Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Case of Prof. Gordon Klein at UCLA

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


Orange County Rabbi Dov Fischer has written an important piece in The American Spectator on the suspension of UCLA accounting professor Gordon Klein. I am cross-posting it here. Fischer was actually a student of Klein's at UCLA and what struck me was the fact that Klein would never express his political opinions in the classroom. That was the position I took when I taught English to foreign students at UC Irvine for 18 years-though I was very active in causes on campus outside the classroom.

Here is Rabbi Fischer's article.

https://spectator.org/and-now-a-ucla-crucifix-for-prof-gordon-klein-along-academias-appian-way/

There is little to add other than to express my agreement with Rabbi Fischer. We are living in perilous times now. The fascism that I personally observed at UC Irvine, which was tolerated if not encouraged by faculty and administrators, is now in open view on our streets.

Professor Klein crossed the line of political correctness in trying to explain to a student why special consideration should not be given to a certain class of students. In addition to his suspension, he has been threatened and in need of police protection. This is an intolerable situation on our college campuses.

It is ultimately demeaning to black people in general that they should always be given special consideration because of our troubled racial history. Let's be honest: There are many blacks who do not want special treatment, only equal treatment, and that is worth supporting. There are also many paternalistic whites who practice their virtue signalling by demanding that blacks be treated as handicapped children who cannot get through life without help from liberal whites.

Having recently written about the harassment of Cornell Law Professor William Jacobson, I am gratified that Rabbi Fischer continues to follow the goings on in academia because this is where much of this current insanity was incubated.

I'm sure some people must be writing letters to UCLA and the Anderson School of Management, and I plan to join in. If you wish to support Professor Klein, you may write to:

Dean Antonio Bernardo
UCLA Anderson School of Management
antonio.bernardo@anderson.ucla.edu

Gene Block
Chancellor
chancellor@ucla.edu


Please be respectful.


*Update: Below is the text  of the email I have sent this evening to Chancellor Block and Dean Bernardo:

Dear Chancellor Block/Dean Bernardo,


My name is Gary Fouse, and I am a former adjunct teacher at UC Irvine Extension (English as second language). I am writing to express my deep concern over the suspension and overall treatment of  accounting Professor Gordon Klein. 

As you know, we are living in difficult times, and the Klein issue is connected to the unrest we are experiencing today stemming from the police killing of George Floyd. As a retired law enforcement officer (DEA), there is no way I can justify the police action that caused Mr Floyd's death. I support the prosecution, and I support the peaceful protests. What I do not support is the violence and rioting that has ensued. Nor do I support thought controls especially in academia. We should not be training our children to become fascists. What are UCLA students to make about what is happening to Professor Klein? 

The fact that Professor Klein refused to grant special treatment to his African-American students is no cause for the actions taken against him, not just his suspension, but threats against him that require police protection. That is unconscionable on a university campus.

I would hope that the suspension of Professor Klein will be reconsidered.

Respectfully,

Gary  Fouse

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Last Night's Riot Coverage

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


Aside from going out to dinner last night, I spent the evening transfixed in front of my TV set switching back and forth between Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and local Los Angeles channels watching the riots across America. How sad. Three people dead in Indianapolis, a shop owner in Dallas possibly beaten to death, a cop in New York  hit by a brick and suffering a fractured skull, and a  Molotov cocktail thrown into a police vehicle in New York with four cops inside. True, thousands of protesters came out to rightfully protest the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, it was all hijacked by the thugs who took advantage of the tragedy to loot and burn.

And don't blame it all on black people. Many of the rioters were white and brown. Aside from Black Lives Matter, there is also Antifa, a national organization of anarchist thugs, who are overwhelmingly white. Many mayors and police chiefs are saying that many, if not most of the rioters were from out of town or out of state. No doubt there is some degree of national coordination going on here.

In terms of coverage, Fox mostly focused on the outrage of the violence and destruction, as they should have. At the same, they did not minimize the gravity of the Floyd death, and they acknowledged that most people had come to peacefully protest. I had no problem with the CNN coverage until Don Lemon came on and all but became hysterical on the air calling out the names of famous  people who (according to him) have been silent. In fact, Lemon at times, made it sound like it was all about him, referring to previous statements he had made calling out celebrities. He went on to ask why these celebrities "were not assisting these young people". After repeating that several times, he finally added that he was not referring to those carrying out the violence. His interview with Kamala Harris was sickening as she laid the blame on America.

But even that paled compared to MSNBC, which focused entirely on bad police, American racism, and, of course, Trump. MSNBC talking head, Ali Velshi, a Canadian, while broadcasting on the street from Minneapolis, spent half the time reporting and half the time editorializing about American racism and racist cops.

Last night was an Oktoberfest of university professors and liberal journalists pontificating on the evils of America.  In short, American journalism took another hit last night. Virtually all of the networks made the mistake of referring to those engaged in violence, burning, and looting as "protesters".

That is in no way meant to defend the actions of the four Minneapolis police officers involved in the death of Mr Floyd, especially the one who knelt on Floyd's neck. I expect some sort of charges will be also brought against the other three. Being retired law enforcement myself, I am on several retired law enforcement chat sites, and nobody there is defending the actions of those cops.

In this case, protests are warranted, and I support the legitimate protesters, not just their right to protest, but their anger as well. That support does not extend to the rioters. That support does not extend to those on television who want to indict all police officers. From what I saw, police all over the country were acting with professionalism and restraint. They are paying the price for the actions of four cops in Minneapolis.





Sunday, May 24, 2020

Two Names on a Wall (Annual Re-Post)

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


Image result for vietnam memorial


As I have done in recent years on Memorial Day, I re-post an article I wrote in December 2007 after hearing that the Vietnam Memorial had been defaced. The article concerns two of my high school friends who gave their lives in Vietnam.
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http://garyfouse.blogspot.com/2007/12/two-names-on-wall.html
Dorian Jan Houser (1946-1967)
Michael G Vinassa (1946-1966)


The recent news that someone had defaced the Viet Nam War Memorial in Washington served to bring back my memories of two of my childhood friends whose names appear on that wall. Mike Vinassa and Dorian Houser were both from west Los Angeles, where I also grew up. We belonged to the same high school social club. All three of us entered military service after high school. I was assigned to Germany; they were sent to Viet Nam. I returned and went on with the rest of my life. They died in Viet Nam. Forty years later, with our country once again at war and American soldiers sacrificing their lives for America, we should also remember those that gave their lives in Viet Nam.

Dorian

I first knew Dorian in the 1950s. He and his brother, Lee, played on my little league team. Their father was our coach. Later, my relationship with Dory continued in school. In high school, we both belonged to a club called the Chancellors of Venice. As was common in west LA, there were many (off-campus) clubs formed for social purposes. We all had our club jackets, with the name of the club and locale (Venice or WLA) embroidered on the back. The colors of the clubs varied (ours was green). As we ended our high school days, these clubs disbanded as we went our separate ways-off to college, work or military service. In Dory's case, he entered the Marines in 1966, and after training, was sent to Viet Nam. On May 10, 1967, one month before his 21st birthday, he was killed in Quang Tin. He was hit in the chest by shrapnel and killed instantly.

I happened to be home on leave from Germany when we got the news that Dory was dead. I was able to attend his funeral before returning back to Germany. I'm a little embarrassed to admit it after all these years, but I chose not to wear my uniform to the funeral, simply because I was afraid his family might react emotionally to it. I have always regretted that decision.

Dory was the kind of guy that no one could dislike. He was friendly and unassuming. Needless to say, his funeral was a sad and emotional event. In the last couple of years, I have visited his grave a couple of times since my mother-in-law is interred in the same cemetery. About a year ago, I came across a posting about Dory by his sister. She described her brother and was looking for anyone who knew Dory and remembered him. I answered her post, but the email is no longer valid. As yet, I have not been able to contact her.

Mike

Mike Vinassa was also a member of the Chancellors. He was a stout, barrel-chested kid with a big tattoo on his shoulder, something unusual at the time for someone so young (still in high school). Needless to say, he was tough and didn't mind a good fight. Most other kids knew not to mess with him, but among his friends, he was well-liked. I remember one night we were at a party and he wanted to (playfully) roughhouse with me. We started slap-fighting and wrestling on the front yard of the house, and (somehow) I was able to throw him to the ground and fall on top of him. As you may know, innocent roughhousing among teenagers can easily turn into a real fight, and I remember thinking that Mike might suddenly get mad, so I rolled over and let him get on top, thus letting him win the match.

After high school, I went on to complete 2 years of college before I entered the Army. I basically lost touch with Mike and Dory at that time.

I had recently arrived at my post of duty in Germany when I came across Mike's name while reading the Viet Nam obituaries in the Army Times. It wasn't until several months ago that I learned the circumstances of Mike's death, which occurred on May 22, 1966.

Mike was a member of C Co, Ist Bn, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cav Division (US Army). Ironically, Mike was a short-timer, soon to return to the US, and, on that day, assigned to non-combat duties. Yet he insisted on accompanying his unit on a final combat mission in the Vinh Thanh Valley. It was on that final mission, that Mike lost his life-under heroic conditions. He personally led a group of his comrades in charging and taking out a machine gun nest that was pinning down his unit, but was fatally shot in the process. For his actions, Mike was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. His sole survivor was his mother.

In subsequent years, I have been able to find both their names on the Viet Nam Memorial. (I was living in the Washington area at the time.) As stated, I have visited Dory's grave, but as yet, have not identified Mike's cemetery. When I look back at my life after the Army, I contemplate how I finished college, began my career, got married, had children, retired, and now find myself in my 60s. But as I looked down on Dory's grave, I realized that he and Mike are frozen in time-forever 20 years old. I wonder what became of their parents, the rest of the families.

In a sense, today's soldiers are more fortunate than those who went to Viet Nam. The overwhelming majority of the American people greatly respect them (with the notable exception of the usual mindless idiots who are not worth further mention in this essay). Soldiers returning from Viet Nam were often subject to despicable treatment from those of their own generation who did everything they could to avoid military service. Once the Viet Nam War ended, the country wanted to forget about it as quickly as possible-after all, it was just a tragic period in our history. We also forgot about our Viet Nam veterans who came back alive-in so many cases, as walking wounded. They deserved so much better from us. They are still among us, and in many cases, still wounded.

All of us who lost friends or family members in Viet Nam should try to keep their memories alive and honor them. God rest their souls.

Michael G Vinassa- Panel 07E, line 104
Dorian Jan Houser- Panel 19E, line 082
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Today, I received a Facebook posting from Judy Houser, younger sister of Dorian Houser, in memory of her brother. It is moving, and since she has granted permission to use it, I would like to share it with you this Memorial Day weekend.
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"I want to share with all of my Mar Vista friends, my memories of my big brother, Dory Houser (Dorian Jan Houser), who was killed in action in Vietnam on May 10, 1967. He was seven weeks shy of his 21st birthday. I was not quite 12 years old. Some of you knew him. We all went to St. Augustine’s and Dory went to St. Bernard’s for one or two years, then to Venice High where he graduated in 1964. He was a great guy, a great brother. He was cute, he was funny, he was honest, he was sweet, and he was a rascal, and smiling most of the time. And he had such cute freckles that the rest of us didn’t have. He had three little sisters that he loved, and we had so much fun, we were always playing. He was so good to us. He used to call me “squirt”.

Dory also had a serious side, like most young men who were facing the draft. He had a very high draft number but made the decision to join the Marines rather than go in the Army, maybe because our dad was a Marine in WW II.

Dory was left handed, was a great athlete, and played a lot of baseball. We lived on Westminster Place which is a cul de sac. My brothers (Lee and Dory) and neighbor kids would play ball on our street because hardly any cars drove on it. Dory would always let me use his baseball mit because I’m also left handed. It was so big on my little hand, well worn in, and it was like a huge hug every time I wore it.

Yesterday I opened the box that has all the letters my mom wrote to Dory when he was in boot camp, in Oceanside. And in the box were all the letters he wrote to us. Once he got to Vietnam I think we only received two letters from him. We all lived in fear, waiting to hear something, anything. It was such a horrible feeling, the waiting. Reading some of the letters yesterday was crushing to my heart and soul, all over again. I’ve read these letters so many times over the years but yesterday I just couldn’t finish. It does not get one bit easier after all these years. Losing my big brother was the greatest loss in my life and it altered me as a human being, forever.
I know that everyone here was impacted by the Vietnam war. A lot of you were in the service, men and women, and many of you went to Vietnam, Germany, and maybe other countries, sometimes serving more than one tour. Strange to call it a tour.
I know this is a somber post, and it’s very painful to write. I want this post to be about Dory and all of you. Please feel free to share anything you’d like on this post, on this Memorial Day weekend, as it relates to Memorial Day. I think of Dory often, whatever the day may be. Maybe we can all heal just a little bit more.
This is the best place I can share my memories of my brother, with my Mar Vista peeps. You are the best! Love to all of you.
My mom often used to say “the Mar Vista boys” like she was referring to the Little Rascals, but she was also talking about the men they became, or didn’t get the chance to become. I always knew exactly who she meant, it was endearing and felt safe, like she was talking about all my big brothers.

Peace.

Judy Houser
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Thank you, Judy. May Dory, Mike, and all the others who sacrificed their lives in Vietnam rest in eternal peace.