This is where the faculty case against firing Melissa Click, otherwise correct in every respect, falls apart:

But no one on the campus filed a complaint against the professor, Ms. Henrickson said, a step that would have triggered the university’s own procedures. “No one took the opportunity to avail themselves of that process,” she said, so the board began its own.

This is why the federal government becomes involved in local cases, when local government and law enforcement prejudicially does not do its job. The faculty was not supplanted or overruled. It did not do its job when it should have. Why it did not is perhaps at the very heart of the matter..

AJA


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The Causes of ISIS

December 24, 2015




Establishing what caused ISIS has become, for many, something of a cause. I have not researched exactly when the debate began – what was, as it were, the cause of the debate over the cause of ISIS – but certainly soon after its sweep from Syria into Iraq began, and unsurprisingly if even earlier, people […]





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from FOOTNOTE 1 — “Minnie”

October 1, 2015




(The following is the Excerpt from The Twentieth Century Passes, a memoir of my father’s life) By the time I was born, three of my grandparents were already dead. They had died young, in their early 60s, just before and after the birth of my sister ten years before me. My parents had had me, […]





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from FOOTNOTE 1 — “Route 66: The American Road”

September 9, 2015




(News came two days ago that Martin Millner, along with George Maharis, one of the two stars of the legendary television series Route 66, has died, at 83. As a young boy, my own introduction to the adventure of road travel and the romance of the route came from the series and the experience of […]





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From FOOTNOTE 1: “Place … traveling”

August 31, 2015




(I thought I might offer here, complete, one of my ten works of poetry, essay, creative nonfiction and documentary journalism in the inaugural issue of Footnote. When I travel, every moment is a flight in the weightlessness of the journey, against the gravity of destinations and origins and belonging.) Place traveling It’s a road, behind and before. I […]





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From FOOTNOTE 1: “Bordello Rooms” (excerpt)

August 17, 2015




(The last of my ten works of poetry, essay, creative nonfiction and documentary journalism in the inaugural issue of Footnote is “Bordello Rooms.” Its ending offers a basis for understanding its closing placement, but its beginning offers a different explanation, for why I choose it to introduce the series of excerpts I will be offering […]





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La Habana Nueva

August 14, 2015




(It is a historic day — the American flag raised over the American embassy for the first time in 54 years. It seemed a good time to share my poem, La Habana Nueva, composed in 2002.) In the new Havana which is the old Havana but older, as Dylan was younger than that now Cesar […]





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Announcing the Release of FOOTNOTE #1: A Literary Journal of History

August 13, 2015




It has been a long time in gestation, but Footnote, a new literary journal with a unique focus is now here, and I am pleased to say that I am a featured writer in its inaugural issue, which includes ten pieces of my poetry, creative nonfiction, and documentary journalism. Over the coming days and weeks, […]





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Discrediting Arguments on the Iran Deal

August 11, 2015




Argument and persuasion are not the same thing. An argument is a series of statements, or premises, arranged and propounded to entail a conclusion – to support a claim. Persuasion is the attempt to influence and change minds. Ideally, the former plays the major role in the latter, but in politics and policy, as in […]





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Arguments in Defense of the Iran Deal and Their Implications

August 4, 2015




There are many areas on which to focus one’s attention in the Iran deal. My own has been consistently drawn to the administration’s arguments in defense of the deal. Attended to, they are remarkably revealing in their implications about administration thinking, while not, in fact, actually being much remarked upon. It is a tediously if necessarily […]





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Penelope’s Last Day

July 28, 2015




When this blog was in its heyday, Penelope had a featured role on it. Julia photographed her. I wrote about her. Now that I prepare to modestly revive the blog, I feature Penelope one last time. Two months ago, after seventeen years, we lost Penelope, an eventuality I anticipated back when I was celebrating her. […]





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Practicing Anti-Semitism, in Theory

August 25, 2014




Just over a week ago, on August 17, the Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB) published a review of Deconstructing Zionism: a Critique of Political Metaphysics, a collection of essays edited by Gianni Vattimo and Michael Marder. Vattimo is the Italian philosopher who, during the current Israel-Hamas conflict, has made clear once again his sympathy […]





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Iraq and “Last Days in Vietnam”

June 19, 2014




At the Los Angeles Film Festival I caught Rory Kennedy’s powerful and moving Last Days in Vietnam. If you think you are familiar with the story of the botched and frantic – and heroic – American evacuation of Vietnam, with the fall of Saigon, including some many tens of thousands of lucky Vietnamese, this film […]





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Thumbs Up for “Three Masters”

June 10, 2014




My latest film criticism, “Three Masters: Spielberg, Anderson, Haneke, and Their Audience,” excerpted in the previous post, is recommended reading for the week at RogerEbert.com. If that doesn’t get you to read, I don’t know what to do with you. (But I’ll think of something.) A further excerpt: In Saving Private Ryan, the film’s ultimate sentimentality, […]





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Three Film Masters

June 4, 2014




My latest film criticism is available now at Bright Lights Film Journal. “Three Masters: Spielberg, Anderson, Haneke, and Their Audience” addresses the question, as the tag line has it: “Is the filmmaker tyrant, aesthete, ringmaster, or hermit?“ It is commonly claimed by artists that they create for themselves. Wrote Stanley Fish, to whom I respond,”If […]





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The Third Narrative: Not So Third, Not a Narrative, Not New

April 7, 2014




(This essay originally appeared in the Algemeiner on April 3, 2014.) I regret to say that a fair number of people I respect (and some not so much) have signed on to a statement about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that, evince as it may the best of intentions, is nonetheless, in truth, very considerable twaddle. I […]





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Ave Atque Vale

April 4, 2014




from Ave Atque Vale by Algernon Charles Swinburne XVIII For thee, O now a silent soul, my brother,       Take at my hands this garland, and farewell.       Thin is the leaf, and chill the wintry smell, And chill the solemn earth, a fatal mother,       With sadder than the Niobean womb,       And in the hollow of her breasts […]





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Let Your Soul Stand Cool and Composed

March 24, 2014




From the National Portrait Gallery in Washington comes an exhibition on one of my favorite subjects: the cool. “American Cool” offers up its representative icons of cool in portraits by renowned photographers, such as Avedon, Arbus, and Henri-Cartier Bresson, who are sure to add to the alure of the exhibit, but that I don’t  think necessarily give […]





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Ukraine and Legitimacy

March 17, 2014




It is fascinating to witness with events in Ukraine an enduring controversy of history in the making. Controversies arise all the time, of course, but some are drawn in more dramatic relief than others, and one of those is Ukraine, 2013-14. Most Western exponents of liberal democracy, of both right and left – by no […]





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The Revolution with No Name

March 11, 2014




When it seemed to some at the end of the Cold War that we had also reached the end of history, more than ever, every act of rebellion and revolution seemed cause to celebrate an elevated human spirit. After a long winter of merely staving off an enemy’s further success, now freedom was rising with […]





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A Misguided Argument About Anti-Semitism

February 18, 2014




(This essay originally appeared in the Algemeiner on February 11, 2014.) In the Wall Street Journal of February 3, Harvard’s Ruth R. Wisse published an Op-Ed titled “The Dark Side of the War on ‘the One Percent.” In the article, Wisse argues for a “structural” connection between “anti-Semitism and American class conflict.” First tracing the […]





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