Fields: Even Nut-Jobs Have Rights





In case you have never heard of Professor James Tracy of Florida Atlantic University I suspect you will soon know more about the this Florida Atlantic University tenured professor of Communications and Multimedia Studies.

There is now an attempt to strip him of tenure and fire him for the weird ideas he has promoted on his private blog.

I have read nothing to indicate he is not performing his job or otherwise breaking the law.

He just fosters a bunch of wackadoodle ideas.

His big idea is that the government has been faking massacres to justify taking away our guns.  This includes Sandy Hook and San Bernardino.  No one was killed.  It was all staged by Obama.

Tracy even sent a letter to Lenny and Veronique Pozner, the outspoken parents of Adam Pozner who was killed in the Sandy Hill massacre, demanding that they provide proof that Adam ever existed.

The Pozners have written to FAU demanding Tracy be fired.

They are not the only ones.

It was with surprise and disappointment that I read a Letter to the Editor in the December 19 Sun-Sentinel from former Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Jack Latona jumping aboard the “Throw the Bum out” train.

Note to Jack Latona: I always thought you were better than that.


While there is no doubt that tenure is occasionally abused, that is the price we pay for a free and open dialogue on college campuses.

Enforcing conformity of ideas by destroying tenure is far more dangerous.

It was not that long ago that being for civil rights and Brown v. Board of Education [aka The Communist Conspiracy] was one of those “embarrassing ideas” uncovered by Florida State Senator Charlie Johns and his infamous Johns Committee.  When they could not prove you were a Commie, they tarred you as a homosexual.  During the 50’s dozens of professors and students were run out of UF and FSU. Lives were ruined.

Here’s another “embarrassing idea” in the 60’s that led to college firings—the war in Vietnam is wrong.  That kind of talk was treason and a betrayal of the troops. People lost their jobs.

Here’s another “embarrassing idea”.  In the 80’s, the CIA imported cocaine into the U.S. and decimated Black communities when it was turned into crack. It turned out to be true.

Just about every central belief we have today was once an “embarrassing idea” on the fringe. Selectively smothering those ideas before they have a have the chance to be proven or disproven by the test of time in the marketplace of ideas is not the role of government…particularly colleges.

On the other hand, we could establish The Florida Committee to Investigate Embarrassing Ideas and make Jack Latona the Chairman.



34 Responses to “Fields: Even Nut-Jobs Have Rights”

  1. Buddy says:


    I agree with Jack Latona.

    Latona’s letter-to-the-editor said this:

    …Tenure does, and should, protect university faculty who write and teach “embarrassing” ideas. That is one of the purposes of tenure.

    Tracy, however has gone much too far in his attacks on the parents of children who were killed at Sandy Hook. That behavior should not be protected by tenure.

    Jack Latona, former Fort Lauderdale city commissioner

    The Pozners wrote in the Sun-Sentinel that Tracy “personally sought to cause our family pain and anguish by publicly demonizing our attempts to keep cherished photos of our slain son from falling into the hands of conspiracy theorists.” They also wrote that they received a certified letter from the tenured professor “demanding proof that Noah once lived, that we were his parents.”

    This is not about academic freedom. It is about conduct.

    Academic freedom does not give a professor a pass for shabby, abhorrent behavior.

    “Tenure is not immunity,” Jeffrey S. Morton, Ph.D., a tenured FAU professor of International Law, told the Sun-Sentinel.

    “His harassment of the parents of murdered children was vulgar, repulsive and an insult to the academic profession. Faculty concerned about the status of tenure should, in fact, be relieved that FAU began termination procedures…While there are real reasons to protect tenure for academic research, Tracy’s “scholarship” makes a mockery of what academics do. His termination both holds Tracy accountable for his despicable behavior….”

    Sam would turn this outrageous conduct outside the classroom into a debate about tenure and academic freedom.

    Professors represent their universities. Tracy’s bizarre behavior has made him a public face of FAU. That’s sad. Because Tracy’s actions coupled with his tenure gives Tallahassee lawmakers one more excuse to cut money for universities.

  2. George Mihaiu says:

    I was very pleased to see Jack Latona’s comments posted in the Sun-Sentinel. Glad to see Buddy take issue with Mr. Fields, as well, and very effectively refute Mr. Fields’ argument. Regrettably, in this day and age, winning an argument with facts, overwhelming logic and real-world consequence considerations no longer seems to deter or faze those spouting their complete inanities.

  3. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Mr Fields lets one right trample another right in defending despicable behavior of a person who is supposed to have PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS. Commissioner Latona n Mr. Nevins are Mensch but sadly you are acting worse than a grinch! For Heavens these people lost their son!

  4. I agree with The Count says:

    There is no absolute academic freedom. If you take Fields’ theory to its logical conclusion, this guy could get away with harassing women and students by claiming they are part of the “conspiracy” and yelling academic freedom and tenure if somebody complains. This “professor” is crazy and has no place in a STATE SCHOOL. I don’t want my tax money paying for him.

  5. SAM FIELDS says:

    Obviously if tasteless conduct deserves getting sacked than a teacher/professor who violates the criminal law certainly deserves no less.

    Ever falsely accuse a girl of being “want of chasity”? That’s a 1st degree misdemeanor in Fla. 836.04.

    Back in the day shacking up would have gotten you fired. It still can get you arrested 792.02

    Should a professor be fired for a simple DUI. How about for possession of a joint.

    Want tasteless.

    What if, instead of questioning the existence of Adam Pozner, he wrote the parents and told them that Adam, a Jew, was in Hell because they rejected Jesus. But, over their objections, he intends to do a post mortem baptism and get him into the bosom of Jesus.

    You think he should be fired for that? That’s great, now we are going to fire all the other Mormons who do post-mortem baptism as part of their religious obligations which they regularly apply to Anne Frank…talk about tasteless.

    How about firing a famous government scientist who uses his fame to propagate his wacky religious ideas such as walking on water, raising the dead, turning water in wine. Good, you just fired Francis Collins the guy who led the effort to decode human DNA.

    Do I think Tracy is full of shit? Absolutely. After all, conspiring to makeup 27 people and say they were murdered would, at a minimum, require at least 10,000 co-conspirators.

    Between family members, neighbors, friends, co-workers, etc. we all know a hundred or more people who would be rather surprised to learn that for the last six years there was an extra kid in our family.

    Add to that the classes of second graders who are going to claim they had a teacher and classmate that never existed. Let’s not forget Police and Medical examiner reports, etc., etc.

    All that said, it is still more plausible than believing that 2000 years ago a guy showed up and, with a simple thought, suspended all the laws of physics, chemistry and biology. But Collins keeps his job?

    Which brings me to the Pozners. It’s terrible what happened to them and the other families. Unlike other families, their reaction was to get into the political arena. And as they say in Chicago, “politics ain’t beanbag”.

    Tracy wrote them one letter challenging their side of the story. Instead of laughing about this weird idea and tossing it into the trash they want the government to fire him because it offends them.

    I wonder how all my critics would feel if the Pozners lived in the rural West and were threatened with firing for advocating their ideas.

    Just in case you think Tracy is the only one with fairy tale, Google “Sandy Hook Hoax”. You get 865,000 hits!

  6. Frank Sullivan says:

    Yes, Mr. Fields. A professor who is convicted of a crime should lose his tenure. There should be a morales clause in all tenure contracts which gives the administration an easy way of firing a professor. Public school teachers are fired if convicted of a crime and may lose their pensions. You are alleging that university professors deserve more protection than public school teachers?

  7. Chaz Stevens, MAOS says:

    I love me all of these god-fearing Americas who comment here…

    So quick to throw away our freedom.

    A basic idea behind tenure was to protect a teacher’s freedom of speech rights.

    Morals clause, you say? Whose morals exactly?…

    Personally, I think what Tracy has said/done is crass, horrible, and disgusting.

    But, I’d be the very first person in line standing up for his right to espouse his views.

    That’s the 1st Amendment … be thankful that Tracy, this dick named Chaz Stevens, and others keep stretching the fabric.

  8. Jack Latona says:

    Buddy, thanks. You obviously read the entire letter.It is not a matter of what he is teaching but his actions unrelated to his position at FAU.He is using his status there to enhance his message and his harassment of who have no connection to his teaching position

  9. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Mr Fields cant resist an snide comment about his FELLOW Jews can he? Jews n Judaism has NOTHING TO DO with THIS ISSUE!
    A taxpayer funded professional has engaged in UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT and therefore is UNFIT PROFESSIONALLY for his job! Freedom of Speech is NOT involved UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT is!

  10. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    Wacko ideas on his blog are one thing. The First protects that kind of nutty.

    Question is, does the wacky transfer to the classroom and does he impose said nuttiness on his students? I’m betting he does. If so, he needs to be removed.

  11. SAM FIELDS says:

    Dear Jack,
    If James did anything more than write a letter to the Pozners I am unaware of it.

    If you are not familiar with criminal Stalking Laws or Stalking Injunctions, as a matter of law such a letter could not rise to be actionable.

    The Pozner’s response to their son’s death was to get involved in gun control which, along with abortion, is the most controversial subject I can think of.

    They invited reactions like James’. Now they want to get him fired.

    Unless he threatened them physically, it’s just speech and not “actions”. In Citizens United, the Supreme Court concluded that writing a check is speech. I gotta believe, writing a letter is no different.

    You think it is wrong for him to use his position at FAU to promote his idea. Wrong to the point that he should lose his job.

    I’ll accept that, as long as it applies to all government types who misuse their status to bolster ideas that are not directly related to their job.

    Let’s start with you. For whatever reason, you signed you’re your letter to the Sentinel “former Fort Lauderdale city commissioner”. Your letter has nothing to do with your former position.

    If Mayor Seiler is reading this than I hope he will be moving to terminate your retirement benefits. I am sure you will not object, less you be thought a hypocrite.

    Sam Fields

    Former: teacher District of Columbia, Arlington, County Virginia, Montgomery County Maryland, Broward College, Assistant Public Defender, 17th Circuit, Ruden McCloskey, Diplomat Hotel Pool Boy, car valet House of Hoo on the 79th street Causeway, chinch bug sprayer North Miami Lawn Service, “newsie” for Miami News…and anymore I can’t remember.

  12. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Mr Fields admits his career has been working on the public payroll n in Jewish businesses. What the Hell does he know about ethics in the academic elected official n private sectors? I have given Mr Fields the benefit of the doubt because he argues for Freedom of Speech…(But) Mr Fields has exposed HIS LACK OF ETHICS n being an old Stalinist Bully-Boy! He’s a FRAUD n a FAKER!

  13. zigy says:

    happy festivus SAM, all I want to say is nuts do have rights to jobs iant that the only reason samand I believe the prof should not only be fired but publically castrated, happy holidays all lol is employed part time……

  14. zigy says:

    computer screwed never meant for Sammy to be castrated,, burned at the stake maybe lol

  15. SAM FIELDS says:

    Dear Charlotte,

    I have thought about your letter and, while it sounds good at first brush, I am not sure it can, should or could work out in practice.

    It’s not so easy to tell what a “wacky idea” of “nuttiness” is. In most cases it is less an objective truth than it is the current social construct.

    It was not that long ago that teaching “evolution” was the wacky idea. They even criminally prosecuted John T. Scopes for teaching it. In 1925 I suspect less than 10% of the Tennessee public agreed with him. Even today a Pew survey shows that a growing plurality of Republicans oppose evolution.

    I went to Florida public schools during Jim Crow. You can guess that integration was not just “nuttiness” it was Communist subversion. If I had complained about teachers who used the vilest racist/anti-Semitic terms it would have backfired on me.

    What do you do when the overwhelming majority support the wacky idea such as Lee Harvey Oswald was part of a conspiracy by everyone from Fidel Castro to The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. [Yes, that in one wacky theory.]

    Beginning with 9th grade Civics, I have taken every kind of government and history class up through a Ph.D. Opinion was often presented as fact.

    I survived.

    The point is I am not so sure there is any way to apply your idea in practice nor is it desirable. Kids are a lot more resilient than you imagine.


    Sam, you are theorizing when this is clear as day.

    This professor is a nut. He’s crazy. He’s bonkers. He’s a head case. He may even border on mental illness.

    Evolution and integration, which had many learned, esteemed and thoughtful adherents at the time, are nothing like this conspiracy nonsense this fool espouses and acts out on.

    I agree with Charlotte on another point: There should be a mechanism to fire professors despite tenure.

    Students are enrolled in a public university paid for with our tax dollars to learn. Professors’ jobs is to prepare students for the future.

    You write that allowing folks to talk about anything is “the price we pay for a free and open dialogue on college campuses.” I would argue that if a professor goes off on a conspiracy tangent in class — He is not accused of doing this. — he is not doing his job. Fantasies on Sandy Hook and other shootings are most definitely not part of almost any useful course material I can imagine.

    Students today spend large amounts of money for higher education. They deserve to get what they paid for, which is not to indulge some some pampered professor’s delusions. Sure, have an open dialog on the subject matter. But the dialog has to have some nexus to reality and to the class being taught. If a professor wanders into a personal wacky agenda in class that wastes his students time and money, he should be disciplined and not protected by tenure.

    Yes, Sam, his employers should decide what is wacky…like most jobs. Because they are his bosses and that is the way the real world, outside of the sheltered campuses, works.

    (I don’t know if this is feasible at a university, but if the school really wants to get rid of him the administrators could make his job so miserable that he quits. It is a technique used by many private businesses. Send him to the farthest campus from his home. Force him to teach classes at 7 a.m. or 10 p.m. Put him in the worst classrooms, the ones with no views and poor a/c. Lean on him and maybe he will leave…if that is doable.)

  16. Chaz Stevens, MAOS says:


    Who on the board will serve as the Free Speech police? Will those appointments be political in nature, open to those who are Christian, and maybe, just maybe, attendance is limited only to rich white guys like youself.

    Personally, I love the fact young people are impressionable … and the fact young people can think for themselves.

    Isn’t this what college is all about? No, mind you, your college days were during the Woodrow Wilson administration…

    But, I for one, place a lot more faith in kids figuring this out, versus content filtering via committee.

    In summation, stop being a scared old white guy.


    White, but not rich.

    It’s an employee/employer issue. The employer should decide what is allowed like every other workplace. Those employer guidelines should be baked into any future tenure contract.

  17. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @15 Buddy – According to this FAU page, his bosses have not only decided that conspiracy theories are useful course material, they are also giving students 3 college credit hours for studying this topic:

    And in other courses as well:

    Also, the strategy of giving employees a hostile work environment in hopes of getting them to quit is legally known as “constructive dismissal” or “constructive termination” and in such cases the employer is held responsible for firing the employee and can be legally liable for wrongful termination.

    @11 Sam – Interesting point about using a job title to bolster theories not related to one’s job.

    Case law provides First Amendment protection to state employees who speak out on matters of public concern, but exactly what is or is not a matter of public concern is up to the courts to decide.

    Given that FAU has significant academic activities which focus upon conspiracy theories as a topic of study, the courts would likely say that this is a matter of public concern and provide First Amendment protection.

    So if the university followed Buddy’s lame advice (@15) and constructively dismissed the professor, the professor would be very likely to win a $$$ lawsuit $$$ against the university for wrongful termination.


    Interesting. You are right. If he is tasked to teach conspiracy, then it is doubtful anything can be done against him for that aspect of his course.

    As far as a hostile work environment, it is not hostile to assign a worker where you want and require him to work when you want…unless he has a contract that says otherwise. And he would have to have money to sue the state or find a lawyer who would take it on contingency.

    However, I still would argue that tenure goes too far and it is in need of fine tuning for the modern age. I don’t see this as a free speech issue as much as an employee/employer issue.

  18. SAM FIELDS says:

    Based on Buddy’s latest diatribe I must conclude that the ONLY reason this guy could lose his government job is that he holds, investigates and promotes his less than mainstream views.

    I was wondering if some other far-out ideas would warrant advocates getting sacked, notwithstanding that they have not interfered in supporters performing government jobs.

    1. 9/11 was a set up by Bush and Chaney to seize Middle East Oil

    2. The New Testament is a fraud because Jesus never existed

    3. The Holocaust is a lie.

    4. The 19th Amendment should be repealed so women can’t vote

    5. The 13th Amendment should be repealed so that slavery is once again a state right

    6. The age of consent should revert to the Common Law Rule of 10 years of age that was in force for a 1000+ years up until the 20th century


    Again, I view this as an employee/employer issue. There should be no blanket exemption that allows a tenured professor from saying and doing anything just because he/she works for a state school.

    I would bet that a professor today would be disciplined at FAU for espousing No. 4, 5 and 6 on your list. If there is one thing universities enforce it is the prohibition against any speech which offends or makes members of various ethnic groups feel uncomfortable, so-called political correctness.

    I guarantee if this professor had views which offended blacks, LGBTs, Jews, Hispanics, Asians, etc., the outcry would be much more intense for the administration to get rid of him from within the university.

  19. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    The issue is does this person have the qualifications demeanor etc appropriate for his TAX PAYER FUNDED PROFESSIONAL JOB.
    As a research historian someone questioning historical events is acceptable but questioning contemporary documentation say the Presidents birth certificate is NUTS and unfit to teach history.
    There is also the issue of proessionals being publicly rationale n dignified as opposed to elected officials who can be raving lunatics.

  20. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    Buddy’s spot on again.

    If the prof is using the subject matter to teach about conspiracy theories, that’s what he’s paid to do.

    But….if he’s teaching that the theories are correct and factual, especially the theories that he espouses, and making the students regurgitate them, he needs to go.

    It’s the same thing as the difference between teaching about religion v. indoctrination.

    It does come down to workplace issues.

  21. jack latona says:

    note to Sam:there is no point in continuing this, but I do want to point out I signed my letter to the Sun-sentinel simply with my name. they chose to add the rest.

  22. SAM FIELDS says:

    Charlotte, Buddy, et. al. don’t have “is” arguments about James so they resort to “if” arguments to support their desire to get him fired. Say “if” enough times and in the minds of readers it will morph into “is”.

    If you have evidence that he misbehaving in his role as a teacher produce it. I would be willing to change my mind. In the meantime, “if you can’t put up, shut up”.

    Buddy and his sycophants are so obsessed at firing James they willy/nilly accept the notion that this is solely an “employer-employee” issue…as if the First Amendment does not exist.

  23. Duke says:

    Last I looked, FAU was state funded. Lets afford the professor every procedural due process right under the sun, then get rid of him. He’s banana bat shit crazy. That business of contacting the parents Sandy Hook parents means he’s not only crazy, he’s a grotesque, vile, egotistical individual with zero regard for the feelings of a family suffering the biggest loss any family ever will, that being the death of s child. He simply cannot be trusted and FAU is on constructive notice. He could have a meltdown at any time and really hurt someone. The man is in need of serious help himself. Sometimes in life, it’s better to rule according to the heart, rather than rule according to the book. To quote a line from the movie Prizi’s Honor.. “He’s gotta go”

  24. Chaz Stevens, MAOS says:


    Nevins hates free speech … only 1/50 of my comments ever make it through…

    It’s like he’s got a daily usage limit of the word “fuck.”

  25. Elizabeth Matramos says:

    if, if, if, if , if , if …Broward politics are clean and ethical.

  26. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    Sam, Sam, Sam, there you go again. Demanding that we provide “evidence” of “misbehaving” as you so coyly understate it is a ploy.

    The only way to find out what he’s doing in the classroom is to have videos or audios, which I hope some enterprising students will provide.

    You’ve “read nothing to indicate he is not performing his job or otherwise breaking the law.”

    That’s classic. So you’ve read nothing. So what. That’s not how you figure out what’s going on. Well, it is if you’re trying to torturously press your point.

    But if you’re really trying, you first look at what he’s done already, which is tantamount to sociopathic behavior or worse.

    Then you get inside the classroom one way or another.

    Which is why I use “if” in this case. Which is why it’s appropriate. Much more so than your blanket defense using the First.


    Sam, what do you think about this?

  27. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @26 Charlotte – Or you could just go over to, where Tracy’s students say he’s tough but fair and doing his job well (they give him a ‘B’ rating)…

  28. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @26 Buddy – I’m pretty sure Sam will completely agree with me on this – when we take away our own civil liberties in response to terrorism, that’s a clear-cut win for terrorism.

    The First Amendment was not enacted to protect popular speech; such speech requires no protection.

    The proper remedy for ill-conceived speech, whether it be popular speech (Trump) or unpopular speech (al-Awlaki) is additional speech from those who think differently.

  29. SAM FIELDS says:

    In case you think that any reputable university would boot a tenured professor with such outrageous views…think again.

    Ever heard of Arthur C. Butts? He is a distinguished, tenured professor of Electrical Engineering at Northwestern University; the 12th ranked school in the country. (FAU is not in the top 200.)

    He also is an anti-Semite who has written books, articles and lectured that the Holocaust is a hoax put up by the Jews. I suppose not too many of you have read:

    The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry.

    The title says all you need to know about this nutjob.

    Not surprisingly he is a vocal admirer of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, David Irving and Harry Elmer Barnes among other Holocaust deniers.

    Beginning in the 1970’s there was a hue and cry to take away his tenure and fire him.

    As recently as ten years ago many in his own department were calling for his head on a pike. However, the President of the University, Henry S. Bienen, rejected that course of action when he wrote:

    “… his reprehensible opinions on this issue are an embarrassment to Northwestern…[But] like all faculty members, he is entitled to express his personal views, including on his personal web pages, as long as he does not represent such opinions as the views of the University. Butz has made clear that his opinions are his own and at no time has he discussed those views in class or made them part of his class curriculum. Therefore, we cannot take action based on the content of what Butz says regarding the Holocaust – however odious it may be – without undermining the vital principle of intellectual freedom that all academic institutions serve to protect.”

    I could not have said it better myself.

  30. Fields Wrong & Heartless says:

    Fred Grimm knows more than the great atty Fields.

  31. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    l. there is NO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to YELL FIRE IN A THEATRE or “fighting words”,
    2. The line about the First Amendment is so overused and misused! The Declaration of Indepdence and Constitution are NOT SUICIDE PACTS
    3. We did not “Negotiate” Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Japan and Romania into defeat WE DESTROYED THE HITLER, MUSSONINI, TOJO, and and IRON GUARD REGIMES and the defacto ARROW REGIME IN HUNGARY.
    4. Of course IN WARTIME and when a TERROR THREAT LOOMS you have to curb civil rights, otherwise YOU GET DESTROYED LIKE THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC MR HA HA HA and MR FIELDS or like the parliamentary regimes after World War I in Poland (1926) in Italy (1922), in France (1936-1940).

    AND AS FOR MR FIELDS “bringing out the Holocaust Card” while bashing Israel, the Jewish Faith, and his FELLOW JEWS at every opportunity, well enough has been said on THAT SUBJECT!


  32. zigy says says:

    the times has it that sams favorite prof from fau has been fired, maybe sam will give him a job

  33. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    HaHaHa: I will bet you a Starbucks that those students are just a tad afraid to rate him low. I would be if I were one of them.

  34. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @33 Charlotte – you owe me a Starbucks – all student ratings on are done anonymously. None of the professors can identify any of the students who rated them.