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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

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   401. The Good Face Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4667768)
But back to the linked CT article, it's certainly true that there's no logical relationship between combative debate and acquisition of truth.


I fail to see how the acquisition of truth is furthered when viewpoints that may make certain favored groups "uncomfortable" are made verboten.

It's simply another case of Who, Whom? Some people can be made uncomfortable in the interests of pedagogy or whatever euphemism for indoctrination is in vogue at the time and other people must NEVER be made uncomfortable, or allowed to be made uncomfortable by the actions of others. How do we distinguish which groups are which? Who is doing what to whom?
   402. SteveF Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4667769)
Even on a political level, are there no positions that are beyond the pale?

Of course there are. BrianBrianson is quite right about context/futility of discussion. Though I'd submit it's important to note where the craziest of crazy ideas are born -- in bubbles.
   403. formerly dp Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4667771)
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.

I agree with your general point here, but I will also say that a lot of people teaching the genetics/biology/sports sciences classes may not be equipped to run the conversation all that well. And the same could be said for many sociology/philosophy faculty, too. Like a lot of schools, mine routinely runs seminars on creating inclusive classrooms-- I think those are valuable things to teach folks, so that when they do have those conversations, they're executed without using inadvertently demeaning/dehumanizing language. Sometimes what's offensive isn't intuitive, and requires a bit of education about how the meanings of words change.
   404. spike Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4667775)
Thugs like that should be dealt with solely with baton wielding riot police.

And the real idea for how you think dissent ought be handled finally turns up.
   405. BDC Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4667778)
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

I tend to agree, but as several others have said, nobody's denying Rice or her ideas the right to be heard. She has many venues for that.

Some faculty are objecting to associating a symbolically important platform, and its implicit endorsement, to a speaker they find reprehensible: one of their warrants being that she's lied in the past on globally important issues. They only get one commencement speaker this year. They don't want it to be somebody they find objectionable.

Surely objecting to somebody might also be a well-considered opinion? One could object to Ted Nugent as a speaker, or Ward Churchill. You'd think one should, right?

These faculty feel about Rice the way others might feel about Churchill. (Ward, not Winston. Winston gave some good commencement speeches BITD :)

Now one may think they're totally freaking bonkers to feel that way about sweet innocent stateswoman Condi Rice, who wouldn't condone hurting a fly, or whatever. But that's the nature of discourse. One man's Will Rogers is another man's Father Coughlin. I can think of speakers whom only a lunatic fringe would protest: I dunno, Stephen Sondheim. I can think of speakers everybody would object to: Kim Jong Un. But surely it's up to, even obligatory on, individuals to lodge those protests as their conscience directs.
   406. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4667780)
Sam, here's a couple of incidents from a quick Google. Note the conspicuous lack of mention of punishment for the students.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/03/14/anti-abortion-conservative-mp-shouted-down-by-protesters-at-university-of-waterloo/

http://www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org/news/2687/being-shouted-down

http://www.browndailyherald.com/2013/10/30/ray-kelly-lecture-canceled-amidst-student-community-protest/
   407. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:28 PM (#4667782)
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?


The problem is that you want a draconian reaction to a simple heckle. If you want me to take this complaint seriously you'll need to show me a couple of examples of "leftist Universities" allowing a speaker to be heckled and shouted down and then not kicking those hecklers out of the auditorium where the speaker was attempting to speak. If your theory of appropriate response to a heckler mocking Jonah Goldberg during a book tour event for "Liberal Fascism" is expulsion and/or arrest, you're beyond reason on the subject.

Read the Wiki essay on the Columbia riots of 1968.


1968? No. In other news, I will also not discuss the ongoing ########### in Ukraine by reference to Vietnam.
   408. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:28 PM (#4667783)
And the real idea for how you think dissent ought be handled finally turns up.

Violent dissent? Hell yes. You deal with violent thugs rapidly and forcefully.

There is no place for violent dissent in a civilized democracy.
   409. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4667784)
The problem is that you want a draconian reaction to a simple heckle. If you want me to take this complaint seriously you'll need to show me a couple of examples of "leftist Universities" allowing a speaker to be heckled and shouted down and then not kicking those hecklers out of the auditorium where the speaker was attempting to speak. If your theory of appropriate response to a heckler mocking Jonah Goldberg during a book tour event for "Liberal Fascism" is expulsion and/or arrest, you're beyond reason on the subject.

See [406]

A single heckler should be removed by security. An organized attempt to prevent a speech should be dealt with by arrest and expulsion.
   410. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4667786)
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.*


No. There are times when one can think Bernie is the best candidate for President AND still for for another candidate. The voter needs to be able to compromise for the greater principle, just like the politician does.

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.


This is a false distinction. I can believe Bernie is the best possible candidate and not vote for him. But the real issue I have is the idea that compromise and pragmatism is owned by "centrist realism and DLC deal brokering". That is nonsense. Ted Kennedy was no one's idea of a centrist DLC member, but he worked with all sides and brokered deals all the time. He did not value DLC deal brokering, he valued the outcomes, the pragmatic outcomes of his deal making. He was not sacrificing his principles at all.

One can value Bernie socialism AND value deal making and the outcomes. Bernie does it all the time, why can't voters do the exact same thing? They can make the pragmatic decision to vote for the second best candidate who can win, versus the best candidate who will lose. Just like Bernie votes for the second best bill which has a chance to become law, versus only voting for the (In his opinion) best bill which will never become law.
   411. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4667787)
I will also say that a lot of people teaching the genetics/biology/sports sciences classes may not be equipped to run the conversation all that well. And the same could be said for many sociology/philosophy faculty, too. Like a lot of schools, mine routinely runs seminars on creating inclusive classrooms-- I think those are valuable things to teach folks, so that when they do have those conversations, they're executed without using inadvertently demeaning/dehumanizing language. Sometimes what's offensive isn't intuitive, and requires a bit of education about how the meanings of words change.


Wholly agree. High five and ####. Educators should be educated. The lack of a liberal arts backbone to many STEM professors is a problem in academia.
   412. Greg K Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4667789)
I fail to see how the acquisition of truth is furthered when viewpoints that may make certain favored groups "uncomfortable" are made verboten.

It's simply another case of Who, Whom? Some people can be made uncomfortable in the interests of pedagogy or whatever euphemism for indoctrination is in vogue at the time and other people must NEVER be made uncomfortable, or allowed to be made uncomfortable by the actions of others. How do we distinguish which groups are which? Who is doing what to whom?

I may be following the thread incorrectly, but I think the discussion of the linked piece being discussed here is a separate discussion.

I read the part quoted as part of the discussion on adversarial debate vs. a more give and take form of debate. It's less about excising certain viewpoints because they are uncomfortable, and more about how one engages with others in scholarly debate. I don't think the point is, "don't talk about this because it will make someone uncomfortable" or even "pull your punches because of the other person's feelings". But sometimes it is advantageous to yourself to acknowledge flaws in your argument of viewpoint that the other points out and it is not a weakness to incorporate them into your viewpoint. I think, having a debate where there is a winner and a loser, and your job is to focus on and attack the flaws of your opponent is a useful way to hone one's critical skills, and can be a way to uncover "truth", it isn't always the latter. As an observer, and a participant, I often find a more open discussion much more enlightening.

But again, that's not always the case either. Some contexts call for an adversarial discussion. I think that's all the quoted comment was saying.
   413. BrianBrianson Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4667790)
Implicite ain't oblique. It was dead on target. And it doesn't shut down discussions, it opens them up, because without acknowledging it you have to dance around the truth. If the people standing in front of Sainsbury's complaining they sell couscous would be open about their motivations, a real discussion could be had. The blood libels, like the creationists, would lose, because they have a total absence of facts on their side. But if we have to pretend the Boycott Israeli Apartheid movement is born of anything other than the usual desire to genocide the Jews, we certainly can't have a meaningful discussion, anymore than we could have a meaningful discussion of why people are creationists if we had to pretend the bible doesn't exist.
   414. The District Attorney Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4667796)
if we have to pretend the Boycott Israeli Apartheid movement is born of anything other than the usual desire to genocide the Jews
See, you think you made some sort of logical point here, but what you actually did is illustrate the problem with branding positions as "beyond the pale."
   415. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4667799)
A single heckler should be removed by security.

Including that "You lie!" doofus Congressman from South Carolina?

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

I can think of speakers whom only a lunatic fringe would protest: I dunno, Stephen Sondheim.

I dunno, whenever I hear "Send in the Clowns", I start thinking about joining the NRA.
   416. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4667800)
See [406]


Dude, you gotta learn how to use that link button...

From the first link:

After the talk was cancelled and the protesters left, Mr. Woodworth said he was able to stay and have a discussion with a few people.


From the second link:

Finally, I decided that attempting to speak over the tumult served no useful purpose and the speech was cancelled. I stayed at the podium for another 20 minutes talking to those who came with questions instead of slogans.

After the room had cleared, 50 or so of us – some supportive, others curious – repaired to the offices of the Republican club, where I spoke impromptu and answered questions for about an hour.


From the third link:

Various University officials and administrators expressed surprise and disappointment with the lecture’s cancellation.

“I don’t recall in my years here a time when a lecture was stopped based on the crowd disrupting the speaker,” said Mark Porter, chief of police for DPS.

Deputy Chief of Police for DPS Paul Shanley added that though DPS was there to make sure the protest did not get out of control, the shutdown was not for fear of a public safety risk. DPS does not “take sides,” he said.

“The conduct of disruptive members of the audience is indefensible and an affront both to civil democratic society and to the University’s core values of dialogue and the free exchange of views,” President Christina Paxson wrote in a statement.

In an email to the community, Paxson wrote that she has asked Klawunn to organize a forum to “discuss our values and expectations as a community.” Paxson also wrote that she would reach out to Kelly “to convey (her) deepest regret for the manner in which he was treated.”

Klawunn said the University does not plan to pursue disciplinary action against the students who disrupted the lecture.

Following the cancelation, Quinn said the University might have to review its policy of allowing all members of the community, as opposed to only individuals with Brown IDs, into the event.


Of the three, the third is closest to what you want it to be. And the university there clearly responded by stating that the actions of the protesters was counter-productive to free inquiry and possibly limiting the audience to only students in the future. (Assumption here is that the protesters were mostly outsiders.)

Of course, no one was batoned into bloody submission or carted off to the gulags, so I guess that's not strong enough of a response for you?

I'll also note that these three examples come from 1) Canada, 2) UMass, and 3) Brown. You're sort of cherry picking the data there.
   417. BDC Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4667804)
One irony of the above discussion is that Toni Morrison is less than persona grata in Israel, having been outspoken on Palestinian issues. I can't find any record of anyone protesting her appearance at Rutgers, though. (She taught there for a while in the 1980s.)
   418. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:45 PM (#4667805)
If the people standing in front of Sainsbury's complaining they sell couscous would be open about their motivations, a real discussion could be had. The blood libels, like the creationists, would lose, because they have a total absence of facts on their side. But if we have to pretend the Boycott Israeli Apartheid movement is born of anything other than the usual desire to genocide the Jews, we certainly can't have a meaningful discussion, anymore than we could have a meaningful discussion of why people are creationists if we had to pretend the bible doesn't exist.


See, this is straight forward. And, again, massively stupid. The idea that the boycott movement is actually a secret agreement to re-open the concentration camps is... Well, it's about as paranoid-delusional as the Protocols, actually.
   419. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4667806)
Of the three, the third is closest to what you want it to be. And the university there clearly responded by stating that the actions of the protesters was counter-productive to free inquiry and possibly limiting the audience to only students in the future. (Assumption here is that the protesters were mostly outsiders.)

Of course, no one was batoned into bloody submission or carted off to the gulags, so I guess that's not strong enough of a response for you?

I'll also note that these three examples come from 1) Canada, 2) UMass, and 3) Brown. You're sort of cherry picking the data there.


In all three cases the speaker was prevented from speaking publicly. How does the fact that two were able to have private conversations with small groups of like minded students change that fact?

Why didn't campus security expel the hecklers? If they were non-students, why weren't police called to arrest them for trespass and disorderly conduct?

Ms. Rethore, for the university, could not say what sanctions a student might face for disrupting the lecture, other than to say that “silencing of anyone who proffers an opinion is totally unacceptable.”


This quote from the Canadian incident (where the speaker was an MP, BTW) demonstrates there clearly were students involved, and the Univ. has no intention of disciplining them.
   420. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4667807)
Also bears noting that the guy writing the second link @406 seems to be a absolute asshat and I don't trust his narrative of events as far as I could throw his rotting corpse.
   421. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4667808)
Some faculty are objecting to associating a symbolically important platform, and its implicit endorsement, to a speaker they find reprehensible: one of their warrants being that she's lied in the past on globally important issues. They only get one commencement speaker this year. They don't want it to be somebody they find objectionable.

I can't remember the exact details on Condi's involvement, but I have no issue whatsoever with the idea that war criminals -- conscious violators of the age-old treaties forbidding the torture of prisoners during wartime -- not be allowed to partake in things like commencement speeches.

If the law isn't going to punish them, as it was supposed to (*), there can at least be ad hoc expressions of disdain and unfitness.

(*) And as Barack Obama was obligated to investigate, under the aforementioned treaties.
   422. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4667809)
In other news, I will also not discuss the ongoing ########### in Ukraine by reference to Vietnam.

Poltava ... POLTAVAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!
   423. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4667810)
This quote from the Canadian incident (where the speaker was an MP, BTW) demonstrates there clearly were students, and the Univ. has no intention of disciplining them.


A. Canada.

B. The quote you offer does not in anyway suggest that they won't be disciplined. Granted, they probably won't be locked in a public square and stoned to death.
   424. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4667811)
Poltava ... POLTAVA!!!!!!


Russian-Ukrainian history is actually relevant to current events in Ukraine, Bear. I know it's hard on you sometimes, what with the meds and all.
   425. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4667814)
But if we have to pretend the Boycott Israeli Apartheid movement is born of anything other than the usual desire to genocide the Jews, we certainly can't have a meaningful discussion, anymore than we could have a meaningful discussion of why people are creationists if we had to pretend the bible doesn't exist.

What?
   426. formerly dp Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:50 PM (#4667815)
The lack of a liberal arts backbone to many STEM professors is a problem in academia.
Yeah, high five. Not sure i see this getting better anytime soon, unfortunately-- the liberal arts folks are being increasingly pressed to instrumentalize their research, and the STEM peoples aren't being pressed in the other direction.

I've worked a little with Computer Scientists, but found that the street only goes one way.
   427. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:50 PM (#4667816)
B. The quote you offer does not in anyway suggest that they won't be disciplined. Granted, they probably won't be locked in a public square and stoned to death.

Please. If they were going to discipline them, they would say something like "appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken". We all know what a mealy mouth no answer like that means.

And we all know why these students don't get disciplined. It's because the majority of the administration and faculty agree with their extreme leftist views, and tacitly approve their tactics.
   428. BrianBrianson Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4667818)
but what you actually did is illustrate the problem with branding positions as "beyond the pale."


I would agree with the claim that it's better to let people speak freely and have their vileness apparent to everyone, than have them wear a false face and go through the song and dance. But whether or not a position is beyond the pale, when people hold really offensive views, they usually learn to add a veneer of something to make it more socially palatable, which is not particularly unique to anti-semites, but oil companies figuring out they should say they don't believe global warming is real, rather than the more honest "I'm old enough that it ain't my problem" - or Tobacco companies, in their day, and so on. It's a little harder with political movements, with less top-down control, but most people know how to spin themselves.

Unless like the Westboro Baptists, they're just trying to get assaulted so they can sue, or because they're masochists, or whatever.
   429. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4667821)
Russian-Ukrainian history is actually relevant to current events in Ukraine, Bear. I know it's hard on you sometimes, what with the meds and all.

So you see no irony in refusing to discuss things as far back as 1968 in re Ukraine after your lecture yesterday about a battle in 1704? Hmmm. OK.

(And please don't say you were only talking about Russia and Ukraine; Kissenger and you were arguing that Poltava should influence American perspectives and actions on the conflict.)
   430. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:56 PM (#4667824)
Yeah, high five. Not sure i see this getting better anytime soon, unfortunately-- the liberal arts folks are being increasingly pressed to instrumentalize their research, and the STEM peoples aren't being pressed in the other direction.


"C'mon Henry, just hit the bong once."
   431. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:59 PM (#4667827)
   432. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 01:00 PM (#4667828)
So you see no irony in refusing to discuss things as far back as 1968 in re Ukraine after your lecture yesterday about a battle in 1704? Hmmm. OK.

(And please don't say you were only talking about Russia and Ukraine; Kissenger and you were arguing that Poltava should influence American perspectives and actions on the conflict.)


I didn't get a chance to comment on this yesterday, but the idea that the fact one Ukranian fought against them at Poltava is a legitimate concern of the Russians in 2014 is bat-#### insane.

It's like saying the US is justified in invading northern Germany b/c the Hessians fought against us in 1776.
   433. BDC Posted: March 07, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4667829)
liberal arts folks are being increasingly pressed to instrumentalize their research

Among other things, there's a fundamental difference between fields where you work on a single-author book for 5-10 years, and graduate students drain your attention from it (humanities) to those where you run a lab and graduate students mean more prolific and continuous results (STEM, but not all STEM fields are created equal even in that respect).

Some humanities professors see large collaborative projects that involve a lot of data and technology as being the wave of the future (and many administrators agree), but it's hard to imagine humanities getting away from the single scholar who simply learns (and then teaches) a lot of stuff about Dante or the French Revolution or Kant or whatever. Yet that latter kind of individual cultivation of knowledge is increasingly passé, because not as obviously "productive."
   434. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4667830)
So you see no irony in refusing to discuss things as far back as 1968 in re Ukraine after your lecture yesterday about a battle in 1704? Hmmm. OK


I see no irony in refusing to discuss things that are not relevant to Russian-Ukrainian politics while admitting things that are relevant to Russian-Ukrainian politics when discussing Russian-Ukrainian politics.
   435. formerly dp Posted: March 07, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4667831)
It's because the majority of the administration and faculty agree with their extreme leftist views, and tacitly approve their tactics.
If your image of higher ed is based solely off of northeastern ivies, maybe. But otherwise, this is so batshit disconnected from the reality of higher ed, it's barely worth commenting on-- as Robin suggested earlier, there are a lot of straight-up bureaucrats in higher ed who see these sorts of incidents as simply fires to be put out before moving on to the next crisis.

I guess this is the sort of thing Snapper thinks should happen to student protesters. Serves 'em right!
   436. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4667832)
I see no irony in refusing to discuss things that are not relevant to Russian-Ukrainian politics while admitting things that are relevant to Russian-Ukrainian politics when discussing Russian-Ukrainian politics.

You though we were discussing Russian-Ukrainian politics? That's weird, I was discussing thugs shouting down conservatives speaker at Universities.
   437. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 07, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4667837)
I see no irony in refusing to discuss things that are not relevant to Russian-Ukrainian politics while admitting things that are relevant to Russian-Ukrainian politics when discussing Russian-Ukrainian politics.

Except you and Kissinger's little lecture yesterday was that Americans needed to be concerned about Poltava -- and perceive it a certain (utterly ludicrous) way.

The relevant and ongoing discussion, of course, has touched on both things, as it should -- the historic Russian/Ukrainian relationship and the proper American/Western perspective/action with respect to it. Vietnam and its lessons are obviously entirely relevant to the second prong of the discussion and, since it was an important Cold War conflict, touches closely on even the first.

By any sane measurement, Vietnam is far more germane to the discussion than Poltava.
   438. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4667844)
If your image of higher ed is based solely off of northeastern ivies, maybe.


This seems to be the crux of the problem for Snapper here. He thinks the University of Indiana or Georgia Tech are similar to Brown or Amherst. His perspective is extremely skewed.
   439. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4667848)
This seems to be the crux of the problem for Snapper here. He thinks the University of Indiana or Georgia Tech are similar to Brown or Amherst. His perspective is extremely skewed.

Please present me an example of left-wing speakers being shouted down at a conservative Univ. Would you excuse that?

Would you expect conservatives to be the ones censoring conservatives? It's laughable. Of course it happens most at the most left-wing universities.
   440. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 01:26 PM (#4667854)


By any sane measurement, Vietnam is far more germane to the discussion than Poltava.


What significance does Vietnam have to the Russians?
   441. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4667857)

Please present me an example of left-wing speakers being shouted down at a conservative Univ. Would you excuse that?


The list of biology professors who have been driven out of conservative Christian colleges for espousing evolution is a long one.

   442. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 07, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4667862)
What significance does Vietnam have to the Russians?

What significance does that question have to what I wrote?
   443. GregD Posted: March 07, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4667866)
On Rice, a university that refused to have her come speak on campus would be a joke. Of course a university that also barred people from protesting her appearance would also be a joke. Finding the line between protesting and preventing speaking is often clearer after the fact than in the middle, but I would agree that Brown did not handle the situation well. I do think places have come up with better ways than beating people with batons. It's interesting how rarely these events like the Brown/Ray Kelly one happen.

The Brooklyn College BDS event last year doesn't map neatly onto left/right since lots of pols who are lefties but very pro-Israel joined the condemnation but it did include politicians introducing (impossible to pass) bills to deny funding to Brooklyn for a club hosting BDS speakers.

In New York legislators passed a bill banning state funding for any activities with the American Studies Association and legislators there and in Illinois are considering a bill stripping all state funding from institutions that fund academic clubs that have endorsed boycotts against Israel and a few other countries.

For the record I do not support either BDS or the ASA resolution, but I even more emphatically don't support the effort to use government to shut off what is a marginal and probably wrong-headed viewpoint from having a hearing and to punish universities that permit clubs to express their opinions.

Ed to add: I forgot a sentence in the first paragraph. If a university refused to allow Rice to speak, it would be a joke. Determining whom the university should go out of its way to formally honor with a degree is a different story, and there I think there is more room for debate about what values a university celebrates. I wish we didn't honor politicians in that way at all, to be honest; James Bakker spoke at my grad commencement and made a fool of himself, and I would skip a ceremony honoring Bill Clinton. There are plenty of other people for universities to honor.
   444. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 07, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4667872)
For the record I do not support either BDS or the ASA resolution, but I even more emphatically don't support the effort to use government to shut off what is a marginal and probably wrong-headed viewpoint from having a hearing and to punish universities that permit clubs to express their opinions.


Seconded.
   445. GregD Posted: March 07, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4667873)
On the Sanders question, I try to think of voting not as a perfect preference Internet quiz but as happening within two conditions that define the ethics of the choice: 1) The fact that I am responsible for all votes I don't cast just as much as I am responsible for votes I do cast; there's no ethical purity in washing my hands, as I am just as ethically responsible for no vote or a protest vote as I am for any other action. 2) I am also responsible for understanding the way our political system works with a winner-take-all outcome. So a vote that I would make in perfect happiness in a system that did not have a winner take all system may have entirely different ramifications here.

In a three-way Hillary/Sanders/Scott Walker election, if Sanders is, say, 20% closer to my views than Hillary but has, say, a small chance of winning, while Walker is anathema to me, then I have to embrace the responsibility for every choice:

1) If I don't vote for Walker, but it turns out that Hillary (or Sanders in a miracle) wins and is a disastrous president and in retrospect it appears Walker would have been better, that's on me.

2) If I don't vote for Sanders, then I have to bear a part of the responsibility for the lack of a third-party movement in the US.

3) If I don't vote for Hillary and Walker wins, and the outcome is reasonably predictable, then I have to bear the moral responsibility for the things Walker does in his term. If it is GWB part 2, that's on me. If it's worse, that's on me, too.

I admit that this way of thinking can make one risk averse, but I find ways of thinking that privilege purity to risk turning politics into self-absorption. Unless you favor armed uprising, politics--or at least political voting--is the imperfect act of trying to steer government incrementally (which would be true even with President Sanders.) Political voting isn't, by my lights, primarily or even secondarily a place for personal expression. There are lots of other ways to express yourself in forms that might influence future politics.

I say this, in part, because of my own self-reflection about voting for Perot as a young and foolish person. At the time I congratulated myself for being pure enough not to sully my hands with that terrible moderate Bill Clinton and to be honest I have never outgrown my revulsion to Clinton. I have however come to doubt my own prioritization of values that placed my own disdain for voting for him over a sense of actual consequences. Obviously it would have been terrible to have a President Perot, and at some level it was monstrous of me, morally, to prize my own purity over a reasonable assessment.

So that's why in a primary, I would vote for Sanders. I voted for Edwards twice in primaries. I voted for Jerry Brown. I think pushing the Democratic Party to the left is a great thing. But helping a Republican get elected, in this version of the Republican Party? I don't want that on my conscience.

(I fully accept that a conservative might have precisely the same moral stances that lead him or her to choose to vote for the standard Republican candidate over a better ideological fit in a third-party libertarian or protectionist party. That's precisely as moral a choice as mine, by my lights. As is voting for a third party if you can accept responsibility for your less-favored major party winning.)
   446. BrianBrianson Posted: March 07, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4667880)
I think one is hard pressed to seriously entertain the "vote for the best candidate, regardless of chance" position. Can't say I've ever had the privilege of voting in a close race, but I often take the opposite position; I vote for parties I wouldn't want to see wield actual power to tilt the debate, balance the scales, whatnot. Given the proliferation of teapers and their ilk, the world needs moonbats to balance them out. Maoists running the government? No thanks. Communalist freegans arguing with teapers so that reasonable people wanting effective solutions to problems that actually exist look like the middle ground, instead of the farthest left that gets representation? Yes, sounds good. I once voted for a candidate whose only position I was aware of was to replace every elected position with two positions, one for a man, one for a woman. Terrible idea, worth putting in the marketplace of ideas next to keep your government hands off my medicare.
   447. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4667882)
Except you and Kissinger's little lecture yesterday was that Americans needed to be concerned about Poltava


Again, you clearly failed to comprehend the man's argument. He did nothing of the sort. He argued that America needed to understand Russia's point of view and interests, and Russia needed to understand the American-Euro POV and interests, and that Ukraine had to understand those two as well, and that Russia and the "west" needed to understand Ukraine's POV and interests. In short, he argued that in order to function as real politik, parties needed to acknowledge that they did not share universal interests or narratives.

His point for those who can read English and understand it, is that it is impossible to understand the current issues without acknowledging that Ukraine is not Poland, that Ukraine and Russian histories are intricately tied together, and that a good deal of problems we are currently dealing with in regard to Russia's Cold War gamesmanship in Ukraine is driven by Ukraine's inability to form a functional representative government.
   448. BDC Posted: March 07, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4667884)
Voting is often like analyzing baseball trades: hard to do except in retrospect. Like GregD, I have never regretted my votes for far-left Democratic primary candidates – nor those, in more recent years, for relatively moderate Republicans that I then eschewed in the general election. I voted for Nader in both 1996 and 2000 in the general election: in Texas, where it turned out not to matter a hoot. I don't regret that. If I'd lived in Florida at the time, maybe I'd still be whipping myself. OTOH, it was very hard for me to see a lot of meaningful differences between Gore and Bush at the time, given how far right the Clinton/Gore administration had traveled, and how relatively humanist W had been as Governor. I am not even sure in retrospect that Gore would have been extremely different from Bush. I guess I remain suspicious of Gore in a way I never was about Kerry or Obama.
   449. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 07, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4667889)
Again, you clearly failed to comprehend the man's argument. He did nothing of the sort. He argued that America needed to understand Russia's point of view and interests, and Russia needed to understand the American-Euro POV and interests, and that Ukraine had to understand those two as well, and that Russia and the "west" needed to understand Ukraine's POV and interests. In short, he argued that in order to function as real politik, parties needed to acknowledge that they did not share universal interests or narratives.

Not guilty as charged. Kissinger's words:

The West must understand that, to Russia, Ukraine can never be just a foreign country. Russian history began in what was called Kievan-Rus. The Russian religion spread from there. Ukraine has been part of Russia for centuries, and their histories were intertwined before then. Some of the most important battles for Russian freedom, starting with the Battle of Poltava in 1709 , were fought on Ukrainian soil.

He's saying the West must understand that, to Russia, Ukraine can never be just a foreign country. His reasons? Inter alia, Poltava. Why should the West accede to that silliness, in the face of the independence vote and recent polls and recent actions entirely to the contrary? And he is saying the West should accede to it, because his policy prescription is that Ukraine be a "bridge between East and West," when it has already, a few months ago, decided that it wanted to associate with the EU.

In other words, he wants decisions Ukraine has already made, broken up by Russian force, to be re-litigated and reversed because Poltava.(*) That's ####### absurd. Henry Kissinger's ideal world order is now, and always has been, a few "Great Powers" reaching a military and diplomatic equilibrium they can all live with, smaller nations be damned. This is just the latest iteration in that horseshit, anti-humanist line of thought.

As for your final clause, everyone acknowledges that the sides don't share the same interests or narratives. That's a trite statement of the obvious.

(*) That, and the fact that, well, Ukraine has always been part of Russia anyway. As if that means anything given the fact that they obviously don't want to be anymore, and never really did.
   450. GregD Posted: March 07, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4667892)
I am curious about the Kansas court order on state educational funding. Although I'm pro-education spending, I admit that court regulation of spending levels makes me nervous. For one thing, I do think the legislature has the power of the purse. For another I don't think these educational rulings have ever been followed. Or am I wrong on this? New York just ignores the court ruling on its funding, as far as I can tell.
   451. BDC Posted: March 07, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4667893)
I dunno, Bear. Kissinger may or may not be characterizing the situation astutely, but it's not really absurd to think of a battle from that long ago as casting a long shadow. Six counties of Ulster both are and aren't a foreign country to the rest of Ireland because of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Dismissing that kind of deep history out of hand because of later treaties and agreements can sometimes be short-sighted.
   452. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4667894)
He's saying the West must understand that, to Russia, Ukraine can never be just a foreign country.


The key word you're failing to read correctly there is "just."
   453. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4667896)
In other words, he wants decisions Ukraine has already made, broken up by Russian force, to be re-litigated and reversed because Poltava.


This is just false, I think. You refuse to admit that Ukraine itself is fundamentally divided on the issue of western- vs eastern-facing alliances. You refuse to admit that there are two* Ukraines, the west that is basically another Poland, and the east that is functionally and historically and ethnically part of Russia. You refuse to admit that Ukrainian politics has historically been a cold war of factions trying to beat the other guys out of existence more than it's ever been a representative republic of competing but nationally engaged parties. Basically, you refuse to admit anything other than the talking points of the activists of western Ukraine, which means you can't even begin to formulate a rational theory of how a disinterested west should respond.

*In truth there are three Ukraines; West, East, and Crimea.
   454. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 07, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4667904)
*In truth there are three Ukraines; West, East, and Crimea.

Maybe culturally, but on the issues at hand there really aren't. The country associated with the EU with an "Eastern" guy at the helm. East and West voted him out of office overwhelmingly after he reneged and murdered. East and West overwhelmingly voted to release the former "Western" leader from prison. East and West were overwhelmingly in favor of independence in 1991 -- I've posted the returns and they're easily obtainable on Wikipedia. The NYT had polls from 2012 and 2014 which showed little change in the sentiment expressed in 1991.

Crimea, yes -- little different story. Way lower support there for independence in 1991, though still a decent majority. A Crimea for Russian acceptance of Ukrainian membership in the EU (and eventually NATO) deal wouldn't be perfect, but on first blush seems tolerable.

You're back to your "but the East is really Russia" act, and it isn't pretty and is entirely contrary to all the data. It was an apologia for appeasement when first proffered, and it still is.

American interests lie in Ukraine associating/joining the EU, as it had agreed to do. Those interests should be pursued and pressed, with vigor.
   455. villageidiom Posted: March 07, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4667905)
And we all know why these students don't get disciplined. It's because the majority of the administration and faculty agree with their extreme leftist views, and tacitly approve their tactics.
Or because the students who were involved could not be identified. That's really the biggest factor in the non-discipline of any number of crimes (serious or non-serious) on college campuses.

When I was in college, there was a case of involuntary manslaughter at a fraternity. (Underage guest got blind drunk and fell off a balcony.) The students were not disciplined by the college, nor arrested, because nobody could identify the students who served the alcohol. Nobody from the fraternity would speak about it. The extent of the discipline was that the national fraternity revoked their charter.

So, obviously, this shows the majority of the university administration and faculty (and the local police) looooooves them some manslaughter, and tacitly approve of the students' tactics.
   456. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 07, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4667907)
I dunno, Bear. Kissinger may or may not be characterizing the situation astutely, but it's not really absurd to think of a battle from that long ago as casting a long shadow.

I'd gladly stipulate that it has the impact Kissinger says it does, but that still doesn't make the West have to defer to that impact in any way.
   457. GregD Posted: March 07, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4667908)
On another depressing note, villageidiom, the way universities continue to handle sexual assault cases by recommending that students go to university boards, not the police, and then hand out minimal disciplinary action suggests that you are right that many universities are reluctant or unwilling to discipline even the most-egregious offenders, like the serial rapist at Columbia.
   458. villageidiom Posted: March 07, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4667910)
Please present me an example of left-wing speakers being shouted down at a conservative Univ.
Please present examples of left-wing speakers being invited to speak at a conservative university.
   459. spike Posted: March 07, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4667920)
For Spike.

That's a love letter from the GOP-e, no doubt about it - it doesn't even talk about the REALLY crazy jesus-ey bits.
   460. spike Posted: March 07, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4667921)
Please present examples of left-wing speakers being invited to speak at a conservative university.

You'll find a hundred Condi at Rutgers examples before a single Hillary at Bob Jones.
   461. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 07, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4667922)
This is from the National Review website, but the money quotes are from Rutgers faculty members:


The Faculty Council at Rutgers’ New Brunswick campus is trying to oust Rice, a former secretary of state, national security advisor, and provost of Stanford University, as the university’s commencement speaker because she does not “embody moral authority and exemplary citizenship.”....

Rice headed the Department of State in the George W. Bush administration’s second term. The resolution says Rice took part in the “lies” that led to the Iraq War, and says she “at the very least, condoned” such “enhanced interrogation” methods as waterboarding. The professors object to the “heavily political” nature of having Rice speak, French professor François Cornilliat told New Brunswick Today.

Chemistry professor Robert Boikess, who introduced the resolution, told National Review his objection isn’t that Rice is a political figure, but rather that her contentious past might distract from the ceremony. He said he considered it appropriate for Rutgers to invite New Jersey Governor (and University of Delaware graduate) Chris Christie in 2010. Boikess added that the faculty would be “honored” to have a president or former president come to campus.


Maybe someone can explain just what "moral authority and exemplary citizenship" George W. Bush possesses that his former Secretary of State does not.
   462. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4667923)
American interests lie in Ukraine associating/joining the EU, as it had agreed to do.


No, American interests lie with Ukraine providing a bridge between the EU and Russia. American interests lie in Ukraine being functional and non-client, non-combative with BOTH.
   463. GregD Posted: March 07, 2014 at 03:38 PM (#4667925)
I think people of all political stripes can agree that those quotes from Boikess make no sense at all.
   464. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 07, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4667926)
Please present examples of left-wing speakers being invited to speak at a conservative university.


You'll find a hundred Condi at Rutgers examples before a single Hillary at Bob Jones.

Obviously that's true, but why on Earth should anyone be taking an historically racist, sexist and homophobic private university as a role model for a large state university?
   465. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4667932)
You'll find a hundred Condi at Rutgers examples before a single Hillary at Bob Jones.


Perhaps because Bob Jones doesn't have commencement speakers.

For commencement, the administration does not have a special speaker but prefers to give members from the graduating class (associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates) the opportunity to share with family and visitors how the Lord has worked in their hearts during their college years. Every prospective graduate is encouraged to submit a testimony (100 words) for selection by April 1 to the Records Office.
   466. spike Posted: March 07, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4667933)
Obviously that's true, but why on Earth should anyone be taking an historically racist, sexist and homophobic private university as a role model for a large state university?


Because it's part and parcel of what I mentioned earlier - claiming "the left is occasionally 'intolerant', and thus are hypocrites!" is a red herring that distracts from the near total intolerance of dissent on the right.
   467. spike Posted: March 07, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4667935)
Perhaps because Bob Jones doesn't have commencement speakers.

Liberty does.
   468. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4667937)
Maybe someone can explain just what "moral authority and exemplary citizenship" George W. Bush possesses that his former Secretary of State does not.


I think it's relatively clear from your excerpt that Boikess is speaking for himself, not for the faculty in general. The first quotes would most rationally be attributed to the first quoted speaker, François Cornilliat.

Two people. Two different thoughts on Condi.
   469. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: March 07, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4667938)
Look - anyone who wants to pretend that faculty isn't hostile to conservative students at the "good" (flagship public or equivalent private) colleges and universities in the US either has their head in the ground or is part of the engineering department. In my personal experience as a conservative student, open hostilty was everywhere. I was told once, and I quote, "I walk by your fraternity. I see the cars in the parking lot. I see the bumper stickers. You tell the guys in your fraternity my classes aren't for them.". In a class on the Supreme Court, I handed in a final paper that argued something I thought was fairly mild, but clearly influenced by conservative thought, and the paper was returned with no comments whatsoever except "You're Wrong. A-." on the first page. Those are just the best anecdotes, but hostility was ubiquitous. There were a handful of very strong conservative students, and we'd occasionally grab lunch together and chuckle about our experiences. Perhaps unsurprisingly, none of us won any academic awards for best thesis, best student in the department, etc.- and watched our liberal peers snap them up.

What I never got was why people ####### about it. We know, going into it, that the population of people who elected to become university professors was overwhelmingly liberal, and that authority figures like to be told what they want to hear. This is human nature; it's true at your job, in government; hell, its the reason why your wife doesn't want you to tell her she looks chunky in her new jeans. So for the conservative kids with real chops, all the bullshit was just that, billshit, water off a duck's back, because you knew that it was a figment of the academic environment. The kids who became active in the campus conservative groups, the ones who protested and wrote stupid letters to the paper and made it some sort of crusade, they were the Joey B types, the ones who were too stupid to understand that the whole game was to not care.

This is a roundabout way of saying that of COURSE its inappropriate and sends the wrong message for faculty to try to prevent Rice from speaking, but whaddayagonnado. It's forseeable, its harmless, and it is what it is. No one whose opinion is worthwhile is going to go to college and be "corrupted" by progressivism, because no intelligent person is that much of a pushover and the dictatorship of the classroom ends at the classroom walls. Hell, when I was in law school lectures I was practically Bernie Sanders Jr., because I wanted the A and the way to get it was to echo. Didn't make me into a liberal.
   470. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4667939)
Liberty does.


An incomplete list of past Liberty University commencement speakers.

1985 Senator Bill Armstrong, R-Colorado
1986 Donald Hodel, Secretary of the Interior
1987
1988 Lt. Col. (Ret.) Oliver North
1989 W. A. Criswell
1990 President George H. W. Bush
1991 Rep. Newt Gingrich
1992 Pat Buchanan
1993 Dr. James Dobson
1994
1995 Sen. Phil Gramm
1996 Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
1997 Billy Graham
1998 Dr. John Borek Jr. (outgoing President of the school)
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004 Karl Rove
2005 Sean Hannity
2006 Sen. John McCain
2007 Rep. Newt Gingrich
2008 Chuck Norris
2009 Ben Stein
2010 Glen Beck

They don't seem to be in any danger of having to censor a potential speaker for being outside of their political bubble, due to the fact that they never have a speaker who is outside of their political bubble.
   471. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 07, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4667940)
On Rice, a university that refused to have her come speak on campus would be a joke. Of course a university that also barred people from protesting her appearance would also be a joke. Finding the line between protesting and preventing speaking is often clearer after the fact than in the middle,

It shouldn't really be that complicated. Protest signs and other such non-verbal protest should be given full reign, no matter how offensive. And an isolated verbal contradiction of a politically provocative statement on the part of the speaker should be tolerated as part of what a speaker who makes such a statement might expect. If Rice got up there and started to defend waterboarding, she shouldn't be indignant if she got a swift series of replies.

But verbal disruption to the point of drowning out the speaker has no place in any public forum, and at a graduation ceremony the only real question is whether removing the disruptors would only make matters worse, as opposed to making a visual record of their disruptions and dealing with them later. This would especially be the case if the speaker's address were non-political, and the protest was directed at the person and not at what she was saying. A university simply can't allow the institution of a heckler's veto.
   472. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 07, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4667944)
Interesting effort by some to categorize the attempt to dis-invite Dr. Rice as something other than censorship. Perhaps a definition is in order:
Censorship is the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by a government, media outlet or other controlling body. Governments, private organizations and individuals may engage in censorship. When an author or other creator engages in censorship of his or her own works, it is called self-censorship. Censorship may be direct or it may be indirect, in which case it is called soft censorship. It occurs in a variety of different media, including speech, books, music, films, and other arts, the press, radio, television, and the Internet for a variety of reasons including national security, to control obscenity, child pornography, and hate speech, to protect children or other vulnerable groups, to promote or restrict political or religious views, and to prevent slander and libel.[emphasis added]

One of worst developments in recent American political history is the diminished support of basic 1st Amendment values by some on the left. Political speech is the core of the 1st Amendment, not dirty books (which isn't to say that they aren't also protected).
   473. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4667947)
In a class on the Supreme Court, I handed in a final paper that argued something I thought was fairly mild, but clearly influenced by conservative thought, and the paper was returned with no comments whatsoever except "You're Wrong. A-." on the first page. Those are just the best anecdotes, but hostility was ubiquitous.


Ubiquitous hostility leads to an A- on a paper. When will they ever let you out of the gulags, man?
   474. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 07, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4667949)
One of worst developments in recent American political history is the diminished support of basic 1st Amendment values by some on the left.
So right. We never see this type of stuff from the right. Conservatives, so pure.
   475. villageidiom Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4667951)
On another depressing note, villageidiom, the way universities continue to handle sexual assault cases by recommending that students go to university boards, not the police, and then hand out minimal disciplinary action suggests that you are right that many universities are reluctant or unwilling to discipline even the most-egregious offenders, like the serial rapist at Columbia.
I'm not saying reluctant or unwilling. At my school they were ready and willing; they just needed the specific people to discipline. The administration was pissed.

Universities that have done whay you say have hamstrung themselves on discipline in some cases. I think they want a Goodell / Roethlisburger policy where their discipline isn't dependent on whether the criminal justice system finds guilt. But with those boards, evidence is largely testimonial. Sex is often performed in absence of witnesses, which limits testimony mostly to the people involved. Consequently, it is difficult to discipline sexual assault allegations in a forum that can only rely on testimony. There is a real difference between sex and sexual assault, but to a university board the only difference they can detect is a disagreement among the parties involved. That's useless.
   476. rr Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4667952)
That ain't a definition, hoss--that is just what it says on Wikipedia. Here is Merriam-Webster:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/censorship

Here is "censor" on Dictionary.com:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/censor

--

   477. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4667953)

Ubiquitous hostility leads to an A- on a paper. When will they ever let you out of the gulags, man?


Perhaps you missed the part where I noted that these were merely two anecdotes, but that there were numerous other incidents. Come on Sam, you're a moderately strong reader, you can do better than THAT.
   478. SteveF Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4667954)
Ubiquitous hostility leads to an A- on a paper.

I thought A- was the new F.
   479. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4667955)
Obviously that's true, but why on Earth should anyone be taking an historically racist, sexist and homophobic private university as a role model for a large state university?

Because it's part and parcel of what I mentioned earlier - claiming "the left is occasionally 'intolerant', and thus are hypocrites!" is a red herring that distracts from the near total intolerance of dissent on the right.


Look, AFAIC the Bob Jones wing of the country is more or less just a disease. What they say or do should have no relevance to any sane person.

Liberals and conservatives who profess a love of "free speech" shouldn't get their panties bunched if a university invites someone who offends their sensibilities for whatever reason. That doesn't mean you have to prove your ACLU principles by going out of your way to invite lunatic fringe speakers to your commencement, but Condi Rice scarcely falls within that category.

I'm glad that Rutgers is basically telling the faculty to cool it, and I note that they've already extended an invitation to President Obama to speak at their 2016 commencement. I'm also glad to know that, and I hope he accepts, in spite of the fact that Krauthammer, Bear & Co. want to relegate him to the dunce corner along with Neville Chamberlain.
   480. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4667956)
Perhaps you missed the part where I noted that these were merely two anecdotes, but that there were numerous other incidents.


I noted your anecdotes about feeling like the world was against you and your tribe when you were a college student. This doesn't distinguish much.
   481. rr Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:04 PM (#4667958)
Again: they are not saying that Rice can't speak. They are not editing her speech without her permission. They are not burning her books. They are saying that they don't want her at their big ceremony because they don't like her political baggage.
   482. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4667959)
American interests lie in Ukraine being functional and non-client, non-combative with BOTH.

Joining the EU wouldn't make Ukraine a "client state" of the EU. That's the lingo of an ideologue, meant not to describe when description is called for, but to advocate.
   483. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4667962)
Joining the EU wouldn't make Ukraine a "client state" of the EU. That's the lingo of an ideologue, meant not to describe when description is called for, but to advocate.
Not from a Western perspective. I would guess the Russian perspective would be very different.
   484. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4667963)
As predicted, Chris Christie uses Bridgegate to pivot positively with the base. Anyone getting negative coverage by the "liberal media" is, of course, a conservative hero.
   485. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4667965)
Again: they are not saying that Rice can't speak. They are not editing her speech without her permission. They are not burning her books. They are saying that they don't want her at their big ceremony because they don't like her political baggage.

Speaking only for myself, I understood that distinction from the git-go, so maybe you might direct that point to any specific people who are conflating the faculty's actions with the violation of the first amendment.
   486. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4667966)
I noted your anecdotes about feeling like the world was against you and your tribe when you were a college student. This doesn't distinguish much.


"I noticed you guys hosted Lieberman last night. If you're trying to get us to stop giving you bad grades for class participation, you're using the wrong Democrat"

<while smoking a joint with a professor> "At first I thought you were an ####### Republican. Now I think you're just an #######."

"You're welcome to ask Secretary McNamara whatever you want, but if the Review kids start sucking up to him, I'm going to get angry."
   487. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4667967)
Have the Russians hacked the site? A bunch of my stuff has been eaten. A summary:

Rr and Sam are pretty much right on the campus stuff.

Sam is still being appeastastic re Ukraine.

Not from a Western perspective. I would guess the Russian perspective would be very different.

But that's silly, and it isn't a matter of "perspective." Words have meanings and we have no obligation to defer to nonsensical ones. If we can work with the nuttiness, fine, but if we can't, we shouldn't. We certainly aren't obligated to.
   488. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4667968)
Joining the EU wouldn't make Ukraine a "client state" of the EU. That's the lingo of an ideologue, meant not to describe when description is called for, but to advocate.


You're such an idiot on this subject. You think you have some sort of talking point where I "advocate" for Russia, as if I'm in any way advocating for Putin in this ####### thing. As if I've done anything remotely close to that in any of the pages where we've went back and forth on the Ukraine problem. But you're not one to let mere reality get between you and a supposed gotcha, are you Bear?

From Russia's perspective, which any serious thinking of foreign policy must consider if attempting to navigate the problem of Russia/Crimea/Ukraine, NATO is essentially one state away from their long term military "encircling" strategy. That state is Ukraine that includes the Crimea peninsula. The western perspective is that this is so much Cold War era paranoia from Moscow, and it is, except it's also fundamentally true on a geographic level. When it comes down to real estate on the map, a Euro-only Ukraine that includes Crimea and Sevastopol would in fact encircle Russia, cut off any projection of power capabilities she has into the Medi, and basically reduce her to a larger, more resource rich version of Belarus. The west is all "dude, we're not doing that" and Russia is all "um, there's the ####### map, man."

Putin's a shitheel dictator with no redeeming qualities that anyone can see, but at the end of the day, the map is in fact the map. And that is why Russia is fast tracking Crimea back into the Motherland. Any attempt to discuss Russian/Ukraine/Crimea that doesn't take into consideration these things, as well as actual Russian/Ukrainian history, is ignorant and stupid. IN point of fact, the only person here clearly and universally driven by ideology uber alles, is you.
   489. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4667972)
You're continuing to miss the fundamental point. It's already been stipulated that Russia "sees" things differently and has a "different perspective" on certain matters. Poltava -- huge deal. "We're encircled" -- huge deal.

But even if Russia "sees" it this way, we're under no obligation to defer to that. You continue to skip step two. Our interests may conflict with theirs -- in fact, they do and have for quite some time. But why does that mean we don't pursue our interests?

   490. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4667973)
But that's silly, and it isn't a matter of "perspective."
If this were true, then disagreements would never happen. Since they ALWAYS happen, you're clearly wrong.
   491. The Good Face Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:30 PM (#4667976)
Because it's part and parcel of what I mentioned earlier - claiming "the left is occasionally 'intolerant', and thus are hypocrites!" is a red herring that distracts from the near total intolerance of dissent on the right.


Or, perhaps, it's because the Bob Jones' of the world are explicitly ideological institutions and they wear that ideology on their sleeve. They're not pretending to be something they're not; their agenda is right out in the open. Why would they subject their people to speakers who go against their stated ideology?

It's the Rutgers of the world who are dissembling and pretending that they're not in thrall to lefty ideology. They pretend to tolerance, but as events show; it's a pretense. If they'd just come clean and admit it; yes, our faculty and administration is, on average, well to the left of the leftmost national Democrat in office, and we are an explicitly left wing institution, then you might have a point. Of course, if most universities did that, they'd be risking a potential shitstorm. So instead we get lies and low level thuggery.
   492. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:30 PM (#4667978)
When it comes down to real estate on the map, a Euro-only Ukraine that includes Crimea and Sevastopol would in fact encircle Russia, cut off any projection of power capabilities she has into the Medi, and basically reduce her to a larger, more resource rich version of Belarus.

That sounds like a great plan, we should sign up for it today. The more contained Russia is, the better.

They're the ones that have chosen to be a dictatorial revanchist kleptocracy, no reason they shouldn't pay the price.

I say exactly the same thing about China. We should be working actively to strengthen/reassure Japan, S. Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, etc., to keep a firm perimeter preventing Chinese expansionism.

That's what you do as great power. You strive to prevent any potential enemy from growing in strength.
   493. spike Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:35 PM (#4667981)
cut off any projection of power capabilities she has into the Medi,

They can't project power into the Med with or without Crimea since Turkey joined the EU, and the Black Sea Fleet order of battle isn't particularly fear inducing in any event. Fun fact - the Russian Navy has zero aircraft carriers worthy of the name. None (well one cruiser that carries 14 planes). But the idea of losing constructive control of the facilities and infrastructure in Sevastopol is a non-starter for them, for obvious reasons
   494. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:37 PM (#4667984)
But even if Russia "sees" it this way, we're under no obligation to defer to that. You continue to skip step two. Our interests may conflict with theirs -- in fact, they do and have for quite some time. But why does that mean we don't pursue our interests?


It is, in fact, in our interests, to keep Russia from retreating further into Putin's neo-fascist, retrograde Cold War shell. We have, in fact, competing interests in the matter. On the one hand, we have the interest of promoting western democracy through the eastern edges of Europe and into Ukraine. We have the interest of supporting westernized Ukraine's sovereignty and integrity. We have the interest in standing up teeth behind our treaty obligations from the 1990s. All of these are real US interests which drive us to support Ukraine and push hard against Russia's adventurism in Crimea.

But we also have an interest in engaging Russia and pulling her west rather than pushing her deeper into her Angry Bear pit. This is the point you want to write off as "appeasement." You want to pretend that acknowledging Russian interests doesn't promote US interests as well. That's wrong. It is in the interests of Europe to not descend into another Cold War. It is in the interests of Europe to maintain access to Russian gas and oil. It is in the interests of Europe to avoid armed conflict on the continent. It is in the interests of the United States to support our Euro partners in all of these things. It is in the interests of the United States to expand, rather than retract, economic relationships with Russia and her "near abroad." It is in the United States interests to avoid another Cold War. (This is a distinct interest from supporting Europe's interest in avoiding another Cold War, by the way.)

All of which is a long winded way of stating the obvious. We have competing interests. Not that our interests compete with Russia's (even though they do in many ways.) But that our own national interests in this mess are often competing with themselves. All of which is why it's useful to pay attention to Kissinger and his Finlandization plan. Generally, one's reaction to Henry Kissinger should be to find some bamboo shoots, a car battery and some jumper cables and return some of his war crimes back to him bodily. But in this regard, it's best to actually listen to the man who has some deeper understanding of the region than the vast majority of commentators in the world.

If we can carve off Crimea to sop Russia's paranoia about encirclement and then get Ukraine to act as a political demilitarized zone between the EU and Russia, that's enough to call it a win, all things considered.
   495. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4667986)
That sounds like a great plan, we should sign up for it today. The more contained Russia is, the better.


See, Vlady Putin isn't the only retro-Cold Warrior!
   496. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4667989)
If we can carve off Crimea to sop Russia's paranoia about encirclement and then get Ukraine to act as a political demilitarized zone between the EU and Russia, that's enough to call it a win, all things considered.

Nature abhors a vacuum. Russia loves a vacuum.

   497. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4667993)
I agree with you Spike. Russia is already more or less encircled, and they know it. They're not breaking out conventionally through the Bosphorus any time soon. They're only real projection of military power at this point is that asston of nukes they still have stashed away. And Snapper's points about Putin's kleptocracy are valid as well. Again, no good guys in that regime. But that doesn't change the fact that the Euro/NATO grabbing Ukraine and Crimea wouldn't shrink the circle. And at that point, from the Russian perspective, the next domino to fall would be Georgia, then Belarus. Then the US would move on it's Central Asian plan* and attempt to take Iran to complete the pincer up from Israel and Syria, through Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, and then start eating away at the -stans east of Mongolia and India.

*yes, paranoia and delusion. Except there's that whole "invading Iraq for no reason while invading Afghanistan and singing about bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" thing that certain folks like to project forward into the foreign policy ether because they're butthurt over losing the 2008 election.
   498. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:51 PM (#4667998)
See, Vlady Putin isn't the only retro-Cold Warrior!

If they want to go the neo-Soviet route, sure. I'd also hold out to them the prospect of EU and NATO membership if they move towards real democracy and an economy not dominated by ex-KGB oligarchs.

Russia either needs to integrate into the West, or be contained as a threat. There is no third way.
   499. BDC Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4668000)
Governments, private organizations and individuals may engage in censorship

So would Liberty U be censoring anybody to the left of Billy Graham? Or more to the point, if Rutgers had never invited Rice in the first place, for the same reasons that (some of their) faculty now raise, would that be censorship? Anybody exerts any selection, or raises any objection, over any publication or broadcast, is that censorship? I'm serious, particularly given that Rice is almost certain to speak despite these objections. Being loath to object because objection is "censorship" is just a prescription for apathy.

   500. spike Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4668001)
the next domino to fall would be Georgia, then Belarus

well that's just it - without Georgia/Crimea they can't even have what navy they've got in the area.
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