A recent confrontation . . .

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Pistolenschutze, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. As many of you know, I am an instructor in history and philosophy at a local community college here in Colorado. Last week, Thursday to be precise, an incident occurred that still has my blood boiling and steam coming out of my ears. I would like to get your objective input on it and your advice on what, if anything, I should do about it. Here is what happened . . .

    Last Thursday I walked into the faculty lounge area at the college to check my mail box for any messages that students or administration might have left for my attention, something I do on a daily basis. Two other instructors were there at the time, both of whom had classes to teach that day as did I. The two are married I might add, one spouse (the male) an instructor in English and literature, the other a reading instructor. I've known both of these instructors casually for about two years and always gotten along with them well. The male (Bob) said "hi" and I returned his greeting. As I moved to my mail box, however, he remarked to me--without any provocation of any sort from me--that, "I sure wish I had known that Dick Cheney would be speaking in Colorado Springs tomorrow. I would like to show up at the rally with a sign or placard accusing him of being a war criminal." Well folks, this hit me the wrong way, to say the least. In fact, it pi$$ed me off big time. I turned to him and said, "Bob, that is positively the most asinine, absurd comment I have ever heard anyone make." He then climbed up on his high horse and attempted to lecture me that by any definition Cheney was a war criminal and should be prosecuted. Well, at this point I sorta blew my stack and said, "If you're looking for war criminals, how about a look at an a$$hole like John Kerry?" This, of course, prompted his "dear" wife had to add her useless $.02 worth. In short, I simply walked away before I started using words I haven't used since my service days. :eek: :D

    Anyway, my question to you here is twofold. First, while I certainly agree the man is entitled to his political opinion (this is America, after all), it still seems to me that his remark borders on, or crosses over into, hate speech. I found it both an insult and an affront to me on a very personal level. What do you folks think? Secondly, I am seriously considering bringing this matter--formally and in writing--to the attention of the administration. Unless I totally misunderstand the conduct agreement all instructors must sign, this jerk has no right to spew forth such vile and unfounded inuendo. He sure as hell doesn't have the right to foist it off on me.

    Views and opinions welcome. Marlin, I would be especially interested in your view on this coming from a legal point of view. And thanks, folks, for the chance to vent. :D
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2006
  2. flopshot

    flopshot New Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    North Carolina
    the guy's an ass. not because of his opinion, but it sounds like he just wanted a reaction. don't give him one.

  3. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    I've been in similar situations. I almost got fired once for laughing at a supervisor. I made a very loud and public point of laughing at his opinions and his attempts to support those opinions with untruths that he offered to send me home from the research site. The fact that I was scheduled to shoot that evening with HIS supervisor helped my cause, somewhat.

    Laughter is the best way to deflect those kinds of nimwits. Publicly, loudly and pointedly in-his-face laughter. It works for me and my blood pressure monitor is much happier if I don't wake it up.

  4. xxxxxxl

    xxxxxxl New Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    I have heard people make absurd comments like that in the past. Next time someone throws out a statement such as the one about Mr. Cheney you might want to say something like "That's very interesting, exactly what war crimes has Mr. Cheney committed or has he ordered to be carried out? Oh, and please be able to back your statement with all the pertinent facts: who, what, when, where and how". I heard a news radio talk show host down in Dallas say that that is one of the best ways to neutralize someone who likes to throw accuasations about.
  5. Shucks, flop, you're no fun. Does that mean you think I should refrain from ringing his skrawny little neck just to see how long it takes his arrogant little eyeballs to pop out? :eek: Yeah, I know, it would be fun, but not worth the trouble it would get me into. You must admit though, it is mighty, mighty tempting. :D
  6. johnston3407

    johnston3407 New Member

    Aug 10, 2006
    South Coast of Mississippi
    Bob, I think you should show up at the speach in Colorado Springs and let me know when you will be there so I can photograph you and your sign. Here's your sign. Let it go. Why are reading instructors in college anyway?
  7. The answer is simple, johnston: The liberal idiots running the educational process today think actually teaching the kids to read and write their own language might damage their tender psyches somehow. We're raising a generation of sheep, unequipped with even the basic tools necessary to make informed judgments. What more fertile ground for propagation of liberal causes could there be?
  8. SouthernMoss

    SouthernMoss Active Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    SW MS
    Unless the administration of your college differs from your statement above, your protest will be akin to Don Quixote tilting at windmills. The question then, is whether you wish to protest simply to call attention to the idiot, or whether you expect the administration to actually DO anything about it.
  9. Huck Finn

    Huck Finn Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    QUOTE "I found it both an insult and an affront to me on a very personal level. What do you folks think? Secondly, I am seriously considering bringing this matter--formally and in writing--to the attention of the administration. Unless I totally misunderstand the conduct agreement all instructors must sign, this jerk has no right to spew forth such vile and unfounded inuendo. "

    You're absolutely right!!! This guy has no right to say anything that hurts your feelings! He needs to be taught a lesson. Instructors like this should be hung, shooting's too good for them.

    Seriously though, I think you're really over reacting. It's free speech. Isn't this something we should defend, even when it hurts our feelings?
  10. SoMo, the area and academic environment I live in is relatively conservative, though unsurprisingly, one does see a greater degree of liberatlity among the college faculty than elsewhere in the general area. Having said that, I have little doubt that if I bring this issue up officially, the administration will will have little choice--pursuant to its own internal rules--but to investigate, and quite possibly, caution the instructor involved to tone down the rather extreme nature his remarks, given the fact that they were directed toward a single instructor (me) and not toward broader audience. The real question to me is whether or not pushing the issue is worth the likely fallout and divisiveness such an investigation might well engender among the faculty.

    As for the truth of my earlier statement concerning the educational system, I can only point to my own experience over the last decade. I'm seeing allegedly college level students, with perfectly valid high school diplomas, arriving in my courses who simply cannot communicate in gramaticically correct English, who can neither spell nor write a complete English sentence, who cannot logically think and reason, either deductively or inductively, on even an elementary level. In my American history courses I have kept track over the last eight years of what percentage of my entering students have ever actually read the U.S. Constitution, (reading and understanding the Constitution and Bill of Rights is something I make a requirement in my courses). Sadly, that percentage currently stands at less than 3%. To paraphrase the Bard of Avon, "there is something rotten in the state of America" when so few young men and women have even read, much less studied, the fundamental document of their own government.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2006
  11. Mark

    Mark New Member

    Jul 1, 2006
    Back in 1984 I served a toolmaking apprenticeship. One of my mentors, a German fellow who was orphaned in WWII, used to read a German newspaper he received weekly from relatives. I was interested, and asked what was wrong with newspapers here in the states. I sure didn't ask this in a cocky manner, this guy was one of the great masters, and I was glad he was teaching me.

    He became defensive at first, then realized I was interested. After he was sure I wasn't going to give him a hard time, he confided in me.

    "In the States, anyone can say anything they want, without regard to truth". We started spending a few minutes each week just going over the news, and comparing the German and US spin. It was true, the liberal, lying, inaccurate, half truths, of the US media was evident over 20 years ago. As anyone can see, it hasn't gotten any better.

    Today, we all search out our own "trusted" sources of news. The news media has never had a bigger market. A person can tune into any spin he wants on the news, conservative, religeous, liberal, etc., etc., etc. Personally, I like a conservative approach, just so my blood doesn't boil and my day gets ruined. This fellows news source was obviously of a different spin than yours. Going back 20+ years, the saying of my master still rings out, "In the States, anyone can say anything they want, without regard to truth."

    I wish I could tell you something that would make things better.

  12. cec

    cec New Member

    Feb 19, 2005
    New Hampshire
    In this case, I don't think it is worth the fight. I have been involved in a few incidents like this in the past, I just try to look at it as a difference in opinion.

    From my view (attempting to look at both sides) is that the other instructor probably feels the same way about you.

    While some heated words were exchanged, it's is not really an issue. With me, once I have had the chance to vent and cool down, everything goes back to normal.

    You could make an official case out of this, but in the long run, what would that gain? In other words, in a pi$$ing contest, you only get wet. :D

    And from a more personal matter. What he said about Cheney is no different that I have heard here about "the other party". The change in this case was who the comment was aimed at. This is not a political statement, or a defense of one party vs another, just something I have noticed.
  13. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

    Mar 5, 2006
    Deep South Mississippi
    In your situation I probably would have used some real bad words
  14. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

    Mar 27, 2003
    At SouthernMoss' side forever!
    One must consider just how much his principle(s) mean to him in weighing whether or not to attempt to take any action. It's similar to dealing with a legal client who is owed $200.00 but finds the cost of court and legal counsel will be about $1,000.00.

    The question then becomes which is more beneficial, sending good money after bad, even if you win, just to make a point, or just dropping the item and take your loss knowing that you have, in effect, saved in the long run.

    I think your subconscious thinking is weighing the question of whether it is worth making a point to an individual, or individuals who will never change their mindset, when it might just stir the water to a point that might come back to haunt one. Weighing this factors is how the wise and prudent person would look at it before making an educated decision, rather than lashing out for the sake of pure principle.

    BTW, I have noted for the last twenty years that the younger generation is getting more and more illiterate and has less knowledge about most subjects, especially history and English, than most third graders back in my day, and I imagine in yours, too. While I am older, I know you grew up at the beginning of the time when the public (now known as Government) schools were fast declining beyond reason. If I had to do it over, I would have home schooled all five in my brood. Fortunately, the two older ones did go to a school that still taught the three "Rs", but the two younger did not, though we lived in one of the better districts in the state. They suffer each day from the lack of the basics, as even the math background is weak or non-existent......

    Don't know if that is what you wanted to hear but these are my thoughts.....
  15. Light Coat

    Light Coat New Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    Middle of Nowhere, KS
    I think I would have to say, "just as long as they take that dirty Kerry too." No more than that to say about it; just shuffle along any direction but there.

    The real problem with education is the government fed complacency. Get those people off welfare, off of drugs and raising their kids right. That would mean getting the kids off of drugs and off the streets. I've spent a few years in fear of returning to school; but, that's over. I have been spending more time with the professors I used to drink with and they have determined that the corriculum for their university is based on students with the IQ of a Boston fern.

    Media is just awful. Can't say enough about how truly awful mass media is. The true idea of journalism is the search for and exposure of truth. This does not leave space for private sentiment or half-truths being passed to the population in misinformation tactics. If you are unlucky enough to live in the "big city" and you have a liberal rag and a conservative rag; buy both. Take the two papers side by side and see what they agree on; that is generally the true stuff.

    Pistol, my sincerest apologies are in order and my best praises for braving the education system to educate the unwashed. This has brought to mind a question a had put forth after 9-11. What effect would nonagression have had in the case of Pearl Harbor? Second part was; "What was 9-11 in comparison with Pearl Harbor?" Should have seen the liberals run for water when I laid that one out.
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