Sunday, March 29, 2009

The First Amendment -- More than the right to say what people want to hear

While I understand that the remarks made by University of Colorado Ethnic Studies Professor Ward Churchill were seen as offensive by so many people -- My god, on September 12, 2001, this guy had the audacity to refer to the World Trade Center's victims of 9/11 as 'little Eichmanns' -- no one should doubt that the remarks were protected speech under the 1st Amendment, the foundation of our liberty in this country. Yet, soon after the remarks came to light, then-governor Bill Owens called for the tenured professor's ouster from the University. This was wrong: our Constitution does not prohibit you from saying things that upset (or, as in this case, disgust) governments, governors, or ordinary people.

Then the outspoken governor was criticized by advisers (and others) who actually knew about the U.S. Constitution. The next thing we knew, Churchill was under investigation by an academic panel at the University. Then, they threw him out.

How can we justify what happened to the award-winning professor as anything but a witch hunt?? Facts: (1) Churchill says what he says in the press; (2) Churchill's remarks garner widespread negative attention for the unpopular (to say the least) opinion expressed therein; and (3) the University decides to take a look at his work. Unless the University investigates the scholarship of every tenured professor, this is, by definition, a witch hunt!

Not that long ago, the University honored Morris Judd as an apology for ransacking his career during the hateful and dangerous McCarthy era when that (then) promising philosophy professor refused to take the bogus loyalty oath. How quickly we forget!

What a poor job of history education we do here in this country. And what a poor job we do of teaching the magnificent brilliance of our Constitution as the foundation of our civil liberties.

Churchill is now pursuing court action against the University. A Denver jury will decide the case soon. I hope the jury finds in favor of Churchill.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Recession Recipe - Sock Soup

Need to make room in your sock drawer? Want to stretch those recession grocery dollars? Here's a recipe that might help you bag both those 'birds' with one stone!

This notorious recipe has been bandied about in my family since those tough times we now call The Great Depression. No family member around today has actually imbibed. Why don't you dig out your soup pot and tell the tale?

Disclaimer: try at your own risk!

Depression 'Sock' Soup

1 medium onion
3-4 chopped cloves of fresh garlic
2-3 pairs of old socks (laundered, of course!)
8 cups water

Toss first 3 ingredients into a soup pot. Add water. Bring to low boil over medium heat. Simmer 'til done. Discard socks. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour into ramekins (that's all they had back then. Ramekins for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; filled with sock soup).

Up next: shoe-leather steak sandwiches!