December 19, 2005

This Post is Old!

The post you are reading is years old and may not represent my current views. I started blogging around the time I first began to study philosophy, age 17. In my view, the point of philosophy is to expose our beliefs to rational scrutiny so we can revise them and get better beliefs that are more likely to be true. That's what I've been up to all these years, and this blog has been part of that process. For my latest thoughts, please see the front page.

And Here I Thought Joseph McCarthy Was Dead...

From The Standard-Times, via slashdot: A senior at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth received a visit from federal agents two months ago, after requesting a copy of Mao Tse-Tung's Little Red Book through his school's inter-library loan program. Details are sparse, but it appears that some branch of the federal government (presumably the Department of Homeland Security) was monitoring the inter-library loan system, apparently without a warrant. The agents told the student, whom the Standard-Times had the courtesy not to identify, that the book was on a "watch list" (is that the same as a "blacklist"?). Buyer beware! Apparently everyone who reads Communist propaganda is now a terror suspect, since all of the terrorists we're worried about are atheist Commies who read Mao. The student wanted the book for a research paper in a class on fascism and totalitarianism taught by Professor Robert Pontbriand.

Ironic, isn't it, that a student was the subject of domestic espionage in the United States as a result of taking a class on totalitarianism?

Brian Glyn Williams, another professor familiar with the incident, said he had been considering offering a course on terrorism in the history department next semester, but is now concerned that this would put students at risk. He was quoted as stating, "I shudder to think of all the students I've had monitoring al-Qaeda Web sites, what the government must think of that."

This is starting to get serious now. Very serious. Here we have people afraid to teach classes and do academic research because Big Brother is watching. The Senate had better get on top of this in a hurry if ANY of them want to keep their seats. And, in case you hadn't noticed, there is no connection between Mao Tse-Tung and Al Qaeda. Bush had enough trouble getting the public to swallow the alleged Saddam-Qaeda tie; the administration will NEVER convince ANYONE to believe that students who study Mao Tse-Tung are potential terrorists. Ridiculous.

Posted by Kenny at December 19, 2005 12:52 AM
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