Rory Litwin responds to LISNews criticism

Litwin has written a long essay in the latest issue of Library Juice, intended to more clearly explain his perspective. He has some valid criticisms of the LISNews community's response to his earlier critiques that are well worth reading.

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Re:Politics ain't beanbag

aw nuts.When you're righting about the right you need to right right or nothing will be right. Right?

Re:Politics ain't beanbag

Rite! Because, after all, if you're not write, you're rung.

Huhh?

From Rory, "The only reason it hurt is because of LISNews' claim to neutrality, which would be assumed to be true by a naive user of the site."
How is LISNEWS not neutral?

Re:Huhh?

I've gone over this enough times that I think I don't have to keep doing it. Please read the article this post refers to, or read the discussion thread that the article is responding to. I think I explain it sufficiently in both places.Rory Litwin

Re:Huhh?

Through an equivocation. I address this issue in passing, in a posting to my journal entitled: Reply to Rory Litwin.

You might want to read that, Rory. You won't get it, but read it anyway.

Re:Huhh?

Yeah? So?! That's their problem, not mine. I've done my part to make the information accessible, if you and others can't be bothered to look at that information it is certainly not my place to cram it down your throat. Freedom of information includes an inherent right to freedom from information, as well. Don't blame me for you're choosing to live in ignorance.

hurt as well

Rory, what hurts ME the most is realizing that mean-spirited, narrow-minded people like the anonymous name calling individuals who responded have responsibility for library service. I may not like a conservative bias because I feel it is usually a darwinistic, self-centered, uncaring approach...but I would not attack a conservative person's right to have his opinion. Also, I would not belittle or make fun of these people based on their ethnicity as they have done me. That is what hurts me...that people using libraries will be hurt by the bias, the meanness, the racism and the insensitivity to the fact that life in the 21st century is going to be more inclusive of people, not reserved just for the ANONYMOUS LIS News conservatives who clomp all over others to promote their narrow views. You are thoughtful and nuanced and exhibit tolerance for opinions that differ from yours. They are bombastic,cruel, and ignore all but their own reflection.

Kathleen de la Pena McCook

Anonymity

I both agree with and disagree with Rory's editorial in his newsletter, Library Juice.


I don't understand why Rory won't use his account to add authority to his postings. As librarians we all understand the need for authority, and we can see from the exchange about which Rory writes that anonymous users can impersonate one another.


I post under my name. My last name is O'Neil and the first two letters are my initals. I have posted several times that I live in Clearwater, Florida so if someone were interested enough they could look me up in the phonebook and give me a ring. I don't find a need to hide my comments behind some cloak of anonymity. I don't have a position where what I say could be used against me. I do have some ideas that are not quite mainstream, but those are my ideas and I stand behind them.


If we are to maintain civility it is imperative that there be consequences for incivility. Simply being known as a putz is consequence enough I would think. If we all know mdoneil is a putz and we should not read his posts or reply to them then the 'silent treatment' should be punishment enough. Anonymity -even if you sign your posts- really does not lead to accountability. I am not suggesting that Blake require registration, but if you are going to engage in thoughtful debate then you should register.

I personally think Rory is a bleeding heart liberal, he probably thinks I am a right wing kook. I am comfortable with that. Howevere that does not mean we can't debate all things librarian thoughtfully and civilly.


N.B. I also think we should stop being excited about the Web.

Anonymity

I agree with much of what Mdoniel has to say, though the anonymity of others I'll defend, as it allows more for the expression of "unpopular" opinions. "Gales" is something of an injoke for family and friends (an obscure literay reference), so I use it. As for Mdoniel, I find him (her?) informative and entertaining, even if a self-professed Falangist. (My side lost the Spanish Civil War and I'm still somewhat...bitter!)
Glen

Politics ain't beanbag

"But I have to admit to being hurt, at the time, by the comments in response to my editorial. It
is not fun to be called an enemy of intellectual freedom and democracy on a popular website, after years of hard work and sacrifice to defend and
extend those values."

This comment of Rory's plus his article previous to this downplaying the importance of blogs shows an uncomfortablness with the changing times.

There's nothing wrong with blogging, its a way of stretching unused muscles, specifically your opinions and your ability to voice them. If its something you find yourself good at then you can start considering something more official. Though keep in mind we do all have jobs and an actual life outside libraries, blogging is much more adaptable then trying to put out a regular newsletter.

As for getting your feelings hurt, get used to it. There are some very tough, very hot issues in the library world these days and they are not all open to debate. And I'd bet money that some of the nasty little postings I've been getting on my Librarians For Victory petition are from your camp if not actually yourself. So try not to be too 'woe-is-me'.

Part of this whole arguement seems to be confusing comments with actual articles. Blake's original request was for conservative articles to be posted not to recruit conservatives or get us to comment more. Maybe he was interested in challenging the liberal end a little more. Maybe he saw what was happening outside the library world and decided a little political shadow boxing was in order, who knows.

To Blake I say this: Your original request focused not just on conservative articles but from conservative articles from library sources. I know your not a fan of SHUSH, I saw the post expressing your disappointment. But S* was started because other than Tomeboy's I don't know of any other conservative librarian websites that were in existence before S*. It ain't National Review, that's for damn sure but its a start. So for now the comments and occasional article from Tomeboy or myself or any other conservative that wants to step up to the plate (that's an offer to write for S* folks!) is all that's available. Put up your dukes!

There is an ERIC discussion of blogging...

Those with E*Subscribe or other access could consult ED 478 120. The paper written by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel is entitled "Do-It-Yourself Broadcasting: Writing Weblogs in a Knowledge Society." All sides might have interest in what the paper discusses, I bet.

Re:Politics ain't beanbag

Regarding my hurt feelings... If LISNews were generally thougth of as a conservative site, or if the identity of the people who attacked me and their politics were generally known, it wouldn't have hurt at all, because it would have been an obvious example of political mudslinging. But when a visitor to the site only sees nicknames and thinks of the LISNews community as basically a bunch of librarians and not a political battleground then the attacks on me look a lot more substantial, because they don't appear to be politically motivated. The only reason it hurt is because of LISNews' claim to neutrality, which would be assumed to be true by a naive user of the site.Regarding the difference between the conservative nature of the comments and the issue of balancing the stories posted, I am well aware of the difference and have distinguished between the two things throughout my discussion. Both are relevant.Rory Litwin

Re:Politics ain't beanbag

Rory, here's a clue: The first rule of digging holes is: When in you're in one, stop digging.

Re:Politics ain't beanbag

I think my efforts in addressing the LISNews response to my editorial has been anything but "digging a hole." I think I have proved my original assertion to be correct, as well as to clarify my original points and to make some new ones. I think I've made some important points and have made them clearly. I think I've definitely come out ahead and outlined the new character of the LISnews site fairly accurately.Rory Litwin

Re:Politics ain't beanbag

My disappointment with Shush has nothing to do with what you right about, but how you write. Jack does a much better job than you from what I've seen. Again, not with what he writes about, but how he does it." too bad. You're in SHUSH country now." Jeeze you sound like O'Reilly, and that's not a compliment. Put some thought into what you write rather than trying to sound like you're a brain dead neocon puppet like him or Coulter. You have all the time in the world to put some work in and add links that back up your views, and use language that's not inflamatory or just childish. Since that aren't many of you guys (conservative librarians) you have a chance to make people see your side if you do a good job writing.

Re:Anonymity

I don't have a position where what I say could be used against me. Sadly, I do. In Library School I get ganged up on by colleagues who do not like "heterodoxy" coming out of me (most of which would be overly tame and probably would be considered rather left here). I myself am a conservative as it is, though. As said somewhere, once I get tenure, then I can drop the pseudonym. For now, I must end up being quite a bit like "Juan Non-Volokh" at The Volokh Conspiracy.

Re:Anonymity

I knew some people would need a nom de plume, thankfully I am not one of them. Of course the employers aren't beating down my door, so perhaps I should think twice about using my name.

Would you like fries with that?

Re:Politics ain't beanbag

My disappointment with Shush has nothing to do with what you right about, but how you write

Paging Dr. Freud, Dr. Sigmund Freud, to the ER for a slip. :)

Humor not Flamebait (but mod it how you will ladies and gents).

Re:Huhh?

If you have it is buried in your ramblings. One to three clear sentences on how LISNEWS is not neutral. That is what we are looking for. Don't write amother unabomber manifesto just write one to three concise sentences. If you can't sum it up than you have nothing to say.Can someone else that has read his ramblimbs, extract the answer to this question?
 

Re:Huhh?

Read the article that this LISNews story is linking to.

Re:Huhh?

I'd also like to say that you're insulting tone is not necessary and not appreciated. I am being sincere when I say that I am simply tired of explaining my point. I went to a lot of effort to elaborate and explain my arguments and I think you should appreciate my effort. At this point I am tired of repeating my arguments and I think I have a right to expect you to have read them the first time if you're going to address the issue now. I simply don't want to rehash the whole discussion in this thread.But I will say that to assert at this point, in this context, that LISNews is neutral seems dishonest to the point of perversity. I have trouble imagining a more pointed, less neutral culture than the one that goes along with LISNews. The slash code may be neutral, but LISNews' culture is the creation of the people who post stories and comment. If you can cut it with a knife, it's not neutrality.Rory

Re:Huhh?

"Fang-Face".... If you're going to call me a fool and publicly insult me in other ways, isn't it rather cowardly of you to do it anonymously?

My take on this

My take on this is at my blog but Fang Face states my point much better than I did

Re:Huhh?

"Anonymous", you have nothing to snivel about. There is something like three hundred links on LISNews to my web site. Oh look. There's another. Right up there in the message header. See it?

Let's face it; the problem is not that you don't know who I am, it's that you won't make the effort to find out.

Re:Huhh?

99.9% of visitors won't follow the link to your site, so why not sign your postings with your name?Rory Litwin

Re:My take on this

You're endorsing some pretty strong criticism there, Dan G. Are you sure you agree with all of that? Have you read enough of my other writings to genuinely endorse a statement that the most charitable thing one can say about me is that I'm a fool? I don't think so.I think there's been tremendous carelessness to the point of blatant disregard reason on the part of my critics on LISNews.com, who despite such a united front of opinion and culture still maintain that LISNews.com is neutral. It's really astounding that so many of you think that these direct attacks on me are a reasonable response to rational criticism. The lack of rationality in your discussion of the criticisms that I have presented, and the way the majority of the responses to them consist of personal attacks rather than real responses to my actual arguments (which now one of you claims he can't find, though he is apparently familiar enough with them to call them "ramblings") show rather clearly that LISNews.com is not the site of diverse, rational discourse on librarianship that it claims to be. It seems to me that the defensiveness of so many people here is grounded in an emotional attachment to something that no-one here seems willing to actually reflect upon. The criticisms I have made are based on a perspective about media and neutrality that is well enough established that any strong minority of liberal "authors" on LISNews should already be familiar with it and recognize its relevance and defend my criticisms. The fact that they have been silent shows, I think, two things: first, that the emotional attachment that LISNews.com authors have to the site is stronger than the demand to recognize rational criticism, and second, that the conservative voices on LISNews.com have become so dominant that dissenters have been drowned out and driven out, with rare exceptions now posting only to agree with the conservatives who have taken command of the LISNews.com culture (with Blake Carver's deliberate help).Rory Litwin

Re:My take on this

I don't agree with the political viewpoints of the conservative posters:)
But I don't think that conservatives have taken command of the LISNews.com "culture". I think that the openness maintained in the way that anyone can register for an account and anyone can submit a story is sufficient. It doesn't seem like it is that hard for people to become authors either, I remember Blake issuing an open call for people months before he was asking for opinions on adding a political section. And I feel that LISNews is as neutral as any online forum that attracts strong personalities can be.
I think that the whole thing has been blown out of proportion.

Re:Huhh?

Supposedly from Rory, but who knows, it could be someone spoofing him because he refuses to get an account. "I went to a lot of effort to elaborate and explain my arguments and I think you should appreciate my effort. At this point I am tired of repeating my arguments and I think I have a right to expect you to have read them the first time if you're going to address the issue now. I simply don't want to rehash the whole discussion in this thread."Dude, I made an honest answer and read your stuff. I don't see the point you are trying to make. Maybe someone else can read it and explain it to me.

Re:My take on this

Okay, then where are all the liberals and moderates? Where are the intellectuals? I don't see any..... Are they hiding?Rory

Re:Huhh?

Rory made this statement about people clicking on the link to Fang's site

"99.9% of visitors won't follow the link to your site"

How many of you have gone to Fang's site at least once? I bet half the people at LISNEWS.

Re:My take on this

"which now one of you claims he can't find, though he is apparently familiar enough with them to call them "ramblings""

Ok Sparky, I never said I could not find the arguments. As in, "Oh gee where is that web page." I read your arguments and called them rambling because I could not make sense of them. Then I ask you to make your argument concisely and you are completely unable to do that. Mainly I believe because your argument does not exist.

Re:My take on this

I stated my argument clearly and concisely a half a dozen times and am now questioning whether I should have come onto these boards to respond my my attackers in the first place. Internet fora like this one have a way of lowering the quality of the discourse to the lowest common denominator, so that careful argument gets buried beneath a mountain mud that people sling at each other. If you couldn't follow my arguments, maybe it's because you've gotten too used to the mud and don't have patience with long sentences and concepts that don't get regular play in newspapers, popular magazines and television. I'm not trying to put you down when I say that (and I realize that you run a book club for librarians) - just that I don't think I could have rendered my arguments any more concisely than I did. I'm sorry, you'll just have to spend a little more time with them if you want to understand them. I've stated them and I'm done. I'm out of my element here and ready to put my money where my mouth is and leave this type of forum to people who don't mind the way it tends to work against productive rational discourse and encourage juvenile chatter.Rory Litwin

WHACK A PROGRESSIVE

I'm only posting now to respond to Rory. I have made a vow now that I will no longer respond to troll behavior which is what anonymous posting amounts to. Our university discussion list was ruined by anonymous people who acted just like the anonymous posters on LISNews. The list changed from vibrant to WHACK-A-PROGRESSIVE. We would say something about the rush to war in a long deliberate post. Then they would play WHACK A PROGRESSIVE..name calling, twisted responses, and shrill attacks. Tired of this kind of interaction we withdrew. The list then languished to a few ROTC people pumping up the war. This is not giving up, it is strategic withdrawal. The news I sent to LISNews about the success of my local SAFE & FREE initiative was met by nasty response...not thoughtful..nasty.
http://www.aclu.org/safeandfree/
The anonymous posters don't want to read and deliberate. They just want to play WHACK A PROGRESSIVE which, really, I don't think was the initial intent of LISNews. Sadly this is what seems to have evolved. Thus unless one wants to draw fire and anonymous troll behavior, posting anything on LISNews that promotes civil liberties and thoughtful deliberation is now dangerous. One risks becoming the target of attacks by anonymous attackers. Of course this has always been the tactic of the right.
Kathleen de la Pena McCook

Re:My take on this

Yes I am endorsing some strong critisism. But if you want to read what I said at my blog, please do. One of my points is that the tone of the discourse started with "Blake Carver of LISNews has gone batty; the LISNews community
politely pretends that nothing is wrong:" LJ 7.5 That was probably not wise. And it went downhill from there. I was a bit more kind in my blog than calling you a fool, "Rory jumped into the fire and then judging by the latest Library Juice couldn't
take the heat and came away burned."

But Fang Face states that point for and defends it in greater detail than I did.

And Fang Face has a simple solution to avioding comment spin. "This feature is easily circumvented: sign up for an account and adjust your
COMMENTS page to surf at -1. "

Re:My take on this

Well, I'm a liberal, and I'm right here. I think that lisnews is approaching 3000 members. I don't think all of them are conservative. I don't think every single one posted in all of the thread devoted to this debate. Perhaps all the liberals and moderates and intellectuals perfer not to get caught up in a flame war.
What criteria are you using to judge who is liberal and who is moderate? Does someone have to agree with you to be liberal?

As for intellectuals, again, I don't know what criteria you are using to judge people. I guess I'm not intellectual enough.

Re:WHACK A PROGRESSIVE

Thank you, Kathleen.Rory Litwin

Re:WHACK A PROGRESSIVE

I want to add, for visitors from Librarian.net, that on LISNews.com, "anonymous poster" doesn't necessarily mean anonymous. As you can see, I'm called that because I chose not to have an account and log in. This is in contrast to the anonymous people Kathleen is referring to, who do have logins but don't sign their messages with their names. With a little sleuthing one can *sometimes* find out who they are, but a person needn't reveal their identity to anyone to set up an account and have a nickname. So the system is really erroneous in calling people who don't log in "anonymous poster" as though people who do log in are somehow automatically not anonymous. The behavior Kathleen is talking about is almost entirely from people who have logins.Rory Litwin

Re:My take on this

Well this intellectual liberal is watching this debate with great amusement. I have to say I really liked and agreed with much of Fang Face's journal entry (I'd link it but you probably wouldn't bother to click it). And I'd like to point out that intellectualism isn't just a liberal characteristic, I've seen several intellectual, articulate conservatives post in this whole discussion. Nevermind on LISNews as a whole.

Have you considered that the intellectual and liberal silence might be indicitive that they have the audacity to *gasp* DISAGREE with you? I'm certainly not going to post supporting someone I disagree with. I'm not going to post to defend you if they "call you names" since I assume you are an adult. As an adult, you should be quite able to defend yourself and your views (okay you've tried defending your opinion but I'm still not buying it.) And maybe some of us would be more supportive if your arguements had some validity and actually made sense. As a liberal and an intellectual I prefer to think for myself and not toe someone else's line if I don't agree with it. Especially as you seem insistent that what you are spouting is the "truth" despite the fact that a lot of us in the LISNews community disagree with. Even some of the more liberal among us.

You're like a little kid poking a beehive with a stick, then you cry because the bees attack you! It'd be interesting to see if you'd be as concerned about a discussion like this if it were reversed. If a conservative posted to what you would consider a liberal site--attacking it in the same manner in which you attacked Blake and LISNews and with a discussion in which the conservative was getting "attacked". Would it bother you at all? I doubt it.

You really need to build a bridge and get over it, Rory.

s/ (my name is slashgirl, in case you can't read the tiny print at the top--since you insist on names)

not anon, really.

Definition of "anonymous" (from Merriam Webster online):

1 : not named or identified
The people with accounts are both named and identified. It may not be a Real Life name, but it is a name and if it's the same one they use in the net community they belong to it's no different.

2 : of unknown authorship or origin

See my reply to #1

3 : lacking individuality, distinction, or recognizability
Regular users who have login and post on a regular basis to the discussions or the journals do not lack any of those things. And sometimes the ones who do post as anons are still recognisable.

So, those who have logins whether it's their "real name" or a psuedonym (hey writers use them, why not us?) are NOT anonymous. I don't need to know tomeboys real name to respect his postings (Not saying I agree with him), nor do I need to know Fang-Face's real name to respect what he writes.

I've been online for a long time and I hardly ever use my real life name--I don't want every nutcase out there to have access to it or to be able to trace my activities. Yes, I am paranoid.

I have no problem with psuedonyms--I've learned a lot about many of the people in the LISNews community without knowing (or having the need to know) their "real" names. Besides--if if someone uses a "real" name, it might not be THEIR real name.

I don't know why having someone's real name is sooo important. After all, I know yours (or what you claim is yours, I don't know you)and it hasn't done much to make me think what you say is any more valid than those who use pseudonyms.

s/ (slashgirl again...)

Re:WHACK A PROGRESSIVE

I'd be happy to read and deliberate. I wonder how this conversation would have evolved if Rory had not used initally used language that involved name calling. He called Blake "batty", and he said that LISNews had been taken over by a "right wing librarian's militia group". It seems to me that he is asking for more civility than he demanded of himself when he wrote the pieces that sparked this discussion.

can you clarify?

Are you saying that people on LISNews attacked you based on your ethnicity? I haven't seen this, can you provide a link to the discussion where this happened?

Reply to two comments of Rorys in his new article

Rory:

notice how LISNews
"moderators" have ranked the comments on less-than rational grounds,
bringing some comments to the foreground and relegating some to the
background

Me:

Moderators can't post in the thread. Thread posters can't moderate. I just want you know that people don't post AND moderate at the same time. However, I _think_ that those who post ANONYMOUSLY can post AND moderate (but maybe the sofware doesn't allow this). Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. If I'm right, this is another reason to make people register if they want to post so people can't "double dip" as it were.

Rory:

Rather than explain his method in determining
that political center, I pointed out, Blake stated that he had no
definition, that it was "up to the community to decide." But if it were up
to the community to decide, I pointed out, then no intervention would be
necessary in the first place, would it?

Me:

I don't call an invitation for more posters of XYZ persuasion to be an intervention. Are you (Rory) aware of something other than Blake's post that caused the pendulum to swing around here? I'm not.

Re:Huhh?

Fang

Did you take my comment in some negative light? All I was saying was that probably lots of people have been to your site. This was to refute Rory's claim that 99% of people never click on the link to someone's site. Rory is arguing that you are posting anonymously. I do not agree, I think you are open, there is a link to your site.

Re:Huhh?

Fang Did you take my comment in some negative light?

No, it was the comment by Rory/Anonymous/whomever I took in a negative light. He was shifting the burden of responsibility for his actions, or lack there of, onto others. Doing that where I can see it always torques my tweeter.

Re:WHACK A PROGRESSIVE

While I do think Whack-A-Progressive would be a fun game if played like Whack-A-Mole with liberals popping up everywhere and hitting them with a foam covered mallet. (Is progressive the new PC speak for liberal? I still have a problem with PC speak 'issue' meaning 'problem'; they are not synonyms.)


Why would a discussion about the "rush to war" be germane to a university discussion list? USF is so far to the left it is scary. The USF branch of the UFF (a faculty union) condemned the arrest of an alleged terrorist fundraiser. The Vice President of the group (who was arrested for offering money for oral sex in Tampa – and is a staff therapist at the USF Counseling Center and the University Police Liaison) made an impassioned plea for Al-Arian. USF has speech codes, student group registration, and other devices to stifle the speech of students. The police spent more than two hundred and seventy man hours investigating a 4 inch noose found in a tree during what the university calls "Black emphasis month" No crime was committed but university resources were wasted investigating this possible 'hate crime'.


If this is progressive please don't count me in. Progressives seem to want to take us back in time and negate the progress this nation has made. When I was in elementary school we were taught that the United States is a melting pot, and that people from many places came here to better themselves and live a better life. USF has GBLT Students groups, Women’s Studies Programs, Africana Studies, Cuban Studies (what kind of job does one get with these degrees), and an office of diversity and equal opportunity (which has a really bad web pages with visible metatags and SQL failures). Why do we need all these separate departments at USF? Can't we go back to the old melting pot where everyone is in the same boat and we achieve through our own hard work?


Far too much money is wasted at universities trying to make people feel good about themselves, taking money away from the main role of the university – educating students and preparing them for the working world. Now graduates from FSU are ill prepared, at least those I have interviewed. The only less prepared grads are from Florida Metropolitan University. When I worked at IBM in Tampa, I found the graduates of two-year colleges such as SPJC and HCC better prepared than their 4 year USF counterparts. I don’t know if it is because they concentrate on their core courses, or because they don’t have the choice of Women’s studies, Africana Studies or any of the other feel good degrees. Perhaps it is because the junior colleges don’t have them long enough to indoctrinate them in the “if it feels good do it�, “embrace diversity� and ‘consensus building� progressive nonsense.


Students, and frankly everyone, needs to realize that life is not fair, not everyone likes them and many people dislike them for reasons beyond their control. Life is hard and often you will face setbacks. Employers are not going to cater to your whims, and they do not accept B and C quality work. On the other hand students need to know that there is dignity in all work, and doing a good job at whatever you do will allow you to realize your personal goals.

Your comment that “One risks becoming the target of attacks by anonymous attackers. Of course this has always been the tactic of the right. is simply untrue. I am most assuredly a member of the right (perhaps even a member of the vast right wing conspiracy) and I do not post anonymously. Rory, who can’t be considered a member of the right, does so. He does indeed sign his posts, but using an account would provide authority and as librarians we all know how important that is. Those who hide behind anonymity are cowards. Look at the murderers that took Mark Berg’s life they hid behind scarves. Look at the Palestinians demonstrating in the streets, they are often hiding behind scarves. These are not freedom fighters they are cowards – afraid to stand up for their beliefs. Perhaps Rory’s use of an account has a different explanation, perhaps it is some sort of civil e-disobedience, but why lump yourself in with cowards hiding their identity while voicing their beliefs.


I am convinced in my beliefs. I know what is best for me, and what is best for my country. While being from the right may not get me hired as a librarian, it does allow me to keep my self-respect in that I am true to my convictions. I voted for Bush last time and I will do it again this time, but I am willing to listen to cogent argument from the other side. The election is not today, perhaps the ‘progressives’ can persuade me. Open debate is healthy and fosters growth however our government has outlasted almost all others. We are far older than any of the ‘progressive countries’ that oppose us. If France and Germany are doing such a great job being progressive why do they change their governments so frequently? Perhaps you should look at the destruction these feel good policies cause. Human rights are inviolable, needs and wants are not.

Re:WHACK A PROGRESSIVE

I disagree with your characterization of women's studies and ethnic studies programs as being only "feel good" programs.

I've taken literature courses with a strong women's studies theme, the classes provided a nice contrast to all the 18th century British literature classes I'd already taken. We discussed contemporary works in the same way we discussed works of literature in some of the more traditional classes for English majors.

I'm not sure if an English degree really prepared me for the "real world" as I ended up working in a bookstore before going to library school :)

I've taught library instruction sessions for area studies classes, and it is very rewarding to show students some of the more specialized reference books and databases that they can use if they want to research ethnic or GLBT issues. I'm not detecting a lack of intellectual rigor in these students. I think that plenty of more traditional classes can be useless as well, and it all very much depends on the culture and course offerings of the university.

Re:Womens & ethnic studies

I think they are useless feel good degrees. I am sure some of the course work could be useful, however I have never seen a help wanted ad for graduates of those programs.


I'm not debating it, or saying you are wrong, but just letting you know my opinion of these programs.

Re:Womens & ethnic studies

What You Can Do with a Degree in Women's StudiesWhat To Do with a Women's and Gender Studies ConcentrationJob Openings in Women's StudiesAny education education for the womens, is useles s feel good stuf, they should Be At Home where they belong.My wife made the horrible mistake of getin' hitched to a librarian. Silly gal, she'll never be able to afford to stay home with the kids, unless home is a van down by the river.

Re:Womens & ethnic studies

That's fine. We can agree to disagree then :)

FSU is a fine university.

I find this argument simply baffling. I think FSU is an excllent university with a fine faculty and very capable graduates. If you thought that attacking FSU was an insult to me, it is not. I attended the University of Chicago, University of Wisconsin, University of Illinois and Marquette University. However, even if I had attended FSU or taught there, how would attacking the university where I work respond to the comments I made? This is standard issue right wing talking points, Mr. O'Neil. Regardless of the content of the argument..the right wing attacks the person, attacks where (you think)they went to school,attacks where they work, attacks their colleagues, attacks their students. I appreciate your having the courage to identify yourself for I no longer respond to those who do not. I am sure that where you work there are people who may have been accused (but not convicted) of crimes or misdemeanors. If you repeat gossip or a rumor you get the nasty stuff right out there regardless of veracity. Again, these tactics are SOP from the vicious right wing play book. If my dear mother had not passed on, I anticipate the right wing would attack her. I hope your heart doesn't boil in your hatred of civil liberties, your condemnation of people based on little evidence,and your prim sense of rectitude.

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