Friday, April 3, 2009

Ward Churchill to get his job back

The above is an article posted by Andrew Cohen on the CBS News Political Hotsheet entitled “Analysis: Ward Churchill and the Tension of Tenure.”

If I understand what was written here, the Judge decided (well, the Jury with the help of the Judge’s advice) that there was a cause and effect relationship between Churchill calling the victims of the 9-11 bombings “Little Eichmanns” and his firing, and since that was so, the reason the University gave, plagiarism, was bogus.

Cohen is right in blaming the University. But I disagree with him when he said that professors may have to be vetted like a Presidential candidate. I only needed to listen to Churchill once to decide he was incompetent. He is an anti-American nutcase. No, the University administrators, many of them I suspect, probably liked Churchill. They agreed with his anti-Americanism, and it was only when he thumbed his incompetence in the face of America at large that the administrators decided he went too far. Yes, his peers said he was incompetent, but were they asked before Churchill was hired? Were they asked before he was given tenure?

What if the University had charged ”incompetence” instead of plagiarism? Here are the signs of his incompetence: He plagiarizes, he doesn’t know his subjects (per peer review), and he is a sociopath as evidence by his calling the victims of 9/11 Little Eichmanns – something along those lines. Then it wouldn’t matter that his “Little Eichmann” slur had drawn the attention of the Colorado Governor.

I believe and have said elsewhere, there is never a single reason for taking an action like this. I may have said it first in relation to the 2003 Iraq invasion. WMDs were not the only reason. A whole long list of reasons existed. One could read them as I did, before the Iraq invasion in Pollack’s The Threatening Storm, the Case for Invading Iraq.” No doubt there were other places that one could read a list of reasons for invading Iraq, but Pollack was a good place. Why then were WMDs mentioned so prominently, as plagiarism was in the Churchill case? There is a strong belief in this country that the average person is stupid, doesn’t read, doesn’t know anything and you are going to have to make things really really simple for him if you want him to understand. Well, I agree with the first part, but the making things simple for him was a mistake, at least in these two cases. Because the reasons picked weren’t too simple for the lawyers and political pundits that come afterward, after you had picked the wrong “simple reasons.”

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