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What did I say?
by anna at 09:23 AM on February 05, 2005
All over the internet there are now references to a formerly obscure Colorado professor named Ward Churchill. He's the churl who likened Trade Center stockbrokers murdered on 9/11 to Nazis, opined that those innocent victims had it coming for all the oppressive US policies and all the other (blah,blah) left-wing academic blather we all routinely ignore. He called those deaths, "a penalty befitting their participation in... the might engine of profit." Ah but no mention of his participation in the mighty engine of profit for which he banks a $114,000 salary as a tenured professor. Who cares, right? But for what it's worth, here's his lame rebuttal to the boring right-wing firestorm the recent unearthing of his ill-advised diatribe provoked.
Now, I don't begrudge him his right to express his wild-eyed opinion. (Actually I do.) We have the right to free speech in the US, unlike some locales where "hate speech" (thought crimes?) can land you in the hoosegow. But I do wonder about this guy. Consider that he posted this within hours of the attacks. Do you remember how everyone else was positively reeling in the aftermath? Is the low oxygen level in high-altitude, smog-choked Boulder Colorado air such that it alters one's normal brain synapses? Or did someone surgically remove the chunk of his big intellectual brain that processes normal empathy? Is he one of those idiots who include Mohammed Atta and his sub-human thugs in the 9/11 death toll? They caused it, for crying out loud.
It's also interesting how he attempts to split hairs in defending his piece. Just read it. He didn't say the Trade Center workers were Nazis, they were "little Eichmans." Eichman didn't personally gas any Jews or Gypsies or gays, he was just an efficient administrator. So it's cool. Gotcha, Ward. It's all copacetic. FU.
Dude, stick to your guns. As Henry Ford put it, never apologize, never explain. Once you've said something, it is clearly what you thought at the time and it is likely what you will continue to believe until you die. There's way too much bogus contrition these days. "Mistakes were made." "Pain was caused." Deal with it.
Okay. I'll concede that the a-hole makes one (and only one) valid point that went judiciously unvoiced at the time. I'll preface it by saying that the plane that struck the Pentagon basically taxied down Columbia Pike, a road in the hood where I grew up. So yeah, it's more than a little personal. That said, even then I wondered about how that could ever happen. The Pentagon is teeming with stern-faced, buzz-cut wonks who attend meetings and briefings, all of which deals with the business of wholesale death. It's the world's largest military installation. And yes, it was a legitimate target in the ridiculous war on non-Muslim humanity that Osama publicly declared in 1998. How then could an unarmed private aircraft come plowing into it without so much as a pistol shot fired by the soldiers who work there? Why was it so helpless?
I drive by there sometimes and there are armed soldiers and anti-aircraft batteries all around the perimeter. They are ready in case terrorists decide to strike again. Talk about locking the barn door after the horses have long since bolted!
I am still dealing with some of the survivors of the senseless Pentagon attack. Many of whom understandably suffer from debilitating post-traumatic stress. They tell me about it in unflinching detail. The pictures you saw do scant justice to what actually went down inside. People were hurled about like rag dolls. You couldn't see your hand in front of your face. Carnage abounded. Fires raged. Helpless is indeed the word. Think the tornado scene at the start of The Wizard of Oz.
Unfortunately Churchill wasn't there. He was lazing about at his computer posting the hoity-toity invective that could very well prove his downfall. Man, let's all hope so.
What a dufus...
...some of the traders I knew in WTC were 23 old kids who didn't make shit and even lost money...
...academics, once again, in their own little fake world.
by LOCKHEED at February 5, 2005 10:46 AM
That ain't all. As he strolls around the campus threatening school officials with lawsuits should they send him packing, impressionable students hang on this long-haired, cigarette smoking freak's every word. This is the same school that used sex and drugs to recruit high school football prospects. Rocky Mountain High, indeed.
by Anna at February 5, 2005 11:06 AM
I had an image of Osama cycling in the air around the Pentagon, cackling like an old crone as I read the Wizard of OZ reference.
Maybe I'm as moronic as old Ward but I see rhyme to his reasoning... Doesn't strike me as all that off. Granted his timing in the wake of the attacks is regrettable, but the comments on shit foreign policy having a backlash from the people affected by it... Makes sense to me. He did fail to realise that regardless of the foreign policy of the States though, that Osama is hell bent on attacking the west, again, in spite of diplomatic policies or foreign relations. He's out to get you, and your little dogs too. You need a bucket of water... A Lion, a Scarecrow, and a Tin Man, a pair of Ruby Slippers, and an Auntie Em... Bush can be OZ... And Osama’s fate will be sealed as he is reduced to a steaming turban, and his army of ‘Oh-wee-oh’ terrorists will suddenly become friendly and after thanking you for ridding them of Osama, they’ll hand you his AK to take to Bush.
I watched the planes hitting the towers live on television and I was shaken to the core. I had to mentally slap myself again and again to remind myself that the buildings were in America, the most powerful nation on the planet, the crown jewel of the west. I was getting phone calls from my family, my dad in particular, saying things like: "Get your shit together, you'll be conscripted soon. Glad I'm not a part of your generation." To which I replied, "Get your shit together, and stop talking shit, your grip on reality needs recalibrating."
Everybody overeacted/reacted and said/did stupid things after the attacks. Ward is one of em. You're right though, he shouldn't have tried to explain, he should have left what he'd said hanging.
by Ex Crimson Guard NCO at February 5, 2005 11:28 AM
"... a provocative short film showing how universities use tools such as "speech codes" to force political views upon students."
I also like their response to this topic.
by MrBlank at February 5, 2005 12:00 PM
Blank, do you mean you agree with these jokers? Somehow I don't think so. Osama is a cowardly wimp with no convictions. Otherwise he'd send himself on "martyrdom operations" instead of little kids with Down syndrome (actually happened, Election Day Bag Dad.) Or at least he'd come out and fight like a man. I wish someone would interview his first wife who stomped out on him when he tried to bring nubile teen into the fold.
by Anna at February 5, 2005 12:59 PM
Bin Laden: Sons Will Shoot Him om TV
Sons 'will shoot him to foil allies'
From Jeremy Armstrong In Kabul
OSAMA bin Laden plans a TV suicide that will trigger attacks on landmarks in London, Paris and the US.
His estranged wife Sabiha said last night he would order his elder sons to shoot him rather than be captured.
Sabiha, 45, added: "That will be the signal for a new wave of terror. The targets this time would be the Capitol building in Washington, Big Ben in London and the Eiffel Tower in Paris."
Her claims were broadcast on Russian television as al-Qaeda boss bin Laden reportedly led 1,000 loyalists into forests in Afghanistan after being flushed out of his Tora Bora caves.
New evidence has also emerged of his role in the September 11 atrocities in America.
In a 40-minute video tape obtained by the Pentagon, he described the damage around the twin towers as "greater than expected" and praised Allah for the success of the attacks.
Bin Laden, 44, whose Saudi family run a multi-billion dollar construction business, is said to have 15 children by three or four wives.
Estranged wife Sabiha, who abandoned him after he took another wife aged 17, revealed the "suicide" plan on Russian TV channel, TV6.
Sabiha said he wanted his death and ultimate martyrdom filmed by the al-Jazeera TV network, based in Gulf state Qatar.
by Anna at February 6, 2005 9:58 AM
Why do they want to blow up Big Ben? It's just a bell... One of many inside the clock... Big Ben ain't the clock or building itself... S'just a bell! Bah... People should know these things by now.
I like how Osama has asked his sons to shoot him. Just like Saddam when it comes to the crunch they have no balls. Suicide is against the teachings, and yet they're happy to send gullible youngsters to their deaths by suicide. Fucking people...
by Ex Crimson Guard NCO at February 6, 2005 1:08 PM
What I find interesting, and wish you would explain a little further, is what you mean when you say you begrudge him his right to express his opinion. I haven't read his full article, but in the little bit of Ward Churchill I have read, he spends a lot of time pointing out inconsistencies in how we apply principles to suit our purposes as a nation.
Is this just another Bill Maher lynching? When Bill used the word bravery in response to the terrorists - people went all kinds of apeshit because they couldn't seem to step away from their singular world view, and realize that a coin might actually have two sides. It basically cost him his network show to even begin to investigate the mindset behind terrorist action. This Ward Churchill thing smells a little similar. There is no doubt that the US does some pretty terrible things, and most of us are completely oblivious to it. And though we also do a lot of amazing things, it doesn't make the bad things go away. Joe Blow working for the cigarette company isn't causing my father to die of cancer, but when everyone knows that cigarettes cause cancer, and the cigarette company has no problem finding workers or customers, something is askew. And killing the questioner isn't the answer.
I don't see the point of persecuting someone for doing critical analysis. Are we so naive as to believe that we are all innocent bystanders functioning in a perfect system and evil simply reaches up from hell to burn us every now and then for no apparent reason? The answer to Ward Churchill is not hatred, it's coming up with answers to the question's he raises, and more thourough explanations of how and why things happen - something you'll never get from someone who closes your eyes by explaining things through the simplicity of the term "evil-doers".
by chris at February 7, 2005 4:18 AM
Is that really true Crimson? That must be some uniquely British bit of trivia. And yeah they are a bunch of wimps no matter what Bill Maher might think. Chris, I don't begrudge him his opinion so much as I begrudge him the right to spout it without everyday people having the ability to challenge him face to face. He just posts his rebuttal and that's that. Next lynching victim, please.
by Anna at February 7, 2005 8:01 AM
What jokers? This Ward Churchill guy? I don't agree with him, but I don't think he should be fired. The school should be protecting academic freedoms. Instead of simply being offended by the remarks, counter them with opposing ones. Prove to me why he's wrong.
by MrBlank at February 7, 2005 9:41 AM
No I don't know about firing him. If he's doing his job well he should keep it. Maybe they could just fit him with a muzzle.
by Anna at February 7, 2005 6:46 PM
100% true... And to boot it's not even the largest bell in there, the largest has a female name, which I don't remember. I was busy looking at Caroline Burr's sweet ass, and not paying attention to the bald middle aged teacher... Can't think why. As it is, the building has no name, but people still insist on calling it Big Ben. *shrugs*
There's a good quote for this silencing folk thing, about every freedom stamped down being a link, and with each freedom taken the links form a chain which binds us all, removing everybody's freedom. I have no idea what the exact quote is, nor who said it... Not very good at this remembering lark am I? Heh. Not even sure I gotthe gist right, frook it! It should be open for debate, I agree, I just don't care enough to follow it if there is one.
I'm all for the chain thing.
by Ex Crimson Guard NCO at February 8, 2005 12:18 AM
I am all for freedom of speech. But I also think everyone needs to be a bit more judicious about exercising it. Just because you have an opinion or are aware of a "fact" doesn't mean you need to voice it. It's like telling someone their breath stinks when you have no intention of kissing them.
by Anna at February 8, 2005 7:11 AM
Anna, based on this "too much" free speech feeling of yours, you have more in common with teenagers than you think (see my previous post).
What is interesting about this is that people always think there is too much free speech if the opinion someone is expressing is distasteful to them. Fox "News", O'Reilly, Limbaugh, etc, get universally bashed for being so pro-right. Al Franken created his own radio station just to compete with them. But Ward seems terribly offended that anyone would question the untouchable opinions of a university professor.
by mg at February 8, 2005 5:51 PM
There's just too much speech in general, free or not.
by anna at February 8, 2005 6:17 PM
Too much speech? This seems like an oxymoron to me. I will agree that the world is over communicated and there is no possible way to absorb all this information. But to have too much to learn? I once heard the key to education is the open exchange of ideas. It is the only way to really get to new unheard of concepts (unless you are some sort of genius).
The whole idea of censorship disgusts me. As soon as we censor ideas like evolution, homosexuality, and theraputic values of drugs will never be discovered, enhanced, and give us an option. Our society is used to having the answers given to us from the time we are children. Parents teach us what is "right' and "wrong". School dictates what is valid intelligent information, and what is fluff. Our peers tell us that we are a success of failure.
Basically, hearing everything anyone has to say, no matter how unfounded it is, allows us to make informed decisions. i find it is a necessity in my life, and will be as my values and beliefs become further entrenched in my life.
by dominathan at February 9, 2005 8:21 PM
Nathan, you are young. But you are smart and I, for one, predict you'll go far in life. Just try to avoid getting all jaded like some of us have. That's the trick.
by Anna at February 12, 2005 8:06 AM
And what a trick it will be. I wish myself luck on that one.
by dominathan at February 12, 2005 11:21 AM