We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Friday, September 3. 2010
That would, also, be the story of my grandparents and what they communicated to me.
We owe much to our English heritage.
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Excuse me. My beloved husband is an advisor on another graduate thesis. This one is a woman who refuses to understand critical analysis, primary/secondary resources, etc. She has announced to her advisors and committee chair that her family is planning to come to her graduation and she is NOT rewriting her paper. Geez, Bruce, Barrister, etc. Just how do you suggest hubby dear handle this one? He has already reported his concerns to the committee chair, chair has already announced that maybe they could just do a "pass/fail". Then she could walk with a barely passing. This is a woman who already is on the fast track to management in a very important public field. Hubby dear could stand his ground and ultimately get blacklisted, or we will start to do what others have been doing for the past 20 years--pass her on through and let the community suffer! Do you guys know why we have reached that conclusion? Because, there are no conservative and/or Republican attorneys with the courage to confront university administration or politics. After all it might be their kid that gets hurt--so that leaves good professors out there in no man's land. Sorry folks, we have taken all the hits this little family is gonna take standing up against your lazy assed spoiled daughters!
Could he let the department chair become the advisor on the thesis, thus absolving himself and letting the chair be responsible?
What does "blacklisted" mean in this specific situation? If he has tenure, then your husband can take the heat, which he may already in other areas anyway, and act with factual conscience. -- If he doesn't have tenure, then perhaps my first question applies.
If neither question applies, and the department chair does not back him, nor the department committee that usually votes on whether the thesis passes, then he is sunk, and probably the firm in which the candidate is on the fast track.
Our saving the Island twice in the previous Millenia ought to go a fair ways towards fulfilling our debt. My Father left some body parts in Europe during the War after the War to End all Wars.
I'm more concerned about us saving our country from Ourselves.
Thanks for a post regarding whose shoulders we are standing upon, and realizing that there is neither no Natural Law keeping it solid nor are there any guarantees. Continued sacrifice is required.
BHO and his minions/syncophants can still destroy this country.
Bruce ... This is a very moving post, about how America got to be so exceptional a country -- through the principled, everyday decisions of extraordinary "ordinary people" who are its citizens and the backbone of its national exceptionalism. It's the reason why, at bottom, we all love it, why our soliders are willing to die for it. And why in the last analysis, we make the hard decisions to keep it safe.
Facultywife ... Your husband has my sympathies, because he is confronted with one of those hard decisions. But can he live with himself in the years to come if he betrays his own good judgment? He has a chance here to teach this young woman [and his fellow academics] that actions do indeed have consequences in the real world. There are always teachers who will show students that the rules don't apply to them. But someday, someone with backbone in the real world will show this young person that you can't always remake the rules of life to suit yourself. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and admit you're wrong.
Marianne ... who's had to do that more than once or twice.
25 years ago we took for real the legitimate criticism of the "tenure system". Went to work for a "university" that did not give tenure. The "Chancellor" was forced out of his position and for his retirement project tried to take over my husband's department--Chancellor tried to put his wife in hubby's chair. We left, we refused to stay long enough to make "Chancellor'S" wife look good--so hubby has been blacklisted for years now--picks up little bits of part time work here and there. You know who did not stand and defend? The Republican/Conservative attorneys in our state--they refused to get involved, even though this same university had other campuses in other states shut down for fraud. Sorry Marianne, as I said--been there done that.
Yes, untenured faculty tow the admin's line, or lose even their temporary employment.
With rare exception, there is no recourse.
And, attorneys usually take cases only when there is a large publicity or financial payoff, and there are scant laws that apply here.
FW, tenure is nothing but a Union.
With all due respect, your situation is no different than many of us of make the "right or ethical" choice and end up paying a heavy price for doing so.
And how difficult was your life compared to that of a military family who had to uproot their home on a regular basis, subsist (or at least used to) on near poverty levels, did not know if their spouse would even come home, and most assuredly was not respected by society during the VN war.
As a Brit, please let me add my two cents/two pennorth (penny worth) here.
Tony Blair -- for all those fine words -- is not loved by all in the UK and in many ways he screwed up the office of PM, though far less so than his successor. But this isn't about him; this is about America,
A lot of Britain went into the States, into its people, into its thinking, and we like to think we gave something that you built on. And no mistake, we are grateful for your involvement in the two World Wars. The sacrifice of your people will not be forgotten.
I am always touched when I think of the handful of American pilots who found their way into the Battle of Britain Spitfires and Hurricanes for without their courage, along with our own 'few' and the Poles and the Czechs and the Free French we would have lost in 1940 and a greater shadow fallen over the world.
There are those of course who think the new world order, the one forming in Obama's eyes, is a joy to behold. Well, let them have their moment of delusion. We Brits will, if needed, stand by the US. Despite your determination to seemingly import as many non-Enmglish speakers as possible there remains a common bond between us that goes deeper than language. In many ways we are nearer to America than Europe, and perhaps always will be.
There are times we will not see eye-to-eye, sure. But, well, that's friendship. But we will talk and build and share, hopefully.
Count me as one Yank who was appalled at our President's returning the bust of Winston Churchill.
That we share a native tongue is but one example of the ties between the UK and the US.
We'll always be here, my friend.
As will you.
It'll take some work, but we will prevail. My kids will make sure of it.
if only tony had felt the same towards his country.. which he ran into the ground with his politics
steveg ... Loved your comment above. Since I'm now 82, I can personally remember the American pilots who helped you Brits to save us and the world. I'll never forget your steadfastness when it looked as if we might lose our whole Western world to German domination.
As you say, "A lot of Britain went into the States, into its people and into its thinking" and you did indeed give us something to build on. Like members of close families, we sometimes fought. But you are "family" to us, with all that means in closeness and common heritage.
I hope i may be forgiven for copying the below in full:
What's Past is Prologue
Submitted by JR Nyquist on Fri, 3 Sep 2010
Once upon a time there was a nation, free and proud. It was armed and ready for war. Its warriors were battle-ready and disciplined. But the leaders of this nation were socialists, and they were opposed to their own country's armed forces. In secret collaboration with a foreign power, they ordered their country's disarmament. They eliminated military units, they slashed military spending, and promoted commanders who were willing to disband their own armed forces.
Here was a patriotic and warlike nation which had no hope of freedom or independence, because it lacked one simple advantage: It lacked leaders who were ready to defend the country's sovereignty. The educated strata of society, from which these leaders were drawn, had been indoctrinated to oppose national defense on ideological grounds. Instead of caring for their country, their ideal was to care for the international working class. In other words, they believed in something that has no real existence; and they were willing to betray their country in order to serve this unreal thing.
Is this a fairy tale? Not at all. The country I refer to is real, and its people suffered much more than the loss of their independence. They were conquered, and 10 million citizens from this country were systematically exterminated little more than a decade later. The final count of those exterminated throughout the period of enslavement (lasting 70 years), is staggering. The nation I refer to is Ukraine; and recent archival discoveries put the number of Ukrainians killed within the borders of the Soviet Union (between 1917 and 1991) at approximately 50 million.
I should like to quote a few passages on the betrayal of Ukraine by its leaders. The text is taken from Pavlo Shtepa's history, which I believe has not been translated into English until now. The title of Shtepa's book is difficult to render, but may be understood as [the study of] Moscow-ism. What the author refers to is a new type of power formation, centered on Moscow. It is a malignant formation, which spreads its tentacles methodically and irresistibly in every direction, employing agents in many countries. "Through secret coded telegrams," says Shtepa, "a [Ukrainian] socialist minister, Nikolai Porsh, reported to Lenin in 1917 what was planned and carried out by the UPR government in Kiev." Moscow needed detailed information on Ukrainian plans. This could best be provided by a reliable "partner" inside the Ukrainian government. Since socialists were prevalent in Ukrainian politics at the time, many sources were available to Lenin.
Based on Porsh's information, says Shtepa, "Lenin ordered his agents, who were socialists in the Ukrainian government, to demobilize the Ukrainian army while the Russian army mobilized to invade." In all respects, this is a simple strategy. Find willing partners inside a target country; tell them, in a friendly way, to disarm the country. Since socialist ideals have become popularized, such people are plentiful in politics. When they gain enough of a foothold within a political system, they are driven to act on principles that roughly approximate to national suicide.
How do these people justify their actions? In the case of Ukraine, Shtepa tells us: "The bankrupt leaders of the Ukrainian Central Council (UPR) excused themselves by claiming that Moscow was militarily stronger than Ukraine, and for purposes of defense Ukraine did not have the right national consciousness." As elegant as this excuse may sound, it admits a central fear on the part of socialist leaders; namely, that they cannot stay in power if the people beneath them remain under arms; for the people must eventually hate such rulers, and attempt to overthrow them. As it happened, Ukraine's people were ready to fight for their freedom, but their socialist leaders , in Shtepa's words, "opposed every expression of Ukrainian independence, and every spontaneous manifestation of Ukrainian autonomy." Local communities throughout Ukraine got together and demanded a national army. They formed regiments and sent them to Kiev. The country's socialist leaders, however, would not support an army that favored national independence. According to Shtepa, "They viewed such 'separatism' as an attempted reversal of their collaborationist strategy.... So they relied on peaceful disarmament propaganda, refusing to provide food or shelter to Ukrainian troops."
The Ukrainian people, nonetheless, raised troops and sent them to the government. Shtepa tells the story of the Bogdan Khmelnitsky Regiment from Poltava, under command of Captain Ivan Zabudsky. According to Shtepa, this regiment had 4,000 soldiers armed with heavy machine guns and armored vehicles. "When the regiment came to Kiev and entered the courtyard of the barracks," wrote Shtepa,"it received orders to assemble in the regimental yard. The regimental deputy commander, Alexander Shapoval, appeared before the troops." Shapoval told the troops that he was their new commander, and he suggested they return home. These men were veterans of the Great War, tough soldiers capable of withstanding every hardship. But now, says Shtepa, "They wept like children from disappointment, refusing to surrender their weapons." But it quickly became clear that they would not be fed or housed. At that very moment, a Russian force led by Soviet Col. M. Muravyov, was marching on Kiev.
Does this story sound impossible? It happened to a proud people and so it can happen to you. Leadership is everything, and if you elect the wrong leaders -- which you may have done already -- then you are finished as a country. There will be no escape from the destruction you have foolishly brought upon yourselves. If 50 million Ukrainians were killed during the Soviet tyranny in Ukraine, imagine how many would die if the same fate overtook your country. Do you think we are protected from such an outcome?
As these words are written, Moscow is preparing for some kind of "strategic event." The Russian navy has begun to aggressively hunt American, French and British ballistic missile submarines. Chinese military districts have been mobilizing. North Korea is positioning its defenses as if to withstand a tremendous counter-blow. Israel has purchased a large quantity of fuel, as if a Middle East war is about to break out. Something grim is on its way. Will our leaders be vigilant, or are they "partners" of Moscow?
Time may be running short.
The archive (recommend read last Friday's too; "A Finger in Every Pie"):
(sorry to be such a downer)
I think this must be an example of what FW is speaking about:
Hot dry and gusty wind--no burning allowed for anyone. Except this inexperienced young woman, who has been quickly promoted up the ranks, didn't understand that in this country you do not burn anything intentionally until after mid September. She did a spot check weather report--did not understand what was a real pattern and what was a temporary condition--big difference! What a difference a few more years of watching and working would have done to make this person a better decision maker!
It is an outrage that the President of the United States does not share Mr. Blair's perception of ouur country.
I'm a Brit. Blair is a Nob. He did as much to discredit Britain internationally as Obama has for the USA recently. Following Bush into Iraq was sheer idiocy. For all our love of the US, that war had no logic and has made the entire world more dangerous for all Westerners. This book is all about getting further speaking engagements for the Nob. Pretty soon he will re-invent history and he will be one of your most right wing supporters. Wrong! He is a party-boy socialist. Great speaker. No principles. Remind you of anyone?