The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Archive for June, 2008

WSJ: Obama, Pelosi, and Kerry Lying About Oil Leases

Posted by iusbvision on June 30, 2008

UPDATE: ANWR information below.

In what is a nice relief to those of us who study energy policy, a big news outfit has finally stood up to the lie from the Democratic leadership (and every leftist pundit on the talk shows) that we could double US oil production by just drilling more on existing leases.


The WSJ puts ink to paper on the obvious…just because you have a lease to explore and drill doesn’t mean that you will find oil that you can extract economically.


Today’s WSJ has the details:


“I want you to think about this,” Barack Obama said in Las Vegas last week. “The oil companies have already been given 68 million acres of federal land, both onshore and offshore, to drill. They’re allowed to drill it, and yet they haven’t touched it – 68 million acres that have the potential to nearly double America’s total oil production.”

Wow, how come the oil companies didn’t think of that?

Perhaps because the notion is obviously false – at least to anyone who knows how oil and gas exploration actually works. Predictably, however, Mr. Obama’s claim is also the mantra of Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, John Kerry, Nick Rahall and others writing Congressional energy policy. As a public service, here’s a remedial education.

Democrats are in a vise this summer, pinned on one side by voter anger over $4 gas and on the other by their ideological opposition to carbon-based energy – so, as always, the political first resort is to blame Big Oil. The allegation is that oil companies are “stockpiling” leases on federal lands to drive up gas prices. At least liberals are finally acknowledging the significance of supply and demand.

To deflect the GOP effort to relax the offshore-drilling ban – and thus boost supply while demand will remain strong – Democrats also say that most of the current leases are “nonproducing.” The idea comes from a “special report” prepared by the Democratic staff of the House Resources Committee, chaired by Mr. Rahall. “If we extrapolate from today’s production rates on federal lands and waters,” the authors write, the oil companies could “nearly double total U.S. oil production” (their emphasis).

In other words, these whiz kids assume that every acre of every lease holds the same amount of oil and gas. Yet the existence of a lease does not guarantee that the geology holds recoverable resources. Brian Kennedy of the Institute for Energy Research quips that, using the same extrapolation, the 9.4 billion acres of the currently nonproducing moon should yield 654 million barrels of oil per day.

Nonetheless, the House still went through with a gesture called the “use it or lose it” bill, which passed on Thursday 223-195. It would be pointless even if it had a chance of becoming law. Oil companies acquire leases in the expectation that some of them contain sufficient oil and gas to cover the total costs. Yet it takes years to move through federal permitting, exploration and development. The U.S. Minerals Management Service notes that only one of three wells results in a discovery of oil that can be recovered economically. In deeper water, it’s one of five. All this involves huge risks, capital investment – and time.

Yet companies are not allowed to explore where the biggest prospects for oil and gas may exist – especially on the Outer Continental Shelf. Seven of the top 20 U.S. oil fields are now located in analogous deepwater areas (greater than 1,000 feet) in the Gulf of Mexico. In 2006, Chevron discovered what is likely to be the largest American oil find since Prudhoe, drilled in 7,000 feet of water and more than 20,000 feet under the sea floor. The Wilcox formation may have an upper end of 15 billion barrels of recoverable oil and should begin producing by 2014 – perhaps ushering in a new ultradeepwater frontier.

Likewise, in April, the U.S. Geological Survey revised its estimate for the Bakken Shale, underneath the badlands of North Dakota and Montana. The new assessment – as much as 4.3 billion barrels of oil – is a 25-fold increase over what the Survey believed in 1995. Such breakthroughs confirm that very large reserves exist, if only Congress would let business get at them.


The other rediculous talking point from the Democrats is “Drilling wont give an immediate reduction in fuel prices so increased domestic energy production should be opposed”. They give some similar rhetoric on expanding nuclear power.

So lets examine their logic:

Don’t go to college because it will be at least four years until you can get a degree to get some good money out of the investment.

Don’t irrigate lands in starving nations because it will be a season or two before you can get any food.

Don’t start the Manhattan Project in 1939 because it would not yield a nuclear weapon by 1940.

Dont invade France in on June 6th 1944 because it would not result in an immediate end to the war.


Of course such idiocy speaks for itself which is why the latest polls say that Americans want to drill by a 67% to 18% margin. What is even more ironic is that expending domestic energy production would very likely lower prices within weeks. Why?… I thought that you would never ask.

Part of the price we pay for oil comes from the futures commodities market. Energy traders buy future oil contracts for a set price depending on how the market for supply and demand looks. If we started working on expanding production of energy today two things would happen:

1. OPEC would lower the price of oil in an effort to make expanding oil production here less financially appealing.

2. The futures traders would know that future oil demands will be met by increased supplies and the high prices they are paying on futures contracts now would start to fall over time.


Of course both candidates oppose drilling at ANWR, which is park that is 1/3 the size of Great Britain and the area that has the oil is a moonscape like tundra obove the arctic circle where the oil producing facilities would be about the size of an airport.

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on ANWR Drilling:

California Representative Nunes talks about his visit to ANWR – you can see what the place looks like in this video:

For a more scholarly approach to everything ANWR please visit the following link:


Chuck Norton

Posted in Campaign 2008, Chuck Norton, Other Links, Palin Truth Squad | 1 Comment »

HOTAIR.COM: Obama Still Doesn’t Get Youtube Does He?

Posted by iusbvision on June 27, 2008

I have lost count of how many times Senator Obama has flip-flopped and flipped again on various issues.

First it was we will withdrawal form Iraq immediately, then it was withdrawal conditional on the situation on the ground, recently it was the slow steady withdrawal ….

Iran isnt a serious threat than it is.

Renegotiate NAFTA than lets not – then deny that I said lets not – then admit it after you got caught.

Negotiate without prior condition with Iran, than reversal, reversal again and reversal again.

He says he doesn’t take money from big corporations and special interest – then he does in the millions.

He says he isn’t taking money from energy companies – too bad the FEC Reports prove otherwise.

He promises to abide by federal campaign spending limits – then reverses

the list goes on and on… well here is the lastest via


In days gone by, politicians could issue mutually-contradictory messages with near impunity as the mainstream media rarely would double-check the historical record.  Now, with video on line and millions of fact-checkers scrutinizing every statement, any obviously false statement will get exposed in short order.  Yesterday’s assertion by Barack Obama that he never said the DC gun ban overturned by the Supreme Court was constitutional or that he supported it became the latest in his flip-flops to be exposed by a simple review of the videotape record:



Obama is right to the extent that his statement didn’t come in November 2007 but more recently in February 2008, as he tried to sweep the primaries by running to Hillary Clinton’s left. He nods when asked about the constitutionality of the DC gun ban, and expresses his support for it by saying “Right” when the interviewer asks about it. Obama then goes into an extended explanation of how he sees the DC ban as part of a Constitutional effort at gun control.

Now the Constitutional law scholar wants us to believe that he always thought the DC ban was unconstitutional, and that his earlier comments were “inartful”. This video shows very clearly that the only artifice involved is in his new position. Obama has done a complete 180 on gun bans, attempting to paint himself as a moderate when the paltry record of Obama’s political stands shows just the opposite.


Kinda says all that needs to be said doesnt it.

The Washington Post called him on it while some other news outlets gave Obama a pass:

Barack Obama is under hostile fire for changing his position on the D.C. gun ban.

Oh, I’m sorry. He didn’t change his position, apparently. He reworded a clumsy statement.

That, at least, is what his campaign is saying. The same campaign that tried to spin his flip-flop in rejecting public financing as embracing the spirit of reform, if not the actual position he had once promised to embrace.

Is this becoming a pattern? Wouldn’t it be better for Obama to say he had thought more about such-and-such an issue and simply changed his mind? Is that verboten in American politics? Is it better to engage in linguistic pretzel-twisting in an effort to prove that you didn’t change your mind?

Regardless of what you think of the merits of yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling overturning the capital’s handgun law, it seems to me we’re entitled to a clear position by the presumed Democratic nominee. And I’m a bit confused about how the confusion came about.

Here’s how the Illinois senator handled the issue with the Chicago Tribune just last November:

“The campaign of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said that he ‘ . . . believes that we can recognize and respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and the right of local communities to enact common sense laws to combat violence and save lives. Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional.’ ”

Kind of a flat statement.

And here’s what ABCreported yesterday: ” ‘That statement was obviously an inartful attempt to explain the Senator’s consistent position,’ Obama spokesman Bill Burton tells ABC News.”

Inartful indeed.

But even though the earlier Obama quote and the “inartful” comment have been bouncing around the Net for 24 hours, I’m not seeing any reference to them in the morning papers. Most do what the New York Timesdid: “Mr. Obama, who like Mr. McCain has been on record as supporting the individual-rights view, said the ruling would ‘provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country.’ ”

Supporting the individual-rights view? Not in November.

Even the Tribune–the very paper that the Obama camp told he supported the gun ban–makes no reference to the November interview.




Posted in Campaign 2008, Chuck Norton, Other Links | Leave a Comment »

Profiles in Ideological Bias: When Law School Deans and Justices Lie

Posted by iusbvision on June 27, 2008

What would you say if someone tried to tell you that the Framers understood that you have a Natural, God given right to freedom of speech, religion, and conscience; that you had freedom from unnecessary search and seizure, BUT BY NO MEANS did the Framers ever intend to enumerate or imply a right to self defense? .. And then proceed to argue that almost nothing in any of the Framers writings indicates otherwise?

Any honest student of American history would say that anyone making such a silly argument may need to see a doctor.

Well guess who made such an argument; Justice Stevens did just that in his dissent in yesterdays Heller decision saying:

Specifically, there is no indication that the Framers of the Amendment intended to enshrine the

common-law right of self-defense in the Constitution.


You heard it right no right to self defense either enumerated or implied in the constitution and nothing in common law previously indicated that you have any right to defend yourself.

Ok who buys such an argument may I see a share of hands?

Such an argument speaks volumes about how leftist judges treat the power of the state over the sovereignty of the individual.

Of course there are hundreds of pieces of evidence that indicate very directly that the Framers intended that the ownership of small arms in defense of themselves, their liberty, and the state was not just a right, but an obligation of most good citizens. Justice Scalia pointed to dozens of such pieces of evidence in the Heller ruling and the Amici gave hundreds of examples in their briefs to the court. I have perhaps 100 examples of such in my own data archive.

The revisionist history did not stop there. Today’s Los Angeles Times has an op-ed from Erwin Chemerinsky, the UC Irvine Dean of the School of Law:

The Supreme Court’s invalidation of the District of Columbia’s handgun ban powerfully shows that the conservative rhetoric about judicial restraint is a lie. In striking down the law, Justice Antonin Scalia’smajority opinion, joined by the court’s four other most conservative justices, is quite activist in pursuing the conservative political agenda of protecting gun owners.

If the terms “judicial activism” and “judicial restraint” have any meaning, it is that a court is activist when it is invalidating laws and overruling precedent, and restrained when deferring to popularly elected legislatures and following prior decisions.

Never before had the Supreme Court found that the 2nd Amendment bestows on individuals a right to have guns. In fact, in 1939 (and other occasions), the court rejected this view. In effectively overturning these prior decisions, the court both ignored precedent and invalidated a law adopted by a popularly elected government.,0,6464156.story

The 1939 case that Dean Chemerinsky is referring to is US v. Miller. In Miller the court was asked if the prohibition from owning short barreled shotguns in the National Firearms Act was in violation of the Second Amendment.

The court ruling made it clear that historically good citizens not only had a right, but had an obligation as good citizens to maintain infantry small arms in their homes (just as Mr. Heller in this case wanted to keep a firearm in his home).

The Miller ruling shows that citizens have a right to own small arms that have a military purpose. The question decided, and the question put to the court, is whether or not a short barreled shotgun has a military purpose. No one even argued that the Second Amendment does not affirm a right to own military small arms by individuals, indeed the court was not even asked that question. So Chemerinsky’s statement that the court in Miller rejected the Second Amendment view delivered in Heller is not only mistaken, but rather quite the opposite.

If you don’t believe me, go read the decision for yourself as it is in plain English.

If the court in Miller wanted to say that the Second Amendment does not guarantee an individual right to keep and bear arms, but only guarantees a subset of the people ( a militia) to be able to keep arms, then the court would have said that Mr. Miller and his comrades were not members of a militia so the Second Amendment did not apply to them, thus you had no right to own any weapon whatsoever, but the court did not even come close to anything resembling such an argument and anyone who reads the decision can see that plainly.

Indeed the majority of the Supreme Court states just this in yesterday’s opinion:

Miller did not hold that and cannot possibly be read to have held that. [empasis added – CN] The judgment in the case upheld against a Second Amendment challenge two men’s federal convictions for transporting an unregistered short-barreled shotgun in interstate commerce, in violation of the National Firearms Act, 48 Stat. 1236. It is entirely clear that the Court’s basis for saying that the Second Amendment did not apply was not that the defendants were “bear[ing] arms” not “for . . . military purposes” but for “nonmilitary use,” post, at 2. Rather, it was that the type of weapon at issue was not eligible for Second Amendment protection: “In the absence of any evidence tending to show that the possession or use of a [shortbarreledshotgun] at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument.” 307 U. S., at 178 (emphasis added).

“Certainly,” the Court continued, “it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense.” Ibid. Beyond that, the opinion provided no explanation of the content of the right. This holding is not only consistent with, but positively suggests, that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to keep and bear arms (though only arms that “have some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia”). Had the Court believed that the Second Amendment protects only those serving in the militia, it would have been odd to examine the character of the weapon rather than simply note that the two crooks were not militiamen.
Justice Breyer in his dissent pointed to ordinances at the times of the Founders for firearms and ammunition storage to prevent fire hazards as a defense to his notion that the Second Amendment allows any and all local regulation by the local government – even gun bans. Saying that local regulations and the Second Amendment are not inconsistant and this is an example why the DC gun ban would have been perfectly fine according to the Founders. Laughable arguments like this and this joker is on the Supreme Court of the United States…. amazing.
So what is it that possesses people to quite frankly lie through their teeth about a ruling that anyone can plainly look up, read, and understand? It is testimony that for too many people in power, the ends justifies the means and if lying to students, abandoning the public trust given to you and lying about easily proven history to enforce your ideological views is what is needed, than so be it.

I have noticed another tactic as used by the revisionists as well, and that is to deliberately try to confuse quotes from the founders when it comes to references to the organized militia (which could be the National Guard) and the unorganized militia of the people which is often what the founders repeatedly referred to when addressing the arms in civilian hands issue as the whole body of the people. Ironically US Code also defines and distinguishes the difference between the organized and the unorganized militia as well.

Be sure to read my original analysis of Heller here:

Chuck Norton


WSJ – Leftist Justices In Denial of History and the Law

Supreme Court Binds Second Amendment to States


Posted in Academic Misconduct, Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Other Links | 1 Comment »


Posted by iusbvision on June 26, 2008

UPDATED: See Below

You have a constitutional right to own a handgun. Handgun bans are now unconstitutional.**

AND laws requiring trigger locks or other devices and methods so that such weapons may not be readily used for self defense are also unconstitutional.**

** In principal – Since the suit was brought in the District of Columbia the matter of incorporating the Second Amendment to the states was not before the court. As a rule the court only deals with the question directly in front of it, “Are gun bans in federal districts such as D.C. constitutional.” A lawsuit from one of the states that have a gun ban will have to follow to incorporate this to the states. It is reasonable to assume that lower courts who respect president will follow suit with this ruling, but since it was not in one of the states judges in circuits outside of D.C. may act in such a way as to kick the decision upstairs. Many circuits such as the Ninth openly buck president and keep the Supreme Court busy with reversing them.  – Chuck Norton


The Court has released the opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290), on whether the District’s firearms regulations – which bar the possession of handguns and require shotguns and rifles to be kept disassembled or under trigger lock – violate the Second Amendment. The ruling below, which struck down the provisions in question, is affirmed.

Justice Scalia wrote the opinion. Justice Breyer dissented, joined by Justices Stevens, Souter and Ginsburg. We will provide a link to the decision as soon as it is available.

More updates soon, but in short the Supreme Court has reversed decades of rulings in which the lower courts deliberately misinterpreted the Second Amendment in order to keep guns out of the hands of black Americans. Note: the Miller case in 1939 did not rule that citizens did not have a right to keep and bear arms, the court ruled that citizens have the right to own military infantry small arms, the government made the case that short barrelled shotguns have no military value and thus are not covered by the Second Amendment. Miller died before the Supreme Court heard arguments on the case so his side could not give a proper representation. The military uses short barreled shotguns as infantry weapons to this day. The current short barreled military shotgun is the Mossburg 590 (update: my interpretation of the Miller decision is parroted by Juctice Scalia below).

The usual suspects who treat each court session as their yearly constitutional convention dissented in the case.

The full decision is here:

Chuck Norton


Here is a summary of the decision:


1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a

firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for

traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

Pp. 2–53.

(a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but

does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative

clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it

connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2–22.

(b) The prefatory clause comports with the Court’s interpretation

capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists

feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in

order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing

army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress

power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear

arms, so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved.

Pp. 22–28.

(c) The Court’s interpretation is confirmed by analogous arms bearing

rights in state constitutions that preceded and immediately

followed the Second Amendment. Pp. 28–30.

(d) The Second Amendment’s drafting history, while of dubious

interpretive worth, reveals three state Second Amendment proposals

that unequivocally referred to an individual right to bear arms.

Pp. 30–32.

(e) Interpretation of the Second Amendment by scholars, courts

and legislators, from immediately after its ratification through the

late 19th century also supports the Court’s conclusion. Pp. 32–47.

(f) None of the Court’s precedents forecloses the Court’s interpretation.

Neither United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553, nor

Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, 264–265, refutes the individual rights

interpretation. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, does not

limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather

limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by

the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes. Pp. 47–54.

In reading the decision Scalia posts point by point refutation of the dissenting justices in the footnotes at the bottom of almost every page. Scalia sources every detail of his logic, reasoning and history. This is perhaps one of the most scholarly, well documented and unassailable decisions in court history.

Scalia delivers sourced definitions of each word in the Second Amendment and also quotes each Supreme Court decision in the past that defined such terms, such as these exerpts from  the decision:

What is more, in all six other provisions of the Constitution

that mention “the people,” the term unambiguously

refers to all members of the political community, not an

unspecified subset. As we said in United States v. Verdugo-

Urquidez, 494 U. S. 259, 265 (1990):


From our review of founding-era sources, we conclude

that this natural meaning was also the meaning that

“bear arms” had in the 18th century. In numerous instances,

“bear arms” was unambiguously used to refer to

the carrying of weapons outside of an organized militia.

The most prominent examples are those most relevant to

the Second Amendment: Nine state constitutional provisions

written in the 18th century or the first two decades

of the 19th, which enshrined a right of citizens to “bear

arms in defense of themselves and the state” or “bear arms

in defense of himself and the state.” 8 It is clear from those

formulations that “bear arms” did not refer only to carry-ing

a weapon in an organized military unit. Justice James

Wilson interpreted the Pennsylvania Constitution’s arms bearing

right, for example, as a recognition of the natural

right of defense “of one’s person or house”—what he called

the law of “self preservation.” 2 Collected Works of James

Wilson1142, and n. x (K. Hall & M. Hall eds. 2007) (citing

Pa.Const., Art. IX, §21 (1790)); see also T. Walker, Introduction

to American Law 198 (1837) (“Thus the right of

self-defence [is] guaranteed by the [Ohio] constitution”);

see also id., at 157 (equating Second Amendment with

that provision of the Ohio Constitution). That was also

the interpretation of those state constitutional provisions

adopted by pre-Civil War state courts.9 These provisions

demonstrate—again, in the most analogous linguistic

context—that “bear arms” was not limited to the carrying

of arms in a militia.

And even if “keep and bear Arms” were a

unitary phrase, we find no evidence that it bore a military

meaning. Although the phrase was not at all common

(which would be unusual for a term of art), we have found

instances of its use with a clearly nonmilitary connotation.

In a 1780 debate in the House of Lords, for example, Lord

Richmond described an order to disarm private citizens

(not militia members) as “a violation of the constitutional

right of Protestant subjects to keep and bear arms for

their own defense.” 49 The London Magazine or Gentleman’s

Monthly Intelligencer 467 (1780). In response,

another member of Parliament referred to “the right of

bearing arms for personal defence,” making clear that no

special military meaning for “keep and bear arms” was

intended in the discussion. Id., at 467–468.

c. Meaning of the Operative Clause. Putting all of

these textual elements together, we find that they guarantee

the individual right to possess and carry weapons in

case of confrontation. This meaning is strongly confirmed

by the historical background of the Second Amendment.

We look to this because it has always been widely understood

that the Second Amendment, like the First and

Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right. The

very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes

the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it

“shall not be infringed.” As we said in United States v.

Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553 (1876), “[t]his is not a right

granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner

dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The

Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed

. . . .”

Laws against body armor may also be unconstitutional as body armor is included in the definition of arms in the decision:

The 1773 edition of Samuel Johnson’s dictionary defined “arms” as “weapons of offence, or armour of defence.” 1 Dictionary of the English Language 107 (4th ed.) (hereinafter Johnson). Timothy Cunningham’s important 1771 legal dictionary defined “arms” as “any thing that a man wears for his defence, or takes into his hands, or useth in wrath to cast at or strike another.” 1 A New and Complete Law Dictionary (1771);



The founders made it as crystal clear that the Second Amendment is an individual right just as the First Amendment is. The fact that the court affirmed the right to bear arms should not be news. The news is that four justices on the court sought to take that right away form us. It speaks volumes about how important getting good justices on the court is.


Four justices saught to declare the second amendment extinct. They saught to amend the Bill of Rights away at the bench. If that doesn’t explain what these people have in mind for this country I don’t know what else does.

Limbaugh is quite right, five justices is all that stands in the way between freedom and tyranny in this country. Sometimes they choose freedom, sometimes they choose tyranny, and sometimes they just abide the law in its context when it was created, but for today, at least the reset button is still intact.





Exerpt from Justice Stevens dissent:


The Court would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the

Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to

elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons,

and to authorize this Court to use the common-law

process of case-by-case judicial lawmaking to define the

contours of acceptable gun control policy.

This statement is stunning. Any first semester civics student, American history student, or first year law student knows that the Bill of Rights has one purpose – to chain and restrict the power of the government. The Bill of Rights was created and implemented to help gain the support of the Anti-federalists.  Its purpose as a matter of history and law could not be more clear or established.


Planet Earth to Justice Stevens– the Bill of Rights and indeed the Second Amendment was precisely created to limit the ability of elected officials, or anyone in the government, to restict the civilian’s right to keep and bear arms. Just as the First Amendment was created to limit elected officials (or unelected for that matter) ability to restrict the freedom of speech and conscience of the people, just as the Eighth Amendment was created to limit elected officials from imposing cruel and unusual punishments. The restriction of bearing arms has been the pretext for nearly every great tyranny in history. The British declaration of rights that previously enumerated a right to keep and bear arms was made in direct response to previous abuses by the government and that is why it was a predecessor to our own Bill of Rights and Second Amendment. “The  right to keep and bear arns shall not be infringed.”


Stevens just ruled with the majority YESTERDAY in Kennedy vs. Louisiana that the Eighth Amendment limited the Louisiana State Legislature from imposing the death penalty for child rape. It is amazing how his entire interpreting view of the Constitution can change in a day. This is exactly the type of situational ethics that would be tyrants use in their reasoning.



WSJ – Leftist Justices In Denial of History and the Law

Supreme Court Binds Second Amendment to States



Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Firearms | Leave a Comment »

University of California: We Refuse to Abide by Free Speech Law

Posted by iusbvision on June 23, 2008

UPDATED – See Below:

In a recent blog post The Vision informed its readers about the latest trend in abusing free speech on campus – firing or punishing the student club advisor or student newspaper advisor for the speech of students or for the act of daring to defend the free speech rights of students.

The State of California saw so many problems with this type of childish and Stalinist behavior by university administrators that it passed a law protecting such advisors who defend student’s free speech from retaliation.

Inside Higher Education Magazine published an article stating that University of California has no intention of abiding by the law (hat tip FIRE):

Above the Law?

Student newspaper advisers are something of an endangered species these days. They often get caught in the middle when administrators and student journalists clash over content, and in more than a few cases on college campuses in recent years, advisers – sometimes faculty members with tenure or tenurelike protections, but often vulnerable staff members – have found themselves losing their jobs. (High school newspaper advisers are even more vulnerable.)

“All you have to do is look around the country to see how many conflicts there are,” said Mark Goodman, the Knight Chair of Scholastic Journalism at Kent State University and former executive director of the Student Press Law Center. “This has really gained steam.”

It was with several recent such controversies in mind, and numerous instances of censorship at high schools in California, that the state’s Legislature overwhelmingly approved legislation this month that would prohibit a college or school district from firing, suspending or otherwise retaliating against an employee for acting to protect a student’s free speech. Last week, with the measure, SB 1370, sailing for passage and a trip to the governor’s office for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s hoped-for signature, the University of California quietly revealed its opposition to the bill.

In a letter to State Sen. Leland Yee, the legislation’s sponsor,a lobbyist for the university system “respectfully” warned Yee that the university did not expect to abide by the requirement if it was enacted. “The University of California must maintain its ability to correct situations in which a member of its teaching corps or a University employee has failed to comply with academic teaching standards, violated UC policies, broken rules or laws, or misused University resources.” wrote Happy Chastain, senior legislative director for state government relations in the UC president’s office. “Under the provisions of SB 1370, UC is concerned that its ability to act in such circumstances would be restricted and expose the University to frivolous and unwarranted litigation.”

The last-minute opposition from UC officials infuriated Yee and other supporters of the bill. Not only did they challenge the university’s logic for fighting the measure, disputing the suggestion that it would restrict its institutions’ ability to punish faculty members who teach inappropriate material in the classroom; more broadly, they also expressed surprise that the university could assert the right notto abide by the law. “We think their interpretation is wrong,” said Adam Keigwin, a spokesman for Senator Yee.

SB 1370 is only the latest piece of legislation aimed at ensuring the speech rights of student journalists. At the core of the effort is 1992’s California Education Code Section 66301, broadly protected the right of college students not to be punished solely “on the basis of conduct that is speech or other communication that, when engaged in outside a campus of those institutions, is protected from governmental restriction by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution” or California’s own Constitution.

The reason Yee followed up with the pending legislation, SB 1370, said Keigwin, his aide, is because campus media advisers are often thrust into the position of defending (or not defending) the student journalists whose work they oversee. If campus administrators can readily dismiss a faculty or staff member who stands up for student journalists, and replace him or her with someone who won’t, Yee asserts, the 2006 legislation can be seriously undermined.

“Since administrators are unable [under AB2851] to exercise prior restraint with regard to a student publication, they lean on advisers to do what they legally cannot,” said Jim Ewert, legal counsel for the California Newspaper Publishers Association, which supports the Yee measure. “When advisers refuse, they are punished because administrators know they will face no legal consequences. SB 1370 is necessary to close this gaping loophole in the law.”

U of C came up with a red herring of an argument as to why they believe that they should be able to violate the law:

“The letter cites as a hypothetical example a math instructor who allowed a student to promote opinions unrelated to the subject during class time, suggesting that under the law, the university would be prohibited from punishing the teacher for tolerating the disruptive student speech,” Goodman, the Kent State professor, wrote in a post on the blog of the Center for Scholastic Journalism. “Of course, the letter never explains why the University believes that off-topic student speech in the classroom would be protected by the law in the first place, a requirement for the university employee protections of the bill to come into play.”

Professor Goodman is quite correct. Why? Because if a student filibusters a math class by repeatedly asking questions about psychology for example, such an action would fall under what is known in free speech saw as a “hecklers veto”. A hecklers veto is speech that is designed to interfere with another’s right to hear the speech of someone else; in this case the students right to hear a math professor teach math in a math class. Anyone with basic understanding of communications law knows this. No law would protect a heckler under such circumstances.

U of C has a history of violating the freedom of speech and conscience of its students, such as when it censored an “affirmative action bake sale” held by students who oppose race based preferences and other forms of race based discrimination.

U of C is acting disgracefully, but like so many colleges across the country they say that they care about free speech and conscience all the while engaging in retaliation, coercion and intimidation to crush some who would speak against the campus orthodoxy. It is a problem in the IU system as well as many others as The Vision explored here

and here

Here is just one of example of university retaliation against a student newspaper advisor here from the Student Press Law Center:

Three editors at the Ocean County College student newspaper, the Viking News, filed a lawsuit in May against college President Jon Larson and several other administrators after the school removed longtime newspaper adviser Karen Bosley. The lawsuit alleges that Bosley’s removal was the result of retaliation for several stories the newspaper wrote critical of the school’s administration. The preliminary injunction is a decision that will allow Bosley to continue to advise the Viking News while the lawsuit is underway. Bosley has filed a similar separate lawsuit.

In his opinion, Judge Stanley R. Chesler wrote that the school’s decision to remove Bosley had violated the students’ First Amendment rights.

Chuck Norton

UPDATE – One might have thought that after getting their legal heads handed back to them on a platter by FIRE and Alliance Defense Fund in a court case they were forced to settle, California’s state funded university system would have learned, but appearently soviet standards of justice and freedom of speech have deep roots:

Student Free Speech is Finally Free in California
March 24, 2008

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) Center for Academic Freedom has reached a settlement with California State University (CSU) system officials to eliminate problematic restrictions on student speech at all 23 of the system’s schools.

“Christian and conservative students shouldn’t be penalized for expressing their beliefs,” said David Hacker, ADF litigation staff counsel. “The university is supposed to be the ‘marketplace of ideas,’ but these ‘speech codes,’ with few exceptions, were selectively applied. This settlement benefits everyone who cherishes their First Amendment rights.”

A federal judge suspended or limited aspects of the CSU speech policy last year, saying it contains serious constitutional problems.

As part of the settlement, portions of the Cal State system “speech code,” the San Francisco State University Student Organization Handbook “speech code,” and the SFSU harassment policy will be modified to eliminate unconstitutional restrictions that have been misused by university officials.

ADF sued on behalf of the College Republicans, in conjunction with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Other Links | 1 Comment »

FACTCHECK.ORG: Obama is Lying About McCain’s Money and His Own

Posted by iusbvision on June 22, 2008


The amount of special interest money pouring into the Obama campaign is why he has flip-flopped and opted out of the public finance system. Obama is the first presidential candidate to opt out of this system, designed to lessen the influence of special interests, since 1972.


Obama said his reason for opting out of the system was this:

Obama: We face opponents who’ve become masters at gaming this broken system. John McCain’s campaign and the Republican National Committee are fueled by contributions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs. says:

Obama announced he would become the first presidential candidate since 1972 to rely totally on private donations for his general election campaign, opting out of the system of public financing and spending limits that was put in place after the Watergate scandal.

One reason, he said, is that “John McCain’s campaign and the Republican National Committee are fueled by contributions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs.”

We find that to be a large exaggeration and a lame excuse. In fact, donations from PACs and lobbyists make up less than 1.7 percent of McCain’s total receipts, and they account for only about 1.1 percent of the RNC’s receipts.

To say that either the McCain campaign or the RNC are “fueled” by money from lobbyists and PACs is an overstatement, to say the least. Such funds make up less than 1.7 percent of McCain’s presidential campaign receipts and 1.1 percent of the RNC’s income.

McCain – As of the end of April, the McCain campaign had reported receiving $655,576 from lobbyists, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That is less than seven-tenths of 1 percent of his total receipts of $96,654,783. His campaign also took in $960,990 from PACs, amounting to just under 1 percent of total receipts. The two sources combined make up less than 1.7 percent of his total.

RNC – The Republican National Committee has raised $143,298,225, of which only $135,000 has been come from lobbyists, according to the CRP. That’s less than one-tenth of 1 percent. It also took in about 1 percent of its receipts from PACs, CRP said. Taken together, that’s about 1.1 percent from PACs and lobbyists.

The Obama campaign already has raised $265 million through the end of April, more than two-and-a-half times as much as McCain has taken in.

Obama makes a point of refusing money from those who are currently registered to lobby at the federal level. The CRP has a broader definition, counting money from anyone working at a lobbying firm, registered or not, state or federal, and their families as well. By CRP’s definition Obama himself has taken in $161,927 from lobbyists.

Also, for what it’s worth, the Democratic National Committee has historically been far more reliant on PAC and lobbyist money than the RNC. In 2004, PACs provided about 10 percent of the DNC’s total fundraising and only about 1 percent of the RNC’s total, according to the CRP.



According to CRP’s definition of special interest money here is the list of the top 20 donors to the Obama campaign.


Goldman Sachs $571,330
University of California $437,236
UBS AG $364,806
JPMorgan Chase & Co $362,207
Citigroup Inc $358,054
National Amusements Inc $320,750
Lehman Brothers $318,647
Google Inc $309,514
Harvard University $309,025
Sidley Austin LLP $294,245
Skadden, Arps et al $270,013
Time Warner $262,677
Morgan Stanley $259,876
Jones Day $250,725
Exelon Corp $236,211
University of Chicago $218,857
Wilmerhale LLP $218,680
Latham & Watkins $218,615
Microsoft Corp $209,242
Stanford University $195,262



Obama also claims that he doesn’t take money from energy companies – but once again says otherwise:


Obama says he doesn’t take money from oil companies. We say that’s a little too slick

In a new ad, Obama says, “I don’t take money from oil companies.”

Technically, that’s true, since a law that has been on the books for more than a century prohibits corporations from giving money directly to any federal candidate. But that doesn’t distinguish Obama from his rivals in the race.

We find the statement misleading:

  • Obama has accepted more than $213,000 from individuals who work for companies in the oil and gas industry and their spouses.
  • Two of Obama’s bundlers are top executives at oil companies and are listed on his Web site as raising between $50,000 and $100,000 for the presidential hopeful.


Exxon Mobile               $30,850

Hess                             $5,200

Shell                             $9,900

Conoco Philips             $4,300

Chevron                       $9, 500

BP                                 $6,396

TOTAL – $66,146


Chuck Norton

Posted in Campaign 2008, Chuck Norton, Other Links | 1 Comment »

New York Times Publishes Name of CIA Interrogator Against CIA Request … (What No Plame Outrage?)

Posted by iusbvision on June 22, 2008

The New York Times having published classified information before that helped terrorists evade detection, has now published the name of a key CIA interrogator.


Not long ago the new York Times and the partisan left demanded an investigation over the fact that someone told columnist Robert Novak that former ambassador Joe Wilson was sent to Niger by his wife (Valerie Plame) who worked in the CIA. The media had a cow – the left screamed that the administration leaked the name of Wilson’s wife and destroyed her career because the administration sought to retaliate against Plame because her husband was a war critic. They repeatedly claimed falsely that she was an undercover agent who was endangered by the leaking of her name. It was the center of media attention for two years.

 Let Us Review Shall We?

 When it was all over we learned that:


Wilson lied when he said in his letter to the New York Times saying that he found no evidence that Saddam was trying to buy Uranium from Niger. The CIA made it clear that Wilson’s briefing actually supported the case that Saddam was trying to acquire more uranium.


Wilson lied when he led the press to believe that the Office of the Vice President sent him on his mission to Niger. After all, Wilson was a known Democratic partisan insider so why would Cheney’s office send him on a misison?


Wilson was caught lying when he denied that it was his wife’s (Valerie Plame) influence that got him sent on the mission to Niger when internal CIA memo’s made it clear that is exactly what happened.


Wilson lied to the press about his partisan affiliations and activities.


Wilson lied about his wife being undercover and lied about how it was the administration that blew her cover for retaliation. The New York Times even reported in a buried story by Nicholas Kritoff that her cover was blown way back in 1994 when lists of CIA assets were released due to Aldrich Ames and other circumstances. Plame had been a desk jockey at Langley ever since.


The CIA did not make Wilson sign the usual non-disclosure agreement for his mission when civilians are employed as a CIA asset and that is highly unusual.


Plame engaged in reported partisan activities after she left undercover work in 1994 including making donations to Democrats large enough to have her name and employer appear on Federal Election Commission Reports.


Democrats, along with the New York Times, demanded the appointment of a special prosecutor. The prosecuotor in a short time not only knew who gave Bob Novak the name, but he also knew that Novak called the CIA up and asked for verification of Plame’s employment status and the CIA did so.


The special prosecutor threw reporters in jail for not releasing the names of sources when he already knew who the sources were. The special prosecutor prosecuted Lewis Libby for perjury when his testimony did not match his notes. In spite of the fact that the witnesses in the case showed that they had problems with recalling the events of years before just as Libby did.


Richard Armitage, a bureacrat who has always been a known Washigton gossiper, was aware through gossip circles that it was Plame who sent her husband to Niger ( and not the office of the VP) and it was Armitage who gave Novak the information. This proved that there was no attempt at retaliation by the Bush machine and that the actions that were taken by the Whitehouse were just an effort to correct the record of Wilson’s lies.


The prosecutor gave press briefings accusing the administration of leaking CIA assets names in a quest for retaliation, but when pressed by reporters admitted that such a thing did not apply to the Libby case, and said that no one would be charged with leaking a CIA assets name. Plame did not qualify for protection under the statute because she had not been undercover for at least five years and the fact that the Wilson’s own actions and lies made certain that their names would be made very public was becoming harder and harder to ignore.


Of course the real story is –when someone lies in a letter published by the New York Times as Wilson did, and lies about who and how he was sent there and continued to lie about the issues surrounded it – should you really be surprised that the Washington press corps is going to get down to the bottom of it and find the name of the person who took the actions to send Wilson to Niger?  Should you be surprised when a bi-partisan senate commission to investigate the matter shows Wilson to be the liar that he is?  All the while his wife, Valerie Plame, artfully refuses to answer the key questions surrounding her role in it?


Well eventually the partisan fervor by the biased antique press faded and they felt the need to reclaim their lost credibility on the matter as in this case when the Washington Post decided that it has had enough:


It follows that one of the most sensational charges leveled against the Bush White House — that it orchestrated the leak of Ms. Plame’s identity to ruin her career and thus punish Mr. Wilson — is untrue. The partisan clamor that followed the raising of that allegation by Mr. Wilson in the summer of 2003 led to the appointment of a special prosecutor, a costly and prolonged investigation, and the indictment of Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, on charges of perjury. All of that might have been avoided had Mr. Armitage’s identity been known three years ago.

Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame’s CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming — falsely, as it turned out — that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush’s closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It’s unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.


And this brings us to todays outrage… 

Now, the same New York Times who gleefully led the charge to falsely accuse the Bush Administration of leaking a CIA assets name in an effort to get revenge against a war critic’s husband, while all but ignoring evidence that Wilson and Plame behaved most dishonestly, has now published the name of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s chief CIA interrogator against the wishes of the CIA who asked them not to. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was the mastermind behind the September 11th attacks of 2001.


The New York Times has made repeated allegations of torture (still unproven) against the CIA and opposes CIA secret prisons for high intelligence enemy combatants, so it has once again taken to publishing classified information and/or endangering the lives of CIA employees and others in an effort to stop the programs and punish those involved.

In yet another disgrace to journalistic ethics by the New York Times the story is here.


It is no secret that I am a huge champion of free speech, but free speech does not cover publishing of classified information during a time of war and it does not include publishing the names of CIA employees on the spear of the war effort. Publishing classified information is a crime, it is a shame that the administration has not chosen to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.  John McCain has hinted that there should be such prosecutions. Only time will tell.


Where is the outrage at the New York Times for publishing a CIA asset’s name? Is there a better example of the hypocritical nature of the far left and the Washington press corps?


Chuck Norton

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100 Profs at University of Chicago: No Milton Friedman Institute (…because he was an evil conservative) – UPDATED!

Posted by iusbvision on June 20, 2008

UPDATED – See Below

In the third great Hat Tip from FIRE in a week’s time – this example of academic censorship and bias is one of the most obvious and outrageous as I have encountered.

The University of Chicago has committed to a new Milton Friedman Institute at their school of economics. Friedman’s contributions to the field of economics have become a staple of the field recognized by any legitimate economist.

However 100 leftist professors from the University of Chicago signed a letter asking the university to “divest” from the venture” ( Via FIRE ):


In a group letter, these faculty members express that they are “disturbed by the ideological and disciplinary preference implied by the University’s massive support for the economic and political doctrines that have extended from Friedman’s work.” In particular, they argue, “When the University of Chicago invests so heavily in culturally and politically conservative thought we wonder about its commitment to strong intellectual diversity in the tradition of the Kalven Report.”


To put it simply Friedman was an economic conservative/libertarian and these leftist professors want his work and research into his work censored for all practical purposes by the University of Chicago solely based on Friedman’s legitimate and hailed viewpoint.  

Of course, there is no shortage of Marxist theory on most any campus and like some classes here at IUSB where Marxism is taught as the only academic truth.

FIRE’s Adam Kissel, who has been a close friend to IUSB in the effort to preserve freedom of conscience and speech on campus hits a home run saying:


If this is enough to establish that a program mandates an orthodoxy, I fear for the Center for Gender Studies, the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, the Core curriculum courses on “Colonizations“-and even the History Department, which explicitly advertises an unequal commitment to “interdisciplinary and comparative history” versus other kinds of history. I am even more fearful for the entire School of Social Work Administration, which declares in its mission statement that “In most cases, alleviating distress requires an emphasis on helping individuals and families acquire the resources, skills, and authority to secure adequate solutions to their own problems.” A witch-hunt for orthodoxy-like statements only leads to a lot of drownings of false witches.

I wonder if this foray is really just a matter of money. I really do not think the dissenting faculty members think they can win divestment from Milton Friedman, but I think they do believe they are playing for more investment for their own politicized causes. In one of the concluding statements in the letter, the faculty members state that “the University now has the opportunity to provide roughly equivalent resources for critical scholarly work that seeks out alternatives …”


Like most universities, the University of Chicago is rife with ideologically unbalanced (and that is being generous) programs and schools of study packed with Marxist professors (I bet I can count at least 100….).

This is yet another of thousands of examples why intellectual diversity on campus has devolved to being almost a complete joke. It is a part of the climate of censorship and coercive behavior that has become all to common at so many universities.

Chuck Norton



National Review and the Chicago Tribune chime in here:

One of the main opponents of naming the center after Friedman is U.C. divinity professor Bruce Lincoln, who trumpets his commitment to intellectual diversity by teaching a course critical of “The Theology of George W. Bush.” Lincoln is shaking in his boots:

‘It is a right-wing think tank being put in place … The long-term consequences will be very severe. This will be a flagship entity and it will attract a lot of money and a lot of attention, and I think work at the university and the university’s reputation will take a serious rightward turn to the detriment of all.’


As you can see, the marxist profs are upholding their usual standards for the promotion of intellectual diversity and freedom that rival even the soviets.

The July 12 New York Times had a decent yet incomplete story how campus marxists are still trying to stop the Milton Friedman Insitute –

Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton | 3 Comments »

FIRE: IU Southeast Speech Code is “Laughably Unconstitutional”

Posted by iusbvision on June 19, 2008

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) posted an entry on their blog about the IU Southeast’s illegal speech code. The blog, called “The Torch” is often entertaining and informative, but this post will prove to be a favorite.


June 18, 2008

University Nixes Naughty Faxes

 By Samantha Harris

Every day, I catalog the myriad ways in which universities restrict their students’ free speech rights. As someone who believes deeply in individual liberties, this work can get depressing. Every so often, however, I come across a speech code so ludicrous that it introduces a little levity into my otherwise serious work. Today, I found just such a policy at Indiana University Southeast. IU Southeast maintains a laundry list of behaviors “related to sexual harassment,” including “suggestive or insulting sounds,” “sexist jokes or humor,” and “gender specific insults or comments.” All of these restrictions are constitutionally suspect, since most speech falling into those categories is entirely constitutionally protected. But it was this example that really caught my eye: “faxes sexual in nature.” Really? Are naughty faxes a common enough problem to warrant being added to a list of supposedly harassing behaviors? Unless something very strange is afoot at IU Southeast, my guess would be no. And yet, a consensus of supposedly reasonable administrators decided to include this in the policy. I would love to have been present for the discussion at that meeting. (Just like I would love to have been at the meeting at UW-Oshkosh where they decided to ban “staring at a man’s derriere”…I’ve always wanted to know, did they run through a list of synonyms for rear end before settling on “derriere”? Was a vote taken?)

I often refer to university speech codes as “laughably unconstitutional,” but these policies take that phrase to a whole new level.


The speech code is here

I took a screenshot of the page because if IU Southeast has a lick of sense they would pull this page down asap and abandon the policy. Of course I would not be surprised if they just took down the page and left the policy intact.


Rediculous parts of this policy include:


  • Sexist jokes or humor (Vagina Monologues?)
  • Suggestive or insulting Sounds (Vagina Monologues?)
  • Gender specific insults or comments (Vagina Monologues?)
  • Unwanted sexual invitations, propositions, or pressure
  • Leering, ogling, and obscene gestures (Vagina Monologues?)
  • E-mails, faxes sexual in nature
  • Circulating sexually explicit materials (Vagina Monologues?)
  • You can be certain that the Vagina Monologues could not have a chance to escape the letter of this policy, but like on so many university campuses, such policies are selectively interpreted and misapplied to suit the situational ethics, ideology and bias of those either enforcing the policy or making the charge.

    Gender Specific Comments Former Harvard President Larry Summers was asked why it was that he thought that women are represented in fewer numbers in the sciences as compared to other areas of academics.  After talking about discrimination he said that perhaps women just might be interested in areas other than science.  He was hounded out of office by a politically correct witch hunt. NO one could answer the question posed to President Summers without violating this policy.

    Unwanted sexual invitations – asking someone on a date – asking someone for a hug or a kiss – is banned by this policy or at very minimum puts you totally at the mercy of someone else.
    Leering – If a couple is in a relationship they often make certain glances or stare at each other – they have just created a hostile environment and are sexually harassing people.

    Emails, faxes, suggestive sounds etc etc – If someone (read the politically correct protected group or victim) is offended under this policy then the other party is guilty. None of these meet the standard as being actionable under the legal tests established in case law. Case law makes it clear that offensive speech and actions are constitutionally protected and it is not until such actions rise to the level of the legal definitions of genuine sexual harassment or is so disruptive that it genuinely interferes with the university mission to educate does it become actionable. Universities can limit vulgar expression to a degree (prurient nudity, pornographic displays, etc).

    There is no way that IU Southeast’s policy can be enforced equitably or legally. Therefore I may have to take a trip to IU Southeast and ask those tasked with enforcing this ridiculous policy out on a date, and dare them to enforce it as I have a sneaking suspicion that FIRE’s legal network would find it most entertaining and gratifying to have this speech code thrown out by the court.

    A very special Hat Tip to FIRE’s Samantha Harris for knocking this one out of the park.

    Chuck Norton

    Posted in Chuck Norton, Other Links | 1 Comment »

    California Assemmbly Passes Bill to Protect Student Advisors who Defend Student’s Free Speech Rights

    Posted by iusbvision on June 17, 2008

    Assembly Approves Bill to Protect School Employees and Student Speech (Hat Tip FIRE)
    Monday, June 16, 2008
    Press Release – Legislation follows 2006 law that protects students to also protect teachers

    SACRAMENTO – On a bipartisan 66-5 vote, the California State Assembly today approved legislation to protect high school and college teachers and other employees from retaliation by administrators as a result of student speech, which most often happens when a journalism advisor or professor is disciplined for content in a student newspaper. The bill, which was approved by the Senate in April on a 35-2 vote, only requires a procedural concurrence vote in the Senate before consideration by the Governor.

    Senate Bill 1370 by Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) follows a 2006 law also authored by Yee which prohibits censorship of student press by administrators and protects students from being disciplined for engaging in speech or press activities.

    There have been a number of documented cases throughout the state of journalism advisors being dismissed or reassigned due to student speech. In fact, Senator Yee’s office has learned of cases in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Claremont, Fremont, Novato, Oxnard, Rialto, and Garden Grove.

    “With SB 1370, California continues to lead the way in making sure true freedom of the press is alive and well on our campuses,” said Yee. “Allowing a school administration to censor in any way is contrary to the democratic process and the ability of a student newspaper to serve as the watchdog and bring sunshine to the actions of school administrators. It is quite disheartening to hear, that after we specifically prohibited prior restraint by administrators, that some are engaging in this type of nefarious activity and even firing quality teachers because of content in the student newspaper.”

    Specifically, SB 1370 would prohibit an employee from being dismissed, suspended, disciplined, reassigned, transferred, or otherwise retaliated against for acting to protect a student’s speech.

    A Los Angeles Unified School District case is one of many where a highly respected and successful newspaper advisor was removed from his position. In November 2006, the student newspaper published an editorial criticizing random searches conducted on campus. The newspaper advisor, Darryl Adams, was immediately removed after refusing to eliminate the editorial at the principal’s request. Adams was later removed as basketball coach and even as announcer for the football games.

    “In a span of four months, they all but stripped me of my professional existence,” said Adams.

    Another case involved Janet Ewell, a Garden Grove tenured teacher and certified journalism educator, who was removed as newspaper advisor in 2002 despite her students winning numerous journalism awards. The school’s principal admitted to student reporters that he had removed Ewell as a result of editorials that ran in the school newspaper. The editorials focused on such issues as the school bathrooms, cafeteria food and a teacher who was unavailable to help students.

    Ronnie Campagna, a journalism teacher of 18 years at San Marin High School in Novato, was removed in 2003 and replaced by a new teacher with no previous journalism experience after the student paper published stories critical of the administration. For example, one story criticized the school administration for not letting students stand up in the bleachers during varsity basketball games. The school board went so far as to attempt dissolving the entire program until parents protested and even offered to fund the class themselves.

    In San Francisco, journalism and English teacher Katharine Swan was told that she must find a different school in which to teach after her students covered a first-year principal’s attempts to effect prior restraint and influence coverage of events occurring at the school.

    “Since administrators are unable by law to exercise prior restraint with regard to a student publication, they lean on advisers to do what they legally cannot,” said Jim Ewert, Legal Counsel for the California Newspaper Publishers Association (CNPA). “When advisers refuse, they are punished because administrators know they will face no legal consequences. SB 1370 is necessary to close this gaping loophole in the law.”

    Recently, the Newspaper Association of America Foundation released a study that found students who work on high school newspapers and yearbooks are more likely to receive better grades in high school and college as well as score higher on college entrance exams.

    Senator Leland Y. Yee, Ph.D.

    Senator Leland Y. Yee, Ph.D. (D-CA)

    In addition to support from CNPA, SB 1370 is endorsed by the California Teachers Association, California Federation of Teachers, California School Employees Association, California State Student Association, Associated Students of the University of California (Davis), California School Employees Association, California State University Employees Union, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), State Employees Trades Council, Council of University of California Faculty Associations, Service Employees International Union, California Faculty Association, California Nurses Association, American Civil Liberties Union, and California Labor Federation.

    Contact: Adam J. Keigwin,
    (916) 651-4008


    Hat Tip to FIRE’s Blog

    Chuck Norton

    Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton | 1 Comment »