Mark Pulliam Says State Legislature and Governor Lee Should Take More Than ‘Illusory Action’ to Rein in Woke Taxpayer Funded Universities in Tennessee

Mark Pulliam Says State Legislature and Governor Lee Should Take More Than ‘Illusory Action’ to Rein in Woke Taxpayer Funded Universities in Tennessee

 

Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed retired attorney and blog creator of Misrule of Law Mark Pulliam to the studio to discuss the inconsistencies between Tennessee universities and their conservative legislators.

Leahy: And that’s governor of South Dakota Kristi Noem. A rising star in the Republican firmament. And she’s talking about Joe Biden’s reckless decision to cancel this Keystone pipeline. We are talking with Mark Pulliam in studio who is a blogger and a refugee from California. And then later a refugee from the People’s Republic of Austin Texas who’s come to East Tennessee and is sending out warning signs about the complacency of conservatives which needs to be addressed here.

But we’re talking a little bit about how the country will survive the next two years of the Biden administration between now and the midterm elections. One of my theories Mark is that we need in those 35 states where freedom is still possible, by the way, California is not on the list of those 35 States. You’re shaking your head. you agree with that.

But in those 35 states, we need to return to federalism. We need those states, the state legislators, and the governor’s states to be strong proponents of state sovereignty and push back against the usurpations of the national federal government. Kristi Noem in South Dakota I think it’s done a very good job of that. She didn’t do any lockdowns.

And is a great rising star. At CPAC I think she was in the top four-five of potential presidential candidates. My question to you you’ve lived in California recently. You’ve lived in, Texas and now you live in Tennessee. How would you rate the governors of those states in terms of their exercise of authority pushing back against the usurpations of the national federal government?

Pulliam: Well federalism is important. And in Washington, we have gridlock. We’ve got Chuck Schumer. We got Nancy Pelosi. We got a lot of complicated problems and it’s hard to get things done there. But in states like Tennessee where you have an overwhelmingly Republican electorate, where you have a Republican super-majority in the legislature, and where you have statewide elected officials who are all Republicans, we should be able to chart a different direction to run things differently.

And just because the federal government is in bad shape doesn’t mean that we cannot enact good policies at the state level. But we have to have the will and the resolve to do so. And what is disappointing and this was disappointing in Texas and I’m beginning to feel becoming disappointed about in Tennessee is that even though you have this Republican establishment that is in charge at the state level they don’t govern like Republicans should be governing.

Leahy: So when we talk about that, I think one of the areas that we’re talking about of air during the break has to do with how higher education here in Tennessee is being subjected to the kind of left-wing, critical race theory indoctrination that you are seeing in California, New York, and these other states. Can you elaborate on that a little bit?

Pulliam: Well, the legislature has plenary power over the state universities because they fund them. And the governor has a great deal of authority over state universities because he points to most of the members of the boards of trustees that oversee them. Nevertheless notwithstanding the fact that we’re paying for it, and we’re overseeing it across Tennessee at the flagship campus and at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, but at the other campuses, we see critical race theory.

We see the whole diversity agenda. LGBTQ. All of the elements of wokeness being woven into the curriculum. And our children are being indoctrinated right here in Nashville. At Tennessee State, Al Sharpton this semester is being paid $48,000 to be a lecturer and an adjunct professor in social justice. . . Why are the taxpayers and Tennessee paying him $48,000? He’s a despicable character and by bringing him in we are legitimizing him. But it’s not just Tennessee State. Its athletes taking a knee and being praised by University administrators.

Leahy: This is East Tennessee?

Pulliam: Well, not just East Tennessee the women basketball players at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. And at the men’s basketball players. In fact, all of the athletes at the University of Tennessee marched during the George Floyd protest, and this was during a COVID shutdown at the time. And the university administrators applauded it.

Leahy: That was back in the summer. But the one in the news now is the East Tennessee State University men’s basketball team took a knee recently to protest the national anthem.

Pulliam: And the coaches are defending them. And when the GOP legislators senators wrote a letter criticizing it the university administrators are pushing back and saying oh you’re violating these athletes’ First Amendment rights even though most of them are on taxpayer-paid scholarships. They’re wearing taxpayer-provided uniforms. They are representing the state of Tennessee.

Leahy: So is it a first amendment right? You are an attorney.

Pulliam: No. I think that what student-athletes do on their own time. That’s a First Amendment Right. What you do on the court while you are literally representing the state is rules can be set.

Leahy: So let me just stop. I think that’s a very good point. So the First Amendment basically gives freedom of speech but doesn’t require that people have an opportunity to hear you necessarily and you can go on a soapbox and say whatever you want. But if you’re working for an employer or if you’re representing an employer or an institution there are rules and regulations that bind your conduct at that time. Is that right?

Pulliam: Yes. And for all intents and purposes, they are employees performing a job when they are athletes playing basketball. And so what they do in their capacity as basketball players is subject to management and regulation by the state. and making people stand respectfully during the national anthem I think is part of that. The NFL is making people do that. If you want to take a knee stay in the locker room etc. There’s no reason why the University of Tennessee can’t do it or others.

Leahy: So let’s talk about that a little bit. And this is kind of one of the things that I find interesting. So in theory, it’s the state legislature that sets the law in the state?

Pulliam: Right.

Leahy: Signed by the governor.

Pulliam: And appropriates all the money.

Leahy: So here’s what I find. So the state . . . when we talk to the state legislators, it’s about two-thirds Republican in the House. It’s more than that in the Senate like I think 27 Republicans and six Democrats in the state senate. But if you talk to them they all are very conservative and very supportive of the Constitution. As an example, there’s a law that says the Constitution will be part of the curriculum.

But if you go in and you try and find that curriculum and find teachers telling teaching it, you don’t really find it in the way that the state legislature intended. We know this because as you know, we’ve done this Constitution Bee for four years now going on five written a book about it. Complimentary text Guide to the Constitution the Bill of Rights for Secondary School Students.

We are not getting a lot of teachers in public schools that really care to use that content, even though it hits all of the elements that the state legislature says should be hit in teaching the Constitution. So we see a lot of times the state legislature will say this is what should be done. But the implementation of it doesn’t seem to happen that much.

Pulliam: Well speaking of how a conservative legislature should manage taxpayer-funded universities. So five years ago there was a controversy at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville regarding gender-neutral pronouns and sex week activities.

Leahy: The sex week, we did a lot of stories on it. But they were really kind of bizarre.

Pulliam: Well it’s no more bizarre than a lot of other stuff that’s part of this curriculum. Well, so it got controversial the legislature defunded the diversity office. It got a lot of attention $400,000 taken out of the budget. What people didn’t realize it was only for one year. So after one year that the vice-chancellor of diversity is back.

All of the money is back. And in fact, it’s gotten a lot worse. Now, they have diversity officers in every academic department. Every department has to have a diversity plan. Critical race theory is being promoted throughout the school. And so they sort of pushed away a lot of this controversy by taking some action, but it was illusory action.

Leahy: We’ll have more with Mark Pulliam blogger at the Misrule of Law and Refugee from California here on The Tennessee Star Report.

Listen to the full first hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Mark Pulliam” by Mark Pulliam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author and Former NYU Professor Dr. Michael Rectenwald Talks About His New Book Thought Criminal and Cancel Culture

Author and Former NYU Professor Dr. Michael Rectenwald Talks About His New Book Thought Criminal and Cancel Culture

 

Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Dr. Michael Rectenwald to the newsmakers line who is the author of 11 books, including Thought Criminal and Google Archipelago.

During the third hour, Rectenwald gave a synopsis of his new thriller Thought Criminal and his experience as a conservative professor. He explained how he was dismissed by NYU for being a free thinker and exposing social justice agendas on college campuses as it is now entirely impossible to be in academia unless you are a leftist.

Leahy: We are joined now on our newsmaker line by Dr. Professor Michael Rectenwald. He was formerly a professor of global liberal studies at NYU from 2008 to 2019. You can find him on Twitter at theAntiPCProf. He’s the author of Thought Criminal, Beyond Woke and Google Archipelago. Welcome, Dr. Rectenwald to the Tennessee Star Report.

Rectenwald: Thank you, Michael. Good to be here.

Leahy: So we have something in common. You are a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh Pitt panther. You got a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. I went to high school in Jamestown, New York just about 100 miles north of Pittsburgh. And you probably spent a few summers up I’m guessing at the Chautauqua Institute or know of it, which was near my hometown.

Rectenwald: I’ve absolutely been there.

Leahy: Yep. Great place, although they are so PC these days it’s just unbelievable. You have done some great work. Tell us about your new book Thought Criminal.

Rectenwald: Well, Thought Criminal is a science fiction thriller set in the not-so-distant future in which there is a database called the collective mind and there is a virus that’s been released, the protagonist thinks directly by the state. And the nanobots and then our robot that connects the neurons of the neocortex to the collective mind done controls inputs and outputs therefore of thinking in general. So the idea is to stay free of the virus because we connect you to this database that controls your thoughts. And the hero is attempting to stay disconnected and to retain his own individuality.

Leahy: It sounds like it’s a continuation of your work on what’s really been happening. And it’s nonfiction. Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom. And then I love this one. Springtime for Snowflakes. ‘Social Justice’ and Its Postmodern Parentage. Springtime for Snowflakes, was that a take on the musical play The Producers?

Rectenwald: Oh, absolutely. Yeah, Springtime for Hitler is exactly where it came from. And I’m trying to talk about the totalitarian nature of the left and I think that’s become evident by now to just about everybody.

Carmichael: Who do you include on the left?

Rectenwald: Well, ironically I include of course the Democratic Party today who are basically overtly socialist, but also Big Tech ironically, and most of the political establishment in general. But also ironically a lot of corporations are now considered part of the left. And of course, the deep state, or if you will, the intelligence community and the major bureaucracy. So basically it’s the entire social and political establishment at this point.

Carmichael: Now, why do you think that Big Tech and big companies are members of the left?

Rectenwald: Well, I think it’s pretty obvious what they’re trying to do is establish a kind of oligarchy on top with the monopolies basically and nothing else in between monopolies. And the rest of the people effectively are under ‘socialism.’ So it’s a kind of corporate socialism that’s being established.

Carmichael: Well, let me approach it a little differently. Let me use Warren Buffett because Warren Buffett for years has said that he should pay more taxes.

Rectenwald: Right.

Carmichael: That’s what he said. And then when he has the right the opportunity to ride a large check and send it to the treasury he demurs. So why do you think Warren Buffett for years has said he wants to pay more taxes, but then never has? Why do you think he has said it for years?

Rectenwald: Well, he’s trying to suggest that the oligarchy is benevolent in that they are willing to extend their largesse to the public. But I don’t think that’s really the case. I think they’re very much set on establishing and keeping their oligarchical position and then effectively dueling out whatever they will to the state and then the state to the people.

So really there’s an ongoing concerted effort to destroy the middle class. There’s no question about it. This is why you have all this socialist ideology coming out of every institution. All of Academia. Almost the entire Democratic Party and Big Tech actually promoting socialism. It’s a very ironic circumstance.

Carmichael: I’m going to tell you what I think it is. I think it’s the multi-billionaires trying to protect their multi-billions, and they don’t see the Republican Party as the threat to taxing their wealth. They do see the Democrat Party as a threat so they’re going to throw in with the Democrat Party to help the Democrat Party do what you say and that is destroying the middle class and set themselves up to be on the inner circle of what then becomes a fascist form of government.

Rectenwald: That’s right. It’s fascism but to the extent that it’s the collusion between the state and these corporations or oligarchs. But international fascism if you will. The only difference is it’s not nationalists, it’s globalists.

Leahy: Professor Michael Rectenwald this is Michael Patrick Leahy again, of course, earlier was Crom Carmichael who’s in here as a co-host every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I want to follow up with your own career. You’ve got a fantastic academic background. You left NYU, New York University in 2019. Is it difficult now to continue in the academic world and exercise free thought?

Rectenwald: It’s absolutely impossible. You must be a leftist. There’s no way around it. You have to be a leftist and if you’re not a leftist and you come out basically like I did by criticizing social justice and wokeness, then you’re in trouble. And that’s exactly what happened to me. It’s almost impossible to be in Academia otherwise, you have to hide it. You’d have to completely defect and be a complete socially isolated person and never speak your views once.

Leahy: What’s your plan to combat that personally?

Carmichael: Let’s ask him what happened.

Leahy: What happened to you?

Rectenwald: Well, what happened to me is I started a Twitter account called @TheAntiPCProf and started tweeting criticisms of social justice. And then I was interviewed by the student newspaper where I came out publicly as myself. The Twitter account had been anonymous, and then within two days, I was forced into a paid leave of absence and condemned by a committee called the diversity equity and inclusion group.

Carmichael: Whoa.

Rectenwald: Yeah. And they basically totally trashed my academic career just for making criticisms of what was going on at campuses.

Leahy: So what’s your plan going forward to be an academic public intellectual and make a living in this very different and weird world we live in?

Rectenwald: I’ve created a situation in which I’m basically uncancellable. I write for the Mises Institute and I write books and I live as a public intellectual at this point. I am a completely intellectual entrepreneur. So I don’t rely on any of these institutions for my income because it’s impossible to be a freethinker within these institutions.

Carmichael: I would encourage you that if you are paid to do public speeches that you come up with a number of pseudonyms. (Laughter) You can become an army of 20. They can cancel one speaker and poop you could pop up as another one. (Laughs)

Leahy: Hey, here’s an open invitation when the coronavirus situation improves come on down to Nashville. We will welcome you with open arms and give you an opportunity to speak. And our listeners here on the Tennessee Star Report would be delighted to hear your argument.

Carmichael: And you’ll like Nashville a lot better than wherever you are.

Rectenwald: I like Nashville. My publisher is located in Nashville.

Leahy: Is that Post Hill Press?

Rectenwald: The New English Review Press.

Leahy: I didn’t know about them. We want to meet them. So thanks for letting us know that.

Rectenwald: Great.

Leahy: Professor Michael Rectenwald, thanks so much for joining us and we look forward to talking with you more.

Carmichael: And meeting him.

Leahy: And meeting you in person.

Rectenwald: Sounds great to me guys. That’s fantastic.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Dr. Michael Rectenwald” by Dr. Michael Rectenwald.