Top Billing! Bruce Kesler –Campus Hate Speech and Speech Codes
We have educated an elite in the past two generations, now reaching the peak of leadership positions in government, corporations, finance and academia, containing an influential plurality who hold our core Constitutional principles and freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights in disdain. Who are, in essence, authoritarian and anti-democratic, pushing policies to remake American society in their own image, enlisting the state to bully those with differing opinions for daring to “think wrongly” or belong to groups they despise.
Universities have more than their share of these folks, as Bruce Kesler explains:
Many of the finest and most honest minds – conservative and liberal — in and out of academia have argued, and sometimes succeeded, that campus speech codes often cross the line to suppression of First Amendment freedom of speech. The excesses in the wording of such codes, their arbitrary and often biased application, and the fear of usurping a constitutional right, together send chills up the spine.
Nonetheless, in court cases, private colleges have more leeway to enact speech codes than do public colleges, as they are not as subject to the First Amendment prohibition on government interfering with free speech. In the face of opposition to speech codes per se colleges, both public and private, have turned to anti-harassment policies. These seemingly turn the offense from the speech to the impact on those sensitive, and in effect make judging the offense even more subjective. Alongside, many campuses have instituted judgment procedures that deny those charged from confronting their accuser or, in some cases, even appearing to defend themselves. In many cases, those supporting such near star-chamber exercises in speech or behavioral prejudice are those judging for the kangaroo procedures. And, alongside these, liberal and leftist faculty have denied tenure or opposed research by those who have empirically challenged cherished thoughts or prejudices.
So, understandably so, any further enlargement of speech codes or definition of hate speech raises hackles among almost all those who have battled the present excesses. Further, most opponents have cause for little faith that in the prevailing leftist or hypocritical atmosphere on campuses that an enlargement to anti-Israel speech and actions that are anti-semitic would be enforced or fairly…..
….The rest of the writing is mostly taken up with Mr Bhadrakumar’s ruminations on how India’s government feels about being folded into America’s Asia Pivot. So he doesn’t rake up embarrassing history; namely, that about 95 percent of the global terrorist threat could have been neutralized after 9/11 if the United States had bombed Pakistan and Saudi Arabia back into the stone age, and that if a few stray bombs had fallen on London this would have further reduced the threat by a couple percentage points.
Nor does he dwell on the unpleasant present, which finds the U.S. government still covering for Pakistan’s military, which has been supporting groups that kill American troops in Afghanistan.
And he doesn’t mention that if the USA is so intent on taking down global Islamic terrorism it has a strange way of going about it, given that one can’t find a more anti-Islamic terrorism government than China’s, unless it’s Russia’s – the other country in the cross-hairs of America’s Asia Pivot.
But Mr Bhadrakumar’s carefully limited discussion is still enough to convey that when one looks past the new-fangled widgets and geegaws of the Light Footprint era and its reliance on proxy armies and special forces, one hand is fighting the other hand, which is another way of describing NATO’s protracted cold war against the Soviet Union.
In the post-WW 2 era, the United States and its NATO allies were intent on quickly rebuilding Western Europe’s industrial base, which meant Western Europe relied heavily on Soviet energy supplies, which provided Russia with the wherewithal to build a nuclear arsenal and stave off collapse of the Soviet Union for decades.
So if you switch out yesterday’s bad guys for today’s, you’re looking at the same old U.S. Cold War defense policy, gussied up with the weapons and communications technologies of this era. The basis of the policy isn’t victory over Islamic terrorism, any more than victory over the Soviets was the objective of the U.S.-led Cold War.
What, then, is the government of United States really aiming at? I think the answer was alluded to by ISAF/U.S. Forces in Afghanistan Commander General John R. Allen when he gave a pep talk earlier this year to a gathering of grim-faced American soldiers in Afghanistan…..
Seydlitz89 –Defining “Literacy”
Seydlitz has a very interesting riff on an earlier post by Venkat:
….Venkat mades some interesting claims here. I think he has a point as to our Western dismissal of oral cultures being simply about memorization, there is more to it than that, but is there not more to the Western concept of literacy as well? Here’s where his analysis falls short imo. Also his example of Indian oral culture is not meant to appeal to most students, but to “a few” who don’t see it as “mindless tedium”. The recitation he uses as an example are religious texts, hardly ones to promote critical thinking which is another drawback.I think the main problem is that he is conflating “orality” with “literacy” which are in fact two different things. This distinction is important because the cultural implications are profound. Following Walter Ong’s distinctions, we have this….
Information Dissemination (Galrahn)-Time To Talk Lasers
Chicago Boyz (LC Rees)- Crap Cleaner
Helpful Freeware recommendation. Used it.
Dave Schuler – The War on Algebra
S. Anthony Iannarino-How to Upgrade the Operating System That Runs Your Brain
Michigan War Studies Review –The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America’s Wars and 1066: A New History of the Norman Invasion and 1812: The Navy’s War
The last review is by occasional ZP commenter Ralph Hitchens
Before you get too excited, Razib’s first post is about Neanderthal genetic legacy in modern non-Africans.