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Mar 8, 2005 7:48 pm


The Corrie Award



In the too-strange-for-fiction category, Eugene Volokh reports that the winner of the second annual"Rachel Corrie Award" (for, of all things," courage in the teaching of writing") has been selected. Corrie, a student at Washington's Evergreen College--an institution known for its"advocacy" curriculum--was the anti-Israel activist killed in the Gaza Strip in 2003, while serving as a"human shield" for Palestinians (and fighting to keep open the tunnels from Egpyt through which arms were smuggled into Gaza). An Israeli bulldozer hit a boulder, which then crushed her.

The recipient of the award: a University of Tennessee English professor named Matthew Abraham, who currently is at work on what he terms"an analsyis of the controversial academic scholarship of Lani Guinier, Edward Said, Paul de Man, and Norman G. Finkelstein." Abraham first attracted national notice for organizing a panel at the 2003 MLA conference entitled"The Rhetoric of Resistance: The Intifada and the Literary Imagination," and recently he has focused"on the rhetorical strategies critical rhetors can use to cope" with the"obstacles" to an objective discussion of the plight of the Palestinians,"one of the most intransigent human rights issues of our time," within"the corporate university."

Committee chair Harriet Malinowitz, author of Textual Orientations: Lesbian and Gay Students and the Making of Discourse Communities, praised Abraham for"bringing Palestine onto the radar screen of a new generation of students--and that of his rhetorician colleagues."

Abraham wins particular kudos from the committee for his teaching style. He organizes his courses, committee members gushed, around questions rarely addressed in the academy, such as"What does it mean to 'speak truth to power'?" and"Why is the word 'advocacy' a dirty word in academe?" Committee members were also impressed by his commitment to intellectual diversity. He doesn't confine his course readings to"progressive voices." Instead, he includes in his newest course,"Rhetoric in the Public Sphere: Intellectuals, Writing, and Social Change," reading from the most thoughtful among the ranks of conservative public intellectuals--Ann Coulter.

The tributes to Abraham continue the quasi-parody style of the announcement. A former colleague wrote:"Dr. Abraham's work places his professional future between the profession's crushing institutional silence over Palestinian suffering and the forces that would enforce this silence at the peril of the profession's conscience." It seemed to me that I've run across one or two pro-Palestinian voices in the academy, but apparently I was mistaken.

Abraham, another University of Tennessee professor remarked,"has presented a critical perspective of the ways in which the academic elite fashion a treasonous discourse that places scholarship in the service of U.S. sovereignty and power, a discourse that all too often masquerades as professional practice in academe." Indeed, we all know that books hailing"U.S. sovereignty and power" in an uncritical light have flooded the academy in recent years.

The most Orwellian tribute, appropriately, comes from Noam Chomsky, who celebrated Abraham for his willingness to choose scholarly topics that threatened his ability to get a job. In the contemporary academy, Chomsky lamented, focusing on Said"takes a good deal of courage," since doing so invites"threats to possible appointment; and in fact more direct threats, including death threats, many taken seriously by police on campuses and in communities."

For the courage to criticize US policy in the Middle East, publish laudatory articles about Edward Said, and encourage a pro-Palestinian point of view by academic organizations, thereby risking his job in an academy bitterly hostile to all three approaches, Abraham is, indeed, a worthy recipient of the Rachel Corrie Award.


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Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

The issue, Ralph, is your accusation that I laughed at innocent Rachel Corrie. I did not, and Jonathan's cobbling together of quotations and ellipses is either stupid or equally dishonest. I was laughing at you and Jonathan, not Rachel Corrie. Murder, even inadvertant, is never funny.


Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

Jesus Christ!

What was the "circle jerk" comment you made if not ad hominem? You haven't answered my challenge, and you will not because your statement (remember? you said I laughed at Rachel Corrie's death) was a lie.


Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

It seems the academic left is plagued by a combination of me-too-ism and bad timing. Giving a "Rachel Corrie" award (to an English Professor!) at this historical moment is incredibly stupid. The Intifada is over, and, no thanks to "peace" activists, a real negotiated settlement again is possible.


Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

Richard,
Don't despair, I think that's just Ralph's way of saying he feels guilty that he laughed.


Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

Ralph's ego trip seems to have taken us to previously unimagined heights! He has now decided that he alone holds the key to what true conservatism is (not the stuff we stupid Americans think!!) and, if you are worthy, he will enlighten you! I'd be intersted in that-- in fact I'd like to see Ralphy construct any argument without resorting to ad hominem, lies, references to masturbation, Free Republic, are contacting the authorities to get his opponent silenced.


Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

Richard: I think those of us who are not pathologically incapable of humor realize that she didn't actually win a (posthumous) Darwin Award. Still, I'm pleased at the image of Jonathan earnestly fact-checking it.


Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

Yeah, Ralph has really disgraced himself with his obfuscation this time.


Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

What about KC Johnson? Why not ban him as well.


Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

And, moreover, what precisely did I say that you regard as in "bad taste." How have my posts offended your delicate sensibilities?


Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

I wasn't laughing--go back and read my posts.


Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

Yes, perhaps in addition to "taste" will come to replace "colleagiality" as the Left's weasel-word.


Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

Even as we speak Jonathan is searching to check the veracity of the "Freeper Troll of the Day Award." You better look out Ralph, he'll call you on it!


Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

I'm sure there are subjects he's neglected . . .but you get to an important point. Part of the "speaking truth to power" mythology that academic leftists have is that they are the oppressed minority--which even Ralph has to admit they are not (he actually gave in to Johnson on that point). Without that, what do they have?


Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

Ralph:

Stop dodging my question by saying you are too delicate to engage.
Produce or be called a liar--What did I say that was laughing at Rachel Corrie?


Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

Where? Stop fabricating and give me a "forinstance." I was laughing at you, Jonathan, and at what Iassumed to be Ralph's guilty liberalism. Not at Rachel Corrie.


Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

All caps! And a reference to masturbation, yet still no validation of your accusation of me laughing at Rachel Corrie's death.


Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

The joke was that Richard made something up that people took seriously. That was what was humorous. Your gullability. I have absolutely no opinion whatsoever on Rachel Corrie,but no death, deserved, undeserved, whatever, strikes me as funny.


Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

What are you talking about?


Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

Thnak you!


Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

Innocent Ralph? I was with you on naiive, but I'm afraid I have to draw the line there


Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

Comment removed by the editor. It contravened HNN's standards of civility, as outlined here: http://hnn.us/articles/982.html#civil


Ralph E. Luker - 3/10/2005

I'm not sure to whom you are addressing these points, Mr. Nelson. If they're addressed to anyone at Cliopatria, the obvious replies are:
a) we have no authority or control over the tenuring process at CU and are hardly to blame for its consequences;
b) if you and, more importantly, others who attempted to control this discussion with tasteless jokes about the killing of an innocent woman _cannot_ participate in a _civil_ conversation then they are not welcome here. The reason for that is that there are many of our group members who will simply not engage in discussions with dittoheads and we are determined that the conversations here will be civil and intelligent ones. If you and they are looking for discussions with people who will say exactly what you want to believe, then please _do_ go over to Free Republic for conversations with like-minded people.
c) Finally, Mr. Nelson, you asked me a question about what real conservatism is, as opposed to the bogus variety that calls itself that in the United States. If you read my reply and wish to discuss it, I'll be happy to discuss it with you. If you didn't read it, then your questions are only bothersome. I'm really asking you to let me know whether to take you seriously as a human being or whether I should understand you to be simply a functionary of some reactionary propaganda agency. If its the latter, then I'll know that it's simply a waste of time trying to communicate with you at all.


Jason Nelson - 3/10/2005

Par for the course, it should be no great surprise that legitimate questions remain unanswered. Those who would not answer them are proboly aware that they would weaken their arguments.


Jason Nelson - 3/10/2005

Protect Churchill's rights under tenure, try to remove those you disagree with on your blog. Freedom is freedom isn't it? Put another way, if you believe in free speech you must accept the risk that someone might listen to others speech, whatever your objections.


Ralph E. Luker - 3/9/2005

Mr. Lopescu, You have not earned the right to refer to either me or Professor Dresner by our first names. My point stands. Your ad hominem was _false_.


Ralph E. Luker - 3/9/2005

Mr. Lopescu, Bother yourself to notice that Professor Dresner gave you the citations you demanded. There was no need for me to repeat the citations simply because of your demand. I have asked that your _false_ ad hominem be deleted from the comment boards.


Charles V. Mutschler - 3/9/2005

I think there are some issues that have been overlooked in the furious exchanges here. Just curious, but how many of the participants in this exchange have worked in occupations which are dangerous enough so that a mistake may cause the untimely demise of one or more persons? Obviously combat troops are in this group, but so are many construction workers, industrial maintenace men, miners, loggers, and railroaders.

I ask because I've had a very brief employment in an occupation where on job accidents can be lethal, and I study industries where accidents are often serious, and fatal. I've never been involved in a serious accident, but the reality is there - one slip can kill you or someone else. Some people deal with deaths of this sort by internalizing it and it tears them up. Others develop a very pronounced sense of gallows humor as a coping technique. I've got friends and acquaintences who fall into both groups.

One is a combat vet who is now retired after a career in the service. His black humor is not really appreciated by his wife and kids, who think he's terribly tasteless and insensitive about others at times. Yet he's a thoughtful, kindly gent in many ways. After a few beers he once explained that his 'bad manners' were how he had kept himself sane in Vietnam, and he hadn't been able to shake that afterwards.

Another gentleman has anguished over a close call as a locomotive engineer. That happened twenty years ago, when he called in sick. Another man took the job that day, and hit a car at a crossing, killing the woman driving it. My friend explained that even though he wasn't there, he understands very well what this other man went through, because although he had beaten the odds and never killed a motorist, he had helped clean up after such an accident soon after he went to work on the railroad.

I'm sorry for Rachel Carrie, and for her parents. No one should have their life cut short. However, intentionally placing yourself in a life-threatening position by getting in the way of heavy equipment strikes me as very poor thinking. As others have noted, there are much more effective ways to work for peace that do not involve placing yourself at risk. Or if you really want to be in harm's way, one can try to separate the fighting parties, or wave a white flag in the middle of a firefight. In that case you are inserting yourself into a situation wehre people watn to kill others. I doubt the dozer driver expected to kill anyone on the job. Getting in the way of a big piece of equipment that cannot stop on a dime is not very good judgement. My suggestion is to consider the bulldozer operator while extending sympathies.

Thanks for reading.
CVM


Michael Burger - 3/9/2005

Regarding Ralph Luker's point: Cambridge is not Knoxville, but the academy is, I think, another world. In my Mississippi university, Abraham's views would be unlikely to endanger his career (nor, of course, should they, so long as he can argue coherently for them, about which I have no comment).


Richard Henry Morgan - 3/9/2005

I relish neither a future string of abuses, nor my responses. Absenting yourself shall not prove necessary, as you may discover at your leisure.


Sharon Howard - 3/9/2005

We obviously need a special award for '(inadvertently) setting off the most crass, inane, petty, childish, pointless and/or tasteless comment thread in a blog'. The real shame, of course, should be reserved to those who participate.

Ralph, Richard, Sandor: grow up. And I shan't be revisiting here, so I really don't care who wants or gets the last word. This is a public forum, remember, not a school playground or the college dorm. I blush at the thought of new visitors viewing your exchanges.


Richard Henry Morgan - 3/9/2005

I wouldn't venture the notion that the ISM is a peace activist organization when a leading terrorist bomber of Islamic Jihad, Shadi Sukiya, was found hiding in the ISM office, with a handgun, sheltered by two foreign female ISM members, who attempted to bar entry to the IDF. The ISM strategy is to at once support the Palestinian right to armed struggle (without condemning Palestinian terrorism, and in fact sheltering Palestinian terrorists if necessary), while using peaceful resistance to thwart IDF activities across the board. That isn't peace activism. That's using peaceful means to support resistance across the board, including terrorism. Anybody sold on the idea that they are supporting peace by such peaceful means deserves the title of useful idiot.


Richard Henry Morgan - 3/9/2005

I would call it peaceful resistance, but not peace activism, when you use peaceful means to express solidarity with one side in a struggle when both sides have claims, and both sides defend those claims with the use of force. Had Ms. Corrie and her group also volunteered as buffers between Palestinian snipers and bombers on the one hand, and Israelis on the other, I'd be more inclined to call her and her group peace activists. Somebody who is an international relations major, and doesn't know the meaning of genocide, might be a little short of the larger picture and experience that one might have hoped would more intelligently inform her actions.


Robert KC Johnson - 3/9/2005

Corrie went to Gaza to work with the International Solidarity Movement, a group dedicated, in its own words, to "armed struggle" against Israel. Whatever else it might be, I wouldn't call that an agenda of "peace activism."


Grant W Jones - 3/9/2005

Playing chicken with a bulldozer in a war zone between two groups that hate each others' guts is stupid. It shows a complete lack of judgment. It shows that Corrie's Arafat whorshipping parents did not teach her well, both in what causes to join and how to achieve the alleged ends of this particular cause.

What did her "nonviolent activism" achieve? That is other than given the P.A. a propaganda point.


Michael Meo - 3/9/2005

I do not agree with your obvious inference, that nonviolent activism is stupid.

Rather i suggest the quotation describes you a lot more than it applies to Miss Corrie.


Michael Meo - 3/9/2005

One reason to be suspicious that it was no accident is, that a series of lethal assaults on other non-violent peacekeepers in the Occupied Territories happened around the same time.

None of the perpetrators was prosecuted.


Michael Meo - 3/9/2005

Just another deluded fool here, who believes that peace activism is always a benefit.


Ralph E. Luker - 3/9/2005

You noticed!


David J Merkowitz - 3/9/2005

This is stupid!


Richard Henry Morgan - 3/9/2005

It's a matter of complete indifference to me whether you see a contradiction or not. I'll let others decide if they think your response to Prof Johnson is relevant to his point, or meant as a criticism of it.


Ralph E. Luker - 3/9/2005

Mr. Morgan, Have you noticed that Professor Johnson manages to avoid engaging with either you or Lopescu? Hmmm. Could be he knows trolls when he sees them. If he thinks Corrie unworthy of having an award named for her, that is his perogative. Their's are the naming rights. I don't see any contradiction in what I've said. You'll really find it impossible to enflame the relationship between Professor Johnson and me. We have a history of being allies in too many cases for your _unending_ acidic bilges to have damaging effect.


Richard Henry Morgan - 3/9/2005

I would only add that there being so many contradictory accounts of the episode, I'm not confident that one can claim to know the truth of the matter, or that it was an accident.


Richard Henry Morgan - 3/9/2005

Prof Johnson criticized the group for their naming of the award. He didn't question their right to name it. Your response (at the risk of self-contradiction), is non-responsive to the point he made.


Ralph E. Luker - 3/9/2005

I should think that any group is entitled to decide who its award shall be named for and, as I've said, the description of the academy may seem absurd if your sense of it is determined by Columbia, Harvard, or Stanford. If the frame of reference encompasses tertiary state universities, community colleges, religious institutions, the description is not nearly so absurd.


Ralph E. Luker - 3/9/2005

Richard, The intellectual content of this discussion was exhausted when your tasteless joke about the death of an innocent young American woman dropped from your cheeks. You've confessed to an inability to let anyone else have the last word. Get firm with yourself, Richard. Let it go.


Richard Henry Morgan - 3/9/2005

Abuse, Prof Dresner, even when masquerading as debate, shouldn't be confused for debate. Nor should a refusal to be abused, and a request not be abused, be considered a closing of debate. I have on any number of occasions apologized for my missteps, and admitted error, and never affected papal infallibility. Not once have I ever received even the shadow of a hint of a clue of an apology from Prof Luker for his abuses of me.

The logical leap from correctly labelling Tellez a terrorist, to the conclusion that I'm a Somocista, is so broad it makes a leap of the Grand Canyon pale by comparison. So too with the charge that I gloated over the resignation of President Hoffman -- there is simply no evidence for that proposition outside Prof Luker's mind. If ever the Olympics has, as an event, the Logical Leap, I sincerely hope Prof Luker represents us, as I would put money on him for the gold. That said, I'm not a fan of the event when its best competitor lands on me.

Nobody is fooled by the invocation of civility on the part of Prof Luker. I was labelled a Somocista not because of my incivility or even tastelessness, but because my politics are in disagreement, and because I refuse to shut up. That refusal persists, I'm afraid, as I'm not inclined to reward bullying tactics -- must be the Welsh in me. When you and Prof Luker gain property rights over this site, or convince the editor of this site to ban me, I will, of course, no longer pose a problem for you or Prof Luker. Though we disagree on any number of issues, I will take this opportunity to thank you for your civility, Prof Dresner.


Robert KC Johnson - 3/9/2005

I responded to these, but it got pushed way down in the queue, so I'll copy it here as well:

Like Volokh, I share Dennis Prager's interpretation of Corrie: "She ended up being a useful idiot for, and one more victim of, Palestinian terror." I, too, read her E-mails home to her mother, reprinted in the Guardian, which portrayed Corrie as a courageous individual capable of displaying enormous sympathy for the individual Palestinians with whom she came into contact. But she also seemed emotionally and intellectually unable to comprehend that multiple sides exist to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She almost casually accused the Israelis of genocide, a term whose legal definition she admitted she did not know; and she confessed that were she a Palestinian, violent action against the Israelis would have seemed like the only option to pursue.

It is tragic that she died, in what was determined, after a thorough inquiry, to have been an accident. But it seems to me neither tasteless nor a cheap shot to criticize any academic group that names an award of any type after such an individual--particularly in this case, where Abraham's supporters offered a description of the academy that seems all but divorced from reality.


Ralph E. Luker - 3/9/2005

Richard, You disgraced these comment boards by laughing over the tragic death of an innocent young American woman. If you _cannot_ contain yourself, you might want to get some professional help.


Richard Henry Morgan - 3/8/2005

Yeah, I know I really disgraced these boards when I truthfully pointed out that Tellez was a terrorist, and lawfully excluded from these shores -- in fact, pointed out that the law compelled her exclusion. For that disgrace, I was painted a Somocista. I have no doubt you will continue to address me whenever you feel so moved. And as I said, I will respond in kind. I'm not going to be your punching bag, so get ready to receive as good as you give.


Caleb McDaniel - 3/8/2005

I second Manan and Jonathan.


Grant W Jones - 3/8/2005

"Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can't help being stupid. But stupidity is the only univesaly capital crime; the sentence is death, there is not appeal, and the execution is carried out automatically and without pity."

Lazarus Long aka Robert A. Heinlein

www.bobgod.com/writer/lazaruslong.html


Robert KC Johnson - 3/8/2005

I peer in to see if anyone had responded to my posting, and see that all hell has broken loose on the board :)

Like Volokh, I share Dennis Prager's interpretation of Corrie: "She ended up being a useful idiot for, and one more victim of, Palestinian terror." I, too, read her E-mails home to her mother, reprinted in the Guardian, which portrayed Corrie as a courageous individual capable of displaying enormous sympathy for the individual Palestinians with whom she came into contact. But she also seemed emotionally and intellectually unable to comprehend that multiple sides exist to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She almost casually accused the Israelis of genocide, a term whose legal definition she admitted she did not know; and she confessed that were she a Palestinian, violent action against the Israelis would have seemed like the only option to pursue.

It is tragic that she died, in what was determined, after a thorough inquiry, to have been an accident. But it seems to me neither tasteless nor a cheap shot to criticize any academic group that names an award of any type after such an individual--particularly in this case, where Abraham's supporters offered a description of the academy that seems all but divorced from reality.


Jonathan Dresner - 3/8/2005

There is a difference, I would say, between a request for courtesy and a closure of debate. Particularly considering the venue, Mr. Morgan, the best way to avoid Dr. Luker's incivilities (and I'd score them considerably lower than yours, but I admit to a bit of preexisting bias, and I don't see the example you cited as being particularly so) is to acceed to his request that you stop posting here, at least temporarily.


Ralph E. Luker - 3/8/2005

I reserve the right to address or not address you whenever you disgrace these comment boards and you'll play hell deciding otherwise.


Richard Henry Morgan - 3/8/2005

When Prof Dresner asked me to address him as 'Professor', I immediately complied. I've asked you, Ralph, not to address me. I hope you can bring yourself to extend that courtesy. Thankyou.


Ralph E. Luker - 3/8/2005

Why don't you just go away, instead of insisting that _you_ must have the last word on every issue? And if you consider jokes at the expense of an innocent young American woman to be civil then it is you who need to take some time out.


Richard Henry Morgan - 3/8/2005

I don't think you have a real firm grip on the concept of 'monopolize'. That said, if you can't be civil, Ralph -- and it's become more and more apparent that you can't -- I'd really prefer you didn't address me at all. When pointing out that Tellez is, by any stretch of the imagination a terrorist, earns me a wisecrack that I'm a Somoza supporter, it's clear to me that there's absolutely nothing to gain by responding to you. I've tried to be civil, but it only seems to encourage your incivilities. I won't make that mistake again. Don't adress me, or I'll be equally abusive as you in the future.


Jonathan Dresner - 3/8/2005

You may be amused. Some of us take facts and ideas more seriously than that. It's hard enough discussing these things in a reasonable fashion without having people like you and Mr. Morgan (and, in his own way, KC Johnson) making cheap shots.

It's junk like this that drives moderates and reasonable people off the discussions.


Louis N Proyect - 3/8/2005

Manan Ahmed questions Robert KC Johnson's allegation that Rachel Corrie was part of a terrorist ring smuggling tunnels from Egypt into Gaza. I am quite sure that Johnson can back this up from the lengthy investigative piece that appeared in the NY Post shortly after Corrie's death penned by Arnaud de Borchegrave. The report also made eye-opening connections between Corrie and a North Korean plot to procure weapons grade plutonium from the physics lab at Evergreen College. Everybody knows that Professor Kaplan in the Evergreen physics department was the nephew of Robert Oppenheimer's wife and an obvious traitor. Someday a man on horseback will rid America of all these rats and we'll return to the great country we once were.


Jonathan Dresner - 3/8/2005

Your attempt to draw a distinction is kinda cute, really. Your words (here and here) are clear on their face: if it's not what you meant, then you need to work on your writing.

So, let's get it straight: here's your chance. How do you feel about Rachel Corrie and whether or not she deserves a Darwin Award? Is it funny? And if it isn't, then how do you explain your comments above criticizing our inability to see it as funny?


Ralph E. Luker - 3/8/2005

MR. LOPESCU: JONATHAN HAS NO OBLIGATION TO DO YOUR RESEARCH FOR YOU. YOU AND RICHARD SHOULD FIND SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE TO DO WITH YOUR LIVES! LEAVE CLIOPATRIA'S COMMENT BOARDS TO PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY, INSTEAD OF PUBLIC FREEPER CIRCLE JERKING.


Jonathan Dresner - 3/8/2005

I've read your posts -- call me "reality-based", but I do these things -- and they contain frequent references to the "humor" of associating Corrie with the Darwin Awards. Ralph is reading you correctly.


Ralph E. Luker - 3/8/2005

The two of you seem to echo. Go away. There are interesting things to be said. You haven't found any of them.


Richard Henry Morgan - 3/8/2005

An echo chamber.


Ralph E. Luker - 3/8/2005

Richard, Please just go away. Do something constructive instead of trying to monopolize the comment boards at Cliopatria with your tiresome stupidities.


Richard Henry Morgan - 3/8/2005

Admit it, Sandor, nothing we've said could ever be as funny as Chomsky proclaiming that publishing anything about Said is job-threateningly suicidal. My only question is, is there something idiotic that Chomsky, at one point or another in his career, hasn't said?


Ralph E. Luker - 3/8/2005

Mr. Lopescu, The trollish behavior of you and Richard prove, once again, the wisdom of the saying: "Don't feed ..." Neither of you are worthy of conversation today.


Ralph E. Luker - 3/8/2005

Lopescu and Morgan are competing for Freeper Troll of the Day Award.


Richard Henry Morgan - 3/8/2005

Johnson, if somewhat vaguely to the right of the middle of academia, is tasteful at least to the point of toleration by some academics (if not his own department). The tasteful test being applied, one wonders how it is that Duke doesn't have a single Republican in its history department? Hmm? Do libs have to pass the tasteful test? Just wondering.

Actually, I'm not wondering at all on that score. What does give me pause to wonder, is a value system that always seems to find some reason to employ and underqualified left-wing terrorist, or admit a left-wing terrorist to the country, but which elevates a particular view of taste to the top of the heap.


Ralph E. Luker - 3/8/2005

My sensibilities are not particularly delicate. Your laughing over the tragic death of a naive young American woman is bad enough. Let it go.


Ralph E. Luker - 3/8/2005

I'd appreciate it if Lopescu and Morgan took their bad taste back over to Free Republic, where they will find others who share their particular perversions.


Richard Henry Morgan - 3/8/2005

I've got to admit it -- I got a kick out of that too.


Grant W Jones - 3/8/2005

Is being a "human shield" for terrorists also "tasteless."

www.landofisrael.info/News/2003/3/18/Rachel_Corrie_Links.html


Richard Henry Morgan - 3/8/2005

I'm surprised at the effort devoted to proving or disproving what I thought an obviously and thoroughly facetious and (admittedly) tasteless remark -- if I had had my tongue any more firmly in cheek, I would have pushed a hole through it.

Give Rachel credit where credit is due. She apparently believed in what she was doing, and unlike Palestinians who have to kill innocents in order to achieve martyrdom, she did it without killing anybody but herself. She lived by non-violence, and she died in the practice of her belief. The fact that, as she herself admitted, a eight-year old had a better grasp of the global power system than her, shouldn't take away from the integrity of her actions.


Jonathan Dresner - 3/8/2005

Not only tasteless, but wrong. I can find no evidence that Corrie was even officially nominated for a Darwin award, much less declared a winner. Not to say that lots of LGF'ers didn't chortle and chuckle (some of the comments I found in the process of trying to confirm Mr. Morgan's claim were deeply disturbing) at the thought. But they didn't have the guts (or brains, or energy, or something) to actually bother with an actual e-mail or web submission.


Ralph E. Luker - 3/8/2005

Brother Lopescu doesn't know me very well. I laugh at amusing things. Brother Morgan is a hostage to his own mean-spirited cynicism. Very sad; very sick.


Richard Henry Morgan - 3/8/2005

Look at the bright side -- I've yet to take hostages. Will that redeem me in your eyes?


Ralph E. Luker - 3/8/2005

Richard, You have hit bottom, I hope, in self-disgrace.


Jonathan Dresner - 3/8/2005

I second that. Agree with her analysis or not, and whatever you think of the people who are beatifying her, she was responding to a very difficult situation with heart and courage, in appropriately non-violent fashion.


Richard Henry Morgan - 3/8/2005

I don't think you've done justice to Rachel Corrie. As I understand it, she also won the prestigious Darwin Award.


Ralph E. Luker - 3/8/2005

Well, again, it depends. At a certain level in the academy there is simply enormous fear of being or even suspected of being committed or outspoken on any issue or in any cause. You are unlikely to notice that in the academics among whom you move, but it is a major factor that causes many academic bloggers, for example, to blog pseudonymously or anonymously. There is fear of not getting the job offer, fear of not getting tenure, fear of not being promoted -- and much of it fear of somehow offending significant authorities.


Manan Ahmed - 3/8/2005

I find your characterization of Rachel Corrie's death a tad tasteless. She may appear a deluded teenager to you and her death may have been accidental but she was not working to "keep open the tunnels from Egypt through which arms were smuggled". And the facts of her death are a lot more contested than your pithy description.

Here is the wiki entry on her.

and her emails published in that lefty rag, The Guardian make her sense of delusion all too clear.


Robert KC Johnson - 3/8/2005

Perhaps--though I haven't noticed UT's faculty as a hotbed of pro-Israel sentiment! At least from the context provided in the announcement of the award, also, the Chomsky comments describe a pro-Said approach as risky in the academy as a whole.


Ralph E. Luker - 3/8/2005

KC, It seems to me that some of this is a matter of location. Abraham has taught at Edinboro State in Pennsylvania and at UT, Knoxville. What may seem PC Quaint to you at BC/Harvard and Volokh at UCLA/Stanford isn't quite so hum-drum mind-numb in northwestern PA and east TN.