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Friday, July 26, 2013

Denying academic freedom humankind's enemies seek control of others’ thoughts to achieve selfish ends ─ David Hoffman

INGRAINING IGNORANCE: Associated Press-obtained emails via FOIA show former Indiana governor turned university president Mitch Daniels “requested that historian and anti-war activist Howard Zinn’s writings be banned from classrooms and asked for a ‘cleanup’ of college courses.” Daniels also “talked about cutting funding for a program run by a local university professor who was one of his sharpest critics.” INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — though the former governor had “pledged to promote academic freedom” when he assumed the university presidency in January, the emails show that as governor Daniels had “attempted to eliminate what he considered liberal ‘propaganda’ at Indiana’s public universities.”
Re-reporting, editing by Carolyn Bennett

In a biographical sketch of Daniels is the citation of the July 2013 Associated Press-obtained emails in which Daniels asks for assurances that the textbook The People’s History of the United States by historian Howard Zinn “‘is not in use anywhere in Indiana.’”

Ban ideas “we” don’t like

“Daniels wrote in 2010, ‘This crap should not be accepted for any credit by the state.’ His e-mails were addressed to his education adviser Scott Jenkins and a top fundraiser and state school board member David Shane. “Part of Shane’s input was that a statewide review ‘would force to daylight a lot of excrement.’

“Daniels and his aides came to agreement and the governor wrote to them: ‘Go for it. Disqualify propaganda ....’”

Defund “our” critics

“In a separate and unrelated round of emails composed in 2009, Indiana Education officials shared concerns with Daniels about the lobbying resources and activities of the Indiana Urban Schools Association. Daniels asked that the administration ‘examine cutting them out, at least of the [funding] surge we are planning for the next couple yrs.’

More accurately DEVOLUTION of intellectual freedom
“The executive director of IUSA is Charles Little (Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis professor of education) who had criticized (Daniels). It wasn’t immediately clear if the audit went through. Daniels said he had never heard of Charles Little.”

Politician turned “Educator” (?)
Manipulator, mind control agent

Mitchell Elias (Mitch) Daniels, Jr. (b. April 7, 1949, in Monongahela, Pennsylvania) is a U.S. politician who became president of Purdue University after holding the Indiana office of governor for two terms (2005-2013). During the George W. Bush administration, he was Director of the Office of Management and Budget (January 20, 2001 – June 6, 2003) He academic credentials were taken at Princeton University; Indiana University- Indianapolis, and Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.)

niversity of Illinois Professor Cary Nelson told the Associated press, “‘It is astonishing and shocking that such a person is now the head of a major research university, making decisions about the curriculum, that one painfully suspects embodies the same ignorance and racism these comments embody.’” Nelson is also president of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), which investigates cases of censorship from university officials. Continuing his reaction, Nelson said:

Academies, through the unique system of tenure, once enshrined freedom of opinion and inquiry (but) now frequently are home to the narrowest sort of closed-mindedness and the worst repression of dissident ideas.

n his July 22 article “Boycott Purdue,” PRAVDA.Ru editor David Hoffman makes the case even stronger and more poignantly when contextualizes ignorance and its consequences.

Worse than “stupidity,” which when viewed positively not pejoratively can provide an essential uniqueness and diversity in the world, Hoffman says, “Ignorance is damaging in all its forms. Ignorance is the development of faulty perceptions or opinions that evolve through the use of incomplete and/or inaccurate information or knowledge that, in turn, emanates from the inability, failure, or refusal to examine all sides of an issue. 

One type of ignorance is self-inflicted and internal ─

…making a person incapable of empathizing with any interests or opinions other than one’s own

…making one loath to read, watch, or listen to anything that deviates from one’s own preconceptions. 

…spawning racism, prejudice, intolerance, and injustice

Another type of ignorance, he says, “is imposed externally by corrupt, unethical, self-serving individuals who believe their ambitions, lusts, and greed can only be satisfied by keeping others ignorant.

 This is normally accomplished through a combination of censorship and control over a state or nation’s educational system.

Enemy of freedom, humankind

Mitch “Daniels-the man who worshiped at the altar of privatization while serving as governor; the man who helped make the corporate voice the only politically effective voice in Indiana; the man who lowered the incomes of thousands of Indiana workers; the man who sought to quash academic freedom; the man who denounced college courses as ‘propaganda,’ yet had no compunction about using propaganda himself; the man who attempted to abuse the authority of his office to silence critics-continues to feed at the taxpayer trough as president of Purdue University,” Hoffman writes.
The greatest gift a human being possesses is the ability to think but thinking is not enough,” Hoffman says. “Human beings must also have access to the information (denied by enemies, the ilk of Mitch Daniels) that permits them to make fully informed decisions.  And this means having access to all learned points of view.

“Therefore enemies of academic freedom are the greatest enemies of humankind, because they seek to control others’ thoughts to achieve their own selfish ends.”
Whispered promise, potential

A legacy Americans cannot afford to continue squandering is whispered in words attributed to America’s fourth president (1809-1817) James Madison:

The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.

Knowledge will forever govern ignorance and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

Sources and notes

“AP Exclusive: Daniels looked to censor opponents” (Tom LoBianco), July 16, 2013, http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ap-exclusive-daniels-looked-censor-opponents

“Boycott Purdue” (David Hoffman), July 22, 2013, http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/22-07-2013/125207-boycott_purdue-0/

David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
Copyright © 1999-2013, «PRAVDA.Ru». When reproducing our materials in whole or in part, hyperlink to PRAVDA.Ru should be made. The opinions and views of the authors do not always coincide with the point of view of PRAVDA.Ru's editors.

Daniels bio, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitch_Daniels


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