A federally funded organization uses 9/11 moment to attack the United States

Some of us are observing 9/11 with tributes to those who died, some with a focus on the war yet to be won, and some — on the taxpayer’s dime — by taking swipes at the United States.

A friend of mine is attending the 2006 Annual Meeting for the Southern California Earthquake Center. The SCEC has an important job (as the Northridge Earthquake reminded us):

The Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), headquartered at the University of Southern California, was founded in 1991 with a mission to:

* gather new information about earthquakes in Southern California;

* integrate this information into a comprehensive and predictive understanding of earthquake phenomena; and

* communicate this understanding to end-users and the general public in order to increase earthquake awareness, reduce economic losses, and save lives.

Indeed, the SCEC’s mission is so important that the US Government funds it (translation: you, the taxpayer, fund it):

Funding for SCEC activities is provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The SCEC’s current director is a guy named Thomas Jordan, a professor at USC. Prof. Jordan opened today’s proceedings with a moment of silence for 9/11. Although my friend does not have a transcript or recording of Prof. Jordan’s words, his notes reflect that Prof. Jordan has more on his mind than commemorating the dead.

According to my friend’s notes, what Prof. Jordan actually said was that, in addition to observing a moment of silence for 9/11’s victims, the silence should be used to remember and mourn “the political and moral damage to our country.” Amongst the 400 or so audience members, my friend heard silence and a few chuckles, although he couldn’t tell whether the latter were embarrassed or complicitous.

Are my friend and I the only ones who find it deeply disturbing that an academic would use his federally funded pulpit as an appropriate forum, on 9/11, to attack his country?

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  • http://sillymidon.wordpress.com/ sillymidon

    A deep disturbance is a an earthquake, a hurricane, a flood and resulting loss of life, it has nothing to do with expressing an opinion. That is variously described as “freedom of speech”, living in a democracy and an integral line in the Constitution of this country. Go back and read it again. Your thinking may be enhanced by the experience.

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  • http://ageofbs.wordpress.com/ J

    “Are my friend and I the only ones who find it deeply disturbing that an academic would use his federally funded pulpit as appropriate forum, on 9/11, to attack his country?”

    Are “his country” and “the Bush administration” synonomous?

  • jg

    J: Are “his country” and “the Bush administration” synonomous?

    Why do you ask?

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    I strongly recommend that you read this from Den Beste, Bookworm.


    Hattip to Instapundit, saw it there first.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    JG, because it makes you look like a fanatic if you believe your country to always be the Bush administration or just any administration.

  • erp

    Perhaps the good professor wanted to mourn the political and moral damage to our country, and by that I mean the United States of America, done by Clinton administration who in eight short years brought us as close to the brink as I care to imagine . . . and by brink, I mean, the brink of losing our identity as the land of the free and the home of brave.

    The brink of substituting something called controlled trade ala Brussels for our free markets, the brink of international law for our Constitutional law, the brink of allowing the corrupt United Nations to completely take over our foreign policy, the brink of allowing euroweenies to dictate our monetary policies . . .

    There’s plenty more to add to this list, but I fear that my blood pressure will erupt should I continue. You younger folks, pls take it from here.

  • jg

    Y., if we’re laying out fanatics, here’s one: an in-your-face from the comments at the good Doc (Sanity, that is):

    “I used to be a card carrying lib/Dem/lefty (Unitarian is still on my dogtags) until the left started to virtually de-evolve post 9/11. Heck I think it actually started 12/12/00. Now I’m a hatemongering warmongering jingoistic neocon jihadist nutjob and proud of it. When we finish kicking the enemy’s ass I’ll grow the goatee back, put the earing in and cook up another batch of tie dyed teeshirts on the stove. Until then, lock and load baby. Again thanks!
    Mike Fay .. 09.11.06”

  • gm

    Yes, he was probably referring to Clinton.

    And to answer those that think that this was just freedom of speech, I think its high time that we mandate that PBS start supporting the United States too in recognition of a majority of American’s beliefs.

  • robert108

    J: Since the President is elected by a majority of the people and the States, he is synonomous with the country. Why don’t you know that?

  • Kristen

    I have been reading through these comments and I find I agree with quite a few. I believe the individual who wrote the commentary above was quite correct in his/her assessment. University professors, today are well known for their left-leaning tendencies and as a general rule of thumb, it may be safe to assume this Professor Jordan was making an offhanded comment to express displeasure of that so-called political divide we hear about so often in the New York Times (all the news that’s fit to leak, not my opinion, but Rush Limbaugh’s). I, for one, do not believe that the American public is divided at all. They know absurdity, inanity and ignorance, not to mention arrogance when they see it, as exemplified by the media, academia, DC liberal ideologues and Hollywood.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Kristen, my heart is with you but you are an optimist. “Absurdity, inanity and ignorance” will still snag Lefty politicians an unwholesome number of votes every election cycle.

  • Lulu

    Like many in academia, the professor may have assumed that everyone thought in lockstep with him. Certainly with freedom of speech ,as Sillymidion said, he can say what he wishes, however it is so extremely tacky and frankly disrespectful of the dead to make the moment of silence not about them but about Tom Jordan’s world view. Those who wished to show their respect for the innocent victims of demented murderers had to also stand to mourn the loss of America even if they didn’t agree with Jordan’s sentiments. Actually, that isn’t merely freedom of speech, it’s manipulation. By mingling politics with a moment of silence for the dead, Jordan cheapened the moment and divided the room.

  • http://issis.wordpress.com/ issis

    americans and their freedom of speech. attack your country… if there would be more critical people, your country could come closer to what it wants to be.

  • http://sebastian.wordpress.com/ sebastian

    ever heard of “freedom of speech”? you know, this is the little thing the united states are killing thousands of Iraqi civilians for 😉

    he uses freedom of speech, and doesn’t get money for that. (he gets money for his work)
    the us government kills people in the name of free speech. THEY get tax payer’s money.

    also, this guy didn’t attach his country, but the current leaders, which proved their incompetence in the time before 9/11, in Afghanistan, in Irak and also with Katrina, with their tax reform which gave the richest people (stock owners, for example) 600 billions of dollars back.

  • http://issis.wordpress.com/ issis

    thanks sebastian. you just said what my poor english is not able to express.

  • Pedro

    Mira! Hay dos p***s.  [Cleaned up by the editor.]

  • Ymarsakar


    americans and their freedom of speech. attack your country… if there would be more critical people, your country could come closer to what it wants to be.

    Comment by issis | September 13, 2006

    Anymore and America might as well committ hara kiri.