Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

OTP - March 2014: Russia denies calling shots in Ukraine’s Crimea standoff

Only Babe Ruth calls shots!

At a press conference for Kremlin-controlled media on Tuesday, Putin reiterated his position that Moscow has the right to use “all means” necessary to protect ethnic Russians and vital military assets in Ukraine, first among them the Black Sea fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

 

Bitter Mouse Posted: March 05, 2014 at 08:54 AM | 3254 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: lies, politics, war

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 4 of 33 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 >  Last ›
   301. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 06, 2014 at 08:07 PM (#4667479)
that's Henry Kissinger alright. Beloved figure of the aging left

Well, he did go out with Candice Bergen for a while.


Kissinger was just trying to help the victim of a puppet regime.
   302. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 06, 2014 at 08:19 PM (#4667483)
This seems like an unforced error - Pryor Accuses Opponent Of Having Sense Of Entitlement For Military Service:


He hasn't quite gotten up to [ex]Rep. Joe Walsh status though, when running against a veteran who'd lost both her legs, said "my God, that's all she talks about. Our true heroes, the men and women who served us, it's the last thing in the world they talk about."

Of course Joe was a one-time teaper flash in the pan, you'd think Pryor would have better political instincts. So yeah that seems like an "unforced error," but he has plenty of time to grovel and hope it goes away, Walsh actually kept doubling down until it finally dawned on him that he really was pissing off people who might otherwise have voted for him.
   303. Publius Publicola Posted: March 06, 2014 at 08:29 PM (#4667487)
Probably not a good idea for someone holding their Daddy's old Senate seat to talk about others sense of entitlement.


Wait, I didn't know Pryor didn't have to run for his senate seat. Can someone verify?
   304. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 06, 2014 at 08:32 PM (#4667489)
You can say that's bullshitt if you want, or you could call them out for excessive partisanship if they wanted John Kerry instead, but it isn't "censorship."

When you deny someone a platform because of their views, that's a form of censorship - an effort to suppress speech you disagree with. Seems clear that some in this thread think that's just fine. Of course, you're not really in favor of free speech unless you support the rights of people you disagree with.

I'm not a fan of paying commencement speakers, but I doubt that is the real issue and it seems to be the practice at Rutgers.
   305. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 06, 2014 at 08:44 PM (#4667496)
Pryor's opponent, Congressman Tom Cotton earned a Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge and Ranger Tab during deployments to Iraq & Afghanistan. Pryor is already getting some push back from veterans groups & others.

They can push back all they want. WTF does your description of Cotton have to do with being in Congress?

I merely described Cotton's service to show what a gaffe it was to suggest - apparently without any evidence - that such service has produced a sense of entitlement in Rep. Cotton. Military service is usually looked on favorably by much of the electorate, perhaps more so in Arkansas than some other places. Pryor is already well behind in most polls, and I don't see how this helps him.
   306. JE (Jason) Posted: March 06, 2014 at 08:48 PM (#4667498)
Indeed. If you (Epstein) want to criticize the faculty for being too lefty for your tastes, or for politicizing commencement, fine. But it has nothing to do with "tolerance."

So politicizing the commencement process by seeking to disinvite Condi is somehow not an act of intolerance?
   307. JE (Jason) Posted: March 06, 2014 at 08:52 PM (#4667499)
I'm not a fan of paying commencement speakers, but I doubt that is the real issue and it seems to be the practice at Rutgers.

FTA:
But the faculty council cited her war record and her misleading of the public about the Iraq war as reasons for their opposition.

So much for it being about the money.
   308. robinred Posted: March 06, 2014 at 08:56 PM (#4667501)
When you deny someone a platform because of their views, that's a form of censorship - an effort to suppress speech you disagree with


Nope. Rice is not having her speech suppressed; a group of people is saying that they don't want her speaking at a particular event which is connected to their workplace. It bothers you because in this case it is a bunch of (presumably) lefty academics dissing a big-time GOP pol.

Workplaces do have physical "Free Speech Zones"--which is part of the reason why if Rice does speak, you will see some signs up saying nasty things about her, but even those zones are subject to the law and and often to the rules of the organization in question. This is in some respects a different (though overlapping) issue than who has the executive and proprietary authority over certain types of public spaces and events. The issue isn't whether Rice gets to speak; it is whether she gets to speak at this particular event, held by this particular institution, at this particular time, and that call will be made the by the people with executive authority over that institution, in this case the Rutgers Pres and ultimately, the the Rutgers BoG.
   309. Lassus Posted: March 06, 2014 at 09:03 PM (#4667503)
When you deny someone a platform because of their views, that's a form of censorship - an effort to suppress speech you disagree with. Seems clear that some in this thread think that's just fine.

Defining the refusal to give someone the opportunity to be paid to speak at a commencement as censorship simply indicates to me you haven't been censored enough to grasp what it means.

If Vanderbilt ended up disinviting Ellen Degeneres or Dan Savage or Stephen Colbert to speak at their commencement, I'd call it hilarious and stupid (which you're free to call this). If I were to call that censorship, I'd consider that insulting to people who've actually been censored. I honestly think giving it that definition is pathetic.
   310. JE (Jason) Posted: March 06, 2014 at 09:03 PM (#4667504)
When it comes to free speech and embracing diversity of thought, university campuses are akin to workplaces now? I'm sure there are a few 60s student activists who would like a word with you....
   311. robinred Posted: March 06, 2014 at 09:07 PM (#4667505)
So politicizing the commencement process by seeking to disinvite Condi is somehow not an act of intolerance?


Not in my book, no, anymore than it would be if the staff of NR didn't want Jane Fonda speaking at their awards banquet because of Hanoi (not a great analogy, but I think it might make Andy smirk, so I tossed it in there).

"Tolerating" someone means that you put up with him/her and respect his/her right to exist, speak out, etc-- not that you celebrate, support, and honor him/her, and invite him/her to your biggest events.
   312. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 06, 2014 at 09:07 PM (#4667506)
Disinviting a commencement speaker is about as close to censorship as taxes are to slavery.
   313. robinred Posted: March 06, 2014 at 09:09 PM (#4667507)
When it comes to free speech and embracing diversity of thought, university campuses are akin to workplaces now?


Uhh, if you WORK there, yeah, and while there are some students involved, this is the Faculty Council that is making this request of the Pres and the BoG.
   314. JE (Jason) Posted: March 06, 2014 at 09:14 PM (#4667508)
So a university's mission is now to foster uniformity of thought and faculty members are to be applauded for seeking to crowd out those with whom they disagree on US foreign policy?

Yup, it's about tolerance.
   315. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 06, 2014 at 09:16 PM (#4667510)
Uhh, if you WORK there, yeah, and while there are some students involved, this is the Faculty Council that is making this request of the Pres and the BoG.

Isn't commencement supposed to be about the paying customers — i.e., the students — and not about some whiny employees? I doubt a single student gives a crap if the "Faculty Council" graces commencement with its presence.
   316. robinred Posted: March 06, 2014 at 09:17 PM (#4667512)
Also, this is not Rice setting up a booth on the campus quad and inviting Poli Sci students to swing by and exchange ideas--this is the commencement ceremony. It is a not a workaday situation on campus.

There is a sensibilities argument to be made against the Faculty Council here--put politics aside, and let Rice give her speech to the grads. No biggie. OTOH, though, there are people who still feel strongly enough about the war that they may feel duty-bound to speak up.
   317. JE (Jason) Posted: March 06, 2014 at 09:19 PM (#4667513)
Not in my book, no, anymore than it would be if the staff of NR didn't want Jane Fonda speaking at their awards banquet because of Hanoi (not a great analogy, but I think it might make Andy smirk, so I tossed it in there).

To quote one of the great neck-stabbers of our time, National Review (a magazine) is to Rutgers (a place of higher learning) "what taxes are to slavery."
   318. robinred Posted: March 06, 2014 at 09:23 PM (#4667514)
So a university's mission is now to foster uniformity of thought and faculty members are to be applauded for seeking to crowd out those with whom they disagree on US foreign policy?


1. Who speaks at commencement is not really what schools usually call mission-critical. It is a symbolic thing of a certain importance, but that's it.
2. Haven't seen anyone here "applaud the faculty." I certainly am not. I am just not agreeing with the idea that some profs on a Council saying "We don't want Condoleeza Rice speaking on Commencement Day" is censorship or intolerance.
   319. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 06, 2014 at 09:25 PM (#4667516)
More evidence that even the supposed beneficiaries of ObamaCare are opposed to it - Uninsured Shunning ObamaCare:
The new health insurance marketplaces appear to be making little headway so far in signing up Americans who lack health insurance, the Affordable Care Act’s central goal. A pair of surveys released on Thursday suggest that just one in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private health plans through the new marketplace have signed up for one — and that about half of uninsured adults has looked for information on the online exchanges or plans to look.
. . .
And, the survey shows, that just over half of uninsured people said they had started to pay, compared with nearly nine in 10 of those signing up on the exchanges who said they were simply switching from one health plan to another.

This seems consistent with today's Gallup Poll, showing that 23% of Americans say they were hurt by ObamaCare and only 10% helped. 63% say no impact thus far - not surprising given all the exceptions, exemptions, waivers, postponements and other delays.
   320. robinred Posted: March 06, 2014 at 09:27 PM (#4667517)
To quote one of the great neck-stabbers of our time, National Review (a magazine) is to Rutgers (a place of higher learning) "what taxes are to slavery."


The analogy was partly in jest, as I said. That said, you seem to be pretty naive and ignorant about some of the baser realities of big education, and the faculty are employees, just like the NR staff is, and Fonda is a public figure whom I assume you tolerate. But I kind of doubt that you would want her as the featured speaker at an event honoring your own.
   321. JE (Jason) Posted: March 06, 2014 at 09:30 PM (#4667519)
1. Who speaks at commencement is not really what schools usually call mission-critical. It is a symbolic thing of a certain importance, but that's it.
2. Haven't seen anyone here "applaud the faculty." I certainly am not. I am just not agreeing with the idea that some profs on a Council saying "We don't want Condoleeza Rice speaking on Commencement Day" is censorship or intolerance.

We'll agree to disagree on the intolerance part. A faculty's mission is supposedly to expose students to a broad spectrum of views, not seek to have a mainstream* view squashed.

* You may vehemently disagree with Condi -- heck, I thought she wasn't a very good Secretary of State -- but she's so not on the fringe.
   322. robinred Posted: March 06, 2014 at 09:38 PM (#4667521)
Isn't commencement supposed to be about the paying customers — i.e., the students — and not about some whiny employees? I doubt a single student gives a crap if the "Faculty Council" graces commencement with its presence.


According to the article I saw, some students are in fact behind the Fcaulty Council's position--didn't say how many.

As to the rest, since the Faculty Council consists of you know, faculty members, who, uhh, teach students, I would guess that at least a few students would like some of those profs to be there on the big day. That might even be more important to them than who gives the commencement address.

But while "whiny" is usually just a weasel word that internet toughies use to put people down when they disagree with them, you actually make a point of sorts: this is some employees saying that they don't want a certain speaker to be there on a certain day for certain reasons.
   323. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 06, 2014 at 09:41 PM (#4667522)
Andy, the Pres of Rutgers and the Board of Governors will make the call on whether Rice speaks, not the faculty, or the Faculty Council, in this case. You need actual power to censor people. The invitation has not been rescinded, and it is IMO highly unlikely that it will be.

I fully realize all of the above, but I was addressing the spirit of the protest, not whether or not the faculty had any actual veto power, or whether their protest would win over the Board of Governors.

To what extent the Faculty Council reflects the majority faculty view is unknown. If you want to take it up directly, here is the webpage for the New Brunswick Faculty Council:

http://nbfc.rutgers.edu/year13_14/members.html


That in itself wouldn't affect my views, any more than would the views of the majority of the student body. Speakers shouldn't be chosen through some sort of popularity contest, for the obvious problem that that would present in offering a diversity of viewpoints.

And since you seem concerned with timing, you need to consider the possibility that the faculty was not consulted on who the speaker would be, and didn't know about it until after the invite was made.

Such a timeline would suggest that non-disclosure was a matter of routine, rather than being a special case. But if that's the case, what's the faculty's excuse for not making an issue of that policy long ago? It seems kind of strange that they'd only react to not being consulted when they didn't approve the choice of speaker for ideological reasons.

So politicizing the commencement process by seeking to disinvite Condi is somehow not an act of intolerance?


Not in my book, no, anymore than it would be if the staff of NR didn't want Jane Fonda speaking at their awards banquet because of Hanoi (not a great analogy, but I think it might make Andy smirk, so I tossed it in there).

I'm smirking because by your own implicit admission you know it's a silly analogy to begin with, since the mission of a privately held opinion magazine presumably serves a much narrower constituency than that of a large state university.
   324. robinred Posted: March 06, 2014 at 09:57 PM (#4667525)
But if that's the case, what's the faculty's excuse for not making an issue of that policy long ago?


I don't see a lot of concern about who the commencement speaker is going to be as a top day-to-day issue for faculty. If the Rutgers Pres and BoG do consult with the faculty on who the speaker is going to be, I would guess it is with a very limited number of them. But I may be wrong.

As to the analogy, it is not as lame as you think. Universities and colleges are not holy places; they are bureaucracies, schools, private clubs, and businesses sort of rolled into one big animal with elements of all four affecting daily life there. They have workers and bosses. It is an unusual class of worker, due to the tenure system and other factors--but workers nonetheless. And the bosses make decisions, often about stuff like who will speak at graduation.

And, it is easy enough to reverse the "spirit" question: why not choose a Rutgers grad, or a local pol, instead of dropping 35K on a big name with political baggage? Do you think that the BoG is bringing Rice in because of a deep commitment to diversity of thought? Or are they just looking for a little buzz and pub?
   325. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 06, 2014 at 10:23 PM (#4667532)
Why do ppl suddenly care about the Rutgers commencement speech again?
   326. Lassus Posted: March 06, 2014 at 10:26 PM (#4667533)
Maybe someone in power at Rutgers saw this picture.
   327. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 06, 2014 at 10:28 PM (#4667534)
But if that's the case, what's the faculty's excuse for not making an issue of that policy long ago?

I don't see a lot of concern about who the commencement speaker is going to be as a top day-to-day issue for faculty. If the Rutgers Pres and BoG do consult with the faculty on who the speaker is going to be, I would guess it is with a very limited number of them. But I may be wrong.


But that's all the more reason to question the faculty's motives in opposing one particular speaker. Surely this isn't the first time that a "controversial" speaker has been chosen. Quiet as it's kept, some might even apply that word to Toni Morrison.

As to the analogy, it is not as lame as you think. Universities and colleges are not holy places; they are bureaucracies, schools, private clubs, and businesses sort of rolled into one big animal with elements of all four affecting daily life there.

Of course universities aren't "holy places". The only holy places left by this time are a handful of old style pool rooms, whatever remaining sports venues have overhanging upper decks, and maybe the Caliban Book Shop in Pittsburgh. Universities are about as holy these days as the Archdiocese of Boston.

But even if you sport a view of universities as jaundiced as mine, I'd still like to think that trying to disinvite a commencement speaker for purely ideological reasons violates the spirit of what I'd like a university to represent.

They have workers and bosses. It is an unusual class of worker, due to the tenure system and other factors--but workers nonetheless. And the bosses make decisions, often about stuff like who will speak at graduation.

And, it is easy enough to reverse the "spirit" question: why not choose a Rutgers grad, or a local pol, instead of dropping 35K on a big name with political baggage? Do you think that the BoG is bringing Rice in because of a deep commitment to diversity of thought? Or are they just looking for a little buzz and pub?


Of course they are. What, do you my cynicism doesn't extend to a corporate and bureaucracy-topheavy Board of Directors? And you know I agree with your suggestions about choosing someone less "prominent" and offering them an honorary degree in exchange for their speech, rather than throwing it at some whitebread figure like Condi Rice.

But that still doesn't address the current situation. An offer was made, and presumably accepted. And now the faculty wants a post facto veto for purely ideological reasons. If this were a left wing clown like Ward Churchill, I'd be just as opposed to a right wing faculty trying to put the kibosh on him, for equally ideological reasons. Condi should speak, and then start formulating a rational and evenhanded policy that will deal with future commencement speakers.
   328. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 06, 2014 at 10:37 PM (#4667537)
Rutgers should have to give me an honorary degree, and pay me 35k to give a commencement speech espousing the virtues of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Otherwise, I am being censored, and they are being intolerant towards my religious beliefs.
   329. GregD Posted: March 06, 2014 at 11:12 PM (#4667543)
The only way to protect freedom of speech is to loudly denounce anyone who criticizes someone I like
   330. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 06, 2014 at 11:43 PM (#4667553)
Bernie Sanders Is Prepared To Run For President In 2016:
Bernie Sanders says he is “prepared to run for president of the United States.” . . . Sanders has begun talking with savvy progressive political strategists, traveling to unexpected locations such as Alabama and entertaining the process questions that this most issue-focused member of the Senate has traditionally avoided.

Seems a bit coy about how committed to running he is, and whether he'd do so as a Democrat or Independent.
   331. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 06, 2014 at 11:49 PM (#4667554)
Seems a bit coy about how committed to running he is, and whether he'd do so as a Democrat or Independent.

I'm not sure if I'd want "IN LIKE DEBS, OUT LIKE NADER" carved on my tombstone.
   332. formerly dp Posted: March 06, 2014 at 11:53 PM (#4667556)
Isn't commencement supposed to be about the paying customers — i.e., the students — and not about some whiny employees? I doubt a single student gives a crap if the "Faculty Council" graces commencement with its presence.
Hey, JoeK doesn't understand the economics of a research institution! Who knew?

The faculty are definitely employees. But as to who their pays their salary-- at a research university like Rutgers, it's a mixed bag. And the quality of the institution depends on its ability to create an environment that high-quality, research-active faculty want to be a part of. Part of that involves placing a value on faculty governance.
   333. GregD Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:26 AM (#4667565)
I could imagine voting Sanders in a Dem primary. I'm just mild about Hillary.

If he ran as an independent, however, I would donate to the most-ruthless PAC I could find that was committed to destroying his reputation forever. Any lefty who falls into that trap and hands over a winnable election in 2016 to the Republicans deserves every terrible policy and war the Republican president starts.
   334. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:31 AM (#4667567)
I could imagine voting Sanders in a Dem primary. I'm just mild about Hillary.

If he ran as an independent, however, I would donate to the most-ruthless PAC I could find that was committed to destroying his reputation forever. Any lefty who falls into that trap and hands over a winnable election in 2016 to the Republicans deserves every terrible policy and war the Republican president starts.


Which was Nader's everlasting gift to the world in 2000.
   335. GregD Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:45 AM (#4667576)
Which was Nader's everlasting gift to the world in 2000.
Massive deficits, rising inequality due to absurd tax cuts for the rich, billions of dollars and thousands of US lives lost in Iraq, and a series of conservative Supreme Court justices. Thanks, Nader voters!
   336. robinred Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:49 AM (#4667578)
the spirit of what I'd like a university to represent.


Sure. Like I said, there is a sensibilities argument to be made here.

As to the "faculty's motives", they put out a published statement about the issue, very strongly worded. And, it is just as easy to argue that what they are doing does, in fact, rep the university spirit, in that the tenure system allows them to speak out against openly against Rice on principle with a lot less worry about pissing off some empty suit upstairs who is offering 35K so s/he can press some flesh and have a photo op with a big-timer like Rice.

Would I make that argument? Not so much. The reality is that the tenure system is like most bureaucratic instruments: it has plusses and minuses. But WADR, IMO in discussing this you should consider the fact that you know about as much about working in the educational bureaucracy as I do about shooting pool.
   337. tshipman Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:52 AM (#4667582)
2. Haven't seen anyone here "applaud the faculty." I certainly am not. I am just not agreeing with the idea that some profs on a Council saying "We don't want Condoleeza Rice speaking on Commencement Day" is censorship or intolerance.


I would applaud them. War criminals should not be invited to give commencement speeches. But you know, it's all about "tolerance" these days on the right. Tolerance for homophobes, for white people who happen to say racist things, and for war criminals.
   338. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: March 07, 2014 at 01:01 AM (#4667584)
Massive deficits, rising inequality due to absurd tax cuts for the rich, billions of dollars and thousands of US lives lost in Iraq, and a series of conservative Supreme Court justices. Thanks, Nader voters!

Yes, if only Dems could have done anything about these issues.
Sadly, once Bush was elected he had to get whatever he wanted on every issue, and Dems could have no say in the matter whatsoever.

Anyway, Sanders will be too old in 2016 - he will be a feeble, decrepit 75, whereas Clinton will be a youthful, vigorous 69.

EDIT:
Two words: puh and leeze. Blaming Ralph Nader for what happened to Al Gore is like blaming Charlie Silvera for losing the 1955 World Series.

Also, this.
   339. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 07, 2014 at 01:03 AM (#4667585)
Two words: puh and leeze. Blaming Ralph Nader for what happened to Al Gore is like blaming Charlie Silvera for losing the 1955 World Series.
   340. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 07, 2014 at 01:11 AM (#4667588)
Yes, if only Dems could have done anything about these issues.
Sadly, once Bush was elected he had to get whatever he wanted on every issue, and Dems could have no say in the matter whatsoever.
It's a tough gig, getting both blamed for giving Republicans whatever they wanted, then getting blamed for opposing Republicans when in the majority.
   341. GregD Posted: March 07, 2014 at 01:17 AM (#4667589)
Yes, if only Dems could have done anything about these issues.
Is your contention that the presidency doesn't matter? What a strange claim.
   342. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 07, 2014 at 01:54 AM (#4667595)
Hey, JoeK doesn't understand the economics of a research institution! Who knew?

The faculty are definitely employees. But as to who their pays their salary-- at a research university like Rutgers, it's a mixed bag. And the quality of the institution depends on its ability to create an environment that high-quality, research-active faculty want to be a part of. Part of that involves placing a value on faculty governance.

???

The students at Rutgers are paying customers, either directly or indirectly, and the students are the specific customers for which commencement is held.

Any "high-quality, research-active faculty" who would avoid working at Rutgers because she objected to a speech that was given on the campus is probably not so "high quality" in the first place, at least not if we're still pretending that universities are places at which even highly objectionable speech is supposed to be welcomed, debated, etc.
   343. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: March 07, 2014 at 06:07 AM (#4667610)
A faculty's mission is supposedly to expose students to a broad spectrum of views

This is not a faculty's mission. Yikes. Teaching the stuff that's in the overpriced textbooks. That's the mission.

Going after Rice is a little over the top, but say they had invited (and paid good money for!) a certified lunatic like Palin or Bachmann. I would hope everyone stand up and shout "Bad Idea!".

Any "high-quality, research-active faculty" who would avoid working at Rutgers because she objected to a speech that was given on the campus is probably not so "high quality" in the first place

Now this is funny. Somebody couldn't possibly be good at their job and have this take! Impossible!



   344. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 07:16 AM (#4667613)
Any "high-quality, research-active faculty" who would avoid working at Rutgers because she objected to a speech that was given on the campus is probably not so "high quality" in the first place, at least not if we're still pretending that universities are places at which even highly objectionable speech is supposed to be welcomed, debated, etc.


They should invite Ward Churchill to give the speech instead, then this whole controversy can disappear.
   345. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 07, 2014 at 07:49 AM (#4667616)
As to the "faculty's motives", they put out a published statement about the issue, very strongly worded. And, it is just as easy to argue that what they are doing does, in fact, rep the university spirit, in that the tenure system allows them to speak out against openly against Rice on principle with a lot less worry about pissing off some empty suit upstairs who is offering 35K so s/he can press some flesh and have a photo op with a big-timer like Rice.

One can be grateful for a system that allows faculty to make dubious protests, while at the same time decrying the implications of particular protests.

Would I make that argument? Not so much. The reality is that the tenure system is like most bureaucratic instruments: it has plusses and minuses. But WADR, IMO in discussing this you should consider the fact that you know about as much about working in the educational bureaucracy as I do about shooting pool.

Given that how a certain amount of my income over the past few years has been directly impacted by the unbelievably arbitrary whims of various collegiate licensing committees,** I'm not sure that's really the case.

**Two examples: Yale turned down one license application for a poster because the cartoon bulldog was depicted smoking a pipe on the original program cover; and the University of Texas turned down another application because the original 1946 Cotton Bowl program had "Texas University" on the cover instead of "University of Texas." I am not making this up.

-------------------------------------------------------

Two words: puh and leeze. Blaming Ralph Nader for what happened to Al Gore is like blaming Charlie Silvera for losing the 1955 World Series.

That'd be a great analogy if Silvera had been inserted as a pinch hitter at a critical point in game 7, and then decided that because Casey Stengel hadn't sufficiently respected his contributions to the clubhouse camaraderie, he was going to take two strikes before attempting a game winning squeeze bunt.

-------------------------------------------------------

They should invite Ward Churchill to give the speech instead, then this whole controversy can disappear.

One thing's for sure: It would make for an equally interesting split of opinion around here.

   346. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 07, 2014 at 08:24 AM (#4667621)
Two words: puh and leeze. Blaming Ralph Nader for what happened to Al Gore is like blaming Charlie Silvera for losing the 1955 World Series.

That'd be a great analogy if Silvera had been inserted as a pinch hitter at a critical point in game 7, and then decided that because Casey Stengel hadn't sufficiently respected his contributions to the clubhouse camaraderie, he was going to take two strikes before attempting a game winning squeeze bunt.


Yes, Ralph Nader, an advocate for third parties since the late 1950s, was throwing a hissyfit because Bill Clinton wasn't nice enough to him, and purposely sabotaged the teammates he didn't have. Good analogy squelcher.

Actually, 2000 was more like if Mickey Mantle was the Democratic nominee, but didn't want to talk about the Yankees' World Series record, and thought it wise to shut Joe DiMaggio up and keep him home, and was such a shitty candidate that he couldn't even win Oklahoma's electoral votes.
   347. BFFB Posted: March 07, 2014 at 08:28 AM (#4667623)
This contrast simplifies a lot of issues, but it's worth thinking about. We live in a much more globalized economy, with far greater freedom of movement and information than in 1938. I really do think that economic sanctions have great force, and that economic ostracism of Russia, or threat thereof, would have much greater longterm force – and infinitely less longterm destructiveness – than sending in the Marines. And I don't think that because I'm a naïve surrender monkey, but because I've got a huge object lesson staring at me from a few hundred miles to the southeast....


It might be a bit late but the problem with trying to impose economic sanctions on Russia is that they can bite back by cutting off the natural gas supplies to Eastern Europe (it's one pipeline, literally) and a good chunk of continental Europe. Something that Germany, in particular, has been willingly let happen by doing dumb #### like closing their existing Nuclear Power Plants and out-lawing the building of new ones while at the same time letting Russian defacto state-owned oil take-over a good proportion of their own gas and oil processing and production capability.
   348. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 08:34 AM (#4667626)
Actually, 2000 was more like if Mickey Mantle was the Democratic nominee, but didn't want to talk about the Yankees' World Series record, and thought it wise to shut Joe DiMaggio up and keep him home, and was such a shitty candidate that he couldn't even win Oklahoma's electoral votes.


And you read in Sports Illustrated that Mickey claimed to have invented baseball, and the Sporting News purposely changed an innocuous quote to make Mickey say he founded the Yankees.
   349. formerly dp Posted: March 07, 2014 at 08:40 AM (#4667627)
The students at Rutgers are paying customers, either directly or indirectly, and the students are the specific customers for which commencement is held.
As much as you might want it to be, higher ed is not Best Buy, and that's a feature, not a bug. Faculty make decisions constantly about what sorts of speakers will be beneficial to the students, in which contexts, etc. That's part of the job.

Any "high-quality, research-active faculty" who would avoid working at Rutgers because she objected to a speech that was given on the campus is probably not so "high quality" in the first place,
Faculty governance is kind of a big deal for some people. If you're a robotics researcher weighing an offer between Rutgers and Johns Hopkins, the fact that the Rutgers admin very publicly disregarded the expressed opinion of the faculty might be a warning sign to stay away, especially if you've had some bad experiences on that front earlier in your career.

at least not if we're still pretending that universities are places at which even highly objectionable speech is supposed to be welcomed, debated, etc.

Personally, I am all for bringing speakers with controversial opinions to campus, but when you're inviting those speakers to campus to honor them in front of thousands, that doesn't really do the students any good-- it's not a context where any sort of critical engagement is going to take place. There are some contexts where students and faculty get the chance to hold high-profile speakers' feet to the fire, and push them on controversial opinions. Some of those speakers expect and welcome it. But others, especially non-academics, expect that the campus community will treat them like royalty and not push them on their views. The administration may encourage this perception by protecting them from things like Q&A sessions during their visits. This benefits no one.

FWIW, my dept regularly brings in high-profile Republicans for events, and they are excellent*-- supported fully by the faculty, who will often give extra-credit to students who attend (in spite of OMG TEH CATHEDRAL IZ CONTROLLING UR YOUTHS). Usually turn-outs are fairly modest, which gives students a chance to engage directly with the speaker. These encounters are routine on college campuses across the country. Rice's commencement speech is not a place where those sorts of exchanges are going to take place.

*The events, not the Republicans. Just clearing that up.
   350. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 07, 2014 at 08:43 AM (#4667628)
Probably not a good idea for someone holding their Daddy's old Senate seat to talk about others sense of entitlement.

Wait, I didn't know Pryor didn't have to run for his senate seat. Can someone verify?


Mark Pryor did not face a Republican opponent in his 2008 reelection. Technically, he did run.

He did not directly fill his father's seat. After older Pryor chose not to run, a Republican held it from 1997-2003 before younger Pryor won it "back."
   351. Publius Publicola Posted: March 07, 2014 at 09:12 AM (#4667630)
Seems a bit coy about how committed to running he is, and whether he'd do so as a Democrat or Independent.


Sanders is a socialist. And proud of it.
   352. Publius Publicola Posted: March 07, 2014 at 09:16 AM (#4667632)
Banning Rice from speaking at the university would be censorship. That hasn't happened. What has happened is the broad consensus amongst faculty of rescinding her paid invitation to speak based on lack of merit. That's fair. It's the same reason Bonds and Clemens aren't in the HoF. They, like Rice, failed the character clause, and so aren't being honored. No one has the right to be honored.
   353. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 07, 2014 at 09:41 AM (#4667638)
I find Rutgers controversy boring, and find the "left is only pretending to be tolerant" meme really boring and gotcha politics at its worst. But I really came here to applaud #301.

#301 is brilliant. If any post is worth of a Primey it is that one. And if you don't find it funny you need a better sense of history.

Bergen was born in Beverly Hills, California. Her mother, Frances Bergen (née Westerman), was a Powers model who was known professionally as Frances Westcott.[1] Her father, Edgar Bergen, was a ventriloquist, comedian, and actor. Her paternal grandparents were Swedish-born immigrants who anglicized their surname, which was originally "Bergren". As a child, Candice was irritated at being described as "Charlie McCarthy's little sister" (referring to her father's star dummy).[2]


And in the "huh, odd" bucket:
Bergen and former boyfriend Terry Melcher lived at 10050 Cielo Drive in Los Angeles, which was later occupied by Sharon Tate and her husband, Roman Polanski. Tate and four others were murdered in the home in 1969 by followers of Charles Manson.[10] There was some initial speculation that Melcher may have been the intended victim,[11] although Melcher, his former roommate Mark Lindsay, and Vincent Bugliosi have all indicated Manson was aware that Melcher was no longer living at that address at the time of the murders.[12][13]
   354. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 07, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4667648)
Two words: puh and leeze. Blaming Ralph Nader for what happened to Al Gore is like blaming Charlie Silvera for losing the 1955 World Series.

That'd be a great analogy if Silvera had been inserted as a pinch hitter at a critical point in game 7, and then decided that because Casey Stengel hadn't sufficiently respected his contributions to the clubhouse camaraderie, he was going to take two strikes before attempting a game winning squeeze bunt.

Yes, Ralph Nader, an advocate for third parties since the late 1950s, was throwing a hissyfit because Bill Clinton wasn't nice enough to him, and purposely sabotaged the teammates he didn't have. Good analogy squelcher.

Actually, 2000 was more like if Mickey Mantle was the Democratic nominee, but didn't want to talk about the Yankees' World Series record, and thought it wise to shut Joe DiMaggio up and keep him home, and was such a shitty candidate that he couldn't even win Oklahoma's electoral votes.


Another great analogy, if only I'd ever said that Gore was a great candidate, or if I'd ever said that Nader was the only factor in Gore's loss. But the fact remains that if Nader voters in Florida had voted for Gore, Bush would have lost Florida, and Gore would have been president, all spinning to the contrary. You can reduce the charge against them to contributory negligence, but you can't get them off the hook completely.

(Although I will admit one thing: The Gore-Lieberman ticket had about as much charisma as a ticket headed by a candidate who'd been dead for 5 years.)

---------------------------------------------------------

Banning Rice from speaking at the university would be censorship. That hasn't happened. What has happened is the broad consensus amongst faculty of rescinding her paid invitation to speak based on lack of merit. That's fair. It's the same reason Bonds and Clemens aren't in the HoF. They, like Rice, failed the character clause, and so aren't being honored. No one has the right to be honored.

Who says that Rice, or anyone, has any "right" to give a commencement speech at any university? Cancelling her speech after a contract had already been signed might not fall into the formal category of "censorship", but it certainly sends a message that the faculty only wishes certain politically approved viewpoints to be heard at graduation time.

   355. spike Posted: March 07, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4667651)
I was under the impression that the faculty was not consulted about this decision prior to it's announcement, so barring the use of the President's magickal time machine, I'm not sure how they could have mentioned their discontent earlier. Perhaps the message it's sending is "Get buy-in or at least comment from all the stakeholders prior to going public".
   356. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 07, 2014 at 10:16 AM (#4667653)
I could imagine voting Sanders in a Dem primary. I'm just mild about Hillary.

If he ran as an independent, however, I would donate to the most-ruthless PAC I could find that was committed to destroying his reputation forever. Any lefty who falls into that trap and hands over a winnable election in 2016 to the Republicans deserves every terrible policy and war the Republican president starts.


I understand this theory, but if you do this you are no different than a self-identifying Libertarian who votes for the GOP because that's where the tribal IF/THEN logic demands you go to make sure the hated Other doesn't win. It's #### logic for them and it's #### logic for you. If Bernie Sanders best represents your preferred policy and political goals, ####### vote for Bernie Sanders. Even if he's running as a Green.
   357. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 07, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4667655)
Banning Rice from speaking at the university would be censorship.


Censorship requires governmental interference. Is the argument here that Rutgers is a state school so it has to be politically correct and "teach the controversy" of foreign policy theory by giving Rice and her neo-con bona fides equal time at commencement(s?) If so, how is this notably different from the argument that TV and radio should be regulated to create "fair use" and give liberal talk equal time?
   358. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 07, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4667657)
but it certainly sends a message that the faculty only wishes certain politically approved viewpoints to be heard at graduation time


Maybe, but that is not censorship. At all.

the practice of officially examining books, movies, etc., and suppressing unacceptable parts.


That is not what is happening in the slightest. Protesting a particular speaker after a contract is signed may not be "nice" or whatever, but it is not censorship.

Similarly the word tolerance has been abused in this subthread by some:
the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.


No one is suggesting Rice can't exist and have her opinions or behavior. She certainly can. Some professors disagree with her and are voicing that displeasure. They are not calling on her to be censored or censured, just not be the featured speaker. I tolerate many horrible things in this world, wild example I tolerate the KKK and support their right to march in public. Still I would rather not honor them in an event I had anything to do with, and would act to prevent that (and no I am not equating Rice to the KKK, calm down, it is an exaggerated example to illustrate a point).

Being tolerant does not mean letting anyone do anything they want and being forced to sit there and take it, being forced to swallow a #### sandwich. It means supporting the right of that #### sandwich to exist, all the while doing your best to denounce everything that sandwich stands for and doing what you can to limit its impact.
   359. Lassus Posted: March 07, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4667663)
He did not directly fill his father's seat. After older Pryor chose not to run, a Republican held it from 1997-2003 before younger Pryor won it "back."

That'll learn me for taking what Clapper says as true.
   360. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 07, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4667665)
It means supporting the right of that #### sandwich to exist, all the while doing your best to denounce everything that sandwich stands for and doing what you can to limit its impact.

It means nothing like that and you would never accept that tolerating, say, homosexuality means that people can publicly denounce homosexuals and do whatever they can to limit the impact of homosexuality.

"Tolerating" implies admitting the practice or opinion to the halls and mores of civilized discourse, on an essentially equal footing with every other thing that has been so admitted.

   361. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 07, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4667667)
I understand this theory, but if you do this you are no different than a self-identifying Libertarian who votes for the GOP because that's where the tribal IF/THEN logic demands you go to make sure the hated Other doesn't win. It's #### logic for them and it's #### logic for you. If Bernie Sanders best represents your preferred policy and political goals, ####### vote for Bernie Sanders. Even if he's running as a Green.


This is crazy talk. It is stupid to limit yourself that way. Governance matters. If there are three candidates, lets call them Sanders, Clinton, and Ryan. Perhaps one favors Sanders over Clinton, but that most certainly does not mean one should always vote for Sanders.

For example if 40% prefer Ryan, 35% Clinton and 25% Sanders, but all of the Sanders voters really really prefer Clinton over Ryan, and whose worst nightmare is Ryan winning, well according to your "logic" they should all vote their conscious and watch as their worst nightmare wins. That is just stupid. It is completely rational to look ahead and vote based on probability and overall preference of outcomes.

To use a non-political example, you may like ice cream, but every adult knows you can't just eat it all the damn time. You eat nutritious meals, because in the long run it is worth it. Sometimes you store food during the summer so you have it during the winter. You think ahead if you have brains enough to outsmart a garden salad. Similarly sometimes you vote strategically, even if you would prefer to eat only ice cream for every meal.
   362. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 07, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4667671)
This is crazy talk. It is stupid to limit yourself that way. Governance matters. If there are three candidates, lets call them Sanders, Clinton, and Ryan. Perhaps one favors Sanders over Clinton, but that most certainly does not mean one should always vote for Sanders.


If you value the game theory of getting the "least worst option" (Clinton in your example) into office to avoid the Ryan administration, that's fine. But that means you fundamentally support centrist deal making and consensus building over liberal/progressive ideology. Which means, at the end of the day, you're more of a Clinton than a Sanders. Which again, is *fine*, but don't pretend to be a Sanders when you really aren't.
   363. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 07, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4667674)
It means nothing like that and you would never accept that tolerating, say, homosexuality means that people can publicly denounce homosexuals and do whatever they can to limit the impact of homosexuality.


You could not be more wrong. I fully support the right of the Conservative Christian nutjobs to preach against homosexuality. Which they do semi-constantly. It is a little thing I call the First Amendment. I fully support their right to exist and vote and espouse their (loathsome and stupid) opinions. Just like I support my right to denounce them for the morons they are. I am very tolerant of people voting and expressing their opinions regarding homosexuality, including their misguided efforts to limit it. So long as they follow the laws.

Fortunately this means I get to vote and work against them (also without fear of harm). And look my side is winning. Go us. And as we win we are not punishing the morons we beat.

Tolerance doesn't mean I have to agree with them. It means I think they get to exist and speak their mind without fear of harm coming to them. Which I most certainly do. Even the most loathsome homophobic cretin is still a human being who I wish only the best for, so long as the best includes their backward ideas being put in the dustbin of history (which is where they are heading).
   364. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 07, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4667677)
Cancelling her speech after a contract had already been signed might not fall into the formal category of "censorship", but it certainly sends a message that the faculty only wishes certain politically approved viewpoints to be heard at graduation time.


Speaking contracts are revoked all the time, for various reasons. If the audience (the faculty is part of the audience, and probably represents at least a plurality of the student body as well) chafes at the hiring of a given speaker, and there exists no cancellation penalty in the speaking contract, the contract can be voided and a new speaker found. That's not censorship. That's capitalism. Turn the question around and look at it backwards and you'll see the point.

Say Rice agreed to speak at Rutgers. Then, say theoretically Rutgers faculty joined the "boycott Israel" movement. Now, at that point, can Rice choose to cancel the speaking engagement for Rutgers' commencement program, in protest of the faculty's actions and politics? Of course she can. It's a private contract for her to speak, and if she decides that she does not want to be associated with the Rutgers brand she can cancel that contract (barring any written clauses in the speaking engagement for cancellation penalties.) Rutgers has the same freedom of contract. If "Rutgers", the community inclusive of the faculty, says they don't want to associate with Condi Rice's brand, they can cancel that contract and find another speaker.
   365. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 07, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4667680)
If you value the game theory of getting the "least worst option" (Clinton in your example) into office to avoid the Ryan administration, that's fine. But that means you fundamentally support centrist deal making and consensus building over liberal/progressive ideology. Which means, at the end of the day, you're more of a Clinton than a Sanders. Which again, is *fine*, but don't pretend to be a Sanders when you really aren't.


This makes zero sense, sorry dude.

In every election (whether in a primary, general election, or on a bill) you have to balance your principles and realpolitik. Acknowledging reality most certainly does not invalidate principle. In the US system governance is deal making. That is how the system was designed, and why it is semi-broken right now.

I have no idea what you are talking about regarding "on't pretend to be a Sanders when you really aren't". Are you even a little aware of Bernie Sanders? He has compromised many times throughout the years, as did (for example) Ted Kennedy when he was alive. It does not mean they valued "centrist deal making and consensus building over liberal/progressive ideology", it means they valued getting things done. Things they valued.

Voting total complete principle, never compromising even the slightest to reality, is really stupid and something that should be mocked at every opportunity, whether a voter does it or a politician does it. Which is not to suggest Nader voters were all idiots. They got to decide the balance of principle and reality they choose to use when voting.

However, they do not get to pretend they are somehow better than others who might have preferred Nader, but voted for Gore because of the reality of the situation. They don't get to say they are pure and wonderful, because they at least held to their principle. Principles have costs, and it is fine to hold them so long as you are willing to acknowledge and pay the cost. Sadly we all paid that [articular cost, but such is Democracy, the worst form of government, except for all the others.
   366. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 07, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4667681)
Are you even a little aware of Bernie Sanders?


No, asshat. I assumed we were talking about the Colonel's little brother with the burrito empire. Turns out we're not?
   367. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 07, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4667685)
No, asshat. I assumed we were talking about the Colonel's little brother with the burrito empire. Turns out we're not?


So you realize he compromises all the time when voting in order to get things done, and is still a believer in his progressive principles? So what on earth are you arguing?
   368. spike Posted: March 07, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4667686)
you would never accept that tolerating, say, homosexuality means that people can publicly denounce homosexuals and do whatever they can to limit the impact of homosexuality.

I would and I do. That is exactly what tolerance means. I am also free to mount my own speaking campaign to denounce those who wish to publicly denounce homosexuality and express my own position that any "limitation" as you put it is counter to the spirit and the letter of our founding documents.
   369. GordonShumway Posted: March 07, 2014 at 10:58 AM (#4667688)
If Vanderbilt ended up disinviting Ellen Degeneres or Dan Savage or Stephen Colbert to speak at their commencement, I'd call it hilarious and stupid (which you're free to call this). If I were to call that censorship, I'd consider that insulting to people who've actually been censored. I honestly think giving it that definition is pathetic.


I realize that the above was just an offhand hypothetical, but I would be shocked if the Vanderbilt faculty would ever do such a thing. It's been my experience that Vanderbilt - like UT-Austin, UNC, Duke, and other southern universities with national aspirations - tend to have faculty who go out of the way to prove to themselves and to the northeastern academic elite which they wish to be accepted by that they are NOT LIKE!!! their neighbors in their southern-ness and conservative-ness.
   370. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 07, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4667693)
I would and I do. That is exactly what tolerance means.


It is like he is not aware of the drum beat from conservatives as to how homosexuality is terrible, sin filled, and just like bestiality (and many other statements, equating homosexuality to such things). We tolerate such nonsense, but again tolerance does not mean silently putting up with some moron saying stupid things.
   371. The District Attorney Posted: March 07, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4667694)
Speaking as a liberal, I do find trends I've seen on college campuses over the past couple of decades to be disturbing. "Speech codes", "safe spaces", "trigger warnings"... I think these are the opposite of the concerns that a college should have. The idea seems to be that if we prohibit discussion of ideas that represent intolerance or oppression, that will allow us to have a fully free exchange of ideas about everything else. I think that makes a lot of sense if you have an Internet discussion board or something. Honestly, in most social situations, you can and should expect to have some sort of common ground. But I think it'd be cool for there to be one place in society where we don't do that, and for that place to be college.

If you did want to start branding colleges like Daily Kos/RedState and make it clear from the get-go that they are there to have a discussion within certain parameters, that would be perfectly fine. Might even be more than fine; might be a positive. But AFAIK, no one (other than extremely religious institutions) actually does that. Right now, they are mostly all claiming to be places of learning without limits.

What I just discussed, of course, does not necessarily compel the specific action that you need to have Condi Rice be your graduation speaker. (I do think that if someone says they need thousands of dollars to give a graduation speech, let's move on to somebody else who actually wants to talk to these kids. But that's a different issue.) I'm not really even talking about what's considered "liberal" vs. "conservative" in the year 2014... that's fleeting... it's a more philosophical issue than that.

I assume getting Democrats scared about Sanders becoming the next Nader is concern trolling. We'll jump off that bridge when we get to it. (I don't think he's nearly that stupid.)

Anyway, the "Mickey Mantle running for President" analogies were very amusing.
   372. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 07, 2014 at 11:05 AM (#4667696)
Sadly, once Bush was elected he had to get whatever he wanted on every issue, and Dems could have no say in the matter whatsoever.


That was in fact Rove's openly stated goal, 50+1 and was also reflected in the Hastert rule... of course Washington just won't work that way, even with the far larger Congressional majorities Obama had his 1st two years
   373. spike Posted: March 07, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4667699)
We tolerate such nonsense, but again tolerance does not mean silently putting up with some moron saying stupid things.

And the only argument you ever get is "Progressives are hypocrites because you preach tolerance and are intolerant of my views" - never an affirmative defense of those routinely expressed intolerant views of homosexuality.
   374. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 07, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4667702)
I was under the impression that the faculty was not consulted about this decision prior to it's announcement, so barring the use of the President's magickal time machine, I'm not sure how they could have mentioned their discontent earlier. Perhaps the message it's sending is "Get buy-in or at least comment from all the stakeholders prior to going public".

Could be, but there are both faculty and student reps on the Board of Governors. Was there an enforceable embargo on the release of Rice's name before the formal invitation was proffered**?

**There's something about that word "proffered" that makes me think of George Costanza every time I hear it.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Speaking contracts are revoked all the time, for various reasons. If the audience (the faculty is part of the audience, and probably represents at least a plurality of the student body as well) chafes at the hiring of a given speaker, and there exists no cancellation penalty in the speaking contract, the contract can be voided and a new speaker found. That's not censorship. That's capitalism.

Or it's capitalism exercising its prerogatives while (in this case) doing so for political reasons. The two thoughts aren't mutually exclusive.

Say Rice agreed to speak at Rutgers. Then, say theoretically Rutgers faculty joined the "boycott Israel" movement. Now, at that point, can Rice choose to cancel the speaking engagement for Rutgers' commencement program, in protest of the faculty's actions and politics? Of course she can. It's a private contract for her to speak, and if she decides that she does not want to be associated with the Rutgers brand she can cancel that contract (barring any written clauses in the speaking engagement for cancellation penalties.) Rutgers has the same freedom of contract. If "Rutgers", the community inclusive of the faculty, says they don't want to associate with Condi Rice's brand, they can cancel that contract and find another speaker.

That's a good analogy, but with one key difference: The university was presumably the initiator of the contract, not Rice.

That said, I wouldn't be cheering that hypothetical Rice decision to cancel a speech over the Boycott Israel issue, especially considering that given advance notice (which she would have had), Rice could use her commencement speech to address the Boycott issue from a different perspective. I know that most commencement speeches are usually nothing but peanut butter on Wonderbread, but that template isn't set in stone.
   375. OCF Posted: March 07, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4667704)
I fully support the right of the Conservative Christian nutjobs to preach against homosexuality. Which they do semi-constantly. It is a little thing I call the First Amendment.

There's a group of guys who pay semi-regular visits to our campus and stake out a chunk of lawn near a major walkway (and near my building). They have signs about hellfire and damnation. One of their favorite signs says "Homo sex is a God dammed sin." They're loud and they're rude. They get heckled; even the heckling gets tiresome. (The juggling club has to vacate its favorite lawn to get away from them.) I once said something to a campus police officer who was watching; his opinion was that they're hoping someone takes a swing at them so they can sue the university. There's pretty much nothing the university can do about them.

I think the Christian groups on campus are as upset at these guys as anyone, for all the damage they're doing to the brand identity of Christianity. Once, a day after one of their visits, I say one young woman (I suspect, a member of one of said Christian groups) who was standing in the same area with a hand-lettered sign saying, "God doesn't hate anyone." I saw another woman, wearing Muslim hijab, walk quickly over to her, say something, and then leave. I don't know what that was, but I suspect it was words of support.
   376. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 07, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4667706)
So you realize he compromises all the time when voting in order to get things done, and is still a believer in his progressive principles? So what on earth are you arguing?


I am arguing that if you think Bernie Sanders is the best candidate for President of the United States of America, you should vote for Bernie Sanders for President of the United States of America. Yes, Bernie Sanders, like all pols, compromises and works the art of the deal. That's what politics *is.* But I'm pretty sure Bernie Sanders would not vote for Hillary Clinton over himself in a potential general election vote, should he decide to run. That's a compromise he wouldn't likely make. If you're willing to compromise that - if you're willing to choose Hillary for the sake of not-Ryan, rather than sticking to your Bernie Sanders guns - then you're more Hillary than Bernie. Which again, is ALRIGHT. You value centrist realism and DLC deal brokering more than you value Sanders-esque socialism. FINE. I have no problem with that. Just admit what it is.
   377. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 07, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4667708)
I assume getting Democrats scared about Sanders becoming the next Nader is concern trolling. We'll jump off that bridge when we get to it. (I don't think he's nearly that stupid.)

I agree, and I also don't think he's a flaming egomaniac like Nader. I think a far more likely scenario is that he gives Hillary a run in the primaries in order to get her to firm up on certain issues, but I can't believe that he'd actually run as an independent after that.
   378. formerly dp Posted: March 07, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4667714)
I know that most commencement speeches are usually nothing but peanut butter on Wonderbread, but that template isn't set in stone.
It is if you ever want to do another one.
   379. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 07, 2014 at 11:24 AM (#4667715)
I do find trends I've seen on college campuses over the past couple of decades to be disturbing. "Speech codes", "safe spaces", "trigger warnings"... I think these are the opposite of the concerns that a college should have. The idea seems to be that if we prohibit discussion of ideas that represent intolerance or oppression, that will allow us to have a fully free exchange of ideas about everything else. I think that makes a lot of sense if you have an Internet discussion board or something. Honestly, in most social situations, you can and should expect to have some sort of common ground. But I think it'd be cool for there to be one place in society where we don't do that, and for that place to be college.


I can get behind this notion as well. While the red-baiting of echo chambers is mostly bullshit of the highest order, there is a problem where we develop university's more intent on protecting feelings than engaging thought and debate. You can't make warriors if you only use wooden swords. The biggest problem with this trend, IMHO, is that it tends to generate weak arguments from both sides, as they never have to learn to defend their points in a hostile environment.
   380. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4667720)
You can't make warriors if you only use wooden swords. The biggest problem with this trend, IMHO, is that it tends to generate weak arguments from both sides, as they never have to learn to defend their points in a hostile environment.


Here is an interesting counterargument.

Temperamentally, I am probably on your side, as I believe in the power of dialectic, but I think the link at least stimulates thought and debate.
   381. formerly dp Posted: March 07, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4667722)
The biggest problem with this trend, IMHO, is that it tends to generate weak arguments from both sides, as they never have to learn to defend their points in a hostile environment.
In some classes, having conversations about the appropriate use of terminology, language, labels, etc. is fair game. In other classes, it requires a huge deviation from the content of the course. Having guidelines that keep the frat boys from inadvertently demeaning the transgendered person in their physics class is not a bad thing. In my experience, the profs sometimes aren't aware that the language they use creates an uncomfortable learning environment for some of their students, and I don't think any of us want to make students *unnecessarily* uncomfortable when we're teaching. When the content dictates, however, making a learning environment uncomfortable can be a highly productive and transformative experience.
   382. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 07, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4667723)
Or it's capitalism exercising its prerogatives while (in this case) doing so for political reasons. The two thoughts aren't mutually exclusive.


Are they ever exclusive?

That's a good analogy, but with one key difference: The university was presumably the initiator of the contract, not Rice.


I don't see where that's a valid concern. They called her, offered a contract. The two parties negotiated a fee agreement and signed the deal. Either has the right to void the contract should they decide its in their interests. It's a contract for a speaking engagement, not the right to have and raise children.
   383. BrianBrianson Posted: March 07, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4667726)
Rice could use her commencement speech to address the Boycott issue from a different perspective.


Once someone's decided to have a wank while reading protocols, they're a lot cause. There's a lot of good places to present anti-racism messages, klan meetings ain't among them. Slaughterhouse ain't where to preach veeganism (if you're foolish enough to do that anywhere). Etc.
   384. SteveF Posted: March 07, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4667730)
Temperamentally, I am probably on your side, as I believe in the power of dialectic, but I think the link at least stimulates thought and debate.

There's a cost either way. You can't make debate safe and productive for everyone's definition of safe and productive.

There are just far too many issues the large majority of people just aren't open to the possibility of being wrong about. Some 'truths' are just too fundamental to their identities. It doesn't help that the nature of the internet has changed the tone of discourse. (These are the two major reasons many people just can't handle these discussions and go nuts when they break out in other topics -- not that I think any less of them for it.)

The problem with excluding someone from speaking -- note the issue is excluding them from speaking and not criticizing the contents of their speech -- is it just continues the trend of allowing people to wrap themselves in their own ideological bubbles. I don't really see that as intolerance, but I can't see how that's particularly conducive to having well-considered opinions or even empathy.
   385. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 07, 2014 at 11:51 AM (#4667735)
Here is an interesting counterargument.


I don't disagree with that link, per se. And to FDP's point @381 there are more and less appropriate places for combative thinking. A physics class is never a good place to open up vociferous debate about transgendered identities. But a biology class, or a sports science class? I had a friend post a link today on Facebook about a trans woman suing the CrossFit Games for 2.5 million dollars because they refuse to let her compete in the women's bracket. She's been transitioned since 2006, so it's not like she's still undergoing the process. But CF has stated in no uncertain terms that they believe in the genome and gender distinction at the biological level when it comes to strength and lifting, and refuse to let her compete with the other women. That would be a perfectly reasonable topic of conversation in a biology, genetics or sports science class, not just a sociology of philosophy class. And some of the harsher codes of conduct I've seen would make that conversation a "hostile environment" to anyone offended by the idea that physiology and psychology are distinct, regardless of hormone therapy and transition surgeries.

But back to the linked CT article, it's certainly true that there's no logical relationship between combative debate and acquisition of truth.
   386. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 07, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4667740)
I know that most commencement speeches are usually nothing but peanut butter on Wonderbread, but that template isn't set in stone.

It is if you ever want to do another one.


I'd think that would depend on the university, on the speaker, and on the nature of the non-Wonderbread that he or she was presenting. What might preclude a speaker from getting invited at one school may not necessarily preclude him or her from being invited at another.

---------------------------------------------------------

That's a good analogy, but with one key difference: The university was presumably the initiator of the contract, not Rice.

I don't see where that's a valid concern. They called her, offered a contract. The two parties negotiated a fee agreement and signed the deal. Either has the right to void the contract should they decide its in their interests. It's a contract for a speaking engagement, not the right to have and raise children.


Your perspective here is that colleges are "just business", and though the realist in me is about 90% of the way towards agreeing with that cynical perspective, there's still a leftover 10% that thinks they should represent something beyond that---- and that "beyond that" might possibly include not reneging on speaking offers for political reasons.

---------------------------------------------------------

Rice could use her commencement speech to address the Boycott issue from a different perspective.

Once someone's decided to have a wank while reading protocols, they're a lot cause. There's a lot of good places to present anti-racism messages, klan meetings ain't among them. Slaughterhouse ain't where to preach veeganism (if you're foolish enough to do that anywhere). Etc.


I'm not sure what any of that has to do with what Rice might have said at a major university in response to a faculty statement about the Israel boycott.
   387. ASmitty Posted: March 07, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4667743)
Your perspective here is that colleges are "just business", and though the realist in me is about 90% of the way towards agreeing with that cynical perspective, there's still a leftover 10% that thinks they should represent something beyond that---- and that "beyond that" might possibly include not reneging on speaking offers for political reasons.


This sums up my thoughts on this perfectly. I don't think Rutgers did an illegal thing, or even a wrong thing, but I'm still sort of disappointed. It's not censorship, but it is "censorship."
   388. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4667744)
There are just far too many issues the large majority of people just aren't open to the possibility of being wrong about. Some 'truths' are just too fundamental to their identities. It doesn't help that the nature of the internet has changed the tone of discourse. (These are the two major reasons many people just can't handle these discussions and go nuts when they break out in other topics -- not that I think any less of them for it.)

This is an excellent point.

There's a big distinction between expressing opposition to an idea or opinion, and branding everyone who holds that position as some kind of loathsome wing-nut. It is antithetical to civilized discourse on moral issues to characterize any opposition as the worst example of that opposition you can find. The classics of this is liberals calling every conservative idea "fascist" and conservatives calling every liberal idea "socialist".
   389. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4667746)
Your perspective here is that colleges are "just business", and though the realist in me is about 90% of the way towards agreeing with that cynical perspective, there's still a leftover 10% that thinks they should represent something beyond that---- and that "beyond that" might possibly include not reneging on speaking offers for political reasons.


We're more or less in agreement on all of the fundamentals here, but I personally distinguish between commencement speeches and the "beyond that" bit that includes offering unpopular philosophical or political theories a place at the intellectual table. The proper means to address your concern would be to have Rice deliver a series of lectures during the course of the academic year, where her thoughts and ideas can be debated, discussed and defended in earnest. If Rutgers hasn't provided that framework by commencement, having Condi Rice speak at graduation isn't going to alter the map.
   390. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4667749)
We're more or less in agreement on all of the fundamentals here, but I personally distinguish between commencement speeches and the "beyond that" bit that includes offering unpopular philosophical or political theories a place at the intellectual table.

It's not like we haven't seen many Universities allow leftist students to protest and heckle conservative speakers to the point they can't speak at all.
   391. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4667750)
I'm not sure what any of that has to do with what Rice might have said at a major university in response to a faculty statement about the Israel boycott.


I think his task here was to sneak in an equivocation where supporters of the Israel boycott movement are lined up on the same side as devotees of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and the KKK. Which would be about as much "censorship" as Rutgers decision to drop Condi from the graduation program.
   392. SteveF Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4667753)
It is antithetical to civilized discourse on moral issues to characterize any opposition as the worst example of that opposition you can find.

Frankly, in my days as a philosophy student it was always your job to try and help your opponent find their best possible argument. Discussions were about competing ideas and not competing people. What do you get for winning an argument? As far as I can tell, the only winner in an argument is the loser since they've had their provisionally worse opinion replaced by a provisionally better one.
   393. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4667754)
It's not like we haven't seen many Universities allow leftist students to protest and heckle conservative speakers to the point they can't speak at all.


How would denying the student-left the right to question and debate not be "censorship" as well?
   394. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4667757)
The problem with excluding someone from speaking -- note the issue is excluding them from speaking and not criticizing the contents of their speech -- is it just continues the trend of allowing people to wrap themselves in their own ideological bubbles. I don't really see that as intolerance, but I can't see how that's particularly conducive to having well-considered opinions or even empathy.

Nor do I, and I think in many ways that this is the underlying problem I have with that Rutgers faculty protest. It's as if they think that Rice is going to corrupt those impressionable young minds with sacrilege, whereas previous speakers like Toni Morrison would have given students some more legitimate and properly certified food for thought. The issue here is obviously far more serious, but to me the faculty's thought process isn't all that different from the Yale licensing committee that wouldn't give my poster distributor a license to reproduce a 1946 game day program, for the sole reason that the pipe smoking cartoon bulldog on the cover was seen as "endorsing the use of tobacco." In both of these cases, I have to ask: What the hell are these people afraid of?
   395. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4667759)
How would denying the student-left the right to question and debate not be "censorship" as well?

Protesting and heckling to the point the speaker can't be heard is not "question and debate", it is thug tactics worthy of the SA or Red Guards. Protest and shout outside all you want. Ask your toughest questions civilly during the Q&A period. You have no right to shout someone down, or mob the stage to prevent them from speaking.

Any students who do that should be expelled, and arrested for disorderly conduct. But the leftists who run Universities have never punished leftist students for thug behavior, all the way back to the 60's. People like the SDS that occupied and trashed Columbia University (and crippled a cop who tried to expel them) got a pass, while any conservative students who wanted to oppose them were threatened with expulsion. Thugs like that should be dealt with solely with baton wielding riot police.
   396. BrianBrianson Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4667760)
Is everything more subtle than a ten pound sledge in the face sneaking? No, there's no point in speaking to a crowd engaged in the Israeli boycott, they're simply too far gone for it to be meaningful. Once someone thinks Jews steal babies to make bread, you're not going to win them back to reality with a little speech.

William Nye, Man of Science! didn't debate Ken Ham to change Ken's mind - if the audience wasn't there, there wouldn't have been a point in him showing up.
   397. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4667761)

The problem with excluding someone from speaking -- note the issue is excluding them from speaking and not criticizing the contents of their speech -- is it just continues the trend of allowing people to wrap themselves in their own ideological bubbles.


In its strongest form, this leads to the opposite vice, bringing creationism into a biology class, or a flat earther into an astronomy class. Even on a political level, are there no positions that are beyond the pale? Did Miguel de Unamuno go to far in his denunciation of General Millán-Astray? Or is it reasonable for an institution of learning to exclude those who are antithetical to its fundamental values?
   398. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:15 PM (#4667763)
Any students who do that should be expelled, and arrested for disorderly conduct. But the leftists who run Universities have never punished leftist students for thug behavior, all the way back to the 60's.


Cite? I think this is more molehill than the mountain you're making to climb.
   399. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4667765)
Cite? I think this is more molehill than the mountain you're making to climb.

How do I provide a cite for lack of action? Why don't you show me examples of leftist students who have shouted down conservative speakers, and who were arrested or expelled for doing that?

Read the Wiki essay on the Columbia riots of 1968.

The University response to a uprising that trashed their University and crippled a cop was to suspend 30 students, out of hundreds that were arrested.
   400. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4667767)
Is everything more subtle than a ten pound sledge in the face sneaking?


It was oblique. And stupid, by the way. As stupid, certainly, as this brouhaha over Rutgers and Condi Rice. Certainly your position re: the boycott movement is intended to shut down discourse you don't like, which is the thing people are calling "censorship" here.
Page 4 of 33 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 >  Last ›

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
HowardMegdal
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Politics, August 2014: DNC criticizes Christie’s economic record with baseball video
(6060 - 9:57am, Aug 29)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogMarkusen: Seinfeld, Sabermetrics and Ken Phelps
(7 - 9:56am, Aug 29)
Last: Batman

NewsblogAfter awkward attempt at game-saving catch, Yankees' Ichiro Suzuki gets testy with reporters
(15 - 9:55am, Aug 29)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip

NewsblogPosnanski: Alex Gordon and the M-V-P chants
(30 - 9:54am, Aug 29)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-29-2014
(7 - 9:54am, Aug 29)
Last: Batman

NewsblogCalcaterra | John Rocker to join the cast of “Survivor”
(4 - 9:53am, Aug 29)
Last: Ron J2

NewsblogJack White, Eddie Vedder, and Paul Simon take in a Seattle Mariners game
(159 - 9:52am, Aug 29)
Last: Yeaarrgghhhh

NewsblogJesus Montero gets heckled by Mariners cross checker during rehab stint
(8 - 9:47am, Aug 29)
Last: Weratych

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 8-28-2014
(115 - 9:44am, Aug 29)
Last: Roger McDowell spit on me!

NewsblogAdam Jones says he was joking about 'airport' comment at social media event
(4 - 9:44am, Aug 29)
Last: Yeaarrgghhhh

NewsblogDavid Justice Says Put Barry Bonds in Baseball Hall of Fame Despite Steroid Use Late In Career
(147 - 9:37am, Aug 29)
Last: Ron J2

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread August, 2014
(779 - 9:30am, Aug 29)
Last: Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(745 - 9:25am, Aug 29)
Last: hokieneer

NewsblogMets call up Dilson Herrera, have "talked about" d'Arnaud to LF
(17 - 8:50am, Aug 29)
Last: formerly dp

NewsblogSimmons' run-saving stop
(35 - 4:11am, Aug 29)
Last: The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott)

Page rendered in 0.7790 seconds
54 querie(s) executed