A useful categorization

I like Greg Laden’s taxonomy of Horwitzian Academic “Freedom” bills:

“Academic Freedom” bills seem to come in two flavors: Those that protect students from the possibility of learning certain things, and those that protect subversive teachers from getting in trouble for being bad teachers.


  1. Jason Failes says

    Well seen.

    I had skipped over Mr. Laden’s blog for today, but I guess that’s why pencils have erasers.

  2. firemancarl says

    Hopefully, we can rout the xtian fundies here in Flor-e-duh today. The AF bill goes for the vote today and although I wish it were the science that would kill this bill, I would take solace if it died due to threats of lawsuits.

  3. Holbach says

    I think if Grant Wood were alive today he would be amused at his “American Gothic” with the insane alteration. I don’t know what his attitude toward religion was, but at the time Kansas was still drenched in religious idiocy and he may have unknowingly and unwittingly portrayed the hayseeds as a bible mesmerized society as it still is. Say it isn’t so Kansas! Ha1
    I’m sure that everyone is now aware that the chief moron is visiting our great country and all the news are ga-ga over being in the “presence of the holy farter(yes)” Oh, what patronizing and groveling to kiss the holy ass. The news will be filled with this creep slathering our country with his “holiness” and the deranged sheep will be falling over each other to partake of blessings and aura “Expelled” by this insane dolt! Man, I just want to puke over the whole sordid insanity!

  4. Holbach says

    I forgot to mention that the clown pope said “he will make sure that no pedophiles become priests!” Oh sure, but he cannot be sure that the freaking priests don’t become slimy pedophiles! You freaking moron, why don’t you get your imaginary god to prevent this? So the molesting priests are more powerful than your god? The mind just reels at the enormity of the insanity and hopeless fiasco!

  5. Schmeer says

    Ah, Holbach.

    Just when I think I’m angry I read your posts. I relax a little just knowing that you are waaaaay more angry than I am.

  6. Alex says

    “We demand the right to be incompetent and illiterate!”

    It’s more than that. They demand the right to inculcate EVERYONE with their stupid, tortured, irrational, illogical, delusional, view of reality.

    Academic Freedom my ass. More like Indoctrination Freedom.

  7. Pablo says

    Someday, I need to draft my letter to Horowitz, coming out of the closet. See, I am one of those evil professors who has imposed my ideological views, not related to the content of the course, that he is so concerned about. I think I should be included among the “most dangerous professors in the country.”

    A couple of examples of me prosetylizing off-topic in my class:

    1) A couple of years ago, I mentioned something about how you could learn this “while doing crossword puzzles or reading the comics in the campus newspaper.” That was fine in context, but then I went over the edge! I said, “Speaking of that, who’s bright idea was it to get rid of ‘Rubes’? That was the best comic there was!”

    That’s right, I went there. In a class that was nominally about Organic chemistry, I went off an campaigned for my favorite comic strip, right there in front of all my students. Think of the disservice I did to all those who held the opinion that Rubes was a lousy comic?

    2) As I think of it, I did it again just yesterday. While talking about lipids, and, in particular, vegetable oils, I had listed the components of olive oil, and in the course of the lecture, called it E-V-O-O (extra virgin olive oil), like Rachel Ray does. That was fine. But again, I went over the line, telling the class that “Nothing makes me change the channel faster than hearing Rachel Ray say EVOO”

    Clearly, this was me injecting my personal opinion on a topic unrelated to the content of the course.

    For some reason, though, I don’t think that Horowitz is going to come and get me. But why not? If his real concern is about professors teaching ideology, then what I’ve done does in fact count. Of course, that’s not the problem they have. Their real objection is that they are opposed to professors saying things they don’t like. However, if it is in something they don’t care about, then they don’t have a problem with it.

  8. brokenSoldier says

    Right now they are spuriously demanding (aka whining)that we simply “teach both sides.” If that ever happens, they’ll use influence and wealth to push their “side” into a majority. And if THAT happens… well, we’ve all read about how much fun the Dark Ages were!

  9. bernarda says

    David Horowitz is an extreme rightwinger who did a book “The Professors: The 101 most dangerous Academics in America”. He is also with the extreme rightwing group Campus Watch which uses McCarthyite tactics against professors and fights tenure for those who disagree with them.

  10. says

    “Those that protect students from the possibility of learning certain things” reminds me of “It’s dangerous for our students to even know that your philosophy exists!”

  11. Holbach says

    Now that the catholic head moron is in our country puking his wrath and blessings to the insane rabble, this would be a most opportune occasion to flood the country with that funny and demeaning video of Jessel and Weebotox and the deranged masses inaugaurating the new popery for our outrageous amusement. I am going to watch it every day that the head sheep herder is here, just to remind myself of the incredible depth the human mind will sink to encompass the utmost moronic bullshit.

  12. Interrobang says

    I fully support creationists’ desire to be incompetent and illiterate…as long as they do it between consenting adults and over there, somewhere, where they’re not mucking with the law and trying to hurt other people.

  13. Ichthyic says

    I fully support creationists’ desire to be incompetent and illiterate…as long as they do it between consenting adults and over there, somewhere, where they’re not mucking with the law and trying to hurt other people.

    you mean like these guys?


    maybe we could avoid the civil war this time, and just let SC go?

  14. ash bell says

    it’s strange…that old consevative canard that education is too liberal. the VERY NATURE of education is liberal. A consevative education? ‘cmon, so who gets to “decide” the curriculum. What gets left out in the world of ideas?

  15. says

    Screw Horowitz. He loves to point out that he used to be a communist and hung with the Black Panthers. I guess that’s supposed to give him credibility. I say, “you were a radical lunatic then, you’re a radical lunatic now!”

    FWIW I’m actually a have a bit part on one of his anti-professor hit lists.

    (This pointless post was brought to you by the desire to Google Bomb for “Expelled Exposed”. Try it, it’s fun!)

  16. Ichthyic says

    that old consevative canard that education is too liberal.

    Conservapedia – Because Reality Has a Liberal Bias!


  17. defectiverobot says

    OK, so I was pondering the s-called “Academic Freedom” bill(s) this morning, and I came up with this scenario that I’d like to try out here:

    An untenured psych (or sociology) prof walks into his classroom and states matter-of-factly that female victims of rape are the sole cause of their own plight. This statement is not made as self-conscious controversy for the sake of generating debate–it is a position that the professor believes wholeheartedly.

    Now, judging from what I understand about these bills, this is a protected point of view. Am I correct here? If this professor were booted for espousing this nonsense, would he be able to envoke the Academic Freedom bill to retain his job?

  18. MarieB says

    re: The link in #19