Archive for the ‘Shouting Fire’ Category

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I’m NOT with Stupid

May 11, 2010

We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard.  ~Voltaire, Dictionnaire Philosophique, 1764

People love to quote the beginning of this quote, but it is like the right to bear arms there is a qualification to free speech if you’re an ass than you’re an ass at your own peril. No one is going to stand up and defend your rights to free speech just because you make a group of assholes. If one guy walks in to a gay bar and starts telling everyone that gays are a blight on society and AIDS is god’s way of fixing the world. He’s gona get his butt kicked and he’ll deserve it and no one will think that this is a freedom of speech disaster. So why if you make a group of likeminded assholes does it become freedom of speech

The neo Nazi says how freedom won out and this is a great day for freedom, no it didn’t and no it was not. It isn’t freedom when every punk gets to antagonize people. What were they marching for? They were not using the march to spread an idea, it was a publicity stunt meant to use the outrage of innocent people to get media coverage.

When Voltaire said “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” he would defend your right to express yourself and spread new ideas in their proper setting. He would not defend this, using other peoples discomfort to aggrandize your own beliefs. This is not even akin to shouting fire in a crowded theater, its pure stupidity. It truly saddens me that the cutting edge of free speech is not to enlighten the public, but to malign it. Freedom of speech is no longer about the spread of ideas and a fortress against tyranny, rather it is the tyranny against the gullible public a tyranny where right and wrong have no meaning and the battles are not fought with ideas but with PR campaigns set to Spin their side as an abused minority speaking out against the cruel overlords who have the outrages crass to be upset about people who hate them using them.

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The Marketplace Vs. The University

March 22, 2010

Perhaps the most offensive line of the entire clip was about three seconds long to paraphrase it sounded something like this “They’re just kids they don’t belong in the discussion of the marketplace of ideas”. The justice comes off as a buffoon who sounds something like Max Funaro in this Onion Poll. The funniest thing about the justice’s decision and quote is I agree with it! I do think there is a difference between the freedom of speech that is protected by our constitution and the freedom of expression allowed in a school.

Being a stanchly conservative highly religious Jew, I agree with the sentiment on Chase Harper’s shirt, namely that all homosexual people will burn in Hell. Be that as it may, I don’t approve of his actions. Not because of he might offend someone who sees his shirt, so what? I’m sure if I wore this shirt  Chase would be offended (btw this shirt rocks I MUST OWN IT!). That is something that is protected by free speech, pissing people off. However a school falls under a different category, a school needs to be able to create an atmosphere that is conducive to learning. this is hard enough, just competing with the billion and one things on a teenagers mind, whose winning Dancing With the Stars, what his Face book Status is, What his girlfriend thought about his twitter twit, etc. if all personal expression was allowed in a classroom you could never teach. with the same logic substitute the offensive tee with the guy sitting next to you on the train blasting the newest crap that Lill Bow Wow put out through his cell speaker, he might say it is his freedom of speech to express his love for crapy music in public, but try that in a class room and I think we would all agree that it must stop (on a side note I am proposing a law that cell phone music be banned on subways, GET HEADPHONES we don’t want to hear it).

Chase’s tee shirt was a prop that could be used to disrupt a class because of it inflammatory nature. Because of that the school had every right to stop him from wearing the shirt in a school setting. I think the school asked for such an incident by creating a day for all students that was intrinsically offensive to certain students. However, in a school the school has the right to dictate what behaviors are conducive to a learning environment and what does not. That does not mean that stude3nts cannot have ideas that are contrary to the curriculum, or those that are held by the student body or even the faculty. It just means that in school those ideas can only be discussed in a classroom discussion or a similar setting approved by the school. The rest needs to wait for the marketplace.

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Free speach or shouting fire?

February 10, 2010

I work a 9 to 5 like most night-schoolers. My job is a drag and my boss is a brainless nimrod. However, I want to get a PHD in cognitive psychology so I found a job that pays the bills and is close enough to home and school so that I can go to school at night. All this being true if I was having a $#!ty day and I had a  blaring head ache and three papers due and leftovers waiting for me at home for supper. So because of all this when my boss comes over to me and tells me to redo three hours of work, because he was too stupid to figure out what he wanted the first time around. If I said “No you stupid F*&%ing Nimrod why don’t you try to wrap your tiny little brain around the work that you asked for originally and you’ll see that you can get the data you want without me  doing this all again.” I’ll get fired simple as that. Even though I’m 100% right. And he is a F*&%ing nimrod. However there is a time and place for things even if I think I’m saying the truth.

So yes if I was Ward Churchill’s boss I would have fired him, he can think he is right for saying America deserved 9/11. For all intents and purposes he could be right, he still gets fired. It’s like Rex Ryan giving the finger, the guy deserved it but that doesn’t matter, sometimes you can’t just say whatever comes to mind even if your right like a radio shock jock. Oh, wait, they can’t either.

Yes, I would have fired him, but I would not have run an inquisition. First off it’s counterproductive, why give him a bigger stage? But the real reason is because you lose all credibility. It goes from firing a person for being an a$$ hole at the wrong time to the Salem witch trials. Now you’re just finding an excuse to fire someone you don’t like. You go from being in the right to climbing on this massive moral high horse that no one is going to fall for. Now instead of getting rid of some one, you gave the left their Bush.

Just like Ward was wrong to say what he did when he did, it was wrong for the University of Colorado to act like they did. There is a time and place for intellectual dissent; it is not at a tribunal. If you don’t approve of someone’s point of view you can debate him, a more public figure in a more public setting but debate with a logical back and forth, mudslinging is for monkeys.

The classroom is a perfect place for this. It is the teacher’s job to present knowledge to the best of his ability, while at the same time encouraging debate from both sides. That doesn’t mean a teacher cannot have an opinion, it just means the teacher has to understand just that it is an opinion and can be challenged. There was always a Plato and Aristotle, that doesn’t mean we have to turn them in to Tupac and Biggie.

Free speech or shouting fire in a theater? It wasn’t either one. It was pure stupidity, it was poking a sleeping bear, it was worse than that it was poking an injured lion. What happened to him isn’t another kink in our armor of free speech, it was what happens to everyone who does something insanely stupid, they get hurt.