Chastisements

Polemicist hereby chastises...

"If, when a man has fallen into habits of idleness, of daydreaming, and of sloth, putting off his most important duties continually til the morrow, another man were to awaken him one fine morning with the heavy blows of a whip, and were to whip him unmercifully, until he who was unable to work for pleasure now worked for fear - would not that man, the chastiser, indeed be his benefactor and truest friend?"

-Charles Baudelaire
 Intimate Journals

 

November 1991; page 2; Volume 3, No. 2
Polemicist

Dinesh D'Souza
Author, liar

In an Oct. 26 debate with UT associate professor of English Evan Carton at Southwestern College in Georgetown, Dinesh D'Souza angrily and repeatedly denied ever having accepted funds from the right-wing Olin Foundation to finance the writing and promoting of his book Illiberal Education. He insisted after the debate that he had financed the writing and research of the book with his "modest salary" as a research fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, and with an advance from the publisher.

This was a bald lie. In the acknowledgements to Illiberal Education, D'Souza writes. "I wish to thank ... the John Olin Foundation, and its president William Simon and executive director Jim Pierson, for research support" (p. IX). According to Olin's 1988 Annual Report, the foundation gave Dinesh $30,000 that year to support the writing of The New Elite, the working title of Illiberal Education (the grant was funnelled through the Institute for Educational Affairs); and its 1990 Report shows that Olin granted him $20,000 that year to promote the selling of book (funnelled through the Madison Center for Educational Affairs). In addition, Olin awarded the American Enterprise Institute, D'Souza's employer, $50,000 in both 1989 and '90 "To support a research fellowship for Dinesh D'Souza." (See Olin's annual reports for those years.) All of these reports sit in UT's Foundation Library located in the Student Services building.

All told, this amounts to $150,000 in Olin funds during the period when D'Souza was working on his book - $50,000 earmarked explicitly for the project. In the context of his ability to lie in public, it isn't surprising that his book amounts to an intellectual fraud, an attempt to dress the reigning conservative agenda vis-a vis today's academy - the crusade against affirmative action and curriculum reform - in the measured tones of the reasonable liberal.

Perhaps Dinesh really is a liberal after all, and his denial of his funding sources stems from liberal guilt. If so, we know just the remedy: a fat check, made out to Polemicist magazine.

James Duban
Brown-noser, tight ass

Since James Duban insists that his termination as Honors English Committee Chair, after an extraordinarily lengthy term of office, was "political," we would like to remind our readers of Duban's real politicking over the last year or more. His speech before the University Council against the proposal on "multiculturalism" hardly constituted his first foray into the political arena.

During the E306 controversy, James Duban requested permission to teach a section of E306, declaring pointedly that in his class, "writing" would be the "main subject matter." In his later correspondence with "Dollar" Bill on this E306 section, he bragged in fact that it "dealt exclusively with the subject of writing." We wonder if every student essay and exercise took "writing" as its topic. If not, then we must conclude that James Duban's students did not write on any topic at all.

In order to assume this all important class on topic of "writing," James Duban in his letter to Joe Kruppa on July 30, 1990, requested that some one else be assigned to teach his honors class in his place. Kruppa expressed surprise that the Honors Director would attempt to drop an Honors class at the last minute.

He wished here to sacrifice his regular duties - his political agenda. Particularly in light of his several letters to "Dollar" Bill, promoting the class and its "minority students of varied backgrounds," his agenda seemed to stretch well beyond the class itself, its students, and "writing." James Duban, above all, wished to promote his public, political position in the E306 debate in a way that would be more powerful than any simple expression of a program administrator.

Upon the appointment of Dr. Elizabeth Butler-Cullingford to the position, he made the true agenda clear by taking his petty complaint straight to the Daily Texan without speaking to either Kruppa or Cullingford. He preferred to paint himself as a "victim" rather than a colleague, and has now, along with his friend Allan Gribben, turned E306 into an unexpected "victims studies" seminar.

Clearly the victim that Duban wants us all to study is himself.