wJul 14, 2006


Okay, I need to finish this blog entry and go to sleep so I can try to drag my ass out of bed at 5:00 am (shut up!).

Perhaps you have heard the uproar over my school, the University of Wisconsin, refusing to fire Kevin Barrett, who purports that September 11th was caused by the United States government. The professor that I had for Criminal Law & Justice last semester (you'll remember that as being my favorite) has written his own perspective, which you can read in full here. There has been some discussion of this issue for a bit amongst my friends. Professor Downs makes some good points, some of which I will share here:
...[F]iring Barrett from his one-course contract for this fall in the face of political pressure would set a bad precedent. Indeed, it would constitute the first time in anyone’s memory that the university fired an instructor — hired by a department through the normal channels — before the termination of his contract because of political pressures exerted on account of the instructor’s views. Even those who agree with Barrett’s strongest critics on substantive grounds — as we do — should pause before opening this Pandora’s Box.

Not allowing Barrett to teach according to the limited terms of his contract would mean that members of the media and legislature could dictate who teaches and who gets fired based upon their agreement or disagreement with the conclusions certain teachers reach. Though universities are hardly infallible in making their hiring decisions, such a precedent would seriously compromise the wide-open pursuit of truth for which the university properly stands.

Conservatives in the legislature need to remember that the principle of academic freedom protects the right as well as the left. And for most of the last 15 years, it is the right that has needed protection. During the 1990s, Wisconsin and many other schools enacted speech codes and related policies that they applied almost exclusively against conservatives who expressed ideas that conflicted with the agendas of political correctness. In reaction to these threats to academic freedom and free speech, several faculty members and students at Wisconsin forged a movement that has aggressively and successfully defended academic freedom across the board.

....“To be afraid of an idea — any idea — is to be unfit for self-government.” In the long run, defending Barrett’s right to teach this one course this fall is necessary if we want to defend something that is a lot more important than this one conspiracy theorist.


What else was I going to say? Umm.....KotOR II: The Sith Lords is really cool so far. The romantic love interest for the female character is more attractive this time, :) I like his hair! His name is Atton, though, which isn't as cool as Carth. I don't like the weird cloaked Jedi woman who follows me around, though. My Jedi senses tell me: EVIL. This game is cooler than the last because the way you talk to the other members of your party influences how they respond to you. And your choices to follow the light or dark side will influence their light/dark as well, depending on how much your dialogue choices allow you to influence theme. Mostly, I'm just along for the ride until I get my lightsaber.

I'm really excited to go to Madison tomorrow. And I should definitely be asleep right now. Damn it. Packing when I'm not awake is going to be great.
scribbled mystickeeper at 11:31 PM

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