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You’ll Have to Forgive Me …

but on this issue I agree with Michael Bloomberg.

15 Responses to “You’ll Have to Forgive Me …”

  1. Mike V. says:

    Well, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

  2. eriko says:

    Just because you do not like someone does not stop you from agreeing with them from time to time.

  3. 399 says:

    With apologies to the Micheals Bloomberg and Godwin, I think part of the problem is that people are starting realize the shortcomings of “free speech” and the “marketplace of ideas” in history. As in Germany in the early 1930s, neither free speech nor the marketplace of ideas work too well when the masses are being told what they already want and hope to hear.

    “Free speech” as a constitutional concept does not apply on college campuses, unless you make the argument that if they are receiving any public funding at all, then the First Amendment must apply. Unfortunately, speaking of the First Amendment, that concept would call to question to what extent religion can be “established” on campuses. To turn that argument around, since we have agreed that religious organizations that receive government funding are relieved of having to conform to employment discrimination standards, then by the same principle colleges must be relieved of having to conform to public freedom of speech standards. Since it would be a violation of freedom of religion to enforce employment discrimination regulations on religious organizations, then it is a violation of free speech to require college campuses to defend speech they don’t agree with.

    All of the above written in the spirit of “what a tangled web we weave.”

    • bombloader says:

      “Free speech” as a constitutional concept does not apply on college campuses, unless you make the argument that if they are receiving any public funding at all, then the First Amendment must apply.”
      Dead wrong for public universities, they’re the same as your local city council, if they provide a venue for speech for one person or group they have to provide it to all regardless of content. For private schools that receive government funding, well the government can condition such funding on providing similar policies.

      • 399 says:

        “Dead wrong for public universities”

        I don’t know about the “dead” part, but I thought that was what I said: “unless you make the argument that if they are receiving any public funding at all, then the First Amendment must apply.”

        “they’re the same as your local city council, if they provide a venue for speech for one person or group they have to provide it to all regardless of content.”

        I would argue that that is dead wrong, or at least, unsettled. The examples have been, federal circuit and appeals courts have not been consistent on the matter of “invocations” at the opening of public meetings – including meetings of the U.S. congress. Some courts have ruled that public entities are not required to accommodate secular or atheist invocations, even though they accommodate Christian invocations practically to the exclusion of all other religions. Some courts have ruled to the contrary, and to the best of my knowledge the issue has not been settled by the SCOTUS.

        With that example, the issue is obfuscated by the First Amendment’s “freedom of religion” directive and its prohibition of “establishment.” But it is at least a fair example that no public entity is yet bound by any “accommodate one, accommodate all” requirement.

        • bombloader says:

          When I referred to city council I may have been unclear. I was referring to the use of state and local law to decide whether viewpoint discrimination is permissible in general public forums. And the answer is “No”, per the Skokie case. Obviously, publicly funded doesn’t always mean public forum, but fail to see how a publicly funded university is somehow how fundamentally different than a town. Both have a wide variety of spaces that are generally used as public forums.

  4. Bram says:

    The only colleges I know of that receive zero federal funding are Hillsdale and Grove City – and they are among the few trying to preserve free speech.

    • 399 says:

      Both Grove City and Hillman receive significant funding from the Koch Family Foundation and other foundations closely connected to the corporate elite, and FWIW, there have been mirror-image complaints that they suppress speech that would offend their corporate sponsors. I guess it’s proof of the old saying that whoever is paying the piper is calling the tune.

      • 399 says:

        “Both Grove City and Hillman”

        Sorry, make that Hillsdale. I must have watched too many Cosby episodes.

      • Alpheus says:

        I would like to see links describing these complaints. I have been trying to find these complaints, but have as yet been able to find them (at least for Hillsdale College — I haven’t tried searching for Grove City).

        Come to think about it, the funny thing about “corporate scholarship” of colleges is that this pretty much describes *every* private college, whether or not they accept Federal funding, and probably a good portion of public schools, too.

  5. Richard says:

    Try writing a pro-gun op-ed for his newspaper to find out how much he really values free speech.

  6. Grey says:

    This is wrong:

    “The essence of American democracy is that people who disagree, however profoundly, can set forth their views, let the democratic system under the Constitution settle matters for the moment, accept the outcome until the next election, and continue to engage with one another productively in the ordinary course of their lives.”

    This is actually the root of the problem. It creates the necessary atmosphere for the political division and legislative hostility that we are today.

    If there is an essence of American Democracy (and I hate that terminology because it is misleading) is that if there are issues upon which an overwhelming majority of the people cannot agree, then it will not be legislated upon at a national level. Instead, it will be for the several States or local municipalities to legislate, or for individual citizens to decide upon for themselves as their conscience dictate, and to the marketplace.

    The U.S. and State Constitutions describe the purpose and duties of the government, the powers government is given to accomplish those duties, the structure and process to construct government, and the rights of the people which the government is forbidden to violate except as a function of justice. Amendments are difficult ratify to change these things.

    We’ve allowed government to expand far beyond its purpose, duties, and powers. It’s laws are now used by political parties and special interest groups to cow the population, punish opposition groups, and reward allies.

    We need to stop seeing government as a tool to gain advantage over others, and start seeing it for what it is: a trap.

    • Chris says:

      As a pile on to the selected quote… the essence of American democracy is that democratic impulses of a tyrannical majority are ingeniously diverted, dissipated and delayed. Our constitution makes it hard for a majority to push through their policy preferences by design. Additionally, the combination of enumerated powers and of the bill of rights is supposed to take certain policy choices off the table altogether.

      We’ve dispensed with the first set of protections by just delegating the powers of all three branches of government to unelected bureaucrats far too often. At the state level, Reynolds v Sims and ballot initiatives have enabled majorities to act with great velocity.

      We’ve dispensed with the latter protections by gutting most of the bill of rights, and abusing the commerce clause.

      So the result is that politics actually matter quite a bit more. Today your political enemies can act with great celebrity on their peculiar ideas. Misguided ideologues that support greater degrees of democracy are either banking that the mob is on their side, or that their cultural allies can direct the mob. I dont believe for one minute that Michael Bloomberg really believes citizens need a truly liberal education.

      • 399 says:

        “Our constitution makes it hard for a majority to push through their policy preferences by design.”

        And yet it was accomplished by a significant minority. Go figure.

      • Richard says:

        That we are one country is a delusion. We are two mutually hostile groups stuck in the same geographic space and with the same government. This will end in civil war unless we get on with the national divorce.

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