Since I have banned further comments on this blog from him, the troll that has been posting nasty comments made an entry in his own blog E Pluribus Reluctor using me as a lightning rod for his hatred of liberals, feminists, intellectuals, etc. Here is his post.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005 Architect-1,Professor-0
Once again, facts and precision defeat slander and pamphlet-speak. “Heidi”, a Humanities Proffessor, stumbled on EPR, and decided to initiate a pointed debate in the comments section. I thought: ‘uh-oh…big shiny PhD…I’m in for it.” After one of her posts being deleted for profane content, she cried ‘censorship’. Yet the contents of her thinking became evident when she proclaimed with outright indignation, little gems like “we trained Bin Laden, we installed Saddam Hussein.”….later followed with “Guantanamo is a Gulag“.
Oh I forgot, this person’s profile starts off with ‘Feminist Intellectual”
Well, an intellectual, feminist or otherwise would know that we did not train Bin Laden, we did not install Saddam Hussein, nor is a government run prison in Cuba holding 520+ people anything remotely akin to the Soviet-era Gulag of the 1920’2 to 1950′s whereby arguably 13,000,000 people died. Not a single soul has perished at Gitmo. But they do recieve Qorans, prayer mats, a Muslim diet, and medical attention. These and many, many other widely known facts continue to evade Heidi all the way up to the university level. The ‘Prager Principle’ is proving truer by the minute. This sad fact that this ‘Ph.D’ is teaching impressionable youth simply adds further impetus to the already exploding home-schooling effort in the nation. When grown adults spout such nonsense, who will run this place in twenty years?
I did not, in fact, initiate anything, and there’s a little misquoting there too.
We trained Bin Laden: By 1984, Bin Laden was running a front organization known as Maktab al-Khidamar – the MAK – which funneled money, arms and fighters from the outside world into the Afghan war. MAK was nurtured by Pakistan’s state security services, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, the CIA’s primary conduit for conducting the covert war against Moscow’s occupation. Those involved in the decision to give the Afghan rebels access to a fortune in covert funding and top-level combat weaponry continue to defend that move in the context of the Cold War. Sen. Orrin Hatch, a senior Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee making those decisions, told Robert Windrem that he would make the same call again today even knowing what bin Laden would do subsequently. “It was worth it,” he said. A decision was made to provide America’s potential enemies with the arms, money – and most importantly – the knowledge of how to run a war of attrition violent and well-organized enough to humble a superpower.
We put Hussein in power – ever seen the photo of
Cheney sorry – Rumsfeld shaking his hand? Ok “put in power” is possibly an exaggeration, but we did support him and helped to put him and keep him in power. US intelligence helped Saddam’s Ba`ath Party seize power for the first time in 1963. Saddam was on the CIA payroll as early as 1959, when he participated in a failed assassination attempt against Iraqi strongman Abd al-Karim Qassem. In the 1980s, the US and Britain backed Saddam in the war against Iran, giving Iraq arms, money, satellite intelligence, and even chemical & bio-weapon precursors. As many as 90 US military advisors supported Iraqi forces and helped pick targets for Iraqi air and missile attacks despite his use of chemical weapons. The Reagan administration did not deviate from its determination that Iraq was to serve as the instrument to prevent an Iranian victory. Chemical warfare was viewed as a potentially embarrassing public relations problem that complicated efforts to provide assistance. The Iraqi government’s repressive internal policies, though well known to the U.S. government at the time, did not figure at all in the presidential directives that established U.S. policy toward the Iran-Iraq war. The U.S. was concerned with its ability to project military force in the Middle East, and to keep the oil flowing. Later, we even abandoned the internal forces that were willing to fight to overthrow his regime.
Guantánamo as part of our new gulag-like system: The reason the administration located that prison in Cuba in the first place was to avoid judicial review. Although the Supreme Court ruled a year ago that Bush must give prisoners there access to US courts, none has yet had his day in court. Hardly any have even been charged with a crime. The US government has refused to allow UN human rights monitors, including the special rapporteur on torture, to visit the Guantánamo prisoners. In addition to Gitmo, there are the other prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan (not to mention the astoundingly high imprisonment percentages right here in the USA). See the documents related to torture obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, and the Defense Department’s latest effort to block the release of materials requested by the under the Freedom of Information Act – in particular, the rest of the Abu Graib photos – by the ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Physicians for Human Rights, Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans for Peace. The New York Civil Liberties Union is co-counsel in the case.
As Amnesty International points out: Neither the US administration nor the US Congress has called for a full and independent investigation of torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and Afghanistan. The US government has gone to great lengths to restrict the application of the Geneva Convention and to “re-define” torture. It has sought to justify the use of coercive interrogation techniques. It has sought to justify the practice of holding “ghost detainees” (people in unacknowledged incommunicado detention). It has sought to justify the “rendering” or handing over of prisoners to third countries that practise torture. Guantanamo Bay has entrenched the practice of arbitrary and indefinite detention in violation of international law. Trials by military commissions have made a mockery of justice and due process.
May 02, 2003
Writes law prof. Jonathan Turley in the Los Angeles Times, “Although certainly tiny compared with Chinese or Soviet models, the facility operated by the U.S. can no longer be defined as a prison or even a military camp. It is an American gulag, holding hundreds of prisoners without trial or access to the courts. In fairness to the Soviets, it must be noted that at least their prisoners got sham trials. This makes Camp Delta an even more extreme variation on the gulag theme.”
In any case, I followed comments here under two different names “marc” and “Atkinson” back to his own blog. His comments here were not backed by a whole lot of evidence or factual content – just angry versions of the regular propaganda. He seemed to want to bully somebody, and I guess I can be a target for such ones. I put up with it for a while – a couple of the things he brought up could have led to an interesting debate. However, his posts got more derisive and he seemed to escalate. He bragged that he been kicked off the forum at Smirking Chimp – for similiar harassment, I’m guessing.
If you want a taste of what I was reading, I did leave several of his comments up in the last several posts. He seemed to think I should be using my blog in very specific ways and was distinctly displeased when I didn’t do what he projected that I should do.
I did use the “s” word in a colloquial way in the comments on his post – shocking, I know (especially to a guy whose avatar is taken from the movie Dr. Strangelove? Should have taken that as a warning in itself, perhaps). I sincerely hope that he doesn’t actually let his kids read the blog – let them have a few illusions. If he doesn’t delete more of the posts, here is the exchange at his blog. I finally had to tell him that while he might have some valid criticisms here and there, his intent was so clearly hostile that I don’t really feel it was worthwhile to continue to engage.
My inbox was promptly filled with attempted spam comments to the blog – one of which simply repeated the same question over and over again – typical stalker behavior – and it validated my decision to ban him from the blog. Tonight I got even more… including allcaps fun like “YOU DELETED MY COMMENTS OUT OF FEAR, BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I SAID IS TRUE. ALL—ALL—LIBERALS ACT LIKE COWARDS, BECAUSE THEIR POSITIONS ARE INDEFENSIBLE.” This guy claims that he is an ex-liberal.
Fascinating – in a certain sort of clinical, creepy way – were his fixations on my calling myself an intellectual, a feminist, someone with a Phd – all of which are true. More of us are intellectuals than we realize – it’s a word that’s used a lot more in other countries which seem to admire thinking more than we do. No need to fear thinking – thinking is very liberating and wisdom-making and there are all kinds of thinking. I like playful rumination and disciplined interpretation best, I think, and in an alternating current. And yes, I am a liberal – it’s what our country is all about.
However, I am not a “Professor,” as “marc” or “Atkinson” assumes.
Here’s how it works. You start with the PhD – that’s only the beginning. If you are very talented and somewhat lucky you get a tenure-track position as an Assistant Professsor (or if not, a Lecturer or Adjunct or 1-year appointment), then you publish 2-3 books and a bunch of articles and give tons of conference papers, and then you might get promoted to the rank of Associate Professor and even tenure if you get through the rigorous peer review process. Eventually, with good reviews and teaching evaluations and service to the community and another extremely rigorous peer review, you might be promoted to the rank of Full Professor.
I earned my PhD one year ago. There weren’t any jobs in my field last year. The job listings are published in the fall, and it is a one-year hiring period. Assuming that there is a job offered in my field anywhere in the country this year, I would compete with other applicants for the position – sometimes hundreds of other applicants. My starting salary at such a job won’t be much to write home about and I would probably have a heavy teaching load, multiple committees to work on, and the never-ending “publish or perish” pressure. That’s the best-case scenario. No one would get a PhD in the humanities except for the love of the subject they study and a love of teaching. It requires great sacrifices (and in my case at least, will continue to do so) – and at this point I just don’t need the harassment.
I have already taught at four universities: three of them while I was in graduate school, the fourth as an adjunct paid (not much) for the whole course. I have taught courses which involved world literature, religion and society, judeo-christian traditions and various other literature/religion/philosophy/culture courses. While my expertise is interdisciplinary, no PhD is an “expert” in much outside their field. So no, I don’t know everything, and neither does any other PhD. I still disagree with a goodly percentage of what he is trying to claim – and you don’t have to have a PhD to figure out why.
As for the “impressionable youth” – I don’t teach elementary, middle school or high school, so I’m not sure how I would have anything to do with “home schooling” which just seems to be a way for parents to overly-insulate their children. I am a university teacher. Teaching (mostly young 18-21 year olds) adults methods of critical reading and interpretation may get some students out of their comfort zone, especially if they are unprepared for college-level work, but I think it’s worth the effort so that they can really be capable of forming their own judgments based on something other than appeal to authority.
Kinda feel sorry for those home-schooled kids, but I’m sure they will recover. Kids are very resilient.