Well, this is depressing. Is it too pessimistic? I think so. I hope so.
I wish I knew so.
Here is Michael R.’s Comment of the Day, a trenchant and timely analysis of the underlying factors that culminated in the post, Yes, Catherine Gregory Should Be Fired:
The current Democratic college faculty, journalists, and politicians have shown how dangerous the political correctness of the 80’s and 90’s was. They are the product of that philosophy embraced by the Left and the Democratic Party. People disputed how bad it was at the time, but now we see the true effects of excusing it, ignoring it, and Democrats still voting for the Left. Let’s not pretend they all just became unhinged recently because of Trump’s election. They have been this way for a long time, it is just that people excused it or denied it. Even today, every single person I know who is a Democrat STILL denies the mainstream media has a liberal bias. Why wouldn’t they, it is the same media we had 10 years ago. All the news coverage of George W. Bush was just as unreliable as the current coverage of Trump, they just weren’t as blatant as they are now (remember Dan Rather, remember the NYT and CBS fake news story on election day about weapons of mass destruction?).
In 10 years, hate speech will be illegal and hate speech will be anything the Left doesn’t like. Roughly 60% of college students, in survey after survey, already think it is illegal to express opinions they don’t like. Since about half of college students are Democrats, it suggests that ~100% of the future Democratic voters, representatives, governors, Presidents, and judges, will view it as illegal. Continue reading
Jonathan Turley is fascinated with the issue of whether faculty members and employees generally should lose their jobs over controversial conduct outside of the workplace, particularly when it involves political speech. “There remains an uncertain line in what language is protected for teachers in their private lives,” the George Washington law professor writes. As I’ve discussed here before, I don’t think it’s nearly as uncertain as Turley does. When a faculty member’s conduct or statements on social media make an objective observer think, “No competent, professional institution would hire someone like this,” it’s bye-bye and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
Even Turley seems to waver in this ridiculous case.
Conservative commentator Lucian Wintrich was about to speak on the topic “It’s OK to Be White”—I LOVE that topic!— at the University of Connecticut when a protestor grabbed his notes. He in turn tussled with her, causing a near riot, and campus police arrested him. The protestor was Catherine Gregory, associate director of career services at Quinebaug Valley Community College.
Today the University came to its senses (or realized public opinion wasn’t going to allow it to get away with its attempt at liberal fascism) and dropped the charges against Wintrich while charging Gregory.
What should happen to Gregory?
Gregory’s lawyer, Jon Schoenhorn argues that his client was justified in her actions because Wintrich’s views constitute “hate speech” and his actions “are beyond the First Amendment” in their insults to minorities. This is obviously nonsense, and I would argue it even qualifies as a frivolous and dishonest defense, an ethical violation. Unless the man is complete nitwit, he must know that there is no excluded variety of speech called “hate speech” that the First Amendment doesn’t protect. He’s lying, or he’s too incompetent to be a lawyer. Continue reading
ABC reporter Tom Llamas confronted Donald Trump this week over his use of the term “anchor baby,” saying it was an offensive slur.
“That’s an offensive term! People find that hurtful,” he said.
“You mean it’s not politically correct, and yet everybody uses it,”replied Trump, who apparently must include at least one unethical rationalization in every sentence.
The fact, you idiot, that “everybody uses it” doesn’t make it right.
“Look it up in the dictionary,” Llamas yelled. “It’s offensive!” Gee, I’m sorry, Tom, I don’t let the dictionary tell me how I can express myself, and neither should Trump. The dictionaries reflect the fact that pro-illegal immigration forces have warped the use of language. I assume pretty soon the dictionary will declare any term for illegal immigrants that distinguishes them from law-abiding, wait-in-line, pay-the-fees, legal immigrants is similarly “offensive.”
“I’ll use the word anchor baby. Excuse me! I’ll use the word anchor baby!” Trump said.
So will I.
Anchor baby. Continue reading
Bad one. Been building for a while.
Explain to me why this story isn’t national news, while a principal pulling a valedictorian off the graduation program when he insisted on making graduation a vehicle for his coming out as gay—to his parents—is. Never mind. We both know know. Journalists see discrimination and homophobia even where it isn’t, but fascism increasingly bothers them less and less.
That’s because, I fear, they are Democrats. I will return to this surprising and alarming theme in a moment.
At Northwest Mississippi Community College, where the graduation ceremony for Senatobia High was held, the superintendent asked the crowd not to scream or cheer and to hold their applause until the end. As always happens—always, always,always––a few relatives couldn’t contain themselves. Four guests shouted various felicities and exhortation to their graduates out of turn
They are strict in Mississippi: all four were kicked out of the event.
But that’s not all. They are really strict in Mississippi: Senatobia Municipal School District Superintendent Jay Foster filed ‘disturbing the peace’ charges against the people who yelled at graduation, and police issued warrants for their arrests with a possible $500 bond.
Well, my head’s been threatening to explode for quite a while now*, and this finally did it, big time. Congratulations Jay Foster, you foolish, unethical, unkind, tin-god fascist. You did it.
Foster refused to be interviewed on camera, but told the media that he’s determined to have order at graduation ceremonies. I recommend snipers, Jay. Or maybe duct tape. This fascist idiot is responsible for educating children! Does he realize he’s educating them to be…Democratic Senators? Continue reading
Bad day at CNN. First John Berman turns the morning news into frat boy jokes about “big stones” —a testicles reference! HAR!–and then CNN’s AM Big Kahuna Chris Cuomo humiliates himself and everyone associated with him by tweeting,
“Hate speech is excluded from protection. Don’t just say you love the Constitution…read it.”
Wow. Not only is Cuomo spectacularly wrong, but he was smug and arrogant about it. Much as censorious fake liberals who want to impose speech and thought codes on us all would like it to be the case, “hate speech” has no special status in the Constitution at all, other than its status as “speech.” Reason, in a rebuke to Cuomo that drips with appropriate but still somehow inadequate contempt, points out:
Okay, let’s take Cuomo’s challenge. Let’s read the speech part of the Constitution. (I hope this doesn’t take too long; I hate reading.) Oh, good, the speech stuff is right there at the beginning of the “things you can do” section:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. My copy of the Constitution seems to be missing this fabled “except hate speech, none of that” clause.
Well, then, it must be an exception found by the Supreme Court, right? Uh, no…Reason continues its schooling: Continue reading
The exquisitely rendered artwork of Gary Trudeau, circa 1970.
“At some point free expression absolutism becomes childish and unserious. It becomes its own kind of fanaticism.”
—-Doonesbury cartoonist and relentless critic of the Right, Garry Trudeau, in a speech delivered on April 10 at the Long Island University’s George Polk Awards ceremony, where he received the George Polk Career Award.
Trudeau is a Yale grad, so perhaps we should cut him some slack muddled thinking. (Kidding!) However, in making his weak case that legitimate and socially acceptable satire only consists of “punching up,” he appeared to be advocating government prohibition of certain kinds of speech, to be designated by Trudeau and his ideological allies, who, of course, know best.
In doing this, Trudeau came very close to aping the popular theme from activists on the Left, especially on campuses, that “hate speech isn’t protected by the First Amendment.” “Hate speech” is an invention of progressives, and is generally defined as political or social criticism of members in good standing of their club, or groups and individuals they sympathize with or approve of. Saying that you hope Rush Limbaugh’s kidneys fail is funny and deserved; saying Mike Brown engineered his own demise by attacking a cop is hate speech. It’s easy when you get the hang of it: just look at the world like Gary Trudeau.
Earlier in his speech, he talked about “red lines” in satire, and blurrily–that is, inarticulately enough that he has plausible deniability, called for restrictions on “hateful” cartoons like those that prompted Islamic assassinations in Paris: Continue reading
The Republic of Texas, as an intriguing YouTube documentary explains, is a small separatist group in the Lone Star State that maintains its own quixotic mini-government, including official currency, a president, a legislative body and even “courts.” Its senators and president gathered in the center of a Bryan, Texas, meeting hall, surrounded by curious or sympathetic onlookers, to debate issues of the national currency, develop international relations and celebrate the birthday of one of their oldest members. Suddenly one of the onlookers stood opened the hall door, letting in an armed force including the Bryan Police Department, the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office, the Kerr County Sheriff’s Office, Agents of the Texas District Attorney, the Texas Rangers and the FBI. It was a raid. The twenty officers rounded up, searched and fingerprinted all 60 meeting attendees, and seized all cellphones and recording equipment.
What triggered such a frightening show of force? It was an elephant gun-flea response to the fact that the Republic of Texas had issued a “summons” to a Kerr County judge and another to a bank employee, ordering them to appear in the Republic’s court at the Veterans and Foreign Wars building in Bryan the day very the officers burst in on the group’s “congress.”
“You can’t just let people go around filing false documents to judges trying to make them appear in front of courts that aren’t even real courts,” Kerr County sheriff Rusty Hierholzer told the media. Ah. Some deluded club members engage in overreach while pretending that they have founded a new government rather than an eccentric social group–sending a bogus but sincere summons is a misdemeanor at worst—and this is seen as just cause for an armed raid? Hierholzer said he needed an army to serve a search warrant for suspicions of a misdemeanor, because there was a 1997 incident where 300 state troopers had an stand-off with well-fortified Republic of Texas leader with mayhem on his mind.
I have no sympathy with secessionists, militias, or other such groups. They are, however, engaged in the grand American tradition of opposing authority, complaining about the state of the nation, and gathering with others of a like mind to see if they can fix what’s wrong. The government putting a police-state scare into such groups, showing contempt for them and treating them like terrorist cells is un-American, in contrast. It’s harassment, and an attempt to discourage lawful dissent and to chill Constitutional rights. Continue reading
In a dilemma reminiscent of my ice cream sundae problem last year, I faced the question of how to ethically respond to yet another food service botch. We ordered a modest dinner from the local Chinese carry-out establishment, and after we got the order home, discovered that it was missing an appetizer. It was raining hard, and when I called the restaurant, they agreed, after putting me through the third degree, that they had screwed up. They said they would deliver it. I was prepared to drive over and pick it up, but at least this allowed us to begin eating the rest of the dinner before it got cold. It took about a half an hour, but my precious pan-fried pork dumplings finally arrived, along with profuse apologizes from the deliverer.
The ethics issue: Should I tip him or not? Continue reading
For the dangerous crime of not agreeing with Adam Weinstein…
In a jaw-dropping post on Gawker-–I would suspect link bait if this wasn’t a disturbing trend-— a supposedly (formerly?) reputable journalist argues that anyone who challenges global warming orthodoxy should be prosecuted as a criminal. Here is Adam Weinstein making a fool out of himself (actually, only a fool could write such crap), and doing it by quoting as an authority the absurd Prof Lawrence Torcello, whose earlier advocacy of punishing global warming skeptics I wrote about in this post. Weinstein:
Those denialists should face jail. They should face fines. They should face lawsuits from the classes of people whose lives and livelihoods are most threatened by denialist tactics. Let’s make a clear distinction here: I’m not talking about the man on the street who thinks Rush Limbaugh is right, and climate change is a socialist United Nations conspiracy foisted by a Muslim U.S. president on an unwitting public to erode its civil liberties. You all know that man. That man is an idiot. He is too stupid to do anything other than choke the earth’s atmosphere a little more with his Mr. Pibb burps and his F-150’s gassy exhaust. Few of us believers in climate change can do much more—or less—than he can.
Nor am I talking about simple skeptics, particularly the scientists who must constantly hypo-test our existing assumptions about the world in order to check their accuracy. That is part and parcel of the important public policy discussion about what we do next. But there is scientific skepticism… and there is a malicious, profiteering quietist agenda posturing as skepticism. There is uncertainty about whether man-made climate change can be stopped or reversed… and there is the body of purulent pundits, paid sponsors, and corporate grifters who exploit the smallest uncertainty at the edges of a settled science.
I’m talking about Rush and his multi-million-dollar ilk in the disinformation business. I’m talking about Americans for Prosperity and the businesses and billionaires who back its obfuscatory propaganda. I’m talking about public persons and organizations and corporations for whom denying a fundamental scientific fact is profitable, who encourage the acceleration of an anti-environment course of unregulated consumption and production that, frankly, will screw my son and your children and whatever progeny they manage to have.
Those malcontents must be punished and stopped.
I say “suddenly” because I always thought of censorship and mind-control as Big Brother, “1984” stuff, the tools of fascism and totalitarian dictators. Yet for several years, the primary calls for impeding open debate and limiting the tools that facilitate it have been coming from the left. No labels. No “eliminationist rhetoric.” Ban “retarded.” Ban “nigger.” Now a best-selling feminist, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, has launched a fatuous campaign to ban the word “bossy,’ on the theory that it is wielded against incipient female leaders and crushes their spirits and aspirations. (I would counter that any girl who can’t stand up to a word isn’t a very promising leader to begin with.) Unable to mold human nature to its liking with reason, facts and persuasion, the increasingly popular tactic seems to be removing the ability to engage in the kinds of thinking and conduct that liberals, with varying justification, find repugnant. Linguists have shown that ideas that can’t be expressed are difficult to form, much less argue for. Eliminate bigotry, bias, inequality, and social injustice by making them impossible to articulate, and then even conceive! Brilliant!
Now Lawrence Torcello, an American philosophy professor with a Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo, has published an essay in the academic website The Conversation arguing that dissent about climate change and the human role in it is so sinister that it “ought to be considered criminally negligent.” Continue reading