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Roger’s Rules

Annals of Intolerance, Tulane Edition

August 27th, 2013 - 8:27 am

It is sad what 27 years as a U.S. attorney does for one’s command of English. Hobbit. Spud. And now “terrorize.”

And that isn’t the only “T” word Letten has trouble understanding. Flanked by some scary looking security personnel, he also accused O’Keefe of “trespassing” at Tulane.  But, as O’Keefe pointed out, the Supreme Court has affirmed the right of the general public to walk on the grounds of a university even if they have no connection with the university. (Letten accused O’Keefe of many things: violating federal law, violating state law, and, crime of crimes, “harassing a former U.S. attorney.”)

Now I understand that the devolution from U.S. attorney to assistant dean at a second rate (or even a first rate) university is a steep step down. Yesterday, Jim Letten could intimidate the public with impunity, indeed, with the added emolument of media plaudits. Today he is assistant dean for experiential learning, whatever that is, at Tulane’s law school. A certain amount of bitterness is understandable. But take a look at the video below and ask yourself two things.

First, does Jim Letten’s behavior live up to Tulane’s official policy requiring  “All individuals and/or groups of the Tulane University community” to speak and act “with scrupulous respect for the human dignity of others, both within the classroom and outside it, in social and recreational as well as academic activities”? Take a look at the video.  What do you think?  Did the assistant dean of experiential learning at Tulane University Law School act “with scrupulous respect for the human dignity” of James O’Keefe?

Second, what do you think of the police power Jim Letten brought in his wake? I know, I know, for 27 years he’d been used  to wielding the coercive power of the state. He could scream at people with impunity. One of his deputies once shoved a defense attorney after losing an argument in the judge’s chambers. And now here is Jim Letten, the assistant dean of experiential learning, confronting a man he had once begun to prosecute. Naturally he surrounds himself with security officers. Of course he insults and intimidates people he disagrees with.  That’s the new college way: free speech for me, but not for thee, and if you don’t like it, talk to this armed security guard right over here. “The University encourages the free exchange of ideas and opinions,” says Tulane’s official memorandum, “but insists that the free expression of views must be made with respect for the human dignity and freedom of others.” Is that how Jim Letten acted?  Watch the video and make up your own mind.

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Top Rated Comments   
It is always disappointing see writers I admire like Kimball make gross errors of judgement. The off-handed dismissal of Tolkien falls into this category. There is nothing cloying or saccharine about Tolkien. LoR is a about the complex struggle between good and evil and seduction of power. The ring represents pure power and it especially seduces those who wish do correct the wrongs of world and as such was highly prescient about modern liberalism. Tolkien was an expert linguist and even helped translate the Bible. His prose resonates on a very deep level due his understanding of the deep structure and history of the English language. Kimball's work has helped me better appreciate that contemporary art is more than vomit on canvas but does have some aesthetic value and potential. Maybe his modernism blinds him to Tolkien's prose or perhaps he has read the weak imitators or the modernist critics instead of the actual books.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hobbits are small middle class people who usually mind their own business. They are also good and decent. It was these qualities and their steadiness, that allowed them to defeat the great dark powers of the Middle Earth. Remember Saruman who was once one of the good wizards but sold out and became a corrupt servant of darkness? He reminds me of Letten and John McCain. No wonder they use "Hobbit" as a term of abuse.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obviously, you've never read The Lord of the Rings, Kimball, and neither has Letten.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (45)
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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Com'on LOTR defenders. Stay OT. Why would you care what Kimball or anyone else thinks about your treasured little tomes? You're behaving like The Thought Police - everyone has to love what you love or they are contemptible. Save the rage for something that matters. As near as I can tell, that saccharine cloying drivel is NEVER going OP so you're safe - no one is going to take your lolly away from you.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I guess that means the Tulane U. speech code will be revised to allow abuse of political ops. O'Keefe knew what was coming. He's no innocent. It's hard to get riled up about how guerilla journalists are abused when that's exactly what they seek. They have a legitimate point that the journalists their confronting are not objective, but rather serve their Lib/Prog masters.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'd say the Veritas team might want to cross target's homes and families off the list. It looks bad and even watching the tape, it looks bad. We're trying, in KS, to raise hell about a busload of union thugs tresspassing on Chris Kobach's(?) home property. This cuts the ground out from under us.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
To say that LOTR is juvenile trash is to admit being blind to beauty, truth and goodness.

Dark Cutter has spoken.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Please, I know it's both sarcastic and ironic but don't ever write "He speaks truth to power" again. I vomit a little my mouth every time I read it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Way too much information Stan.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Is there a surprise or deep mystery here?
Tulane lists on its faculty MSNBC's resident "feminist" & race-hustler Melissa Harris-Perry, who raises the art of demagoguery to a new level.
Case closed.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The second wave of feminism took a wrong turn when it lauded female genitals as the non plus ultra of female solidarity. I wrote about that here: http://clarespark.com/2012/11/15/female-genitals-as-red-flag/.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
“Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” C.S. Lewis

I'll just leave this here for Mr. Kimball's edification.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
" I am pretty much at one with the critic Edmund Wilson. “

Well, Wilson was a Communist (“To the Finland Station!”) who no doubt hated humanism, Roman Catholicism, and moral fiction, but who, like all Communists, couldn’t simply say: this book is opposed to all that I find valuable in Communism: the mass murder, the hatred, the power worship, and so disguised his review with contemptuous dismissal of all that opposed him and his works.. With any luck, he burns in hell a couple of levels higher than Stalin.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Did Everyone of you posters decide in tandem to ignore the substance of this article? It's not about Tolkein or about your alma maters. It is about abuse of power and a young man who is doing the job that professional journos have refused to do since the sycophantic press crawled into bed with this president. Agree or disagree with him, but when O'Keefe ticks off both sides of the aisle, I want to listen to what he has to say. and FYI spud is a derogatory term about Irish people..and the young man's name is O'Keefe. And yes it is almost as old as calling him a hobbit. This man is an idiot, Tulane administrators are idiots for hiring him and his use of their security force needs to be looked at by the university.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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