Category Archives: Academia

A- Paper from University of North Carolina

Yahoo News hosts an amusing example of an athlete’s final paper, chock full of errors, that received an A- from the esteemed UNC.

In my experience though, it’s not only athletes who receive such treatment. And it isn’t right to label these as “no-show” classes. The emphasis should be on what a student actually learns, not his attendance in class. College should not be adult day care, and some are simply not college material.

The solution here is the same with public schooling: Separate the bright from the dim, make actual learning a requirement to pass, don’t fear to flunk a student who refuses to, or cannot, learn.

China is laughing.

PC Scolds Attack College of Charleston President Select

The PC hysteria caucus is predictably outraged because a long time South Carolina Republican who may have something other than scorn and contempt for his ancestors and state has been picked to head the College of Charleston.

I don’t know if a retiring politician is actually qualified to be a University President,  but a school picking a politician is certainly not without precedent. David Boren became the President of the University of Oklahome. Donna Shalala became the President of the University of Miami, and those are just off the top of my head. So who really believes these PC enforcers are more worried about credentials than they are right think?

McConnell, who spent more than 30 years in the state Senate (including 11 as  its leader before becoming lieutenant governor) is being eyed suspiciously for  two reasons: his political connections and his association with Confederate  history.

Faculty said the search process was a sham, given that McConnell emerged at  the top of the heap despite reports the search committee didn’t choose him as a  finalist.

His critics also paint him as a Confederate sympathizer. He used to own a shop that  sold memorabilia of the South’s rebellion; he appears in a widely circulated  picture dressed as a  Confederate general; and he is a longtime supporter of flying the  Confederate flag on the statehouse grounds. McConnell, whose office did not  respond to a request for comment, has previously  said his affiliation with Confederate regalia has to do with history and  states’ rights.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/03/26/college-charlestons-next-president-politician-confederate-sympathies-faculty-and#ixzz2x5NYJOO8 Inside Higher Ed

Tom Woods Defends Walter Block from his PC Inquisitors

Apparently the faculty at Layola University, including the University President, has their panties in a bunch again because Walter Block won’t play by their PC rules. Of course, this is, as usual, entirely feigned outrage. They know good and well that an anarchist libertarian doesn’t think slavery is peachy, and if they don’t know that then they are too ignorant to be teaching at the local elementary school, much less at a respected university. They are just jumping on an opportunity to do the PC “point and sputter” because Block is clearly not a PC rightthinker otherwise.

To address the Presidents’ childish letter (I guess they don’t make Jesuits like they used to) specifically, since Block is a libertarian it logically follows that he doesn’t support anti-discrimination laws such as the Civil Rights Act because he supports the right of private individuals and entities to discriminate, whether he agrees with it morally or not. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be a consistent libertarian. You know, like the cosmotarians at Reason. So again, spare me the feigned outrage that’s obviously calculated to protect you and your institution from charges of wrongthink from the PC though cops, rather than make a sound argument. And spare me the claim that you would fail Block for illogic, when you just wrote a whiny letter to the school paper that is full of its own illogic as I point out above.

Here is the faculty letter which is a little more substantive than the President’s, but still a classic example of “point and sputter” feigned PC outrage. Just to address one point, the letter rants “Block not only attacks the legitimacy and constitutionality of the 1964 Civil Rights Act…” Well yeah … because the Civil Rights Act was unconstitutional and from a libertarian perspective was illegitimate for the reason I explained above. (For the record, I consider myself more of a paleocon than a libertarian, but you don’t have to be one to understand logical consistency.) If he didn’t think it was illegitimate then he wouldn’t be a proper libertarian now would he? As for it being unconstitutional, you have to understand that not everyone turns off their intellect and genuflects before the determinations of a modern Court. I assume Block is speaking from an originalist perspective, which would argue that the Civil Rights Act is unconstitutional because there is no constitutionally delegated power to prohibit private discrimination. If these PC cloistered academics would actually educate themselves instead of just repeating approved platitudes, they would know that such a thing as originalism exists, and then they might actually be able to attempt to counter it rather than run to the student newspaper saying essentially “Mommy, Mommy, Mr. Block uttered wrongthink! Please make him stop!” like a bunch of kindergarteners.

Tom Woods explains the situation below:

Here is the Walter Block resource page Woods speaks of.

Here is Woods’ blog post containing the above video.

The only slavery the faculty and President of Layola University should be concerned about is their own PC thoughtslavery.

Hoax: Noel Ignatiev Retires and Goes Out With an Anti-White Bang

Attn: This story is now officially a hoax. Ignatiev is not even retiring.

I actually didn’t doubt the quote, because I knew Ignatiev’s history, but I did doubt the sincerity of the website that was praising it. But finding out this was a hoax was not easy. I ran several web searches before I found the story above.

Original story begins below.                                                                              

Noel Ignatiev is the infamous white hater who edits the journal Race Traitor (Yes there really is a “journal” called Race Traitor.) and is probably most infamous for this quote:

“The goal of abolishing the white race is on its face so desirable that some may find it hard to believe that it could incur any opposition other than from committed white supremacists.”

Not content with that little gem, he recently used the occasion of his retirement to let lose with this doozy:

“If you are a white male, you don’t deserve to live.  You are a cancer, you’re a disease, white males have never contributed anything positive to the world! They only murder, exploit and oppress non-whites! At least a white woman can have sex with a black man and make a brown baby but what can a white male do? He’s good for nothing. Slavery, genocides against aboriginal peoples and massive land confiscation, the inquisition, the holocaust, white males are all to blame! You maintain your white male privilege only by oppressing, discriminating against and enslaving others!”

Ignatiev, who is of Russian Jewish heritage, of course looks as white as I do. (See above link.) The link is to a site called Diversity Chronicle. I have yet to decide if Diversity Chronicle is legit, or if it is really an elaborate spoof of the foolishness of people like Ignatiev. This paragraph makes me think it may really be a spoof:

The good Professor’s sound and reasonable words resonate with every enlightened and progressive mind. They are indisputable and no one can debate them. They should not be controversial in the slightest, yet remarkably a few far-right extremists object to the Prof. Ignatiev’s advice.

No one could seriously be that clueless, could they?

Addendum: The whole quote along with Diversity Chronicle may be a spoof. I’m still looking into it.

Paul Gottfried Responds to His Critics at Free Republic

Prof. Gottfried saw our post below, and passed along this response (very slightly edited) to his critics at Free Republic, where the review was posted:

In his very generous, widely distributed review of my book on Leo Strauss and Strauss’s effect on the American conservative movement, Jack Kerwick observes that amidst our ideological division, my study stands out as “model of civility.” Apparently this judgment didn’t sit well with some commentors at freerepublic.com who weighed in against me as a nasty controversialist. Among my transgressions is to have defended the notorious anti-Semite Joe Sobran. Further, in my presumed attacks on Leo Strauss in a book that my ungrammatical critics never bothered to read, I besmirched a true patriot, who loved our liberal democratic government. Since Strauss defended what he thought America had been set up to represent, he must have been an authentic conservative, and it was therefore wicked on my part to challenge his political credentials. One critic even went so far as to describe me as driven by “anger,” that is, as someone who is no longer capable of rational judgment. This rant replicated almost word for word the unprofessional opinions that had been sent by a referee for an outline of my (then unwritten) book on Strauss that had been submitted to Yale University Press three years ago. Although my alma mater was about to give me a contract for the book Cambridge later brought out, after the receipt of the poison pen letter, the editor broke off negotiations.

These comments occasion certain thoughts, or more accurately, force me to revise certain preconceived notions. Up until a few days ago I had assumed that my adversaries in the conservative media simply ignored my critical writings. They treated me as an inconsequential rightwing kook, whom they had no interest in calling attention to. Last week I encountered a young gentleman who told me how at “conservative” youth conferences he attended, he was warned against my uncooperative attitudes. I was certainly a presence at these events, in the same way that Goldstein was in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four. And I suspect I enjoyed about the same degree of popularity among the organizers as Big Brother’s straw man.

For the record, my well-prepped critics are wrong on two points, in addition to their egregious syntax. One, I never defended Joe Sobran as an “anti-Semite” or as a critic of the policies of the Israeli government, which for some of my critics are the same. I simply noted somewhere that Sobran was unjustly treated by the movement to which he had devoted his life. I never expressed approval of his judgments about Israel, which I do not happen to share. Two, my work on Strauss, which my detractors obviously never looked at, is every bit as civil as Jack Kerwick suggests it is. One would be hard pressed to find a single snide comment about my subject and in fact one encounters in the biographical sections many empathetic remarks about Strauss’s treatment as a scholar in Germany before he was forced by the Nazis to leave. I note parallels between my family’s experiences and those of Strauss and stress repeatedly the breadth of Strauss’s erudition. I have absolutely no idea how anyone but a driven fanatic could find anything demeaning about my descriptions.

My downfall with this book is that I’m not a Straussian or someone who interprets Strauss and his disciples as “conservatives.” Since as an intellectual historian I treat even classical Marxists with sympathy, the fact that I don’t characterize the Straussians or their master as conservative should not be viewed as an insult. But it may be a costly faux pas. Strauss’s more prominent disciples are used to being slobbered over in certain magazines conventionally associated with the right. Unfortunately for my sales, I don’t follow this party-line.

Paul Gottfried Chronicles the Decline of Elizabethtown College

Paul Gottfried chronicles how obsessive multiculturalism and political correctness has ruined Elizabethtown College where he taught, and this all happened between 1989 and his retirement in 2011. While this is about Elizabethtown College specifically, it is a microcosm of what has happened to higher education in this country in general.

Another sad part of this story is that E-Town College is supposedly religiously affiliated with the Church of the Brethren. How have all these Christian denominations let colleges they supposedly sponsor run amok with anti-Christian political correctness? Its not only a shame, its a sin.

Political Correctness Scold who Whined About League of the South Connection is a Professor at the Conservative Christian Grove City College

Warren Throckmorton, the blogger who first “exposed” (whined about) the League of the South connection to the conference we reported on below, is surprisingly a Professor at the conservative Christian Grove City College. Grove City has long been a favorite among conservatives because it, like Hillsdale College, does not accept federal financial aid.

I’m sure people will say that Professor Throckmorton has academic freedom, and that’s fine. I’m not suggesting that Grove City College should fire him or silence him. But political correctness is the mortal enemy of both conservatism and Christianity. I find it odd that this is where this guy teaches instead of Berkley or Harvard or somewhere else you would more expect to see such lefty politically correct moral posturing. I just wonder what the chances are that we’ll get a statement from Grove City distancing themselves from Professor Throckmorton’s left-wing empowering hobby of doing the $PLC’s dirty work for them. Lehigh University issued a statement disassociating themselves from the work of Intelligent Design advocate Michael Behe. California State University, Long Beach officially distanced itself from Kevin McDonald. I don’t think it is asking too much to suggest that Grove City should similarly distance itself from someone who propagates the openly anti-conservative and anti-Christian dogma of political correctness.

Street Theater

French rightist, Professor of History,  Dominique Venner, shot himself in the head at the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris on May 21.

His last blog post details one who confronted the reality of both the legal acceptance of “gay marriage” and the other notion, that soon Islamic dominance in France will do away with such a thing (i.e. learn to love the bomb).  Staring the nightmare in the face, he pursued an act of theater to encourage his positions.

Revilo Oliver, a veteran Far Rightist (a professor at the University of Illinois and in Bill Buck’s wedding party) died by his own hand in the nascent Internet Age, where as Mssr. Venner was able to provide a blog post (and apparently a more traditional written note) in a more grandiose final act.

As fewer Rightists, for a variety of reasons, are given the opportunity to exist as a Professor, a fact Mssr. Venner surely understood, consider his performance as something we might not see again.

Front Porch Republic to Form a Publishing Company

This is interesting news. We have sometimes been critical of FPR (see here, here, here and here), but I consider this good news. As I said in the Policy Review post below, the left has journals for every conceivable niche, but the right has only a few. Likewise with publishing companies. There are all sorts of niche left-wing presses, but very few “conservative” presses and most of them primarily churn out books from “conservative” celebrities. This is a welcome development.

The Incivility of Lincoln’s War

The following is taken from Richard M. Weaver’s classic The Southern Tradition at Bay: A History of Postbellum Thought, first published in 1968.

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4. The Character of the Enemy

Thus the majority of Confederate officers looked upon themselves as Christian gentlemen, and in the recognized calling of war they sought to maintain that character, often to the point of nicety. The style and spirit of their warfare was a source of great pride to them, but that of the enemy provoked criticism and condemnation, on what grounds we must see. It is well to proceed cautiously here, for as an early English poem says, “In broyles the bag of lyes is ever open,” and the enemy is likely to be represented as barbarous in proportion as he proves stubborn and difficult to conquer. But after all precautions have been taken and all corrections have been made, there remains considerable foundation for the assertion that the United States is the first government in modern times to commit itself to the policy of unlimited aggression. This was one of the many innovations which came out of the American Civil War. It is true, of course, that no war is wholly free from atrocities, but a distinction must be drawn between those excesses committed by soldiers who have broken discipline and those which are a part of the determined policy of commanders. Generals Hunter, Sheridan, and Sherman put themselves on record, both by utterance and practice, as believing in the war of unlimited aggression, in the prosecution of which they received at least the tacit endorsement of the Lincoln administration.

This is a matter of prime importance in the history of the American past, because the real significance of the war of unlimited aggression is that it strikes at one of the bases of civilization. As long as each side plays according to the rules of the “game,” with no more infraction than is to be expected in any heated contest, the door is left open for reconciliation and the eventual restoration of amity. But when one side drops the restraints built up over a long period and commits itself to the total destruction of the other by any means, no longer distinguishing between combatants and noncombatants, then the demoralization is complete, and the difficulty of putting relationships back on a moral basis is perhaps too great to be overcome. In war, as in peace, people remain civilized by acknowledging bounds beyond which they must not go. Even in military combat there must be a supreme sanction, uniting those who in all else are in opposition, and if this is disregarded, then the long and painful business of laying the foundations of understanding must be recommenced from the very beginning. The expression “Christian civilization,” when examined, denotes just this body of fundamental concepts and allegiances, which one may not drop without becoming “un-Christian” and so, in the meaningful sense of the word, excommunicated. When this is understood the term “Christian soldier” ceases to be paradoxical. The Christian soldier must seek the verdict of battle always remembering that there is a higher law by which both he and his opponent will be judged, and which enjoins against fighting as the barbarian.

It is not unusual to read in Southern accounts of the rejection of some procedure as “unworthy of a Christian soldiery.” Indeed, by the standard of modern practice, which represents a revolt against all civilized restraints, the matter of regard for rule was carried far.78 Exceptions were found, naturally, among the disorderly elements which made up parts of the Western armies, but few outrages can be ascribed to the armies of Johnston, Lee, and Bragg, and none of them was condoned.
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Professor: Death Penalty for Global Warming Deniers

Ugh! As I have said before, I’m not inclined to argue the science of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) on political grounds. But I am inclined to comment on the state of the debate. As I said in the article linked above, the insufferable smugness of the AGW true believer crowd is profoundly unhelpful to their cause. This story from Political Outcast is a perfect example of what I mean:

The funny thing is, Professor Richard Parncutt of the University of Graz isn’t even a climate scientist. He teaches Systematic Musicology. So, if you’re one of those global warming deniers, then you shouldn’t be allowed to have an opinion because you don’t have enough expertise in climate science, or if you do, you should have your credentials stripped from you because you’ve proven yourself unworthy to have them. On the other hand, if you support the theory of anthropogenic global warming, it doesn’t matter what credentials you have or don’t have, your opinion is vital and true. You could be a bum living in a cardboard box in D.C. with an 8thgrade education and believe that man is causing the earth to warm, and that if the “lords” over in the D.C. castle don’t “do something” about it, humanity will be wiped out, and it will be the fault of all those “deniers.” And that poor bum’s opinion will have more respect than the climate scientists with 18 Ph.D.’s who believe the only thing that’s manmade about anthropogenic global warming is the theory itself.

Read more…

The good professor has changed his original article (follow the links in the article above) presumably in response to criticism, but he seems more concerned with establishing his liberal bona fides in light of his call for the death penalty than he does in walking back from his outrageous premise. Either way, his over the top nonsense has certainly done more harm to the cause he espouses than good. The AGW true believers need to step outside the bubble they inhabit and join the rest of us in the real world where there is, for better or worse, still doubt.

M-Disc for Data Archiving

I’m wanting to archive some right-wing books in .txt format, cartoons, and music. M-Disc looks like the most reliable choice, and I figured I’d share it here.

I doubt claims that M-Discs are significantly more resistant to physical damage (including from regular use), but they will resist time better than currently available alternatives. An implied M-Disc life of centuries Vs. 2 to 5 years for regular CDs/DVDs. This is because M-Disc’s data layer is physically carved in “rock-like materials” as opposed to the standard, short-lived dye.

M-Discs also cost much more per disc, and the only DVD-burners currently capable of writing on them are made by LG. M-Discs aren’t rewritable, so any errors are permanent, requiring a new disc to correct. I probably will not use many discs, but this is again the best long-term storage option I’m aware of.

M-Disc mentions competitors (likely optical discs using a similar technology) claiming 300-year shelf lives, but no brands are listed. Internet searches bring up nothing.

False Aristotle Quote?

Floating around the web, to save face I don’t want to say where, is the following quote attributed to Aristotle:

Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying society.

I didn’t recognise it, so I searched Perseus Digital Library: Nothing. I believe it to be fake.

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A better quote, if people want to stand steadfast by the authority of Aristotle, is:

Also difference of race is a cause of faction, until harmony of spirit is reached; for just as any chance multitude of people does not form a state, so a state is not formed in any chance period of time. Hence most of the states that have hitherto admitted joint settlers or additional settlers have split into factions; for example Achaeans settled at Sybaris jointly with Troezenians, and afterwards the Achaeans having become more numerous expelled the Troezenians, which was the Cause of the curse that fell on the Sybarites; and at Thurii Sybarites quarrelled with those who had settled there with them, for they claimed to have the larger share in the country as being their own, and were ejected; and at Byzantium the additional settlers were discovered plotting against the colonists and were expelled by force of arms; and the people of Antissa after admitting the Chian exiles expelled them by arms; and the people of Zancle after admitting settlers from Samos were themselves expelled; and the people of Apollonia on the Euxine Sea after bringing in additional settlers fell into faction; and the Syracusans after the period of the tyrants conferred citizenship on their foreign troops and mercenaries and then faction set in and they came to battle; and the Amphipolitans having received settlers from Chalcis were most of them driven out by them.

Source: Aristotle. Politics. Book 5. Section 1303a-1303b.

To be poor and white in America

To be poor and white in America basically means you’ll probably stay poor and white. I say probably because there’s always the occasional go-getter or two, but when a recent study showed that elite academia has no interest in having poor or middle to low middle class whites attend their colleges and universities, even such go-getters are steered to the local state school or community colleges. Or join they join the military because they find no other reasonable chance for advancement without putting their lives at risk or come back from Iraq with a limb shot off  just to pay for college. It sounds like career tracking to me.

Elite schools can congratulate themselves thinking they’ve recreated study bodies that reflect a post-racial, managerial based society. But also may very well have created large pockets of resentment in the rural ghettos of our nation. In past they may not have been a huge problem because a white person could work at a  factory or own a farm and make a decent living without having to go to Harvard. Such options hardly exist anymore. He or she would have to take on mountains of debt and have own 2,000 head of livestock to make any kind of living on the land. What factories their are may very well employ illegal immigrants working willing to have their hands sliced off for $1.25 an hour just so they can experience the joys of indoor plumbing. Its hard to see what job skills community colleges are supposed to teach since glass towers are rarely found outside big cities that thousands of poor whites flee to every year looking for work.

Some enlightened college administrator may look at this study and ask themselves  “Do we really want to create more Tim McVeighs”? The “fire next time” for whites may very well come with demobilized vets from “Global War on Terror” finding themselves working McJobs after leading whole squads, companies and platoons in Iraq. Given that they may be no majority race by 2042, the call for white quotas may become stronger and stronger. Sarah Palin may very well be to underclass whites was Jesse Jackson was to underclass blacks. The question is for conservatives, are these the paths we want to follow down? Because if they are, then years of rehtoric about meritocracy, affirmative action and identity politics along with snide remarks about elitism at Harvard might as well be chucked out the window right now.

This brings up an interesting point in a recent article Patrick Deenan just wrote. We can point out the Ivy League’s bigotry against poor whites as we should. But is encouraging the young and the ambitious to join the “creative class” in a blue state when they graduate really what we want to encourage?

Members of the meritocracy are well aware of whom they have left behind, and rather than assuming the personal obligation of old to those less fortunate, they elect instead to pay an impersonal middleman—government—to deal with the aftereffects of what Wendell Berry has called the “strip-mining” of talent from every town and hamlet in the world. At the same time, they demand that everyone else pay up as well—what would have been personal forms of responsibility have instead been spread to the entire population, including those they purport to succor. As Christopher Lasch wrote, “obligation, like everything else, has been depersonalized; exercised through the agency of the state, the burden of supporting it falls not on the professional and managerial class but, disproportionately, on the lower-middle and working class.”

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The JournoList Scandal

The unfolding JournoList scandal has already claimed one victim, Dave Weigel, but it may be about to claim some more. The contents of some other JournoList conversations have been exposed and show coordinated attempts by liberal “journalists” to suppress news detrimental to Obama and vilify his conservative critics. This is big and could get much bigger.

See the DailyCaller.

See BigJournalism.

HT: Errol Phillips (no relation)

Bacevich on Populism at World Affairs Journal

I read a very interesting book review today in World Affairs Journal.* I’m not a subscriber, but I happened to see a copy at our local Barnes & Noble. Thankfully the review is available online.

Andrew Bacevich is reviewing Eric Miller’s new biography of Christopher Lasch. The review itself is helpful and informative. I came away thinking Christopher Lasch is someone whose ideas I should get to know better. But the first eight paragraphs that serve as intro to the review are masterful.

Every time I read Bacevich I come away thinking he is one of the few public intellectuals who gets it, and gets us. Not that there aren’t others who get it and get us, they just generally aren’t allowed into the rarefied category of public intellectual. I don’t know how he gets away with it. I don’t know if Bacevich is an ideological (for lack of a better word. No Kirk lectures needed.) paleoconservative, but it is easy to detect a broadly conservative disposition, and I detect a certain Catholicness. So why the liberals give him a platform is puzzling. Since he is most often critical of Republican foreign policy and is also critical of the reduction of conservatism to a defense of capitalism, maybe they haven’t quite picked up on the fact that he isn’t one of them. But he isn’t the type of conservative who criticizes other conservatives (Frum, Brooks) who liberals love to promote either. Their critique of conservatism is from the center. Bacevich’s critique, as best as I can tell, is from a more authentic right.

Anyway, read the review. Bacevich makes a point that I have been makingfor years. American politics is dominated by a very tightly defined center. All the fretting and hand-wringuing about the extremes dragging their respective parties to the fringe is all about maintaining the status quo and getting all those uppity middle Americans with their silly ideas to shut up and go away. Best to leave that governing stuff to the big boys. I have never seen this dynamic expressed better than Bacevich does here.

*I am not very familiar with Foreign Affairs Journal. It promotes itself as a journal that argues the “big ideas behind U.S. foreign policy” and give air to divergent opinions. Since foreign policy on both “sides” is dominated by the shared assumptions of internationalism and interventionism, this is probably a good thing and is perhaps the reason they give Bacevich a platform. But the fact that they also give Jamie Kirchick headline billing makes me wonder just how credible they are. Kirchick is a go to PC enforcer which is one of the most powerful weapons the Establishment has for keeping intellectual dissent in check.

Don’t you cancel this meeting, I am paying for this university!

The University of Wisconsin is a public institution which has received both my donations in the past and my tax dollars in the present. It also receives plenty of federal money. Because of this, one would think that the First Amendment would be upheld in such a place.

Apparently not because the they symposium I was supposed to attend was reportedly canceled over the weekend because the meeting’s sponsors couldn’t guarantee nor pay for security for Cindy Sheehan.

“A distinguished group of panelists from across the American political spectrum will gather to discuss electoral reform, the peace movement, and the growing dissatisfaction with both Republicans and Democrats. Panelists include Theresa Amato, Angela Keaton, Ben Manski, Sean Scallon, Cindy Sheehan, and Christina Tobin. The event will be moderated by Steve Burns, Program Director of Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice. The event will be held on Monday, April 26 at 7:00 p.m. in the Memorial Union at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

In a last minute twist, Union Building Event Management Director Roger Vogts canceled the event organizer’s booking of the facility, citing “security concerns” that would accompany antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan’s visit. Free and Equal has attempted to contact university security officials, but Vogts stated that he could not contact security over the weekend.

In addition, event organizers were told on Friday they must pay a sizable fee for security, even though Sheehan never requested security. In Forsyth County v. Nationalist Movement (505 U.S. 123, 1992), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that “speech cannot be financially burdened, any more than it can be punished or banned, simply because it might offend a hostile mob.”

Because the Union’s Central Reservations presides over a viewpoint-neutral limited public forum at the Union and other facilities, the Union is bound by the same constitutional demands as the local government in Forsyth County. It is unconstitutional for any viewpoint-neutral limited public forum to deny any organization free speech rights on the grounds they are unable to provide for extra security costs related to the exercise of that free speech.

To add to the intrigue, these concerns were not expressed when Norman Finkelstein spoke at University of Wisconsin at Madison on April 13, a man known for his criticism of Israel and barred from visiting the country until 2018 because the country considers him a “security threat.” Not to mention, Cindy Sheehan has spoken in Madison several times in the past without incident.

In spite of Vogts attempts to cancel the event, the organizing committee and panelists have decided the event will still take place at the Union. If university officials do not permit panelists and guests to congregate at the room originally booked, the event will take place on the front steps of the Union or in the lobby of the Union.

At this time, event organizers are still undecided on filing a lawsuit against the Union on grounds of a violation of their First Amendment rights.

When one considers the kinds of controversial people and groups (including George Wallace,  the Weathermen and a Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon) who have spoken at meetings, mass or otherwise, at the University of Wisconsin over the years, particularly at the Memorial Union, the idea that our little group somehow merits cancellation because of “security concerns”, is both hilarious and tragic at the same time.  Hopefully this will be resolved by tomorrow morning but one has the feeling that there’s something else going on behind the scenes that triggered this mess. I do not know what is going to happen, nor do I desire or wish to be a part of any confrontation, but I am also not going to back down either. In words of Ronald Reagan, I am paying for this university and I will be damned if I can’t speak my mind on it.

Gee, I didn’t realize a Left-Right meeting would be so controversial as to be considered dangerous.

Here’s the Wisconsin State Journal story on this.

Ronald Reagan \”I am paying for this microphone Mr. Green!\”

CHT’s own to participate in symposium

From http://www.freeandequal.org.

They wanted a conservative on the panel with all the leftists and libertarians so I’m happy to oblige.

CHICAGO, Ill., April 20, 2010 – Next week, a distinguished group of panelists from across the American political spectrum will gather to discuss electoral reform, the peace movement, and the growing dissatisfaction with both Republicans and Democrats. Panelists include Theresa Amato, Angela Keaton, Ben Manski, Sean Scallon, Cindy Sheehan, and Christina Tobin. The event will be moderated by Steve Burns, Program Director of Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice. The event will be held on Monday, April 26 at 7:00 p.m in the Memorial Union at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

America’s two-party system dominates elections to the point where they act as one party. Both major parties support the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while opposition to war and foreign intervention unite people across the political spectrum. The panel will examine how those opposed to war and military intervention can hear from and vote for candidates who share their views in the face of America’s restrictive ballot access laws.

Beginning with a fictional “Mimosa Party” to unite antiwar voters, the panelists will address the dangers of the Top Two Primary initiative on the ballot in California on June 8, 2010 and other ballot access restrictions imposed by the states. Without choices on the ballot in the general election, anti-war candidates will continue to be at a severe disadvantage when challenging pro-war incumbents.

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Ann Coulter Appearance at Canadian University Shouted Down by Thugs

Ann Coulter is a mixed bag. She is great on immigration, and one of the few “mainstream” conservatives who has dared to raise the demographic issue. She has played nice with Ron Paul. But she is disasterous on the War and foreign intervention. But we can all decry this? Yesterday her speech at a Canadian University had to be cancelled due to thuggish protestors. This follows on the heels of her being sent a threatening letter by a University administrator “reminding” her that “free speech” in Canada does not mean the same thing it does in America.