Academic Freedom

Stephen Miller Needs To Be Kicked Out Of Trump Administration And Face Investigation, As He Is Most Dangerous Person Around Trump!

Who would think a 32 year old bully, racist, white supremacist, and nativist, with the credentials of having been on the staff of former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, would end up becoming in many ways the most dangerous person around Donald Trump?

This blogger and author is referring to Stephen Miller, a disgrace to the Jewish people and religion, who has somehow become the center of the debate over immigration, and is helping to push the President toward extremism on many issues, including immigration and civil rights.

Miller was brought up in a liberal leaning Jewish family in Santa Monica, California, with his mother’s family having escaped from Belarus in the early 20th century, coming to America as non English speaking immigrants who achieved the “American Dream”, that now Miller wishes to deny immigrants from Latin America and from the Middle Eastern nations, including Muslims, and Africa.

In high school, Miller showed intolerance, as he promoted right wing conservatism, including the extremism of National Rifle Association spokesman Wayne La Pierre, and spoke on right wing talk radio as young as 16 years of age. He stirred controversy as he promoted white supremacist views in high school and at Duke University. He had a constant confrontational attitude, and befriended white supremacist Richard Spencer and right wing propagandist David Horowitz, another Jewish public figure who had once been on the left, and then became connected to the Far Right, and has promoted attacks on academic freedom of left leaning college professors.

Miller helped future Virginia Congressman David Brat defeat House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in 2014, and went to work for the Trump campaign early in 2016, and became the warmup speaker for many Trump campaign rallies, and helped to write Trump’s speech accepting the Republican National Convention nomination for President. He became a senior adviser to the White House, connecting himself closely to Stephen Bannon, but has lately separated himself from Bannon, since Bannon left the White House staff and was shown to have given ammunition against Trump in the recently published Michael Wolff blockbuster book, FIRE AND FURY, which has become a best seller. Miller remains closely allied with Trump son in law Jared Kushner, who also looks more outrageous and objectionable on a daily basis, and may be involved in Trump Administration corruption.

Miller helped to write the controversial Inauguration speech of Donald Trump, and has made controversial and confrontational statements on various Sunday news shows, including that the President had absolute authority and “will not be questioned”. He confronted Jim Acosta of CNN about immigration, at a White House appearance in which Miller defended travel bans against Muslims and the promotion of limiting immigration from various parts of the world, against many nations. Most recently, he became combative against Jake Tapper of CNN, and was cut off by the host, and then refused to leave, and was escorted out by security guards.

Stephen Miller is a racist, nativist, white supremacist, all despite the fact of his Jewish heritage, and he is a disgrace, and needs to be kicked out of the Trump Administration and face investigation in the Trump scandals, as Robert Mueller is in the process of doing.

He is clearly the most dangerous person around Trump now, influencing Trump to the point of the present government shutdown, preventing any protection of “Dreamers”, the immigrant children who were protected under the DACA program, but now face deportation to nations they know nothing about, but where they were born before being brought to America as children.

Miller is a peddler of hate, who needs his comeuppance, and should never again be allowed to be interviewed on any news program, unless and until he apologizes for his misbehavior, which most assuredly will never happen.

The thought that comes to mind is that Stephen Miller is the equivalent of Roy Cohn to Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, infamous for the Red Scare of the 1950s, or Rasputin, the adviser to Czar Nicholas II of Russia, before the Russian Revolution of 1917. In other words, Miller is an evil and dangerous force, who needs to have his rapid gaining of power taken away from him now!

The Attack On Teacher Tenure An Attack On Education Itself!

The decision of a California judge against teacher tenure in California is the alarm bell of attacks on public education, and really, educational standards itself!

There is no question that there are people in the teaching profession who should not be allowed to keep their jobs, due to incompetence, inappropriate behavior in the classroom, and refusal to update their skills and motivation to work.

There is, certainly, a need to give administrators the power to remove such teachers from the classroom and the profession, and therefore, there is a need for reform of tenure.

But the sweeping decision in California will promote right wing attacks on education itself, and will have deleterious effects as follows:

Veteran teachers who are at the top of the pay and benefits scale, after many years of hard work and dedication, could be forced out of the profession simply based on cost factors.

The ability of teachers to have academic freedom will be compromised, and it will discourage innovation and new ideas, out of fear of antagonizing administrators and parents.

The promotion of religion over science will be accelerated, creating a future of ignorance on the challenges that face us, and promoting instead a concept of obedience to the literal interpretation of the Bible, which already, one third of the American people believe in as fact.

The promotion of a flag waving patriotism, which sweeps historical reality and fact under the rug, and ignores the truth of our shortcomings and mistakes, is the promotion of a dangerous nationalism, which advocates the greatness of America, while showing lack of respect and knowledge of the rest of world history and civilization. This will also discourage the study of foreign languages and cultures, further isolating America from world affairs knowledge and understanding.

The movement to privatize education makes it a profit making institution, which education should not be, and will condemn generations of students to right wing propaganda, including attack on the institution of labor unions itself, which made America a middle class society, but now in danger of becoming an autocracy ruled by the top one percent of billionaires and millionaires for their own aggrandizement!

The Recklessness And Lack Of Responsibility Of Professor James Tracy Of Florida Atlantic University: How Should We React To It?

Professor James Tracy of the Department of Communications at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, where this author has been an Adjunct Professor of History and Political Science since 1989, has become the center of a massive controversy in the past few days. Let me inform my readers that I do not know Professor Tracy, have never met him, and did not even know what he looked like until this controversy erupted!

Tracy has claimed that he believes that the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre of December 14 in Newtown, Connecticut, was a staged event conjured up by a conspiracy of the Obama Administration in cahoots with the news media and trained actors, and that since there is no released photographic evidence of the riddled bodies of 20 children and six teachers and administrators, therefore the event never happened!

This is obviously a lunatic theory, a conspiracy theory that believes that the government and the news media work together to lie to the American people, and to cause staged events to add to the power of the American government at all levels, in their aim to take away the civil liberties of the American population. It is never explained why the news media would collaborate in such a conspiracy, as criticism of government is a regular situation by the news media all across the country!

Tracy is intellectually dishonest, and in his heart of hearts, he knows that what he has done is horrific, irresponsible, reckless, unforgivable, and only feeds gun fanatics who wish to act in a manner similar to Alex Jones, who went on Piers Morgan’s show on CNN, and ranted and raved about plans to begin another “1776” event, through an armed uprising against government authorities.

Tracy is feeding paranoia, adding his title as a professor to promotion of conspiracy theories, and is undermining respect for our government leadership at all levels. He is acting as a demagogue, a man who incites crazies with his nutty utterances on his blog and in emails.

But the problem is that some would say this man should be fired by the university, which has taken the proper stand to separate themselves from his reckless, irresponsible statements, but point out that his viewpoints are not associated with the university, therefore upholding his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech.

The best thing that could happen, but is unlikely to occur, is that Tracy, a tenured Associate Professor, choose to resign from Florida Atlantic University, but his notoriety makes it unlikely that he would be picked up by another university, and this is his livelihood. Freedom of expression and academic freedom cannot be violated nor abrogated!

So we must be willing to tolerate his outrageous statements in the name of civil liberties, and know that he will certainly be living a life of discomfort for his utterances, and his lack of concern for the harm he is doing to the families of the 20 children and six teachers and administrators who were tragic victims nearly a month ago!

But despite anger, no one should threaten his life, or write hateful emails to this professor, but instead ignore him as quickly as possible, as that is ultimately what Professor Tracy feeds on—attention, although of a negative variety—which makes one wonder about his own mental state, and the hope that he does not have ownership of any guns or other assault weapons!

The Danger To Academic Freedom At Universities, The Media And All Free Thinkers!

It is interesting that a person, with no special qualifications other than a big mouth and ability to be outrageous in his statements on radio or cable, can be totally protected in his free speech rights, but if a college professor or intellectual voices his educated judgment, the move is on to discredit him, and destroy him if possible, as a radical or an extremist!

This has happened to Professor William Cronon, the President Elect of the American Historical Association, of which the author is a proud member, for his criticisms of the Wisconsin state government for what it has done and is doing to the rights of state employees regarding collective bargaining, an idea that came to Wisconsin earlier than anywhere else!

Paul Krugman of the New York Times brings attention to this issue in the Sunday edition of his column, and it is, indeed, very troubling.

The same tactic has been used against those scientists who promote climate change legislation, and the aim of the right wing in the Republican Party and in the news media is clear: Do everything to “shut up” the college professors and intellectuals who dare to challenge the right wing agenda of destroying academic freedom and free speech for those who disagree with their agenda!

The Rush Limbaughs, Glenn Becks, Sean Hannitys, Bill O’Reillys, etc of talk radio and television will continue to spew forth their propaganda, but those who oppose their lies and deceptions must not allow themselves to be intimidated from telling the truth, and promoting an open minded look at history, science, public affairs, and every other area of knowledge, as it is precisely these professors and intellectuals who keep the hope alive of a truly educated population who understands history, science, public affairs, rather than the misconceptions and fabrications of the far right, which will stop at nothing to promote their propaganda, and have taken control of the Republican Party, lock, stock and barrel, to the detriment of the American people!

Academic Freedom Under Attack At Towson State University In Baltimore!

A case attacking academic freedom has occurred at Towson State University in Baltimore, Maryland.

An adjunct professor of Art, Allen Zaruba, was fired for using the N word in his discussion, a passing comment about his status as an adjunct professor who had no security or ability to improve his status.

Basically, he just blundered, not carefully considering what he was uttering, and while it was wrong to say what he said, for the provost to go ahead and fire him after 12 years of employment part time, and with a record of excellent student evaluations, seems overly harsh.

A reprimand and warning would have been sufficient, as to fire him on the phone without any due process was against our system of justice. The American Association of University Professors declared that Professor Zaruba deserved a full hearing, and a poll of Towson students showed that 77 percent thought the firing was uncalled for on one incident alone.

Towson State University should rescind its action, and if it does not, then the AAUP should censure the institution for its mistreatment of an professor who has been brought under an unreasonable standard. It does not reflect well on that institution, and needs more publicity and attention in the news media to bring pressure to rescind such an unjust action!