The Reset Manifesto
CopyrightÂ© 2016 by Lazlo Zalezac
George Moore, the twenty-five-year-old son of Peter Moore, slipped back into the room set aside for the grieving family. He was shocked by who he had encountered in the men’s room.
“I ran into Dr. Bowlings in the men’s room.”
“Did you say Dr. Bowlings?” Rebecca asked.
“Yes I did, Mom.”
“You are talking about Dr. Ed Bowlings, right?” Patricia asked just to clarify the identity of the gentleman in question.
“Yes. I’d like to know what he’s doing here.”
Rebecca said, “His presence here is no mystery. He’s here for your father’s funeral.”
“At the risk of stating the obvious, he’s one of the most famous people in the country. Why would he be here?”
Charles said, “Dr. Bowlings was the Principal Investigator on the research grant that helped pay Pete’s way through school. That was before he won the Nobel Peace Prize.”
Patricia said, “That was nearly thirty years ago. I’m surprised that an important man like him even remembers Dad.”
Charles said, “I’m sure he’s watched Pete for years hoping that he’d rise to his full potential.”
Rebecca said, “Your father had many influential acquaintances. I’m not surprised Ed came. He and Peter met several times a year.”
It was the second week of September, but the third week of the semester. The first week of college had been a complete waste of time. It was freshman orientation for this or for that. It was in one of those blindingly boring meetings on ‘getting along’ that he learned he wasn’t a freshman, but a first year student. Apparently, the word freshman was offensive to some women.
There were lectures for first year students about how to live in a dorm. He was reminded of his first days in kindergarten when the blond-haired blue-eyed bubble head had explained about how his little napping mat had his name on it and he was only to use that one. The sad thing was that most of the talks had been given in the same tone of voice as his kindergarten teacher had used. He was insulted then, he was infuriated now.
This was not what he had hoped to find in a college setting. Of course, other students — he was half tempted to call them kids — were sitting on the edges of their seats nodding their heads like bobble-headed dolls. They didn’t seem to feel like they were being treated like children.
At the moment, Peter was walking sedately across the campus towards the Hannah Arendt building for a job interview for the position of research assistant. He wasn’t in any great hurry, since he had plenty of time before his scheduled appointment. He would arrive early, although he knew that it wouldn’t be noticed.
He paused to look over at a freshman sprawled out on one of the benches drunk out of his mind. Looking at the idiot, he wondered if maybe the baby talk was actually necessary. That guy clearly couldn’t take care of himself; not if he was half toasted before three in the afternoon.
He reached the office and was immediately invited in. “Professor Bowlings?”
“Yes. What can I do for you?” the man asked not even bothering to look up from the page of the journal he was reading.
“I’m Peter Moore. I was told you needed a research assistant.”
“No, I don’t. I need an outstanding research assistant.”
Peter made a production of wiping sweat from his brow. “I’m glad to hear that. I was afraid that I was over qualified.”
“Have a seat.”
Professor Bowling managed to look up from his paper for the first time since the interview began. In fact, it was the first time he’d actually paid much attention to any of the candidates that student employment was sending to him. It was hard to tell if they were sending him the bottom of the barrel or if the quality of the current crop of students was truly that dismal.
He studied this ‘Peter Moore’ fellow much like one studies an unusual insect. He hoped the guy wasn’t trying to be funny. He reached over and picked up a small stack of papers. Without warning, he tossed it over to Peter who managed to catch it with ease.
Peter looked down at what had been tossed to him and chuckled. Of anything that he expected of this interview, this was absolutely the last thing he of which he could have dreamed.
“What’s so funny?”
“You took me completely by surprise. I’m not used to that.”
“You can leave now if getting handed a piece of paper is some kind of great surprise.”
“To tell the truth, I was expecting you to hand me a copy of your paper on campaign funding reform. I was fully prepared to discuss it with you.”
“I want to talk about the document I handed you,” Professor Bowlings said.
He wasn’t exactly impressed with Peter’s preparation, although it was a point in his favor. He had students who had read that paper and come to the interview cock sure that they understood it. Their comments about it demonstrated that they had no clue what it was about. Not one had ever spotted what he had come to recognize as an obvious the flaw in it. Despite the recognition and acclaim that it had brought him, he was extremely embarrassed by that paper now.
“Good. Your paper on campaign funding reform was so full of holes that I would have had a hard time discussing it without breaking into laughter. I hope that you didn’t really believe that it was possible to get people who rely upon funding from corporations to remain in office to vote against receiving funding from corporations. Really? The whole idea is ludicrous. The fact that you won a Heinz I. Eulau Award for it is sad.”
Professor Bowlings didn’t suffer fools lightly. In fact, if the law had allowed it, he would have liked to bury them out by the midden where they belonged. It seemed that he was no longer the only one on campus who didn’t suffer fools lightly. For the first time in ages, a student had gotten his interest. Someone could have given the kid lessons in how to deliver constructive criticism without making people angry, but Professor Bowlings was impressed nonetheless.
“You’re not a yes man, are you?”
“We’ll discuss your attitude later. I want to talk about the document I just handed you.”
“This is definitely a subject that I take very seriously. This particular document has been one of my favorite reads for years.”
“You are familiar with it?”
“I want you to tell me which part of it you think is going to be the most important provision in shaping the future.”
Barely looking down at the paper, Peter started flipping through it until he located the section that he wanted. Reading aloud, he said, “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.”
“The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate.
“Even if the ideas in this document were stupid, which they aren’t, it would be a masterpiece of writing just because of the language used within it. No one writes like that anymore. I imagine that my English composition teacher would demand that the language be simplified so it could be understood by more people. Pity.”
Professor Bowlings sat up straighter and set the paper he had been reading off to the side. So far, students usually picked the first or second amendment and backed their choice with insipid arguments that even a first grader wouldn’t buy. In some cases, they had incorrectly quoted the text from memory — which didn’t impress him at all. This kid didn’t even take a second to locate the passage he wanted to read.
“Why did you pick that one?”
“The process by which the leadership of this country is elected is broken. If the partisanship that has plagued recent elections is to be eliminated, then it is Article 2 Section 1 of the Constitution which will enable it to happen. Within it lies an answer to all of that partisan bickering and corruption which could change the face of voting for a President.”
Professor Bowlings was definitely impressed. While a lot of students complained about the Electoral College and how unfair it was, not one had ever pointed out that the actual source of their complaint might not be in the constitution, but in the implementation of the provisions within the constitution. The student couldn’t have gotten more of his attention by hitting him with a two by four.
“Interesting. You say that within it lies an answer. Just exactly what kind of answer are you suggesting?”
“I think the key is the statement, ‘Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors... ‘ That’s all it says about how a President is to be selected from the perspective of the average person. It says nothing about Republicans and Democrats. There’s nothing about primary races that last for nine months, PAC funding, the press deciding who is actually a candidate or not, and debates orchestrated by collusion between political parties and news services.
“‘In such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct’ is such an intriguing clause. It suggests to me that the entire electoral process that is followed today can be changed, easily. Nothing is constitutionally set in concrete right up to the point where a state makes the final selection of electors. That’s never mentioned in civics classes. No one ever says that if you don’t want an all or nothing electoral vote for a candidate by your state, then all you have to do is change a couple of state laws. It doesn’t require a constitutional amendment.”
Professor Bowlings smiled and said, “Such radical thinking for one so young. So you propose that the state laws change so that electoral votes are partitioned according to popular vote rather than winner-take-all.”
Peter smiled broadly. He now had the man’s full attention. It was time to set the hook. He replied, “It says nothing of one person — one vote. That’s another constitutional election rule myth.”
“You’d take the vote away from the public?” Professor Bowlings asked astounded by anyone even making such a suggestion.
“The constitution specifies, ‘ ... a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress... ‘ I’d say that, according to the constitution, we’re voting for electors, not candidates. I would say that voters be given a number of votes equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the state is entitled.”
Professor Bowlings mind raced while he considered all of the consequences of such a change. He felt like he had been hit with a bolt of pure energy. His stood up and paced excitedly around the room. So many ideas were flitting through his brain that he couldn’t focus on one over another. He said, “The implications of that are...”
“Yes, I know. I’ve given the matter a lot of thought.
“I particularly like the idea of voting for electors who represent a single stance on some key issue that is aligned with a candidate on that issue. Your votes could end up being split across two, three, or even four candidates. I think that is a good thing. You are actually sending all candidates a message about your position politically rather than having to accept whatever positions the candidates might present in a campaign. Let’s be honest, the political positions taken by candidates are like the weather — changing every day.
“The way I figure it, we’re not being represented in the current system. It is impossible. We have to vote up or down on one of a handful of candidates presented to us who have positions on some issues which we have to accept because there’s no choice. We can’t even voice our disapproval on specific issues embraced by any of the candidates.
“Every election people complain that they are voting for the lesser of two evils. You have a candidate who is pro-choice and peace at any price versus a candidate who is right to life and strong defense. Who are you supposed to vote for if you are pro-choice and strong defense? Is there a choice that represents the lesser of two evils? I think not. You’re voting your beliefs and voting against your beliefs regardless of who you vote for.
“When was the last time you heard someone say that they voted their conscience?”
Returning to his chair, Professor Bowlings said, “In the last election, I detested both of the major candidates and had no respect for the alternatives who in my opinion were totally clueless about what was necessary to run a country. Voting for one of the two leading candidates sent the wrong message. Voting for a candidate outside the parties was wasting a vote. Not voting sent no message. Like you said, I felt that there wasn’t a lesser of two evils.
“That’s when I started looking for some way to fix the system. Like everyone else, I was locked into the mindset that the problem was the two party system. It never occurred to me to use the electoral college as a means of changing the system at a fundamental level. You have definitely given me an alternative I had never considered.”
Peter said, “Politicians know how to game the system. If an election has 75% of the people voting pro-choice and 75% voting strong defense, then you know that the next election cycle will consist only of candidates who are pro-choice and strong defense. It doesn’t matter if the candidate is running for the Senate or the House of Representatives. They’ll figure out what way people are voting and shift their positions. They’re whores.
“It’s been years since we’ve had a politician of integrity who has managed to hold on to their core values throughout their political career.”
Clapping his hands and then shaking two fists, Professor Bowlings said, “You’re hired.”
“Not so fast.”
Shocked, Professor Bowlings stared at Peter. He asked, “You don’t want the job of being my research assistant?”
Peter said, “You are an academician. Supposedly, your career lives or dies based on publishing scholarly papers in well-read journals. However, you are tenured and a full professor. You do not have to publish. You do not have to get ‘funding.’ You don’t have to sit on any committees. You do have to teach, but you don’t have to be a good teacher. The fact is, you can sit in your office behind a locked door and masturbate to porn all day long and still keep your job so long as you don’t invite students to serve as an audience.”
That last comment earned a short bark of laughter. He had sometimes joked that he’d have to take a wiz on the President’s desk to get fired and it would still take a decade to get him out the door.
“I know your first impulse is to start writing a paper. That’s exactly the wrong thing to do. Those who are in power will bury you the first chance they get. I don’t mean that in an academic or metaphorical way. I mean they will physically plant you in the nearest cemetery! The ideas you would be presenting attack the power establishment in a manner which would leave them defenseless, particularly once the ideas are fully developed.
“You’re going to have to attack by going through the backdoor. You can’t talk about your work with anyone. Talking about it will be the same as committing suicide.
“You have to have the whole idea fully developed and bulletproof before anyone can hear of it. You must have the concepts, procedures, and laws specified with each ‘t’ crossed and each ‘i’ dotted before you even think about publishing. You will have to conspire in secrecy with others of a like mind until you are ready to publish. This is not something that you can write and send out to be completed by others. It must be a standalone product that serves the single purpose of changing the system.
“It’s going to have to be the best document you’ve ever written in your entire life. It’s going to have to stand up there with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, Washington’s Farewell Address, and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. It can’t be long and technical. It has to be short, direct, and to the point. It has to excite rather than bore. It has to inspire rather than intimidate.
“Once you are done, you can’t release your ideas through accepted channels. They are watched and censored. The first Poly-Sci Political Party sycophant who reads it will squash it before it ever sees the light of day, and you will be squashed with it.
“You have to release it to the public at large, using social media in a manner that can only be described as a blitzkrieg! It has to hit the entire country in a single day, across every possible delivery channel. You can’t give the power brokers a chance to react. There has to be no warning that a political tornado is headed their way.
“To be effective, the proper foundation has to be laid. You and your conspirators will have to do the groundwork, so that The People are ready for it. They have to feel a level of frustration, anger, and disgust at the current system, so that your solution strikes them as a means of focusing all of that energy. You have to take people who are on the verge of rioting on the streets in protest, and channel them into marching for specific changes. There will be violence, attempts to suppress the people, and an organized campaign to discredit the ideas.
“If you can’t live with that, I will walk away and wait until they kill you. Then, I will find someone who can and will do it the way I suggest. I will work with them until they develop the idea enough to bring in like-minded people to help them complete it.”
Professor Bowlings initial reaction when Peter started laying out the constraints under which he would have to work was to tell the egotistical bastard where he could stuff his conditions. Enough of his mind paid attention so that he realized the true thrust of what Peter was saying. He wasn’t giving conditions just to dictate terms, but to protect their lives. Clearly, Peter had given this idea a whole lot of thought.
“You’ve been thinking about this for years, haven’t you?”
“Yes. To be quite honest, I was very surprised that I had the opportunity to explain my ideas this soon after meeting you. I had expected it to take a full semester to slowly lead you to the idea.”
“I can abide by your conditions. I think you have my survival at heart.”
“Yes. Our survival.”
“I’m going to enjoy working with you. I can’t wait to see what direction you take this idea.”
“I can’t wait to see how you handle yourself in one of my classes.”
“Sorry, I won’t be in any of your classes. I’m majoring in Business, with a minor in Psychology and a minor in Sociology.”
“Are you out of your mind?”
“No. I have very definite plans for the future.”
Having finished processing the paperwork for his new job as research assistant for Professor Bowlings, Peter made his way to his least favorite class on campus. It was a one credit course that every freshman ... oops he was supposed to call them first year students ... had to take. It had the informative name of First Year Seminar which was such a weighty and scholarly name for a total waste of three hours every week.
By definition, a seminar is a class in which a topic is discussed by a teacher and a small group of students. What was there to discuss about being a Freshman? Once again, he had to remind himself that he was a First Year, and not a Freshman. Heaven forbid that he think of himself using a term that had been in use since 1590. It was hard to believe that they had been using the wrong word for so many years.
He made his way to his ‘assigned’ seat chafing at the idea of being told where to sit in a classroom capable of holding twice as many students were enrolled in the class. Assigning seats made sense when there were a lot of students in the class. However, this ‘seminar’ was supposed to provide an intense interaction between professor and student with the intent of inspiring him to study hard, and get good grades. The result was that there were only twenty people in the class.
He sat down and, although unnecessary because he had it memorized, he pulled out the syllabus and a pad of note paper from his backpack. His eyes fell upon the subject that was to be covered this and the next two weeks: Using Library Resources. He exhaled loudly wondering if this could actually be a college level course. How could anyone spend nine hours talking about using a website to look up things in the library? The sad thing was that the online search companies had better query mechanisms than the library.
He parked his elbows on the table. With palms together, fingers extended and touching fingertip to fingertip with its opposite digit, and his chin resting on his index fingers, he stared off into space wondering if he should just give up here and submit his acceptance to Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or University of California – Berkeley. He would have gone to any one of them except for the presence of Professor Bowlings here. He figured they might have a first year seminar class, but expected that it would be a bit more substantive than this one.
He wasn’t paying attention when the instructor called out, “Petey Moore ... Petey Moore ... Would you join us in the real world Petey Moore?”
She marched up to his desk and stood in front of him. Leaning over, she said, “When I call on you, you’re supposed to say ‘here.’ Otherwise I’ll have to mark you absent.”
“I’m not Petey Moore,” Peter said evenly.
He had a good view right down her blouse. This was not the first time she had given him a free look at her breasts. He normally got four or five good long looks at them during a single class. None of the other males in the class got that kind of attention from her. At least she had one redeeming value, they were nice looking tits. He knew what she was doing, and why she was doing it. He fought down his disgust to keep from showing her how he really felt about her.
“Then you shouldn’t be sitting in his chair.”
“This was the seat assigned me.”
“That means you are Petey Moore.”
“I told you my name is not Petey Moore on the first day of class. I’ve told you that, every class. My name is Peter Moore.”
“In this class, your name is Petey Moore.”
She reached out and ran a finger along his cheek.
The expression on Peter’s face went flat and void of any emotion. His eyelids drooped giving him a slightly sleepy appearance. His breathing went shallow. He slowly lifted his eyes to where he was staring her straight in her eye. It was time to make his move.
“I find your condescension to be extremely rude and denigrating. I find your continued use of Petey to be an insult. My name is Peter Moore.”
“This is supposed to be a friendly class to help you integrate into a university environment. Everyone else is using appropriately friendly names.” She clapped her hands lightly and, with a sickeningly sweet expression on her face, added, “Now put a smile on your face and play nice, Petey.”
“Are you psychic?”
“No. Why do you ask?”
“I swear you are channeling the woman who taught my kindergarten class. I would be quite embarrassed as a psychic, if I were you, upon discovering that I was channeling the dumbest human being on Earth.”
“I understand that you are living away from home for the first time and that you are using hostility as a defensive shield, but insults like that are uncalled for. This is an important class. How else are you supposed to learn how to use the campus library, understand the registration process, or even how to take care of your dorm room?”
Peter stared at her.
“Oh, was that a serious question? I thought you were making a bad joke.”
“I know how to access information in a way that far exceeds what can be accomplished at the library here. My degree program has a chart that states when I’m to take specific major-related courses, when different kinds of electives are recommended, and the website for registration is pretty much self-explanatory. I know I can handle registration.
“In terms of taking care of my dorm room, my mother taught me how to make my bed, pick up my stuff off the floor, wash my clothes, and generally avoid living in a state of squalor. For your information, she taught me how to brush my teeth, enforced the habit of taking a shower every day, and stressed the importance of eating three meals a day. My father taught me how to piss standing up. Somewhere in there I learned how to wipe my own ass after taking a shit.
“Now what, exactly, are you expecting to teach me in this miserable insipid excuse for a college class?”
“Petey,” she said in a tone of voice that wasn’t quite so friendly, “Not everyone knows all of those things. This is a required course because those people who need it most wouldn’t take it unless it was required. Besides, you may think you know how to use the library, but I’m sure there are resources that you have no idea exist there.”
“You’re trying to teach Mozart how to play the kazoo. I think a little demonstration is in order.”
Peter walked over to the front of the class. He logged into the computer. While it was processing the credentials he had provided, he used the controls at the podium to lower the projection screen and turn on the projector. The school computer was extremely slow, but eventually it was ready for him. He opened a web browser, went to the school website with faculty profiles, copied the instructor’s photograph from the web page, and then went to a second website. He typed in a bit of information and pasted her picture into the form on the web page. He hit the return button.
Walking back to his seat, he said, “I can find out anything I want about any subject at all, including background information of every person on this campus. There’s no hacking involved on my part. All of the information you are about to see is freely available on the Internet.”
She turned to look at the screen. There in a large and easily readable font, her entire life was scrolling past. There was everything, including pictures from her Facebook page (some of them had been removed years ago), bank and credit card accounts, every address where she had lived, her vehicle registration, school transcripts, her entire publication history, and still more was showing up.
She stood there staring at the screen open-mouthed.
He put his papers back into his backpack. He looked over at her and said, “Before you ask, there’s a website that lists hacked accounts. I visit it occasionally just to make sure that none of my accounts have been compromised. I hate to inform you that several of your accounts were hacked last year and your user names and passwords were posted on that website. I suggest that you take a day or two to visit all of your websites to change your password. You really need to come up with better passwords than ‘Hot2Trot!’ and the other one which is best not mentioned in public.”
He walked over to the door and paused. “The next time you call me Petey, we’ll go through this exercise again; except next time, I will turn off the filter for x-rated material on the background search program. All of those videos of you and your lovers that someone has posted on the swinger website will be shown.”
He was gone before she could come up with a response. He could hear her angered scream echo down the near empty hallway. He paused to smile. The great showdown was coming and another predator was about to be removed from the world.
After glancing at the door to make sure it was shut, Professor Bowlings sighed and then said, “She wants your nuts in a vise. She’s taken her case up to the Provost.”
“Oh my. I’m terrified. Not!“
“Peter, you’re smarter, and probably better educated, than good old Dr. Cute-and-Perky; but you’ve got to gain a little control over your mouth when dealing with lesser individuals. They take offense easily and tend to hold grudges.”
“I’m definitely smarter and better educated,” Peter said.
“I think it is about time for us to talk about your attitude. You’re in trouble and you’ll only make it worse for yourself if you maintain your current attitude.”
“My attitude is fine. I can protect myself.”
“Not in this environment. Being right has nothing to do with anything.”
“In this case, being right has everything to do with it.”
“How can you be so smart and so naive?”
Peter said, “On the first day I was here, I sat through one of those feel-good lectures about how this school takes great pride in having a scholarly population dedicated to treating each other with mutual respect. In my opinion, not calling someone by their name is not an act of mutual respect. I showed her far more respect than she gave me.
“This little episode convinces me that this whole ‘first year’ nonsense has gone too far. It is time for it to come to an end. They are devaluing any degree I may receive with this overly compassionate attitude in which nobody fails because nobody can possibly be a failure. That’s bullshit!
“I want the incompetent to fail. I want them to look around and say, ‘Oh, shit!’ when they realize they are facing a life standing in front of a french fry fryer at a local burger place. I don’t want to discover that some under-educated engineer, who has been passed through college with marginal grades in a simplified program, has designed a critical part of my car.
“My greatest fear is that I won’t discover the poor quality of engineering in my car until I hit some bridge abutment at a hundred miles an hour because the brakes don’t work and the accelerator is stuck on full speed ahead. By then, it will be too late.
“Dr. Bubbles is an excellent example of someone passed through college with marginal grades in a simplified program. She doesn’t belong on a college campus. She should be teaching in a kindergarten somewhere,” he said. In a mocking voice, Peter continued, “I’m going to call you Petey because it is such a friendly name. Peter is so formal. We don’t feel comfortable with formal.
“Christ on a pogo stick! What idiot hired her?”
Covering his eyes with his hands, Dr. Bowlings said, “You’re going to tell the Provost that, aren’t you?”
“Yes. I will tell him that and more. He deserves to know the full truth before he commits the school to years of scandal.”
“I agree with you one hundred percent, but that means nothing. My agreement and five dollars will get you a cup of coffee. Some people are protected because of personal or physical attributes that have nothing to do with the issue at hand. Without meaning to sound — insert proper word here — you have to understand the difficulties that certain groups of people operate under and make allowances for them.”
“The word you’re looking for is sexist,” Peter said pointedly.
“There are a lot of words that can be used to fill in that blank. Those are the words you must never allow to be associated with you. You have to be exceptionally careful about what you say and how you say it, because it isn’t what is said that is the issue, but what insult someone else thinks is meant by it. You can’t even have conversations of an abstract or theoretical nature. You can’t use certain words when describing groups of people because just saying those words makes you a very bad person in the minds of others. You can’t even use the word ‘those’ in certain contexts because it can be viewed as derogatory.
“I grew up in the South. I can’t relate some stories of my youth because the telling of the story will be viewed by some as propagating racism. It doesn’t matter if at the end of the story, the racist is enlightened and steps away from his or her racist ways. The yelling and screaming would begin long before I could get to the moral of the story. I would be labeled a racist. There would be protests outside my office door demanding my removal from the faculty.
“I grew up in a time when the majority of women were homemakers. It is now seen as demeaning to refer to the women of that generation as housewives. Suggesting that kids of that time were lucky, because they were greeted by their mothers upon returning home from school, is perceived as an insult against working mothers. Clearly, it is a sexist statement.
“There are a lot of topics that can’t be discussed because one side of the issue is automatically wrong. Assumptions on which an accepted opinion is based can’t be identified and examined under a critical light. Just expressing the need to do so is viewed as originating as a result of prejudice of some sort.
“You might wonder about your right to free speech. The First Amendment protects us from prosecution by the state. It does not protect us from persecution by the populace. Remember that. It is a very important qualifier on your freedom of speech.”
Even though he knew what the professor was saying was correct, at least from a perspective based on political correctness, Peter snorted in disgust. He said, “You don’t find it disturbing that you can’t discuss some issues on a college campus because one side of the conversation is being censored by political correctness?”
“Just because you don’t like the situation doesn’t make it go away. We’re stuck in this world as it is, not the world which we think should be. You need to give in and apologize in the most abject and public manner possible. Some people are protected. You’re not.”
“I get it. She’s protected because she’s a woman. She’s going to say that I was acting in an aggressive manner fueled by a need to establish masculine dominance over some poor frail female, and because of my gender, which we all know is characterized by an over abundance of Testosterone, that I’m automatically guilty.”
“In saying that, you have essentially labeled yourself a sexist. You do realize that, don’t you?”
“So will you apologize to her in the Provost’s office?”
“No. She’s too stupid to realize what she’s done. It’s time, for the first time in her life, that she gets a real education. It’s time for her to pay for her crimes.”
“Aren’t you forgetting that your whole reason for attending this school was to work on restructuring American politics with me?”
“I haven’t forgotten that. Occasionally, there are issues of self-defense that must take precedence.”
The telephone rang. Knowing what the call was about, Professor Bowlings answered it. After a short conversation, he hung up.
“The Provost wants to see you.”
“Excellent. I’ll be back in about forty-five minutes, maybe less.”
“Be careful what you say. You might be coming back in forty-five minutes to tell me that you’ve been kicked out of school.”
“I know exactly what has to be said.”
Peter was impressed by the people in the room. The Provost, two Deans, two Department Chairs, and legal counsel were present. They were really taking this seriously. He took a moment to move the chair just a tad so that he was facing everyone in the room.
The Provost said, “Now that we’re all present, I guess it is up to me to state why we’re here.”
Peter raised a hand.
“We know why we’re here. There’s a difference of opinion between the instructor of my ‘First Year Seminar’ and me concerning what constitutes respect. I would say that she’s furious at my demonstration that I deserve respect for my abilities and will take the steps to demand respect from her.”
“Petey, doesn’t respect me because I’m a woman.”
“Young man, that’s a very serious charge,” one of the Deans said.
While tapping the screen on his cell phone, Peter replied, “My name is Peter, not Petey.”
Everyone watched him use his cell phone, clearly disturbed by his inconsiderate behavior; a behavior that was manifested by too many students and quite a few faculty. Somehow too many people felt free to text in any situation. This was a serious meeting.
“I’m trying to create a friendly atmosphere in class by using diminutive forms of people’s names. Because of his sexist views and need to dominate women, he kept trying to undermine my authority in the classroom. He never showed me the proper respect.”
“She’s quite correct in the sense that I don’t respect her. It’s not because she’s a woman; it’s because she’s a fool.”
“There’s no need for name calling!” the Provost said in a loud stern voice.
“I’m not calling her a name. I’m stating a fact. She knows how much information I have about her, yet she has chosen to pursue this matter. So, let me explain why she’s a fool. I think that once you hear what I have to say, you’ll agree with me.”
The Dean of the Business School knew that Peter was a very bright young man. It was a shame that he was destroying a possibly bright career before it even had a chance to begin. He leaned forward and said, “Mr. Moore, you need to be very careful of what you say. Your future is at stake.”
Ignoring the warning, Peter said, “First, her doctoral dissertation was written by a service that writes term papers for hire. I believe that is called ‘academic dishonesty.’ Strike one.”
There were several gasps and all eyes turned to look at her. She turned pale.
“What she never knew, or I believe that she never knew, was that about thirty percent of her dissertation was plagiarized. She didn’t even know enough about the subject matter to spot that entire portions of previously published papers were pasted into her ‘purchased’ dissertation. That’s not only a case of academic dishonesty, but a case of intellectual laziness. Strike two.”
The Dean of First Year Studies covered his eyes. He knew enough about baseball to know that there was a third strike coming. Whatever it was, it was going to be a big problem for him.
“Her last three papers were written by that same service. They were riddled with plagiarized material and had been rejected by two other journals before being accepted by what is basically a self-published journal. You pay your money, you get your article published. Peer review is a matter of checking it for grammar. Strike three.”
“Is that true?”
Peter said, “Someone might want to go check their email. There’s a very interesting email that should have arrived by now. It has her dissertation, copies of the papers which were plagiarized, credit card receipts from the term paper writing company, and the other papers she’s published while teaching here, as well as the original sources which were plagiarized.
“You will also find links to videos hosted on some adult websites, featuring her in a variety sexual activities with a plethora of partners. I didn’t want to provide those links, but I did promise her that I’d run the search engine without the adult filter activated the next time she called me Petey. My name is Peter, not Petey.”
The legal counsel ran out of the room for the nearest desk with a computer on it. Peter called out, “I didn’t know you’d be here, so I didn’t make arrangements for it to get sent to you!”
His call was too late. The legal counsel was long gone.
The Provost said, “My secretary filters all of my email. If it is there, she’ll show it to him.”
The legal counsel returned to the room five minutes later looking pale.
“It was sent to everyone on campus using the Provost’s account.”
“I think half of the people on campus have already read it.”
“How did it get sent out on my account?”
Peter cringed while turning to face the Provost. “Last spring, one of the computer science students did a security audit of the school computer systems as part of the security course he was taking here. I learned about him because he found your user name and password for your school account and sent out a tweet containing it. I tracked him down and told him that tweeting someone’s user name and password was a rather stupid thing to do. I suggested that he inform you that you needed to change it.”
“Oh my God. I did get an email from a student telling me to change my password.”
“I knew this meeting was coming. Since he was one of the few people on campus I actually know, I asked him to do a favor for me. I showed him the file the search engine returned and asked him to distribute it to all of the appropriate people for me if I needed it in my defense. I specifically named the Provost, the Dean of First Year Studies, and her department chair. When I sent him the text message after she called me Petey again, he sent out the version with the links to the videos.
“I honestly thought that he would use one of the normal means of sending the emails out. I’m sure that he didn’t mean any harm, but I expect he got a little over excited at being asked to do something for someone else. Not many people talk to him. He kind of smells. A little Vick’s Vapor rub under the nose lets me deal with that.
“I want you to know that I did not ask him to send it to everyone or to use your account. Although, I must admit that sending it to everyone on campus was a nice touch. My morals wouldn’t have allowed me to do that, but the fact that it happened does not bother me.
“I wouldn’t get too upset with him. He’s really good at finding security gaps. You might consider offering him a job in your IT department. Of course, I’d have someone talk to him about body odor. It could be a medical condition.”
His former professor was crying. Her career was gone and there was no chance of resurrecting it. The others in the room were staring at him. He couldn’t think of anything else that needed to be said.
“I guess I’ll leave now. I imagine that you have some unpleasant business to perform. I’ll just head back to Professor Bowlings’ office and get back to work. His research is absolutely fascinating.”
Peter returned to Professor Bowlings’ office. The man was seated in his chair watching a video of one of his fellow faculty members engaging in lewd acts. He closed the video player and looked over at Peter.
“You destroyed her.”
“I can’t say that she didn’t deserve it.”
“She deserved it more than you can imagine.”
“You do know that she was going up for tenure this year.”
“Yes, I knew that, and that’s why I had to act.”
“You had to act?”
“Evil like hers has to be crushed out of existence,” Peter said.
“When I decided to attend here, I did a little background investigation of the faculty. I found something that was extremely disturbing. It was an online journal of a student who attended school here last year. It turns out that he had gone to her place thinking that he was going to score with the teacher. That’s not what happened. In his journal, he described how he was raped by her and her boyfriend.
“Videos were made and he was used like a bitch for the entire school year. Despite the new ‘tolerance’ for alternate lifestyles, some people don’t like the idea of having videos of them having same sex relations released to the public at large regardless of circumstances under which the video was made. It is even worse when they were being forced into it and come across looking like wimps.
“She picked him out of the First Year Seminar because he had an uncooperative attitude. Apparently, she really gets a kick out of teaching men with an attitude the error of their ways. As you have mentioned on several occasions, my attitude isn’t exactly all that good. I was sure to be her next target.
“I signed up for that particular class because I suspected that she would pick me as her next victim. In the few weeks I was in class, I probably saw more of her looking down her shirt in that short time than of all women before her.”
“She has nice tits.”
“I didn’t get to see that much of her, looking down from the top.”
“You didn’t miss much.”
“I know,” Peter said tiredly.
“So what are you going to do about her being a sexual predator? Getting her removed from school isn’t going to stop her from doing that in the future.”
“There’s a very ambitious police detective in her town who dreams of being Elliot Ness. He received a link to the journal from an anonymous source. He’s been doing a little investigating into her activities and has learned that she’s been known to boast of ‘forcing straight guys to go gay.’ He received an anonymous email letting him know that she was likely to be leaving town soon and that if he wanted to catch her that he was going to have to act now.
“Like I said, he is ambitious. He found a judge who would sign a search warrant. Would you believe that he sent out a tweet about it? There are so many uninformed people in the world today. They truly don’t understand the full implications of the Internet.
“That’s how I know that while I was in the meeting with the Provost, the police were at her apartment searching it for the videos they had taken of the rape. The police may still be there, for all I know. They won’t leave until one of the perps shows up.
“Although the end is in sight, she and her boyfriend will use the defense that it was just a game they played with willing individuals, but the tapes will show a different story. At least now she won’t have the financial resources to put up a long hard fight.”
“I always thought she was an airhead. I had no idea she was so vile.”
“Now that she’s been disposed of, let’s get back to work. I really want to see how you develop your revolutionary idea that will change how we vote for President,” Peter said.
Professor Bowlings looked at Peter thinking, ‘I don’t know how he can call it my idea, when he was the one who gave it to me!’
Edited by Morgan
Edited By TeNderLoin