Wednesday, May 10, 2006


An Open Apology to Professor Duemer

While following a link on a different subject, I happened across this blog Reading & Writing: Sharp Sand and this posting in particular. Reading & Writing: Sharp Sand: Cheating by one Joseph Duemer.

One passage stuck out:

“The cheaters in my class are no doubt at the beginning of successful careers powered by fraud & sustained by lies. Seems to work. I wish I believed in Hell”.

Which was part of a larger passage mentioning Jeff Skillings and Ken Lay as well as the requisite jibe at “those responsible for lying the country into an unnecessary & disastrous war”. To which I left this (admittedly self-described) witty reply:

“did you lift that quote from one of Ted Kennedy’s professors at Harvard?”

Mr. Duemer followed that up with this:

“No. And what has Ted Kennedy got to do with this? That he plagiarized at Harvard actually confirms the bit you quote from my post. He appears to have been quite successful, no? Or are you accusing me of “lifting” quotes? No, you are just reaching for any rhetorical device you can think of because you don’t like my politics. You project your own distorted view of the world onto me (assuming I am somehow on the same side as Senator Kennedy), substituting your prejudice for thought.Your remark has exactly no relation to the post it is attached to & under my own informal guidelines I therefore ought to delete it, but I like to leave the stupid remarks of right-wingers up for others to read. As an educational service, you know.”

(With that tone of civility, it will probably come as no surprise to you that Mr. Duemer is actually Professor Duemer, a Professor of Humanities at Clarkson University Clarkson University - Humanities & Social Sciences - Faculty - Joseph Duemer)

He later made this astute observation:

“Note: I have no doubt that Maryland Conservatarian, who commented below, was alerted to my dangerous liberal presence by my comments at IHE.” Reading & Writing: Sharp Sand: Arguing Dishonestly
(a posting generally about reactions to David Horowitz’s book: The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America)

And he is correct that I did find his blog via the thread at IHE (Inside Higher Ed) Inside Higher Ed :: Fact-Checking David Horowitz

Although I did not explicitly make the link between the two, he is right to presume that I made such an inference after reading some of the Professor’s blog postings. However, if I am wrong and Professor Duemer and Senator Kennedy actually do not share much of the same political leanings or ideology, then mea culpa, I apologize. I can think of few things worse than to be unfairly linked with the mindset and viewpoint of the liberal icon that is Ted Kennedy.

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