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Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


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Saturday, December 04, 2004

If you don't believe the Pre-Enlightenment Nazis are dangerous ...

Please read on.

A diary on Daily Kos is reporting Brown Shirts in Cyberspace:

The problem for Dr. Snider began when a student named Marissa Freimanis appeared to take offense at the number of works on the recommended list that were in some way related to homosexuality.  Unlike normal healthy adults who would merely opt to read something that interested them and ignore that which didn't (it's not as if she were limited to choosing among Barbara Cartland or science fiction novels - my own definition of a reading list from hell), she went public with her complaint.  Not to Dr. Snider nor the University, again what normal healthy adults would do, but to http://www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org/.  There is nothing "academic" or "free" about their agenda.  It is an online "clearing house" for reporting on instructors and institutions that do not conform to a rightwing orientation.  It is like McCarthy, J. Edgar Hoover and the KGB for individual fascists to take matters into their own hands.  And they are effective.

Based on Marissa's complaint ...

Dr. Snider's name spread throughout rightwing internet sites and led to the publication of a piece by her on Horowitz's "FrontPageMag":
more complaints
From there it spread to the rightwing Townhall.com:
mike adams
Then she joined another student, Sean Holland, in an appearance on Fox News.  All of these efforts resulted in Dr. Snider being inundated with hate mail and threats so extreme that he was given police protection for his safety.

The text of the complaint
Description of Complaint (please be as detailed as possible, including quotes from your professor where applicable):
I am taking this English composition class to fufill my general education (GE) requirements. On the first night of this class, Sep. 1, 2004, Dr. Snider went over the the class syllabus for the semester. This syllabus includes 5 essays that are to be turned in over the semester. One of these essays is to be written on a film that he will show in class, as he so stated will most likely be Farenheit 9/11. (Because Michael Moore is a genius and his film exposes how our so called "President Bush" is an idiot.) He then proceeded for the next hour and a half of this ENGLISH class to talk strictly about his hate of "president" (he kept doing the quote signs with his fingers) Bush and the Iraqi War. There were no more attempts made my Dr. Snider to talk about the true subject matter of the class, ENGLISH. I have been in this class for almost 2 weeks now and politics seems to be the main issue lectured on, however he makes lame attempts to tie his own liberal propaganda into an english example, (ie; Newspaper articles, Presidential Speeches, etc. )Furthermore, a second essay that we are to wirte must be written on a book we have read that appears on his "approved reading list". The list of books in his syllabus has a dominant theme: Sexual perversion and anti Bush rhetoric. ( A copy of this list can be found on his website at www.csulb.edu/~csnider) This website which indicated in his syllabus "contains important class material" is a website dedicated primarily to his own gay literature and anti Bush poetry. I, and many other students, had a very difficult time navigating our way through his site to find some obscure hidden link to our school documents that must be printed off of this website. Also, Dr. Snider has taken it upon himself to give us a moral/ ethical and spiritual lesson before each class begins. The university offers ethics classes, and I obviously have no problem with ethics. I just do not believe that Dr. Snider is trained to lecture on such topics. ( And from what I do know of his ethics and morals, i feel slightly offended that he somehow believes that his morals are superior to mine- I do not draw and ethical comparison between President Bush and Saddam Hussien as does Dr. Snider).

Excerpts from the student's article in Front Page Magazine:
The moral issue I chose to write my paragraph about was "the controversial decision made by President Bush to lead the United States into a pre-emptive war against Saddam Hussein." I stated that in the "documentary" Michael Moore argued that President Bush made this decision in great haste and failed to investigate the true threat that Iraq posed to the United States. I then went on to describe the "evidence" that Michael Moore uses to prove his point as " a single advisor saying that he overheard President Bush" [...] However, when I received my paragraph back, I found it marked up in red ink by Dr. Snider with comments like, " You miss the point of the film", or that advisor "was Richard Clark… a terrorist expert!" I was blown away by these comments.

Uh ... I teach these dreaded Freshman writing courses --- and one of the primary points of these courses is to teach critical thinking, including analysis, which includes issues of ethos, or the credibility of sources. Not to mention, the importance of researching everything presented in the course and never presenting arguments based on mere opinion. Everything must be evidence-based because, as they say about opinions, just like ... , everyone has one.

This student did not research who the advisor was before dismissing him as a mere "advisor" --- nor did she address his credibility, except to demonstrate her failure to adhere to the parameters of such a course by failing to research and failing to understand the importance of ethos. She deserved the red marks, IOW.

And so we have come to the time when the 'cause' of a whining student who doesn't want to do her work and failed to adhere to the most basic requirements of her course is taken up by the Radical Christians.

Go to the original story on Kos for email addresses, etc. to voice your opposition to this kind of strong arming and the ongoing gutting of our educational system by these whackoes.


At 12:07 PM, Blogger Rob said...

What fun I'm missing by skipping college :)

Her complaint is crap, IMO, but having been away from college for many years (1988 was my last time in class) is it normal for profs to be so political in class?

At 12:16 PM, Blogger Cookie said...

Not all are, but some are, yes, and from both ends of the spectrum. In a day or so, for example, I'm meeting a friend who's passing through and teaches at a large university in the deep South --- she's pro-creationism and is in a position to teach creationism in her courses. And she just received her Ph.D. from a pro-evolutionary theory university and department.

Where I teach, we have teachers, both right and left, who preach to their classes. Now, I don't --- in fact, I forbid the use of controversial topics in my courses, as i believe all a student has to do is sit on the internet if that kind of argument is what they want to learn.

So yea, it happens --- but it happens from both sides. The point is to be SCHOLARLY, and not simply opinionated.


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