Thursday, April 30, 2009
I am often amazed to hear academics complain about the complexity of a particular discourse because of its alleged lack of clarity. It is as if they have assumed that there is a mono-discourse that is characterized by its clarity and is also equally available to all. If one begins to probe the issue of clarity, we soon realize that it is class specific, thus favoring those of that class in the meaning-making process--Some gink named Donaldo Macedo, in his introduction to the 30th anniversary edition of Paulo Friere's Pedagogy of the Oppressed. I will never make it through this book.
Former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill's legal team is aiming to get the ethnic studies scholar back in the classroom as soon as the fall semester, a Churchill attorney said Wednesday.Update: Churchill nemesis Jodi Rave is quitting newspapering to write a book on the Indian Trust Fund scandal.
Qusair Mohamedbhai, one of three lawyers who successfully tried Churchill's wrongful termination suit against the university in Denver District Court last month, said he will include in his motion for reinstatement a request that a hearing to decide the professor's future at CU be held as soon as possible.
"We want to do it quick because the fall semester is coming," Mohamedbhai said. "If there is reinstatement, we want him back in fall semester." . . .
The deadline for Churchill to file his reinstatement motion is Monday. The university will have 15 days to respond.
Mohamedbhai said he plans to attach to the motion about 200 letters from professors across the nation urging that Churchill be returned to campus. He also said his client planned to call "a lot of witnesses" at the hearing, if the judge allows it. . . .
Update II: That should read, "One of Churchill's many nemesises (nemesi?)."
Update III: Nemeses!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Whatever. But why would the report mention Recreate 68, the masterminds behind the embarrassingly ineffective protests at the Democratic National Convention last year? Here's the relevant hunk. The last section, "Appendix: Leftwing extremists," ploddingly explains:
Animal rights and environmental extremists seek to end the perceived abuse and suffering of animals and the degradation of the natural environment perpetrated by humans. They use non-violent and violent tactics that, at times, violate criminal law. Many of these extremists claim they are conducting these activities on behalf of two of the most active groups, the Animal Liberation Front and its sister organization, the Earth Liberation Front. Other prominent groups include Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty; and chapters within the Animal Defense League, and Earth First!Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty? Under "Anarchist extremists":
Anarchist extremists generally embrace a number of radical philosophical components of anticapitalist, antiglobalization, communist, socialist, and other movements. Anarchist groups seek abolition of social, political, and economic hierarchies, including Western-style governments and large business enterprises, and frequently advocate criminal actions of varying scale and scope to accomplish their goals. Anarchist extremist groups include entities within Crimethinc, the Ruckus Society, and Recreate 68.
So they're just, like, an example, along with ALF 'n' ELF, except for one difference: ALF 'n' ELF (and for all I know, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty) might actually pose a risk. "Potential indicators":
"Suspicious cyber attack activity." R-68 can't even keep a website going. And I won't draw attention again to the bolded word referring to that which R-68, of all the things it doesn't have, supremely doesn't have. Maybe they'll use magic.
Increasing number of statements by leftwing extremists advocating the use of cyber attack techniques.
Increasing number of communiques published on leftwing extremist websites claiming credit for cyber attacks.
Suspicious cyber attack activity or increased frequency, creativity, or severity against traditional primary, secondary, and tertiary targets of leftwing extremists.
Evidence that leftwing extremist groups or activists are recruiting or attempting to acquire the services of individuals with cyber capabilities.
On the other hand, the Campus Progress piece (second link above) has a quote from R-68 co-honcho Glenn Spagnuolo. I can't tell if it's new or not:
“We believe in a diversity of tactics. In all honesty, nothing is off the table for us,” said Glenn Spagnuolo, one of Recreate ‘68’s co-founders. “But we are also very realistic and we know that we are in a place in society right now where the best weapon is non-violent tactics. If we tried to do anything else it would be revolutionary suicide.”
Revolutionary suicide. What is he, Mao? Anyway, I figure the report was written before the DNC, when it was at least plausible that R-68 might cause real problems, and might reasonably have been on Homeland Security minds. Of course, all the unrevolving revolutionaries do now is threaten lawsuits (as yet unfiled) to protect coyotes that try, occasionally successfully, to chow down on the random passerby, animal or human (we're all equal here).
Update: LGF had it earlier, tho not the R-68 angle (why the hell would he care?).
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Sierra, Percy, 52, 3421 W. 39th Avenue,
Rosales, Christopher, 27, 3739 Pecos Street
Rodriguez, Alexander, 3950 Lowell Boulevard
Retana-Arreola, Juan, 34, 3137 Vallejo #3,
Mendez, Albert, 59, 4331 Lipan Street
May, Sean, 37, 3333 West 36th Avenue
Gonzales, Dominic, 18, 4700 Beach Court
Gerken, Laurna, 85, 3933 Lowell Boulevard
Archuleta, David, 47, West 25th Avenue and Decatur Street
This is part of the peculiar section in the Post called "Data Center" which also has interesting facts and figures on perhaps-related stuff like the Colorado School Accountability Report (SAR); state employee compensation; Colorado sex offenders; and Denver metro home sales. Do not go poking around in the "sex offenders" category. Please. I'm begging you.
Monday, April 27, 2009
It was either a frightening confrontation or a misunderstanding, depending on who's talking."Yeah, sure" of the month:
State GOP aide Matt Milner dialed 911 because he said union organizers blocked his exit and demanded he erase a video recording of Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet on Saturday afternoon following a townhall meeting sponsored by the AFL-CIO.
Mike Cerbo, executive director of Colorado AFL-CIO, said Milner came looking for trouble, but he wasn't forced to erase the tape or barred from leaving. It's now a matter for the Adams County Sheriff's Office, where authorities Sunday confirmed that they received a complaint from Milner. Police also confirmed his Saturday emergency call.
"I feared for my safety. Period," the 25-year-old Milner said Sunday. . . .
There was no reason to think Saturday's gathering at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers' Local 68 union hall — billed as an "everyone's welcome" affair on the invitation — would vary from the typically uneventful routine. And for several hours it didn't, Milner said.
But Milner, with his tripod and video camera, garnered the attention of event organizers just as Bennet bid his adieu to hundreds of audience members, some of whom had grown passionate over politically tricky labor issues, such as the Employee Free Choice Act. . . .
The 5-foot-6-inch Milner found himself surrounded as the event wound down, he said.
"This hulking guy comes flying at me, and he's yelling 'Who are you with?' There's a flurry of F-words," Milner said. "They circled around me. I'd try to move, and they'd move to block my path."
Cerbo, one of the five men who spoke to Milner after Bennet's speech, disputed that version of events Sunday. He said the young interloper was aggressive and tried to provoke a confrontation, though he declined to say how.
"He came in uninvited. . . . I'd call him a trespasser," Cerbo said. "He didn't get the incident he wanted, so he's clearly lying about what happened."
By Cerbo's recollection, Milner offered to erase his tape because he hadn't been invited to the event. Milner says he was barred from leaving until he agreed to erase the recording and that one of the men briefly took his camera to make sure it was.Jeez, who'd have thought union officials could sink lower than ethnic studies scholars (scare quotes superfluous) in trying to silence their enemies?
Update: Speaking of Ward Churchill, Idaho law prof Angelique EagleWoman has some choice words for ol' Kennebunkport:
If you choose to view this as only an “academic freedom” issue, do so knowing that you are ignoring Native Americans in the process. That you would be turning a blind eye to our on-going struggle to be represented in the academy, to our on-going struggle that state educational institutions follow tribal membership standards for counting and reporting Native Americans, to our on-going struggle to represent ourselves accurately in historical respects, political respects and as academics. His reinstatement would be a further slap in the face to the Native community showing that our concerns are still not legitimized in our own homelands.The pirate whose parrot never cuts his toenails (I'm sick of hearing about it) has more.
Update II: Never seen it spelled, as EagleWoman does in this fine takedown, "Kootewah" before. Googling raised only three instances, one of them a link to the same piece at Indianz.com, the other two mentioning the town of Kootaweh in, natch, Idaho. In contrast, "Keetoowah" resulted in 37,700 hits, while even "Keetowah" got 3000-odd. No point, just curious.
Gawker (sorry) has a look back at the Original Swine Flu Panic.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Pardon my revolutionary backwardness, but I'd never even heard of them. Here's some background from totally objective sources. Since Mumia went down, I guess Lynne and Wart have been at loose ends, solidarity-with-murderers-wise. Check out Lynne's plea for bail money at the Gray Panthers website:
I am assuming your support of the San Francisco 8 and I am asking you to go one step further. We all know how to demonstrate and leaflet and hold events. This is a call from me to all of you, who are able, to act above and beyond by committing your Property and to stand as surety for this bail or to help with the expenses to secure property commitments from others. . . .Update: Oops, guess it's the San Francisco 7 now.
I have spoken with members of the Defense Committee and I can assure you that there is virtually no risk involved. (Indeed, even the Judge so stated when he set the amounts). All of the 6 men have deep family and community roots. Your property will be pledged without any cost to you and minimal hassle. While smaller properties can be used and put together as a package, the Committee's best hope is for California progressives who invested wisely (!) back in the day to come forward. I can tell you that my husband, Ralph Poynter, has offered the equity ($100,000) in the country house and property he owns in upstate NY. As for me, as Judge Koeltl said at sentencing, I am "destitute" but only financially. I still have the energy and the will to try to organize, and yes, guilt trip everyone into taking a deep breath and doing something concrete, to demonstrate commitment.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Poor guy. From the top(ish) to the dreggiest of dregs (it's a Blogspot blog!) in a month and a half.
I've been waiting for him.
No, it's not bad. Anyone familiar with Temple's writings, especially on his old Rocky blog, will know what to expect: "What journalism schools should be teaching"; "Why multipart series are even more important to newspapers today"; "How wrong can newspaper critics get?" (Answer: very.)
I liked a couple of posts (there are only five or six yet), including one asking "Why" (John, vary your titles a little, for G-d's sake) newspapers still run headlines implying they're first with a story when it's been on electronic media all day.
But he's very serious. He'll be teaching soon, I imagine.
(h/t LS, who sent it to me long enough ago that I could have beaten Michael Roberts (yes, the Michael Roberts) on the story. I've been busy.)
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
The strongly worded, 92-page claim -- which veers into spy-time territory with its allegations of coverups, evidence destruction and conspiratorial "schemes" -- was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court yesterday.The "Black Ward Churchill" line is from one of the comments to the piece, but the parallels--the charges, the countercharges, the school's incompetence and hypocrisy (though they did have the sense to hire an outside law firm to vet her work), and Constantine's amazing arrogance, among others--are instructive. The 1115 blog and this two-part Village Voice series last year have the good stuff.
"It was a prosecution, it wasn't an investigation," Constantine's lawyer, Paul Giacomo Jr., said of the school probe that led to her firing. "They basically set her up."
The complaint says that the allegations against Constantine were fueled by "academic rivalry and political intrigue" and grew into a "complex and calculated scheme to use false information to discredit" her.
"The manner in which the scheme was hatched and carried out is tantamount to an academic lynching," the complaint concludes.
Update: And don't forget
Update II: Is this a CV, or what?
Update III: The books. Pathetic.
Update IV: On consideration maybe it wasn't a good idea to have an outside firm examine Constantine's work. Can't find it right now, but I read somewhere that the report was actually done by a single lawyer at this firm, or mostly. A (probably) white, definitely male lawyer. Think what David Lane would do with that. But while the report apparently hasn't been made public (I sure can't find it), Madonna's defugalties do sound worse (and less easily obfuscated) than Wart's, not to diminish his accomplishments in the line.
Update V: Second-best Constantine phrase: "harmony control."
Update VI: The Columbia Spectator has a good piece. Fave quote:
The introduction to the 92-page complaint is titled “the academic lynching of Professor Madonna Constantine,” and states that these allegations were part of an “invidious scheme to ruin the scholarly reputation of the Plaintiff through a conspiracy to drum up and eventually publish false claims against the Plaintiff.”The story says Constantine has already had one suit, in which she challenged the process Columbia used to fire her, tossed. Don't know if that means her lawyers can't bring up the lack of diversity of the lone white (probably) male author of the report, though.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
By the time students here wield their scalpels, they will know the dead intimately, composing poems and slide shows to them, writing their biographies and sometimes lighting incense in their honor. When they are finished, the students will carry the donors' coffins to the crematory, mourning them as their "silent mentors" who taught them with their bodies.Sample poem:
Like a warm lantern in our heart,Forever. Stryker saw!
Like the supple light of the moon,
To embrace you forever
In the fragrance of a flower,
We will remember you forever
Update: For those unlucky few who haven't had the tops of their heads sawn off, Autopsy Screenwriter:
The diener takes an electric saw (typically called a "Stryker saw," even if it's not manufactured by Stryker) and makes cuts around the equator of the cranium. This cut must be deep enough to cut all the way through the skull, but not so deep that the brain is cut (this takes some skill). Typically, the cut is not totally straight but has a notch so that the skull top (calvarium) will not slide off the bottom half of the skull after everything is sewn back up. After this cut, the calvarium is removed and set aside. As the calvarium is lifted off, there is a very characteristic sound that is sort of a combination of a sucking sound and the sound of rubbing two halves of a coconut together. The best recorded representation of this sound that I have heard is in the brain transplant scene of the film Robocop 2.Right to the top of the queue for Robocop 2.
Update: Speaking of death, I saw this Tom Swiftie in a comment at Althouse the other day: "I am not a homosexual necrophiliac!" Tom said, in dead earnest.
Jurors in the murder trial of a man accused of bludgeoning an 18-year-old transgender woman to death listened today to more phone calls he made from jail.Read whole thing, for he is very nasty, but check out Inspector Poirot:
Allen Andrade, 32, is charged with first-degree murder in the July murder in Greeley of Angie Zapata.
Andrade joked about his celebrity status after he was arrested last year, saying he would sell his story to the media for the right price.
"Give me money, and I'll sell my story — for $50,000 I would," Andrade said in a phone conversation he made from jail to girlfriend Felicia Mendoza. . . .
In both [tapes], Andrade playfully laughs with Mendoza. When her cellphone nearly goes dead, Andrade says, "That's gay," followed by "gay things need to die."
Greeley Detective Greg Tharp, in a 40-minute interview, tells Andrade he is sympathetic to someone who is tricked into a relationship with a transgender female.Somebody on Court TV this morning (just surfing by on my way to Fox, swear to God), maybe the egregious Ashleigh Banfield, said that before the murder Andrade listed himself as "bisexual" on some Facebook-like site called MoFo or MoCo or something.
"This dude looks like a female. This guy is lying to a lot of people, and we feel like this person is dead because he lied to someone," Tharp said.
He also told Andrade: "You are not a murderer. Tell me what happened here. There are always two sides to every story."
Tharp later told jurors he was trying to project empathy toward Andrade to get him to talk more. . . .
All he needs is a little swastika carved into his forehead and he'd look just like . . . Nahhhhhh. (Cropped from the Post's photo, which they got from the Greeley Tribune. So there.)
Update: Guilty, life in prison.
BIZARRE CRUELTY TO ANIMAL
Police arrested a man and a woman April 13 in connection with a domestic disturbance on the 2900 block of Aurora Street. Both face a variety of charges. The woman also faces cruelty- to-animal charges as a result of allegations that she placed rubber bands and a plastic bag on a dog's paws, ears and muzzle and taped the animal to a refrigerator.
Monday, April 20, 2009
The satellite was supposed to transmit the "Song of General Kim Il-sung" and "Song of General Kim Jong-il" back to earth, the songs referring to the communist state's founder and the son who followed him into leadership in Asia's only communist dynasty.What, no "General Inspects Drill Ground"? No "Let's Sharpen Our Bayonets to Annihilate Enemy"? Well, maybe they at least stowed aboard a copy of "leader Kim Jong Il's famous work 'On Bringing About a Signal Turn in Potato Farming.'"
"When provoking a war of aggression, we will hit back, beginning with the US!” (Bet you didn't know I was fluent in Austrian.) (Poster via the California Literary Review, which has several good ones.)
All right, just one more:
"Do not forget the U.S. imperialist wolves!"
Saturday, April 18, 2009
The Duke Lacrosse case and the vile "Group of 88" come up, as well as a couple of "peace studies" programs, one of which defines "peace" as “providing the basic necessities of life for every human being.” CU's ethnic studies department, minus Ward, is also mentioned:
To some extent, the recent jury verdict holding that the University of Colorado had wrongly fired Ward Churchill was correct: political pressures did inspire the investigation leading to his termination for academic misconduct. It doesn’t follow, though, that Churchill was fired for his political views, which notoriously included comparing 9/11 victims to “Little Eichmanns.” Plagiarism and falsification of evidence aren’t covered under any definition of academic freedom.
The authors note that several of the fraud charges against Churchill “had apparently been well known by scholars in the field, although perhaps not by responsible University personnel, for years before the University took any action whatsoever concerning them, and it did so only after the controversy over Professor Churchill’s essays became national news.” Churchill was an academic provocateur who made his career in the politicized world of ethnic-studies departments, where he was easily hired, promoted, and tenured despite not having a doctorate and the growing doubts about the veracity of his work. His peers even voted him department chair.
Ethnic- and gender-studies departments have provided fertile soil for the growth of academic radicalism. One-Party Classroom examines such departments at 12 universities. The selection doesn’t appear scientific—all are large universities, but little unites them otherwise. Some have strong radical reputations; it’s little surprise to read again about Duke, or Columbia, or U.C. Santa Cruz. It’s perhaps more useful to find detailed profiles of radical programs at universities without much political reputation. Who knew of a burgeoning women’s studies department at Penn State, or the School of Social Justice and Inquiry at Arizona State University? Each features heavily politicized professors, mission statements, and course offerings. All they lack is a Ward Churchill to make them famous.
For the uninitiated, One-Party Classroom provides an invaluably detailed profile of academic radicalism—and a decisive rejoinder to claims that explicitly politicized instruction is isolated or marginal. Apart from the courses that Churchill taught, for example, the University of Colorado’s curriculum is still peppered with offerings such as “Queer Rhetorics: Program for Writing and Rhetoric 3020-026,” which requires volunteer work for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) organizations, and “The Civil Rights Movement in America: Black Studies 4650,” whose instructor frankly declares that “it is my contention that the Black Civil Rights Movement in America is a kind of domestic war created and sustained by white people (or their surrogates), whose origins may be found in the involuntary transportation of Africans to the New World.”Couldn't find that last course in CU's ethnic studies offerings for this spring, but I did notice "Fight the Power" ("Ethn 3671"): "People of color the world over are struggling for sovereignty, independence, civil and human rights, food security, decent wages and working conditions, healthy housing, and freedom from environmental racism and other forms of imperialism. Course analyzes and brings alive these struggles."
Palleta liked the book, by the way, as you can probably tell.
Update: Horowitz recounts a recent campus visit in the Wall Street Journal.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Earthfest Boulder is a combination of activities including the Earth Day 5K, the 5th annual Dirt Day Adventure Challenge and Expo, Short Track Mountain Bike Race and the Kids and Adults Cruiser Parade. There are hands-on family activities such as: interaction with wild animals, leave-no-trace clinics, renewable energy demos, live music, fly fishing . . .Fly fishing?
Arapahoe Community College, 5900 S. Santa Fe Drive, is celebrating Earth Day on its west lawn from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. . . . The Denver Urban Gardens will offer hands-on composting activities with worms . . .And worms.
"Worldwide Declines and Extinctions of Amphibians," a lecture by intergrative physiology department Professor Cindy Carey, and "Amphibian Deformities and their Link to Emerging Infections," a lecture by ecology and evolutionary biology department Assistant Professor Pieter Johnson . . .
An Earth Day dinner will be at 7 p.m., following a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m. at Lala's Wine Bar and Pizzeria . . . The cocktail receptions features organic vodka; the dinner is a four-course, organic menu with organic/sustainable
wine pairings . . . .
Front Range Community College is hosting a seminar, discussion and democratic conversation on global warming . . .
Rooney Road Recycling Center, 151 S. Rooney Road, is offering recycling tours at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. . . .
Julia Butterfly Hill, founder of the Circle of Life, spent two years living in the branches of a 1,000-year-old redwood tree. Find out what she's doing now. . . .
In a supplement to Revolution Issue #81, “Warning: The Nazification of the American University” we wrote that powerful, right wing forces in this country have set out to transform university administrations into instruments of coercive enforcement and control over faculty and students—intimidating, threatening, and “cleaning house” of dissident thinkers when called on to do so, while leaving scholars under attack to fend for themselves. These right wing forces attacking the university are “out to turn the university into a zone of uncontested indoctrination, where severe limits would be placed on permissible discourse—in terms of professors speaking out, writing, or encouraging engagement over controversial issues in the classroom, etc.; and in terms of restricting and gutting programs like African American studies, women’s studies, etc., that challenge and refute the official narratives and explanations of U.S. history and present-day inequality and global lopsidedness.”
And further: “The overall objective of this attack on dissent and critical thinking is to change the university as we have known it: in its internal life and functioning and in its effects on society. If this reactionary program wins out, the university will be turning out students who will have had little, if any, opportunity to think critically, into a society qualitatively more severely repressive than anything seen in this country’s history.”
The challenge to administrators, faculty, and especially students is to stand up to this assault. And broader segments of society must join with them. We must continue to defend those like Ward Churchill when they are singled out for attack, and, more generally, defend the ability of professors to hold dissenting and radical views. It is vitally important that the new generation of students step forward to defend an unfettered search for the truth, intellectual ferment, and dissent. One way or another, this struggle over the university and intellectual life will have profound repercussions on what U.S. society will be like, and on the prospects for bringing a whole new society into being.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
No more shall be said.
Friday, April 10, 2009
PB has more good stuff, including potential hurdles to Churchill collecting lawyers' fees and court costs (via RttB), and former wood-rasp target (and Westword editor) Patty Calhoun's take on the verdict.
Update: Speaking of that "so-called newspaper," they have this story: "CU alumnus suggests Churchill for Boulder chancellor," with the subhead, "Cold reception for informal nomination."
Thursday, April 09, 2009
The ultimate lesson of the Churchill case is that no cause, however just, benefits from being taken up by a propagandist. Scholarship must be sacrosanct. Rules of evidence must be followed. You can't assert things that you want to believe are true, no matter how morally right or practically beneficial those assertions may be, and then distort or make up evidence to support them.But then Kamiya goes completely off the rails with this mind-boggling assertion, the first sentence of his concluding graf: "In a polarized age, when it has become increasingly difficult for people to agree on the simplest facts, the academy remains the most powerful bulwark against the rising tide of relativism." . . .
What college did he go to?
Update: Daily Gamera: "CU to 'vigorously challenge' Churchill's reinstatement":
Ken McConnellogue, spokesman for the CU system, said the university is relying on its findings that Churchill engaged in repeated and flagrant academic misconduct to support its stance that having the controversial former professor back on the Boulder campus is a "bad idea."Silence, uneloquent. Oh, David Lane "called CU's position 'offensive'":
One week ago, a Denver jury decided that CU unlawfully fired Churchill for expressing his political beliefs and awarded him $1 in damages.
A judge will decide at a yet-to-be-scheduled hearing whether the former professor gets his job back.
Churchill has until May 2 to file a motion for reinstatement.
"CU's reputation for academic integrity is the foundation for all we do and having him return to the classroom would be an ongoing threat to that reputation," McConnellogue said. "We expect higher standards from our faculty and our students."
"A jury of their peers has convicted them of being constitutional violators," Lane said this afternoon. "They should not be fighting against the truth but should be trying to implement procedures that will vigorously protect the Constitution."Ugh.
Update II: The prez of Fort Lewis College will boycott Churchill's speech there this weekend.
(via the pirate with the eagle-feather-bedecked parrot, who's got lots of good stuff. Just scroll.)
Update III: The American Association of University Professors ("Defending the indefensible since 1915") on the Churchill case (in whole):
Earlier AAUP fatuity here, here, and here.
"We believe the disputes over Ward Churchill's publications should have been allowed to work themselves out in traditional scholarly venues, not referred to disciplinary hearings. We believe Churchill should be reinstated to his faculty position at the University of Colorado."
Update IV: the NYT on Churchill's possible return to CU:
“I don’t think he should come back,” said Marissa Jaross, a senior anthropology major. Though Ms. Jaross said she believed the university was looking for a way to get rid of him, she added: “I think he’s kind of a shoddy academic. I wouldn’t look at his work as great, or even worthy of my time.”On the other hand:
Barbara Bintliff, a law professor and former chairwoman of the faculty assembly, shared that view.
“Everyone is just aghast at the prospect that he would be back on the faculty,” Professor Bintliff said. “I can’t imagine how he would function normally or what kind of relationship he could possibly have with the faculty.”
“I would welcome his return to campus,” said Margaret LeCompte, an education professor who said she had always thought the university wanted to get rid of Mr. Churchill because of his comments about Sept. 11.The Times calls him "Mr. Churchill."
“He is a well-respected teacher, even by students who disagree with him — the kind of a person who should be at a university, where a dialogue of controversial ideas can be held in a safe environment,” Professor LeCompte said.
Earlier LeCompteism here, here and here.
Update V: In the Post, Mike Rosen says CU should have gone for the "disturbance" defense:
But this was an employment issue. As an employee and a representative of CU, Churchill's behavior reflects on the university. He's not merely controversial. His inflammatory rhetoric stigmatizes the school, repels contributors and drives away tuition-paying students. Just as free speech under the First Amendment isn't absolute, neither is academic freedom for tenured college professors. Do you imagine that a CU instructor would not be held accountable for verbally attacking gays, blacks or women?O'Rourke did try (weakly) a version of this argument. Obviously, it didn't fly.
Case law upholds disciplinary penalties for offensive speech. Leonard Jeffries was the head of the Black Studies Department at New York's City College. He was removed as department head for repeated anti-white and anti-Semitic rants in his classroom and in public forums. Jeffries challenged this action in court as a violation of his First Amendment rights. He lost.
In a speech at the Seattle Independent Media Center in 2003 celebrating 9/11, Churchill instructed students to shave their beards, cut their hair and wear bankers' suits in order to wreak destruction on Wall Street. "Why did it take Arabs to do what Americans should have done a long time ago?" he asked. "Why shouldn't you do something? Not a reason in the world that I can see. Do you know how? You carry a weapon — that's how they don't see you coming. You're the one."
Academic freedom? No. Academic malpractice. A rogue like this has no place at a Colorado public university.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
City spiritMajor yocks. That's what you expect from Bill Husted. Let me try that last line:
Word comes from Las Vegas that Ward Churchill was celebrating his "victory" there over the weekend, spotted at New York New York. Hmmm, bet that dollar he won didn't go very far . . .
Hmmm, maybe Ward wants to buy the place, being an Indian and
all. . .
Not funny. Try again: Hmmm, what does a dollar get you in Vegas? A plastic eagle feather? . . .
Lousy. Again: Hmmm, maybe Buffy St. Marie and Andy Williams were headlining . . .
This isn't so easy.
Update: We hear while there he took wife number six, Bethany Newill, in a simple Elvis wedding. Hmmm . . . (gotta get the "Hmmm" in there).
Update II: Greg Smith in the Post: "One of the biggest tragedies of the Churchill mess: it has reinforced the rule that it is verboten to compare almost anything today to the Nazi period of German history."
The Associated Press and the newspaper industry plan an aggressive effort to track down copyright violators on the Internet and try to divert traffic from Web sites that don't properly license news content, the AP board announced Monday.
The not-for-profit news cooperative also said it will cut fees by $35 million for U.S. newspapers in 2010 — on top of a $30 million reduction that took effect this year — and loosen its long-standing requirement for two years' notice to cancel AP service.
The financial moves are part of an overhaul of the AP's policies in the face of extraordinary financial hardship for newspapers. The changes were announced at the AP's annual meeting in San Diego, along with the copyright initiative launched by the AP's board, which is made up largely of newspaper executives (sorry, wrong pic).
"We can no longer stand by and watch others walk off with our work under some very misguided, unfounded legal theories," said Dean Singleton, the AP's chairman and the chief executive of newspaper publisher MediaNews Group Inc.
"We are mad as hell, and we are not going to take it any more," he added, prompting applause in the meeting.
Specifics behind the initiative are still being worked out. One idea under development would be to create a system that can help track whether news content is being legally distributed online. The AP also said it will work with newspapers and broadcasters to direct readers to "landing pages" that could offer news from the AP and its members, rather than unauthorized sites.
Sue Cross, an AP senior vice president, emphasized that the initiative could take many forms. "It's a significant move for the industry to work together," she said.
Copyright is an especially thorny issue for the AP and newspapers, which have seen their material spread on the Internet far beyond their direct control in a cut-and-paste age.
The AP has tangled with bloggers over the extent to which "fair use" principles should allow them to post AP text on their sites. The cooperative also has sued online news aggregators over copyright and is embroiled in a closely watched lawsuit with artist Shepard Fairey, who made iconic Barack Obama campaign posters out of an image that originated with an AP photo.
Wendy Seltzer, a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and Fred von Lohmann, a senior staff attorney who specializes in intellectual-property issues at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, both said they needed more details to determine what effects the AP initiative would have.
The fee reductions are meant to help newspapers deal with another huge challenge — their finances.
The cuts in the cost of AP service are expected to average just under 20 percent but will vary widely, depending on what content newspapers buy, the AP said. It unveiled a two-tier price structure — a "Member Choice Complete" package with full access to AP reporting and a "Member Choice Limited" option with minimal national and world news.
The fee cuts this year and next will mean that the AP's revenue from member newspapers in 2010 is expected to be about $135 million — one-third less than what it was in 2008, the AP said. Next year, newspapers are expected to account for 20 percent of the AP's total revenue, Singleton said, down from about 25 percent now.
The AP's revenue grew 5.3 percent last year to $747.7 million, marking its largest percentage increase since 2004, thanks partly to growth in new media, video and photo archive markets. Excluding the Beijing Summer Olympics and the U.S. presidential election, which enabled the AP to sell more content, the cooperative said revenue grew 3.2 percent.
The Olympics and the presidential election also made the AP incur higher expenses, one reason that pretax profit fell 18 percent to $37.3 million. Net income, however, rose 4.5 percent to $25.1 million because of lower tax expenses. The AP remained debt-free, though its cash balance dropped 26 percent to $34.5 million at the end of last year.
Despite healthy indicators, the AP said it is facing unusually tough times. Tom Brettingen, the AP's senior vice president and chief revenue officer, said revenue in 2009 is expected to fall to around $700 million.
"The new member pricing program, coupled with attrition in renewals, will result in a revenue decline not seen by the company since the Great Depression," the AP's annual report reads. "To counter this, we must reduce our expense base."
No decisions have been reached on how to cut costs, Brettingen said, but he reaffirmed the company's plans, announced in November, to trim its payroll costs by 10 percent this year. The AP, which has a global staff of 4,100 people, still hopes to achieve most of the cuts through attrition.
About 180 newspapers — 14 percent of the AP's U.S. newspaper membership — have threatened to leave the AP, including The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis and newspapers owned by Tribune Co. Reasons vary, but many complaints center on cost.
Brettingen said the rate of cancellations waned in anticipation of Monday's announcement. Members have generally welcomed broad outlines of the plan as it was explained to them over the last three months, he said.
Starting Jan. 1, members can cancel their service with one year's notice. But those who agree to give two years' notice will pay 3 percent less for their AP services, Singleton said.
In 2007, the AP's board approved an overhaul of the news cooperative's fee structure. It called for a two-tier system that would have given newspapers a basic package for breaking news and the option of buying a premium service called AP Complete, with analyses, enterprise and other additional stories.
The AP suspended the plan last October after some members complained it didn't go far enough at cutting their costs.
Under the revised structure announced Monday, newspapers with Member Choice Complete — the full run of AP reporting — can cut costs by declining any of four enhanced packages, which are sports, financial, analyses and lifestyles, Brettingen said. Likewise, newspapers with Member Choice Limited can add any of those four packages for an extra fee.
"AP is fully committed to helping the industry meet the challenges we face together," said CEO Tom Curley.
The editor of one member newspaper that has told the AP it intends to cancel its service, Bruce Winges of the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal, said the rate reduction "seems like a good step." But Winges added that he needed to know more about what the various news packages will cost.
Winges also said the new option for a one-year cancellation notice "doesn't seem like that great of a change. All of the other contracts we have with our information providers aren't built like that."
Other publishers welcomed the price breaks and said the savings would enhance their coverage of local news.
"This is fantastic," said Michael E. Reed, CEO of GateHouse Media Inc., a newspaper publisher based in Fairport, N.Y. "We couldn't ask for better. I haven't crunched the numbers, but it would be a substantial savings for us."
The AP board also discussed rate cuts and term adjustments for some local broadcasters Saturday and will address those issues at its July meeting.
The AP is a global news company founded in 1846. It serves about 1,500 newspapers and 5,000 radio and television station members in the United States. About 1,300 of them are regular members and more than 4,000 are associate members — generally weekly newspapers and broadcasters.
The AP named four new board members Monday: Elizabeth Brenner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Milwaukee-based Journal Communications Inc.; David M. Paxton of Paxton Media Group; Steven R. Swartz of Hearst Corp.'s newspapers division; and Paul C. Tash of Times Publishing Co. and the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times.
Three directors retired from the board after nine-year terms. They are Walter E. Hussman Jr. of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Julie Inskeep of The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Ind., and Bruce T. Reese of Bonneville International Corp. in Salt Lake City.
Sounds perfect for him, with that masters in graphic communications and all.
Churchill, who won a wrongful-termination lawsuit against the university last week, said he doesn't accept the contention that dissatisfaction with his presence on campus should prevent his reinstatement.
"If it would make a bunch of people uncomfortable on the Boulder campus, what's the argument?" Churchill said. "They violated my rights, therefore to spare them discomfort I should not be restored to what I was unlawfully deprived of? That's somewhat tenuous."
For those at CU who can't stand having him so close, Churchill has an offer:
"If it really makes you that uncomfortable, you're free to leave," he said. . . .
If the judge declines to give Churchill his job back, he said he'll ask for 10 years worth of lost "front pay" -- at about $110,000 a year.
Churchill has been without a salary from CU since July 2008. He said while he has spent most of his time since his termination preparing for last month's trial, he managed to generate some income by giving speeches.
He has three speaking gigs lined up in Durango, Seattle and Montreal over the next 10 days.
"In that regard, I'm always teaching," he said. "I'm always learning."
Judge Naves can ask for witnesses at the reinstatement hearing, and the lawyers on each side of the case can bring their own. Typically, University of Denver law professor Martin Katz said, the judge will rely on briefings and oral arguments to make his decision.
Denver defense attorney and legal analyst Scott Robinson said the university may have the tougher argument.
Just stating that CU will be deluged with unfriendly e-mails and phone calls if Churchill is given his job back, he said, won't add up to an argument that the reappearance of Churchill will hamper operations at the school. . . .
Churchill said, in the end, it's up to him whether to accept reinstatement if it is awarded.
He would first have to assess whether CU, which he said had "degenerated to a not very glorified vo-tec, a trade school" still met his standards.
Monday, April 06, 2009
Several high-profile members of the Group of 88—the faculty members who got a race-related issue in their own backyard so spectacularly wrong—convened a high-profile conference on . . . race in America. The party line predominated—down to the refusal to allow taping of the event, lest an audience outside Duke’s campus walls be exposed to the Group’s extremist ideas.Not very original, are they?
Update: Word of the day: "lacrosstitutes."
Sunday, April 05, 2009
Churchill, the committee noted, argues that the U.S. army, among others, “intentionally introduced the smallpox virus to Native American tribes,” and he claims also that circumstantial evidence implicates John Smith (of Pocahontas fame) in this outrage.At least one documented source.
The committee found that with respect to Smith, Churchill “did not connect the dots in his proposed set of circumstantial evidence.” As for the allegation that that the army spread smallpox by knowingly distributing infected blankets, the committee found no support in written records, but notes that Native American oral traditions rehearse and pass down this story, which has at least one documented source in British General Jeffrey Amherst’s suggestion in 1763 that infected blankets be given to hostile Indians.
Update: At History News Network, Thomas Brown on Churchill's "truthiness."
Update II: O/T, but no new trial for cop-killer and Wart-fave Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Friday, April 03, 2009
Kids Prefer Cheese: "Is this a great country, or what?"
Body on the Line:
Michael Medved: "Truly a bizarre, bizzare case."
Andrew Cohen, CBS: "Get rid of tenure."
CU students: "Who?" (via Michael Roberts at Westword):
Speaking of the Chutch-leaning Roberts: "Should Ward Churchill be celebrating? Probably."
By Any Means Necessary:
I myself greatly disagree with Churchill (and I have stated as such many times on this blog, including in this piece), but I also feel that this case would have been slippery slope should he have lost and would have given right-wing inquisitors more impetus to go after other professors in the US who hold unpopular views. Who would have been next? Noam Chomsky?Heaven forfend!
The League of Ordinary Gentlemen:
The Mahatma X Files:
1. Ward Churchill is an asshole.
2. He was actually correct in saying, in his notorious essay “Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Chickens Coming Home to Roost” and subsequent interviews, that the idea that the victims of the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11 represented some sort of cross-section of American life or the American public (much asserted following the attacks) was inaccurate. . . .
8. He’s still an asshole.
The verdict itself is a step in the right direction. Whether it will actually serve to deter universities from going on similar politically-motivated witch hunts in the future remains to be seen (let's just say I'm not exactly holding my breath).Brian Leiter:
Seems like the correct result, though the token damage award raises some puzzles about what the jury was thinking. You can see earlier coverage of the Churchill case on this blog here.Opinio Juris:
It’s not exactly international law, but he was my professor at CU — one of the very best I ever had — and, in order to rule in his favor, the jury had to find that a majority of the Regents used his infamous 9/11 essay as a “substantial or motivating factor” in the decision to fire him. So I think there’s a nexus.Max Forte:
I’m delighted at the outcome, although the jury’s award of $1.00 in damages is puzzling. The real issue is whether Churchill will be reinstated at CU, which is up to the judge, not the jury.
My first thought is that Ward should've ended up owning the damned school.Say Anything:
My second thought is that, miracle of miracles, the jury found in his favor.
My third thought is that the System can still screw him, should the judge not reinstate his CU professorship.Without a doubt, the most poetic punishment would be for Ward to go back to work for the weasels who can't stomach his challenge to their comfort zone.
Put simply, Chuchill wasn’t fired because he compared the 9/11 victims to Nazis. He was fired because that comparison drew scrutiny to his less-than-honest academic record. A jury may now have ruled otherwise, but that doesn’t make it true. Churchill is plainly guilty, in my humble opinion, of egregious instances of plagiarism and outright fabrication. Wikipedia has a nice summary of the charges.Ex-Try-Works creep Fire Witch Rising:
It’s a little unbelievable that the taxpayers of Colorado are apparently going to have to start paying this idiot’s wages again.
Huzzah! to the Good Professor!JB on the Rocks (motto: "Whoever said laughter is the best medicine never had a case of gonorrhea"): "With luck, he'll never see the inside of a college classroom again."
Oh, and Charlie Brennan of the now defunct Rocky Mountain News, which led this hateful attempt at character assassination, please go fuck yourself forthwith - with the largest rolled up newspaper you can find. Bad dog! You have always been a loser and a coward and you always will be.
Today you and all your witch-hunting scum have gone down in much deserved flames. Prepare to be forever humiliated for your lies. Fuckers.
We won! We won! We won! OH. GOD. JOY! We won! Thank you, Dear Jury of the young. You are all our heroes today.
The Daley Gator:
Well, he got fired, he sued and won a judgement that is pretty much worth as much as he is! $1 O.K, actually, he is worth less than a buck, He is a vile, pathetic waste of skin.Weasel Zippers: "I might have to go wail on a few hippies to make myself feel better . . . ."
Ward Churchill won his suit against the University of Colorado. I hate academia. From coast to coast they are tools for the Marxist agenda and they are corrupt, foul mendicants to boot. The University of Colorado is one of the worse culprits. But I must give credit where credit is due. The University of Colorado took on Ward Churchill, one of the most vile “citizens” able to claim American citizenship. The University of Colorado lost. The monetary compensation they owe Churchill — $1.00. Too much I say.Elephant Journal:
Why, oh why, are liberals represented in the national media by their more obnoxious, dubious members? Remember Ward Churchill (who is or is not part-Native American) and his 9/11 victim/Nazi comments? Oh, right, because mainstream media loves a good mud fight—and so do journalisimo hacks like Hannity, Rush, O’Reilly, Olbermann.Talkleft (actually this comment is more interesting than the post):
A good number of years after I had graduated from the University of Washington, I learned that I had been a bona fide documented victim of plagiarism, committed by an historian for the U.S. National Park Service who -- completely unbeknownst to me -- had literally published verbatim, under his own name in an internal NPS journal that was not in public circulation, a paper I had once written for an undergraduate U.S. history class.They fired him. Better be nice to Truthforce, Ward.
His own wife had been my professor for that class, and to this day I don't know whether she had offered the paper to him, or whether he had lifted it from her when she brought it home to read and grade (she gave me an A).
Nevertheless, I do know that she never said anything about it contemporaneously to the act, but a number of years later decided to use it against her husband during some particularly bitter divorce proceedings. She exposed his intellectual larceny to his bosses at the NPS, who in turn contacted me about it.
Alan Colmes had nothing interesting to say.
Infidel Bloggers Alliance: "I can live with that."
The University of Colorado Foundation quotes CU president Bruce Benson:
“While we respect the jury’s decision, we strongly disagree. It doesn’t change the fact that 21 of Ward Churchill’s faculty peers on three separate panels unanimously found he engaged in deliberate and repeated plagiarism, falsification and fabrication that fell below the minimum standards of professional conduct. The jury’s award is an indication of what they thought of the value of Ward Churchill’s claim. We will examine our legal options.”WSJ: "But if [Churchill] was hoping to sock it to the university for firing him, he surely left the courtroom disappointed."
One more from Westword:
And what better place [for Wart after the rigors of the trial] to loosen your mind than at The Psychedelic Experience: Rock Posters From the San Francisco Bay Area, 1965 to 1971 at the Denver Art Museum, which is just blocks from the Denver County Courthouse. The show, which opened March 21, features more than 250 posters of experimental artwork from the era.Update: The pirate who wears a pigeon in a parrot suit on his shoulder ("coo, matey") has some other reactions, including a lie (what else?) from some gink at Counterhunch.
Update II: I forgot Althouse: "Ward Churchill wins his lawsuit": "Rightly so, I think."
Update III: Geraldo on Bill O'Smiley: Who cares.
Update IV: Westword's Chutch-lovin' Roberts interviews juror Bethany Newill:
CU's O'Rourke spent day after day backing up the university's charges of plagiarism and other scholarly crimes against Churchill -- a presentation that press accounts characterized as boring, but which Newill describes as "pretty interesting." In the end, however, she wasn't entirely convinced that Churchill had committed sins against academia. "I definitely saw where [the university] was coming from on a few of them," she concedes -- but in other instances, "I thought they had really weak arguments. To me, it just seemed like the charges were trumped up. And even if all of those things were true, we didn't feel that was the reason for termination."Gag graf:
Looking back on the trial, Newill admits to respect for Churchill's willingness to take an unpopular stand. "This was a truth to him that he sent up, and he defended it even when the whole country opposed it," she says. "I feel it takes a lot to do that, whether we agree with him or not. It takes a lot for somebody to step out and go against the grain like that."Update V: No idea why Slappsy Maxie's bit o' photoshop (or rather, whoever he stole it from) keeps disappearing. Something wrong in the code, I guess.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Update: Lalalalala . . . Gee, I'm so sad ER is going off the air . . Lalalalala . . .
C'mon crapheads . . .
Judge not in the courtroom yet . . .
S: Such interesting dynamics . . . blah, blah, blah . . . talky-talk . . .
S: If he gets awarded less than $200,000, it's a bit of a victory for CU. More, bad news. . .
C: Debacle if such a total fraud was reinstated . . .
S: Moment of high drama . . .
Okay, here we go.
Naves: Court will not tolerate inappropriate reaction . . .
S: What about freedom of speech . . .?
Here comes the jury.
N: Has the jury reached a unanimous verdict? Give'em to the bailiff . . .
C: Flashback to the reading of the OJ verdict . . .
Did the majority of the BoR use protected speech activity to terminate his employment?
By a preponderance of evidence would Churchill have been dismissed anyway?
(Sorry, missed second question).
Economic loss: ZERO!
Damages: ONE DOLLAR!
C: Loud and clear message that the jury thinks he's a fraud . . .
C: Jury said, yeah, you've been out of work for a year, but we're not giving you a dime for it . . .
Update III: PB has the overview: CU and Ward: they deserve each other.
CU regent Carrigan: Verdict kind of like kissing your sister . . . Jury decided Wart didn't deserve compensation. . .
S: Hey, I know your sister . . .
Carrigan: Jury didn't believe him when he said "my pants are not on fire, and I'm not a liar. . .
Carr: In civil rights cases, plaintiffs are often awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars . . .
S: P. O'R is vindicated . . .
BullSHIT . . .
Churchill reacts (courtroom reporter): Very first thing out of his mouth was a rant about the rightwing media, C&S and Vince Carroll . . . I'm going to kick back. . .
C: Thorough repudiation . . .
S: I expect Lane will get all of his legal fees. Churchill gets nothing. Natsu cried (wah-wah), still one buck . . .
Reporter: One juror might talk . . .
C (after reporter sees Wart and Spagz walking to a car): Run after them! Place yourself in front of the car . . . Ward, come on the show!
Update: Juror: We didn't award $1 because Ward sucked . . .
Juror ("Bethany"): It was a big debate. CU did damage his reputation . . .
S: Were you the person who wanted to give him money?
B: All of us wanted to give him money except for one . . . There was only one who didn't want to give him money, so we sat there for hours . . .
B: None of the questions had to do with academic misconduct, which I thought were not the point . . . I didn't think the academic mis charges were enough to fire him. . .
C: Why didn't the jury give C the money he wanted?
B: He was paid until 2007. . . We followed the rules and evidence. It was two sentences out of a whole month . . .
S: What did you think of his 9/11 essay?
B: I can see how people would be hurt by it, but I think he made some good points . . .
S: Did you believe Wart when he said he didn't support terrorism?
B (after hesitating): I did.
S plays the Ward tape again . . .
Sorry, missed the rest of it.
Update II: NYT weighs in.
Update: Another jury question (via KHOW): If one juror disagrees with the amount, can we get rid of him (or her)? Uh, no.
Silverman just mentioned PB!
Update II: C & S are predicting a verdict today. They also will have CU lead attorney Patrick O'Rourke will be one at 3:20. KHOW's live stream.
Caplis: Why didn't you play the tapes of Chutch's encouragement of terrorism.
O'R: Wanted to keep focus on research misconduct.
Silverman: You quoted Wart on the tapes. Why didn't you use the tape itself?
O'R: Again, didn't want to bring it back to a free speech issue. Might have "pumped up the volume of damages."
S: So you thought that would harm your case?
O'R: I didn't know . . .
C: Help us with procedural things. If they find for Churchill but award nominal damages, what are the consequences?
O'R: The judge has remedies, which include reinstatement, but if the jury comes back with nominal damages I don't think he'd get his job back.
C: Would a nominal award get D. Lane his attorneys fees?
O'R: Up to judge, but nominal damages might mean Lane gets only a little of his costs.
O'R sounds depressed.
S: What about the jury. Never seen one like that in Denver. How did that happen.
O'R: 17 jurors excused for cause by Lane; we had two excused for cause. The panel we ended up with was remarkable. . . Only two jurors raised their hands when I asked them if they'd be upset if they had a relative in the Twin Towers. Oldest juror was 36, youngest 19. We ended up with a panel that I knew (faced us) with severe challenges
S: Discouraged by jury questions?
O'R: I'm disappointed. . .
S: If they don't agree on damages, do they take half the damages . . .?
O'R: If it's a hung jury, we get to try it over again . . .
C: Seems to me CU had much more info they could have used. Art fraud, fake Indian . . . Do you think the outcome might have been different if you'd used that?
O'R: I don't think so. . .
C: Oh well, it's a tough gig . . .
S: Sure is . . . (plays Wart tape). You think they would have reacted favorably to Churchill if they'd heard that?
O'R: I thought if I started using that sound I was afraid the jury would think I'd given up on the research misconduct charges . . .
S: Couldn't you have made it clear that it was about his credibility Wouldn't the judge have let it in . . .?
O'R: I think you're right, Craig. The judge would have let it in . . . But again, thought it would prejudice the jury. . .
S: Lane tried to serve me with a subpeona to get me on the stand about collusion between CU and the media. . .
C: A nominal award would be a victory for you . . .
O'R: It would have been hard for me to say with a straight face that the investigation had nothing to do with the 9/11 essay . . .
S: Dan and I were jsut dumbfounded that DL didn't just defend WC, but urged the jury to reject the "master narrative" and that the TT vics deserved what they got. . .
O'R: DL did a good job of masking his hateful comments and try to make them seem intellectual. RttB very interesting . . . Mentioned the "Obama factor," tried to appeal to people who didn't go through 9/11 events . . .
Attorney Patrick O'Rourke was more than halfway through his closing argument on behalf of the University of Colorado when I finally heard him utter the word "lie" — and it wasn't even in reference to Professor Ward Churchill.Update: You snooze you lose? John Aguilar at the Camera:
He never called Churchill a "liar." He never called Churchill's witnesses "liars." He came to the fight of his professional life on his best behavior, all good manners and high decorum, while his opponent, David Lane, arrived in the equivalent of full combat gear: a bandoleer over each shoulder and a couple of Winchesters cradled in his arms.
Churchill, and his wife Natsu Taylor Saito, entered the courtroom a few minutes ago and are both sitting at the plaintiff's table.I'm with them in spirit.
Saito is sitting in a chair with her arms crossed and Churchill is appears to be dozing in his seat.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
"I don't have to prove that the protected speech activities were the only reason they fired him - it is not an all or nothing analysis," Lane said. "I just have to show you that the 9-11 essay formed part of the reason that they fired him."Nice. Here's something I don't get:
"For the sake of argument, let's say Mr. O'Rourke has proven every one of those bogus reasons they trumped up against Professor Churchill are true, that is not the end of the case from your perspective because if they used his protected speech on top of all that, then you are obligated to find for Ward Churchill," Lane continued. . . .
Lane criticized CU's witnesses and said they were untruthful about the motivation behind Churchill's dismissal.
"The regents, the lying liars, and almost all of them got on the stand - you heard them lie about what was on the table," Lane said.
Lane told the jury that only Judge Naves can decide on whether to reinstate Churchill to his job at CU. The jury's only consideration if they find in the former professor's favor is to whether to award damages and how much money to award him.I've heard that before, but why does the judge decide if Wart gets his job back? Puke graf:
"What is a man's reputation worth to have been paraded through the national media, having been a distinguished scholar and a professor for 30 years to give a voice for people like dead Arabic kids in Iraq who do not have a voice in this country it's worth a hell of a lot more than a little bit of money, but that is justice."Update: When all else fails, break out the PowerPoint:
Before the case went to the jury, CU attorney Patrick O'Rourke got to give his closing argument.Well, the jury's got it now.
He told the jury that dealing with Ward Churchill is like entering the twisted world of Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass."
"There is the real university world and there is the Ward Churchill world," O'Rourke said. "It is a place where connecting the dots is the same as inventing the dots."
O'Rourke used a PowerPoint to go through the various charges that were leveled against the former ethnic studies professor -- including plagiarism, fabrication and falsification.
"What we saw is that Ward Churchill can justify everything and explain nothing," the lawyer told the jury. "What we have seen at the end of the day is that in Ward Churchill's world there are no standards and no accountability."
He slammed Churchill for creating his own fatality numbers regarding American Indian deaths and for claiming there was a smallpox infirmary in St. Louis.
And O'Rourke told the jury that Churchill, despite being given plenty of opportunity to do so, was never able to present evidence backing up his claims, including oral history or other unconventional sources from the American Indian community.