Educated at Stanford, Oxford, and Harvard, the buggy professor, AKA Michael Gordon, has a Ph.D. in both economics and political science and teaches the latter at UC Santa Barbara, where he roams widely in an eager, freewheeling way --- or seeks to anyway, no doubt with on-and-off success (in his creaky, rapidly fossilizing days, needless to add, more and more the latter) --- across several fields of interest: international relations theory, US foreign policy, the politics of foreign countries, the US economy, and the global economy.
The buggy prof has written in all these fields, plus a couple of novels, and now-and-then he has tried his luck at journalism . . . no doubt with the same checkered record.
On the upside, for what it's worth, a book of his in foreign-policy theory was once selected as one of the top 100 scholarly works of the year in all scholarly disciplines . . . the selecting journal, Choice, defunct not long afterwards; maybe --- who can say for sure? --- because of its bugged-out selections that very year. Likewise, one of his articles in international relations theory has been anthologized about 15 times over the last 25 years . . . a fairly rare achievement in academia, where one percent of all articles are ever anthologized at all. Another article on European politics has been anthologized three times; and yet a third article on US-European relation once provoked a conference of several American and European specialists on foreign policy, some of whom, rumor had it, left wondering about his buzzy-like sanity.
Visitors to the site are entitled, it seems, to know the buggy prof's biases that enter into his commentaries; or, as his students would put it, where he's coming from. One thing for sure, not from the politically correct side of the ideological spectrum.
To explain briefly, the buggy prof --- a moderate Democrat of the Roosevelt-Truman sort --- voted for Al Gore in 2000 and was momentarily downcast when that Man-For-All-Seasons, All Climes, and All Epochs lost the election to George W. That was two years ago. Now the buggy prof is glad that Bush Jr. is our president. The cause of this sharp somersault in moods? Quite simply, 9/11 and the mounting evidence ever since that we are at war with radical Islamism everywhere and the Islamo-fascist terrorisms operating transnationally that are linked to it . . . not to forget a handful of dangerous outlaw states, brutally ruled, that support the terrorism in a variety of ways and, worse, are busily active in building nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.
The buggy prof, who has written extensively about these dangers for over a year now --- the commentaries sent to the several hundred subscribers world-wide to his listserver, --- will be posting some of the more recent commentaries here at this site, where all the subscribers will be moving over anyway. The public archives can be found at gordon-newspost.https://mail.lsit.ucsb.edu/mailman/listinfo.cgi/gordon-newspost. He also takes some pride in the number of former students of his who are high up in the Bush administration, including the Deputy Secretary of State for the Middle East, Mark Grossman, and Lynn Scarlett, the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget at the Department of the Interior, plus a few key ambassadors and chief political officers at US embassies abroad.
Not that the buggy prof is happy with everything the Bush administration has done, whether in foreign or domestic politics. Far from it.
If, in hard payoff terms, he'd give the Bush administration an A/A- in foreign and military policies, the grades elsewhere wouldn't be so gleaming. In economics so far, at best a C. In Homeland Security, a B; and perhaps a C+ in environmental matters, the buggy prof himself a temperate environmentalist, a chronic card-carrying member of the Sierra Club . . . but skeptical, simultaneously, of ultra-green doom-doom stuff about the state of the American and global environment and natural resources and global warming and developmental and demographic trends in the non-industrialized countries. And because of his skepticism here, the buggy prof's delighted that the Bush administration didn't sign on to the costly and dubious Kyoto Treaty . . . exactly as the US Senate had voted earlier to do in December 1997, 95 to 0. As you'll see from the buggy prof's postings, no warming trend has been detected since 1979 by either satellite measurements of temperature in the lower atmosphere or by radio-sound balloons sent up daily into it.
The buggy prof, then, remains an old-fashioned liberal of the Roosevelt and Truman era, but in foreign and security policies thinks that both Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush have been more faithful to their legacy than the Democratic Party has since 1980 or so. He hopes that will change in the future, maybe the next election . . . especially if Gary Hart or Joseph Liberman emerge as the Democratic nominee for president.
More generally, the buggy prof believes that American power in the world is basically a benign force; believes too that the US is a decent, unusually tolerant country with built-in capacities for steady if carefully conceived reform; and dislikes utopians and extravagant ideologues of the left and right extremes, whether in domestic or foreign policies. And, to be blunt, he not just dislikes but detests and stands flat-footed against the garbled silly pc-dogmas about American life and politics and our country's foreign policies that aging, grudge-laden professors of tediously self-righteous convictions have tried to impose on the rest of us in academia for three decades now.
Not, you understand, by means of persuasion. That's not possible.
As it happens, the Academic Left's pulpit-pounding orthodoxies are too puerile and too extravagantly sanctimonious and semi-literate to persuade anyone, it seems, of the soundness of their views whose brain-size rises above that of homo erectus. Rather, by means of coercive tactics decked out in idealistic claptrap: hate-speech codes that defy the US constitution; designated privileged minorities that are free to assault all other groups; the bountiful recourse to secret tribunals and Star-Chamber kangaroo courts to try accused violators; the tolerance too --- at times encouragement --- of student Storm-Troopers and off-campus Red Guard mascots to drive off any speakers to the right of Al Gore. And, as the buggy prof can attest from repeated experience, even their use and tolerance to burst into the classrooms of dissenting lecturers and shut off free expression. Not to mention --- extraordinary how much free time these academics have --- politically agitating to fill the leadership and committees of governing Academic Senates; or to lobby and connive to have their sympathizers be pitch-forked into middle and high levels of university administrations.
Fortunately, times have changed. The intellectual climate isn't so charged with intimidating threats, explicit or implicit, as it once was on campuses. There are too many academics and journalists and civil liberties groups now busily documenting and then publicizing the antics and machinations of the politically correct agitators and their fellow-travelers for these home-grown Inquisitors to hold unchallenged sway any more. You yourself, visitors, will find these bully-boy tactics and machinations repeatedly mentioned in the commentaries you'll be reading.
Enough said. No time for further elaboration; not here anyway. Rather, in the commentaries the buggy prof will post on this site, and also your own comments that seem intellectually worthwhile posting too, along with the buggy prof's replies.