Our first example is discussed in Ann Althouse's blog: UW 9/11 denialist appears on Hannity and Colmes:
When Hannity takes over, Barrett interrupts him in the middle of his first question. When Hannity insists on finishing the question, Barrett smugly goes "Yeah, yeah, finish up." On Hannity's show! As if he thinks the only people who are watching are folks who think Hannity's a jackass. Hannity asks him if he really believes 9/11 and other terrorists attacks were "an inside job." Barrett, inspiring no confidence that he will allow students to debate with him, says sharply, "I don't believe, I do know that 9/11 was an inside job." Barrett then tries to lay out the details of the theory. The word "thermate" comes out of his mouth. (It's supposed to be "thermite," but why be precise?)
Hannity breaks in to say, "All right, so you believe that the buildings came down in a controlled demolition." Again, Barrett excludes the possibility of alternate theories: "Well, I don't believe it. I've looked at the evidence, and the evidence is overwhelming." Hannity's response is perfect: "All right, the evidence is overwhelming to you because you're a conspiracy nut." Hannity tries to set up his next question: "But putting that all aside..." That's perhaps the funniest line of the night, but it's stepped all over by Barrett, who motormouths conspiracy theory. Hannity goes ahead and asks his question with Barrett yammering over him. Hannity finally just lets the man babble. Then, he mutters, "Okay, I wish I had the 'Twilight Zone' music."
He doesn't believe it. He's looked at all the evidence and it is "overwhelming". It certainly must be to a lecturer on Islam. He was probably looking at this kind of "overwhelming" evidence which is extremely persuasive to anyone who is relatively paranoid and delusional to begin with and who happens to have not an iota of scientific knowledge. Chances are he couldn't be bothered to look at this article.
Barrett, a University of Wisconsin lecturer who teaches a course on Islam, is not alone in his academic wackiness. He has loads of fellow wackademics that will eagerly reinforce his insanity (and these are only the "Top 10").
Can you imagine what his course on Islam will be like (only one week of it will be devoted to the 9/11 conspiracy, we are assured)?
Next we move on to Deborah Frisch, a cognitive psychologist who taught psychology at the University of Arizona; and the person who threatend Jeff Goldstein's child; presumably apologized but didn't see the big deal in her behavior; claims that she herself is the real victim and is apparently relishing all the attention. Can a Michael Moore movie be far behind?
She even gets a boost in attention by a sympathetic article in Inside Higher Ed! (Which Goldstein responds to here)
Can you imagine having a borderline personality wannabe teach a course on psychology? To your kids?
These two examples are just the tip of an iceberg that threatens to sink our academic institutions and set them back a thousand years or more (appropriately to the time of Mohammed).
And don't forget Ward Churchill, whose faked credentials and faux academic credits immediately got him the respected position of chairman in a university department.
You will notice in the link to the Top 10 academics who believe 9/11 was an inside job that several of the prominent academic are referred to as...philosophers?
This, I submit, is no coincidence. Ask yourself what philosophical theory is now dominant in intellectual circles and when you come up with the answer, you will have identified the subtle poison that is destroying intellectual thought and deliberately undermining truth, reason, and reality. The answer is postmodernism:
By most accounts we have entered a new intellectual age. We are postmodern now. Leading intellectuals tell us that modernism has died, and that a revolutionary era is upon us--an era liberated from the oppressive strictures of the past, but at the same time disquieted by its expectations for the future....
Having deconstructed reason, truth, and the idea of the correspondence of thought to reality, and then set them aside--"reason," wries Fouccault, "is the ultimate language of madness"--there is nothing to guide or constrain our thought and feelings. So we can do or say whatever we feel like. Deconstruction, Stanley Fish confesses happily, "relieves me of the obligation to be right...and demnads only that I be interesting."
With the advocates of postmodernism teaching psychology, philosophy (including the philosophy of science), political science (oh how they love political science!); literary and legal criticism; feminism; and slowly being absorbed into other academic fields, is it any wonder that wackedemia is in the acendence?
These are people who hate reason because it has brought about the dominance of Western Civilization. Almost all of the believers in the philosophy du jour are active socialists and communists; or formerly active socialists and communists; the latter group disappointed in the failures of their ideology in the last century, and on the lookout for continued ways to undermine capitalism and its success in reality. (See here, here, and here for previous posts on this topic.
What we are seeing in our colleges and universities is no more than the postmodern philosophical word made flesh and dwelling in what used to be our institutions of higher learning. We might as well begin to call them Institutes of Higher Feeling.
It seems to that exceptionally histrionic, paranoid and delusional people-- like many of today's academics-- used to dwell in a different kind of institution that has largely fallen out of favor in the mental health field; but perhaps our well-known colleges and universities are at the forefront of a rennaisance / revival in this area?