Ethics Quote Of The Week: FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai


“The text of the First Amendment is enshrined in our Constitution, but there are certain cultural values that undergird the amendment that are critical for its protections to have actual meaning. If that culture starts to wither away, then so too will the freedom that it supports.”

—FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai  to the Washington Examiner, in an interview where he expressed concern that respect for First Amendment principles were diminishing, particularly on college campuses.

Isn’t it fascinating that so many of those who are concerned about the freedom of speech being diminished by political correctness have responded by supporting a Presidential candidate who regularly abuses the right of free speech, and whose response to protesters at his own speeches is to abuse them?

But I digress.

Today’s example of what Pai is talking about comes from California State University Los Angeles (CSULA), where president William Covino, responding to expressions of dismay from the same kinds of students who needed counseling at Rutgers, cancelled a scheduled speech by conservative pundit and Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro, and in a particularly Orwellian touch, did so citing the need for the “free exchange of ideas.”

Shapiro’s  topic in his presentation to the campus chapter of Young America’s Foundation was “When Diversity Becomes a Problem.” Now, he will not be allowed to speak until he agrees to include opposing speakers in his program.

“After careful consideration, I have decided that it will be best for our campus community if we reschedule Ben Shapiro’s appearance for a later date, so that we can arrange for him to appear as part of a group of speakers with differing viewpoints on diversity. Such an event will better represent our university’s dedication to the free exchange of ideas and the value of considering multiple viewpoints,” said Covino. His position is hypocritical and dishonest on its face, but Shapiro and the YAF pointed out the problem anyway. Far left-wing activists like Cornel West and Angela Davis spoke at student events without opposing speakers rebutting them, they noted. “Did Covino go out of his way to ensure students attending any one of these events had the opportunity to ‘consider multiple viewpoints? Has he ever canceled other events for failing to meet his standard of ‘inclusivity?’” asked the YAF.

Shapiro, for his part, shifted to full rabble-rouser mode, as well he should. “The campus fascists have taken over,” he said. “I pay taxes in the state of California; I’m paying for these whiny children to be indoctrinated by radical leftists. For CSULA to pretend that they’re trying to provide balance isn’t just stupid, it’s insultingly stupid. I am the balance, and they’re too afraid to let me speak. These aren’t diversity warriors. They’re jackbooted thugs.”

Go get, em, Ben!  Between Shapiro and his colleague Milo Yiannopoulos, Breitbart has finally found a constructive use for its generally warped and misleading conservative advocacy-masked-as-journalism. It’s journalists drive censorious, cowardly progressives crazy, and cause them to expose their true, anti-democratic, anti-free expression, totalitarian proclivities. That almost makes up for the junk Breitbart publishes every day, like its constant cheering-leading for Donald Trump.

There I go, obsessing about Trump again. Back to Pei: the cultural values that he was talking about have to be taught and reinforced in our colleges, among other places, if they are going to survive. Institutions like CSULA and educators like Covino aren’t merely wrong, they are betraying the nation.


Pointer: Res Ipsa Loquitur

12 thoughts on “Ethics Quote Of The Week: FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai

    • It covers a lot of my issues with Trump, and was an enjoyable read. However, it twists some of the stuff he’s actually done in ways that make it useless as a form of persuasion. For instance, “Although she does have a very nice figure. I’ve said that if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps, I would be dating her.” was turned into “Says he’d like to have sex with his own daughter”. Because trump supporters can legitimately point out spin in the article, they will just tune out the rest.

      • Dang it… meant to include this. The whole point of the article is that the writer is “telling it like it is” about Trump, but the existence of spin negates that claim.

      • I just presumed the spin was intentional in that it was all part of his subtle art of doing EXACTLY what Trump does in order to show how pissy Trumpites get when the exact same trash tactics they LOVE Trump doing are used on them…

        His audience indeed was them, not you or I who see past such tactics in a legitimate discussion.

        Matt Walsh’s only flaw was believing Trumpists would make it further than 2 or 3 paragraphs in…

      • Yup. This has characterized the media’s who approach to smearing Trump—having more than enough legitimate ammunition, it still resorts to lies and distortion. Thus making their critique’s inherently untrustworthy. Idiots.

    • Satisfying indeed (if that’s your Best Friend, I envy you the proximity to such catharsis). The problem is, of course, that Trump fans might not be actually, factually stupid as Walsh maintains, but they do have a short attention span and, as pointed out, no desire to hear ill of their pharaoh: they’d have to have their fingers forceably removed from their .. earholes.

      • My Best Friend emailed me the link…my best friend isn’t Matt Walsh. I also told him, though satisfying, most “Trumpites”, (Trumpists? Chumps?) probably won’t get past paragraph 2.

  1. I wonder if the professors, all generally leftists who no doubt infuse their “lessons” with plenty of propaganda would be happy to have 2ndary professors come in to provide conservative viewpoints to counterbalance each lecture…

  2. I remember hearing years ago that the president of Stanford saying other college and university presidents envied his having The Hoover Institute. They wished they had one of their own on their campuses.

    Of course, The Alexander Hamilton Institute had a deal with Hamilton College to focus on traditional things on the campus until the faculty rose up and torpedoed any intellectual activity on the campus that wouldn’t be under the faculty’s control. The Alexander Hamilton Institute had to move to Clinton, N.Y., the nearby town. A missed opportunity.

    Just examples of your hypothetical, Tex.

  3. I am reading (again) the book, RET: Handbook of Rational-Emotive therapy by Albert Ellis and Russel Grieger, first published in 1977. But the book is discussing insights Ellis had already around 1960.

    For me it means that
    a. the ethical problems discussed on ethicsalarms are as … (…. as old as humanity?). Therefore not necessarily caused by the decisive politics of the current administration, etc.
    b. There where ethicsalarms looks at issues from a ethics perspective (duuh!), and does this very good, it is more difficult to ‘explain’ what makes all these people to act ethical/unethical.
    d. I was glad to see Jack introduce the term ‘life competence’ because I think that fits very well with the intent of Ellis, to improve the life competence of his clients.

    Two quotes I found very insightful for current discussions:

    Hypothesis 15: Humans have a tendency to low frustration tolerance
    People have an innate and acquired tendency to have a low frustration tolerance (LFT) — to do things that seem easier in the short run even though they often bring poor results in the future; to go for immediate gratification and stimulation-seeking that offer highly specious rewards; and to procrastinate and avoid behaviors and disciplines that would bring them greater ultimate rewards. While their hedonistic views and ways help them survive and achieve greater happiness in some respects, their powerful tendencies to short-range rather than long-range hedonism frequently prove self-defeating.
    Emotional disturbance largely consists of or involves distinct low frustration tolerance. Whenever people make themselves anxious, depressed, hating or undisciplined, even when they note their symptoms and determine to ameliorate them, they usually sabotage their therapeutic efforts to some extent, or they make temporary gains and fall back to previously disturbed ways, partly or largely as a result of their seeking immediate ease or comfort and giving in to their LFT.
    (page 54)

    Hypothesis 21: abreaction of dysfunctional emotions is not therapeutic.
    Abreaction or catharsis of dysfunctional emotion and particularly of various forms of anger (including hostility, resentment, rage, and physical aggression), may have palliative effects on relieving these emotions but often prove iatrogenic in that it tends to reinforce the philosophies or beliefs that people employ to create these feelings. Thus, the philosophy behind anger almost invariably includes the rational belief, “I don’t like your behavior and I wish you would stop it!” and the irrational belief, or absolutistic command, “Because I don’t like your behavior, you must stop it! And you rate as a rotten person if you don’t!” Expression or abreaction of anger reinforces people’s irrational belief and thereby helps them FEEL better instead of GET better. By giving up the irrational command that others treat them fairly or that the world must provide what they want humans lose rather than suppress or repress anger; they thereby improve their emotional health and render themselves less prone to future anger.
    (page 59)

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