Day: January 11, 2013

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!

Guns, Gays, Immigrants, Women: The Demise Of The Republican Party

The Republican Party is allowing itself to fall into a “coma” from which it will not recover if there is not fast action to reverse their course.

It is rapidly becoming the “stupid” party, the irrelevant party, the party of the 19th century, the party that makes the organization that gave us Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower look glorious and forward looking, while putting those who admire that original party now feel a need to engage in deep mourning for what has been lost!

A party that worships guns, as if we are on the frontier fighting native Americans, and are living in the era of the American Revolution and the Civil War, is a party in deep denial. To see the right of people to own multiple weapons and large magazines, and have no concern about the death of children and adults in all public places imaginable, is to see a party of delusion.

A party that led on the issue of the end of slavery and passed the first civil rights laws, now leads the crusade to promote hate and discrimination against people based on sexual orientation, and to allow right wing Christian wing nuts to preach a Christianity which denies equality and justice and tolerance to such human beings makes it a party which has forgotten about the Founding Fathers’ beliefs in separation of church and state.

A party which legitimizes nativism, hatred of immigrants, as one of its major ideals, is a party that refuses to face the future, one in which immigrants will be the dominant factor in our politics and society, and forgets its own fundamental roots among immigrant groups in the 19th century who believed in the reform principles that founded the party.

And a party which fails to respect women’s rights and dignity, and treats them as second class citizens due to the influence of right wing Christian extremists, is a party on the road to extinction.

The Republican Party has been given plenty of warnings about its impending demise. The question now is whether it will revive itself from its coma and come into the 21st century, and promote rationality, tolerance, and open mindedness, or become a party which is an historical oddity, which went from a positive image, to one of an extremist group out of touch with the American people and their needs for the future!