From The “Scared Yet” Files: The Rest Of The Story On The Persecution Of Professor Charles Negy

Nagy Tweet

As Ethics Alarms noted back in August (which seems like years ago), the University of Central Florida set out to destroy Professor Negy, who was tenured and has taught at the university for decades by inviting students to bring formal complaints against him “based on abusive or discriminatory behavior by any faculty or staff.” Students were already demanding his dismissal because he dared to post the accurate tweet above, but the institution knew it couldn’t fire him for that.

Negy’s lawyer,Samantha K. Harris, described the process:

Since June 4th, a litany (we don’t know the exact number, because they won’t say) of complaints has been lodged against Negy for his classroom pedagogy, for speech that allegedly occurred over a 15-year period from 2005 to 2020. The university charged Negy with discriminatory harassment on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, sex, gender identity/expression, and disability…while providing him with only a handful of “examples” of his alleged wrongdoing. … the university subjected Negy to an “investigative interview” that was one of the most Kafkaesque things I have seen in my 15 years advising students and faculty about campus disciplinary matters. For four straight hours, UCF’s investigator grilled Negy about accusations stemming directly from his classroom pedagogy, having made no effort to weed out the countless accusations that were obviously just critiques of his choice of teaching material….When Negy, physically and emotionally exhausted after four hours of interrogation, asked if the interview was almost over, we learned that the investigator had not even gotten halfway through her list of accusations. Another five-hour inquisition was scheduled for the following week.

This investigation was obviously undertaken in retaliation for Negy’s protected tweets… How many professors are going to be willing to speak out if the result is a nine-hour inquisition followed by an almost inevitable punishment?…Cases like this are canaries in the coal mine: if a public university—a government agency—can treat someone this way for deviating from the university’s orthodoxy, and face no accountability for doing so, then what (and who) is next? The answer, of course, is you and me. We are next. If decent people do not take a stand against these abuses, it’s not a matter of if the state-endorsed mob will come for us—it’s only a matter of when.

When, as we now can see, has arrived.

Continue reading

What Do You Do About Harvard?

orig

In particular, what do I do about Harvard?

Harvard, beginning approximately during the regime of the previous president, Drew Faust, has been infested with serious ethics rot, and it continues to progress. I have documented some, but far from all, of the most disturbing aspects of this process, like the University’s practice of discriminating against Asian-American applicants (as well as whites, of course), which they are now defending in court. What is supposed to be the role model for the entire higher education system in the United States continues to give credence and respectability to unethical practices and values, spreading its own affliction to other institutions far and wide. Worst of all, it is indoctrinating its students to be anti-American, anti-individual rights, anti-Western civilization and culture allies of the radical Left, while attempting to demonize opposing views on campus and off.

What’s going on here? The graphic above should make it clear, but if it doesn’t, this should:

Continue reading

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.

First-Amendment-on-scroll1

In an advocacy piece in The Hill this week, the professors, who teach public policy instructors insist that the breaching of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters shows that the government must decide what statements and opinions are legally permissible. They wrote in part,

“Last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol was based on lies…The mob that stormed the building was acting on a tidal wave of misinformation about the election that was spread by the president, his fellow Republicans and their supporters using a web of partisan media outlets, social media and the dark corners of the internet.The lies flourished despite an extraordinary amount of debunking by fact-checkers and Washington journalists. But that fact-checking didn’t persuade the mob that stormed the Capitol — nor did it dissuade millions of other supporters of the president. Fed a steady diet of repetitive falsehoods by elected officials and partisan outlets, they believed the lies so much that they were driven to violence.”

“In his first week in office, President-elect Biden should announce a bipartisan commission to investigate the problem of misinformation and make recommendations about how to address it.The commission should take a broad approach and consider all possible solutions: incentives, voluntary industry reforms, education, regulations and new laws.”

Observations:

Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up That I Forgot To Post Until Now, 1/12/2021, And I Am Abashed…

Businessman with a paper bag on head

1. More for the “Scared Yet?” Files; Many thanks to Michael R, in his comment on this post, for reminding me about the scary decision of the National Association of Realtors, one of the nation’s largest trade organization, to start trying to control members speech in and away from the workplace. This should be a stand-alone post, but I’m behind, so I’ll cover this revolting development now.

The NAR revised its professional ethics code to ban “hate speech and harassing speech” by its 1.4 million members. The new rules will allow investigations, fines or expulsion of real estate agents who insult, threaten or harass” people based on race, sex, or other legally protected characteristics. Of course, what is harassment or haye speech is in the eye of thebeholder, and all such rules potentially chill speech and expression by creating fear at the source. According to the group’s online training sessions, the sweeping prohibition applies to association members every minute of the day, covering all communication, private and professional, written and spoken, online and off. A maximum fine could be as high as $15,000.

Mary Wagner, a white, lesbian real estate agent, says the rule fits her vision for creating a fairer society, and she predicts predicts thousands of complaints this year. You know: fair. Want to wreck a competitor? Report a politically-incorrect joke someone claims the competitor made to a neighbor while walking his dog. Mary says she’s thrilled about the move….. because she’s a left-wing fascist. Res ipsa loquitur.

You can quote me on that.

Continue reading

From The “Scared Yet?” Files…Ethics Dunce: Cumulus Media; Ethics Hero: Mark Levin

zipping the lip

It’s interesting, isn’t it? The Washington Post, which has been suppressing news unfavorable to progressives and Democrats for years, delivered a thorough and competent report on conservative Cumulus Media muzzling its hosts regarding doubts about the legitimacy of the 2020 election.

The Post reports:

Cumulus Media, which employs some of the most popular right-leaning talk-radio hosts in the United States, has told its on-air personalities to stop suggesting that the election was stolen from President Trump — or else face termination.

“We need to help induce national calm NOW,” Brian Philips, executive vice president of content for Cumulus, wrote in an internal memo, which was first reported by Inside Music Media. Cumulus and its program syndication arm, Westwood One, “will not tolerate any suggestion that the election has not ended. The election has been resolved and there are no alternate acceptable ‘paths.’ ” The memo adds: “If you transgress this policy, you can expect to separate from the company immediately.

Some comments, in no particular order:

Continue reading

Comments Of The Day: “The Friday Ethics Alarms Open Forum” ( Forced Cultural Shifts Thread) [Corrected!]

Inquisition

This is really an Ethics Question and Answer of the Day.

Steve Witherspoon [ Notice of Correction: I erroneously attributed this to the wrong Steve, not that Steve-O-in NJ doesn’t also ask provocative questions. I apologize to Steve W, and thank Other Bill for the correction…] asked a provocative question in our last Open Forum, which is what the Ethics Alarms open forums are for:

When a large segment of a society wants to shift their culture in a very major way and in a way that has historically been widely opposed, is using propaganda and intimidation to “force” the desired cultural shift on a population ethical, in other words, when trying to shift culture does the ends justify the means?

Before answering, think about major cultural shifts in the USA’s history. A few examples of major cultural shift are when the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and the Constitution were written or when slavery was abolished or when electricity and phone lines were wired across the USA or when automobiles began to gradually take over the streets across the USA or when airplanes became common place or when the population began to shift from print media and word of mouth as their only sources of information to radios and then to televisions or the civil rights marches in the 1960’s. There are a multitude of examples of major cultural shifts in the United States.

So…

When trying to shift culture, does the ends justify the means?

Commenter Ryan Harkins provided an excellent and thought-provoking answer:

Continue reading

Scared Yet? [Corrected]

Trump Twitter

I have taken quite a bit of flack on social media and elsewhere for my decision, a long and tortured time in the making, to vote for the re-election as President of a man whom I have always, for more than a decade, correctly identified as lacking most of the crucial abilities and characteristics that an American President must have. Primary among these is a commitment to ethical conduct. To these critics, President Trump’s irresponsible conduct in personally attempting to lead a public protest against the 2020 election—much as his political opponents mounted a protest against his election on 2016—proved the folly of my decision..

It did not. The President behaving as I always knew he was capable of behaving merely demonstrated why my decision was such a difficult one and so extended in the making. To the contrary, the conduct of those anti-democratic, totalitarian-tending foes of Trump and the basic American values of which he, in a sick twist of fate, stood as the most reliable and powerful guardian, has convinced me that my decision was the correct one. The Axis of Unethical Conduct has made it undeniable in recent weeks that it intends to abridge speech, stifle dissent, restrict civil rights and weaken Constitutional liberties to the extent it can get away with to cement one -party rule and ideological conformity with Leftist cant.

This is the result I began to fear in late October of 2016, when I decided that I could not in good conscience vote to give power to a party, the Democrats, that I no longer believed were committed to the core values of the United States of America, nor to the rule of law. This is the result I realized was inevitable if President Trump, as awful as he is, was defeated. I was correct. Like all iron-booted parties of totalitarian regimes, Democratic leaders are calling for the punishment of their political opponents. Their allies have begun unprecedented measures to prevent opposing views to be widely circulated, and not just views, but facts. The disgusting riot in the Capitol is being exploited to rush through restrictions on free speech and political discourse while emotion is ascendant and Republicans and conservatives are restrained and embarrassed. As one of Joe Biden’s soon-to-be henchmen famously said, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” The Democrats aren’t, and are creating a far greater one.

I would expect principled Democrats and progressives to see how dangerous and un-American this strike against pluralism by their friends and idols is, but so far, I don’t see it. Maybe there are no principled Democrats and progressives. More likely, they have been cowed and intimidated into the lockstep compliance that today’s Left demands.

Here is the latest attack..

Continue reading

Ethics Cool-Down, 1/8/2021: Be Afraid…[Corrected]

I checked: over the past seven years, no fewer than six regular Ethics Alarms commenters have written me to say they were withdrawing from the blog for reasons related to their emotional, mental or physical health.

Ethics is supposed to be good for you…

1. The President announced that he would not be attending Joe Biden’s inauguration, thus overtaking Hillary Clinton as the “worst loser” in all of American Presidential history. Andrew Johnson declined to see in his successor, President Grant, and was certainly bitter, but he didn’t lose the election: he wasn’t even nominated. John Adams, who did lose to Jefferson in his bid for a second term, didn’t attend his lifetime frenemy’s swearing in, but had the valid excuse that he was mourning the death of his son Charles. John Quincy Adams, John’s son, comes closest to Trump’s sore loser act, as he also refused to go to the inauguration of the man who defeated him, Andrew Jackson. However, “Quincy” had good reason to be afraid of “Old Hickory,” who was furious with Adams for letting his campaign attack his wife.

Trump should attend the inauguration, of course, though I am not surprised that he isn’t. It would be a unifying gesture, and would also show character, courage, and patriotism. It is an important tradition for the incoming and outgoing Presidents to jointly engage in the orderly transfer of power.

2. The vise tightens. Apparently Big Tech and social media have decided not to even try to hide their collective assault on free expression and dissenting views:

  • Twitter permanently banned the President of the United States from its platform. I don’t care what their official excuse is: this is a major communications source placing its fist down hard on one side of the scales of political discourse. It signaled this long ago, for those of us who weren’t trying to gaslight the public. Civil libertarians should be concerned, but they aren’t, because they almost unanimously are perfectly happy to see those they don’t like or disagree with silenced. Iran’s Ayatollah, meanwhile, can still send out tweets while he supports terrorism.
  • Facebook also banned the President from its platform. Again, this is purely partisan political censorship. The US is facing a single party in control of two branches of the government allied with the news media, social media and the tech firms to stifle dissent and political opposition.

Continue reading

Saturday Evening Ethics Post, 1/2/2021

10-saturday-evening-post-magazines

State of the Blog: Yesterday marked the 365 day low point in Ethics Alarms traffic after what was otherwise a lively year. Coincidentally, it also marked the all-time high point in Ethics Alarms followers, if you don’t count Twitter, which I do not.

I’ve got a lot of housekeeping to do on the blog, and I’m hoping the annual dead spot after New Years gives me time to do i. This includes fixing some broken links, continuing to fix typos both old and new (Pennagain and Other Bill provide a marvelous service by flagging them, and I am behind right now), taking down some pages and categories that are or will soon be out-dated in the wake of President Trump’s defeat, taking the time to see if I can master the WordPress “block” system which right now robs me of an extra 30 to 40 minutes every day, and finishing and posting several articles that have been hanging around my neck in various states of incompletion. There are a couple of rationalizations that need posting, too, and some Comments of the Day that fell through the cracks.

I always have hope that I will get up the Ethics Alarms Awards for the year, which I have failed to do now for several cycles. They are fun, but they take a lot of time, and the stats say few read them. I may try a less ambitious version

Facebook finally allows me to link to articles, though it won’t post the graphics like it will for other websites, but after two years of being blocked for violating Facebook community standards, I consider that progress.

To be honest, I’m tired, and right now I’m sick and tired. The core group of commenters here keeps me focused on the mission, and for that I am grateful beyond words.

1. I was going to devote a whole post in rant form to this, but I calmed down. In August of last year, The Robert H. Jackson Center hosted a discussion on comedian George Carlin’s “7 Dirty Words” and the 5-4 FCC v. Pacifica Foundation SCOTUS decision in 1978 upholding the broadcast restrictions on George Carlin’s “seven dirty words” routine as well as the words he discussed. Emmy-nominated producer Stephen J. Morrison, serving as moderator, was joined by comedian Lewis Black, Carlin’s daughter Kelly Carlin and Cornell Law professor Howard Leib. I stumbled upon a recording of the discussion on the Sirius-XM “Classic Comics” station, and my head exploded so many times that I had to clean up the car like John Travolta in “Pulp Fiction.”

Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Comment Of The Day: ‘Query: How Many Ways Is This Poster Unethical Or Ethically Obtuse?’

Trans-Hate-719x730

It’s a gift to your host when I can start out with a Comment of the Day, especially on days like this, when I wake up feeling like I lost a bucket of IQ points overnight.

Here is Humble Talent’s Comment of the Day on the Mrs. Q’s discourse on the meme/poster above, and the chiding of pundit Andrew Sullivan, who criticized it:

Continue reading