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Robert Harper

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About Robert Harper

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    Rotterdam, Netherlands
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    JFK, the arts, Bach

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  1. Robert  Harper

    Library Archives Canada Lawsuit

    Your efforts and contributions, in Canada, has been noted and applauded by those seeking the truth around the world. Continued good wishes for recovery of what was intended to be seen by others.
  2. Robert  Harper

    First Article from NY Times on Warren Report

    Kelly: Anthony Lewis does not fill the profile of a compromised or biased journalist. Kilroy:Just happened to come across this NY Times article on the day the Warren Report was released...I think much of the media thought that their blind acceptance of the WR was in the best interests of the country. It wasn’t. Who does fill the profile of a compromised or biased journalist? Who could be so identified and still function as a journalist? There are good journalists and bad journalists, do we know why the bad ones are bad, and the good ones good? Like all prominent awards the "pulitzer" means something - no question. But it also does not mean a lot of things. Writing a very good book (Gideon's Trumpet) about the saga of a legal case in America set a new standard for such coverage. Jeffrey Toobin for one, might not have the job he has, unless Anthony Lewis paved the way. However, such distinctions or ability does not equate to being a good reporter or being an ethical lawyer. Lewis blew it big time about the JFK murder. He didn't have a clue and didn't care enough to even study what was there. It wasn't just Garrison in the "late 60's" that exposed the Warren Commission for what it was; it was in the mid-60's in books by Sauvage, Lane, Buchanan, Meagher, Salandria, Thompson and others, that were screaming that the big important commission of all the distinguished and honorable men was full of poop. Mark Anthony in Shakespeare's play assures the mob that the killers of Caesar "were all, all honorable men." It was in reading Laurence Walsh's book about the Iran / Contra case that I came across a mention of Mr. Toobin's ethical flexibility. Writing good non-fiction books doesn't make you an honest man or a good reporter. And while we're at it, being an effective leader for progressive change in the political and judicial fields, doesn't mean that you will rise to the occasion at a unique event to serve as a Judge (in another thread - I compared the unique opportunity offered to two esteemed Judges; only one of them rose to the job and it wasn't Warren). In any assessment of Warren's reputation - or his relationship with Richard Nixon - one should include the facts that Murray Chotiner served both of them during their respective campaigns in California. From SPARTACUS: In a radio broadcast in 1956 Drew Pearson claimed that in the 1950 election, Mickey Cohen, one of the leaders of the mob in Los Angeles, had raised funds for Nixon's 1950 campaign. According to Pearson, this deal was organized by Chotiner. This story was not confirmed until Cohen signed a confession in October, 1962. At the time he was in Alcatraz Prison. Cohen claims he raised $75,000 for Nixon in 1950 in return for political favours. This deal was arranged via Chotiner. In his autobiography, Cohen claims that the orders to help Nixon came from Meyer Lansky....As a lawyer, Chotiner obtained a reputation for working for organized crime bosses. In 1956 Robert Kennedy and Carmine Bellino began an investigation of Chotiner. I grew up reading the NY Times. I was an editor and a sports columnist in High School because I thought Arthur Daily had the best job in the world. He could ruminate on all sorts of stuff and go to the games and be paid. I had the Times delivered to me as a college student, when most were averse to newspapers. During a lecture course I took at the New School in New York, author Alfred Kazin said that whatever you thought of the editorial viewpoints, everyone who wrote for the Times could write. And of course the obits! some book reviewers! I finally stopped subscribing after 40 years of reading it because, 1) you can find good writing about the news if one looks, and 2) they are so tied to maintaining the status quo, they have lost a skeptical and curious and unbiased ability to really report anything. They also censor comments, unlike at the Wall Street Journal (to which I now subscribe; they don't pretend that they don't represent the status quo). James Reston, the Times' big time journalist, could write. The weekend of the JFK murder he typed out a column while sitting in his home in Virginia, and claimed that what the FBI said, goes. He was exposed after his death as being among the Mockingbird crew, but he was what was termed an "authority." Recently Judith Miller got front page space by "covering" the lead up to the Iraq War with all of the terrible weapons they had according to her "sources" - which, like always, was the government itself. Seymour Hersh has been published by the Times, but he could never function in such an environment by choice, for long. He is a real reporter. The Mockingbird list - as awful as it was to confront - merely exposed those who had an established, ongoing relationship with the CIA. By the late 70's when Rolling Stone published Carl Bernstein's article on Mockingbird, only those whose heads were in the sand for a dozen years were surprised. If not for independent book publishing and the Internet and University presses, Americans would be far more insulated and brainwashed. I only wrote one personal letter to the publisher of the Times back in the mid-80's. It was about their replacement of columnist Sydney Schanberg - the only columnist who was actually "speaking truth to power" like the Pulitzer Boards and others like to proclaim. However, when you really speak truth to power, they get rid of you if they can - or make every effort to diminish you if they can't. The publisher wrote back saying that just because Mr Schanberg no longer worked there, that didn't mean that his views would be eliminated. Ha. The New York Times might very well be the "paper" of record but in the next century, paper will fade. There won't be 5 or 6 corporations taking info from the government and feeding it to the people as news. You think, maybe, maybe, the government won't be able to cover-up a political killings since there is more access to "truth." But then, you have the 9/11 Report that doesn't even mention a 47 story building collapsing. We are back in November 1963, needing real reporters yet again.
  3. Robert  Harper

    Carter: the POTUS nearest to JFK?

    Paz--great find about the Biden vote. Though no JFK, I agree that he was the closest to what JFK represented. When he published the needed and informative book Palestine: Peace or Apartheid, after he left office, he had the usual outcry from the chosen offended ones who resigned from the Board of the Carter Foundation because he dared to understand the Middle East at a level that was disturbing to those who wished to ignore facts. The ever-ubiquitous-bottom-feeder Dershowitz attacked him as "deserving a place in hell" because he negotiated a peace treaty - -- with Begin, a former terrorist, who was unable to step into the UK because he was a wanted man there. Carter got ganged-up by Rockefeller, Kissinger and that crowd to let their buddy the Shah come to America for treatment. This from the country that the US helped overthrow 30 years before that when they placed this "royalty" on the "throne." When the Iranians took over the American Embassy, every single night was described as the 45th or 81st day of "captivity" nudging Carter into a helicopter rescue that might have been planned to fail for all we know. In addition, there was the treasonous back entry by Casey, Bush and others to deal with the Iranians and have an Inauguration Day release of the captives. Carter had the CIA, the corporate media and the economy against him; inflation was high and, for all we know, could have been planned to do so. Also, of course, Carter freely referred to the Gospels as providing a social understanding; we know what happened to the Baptist Minister that preached a similar message when he traveled to Memphis to help the garbage collectors, so maybe the one term option saved his life, as Joe Bauer suggested. There were two Catholic brothers who also got eliminated; they like the Minister were too powerful, too capable of gathering souls to reason and peace and a "new" way of seeing the world As General Smedley Butler so knowingly said, "War is a Racket" and since one needs armaments and conflict, the power structure simply makes one and causes the other. When faced with Ted Sorensen as a possible CIA Head -- a conscientious objector who abhorred violence and was befriended and admired by JFK, a War hero who wanted to end wars, look what the power structure did to that idea. Reminds me of a letter from Thomas Merton referring to his superiors at the monastery--"they keep wanting me to stop writing about peace."
  4. Robert  Harper

    Seth Kantor and Jack Ruby

    You mentioned this disjuncture before and I concur. For me, it happened when I saw Kantor on a You-Tube clip. Why would this guy lie? You read his book, the question echoes all over and rings your brain to think again of killer Ruby, his pals, his truthfulness, his rambling evasions when questioned. If this were the only Warren Commission mistake it would be enough to tarnish them; but there are so many that it becomes useless to categorize which are the worst. And. And. Our history books and our journalists keep up the echo. Someday it will cease but I think it will take a period of atonement and reconciliation like that experienced by South Africa after apartheid. The first order is to face the truth; the second is to figure a way to live with it.
  5. Robert  Harper

    Mark Lane subject of released Documents

    So true. I was just reading some of the declassified papers on Lane. When the FBI report mentioned a case in Florida that he was looking into, I looked it up and BAM! There was Mark Lane, smelling a rat, and 20 years later, he was proven to be right. Of all the people whose careers were advanced by JFK - the Sorensens and Goodwins and Schlesingers--the various reporters and writers who made their living talking about him, the lousy Secret Service guys that should have been fired for failing him - all of these guys stepped aside at the killing. Only Mark Lane spoke out and did something. He was a true friend to JFK--he kept his life and his death in the public's eye.
  6. Robert  Harper

    McAdams gets Salvaged

    In the spirit of this Forum's DVP style of answering a post by James, the following (DiEugenio in italic, Harper in Bold) Academic freedom, as any such concept as we know it, ends at the well being and health of the person next to you. What exactly does this mean? It sounds like a fortune cookie. As I described it, that is what happened here. There were many ways that McAdams could have pursued a complaint within the academic confines. Could have, should have, might have; the academic confines pre-judged him. That's what the Judges reported. He acted in his self-interest; who doesn't? He did not want to for the simple matter that he did not wish to reveal what he did not reveal: the student was being advised by him, and he was flunking the class. So far from being a dispute about academic freedom, one can see that this was a way for both the student and the advisor to serve their own ends. I don't think it fruitful to retry the case on this Forum, but acting to serve one's end is not - in itself - a bad thing. They did so within the "confines" of the academic world -- they used the subject and the teacher - to illustrate a point. The instructor was offered a chance to respond and didn't. You have asserted things that are also out of context; it wasn't part of the Court record; how does one respond to such charges? I was relating my experience with the material. For those who can't stand McAdams - this was bad use of the law to try and get rid of him. He filed it because the faculty and administration improperly judged him and took away things of value from him. In addition, I'd like to think that no one with an ounce of integrity in their beliefs, would have signed that schoolmarmish note written by the president. And, in fact, the student's agenda was brought out at the first academic hearing he had on the subject. He wanted to drop the class without sustaining the fail. The administrator told him that this was not possible since the deadline had passed. As I said, McAdams covered all this up in his writings and emails on the subject by saying that somehow the administrator had not given the student due process. And, as predicted, the people who he mailed this out to cooperated with him. Same objection as above: not relevant to case as delivered as the record. As I have noted, being in the field of education for over three decades, as both a teacher and student, I had never seen a case like this before. Not even close. McAdams should have been disciplined or suspended far earlier for the antics he was pulling on campus. And this was a problem in my view. Marquette had been far too lenient with him prior to this case. Well I don't think you have to be in the education field to have an informed opinion about a constitutional issue or about academic freedom or about university policies. However since you brought it up, I've been a Guest Artist on a university campus and I've been a member of the Modern Language Association (MLA) for 30 years. This is an organization of graduate students, professors, and those interested in teaching and language usage. I've attended conferences in Toronto, New York, Vancouver, San Diego, and San Francisco and participated in a seminar at one in Washington DC where I gave a presentation.The Association deals with many concerns of academia, including research standards, undergraduate and graduate canons, international and national issues of concern. The members are primarily in the fields of literature, drama, philosophy, psychology and other liberal arts. Granted it's more intellectual than Human Resource oriented, but both areas involve an understanding of what constitutes proper behavior and each has been evolving for decades. A teacher used to be able to date a student not that long ago. I don't know the McAdams narrative over the past 30 years; Edward Said and Helen Vendler and Czeslaw Milosz have all been speakers and topics at these conferences; I don't recall any discussion involving McAdams. Whatever you think about Scalia and the special prosecutor, did you also think he was correct in issuing the order to stop the counting of ballots in Florida in the year 2000? Did you like the excuse he used for that one? The continued counting of the votes could cause irreparable harm to candidate Bush? James, as a historian, do you take one opinion as representative of all their other opinions or viewpoints? Does one reference to Warren or Byron White or Rehnquist or Douglas equate to endorsing their entire oeuvre? Whatever Scalia wrote about Florida doesn't impact my opinion of what he wrote about the 1978 law. Since we are in the midst of the third special prosecution of the Executive since the Court decision, Scalia's dissent was referenced. Seems more relevant today than 30 years ago. Talk about Orwell. The irreparable harm was to Gore. Scalia and Jeb Bush stole the election for W. Which then caused the invasion of Iraq. Again, how does this information relate to the issue at hand? Here is another indication as to what these fruits and nuts have done with the Federalist Society:https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-supreme-court-roe-v-wade-abortion_us_5b422ba3e4b07b827cc1c6d5 People like Alito and Gorsuch get their ticket punched by doing things like what happened in the agency fees case for public employees unions and Citizens United. How does this impact this discussion? There has been a Conservative majority in the political world, reflected in the Court. The Federalist Society is a version of the CFR, only it's focused on law. The real case that started it all was Buckley v. Vallejo (1976) which determined that speech = money; Citizens United just expanded that to mean: no limit to speech = no limit to money. Until a law is passed and found Constitutional that limits campaign funding, this oligarchy will continue. Giving black Americans access to public places and the right to vote, and giving immigrant workers due process before the are fired and deported is not the same as saying that influence over elections should be unlimited for billionaires, and workers in public unions should not have to pay for the benefits they get from that union. Especially when the court manipulates the first case in order to set it up more completely for a reversal of stare decisis, and when the same stare decisis overthrow is used for agency fees. (https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/05/21/money-unlimited) The only answer to this is to change the party doing the nominating and choosing. Or change the whole system - like they're trying to do in Poland today or like FDR tried to do in the 1930's. This decision in Wisconsin was my interest in responding to the thread. As I said at the beginning, what we are seeing here is the ultimatum reaction to the Kennedys belated supporting of Brown vs Board. These same people felt that was lawyer advocating. Somehow the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, plus the horrible bloodshed of the Civil War did not exist. Again, I don't see the relevance here. Should the Civil War have been fought at all? Should cities take down monuments to iconic figures? How did Reconstruction obstruct the relevant amendments? All topics for discussion. I thought this was about a Professor and a University that disciplined him and about a Court that overrode the University. That intersection interested me, and I thought that was the issue at hand. My main interest in the case, was the Court making a ruling involving a private institution. The decision convinced me that it didn't infringe on the separation of Church & State traditions, nor on the rights of parties in a private institution to allow or disallow Court involvement. I don't think Marquette looks good here because they should have acted earlier, could have arranged a mutual arbitration process, and should have had an impartial group of peers judge McAdams' behavior when they did act. I also think the instructor invited the ensuing colloquy by not responding to his offer to comment, as well as by her obvious shortcomings as a teacher of philosophy at that point in her career. I don't presume an awareness of what mental problems dominate when a fracas in academia erupts, so I don't know how to compare her experience with that experienced by Norman Finklestein with DePaul University. I think having your livelihood taken away from you - along with all the security such entails - after excelling for a dozen years in your job, could be quite an unsettling and painful experience. I think having to endure such treatment, after accomplishing so much, would have a deeper dimension than that suffered by a neophyte teacher, faced with a dose of cultural and intellectual bullying. But this is speculation on my part and not a pronouncement.
  7. Robert  Harper

    McAdams gets Salvaged

    You are correct. I haven't. I am passing familiar with D'Souza's antics; I am not familiar with the Wisconsin pack-the-Court strategy; I have only the thinnest awareness of the Koch Brothers. I am however, a fairly good reader of material within my range. I like to encounter what is there in print to read. No loudspeakers, no flashing lights, just the words. I'll let them mean to me what I wish them to mean, but I also must understand what they mean within a culture. I can't make appeals to international law if I dump on the judges and the system which produces the law. Not long ago I left an edited version of Justice Scalia's dissent in the case about the constitutionality of the special prosecutor law of 1978. It was 8-1 and yet his dissent spoke - in my opinion - way more truthfully to the law and to history than what was decided by the other 8 in the shadow of the Church Committee Hearings and post Watergate (which, btw, didn't need the 1978 law to apply). "Packing" any court with a prevailing political ideology has been the practice of most American political figures. I prefer everyone was a Justice Brennan, or could at least write like Oliver Wendell Holmes , but one has to deal with what one has - minus a revolution. The way to counter the influence of any group on the Courts is to react politically; not to mangle a reading of what a Court says in a particular case. With legal decisions, I try to absorb what is being said, how it is being said and, try to connect it with my own instincts or knowledge. My interest in the Firing Line transcripts which I articulated here a few times, arose from my notion that ideas were being lost within "feelings." That preconceptions of "Fox TV" or of "John McAdams" or of "Jesse Jackson" would trigger a response not in tune with the requirements of an impartial spectator. The facts and history of this case - as written by the Judges - I do not find offensive. Are you saying that the Court restricted evidence? What did the trustees of Marquette say? Didn't both parties agree on jurisdiction? Wasn't all the evidence mutually presented? It didn't seem that your issue was private v public(as mine was) but rather that McAdams was a skunk and the Court is rigged. Both may be true. But my reading of the decision remains where it is.
  8. Robert  Harper

    Bernard Wilds' website of rare JFK research PDFs

    They are proof that they can be bought and paid for, that's for sure. The latest extension was the "Disney" one where kids who painted pictures of Mickey Mouse on a mural could be criminalized until 90 years after the death of it's creator. That is some protection for an "idea." It used to be about 15 years or so after the work itself--more and more extensions - and now the latest, 90 years after the death? Did these future generations of estate holding lawyer paying people get this latest one passed? When all you have to do is to buy a majority of 535 people in Washington, the job gets easier.
  9. Robert  Harper

    Bernard Wilds' website of rare JFK research PDFs

    Did anyone happen to be prescient enough to freeze-frame or web-page-capture that site when it was up? I'd love a poster of it--- the colors, graphics, different use of words, sheer volume of books was something to see and appreciate (imho).
  10. Robert  Harper

    A Question for the JFK Experts Here

    David you are fast! My goodness. I thought I knew a lot of this stuff and then in one zip post, you enable one to see a whole big picture. A good way to "scan" a lot of the history of this. Michael Clarke writing of the killing of Bill Hunter gave me a chill. How the hell can a cop shooting someone in the station be an accident? Especially if that someone had just spent valuable time with Jack Ruby's circle.
  11. Robert  Harper

    McAdams gets Salvaged

    Michael -- an excellent linkage to an analogous case, with which I was unfamiliar. Unlike with McAdams, there does seem to be personal infractions involved with Churchill which are not applicable in the Marquette case.( Why did he resign?) This complicate the comparison at the same time it echoes it. (ps) Thank you for your sifting of the new documents, along with others here, since it has made the reading easier to navigate.
  12. Robert  Harper

    McAdams gets Salvaged

    Any reader of this Forum is familiar with Prof. McAdams--if for nothing else than his overuse of the silly word "factoid." Most are likely familiar with his website which maintains information on the Warren Commission. I had a "gut" reaction to this case when I first encountered it, and that initial response has been fortified by reading the Court decision over-turning the Marquette University determination. Now the Professor might very well be a "skunk" but I don't think that the ACLU is "goofy" should it defend McAdams. Frankly, I was far more disturbed by the decision making process of DePaul University when it allowed that bottom-feeder (Intercept phrase) Alan Dershowitz to contact each faculty member who was to judge the suitability of tenure for Professor Norman Finklestein. Dershowitz's intrusion had the desired effect -- and the relevant administrators were afraid of the attack dogs of the Israeli Lobby - and one of the premier scholars of the Middle East was denied tenure. The attack dog himself frequently bragged how he was the youngest tenured professor at Harvard, so to see him go out of his way to hurt a fellow scholar was despicable. That such a scholar was his intellectual equal as well as an adversary, made his intrusion into the DePaul process doubly unwarranted. To return to the issue at hand. Previous posts of mine have prioritized what Mark Lane called the "most important sentence in American history"--the first amendment to the Constitution. Whether a topic is considered "unspeakable" or whether a topic is the accepted result of "group-think," it's a firm belief of mine that such topic is always open to discussion. Right off the bat, when I read that an instructor in "Ethics" in a philosophy department at a University, disallowed any discussion of any "rights' because it was "set" already, I was disturbed. A philosophy department that doesn't allow questioning? Already a raised eyebrow on my face. The saga is then prolonged through blogs and responses and Faculty committees on the guidelines of the University. The Court decision relates the various processes available and used. It states, however, that it is passing judgment on the merits of the case, not on the process. Although I remain surprised - a bit - by the Court even ruling in a matter involving a private institution, I think the case is persuasive that access to the Court was agreed upon by both parties. The following are excerpts from the decision which I found instructive (my bold for emphasis): The University breached the Contract's implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing...The primary goal in contract interpretation is to give effect to the parties' intentions. We ascertain the parties' intentions by looking to the language .. that it had no express agreement with Dr. McAdams that the Discipline Procedure would preclude his right to litigate his cause here. It is not to test the process that led to the suspension; it is instead to determine whether there was a legitimate basis for it. This is a question of merit, not procedure... But the University did not identify any aspect of what Dr. McAdams actually wrote to support its charge. Instead, it used third-party responses to the blog post as a proxy for its allegedly contempt-inducing nature. Just because vile commentary followed the blog post does not mean the blog post instigated or invited the vileness. Because the doctrine of academic freedom protects the blog post, we must now determine whether the University breached the Contract when it suspended Dr. McAdams... The term 'academic freedom' is used to denote both the freedom of the academic institution to pursue its ends without interference from the government, as well as the freedom of the individual teacher to pursue desired ends without interference from the institution." ....succumb to the dominant academic culture of microaggressions, trigger warnings and safe spaces that seeks to silence unpopular speech by deceptively recasting it as violence? In this battle, only one could prevail, for academic freedom cannot coexist with Orwellian speech police. Academic freedom means nothing if faculty is forced to self-censor in fear of offending the unforeseen and ever-evolving sensitivities of adversaries demanding retribution.. Some universities recognize the incompatibility of insulating students from micro-aggressions, via trigger warnings and safe spaces, with academic freedom. John Ellison, Dean of Student at University of Chicago, to the Class of 2020: "Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called 'trigger warnings,' we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual 'safe spaces' where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own." Many American universities were founded "on the illimitable freedom of the human mind" to develop, articulate, examine and communicate ideas in order to "follow truth wherever it may lead. ....one of America's oldest universities (Yale 1974) reaffirmed that "[t]he history of intellectual growth and discovery clearly demonstrates the need for unfettered freedom, the right to think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable." the contract guarantees McAdams academic freedom, academic freedom encompasses his blog post, and Marquette's suspension of McAdams breached the contract. ...freedom as being "of transcendent value to all of us and not merely to the teachers concerned. That freedom is therefore a special concern of the First Amendment, which does not tolerate laws that cast a pall of orthodoxy over the classroom." ("The essentiality of freedom in the community of American universities is almost self evident. . . . Teachers and students must always remain free to inquire, to study and to evaluate, to gain new maturity and understanding; otherwise our civilization will stagnate and die."). Black's Law Dictionary defines academic freedom as "the right (esp. of a university teacher) to speak freely about political or ideological issues without fear of loss of position or other reprisal." The search for truth to which the founder of the first academy, Plato, was dedicated, has been identified as the progenitor of academic freedom. AAUP (American Association of University Professors) appears as amicus in this case in support of McAdams and declares it "is committed to advancing academic freedom, the free exchange of ideas, and higher education's contribution to the common good." The concept appears in American history as early as the eighteenth century in Thomas Jefferson's founding vision of the University of Virginia: "This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left to combat it." Academic freedom encompasses "two distinct concepts": (1) "professional academic freedom" tied to AAUP standards, and (2) the "legal concept of academic freedoms" tied to the First Amendment. "If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought——not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate." United States v. Schwimmer, 279 U.S. 644, Just as no citizen could "be punished for writing a book that angers the state legislature——no matter how outrageous or offensive the book might be," id., professors at universities should not be punished for speaking on matters of public concern even if——especially if——that speech does not conform with mainstream thought. University campuses inhabit a unique environment. The doctrine of academic freedom has no application within private enterprise, unless of course a private entity incorporates the doctrine into employee contracts. Marquette University, although a private institution, chose to guarantee academic freedom to McAdams in his contract. The Court struck down a West Virginia law compelling all teachers and students to salute the American Flag while pledging allegiance to it and those who refused were expelled from school. W. Virginia Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 626-30 (1943): "If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein." In every case presenting the Supreme Court with the issue, it unfailingly declared the importance of academic freedom and freedom of expression in academia. It struck down many laws that undoubtedly had the support of a majority of the people. In the midst of the fear and tension gridlocking American international politics during the Cold War, few would publicly object to ensuring that teachers——entrusted with educating the future leaders of America——would denounce Communism and would not influence students to become Communists. Abbate (the instructor) invited J.D.(the student) to drop the class and Snow (the Dept Chair) told him to "change his attitude so he comes across as less insolent and disrespectful," later calling him a "little twit" and a "jackass" in email exchanges with colleagues. Absurdly, Marquette's Faculty Hearing Committee would later support its disciplinary recommendation against McAdams by citing Marquette's Guiding Values, which obligate professors to "respect the dignity of others" Marquette subjected a tenured professor to discipline for writing something that triggered an adverse response from third parties over whom he has no control, thereby holding McAdams responsible for the actions of third parties. Allowing this retribution to stand would set a dangerous precedent, leading faculty to self-censor for fear of third-party reactions to speech and post hoc disapproval of it. Some thoughts from the dissent that appealed to me: It fails to recognize, much less analyze, the academic freedom of Marquette as a private,Catholic, Jesuit university. As a result, it dilutes a private educational institution's autonomy to make its own academic decisions in fulfillment of its unique mission.....His contract does not give him the full-throated First Amendment rights that would be given a private citizen vis-à-vis the government.... To manifest this freedom to pursue their ends,educational institutions set their own missions. As a Catholic, Jesuit institution, Marquette University operates according to certain guiding values. These values include the "holistic development of students" and a "commitment to the Jesuit...Jesuit institutions operate under the "Ignatian pedagogy." This educational philosophy encourages faculty to consider the "context" of the individual students in the classroom and "uniquely characterizes the relationship the faculty member has with the student [with whom] he [or] she attempts to create a teaching/learning environment...If the founding principles of each individual university are to be given life, the institution must possess the freedom to determine the consistency or inconsistency of actions with those principles.... ...the first of these "essential freedoms": who may teach. Although also relevant to public universities, this concern is especially germane in the context of private universities.
  13. Robert  Harper

    Very poor taste by the French.

    I think Mr. Varnell pretty much took care of this with the attachments, but fwiw as they say: It's always good to be reminded that when Cromwell took over, the theaters were closed. One thing the Puritans wanted was conformity; another was the "respect" for authority - which meant you didn't question or make fun of those in power. Performers and performances can be dangerous. When a group hired Shakespeare's company to perform Richard II during the time of the Essex Rebellion, the company's spokesmen were summoned to the Palace to explain themselves since the Queen - Elizabeth - thought that they were portraying her as Richard -- the weak monarch who gives up the crown. The company just needed work like all theater companies and they got let off with the questioning. But even back then, people knew that performances could be informative, upsetting, and suggestive.People with money had such exhibited. I am attaching a link to last week's story in the Wall Street Journal about the effect of "political correctness" on college comedy tours. Now -depending on the topic - audience members who laugh will get "looks" and signs of disapproval from those around them: https://www.wsj.com/articles/comedies-misfortunes-are-no-laughing-matter-for-hollywood-1529919001 I am also attaching a comment I left on a thread on May17: Watching the first big debate of the Republican Primary during the 2016 election, - with about 12 candidates, senators & governors and all the usual suspects and Trump was center stage. First question to him is by a woman who asks about his comments about women being fat or stupid or ugly or something. In the midst of the question, I recall thinking - how will he answer this? Deny the use of such terms? attack fake news that reports it?Pontificate on the #MeToo rights of women? - and while these thoughts brew, Trump interrupts to say --- No No! No! that was just about Rosie O'Donnell! I burst out laughing as did much of the audience. Why that response from him or me or the audience? Never a good idea to analyze a laugh; but that one begged for one. It was shockingly hurtful and insensitive; it went right at the claim of the reported quote, and it completely upset our mental preparation for the expected pontificating on "values". That he also managed to divert the question itself was a result of the laugh. Things that are unexpected can make us laugh; what we expect at any given time can be evaluated, in some ways, by the laughs they produce.On another thread, there was a discussion of Lenny Bruce opening his act after JFK's death.He handled the unspeakable of that day with a response that got a laugh. This topic is not so far removed from another pet peeve: the "crime" of "hate speech." When the Texas story broke years ago, I told friends that if one ties a guy with a chain to the back of his truck and drags him through the town, that's a crime in my book. It doesn't matter to me what age or race or religion or sexual identity the victim possessed; it was a hate filled crime as all such crimes are. Who exactly is doing the determining that "some speech" is "hate speech?" Not long ago I saw a headline that so and so had been cut up and killed and they were investigating whether or not it was a "hate crime." Now I ask you, where have we come from, that this is the case? I don't want anyone telling me what I can say, or what I can read or watch or what I can laugh at. Taste (the aesthetic elements) of any speech or action is a separate issue. Is it done well? Does it evoke what it aimed to evoke? Was it culturally appropriate? The Puritans didn't even want the people to encounter such notions.
  14. Robert  Harper

    Jack Ruby Monologue--the ending

    He says he is on it but I guess it is unclear, although since it wasn't a banned medication I assumed he was. In one of the reference books about the drug, it says that Ruby was taking it "when he shot Oswald" and I don't know whether that is extrapolated from the testimony or expressed elsewhere.
  15. Robert  Harper

    Bernard Wilds' website of rare JFK research PDFs

    What a great link. Just the placement of the covers of so many books is a pleasure to see at one time.
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