Bertrand Russell and Academic Freedom


Since today is Bertrand Russell’s birthday (he was born in 1872), I wanted to share this short segment from my dissertation on the history of academic freedom about Russell’s firing from CCNY and the first court case to mention the words “academic freedom”:


A turning point in academic freedom came in 1940. That year marked the adoption of the AAUP’s fundamental doctrine on academic freedom and tenure. But it was also the year in which famed philosopher Bertrand Russell was prevented from teaching logic at City College of New York, and the first court decision in America mentioned academic freedom.

Russell was called “a desiccated, divorced, and decadent advocate of sexual promiscuity” (Edwards, 1957, 210). Bronx Borough President James Lyons threatened to eliminate the $7.5 million appropriation for city colleges unless Russell was fired, declaring that “the colleges would either be godly colleges, American colleges, or they would be closed” (Edwards…

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My Mother

is a bitch.

I suppose that’s where i get it from, although i choose not to direct it at my daughter, like she did with my older sisters her henchmen.  No, i wasn’t Cinderella, unless corporate america was my prince, rescuing me into self-sustainability at age 17. (That’s a scary analogy.)

Having lived through my childhood, I don’t even have to be around her anymore.

Its not that I don’t love her, i do deeply (if you know me, you know something like this would never be shallow); I suppose everyone loves their mother, right?

If only she wasn’t a Pretender (#fuqafukushima who has tym 4 that?), she’s really a very neat and interesting person, when she is being real — i DO remember that part from my early childhood on the farm. And i do, totally see how i am like her and am acutely aware of what I learned from her and use everyday in my life.

Peace, i hold onto that as my life preserver in a world deviant beyond my comprehension.  Peace is the place in my mind where all that is right empowers the work i do to change what is wrong.  Since one cannot change someone else, Pretenders do nothing but undercut the foundation of righteousness in me, in others around them and collectively.

And, i found out, after getting out into the world, I really don’t have to like her, so I don’t try. Because for me to try would require an acceptance she’s right. And, she rarely is, on the right side of what she taught me, anymore these days.

My dad once told me, don’t bother, she won’t change — i was still trying back then. He told me, find those who cherish your mind, that will empower you.  I took (and still take) his advice.

I sometimes think, what if she kept painting? I’d like to think if she did, maybe she would have more of her own thoughts, and wouldn’t watch so much 700 Club and Pat Robertson, and what came years later, Fox News.  Motherhood so twisted, her “mother’s day” message perfect pitch tuned to the song of the Police Union in Baltimore.

Yet, she is not alone. There is a large swath of Americans i don’t like.

If she was a random person on the street, i wouldn’t know to not like her and i would be, you know, common courtesy.  Yet after basic conversations about the weather or baseball, i would not engage further, as false humanity begins emerging at the most shallow of levels these days.

While we hold, fundamentally, the same values, i cannot apply the same deviant beliefs into reality as my mother does — that many people do, especially those i don’t like.

Pretenders, i call her and those like her.  Pretend Christians, Pretend Americans, Pretend Humans. Pretend Authority.  (Sometimes, i do refer to them as Zombies too.)

I pretend all the time.  I deliberately pretend to be different characters almost every day, it helps me to live with the Pretenders.

With my mom, i don’t pretend.  I could, and we maybe would even visit and chat like normal Pretenders do with one another, for me, that’s part of my job and not my real life — which is what life is supposed to be, especially with one’s mother.

Right now, the Pretender mother i have, embosses an ever expanding and increasingly acceptable police target on the back of her granddaughters’ heads with the Pretending she does with her compatriots in the real world.  #fuqoff is my general response to Pretenders like her. I say it with all the love in the cosmos only a real mother could understand.

Happy Mother’s Day exchange …


Global Police State Standdown. 

cc: my mothet

Black Lives Really Matter

This mother’s day weekend!

Nationwide actions with demands from all of us thanks to Black Lives Matter and Mothers For Justice who delivered to the Department of Justice, who received the People’s Grievances on a Saturday!!

Tomorrow. Million Moms March on Riverside. noon. Meet at the Library. #RememberTaishaMiller #OscarMorejon #BrendonGlenn #BlackLivesReallyMatter #occupyDID

Check out @DarakshanRaja’s Tweet:


Bruce Atchison - author

symbol, voting

Today is the day when Albertans will choose the next premiere of the province. Many people will be at the polls during some time today. Sadly, not everybody realizes the great privilege of voting in a free society.

Many countries have dictatorships where no alternative to the powers that be exists. Anybody even hinting at the dictator’s faults is whisked off to prison or just disappears in the middle of the night.

Some nations allow voting but showing up at the polls is dangerous. Opposition parties often threaten to kill voters and blow up polling stations in order to intimidate citizens. On occasions, opposition candidates are murdered so that the ruling power can keep its hold on the country.

I take my privilege of helping to choose the next provincial government seriously. In fact the first time I voted in any election was forty years ago. I haven’t missed one…

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So, Mavis wants to die. I honor that. What i don’t honor is not allowing her to die on her own terms because that is what she desires and why she is still here.

I can be a hard ass teacher for some of life’s hardest lessons.

Yes, i have grace. I am going to visit her today. I hope she is in a good way. Here’s her homework #2CompleteALife, her life specifically. She’s 100 and 6 months….. She only wanted 100.

She keeps saying life is long.

A Eulogy for my Brother

Jeevan's Thoughts

My brother Paul died in March 2015, at the age of 37, from lung cancer – he was not a smoker. He was an amazing person: a neurosurgeon, scientist & writer, trained and loved at the world’s best educational and medical institutions. I gave a eulogy for him at Stanford Memorial Church, and some have asked me to provide a written version.

Here it is. I don’t know how well translates from speech to print, but: here goes.

We stand in memory, and in awe, of Paul. Not because Paul was exceptional – he was – but because he was not merely exceptional. Paul was also normal: flawed, real, human, mortal, specific.

Paul is my brother. I want to tell you more about him.

Paul was exceptional. He was not only intelligent, perceptive, clear – more than that, Paul had an unfailing, unflagging, relentless insistence on correctness.

Paul and I…

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