Tag Archives: Florida Atlantic University

The Subtle Mechanics of Unfree Speech Revisted

“Our own FAU handbook says an employee may be terminated for questionable conduct, professional or personal,” trustee Robert Rubin said. “And what Professor Tracy said wasn’t?”

But making comments that are embarrassing to a university is not grounds to fire a tenured professor, said Robert Shibley, senior vice president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which advocates on free speech issues.

too-much-to-think“Professors are citizens, too. They have the right to espouse various ideas, even if they’re controversial, as long as it doesn’t impact their teaching and their students.” -Scott Travis, “It’s That Professor Again: FAU Egghead Who Doubted Newtown Massacre Questions Boston Bombing,” South Florida Sun-Sentinel, April 24, 2013, A1.

“The Subtle Mechanics of Unfree Speech” first appeared at MHB on November 10, 2013, exactly two years before Florida Atlantic University administrators began threatening Professor James Tracy with disciplinary action for constitutionally-protected speech on his personal blog. The observations below have a special resonance in light of not just the scrapping of Dr. Tracy’s tenure and livelihood, but also more recent developments, including calls by Israel government officials to censor and suppress the free exchange of ideas on social media. 

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A (Rare) View From FAU Students

“Your class, Public Opinion and Modernity, was by far my favorite class at FAU and one of the most difficult. Thank you for enabling us to think critically.”-FAU Student, January 2013

So is James Tracy really the “twisted” (Daily News 12/15/15) “psycho” (Daily Kos 12/20/15) and “nutty” (Daily Caller 1/7/16) professor that mainstream media outlets have made him out to be over the past three years, and particularly in late December 2015/early January 2016?  As we know, the mass media provided the reasoning for FAU administrators to terminate his employment on January 6, 2016.

Yet according to some Florida Atlantic University students, whose feedback and comments appear below, Tracy’s teaching endeavors over his 13 years at the south Florida college were consistently ranked “above satisfactory” and “excellent” by students and faculty peers with good reason: the classes were interesting, demanding, and popular.

FAU_EntranceRegrettably undergrad students today have very little say in university policies or decisions on who will teach them. In Professor Tracy’s case the FAU administration is happy to trample on tenure, free speech, and academic freedom by giddily dancing to the tune of corrupt newspaper editors, wealthy donors, CIA couples, even professional stalkers, all of whom are driven by financial and/or political interests, and whose views are antithetical to the life of the mind.

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James Tracy on Jeff Rense (Audio)

Profs. Jim Fetzer and James Tracy are featured during the second hour of Jeff Rense’s February 1, 2016 broadcast. They address Tracy’s January 2016 termination from his tenured professorship at Florida Atlantic University, and how the action threatens the constitutional protections encompassing academic freedom and free speech more broadly.

RenseThe discussion also highlights the role Sandy Hook massacre news coverage and university power relations likely played in the firing, and how the fraudulent dimensions of certain mass casualty events and similar phenomena are simply deemed off-limits in the US academy.

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Civil Rights Org Condemned FAU’s Discipline of Prof James Tracy in 2013

This letter from Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) was sent to Florida Atlantic University administrators, FAU Board of Trustees members, and United Faculty of Florida officers in April 2013, and republished at MHB on June 5, 2013 with FIRE’s permission. The legal observations in the correspondence are still relevant in the wake of the FAU President John Kelly administration’s January 6, 2016 termination of Tracy. As of January 31, 2016 FAU has not responded to FIRE’s letter below. FIRE has not publicly commented on Tracy’s termination .-MHB Admin.

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
601 Walnut Street, Suite 510
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
thefire.org

April 23 , 2013

(PDF)

President Mary Jane Saunders
Florida Atlantic University
Administration Building, Room 339
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, Florida 33431

Sent via U.S. Mail and Facsimile (561-297-2777)

Dear President Saunders:

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James Tracy Legal Defense Fund Inc.

The Board of Directors of the James Tracy Legal Defense Fund Inc. (“the Fund”) is pleased to announce the formal establishment of the Fund as a legal corporation in the State of Florida.

defenseThe James Tracy Legal Defense Fund Inc. was founded in January 2016 to generate financial support for retaining competent independent legal representation for Dr. James Tracy following the abrupt January 6, 2016 termination from his tenured position as Associate Professor of Journalism and Media Studies by Florida Atlantic University.

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Making ‘The Life of Adam’

This week filmmaker and media activist Peter Klein returns to the program to discuss the creation of the latest feature-length documentary production, The Life of Adam, produced by Klein and Independent Media Solidarity, and released on December 28, 2015.

mhb_loa2Founded in 2014, IMS includes several dozen independent researchers and media producers, several of whom contributed directly to the new film. In November 2014 Klein and IMS released We Need to Talk About Sandy Hook, which has since received in excess of 3 million online views, despite an intense campaign to expunge the film from YouTube and Vimeo platforms via fraudulent copyright infringement claims.

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Chronicle of Higher Ed: “Tenured Truther Shown the Door”

“Academic Freedom Has Limits. Where They Are Isn’t Always Clear.”

Kevin Carey
Chronicle of Higher Education

[Editor’s Note: One would think the Chronicle of Higher Education might get its facts right, particularly given its readership. However, author Kevin Carey, “director of the education-policy program at New America,” repeats the corporate media falsehood that this author sent Lenny and Veronique Pozner a certified letter out-of-the-blue “demand[ing] proof that their son had ever been alive.” In fact, the letter was in response to Lenny Pozner’s harassive March 22, 2015 copyright infringement claim filed against Memory Hole Blog, where I requested evidence that Pozner was the rightful owner of the image in question–indeed, the same image that emerged following a school massacre in Peshawar Pakistan in December 2014 purporting to be one of the decedents! This request was also made following Pozner’s many dubious copyright claims against alternative media outlets that I contended amount to a muzzle on First Amendment-protected free speech–the same constitutional safeguard showboated by so many major media outlets, including the Chronicle.

chronicle1
Source: Chronicle of Higher Education

Subsequent evidence has emerged suggesting that Pozner has led an online harassment and stalking campaign against citizens and alternative media who’ve attempted to publicly question and research the Sandy Hook School massacre. Mainstream media outlets have turned a blind eye to this pattern of likely criminal activity. -JFT]

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