36 thoughts on “Free Speech

  1. Thomas Matula

    So its OK for an casino owner to fire an employee just for having an Obama sticker on their personal automobile, but it is not OK for a university to fire an employee for reading a book with a cover that some object to? What happened to “employment at will”?

    In other words shouldn’t you be consistent in your views on the first amendment?

    1. MfK

      As a newly-minted Leftist Democrat, I wholeheartedly concur with Comrade Matula.

      Fortunately for the country, our glorious Party is finally preparing to deal with the issue of free speech. If it isn’t in the Constitution anymore, who can complain. Besides that, Rand, speech will still be free. You will be permitted to say anything you like — as long as it agrees with Comrade Matula’s and my views.

    2. M Puckett

      Because the Government is obligate to be held to it’s won standards. The BoR was established to limit the Government and not Private Individuals and Instutions. Private Colleges are under no legal obligation to respect the BoR, the .gov is.

    3. Rand Simberg Post author

      Thomas, if you don’t understand the difference between a university, whose intrinsic purpose is to have a free and open discussion of viewpoints (even ignoring the issue that in this case it is a publicly funded institution), and a private employer, I don’t know how to help you.

      1. Thomas Matula

        Rand,

        I guess this is just like you insisting that NASA spell the Space Shuttle Endeavour’s name Endeavor :-)

        Its OK for your beloved industrial barons to limit free speech, but not anyone else.

        1. Rand Simberg Post author

          As I said, I don’t know how to help you. You insist on being obtuse.

          And I didn’t tell NASA how to spell any orbiter’s name, not to imply that it isn’t an idiotic analogy.

          1. Rand Simberg Post author

            a) I was joking.

            b) I never “insisted that NASA spell it in any particular way,” but we know that you’ve always had problems with reading comprehension and,

            c) this has nothing to do with the subject of the post, which is about freedom of speech on college campi.

            But we understand that you will insist on remaining obtuse.

    4. Leland

      So what casino owner fired an employee with an Obama sticker on their car?
      Is this just some hypothetical, or does Teh Moby actually believe this happened?
      If the latter, does he have anything to support it, other than linking to various editorials about Steve Wynn in which an employee said they feared having a sticker. Because if Teh Moby is referring to Steve Wynn, perhaps he should consider what Obama said yesterday:

      THE PRESIDENT: Just the other day, economists said that if income taxes go up on the middle class, people will spend nearly $200 billion less in stores and online. And when folks are buying fewer clothes, or cars, or toys, that’s not good for our businesses; it’s not good for our economy; it’s not good for employment.

      Wow, economist say if you raise taxes, consumer spending goes down and this hurts employment. Gee, that sounds a lot like what Steve Wynn was suggesting when he advised his employees to vote for a candidate that wanted to cut spending rather than just raise taxes.

      Is it ok for the President to scare people about the outcome of elections, but not ok for a private citizen to say something that scares people about the outcome of elections?

    5. Larry J

      The book, “Notre Dame vs. the Klan,” celebrated the 1924 defeat of the Ku Klux Klan in a fight with Notre Dame students. But some of Sampson’s co-workers disliked the book’s cover, which featured a black-and-white photograph of a Klan rally. Someone was offended, therefore someone else must be guilty of harassment.

      So, the guy was reading a book about a defeat of the KKK. However, because some asshole decided to be offended by the book’s cover, he was canned. There is no fundamental right to go through life never being offended. It’s especially stupid when the book in question was very much against the KKK.

  2. B Lewis

    Most casino owners don’t sell themselves as places where young people can go to be educated in the truth. Universities do.

    Education is the last thing a kid gets at a college or university today. Any student who is graduated after four years having never read a page of Aristotle or written a sentence in Latin has no right to be called “educated” in the first place. Instead of being places where the discovery of truth is facilitated, our so-called institutions of higher education are nothing more than political indoctrination centers, where young people are relentlessly propagandized instead of being taught to think.

    I don’t object to political indoctrination per se. What I object to is disguising ideological programming as “liberal education”. There’s a word for that sort of thing: fraud.

    And fraud is a crime. Come the Reaction, I look forward to seeing many members of today’s education industry staring out from between strands of barbed wire.

    1. Thomas Matula

      Yes, its the one thing the current anti-government movement, what ever labeling its using, has in common with Communists, National Socialists and your garden variety dictator, putting educators in prison, work camps or sending them to work on communes. After all, no need to have them giving students ideas not approved of by those in power :-)

      As a side note, the reason most schools dropped Latin and Aristotle is because most colleges have become mere workforce training camps for industry and government, a long way from their origin as a place for theologians to train priests. As a result students only really encounter fields like history, philosophy, etc., in their “general education” requirements which most try to skirt as much as possible for courses that will give them job skills. The results is these areas are basically ignored by everyone leaving faculty in them to do what they wish, and since faculty in practical courses like engineering and science are too busy making money consulting or from government grants, they allow those few remaining humanities types freedom to work their way up the university hierarchy.

      This is not new and was why I went to New Mexico Tech where the president was traditionally a physicist for my undergraduate degree. At the Masters and Doctoral level you don’t need to worry about general education and so its less critical which school you went to.

  3. B Lewis

    I have no love for the idea of putting educators in prison camps.

    The people who “teach” at our colleges and universities, however, are for the most part fair game.

    The idea of Peter Singer bent over in a cotton row while an armed guard on horseback watches from the shade fills me with delight.

    1. Leland

      have no love for the idea of putting educators in prison camps.

      I think Teh Moby was referring to himself. After all, he’s the same person that claimed making a youtube video is akin to yelling fire in a crowded theater and thus should come with sanctions or even jail time. He even got his wish.

      1. Thomas Matula

        Leland,

        You neglected to note the individual was a convicted felon on probation who was prohibited from using computers or the Internet. You might read up on the rights convicted felons have when they are on probation :-)

        1. Leland

          Right Teh Moby, I didn’t included information that was irrelevant. Your argument was his actions in making the movie were equivalent to yelling fire in a crowded theater. In fact, you made these arguments prior to the movie maker being identified and his criminal record being known. Still, “Yelling fire in a crowded theater” is unprotected speech regardless of your criminal history. You might want to look up “germane”.

  4. M Puckett

    “The idea of Peter Singer bent over in a cotton row while an armed guard on horseback watches from the shade fills me with delight.”

    That kind of sounds like Social Justice to me!

  5. Der Schtumpy

    Thomas,
    the other OBVIOUS difference between these situations, is someone choosing to be on the ‘side’ of Mr. Obama, which might make the other ‘side’, and ‘the boss,’ mad. But reading a book about the KKK doesn’t put you on their ‘SIDE’.

    Setting a rule saying no political bumper stickers on company property, would have worked, and asking the student to remove the book cover likewise seems the best path. In both cases, it seems like gross over reaction won out.

    But we live in the age of over reaction.

    1. Thomas Matula

      Yes, just look at this blog :-)

      But that is what happens when you live in a hyper partisan world were even basic facts are considered a political statement.

      1. Der Schtumpy

        But the ‘fact’ was that he was JUST reading a book, not wearing a hood.

        And this blog does get partisan I’ll admit, well, bfd! That’s the nature of some blogs. But any ‘partisanship’ aspects come in when someone comments and joins in and comments FOR or AGAINST “X” proposition.

        You tend to be partisan for a different point of view than most commentors here, don’t you think? And that’s the beauty of our system, it’s OK and legal for you to do that/

        But which side is someone ‘taking’ who simply reads the postings, and the links and all the comments? They may feel aligned to one side or the other while reading, but no one knows what the feel or think if the JUST read the blog. And just because someone sees me reading this blog or some other blog, they don’t know what I’m aligned with, simply because I’m reading this blog.

        You’re reading it too, are YOU in lock step with the rest of us!?

        1. Thomas Matula

          Der Schtumpy,

          [[[And that’s the beauty of our system, it’s OK and legal for you to do that]]]

          Not according to folks like Rand who like that my employer has the right to fire me if I post views supporting a political position opposite my employer’s…

          1. Thomas Matula

            Leland,

            Yes, it part of a the bigger issue of if freedom of speech should extend to everyone or if it may be eroded by economic threats.

      1. M Puckett

        He needs to divest himself of these ridiculous strawman ideas he propagates.

        I guess people just think differently in “Matula City”.

        1. Thomas Matula

          Yes, why take the Bill of Rights seriously… Even though most of American history has been about extending it from a few wealthy land owners to every one.

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