We have a CUNY (City University of NY) faculty group — narrowly based, as it is elected out of our colleges by our faculty governing groups there. Most people have better things to do, so that the quality of those elected varies considerably. This group tends to complain loudly about things, but ironically over the years has banned a number of us from posting to its list on the basis that we have introduced issues not relevant to CUNY. Needless to say the definition as to what is or is not relevant to CUNY (e.g. the vast military costs that are diverting funds from higher education and other basic domestic services) is quite vague and arbitrary. Hunting for a better dentist is ok, but beware voicing a particular political concern.

I am bemused to see that the Senate list is now locked in mortal combat over the justices or injustices of the Israeli occupation — the guise here is whether to support the boycott of Israeli scholars (I do not, as many Israeli scholars are as concerned to do justice there as are we here).

Needless to say this little group with its bannings is violating both free speech rights and academic freedom. It has precisely done to members of the CUNY family what those of them protesting the Israel boycott are attacking! And so it goes in narrowed academic circles. Shame CUNY Senate banners! You are hypocrites. Ed Kent

P.S. I started several of the lists below to focus attention on matters that should be of concern to all academics as well as to accommodate persons banned. And there are some decent people in the CUNY Senate, but they are outnumbered by timid ones bent on censoring others.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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