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07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]
07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]
07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]
07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]
07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]
07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]
07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]
07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn
07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]
06.30 The US military is a bigger polluter than more than 140 countries combined [Could a world-wide moratorium of military activity dramatically slow the climate crises?]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]
07.15 Sanders Accuses Biden of Parroting Pharma and Insurance Industry Script With Attacks on Medicare for All [Like Trump, Biden explains why he's unelectable every day.]
07.15 Trump Takes Pelosi's Side Against AOC and The Squad as Intraparty Fight Over Immigration Continues [Its about much more than immigration, its about the Corporate Dominance—by many of the same companies, even—over both major Political Parties. With too few exceptions, neither party has represented The Public since Nixon generously raised the minimum wage (Part D Medicare and ACA both became Frankenstein legislation due to excessive corporate price-fixing influence), and that has to change!]
07.14 Trump: People like Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party [Then it's too bad he didn't stay to finish the job!]
07.13 Trump's POS Labor Secretary, Acosta, Out. POS Number 2, Linked to Abramoff, to Fill Role [A willingness to perform criminal behavior seems the only competency required...]
07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]
07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]
07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
International & Futurism
07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]
07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]
07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]
07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]
07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]
Targeting Academic and Speech Freedoms: The Case of Canadian Professor Denis Rancourt
Friday, 2 April 2010
Rancourt called the actions against him an indicator of emergent fascism, which is the state of total and unchallenged control of every facet of life by corporate masters of the economy. Independent thought is eliminated and its influence rendered foreign. America is already in an advanced state, Canada close behind.
Section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a constitutional bill of rights, states:
According to Yale Law Professor and constitutional scholar Thomas I. Emerson (1908 - 1981):
With no free expression right, all others are at risk at a time dissent is called a threat to national security, terrorism, or treason. Howard Zinn called it "the highest form of patriotism," and according to Voltaire, "I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
In a post-9/11 climate, it's more than ever endangered, academic tenure affording no protection; to wit, Professor Denis Rancourt's University of Ottawa (U of O) March 31, 2009 firing, ostensibly for pedagogical reasons, but as he said:
On rancourt.academicfreedom.ca, he states:
Rancount's "critical pedagogy" focuses on learning, not regurgitating professorial views for high grades, or as he said in a January 5, 2009 letter to Marc Jolicoeur, Chairman of the University Board of Governors:
In 2007, after criticizing the university's position on academically boycotting Israel, repression against him intensified after Allan Rock became president on June 3, 2008 - a former Canadian politician, UN ambassador, and staunch Israeli supporter.
On his March 8 U of O Watch blog posting, Rancourt said Rock, as UN ambassador, "abruptly changed Canada's longstanding policy on Israel," henceforth "vot(ing) against UN resolutions for Palestinian human rights along with the US and Israel," contrary to virtually all other UN members save for a Pacific island or two.
As U of O president, he was "reprimanded by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association for banning a student poster about Israeli Apartheid Week, (then) strong-armed a student union president into distancing the (organization) from the student-run Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) which had expressed a principled stance towards Israel."
In September 2008 at Rock's urging, the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors (EBOG) suspended Rancourt, recommended dismissing him in December, barred him from campus, then fired him in March 2009.
A University of Ottawa physics professor, he was tenured, a full professor since 1997, a recognized expert in his field, and a "phenomenal teacher" according to members of the Environmental Studies Student Association for providing an "extremely enriching individualized....empower(ing and) positive learning environment where inspired students gained confidence and courage."
How could his pedagogical approach and grading methods "justify ordering the university police to remove (and ban him) from campus, (assign) his graduate students to other faculty, fir(e) his post doctoral research fellow, and summarily fir(e) him without due process?"
It's "particularly ironic given its Vision 2010 strategic plan (stating) that the university will "Support and recognize initiatives designed to implement a range of new and diversified strategies for learning and evaluation."
Rancourt wanted a stronger, more democratic U of O - better pedagogically with a new syllabus, community service offerings, course content, and right to challenge established practices.
He was also vocal on environmental concerns, professional ethics, lobbying, media influence, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In response, university officials tried to silence him, finally by dismissal, the same disposition for others like Bard College's Joel Kovel, De Paul University's Norman Finkelstein, and University of Colorado's Ward Churchill, each distinguished academicians, scholars, and outspoken critics of injustice.
Until his July 2007 firing, Churchill was an award-winning tenured professor. He sued, prevailed, was reversed at the district court level, appealed, and was supported by National Lawyers Guild, Center for Constitutional Rights, Society of American Law Teachers, Latina/O Critical Legal Theory, and Law Professors and Attorneys through amici curiae filings to reverse the lower court's ruling. In summary of argument comments, they stated:
It holds for Canada under constitutionally protected freedoms, Rancourt saying tenure produces obedient academics who won't challenge injustices in society or their university environs. He wrote:
In a detailed February 23, 2009 brief (five weeks before his firing), he said university officials used a "fast track process" against him, wouldn't engage in dialogue, and refused to evaluate him by a committee of his peers to facilitate his firing:
Freedom of information (FOI) documents showed intense illegal university surveillance, "including an extensive use of a student spy and the hiring of professional reporters to produce commented transcripts of my academic and conference talks at other universities."
Methods used included:
Rancourt concluded that "This may be the first time in North American academic history that a university administration (through its highest legal office) hire(d) a student to practice extensive covert surveillance of a professor and (other) students" in violation of Canadian and international law.
Part VI - Invasion of Privacy under the Criminal Code of Canada prohibits "private communication" intercepts from one person to another within Canada. Provision 184(1) states:
Provision 193(1) prohibits disclosure of illegal intercepts, subjecting offenders to imprisonment for up to two years.
Article 17 of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states:
Article 19 states:
FOI evidence also revealed interference to prevent Rancourt from reserving an auditorium, secure computing services, participate in campus demonstrations, enlist students for research projects, accept new graduate students, negotiate his teaching load, propose new courses and curriculum changes among other things. In addition, since 2005, measures "included a multitude of tenuous and invalid disciplinary attempts and interventions including and not limited to....the Dean barging into" his....Physics and the Environment course to close it down."
In 19 prior U of O teaching years, he hadn't once encountered discipline. Thereafter it became intense, malicious, repeated, and wholly unjustified, culminating in his dismissal because of Allan Rock's collusion with Israeli Lobby efforts to "enforce (its) ideological alignment within the University...."
As a result, "At a snap (December 10, 2008) meeting, (he) was effectively summarily dismissed, physically barred from campus, and escorted off the premises by university police" for bogus reasons. Then on January 23, 2009, he was "arrested, cuffed and removed from campus by Ottawa Police" by order of the university administration, "and charged with trespass to property - while hosting (his) weekly Cinema Academica event."
In a December 2009 activisteacher.blogspot.com posting, he called the actions against him "an indicator of emergent fascism. (It's) not a distant historical anomaly. It is an optimum end-state towards which large-scale disruptive and predatory economic hierarchies tend. It is the state of total and unchallenged control of every facet of life by corporate masters of the economy, achieved by an optimized balance of force and a designed mental and social environment. Independent thought is eliminated (and its) influence rendered foreign."
America is already in an advanced state, Canada close behind toward a dark future, prevented only by "authentic (determined) rebellion."Letters Supporting Professor Rancourt
Ones from U of O included:
Adjunct Professor Valerie Whiffen, School of Psychology, calling the university's action "an appalling and unprecedented lack of respect for both academic freedom and due process" in urging his immediate reinstatement.
Department of Criminology Adjunct Professor Robert Gaucher calling the attack on academic freedom "extremely upsetting....I am appalled by it....If a colleague with such outstanding credentials can be treated (this way), then the academic freedom of all of us is threatened."
Instructor and doctoral candidate Claire Delisle, Department of Criminology, expressing concern about the university "exercising rigid control over the staff and the students" and for subverting academic freedom.
Ones from other universities included:
University of Manitoba Mineralogy and Crystallography Professor, Frank C. Hawthorne, calling Rancourt "an outstanding scientist (among the very) few of his calibre, (a man) the community can ill afford to lose...."
Ryerson University Professor Emeritus Helmut Burkhardt calling the action against him "totally inadmissible...."
Drexel University Assistant Professor of Sociology Mary Ebeling calling Rancourt's firing "truly shocking (for having) violated, with impunity, the very principle of academic freedom" U of O claims to uphold.
Babes-Bolyai University (Romania) Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Assistant Edmond Nawrotzky-Torok saying he was "appalled by the violation of academic freedom and the totalitarianism which seems to characterize a university that allegedly stands for 'freedom of expression in an atmosphere of open dialogue, enabling critical thought.' "
University of Western Ontario Professor Emeritus Arthur Jutan, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, said:
University of Calgary Associate English Professor, Aruna Srivastava "express(ed) not simply dismay but shock that a university would adopt such heavy-handed tactics to eliminate (a colleague) whose opinions and ideas were (to some) abrasive and unpopular."
Guelph University & Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, University Professor Emeritus John McMurtry, described a similar "harrowing witch-hunt" he once endured, saying "It will be an enduring disgrace if this shocking administrator persecution is permitted to stand."
University of Lethbridge Professor of Globalization Studies, Anthony Hall, compared Rancourt's persecution "to a twenty-first century Canadian version of the Spanish Inquisition."
Others expressed their alarm and disgust as should we all in condemning assaults on academic and speech freedoms, democratic principles, and inalienable liberty in a free and open society.
Mark Twain called "irreverence....the champion of liberty and its only sure defense." Benjamin Franklin explained that "Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech." John Stuart Mill called the "evil of silencing the expression of an opinion....robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation...."
US Supreme Court William O. Douglas spoke for others in calling "Restriction on free thought and free speech....the most dangerous of all subversions....It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies. (There must be no restraint against the right to) protest even against the moral code that the standard of the day sets...."
From the web site wewon'tbesilenced.com, "My free speech is not negotiable."
Nor are human and civil rights, social justice, and democratic freedoms, ones that tolerate no subversion of constitutionally guaranteed rights because the alternative is repugnant despotism.
Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on April 2, 2010.
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