Craven, Jim jcraven at
Tue Jan 16 11:20:34 MST 2001

Julie Staub wrote:

How do you justify spending all day sending e-mail messages at the tax
payers expense?

The Master list, according to policy is to be used for Clark "business".
This may seem like a radical idea, especially for those who think the
"business" of Clark is building buildings and large offices, or for those
who think that the "business" of Clark is packing in bodies chasing paper to
raise revenues, but the essential "business" of Clark is "education", which
involves, necessarily, the exchange and debate of ideas and information. Now
for those who are functionally illiterate (according to NPR 60% of U.S.
population is illiterate or functionally illiterate--unable to read above
the fourth-grade level), for those who are content with bumper-sticker
slogans for complex problems, or for those who live in the confortable and
insulated wombs of religious and ideological fanaticism, of course the
exchange and debate of ideas and information can be quite troubling--hence
the objections to exchanges and debates of ideas that are in reality
objections to pet theories and prejudices being disturbed.

During the election, Bush, for example, was kept insulated--except under
very controlled circumstances--from the press or any kind of real debate.
Why? Well, as a pampered, privileged, insulated, coddled preppy scion of
ill-gotten wealth, and like many right-wingers, he is typically dumb and
ill-informed and any exchange of ideas or debate threatens to unmask his
lack of intellect and preparation. That is why the right-wingers typically
try to censor and control the exchange of ideas and debate as they are
typically unable to come up with any counter-substance, counter-evidence or
counter-reasoning. I suspect that is why John Stuart Mill once wrote that:
"Although not all conservatives are stupid, selfish and mean, most stupid,
selfish and mean people are conservative."

Further, while many may presume to read a few books and presume to teach
what they are unable to do or have been unable to do, effective knowledge
and teaching require practice--the actually doing of that which one purports
being qualified to teach--e.g. Campus-wide abilities. Hence the "taxpayers"
are not being "cheated." Or, why not apply the same logic: How do you
justify the "waste" of resources responding to a message (rather than simply
hitting the delete key) with a response devoid of any real content or

Hope that answers you inquiry and those of others. We still have a First
Amendment although I'm sure you right-wingers would love to see that
trashed--except for your ideological clones--too.

Jim Craven
Professor, Economics

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