Comment Of The Day: “Why Don’t College Students Believe In Free Speech? Because They Are Taught By Totalitarianism Advocates…”


Commenter Crella’s brief observation, which I just now read, is notable for many reasons. First, it was news to me. I spend a ridiculous amount of time (during much of which, my wife and business partner reminds me, I should be making money, writing one of the books on the drawing board, creating a new ethics seminar, writing legal ethics parody song lyrics, etc) tracking ethics developments, and I still miss so much. Second, it’s an example of so many themes here: the totalitarian tilt of the Left, the criminalization of politics, the beyond insane partisan divide, the Great Stupid. Third, the story is a collision of so many ethics train wrecks, its hard to sort the carnage out. I’ll be back at the end, but here’s Crella’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Why Don’t College Students Believe In Free Speech? Because They Are Taught By Totalitarianism Advocates Like Duke Professors Bill Adair and Philip Napoli. That’s Why”:

Robert Reich (just typing his name makes my blood boil) has a new video out, calling for prosecution of Trump supporters for infecting Congressmen. ‘They should be charged with involuntarily manslaughter if any of the Congressmen they infected dies! Two more tested positive as I taped this’

Greeeeeat idea! Prosecuting people because you think they might have given you a disease. The liberals on my Facebook page are lapping it up: “ I agree they should be prosecuted!”. So much for having any standard of proof. If they can prove unequivocally that any of the congressmen and women who get corona now and have tested positive this week didn’t have Christmas parties didn’t have New Year’s parties never left their homes didn’t have big gatherings, didn’t travel, then I might think it possible they were infected by the people who stormed into the capital. Otherwise, seriously!?

I’m back.


1. I don’t think Reich is serious. He’s trying to inflame not-very-bright progressives like Crella’s Facebook friends. The former Clinton Labor Secretary (think about that) is many things, including beings somewhere between a Communist and a socialist, but he isn’t stupid.

2. Intellectuals, academics and lawyers are now openly advocating punishment based on conclusions absent valid evidence. Yesterday’s impeachment was a prime example. Crella’s explanation of why Reich’s prosecution theory is nonsense is legal bedrock, and yet Reich just launched it into the discussion.

3. Punishing people because authorities decide they are guilty by making attenuated connections between political action and unproven crimes is the a characteristic of totalitarian regimes…and Crella’s Facebook friends either can’t see it, or they would welcome the “right” totalitarian regime. Unfortunately, so would most of mine.

4. Please, don’t use “covid” here. This is a virus spread around the world because of deliberate China deception and incompetence (speaking of totlaitarian regimes), and its name should make that clear. Trying to ban the name “Wuhan virus” was classic political correctness thought manipulation, and we should refuse to capitulate to it.

16 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Why Don’t College Students Believe In Free Speech? Because They Are Taught By Totalitarianism Advocates…”

  1. Meh. Flamethrowing nonsense. Anytime I see Reich’s name, I ignore the article. He has nothing to say, ever, that is worth even a femtosecond of consideration by a rational mind. It’s hardly ever even worth spending the time to debunk such silly and legally specious “arguments,” unless it’s a snarky one- or two-liner, like maybe:

    “Due process? Who needs it?” or “Reasonable doubt — not for Republicans! Hang ’em high!” Or even, “Proof is for sissies. Bring back firing squads and make their families pay for the bullets!”

    What a silly, transparently unserious person Reich is.

  2. I’m not sure 4 is reasonable anymore. I’m on record as being staunchly against labelling the usage of “Wuhan Flu” or any variation thereof as racist, because it adhered to historical nomenclature, and watering it down to “COVID” gave a victory to a totalitarian Chinese government. But that doesn’t really matter anymore; because of a very concerted effort, whether or not you think “Wuhan Flu” is racist or not, no one is using it outside of some very niche places. If you want to take a hard stand on that, go for it, it’s your sandbox, they’re your rules, but it’s awkward at this point because “COVID” is, by far, the most common reference to the virus, and trying to force something different is just going to distract from the point you’re trying to make.

    • That’s an “Everybody Does It” argument. Using the term was not racist and is not racist, and capitulating to the demands of those who cowed everyone into avoiding an accurate label by screaming “Racist!” allows a false narrative to become “true.” I’ve welcomed anyone to make a substantive argument why the original name (used my much of the media)can’t be used, and they can’t. I. on the other hand, can defend the term. Most people also say that Mike Brown was murdered, and that George Floyd was killed by a racist cop. I’m not advancing those narratives either.Ever.

      • “Everybody Does It” is only a fallacy if you’re using it to explain away doing something bad.

        Calling this virus “Covid” is not inherently bad. The way it was injected into the language was bad, the accusations of racism for anyone who didn’t follow the CPC’s talking points was bad, but using the most common name for something because it’s the most common name for something cannot possibly be bad.

        I think we lost that linguistic war because there wasn’t a uniform label for it on our side. You’re calling it the “Wuhan Virus”, but that was *never* anything close to popular nomenclature. I called it the Wuhan Flu, because it rolled off the tongue better, Trump Called it either “The China Flu” or “The China Virus” almost interchangeably, and then you had pundits, commentators, and Joe Blows calling it anything from “Kung Fluey” to “Flu Man Chu”. If you look at Google analytics, immediately after Virus was officially named “Covid-19”, “Covid” was orders of magnitude more used than any other label.

  3. Robert Reich is a Yale Law School graduate where he served on the Yale Law Journal. He was a Rhodes Scholar and served as a law clerk to a CHIEF Federal appeals judge on the First Circuit. He worked in the Department of Justice, and taught at the Kennedy School. This is not a person with lightweight credentials. Yet many of the positions he embraces are absurd, like universal basic income, expanding government to provide jobs, and hosing the rich. He was also one of the leading proponents of the last impeachment. Paul Krugman won the Nobel Prize in economics, and we all know how absurd the positions he has taken are.

    People like Charles Blow (did well in college, but otherwise thin resume) and Cindy Sheehan (no resume to speak of) you expect to say absurd things, because they just aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed. What bothers me is that you are hearing a lot of the same absurdity coming from the mouths of people who are supposed to know better, or at least be able to articulate reasons for the positions they take that make sense. Sure, Charles is a bit more (actually creepily) obsessive, and Cindy is a lot more vitriolic, but in the end, what they have to say is no different than what you hear from people like Robert Reich.

    This does not make a conservative like me wonder why all the smart people are liberal. It makes me believe that the educational, academic, and journalistic sectors of this nation are corrupt, and the system by which honors are awarded is just as corrupt. It further makes me believe that corruption has now reached critical mass, and this nation is about to go over the brink between imperfect freedom and out and out tyranny.

    We’re reaching the point where enough of this nation’s own people hate its history so much that they refuse to know it, even the fairly recent stuff, say, anything before Obama was elected. Anyone with even a working knowledge of history knows that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were specifically written to prevent the abuses that had gone on in Europe, where parliaments passed bills declaring individuals outlaws and their property forfeit, kings and chancellors charged those they considered problems with treason to execute them or send them into exile, and where ordinary people pretty much did everything at the sufferance of the king, a few select nobles, and their servants. It was only something of an improvement on the feudal system, where if you were not a noble, who owned everything, a knight or other servant, who did the noble’s bidding, or one of those then-rare creatures known as a freeman, you were a serf, a thrall, or whatever. You could go nowhere, you were forbidden to defend yourself, you were permitted to own nothing but clothes and tools, and you were expected to work the land and stay silent.

    The fact is that when we broke from the UK we did so because in the UK, which was then the most “enlightened” state in Europe, amidst the petty nobles of what would be Germany and Italy, the “I am the State” monarchy of France, and the crumbling thrones of Spain and Portugal, basic rights were revocable benefits if you didn’t toe the line, and everyone knew it. Oh, we don’t force you off the land you’ve worked for decades because we can make more money ranching, but we do look the other way as the business you’ve built is trashed, and then just say “too bad, too sad, but people were angry.” We don’t tell you “go to the same church as the king or you’ll go to jail,” but we say “you better bake the cake or arrange the flowers or we’ll ruin you.” We don’t say “the king and the nobility will do all the governing, they don’t want any complaints from you,” but we do dismiss your thoughts that the last election might not have been strictly on the up and up and tell you “ok, the decision has been made, so now you have to be quiet about it and accept it, like a good boy or you’ll have to be quiet completely.”

    In the meantime the same people telling you this posture about how great they are, witness this excerpt from a statement by the mayor of Newark overnight:

    “So, as we look to January 20, 2021, the day that Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, we look to theday our country will say ‘no’ to hate and images of confederate flags in the Capitol, ‘no’ to total disrespect and destruction of monuments like that of John Lewis, and ‘no’ to white supremacy. We will say ‘yes’ to law, justice, and progress. Our country will be led by a president of all the people and I trust he will set our nation on a new path.” 

    I have concluded that just like you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, and just like you can’t polish a turd, you can’t change the essentially tyrannical nature of the left. The only thing you can do is fight it and roll it back. Reagan knew how to do it. Truman knew how to do it. The Bushes knew how to do it. JFK knew how to do it. The new term “flawesome” might apply to them – men who had flaws, but achieved nonetheless. But when you come right down to it, the left is now seizing this opportunity to put this tyranny into full practice, AND most of the major private players are going along with them. If the courts don’t stop this, we’re going to be in a system where rights are just revocable benefits. What’s more, we’ll be told it’s for our own good. I’d say be afraid, but instead I’ll say it’s time for us to reclaim the word resistance.

    • I agree that Robert Reich is a very serious and dangerous person, He’s a red diaper baby, of whom there are way too many. He’s a Clintonista. He’s a tyrant in the making. He and Stalin share more than their diminutive height.

    • Excellent analysis, as always. But, it is great to see that cooler, more mature heads are prevailing in DC*. Why, elder statesman James Comey recommended that soon to be sworn in president Biden pardon soon to be out going president Trump in an effort to heal the nation. Oh, the humanity. Here is the link:

      Man! What a pompous ass.


      *Ed. Note: Hopefully you heard my keyboard snickering . . .

    • Please review what you have been told about that British background. It has had enough material omissions to make it seriously lop sided. For instance, what you think about serfs isn’t so. “Monday men”, who only had to work for others on that one day a week but were otherwise free, were freer than today’s income tax payers. Practically all serfs had the support system of commoners’ rights – by right – and so on. And that’s just looking at serfs.

      Don’t take my word for it, go and look for yourself – and don’t take the word of whoever told you, either.

  4. #4 – with the rising spread of the new “UK” identified variant, I asked on another forum for an explanation regarding why it was OK to label it as such but using the origin of the virus itself as a label was off limits. I was predominantly vilified and didn’t get a single reasoned explanation.

    • Because there is no reasonable explanation. This is all dctated “sensitivity” to an accountable nation that deserves none, and we are supposed to to conform because our moral betters demand it.

      Fuck that.

  5. Thank you,Jack.

    But that’s the thing. These people are real life smart, careers in IT, business, but something happens to them when they see anything anti-Republican or anti-Trump. A switch flips. I’ve never seen people hate anyone as much as they hate Trump.

    If Reich doesn’t even believe what he’s been shoveling the past four years, that makes him even more dangerous than I originally rated him as being. I’ve often thought him as a delusional (or seriously uninformed) loose cannon riding on his former position in government, but if this is calculated simply to enflame, then it’s evil.

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