Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The "Hate America" Crowd, Part IV

I hadn't meant to add this to my series, but it's in the heart of today's news. Is this man, Ward Churchill, unique in our college systems? From the news we get from college campuses from time to time, I doubt it. It seems that college campuses are filled with people who hate this nation and everything it stands for. It also seems they're unable to learn from past mistakes, or to change their minds when the world doesn't react the way their theories suggest.

According to Wade Churchill, commerce is the most destructive force in the world, creating all kinds of hostilities without allowing those hostilities to be expressed in any other way than crashing jetliners into massive buildings filled with people.

I've included the full Gazette article because the newspaper doesn't archive individual stories in a way they can be easily accessed.

Governor Urgers Prof's Firing

From the Colorado Springs Gazette
Feb 3, 2005

For more than three years, an essay written by University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill went pretty much unnoticed. By Monday, it was national news. By Wednesday, it had earned a unanimous rebuke by the Colorado House of Representatives and a plea by the governor to fire Churchill.

The 2001 essay, “Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens,” and a followup book characterized the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as a response to a long history of U.S. abuses.

He said those killed in the World Trade Center collapse were “a technocratic corps at the very heart of America’s global financial empire” and called them “little Eichmanns,” a reference to Adolf Eichmann, who organized Nazi plans to exterminate European Jews.

His words found relatively few ears until last summer, when tiny Hamilton College in upstate New York invited Churchill, then chairman of CU's ethnic studies department, to talk about American Indian activism, his area of expertise.

He was to have been part of a symposium called “The Intersections of Class, Race, Gender, Sexuality and Nationality."

Though Hamilton officials knew of Churchill's essay, they decided to keep him on the program.

As word got out, however, protests grew, including an editorial by the Wall Street Journal that urged a boycott of Churchill's appearance. National news outlets, from National Public Radio to the New York Times, picked up on the controversy in late January and carried it to millions. Thousands of angry e-mails poured into Hamilton. Tuesday, the college canceled Churchill's appearance, citing death threats against him and school officials.

Churchill did not immediately return a phone call Wednesday. He stepped down as department chairman Tuesday. In a statement released the same day, he said he was not defending the Sept. 11 attacks, “but simply pointing out that if U.S. foreign policy results in massive death and destruction abroad, we cannot feign innocence when some of that destruction is returned.”

Colorado lawmakers joined the chorus of criticism Wednesday. The state House unanimously passed a nonbinding resolution calling Churchill’s comments “evil and inflammatory.”

A similar measure awaits action in the Senate.

Gov. Bill Owens urged CU President Elizabeth Hoffman to fire Churchill, who is a tenured professor.

Owens said the school has legal grounds to fire him, but he offered no legal basis for doing so. Owens’ spokesman, Dan Hopkins, said the governor asked his attorneys to research the matter.

“He doesn’t have an entitlement to taxpayer money to support an attack on the United States of America,” Owens told a news conference.

The laws of the University of Colorado permit the firing of faculty members, even those with tenure, for “demonstrable professional incompetence, neglect of duty, insubordination,” felony conviction and other offenses, including moral transgressions.

That was grounds enough for Rep. Keith King, R-Colorado Springs.

“If this is not incompetency,” he said, “then I don't know what incompetency is.”

Hoffman’s spokeswoman, Michele McKinney, said Owens and Hoffman discussed Churchill Tuesday night. She said Hoffman declined to comment further.

The CU regents are scheduled to discuss Churchill’s future at a special meeting today.


“We should question why CU hired this man, let alone make him a department chair and to make matters worse, make him head of ethnic studies.” Schultheis, who was reading excerpts of Churchill’s essay, then said: “You wonder how many other professors are infecting the minds of our students. I'm not going to go on. This is sickening.” He then threw the essay aside.

REP. DAVE SCHULTHEIS — R-Colorado Springs

“Freedom of speech, but on my time and on my dime.”

REP. LYNN HEFLEY — R-Colorado Springs

“This is a travesty to the reputation of the university and this state. Let’s send a message that we do not tolerate this in Colorado.”

REP. KEITH KING — R-Colorado Springs

Some people, and I would include Ward Churchill in that group, believe that socialism is the only way the world should be ALLOWED to work. Having never had to work anywhere but on a college campus, they don't have any understanding of how the world actually works, only visions that can be manipulated at will. Socialism has proven over and over, everywhere it's been tried, to be a failure. The only thing that can bring mankind out of the morass of poverty, starvation, sickness, and dispair is freedom. That includes the freedom to succeed, one of the main freedoms socialism curtails. Success is necessary to build wealth. When success is punished, there is no incentive to build wealth. The tide of wealth generated through freedom "raises all boats", like the tide.

I was taught Abraham Mazlow's "pyramid of human achievement" as part of my management training in the Air Force. While Dr. Mazlow's theories have been replaced by other, more applicable theories, part of what he says is true. The first thing people want and need are the basic essentials of life (security from want): food, water, clothing, and shelter. Once those basic needs are secured, their thoughts move to supplying their children with a life better than theirs. That requires the ability to amass wealth, whether its in land, or goods, or money.

Churchill doesn't understand any of this. He doesn't understand that the reason for the hatred aimed at us by the Muslims of Arab states isn't because we're rich, but because we, through our technology, have shrunk the world to the point that they can no longer ignore us, or our civilization, or the products of our civilization. Our success threatens their smug self-centered world. We scare the pants off them with our successful productivity. They've seen how they cannot compete with us without changing, and change is not only difficult for them, it's against their very religion. Yet change is the one absolute in the real world. They ignored the changes going on in the rest of the world for centuries. Now they can't ignore it any more.

Churchill, too, wishes to halt change. Even worse, he wants to go back to the "old ways" that he dreams existed hundreds, even thousands of years ago. He doesn't understand how cruel, brutal, and short the lives of the average native American was, only some dreamy illusion he holds about them. To him, the "white man" is always wrong, always the enemy, and always the root of all evil. He doesn't have a clue.

"Change" always brings with it a struggle - a struggle between those that embrace change, and those that resist it. Change is frightening. The future is frightening. When change is also institutionalized as apostacy and a sin against God, it becomes a crime that has to be punished. Islam today is engaged in a war to either revert to the 12th Century, or to accept change as inevitable and integrate what part of that change can be accepted without compromising the core of Islam. The same was true of the early American settlers and Native Americans. The Native Americans wanted to continue to live on the land without possessing it, the settlers wished to possess it and own it, so they could increase their wealth. In the end, Wealth won.

Wealth, in and of itself, is neither "good" or "bad". As with most things, it's not the object itself, but the use to which it's put, that determines whether something is "good" or "evil". The Wealth of the United States is being used today to aid those that lost everything in the natural disaster that struck South Asia last year. Without that wealth, America would be incapable of aiding anyone. The nations most active in helping others are the ones that have the greatest wealth, and the greatest freedom to acquire and use that wealth as they see fit. The outpouring of generosity by the citizens of those nations, above the contributions of their governments, indicate we're not a nation of Scrooges and scoundrels, but honest people who accept that life can be dangerous, and that thanks to our wealth, we're sheltered from much of that danger. We wish to help those less fortunate, less wealthy than ourselves, in their hour of need. It's the "right" thing to do.

People like Ward Churchill, however, don't understand the links between wealth, security, and generosity, or the constant that rules our lives, CHANGE. They refuse to accept it, and preach against it. When they attempt to poision the minds of students searching for truth, they make themselves the enemy of freedom, and of this nation. They've joined the Hate-America crowd, and try to perpetuate and enlarge it, at the expense of the rest of us.


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