Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A Quick Recommendation

If you're even moderately interested in Al Franken's ongoing campaign to destroy Ann Coulter as a credible source of opinion for anyone, read this, and then read this. Fun stuff.


Seeking Completion said...

mmmm character assasination SWEET

keep it up bro


blankfist said...

This is off topic, but I know you're a leftist, Crane, so I thought I'd toss this in. I'm a big fan of Penn & Teller's Bullshit on Showtime, and this is basically a regurgitation from one of their shows called "College", and I tend to agree. Here it is in my own graceless words.

Did you know in most colleges and universities, Dem professors drastically outnumber the Repubs? In some cases, the balance has shifted as far as 10 to 1. Wow. And, I'm not sure that would be such a bad thing, except the Dems (and not saying the Repubs would be any better) are removing the student's first amendment right to free speech. They have language code, there are words that have been rendered illegal for use on campus, and if a male is to engage in coitus with a female he has to receive a direct and clear "YES" from her so as to not be confused with rape. It's gotten so bad that some universities have implemented a quotable question the male must ask else it would violate campus policy and blah blah blah.

It's the Liberal New York Times University, folks, and it's ridiculous. Did the Dems forget that "liberty" has the same root word as "liberal"? I mentioned this to Paul the other day, and he retorted with "but, would you think it was rightif a neo-nazi hung a swastika on campus?" Would I think it was right or would I think they should have the right? I don't think it's right. I do think they should have the right.

Alan Charles Kors of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education ( made a very eloquent remark about this, and I won't be doing it justice here by paraphrasing it, but I'll try. "By sterilizing free speech on campuses, you're telling those who would be offended -- black, female, gay -- that they cannot handle freedom." So true.

Anyhow, like I said, off topic, but I'd like to hear (or at least read) your thoughts, Crane.

JudgeHolden said...

What words have been "rendered illegal" on campuses? Are they racial epithets? Without specifics, I'm going to go off of Paul's hypothetical and assume some of the "illegal" words Penn Jillette was talking about are racial slurs and the like.

Should students have the right to call minorities the most offensive names they can think of whenever they feel like it? Or just in the classroom? I'm actually with you on this, Heath, I actually do think students should have the right. But students all over the country already have the right to say racial slurs and unfurl a big Nazi flag out of their dorm room windows at every college in the country. But the institutions who house or seek to educate those students, have the right then to say they can't do that without consequence. They have the right to expel those students, or call the police to charge them with hate speech, should the circumstance warrant. If the question is should students have the right to say racial slurs and hang racially offensive banners WITHOUT PENALTY, than I would say no.

For me, this is where libertarians go off into goofy-ville and is probably the main reason no one actually votes for them. Absolute liberty is anarchy, and anarchy isn't a tenable system. I don't think providing a safe environment for racists to express themselves is the job for any institution. If these students who want to express themselves so freely were to express their ideas in the marketplace of ideas,(i.e. the real world), their views would have currency only for as long as they could remain standing once the beatings began. By saying students should have the right to express themselves however they choose to in the university environment, you're denying the college their right to provide a safe and unintimidating environment for everyone to learn, even those who don't want to express themselves vocally. Why doesn't Charles Kors of The Foundation For Individual Rights in Education speak out for the rights of colleges to conduct business how they see fit? Their unalienable right to express their educational goals through policy? I think that's a right, too.

As for there being more liberal professors than conservative professors, I don't know. This has become a recent cause celeb for right-wingers without any branch of government to rail against; they've got to attack something, I guess. David Horowitz wrote a book about how liberal college professors are eroding the very foundations of our society in their roles as educators or some bullshit like that. I know the book really made Pat Robertson mad. I don't know exactly why there are so many more liberals than conservatives in higher education (I do have theories, but none of them are very nice to conservatives), but given my political bent, I'm certainly not unhappy about it. But like you suggest, I don't think if the situation were reversed, most conservatives would suddenly become paragons of individual liberty.

And as for the rule that calls for a male student to ask a "quotable question" to the female student before they can have sex on campus, yeah, it's absurd -- it's not a good idea to try and regulate what goes on behind the bedroom door (or dorm-room door, in this case). But the reason these wacky rules were implemented in the first place is not absurd -- women are raped by men on campus. So I don't think it's crazy to ask men to make sure the woman has given you a verbal "yes" before getting into it. It can protect the man as well from a rape charge after the fact.

In the end though, I still don't get what you've got against liberals in the here and now, Heath. Not only are the Dems not in power, but we're not the guys who're trying to take away your civil liberties -- they are. They want to take away a woman's right to say if she wants an abortion or not, they want to deny a person's right to choose what kind of contraception they want to use -- you think it's liberals who sit on the MPAA deciding what films get what ratings? You think it's liberals on school boards who decide to ban books? You think it's liberals who want to legislate video games? Music lyrics? I know the Dems are on your shit-list for gun control, but overall, I think you're pissed at the wrong people, but that's me.

Did anyone make it all the way through this crap? And now: rebuttal. Go, Heath.

Anonymous said...

If the question is should students have the right to say racial slurs and hang racially offensive banners WITHOUT PENALTY, than I would say no.

Shouldn't all potentially offensive material be penalized, as well? Why stop at things that are only racially offensive? Everything is offensive to somebody, who gets to decide what people are allowed to say or what banners can only be hanged WITH PENALTY? Is it as simple as mob rule? Should all minority opinions be shouted down or physically stomped by the angry majority?

You think it's liberals who sit on the MPAA deciding what films get what ratings?

No, but it is certainly liberals who decide what films will ever be made in the first place.

You think it's liberals on school boards who decide to ban books?

Depends on the book. It seems people of every political stripe will stop at nothing to silence their adversaries. Extreme conservatives want to ban books that undermine their narrow world view in any way. Extreme liberals want to do the same. The only difference is their pet issues, nothing more.

You think it's liberals who want to legislate video games?

Actually, yes. See Clinton, Hillary and Grand Theft Auto.

Music lyrics?

See Gore, Tipper.

Anonymous said...

so rich. so care free.

blankfist said...

Yeah, I think you're confusing me for a Republican, Crane. I am not. I, a lot of the times, play devil's advocate, I must admit, but that's largely due to the way I feel I don't fit in with (nor do I agree with) most of the stark, out-and-out view points most of my friends (mostly Democrat) and my family (mostly Republican) cling blindly to in the fear of showing any modest amounts of dissention -- confused for weakness -- that might, in some ideologically perverted, silly, reasonless way, give greater power to their arch-nemises: the other party. Now, that's absurd.

I don't wish to kick and bludgeon a dead horse, here, but I'd like to comment on a few things. First, I heard a lot of talk about college's rights. In fact, you mentioned that, I believe, four times. I agree, all PRIVATE colleges and university not affiliated with the PUBLIC and PUBLIC TAX DOLLARS should absolutely have their right to exclude all forms of free speech and whatever they feel might muddy the education waters. I agree. But, I was talking about PUBLIC schools, which are the majority, are they not? And, of which are implementing these incredibly egregious restrictions on students. And by that, I mean, the restriction of our first amendment.

But, sure, all private schools are excluded. That was what you were talking about, right? I mean, I hope you didn't throw "college right" in my face FOUR TIMES when you were thinking about a PUBLIC school, right? No, no, I'm sure you're brighter than that.

As for charging people with "hate speech", well, if that's a law, and I'm not a lawyer so I'm going to have to take your word for it, I think that's despicable, too. But, that's a tangent I don't wish to go on, because LOST is about to come on the television. But, before I go, I wanted to quickly touch on this:

But the reason these wacky rules were implemented in the first place is not absurd -- women are raped by men on campus.

The reason why cameras are installed at the stoplights is because people run them. The reason why the government wants to close our borders is because terrorist have been able to come in. I don't agree these. Any of them. Period. The idea that "it takes one person to screw it up for the rest of us" is a cop out, and anyone who believes it should be flogged with rocks. And, I believe I'm correct here in saying that when we ALL attended NCSA the amounts of rapes that had occurred where so insignificant they hardly count. I think the number was 8 in a total of 25 years.

Anyhow, LOST is on.

Anonymous said...

You guys are missing the entire point.

Its not a liberal versus republican issue. Never was. It's about Power and Profit.

These so called "liberal" professors, the good ones are about doing 3 things.

1) Puncturing the myths created by our nation state, which there are many and which most people adore and willingly promlugate.

2) Researching, analyzing the current system and finding, offering and developing alternative models to organize society under in order to promote the welfare of the human race and its survival.

The Corporate interests of the world (US/UK) are getting much better at creating vehicles for their interests - think tanks like Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, American Enterprise Inst, National Endowment for Democracy, not to mention the corporate sponsorship of research on college campuses under the "liberal" guise of sustainable development, medical research and other PC buzz words (genetic decoding) are slowly usurping the role of that public institutions in privatizing all aspects of life. Religion and the corporate media is reinforcing the ideological bases for these insidious attacks.

Democrats are Republicans are Democrats. They are one in the same, differing on a few social issues. Both stand for the status quo, the complete dismantling of our social safety net in service to corporations and capital interests.

If anything, the Dems have given in to a sort of PC factionalism/balkanization of identity politics that has made it easy for the right to divide and conquer. I agree with Todd Gitlin on this fact. We need a massive alternative movement surrounding economic and class issues - not just at times frivioulos social concerns that already have the sympathies of both political sides.

Did any of you realize that we as a democratic society are not set up to be completely owned by a few individuals - but rather, any findings, research, etc. should be given up to the public good, so that others may build upon it?

Were you not aware that ABC and other affiliate cable programmers have to purchase the right to exhibit their propaganda on "our airwaves" ? That's right, we own them and the government sells these contracts for close to nothing and yet the people collectively have to fight for ever dwindling monies for public TV/and media. We vote for a board (FCC) that regulates the airwaves for the public and time and again they are bought and sold to the highest corporate bidder. Remember, last year when Michael Powell (former head of FCC) was willing to allow an increase of ownership by private individuals of multiple TV stations, radio and newspaper in the same location? Clearchannel? Good competitor or product of lobbyist cronysim? That is what I call totalitarian.

And yet, these very same inidividuals and groups, who have infilitrated all aspects of society, have the gaul and nerve to say that university professors are biased!

Give me a fucking break. If anything, they realize that this is the last sanctuary for the free mind and they utterly despise it. So, they do what they do best, play the victim and then make it a "mainstream issue" to be debated.


Anonymous said...

oops - disregard the 3rd thing... Sorry for typo.


blankfist said...


You think it's liberals who want to legislate video games?

Actually, yes. See Clinton, Hillary and Grand Theft Auto.

Hillary Clinton isn't the half of it. What about Lieberman? The number of Dems to Repubs opposing video games and movies are probably the same. Anyhow, I'm pretty much done with this tired conversation.

JudgeHolden said...

True. But Lieberman's only technically a democrat these days (see for more on the Liebster), and Hillary's trying to legislate video games to show people she's capable of moving rightward on these issues. True, they're democrats, but they're hardly representative of the larger party. Much like McCain and Chuck Hagel are technically Republicans, but they are not representative of the larger party.

blankfist said...

McCain is Harwell all grown up.