I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mitch Daniels: Book Banner, Dishonest Academic, Tool Of the Ruling Class

I reported earlier this week that Mitch Daniels, current president of Purdue University and massive hypocrite, went on a witch hunt back in his days as Indiana's governor against those who dared to suggest that adults who are training to be teachers might want to occasionally read a book that has the audacity to challenge conventional thinking.

Daniels's jihad against Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States, was so vitriolic, so personal, and so inappropriate for a man who is supposed to be protecting academic freedom that 90 professors at Purdue have signed an open letter decrying his actions. Daniels, naturally, has defended himself; unfortunately, in the process, he has shown how little regard he has for academic honesty and scholarship:
Purdue University President Mitch Daniels is refuting claims that he lifted sections of his recent public statement criticizing anti-war historian Howard Zinn from other sources without attribution. 
English writing experts, a New York journalist and critics of the former Indiana governor say a statement Daniels released July 17 in the wake of controversy over an Associated Press article contains striking similarities to two sources: an article by journalist Michael Moynihan published in Reason Magazine in 2010 and a Stanford University news release put out in December. 
Daniels, who came under fire last week over emails he wrote when he was governor that denounced Zinn’s work and detailed his desire to rid it from Indiana public schools, says any similarity between his statement and the two sources is coincidental. 
“Look, if there’s anything I do, I write my own stuff,” Daniels said. “All of it. I always have — 75,000-word books, speeches, everything.” 
But by Monday afternoon, many of the alleged similarities in sentence structure and word choice between the sources no longer appeared in the online version of Daniels’ statement, which defended his desire to rid K-12 schools of a Zinn textbook, “A People’s History of the United States.” [emphasis mine]
The Journal and Courier interviewed several scholars for this article; while most said it didn't exactly rise to the level of plagiarism, all agreed it was bad scholarship. Not a surprise, as Daniels is not a scholar in any meaningful way and has no business running a university.

Alas: Daniels appointed most of Purdue's current trustees. And plutocrats like Daniels and his cronies cannot allow prospective teachers - again, these are adults - to be exposed to thinking like this:

A People's History of the United States, Chapter 2

It is imperative that elitists like Mitch Daniels be ensconced in our universities to guard against any possibility that teachers are exposed to rhetoric that challenges our plutocrats' accepted narratives about class and race in America! We simply cannot afford to have teachers and students dare to explore the idea that the owners of this country might occasionally act in their own self-interest at the expense of the rest of our citizens!

All praise to the Founding Fathers for sending us men like Mitch Daniels from on high: men who will save us from ourselves!

I will save you from ideas that I think are bad for you! You can thank me later...

ADDING: Hey Amazon: I love my Kindle and all, but can I please have some limited ability to cut and paste?


Robert D. Skeels * rdsathene said...

One of the highlights of my life as a student and an activist was seeing Howard Zinn onstage during a live performance of his "Voices of a People's History."

In an age of prepackaged corporate curricula like CCSS, the idea of any "deviant" views should be suppressed sadly isn't just limited to reactionaries like Daniels.

Duke said...

That must have been so cool, Robert. I came to Zinn way late in life.