July 7, 2020

"The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right..."

Ugh. Sorry. I have come to expect this from the radical left.

Not the right.

I appreciate this effort, this "Letter on Justice and Open Debate," signed by a bunch of writers, scholars, and journalists, but I'm irritated by the gratuitous shot at right-wingers. The censorship and cancel culture they are talking about is very much a thing of the left. Take some damned responsibility for the attack on freedom of speech that has been nurtured among elite thinkers for the last 40 years. I experienced it in academia — first hand — through my entire career as a law professor.

To continue that sentence:
While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.
This isn't something that is just beginning to grow on the left. It's been going on for decades, and why haven't you opposed it sooner? Is it just because it looks particularly ugly now and your political goals are threatened? Sorry, I am not experiencing this letter as courageous.
We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought.
Not just now. For the last 40 years. Since before some of the signatories to this letter were born. Go back to the 1960s if you want to find left-wing radicals who loved free speech, and then figure out whether they loved it as a means to an end or whether they loved it for its own sake. What happened after the 60s, after they'd gained ground in academia and government, suggests that they loved it as a means to an end, and I am therefore very suspicious that if they're back to show new love, it's because it might be a good means to an end once again — because some of their own are showing such a contemptible nastiness:
More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms....

This stifling atmosphere will ultimately harm the most vital causes of our time....
Ah! They admit it. Means to an end.

That's not enough. Freedom IS the end.

(I found that letter through my son John's blog, where he lists some of the more notable signatories and titles the post, "Why cancel culture should be canceled.")

152 comments:

Birkel said...

They live free speech like Erdogan lives democracy.
They got off the train at the stop they preferred.

gerry said...

From the article: The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy.

How is President Trump supporting illiberalism?

Birkel said...

Maybe we can ask Tammy Duckworth what we can criticize or mention.

Yancey Ward said...

Shorter description:

"We need to have a national conversation about whether or not to keep the 1st Amendment."

tim maguire said...

That's how it is with the left. You must support them in all things at all times. Period. If you want to stand up to them and keep your job, you have to go about it very carefully (note, for instance, the caring, decent, and thoughtful tweets that got JK Rowling into so much trouble).

Sure, to a normal person applying normal standards, this letter is not an act of courage. But, sadly, in today's oppressive environment, where liberal fascism is considered the duty of every decent person, it is.

Sebastian said...

"Freedom IS the end."

Now you've done it. Coming out as a rightwinger after all this time.

We deplorables welcome you.

But prog infighting is beside the point: progs want power, not "speech." Even if some progs' tender feelings get hurt in the process.

YoungHegelian said...

While I agree with Prof Althouse's criticisms, I must admit that I take a "better late than never" attitude towards this letter. There are some major names in that list. That they have taken a public stand against "cancel culture" is all to the better for the survival of free & open exchange of ideas.

Virtue is a step by step process.

Fernandinande said...

The petition to cancel Pinker had three times as many signatures, and the petition to cancel Hsu had five times as many.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gspencer said...

"The censorship and cancel culture they are talking about is very much a thing of the left."

This is a constant throughout all of history. Censorship has always been practiced by tyrannies; censorship is quintessentially a fascist act.

Of course the left can't/won't see this because they, in the We-can-do-no-wrong mode, are above fault/criticism (especially self-criticism).

The right has always understood the positions of the left. They have simply rejected them after thoughtfully considering those ideas.

The left on the other hand does not understand the positions of others. And outright rejects without thought.

Excerpt, 2012 article,

In a study I did with Jesse Graham and Brian Nosek, we tested how well liberals and conservatives could understand each other. We asked more than two thousand American visitors to fill out the Moral Foundations Qyestionnaire. One-third of the time they were asked to fill it out normally, answering as themselves. One-third of the time they were asked to fill it out as they think a “typical liberal” would respond. One-third of the time they were asked to fill it out as a “typical conservative” would respond. This design allowed us to examine the stereotypes that each side held about the other. More important, it allowed us to assess how accurate they were by comparing people’s expectations about “typical” partisans to the actual responses from partisans on the left and the right)’ Who was best able to pretend to be the other?

The results were clear and consistent. Moderates and conservatives were most accurate in their predictions, whether they were pretending to be liberals or conservatives. Liberals were the least accurate, especially those who described themselves as “very liberal.” The biggest errors in the whole study came when liberals answered the Care and Fairness questions while pretending to be conservatives. When faced with questions such as “One of the worst things a person could do is hurt a defenseless animal” or ”Justice is the most important requirement for a society,” liberals assumed that conservatives would disagree. If you have a moral matrix built primarily on intuitions about care and fairness (as equality), and you listen to the Reagan [i.e., conservative] narrative, what else could you think? Reagan seems completely unconcerned about the welfare of drug addicts, poor people, and gay people. He’s more interested in fighting wars and telling people how to run their sex lives.

from https://theindependentwhig.com/haidt-passages/haidt/conservatives-understand-liberals-better-than-liberals-understand-conservatives/

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

correction

The LEFT are:

-Cancel culture
-Extreme speech codes
-Woke extremism
-Extortion based on speech codes/ correct political alliance
-Gas-lighting
-Ignoring all criminal acts by fellow travelers in the leftist democratic hierarchy.
-Billionaire corporate press acting as a campaign arm to the leftwing democratic party.

-Liar hypocrite racist press

All that crap - It's all on the left.

AustinRoth said...

And of course a gratuitous Trump slam in their screed as well.

Diamondhead said...

If there is a danger in any area that needs to be discussed, it must first be acknowledged that the right is worse. Going through the list of signers, I'm guessing there are a fair number (John McWhorter or Caitlyn Flanigan, for example) who would have signed without the requisite throat-clearing about the supposedly real danger of the far-right, but most would not have.

Ice Nine said...

Through the Looking Glass.
The obliviousness of these people is simply unbelievable.

n.n said...

Libertarian? The left-right/totalitarian-anarchist nexus is leftist. Lose your Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic religion. #PrinciplesMatter

n.n said...

Libertarianism is self-organizing. Liberalism is divergent. Progressivism is monotonic. Conservativism is moderating. #PrinciplesMatter

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

I'm inclined to say the academy should have more freedom of speech than any other part of society. What would be the excuse for restricting speech? When I was an undergrad in western Canada (at what Americans call a state school) one prof had students read at least a bit of Mein Kampf--I think in connection with Latin American politics. Sounds like a joke--some of the Nazis ended up down there. That book in itself is contemptible crap, and no prof should ever suggest otherwise. Nor should books be taught simply because they had some kind of historical impact--although that invites a conversation. How about contrasting Hitler with Nietzsche, since this comparison is often made? Demented journalism as opposed to great thought, poetically expressed. Nietzsche, by the way, not an anti-Semite or a Nazi.

In a way restrictions on speech come from the right on religious campuses (not only Christian ones). But in general of course you're right; the right has generally had no say about the secondary or post-secondary curriculum for a long time. Journalism is a bit different: the fairness doctrine time vs. today. There were letters to the Editor, so polite, seeming so naive now, carefully edited. Journalists today see their livelihoods threatened, kid themselves that everything they disagree with out there in digital land is evil, and are more and more caught up in group think. For the big media, left-wing group think. The protestors, who don't seem to know much of anything, demand more "progress," more restrictions on what it's allowable to say, and the big media kneel.

RMc said...

It's been going on for decades, and why haven't you opposed it sooner?

Because it's OK when the good guys do it. (They don't want to, of course, but they have to, considering the bad guys are always doing it!)

Actually, it's more likely that they don't even realize they're doing it at all. The mote is always in the other fella's eye.

Bay Area Guy said...

The Left believes in Free Speech -- except for Hate Speech.

And then they broadly define Hate Speech as "anything they don't like," which swallows up the rule.

The Democrat political apparatus are really, really bad people. They are enabling and encouraging violent people to cause damage to our country and free citizens.

n.n said...

Virtue is a step by step process.

Baby steps. Unfortunately, their qualification of progress normalizes one step forward, two steps backward development.

Mary Beth said...

Look at Steven Pinker being the first one mentioned. Now he is the subject of a letter to the Linguistic Society of America by people who don't like his tweets. Does he think it's the Right coming after him? It's signed by a lot of academics and three or four people who list their employer as "Google".

n.n said...

Coming out as a rightwinger after all this time.

Right-wing, yes. Libertarian, left of right. Or, in the American context: center, conservative.

Paddy O said...

The stated goal of freedom is often used just as a way of getting power, which is reflected in religious and social movements throughout history. The early American approach was unique in part because folks like Washington genuinely believed in the ideal of political freedom even willing to abandon power that was attained. He was the anti-Napoleon in this way. But examples of letting go power for the sake of the freedom of others is very rare. Quoting from myself", :

Because particular revolutionaries are finding identity in different systems, they may in fact have very different outcomes in mind, not the same actual goal at all. Artists want freedom of expression, politicians want power and influence, the poor want food, lawyers want laws, police want order. A shared initial cause pointing toward a desired end—the overturning of a government—is only loosely cohesive and vaguely rational.

This is akin to what DeLanda calls an “assemblage” in which identity is structured around exteriority but does not actually reflect a substantive unity. Those involved only rarely protest the systems as systems but more often protest their relative positions in the systems, leading to those sharing relatively lower position temporarily organizing together, assembling “as part of the antagonistic struggle of Us against Them, and antagonism is something that traverses each of these elements from within.” The goal of this assemblage is not toward wholeness or unity, however this does not diminish the continuing interest of each element to find meaning, and that embeds a tension within the assemblage. Slavoj Žižek writes:
"The desire-for-assemblage is thus proof that a dimension of universality is already at work in all the elements in the guise of a negativity, of an obstacle that thwarts their self-identity. In other words, elements don’t strive for assemblage in order to become part of a larger Whole; they strive for assemblage in order to become themselves, to actualize their identity."

This is why once a goal is accomplished there is rarely continued cohesion among the different players. A politician will use an artist as long as the goal is unmet, but an artist should not depend on the politician’s continued advocacy once power is achieved. If the politician feels threatened by art, the system allegiance asserts itself. Thus, the revolution is distorted, abandoned, betrayed and a new revolution is called for. The systems endure even in a successful revolution, with different anonymized participants filling established roles.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Let me define "radical right" for everyone:

"Radical right" = anyone not in line with the wonderful radical left. Are you a free thinker? why - you're a "radical rightwinger"


More -
Mom and pop - you need to shut up.
Any and all who think outside of the leftwing collective hivemind? 'Shut up', the radical left explained.
You're a "radial rightwinger"

wild chicken said...

They attribute suppression of free speech to the right because the right includes Hitler of course.

Fernandinande said...

Ah! They admit it. Means to an end.

In the second sentence they plainly state that their goal is to implement more anti-white racist policies "across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts."

Limited blogger said...

weak tea

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Can we get some examples of "censoriousness" on the right side of the spectrum?

John Henry

madAsHell said...

The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted.

It would have been simpler to state, "No one likes my stupid ideas anymore".

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

The leftwing hivemind Trump-blind-hatred machine are all about:
--->blaming others for their very actions.

RNB said...

Is this letter "stunning and brave"? No, dishonest and cowardly.

Mark said...

THANK YOU!

GingerBeer said...

I'm thinking the signatories have seen the ghost of Robespierre and are in sudden need of more temperate allies. This will only further infuriate the Committee of General Security.

Mark said...

The stated goal of freedom is often used just as a way of getting power, which is reflected in religious and social movements throughout history.

Talk about your gratuitous shots.

Kai Akker said...

You really said it all here:

"This isn't something that is just beginning to grow on the left. It's been going on for decades, and why haven't you opposed it sooner? Is it just because it looks particularly ugly now and your political goals are threatened? Sorry, I am not experiencing this letter as courageous." [AA]

Gahrie said...

@Althouse:

You see that the Left are gaslighting you on this issue, why can't you understand that they are doing the same in other areas?

readering said...

So write a letter to Harper's Magazine.

CStanley said...

Brava!

readering said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

This isn't something that is just beginning to grow on the left. It's been going on for decades, and why haven't you opposed it sooner? Is it just because it looks particularly ugly now and your political goals are threatened?

Easy. They weren't as scared back then as they are now.

stevew said...

Assigning blame to the far-right, and Trump, and a movement, by the Deplorables I guess, toward illiberalism gives these elite letter signers the air cover they need to decry and object to the loss of speech. If the outcome is the canceling of cancel culture and, ultimately, encouragement of more speech, then I'm all for it.

However, I suspect this is just a maneuver for power acquisition which, once achieved, will position them to shut off the far-right, Trump, and Deplorable speech they don't like.

Joe Smith said...

As the good professor well knows, freedom of speech in academia is almost non-existent. In 2016, not a single person from Harvard's faculty, staff, or research gave a dime to either Cruz or Trump. 91% of the contributions went to Clinton.

I worked at a private school once. Out of one hundred or so faculty and staff, I was one of maybe 3 'conservative' (although I consider myself more libertarian) employees.

It was so overwhelmingly leftist that I could never hope to express anything like my true beliefs for fear of losing my job.

And these are the people teaching (indoctrinating) your children.

tim maguire said...

They admit it. Means to an end.

That's not enough. Freedom IS the end.


To the right, human liberty is a positive good, an end in itself. To the left, it is the means to an end. A tool to get what they want. It's a perfectly good tool, maybe their preferred tool, but it's just a tool. If it doesn't get them what they want, there are other tools.

Gk1 said...

Liberals always have to add sweeteners to their message to get progs to even open up their mouths a little so they can ingest a little counter information. Just like the gratuitous opening shots against trump when the liberal writer wants the reader to consider blocking highways and taking over city streets with armed road blocks is a counter productive idea and deeply hurtful to the BLM cause. Otherwise you will lose them immediately and probably lose your job on the paper for even writing something like that.

Gahrie said...

Now you've done it. Coming out as a rightwinger after all this time.

Althouse is not a Rightwinger. She is what used to be called a moderate Liberal. It is just that the rest of the Left has gone batshit crazy and makes her look Rightwing.

Ken B said...

Yascha Mounk had a subscription thing. I lost interest in the first Para where he said the threat comes from the Right.

Gahrie said...

From the article: The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy.

How is President Trump supporting illiberalism?


One of the things I like about Trump is that he is anti-democracy. Democracy is rampaging mobs, burning buildings, lynchings and cancel culture.

We are a republic, and Trump is helping conserve that.

GingerBeer said...

Can the Philadelphia Eagles' Desean Jackson still sign on?

Ken B said...

I like Wesley Yang s comment. He does sign these things even if he agrees, he makes his own statement.

BoatSchool said...

To be truly diverse we all must think exactly alike.

Rick said...

While we have come to expect this on the radical right...""

This is an in-group marker roughly translated as:

"We're good leftists like you, please consider our position rather than assuming bad faith as we all do to non-leftist positions."

n.n said...

It bears the tell-tale signs of a Trojan horse. The very model of civility bullshit in its character.

Two-eyed Jack said...

Berkeley's Free Speech Movement was not about tolerance of opposition views, it was about the elimination of the idea of zones where leftism could be excluded. Clark Kerr wanted a University above or separate from politics. This was not in keeping with a march through the institutions. We have been celebrating this "victory" ever since.

Beth B said...

Paragraph #1: Typical boilerplate, bona fide-proving, anti-Trump/anti-Conservative preamble.

Paragraphs #2 & #3: Help! Help! The monster we helped create is coming for us now! Somebody save us before we get cancelled, too!

Too late, kids. You built it and now it's going to eat you. And it didn't even get to you last, as you'd imagined it would.

Douglas said...

Here's my prediction for the "new normal" under the Biden regime: (1) The BLM movement argues that America is irredeemably racist and that all disparities between blacks and whites are the sole result of racism. While the radicals have been shy about the public policies they want to implement to fix this, I predict that the Biden administration will adopt hard racial quotas in all areas of public life: admission, grading, hiring and promotion, school discipline, law enforcement, loans and banking, zoning, etc., etc. This is a logical fix to the problem they've identified and that is why I cam confident it will be high on the list for the new president and Congress.
(2) To protect the "new normal" from political attack, the Biden administration and Congress will adopt "hate speech" laws which will make criminal any speech that makes blacks or other minorities feel uncomfortable. These laws will be vigorously enforced to outlaw criticism of affirmative action, racial quotas, the causes of black crime, except to the extent you are supporting the BLM party line.
(3) To protect the "new normal" from legal attack, the administration will roll out an old favorite, the threat of court packing, to intimidate the Supreme Court into upholding these new laws.
Those are my predictions. We can revisit a year from now to see if that's what the Biden administration (if it's elected) is doing.

MadisonMan said...

While suspicious of motive, I appreciate that they're doing this. I guess they're seeing too many correct left-thinking people getting hoisted on their own petards.

Wa St Blogger said...

We are learning that principles do not matter. Like civility bullshit, the left (who hold the majority of the levers of power in the US) demand certain levels of purity from their opponents while simultaneously excusing abuse by those on their side. For many people, there is one key cause that they hold dear. In the pursuit of that cause they are willing to sacrifice almost every other principle. Notice how the left wants to remove Washington and Jefferson, but not the Democrat party or Margaret Sanger. You must always consider the prime mover when evaluating what someone actually believes and supports, because if that prime issue is threatened, they will pivot on almost every other issue they say they believe in.

Drago said...

YoungHegelian: "While I agree with Prof Althouse's criticisms, I must admit that I take a "better late than never" attitude towards this letter."

Fool you twice, shame on you.

The Left has NEVER been for free speech. They lied for 70 years right up until they gained critical mass.

The ACLU is the perfect example.

The Left censoring everyone and anyone looks bad...to some..for now..so they are lying again.

Temporarily.

Until they have sufficient power to not have to lie about it and hide it ever again.

bagoh20 said...

"I'm irritated by the gratuitous shot at right-wingers."

Whenever anybody who imagines themselves either center or left has a criticism of the Left it always starts out with a criticism of the Right. Usually saying that whatever the left did wrong, the Right does wrong first and worse, but...

This kind of qualifier is almost universal with any praise of Trump. Except for those of us comfortable with our support of him. Everyone else always has to start out with, "I don't like his rhetoric, or style or something, but..."

People imagine that Trump just attacks people for nothing, but he never draws first blood.

roesch/voltaire said...

Odd my experience is in contrast to Althouse. I experienced right wing censorship of ideas and even physical assault during the civil rights movement and in the early days of the Vietnam protests. I found right wing school boards crushed my plans for integrated curriculum and block scheduling at the high school level, while at university level, I admit conforming pressure from the left, but this was only in certain departments and largely absent in the area that I taught. But remember things work in cycles so do the best to speak truth to power.

John Lynch said...

Power is the enemy of speech. Which do you value more?

Roger Sweeny said...

It's pretty obvious why the attribution to the "radical right" was there. It's to say, "Those awful people do it; it must be bad. We shouldn't imitate them."

Not the most honest, but it may be effective as an attack on "censoriousness ... intolerance ... public shaming and ostracism".

bagoh20 said...

"The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy."

100% backwards. Democracy is under attack for sure, but Trump is one of the few in power fighting those doing it. Not the GOP, certainly not the DEMs, and the Left, including the Press is waging war on the very idea of choice of any kind in anything. They will cheat wholesale in the coming election, and they stopped accepting the outcomes when they don't win.

I don't think people who say that kind of thing about Trump or the Right even know what democracy really is. It's not just you getting your way.

Michael K said...

The projection is astonishing. Of course readering misses it. Twice.

They cannot see it.

Unknown said...

I recently read that the Boeing CEO fired ( forced to resign ) the Communications Executive Neil Golightly because 33!! THIRTY-THREE!! 33!! years ago he stated that women should not be in combat. 33 years ago, good grief.

https://taskandpurpose.com/news/boeing-comms-resign-women-combat

donald said...

Heading back to Ensenada this weekend. I’ve lost all interest in sports, which would have never seemed possible and this never ending shit show of evil in my beloved country. Glad I found unequivocal love at this late point of my life that does not center around farm animals.

lgv said...

Signed by all the people who have something to hide because if it comes out, they will be cancelled, too.

Roger Sweeny said...

"Mary Beth (the commenter)" mentioned the letter to the Linguistic Society of America asking to "cancel" Steven Pinker. It really is pretty outrageous. Jerry Coyne (probably best known for opposing creationists) investigated its factual claims and found them lacking support.

Jupiter said...

"I appreciate this effort, this "Letter on Justice and Open Debate," signed by a bunch of writers, scholars, and journalists ..."

Round up the usual suspects.

Churchy LaFemme: said...

To be truly diverse we all must think exactly alike.

John henry said...

Don't just go back to the 60s.

Go back to the 40s when DEMOCRAT president truman imposed a loyalty order on all federal govt employees

The Federal Employee Loyalty Program allowed the FBI to research whether the name of any of 2 million federal employees raised questions about their associations and beliefs and, if "derogatory information" was found, to follow up with a field investigation. The results of field investigations were delivered to 150 loyalty boards in various government departments. Those boards conducted their own investigations and were authorized to use the testimony of confidential witnesses whom the subject of the investigation was unable to confront. An employee could be fired if "reasonable doubt" existed concerning their loyalty. A loyalty board's decision was not subject to appeal.

In contrast to this and the demmy led HCUA, what mccarthy 5 years later did was pretty small beer.

Yet all we hear about is Republican mccarthy.

We Never about Truman and his odious "loyalty order"

Or, for that matter, the odious Patsy Mccarran who gave us the Mccarran Act (shudder)

John Henry

Rick said...

GingerBeer said...
I'm thinking the signatories have seen the ghost of Robespierre and are in sudden need of more temperate allies.


A handful have always supported liberalism: Haidt, McWhorter, Yoffe, and Young for example. But I suspect the rest aren't afraid. Rather they recognize openly championing values which conflict with most Americans' principles will retard their progress. Since they already control our institutions and can advance their agenda without public support (for example as they did bureaucratically and illegally using Title IX as a fig leaf) why increase the opposition thus slowing your agenda?

PhilD said...

"What happened after the 60s, after they'd gained ground in academia and government, suggests that they loved it as a means to an end"

Nothing new. To compare, Soviet art was very avant-garde until the revolution and a few years after. Until the communist party saw that it had fulfilled its role, decided they didn't need that kind of perverts and made a stop to it.

Jupiter said...

How much ammo do they have?

chuck said...

I fully agree with your commentary on this and have nothing to add.

Rick said...

roesch/voltaire said...
Odd my experience is in contrast to Althouse. I experienced right wing censorship of ideas and even physical assault during the civil rights movement and in the early days of the Vietnam protests.


It's revealing r/v has to return 60 years to find a time when Althouse was supposedly wrong. Interesting he claims he was teaching even then.

chuck said...

The Left has gone batshit crazy and makes her look Rightwing.

Just so. Same with Scott Adams, who I would class as well to the left of Althouse in many things.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Ann,
I would be interested in you providing (redacted?) examples of how you experienced this/observed other professors having to deal with this.

Silence said...

This is all a giant charade, they don't really care about what's happening today, they are instead posturing in the hope they'll be able to use it as a way of gaining power in the future by making out it was genuine commitment. I'm at the point where I see no value in listening to Sam Harris types, they'll pretend all day long they have a problem with it but their revealed preferences tell you over and over again they are totally fine with what's happening.

Bilwick said...

"We have come to expect this from the radical right" implies that it is an ongoing phenomenon or in the recent past (as opposed rosech/voltaire's story from about six decades ago). I'd like to know who on the radical right has been suppressing free speech, so I may oppose them. The use of the phrase "radical right" smacks of those scarifying books with titles like "Thunder of the Right," in which people like Robert LeFevre (an anarcho-pacifist) and Ayn Rand were grouped with the Grand Kleagle and George Lincoln Rockwell; political science for idiots.

Bilwick said...

"It's revealing r/v has to return 60 years to find a time when Althouse was supposedly wrong. Interesting he claims he was teaching even then."

There is no truth but socialist truth, comrade.

readering said...

Blogger hard to work sometimes. Moderation pro forma mostly?

Spiros said...

The stakes are high. The backlash to the woke left and the thought police is very, very real. The vast majority of the population is aggressively hostile to identity politics, anti-racism, defunding the police and the rest of the bullsh*t. Democrats will lose the election if they don't confront this reality.

This letter is clever. It avoids all the hot button issues and offers a rousing defense of individuality and freedom of expression against the "new fascism" of the Left. We all support that stuff. But it's not enough. It's fine that the signatories want to protect conservatives' freedom to be "wrong" and "offensive," but they should also acknowledge how miserable and stupid cancel culture and the woke left is. It takes guts and humility to admit that you're wrong and the other side is right.

Deanna said...

Have not read all the comments so please pardon me if this has already been noted. I'm disappointed to see Malcolm Gladwell on the list of signers. I wouldn't have expected him to join the 'cancel' mob, especially since President Trump is truly an outlier.

Deanna said...

Have not read all the comments so please pardon me if this has already been noted. I'm disappointed to see Malcolm Gladwell on the list of signers. I wouldn't have expected him to join the 'cancel' mob, especially since President Trump is truly an outlier.

Matt Sablan said...

The Left was fine with being for more speech when it involved pornography, violent video games and putting items of Christian faith in urine as "art." As long as the correct ox is gored, they want free speech.

It is a shame that the people who I used to think were as free-speech absolutists as I am turned out to really just be mean spirited folks who wanted the freedom to insult and degrade things they didn't like. They were never truly the party who believed even assholes have the right to say their asshole things; they just wanted the asshole things they believed and wanted to do to be allowed while having the power to censure others.

Matt Sablan said...

"And of course a gratuitous Trump slam in their screed as well."

-- Without it, it sounds TOO Republican and Conservative. The only way this gets published and signed today is with the necessary genuflections and shibboleths.

John henry said...

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

I'm inclined to say the academy should have more freedom of speech than any other part of society. What would be the excuse for restricting speech?

I think you are Canadian, right Loyd?

The idea that one group (academics) should have free speech while lesser mortals should have something less is appalling. It's why our founders made free speech an absolute bedrock principle of our Constitution.

Canada has no equivalent or even, really, a constitution. Speech rights are whatever the govt says they are on any given day.

Here, uniquely in the USA, we have in theory and nearly in practice absolute free speech guaranteed by the constitution. Govt can't nibble away at it, though they constantly try.

You ask "What would be the excuse for restricting speech?"

Precisely. There can never be any excuse for restricting speech.

By anyone in any position in govt or out.

Not in my USA

John Henry

Jim at said...

Can we get some examples of "censoriousness" on the right side of the spectrum?

According to the dimwitted, every, single NeverTrumper still having a job qualifies as censoriousness on the right.

Jupiter said...

"A handful have always supported liberalism: Haidt, McWhorter ..."

Free Speech advocate McWhorter, in National Review in 2017;

"Suppose that, at the end of the day, people of African descent have lower IQs on average than do other groups of humans, and that this gap is caused, at least in part, by genetic differences."

"Our valuation of intelligence, combined with black people’s grievous history in America, suggests an eccentric yet logical approach to the issue of race and IQ: As a topic whose discussion will yield injury, fury, and doubletalk with no countervailing benefits in terms of prescriptions for how society ought to operate, it ought be exempted from open discussion."

https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/07/race-iq-debate-serves-no-purpose/

gbarto said...

I'll buy R/V's comment. I grew up in a small town where it was the religious conservatives rushing to the Library Board and School Board to disappear the books they disapproved of. And one has to imagine it would be so: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. There is no reason the right would not sometimes be censorious of that which they don't like if they were in the ascendant. It's human nature. The founding miracle of our Republic is that George Washington stepped down after two terms. Such men are rare and without his example, I imagine our experiment in self-government would have been as short-lived as most such experiments tend to be.

What is both sad and terrifying today is how many act as though their party could rule forever and wish it were so. The strongest check on abuse of power is not nobility of character, but the knowledge that one day the worm will turn.

stlcdr said...

They continue to insult us every.freaking.day!

Known Unknown said...

"This is a constant throughout all of history. Censorship has always been practiced by tyrannies; censorship is quintessentially a fascist act."

The Last Temptation of Christ was the last time I can recall an uproar from the right-wing about censoring something.

Hell, Tipper Gore squared off against Dee Snyder. It wasn't Barbara Bush.

jimbino said...

Ann, You missed Joseph Fletcher: "The End justifies the Means."

You say, "That's not enough. Freedom IS the end."

frenchy said...

New Speak (political correctness) is baked into the socialist and communist cake. Orwell, a socialist himself, satirized it 75 years ago. These people you cite are morons.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

NYC Councilwoman Freaks Out Over White Man Holding Black Child: ‘It Hurts People’

This is what we are talking about, oh blind faith leftists.
Your side does this. Embarrassing.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Great post Althouse.

CJinPA said...

JK Rowling signed as well. Not coincidentally, she is currently targeted for canceling due to her views on trans issues.

Unknown said...

The problem is entirely that 1) the media amplify idiotic claims and 2) our leaders are such big chickens that they throw employees under the bus at the drop of a slur. For example, 1 person says mount rushmore needs to be destroyed and we have to all hear about it? 30 thugs get to decide which statues we keep? (apparently none) Any time a wild even absurd claim is made, college presidents start an investigation or simply fire the prof. For example, several profs have been fired or almost fired for reading aloud passages by black authors with the n word in them--one is a famous book with N in the title. If I were the profs I would say fine, you don't get to read black authors but these profs thought they had protections--hahaha. no.

buwaya said...

I am not a fan of "free speech" as such.
There is good, and there is evil, and it is very likely that many will speak evil.

Men are easily swayed by speech into error and evil. We see the consequences of that, today. Therefore I also support suppression of evil speech. Giordano Bruno, say, was rightly condemned, and most interestingly he was denounced, or condemned, by every Christian sect of the Reformation. The world was better at spotting evil then, even in the middle of bitter religious conflict. Not now. Would that such as Sartre and Foucault and Hefner had been taken by the Inquisition.

This is no longer a popular point of view. But it has to become more popular, as there is no other way to combat the modern tide of evil. Right dogma has to return, and be defended.

"Free speech" is an idealistic fantasy based on a misunderstanding of human nature. We are not impervious robots immune to irrational responses to bad arguments. The best illustration of this fundamental weakness is the state of the universities today. Why otherwise would the peaks of intellectual power have fallen to such poor reasoning? The array of fallacies that assaulted these institutions is vast. And in the end power trumped reason, as always. Reason is weak.

Michael said...

This goes back to before everyone was born. For the Bolsheviks "revolutionary truth" was that which advanced the Progressive agenda, and everything else needed to be cancelled.

buwaya said...

The people who shut down R/V way back then were, I think, fundamentally correct in an empirical way, having a more sound idea of human nature based on experience and custom. They might have been wrong in detail, which is a minor issue, but the spirit was correct.

buwaya said...

"the most vital causes of our time"

Can I express how foolish and trivial this phrase is?
There is no "our time". What is vital is eternal.

Michael said...

The ACLU is the template. An organization I once supported enthusiastically and financially went round the bend decades ago and has grown more woke by the year. I suspect they will strongly support hate speech laws. As in England the police will devote inordinate effort to following up on every bad thought or utterance.

n.n said...

the religious conservatives rushing to the Library Board and School Board to disappear the books

Today, yesterday, since time immemorial, it's the religious progressives, and the religious liberals follow when it correlates with their special and peculiar interests.

Qwinn said...

"The Last Temptation of Christ was the last time I can recall an uproar from the right-wing about censoring something."

Agreed. And that was 1988. Thirty Two (32) f'ing years ago.

And the Right's motivation in responding that way had nothing whatsoever to do with politics. Oh, the making of that movie was obviously political and designed specifically to troll the religious Right, but the Right wasn't offended in a political way, only a religious way due to having their main religious figure besmirched in that way.

Leftists understand the sensitivity the Right felt then... just ask them if they think it's okay to mock Mohammed. Hell, ask them if it's okay to just draw a non-insulting picture of Mohammed. They'll all say no. But they will all pretend to not understand why TLTOC, or Piss Christ, etc., could offend Christians.

It's gaslighting all the way down. It always has been. It's how the Left rolls. It's how the Left has *always* rolled.

rcocean said...

That's just standard liberal/leftism. ANY criticism of the liberal/left MUST be accompanied by a equal if not greater criticism of the right, in order for the liberal/Left-winger to send the correct signal. Compare that to the Right, who constantly criticize each other in the most vicious way.

As for Free Speech just being means to an end. Again, that's always been the case. Nobody loved free speech and freedom of assembly more than Trotsky and Lenin BEFORE October 1917.

rcocean said...

you left out the slam against Trump for being an enemy of democracy. but that was to be expected. Anyway, I'm surprised that Gary Wills and martin Amis are still alive, i thought they had died 10 years ago.

DJK said...

The hypocritical whining about "cancel culture" from the right is hilarious. The right is led by a guy who literally threatens to lock up political opponents for daring to oppose him, who launched his political career with racist birther lies attempting to cancel and delegitimize the citizenship of a black president. Conservatives didn't recoil from this thuggishish, and they still support and defend Trump. Conservative cancel culture for the past 50 years has tried to silence and smear anyone who doesn't agree with them as immoral and unpatriotic. Tucker Carlson declares that any opposing partisan "hates America" -- not a single critical word about that bit of cancel culture from this blog, who instead found Carlson's hateful, illiberal diatribe amusing and imitable. This blog described Trump's similar divisive "Only Trump supporters care about America and everybody else is a un-American mob" July 4th screed as "strong."

So spare me the phony whining. The right doesn't hate cancel culture or support freedom of speech any more than the left. The right is just mad that the tables have turned with the left beating conservatives at their own game.

hstad said...


Blogger wild chicken said...They attribute suppression of free speech to the right because the right includes Hitler of course.7/7/20, 11:33 AM

Not really, "they attribute suppression of free speech to the right" so they can get a pass from the "cancel culture" and keep their freekin' jobs.

About Hitler being on the "right"? If I remember my history correctly, tell us "Blogger wild chicken" what is the difference, for example, between - Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. The outcomes where eerily similar - millions of deaths from 'cult of personalities' who had a "God" complex. Read this article - very interesting"

https://www.vision.org/insight-what-dictators-have-in-common-8859

Unknown said...

DJK says Trump is good at cancel culture and declares anyone who doesn't love america blah blah. Let's be clear: the Left is consistently and loudly declaring that they hate America, wearing communist and Che and Mao t-shirts at rallies, tearing down statues (for 4 years now, remember?), and getting people fired. If the right called people immoral it didn't get people fired, speakers pulled from colleges, books canceled, comedians canceled, TV shows canceled--that is all from the Left. Maybe the Left is just better at it, who knows, but in effect the right has only been able to pull a few books from a few small town libraries. big deal.

Michael K said...

So spare me the phony whining. The right doesn't hate cancel culture or support freedom of speech any more than the left. The right is just mad that the tables have turned with the left beating conservatives at their own game.

Gee, another new troll. Does it pay well?

Ed said...

Anne, I've been an academic about the same amount of time as you. There has been intolerance from the left (and right) most of that time, but it is getting much worse in our day. So with respect I can't agree that this is too little, too late. It might be "a little bit, just in time."

Jim at said...

So spare me the phony whining. The right doesn't hate cancel culture or support freedom of speech any more than the left. The right is just mad that the tables have turned with the left beating conservatives at their own game.

We need better trolls. This POS isn't even trying.

And yes, you do hate America. It wasn't conservatives who were marching around on Independence Day screaming "Fuck the 4th!" It was you, boy.

Gospace said...

Unknown said...
I recently read that the Boeing CEO fired ( forced to resign ) the Communications Executive Neil Golightly because 33!! THIRTY-THREE!! 33!! years ago he stated that women should not be in combat. 33 years ago, good grief.


Women shouldn't be in combat, shouldn't be in combat units. A woman in a combat unit weakens the whole unit, for a myriad of reason. This is well established truth.

The commanders and flag officers in charge of such sex integrated units will tell you what a great job the women are doing. The grunts, every last one of them, will, in private, tell you exactly how the women aren't pulling their weight- and there's no way to get rid of them. When asked by a reporter or a senior officer- "Of course they're doing great! They fir right in!" Even a lowly grunt doesn't want his career- or even just his one enlistment- ruined because he said the "wrong" thing. Truth is not permitted in discussions of sex based differences.

Gospace said...

DJK- the racist birther lie was launched by none other than the Lightbringer himself. Even Snopes is forced to rte that as tru.

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/promotional-booklet/

Of course, they say his literary agent claimed it...and that like everything else in his life, Obama bore no responsibility for it. Yeah, right.

FIDO said...

Hey, R/V,

Got anything LESS than 60 years ago?

Spiros Pappas said...

Yglesias just got reported to his employer for creating an unsafe work environment.

Kirk Parker said...

gbarto,

Even in the case of your small town conservatives, they weren't trying to get the writers or publishers of those works arrested or fired from their jobs... They just didn't want *their* local library and *their* local schools carrying and promoting such trash.

DavidD said...

"Yes, I know we're the ones that started cancel culture, but it wasn't supposed to get anyone on our side canceled, you guys."

Fernandinande said...

NYC Councilwoman Freaks Out Over White Man Holding Black Child: ‘It Hurts People’

She and Those Others are half-witted racists who hate white people.

hstad said...


Blogger DJK said..."...So spare me the phony whining. The right doesn't hate cancel culture or support freedom of speech any more than the left. 7/7/20, 4:53 PM

Maybe the "Right" you are acquainted with - but doubt it. It's just your fictional narrative. Given your equal shots at the "Right" and "Left" is a way you give a sop to your fictional equality shtick.

You should read some of the debates between W.E.B Du Bois and B.T. Washington to see the differences in "Right" and "Left" philosophies. Dubois pushed 'Eliteness'- wanted the top black elites (10%) to push for college while Washington preached security of jobs and family (via trade education)after 'emancipation'. Du Bois was a freeman from Boston and went to college (University of Berlin and Harvard) while Washington, a born slave, worked his way up the totem pole and became a President of a College. The Left/Right irony of these two black leaders was telling even back then. Du Bois, given his love for 'Elites' pushed his "The Talented Tenth"-10%. Washington, after 'emancipation' preached a philosophy of self-help, racial solidarity and accommodation. Du Bois advocated political action and civil rights. He argued that social change could be accomplished by developing the small group of college-educated blacks he called “the Talented Tenth”. Which Marx advocated and Lenin ran with. Du Bois was heavily influenced by his early college education at the University of Berlin, where both Marx and Engels had attended before.

DJK said...

"And yes, you do hate America. It wasn't conservatives who were marching around on Independence Day screaming "Fuck the 4th!" It was you, boy."

Wrong on all counts, gramps. For one, patriotism is about more than dates an symbols. Unfortunately, real patriotism seems hard for Trump trash whose love of country is as thin as a communium wafer and as shallow as a kiddie pool. If the Trump cult understood patriotism, then his scampaign's internal polling -- like that of Republicans writ large -- would not look like a bloodbath as indepedents recoil and right wing bigotry and hypocrisy alienates generations of youth, people of color, and educated whites.

No patriotic American is taking seriously lectures about hate or patriotism from the right wing hypocrites who have sold out their honor and integrity to vulgar, pathological lying, rage tweeting birther bigot Trump. Today's Trump "conservatives" (with apologies to the real conservatives of yore) cheer this unpresidential, narcisstic turd Trump as he retweets 'White Power,' defends monuments to pro-slavery Confederate traitors, shreds the constitution with nepotism and corruption, surrenders American lives to coronavirus, and rewards neocommunist tyrant Putin for attacking US elections, allies, and troops. The frauds who insist these disgraces equate to love of country aren't fooling anybody but themselves.

walter said...

“There is no way around it, you have to read. If you’re not willing to read, then you’re not doing the work. This is work we all have to do. You can disagree with people, but this is not an ideological difference. This is how black and indigenous people of color see the world and it’s not for you and me … to deny that reality. We have to get on board.”
--
Old: Have a conversation
New: Do the work!

At least she is the designated spokesperson for "black and indigenous people of color". Hey..ain't that just like a smarty pants Asian ;)

wendybar said...

Too bad some of them are apologizing...they just cancelled themselves!

Ralph L said...

"Matt Yglesias has been reported to his employer by a [trans] colleague for signing an open letter which argues that a climate of conformity, fear, and mutual surveillance has descended upon public intellectual life."

Greg the class traitor said...

And now they're recanting, like proper Leftists.

Because signing a letter that "bad people" have signed makes you a cancelable bad person.

Because for the Left, "Hitler was a vegetarian, you are a vegetarian, therefore you are Hitler" is the height of reasoning.

DavidUW said...

27 years ago, I asked the simple question of people on a college campus screaming that SATs/ACTs were racist: "So these tests were designed by white men so that Asians would score the highest?"

The frothing was immediate, incoherent, and disturbing. They were not right wing.

Yes, the leftist cancel culture has existed for a long time.

Rick said...

DJK said...
real patriotism seems hard for Trump trash


It's always amusing when left wingers whine that others call them unpatriotic if that's out of bounds even as they call their opponents unpatriotic. I'm also impressed the left has access to a time machine such that Trump is responsible for leftist thoughts going back decades.

Froth on big boy.

n.n said...

Hands up don't abort... cancel me. Even animals have a voice. #UnPlannedChild

SATs/ACTs were racist: "So these tests were designed by white men so that Asians would score the highest

Diversity? Asians first. Must be a sadomasochistic orientation.

Because for the Left, "Hitler was a vegetarian

He wasn't vegan? Yes, diversity or color judgments (e.g. racism, sexism) and exclusion breed adversity.

n.n said...

Truth is not permitted in discussions of sex based differences.

Yes, the moral assertion and observation that men and women are equal in rights and complementary in Nature, respectively, are not diversitist (i.e. sexist).

Greg the class traitor said...

DJK said...
The hypocritical whining about "cancel culture" from the right is hilarious. The right is led by a guy who literally threatens to lock up political opponents for daring to oppose him,

That's lie #1.Trump called for locking up left-wing criminals who used their political connections to get away with violating the law.

IOW, he called for enforcing the law equally on everyone. I understand why you leftist scum hate that.

This is as compared to the Obama Admin, which illegally used the FISA process to spy on political opponents.


who launched his political career with racist birther lies attempting to cancel and delegitimize the citizenship of a black president.

The birther story was created by Obama, and first pushed by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

So. that's lie #2

Conservatives didn't recoil from this thuggishish, and they still support and defend Trump.

Why yes, we do defned Trump when the Left lies about him. That's called human decency. You might try it some day.

Conservative cancel culture for the past 50 years has tried to silence and smear anyone who doesn't agree with them as immoral and unpatriotic.

Telling the truth about people is not a "smear". It's also not "silencing". And if your claim were true, then "Piss Christ" ould never have been funded by US Taxpayers.

Tucker Carlson declares that any opposing partisan "hates America" -- not a single critical word about that bit of cancel culture from this blog, who instead found Carlson's hateful, illiberal diatribe amusing and imitable.

Destroying statues of American heroes IS anti-American, and the kind of thing that would only be embraced by someone who hates America. Now, tell us where Tucker told his viewers they should call the businesses taht employed certain private citizens, and try to get them fired for hating America.

It's not "cancel culture" to criticize someone. Which you know, which makes all this yet another lie from you.

This blog described Trump's similar divisive "Only Trump supporters care about America and everybody else is a un-American mob" July 4th screed as "strong."

You mean, Trump's honest speech where he pointed out that "anyone who wants to destroy things that celebrate American history is an enemy of America"?

you morons on the Left have the right to spout your stupid and hateful idiocies. That's free speech.

And we decent human beings have the right to point out that you are evil scum and / or utter morons. That's OUR free speech right.

So go fuck yourself

n.n said...

between - Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. The outcomes where eerily similar - millions of deaths from 'cult of personalities' who had a "God" complex.

Life deemed unworthy of life (e.g. one-child, selective-child). Mortal gods and goddesses, too, human sacrificial rites that persist in the Progressive Church under forward-looking euphemisms.

Gahrie said...

rewards neocommunist tyrant Putin

I know I'm going to regret this...

Just how has Trump rewarded Putin?

Reviving MATO?

Driving down the price of oil?

Arming Ukraine?

Imposing sanctions on Russia and Russians?

Supporting, arming and training the militaries of Eastern Europe?

Just what, short of open warfare, is he supposed to have done to Russia to punish them that he hasn't done?

GingerBeer said...

Rick: It is generally understood, the Left always devours its own. As of this posting, several of the signatories have been brought into compliance, apologizing, and renouncing themselves.The Girondins are always crushed by the Montagnards. Our modern Girondins too wish to be led last to the guillotine.

Flat Tire said...

Thank you. This is why I read your blog twice a day. I was an Ag student with a minor in art and I saw it clearly in 1968/69.

DJK said...

The frothing was immediate, incoherent, and disturbing.

Knowing how humorless and incoherent Trump conservatism (lol) is, I'm guessing these not right wingers were laughing at your dangerously naive inability to grasp that nobody even cares about those garbage in, garbage out tests anymore.

If people who were actually intelligent (which requires getting out of the lily white bubble from time to time) designed intelligence tests, they'd have two questions:

1) Did you vote for Drama Queen Donnie in 2016?
2) Do you plan to vote for Treason Trump in 2020?

But when the incumbent is so uninspiring and despised he can do nothing but try to run as President of the Confederacy, I guess whining and crying about cancel culture is all some have left. Sad!

Tina Trent said...

roesch/voltaire reaches back sixty years and expresses his belief that his speech was suppressed because a "right-wing school board" didn't agree with his desire for "integrated curriculum and block scheduling."

That's hilarious.

How did they even know about the plan if he was "suppressed" from advocating for it?

What a perfect example of the left's toxic half-century putsch of the Commons: disagree with even the most crackpot leftist idea and you're "suppressing freedom" while leftists get to riot in the streets, attack people and destroy property, and the powers-that-be call it "defending freedom."

MadTownGuy said...

Why should cancel culture be canceled? Because the tactic is backfiring. Not because it's wrong or something like that.

PhilD said...

"Rick: It is generally understood, the Left always devours its own"

Yeah, but they devour a lot more not their own. See the Stalinist purge in the 1930's. It killed/send to camps a couple of ten thousands of communist (a silver lining as far as I'm concerned) but also hundreds of thousands non-communists.
Or another example, Robespierre. He was send to his death by his erstwhile partners in crime.

Michael K said...

Knowing how humorless and incoherent Trump conservatism (lol) is,

The new troll is in rare form.

Bilwick said...

So DJK, our newest logician (in the tradition of such intellects as Inga, et al) conflates criticizing and condemning people's ideas with forcibly suppressing dissent. Typical. Leftist State fellators always want to obfuscate the use of force because they're in debail how their "wonderful" and "enlightened" philosophy is based on force.

Rick said...

GingerBeer said...
Rick: It is generally understood, the Left always devours its own.


Yes but existence of that process does not prove it is motivating specific people at this moment.

hstad said...


Blogger DJK said...7/8/20, 3:20 AM

One of the great attributes AA has in these responses to Trolls like you is "Blogger DJK said..." Zilch! One crackpot conspiracy after another! Your a fine example of a paid Troll, if not, then a perfect example of the recipient of propoganda from the likes of "Baghdad Bob" and "Goebbels". How is it living a fictional narrative your whole life?

GingerBeer said...

PhilD: First things first.

GingerBeer said...

Rick: How else to explain those signatories who are now tripping over themselves to abandon the high principles they held but a day ago?

Rick said...

GB: I thought I did that already.

But I suspect the rest aren't afraid. Rather they recognize openly championing values which conflict with most Americans' principles will retard their progress.

An illustration (1 of2):

Russlynn Ali is a far left ideologue and lawyer who worked for years influencing the education system to shed its traditional role of advancing liberal education and its more recent role of job training in favor of far left political advocacy. When Barack Obama said he wanted to fundamentally change the United States by far his most successful action toward accomplishing this was appointing Ali the Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights in the Department of Education.
In this position she issued a letter asserting that post-secondary educational institutions which did not follow her procedures for handling sexual assault and harassment would be ineligible for federal funds (which includes loans) which would put 99% of our educational systems out of business immediately. This letter overstepped her authority since the law on which it was supposedly based (Title IX) does remotely govern sexual assault or harassment much less grant her the right to unilaterally define the appropriate procedures. Further even if it did the DOE violated its own procedures in issuing the letter which should have resulted in it being struck down. It was never challenged in court because our universities, politically controlled by allied activists, wanted this ruling. It allowed them to implement these absurdly unfair procedures without having to justify them inside their own institutions.

Rick said...

(2 of 2)

The Ali process eliminated due process rights for accused students placing complete power in an organization whose staff was selected for their extremism and then trained in ideologically driven beliefs which assured findings of "responsible". The most obvious procedures were (1) reducing the standard from "clear and convincing" as used in most administrative contexts to "preponderance of the evidence" a change from 75% likely to 50.01 along with (2) training to believe women don't lie about sex. The combination of these two procedures means a he-said she-said claim with zero additional information would result in "responsible" finding thus eliminating the presumption of innocence. In addition investigators were trained to ignore exculpatory evidence in their own reporting and decision making and to not provide it to the accused, who were not allowed lawyers and often were never told of the specific charges against them. These are only a handful of the procedural failures, there are many more.

Obviously these procedures violate the basic tenets of due process and we'd criticize any institution for using them. But the idea that the government could require even public universities to follow them is a clear constitutional violation.

The net result of these and other procedural and personnel failures is a Kafkaesque Sex Inquisition which only exists because most Americans don't understand it well enough to protest. And why is that? These procedures could never have passed the legislative process, that process is uncontrollably public and would have resulted in many supportive Dem losing their offices. So instead Obama appointed Ali and they created the law in a corrupt backroom working session. And when Ali was criticized for eliminating due process how do you suppose she responded? She simply claimed her letter and its implementation protected due process rights. The media hides the specifics under blanket platitudes and anyone who tries to show the details (KC Johnson for example) is portrayed as a creepy crank.

The simple fact is that with media and institutional support left wingers can do almost anything they want administratively (sue and settle on environmental policy is another example). Supporting due process or free speech publicly makes it easier to work against due process and free speech administratively. It allows left wingers to retain the trust of those who vote left on the general belief that the left are the good guys, and prevents the left wingers who are vulnerable to public opinion (politicians) from ever having to take a public position of the matter. Admitting they oppose Free Speech but for the right reasons would draw attention and many voters who value free speech but traditionally vote Dem would be at risk. So the better tactical choice is to say you support this publicly while proving you don't as quietly as possible.

Michael K said...

Chuck must be so proud of his Whitmered Michigan today as the white couple assaulted in the Chiporle parking lot are arrested for defending themselves with legal weapons for which they had permits.

A white woman and her husband are facing criminal charges after she was captured on video pulling a handgun on a black woman and her daughters during a heated confrontation outside of a Chipotle in Lake Orion, Michigan, last week. A viral video shows the pregnant woman brandishing the weapon after Takelia Hill and her teenage daughters verbally abused her for several minutes, tried to block her from getting into her car, and after Hill banged on the vehicle as the couple tried to leave.

Jillian Wuestenberg, 32, and Eric Wuestenberg, 42, were arrested after the July 1 incident and charged with felonious assault.

GingerBeer said...

Rick: "So the better tactical choice is to say you support this publicly while proving you don't as quietly as possible." So, how's that working out for them?

Stephen St. Onge said...

        Forty years?  Try 228 years!  The Left started suppressing free speech during the French Revolution, and the only variance over the centuries has been how much damage they do to those they hate.  And that depends only on how much power they have.

Stephen St. Onge said...

        Forty years?  Try 228 years!  The Left started suppressing free speech during the French Revolution, and the only variance over the centuries has been how much damage they do to those they hate.  And that depends only on how much power they have.