up to this shift. Basically a Spinoza-Nietzsche-Deleuze meets affective neuroscience line, if you see what I’m saying.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  03:31 PM
  79. Art, people keep demonstrating that what Horowitz said about this case wasn’t factually true, but you keep going back and repeating the same untrue things as counterarguments. Moreover, you’re assuming that other things Horowitz claimed about the case are true, without checking them out.

    This was a criminal-justice course in which students were given an optional exam question in which they were not asked this:

    make the argument that the US action in attacking Iraq was criminal

    But were asked this:

    The American government campaign to attack Iraq was in part based on the assumptions that the Iraqi government has “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” This was never proven prior to the U.S. police action/war and even President Bush, after the capture of Baghdad, stated, “we may never find such weapons.” Cohen’s research on deviance discussed this process of how the media and various moral entrepreneurs and government enforcers can conspire to create a panic. How does Cohen define this process? Explain it in-depth. Where does the social meaning of deviance come from? Argue that the attack on Iraq was deviance based on negotiable statuses. Make the argument that the military action of the U.S. attacking Iraq was criminal?

    And you’re like, Oh, whatever, details-details, I’ll just simplify it back to what Howowitz claimed because the question basically went like this:

    make the argument that the US action in attacking Iraq was criminal

    Now, skipping over many other points of fact that’ve been raised, how do we know that the other optional question on the exam was to construct an argument in favor of gay marriage? We’re still relying solely on Horowitz’s testimony there, aren’t we?

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/12  at  03:40 PM
  80. Put the Bush question into the context of the other three questions…

    Art, please. We’re playing at being reasonable, remember? There was no “Bush question,” as has been demonstrated at least three times already, by Ben Alpers, By peter ramus, and by Gavin M, each of whom quoted the reconstruted essay question in full.

    Please stop that, OK?

    And Michael said to play nice and gosh darn it, that’s the Stalinist line of discipline for today and I’m sticking with it and you should too.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  04:15 PM
  81. "Prounce” ha ha. Horowitz wins!

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  04:22 PM
  82. which suggests that God is, as I have long suspected, French-Canadian

    I dunno, it suggests to me that God grew up in Queens.

    Posted by julia  on  02/12  at  04:29 PM
  83. This has been said a million times, but I’ll say it again.  Sounds like the professor in this case was asking students to apply knowledge and procedural questions from the semester to a specific situation, and, in the words of *Raising Arizona*, that there’s how it is. 

    If a student takes a Literary Methodologies class, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask a final exam question such as: “Explain Critic X’s critique of patriarchy in depth, and then use it to construct a feminist argument concerning Text Y.” One needn’t be a feminist to answer the question, nor does somehow “being a feminist” beforehand make this question easier to answer, given that a particular feminist critic’s methods will be at stake, not just some general “feminist” attitude.

    I recall a course on Aesthetic Philosophy I took as an undergrad.  In one exam, I was asked to apply the aesthetic theories of Plato, Hegel, and Heidegger to the same work of art (of my choice).  I chose Coltrane’s *A Love Supreme*, and magically, using Plato and Hegel and Heidegger didn’t make me a conservative or elitist or fascist or even aesthetically oriented.  The point, as any saavy test taker could tell you, is to demostrate proficiency with the course material and add some interesting ideas of one’s own.  And I’d add that, had I decided that Plato and Hegel and Heidegger were too conservative for me and that I’d apply Marx instead, I would have received no credit for my response.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  04:31 PM
  84. There have been some really interesting exchanges in the comments over the last two days. I’m struck by the largely civil, occasionally funny, quality of disagreements. I’m thinking that we can respond critically and thoughtfully to one another, and even score the odd persuasive point. But the winner is clear: David Horowitz gets a week before a national audience, and his pronouncements (yeah, I had to be careful how I spelled this) will go largely unchecked. Any criticism offered by phone will be expressed in a context shaped to make any disagreement with the honored guest sound like an echo from the radical and eccentric fringe. Demands for accuracy and substantiation will be subjected to ridicule and left unanswered. Thrasymachus has it right: the stronger get to determine what the truth is. This is the nature of political power.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  04:35 PM
  85. Now, skipping over many other points of fact that’ve been raised, how do we know that the other optional question on the exam was to construct an argument in favor of gay marriage? We’re still relying solely on Horowitz’s testimony there, aren’t we?

    I’ve got to back Gavin M here… Before I’d be willing to make any serious commentary on the rest of the exam, I’d want to see the actual text of the questions.  Honestly, I find the “Make the case that George W. Bush is a war criminal” interpretation of the question we’ve already seen to be at best a gross oversimplication, at worst deliberately misleading.  (Sorry about the either/or Michael, but you can both/and it if you’d like).

    Art, (forgive me if I’ve missed a link to this here) if you’d like us to consider rest of the exam in this discussion, can you point us to a reliable source for the actual (or even reconstructed-by-the-professor) text of the questions, rather than a summary from a source that many here would regard as unreliable?

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  04:43 PM
  86. Right, I’d forgotten that Horowitz’s prior claim was that the question read (I’m quoting directly): “Explain why George W. Bush is a war criminal.”

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/12  at  04:54 PM
  87. Folks, the entire exam, as reconstructed a year later by the faculty-member, was handed out by the university; Horowitz wasn’t making up the questions.

    I, too, have of course seen the full text of the (reconstructed) exam question #4, and I just don’t see much difference between students having to argue--in a question where Bush is so prominent as an (alleged) purveyor of false information--that the U.S. war on Iraq was criminal, and the later statements of both the student and DH that students were being required to explain why Bush was a war criminal.  The professor himself alleged as a parallel that he used the example that some British considered GWashington a war criminal.  So you see the situation.

    I don’t know how others teach the course, and the question is irrelevant.  The issue raised by DH was how this course was graded, the types of questions asked, and the type of answers that were required in order to get a high grade.  It doesn’t matter whether the course was a required course for the major or not, because lots of people took it who aren’t majors, out of general interest.

    One issue appears to be:  I would never give an exam such as this; I deal with controversial material (imperialism), and I leave the students free to offer widely-varying opinions as long as they back their position up with specific evidence and logic of argument. My courses are not slanted one way.  And I do not believe it is pedagogically proper to slant a course one way.  This is where I differ from Michael and from most of you.

    The second issue appears to me be this: inaccuracies in detail seem to others to add up to a “lie” by DH, whereas to me it appears that the most important thing here is that he got the basic story-line correctly--and that he got it far more correctly than the strained interpretations offered by his critics.  Moreover, DH had reasonable info from the student herself, plus he had the fact that her ultimate final grade in the course, which only came following her grievance procedure, was much higher than what the faculty member himself admitted was the grade he gave her on the final (plus, of course, there’s the stunning fact that the faculty-member destroyed all the written evidence).

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  04:56 PM
  88. In fact, as I was Amtraking home this evening, I chanced to get temporary wireless access in the wilds of southeastern Pennsylvania, and I read the first 34 of these comments.  I wound up laughing so loudly and embarrassingly that the conductor came and transferred me to the Dilating Car so I would not disturb my fellow passengers.

    Hee hee, of course you’re so self-obsessed that you would check your silly blog and google yourself on your way
    home from NYC. Must suck living out there in the wilds of self-stroking, huh?

    I think you’re just basically a Hitler-youth kind of guy: rally the plebian masses to your pointless cause. That’s why
    you hate Horowitz so much, isn’t it? He reminds you of you: hypocrite.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  04:56 PM
  89. Cheasy, I think Michael checks in on his blog every so often partly because it’s his blog, and partly to determine whether he needs to moderate abusive and substanceless comments like yours.  I also think he’s way too tolerant of trolls, myself, but then, I’m a Stalinist Democrat who believes in discipline.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  05:13 PM
  90. Dear Art, thanks for your reply. I admire your tenacity; it can’t be easy coming back here alone and posting again and again when no one seems to agree with you. I’m not sure we’re really connecting though. For instance, when you say:

    I don’t know how others teach the course, and the question is irrelevant.  The issue raised by DH was how this course was graded, the types of questions asked, and the type of answers that were required in order to get a high grade.  It doesn’t matter whether the course was a required course for the major or not, because lots of people took it who aren’t majors, out of general interest.

    Then I have to say that isn’t it the “larger point” you’re fond of raising that this course is an example of right-wing students being forced to do things in class they find intellectually / morally offensive? But if we let you focus just on this course out of context, then you can’t really use it to prove something about how students are forced to follow an alleged leftward slant of academia, now can you? Because you can’t really show that the student was forced to take the course, unless we examine it in the context of UNC criminology’s offerings.

    My courses are not slanted one way.  And I do not believe it is pedagogically proper to slant a course one way.

    And if there are people who, after many years of serious reflection and after many years in the classroom, have developed pedagogies that allow or even require them to teach in a “slanted” way, whether that “slant” is from the left or the right, you would support their right in an university committed to academic freedom to do so, wouldn’t you? You certainly wouldn’t want to impose your views of what is “pedagogically proper” on your peers, would you?

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  05:14 PM
  91. and of course we all know what Michael Berube really wants, which is what he can’t get (I know this is not going to appear on your blog, so I thought I’d send it just to you).

    No, the real Stalinists and Marxists pretty much see you for what you are: a white, middle-class, conservative guy who sways from one cause to another cause and is basically just willing to say the right things to whoever seems to be powerful. That’s totally your MO: ass-licking.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  05:18 PM
  92. Chris Robinson--

    I too have been struck by the tone of civility here, which has led to a profitable exchange of views.  We should use this as a model.

    I don’t agree with the rest of your posting, Chris, about power, but that would lead to another long discussion, not very relevant here.

    Back to the civility point.  I am in the position of knowing both Horowitz and some people on the left personally:  for instance, I know both Horowitz and Maurice Isserman.  (I don’t know Michael B. personally.) I think I’m a fair judge of people, and my impression is that none of these people is evil, or mean-spirited, or dishonorable.  What strikes me as tragic is that the gulf between folks has gotten so wide that there is barely room for anyone to attempt to talk to each other.  That’s why Michael is right that it is important to “play nice.” I’ve attempted to do that, though I also started from the assumption that I couldn’t convince very many people.

    The entire exam can be found on Frontpage, in the April 21, 2005 post.  Horowitz says it came from Ms. Reynolds, the spokesperson for U of No. Colorado.  Those who think he’s lying, there’s nothing I can do for them.  I just note that UNC has never said DH’s text of the exam is inaccurate.

    best,

    Art

    best,

    Art

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  05:24 PM
  93. David Horowitz + bong hit = 36
    Cheasy + bong hit = 10
    Cheasy + self-obsessed = 20

    Cheasy + bong hit && Cheasy + self-obsessed < David Horowitz + bong hit

    How come? Someone’s got some work to do.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  05:28 PM
  94. Willikin’ Jeepers, is this turning into an old fashioned love-rock musical?

    This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius . . .

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  05:29 PM
  95. Art, here’s the thing. You see no difference between the original question and the question as reconstituted by Horowitz. Fine, no problem. However, others, myself included, do. So, in such a situation, it is less than honest to simplify the original question in such a way that your interpretation is the only interpretation, which is what Horowitz did, and what you’re defending.

    Just because you’ve simplified a rather complex question in your own mind, it does not give you the right to impose the simplification on others. Intellectual rigor and honesty demands that you refer to the question in full and let others draw their own conclusions. If the full question is biased beyond all debate, and permits only one interpretation, why simplify it?

    I haven’t seen the full exam, but now I’m curious. Can you link to it?

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  05:29 PM
  96. Hey Art, let me ask you something.

    One time in law school I took a class in negotiation.  As one of our exercises, we broke up into groups and negotiated a personal injury settlement.  In my group I was on the side that represented the doctor.  Other law students represented the musician whose hand was injured - he wanted compensation not just for getting his hand fixed, but also for lost wages and pain and suffering.  One of those trial-lawyer, lefty positions.

    Now, no matter how we felt about personal injury suits, we didn’t get to pick which side we represented.  We were expected to get the best deal we could for our client regardless of how we felt about personal injury law.  Otherwise we got a bad grade.

    So were half of us forced to defend a liberal point of view?  Was this unfair?  Should we have filed grievances and complained to D’Ho?  None of us felt that way at the time, but perhaps we were insufficiently sensitized to our victimhood in being forced to argue positions we didn’t choose because we already believed them.  What do you say?

    Captcha:  letter.  Hmph.  Should have been “number.”

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  05:30 PM
  97. David Horowitz:  The only consistent thing about him is his use of the Stalinist style of argument and most often, attack.

    The sad thing, Michael, is he really wanted you to like him.  Hence, his extra tone of hurt feelings.

    Posted by Mitchell Freedman  on  02/12  at  05:30 PM
  98. Here, from the April 21, 2005 Frontpagemag post, is the text of the complete exam.  I’ll make a couple observations below…

    I. The following questions are essay. Answer as completely as possible. Be thorough and concise, but make a solid argument and logical case for your answer. Make sure you answer all questions sought. All Students must answer questions 1& 2. Select one question from 3 & 4 to answer. The minimum number of pages per question is three (3) typed, double spaced, and stapled to the test questions.

    1) Compare and contrast Power Control Theory and Integrated-Structural Marxism. How do they analyze the family in terms of social class? How does this class discussion relate to crime? Which family members are essentially excluded in their analysis? What are the weak points of both theories and what are their strengths? Which theory do you support?

    2) The Feminist movement of the 1980s offered a significant “new way” in looking at law and its affect on women. The idea of equality is an issue still unresolved. Explain what the equality doctrine is. How should women define and respond to sexual differences? Can the claim of special treatment for women be considered problematic? Why? How can this be neutralized? What do feminists mean by “Doing Law?”

    3) The taboo (deviance) society places on homosexual relationships and gay lifestyles today is beginning to subside. Attempts are being made to allow gay marriages, which appears right around the corner. Make an argument that would support gay marriages and gay families and explain how this additional type of family could help prevent crime (use one of the above theories form question #1 in your discussion and Shaw and McKay’s analysis of social ecology).

    4) The American government campaign to attack Iraq was in part based on the assumptions that the Iraqi government had “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” This was never proven prior to the US police action/war and even President Bush, after the capture of Baghdad , stated “we may never find such weapons.” Cohen’s research on deviance discusses this process of how the media and various moral entrepreneurs and government enforcers can conspire to create panic. How does Cohen define this process? Explain it in-depth. Where does the social meaning of deviance come from? Argue that the attack on Iraq was deviance based on negotiable statuses. Make the argument that the military action of the US attacking Iraq was criminal?

    This is exam is certainly asking the students to understand certain arguments some of which were most definitely made by certain people on the left.  It does not, in any way, force the student to agree with these arguments (unless the professor prevented students from answering “neither” to the final question in #1...and I don’t think anyone is alleging that).  As for the “leftism” of the choice between 3 & 4, both questions might actually allow for a conservative answer. It’s already been noted that some conservatives consider the Iraq war a criminal endeavor (see antiwar.com or The American Conservative magazine).  Arguments for gay marriage that revolve around strengthening the family tend to be made more by pro-gay marriage conservatives (like Andrew Sullivan or Jonathan Rauch). Incidentally, very few liberals or leftists would refer to “gay lifestyles” as question #4 does.

    Finally, let me echo those who’ve already said that one simply cannot evaluate the appropriateness of this exam absent a broader sense of the content of the course.  A syllabus would be a nice start, but in actual fact, you’d really have to have been there.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  05:43 PM
  99. The second issue appears to me be this: inaccuracies in detail seem to others to add up to a “lie” by DH, whereas to me it appears that the most important thing here is that he got the basic story-line correctly--and that he got it far more correctly than the strained interpretations offered by his critics. [...]

    Art,

    Unlike a lot of people here I’m not an academic, and in fact my principal qualification for engaging Horowitz is that I collaborate on a mean-spirited comedy site that makes fun of right-wing extremists. 

    It’s something to consider that our tacit rules for quotations, corrections, and professional behavior are more stringent than the ones you apply to Horowitz. E.g., we work from direct texts and not hearsay, and always link to the original source—and importantly, as nasty as we can be in print, we always communicate respectfully and kindly with our opponents in private. If asked to make a correction, we generally do.

    It’s possible to engage in minute debates on the definition of the verb, ‘to lie,’ if one wants to do that, but it seems enough to say that Horowitz consistently says things that aren’t true, one thing after another, and when challenged on them Horowitz gets angry and attacks his critics.

    So maybe it’s possible for all of one’s facts to be wrong every time, one time after the next, but for one’s argument nonetheless to possess an essential quality of ‘truth’—that’s a philosophical question. But being a jerk about it doesn’t help things, does it?

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/12  at  05:51 PM
  100. Thanks to leftwing fascists like yourself I don’t need to fake attacks on me.

    So either DHo really equates criticism in web-based articles with physical assault, or he’s a mendacious O’Reilly wannabe.

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    Posted by  on  02/12  at  05:52 PM
  101. What strikes me as tragic is that the gulf between folks has gotten so wide that there is barely room for anyone to attempt to talk to each other.  That’s why Michael is right that it is important to “play nice.”

    Art, you’re definitely right on that score.

    The thing is, it’s very hard to find the courtesy necessary to play nice with people on either side of the gulf who engage in eliminationist rhetoric. Perhaps it’s just me, but I find it not only hard but rather a waste of time to engage in civil discourse with - to start with the reductio ad absurdum - someone like Jason Robida, who appoints himself judge jury and executioner over people of whose lives he disapproves.

    And no, I’m not intending hyperbole here. The vast majority of conservatives are good, rational people. But there are increments here. Take a step toward reason from Robida, and you arrive at The Minutemen, who arm themselves and threaten violence and who will likely end up killing innocent people but who have not as yet done so. Another step from the Dark Side and you have Ann Coulter, who would never take the initiative required to physically injure someone but who has no trouble exhortng the next McVeigh to blow up the New York Times building. A few more steps and you have the representatives who voted ddown the federal hate crimes legislation in 2004. The vote was wholly cloaked in reason, and yet was part of the momentum of hatred.

    Based solely on his writing and inflammatory public statements, as until last week I had never communicated directly with him, I would put David Horowitz somewhere just reasonward of Coulter. I find his un-nuanced condemnation of leftists in the university rather less an appeal for balance than an attempt to fan the flames of elimination-lite, in which if we are not actually killed we at least are made to shut up.

    You may disagree with this characterization of Horowitz, and you may be right. But even if I have pegged that individual conservative wrongly, where would you draw the civility line?

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  02/12  at  05:55 PM
  102. not to mention tacit Jew-bating

    I’m surprised it took this long for that little malevolent piece of [redacted as i am playing nice] argument to rear its [redacted] maw.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  02/12  at  05:56 PM
  103. Emma Anne, for your analogy to work the law school class could be told by the professor that it was proper ONLY take the musician’s side, and anyone who argued that the doctor had a point would get a low grade for irrelevance.  (Gotcha.)

    Anyone who thinks this exam is neutral is of course entitled to their opinion, but I would bet that if shown to a group of ordinary citizens they would not see it that way. 

    best,

    Art

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  05:57 PM
  104. At the risk of more troll feeding....

    I think most of the academics among us teach students to defend their views with solid evidence and argumentation, and to argue against views that aren’t backed by such evidence or argumentation.

    Calling David Horowitz “DHo” is, in a narrow sense, unprofessional, i.e. I don’t think any of us would, or should, so refer to him in a classroom setting or an academic paper, but then this isn’t in that sense a professional setting.

    And for all the fun we have (sorry you don’t enjoy it, GF), there is, at the root of this discussion a serious concern about academic freedom (the real thing, not the phony excuse to engage in McCarthyism), and the arguments against Horowitz are solid and backed by fact.  I should hope that our students when faced with sloppiness and/or mendacity from any political point of view would be able, and willing, to argue against it.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  06:00 PM
  105. Anyone who thinks this exam is neutral is of course entitled to their opinion, but I would bet that if shown to a group of ordinary citizens they would not see it that way.

    Art,

    Do you honestly believe that all exams have to be politically “neutral”?  Does this mean that economists shouldn’t be allowed to favor conservative New Classical approaches in their classes if they believe those approaches to best approximate economic truth?

    In my classes, I always explicitly encourage my students to disagree with me.  But I don’t feel any obligation to be neutral about the course’s material. And I require my students to understand my point of view, even if they end up disagreeing with it (indeed, they can’t disagree with it thoughtfully unless they understand it).

    So, while I agree that the exam in no way is “neutral,” I think the demand that all courses and exams be neutral is wrongheaded.  And it’s not at all clear to me that the exam is “leftist” in its non-neutrality.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  06:07 PM
  106. Anyone who thinks this exam is neutral is of course entitled to their opinion, but I would bet that if shown to a group of ordinary citizens they would not see it that way.

    Regardless, if you’re going to refer to the exam, it’s intellectually dishonest to paraphrase it. Show it to the citizens and let them see it any way they choose.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  06:17 PM
  107. t th rsk f frcng sm f y t cnfrnt yr mr nplsnt sds, wld vntr t sy tht thr s dstnct sprt f Jw-btng (nd gnrl rcsm) lv nd wll n ths frm. Mr. Brb sms gr t thwrt crtqs f hs wn shd pst s swng-stte th sz f Jhn Krr’s bhnd:

    http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=2722

    Hwvr, h s fll nthsd bt llwng sm f th mst rcst lngge tht ’v ncntrd n lng whl. Ths s, f crs, “cdmc frdm,” nd h s nttld t blttl hmslf nd rdrs b llwng sch psts t rmn n th dscssn brd.

    Bt dn’t tr t tll m tht n f y r “prfssnls” n n sncr sns f tht wrd whn y ngg n ths srts f “dscssns.” Y r pck f wld dgs, grp f thgs t th br tlkng bt lnchng smne. nd th stdnts r rll th ns fr whm fl srr f ths s th tp f rhtrcl prctc tht tks plc n th clssrm.

    Bst wshs, mst d mre vlbl thngs wth m tm thn rd yr fcst rmrks. 

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  06:23 PM
  108. Gavin M.:

    I collaborate on a mean-spirited comedy site that makes fun of right-wing extremists.

    Say, you ought to tell The Editors about that. Maybe they’ll put you on their blogroll!

    Art:

    You seem intent on defending Horowitz on grounds that even he would dispute. He admits that he lies, after all. He subscribes the the “fib” theory of truth value, as quoted in Michael’s post above. He will do or say whatever it takes to advance his politics, and he makes no bones about it at all.

    [y]ou cannot cripple an opponent by outwitting him in a political debate. You can only do it by following Lenin’s injunction: ‘In political conflicts, the goal is not to refute your opponent’s argument, but to wipe him from the face of the earth.’
    David Horowitz

    And, Gerald Ferguson, I would venture to say you are not playing nice.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  06:43 PM
  109. <i>Actually, web-based slander and defamation (not to mention tacit Jew-bating) is probably equivalent to assault in the eyes of the court. And if it isn’t, then referring to someone as “D’Ho” is certainly unprofessional conduct [...]<i>

    Hey man, your anti-Semitic notion that David Horowitz is the moral representative of Jewish people is defamation enough. But then you compound it with accusations of “unprofessional conduct,” which are probably equivalent to assault in the eyes of the court.

    Actually, are you high?

    I know we’re supposed to be nice, but what in the world is this all about?

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/12  at  06:47 PM
  110. At the risk of forcing some of you to confront your more unpleasant sides, I would venture to say that there is a distinct spirit of Jew-bating (and general racism) alive and well on this forum.
    ...
    However, he is fully enthused about allowing some of the most racist language that I’ve encountered in a long while.

    All right, I’ll admit I can be a little slow sometimes. Getting hit in the head a lot with hockey pucks can do that to you.  Could someone explain to me what Mr. Ferguson is talking about?

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  06:50 PM
  111. Say, you ought to tell The Editors about that. Maybe they’ll put you on their blogroll!

    Ha ha, very funny. Who’s this ‘Editors’ of whom you speak?

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/12  at  06:58 PM
  112. Sorry. My anarcho-syndicalist tendencies overcame my play-nice Stalinist discipline there. Won’t happen again.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  07:08 PM
  113. Again with the “Jew-bating” [sic].

    Are spurious accusations of antisemitism leveled to derail an argument thus “masterrace-bating”?

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  02/12  at  07:12 PM
  114. Well, this seems to be degenerating.  So, I’m going.

    I don’t think this was a waste of time, nor do I think a Dean would find it to have been one.  On the contrary, this is what academics do best:  we have had a conversation that has been civil (with some exceptions), and some points have been made all around.

    But I think those who assert that “Horowitz consistently says things that aren’t true” are faced with the fact that we have just spent all weekend on just one item, and that (though seem people may disagree with this) a reasonable case has been made for Horowitz on that item, that he certainly didn’t “lie”.  But if such is the case with this one item, how about the others that constitute “he consistently lies”?  What are they, how many, are you sure you know what’s going on?  You ought to be brought up short by what we’ve just done.

    It would be best to assume that your intellectual opponents are not all knaves and liars. Best for DH to assume that too. Increasingly, no one does.  This is what I meant by a tragic situation. 

    best,

    Art

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  07:14 PM
  115. We actually are on his blogroll, but he’s been listing us under snarky names lately. Because of the mutant-cat attacks on his substitute bloggers whenever he went on vacation. It’s a long story.

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/12  at  07:15 PM
  116. Wait. Michael’s Jew-bating [sic] Horowitz because Edward Herman accused him of bashing Chomsky?

    So if you criticize either Horowitz or Chomsky, that’s necessarily Jew-bating [sic]?

    Wow. The [redacted] Nazi takeover of this country is a lot more advanced that I’d thought. Anyone who’s ever written about politics in this country is apparently a Jew-bater [sic].

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  02/12  at  07:17 PM
  117. I am in awe of Gerald F’s extraordinary display of troll-jitsu.  He has presented us with a series of hostile, serious-sounding nonsequiturs, backed up by a link that has nothing to do with any of them.  By thus disrupting the conversation, without actually saying anything coherent, Gerald F. has distilled the very essence of trolling.  Well done!

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  07:21 PM
  118. But if such is the case with this one item, how about the others that constitute “he consistently lies”?  What are they, how many, are you sure you know what’s going on?  You ought to be brought up short by what we’ve just done.

    Exempli gratia.

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/12  at  07:22 PM
  119. I thoroughly agree with Art that this has been a fruitful and generally polite exchange.  I also agree with him when he writes that “It would be best to assume that your intellectual opponents are not all knaves and liars. Best for DH to assume that too. Increasingly, no one does.  This is what I meant by a tragic situation.”

    However, while it is unfair and unproductive to assume that one’s intellectual opponents are all knaves and liars, when one has evidence that a particular opponent in fact is a knave and a liar, avoiding that fact out of a misplaced sense of propriety is dishonest and potentially dangerous.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  07:27 PM
  120. However, he is fully enthused about allowing some of the most racist language that I’ve encountered in a long while.

    This is not, in fact, true, as I will proceed to demonstrate by disemvoweling all remarks made thus far by Gerald Ferguson.  Though I wish him well in his attempts to liberate the people of Symbonia.

    Posted by Michael  on  02/12  at  07:34 PM
  121. Oh, Gavin, I remember the long story, gloriously dumb contretemps over prior kitten-art and all. And I see now where your blogroll link is.

    Now that Art has declared victory and gone home, maybe Michael will let us stop playing nice. My head hurts.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  07:40 PM
  122. Well, if Art wants to claim that he’s rehabilitated Horowitz here, let’s really look at the record.  Let’s start with my own Public Access (1994), which contains the following passage on Horowitz’s early-90s tabloid rag, Heterodoxy:

    The journal has been caught fabricating at least one “PC” story, a tale about how the women’s studies program at Wellesley sent letters to students planning to major in Modern European History, charging them with “perpetuating the ‘dominant white male’ attitudes and behaviors that have been oppressing women for generations.” That sounds pretty arrogant and self-righteous of women’s studies—until you find out that no such letters existed, that Heterodoxy made up the story out of whole cloth, and did it incompetently, too, since there is no Modern European History major at Wellesley College.

    I mean, honestly, folks, how many more examples will suffice?

    Art may think of David as an honorable man, but on the basis of this, I hazard to guess that I’ve been dealing with David’s work for a longer time than Art has—even though I’ve (still) never met the man.  I may, of course, be wrong about that.  But in any case, don’t take my word for it.  Let’s see how David comports himself on Hannity and Colmes this week, and then we’ll find out whether Chris Robinson’s prediction (up in comment 84) was warranted. 

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  08:04 PM
  123. Hi Michael--

    I don’t care about any of this other stuff.  I want your Rod Gilbert pictures, and any of the whole damn “GAG” line if you got ‘em.  How ‘bout a photo gallery so I can steal them??

    Your fellow listee in the Horowitz Most Dangerous Top 101, and serious NY Ranger junkie,

    Dean Saitta, University of Denver

    Posted by Dean Saitta  on  02/12  at  09:02 PM
  124. Hi, Dean!  I wish I had my own stash of Gilbert pictures (and I wonder if I’ll ever find my many pix of Gilbert, Park, Villemure and me at Rod’s hockey camp in 1970 and 1971), but there are some Rangers “legends” here, including the whole GAG line.  I say “legends” because that site has a kinda erratic idea of “legend” that includes legendary underperformers Petr Nedved and Bobby Holik.  But so be it.

    Posted by Michael  on  02/12  at  09:20 PM
  125. I think I baited myself…

    Posted by Dustin  on  02/12  at  09:52 PM
  126. Caught up with this one late, so a few quick comments:

    1.  John Protrevi is, was, and will remain right.  And righteous.  Hi John.

    2.  I DID google “Horowitz” and “McCarthy” (not Charlie).  Thanks for all the good reading!  (I guess I should ask you to pass my thanks along to Horoshow (or D’Ho, as you all call him here)).

    3.  When I googled “Horowitz” and “McCarthy,” not a single entry from our blog came up.  That is upsetting as we’ve been irresponsibly and yet with good reason making the Horocarthy link for some time.  Perhaps not explicitly enough.  Did everyone else have to pay google to get on it? 

    Nice work, as always.

    Posted by Ur Err  on  02/12  at  10:13 PM
  127. Oh, and stop making fun of Horowitz’s “small staff.” It’s beneath you.

    Posted by Ur Err  on  02/12  at  10:15 PM
  128. Oh, and stop making fun of Horowitz’s “small staff.” It’s beneath you.

    So that’s what that is. I thought I was sitting on a tack.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  02/12  at  10:18 PM
  129. The weirdest part was Art Eckstein’s claim (50) was that “EVERY question on the final carried the SAME general leftist political slant.” As Ben points out in 98, this is nonsense, and it’s clear why Eckstein tried to weasel with the term “general.” The first and second questions required a student to engage critically with bodies of theory; one gets the impression that for Eckstein the very inclusion of a word like Marxism or feminism *anywhere* in a question taints it.  As Ben pointed out neither question demanded a particular argument.  On 3, what exactly is it that makes gay marriage leftist?  What’s the underlying “leftism” there?  (And note the question’s bit about preventing crime.) Back in the day, leftists denounced marriage as a bourgeois institution.  And on the final question, what makes a an imputation of abuse of executive power inherently leftist or rightist?  It would be much easier to build the requested argument out of good Burkean principles.  In fact if I were going to specify, parsimoniously, a single ideology that could generate both support for gay marriage and militant skepticism of executive war-making powers, it would be libertarian conservatism.

    The impression one gets of Art, who bailed from the discussion without dealing with Ben’s carefully-worded posts, is that he shares with Horowitz a fragile ideological stance that is incredibly easily offended.  Any offense to his sensibilities gets the name “leftist.” It’s this chip-on-the-shoulder quality that accounts for the assumption that even if the chip wasn’t really knocked off this time, it was about to be, or something.

    I do think there are some interesting questions that can be raised about how to make students feel comfortable writing and talking about things they think are controversial.  But one of the first things you have to do is move past this idiotic effort to map every controversy or tension onto a binary left-right schema.  The real damage that someone like Horowitz does is that he polarizes discussion in such a way that it’s harder to have a rich discussion about students’ experiences in classes.

    Polarizing discussions this way, incidentally, is an old left-wing sectarian tactic that Horowitz probably learned as a youth.

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  11:00 PM
  130. Hi Ur, thanks for the nice words in #126, but we windbags congratulate ourselves here!

    Posted by  on  02/12  at  11:34 PM
  131. ”...and he’s kind of clueless about how the Internets work.”

    Wow. Kettle, you’re black.

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  12:24 AM
  132. Allen pops up to offer yet another in a string of Horowitz-inspired, devastating, and content-free clichés with neither documentation nor explication. How will Michael stand up under this withering assault?

    That last word is intended metaphorically.

    Posted by Chris "this IS me playing nice" Clarke  on  02/13  at  12:32 AM
  133. Chris, allow me to explicate.

    Someone who criticizes another’s knowledge of the internet by saying “...and he’s kind of clueless about how the Internets work” is clearly clueless about the internet.

    In relation, there is an old English story about a pot calling a kettle black, which of course is silly, since the pot is black as well. (http://www.goenglish.com/ThePotCallingTheKettleBlack.asp)

    I hope I’m not being condescending, I simply didn’t think I’d have to explain this to such an obviously intelligent crowd...oh wait a minute! I hope that wasn’t too “metaphorical.”

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  12:45 AM
  134. Presumably Allen is referring to Professor Berube’s pluralization (sorry for that) of “Internet.” To which I can only reply, “how quickly the trolls forget.” For the pluralistic conception of the so-called worldwideweb to which the Prof adverted was in fact created by none other than our dear leader.

    Look it up Allen, it’s from one of his debates with that tall, European-looking fellow.

    Yes, Al Gore helped create the internet, but it took a real man to see the internets in all their multifarious glory.

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  12:51 AM
  135. Hmm, I remember once reading about something called a circular argument…

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  12:55 AM
  136. So I was hot air ballooning once, and came down through some thick clouds that faded over a landscape that was unfamiliar to me. Fortunately, I saw a guy below, and it turned out to be Allen.

    I shouted down to him. “Where am I?”

    Allen, looking up at me with an expression of piteous disdain, replied scornfully. “You’re in a balloon!”

    Posted by Chris "try the veal" Clarke  on  02/13  at  01:12 AM
  137. Funny. Not funny enough to cover up the dumb, I’m afraid.

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  01:15 AM
  138. Too easy. Not sporting.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  02/13  at  01:22 AM
  139. Right...wink

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  01:24 AM
  140. Well, I shall retire unopposed. Little wonder you guys can only win a debate in an ivory tower.

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  01:38 AM
  141. Hmm, I remember once reading about something called a circular argument…

    Weird Harold: Hey Allen, you like a bad drummer auditionin’ for the Motown studio band who forgot his cymbals!

    Allen: Huh? Why you call me a bad drummer auditionin’ for the Motown studio band who forgot his cymbals?

    Weird Harold: Cause you circle-less in pro-bando!

    [cue Fat Albert kids in the groan-loop with the waah-aah song]

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/13  at  01:41 AM
  142. Allen, wait--there’s a debate? Where?

    Can you declare victory when you’re the only one playing?

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  02:21 AM
  143. Summary

    Allen: Dr. Berube is dumb for calling Horowitz ignorant of the internet, when his criticism exposes his own ignorance.

    Chris: Huh?

    Allen: Uh...as above.

    Some Guy: No, no. He’s just quoting his previous (incorrect) thoughts about the internet.

    Allen: Oooh, ironclad argument.

    Chris: Wah!

    Gavin: Blah, blah, blah. Pay attention to me!

    Some Other Guy: What argument? What debate? You are bad at thinking Allen!

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  02:30 AM
  144. Summary

    Allen: Kettle black!

    Chris: You used a hackneyed cliche as an insult without either adding anything to the debate or explaining what you mean.

    Allen: Well, then let me explain it to your limited intellect by expanding on my hackneyed cliche, which it would be clear to any semi-literate observer that you understood clearly, as a constructive gesture of contempt!

    Marc J.: Allen, using the plural of “internet” is a mocking reference to a speech made by President George W. Bush, in which he referred to in the plural. To avoid insulting your intelligence, I will kindly and genteelly refrain from pointing out in detail how your missing this joke, which has been near ubiquitous online to the point where most of us either use it reflexively, are mightily tired of it, or both, rather ironically undermines your attack on Michael for not knowing nothing bout the nets.

    Allen: I’m so blinded by my preconceptions regarding the commenters on this blog that I choose to interpret Marc J.’s use of the phrase “our leader” as referring to Bérubé, thus compounding the hilarious irony of my accusation regarding Michael’s familiarity with the singular internet!.

    Chris: Please allow me to mock Allen unconstructively for the benefit of the readers who are, for some reason, still reading, by stealing an old joke about useless answers to serious questons!

    Allen: This hole I’ve dug myself is muffling your words and obscuring your meaning!

    Allen: I’m leaving!

    Gavin: I’ll toss in an amusing pop-culture reference!

    Marc J.: Allen, I should let you know that they’re only pretending to take you seriously, as a favor to you.

    Allen: But before i leave, let me dig this hole a bit deeper!

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  02/13  at  02:48 AM
  145. in which he referred to the Internet in the plural. sorry.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  02/13  at  02:49 AM
  146. Gavin: Blah, blah, blah. Pay attention to me!

    He actually scored one.

    Ok, Allen, Google the term, ‘internets,’ and see what comes up. 

    I’ll sit here amidst this blizzard, locked out of my regular blog, feebly scratching for another Latin pun because that last one worked out so well.

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/13  at  02:52 AM
  147. Allen, you are the only person here who doesn’t recognize the reference to “internets” as a humorous one. This doesn’t mean everyone else here is a moron, it simply means you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    here’s a link you may find edifying.

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  02:54 AM
  148. Michael’s commenting software eats google search links sometimes. It’s best to filter them through tinyurl or somesuch.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  02/13  at  03:01 AM
  149. Fair enough. It seems I underestimated Dr. Berube’s sarcasm. I’ll grant you that.

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  03:04 AM
  150. Ah, thanks. The search Gavin suggested while I was busy reading this epic thread should be informative enough. Just add “president” and “bush” to “internets,” Allen, if you’re still hopelessly confused.

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  03:04 AM
  151. Michael’s commenting software eats google search links sometimes. It’s best to filter them through tinyurl or somesuch.

    It was actually funny the way it came out…

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/13  at  03:16 AM
  152. And so it was. In fact quite a lot funnier than what I had in mind. There’s a lesson there somewhere.

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  03:35 AM
  153. "All this, it should be remembered, is to avoid engaging an intellectual argument about the state of our universities which he[Berube] knows he can’t defend”—David Horowitz

    Enough said.  You leftists ruin everything you touch, including the American educational system.

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  03:41 AM
  154. Enough said.  You leftists ruin everything you touch, including the American educational system.

    I’m touching James on the butt. Hey James, it’s ruined! Your butt is ruined!

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/13  at  03:44 AM
  155. Right. Would that be the educational system that The Economist calls the best in the world, or some other crappy one that I’m not thinking of?

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  03:49 AM
  156. Gavin, are you drunk or gay?

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  03:49 AM
  157. What am I supposed to do with myself once I’ve baited myself? Should I feel my head for horns?

    Posted by Dustin  on  02/13  at  03:51 AM
  158. What am I supposed to do with myself once I’ve baited myself? Should I feel my head for horns?

    Help me touch James’s stuff and ruin it.

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/13  at  03:58 AM
  159. One of the things that strikes me about Horowitz’s lame critiques of academe is the assumption that young adults come to campus and are incapable of independent thought. One of DH’s hacks over at Amazon basically makes the same point, that these students are to be pitied because they show up on campus

    “incapable of defending themselves, with mushy heads and ready to be molded like the Hitler Youth”

    Sheesh. I think most kids today deserve more credit than that.

    Oooh. And to post this I have to type in “evidence,” something we could wish DH had more familiarity with.

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  04:01 AM
  160. Oh, my gosh.  A graphic that indicates that we spend more per pupil than other countries.  And since we know that there is massive correlation between monetary expenditures and results, we must be doing GREAT. 

    Dude, we are consistently falling behind other countries in test scores.  Wake up and sniff the glass.

    Finally, Last thing I’ll ever post on this suckling-on-the-teat-of-the-socialist-cow site..

    “The problem with the French, is that they don’t have a word for entrepreneur”—GWB.
    (Yeah, I know.  He never said it.  But it’s still the best quote ever)

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  04:02 AM
  161. That article had some words down below the graphic.

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  04:06 AM
  162. Finally, Last thing I’ll ever post on this suckling-on-the-teat-of-the-socialist-cow site..

    Trolling career, ruined!

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/13  at  04:08 AM
  163. Oh yeah, I’m quite sure he’ll be true to his word and never post again. But I think he’s worth remembering simply for coining the inscrutable phrase “wake up and sniff the glass.”

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  04:11 AM
  164. Yeah, what could that possibly mean?

    Posted by Gavin M.  on  02/13  at  04:21 AM
  165. It’s like “smell the glove,” only cleverer.

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  06:04 AM
  166. This one goes to 166.

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  09:04 AM
  167. That article had some words down below the graphic.

    Be fair now, Freddie.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  02/13  at  11:09 AM
  168. I must confess, you were all right.

    The American Higher Education System Is the best in the world.

    Something to note: Hollywood may be the only US industry outside of Academe that can boast about regularly beating foreign competiton.

    I apologize.

    Posted by James Smyth  on  02/13  at  11:12 AM
  169. James, don’t sell yourself short--American trolls are also second to none.

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  01:15 PM
  170. Gavin, are you drunk or gay?

    And if so, do you have plans for Friday?

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  02/13  at  01:19 PM
  171. Oooh.  The frontpagemag blog(s) is so much fun!  In response to a professor who claims (among other things) that Horowitz includes only professors with progressive politics in his “most dangerous” book:

    The word “dangerous” appears only in the subtitle and was never a part of the conception of the book in its selection of professors to profile or in the way the profiles were written. If these professors are dangerous—and I believe there is a legitimate sense in which they are—it is to the academic enterprise itself, and stems from their confusion of activism with scholarship.That is the argument that those who read the book will find in its pages. This arugment concludes with a chapter titled, “The Representative Nature of the Professors Profiled In This Volume.” In other words, not the “worst of the worst” or the “most dangerous”—these are marketers’ tags—but a cohort which I estimate to be between 5% and 10% of the faculty population, or between 30,000 and 60,000 professors nationally.

    I love this approach to accountability!  Someone takes issue with the content of a letter you signed?  It’s not your fault – someone else actually wrote it!  Your book is biased, or the title may be, I dunno… misleading or over the top?  It was the marketing people!  Your intentions were pure!

    If my committee calls me out on anything in my thesis, I’m totally going to tell them that I can’t be held responsible for it because our lab tech wrote that part for me (and we only have one, how’s that for a small staff?).  That should work out well for me, right?

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  01:29 PM
  172. Before we leave the topic of the “internets,” please note that there is even a wikipedia entry on the term.

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  04:28 PM
  173. I’m willing to be drunk and gay for anyone who isn’t an A.L.
    (you know what that means, right)?

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  06:29 PM
  174. Michael in no. 122, urged to come up with another “lie” by Horowitz, now that the U of No Colo story is in doubt, comes up next with a statement from Heterodoxy from 13 years ago (!)--from Dec. 1992--about Wellesley.  That short statement about Wellesley, less than 100 words long, was not written by DH, but appeared in a column ("Reductio ad absurdum") which was written by somebody else, namely Peter Collier, who was also the editor of Heterodoxy and the sole writer of that column. Whatever DH’s other faults may be, DH had nothing to do with that particular story.

    I won’t apply Michael’s merciless standards concerning getting the details right or else accusing someone of committing a “lie”.  Just wanted people to know the actual situation, before Michael’s misinformation got around too far.

    best,

    Art

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  06:31 PM
  175. Good to know that one wasn’t David’s fault either.  I hope he appreciates all your hard work, Art.

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  06:42 PM
  176. Sorry to have to do this, everyone, but I’m closing comments on this post.  The trolls (not you, Art!) have been getting increasingly personal and nasty, and are now accusing everyone who uses the common Internet appellation “D’ho” (or one of its cognates) of racism, sexism, dragism, and bagism.  So in the future, I suggest we confine ourselves to describing David Horowitz in unflattering terms other than these (I don’t want to impose any Stalinist discipline about this), and find some other term, such as DH, if we want to save valuable keystrokes.  Thanks!

    Posted by  on  02/13  at  07:13 PM

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