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Feb 25, 2005 11:10 pm

Noted Here and There ...

Now there are charges that Ward Churchill committed copyright infringement in his art. CBS4 in Denver broke the story last night. Today, Michele Malkin and the Freepers are all over it. Thanks to Grant Jones for the tip.

And Newt Gingrich is urging state legislators to amend tenure at state colleges and universities."The question here," says the Newt,

is ‘What obligation does society have to fund its own sickness?'
We ought to say to campuses, it's over…We should say to state legislatures, why are you making us pay for this? Boards of regents are artificial constructs of state law. Tenure is an artificial social construct. Tenure did not exist before the twentieth century, and we had free speech before then. You could introduce a bill that says, proof that you're anti-American is grounds for dismissal.
We also had lots of professors fired for exercising their free speech. I'm prepared to argue that exploiting and pandering to provincial, nativist bigotry is anti-American. Oh, and Eugene Volokh thinks that what Gingrich proposes is unconstitutional. See also: Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.

My colleague, KC Johnson, has a piece on the tiff over Harvard's Larry Summers,"Summers Beyond Harvard," at Inside Higher Ed. The response of another of our colleagues at Cliopatria, Tim Burke, to the Summers affair is"The Trouble with Larry" at Easily Distracted.

I'm still reading Hunter Thompson stories. The family tipped their glasses of Chevas Regal with his dead body sitting nearby in the room. Presidential historian, Doug Brinkley, has flown to Colorado to be a spokesman for the family and, apparently, Thompson's ashes will be shot from a cannon across his ranch, as he wished.

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Anthony Paul Smith - 2/25/2005


times out of ten I usually relent, or at the very least re-write my posts so as to avoid being a complete ass.

Adam Kotsko - 2/25/2005

Fine, I will "relent." I can't speak for Anthony, though.

Ralph E. Luker - 2/25/2005

Kotsko, KC Johnson is a very prolific writer. We're doing our best over here to encourage him to publish in respectable places like Inside Higher Ed and not to publish in some places that I won't even mention. We do not wish to drive him into the arms of aliens.

Adam Kotsko - 2/25/2005

How far is Robert KC Johnson's frequently stated position from Newt Gingrich's?

Ralph E. Luker - 2/25/2005

Grant, The Freeper discussion is interesting, however. They want to blame Mary Frances Berry for hiring and tenuring Churchill. Problem is that she had been Chancellor at CU when he was hired into a staff position and probably had little responsibility for _that_. She had been gone from CU and it had had a dozen years of experience with him when he was hired into a faculty position and given tenure.

Grant W Jones - 2/25/2005

Ralph the pictures are pretty damning.

Forget about "freepers" the story is here:

Grant Jones

Ralph E. Luker - 2/25/2005

As I learn more and more, I am increasingly impressed by Tim's observation about a year ago that what goes on at Harvard or Swarthmore is far from normative for American higher education. Whatever problems there may be in elite institutions, they pale by comparison with those in institutions that are more normative.

Robert KC Johnson - 2/25/2005

I agree with Tim's comments on the Harvard situation. One thing I was trying to argue in my Inside Higher Ed piece was that the concerns Summers raised elsewhere in his speech are much more applicable to non-elite schools.

As part of a broader piece on the bizarre calls by Susan Estrich for gender quotas in the LA Times op-ed page (and, as I read her emails, also in people consulted in news articles), Heather MacDonald also mentions the Summers case:

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