Patterico's Pontifications

12/29/2012

I Stand with Popehat on the Erik Loomis Story

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:58 pm

I’m late to the Erik Loomis story. He’s a history professor at a northeastern university and a blogger, and after the Newtown shootings, he screamed his head off on Twitter in a profane and rather violent way. For example:

First fucker to say the solution is for elementary school teachers to carry guns needs to get beaten to death. [UPDATE: This is a retweet.]

I was heartbroken in the first 20 mass murders. Now I want Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick.

You are goddamn right we should politicize this tragedy. Fuck the NRA. Wayne LaPierre should be in prison.

Charming.

Loomis is a jerk, in my opinion, and a moron.

And a jackass.

However. Apparently a lot of people have been trying to get him fired from his job.

And I disagree with that. And, like Ken from Popehat, I wanted to register my disagreement, loud and clear, with any effort to get his fired.

I support, without qualification, people writing about Professor Loomis. I find his expression contemptible. But I also find the efforts to get him fired or arrested contemptible, and I find it highly regrettable that some blogs are, at the most charitable interpretation, acting as smirking spectators to that effort. The effort is not without cost, even if neither the police nor the University take action. Trying to get a professor fired for clearly protected speech promotes and contributes to the culture of censorship in higher education that FIRE fights and that Greg Lukianoff exposed persuasively in his recent book “Unlearning Liberty.” Trying to get Loomis fired contributes to a culture in which people are disciplined for reading a book about the defeat of the Klan because coworkers find it “harassing” or threatened with disciplinary proceedings for putting up a Firefly poster or prohibited from using signs at protest because OMG 9/11. Calling the cops based on clearly protected hyperbole promotes and encourages a law enforcement culture that does things like launching “cyberbullying” investigations based on satirical criticism, nudging us further towards the theoretical British zero-point at which old men get questioned by the police for putting rather mild expressions of atheism in their windows.

I’m disappointed, and more than a little disgusted, that partisanship is more important than principle.

Me too, although I am not particularly surprised. Politics often seems to trump principle.

But I, personally, think it’s important to stand up for free speech especially when the speech (as here) is in opposition to your politics — and (as here) seems particularly hateful and distasteful. Firing people over speech like this would be silly, and trying to make that happen is thuggish.

In my constitutionally protected opinion.

P.S. If I haven’t yet publicized Greg Lukianoff’s book plugged by Popehat, Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate, consider this a plug. I’m about 1/4 of the way into it and it’s rip-roaring good stuff. I think the readers here would like it a lot.

P.P.S. It’s still not too late for vote for anti-free speech thug Brett Kimberlin at Popehat’s Second Annual Censorious Asshat Poll.

355 Responses to “I Stand with Popehat on the Erik Loomis Story”

  1. And now, I shall duck.

    Patterico (62908f)

  2. I totally agree. Critize and/or mock such babblings but don’t try to get the idiot fired. Let his superiors determine whether or not he is a asset or liability without outside pressure.

    Michael Keohane (f8f97d)

  3. Well put, Patterico.

    Ipso Fatso (1e3278)

  4. Well said Patterico.

    Craig Mc (f4704f)

  5. Greetings:

    Our military used to have a concept called “conduct unbecoming” of which the subject Professor seems quite unaware. I don’t quite understand how his free speech rights would prevent his employer from wanting to be without him.

    11B40 (797343)

  6. I agree this guy shouldn’t be fired for indulging in constitutionally protected free speech.

    But I wouldn’t have any problem at all if the University of Rhode Island fired him for demonstrating that he’s an idiot. And idiots shouldn’t be university professors.

    Of course, fat chance of that happening.

    But Loomis is the kind of guy who demonstrates that the value of a college degree is vastly over-rated. Would you send your kid to learn history from this guy? Is it even possible to learn history from this guy? Do you want your kid even learning vocabulary from this guy?

    Maybe if enough parents decided that as long as the University of Rhode Island has idiots like Loomis on the faculty they’re not sending their kids and their money there then whoever is in charge of that asylum would wise up and boot him out the door.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  7. Sounding like a broken record…

    While proudly upholding our principles, we will be stripped of them. Conservatives fall for this all the time. Loomis should get fired. Not for what he says. It goes without saying he can say what he wants. But he lacks the character to teach students. He is scum. Do you think he tolerates speech he doesn’t like in the classroom? He’s proven he doesn’t. He must be stopped from doing more harm.
    Tolerating this douche is self-defeating. It only helps and emboldens asshats like him. In the end we will all lose our ability to exercise our principles because jerks like Loomis don’t have any and he hates ours. Learn that already! You yourself have suffered from his friends’ filthy tactics. Fight people like him! Don’t ever let up. Apply Alinsky!

    gottarideduc (dbc2db)

  8. The professor needs to have his mouth washed out with bar soap and be made to sit in the corner wearing the Dunce Cap from lunch to dinner time.

    htom (412a17)

  9. Comment by Steve57 (2073db) — 12/29/2012 @ 4:03 pm

    Couldn’t have said it better. Asshats like this one should be asking if you want fries with that, not “teaching”.

    Jay H Curtis (804124)

  10. Never duck.

    This is has been said over and over again. The First Amendment isn’t there to protect the speech we love. It’s there to protect the speech we hate. You either believe in the Constitution or you don’t. Trying to have a man fired or arrested over speech? Hmmm…where have we seen this attempted recently?

    Walker? Frey? Bueller?

    Bets (dfd020)

  11. I’m torn, but I’m leaning toward Steve57 and gottarideduc. Our side always takes the so-called high road and we always get shafted. It is beyond time to “punch back twice as hard” as some nameless wastrel once said. The parents of any of his students should also vote with their tuition dollars and bet their kids out of his class. Starve the beast.

    Gazzer (4c4ae2)

  12. I see a lot of speech here I recognize from the other side. Why, I would never suggest that Patterico be fired for his speech! But…

    …but he can’t be smart enough to be a D.A. with these opinions.

    …but he is clearly too partisan to be a D.A. with these opinions.

    Etc.

    There is always a totally non-speech related reason to say someone should be fired, which totally non-speech reason always tends to come back to the person’s speech.

    It doesn’t sound any better coming from my side, I’m sad to say, than it does coming from the other side.

    Patterico (62908f)

  13. In an era of school violence we have a Professor preaching violence. This is not like he is complaining about government tyranny, he is asking for violence against private citizens.

    If a black on white crime occured, and some professor called for Jesse Jackson’s head on a stick, I wonder what would happen?

    I am tired of free speech for liberals only.

    Smarty (880bf6)

  14. Then crusade for free speech on both sides.

    Not just yours.

    Patterico (62908f)

  15. Gazzer,

    It’s not about any “high road.”

    It’s about standing up for free speech, whether you like the speech or not.

    Patterico (62908f)

  16. It doesn’t sound any better coming from my side, I’m sad to say, than it does coming from the other side.

    So what is the answer? Unilateral disarmament hasn’t worked. Shame doesn’t work. The Walker case has proven that the law doesn’t work.

    Some of us are a little tired of turning the other cheek and getting slapped again…..mutually assured destruction starts to sound good.

    So give us some suggestions other than waving our fingers and tut tutting…..

    gahrie (3fff08)

  17. In an era of school violence we have a Professor preaching violence. This is not like he is complaining about government tyranny, he is asking for violence against private citizens.

    This is, in fact, a pretty salient point. What would you say, Patterico, if the professor had called for all NRA members to be shot, including presumably any NRA members who are students in his class? What if a student in his class actually believes that teachers should carry guns? The professor is already on record saying that anyone who espouses this view “needs to get beaten to death.” I am for free speech too, but when a figure in authority makes statements that could potentially intimidate students in his class, this needs to be addressed.

    JVW (4826a9)

  18. @pattericeo

    If I called you a name and you kicked my butt, did you take away my first amendment right to call you a name?

    Loomis needs to get fired because he lacks the character and prudent restraint required of an employee of a public U and a teacher of it’s paying customers, the students. The tool of his trade is his speech. He is responsible for what he says. Rights need to come with responsibilities, for everybody.

    gottarideduc (dbc2db)

  19. There are ways to register disapproval of someone’s speech that does not involve law enforcement or getting that person fired. It’s called “more speech.”

    That said, I wonder how this could be squared with ensuring that Loomis’ students and colleagues are also granted their own free speech rights. Universities, IIRC, will make some hiring decisions based on the recommendations of tenured professors, and it would be a shame if Loomis were to blackball a talented conservative academic. Likewise, students, who are paying Loomis’ salary, should be comfortable expressing their views in his classroom.

    bridget (862c19)

  20. Loomis may well be an incompetent boob with anger issues, poor impulse control and prone to outbursts of hateful, violent rhetoric.

    But his employment should be between himself and his employer. Trying to get him fired over what he tweets is a d*ck move.

    Pious Agnostic (20c167)

  21. Don Imus was suspended for saying “nappy headed hoes” if I recall. This guy Loomis should not be near any students. He is inciting death. Is that not like shouting “Fire” in a crowded theater? A little M.A.D might give the other side pause for thought. As it works now they can say and do anything with impunity. Ask David Gregory.

    Gazzer (4c4ae2)

  22. Tell me.

    What exactly is Loomis bringing to the academic table that makes him so unexpendable?

    Let’s say I’m a parent who’s dropping a couple stacks of high society every year for my kid to attend Rhode Island. Let’s say I’m shoveling in a ditch, turning a wrench and swinging a hammer all day long to provide for my family and send the kid to URI. Do you think I’m actually concerned with Loomis’ 1st amendment rights after his meltdown?

    This drives right at the heart of the tenured fraternity. When some professors become tenured, some lose their edge, some get lazy and stupid, then some like Loomis go off the rails.

    Does Loomis or you or I have the 1st amendment right right to speak our mind about divers issues? Sure we do. But a governing authority should be given the right sever a relationship if they deem an employee a overpaid, underperforming hack.

    scott (b8618e)

  23. Patterico, I think it’s fair to say that a history professor is in the business of speech.

    That’s what a history professor does on a daily basis. He deals in speech.

    So I think it’s fair to say that the quality of a history professor’s speech is an important consideration when choosing someone for the job.

    Whether it’s the other members of the faculty evaluating a candidate, or a parent looking at the faculty of a school he’s thinking of hiring to instruct a child.

    It isn’t what the guy is saying that disturbs me. It’s the way he’s saying it, and what it reveals about the disturbed mental processes that produced it.

    I can’t see how a man who concludes that the NRA killed a kindergarten class in Connecticut and that a man he doesn’t like should be in prison for life for taking the opposite position on an issue that Mr. Loomis can’t approve of is qualified to draw any conclusions from the lessons of history. Let alone be put in a position to impart them to others.

    Also the profanity indicates intellectual laziness. I would expect a history professor to have enough command of the language to avoid it. But Mr. Loomis apparently never bothered to acquire the vocabulary to do so.

    I don’t see how you separate the man’s ability to draw rational conclusions and then to express them from the fact that someone who fails in that regard shouldn’t be doing exactly that for a living.

    If he’s teaching US history (and he is) do you want someone who believes that people who lobby for a political cause he dislikes should be imprisoned for life teaching the history of the US before, during, and after the Revolution?

    Do you think he’s capable of teaching the root causes of the revolution and the principles for which it was fought? Do you think a fan of prison for his political opponents can or will teach your child that the antidote to even vile speech is more speech?

    I don’t see it happening. And since I don’t, I can’t see how he’s qualified to teach US history.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  24. I don’t think Loomis should be fired for his foul mouthed, violent diatribes.

    But I don’t have any problem making him very uncomfortable …

    SPQR (768505)

  25. Rights and duties must be balanced.

    What duty is coupled with the right of free speech?

    It is the duty to take the consequences of your speech. That includes the duty to accept that your speech will reveal the real you, that it will cause some to love you and some to despise you.

    I see nothing wrong with forcing Loomis to do his duty.

    Fred Z (b8d9d1)

  26. I wonder if him losing his job is a for reals possibility

    propaganda whore David Gregory is committing violations of firearms laws on the job and he seems pretty secure

    happyfeet (da3ac5)

  27. First fucker to say the solution is for elementary school teachers to carry guns needs to get beaten to death.

    The problem with defending Loomis for saying this, of course, is that he is attempting to censor other people’s speech. If Loomis were just going at LaPierre, that’s one thing, but I don’t see where Loomis gets off threatening violence towards his students, should they express an opinion with which he disagrees. Sort of hard to see how protecting that advances the cause of free expression.

    bridget (862c19)

  28. When Whoopi Goldberg was canned from a TV spokesperson gig a few years ago for stupid and unfunny remarks about G Bush that was not an infringement of her free speech rights. However, the company also reserved the right to no longer compensate her for ideas which they considered inappropriate for their product. Didn’t take away her rights. Same thing with Loomis.

    Gazzer (4c4ae2)

  29. Same with Ward Churchill. You can say what you want but not on our dime.

    Gazzer (4c4ae2)

  30. Espn was super quick to fire that guy what sang their little football ditty

    cause they’re rabid obamawhores is why

    happyfeet (da3ac5)

  31. Why does he think that people that have different views than him on guns should be jailed?

    I am shocked that this is one of SEKs cohorts.

    I don’t think he should be fired. He is an object lesson of the lying, perfidy, asshattery, and douchenozzlery of the modern Left. If URI wants to give him tenure, that says more about that school than Loomis’ obsession with ghey lumberjacks and hateful violent speech.

    JD (78d90b)

  32. PatIts a shame and ironic that the very people this professor wants killed are the same who enable him to vent death in the first place.

    Also, people shoulnt assume it’s hyperbole without some kind of explanation.

    Additionally, death threats are a very serious thing, if he tweeted this in his capacity as a state employee by all means he should immediately be terminated and prosecuted.

    Free speech has serious consequences and limitations that are both reasonable and quite ordinary to understand.

    In fact the very feedoms we have to force consequences on free speech not ony is emboldened in the constitution – I feel it makes the country stronger.

    EPWJ (e83e82)

  33. JD,

    ‘douchenozzlery’

    priceless.

    you’ve just expanded my dicktionary.

    scott (b8618e)

  34. death threats are sometimes serious and sometimes not at all serious

    it depends on context

    happyfeet (da3ac5)

  35. and I still cant type nor handle that sub-verb thingy

    EPWJ (e83e82)

  36. I loathe this contact people’s employers trying to get them fired thing. The trolls heart this tactic.

    JD (5ed6bd)

  37. happy

    It was a call to violence

    EPWJ (e83e82)

  38. Loomis is disgusting because I bet he’s more incensed towards Wayne LaPierre than he is towards the killer in Connecticut. Moreover, I bet he is (or was) more outraged by the NRA instead of, say, Islamic groups rallying around Sharia Law or Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

    Worst of all, I bet he actually believes his gut reactions stem from a wonderful, generous, humane part of his heart (ie, his brain).

    Finally, I bet he’s more indignant about the existence of guns than he is about judges who release felons far too early, far too easily (hi, judicial appointees of Obama and Democrat governors!). Judges who say things like “that criminal is violent and ruthless. But he does come from a sad, pitiful, hurtful background. Shame on us as a society for not providing such people enough homecare, healthcare, daycare, food stamps, condoms, cell phones, education, subsidized school lunches. Damn the NRA! Go to hell, NRA!”

    Mark (0b71a7)

  39. JD

    Trolls do it when nothing is said except criticism – Whoopi Goldberg, this guy, the Dixie Chics, all made highly inflammatory comments or out right crimes – there is a huge difference.

    EPWJ (e83e82)

  40. Gazzer, Goldberg was a contract employee who was one of only a few spokespeople for their product. I believe Loomis is a tenured professor. One Of many professors. He does not impact their overall financial outlook.

    Ward Churchill was fired for plaguerism. He brought attention to himself with his hateful speech. But once people started paying attention to him, that’s when he got busted.

    It’s not the same. People are going to do what they’re going to do. But if you condone trying to get this guy fired, then don’t complain about what happened to Walker and Frey. I won’t have any part of this.

    Bets (dfd020)

  41. But his employment should be between himself and his employer. Trying to get him fired over what he tweets is a d*ck move.

    Who’s trying to get him fired because of what he tweets? He ought to be fired for what and how he teaches.

    You don’t need to shell out for a university education if you want your kid to be misinformed about history. Just by the kid Oliver Stone’s new book or his cable TV series when (if) it comes out.

    The NYT: Oliver Stone Rewrites History – Again

    The conservative historian and CUNY emeritus professor Ronald Radosh said he found himself wanting to do harm to his television while watching the first four episodes, which he reviewed for the right-wing Weekly Standard. Radosh had been blogging skeptically about the Stone project since its announcement in 2010, but now that he’d actually seen it, he said, it was the historian rather than the conservative in him who was most offended. “Historians can have different interpretations, but based on evidence,” he said. “What these other guys do is manipulate evidence and ignore evidence that does not fit their predetermined thesis, and that’s why they’re wrong.” …“This Stone-Kuznick film could have been put out in 1955 as Soviet propaganda,” Radosh said. “They use all the old stuff.”

    …But fearing he might be dismissed as partisan, he insisted I reach out to Sean Wilentz, a Princeton historian who, owing to his strident defense of Bill Clinton during his impeachment hearings and to his 2006 Rolling Stone cover article on George W. Bush, “The Worst President in History?” is regarded as decidedly left-leaning. When I spoke to him, Wilentz said: “You can’t get two historians more unlike each other than me and Ronnie Radosh. But we can agree about this. It’s ridiculous.” … “Is there a legitimate argument to be made about the origins of our nuclear diplomacy or the decision to build the H-bomb?” he said. “Of course there is. But it’s so overloaded with ideological distortion that this question doesn’t get raised in an intelligent way. And once a question gets raised in an unintelligent way, then you are off in cloud-cuckoo land.”

    Hell, just have the kid watch “Platoon” and “JFK” so he can be woefully misinformed about the ’60s for starters.

    A historian’s job isn’t just to tell a student about events but also what those events meant. I don’t see how a man who fantasizes about throwing his political opponents in jail is qualified to draw those conclusions about the meaning of events and pass them on to students.

    Really, the whole higher education racket deserves to be torn down. A college degree, especially in the “soft” majors like history, is worthless. And it’s largely because it’s become a refuge for lousy professors like Loomis that that’s the case.

    I doubt you’ll find a faculty anywhere in the northeast that isn’t infested with people like Loomis. I don’t see why anyone would shell out good money just to have people like him poison their kids’ minds. After four years of being influenced by people like him your kid will know less coming out then when going in.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  42. if all Loomis did was tweeter then he should keep his job but if he’s teetering hatefully while also wearing his hair in the fashion of one or more members of One Direction somebody’s got to do something

    happyfeet (da3ac5)

  43. Loomis is a jerk, in my opinion, and a moron.

    And a jackass.

    I agree with all those conclusions, Pat.

    Loomis has a constitutionally protected right to be a jerk and a jackass on Twitter. He even has a constitutionally protected right to indulge in moronic speech on Twitter. Or Facebook. Or whatever.

    What I’m wondering, though, is does he have a Constitutionally protected right to a job as a history professor after demonstrating he’s a moron?

    I would hope not. I would think that not being a raving idiot would be one of the minimum qualifications for the job.

    This reminds me of the idiot who got fired for pulling through the drive-thru at an Arizona Chick-Fil-A and berating the girl at the window for working for such a “hateful” company.

    Then proudly posting the video. Because he thought being a sanctimonious asshat to a fast food worker made him look good.

    Now, we can agree that he had the constitutional right to use the protections of the 1st Amendment to be a sanctimonious asshat. But then posting the video? That demonstrates a complete lack of judgement on his part. It was such a huge, public demonstration of lack of judgement his employer fired him.

    Not for the speech. But because no company can afford to have a complete imbecile as their CFO/treasurer.

    Can universities really afford to have the reputation as the last refuge for people who are too stupid and impulsive to cut it in the private sector?

    Steve57 (2073db)

  44. But: We all have the right to freedom of association. Even with a University that has an asshat on the payroll.

    glenn (647d76)

  45. “Loomis is a jerk, in my opinion, and a moron. And a jackass.”

    Yeah, and if he worked for me, I’d fire his ass.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  46. There are several posters here at Patterico’s who, like me, work at the college or university level. Guess what? Folks like Loomis are not seen as hateful in academia; they are just “reacting passionately.” Sure, it’s hypocritical and silly, but that’s Teh Narrative™.

    Personally, I like the crazies being visible, and publicized, and in their jobs. It scares the other professors. I promise. Because I am hearing about it, on campus, over the Loomis issue.

    Some of my very extreme colleagues are talking about how they need to be careful in the classroom, so they don’t end up getting all the bad press, like Loomis.

    I don’t see this as a bad thing, at all.

    Back to Patterico’s point. Years ago, I was furious about Ward Churchill’s nonsense in the wake of 9-11. I had heard of Greg Lukianoff, and FIRE, and was angry that they were “supporting” him. So I wrote to Lukianoff.

    He wrote back. And took the time to patiently teach me the real point (as has been discussed in this thread): the solution to speech you do not like is MORE speech, not less.

    And Lukianoff’s book, like Patterico says, is very much worth your time.

    Back to that silly poseur in Colorado. Churchill should have been fired over his lies regarding his background, and his plagiarism. But over his comments about 9-11? Nope, despicable as they were.

    In a way, I think of it as follows: if they are that hateful on Twitter, they will be that hateful at work…and suffer the consequences. The one overall lesson I have learned in academia is that academics are not anywhere near as bright and perceptive as they tell other people.

    Me? Well, I never claimed to be that bright and perceptive, so I am off the hook.

    Again, it is good when these crazy progressive H8R people reveal their true colors. And if you think it is great when a person is fired for extreme language, keep in mind that that standard can be—and has been, to my certain knowledge–used to keep out or harm folks who are, um, not conservative.

    So: please folks, heap scorn on Loomis. Keep talking about it. Write about it. Make fun of how tough he talks, and how much he looks like The Incredible Mr. Limpet. But don’t call for him to get fired. Because Loomis isn’t all that smart. The first time he gets into a tussle with a student over politics over a grade or a classroom discussion, this topic will come up…and cause him a world of hurt.

    And if—note I write if—he brings this kind of behavior into the classroom, it should be discussed by the promotion and tenure committee. And it will. Trust me on that.

    In academia, there is one thing that trumps political correctness: it’s bad PR. Because that translates into less money for administrators. And if you think that doesn’t matter, why, you haven’t been on campus recently.

    So give Loomis a microphone. Let him speak for the DNC all he wants.

    Simon Jester (f28d0f)

  47. Loomis’s employer has the right to do whatever they like within the law.

    I just think it’s thuggish to try to get him fired.

    Patterico (62908f)

  48. Which is not to say he *should* be fired. I would not, if it were my decision.

    Patterico (62908f)

  49. I would fire him, too. But then a private employer has to be concerned about a company’s image. It effects the bottom line.

    But to be honest I wouldn’t care if this guy was just another nut in the ESPN peanut gallery.

    I’m not going to lose sleep over one of Bob Costas’ uninformed political rants.

    But it’s different when the guy given to uninformed political ravings gets paid to teach.

    What’s he teaching? I’d say the uninformed political ravings provide insight.

    This is from Erik Loomis’ faculty profile:

    Research Interests:

    Environmental History, Labor History, Late 19th-Early 20th Century U.S. History, U.S. West

    Courses Taught:

    HIS 141 – History of the United States to 1877
    HIS 339 – Emergence of Industrial America, 1877-1914
    HIS 364 – U.S. Environmental History
    HIS 365 – Civil War and Reconstruction
    HIS 441 – Topics in U.S. History (U.S. West)
    HIS 495 – Senior Seminar

    There is so much that’s being taught as history that’s just pure propaganda. I don’t see how someone who has wet dreams of being able lock people like Wayne LaPierre up for life can possibly teach US history up til 1877. I certainly can’t see how he can teach a course on the Civil War and Reconstruction.

    Again how can he possibly teach US history if he obviously has disdain for the principles that are protected by the Constitution. And the history of reconstruction? Please. Like he’s going to discuss the rise of the Klan as the terror wing of the Democratic party when in his opinion the NRA are the terrorists. Not the actual terrorists who along with their political allies also saw to it that their black victims were unarmed whenever possible.

    The Klan’s Favorite Law

    Gun control in the postwar South

    David B. Kopel | February 15, 2005

    If you believe everything that Michael Moore says in Bowling for Columbine and his books, then you would think that “pro-gun” people are white racists, and that “gun control” would be a wonderful way to help minorities. But a look at America’s past reveals what historian Clayton Cramer has accurately called “The Racist Roots of Gun Control.”

    After the Civil War, the defeated Southern states aimed to preserve slavery in fact if not in law. The states enacted Black Codes which barred the black freedmen from exercising basic civil rights, including the right to bear arms. Mississippi’s provision was typical: No freedman “shall keep or carry fire-arms of any kind, or any ammunition.”

    Under the Mississippi law, a person informing the government about illegal arms possession by a freedman was entitled to receive the forfeited firearm. Whites were forbidden to give or lend freedman firearms or knives.

    The Special Report of the Anti-Slavery Conference of 1867 complained that freedmen were “forbidden to own or bear firearms and thus.rendered defenseless against assaults” by whites. Or as a letter printed in the Jan. 13, 1866 edition of Harper’s Weekly observed: “The militia of this county have seized every gun found in the hands of so-called freedmen in this section of the county. They claim that the Statute Laws of Mississippi do not recognize the Negro as having any right to carry arms.”

    Congress’ “Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction” set forth the factual case for the need for a 14th Amendment to protect the liberties enumerated in the federal Bill of Rights. At the Committee’s hearings, General Rufus Saxon testified that all over the South, whites were “seizing all fire-arms found in the hands of the freedmen. Such conduct is in clear and direct violation of their personal rights as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, which declares that ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’”

    The next spring, the Ku Klux Klan came to central Alabama. The Klansmen, unlike the freedmen, had horses, and thus the tactical advantages of mobility. In a few months, the Klan triumph was complete. One freedman recalled that the night riders, after reasserting white control, “took the weapons from might near all the colored people in the neighborhood.”

    The same dynamic existed throughout the South. Sometimes militias consisting of freedmen or Unionists were able to resist the Klan or other white forces. In places like the South Carolina back-country, where the blacks were a numerical majority, the black militias kept white terrorists at bay for long periods.

    While many blacks participated in informal, local militias, most of the reconstruction governors set up official state militias that were racially integrated. Like many other facets of the reconstruction governments (and the racist governments which followed them), the integrated “black” state militias were corrupt. The state militias, which sought to protect the state governments and the election process, were frequently in conflict with informal white militias. Arms shipments from the federal government to arm the militias were often intercepted and seized by white militias.

    Official or unofficial, the black militias were the primary target of the white racist resistance. “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman, the U.S. Senate advocate of racism for many decades, joined a “Sweetwater Sabre Club” whose members seized control of South Carolina’s Edgefield Country from a black militia in 1874-75, and attacked a black militia at Hamburg, South Carolina in 1876.

    In areas where the black militias lost and the Klan or other white groups took control, “almost universally the first thing done was to disarm the negroes and leave them defenseless,” wrote Albion Tourgeé in his 1880 book The Invisible Empire. (An attorney and civil rights worker from the north, Tourgeé would later represent the civil rights plaintiff in Plessy v. Ferguson.)

    The Klan’s objective in disarming the blacks was to leave them unable to defend their rights, a Congressional hearing found.

    The fact of the matter is that no one with the ideologically twisted way of looking at the world of Erik Loomis could possibly treat that era objectively.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  50. Things might be changing, Patterico. I sit on a “Diversity” committee on my campus (well, I am the only white male heterosexual there, so perhaps that makes sense). Anyway, we have a student representative.

    At one point, during a discussion of promoting faculty diversity hires, he spoke up: “As a student, this is insulting. We students want the best professors to teach us, not the most diverse.”

    The reaction was funny. No one said anything for a moment. Then other people continued talking. It reminded me of a cocktail party, when a person loudly breaks wind.

    That student understood the issue. But academia is made up of folks pretty much marinated in progressive Left philosophy. Sigh.

    I work hard to keep politics out of my classroom and research lab. But students privately come to me to discuss politics…not because of what I say, but because of what I don’t say. And I am still very careful.

    And remember this, above all: academics insist that they are highly tolerant, and nice. So if pushed, simply ask them why they are not nice and not tolerant. It shocks them. That’s the problem with just one voice; you don’t hear yourself very well.

    Simon Jester (f28d0f)

  51. …The next spring, the Ku Klux Klan came to central Alabama.

    Forgot the ellipsis.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  52. Well that Leo who befouled this and other sites, is of the same caliber, pretending his son, had killed in Iraq, posting obscene imagery, et al,

    narciso (3fec35)

  53. I’m not so quick to condone “beaten to death” and “head on a stick”.

    Larry Sheldon (042b9c)

  54. “But then a private employer has to be concerned about a company’s image. It effects the bottom line.”

    Good point. Now why doesn’t every entity in this country have to be concerned with their public image. Say whatever you please but be ready to defend. That’s what the rest of us outside academia have to do.

    f1guyus (647d76)

  55. Narcisco – the nonexistent child serving in Iraq that caused Pre Traumatic Stress Disorder?

    JD (78d90b)

  56. 53. Say whatever you please but be ready to defend. That’s what the rest of us outside academia have to do.

    Comment by f1guyus (647d76) — 12/29/2012 @ 7:03 pm

    That really is what we expect to happen in academia. And it’s the point I’ve been driving at. Of all people, academics should be prepared to defend what they say.

    The problem is they can’t. And if a historian says things that he or she can’t defend, like historian Michael Bellesiles entirely fictional work posing as history “Arming America,” then they’re bad historians. What they’re doing is perpetrating an academic fraud. And what business do they have teaching history if that’s the case.

    His tweets don’t constitute actionable threats, true. But they do indicate that he lacks the intellectual rigor to teach history.

    Again, I look at his attitude toward Wayne LaPierre and his affinity for gun control and I honestly wonder how he can credibly teach a course on the history of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

    Chicago-Kent College of Law – “NEVER INTENDED TO BE APPLIED TO THE WHITE POPULATION”: FIREARMS REGULATION AND RACIAL DISPARITY–THE REDEEMED SOUTH’S LEGACY TO A NATIONAL JURISPRUDENCE?

    The record is clear; during reconstruction whites in southern states did everything in their power, using the law or operating outside the law, to preserve as much of the status quo of slavery as possible.

    Gun control, banning possession of arms by freed slaves, was a central feature of this effort.

    In the south during reconstruction the terrorists were seizing the guns of freedmen. Loomis calls people who work to make sure that today the guns of free men aren’t siezed “terrorists.” And fantasizes about killing or imprisoning such people.

    It’s s circle I can’t square. How can a man like Loomis teach a history of a period of time that provides a lesson that completely shreds his ideological position?

    Steve57 (2073db)

  57. I’m not so quick to condone “beaten to death” and “head on a stick”.

    How about calling for people to be jailed for their views on guns?

    JD (5ed6bd)

  58. I’ve dubbed him, the ‘lumberjack prof’ which should embarassing enough as it is, Loomis, I’m referring to,although the ‘look squirrel,’ of Claire Potter,
    that McCain has referenced is classic,

    narciso (3fec35)

  59. So many of these crazies have turned out to be professors.

    JD (5ed6bd)

  60. As much as I sincerely respect you Pat, I disagree. The 1st amendment exists to protect us all from Governmental censorship/ “legal action” for our voicings; no where does it state that the speaker is immune from any and all consequences of said statements; merely that the government can not take action against said person.

    Fry the societal parasite, but no legal prosecution

    Angelo (743b74)

  61. The appropriate reaction to the like of of Loomis is intense scorn and ridicule — followed closely and consistently by withdrawal of all attention whatsoever.

    I agree with our host on this issue.

    Beldar (22870a)

  62. An employer deciding they don’t want an employee is a totally different matter from deciding to try to ruin someone’s future and job because they said something really offensive to one’s politics.

    Deciding to campaign against someone’s livelihood over their political arguments or twitter hyperbole is actually pretty much psychotic.

    Dustin (73fead)

  63. followed closely and consistently by withdrawal of all attention whatsoever.

    I hadn’t thought of that, but it seems like the best justice.

    Dustin (73fead)

  64. You know, the more I have been thinking about this clown and his threat, the more I have really developed a contempt for him. What really irks me is his weasely construction of his statements:

    First fucker to say the solution is for elementary school teachers to carry guns needs to get beaten to death.

    I was heartbroken in the first 20 mass murders. Now I want Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick.

    Notice how instead of manning up and promising to “beat to death” the first person to call for guns for teachers, he wusses out and just calls on some unnamed party to do his dirty work. I would actually have respect for Loomis if he stood up and said something like “Anyone who argues for arming elementary school teachers will have to fight me,” or “If I ever meet Wayne LaPierre face-to-face then rest assured it will be on.” That way he is putting himself out there and fully investing in the process. If someone bigger or tougher than he (which based upon his background suggests to me that we are talking about 83% of all men between the ages of 12 to 90) decides to take Loomis up on the offer and lays a whoopin’ on him, then at least I would respect Loomis for having tried to back up his bold threats. As it is, with his meekly suggesting that someone else do the dirty work, I find Loomis to be a contemptible coward and fake tough guy, like so many other “badass” lefties who flex their cyber-muscles on social media and blogs.

    JVW (4826a9)

  65. Loomis is an asshat. What comes as, “blowback” his way….so be it. The 1st Amendment is a two-way street.

    Kevin P. (1df29c)

  66. 64. A refreaher course;

    http://theothermccain.com/2012/12/18/hes-a-lumberjack-and-hes-ok-the-wobbly-scholarship-of-erik-loomis-ph-d/

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/29/2012 @ 8:03 pm

    That review of his doctoral dissertation is about what I expected. I attempted to read an article he co-wrote for a New Mexico law review about Spotted Owls and lumberjacks (Lives Under the Canopy: Spotted Owls and Loggers in Western Forests) but I just couldn’t wade through it.

    …a dull, plodding read.

    …In general, pretty much a waste of paper and computer storage space, though probably not the worst liberal claptrap ever produced by an American history Ph.D candidate.

    …aimless and uninteresting, and contributing little if anything to the study of U.S. history.

    His writing hasn’t improved; those observations still apply. Apparently he has another article to be published in 2013, and he claims to be working on a book. After attempting to read his one published article I can (a) see why he doesn’t get published very often and (b) pity any student who gets suckered into taking one of his classes.

    But really, if his writing is plodding, aimless, and essentially a waste of time to try and read that’s because the thinking behind is plodding, aimless, and a waste of time to try and decipher.

    As the reviewer points out, at least his tweets were interesting. But they still betray the fact that he’s not much of a thinker.

    So what’s he doing teaching at the university level?

    Steve57 (2073db)

  67. Someone lost his Bets.

    Icy (0f11d2)

  68. Perhaps somebody can work to get Bill Maher his old job back.

    Icy (0f11d2)

  69. He’s a bit too old to be a male prostitute these days…

    Gazzer (4c4ae2)

  70. So what’s he doing teaching at the university level?

    Aw, Steve, I can tell you from experience that higher education is stuffed to the gills with third-rate minds. We have this incredible glut of PhD programs across the country without the corresponding number of qualified intellects to be trained in these programs, so what happens is that every superficial thinker who espouses the requisite left-wing views and learns how to use buzzwords such as “hegemony” and “heteronormative” and write in an absolutely indecipherable style gets awarded the degree. Since most of them are unemployable by anyone who actually produces something tangible and worthwhile, they get recycled as faculty at the same sort of second-tier institutions from which they received their degrees. It’s quite the racket, though I think we’re finally getting to the point where the gig is up and the whole enterprise will collapse upon itself.

    JVW (4826a9)

  71. I’ll repeat here the gist of what I posted at Popehat on this. Loomis should not be fired for being a loudmouthed jerk. If the First Amendment doesn’t protect controversial speech, it serves no purpose whatsoever.

    BUT

    Going over Loomis’s record as an academic is legitimate. He may be no worse than average. He probably isn’t. But if, like a certain pseudo-Native American (initials W.C.) he routinely violates the basic ethical standards of his position; fire his ass.

    C. S. P. Schofield (fdfc57)

  72. One must continue to ignore such nonsense, but I will be armed.

    mg (31009b)

  73. Missed that class in law school that covered the First Amendment barring ALL consequences of free speech? That’s because no such thing exists.

    Of course he should be dismissed. He can sit at home 24/7 and preach about how everyone should have their head on a pike, a stick or some part of their anatomy. Protected, of course.

    A baying at the moon, drooling mad, tweeter nutter should not be allowed near a school.

    cedarhill (25b16d)

  74. 62.An employer deciding they don’t want an employee is a totally different matter from deciding to try to ruin someone’s future and job because they said something really offensive to one’s politics.

    Dustin, with all due respect – an employer has the right of association and if a liberal employer wants to get rid of a conservative based upon what that person said or did – its perfectly okay

    This meme that jobs are protected is the heart of socialistic unionism and is the true “thuggery”

    That we have to pay this guy and let him break the law at the same time? Eh let him practice his brand of fire branding with an employer that enjoys seeing their employees damaging their brand by association….

    Its rough out there, people are playing for keeps

    EPWJ (e83e82)

  75. Mosr professors also are held to a standard that they agreed to in writing that they will not willfully do anything in the name of the University that reflects poorly on the organization and undermines their credibility as an academic.

    This is how most tenured professors are terminated

    EPWJ (e83e82)

  76. That we have to pay this guy and let him break the law at the same time?

    What law did he break? You should notify the FBI.

    JD (5ed6bd)

  77. Who’s for a “Million Magazine March” on Wasington?
    Picture a million magazine-toting Amuricans, marching up the mall, each holding an AK/AR-15/M-14, M-1 Carbine, etc Magazine, are they going to arrest everybody??
    Cause then they’d have to arrest David Gregory,
    OK, I know, I’m like most Gun Owners, don’t like to break laws, and even if I already have 83 more AK magazines, the thought of one being confiscated turns my stomach, and whats the point of carrying an empty magazine anyway…
    Maybe carry actual Magazines, you know, the Reading kind, it would get the point across, just like in “Triumph of the Will” where the Nazis are doing close order drill with Shovels…
    OK, Bad Anal-ology…

    Frank

    Frank Drackman (da969f)

  78. Dustin, with all due respect – an employer has the right of association and if a liberal employer wants to get rid of a conservative based upon what that person said or did – its perfectly okay

    I agree.

    I don’t understand why several people are explaining that the first amendment doesn’t protect someone’s job. Obviously that’s true. And obviously companies have the right, and should have the right, to employ who they wish (and not employ who they don’t wish to).

    This meme that jobs are protected is the heart of socialistic unionism and is the true “thuggery”

    But I don’t see anyone arguing for Loomis’s employer to have to employ him.

    I’m arguing against petitioning for people to lose their jobs. I’m not making a legal argument. I think people should simply argue against Loomis’s ideas and criticize his rhetoric, which I think are ridiculous and wrong. I think taking that a step further, and trying to ruin his life for his stupid internet comments, is overkill. It raises the stakes unnecessarily.

    Mosr professors also are held to a standard that they agreed to in writing that they will not willfully do anything in the name of the University that reflects poorly on the organization and undermines their credibility as an academic.

    Of course there is a catch all of ‘poor judgment’. Why is it poor judgment? Because people will campaign to have the offensive speaker’s life ruined as a reprisal for having the wrong opinion.

    This is more challenging because Loomis’s speech was actually wrong and actually offensive, but let’s imagine it wasn’t. Imagine Loomis was in the 1930s in Alabama and arguing loudly for interracial marriage while saying in hyperbole that those who are barring interracial marriage deserve to get smacked around.

    That hypo is ‘poor judgment’ and reflects against the university’s popular credibility, so the university would be within its rights to fire him.

    But it would be good to allow a discussion in the public sphere of views that are controversial enough to be ‘poor judgment’. Why is that good? Because we benefit from a discussion. If it’s wrong, we get to refresh our memories as to why. If it’s wrong, we have nothing to worry about in countering the argument with more speech. And if the penalty for stupid comments is a counter argument rather than your livelihood, we promote the greater good of a freer society where our ideas are challenged and we approach the truth more quickly culturally.

    So often I’ve seen political correctness steer us away from the truth when the left tries to silence people, so why would I want the right to do that? Don’t silence people… respond to them!

    I want to have a discussion of why gun control nuts are often so angry. I think it would reveal that gun control is not results oriented or about public safety, but rather is about power and some hidden bigotries against the ‘bitter clingers’. I think that is why evidence that gun control harms out society is ignored.

    To have this discussion, we can’t silence one side. We need to respond to them. That’s true in any discussion of great controversy. By campaigning to get people fired… by raising the stakes to include one’s job… we are chilling the discussion for no good reason.

    If the school thinks the guy is a lousy teacher, they should replace him with a better one, but I don’t think we need to get involved with their employment decisions. I think plenty of good people make stupid comments when they are angry, and we don’t need to worry about it.

    Dustin (73fead)

  79. OK, I’ve been told I have the Ass-Burgers, or something, don’t really pay attention to what other people say, unless its someone else who can recall the entire 1973 LosAngeles Dodgers season by memory butt……..
    Could you even really walk around with someones head on the end of a stick? Cause to balance, it would need to have a pointy end, but still be small enough to fit through the foramen magnum.
    And even then, the average human head weighs about 8% of one’s lean body weight, it’d be like walking around carrying an M-1 Garand, sure sounds easy, try it some time, makes me respect my Granddad even more.
    That, and shooting those things without hearing protection, I even asked him once.
    “Hey Granddad, how did you shoot your M1 without hearing protection”
    and he kept watching Wrestling, cause he was deaf.
    See, he only carried an M1 when he wasn’t carrying his BAR…

    Frank “Stiglitz” Drackman

    Frank Drackman (da969f)

  80. Picture a million magazine-toting Amuricans, marching up the mall, each holding an AK/AR-15/M-14, M-1 Carbine, etc Magazine, are they going to arrest everybody??

    That’s a good idea. Some kind of peaceful civil disobedience makes sense with this civil right, and while carrying our guns where they are banned is incredibly poor judgment, I don’t feel that way about civil disobedience with a high capacity magazine. And it doesn’t have to be a 30 round 5.56 magazine. It can be a 12 round pistol magazine. Why in the world would anyone need to ban a law abiding person from having that?

    Unfortunately, we live in a time where mailing a bag of tea to the government can get you put on a watchlist. Our bureaucrats are keenly aware of the tension they have caused. I worry that any gun rights march in DC would be met with some very poor decisions from our government, and things would get out of hand. Hopefully I am mistaken.

    Dustin (73fead)

  81. OK, this “Human Head on a Stick” thing is bothering me, thats what happens with Ass-Burgers, you become an expert in one small field that nobody gives a shit about, you know, like most Ph.Ds……
    But unless the Brain has been fixed with formalin shortly after death, it has the consistancy of Jello that hasn’t Jell-owed yet, and even then, any kind of sharp implement would cause disintegration of the portions of the brain it was in contact with, and..
    Help a brutha out, didn’t they do a “Myth busters” episode on this??

    Frank

    Frank Drackman (da969f)

  82. While I agree with the principles on free speech expressed by the host, we need to make these people live by their own rules whenever possible. Just like David Gregory needs to experience equality before the law for possessing a 30 round magazine.

    There will be no quicker retreat from their positions on “hate speech” and stupid gun control laws, like 30 round magazine bans, when we make them accountable under their own rules and the laws they promote for others. This is especially true for the leftwingers running our Universities. They are the biggest proponents of speech controls in the nation and actually enact them on their campii, usually aimed at Christiana dn non-PC ideas.

    I say, make them live by their own rules. Sauce for the Goose.

    SGT Ted (506d69)

  83. Agree with P. Well said. Those of us in the habit of expressing ourselves on the Web would be unwise to agitate for this guy getting fired.

    angeleno (191291)

  84. A Federal court upheld the firing of an employee for speech that opposed gay marriage. I see no legal objection to firing the professor for threatening speech.

    He has the right to say what he likes and the University has the right to not associate with those who openly declare their desire to see a violent death inflicted on law abiding citizens exercising not just one, but two Constitutional rights, those being the 2nd and 1st amendment protected idea that arming teachers is a good idea. He doesn’t just say it’s a bad idea; he wants violent death for people who bring it up as an idea.

    I would want to pack in the classroom with this guy, just in case.

    SGT Ted (506d69)

  85. First fucker to say the solution is for elementary school teachers to carry guns needs to get beaten to death.

    Translation: I want to violate this guys right to life with fists and clubs because he exercised his 1st amendment rights in expressing an idea to solve a problem.

    Do you see the problem here?

    SGT Ted (506d69)

  86. No, Sgt, one notion is just crimethink, by it’s nature, the other is acceptable political discourse,

    narciso (3fec35)

  87. the nonexistent child serving in Iraq that caused Pre Traumatic Stress Disorder?

    Yea, I hear you can catch that, like the flu, if you know someone that served in Iraq and you’re a leftwinger.

    SGT Ted (506d69)

  88. Actually his son, did serve in Iraq, at Al Asad AB, but he made it back.

    narciso (3fec35)

  89. Frank D: If you think carrying an M-1 Garand was hard work try running a mile with one at highport.Or standing at attention with your arms extended in front of you and your M-1 on the back of you wrists. And God help you if you drop it. BTW your back had to be straight.

    f1guyus (647d76)

  90. So often I’ve seen political correctness steer us away from the truth when the left tries to silence people, so why would I want the right to do that? Don’t silence people… respond to them!

    I notice that more than a few people in this forum will holler “troll” when someone writes something they don’t agree with. In some instances, that label fits. In other instances, it seems to be more a case of someone being so resentful about a POV they don’t agree with, that the desire is to hector the holder of that opinion into silence—or to make him or her scram.

    So I’m not going to claim the impulse to censor or silence (or fire) isn’t evident among those on the right, such as here on a right-leaning blog. However, in general, the following describes the overriding difference between far more liberals compared with conservatives. It’s also another reason why I’ve grown to have more and more disdain through the years for left-leaning biases and many of its adherents.

    So this along with, of course, surveys that reveal liberalism DOESN’T make a person more humane, generous, tolerant or compassionate — but, in reality, does just the opposite — convince me that left-leaning biases (certainly in their modern-day form) are a contemptible facet of human nature.

    rutherfordl.wordpress.com: One phenomenon I have noticed is the liberal’s need to censor speech he finds offensive. I got a dose of this first hand about a year ago when I visited a liberal blog, expressed a sentiment slightly off the “talking points” and found myself ridiculed and worse, discovered some of my comments edited. But let’s not make this about me. Let’s look at a famous recent case.

    Rush Limbaugh referred to Sandra Fluke, a congressional committee witness, as a slut. He was making an absurd point about her birth control testimony. It was crude and offensive. He eventually offered an apology of sorts. But what ensued after his original statement seems typical of the left. Petitions went out immediately to urge sponsors to drop his show. The goal no doubt was to either shut him up or put him off the air. Now I personally have no use for Rush Limbaugh but the far more effective strategy in my book is to argue with him. Go head to head with him. Write about his foolishness so it gets the disinfectant of media attention. But why the need to fire him? Why the need to silence him?

    Contrast this with the conservative reaction to conservative commentator S.E. Cupp’s being defamed in Hustler magazine. Cupp was photo-shopped to appear as though she were fellating a disembodied penis. Accompanying the fake picture was Hustler’s political “justification” for creating it. I have not read a single article about conservatives calling for the firing of Larry Flynt or the termination of his magazine. Despite the incredibly vulgar attack against Cupp, the most I have seen conservatives do is yell loud and clear about the liberal (and feminist) double standard that keeps them from repudiating this kind of attack when a conservative is the victim.

    Another example, actually the one that moved me to write this piece, occurred in The Chronicle of Higher Education. In an April article, writer Naomi Schaefer Riley wrote about the topics of Black Studies theses at certain universities. Her piece was titled “The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations.” She found a bunch of dissertations that she considered liberal “claptrap”. She has a right to her opinion. After being attacked for the piece, she wrote a follow-up, not apologizing but defending her original article. At that point, she was summarily fired and the Chronicle issued this apology:

    When we published Naomi Schaefer Riley’s blog posting on Brainstorm last week (“The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations”), several thousand of you spoke out in outrage and disappointment that The Chronicle had published an article that did not conform to the journalistic standards and civil tone that you expect from us… We’ve heard you, and we have taken to heart what you said.
    —–

    So, all it takes is several thousand whining liberals to break this magazine’s backbone and throw their employee under the bus? The Chronicle knew what they were getting when they hired Riley. What the heck does “fairness in opinion articles” mean? When is opinion ever “fair”? Opinion is by definition biased. But Riley violated the critical liberal law of “don’t criticize black people”. And so she was canned. As an aside, Riley is married to a black man.

    Bottom line, to me conservatives tend to fight fire with fire while liberals fight fire with “get him fired.”

    ^ This does give me sympathy for the phrase: “Give them a taste of their own medicine!” So, Dustin, on one hand, I totally agree with you. But, on the other hand, I don’t know if it’s tactically sensible to allow the left to rarely, if ever, get a taste of their own medicine. IOW, if the right is always the fall guy or scapegoat of the left — if it’s always suffering from “battered wife syndrome” due to the left — then it will end up mainly with lots of black eyes.

    Mark (07dc99)

  91. What bothers me about Loomis is that he’s teaching our kids. If he’s willing to say things like this in public on Twitter, imagine what he’s saying in the relative privacy of his classroom and when he talks to students in his office.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  92. It seems to me that the only way to use “more speech” to counteract things like this is for people go to the University of Rhode Island to protest Loomis. I doubt Loomis, University administrator, and the students read critical blog posts but they would notice a campus protest — something the left has used effectively for decades and the right won’t do.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  93. Agree with P. Well said.
    Comment by angeleno (191291) — 12/30/2012 @ 8:06 am

    – And THAT ^^^ is indictment enough in these parts.

    Icy (bbcbc9)

  94. I need educating. Just what can/are people actually doing to get him fired? Are financial sanctions threatened against the university? Since the school is state run, are they petitioning the legislature (which would ignore anyone/everyone who is not in their district) to cut funding?

    The school should look at what he said, just as Patterico’s employer should look a what Patterico says if he were to advocate the breaking of the law. If the school decides that what was said was acceptable for one of their faculty and that Loomis is teaching within their guidelines (no hostile classroom atmosphere, etc), then they take no action.

    roy in nipomo (160066)

  95. I’d defend Loomissus’s right to say all of the vile things he’s said if I could only stop retching.

    Colonel Haiku (478ce4)

  96. There’s a right to free speech and you can shout “ASSH*LE!” in a crowded theater…

    Colonel Haiku (478ce4)

  97. A Million Magazine March…..

    While I do not doubt that the bureaucracy would be uncomfortable with such a display,
    and that some untoward incidents might occur,
    the rational one that lurks within me (I try to suppress its constant interruptions of “On the other hand….”)
    has a small amount of belief in the proposition that somewhere in the Leviathan,
    a “Person of Influence” will realize that those million men/women with “hi-caps” didn’t just sprout full-blown from the grass in the Mall,
    and that there is the possibility that any confrontation just might result in them going back to their motel/hotel
    and retrieving the arms and ammo that accompany those magazines, and return for a sequel of the Bonus Army March of 1932,
    and there is no MacArthur to call out the Cavalry.

    Even if only 10% of the marchers returned, what are you going to do with 100K armed and angry men marching toward Capitol Hill?

    As to Loomis, his current scholarship is so poor,
    it beggars belief that there isn’t something in his past scholarship that is more than a little dodgy,
    and that he could be “Bellesiled” over.
    The best revenge would be having his “peers” discipline him for being caught doing what so many of them do without drawing attention to themselves.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  98. Dustin

    Of course there is a catch all of ‘poor judgment’. Why is it poor judgment? Because people will campaign to have the offensive speaker’s life ruined as a reprisal for having the wrong opinion.

    We could look at the professor’s opinion that anyone having a different opinion than his – that they should be beaten to death. And losing a job – that was entirely the doing of that person

    By campaigning to get people fired… by raising the stakes to include one’s job… we are chilling the discussion for no good reason.

    This person isnt interested in having any discussion – just making a call to violence

    I’m not advocating or campaigning to get the guy fired – but he should be – prosecuted as well.

    EPWJ (e83e82)

  99. Eric, as per usual, you are half-right and half-stupid.

    Icy (bbcbc9)

  100. Icy

    have you been talking to my wife again, dammit!!!

    EPWJ (e83e82)

  101. Icy and Dustin,

    Actually my whole spiel on this is a response to Bill S and his over the top baseball bat screed he has going on in his empty blog

    And to the good professor as well

    EPWJ (e83e82)

  102. 79. To have this discussion, we can’t silence one side. We need to respond to them. That’s true in any discussion of great controversy. By campaigning to get people fired… by raising the stakes to include one’s job… we are chilling the discussion for no good reason.

    If the school thinks the guy is a lousy teacher, they should replace him with a better one, but I don’t think we need to get involved with their employment decisions. I think plenty of good people make stupid comments when they are angry, and we don’t need to worry about it.

    Comment by Dustin (73fead) — 12/30/2012 @ 6:47 am

    I agree with much of what people are saying. That the solution to bad speech is more speech.

    But I see a separate issue here because the person under discussion teaches US history at the university level. Is a guy who fantasizes about imprisoning if not killing people for their political advocacy going to teach his students that the solution to bad speech is more speech? Or is the student more likely to come out of the class learning to tolerate if not celebrate the joys of censorship?

    As the author of the critique of Loomis’ doctoral thesis noted, Loomis seems to be a fan of authoritarianism. He never criticizes the Marxist labor organizers for their violence (although he does criticize their targets for reacting violently when the Marxists attack them) and goes to great lengths to explain how they justified their actions.

    He certainly thinks the NRA and its reps should be treated with authoritarian harshness.

    I’ve already mentioned that I don’t think that such a person can teach US history in anything approaching an objective manner. But it’s not merely a matter of disagreeing with people like Loomis politically. We spend more money for worse results in education than any other country in the world.

    The problem is that exposure to the American system of education actually makes people less competitive in the marketplace. They’re actually better off if they don’t sit in someone like Loomis’ classroom and just start working after high school (they’re damaged enough by then already).

    I say that as someone who worked as a corporate trainer. Actually I started out as a Master Training Specialist in the Navy before leaving for the private sector. I couldn’t provide the professional training without fixing what was wrong first. The longer the spent in school, the deeper in the hole they started.

    I think Allan Bloom captured the problem perfectly in his 1987 book, “The Closing of the American Mind.”

    http://www.amazon.com/Closing-American-Mind-Education-Impoverished/dp/1451683200

    In a nutshell, students come to college with their heads full of their own preferences. Now, instead of teaching their students to think for themselves, professors make sure that after four years they leave with their own prejudices replaced by those of their professors.

    It isn’t that they’re not merely no better off. They’re worse off. The only skill they gained, if you can call it a skill, is an eversion against telling anyone who’s approval they need anything they don’t want to hear.

    Now, this concept of education has filtered down to the grade school level.

    http://www.city-journal.org/html/16_3_ed_school.html

    The Ed Schools’ Latest—and Worst—Humbug

    Teaching for “social justice” is a cruel hoax on disadvantaged kids.

    I wouldn’t care if this Loomis character was a sportscaster or a weather forecaster. Or even if he was a Calculus professor. But a lot of liberal arts professors can’t even be fairly called educators. They’re just secon-rate propagandists. Peter Kuznick, nominally a history professor and Oliver Stone’s partner in crime who is at least 50% responsible for the schlok being marketed as a “The Untold History of the United States,” also comes to mind.

    I do think that when someone is an educator the fact of their employment isn’t merely a matter between them and their employer. Other people are involved, and can potentially be harmed.

    I’m not proposing that someone ought to be fired for airing their idiotic political opinions. It’s just that when I see the quality of those tweets I have to wonder about the quality of scholarship the same mind is capable of producing. Loomis wanted attention, now he can live with it. I read some of his work and underwhelmed is an understatement. If the URI thinks this guy should be teaching history then I doubt the URI can provide an education that’s worth the money it’ll cost. That I think is a perfectly valid reaction.

    I do think that it’s an entirely different matter if he gets eased out because he produces bad work, even if it only comes to the fore because he was such an attention whore. Michael Bellesiles was hounded from academe not because you can’t be for gun control. You just can’t write a supposed history of gun ownership in America and lie about the evidence.

    I’d have no problem if Peter Kuznick loses his job, either, over “The Untold History of the United States.” Not because of his politics. Because he cherry picks his evidence and deliberately ignores reams of evidence that contradict his conclusions. What value is a “historian” who can’t do history?

    Steve57 (2073db)

  103. I do not think that people should vote for Brett Kimberlin for Asshat of the Year. He’d probably enjoy the award, so it’s much better if he comes in second or third or fourth.

    The snarky Dana (f68855)

  104. The only way Assistant Professors (entry level probationary position) with laughable dissertations who embarrass the permanent faculty and bring scorn and ridicule on the institution can dream of achieving tenure (Associate Professor rank) is with a truly outstanding record of quality scholarship evidenced by extensive publication in respected professional journals accompanied by better than satisfactory classroom teaching.

    My guess is that Erik Loomis knows he doesn’t measure up, won’t get trnure, is angry at the world, and is just waiting for the clock (7 years, up or out) to run out before he applies for government assistance.

    ropelight (ce91cb)

  105. I’m sure that the DHS has need of an historian of his level.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  106. “death threats are sometimes serious and sometimes not at all serious

    it depends on context”

    - happyfeet

    “if all Loomis did was tweeter then he should keep his job but if he’s teetering hatefully while also wearing his hair in the fashion of one or more members of One Direction somebody’s got to do something”

    - happyfeet

    Can I just say that I freakin’ love happyfeet?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  107. And another great post and some more great comments from Patterico, by the way.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  108. If Dr Loomis were employed by a private college, I would say that the college had every right to get rid of him. However, he works for a state school, and canning him for his goofball opinions and limited vocabulary would be, in effect, the state setting a penalty for exercising one’s freedom of speech.

    Of course, the worst part of this is that Dr Loomis does not appear to have tenure yet, but now, if he is denied tenure, he will be able to make a legal claim that the university denied him tenure due to his nutty opinions, not his scholarship. My guess is that this kerfuffle will actually help him to win tenure.

    The nitpicking Dana (f68855)

  109. If Loomis should be fired for calling for LaPierre’s death, should Rush Limbaugh be fired for calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” without any evidence to support either characterization?

    The answer, of course, is no. The answer, of course, is that ridiculous and contemptible nature of both claims should be roundly criticized without attempting to silence their purveyors.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  110. So: please folks, heap scorn on [Limbaugh]. Keep talking about it. Write about it. Make fun of how tough he talks, and how much he looks like The Incredible Mr. Limpet. But don’t call for him to get fired. Because [Limbaugh] isn’t all that smart. The first time he gets into a tussle with a [Georgetown] student over politics over [access to birth control] or a [call-in] discussion, this topic will come up…and cause him a world of hurt.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  111. “I’m not proposing that someone ought to be fired for airing their idiotic political opinions. It’s just that I see that this guy’s political opinions are idiotic, and if he’s an idiot he shouldn’t be a teacher. So he should be fired.

    See the difference?

    No?

    Hmm.”

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  112. Yes, Rush’s dust-up with Mz Fluke left him crying all the way to the bank.
    Oh, the Humanity!

    askeptic (2bb434)

  113. As an aside, Simon: I was interested to learn that my torts professor, John LaVelle, played a key role in exposing Ward Churchill – and, additionally, provided a pretty good model of restraint in such endeavors in the process.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  114. I think the student paper at RI should do a front page story of every tweet Loomis ever did. Give him a giant audience.

    JD (78d90b)

  115. I think it is crucial that PhD’s with a focus on ghey Marxist Lumberjacks that want people jailed or beat for their political views be given as large a soapbox as possible.

    JD (78d90b)

  116. If Loomis should be fired for calling for LaPierre’s death, should Rush Limbaugh be fired for calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” without any evidence to support either characterization?

    Who exactly do you think would “fire” Rush Limbaugh? He owns his own show and broadcast network, unlike Loomis who is an employee of the State of Rhode Island. If a radio station — acting well within their rights — decides to drop the Limbaugh show from their lineup, he can simply take his show to a different station or even do the Howard Stern thing and go to satellite radio. To me, this sort of independence means that Limbaugh frankly has more latitude to be obnoxious than Loomis does. Fair or not, it is the way the world works.

    Sorry, Leviticus, but you are comparing apples and oranges here (not to mention your comparison of calling for someone to be killed to calling them a crude name: you know that is intellectually lazy to put them on the same level).

    JVW (4826a9)

  117. “Yes, Rush’s dust-up with Mz Fluke left him crying all the way to the bank.
    Oh, the Humanity!”

    - askeptic

    You’re right of course – it didn’t matter at all. Some people will be offended by a hyperbolic accusation of prostitution over a political disagreement, and some people will be offended by a hyperbolic call for execution over a political disagreement, and some people will be offended by both, and some by neither. My point was that the people who called for Limbaugh to be silenced (vs. rebutted) over his despicable remarks were intellectual thugs just like the people calling for Loomis to be silenced (vs. rebutted) over his despicable remarks.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  118. My mistake, JVW: change “fired” to “silenced” in my comment and you’ll get the gist of it.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  119. And it’s not “intellectually lazy.” It’s a parallel designed to illustrate the bipartisan nature of the degeneration of discourse, and the rise of repressive reactions to the speech of the opposition.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  120. OK, I see your point. But is anyone really calling for Limbaugh or Loomis to be “silenced”? There is a world of difference to me between saying “You aren’t allowed to say that” and “If you choose to say that, we are not going to associate with you.”

    And it’s not to say that I think that Loomis should be summarily fired for his tweets, but at the very least his department and university needs to recognize that they have a somewhat emotionally unstable and disturbed faculty member, and perhaps he lacks the proper maturity level to be granted tenure.

    JVW (4826a9)

  121. 112. “I’m not proposing that someone ought to be fired for airing their idiotic political opinions. It’s just that I see that this guy’s political opinions are idiotic, and if he’s an idiot he shouldn’t be a teacher. So he should be fired.

    See the difference?

    No?

    Hmm.”

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 12/30/2012 @ 11:56 am

    His tweets certainly imply he can’t be very good at his job. Then I noticed a tweet (the comment either disappeared or is in moderation) in which he acknowledges he isn’t very good at his job.

    How do people relax after writing without alcohol? Am trying, failing. A jumble of nerves, determined no one will ever publish the book.

    “Publish or perish,” Leviticus. Since getting his PhD he’s had two articles apparently accepted for publication (one hasn’t been published yet). Both by his alma mater, the University of New Mexico.

    If he can’t interest a publisher in his book, and the only establishment willing to publish anything he writes is the university that gave him his doctorate, what evidence is there that he’s done much in the way of scholarship whatsoever?

    Let alone established the track record required, as ropelight observes, that he’s demonstrated the excellence required to rate getting tenure?

    Steve57 (2073db)

  122. One of the biggest issues I had with Loomis was the inclusion of his employer on his twitter avatar or description. By including University of Rhode Island at the top of each of his vile tweets, he more directly embarrassed and drew his employer into the controversy, which caused them to issue a press release about the situation.

    Absent that, Loomis could just be another maggot liberal professor who blogs at Lawyers, Guns and Money.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  123. And it’s not “intellectually lazy.” It’s a parallel designed to illustrate the bipartisan nature of the degeneration of discourse, and the rise of repressive reactions to the speech of the opposition.

    With respect, because you are a thoughtful commenter, you are stretching here. It’s sort of like drawing a parallel between shooting someone in the chest and punching them in the nose. Both are violent acts, but one of them is an order of magnitude worse than the other. Just as calling for someone to be killed is a whole lot worse than saying someone else is a slut or whore.

    JVW (4826a9)

  124. I dunno. Both are hyperbole, rooted in malice. But I understand your point.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  125. I am stretching, basically – yes. Because I want people to have a self-critical point of reference.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  126. One of the biggest issues I had with Loomis was the inclusion of his employer on his twitter avatar or description. By including University of Rhode Island at the top of each of his vile tweets, he more directly embarrassed and drew his employer into the controversy, which caused them to issue a press release about the situation.

    Yes indeed, and this is similar to the situation with Ward Churchill and the University of Colorado. Churchill tried to protest that his own personal views — repellent as they are — were his own and did not reflect on CU. However, the only reason Churchill was taken seriously and not just considered another lefty crank with stupid views is because he was a tenured faculty member (and former department chair) at the University of Colorado. It’s having it both ways: you get a platform for your wretched views because of your university affiliation, but at the same time you try to claim that your wretched views have nothing to do with your university affiliation.

    If Loomis is just another lefty jackoff spewing his bile on Twitter then few people would care. The fact, though, that he has a appointment to a state research university lends to his Tweets the credibility and reputation of the university, even if it really shouldn’t.

    JVW (4826a9)

  127. “If he can’t interest a publisher in his book, and the only establishment willing to publish anything he writes is the university that gave him his doctorate, what evidence is there that he’s done much in the way of scholarship whatsoever?”

    - Steve57

    Would you know or care anything about him, at all, if he hadn’t made a political remark that you didn’t like?

    No. That’s the whole point. The reason people are suddenly grasping around for pretexts to fire him is that he said something they didn’t like. That’s censorious a**hattery.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  128. Although I do acknowledge JVW’s point that there’s a difference between firing the guy and taking his indiscretion and instability into account when considering whether or not to grant him tenure.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  129. The reason people are suddenly grasping around for pretexts to fire him is that he said something they didn’t like. That’s censorious a**hattery.

    Interesting defense of someone who professed to be soo upset at the deaths of 20 precious children that he immediately called for the deaths of thousands upon thousands of people and the complete destruction of our constitution while being employed as a teacher of what America means paid for by the tax dollars.

    EPWJ (e83e82)

  130. It’s having it both ways: you get a platform for your wretched views because of your university affiliation, but at the same time you try to claim that your wretched views have nothing to do with your university affiliation.

    On top of which it doesn’t work. You not only get a platform for your wretched views because of your university affiliation, but your sole claim to having your views taken at all seriously is because you insist you’re an objective scholar.

    You can’t maintain that public persona and switch hats back and forth, “objective scholar” one minute blatant, partisan political hack the next.

    So, when Loomis tweets:

    You are g*****n right we should politicize this tragedy. F*** the NRA. Wayne LaPierre should be in prison.

    It’s a history professor’s job to not only teach students about historical events but to draw conclusions about what they mean. Loomis wouldn’t be the first to blatantly politicize history in the classroom and what passes for his scholarship.

    That was Bellesiles academic “sin;” he politicized history. So does Prof. Kuznick in his collaboration with Oliver Stone. To the point of fabricating the evidence.

    Fortunately, Loomis isn’t a talented enough writer to be able to slip his political advocacy by a publisher disquised as scholarship.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  131. I want to see him starve on the streets because his lust for violence and power makes him poisonous to employ. I want to see any university or company that hires him to be trashed in public opinion until they fire him.

    I don’t want the government involved in any of that.

    If that makes me a “censorious asshat”, so be it. At least I’m not the one calling for a totalitarian dictatorship.

    (And why do I want this fate for him? See #130 — this fellow called for a new Holocaust.)

    Rob Crawford (d8dade)

  132. A little known fact: In Las Cruces, New Mexico, it is illegal to sport a brown nose as you walk down Main Street.

    Colonel Haiku (46b46f)

  133. Some universities go beyond teaching and scholarly publication as conditions for tenure and add …and (other) public service to the equation.

    If URI is one of them, it would be relevant to ask what sort of public service Loomis was performing.

    ropelight (ce91cb)

  134. Leviticus, if you want to observe an example of censorious a**hattery I recommend rereading your comment #128.

    What does it matter why he’s chosen to draw my attention to him? He wouldn’t be the first academic to decide to make himself a controversial figure. If you’re going to do that, then you should be able to withstand scrutiny. Controversial figures who survive can; those who can’t, don’t survive.

    Ward Churchill may have attracted attention for spouting off about politics, but that isn’t why he was fired. His comments about the “little Eichmanns” was constitutionally protected free speech. But his plagiarism and academic fraud were still real.

    I have no evidence that Erik Loomis has committed similar acts. But just from his own profile, and his own tweets, he hasn’t demonstrated anything that would indicate he deserves tenure. Quite the opposite; he indicates he’s aware that he can’t produce the threshold work products he needs to even make the case.

    You certainly can’t point to anything he’s done that says otherwise. Why does it matter why he’s made everyone aware of his existence? Once he has, if he’s silly enough to put all his business on social media then it’s fair to acknowledge the existence of that as well.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  135. “I have no evidence that Erik Loomis has committed similar acts. But just from his own profile, and his own tweets, he hasn’t demonstrated anything that would indicate he deserves tenure. Quite the opposite; he indicates he’s aware that he can’t produce the threshold work products he needs to even make the case.”

    - Steve57

    Oh, I’m sorry. Is he up for tenure? Is that the point you’re making – JVW’s point, that this should affect his tenure review?

    Because I seem to recall you making a number of comments stating that he should be fired – as in actively fired – for saying something you didn’t like.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  136. “Ward Churchill may have attracted attention for spouting off about politics, but that isn’t why he was fired. His comments about the “little Eichmanns” was constitutionally protected free speech. But his plagiarism and academic fraud were still real.

    I have no evidence that Erik Loomis has committed similar acts.”

    - Steve57

    If your point is that it’s acceptable to scrutinize those who draw attention to themselves by being bombastic, pointing to Ward Churchill as an example, then why are you calling for Erik Loomis to be fired at this point while simultaneously admitting that the thing that got Churchill fired (“plagiarism and academic fraud”) doesn’t not apply to Loomis?

    Or are you saying that any assistant professor who hasn’t demonstrated the publications and other qualifications necessary to obtain tenure should be immediately fired, prior to their tenure review?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  137. Well that’s just a malicious falsehood. Feel free to quote me where I said anything of the sort (hint: you can’t).

    I have pointed out that the quality of his tweets indicate to me he’s a lousy history professor who’d be incapable of dealing objectively with the subject. And that subsequent revelations of his own opinion of his ability to get published as well as the quality of the one article he’s managed to get published in the four years since getting his PhD reinforces that conclusion.

    I said I’d never send my kid to URI to learn bad history from him when I’d be money ahead to just buy Stone and Kuznick’s mini-series when it goes on clearance at Walmart. The president of URI can do what he wants, but if he thinks Loomis is qualified to be a history professor then that indicates to me that URI isn’t the place to go for an education.

    So I would never hire them to do so. Why pay good money to have your kid come out of school duller than when he or she went in?

    Steve57 (2073db)

  138. “He ought to be fired for what and how he teaches.”

    - Steve57

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  139. I would fire him…

    I’m not going to lose sleep over one of Bob Costas’ uninformed political rants.

    But it’s different when the guy given to uninformed political ravings gets paid to teach.”

    - Steve57

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  140. “I would fire him… I’m not going to lose sleep over one of Bob Costas’ uninformed political rants. But it’s different when the guy given to uninformed political ravings gets paid to teach.”

    - Steve57

    “I’m not proposing that someone ought to be fired for airing their idiotic political opinions.”

    - Steve57

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  141. You will forgive my confusion, I hope.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  142. 137. If your point is that it’s acceptable to scrutinize those who draw attention to themselves by being bombastic, pointing to Ward Churchill as an example, then why are you calling for Erik Loomis to be fired at this point while simultaneously admitting that the thing that got Churchill fired (“plagiarism and academic fraud”) doesn’t not apply to Loomis?

    Or are you saying that any assistant professor who hasn’t demonstrated the publications and other qualifications necessary to obtain tenure should be immediately fired, prior to their tenure review?

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 12/30/2012 @ 1:40 pm

    Leviticus, Ward Churchill is merely one example of someone who would have been wiser not to call attention to himself.

    I don’t have any evidence that Erik Loomis did the same things as Churchill. That’s not the point; even if he didn’t commit research misconduct that doesn’t mean he’s fit to be an educator.

    Churchill faked his scholarship. But at least he had a paper trail to fake. Loomis lacks that. He’s got one published article in four years to his credit, and he can’t claim entire credit for even that much since he co-wrote it.

    He attracted my attention through his political views. Then I noticed he said other things on social media that publicly call his job qualifications into question. He’s “determined” that no one will ever publish his book? He, a history professor, calls for politicizing events?

    Obama’s defenders claim he’s too “professorial” to explain things to the public. Really? You know what a professor is supposed to be able to do as one of the minimum requirements? Explain things. Loomis has demonstrated (and acknowledged) he has difficulty doing that in writing. So I’ve got to wonder how he does at it while speaking.

    Then there’s the question of what he’s trying to explain. At a minimum an academic needs to be able to defend what they’re saying based upon the historical record. I’m positive he can’t defend his political screed on that basis; can he defend what he’s teaching his students about history on that basis?

    If I were the University president, or his department chair, I’d want to know. His public comments call all that into question. And I don’t know when they should let him go. I don’t know if they’re required to wait until his tenure review if he can’t find a publisher for his book. If he’s even able to finish it, and I would hope there are periodic reviews of his progress that monitor how he’s moving things along.

    I’m sure the URI doesn’t want to get sued like Colorado did when they fired Churchill. So I’m not calling for nor recommending they fire him at the moment. But I’d sure monitor him to see if he demonstrates the kind of intellect and judgement one ought to expect from a university professor. And if he hasn’t and can’t I can’t see why the university would waste everyone’s time by waiting until a tenure review if they could let him go at some other appropriate time.

    But I can’t see he’s demonstrated any level of academic achievement or decent judgement, and more importantly Leviticus you can’t or haven’t been able to point to anything that demonstrates either.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  143. Thanks for making my point, Leviticus. I never said he should be fired for his stupid views. He ought to be fired for what or how he teaches, yes, but then that’s true of any educator if they can’t teach. Or don’t have anything to say that’s worth learning.

    And yes, I would fire him if he worked for me. But as you studiously avoided including in your selectively edited quotes a private company has to worry about image as that effects the bottom line.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  144. We we don’t rightly know, Ward Churchill before 9/11
    was known for harping on that oldy lefty bete noire,
    Cointelpro, which was mostly harassment of certain militant groups, including the one that Karenga, the founder of Kwanza was a part of,

    narciso (3fec35)

  145. 136. Because I seem to recall you making a number of comments stating that he should be fired – as in actively fired – for saying something you didn’t like.

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 12/30/2012 @ 1:31 pm

    I can forgive confusion, Leviticus, but not dishonesty. Not in any of those quotes did you find any hint I think the university should fire Loomis for saying something I dislike.

    I’ve said he should be fired if he’s as unqualified for the job as he’s made himself out to be.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  146. “I’ve said he should be fired if he’s as unqualified for the job as he’s made himself out to be.”

    - Steve57

    You didn’t say he should be fired “if” anything. You said, and I quote (without edit) “he ought to be fired for what and how he teaches.” As a conjunctive, that means “He ought to be fired for what he teaches” plus “He ought to be fired for how he teaches.” Let’s focus on the first one: “He ought to be fired for what he teaches.” No qualification, not conditional, nothing – “he ought to be fired for what he teaches.” What does he teach that ought to get him fired?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  147. Luckily for you, I can forgive either confusion OR dishonesty. Or both.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  148. “He ought to be fired for what and how he teaches.”

    - Steve57

    “I’m not calling for nor recommending they fire him at the moment.”

    - Steve57

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  149. Could you clear that up? Should he or should he not be fired?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  150. I suppose I would have to spell out that they need to dot all their “i”s and cross all their “t”s if they were to fire him so they can’t be accused of firing him for exercising his first amendment rights.

    But yeah, he should be fired for disqualifying himself from the profession. As Patterico observed, he’s a demonstrated moron. Morons can’t teach history. If I were running that university I’d do it as soon as possible, and if the soonest is at tenure review then I’d have to wait.

    If I could do it at all faster, I would. I would do it just as quickly as I could under whatever employment law is applicable.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  151. Okay. Thanks for the straight answer.

    If you were the URI admin who fired him, what reason would you give for his firing (presuming that “he’s a demonstrated moron” would not suffice)?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  152. And we still have the “He ought to be fired for what he teaches” issue? What does he teach that ought to get him fired?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  153. I’m still waiting for you to point to something that demonstrates why URI should keep this third-rate scholar but first rate headache around.

    What’s he accomplished that makes him worth the trouble? Why would you want to keep a budding Ward Churchill around if even he is saying he doubts he can do the work, but has demonstrated he can shoot his mouth off and embarrass the institution?

    Steve57 (2073db)

  154. DRJ raises the point that this guy might be saying awful stuff in his classroom. That is a valid point and a valid concern. If his students are experiencing talk about heads on sticks of people who offer the wrong opinion, clearly that classroom is not a place of academic freedom and they should talk to student affairs.

    ————–

    Actually my whole spiel on this is a response to Bill S and his over the top baseball bat screed he has going on in his empty blog

    I wouldn’t even know where to find that one’s blog. He’s apparently severely mentally unstable and I feel sorry for him. He’s basically a victim of his ‘friends’.

    Dustin (73fead)

  155. I think the people of Rhode Island should decide whether or not Loomis should be fired and, if so, for what reason(s). They are the ones who fund the University that employs him. I suspect many of them agree with his views, as (unfortunately) will most if not all of the students he teaches.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  156. Leviticus,

    Have you had any professors who advocate political positions in the classroom?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  157. So you don’t think this is protected speech then, DRJ?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  158. DRJ,

    Yes.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  159. Either by endorsing a candidate for any political office or taking sides on issues like abortion, guns, the death penalty, etc.?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  160. I have had professors advocate political positions in the classroom.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  161. Leviticus:

    So you don’t think this is protected speech then, DRJ?

    Why do you say that?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  162. Yes. If memory serves, I’ve had at least one professor endorse Obama for prez and others take sides on immigration issues and gay rights issues. I couldn’t say when, exactly, or what their exact positions were.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  163. What political positions or issues, Leviticus, and did you notice whether students seemed to endorse the Professor’s positions — either because they actually agreed or because they wanted to please the professor?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  164. Thanks for the straight answer, Leviticus.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  165. “Why do you say that?”

    - DRJ

    I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to put words in your mouth. What I meant was, if this was protected speech, and the people of Rhode Island decided that the university should fire him for it, and the university did fire him for it, wouldn’t Loomis have a good argument for reinstatement anyway?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  166. “What political positions or issues, Leviticus, and did you notice whether students seemed to endorse the Professor’s positions — either because they actually agreed or because they wanted to please the professor?”

    - DRJ

    Left-wing positions on immigration (anti-ICE stuff, pro-amnesty stuff), mostly. There’s also been some (pretty minor) denigration of opponents of gay marriage.

    I would say that at UNM (undergrad and law school) the student body is largely predisposed to left-wing immigration positions and split more evenly on the gay marriage issue. In no case did it appear to me that the professor’s positions or endorsements were influencing the students in a noticeable way, because the comments were generally made as snarky asides rather than as part of a concerted argument. Anyway, the best professors I had – the ones who could have swayed students’ political positions by editorializing if they had wanted to – scrupulously refrained from it.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  167. “I’m still waiting for you to point to something that demonstrates why URI should keep this third-rate scholar but first rate headache around.”

    - Steve57

    How about “to avoid the appearance of being censorious a**hats”?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  168. 156. I think the people of Rhode Island should decide whether or not Loomis should be fired and, if so, for what reason(s). They are the ones who fund the University that employs him. I suspect many of them agree with his views, as (unfortunately) will most if not all of the students he teaches.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/30/2012 @ 2:55 pm

    Yes, but if he’s using his position for political activism then he’s not teaching history. And I strongly suspect he is; no history professor who values his reputation as a scholar would be publicly advocating politicizing events. Loomis was using his affiliation with URI to provide authority for his advocacy. Which then calls the university’s reputation into question.

    That’s why I’ve compared my view on continuing his employment with Adam Smith’s employer, formerly Vante corporation of Tucson AZ.

    It isn’t that Adam Smith went through the drive-thru at the local Chick-fil-A and behaved like a sanctimonious ass to the fast food worker at the window. He was proud of his feat; he said he felt good and purposeful after demonstrating what he imagined to be his moral superiority over the woman. So proud, he posted the video of his “good deed” on YouTube.

    Of course his employer fired him. And it wasn’t because of the constitutionally protected free speech he spewed at the Chick-fil-A employee. It’s everything he did after that that demonstrated he lacked the judgement and maturity to be their CFO/treasurer.

    Leviticus,

    157. Have you had any professors who advocate political positions in the classroom?

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/30/2012 @ 2:58 pm

    Again, I don’t see how an individual can advocate politicizing contemporary events can be trusted to avoid politicizing historical events. I don’t see how he can advocate censoring his political enemies (not opponents; one doesn’t fantasize killing or imprisoning mere opponents) and not practice that in his classroom.

    I do think you’re right; most of the people of R.I. and certainly most of his students probably agree with his views. But would you spend tens of thousands of dollars a year merely to have your child’s elementary and high school indoctrination validated at the college level?

    I wouldn’t gamble on it. I wouldn’t send my kid to URI for a liberal arts education, although how they’re rated in disciplines like engineering I can’t say. That might be worth it.

    If I were the president of URI I’d fire him. And as I understand it most faculty are on either 9 or 12 month contracts, so I just wouldn’t renew the contract. But if he was hired because his political views are compatible with the rest of the faculty (I can’t see how he was hired for his professional qualifications) then that isn’t happening.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  169. 168. “I’m still waiting for you to point to something that demonstrates why URI should keep this third-rate scholar but first rate headache around.”

    - Steve57

    How about “to avoid the appearance of being censorious a**hats”?

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 12/30/2012 @ 3:14 pm

    Great plan, Leviticus. Third-rate scholars who otherwise would be shown the door can guarantee job security by expressing vile left-wing opinions.

    That provides an interesting window into how you think, Leviticus. No wonder higher education in this country is going down the toilet.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  170. That would be a great argument if you’d been calling for the firing of Erik Loomis two months ago, Steve. When you start whining about his lack of qualifications on the heels of a couple of Twitter posts that offend your political sensibilities, your sudden interest in his qualifications comes off looking like a pretext for political censorship.

    Timing is everything.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  171. A Conversation That Would Never Happen Two Months Ago:

    Leviticus: Steve57, did you hear about this assistant history professor at URI, Erik Loomis? He got his PhD in 2008. There was this one reviewer who thought his dissertation was boring, his book is still in progress, and the two articles he’s written and had accepted for publication haven’t even been published yet! Can you believe this SOB!?

    Steve57: FIRE HIS ASS!!”

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  172. Leviticus, why should I have even been aware of Erik Loomis’ existence before he engaged in unhinged political ravings?

    So what if that’s why he attracted my attention? His demonstrated ability to analyze contemporary events without politicizing them calls into question his ability to analyze historical events without politicizing them.

    As it turns out there’s very little in the public domain to use to determine that. What exists reflects his political biases, but he has very little in the way of accomplishment to his name.

    That in and of itself is an indictment. But as I pointed out that provides us with an interesting window into your mind. You obviously believe that unaccomplished individuals should be kept on track for tenure for no other reason than to protect them for engaging in unhinged political ravings.

    So Loomis’ lack of professional qualifications matters not at all to you. Like I said, very telling. It’s no wonder that if those are the standards then higher education (at least in the form of a liberal arts education) is waste of time. And if you’ll note, I have said Loomis is probably no worse than the other unqualified political hacks infesting the faculty lounge of most other universities.

    Earlier I asked if universities can really afford to be the last refuge for people who’ve demonstrated they lack the intelligence, judgement, and impulse control to cut it in the private sector.

    Your answer is an unqualified yes! That’s good to know.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  173. *His demonstrated inability to analyze contemporary events*

    Steve57 (2073db)

  174. Leviticus,

    I don’t think people should be fired for speech alone but, like Steve57, I have a hard time accepting that Loomis’ free speech habits stop at the classroom door. In my day, students were easily influenced by professors — and not just politically but also in their personal lives. Kudos to you and the rest of your fellow students for being so resistant to their influence and unwilling to please them by regurgitating their positions in homework and on tests.

    In general, I think it’s difficult for people who have problems putting limits on what they say to also put limits on the rest of their lives. Thus, it’s often easier to find valid reasons to part company with them when the decision is finally made. Regarding Loomis and the URI, the URI administration could probably find a reason to fire a professor who said the right-wing equivalent of what Loomis said and my guess is they can fire Loomis if they want, but I doubt they will. He’s one of them.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  175. “Leviticus, why should I have even been aware of Erik Loomis’ existence before he engaged in unhinged political ravings?”

    - Steve57

    Exactly. He was unremarkable – a new professor with no significant accomplishments to his name. No reason to distinguish him from 1,000 other new professors in a similar situation.

    Except he expressed a political opinion you don’t like.

    So you want him fired.

    What does that make you, again?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  176. Leviticus,

    If you were counsel for the University of Rhode Island, how would you advise the administration to apply the section on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities in its University Manual to Professor Loomis’ recent tweets?

    6.11.15 “The college or university teacher is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and an officer of an education institution. When he speaks or writes as a citizen, he should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but his special position in the community imposes special obligations. As a person of learning and an educational officer, he should remember that the public may judge his profession and his institution by his utterances. Hence he should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that he is not an institutional spokesman.”

    Given what we know, do you think this section might serve as the basis for a decision to fire Loomis?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  177. “In my day, students were easily influenced by professors — and not just politically but also in their personal lives. Kudos to you and the rest of your fellow students for being so resistant to their influence and unwilling to please them by regurgitating their positions in homework and on tests.”

    - DRJ

    I’m sure some of that still happens. I didn’t see much evidence of it, but that doesn’t mean much. I will say that I never saw much evidence that disagreeing with professors (in a respectful way, of course) had adverse consequences of any kind – maybe UNM was awesome like that. I’ve seen plenty of disagreement with professors (as both a law student and undergrad) and never really seen adverse reaction to that disagreement. My brother had one bad experience, but considers it an anomaly – as do I.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  178. 167. I would say that at UNM (undergrad and law school) the student body is largely predisposed to left-wing immigration positions and split more evenly on the gay marriage issue. In no case did it appear to me that the professor’s positions or endorsements were influencing the students in a noticeable way, because the comments were generally made as snarky asides rather than as part of a concerted argument. Anyway, the best professors I had – the ones who could have swayed students’ political positions by editorializing if they had wanted to – scrupulously refrained from it.

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 12/30/2012 @ 3:12 pm

    Like most students you probably didn’t recognize the propaganda techniques designed to lead you to the professor’s desired conclusions. Just the snarky side comments.

    When the professor is cherry picking the data points that leads you to the conclusion he or she wants you to draw it is very difficult to notice what is being omitted from the course. Unless you’re very familiar with the subject matter. And if you’re that familiar with the subject matter, you wouldn’t be the student.

    One classic technique I still recall one professor pulling was to give a “pretest” at the beginning of the course to test the student’s knowledge going in.

    One portion of the test asked the student to identify six people. It asked about Nimitz, Patton, MacArthur, and then three individuals I’d never heard of.

    The point of the exercise was to support his contention that the US was imperialistic and glamorizes war. So everyone knew those military men. The three no one identified were obscure academics who had written about the philosophy of non-violence.

    Most of the other students reacted as if he had just opened their eyes to revealed truth. I pointed out he could have picked three obscure generals and admirals (who can name supply corps officer of flag rank; they have those) and three well-known advocates of non-violence like Gandhi, Henry David Thoreau, and MLK jr. and led his students to the opposite conclusion about US society.

    That’s the difference between indoctrination and education. Education is about teaching students how to think for themselves. Indoctrination is designed to lead people to draw certain approved conclusions.

    The most effective indoctrination is far more subtle than the snarky side remarks you picked up on.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  179. “Given what we know, do you think this section might serve as the basis for a decision to fire Loomis?”

    - DRJ

    Sure. I think it would be a weak foundation, though – the fact that he was on a personal Twitter account would do wonders for the argument that he was in no way an “institutional spokesperson.”

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  180. “Like most students you probably didn’t recognize the propaganda techniques designed to lead you to the professor’s desired conclusions.”

    - Steve57

    Not when they were employing such subtle methods as the ones you detailed, you mean? How in the world did you ever deduce that bad man’s ulterior motive?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  181. If I was Loomis’ boss, I’d call a meeting and tell him that the “beaten to death” thing was a step too far. And don’t call for a gruesome horrific murder of anyone again… got it?

    OK everyone. Imagine being beaten to death. How long it might take and how it might feel. Hopefully you’d be knocked unconscious early, but if not? uh oh.
    Understanding that people who will beat you to death live by a different code.
    Clearly Loomis has never had to worry that his beatdown is led by 3 guys.. one of whom manages to sucker punch you with a brick because you were kicking his homies ass. Then you get stomped and beaten with the brick until your brains leak out of your skull. Think Reginald Denny during the “insurrection” without the guardian angel dude (God bless him.)
    For me:
    Shoot me please. Leave me crying for my mama, but shoot me.

    Maybe my thought on this are the weapon… the gun? Too powerful (unless it is a gunfight I happen to lose)
    If I am unarmed and get shot to death from any distance, there is likely little I could done, but being beaten to death, with every blow I’d be fighting desperately to just get back in the fight.
    Geez, it’d be like being a wildebeast trying to cross the lower Zambezi in the dry season and getting snagged by three crocodiles. *f~~~* me that’d be awful

    SteveG (831214)

  182. “You obviously believe that unaccomplished individuals should be kept on track for tenure for no other reason than to protect them for engaging in unhinged political ravings.”

    - Steve57

    You mean versus “firing them because I don’t like the content of their unhinged political ravings”?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  183. what’s happened to the other tag team member, Sammy Finkelman?

    Colonel Haiku (2e5c1c)

  184. Leviticus:

    … the fact that he was on a personal Twitter account would do wonders for the argument that he was in no way an “institutional spokesperson.”

    Would your opinion change if Twitchy.com is correct that Loomis’ university affiliation was in his Twitter bio when he left these tweets, and he only deleted it after-the-fact?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  185. In addition, as I read the URI Manual section, it puts the burden on the professor to “make every effort to indicate that he is not an institutional spokesman.” In other words, it sounds like the University believes its faculty must follow these rules at all times, and not just when they are on campus or in the classroom.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  186. 183. You mean versus “firing them because I don’t like the content of their unhinged political ravings”?

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 12/30/2012 @ 4:14 pm

    If I could recognize that “bad man’s ulterior motives” how do you expect me to ignore your clumsy and deliberate attempts to misrepresent what I’ve been saying all along?

    Loomis should be fired for being unqualified to teach history. His inability to analyze current events objectively, and his stated intent to politicize them, calls into question his ability to analyze events period. Whether contemporary or historical in nature.

    Then there’s the fact that he’s got no scholarly achievement due to his individual effort to put on his resume. He’s got one article that he helped write; that’s it.

    But then you’ve already established that you don’t think the purpose of the university system is education or research, but rather to give refuge to mediocrities as long as they indulge in left-wing political screed in lieu of publishing.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  187. “You obviously believe that unaccomplished individuals should be kept on track for tenure for no other reason than to protect them for engaging in unhinged political ravings.”

    - Steve57

    I believe that the difference between immediate dismissal and continued employment (until tenure review) should not be saying something that people don’t like.

    Would you fire pre-tweet Loomis? No, you wouldn’t. You might not give him tenure when he was up for review, but you wouldn’t fire him. But you would fire post-tweet Loomis – which makes his tweet (speech!) the thing for which you’re firing him.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  188. “Then there’s the fact that he’s got no scholarly achievement due to his individual effort to put on his resume. He’s got one article that he helped write; that’s it.”

    - Steve57

    He’s an assistant professor four years off his PhD. The argument that his relative lack of scholarly achievement (divorced from his remarks) would constitute independent grounds for firing him is a laughably transparent pretext and you know it.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  189. “Would your opinion change if Twitchy.com is correct that Loomis’ university affiliation was in his Twitter bio when he left these tweets, and he only deleted it after-the-fact?”

    - DRJ

    No, not really. And I don’t see anything at your link that indicates that anyway.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  190. 181. Not when they were employing such subtle methods as the ones you detailed, you mean? How in the world did you ever deduce that bad man’s ulterior motive?

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 12/30/2012 @ 4:06 pm

    “Card stacking” is actually one of the more difficult of the seven basic propaganda techniques to detect, because the propagandist deliberately denies the target audience the information to make an informed decision.

    It’s especially useful in education because the student doesn’t normally have any deep independent knowledge of the subject matter. No matter; it’s easy enough to recognize the technique when the propagandist insists you accept the given facts as proof of the conclusion when even a moment’s reflection shows there are alternate arguments that could be made that don’t support the conclusion.

    Based upon your comments I’m positive your professors slipped some of the more obvious ones past you, too.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  191. “Based upon your comments I’m positive your professors slipped some of the more obvious ones past you, too.”

    - Steve57

    They call that one “confirmation bias.”

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  192. 188. Would you fire pre-tweet Loomis? No, you wouldn’t. You might not give him tenure when he was up for review, but you wouldn’t fire him. But you would fire post-tweet Loomis – which makes his tweet (speech!) the thing for which you’re firing him.

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 12/30/2012 @ 4:28 pm

    Leviticus, I wouldn’t have hired pre-tweet Loomis.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  193. “Leviticus, I wouldn’t have hired pre-tweet Loomis.”

    - Steve57

    You wouldn’t have fired him, either.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  194. Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/30/2012 @ 3:54 pm

    It sounds like he has brought disrespect upon the institution – in the military it would be called CUBO (conduct unbecoming ….).
    In the bad old Fifties, that would probably been covered under the old “Moral Turpitude” clause that existed in most teacher contracts. Today, they could term him for creating a situation that held the institution up to ridicule and disrespect.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  195. The character at the center of that dissertation, Wesley Everest, did not quite have the fate that he described,

    Many books about the Centralia case state that Everest was castrated while being driven to his lynching. A careful review of the historical record strongly suggests that castration never took place. The first published account of castration appeared over four months after the fact. The IWW members who saw Everest’s body in the jail after the lynching said nothing about mutilation in interviews with the press at the time. The coroner’s jury, which examined the body on November 13 was likewise silent. The IWW defense lawyers said nothing about castration during the three month trial when it might have done some good for the defense. Those who placed his body in the coffin said nothing about castration. A 1930 objective account of the Centralia case, published by the Council of Churches, concluded that the castration story “has not been clearly established.”

    narciso (3fec35)

  196. If Loomis was trading on his relationship with URI on his Twitter account, there’s a screen-shot out there somewhere that will confirm it, it just has to be found.
    Nothing ever disappears from the ‘nets.
    And, if he was, he’s toast!

    askeptic (2bb434)

  197. Leviticus:

    At my earlier Twitchy.com link:

    Update: Prior to deleting his Twitter account, Loomis changed his Twitter bio by removing reference to his Assistant Professor position at the University of Rhode Island. (Hat tip: @mikebeas.)

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  198. At least one of the accounts, was debunked 20 some years ago;

    http://libcom.org/files/Wesley%20Everest,%20IWW%20martyr.pdf

    narciso (3fec35)

  199. And there’s just category error, all over these entries

    http://alterdestiny.blogspot.com/2006_08_01_archive.html

    narciso (3fec35)

  200. Leviticus,

    Here’s a hypothetical: A professor from URI uses his personal Twitter account (with a Twitter bio that may identify him as a URI professor) to tweet homophobic and anti-black slurs.

    Based on your comments here, I assume you would oppose any effort to fire him on the basis that his comments violated the URI Manual provision that “… he should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that he is not an institutional spokesman.”

    In addition, I also assume you see no basis to suggest that someone with those views shouldn’t be teaching college kids.

    Any comment?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  201. 199. At least one of the accounts, was debunked 20 some years ago;

    http://libcom.org/files/Wesley%20Everest,%20IWW%20martyr.pdf

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/30/2012 @ 4:58 pm

    I’m not surprised; as I was attempting to slog through “LIVES UNDER THE CANOPY: SPOTTED OWLS AND LOGGERS IN WESTERN FORESTS” I observed that it couldn’t stand up to a review by the likes of the one historians Radosh and Wilentz subjected the Stone/Kuznick work to.

    Loomis is another “historian” who’d rather mythologize about history than actually do history. It makes perfect sense that he’d try to gloss over the fact that there is no believable evidence that Everest was castrated by writing in his dissertation that it merely “remains in dispute.” As if there’s evidence on both sides, when there isn’t.

    There are certain causes he clearly favors when he writes about them, and he’d rather not examine them too closely.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  202. If one follows the links, from that first McCain post, one finds Loomis is not only the lumberjack
    prof, but curses up a storm, right up there with Tony Montana,

    narciso (3fec35)

  203. Be nice to Loomis. There is a shortage of intellectual curiosity about ghey Marxist lumberjacks.

    JD (5ed6bd)

  204. There’s probably a good reason for that,

    narciso (3fec35)

  205. You have a right to speak your piece, but you don’t have a right to a job.

    Folks have every right in the world to try and get the guy fired, especially seeing as how he works for a taxpayer supported institution.

    I don’t want my tax money going to pay his salary, and URI takes federal handouts. I think I should have something to say about who works for me.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  206. If Dr Loomis were employed by a private college, I would say that the college had every right to get rid of him. However, he works for a state school, and canning him for his goofball opinions and limited vocabulary would be, in effect, the state setting a penalty for exercising one’s freedom of speech.
    Comment by The nitpicking Dana (f68855) — 12/30/2012 @ 11:36 am

    – Excuse me while I take a moment to compose a calm, rational, reasonable response.

    Okay, I’m ready . . .

    BULL F***ING SH*T!!!!!!!!!

    Government employees enjoy some sort of special immunity from repercussions that us poor slobs in the private sector do not? Since when?

    Icy (bbcbc9)

  207. “Here’s a hypothetical: A professor from URI uses his personal Twitter account (with a Twitter bio that may identify him as a URI professor) to tweet homophobic and anti-black slurs.

    Based on your comments here, I assume you would oppose any effort to fire him on the basis that his comments violated the URI Manual provision”

    - DRJ

    Lemme think about that one for a little bit.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  208. Actually, never mind. If his Twitter tag looked the way Loomis’ looked, I would oppose any effort to fire him. If it made his connection to the university much (much) more obvious – i.e. to the point of the possibility of some actual confusion about the nature of the feed – then maybe it would be different.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  209. Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 12/30/2012 @ 11:46 am
    If Loomis should be fired for calling for LaPierre’s death, should Rush Limbaugh be fired for calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” without any evidence to support either characterization?
    – Uh, ya DO know that “The Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies” isn’t a real university; don’t you?

    The answer, of course, is no. The answer, of course, is that ridiculous and contemptible nature of both claims should be roundly criticized without attempting to silence their purveyors.
    – Two questions:
    1) WHO is attempting to “silence” Loomis?
    2) How do you know that Sandra Fluke isn’t a slut?

    Icy (bbcbc9)

  210. So you don’t think this is protected speech then, DRJ?
    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 12/30/2012 @ 2:58 pm

    – Like ‘separation of church and state’ the phrase “protected speech” does not appear anywhere in the Constitution.

    Icy (bbcbc9)

  211. If Loomis should be fired for calling for LaPierre’s death, should Rush Limbaugh be fired for calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” without any evidence to support either characterization?

    That’s a rather clumsy, lame moral equivalency. Loomis, the liberal (and therefore supposedly such a compassionate, humane, generous soul), has called for the death of a non-murderer/non-felon/non-criminal, while Limbaugh, the conservative, was casting non-lethal aspersions upon a woman who was indignant because some people don’t believe that birth control is a God-given right.

    Mark (07dc99)

  212. “…should Rush Limbaugh be fired for calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” without any evidence to support either characterization?”

    If I was a slut or prostitute, I would be deeply offended if someone compared me to Sandra Fluke, and I’d probably want to see Limbaugh fired.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  213. Would you fire pre-tweet Loomis? No, you wouldn’t. You might not give him tenure when he was up for review, but you wouldn’t fire him. But you would fire post-tweet Loomis – which makes his tweet (speech!) the thing for which you’re firing him.
    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 12/30/2012 @ 4:28 pm

    – Yeah, ain’t it funny how most employers wait until after their employee actually does something wrong before giving him/her the axe?

    Icy (f1b960)

  214. He has saying many insulting things for a long time,
    his particular string of profanity goes back to September, if not earlier,

    narciso (3fec35)

  215. Folks have every right in the world to try and get the guy fired, especially seeing as how he works for a taxpayer supported institution.
    Comment by Dave Surls (46b08c) — 12/30/2012 @ 8:11 pm

    – Yes, but remember what our host said; it’s unseemly because . . . 1st Amendment!

    Icy (f1b960)

  216. I thought Prof. Loomis was protected by the 1st Amendment freedom from criticism, which only applies to liberals.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  217. I really hate the trend to calling for people to be fired. Whether it’s Loomis, or the idiot Chic-FilA protester guy, or the woman who posted a picture of herself on Facebook flipping the bird at the Arlington sign.

    Going after someone’s livelihood is scary to me.

    MayBee (70e12d)

  218. I do have to say I am constantly amused by professors who must have tenure to protect their important ability to say controversial things, but then call for the heads of other people who say controversial things.

    MayBee (70e12d)

  219. Well he seems to be taken in by urban legends, can’t recognize genuine historical references, and swears like Kinison, without the insight,

    narciso (3fec35)

  220. Loomis shouldn’t be fired for saying something that I don’t like politically, but what he said makes me wonder about his ability to teach the courses he teaches accurately. It appears that Loomis from his course descriptions would have to teach about the constitution and amendments. Publicly, Loomis has stated that those who disagree with him politically, should be silenced violently by being beaten to death. Is this how he teaches the first amendment?

    So not fired for the specific words he said, but the words he said call into question his ability to teach history which should be investigated. The same should happen if a history professor taught courses on World War II and publicly said there was no Holocost. He has the right to say the words he said, but the words he said should call attention to his ability to perform his job.

    Tanny O'Haley (12193c)

  221. Is there an equivalent example of a conservative professor expressing provocative/violent material either publicly or in the classroom?

    Because, you know, there’s so many conservative professors.

    Birdbath (716828)

  222. Narciso– Sam Kinison was a comic genius.

    Birdbath (716828)

  223. BTW, when the founding fathers created the Constitution and Amendments, there where blue laws that prohibited swearing in public. The creators of the constitution and the first amendment did not find those blue laws in violation of the constitution, so why is swearing considered constitutionally protected speech? A prohibition on public swearing does not prevent a person from stating their political beliefs.

    Tanny O'Haley (12193c)

  224. I thought Prof. Loomis was protected by the 1st Amendment freedom from criticism, which only applies to liberals.
    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 12/31/2012 @ 1:46 am

    – Him and Piers Morgan. Just ask Michael Moore.

    Icy (f1b960)

  225. Secretary of State Clinton is in the hospital, being treated for a blood clot stemming from her concussion.
    How’s that over/under on her running in 2016 going?

    Icy (f1b960)

  226. Leviticus,

    Do you interpret the URI Manual to provide that faculty can say all the derogatory and inappropriate things they want, as long as they aren’t said as a spokesman for the institution?

    Also, what about part 2 of my comment 201?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  227. “In addition, I also assume you see no basis to suggest that someone with those views shouldn’t be teaching college kids.”

    - DRJ

    I think people with homophobic and racist views taught college kids for years. It might gall me personally, but I don’t see homophobic or racist remarks made on a personal Twitter feed as a basis to suggest that a person can’t teach college kids.

    And again, that’s what we’re talking about: a personal Twitter feed. If there was hard evidence that Loomis was going off on these violent rants in his classes (vs. on his personal Twitter feed) then that would be another matter.

    And while I do not interpret the URI Manual to provide that faculty can say “all the derogatory and inappropriate things they want” (as long as they don’t say those things as a spokesman for the institution), I think the “spokesman for the institution” element of that manual provision is far and away the most important one – particularly when it comes to balancing the interests at play in an argument over free speech.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  228. Leviticus, did you come up with any proof, yet, that people are attempting to “silence” him?

    Icy (f1b960)

  229. You mean besides trying to get him fired?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  230. Loomis is toast, he’s embarrassed himself, his department, and URI. His emotional outburst demonstrated an alarming lack of self-restraint, and a hot-headed disposition wholly unsuited to a life of academic inquiry.

    Moreover, he’s brought unwanted scrutiny on the History Department faculty who recommended him for a ladder position. Their judgment is now in question, other URI faculty are asking rather pointedly if anyone on the appointments committee actually read Loomis’s dissertation. It isn’t like there aren’t lots of well qualified and emotionally stable candidates seeking university entry level university jobs.

    ropelight (f6ef47)

  231. You mean besides trying to get him fired?
    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 12/31/2012 @ 9:20 am

    – Yeah, since ‘getting’ him fired does not silence a g-d thing.

    Icy (f1b960)

  232. “Yeah, since ‘getting’ him fired does not silence a g-d thing.”

    - Icy

    If you say so, Icy.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  233. “Yeah, since ‘getting’ him fired does not silence a g-d thing.”

    - Icy

    If you say so, Icy.

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 12/31/2012 @ 9:59 am

    How does that answer Icy’s question? Your answer appears snarky and disingenuous. If Loomis is fired it won’t be for free speech, but for his teaching ability. He will still be able to say what he wants, though he might take heed of the proverb that says it is better for a fool to keep silent, for when he opens his mouth then everyone will know he is a fool.

    Tanny O'Haley (059948)

  234. How about instead of attempting to patronize me, you answer the question? WHO is trying to “silence” his voice?
    If he has not been spouting this type of rhetoric in the classroom, and he has not been using the gravitas of his position at the university to lend an air of scholarly authority to his tweets, then HOW does his employment status at Rhode Island University affect what he says on Twitter at all?

    Icy (f1b960)

  235. “Is there an equivalent example of a conservative professor expressing provocative/violent material either publicly or in the classroom?”

    Birdbath – Yes. Look at the case of Mike Adams at UNC Wilmington who sued when denied tenure after radical feminists took over his department. His weekly columns at Townhall, books and national speaking engagements were a constant thorn in the left’s side.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  236. “If Loomis is fired it won’t be for free speech, but for his teaching ability.”

    - Tanny O’Haley

    Right. Just like if Brett Kimberlin caused enough of a PR sh*tstorm to get Patterico fired, it wouldn’t be for Patterico’s free speech, but for his prosecutorial abilities.

    Do you guys seriously not see the parallel here?

    And to you, Icy: people calling for Loomis’ firing are trying to silence him by attacking his livelihood – his employment at URI. They think that if they make headway toward getting him fired for saying things they don’t like, he’ll stop saying things they don’t like. That’s an attempt to silence by getting him fired. This isn’t hard. Or do you think that a fear of getting fired could not possibly have the result of chilling speech?

    Do you think it’s possible that a fear of getting fired might have the result of chilling speech? Most reasonable people would answer “yes.”

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  237. “Do you think it’s possible that a fear of getting fired might have the result of chilling speech?”

    Leviticus – Do you think most reasonable people might think about the content of their speech in the context of their continued employment before spewing in out public? I Think most reasonable people would consider the bounds of acceptable speech and answer “yes.”

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  238. spewing it out in public

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  239. 177. Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/30/2012 @ 3:54 pm in reply to Leviticus:

    Given what we know, do you think this section might serve as the basis for a decision to fire Loomis?

    None, because it doesn’t say that if you do not show respect for the opinions of others, and do not exercise appropriate restraint (in argument?), you risk being fired.

    It simply says you should remember that the public may judge your profession and your institution by your utterances. Which is mostly not happening.

    It’s more like advice. At most, you might reason, it could affect tenure.

    As for indicating he was not an institutional spokesman, there was no risk of people thinking so.

    Sammy Finkelman (ce04e1)

  240. Well, Leviticus, you’ve been “thinking” since 10:38PM last night about DRJ’s hypothetical. Come up with a response yet? Or is that illustration still hitting too close to home?

    SPQR (768505)

  241. hahaha… I’ve actually answered her question several times over, SPQR. Did you read the rest of the thread?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  242. Right. Just like if Brett Kimberlin caused enough of a PR sh*tstorm to get Patterico fired, it wouldn’t be for Patterico’s free speech, but for his prosecutorial abilities.

    Do you guys seriously not see the parallel here?

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 12/31/2012 @ 10:57 am

    No I don’t see the parallel here, I’m not asking for Loomis to be fired for his speech, his speech makes me wonder if Loomis is qualified for his job since it appears that he doesn’t know the first amendment which appears to be part of his duties to teach. I’m asking for an investigation by his employer to see if he is doing his job.

    The people trying to get Patterico fired are doing so, because the disagree with what he has said, not because what he has said suggests that Patterico is not doing his job.

    The first is out of concern, the second is to silence and for revenge. Do you see the difference here?

    Tanny O'Haley (059948)

  243. Leviticus, yes. Your 8:55AM was transparent for its failure to really confront her question. Because you know that’s not how it would actually turn out.

    SPQR (768505)

  244. 239. Do you guys seriously not see the parallel here?

    …Do you think it’s possible that a fear of getting fired might have the result of chilling speech? Most reasonable people would answer “yes.”

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 12/31/2012 @ 10:57 am

    This is why I’m positive your politicized professors slipped the more obvious propaganda techniques past you, Leviticus.

    There is no parallel. The fact that you see one is just a product of your indoctrination.

    It isn’t a matter of free speech. It’s the fact that Loomis impeached his own academic credibility that’s the issue.

    He identified himself as a URI historian, he chose to practice history in the public square, and he had a choice between professionalism and partisanship. He chose to go all in on partisanship.

    Believe it or not (and I’m sure you won’t because as you’ve demonstrated your indoctrinators propagandized you to believe it’s a trivial matter) there are codes of academic integrity that colleges and universities expect their faculty to abide by.

    Loomis is shouting to the world that he doesn’t intend to do that. As Loomis would so eloquently state, “f*** that!”

    Historians deal in events, and what they mean. Some historians deal with events in the distant past, others with events in the recent past. It doesn’t matter. A historian has an ethical obligation to identify whatever biases inform their work, acknowledge evidence that counters their interpretation of events, and identify other interpretations of those events.

    You are goddamn right we should politicize this tragedy. Fuck the NRA. Wayne LaPierre should be in prison.

    I’m don’t suspect that Loomis isn’t abiding by any standards of academic integrity. He’s saying he’s not, and lived up to that rejection of those standards in his subsequent tweets and blog posts.

    Get over yourself and your left-wing indoctrination Leviticus. The problem I have, and the problem of most people here have with Loomis, isn’t that Loomis said something I disagree with. People do that all the time; Alan Dershowitz comes to mind. But Alan Dershowitz has the integrity and intelligence to live up to professional standards of ethics. Dershowitz doesn’t publicly advocate politicizing events.

    Loomis advocates politicizing events, which disqualifies him from teaching about events as a historian because he doesn’t have the requisite integrity.

    But then, he also doesn’t have any record of academic achievement to boast of, either.

    I don’t expect to convince you of anything, Leviticus. I just hope you continue in the same vein and distort what I’ve said in this comment thread. I have not ever said I’d fire Loomis for his political views, despite your best efforts to twist my words.

    I’d fire him for poor judgement, questionable ethics, and for being unqualified. But then, for the latter reason alone I wouldn’t have hired him in the first place.

    What the hell was the URI history department thinking? They put him on tenure track in 2011 when he’d fail to even contribute to a single article in the three years he had been working as an assistant prof. at two other institutions since acquiring his PhD.

    It shouldn’t surprise us that this guy publicly acknowledges he doesn’t believe he’ll ever get his book published.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  245. I felt like it “confronted her question” fairly well – what with, you know, answering it and all. I would oppose efforts to have a college professor fired for using racist or homophobic slurs on his personal Twitter feed. I think that trying to get someone fired for saying something you don’t like is censorious. I think both of those answers are pretty clear.

    If DRJ objects that my answer hasn’t “confronted her question” to her satisfaction, then I will revisit it.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  246. his speech makes me wonder if Loomis is qualified for his job since it appears that he doesn’t know the first amendment which appears to be part of his duties to teach

    He’s a history professor, not a Constitutional scholar. While it’s probably helpful to understand the Constitution, it’s not a sine qua non for teaching history.

    The people trying to get Patterico fired are doing so, because the disagree with what he has said, not because what he has said suggests that Patterico is not doing his job.

    You’re splitting hairs. The people trying to get Patterico fired are saying that Patterico’s blog and Twitter activities are interfering with his job performance. They’re wrong, of course, and the argument is transparent but just as wrong and transparent is the thought that the primary reason for wanting Loomis fired is because he can’t do his job.

    I’ll stand with Patterico on this: hyperbole is not grounds for firing.

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  247. 239. Do you guys seriously not see the parallel here?

    …Do you think it’s possible that a fear of getting fired might have the result of chilling speech? Most reasonable people would answer “yes.”

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 12/31/2012 @ 10:57 am

    No, seriously, again we don’t.

    What I see is your susceptibility to the category of propaganda techniques known as “false connections.” Specifically transfer.

    You’ve been indoctrinated to value “academic freedom” so highly you’ll accept violations of academic integrity as a result.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  248. 249. The people trying to get Patterico fired are saying that Patterico’s blog and Twitter activities are interfering with his job performance. They’re wrong, of course, and the argument is transparent but just as wrong and transparent is the thought that the primary reason for wanting Loomis fired is because he can’t do his job.

    I’ll stand with Patterico on this: hyperbole is not grounds for firing.

    Comment by Chuck Bartowski (11fb31) — 12/31/2012 @ 12:31 pm

    Really? If Patterico was an ADA in the office that will be prosecuting Erika Menendez for pushing a guy she thought was a Muslim off a subway platform (and she hates Muslims) and tweeted or blogged:

    You are goddamn right we should politicize this tragedy. Fuck the NRA Rethuglicans. Wayne LaPierre Islamophobic racists should be in prison.

    Would you say that he is displaying the professional ethics you should be able to expect of a prosecutor? Would you say he’d be able to do justice if assigned to the case?

    Or if it was coming from any judge, let alone the judge assigned to the case?

    I’d say it’d call into question any of the past cases both the prosecutor and judge had taken part in. What other cases might they have thought should be politicized.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  249. 177. Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/30/2012 @ 3:54 pm in reply to Leviticus:

    Given what we know, do you think this section might serve as the basis for a decision to fire Loomis?

    None, because it doesn’t say that if you do not show respect for the opinions of others, and do not exercise appropriate restraint (in argument?), you risk being fired.

    It simply says you should remember that the public may judge your profession and your institution by your utterances. Which is mostly not happening.

    It’s more like advice. At most, you might reason, it could affect tenure.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (ce04e1) — 12/31/2012 @ 11:57 am

    Again you’re demonstrating why you (and Leviticus) are completely wrong. Codes of academic ethics or faculty conduct state the exact opposite for a reason.

    The public comments of a professor expressing complete disdain for counterarguments and those who make them due to their sheer partisanship means they can’t effectively teach.

    Because they’re demonstrating they won’t judge an argument on the merits but by their biases.

    The elephant in the room is that a history professor who publicly calls for his political enemies head on a stick or life imprisonment is chilling their students speech. An academic is supposed to encourage debate and counterarguments. Not condemn it and those who attempt it.

    This is why the parallel Leviticus insists exist is just a figment of his indoctrinated imagination. Academic integrity isn’t limited to just avoiding the research misconduct committed by Bellesiles or Churchill. A professor must also adhere to standards of academic integrity when they teach.

    By demonstrating that he has contempt for standards of academic integrity by publicly advocating politicizing events, events being a historian’s stock in trade, he’s also squelching free speech as well as academic freedom.

    Students are supposed to enjoy free speech and academic freedom as well. They can’t when their professors publicly expose themselves as tyrants.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  250. I should add that a professor also needs to abide by standards of academic integrity when they choose to take on the role of public intellectual.

    What they say outside the classroom effects that will go inside the classroom.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  251. his speech makes me wonder if Loomis is qualified for his job since it appears that he doesn’t know the first amendment which appears to be part of his duties to teach

    He’s a history professor, not a Constitutional scholar. While it’s probably helpful to understand the Constitution, it’s not a sine qua non for teaching history.

    The people trying to get Patterico fired are doing so, because the disagree with what he has said, not because what he has said suggests that Patterico is not doing his job

    You’re splitting hairs. The people trying to get Patterico fired are saying that Patterico’s blog and Twitter activities are interfering with his job performance. They’re wrong, of course, and the argument is transparent but just as wrong and transparent is the thought that the primary reason for wanting Loomis fired is because he can’t do his job.

    I’ll stand with Patterico on this: hyperbole is not grounds for firing.

    Comment by Chuck Bartowski (11fb31) — 12/31/2012 @ 12:31 pm

    1. Yes, Loomis is a history professor, he doesn’t need to be a constitutional scholar to know the basics of the first amendment, that’s a straw man argument, I wasn’t asking him to be a constitutional scholar, nor am I.

    2. There is a big difference between the two. I’m not asking for Loomis to be fired. I’m asking that Loomis should have his classroom activity investigated because Loomis has advocated silencing those who disagree with him by violence, much like a tolatarian state which anyone with a basic knowledge of the first amendment knows is wrong. Is this what he teaches in class? If not, then let him continue teaching, if so, then he is not performing the duties of his job. Those trying to get Patterico fired are not questioning his performance, they are seeking vengeance.

    Tanny O'Haley (059948)

  252. The difference between you and me, Steve57, is that I don’t view “agreeing with my politics” as a component of “academic integrity.”

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  253. Leviticus, you’re doing exactly what I hoped. Your indoctrination makes impossible for you to separate the fact that Loomis has the free speech rights of anyone else, but as a historian and a college professor he has ethical and professional standards to abide by as well.

    Those standards exist to promote academic freedom. The thing it appears you claim to value, is exactly what Loomis is assaulting.

    Free speech for me, but not for thee, my captive student audience.

    See, those propagandists did slip a lot by you. Me, not so much. That’s the true difference between you and me.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  254. What if Patterico, being an ADA in California but speaking on his personal blog, had said that certain suspected terrorists at Gitmo should go to hell, and the sooner the better, and a bunch of people tried to get him fired for it? What would you think about that?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  255. Personal. Twitter. Feed.

    When you start presenting hard evidence that Loomis was acting like this in class, or in any official capacity, maybe I’ll start taking your otherwise blatantly pretextual arguments seriously.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  256. That would be a matter of free speech (opinion) since a CA ADA (nor any District Attorney anywhere in the country) has absolutely no influence on what happens within the confines of GTMO.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  257. “When you start presenting hard evidence that Loomis was acting like this in class, or in any official capacity…”

    That’s why he called for an official investigation of Loomis’ teaching methods by URI.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  258. Leviticus, you really don’t have an argument, and you apparently know it.

    It doesn’t matter that it was a personal twitter feed. It wouldn’t have mattered if he publicly aired his views in a guest opinion piece in the Boston Globe or the Providence Journal instead.

    He’s a URI history professor, he identified himself as such, and he’s calling for politicizing events and criminally sanctioning his political enemies.

    That, right there, is all he needs to do to violate the standards of academic integrity. And to chill the free speech of his students. Because he’s serving notice to the public at large not to dare cross him politically. And his students are part of the public.

    This is why are higher education system is completely f***ed up, to use Loomis’ vocabularly. Students can now largely only express opinions that differ from the rigid campus political orthodoxy in designated “free speech zones.” Not the classroom. They don’t dare, if after years of exposure to the propaganda they even want to or know how.

    Your indoctrination was complete, Leviticus. You’re now defending in the name of “free speech” a history professor who is using his to squelch the ability of others to engage in exactly that in his classroom.

    And just so you know, it isn’t necessary for me to prove anything about how he behaves in the classroom. Just that his public behavior outside it has the same effect.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  259. No, he called for Loomis to be fired. Would that be a bit of a pretextual investigation, then, since the verdict has already been reached?

    And is Loomis the Official Keeper of Wayne LaPierre’s Head to His Shoulders or something?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  260. “This is why are higher education system is completely f***ed up, to use Loomis’ vocabularly. Students can now largely only express opinions that differ from the rigid campus political orthodoxy in designated “free speech zones.” Not the classroom. They don’t dare, if after years of exposure to the propaganda they even want to or know how.”

    - Steve57

    Yeah… to borrow “Loomis’ vocabularly [sic],” you don’t know what the f*ck you’re talking about.

    Students disagree with their professors in class constantly. I have oodles of eyewitness evidence of it – recent eyewitness evidence, to boot. What evidence do you have?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  261. From the original post:

    P.S. If I haven’t yet publicized Greg Lukianoff’s book plugged by Popehat, Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate , consider this a plug. I’m about 1/4 of the way into it and it’s rip-roaring good stuff. I think the readers here would like it a lot.

    And from the Amazon book description:

    For over a generation, shocking cases of censorship at America’s colleges and universities have taught students the wrong lessons about living in a free society. Drawing on a decade of experience battling for freedom of speech on campus, First Amendment lawyer Greg Lukianoff reveals how higher education fails to teach students to become critical thinkers: by stifling open debate, our campuses are supercharging ideological divisions, promoting groupthink, and encouraging an unscholarly certainty about complex issues.

    Lukianoff walks readers through the life of a modern-day college student, from orientation to the end of freshman year. Through this lens, he describes startling violations of free speech rights: a student in Indiana punished for publicly reading a book, a student in Georgia expelled for a pro-environment collage he posted on Facebook, students at Yale banned from putting an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote on a T shirt, and students across the country corralled into tiny “free speech zones” when they wanted to express their views.

    But Lukianoff goes further, demonstrating how this culture of censorship is bleeding into the larger society. As he explores public controversies involving Juan Williams, Rush Limbaugh, Bill Maher, Richard Dawkins, Larry Summers—even Dave Barry and Jon Stewart—Lukianoff paints a stark picture of our ability as a nation to discuss important issues rationally. Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate illuminates how intolerance for dissent and debate on today’s campus threatens the freedom of every citizen and makes us all just a little bit dumber.

    Quite the trick, Leviticus. Your indoctrinators successfully propagandized you to support their right to censor people by convincing you that you’re standing up for the principle of “free speech.”

    I bet they even persuaded you it was your idea.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  262. Leviticus, you’ve already forgotten about the thread where an education counseling graduate student was kicked out of a program for refusing to accept the party line. How amusing that your memory is so short.

    SPQR (768505)

  263. Steve, every third word in that quote was a dog-whistle for censorship, and you know it.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  264. Not short, highly selective.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  265. 265. Leviticus, you’ve already forgotten about the thread where an education counseling graduate student was kicked out of a program for refusing to accept the party line. How amusing that your memory is so short.

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 12/31/2012 @ 1:44 pm

    I was probably wrong to accuse Leviticus of dishonesty, SPQR. It’s just that the indoctrination puts in place certain filters that makes it impossible for Leviticus to process what I’m actually saying. As opposed to what the propaganda tells him I must be saying.

    By the same token, the filters mean he can’t process or retain data that contridicts his indoctrination.

    By the way he’s arguing, he didn’t understand the dynamics of what was going on around him.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  266. 266. Steve, every third word in that quote was a dog-whistle for censorship, and you know it.

    Comment by askeptic (2bb434) — 12/31/2012 @ 1:45 pm

    267. Not short, highly selective.

    Comment by askeptic (2bb434) — 12/31/2012 @ 1:45 pm

    What exactly are you referring to?

    Steve57 (2073db)

  267. No, what I don’t understand is how you can say that Loomis “ought to be fired for what he teaches” (without knowing anything about what he teaches, and knowing only that he has said something you don’t like) and simultaneously pretend that you’re a defender of free speech.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  268. You don’t place nearly as much value on evidence as you pretend to.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  269. SPQR,

    You should reread my comment. It doesn’t say what you’re claiming it says.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  270. #272 was for Steve57, in case there’s any confusion on that point.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  271. Steve, you posted the review from Amazon on Lukianoff’s book – that was the dog-whistles I was referring to. Those words in the review must have been DW’s calling for the dismissal of Loomis, they just must have.

    267 was a response to SPQR @ 264.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  272. I know exactly what your comment says, Leviticus. It says you are rationalizing away your own hypocrisy. And today, it says that you are pretending that you can’t remember a thread only four weeks old when you asserted that Steve57 was without any evidence for his opinion.

    SPQR (768505)

  273. Leviticus–

    I went through and completed my undergrad and grad college career (which included hours and hours and hours of American and world history and political science material) without ever knowing the political leanings of my profs. I don’t think that was due to naiveté on my part but was due to academic ethics and integrity on their part. They encouraged classroom political debate and argumentation among students but neither led, prompted, or refereed such discussion. I do believe that in most circles these people would have been considered top tier researchers and academics in their fields.

    IOW, it seems to me this thread really is not an exploration about students or parents “agreeing or disagreeing with this prof’s politics”–or possible punishment for what he has said in an imprudent manner. Isn’t it really about gaining a better understanding of why should he be divulging and promoting such wholly non academic, non curriculum bearing information to students and the public using the imprimatur of his employer? Why is that OK? How is that ethical? Is that not in fact a demonstrably bizarre lack of judgment and overreach of his role as a faculty member and supposed teacher of “fact”?

    (As is usually the case) how Sandra Fluke and Rush Limbaugh became relevent to this discussion in your mind escapes me completely. And, as naturally cynical as you pretend you are, I find your lackadaisical attitude toward this teacher’s dictatorial and overtly hostile approach to be very—-interesting.

    elissa (78f8c6)

  274. I remember the thread – and I just reviewed it, so I know full well that I didn’t say what you are claiming I said. I said that it wasn’t the university’s fault that a credentialing body imposed standards on aspiring counselors. I didn’t say I “didn’t have a problem with coercion of view point of a student.”

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  275. “I find your lackadaisical attitude toward this teacher’s dictatorial and overtly hostile approach to be very—-interesting.”

    - elissa

    I have essentially the same position as Patterico. This guy is an ass. The people trying to get him fired for saying something they didn’t like are censorious thugs. That’s what this entire thread boils down to.

    Do you still find my “lackadaisical attitude” to be very — interesting?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  276. 270. No, what I don’t understand is how you can say that Loomis “ought to be fired for what he teaches” (without knowing anything about what he teaches, and knowing only that he has said something you don’t like) and simultaneously pretend that you’re a defender of free speech.

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 12/31/2012 @ 1:53 pm

    I know you don’t understand, Leviticus. You’ve demonstrated that countless times. But just because you’re incapable of understanding doesn’t mean I’m wrong about anything.

    It isn’t his politics I disagree with. It’s that:

    1. He advocates politicizing events.

    2. He advocates harsh penalties for those who disagree with him politically.

    3. He admits no one will probably ever publish his book.

    The first two would call into question his ability to conduct himself professionally as a historian and a professor no matter what his politics were.

    If he had become a public sensation as an academic for advocating for the politicization of events to serve right wing causes and to throw left-wingers in prison for the crime of disagreeing with him, it would still show he’s not capable of dealing with history or his students fairly or objectively.

    The latter shows, along with the fact that he’s only managed to get one co-written article into a periodical, demonstrates he doesn’t have the aptitude for the work. You do realize tenure and promotion are two different things, or don’t you Leviticus? If Loomis had demonstrated any sort of aptitude for teaching he might have been promoted to associate professor (without tenure) by now. That’s not too rare after four years as an assistant professor (and one of he pieces of evidence that supports my contention you don’t have to wait until considering Loomis for tenure before deciding if you want to keep renewing his contract).

    And is Loomis the Official Keeper of Wayne LaPierre’s Head to His Shoulders or something?

    No. LaPierre is beyond Loomis’ reach. Loomis can’t indulge in his autocratic fantasies against LaPierre.

    His students, on the other hand, are at his mercy.

    But, hey, you’re not concerned about what effect Professor “I would if I could” Politicizer’s speech has on them.

    Loomis is the one here with ethical standards to live up to. To promote academic freedom and free speech. It’s interesting how you’d free him from the standards of his chosen profession so he can engage in rhetoric that could only intimidate a student who might otherwise have risked exercising academic freedom and free speech in the classroom.

    I recommend you don’t read Lukianoff’s book, Leviticus. It would go against your indoctrination.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  277. 278. (As is usually the case) how Sandra Fluke and Rush Limbaugh became relevent to this discussion in your mind escapes me completely.

    Comment by elissa (78f8c6) — 12/31/2012 @ 2:06 pm

    I understand it completely, elissa. He’s been indoctrinated to believe that professors and other educators don’t have any greater ethical standards to live up to than any other political advocate.

    Ergo he continues to insist the problem I have with Loomis must be the same problem I have with Ed Schultz or Al Sharpton.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  278. “how Sandra Fluke and Rush Limbaugh became relevent to this discussion in your mind escapes me completely.”

    - elissa

    Oh, I think that came up when I said that Steve didn’t care about evidence, just politics – like, he didn’t care about evidence re: Fluke, and he doesn’t care about evidence re: Loomis, and one might be forgiven for beginning to sketch a line between two points and all…

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  279. *…must be the same problem I would have with Ed Schultz or Al Sharpton.*

    And I wouldn’t have a problem with anything Loomis tweets or blogs if he just had a gig at MSNBC, either. A tenure-track position at a university, though, is a different matter.

    But it’s only different because of the professional and ethical requirements one is supposed to demand of those who make it their career, as opposed to the other.

    But, hey, if we all accept Leviticus’ position that they’re both equally free of all standards of integrity then we’d be getting somewhere.

    And your kid could qualify for a history degree from a degree mill like URI for just watching Stone and Kuznick’s showtime bastardization of history without the trouble and expense.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  280. … Steve didn’t care about evidence, just politics…

    Leviticus, not agreeing to view the world as subjectively as you doesn’t equal not caring about evidence.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  281. Hyperbole eh?

    First proghole to say the solution is for all elementary schools to be target-rich gun-free environments needs to get beaten to death with a baseball bat.

    I was heartbroken in the first 20 mass murders.

    Now I want Erik Loomis’s head on a stick.

    You are goddamn right we should politicize this tragedy. Fuck the progs whose progressive legislative wins have allowed this to happen. Erik Loomis should be in prison and the politicians on notice.

    That’s OK then? But not hey stop giving my taxdollars to this idiot who wants to steal my liberty?

    Markon (535148)

  282. This is essentially what Steve57 is saying:

    “I would never suggest that Loomis be fired for his speech, but he can’t be smart enough to be a history professor with these opinions, and he is clearly too partisan to be a history professor with these opinions.”

    Here’s my point:

    There is always a totally non-speech related reason to say someone should be fired, which totally non-speech reason always tends to come back to the person’s speech.

    Loomis’s employer has the right to do whatever they like within the law. I just think it’s thuggish to try to get him fired… which is not to say he *should* be fired. I would not, if it were my decision.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  283. Leviticus,

    If Loomis doesn’t have the jackass walk around common sense not to advocate putting someone in jail or putting their head on a stick for expressing their views, then the University has ample reason to investigate his competence in the classroom. Without the avatar would anyone even know of his affiliation?

    Stupid people should not be teaching our children.

    Lbcatcher (61737c)

  284. Leviticus aspires to be a lawyer – well here’s a question he might have to face sometime:
    If he was a prosecutor and a prominent personage within his jurisdiction advocated that an individual should have his “head on a stick”, would he at least call that personage in for a talk?
    What difference is Loomis’ speech outside the university any different than a Klansman calling for action before a KKK rally against someone in the community (I’m thinking of Tom Metzger here, who was the Dem candidate for Congress in CA’s 43rd-CD in 1980, and who was prosecuted for incitement IIRC). What is the difference between nameless faces in a crowd gathered to hear what some would allege is “Hate Speech”, and faceless names on the internet reading “Hate Speech”, particularly when it has the imprimatur of a distinguished state institution?
    Also, could not calling for a “head on a stick” be considered a “terrorist threat” under provisions of the PATRIOT Act?
    (of course, we here in SoCal get to hear this blather all the time from two of our Talk-Radio hosts, usually directed at politicians – not that those pols don’t usually bring it on themselves by their double-dealing)

    askeptic (2bb434)

  285. Leviticus @286, nice strawman.

    That is not “essentially” what I’ve been saying at all.

    Loomis may have attracted attention because of his unhinged political rants, but that isn’t the issue. It’s about his demonstrated unsuitability for the job of history professor.

    It’s comparable to the Bellesiles case. Now there’s another guy, like Loomis (and Ward Churchill) I’d never have heard of if he didn’t inject himself into a political issue and make himself a national issue.

    But as the REPORT of the Investigative Committee in the matter of Professor Michael Bellesiles noted:

    The publication of Michael Bellesiles’ Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun
    Culture (Knopf, 2000) set off a controversy which, beginning to some degree as a debate
    involving hot political issues, became something else

    Of course, Leviticus, I suppose your fictional standard “timing is everything” means if I only notice someone because the say something “I don’t like” it can never become something else?

    Well, note that standard exists only in your imagination. That isn’t the standard these professional codes call upon these academics to adhere to.

    By the same token I’d never heard of American University history prof. Peter Kuznick, either, until he teamed with Oliver Stone but I don’t think he should be fired for that. Or for “saying things I don’t like.”

    He should be fired lending his academic credentials to an embarrassment of a non-history book (and cable series) he co-wrote with Oliver Stone.

    Oliver Stone Rewrites History — Again

    …Sean Wilentz, a Princeton historian who, owing to his strident defense of Bill Clinton during his impeachment hearings and to his 2006 Rolling Stone cover article on George W. Bush, “The Worst President in History?” is regarded as decidedly left-leaning. When I spoke to him, Wilentz said: “You can’t get two historians more unlike each other than me and Ronnie Radosh. But we can agree about this. It’s ridiculous.” Wilentz was in the middle of writing a review of Stone’s book. “Always beware of books that describe themselves as the untold history of anything, because it’s usually been told before,” he said. “It sets up this thing that there is some sort of mysterious force suppressing the true facts, right? Glenn Beck does this all the time. It’s the same thing here, except this is basically a very standard left-wing, C.P., fellow traveler, Wallace-ite vision of what happened in 1945-46.” It’s not, Wilentz continued, that the questions raised aren’t worth raising. “Is there a legitimate argument to be made about the origins of our nuclear diplomacy or the decision to build the H-bomb?” he said. “Of course there is. But it’s so overloaded with ideological distortion that this question doesn’t get raised in an intelligent way. And once a question gets raised in an unintelligent way, then you are off in cloud-cuckoo land.”

    My problem isn’t about Loomis’ politics. It’s not about his threats. It, just as with Bellesiles, Ward Churchill, and now Peter Kuznick, “became something else.”

    Not like I expect you to be able to comprehend that. I expect you to continue to distort what I’m saying because you’ve demonstrated that the prism through which you view the world distorts how you see it.

    So how can I expect you to distill what I’m “essentially” saying at all accurately?

    It is, by the way, amusing how you believe that the only academic ethics you think should be taken seriously are those concerning research misconduct.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  286. He received another publishing contract, for a book on the 1877 election, which didn’t have the fanfare,
    but still he falsified probate records,

    narciso (3fec35)

  287. “How can I expect you to distill what I’m “essentially” saying at all accurately?”

    - Steve57

    Fine. I’ll just reiterate my position, then:

    There is always a totally non-speech related reason to say someone should be fired, which totally non-speech reason always tends to come back to the person’s speech.

    Loomis’s employer has the right to do whatever they like within the law. I just think it’s thuggish to try to get him fired.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  288. So, who’s trying to get Loomis fired?

    I never would have hired him if I were in the position to make that decision. I would certainly fire him now if I were in the position to do so. If I had been considering sending my kid and my money to URI for anything at all which might involve Erik Loomis as a professor I wouldn’t now, and I’d probably let the president of the university know why I no longer consider URI a viable option.

    But I didn’t try to get Michael Bellesiles fired, and I didn’t try to get Ward Churchill fired. I’m not trying to get Peter Kuznick fired.

    Like Erik Loomis I would fire Peter Kuznick if it were up to me. But as with Erik Loomis I’m not going to sign any petitions or make any phone calls or send any emails or otherwise lift a finger to make it happen.

    If the people in charge of staffing these asylums have so little regard for the quality of their institutions, then that’s entirely their business.

    These ethical standards they’re supposed to be upholding apply to more than fabricating evidence, or deliberately omitting evidence, or plagiarizing someone else’s work in something a scholar intends to publish. And these ethical standards apply when the scholar is fulfilling their duties inside academe or speaking as an affiliated scholar outside academe.

    If they don’t care about ethics, I’m not going to care for them. They claim to adhere to lofty standards. They demonstrate by what they’re willing to tolerate that they really don’t adhere to them at all.

    That’s been my position throughout.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  289. When speaking of lofty standards, I also meant to include professional achievement as well as standards of ethical conduct.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  290. Well that’s good, that you’re not going to try to get him fired yourself. Some people are trying to get him fired. I think that’s thuggish behavior; what do you think of their behavior?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  291. I think we need more scholars of historical dildos and gay Marxist lumberjacks.

    JD (78d90b)

  292. I have the same opinion of that that Talleyrand had of Napoleon’s murder of the Duc d’Enghien:

    It was worse than a crime, it was a blunder.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  293. Well that goes without saying, JD,

    narciso (3fec35)

  294. If attempting to have Loomis’ scholarship, and teaching methods, investigated by the relevant authorities because of his apparent lack of standards, is “trying to get someone fired” and shouldn’t be done, then there is virtually no way that anyone in a public position of trust (in loco parentis, particularly) can be terminated or disciplined for conduct unbecoming, or tending to bring the institution into disrepute.
    That way breeds anarchy, as the inmates will now be in control of the asylum – which come to think about it, aptly describes many institutions of higher “learning” in this country.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  295. Oops, i think i might have been the first, plus i made that comment several times on different forums on various sites later on. Guess that i touched a nerve. I am so proud. Making liberals heads explode with profanity and bile is the most fun i can have at age 74.

    dunce (15d7dc)

  296. Assuming that Loomis’s employer A) expects its employees to conduct themselves professionally, and B) is permitted by the principle of at-will employment to fire him for pretty much any reason, then: I’m OK with them firing him.

    BTW, this case is number 7959229 in an ongoing series of examples proving that Twitter is the worst thing to happen to rational public discourse in human history. People should not use Twitter.

    gp (0c542c)

  297. What if Patterico, being an ADA in California but speaking on his personal blog, had said that certain suspected terrorists at Gitmo should go to hell, and the sooner the better, and a bunch of people tried to get him fired for it? What would you think about that?
    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 12/31/2012 @ 1:17 pm

    – More importantly, what if pigs actually did fly? Would they need to obtain pilot licenses, or would they just be reclassified as ‘pig birds’?

    Icy (1df83b)

  298. Do you still find my “lackadaisical attitude” to be very — interesting?
    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 12/31/2012 @ 2:12 pm

    – Only if “interesting” is the new ‘disheartening’.

    Icy (1df83b)

  299. Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 12/31/2012 @ 10:57 am
    And to you, Icy: people calling for Loomis’ firing are trying to silence him by attacking his livelihood – his employment at URI. They think that if they make headway toward getting him fired for saying things they don’t like, he’ll stop saying things they don’t like.
    – Really. You’ve talked to these people, and they’ve told you that this is the reason why they are calling for his firing? They actually think that if he gets fired he will stop saying what he really thinks on Twitter? Sure they do.

    That’s an attempt to silence by getting him fired. This isn’t hard. Or do you think that a fear of getting fired could not possibly have the result of chilling speech?
    – Your employer, regardless of whether it is in the private sector or the government (just to remind the Dana that picks nits) has the RIGHT to terminate your employment if you cross over a line with your speech. Period.

    Do you think it’s possible that a fear of getting fired might have the result of chilling speech? Most reasonable people would answer “yes.”
    – Fear of consequences for acting in an anti-social manner?
    If only there were some special kind of law book that addresses such a circumstance. Hmmm . . .

    Icy (1df83b)

  300. He’s a jackass. Were I his department head, I would take him in my office and explain in no uncertain terms that he was in trouble, that demanding summary execution for your political opponents was disgusting and absolutely unacceptable for a professor, and that any behavior like that in the classroom would result in progressive sanctions (probably unpaid suspension and a request for censure by the faculty senate on the first occurrence, getting worse from there)

    I would then slide over a press release stating that his comments were not approved by URI, that URI supports free and open debate without the use of violent language, and that URI condemns any use of violence to suppress political speech. It’s his problem, the university is not going to support him in any way.

    He should be in trouble for this at work because of the way he invoked retaliation for disagreement. If Patterico said this same thing, I’d hope his boss gave him hell for making the department look like a bunch of thugs. Whether or not he is fired is a matter for the people of RI and the URI administration.

    I don’t what is wrong with pressuring the university. They should be made aware that having a loose cannon around uncontrolled will have consequences for their public image and their finances.

    OmegaPaladin (f4a293)

  301. Keith Olbermann got fired once (or more), yet his tweets continue to flow unabated. The man is amazing.

    Icy (1df83b)

  302. 308. I would then slide over a press release stating that his comments were not approved by URI, that URI supports free and open debate without the use of violent language, and that URI condemns any use of violence to suppress political speech. It’s his problem, the university is not going to support him in any way.

    He should be in trouble for this at work because of the way he invoked retaliation for disagreement. If Patterico said this same thing, I’d hope his boss gave him hell for making the department look like a bunch of thugs. Whether or not he is fired is a matter for the people of RI and the URI administration.

    I don’t what is wrong with pressuring the university. They should be made aware that having a loose cannon around uncontrolled will have consequences for their public image and their finances.

    Comment by OmegaPaladin (f4a293) — 1/1/2013 @ 12:15 am

    I agree with the overall thrust of this. I wouldn’t have said “It’s his problem” because rightfully it’s the university’s problem. Or rather he is.

    I keep harping on terms like “academic integrity” and “academic ethics” because generally speaking each specialty and each institution has some sort of “code” that tells its members what standard of conduct they’re expected to live up to.

    Historians do, and as I recall from Loomis’ C.V. he belongs to a couple such “professional” associations. Individual colleges and universities do for their faculties as well. Standards of conduct they’re supposed to adhere to when doing research, disseminating the results of that research through both publishing and classroom instruction, and when wrapping themselves in the robes of “public intellectual” and using that authority outside the classroom.

    And it’s all complete BS. They demonstrate that by keeping people like Loomis around; a man who uses his freedom of speech to call for the imprisonment of those who exercise theirs to disagree with him.

    And who hides behind the skirts of “academic freedom” to use his to ensure others don’t exercise theirs. Or does anyone want to defend his name calling of NRA members as “terrorists” and “right wing morons” in light of the fact that at least some students at URI will be NRA members themselves and more will have parents that are (yes, they have those in Rhode Island; they even have them in Massachusetts and New York City). As a matter of fact, it’s entirely possible that some of the people who engaged him on twitter were his students.

    Because they dare not do so in his classroom. He is, like O.P. points out, threatening “retaliation for disagreement.” That goes against everything any published code of academic ethics calls for. And that no one in academe takes seriously.

    So it is URI’s problem. As well as higher education’s in general. So the ridicule and mockery can’t be limited to Loomis. He’s just the symptom. That thing needs to be held up as an indictment of what the URI’s of this country are producing.

    Does Loomis have the constitutional right to spew his totalitarian, anti-American stupidity all over twitter and his blog(s)? Of course. But then I don’t need to sit in his classroom to know that he’s incapable of teaching US history.

    Just like I don’t need to sit in Kuznick’s class at American University, “Oliver Stone’s America,” to know he teaches garbage. I can just read the book he co-wrote with Oliver Stone to know that.

    But why stop at ridiculing just them? Their employers, and the system their employers have created that produce these hacks, needs to be ridiculed. What really is the point, I ask again, is sitting through an unprofessional political partisan’s class to get distilled propaganda? You can just go to the source, Oliver Stone, and get it.

    Oliver Stone (and Michael Moore) think they’re historians because the historians are just the same sort of fraudsters they are. They can’t help themselves; give them a public forum and they’ll prove it.

    And there’s almost nothing they can do to degrade their employers and the whole notion of “academic ethics” that will get them fired.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  303. Because people behave exactly the same in their professional capacity as they do in their personal capacity. Great premise.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  304. It’s a logical assumption to make when dealing with someone who trades upon his professional association in his private life (his use of official letterhead in his tweets I believe was cited at one point in this discussion).

    askeptic (2bb434)

  305. 311. Because people behave exactly the same in their professional capacity as they do in their personal capacity. Great premise.

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 1/1/2013 @ 3:50 pm

    So then you agree with me that those professional and faculty codes of ethics and integrity that call upon them to do exactly that are complete BS, right, Leviticus?

    Steve57 (2073db)

  306. Because of course it’s perfectly OK in your view for a professor to insult and berate and threaten a student. As long as it’s outside the classroom, and the professor is acting in a private capacity. Right, Leviticus?

    Steve57 (2073db)

  307. Was Wayne LaPierre taking a course on the history of gay Marxist lumberjacks and no one told me?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  308. 315. Was Wayne LaPierre taking a course on the history of gay Marxist lumberjacks and no one told me?

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 1/1/2013 @ 4:24 pm

    That’s brilliant, Leviticus. What does that have to do with the fact that Loomis was insulting and berating people in public with complete disregard for the fact that some of those people may in fact be students of his?

    Also, just curious. Are you saying that academics, when identifying themselves as academics and engaging in public discourse, have no obligation to behave ethically as they would have if they were in the classroom?

    And then academics, when using the authority of their position by identifying themselves as academics, can provide the lesson that they’re only to be held to account when they’re on campus? Everything goes when they’re off campus (virtually and actually).

    That’s a great lesson in situational ethics, Leviticus. Because of course the the lesson is that whatever it is the point of a university education (as well as providing for tenured positions at a university) has become, what it is not is to serve the interests of larger society.

    Just so you know, in the past the idea behind publicly-funded universities is that the public is a stake-holder. But glad to see you acknowledge that it’s cool with you that a professor can and ought to behave in the most unethical manner possible when in the public sphere.

    Not that I’d ever expect you to acknowledge that your thinking demonstrates exactly what is wrong with higher education in general, and the whole edifice needs to be plowed under as a result.

    But your expressed views provide the justification for doing what needs to be done as it least undermines the idea institutions like URI deserve any public support whatsoever. Because the fact that what were formerly professional ethics goes by the wayside when these “professionals” engage in public discourse means that they and the institutions they work for are not ethically serving the public interest. But they have no intention of doing so.

    And therefore the whole basis for their claim to public financial support goes by the board as well.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  309. Leviticus has Stockholm Syndrome when it comes to academe; he just can’t comprehend that they would do anything against his interest, or blow smoke up his a$$!

    askeptic (2bb434)

  310. To the list of ways that Loomis (and with Leviticus’ approval) undermines what were formerly supposed to be a code of professional ethics we can now add another:

    Codes of conduct simply demand that that professors must ethically instruct their students in academic disciplines so that they can then better follow the example of their instructors and use their training to unethically deal with the public.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  311. Would you call a woman a skank or a slut in your professional capacity, Steve57, the way you would call a woman a skank or a slut in your personal capacity?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  312. I suspect that you would hesitate to call a woman a skank or a slut when you were at work. It’s different when you’re on a blog in your personal capacity, though – isn’t it?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  313. Point is, there’s a difference between saying things when you’re at work and saying things when you’re online in a personal capacity. It’s why Patterico always goes out of his way to demonstrate that on this blog, he’s speaking in his personal capacity and not his professional capacity.

    In case you didn’t pick up on that. People seem to be missing the parallel.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  314. So your problem is that I’m not a professor like Loomis, and that I didn’t identify myself as a professor and the university where I work, before calling Fluke a skank and a slut?

    Steve57 (2073db)

  315. I once had somebody try to get me fired from a job for my politics, by the way.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  316. If a woman self-describes her life-style and it matches the general conception of “slut” or “skank”, there would be nothing wrong in asking her why she acts in such a manner, and using either word.
    After all, we freely call men out for their destructive lifestyles, why are we (You) so hesitant to do the same with the “fairer sex”?

    askeptic (2bb434)

  317. So my problem is that you’re advocating for his firing at all, when he was clearly, obviously, self-evidently speaking in a personal capacity – like you were when you erroneously called Fluke a skank and a slut.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  318. In case you didn’t pick up on that. People seem to be missing the parallel.

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 1/1/2013 @ 5:07 pm

    Because it doesn’t exist outside your indoctrinated imagination. There is no personal capacity for a professional to advocate professional misconduct.

    Again, address the issue; is the sole purpose of faculty codes of conduct (and professional codes of conduct such as the American Historical Association’s) to better train students to use their education to unethically “serve” the public?

    And to provide practical demonstrations, as Loomis did when while identifying himself as a history professor at URI he advocated politicizing events.

    Since that is apparently the case, tell me again why public institutions like URI deserve public financial support?

    Steve57 (2073db)

  319. She wasn’t “self-describing” her life-style, askeptic. She was describing the medical conditions of other female Georgetown students. Which you guys would know if you’d bothered to actually read the transcript of her remarks, rather than taking marching orders from people who apparently do your reading for you.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  320. Even though he knew she had nothing to do with it, there was an insistance to portray her as inciting
    Loughner’s act;

    http://alterdestiny.blogspot.com/2011/01/giffords-shooting-and-its-aftermath.html

    that’s near beer to describing what Fluke wanted us to do for her and her pals,

    narciso (3fec35)

  321. You’ve just gotta love it when people purport to know the details of Sandra Fluke’s sex life; people like Rush Limbaugh — and Leviticus.

    Icy (1df83b)

  322. Leviticus, I’ve said repeatedly I don’t care if Fluke was speaking on her own behalf or others.

    She clearly thinks it’s a grand idea that someone else subsidize the costs of a woman’s recreational sex.

    That makes her a skank. And a slut. I don’t use the terms in error.

    It has to do with the old saying about lying down with dogs and waking up with fleas.

    But then I wouldn’t expect a guy who continually and deliberately tries to mislead people (ineffectually, I’ll grant you) about what I’ve been saying on this comment thread to get anything right.

    I’m not calling for Loomis to be fired. I don’t even want Loomis to be fired. I want him hung around the neck of the state university for whom he works like a millstone.

    Again, quit avoiding what I’ve been driving at all along; what possible claim can a university have on the public in terms of demanding support when it demonstrates it feels it owes the public no obligations in terms of ethical behavior when it or its representatives enter the public sphere?

    Steve57 (2073db)

  323. Btw, Loomis still has a twitter, this is how I found a link to wisdom like this;

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2013/01/the-deal

    narciso (3fec35)

  324. She described a requirement for copius amounts of birth-control, which would only be required by one leading a “slutish” or “skankish” life-style (aka “phuquing like a bunny”), and she wanted other people to pay for it when it was available for quite reasonable amounts from Walmart if she (or her “friends”) were willing to use their own dime.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  325. “when he was clearly, obviously, self-evidently speaking in a personal capacity”

    Leviticus – Given the identification with URI on his twitter feed I mentioned early in the thread, the above was not at all as clear to me as you claim it is to you.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  326. Leviticus, you seem to fixate on people advocating for Loomis’ firing.

    But you seem to want to excuse someone who is advocating for the imprisonment and murder of NRA members and Wayne Lapierre.

    That would be Loomis.

    SPQR (768505)

  327. Let’s just reverse the scenarios and see what the reaction would be:

    Action:
    Wayne LaPierre on his Twitter account calls for the lynching of a URI professor!

    Reaction:
    NRA terminates LaPierre for cause.

    There’s those evil conservatives holding people to a strict standard of conduct.
    Can’t we all just get along?

    askeptic (2bb434)

  328. 325. So my problem is that you’re advocating for his firing at all, when he was clearly, obviously, self-evidently speaking in a personal capacity – like you were when you erroneously called Fluke a skank and a slut.

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 1/1/2013 @ 5:16 pm

    I somehow missed congratulating you, Leviticus. You hit the trifecta. Not one single thing you said in that comment.

    1. I have never called for Loomis to be fired.
    2. I didn’t erroneously call Fluke a skank and a slut.

    And, drum roll please:

    3. Loomis was not “obviously, self-evidently speaking in a personal capacity.”

    It was so “not obvious” his employer was compelled to issue this statement:

    The University of Rhode Island does not condone acts or threats of violence. These remarks do not reflect the views of the institution and Erik Loomis does not speak on behalf of the University. The University is committed to fostering a safe, inclusive and equitable culture that aspires to promote positive change.

    The president of URI has since issued a second statement clarifying their first:

    In the statements at issue, Professor Loomis did not make it clear that he was speaking solely as an individual, and that the views he expressed were his alone and did not reflect the views of the University of Rhode Island. This was the rationale for our original statement.

    Again, I congratulate you Leviticus. Well done! You’ve consistently demonstrated a near superhuman ability to get things wrong, but it’s a rare achievement when you get absolutely everything in a comment completely, 100% wrong.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  329. There’s another example, where the famed historian,
    unable to make any learned reference re Benghazi,
    say the Perdicaris incident, chooses to go all Freudian,

    narciso (3fec35)

  330. *Not one single thing you said in that comment was true*

    The optical mouse strikes again.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  331. It is a Mary McCarthy moment.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  332. “She described a requirement for copius amounts of birth-control…”

    Well, if it will ensure that she never reproduces, I might be persuaded to donate to the cause.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  333. Steve57, it takes no effort whatsoever for a liberal to get things wrong — they just stick to their ideological stance and ignore the facts.

    Icy (1df83b)

  334. 328. Even though he knew she had nothing to do with it, there was an insistance to portray her as inciting
    Loughner’s act;

    http://alterdestiny.blogspot.com/2011/01/giffords-shooting-and-its-aftermath.html

    that’s near beer to describing what Fluke wanted us to do for her and her pals,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/1/2013 @ 5:21 pm

    You know what’s interesting about Loomis’ relationship with that blog? He puts his experience blogging at that site on his C.V. under “Public History Experience.” (His C.V. is on the drop down menu under his name on the “Lawyers, Guns, & Money blog; it redirects you to a document.):

    PUBLIC HISTORY EXPERIENCE

    Alterdestiny, 2004-Present
    Writing and editing this blog of history and politics. Recent posts discussed in the New York Times and The Nation. Alterdestiny.blogspot.com

    Global Comment, 2009-Present
    Writing historically based columns about current issues. Globalcomment.com

    Consultant, Colorado Historical Society, 2010
    Consulting on their environmental history exhibit in their new state history museum

    Session Leader, Teaching American History Grant, Rio Rancho, NM, 2010
    Leading a day-long workshop on teaching environmental history from contact to 1620 in the elementary and middle-school classroom

    Creating Historical Markers for San Gabriel River Trail, 2009-2010
    Recipient of grant to create two historical markers related to the 1921 San Gabriel Flood
    to be placed on the San Gabriel River Trail

    Researcher, Los Alamos National Laboratory, 2004-2007
    Worked as a researcher on historic buildings to help the Laboratory comply with the
    National Historic Preservation Act

    Researcher, New Mexico Association of Grantmakers, 2003
    Complied report on current alternative energy projects in New Mexico…

    Interesting, no? When he blogs or comments on line he claims it as professional experience. He is, in his view, working as a historian.

    But Leviticus would have us believe he isn’t acting in a professional capacity and thus has no obligation to comply with any professional code of ethics.

    Even though Loomis says otherwise.

    Again, only someone who has been indoctrinated could accept the basic contradiction. That a professor who implies he’s speaking on behalf of a university by advertising his affiliation (to the extent that the university has to issue a statement for the stated reason that that the professor didn’t make things clear, and that they have to then clear up the fact the professor does not speak for them) and who actually puts his blogging experience on his C.V. as professional experience can somehow be defended as if he were “obviously, self-evidently speaking in a personal capacity.”

    Steve57 (2073db)

  335. Category seems to be all over his work;

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2461329/posts?page=4

    narciso (3fec35)

  336. Supposition, supported by no fact, whatsoever,

    http://globalcomment.com/the-new-racism-history-and-the-tea-party-part-1/

    narciso (3fec35)

  337. 344. Supposition, supported by no fact, whatsoever,

    http://globalcomment.com/the-new-racism-history-and-the-tea-party-part-1/

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/1/2013 @ 10:30 pm

    From the article at your link:

    Of course, it has been Tea Party willingness to tolerate this older style of overt racism that has exposed it to criticism: Tea Party members shouting “nigger” at Civil Rights hero John Lewis as he entered the House to vote for health care reform…

    Actually, it’s in line with the quality of work he demonstrated in his thesis. He mythologizes history to advance his political agenda. The Lewis accusation is contrary to the evidence. It, like his allegations about the Everest castration, is completely unsupported by evidence.

    There are various codes concerning academic ethics and/or academic integrity that historians are supposed to abide by. They are not supposed to fabricate evidence, omit evidence, ignore contrary evidence, and they are supposed to acknowledge alternate interpretations of the evidence and engage in reasoned discourse respecting other points of view.

    They are, in short, not supposed to let their desire to score partisan points trump their duty to not misrepresent the facts or the critical method professional historians (and Loomis is not one, based upon his own words) use to analyze those facts.

    Yet Loomis violates those tenets every single time. Not in some “personal capacity” but in a professional capacity.

    The kind of work he puts in his C.V.

    Steve57 (2073db)

  338. This article appeared in The New Criterion Today:

    Higher ed: an obituary

    It explains why I don’t care if Erik Loomis gets fired. Why I wouldn’t ever try to get Erik Loomis fired (fretting about one Erik Loomis getting tenure at one east coast university is just pissing in the ocean). Indeed, it would be better if he doesn’t get fired if it will hasten the end.

    Ironically, when colleges and universities go out of business it won’t be blamed on the Loomis’s and Dooleys of the world and their blatant subversion of academic ethics for political purposes. It will be blamed on economics. But that shows a poor understanding of the problem because it’s the Loomis’s and Dooleys of academia that demonstrated that higher education as they do it just ain’t worth the price.

    They didn’t fix the problem because they are the problem. As I’ve been saying, why spend 10s of thousands of dollars a year to learn something from Loomis that you could learn from renting a couple of Oliver Stone movies?

    Steve57 (2073db)

  339. “Some people are trying to get him fired. I think that’s thuggish behavior…”

    Nah, forcing me to pay the guy’s salary at the point of a gun, that’s thuggish behavior.

    Me, wanting him fired is just good old common sense.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  340. Some people are trying to get him fired. I think that’s thuggish behavior…

    I think anyone has a good reason to be suspicious of where you’re coming from. Certainly when you want to equate speech along the lines of wishing for someone’s death (LaPierre “should be beaten to death”…and his “head [put] on a stick”) with speech along the lines of “Sandra Fluke is a slut.” In effect, you’re rationalizing. You’re doing ideological back flips.

    It suggests if a person who’s being excoriated for something he (or she) said is a liberal — no matter how extreme his or her words are (ie, calling for someone’s death), you’ll most likely respond differently towards that individual compared with your gut reaction towards far less incendiary comments voiced by a conservative.

    That you’d make such an equivalency (an amoral, two-faced one) in the first place is a dead giveaway.

    Mark (b5c530)

  341. I’m late to the party as well, but I want to repeat what I wrote on another story on this subject at allergic2bull. I have not read all the comments either, so I am not sure if others are expressing this same opinion.

    I do not want to see the guy fired, but I can see the university using this episode as a reason for denying tenure.

    In fact I would urge the University to not offer tenure as I think this situation shows an inability to discuss certain subjects in a rational way and the ability to agree to disagree when all else fails. That attribute I think is necessary in someone teaching at our Universities.

    It is a fine line, and many may see it as non-existent, but I feel comfortable with expressing it. Yes, denying tenure would eventually lead to his dismissal (I think. If I understand the way tenure works…correct me if I am wrong) so the net effect is I am asking for him to lose his job because of his asshatted tweets and re-tweets. However I am not asking for his head NOW, nor am I saying it is because of WHAT he said, but how he chose to say it and his inability to allow others to disagree with him in a respectful manner.

    It is a case of him opening his mouth (or in this case keyboard) and removing all doubt that he is not fit to be in the position for which he is working towards.

    Dustyn H (90c3fd)

  342. Because people behave exactly the same in their professional capacity as they do in their personal capacity. Great premise.

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 1/1/2013 @ 3:50 pm

    Yes, I believe they do. For instance if I have an employee who cheats on his wife, the most important personal relationship he has, how can I be certain that he won’t cheat me? His relationship with me is far less important than the relationship with his wife.

    If a person advocates violence and death to those who disagree with him, how can I be sure he won’t do the same in his professional capacity?

    Tanny O'Haley (12193c)

  343. Comment by Tanny O’Haley (12193c) — 1/2/2013 @ 1:35 am

    If a person advocates violence and death to those who disagree with him, how can I be sure he won’t do the same in his professional capacity?

    Often the bark is worse than the bite, and he’s not really serious. It’s just bad, that’s all.

    He moves from politics, to punishment to violence, maybe.

    What sticks out first is that he wants to pass a Bill of Attainder (!) against Wayne LaPierre for doing something not against the law. Or maybe he wants extrajudicial activity.

    I’m not even sure he holds Wayne LaPierre responsible in some way, so much as he seems to believe that if people followed Wayne LaPierre’s counsel in the future, more people would get killed.

    NO respect for a system of laws. And almost nobody would ever put the (crimes?) he advocates be created (?) into a system of law, for good and obvious reasons.

    Sammy Finkelman (d1a369)

  344. I think Loomis wants people to reason backwards. If he wants to do all these bad things to Wayne LaPierre, it must be a really bad thing Wayne LaPierre did. Or maybe what he will do, or cause.

    He’s thinks he is showing how bad what Wayne Pierre did is, or maybe what Wayne LaPierre is saying, by his extreme reaction.

    Sammy Finkelman (d1a369)

  345. I missed that part, I was more focusing on his misrepresentation, of Stack as a Tea Partier,

    narciso (3fec35)

  346. I’m fed up with being the nice good guy who lives by his principles. And looses because the other side has no principles. Time for the Golden Rule…Do unto them as they would do unto us. This clown would be brought down and destroyed as a journalist. I don’t just want him fired, I want him to wear the leper’s bell of shame and to carry the ‘I am a disgrace as an American journalist’ sign around his neck.

    TheHat (58d08b)

  347. Actually, the rampant hypocrisy and sheer inanity of Leviticus’ defense of Loomis has prompted me to write an email to the URI asking for clarification.

    Leviticus, consider it my monument to your premise that one dare not object when an academic demands silent obedience from those he dislikes in the name of “free speech.” Speaking up after that constitutes anti-1st Amendment “thuggery.”

    I’ll send it to the interim executive director for communications and community relations, Kerrie Bennet. The gist will be how does URI expect anyone to take their stated devotion to free speech, propagation of knowledge, and the free exchange of ideas seriously when their idea of a qualified history professor is someone who demands speech he disagrees with be censored, certain thoughts outlawed, and people he dislikes who attempt to engage in the exchange of ideas punished?

    I’ll probably write it tomorrow. It was a long day.

    Steve57 (2073db)


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