Home / Robert Farley / Thank You

Thank You


Thanks to Crooked Timber for this, and to Duck of Minerva for this.

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  • Red Wood

    “Gifted young scholarly”? His “contribution” to academia is a screed about homosexual Marxist lumberjacks.

    Erik “Towering with Rage” Loomis must be in full on panic mode, fearing for his career right now.

    • DrDick

      Projection really is the wingnut’s most pronounced trait.

      • L.M.

        Wrong again, libtards! Very few wingnuts have ever worked in movie theaters.

      • greylocks

        I nominate “Red Wood” for the John H. Hinderaker Memorial Award for Most Hilariously Unselfaware Alias.

    • MAJeff

      You crackers are rather obsessed aren’t you? I’m sure there’s a rest area where similar closet cases congregate. Just get it over already.

      • He’s taking a wide stance on the issues.

    • So you’re not outraged at the slaughter of children but you are outraged at a metaphor in the heat of the moment? You PC Thug

    • STH

      I can’t imagine what sort of thing would get Loomis that angry and upset. Interesting that you care more about words than the deaths of 20 children.

      Whatever, it’s more clicks on Crooked Timber.

      • Red Wood

        Actually, “towering with rage” refers to one of Loomis’s tweets when he used that phrase not as a response to any killing, but instead the great injustice of (wait for it)…not being able to use a laptop while sitting at a bar.

        He’s got some real anger issues and he shouldn’t be anywhere near college kids.

        • Thank you for your diagnosis now may we see your credentials

          • Red Wood

            Do you think “towering with rage” is an appropriate response when one is told they may not place a laptop on a bar? Really?

            That’s just one of 100s of Angry Loomis tweets, raging from the trivial to the downright scary.

            • Thank you for your diagnosis…now may we see your credentials?

            • Warren Terra

              For your edification: hy·per·bo·le: A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect

              Just so we’re clear: if a bartender or patron is worried and requests the assistance of a bouncer or policeman because another patron is raging out about not being permitted to use a laptop, said would-be laptop user may have rage issues (or at least be having a bad day). If a would-be laptop user pulls out their phone and tweets that they are “towering with rage”, in the absence of any relevant history of violence it’s really not anything to worry about.

            • Malaclypse

              the downright scary.

              What is is like being so easily scared? I can’t imagine, myself. Are you able to leave mom’s basement without quaking in fear?

              • Right?

                For people who are so all about “self-reliance” and “rugged individualism,” they sure tremble a lot.

                • MAJeff

                  They just read about gay lumberjacks. Of course they’re trembling.

                • Yes, but why is only one arm tremb–


                • Malaclypse

                  Of course they’re trembling.

                  I don’t think that shaking motion is “trembling,” unless this is what the kids nowadays are calling it.

                • Malaclypse

                  Damn you, actor! Damn you and your speedier wit!

                • Oh, and how many times have you beaten me to the punch line, I ask you?

                • Warren Terra

                  Please, avoid discussion of how often you’ve beaten each other. You are scaring Red Wood. And possibly exciting him.

                • Malaclypse

                  And possibly exciting him.

                  Without advanced optical equipment, it will be impossible to tell.

                • I do think it’s interesting how deeply, deeply turned on a guy calling himself “Red Wood” is about gay lumberjacks.

                • MARXIST gay lumberjacks. I mean, the jokes just write themselves.

            • Leeds man

              Do you think “towering with rage” is an appropriate response when one is told they may not place a laptop on a bar?

              Prissy pantspissing prat.

              • I am outraged by your clever use of alliteration!

              • herr doktor bimler

                I would have gone for “bungalowing with rage”, but apparently there is a character limit.

                • Njorl

                  A responsible liberal would have gone in between the sprawl-causing bungalow of rage and the blight-causing tower of rage. I myself would prefer a collection of mixed medium-rise rage complexes with interspersed townhomes of fury with some greenspaces of peevish resentment.

                • herr doktor bimler

                  I would like to offer Njorl’s comment an opportunity to buy into a time-share of passive aggression.

            • timb

              I’m towering with rage right now at the thought that your vote counts as much as mine

            • Rilly? Scared by faggy, gun-hating librul? Just clutch your gun, asshole.

              • Oregon Beer Snob

                They don’t “clutch” they “stroke.” Often, and repeatedly.

                It is a substitute after all.

            • DrDick

              I am sure it is tho whiny assed bedwetters cowering under their beds shitting themselves every time they hear a loud noise like you. For sane, rational adults, however, there is nothing even mildly troubling about any of Loomis’ comments. Do try to seek counseling for your mental health issues.

        • SEK

          Actually, “towering with rage” refers to one of Loomis’s tweets when he used that phrase not as a response to any killing, but instead the great injustice of (wait for it)…not being able to use a laptop while sitting at a bar.

          I can’t imagine what it’d be like to be incapable of recognizing sarcastic hyperbole. So, um, why don’t you tell me.

        • Anonymous

          how stupid do you feel when you leave Twitchy and discover Michelle and Josh are wrong about everything?

          • sharculese

            Twitchy is a site for people who can’t figure out how to use fucking Twitter. Stupid goes with the territory.

        • Tiny, weak, defenseless college students. Why, next thing you know we’ll be giving them guns and insufficient body armor and sending them out to the desert to get shot at.

          • DrDick

            They have already done that to a lot of my students.

      • Red Wood

        There are 100s of other Loomis tweets totally unrelated to Sandy Hook and helpfully archived on Twitchy’s page which demonstrate serious anger issues unbecoming of a professor looking for tenure. Loomis is clearly psychologically unbalanced.

        • MAJeff

          A “twitchy,” the malkin methheads. Sociopaths and bigots.

          • “Red Wood” sounds like he needs penicillin.

        • Thank you for your diagnosis, now may we see your credentials?

        • SatanicPanic

          I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea of Malkinites talking about other peoples’ “anger issues”

          • DrDick

            They have been sodomizing irony’s rotting, mutilated corpse for a long time.

        • Spokane Moderate

          Oh dear. 100s? In that case you won’t mind providing us with what you consider to be the worst 200 so that we may examine them. After all, if you have such a strong case against Erik, you should welcome the opportunity to demonstrate it, right?

    • Um, no. He’s not.

      And what, pray tell, have you contributed to academia, besides your absence?

      • For some things we give thanks

      • Manta

        It’s not a small contribution, actor!

    • Red “Morning” Wood

      I’m a lumberjack and I’m OK!

    • Nigel

      Sounds more like he’s full of warm fuzzies from the solidarity.

  • DrDick

    There is also this on Facebook.

  • srm

    It will be a sad day for this nation if Erik is silenced because of a metaphor.

  • Scott Lemieux

    Even to suggest that Loomis’s tweet constitutes a “threat of violence” is an offense against the English language. We are dismayed that the university president completely fails to acknowledge the importance of academic freedom and of scholars’ freedom independently to express views (even intemperate ones) on topics of public importance. This statement—unless it is swiftly corrected— should give alarm to scholars at the University of Rhode Island, to scholars who might one day consider associating themselves with this institution, and to academic and professional associations that value academic freedom.

    Brilliantly put, and unanswerable.

    • Ayep.

    • wengler

      Might as well poke the spineless administrator from the other side.

  • Thank you for your diagnosis…may we see your credentials and your dildo expert papers?

  • For what it’s worth, none of these conservatives had any problem with the John and Ken Show’s “Head on a Stick” campaign against allegedly liberal Republicans in California:

    See here and a tasteful visualization here.

    Looks like Patty Cakes defended it at the time.

    • But it’s never bad when wingnuts do it! It’s only bad when non-wingnuts do it! When non-wingnuts do something, it’s CHEATING!

    • The Lorax

      Fortunately it doesn’t matter anymore; Dems have 2/3 in each house. Huzzah!

  • Uncle Ebeneezer

    FWIW I just wrote to URI:

    Dear President Dooley,

    I am just writing to express my disappointment in the way that URI has handled the faux-controversy that right-wing bloggers have created around Erik Loomis’ completely harmless and obvious hyperbolic tweet that said he wanted “Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick”; claiming that it is anything other than the fairly obvious use of a colloquial phrase commonly interpreted as a call for responsibility.

    After 20 children were ruthlessly shot down last week, it is time for the gun lobby and more specifically the NRA to be held accountable for the America they have created. Erik’s tweet made an important point that needs to be shouted from the rooftops of our country. THE NRA NEVER PAYS!! The families hurt, the community suffers, the rest of the country empathizes and we all have to go about being a lot less safe, both physically and psychologically. Aside from the victims, their families, and the first-responders, you know who gets hit the worst? The entire public education system. Teacher’s and parents living in fear, administrations faced with security concerns and an overall environment that is not conducive to learning.

    As a key member of the educational system, URI should be standing with their professor’s right to free speech, rather than cow-towing to obvious attempts by right-wing hysterics to continue to feed the Greedy-Liberal-Ivory-Tower-Academics myth that they have been using for decades to attack teachers, their unions, and the very concept of fact-based education for all.

    I hope the University will change their tune and show some respect to their staff, and the parents and students of America, rather than the screaming lunatics who are just trying to smear Professor Loomis and further their stereotype of Academia.

    I was tempted to end by opining that every complaining gun-nut can “go eat a bag of salty dicks” or something, but given how literal everyone is being recently I didn’t want to cause the artificial inflation of salt prices on the global market.

    • Benjamin

      I hope Dooley isn’t towing those cows where I think he is.

      • Uncle Ebeneezer

        I almost added that I was never a student of Loomis, so don’t hold him responsible for any poor grammar, wording etc., of my own.

        • Benjamin

          That’s okay. And for the record, I only meant to imply that Dooley is a metaphorical cowfucker.

    • Jameson Quinn

      Here’s mine:

      Why did you throw Dr. Loomis under the bus? Learn to read and grow a spine!

      No, I am not advocating you be prosecuted for vehicular homicide, attend remedial literacy classes, or calcify your dorsal area, merely that you do your job. Because you are, literally, failing to.

      Not exactly polite, but no profanity at least.

    • Uncle Ebeneezer

      I am an Internet activist!!
      In meatspace… Not so much :(

      • Uncle Ebeneezer

        Ah the old imitation troll routine. Brilliant.

        • Cody

          Somehow I suspect this person isn’t an activist in “meatspace” either, hell in cyberspace he doesn’t even use his real name.

  • Warren Terra

    Is anyone else unable to reach uri.edu? Weird confluence of events.

    • It’s loading very slowly here.

      Added: Um, not loading at all. Maybe a DoS attack?

      • Warren Terra

        Their Twitter says their ISP has had a “node failure” and the whole university is down. What this means is beyond me.

        • wengler

          Dooley’s incompetent administration strikes again!

          • Cody

            Correct Response:


            Is his dissertation hosted on the URI website? Perhaps everyone is downloading it, haha.

  • John

    What an utterly chickenshit response from URI. Unbelievable.

    • Steve LaBonne

      Actually all too easy to believe. Sadly, chickenshit is what’s for dinner in today’s academic world, as it has been, well, pretty much always.

      • John

        I’ve certainly seen universities respond in less chickenshit ways to these kind of manufactured controversies in the past. And this is a public university in Rhode Island, where there’s surely not any real danger of the legislature taking much of an interest in this.

      • But they’re making up for a lack of spine with an abundance of strategic dynamism.

      • Robert Parson

        I don’t entirely agree, Steve. Both Penn State and UVa stood up for Michael Mann during the manufactured “climategate” controversy.

        • Steve LaBonne

          You’re right, we should not forget to extol good behavior as well as excoriating bad.

    • greylocks

      Can’t upset the right-wing bazillionaires with their endowment money.

  • Matthew Giglia

    You know what, maybe this is self-aggrandizing of me, but fuck it, I don’t care.

    I’m Murc. Many of you know me from my proud history of ill-thought-out comments. I post using a nym because that nym or some variation of it has been my online name for over a decade now and I have history with it.

    And I’ll continue to do so, but my real name is Matthew Adam Giglia. And I support Erik Loomis, and I don’t care who knows it, and I am proud to have my full legal name associated with him and his blog.

    I’m not anyone important or anything, for all the good it’ll do him, but still.

    • John Protevi


    • Leeds man

      +whatever numerical value “good on yer” has.

    • Spokane Moderate

      Thanks for the example. Of course, I’m going to pull a MeAgain McArdle and not actually *follow* your example… But I admire it nonetheless!

      (Really. Well done.)

      • Njorl

        Same here. Maybe when I don’t have kids at home and I’m closer to retirement I’ll reveal my completely unimportant, irrelevant and unimpressive identity.

        Right now, no way.

        • rea

          Follwing the example of Hilzoy (whose real name I stumbled across a while back) I’m going to sign the statement under my real name, but not use my pseudonym. Nothing about this incident convinces me that my choice to do most of my online stuff under a pseudonym was a bad idea.

          • DocAmazing

            ‘At’s what I did. Those who are sufficiently intereted can go through Crooked Timber’s signatories and find my real-world handle, but I can’t imagine anyone being that bored.

          • etv13

            That’s what I did, too.

          • rea

            It’s mildly amusing that trying to comment under my real name gets my comment there sent to moderation . . .

            • MAJeff

              mine did too.

            • Malaclypse

              The same happened to me. I assume it was because of my e-mail being the same.

              • rea

                Yeah, we look like imposters–maybe their software catches this stuff automatically.

      • DrDick


      • Malaclypse

        Likewise. Murc is a better man than I.

        • John Protevi

          No. It’s easy for me to use my name; I’ve got tenure. It’s not the same for other folks, and that has to be respected. LGM would be much the poorer without Mal, DrDick, DocAmazing, and all the other nym-users.

          • Barry Freed

            I almost held back for that reason but what the hell.

          • DrDick

            Thank you. That is high praise coming from you.

          • Malaclypse

            Honored. And my real name, sans nym, is among the 350 at CT.

        • Murc

          Likewise. Murc is a better man than I.

          Why must you turn this comment thread into a house of lies?

          Also: my actions should in no way, shape, or form be construed to imply anything about those who don’t emulate me. This was an act of small arrogance on my part and is, frankly, more about me than it is about Erik.

          (I’m not precisely proud of this fact, but I like this blog and watching it get swarmed under was more personal than when it’s happened to other blogs in the past. It’s like watching frat boys pile into your favorite Irish pub and get wasted on Miller and hot wings while demanding someone turn off the soccer and put on some football.)

          I have no family and am not, say, dependent on an academic or political career to support them.

    • Jameson Quinn

      I wish I hadn’t already transitioned to real name, so I could do this too. My nym was “homun” followed by my last initial.

    • Leeds man

      You inspired me to go back and use my real name, with pseudonym. Bastard ;)

    • SEK

      We’ve already figured out who you all are. Now we just have corroborating evidence. Expect your blackmail in tomorrow’s post.

    • Barry Freed

      Pleased to meet you Murc, I’m Christopher Alario and I stand with Erik Loomis.

      • Barry Freed

        And that damned old Gravatar has followed me once again. It seems somehow appropriate in this case.

    • greylocks

      Can’t follow your lead, wish I could, admire those who do.

    • Are you folks implying this ISN’T my real name? Or that I am not actually a zombie?

      • Leeds man

        My friend Putrescent Polecat Campbell says all McDonalds are rotten zombies.

    • herr doktor bimler

      I have succumbed to peer pressure and become Spartacus.

      • DocAmazing

        Excellent! Have some snails! Or oysters!

  • cpinva

    oh.our.god! i just the URI president’s statement. has someone checked, to be sure he hasn’t been replaced by a “pod person”? does this man not realize he’s just put himself, and URI, in the position of possibly being sued for libel & defamation of character, a much more expensive proposition than the costs of tenure?

    mr. loomis, if you have not done so already, i urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to secure the services of competent legal counsel, and start filing civil suits. in consultation with said counsel, prepare a target list, prioritizing them. the president of your university, and the university itself should be on that list.

    your counsel should be in direct contact with their legal counsel, advising them of what’s coming, unless certain, minimum conditions are met. your immediate tenure is the first condition. as i said, cheaper than a lawsuit.

    your legal counsel should also issue subpoenas to the RI state police, requesting all, unredacted records of this incident, to find out who authorized those two troopers to come calling on you, which they had no legitimate business doing.

    this is nothing more than an out of court SLAPP suit, whose purpose is to get you to shut up. their are federal laws against this, use them to your advantage.

    • Warren Terra

      I think my favorite part (noted at the Duck Of Minerva) is that not only does the statement make no concession to the intent of Loomis (let alone a defense), it also refers to him as “Erik Loomis” while being signed by “Dr. David Dooley”. One gets their honorific, the other does not. (I was trying to visit URI’s web site to find out what Dooley’s PhD was in, but they’re down).

      PS Has anyone seen input from, say, Dan Drezner or Juan Cole? I seem to recall both had high-profile tenure/recruitment controversies arising from their blogging.

      • Tnap01

        I think that’s sort of true for Cole, his blog caught the attention of the shitheads at AIPAC. I’m not sure about Drezner, he was denied tenure at Chicago and perhaps his blog had something to do with it,maybe Rob knows?

        • Cole’a blogging reportedly cost him an appointment at Yale. Dan’s tenure denial had nothing directly to do with blogging, and likely little at all to do with it.

          And, yes, the statement looked like the work of someone out of his or her depth.

          • Richard

            Drezner was denied tenure at Chicago in 2005 (and then moved to Tufts). I dont think it was because of his blogging.

            Cole was nominated to teach at Yale but that nomination was overturned by a senior appointsment committee. The reason for it, as far as I know, was never revealed (and no litigation ensued) but it was most likely because of his statements, in blogs and other places, about Israel and the contention by AIPAC and others that his positions were borderline anti-Semitic. He had a fierce debate with Hitchens about translation of a speech given by the president of Iran and whether it indicated a desire to destroy Israel.

            • Ronan

              Hitchens spoke Persian?

              • DocAmazing

                Farce-i, actually.

                • Malaclypse


                • Ronan

                  Nicely played Doctor. Very sharper

      • Steve LaBonne

        I looked around and found out that he’s a chemist. As a natural scientist myself, I am ashamed.

        • Murc

          Call yourself a “natural philosopher.” It sounds way more impressive, like at any moment you might build a set of clockwork wings or transmute lead into gold or seduce an Italian noblewoman.

          • rea

            Now I’m reminded of Aubrey’s and Maturin’s discussion about the differences between natural philosphy and moral philosphy (natural philosphy is immoral; moral philosphy is unnatural)

            • Murc

              Those two knew how to talk dirty like nobodies business.

        • Robert Parson

          Oh dear.

          Robert Parson
          Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
          Unversity of Colorado

          • Malaclypse

            Man, fucking Montanans…

            • DrDick

              Watch it there, boyo. We are not all whackjobs, though there a lot of them over there at that other university.

    • Given that he was asked to meet the troopers at a gas station (his own description), I’d have to think that was a voluntary appearance, and informal.

      On Facebook this morning, he made it clear the cops thought it was all bullshit anyway.

      • Brandon

        It’s still quite a bit of hassle.

        Hopefully they’re following up on whoever filed the false reports.

        • Richard

          Waste of time. The jerks who made the reports to state police and the FBI probably said that a URI prof is making death threats and here’s the proof – providing a print out of Erik’s head on a pike comment. That’s not actionable conduct especially when, as here, it didn’t lead to any arrest. That is simply not a false police report.

          Erik knew he didn’t have to meet with the cops but, making the right decision, did so anyway. The cops asked a few questions and that was it. They had every right to ask Erik to answer a few questions and seemed to have done it, according to Erik’s account, in a professional manner.

          The real problem is the lily livered response of the URI president and what it may imply about Erik’s long term prospects at that institution (or other academic institutions). I’m sure Erik is talking to the right people (union reps, other profs, possibly an attorney with a background in dealing with university administrations,etc.

          Talk about lawsuits, subpoenas, defamation, etc is more than a little silly. Erik is a smart guy and seems to be handling this matter as well as possible given the circumstances.

          • Richard

            Oh, I sent an email to the Dean in support of Erik and requesting that the school stand up to the principals of academic freedom and free speech instead of caving to these morons.

    • John

      Demanding tenure from the university administration as a condition for not filing a lawsuit is a pretty enormous violation of academic self-governance itself. It should be primarily up to Loomis’s colleagues to determine if he should get tenure, and that should be based on the quality of his scholarly work, teaching, and service to the department, not a bribe he gets not to sue the university for defamation.

      • Richard

        Tenure could never be part of a settlement in a matter like this. Plus the school, although wrong not to support him, didn’t come close to defaming him

  • Leeds man

    Probably stupid question: Should the statements of support be made with our real names?

    • Sherm


      • Yeah, I posted as “Bethany” at CT. And now you all know I’m not really a doctor. FUCK.

        • Or a slayer of vacuum’s or Louise Belcher, I’m now so cynical about life

          • The thing about the bunny ears is for real though.

            • Damn right

              • Pseudonym

                Does that mean you’re really a rabbit?

                • For the purposes of the INTERNET and Ms. Rabett, yes

        • herr doktor bimler

          Here, have one of mine.

  • SEK

    I take it this means the War With Crooked Timber is officially over?

    • Warren Terra

      We Have Always Been At Peace With Crooked Timber.

    • Leeds man

      No, it’s just Christmas in the Trenches.

      • Warren Terra

        Does this mean we have to play them at soccer football?

        • Leeds man

          If so, remember they have Irishmen. Wear your shin pads, and be very afraid.

    • Uncle Ebeneezer

      This sub-thread needs an anthem!

    • rea

      I take it this means the War With Crooked Timber is officially over?

      Not only that, but Greenwald signed on to the Crooked Timber statement.

      • greylocks

        I’m booking bets on how long this group hug lasts.

        • over/under at 12 hours?

          • I’ll take the over. It should be good for a day. But the time zone differences make it all so confusing.

    • wengler

      There was no war because they had no navy.

  • xxy

    I dunno if anyone caught this, my apologies if it already has. But I just have to point it out.

    Yesterday Ann Althouse writes an article defending Scalia’s remarks at Princeton. The title? Why are people having so much trouble understanding rhetorical devices?

    Glenn Reynolds posts it. Headline: Because it’s easier to fake outrage if you play dumb. At 6:25pm.

    Are you kidding me?

    • Oh, snap.

    • SEK

      Damn. Unintended irony for the win.

      • Wow. Just. Wow.

      • Brandon

        I don’t doubt that Reynolds knew exactly what he was doing.

        • John

          Do you think Reynolds is actually that self-aware? He’s never impressed me as particularly bright.

    • Cody

      This isn’t relevant really to what we’re talking about, but Althouse talks about fighting against Gays because of Penn State like gun control because of the CT shooting.

      Except there wasn’t a gay person involved in the Penn State scandal.

      Sandusky was married. To a woman. If he was gay, he would’ve been having sex with a grown man and it would have been fine. So if anything, Althouse is arguing because of Penn State we should have more gay people!

  • Paula

    Well, I don’t know you all very well. I don’t come here every day, and when I do I mostly lurk. (I am but lowly clerical worker at a UC and I don’t mingle with professors.) But I blog, I have probably threatened worse to various people/institutions, and I’m sorry that they decided to pick on Loomis. Just sent an e-mail of support for EL to the URI administration.

  • Uncle Kvetch

    The CT thread is at 188 and counting — I’m drawing some much-needed reassurance from that. And following on Murc’s lead, I re-endorsed the CT statement with my full name in addition to my usual handle.

    • Barry Freed

      Ditto for me.

    • elm

      I endorsed the statement with my real name, but did not attach my nym to it. I’m happy to publicly stand up for academic freedom and metaphors, but I’d rather not have everything I say on line be so quickly traced back to my real identity.

    • gmack

      Nearly 500 now, which is gratifying.

      My disgust with this incident is growing the more I think on it. Having followed the smear campaign on Frances Fox Piven, and since I write on welfare rights issues and democratic theory (indeed, I have a discussion of Malkin and others in the introduction to my book that is coming out soon), it’s all too easy for me to see similar things happen to me. It’s not likely, of course. I don’t blog and tend not to be terribly provocative. But as Farley pointed out in his earlier post on this, it’s essential for every academic and every citizen to express solidarity with Professor Loomis and push back: This can happen to anyone who engages in politics and says things that some right winger has decided s/he doesn’t like.

      Glenn Mackin

  • Leeds man

    I just want to give a shout out to Chris Bray. He butted heads with a few of us yesterday, but added his name to the CT statement. Good for you, Chris.

    • Sherm

      Yes. It appears that he is a man of integrity.

      • Richard


    • somethingblue

      You know who else endorsed the CT statement? (And no, it wasn’t Hitler.)

      • pete

        And so graciously, too. Generous, profound and fulsome. What a prize fellow he is, as I am sure he would tell us if asked.

    • Chris Bray

      Appreciated! I’m all for arguing, and all for not screwing with people’s jobs and lives.

      • John Protevi

        As one of the head-butters (no, wait, that doesn’t sound right), er, butters of head (no, that can’t be right either), okay, one of the arguers, I’ll say well done too.

  • FWIW, Erik, you are very, very welcome. Now off to sign the CT petition.

  • poco

    Well, I delurked at CT to write a supportive statement and have emailed the president of URI with my outrage, appending all the correct designations of title and university.

    Proud of the Eric Loomis Statement Committee at CT.

  • Joe

    I wondered in a comment how important a few trolls were and see that quite sadly they caused a lot of problems. It is pretty sad that the police etc. got involved because of this sick campaign of theirs. But, mea culpa for not taking it as seriously as I should have.

  • Anna in PDX

    Crooked Timber piece is very very well-written. The URI president is an idiot. And the right wingers are impossibly stupid and hypocritical. I am but a lowly bureaucrat so don’t see what good it will do Dr. Loomis but I will try to post a letter direct to URI when their website is back up.

  • Murc

    I hope Erik’s department has a Christmas party, because he is totally going to have the best story there this year. He can totally milk it for free drinks if he plays his cards right.

  • Kurzleg

    Well, I did my best to present an eloquent case via e-mail on behalf of Erik. That I had to do so pisses me off, but at the same time, I’m happy to do it.

    • Joseph Slater

      Me too.

  • bystander

    Support to Crooked Timber’s statement affirmed with full “real name” and letter sent to the three administrators in support of Erik Loomis. I don’t have to like Erik Loomis’ position on a *lot* of things to recognize a witch hunt when I see one. Good luck, Dr. Loomis. May you prevail.

    • Fats Durston

      Erik is a witch too?!

      • Cody

        There’s only one way to find out – bring me the scale and a duck!

  • Ruby

    I fired off a, not violent(!), but not exactly polite email to the addresses listed in the Crooked Timbers post.

    • DrDick

      I think you mean the bigger schmuck.

      • I would have said “schmuck,” Sir, but I at all times eschew hurtful rhetoric.

  • I sent an email to the URI prez. His email was listed at CT. I signed my real name, etc.

    If interested, you can see it on my blog.



  • pfc

    I just sent the following email to URI:

    Dean Brownell, Provost DeHays, and President Dooley,

    I write to you as a proud alumnus of the University of Rhode Island (class of 1980), in regards to the statement the President Dooley has issues regarding the Erik Loomis’ tweet regarding Wayne LaPierre.

    Frankly, I expected more of the institution where I received such a fine education. After the horrific massacre in Newton CT, Erik Loomis said that he wanted “…LaPierre’s head on a stick.”. And then to distract the country from the real tragedy of people, especially school children, dying in a school setting, which is something I think should be of especial significance to the three of you, the pro-gun lobby began to make noise about Professor Loomis’ words. In order to take the focus away from where it should be, they tried to make us all talk about someone supposedly calling for LaPierre’s assassination.

    I took many classes at URI where we learned the use of metaphor in literature, philosophical discussions, and rhetoric. It was clear that this was intended as a metaphor for holding Mr. LaPierre responsible for his actions.

    To issue the statement that URI issued, shows only cowardice on the part of your administration. There was nothing about Professors Loomis’s tweet that the University needed to get into in any way.

    I am no less proud today of the education that I received at the University of Rhode Island. I am however, not proud at all of the actions of the school’s current administration. You expect better of your students sirs and ma’am (or at least your predecessors did). I expect better of you.

    Thank you for your time,
    Peter Caswell, B.S.C.S. 1980.

  • I have written a letter in support of Erik and posted it here:


    Dean Winnie Brownell, Provost Donald DeHays, President David Dooley,

    I write in support of Prof. Erik Loomis. Prof. Loomis is a brilliant, insightful, and talented writer and thinker whose extra-academic pursuits have contributed to the greater flourishing of knowledge in our society. Over the last few days he has been targeted by a purely political smear campaign because he is an easy target for an extremist political movement raging against a moment of helplessness. I strongly encourage you, as leaders among the guardians of the flame of the academy and caretakers of a venerable institution of public learning, to support Prof. Loomis in this hour. While Loomis’ extra-academic activities are not technically within the bounds of his duties as a professor, the erudition and incisiveness of his writings, his broad audience, and his critical acclaim bring credit upon the University of Rhode Island, and are precisely the emerging forms of increased engagement with a broader audience that the academy, especially the public academy, should be encouraging. Academic freedom is not a laissez-faire institution; it requires those charged with ensuring it to wield their shield proactively, to not merely acknowledge the security of intellectuals to pursue ideas but to vigorously affirm them, including and especially at difficult hours. I hope you will use this opportunity to do so.

  • Joe
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