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Feb 8, 2005 2:50 pm

Some Noteds ...

David Hackett Fischer's work always impresses me. His op-ed,"Freedom's Not Just Another Word," in the New York Times surely stems from work on his most recent book, Liberty and Freedom: A Visual History of America's Founding Ideas, but the op-ed is, itself, a gem.

Ayn Rand sort of horrifies me and it's a little late for her centennial, but for the Randians-in-recovery over at Liberty & Power, I recommend The Fountainhead Starring Skullforce.

Speaking of L & P, I share the distaste of David Beito and his colleague at the University of Alabama, Charles Nuckolls for campus speech codes. More importantly, they are also getting support from FIRE. But I just have a little, you know, historical question for them. Since when did 1956 become"Old South"? 1956, I remember. O. K., so I'm old. But pre-1860 is"Old South." Pre-1860, I don't remember.

Assuming that most of the folk over at L & P are opposed to speech codes, I have a question for the Liberty & Power brokers, specifically for Jason Kuznicki. Assume, just for the purpose of discussion, that an administration knows that it has a tenured bigot on its faculty. And assume, for the purpose of discussion, that he offers a generalization in class that seems reasonable, given the known, maybe even the knowable, facts. The generalization may be a function of his bias. It offends some people. It is probably contestable. What, if anything, is the administration's appropriate action? Should it: a) fire the faculty member? b) suspend the man? c) deny him a year's salary increase and put a letter of reprimand in his file? or d) insist that he take sensitivity training?*

Finally, for those of you who don't know it, this is a busy week. For us Christians, yesterday was Rose Monday; today is Shrove Tuesday; and tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. It begins the 40 days of fasting. For our Muslim sisters and brothers, Thursday is the first day of Muharram, the first month of the calendar. Among Sunni Muslims, it is commonly celebrated as New Year's Day; among Shi'i Muslims, it begins a ten day period of fasting, known as the Festival of Muharram. For all of us, Scott McLemee's columns at Inside Higher Ed appear this week on Shrove Tuesday and the first day of Muharram.

*Update: Jason Kuznicki replies to this query at Liberty & Power.

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More Comments:

Derel Kinlaw - 2/8/2005;confirm=ee402b2e359d4abcb296fa29191e2c0f

the revisionists are going crazy at unc. i hope you can help us

Van L. Hayhow - 2/8/2005

Prof. Luker:
Thanks for the link to the Fischer article. It was excellent. I bought his book on Washington's crossing. I guess I should move it to the top of the too read list.

Ralph E. Luker - 2/8/2005


David Timothy Beito - 2/8/2005

Thanks for the publicity. As you may know, however, I didn't choose the title.