Madison Newspaper Editorials Slams Rep. Nass Over Teacher Firing Statements

Editorial: Sifting and winnowing -

State Rep. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, is not very good at legislating. But that doesn't stop him from trying to tell everyone else how to do their jobs.

Indeed, it seems that whenever Nass hears about a college instructor who expresses views that do not fit with his own, the legislator begins to call for sanctions and silencing.

Nass piped up again last week after he learned that a University of Wisconsin lecturer has been active in a movement that raises questions about whether U.S. government officials rather than foreign terrorists were responsible for some or all of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.
Barrett understands that his views are provocative. In fact, when UW Provost Patrick Farrell said university officials would review Barrett's syllabus and reading list for the course, as well as evaluations of his past teaching performance, the lecturer said he thought the provost's approach sounded reasonable.

"I look forward to the chance to discuss this with anyone who's interested, and I understand why this would raise concerns," says Barrett. "When professors have a strong commitment to a point of view, it's important that they not impose their views on students."

Frankly, the lecturer comes off as far calmer and more thoughtful than Nass, who, on the basis of what he heard about a radio interview Barrett did, called on the UW to bar the academic from teaching.
If Barrett tries to force his views about 9/11 on students, he will be called on it. But everything he has said suggests that he will be a responsible instructor. Indeed, Barrett has been very specific about the fact that he wants to try to "present all defensible sides of important issues" and "let students make up their own minds."

That sounds a lot like the values expressed on a plaque at the UW that reads: "Whatever may be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere, we believe that the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found."

Steve Nass should go up to Bascom Hall and read the plaque before he starts telling this great university to fire controversial instructors.

Edit: Another editorial as well:

Ron Rattner: UW probe chills academic freedom -

Dear Editor: As an attorney and UW-Madison graduate during the McCarthy era, I am deeply disturbed about the provost's politically instigated "investigation" of Kevin Barrett. When teachers are intimidated against seeking and speaking truth on a campus known for its liberal and progressive traditions, we are in trouble.

It has been reported that David Walsh, UW Board of Regents president, thinks Barrett should be able to share his views in the classroom, observing: "Unless he's yelling fire in a crowded theater, we need to be careful to protect his academic freedom."

Walsh is absolutely right. Academic freedom is essential for maintaining democracy. As Albert Einstein observed: "It is evident that any restriction on academic freedom acts in such a way as to hamper the dissemination of knowledge among the people and thereby impedes national judgment and action."

Universities are for inquiries, not inquisitions. The provost's review will intimidate the academic community against seeking or discussing 9/11 truth.

To remain a great academic institution, UW must operate in the tradition of La Follette, not McCarthy.

Thanks fhb for the heads up!

Good editorial!

Good editorial!

kill them. Chris | Homepage

kill them.
Chris | Homepage | 07.05.06 - 8:14 pm | #

Its always the same isnt it Chris, all they have is insults, they dont address any of the questions or evidence, they dont even try. You can site fact and post sources and they dont care, they wont read it. These are the TFM's.

yeah, its pretty typical, i

yeah, its pretty typical, i hit them with the Coincidence Theorists Guide To 9/11(classic), and the room pretty much went silent for the most part.

I saw that, but give them

I saw that, but give them time they'll glaze over and go back to their BS. If you present anything longer than a sentence they go into vapor lock.

Maybe it's just me, but I

Maybe it's just me, but I see any PR, even total slaughter, as better than absolute silence.

But, is it me or does it seem like there's always the same people arguing each other, on both sides, whenever there's a discussion about this? The style and arguments are very similar to conspiracysmasher and the likes. Oh well, you know you're getting successful when you have sworn enemies...

What astounds me is when I

What astounds me is when I meet people in debate that know alot about the evidence for an inside job, yet they still don't think there's anything wrong with the official story. What good does it do to be an otherwise intelligent and articulate person when you can't see the truth for what it is.

I've always maintained that

I've always maintained that if Ward Churchill "got it" (or acted like he even had a clue about 9/11), the media spotlight never would have come near him.

Now that it, on a smaller scale, is near KB, I'm watching to see if he avails himself of the opportunity to reach a wider audience with any of the more incisive truths about 9/11 (for example, the fact that analysis of the Pentagon video [re]released in May 2006 [barely] reveals an aircraft which, it turns out, is too small to be a 757!)...

(What kind of "truth movement" 'leaders' could keep a development like that submerged for so long?)

I suppose the reference to

I suppose the reference to La Follete in the editorial piece by Ron Rattner refers to this gentleman