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Truth or Consequences | The Nation

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Diary of a Mad Law Professor

Truth or Consequences

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OK, boys and girls, it's time for a pop quiz. Professional provocateur David Horowitz recently proclaimed that "there are 50,000 professors...who are anti-American, they're radicals, they identify with the terrorists, they think of them as freedom fighters. It's a huge danger for the country." If true, that would mean that of the approximately 400,000 tenured or tenure-track professors in the United States, about one in every eight is a threat to national security. And here we were worrying about terrorists sneaking in through Dubai Ports World! They're already among us, speaking our language, pretending to be neighbors, passing themselves off as citizens! Right here in River City!

About the Author

Patricia J. Williams
Patricia J. Williams
Patricia J. Williams, a professor of law at Columbia University, was born in Boston in 1951 and holds a BA from...

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While 90 percent of teens break the law, only some enter a violent system.

Imagine a camera aimed at a human face forever.

Horowitz recommends that students use hidden recording devices to tape their teachers. He praises the high school student who secretly recorded Jay Bennish, his social studies teacher, comparing President Bush's foreign policies to those of Hitler.

But as a true patriot, I think we should expand the search for infidels. If it's that bad in the professoriate, why stop at schools? The percentage could be even higher in other professions. What, pray tell, are we doing about Volvo salesmen or Birkenstock wearers or chardonnay vintners? Who's recording them? And what of those who own French poodles?

So in the interest of protecting ourselves from those who would mock the tenets of our freedom, I have devised a new SAT (Save America from Treachery) test, whose scores should be considered before granting anyone the blessing of our soon-to-be-issued National Identity-Chip Embed, or NICHE for short. All you have to do is figure out who's speaking truth to power versus who's the terrorist. First prize: three-day getaway weekend in Baghdad! Fail, and go to jail.

a. "If Harvard cannot correct itself in this crisis, it will signal that academe cannot be trusted to reform itself from within. There is a rising tide of off-campus discontent with the monolithic orthodoxies of humanities departments.... These efforts to hold professors accountable are welcome and bracing."

b. "When students become snitches, we are heading toward dictatorship by Mao's Red Guards or Hitler Youth."

c. "The bloodshed that they have caused to the Iraqi people only makes them more intent and strong to evict the foreigners from their land and liberate their country."

d. "It's rarely been Iraqis who talked about civil war. It's usually been outside foreigners, outside foreign forces, that have talked about civil war."

e. "God told me to strike..._____ and I struck them...and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East."

f. "I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator."

g. "It would be more in keeping with the intention of the noblest man in this world if our two Christian churches, instead of annoying Negroes with missions which they neither desire nor understand, would kindly, but in all seriousness, teach our European humanity that where parents are not healthy it is a deed pleasing to God to take pity on a poor little healthy orphan child and give him father and mother."

h. "Are we simply repeating the mistakes of the past? No. The principal difference is that whereas eugenics, as conceived in the early part of the 20th century, was a public project, modern genetic screening is a private matter.... modern eugenics is about individuals applying private criteria to improve their own offspring.... The benefits are individual, and any drawbacks are social--exactly the opposite of the old eugenics."

i. "Many of those people involved with Adolf Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals. The two things seem to go together."

j. "We could go back and expound on...the connections with the queers, the labor union connection, the radical feminist connection, the socialist connection."

k. "He promises not to advance a political agenda from the federal bench he has been nominated to, but to be the type of judge who buttresses the foundation of American government--by applying the rule of law however he finds it."

l. "I didn't do anything, and I'll prove it when the time comes.They are going to try to fabricate proofs and witnesses, but I have proofs and witnesses.... do not think I am unhappy or that I am desperate. I am fine."

m. "I read your book. When you get through, you say, 'If I could just get a nuclear device inside Foggy Bottom, I think that's the answer.' I mean, you get through this, and you say, 'We've got to blow that thing up.'"

n. "Your life depends on how you answer my questions." "Without preliminary trial, Colonel?" "Your life depends on your answers." "Who ordered my arrest?" "You're a prisoner of the First Army Corps in action."

o. "'Our authorities...don't go out looking for guilt among the public; it's the guilt that draws them out, like it says in the law, and they have to send us police officers out. That's the law. Where'd you think there'd be any mistake there?' 'I don't know this law,' said K... 'Look at this, Willem, he admits he doesn't know the law and at the same time insists he's innocent.'"

___

ANSWERS: a. Camille Paglia; b. Camille Paglia; c. Saddam Hussein, speaking of America; d. Condoleezza Rice, speaking of Al Qaeda; e. President George W. Bush; f. Adolf Hitler; g. Adolf Hitler; h. National Review, "The New Eugenics"; i. televangelist Pat Robertson; j. President George W. Bush's recently disgraced domestic policy adviser Claude Allen; k. C. Boyden Gray, supporting Claude Allen's nomination to the Fourth Circuit; l. Zacharias Moussaoui, letter to his mother; m. televangelist Pat Robertson; n. journalist Jacobo Timerman, conversation with prison guard while being held without charge or trial in Argentina in 1977; o. Franz Kafka, The Trial.

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