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

Archive for September 21st, 2009

Bucknell University Hardens Policy Used to Shut Down Student Protests – Student Paper Threatened

Posted by iusbvision on September 21, 2009

Did the administration threaten its own student newspaper to censor it?  BUCC has a lawyer and I hope he is a good one.

FIRE’s Adam Kissel:

Red Alert: Bucknell University Hardens Policy Used to Shut Down Student Protests; Student Newspaper Rejects FIRE Ad

A culture of fear appears to be chilling expression at Bucknell University, where even the student newspaper fears a libel lawsuit from Associate Dean of Students Gerald W. Commerford if it were to print a critical advertisement from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). After Bucknell administrators misapplied and abused Bucknell’s Sales and Solicitation and nondiscrimination policies last semester to shut down the Bucknell University Conservatives Club’s (BUCC’s) protests of affirmative action and President Obama’s economic stimulus, the group turned to FIRE for help. Bucknell has expanded and hardened the language in its policies affecting such protests and still insists that “affirmative action bake sales” have no place in the public areas of the campus. FIRE now lists Bucknell as a Red Alert school, one of only six “worst of the worst” schools in America when it comes to student rights on campus.

http://www.thefire.org/article/11104.html.

Sincerely,

Adam Kissel, Director, Individual Rights Defense Program

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)

601 Walnut Street, Suite 510
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Phone: 215-717-3473; Fax: 215-717-3440

————————

Red Alert: Bucknell University Hardens Policy Used to Shut Down Student Protests; Student Newspaper Rejects FIRE Ad

LEWISBURG, Pa., September 21, 2009—A culture of fear appears to be chilling expression at Bucknell University, where even the student newspaper fears a libel lawsuit from Associate Dean of Students Gerald W. Commerford if it were to print a critical advertisement from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). After Bucknell administrators misapplied and abused Bucknell’s Sales and Solicitation and nondiscrimination policies last semester to shut down the Bucknell University Conservatives Club’s (BUCC’s) protests of affirmative action and President Obama’s economic stimulus, the group turned to FIRE for help. Bucknell has expanded and hardened the language in its policies affecting such protests and still insists that “affirmative action bake sales” have no place in the public areas of the campus. FIRE now lists Bucknell as a Red Alert school, one of only six “worst of the worst” schools in America when it comes to student rights on campus.

“Consider this: Bucknell has created a campus culture such that an independent student newspaper, The Bucknellian, won’t even print an outside advertisement critical of the university,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “Along with the college’s ban on handbills criticizing the stimulus plan and on affirmative action bake sale protests, it has become clear that Bucknell is teaching students to fear authority and keep quiet or face punishment.”

Bucknell’s most recent forays into censorship began on March 17, 2009, when BUCC members stood at Bucknell’s student center and passed out fake dollar bills with President Obama’s face on the front and the sentence “Obama’s stimulus plan makes your money as worthless as monopoly money” on the back. One hour into the protest, Bucknell administrator Judith L. Mickanis approached the students and told them that they were “busted,” that they were “soliciting” without prior approval, and that their activity was equivalent to handing out Bibles.

The students protested, but despite the fact that Bucknell’s solicitation policy explicitly covered only sales and fundraising materials, Mickanis insisted via e-mail that prior permission was needed to distribute any materials “out in the open”—“anything from Bibles to other matter.”

Then, on April 7, administrators shut down BUCC’s “affirmative action bake sale” protest, a satirical protest of race-conscious policies commonly held on campuses across the country. A video recording shows that an hour into BUCC’s protest, Commerford informed the students that he had the “opportunity” to shut down the sale because they were charging lower prices than promised for baked goods. BUCC members quickly filed an application to hold the same event two weeks later, but in a recorded conversation, Commerford said that such a bake sale would violate Bucknell’s nondiscrimination policy—even with satirical, optional pricing. He added that affirmative action “needs to be debated in its proper forum, ok, and not on the public property of the campus.”

As part of its response to these acts of censorship, FIRE attempted to place an advertisement in the first fall issue of The Bucknellian, the supposedly independent student newspaper, to alert students that Bucknell’s own promises of free speech cannot be counted on. Bucknellian Editor-in-Chief Lenore Flower refused to run the ad, however, telling FIRE on September 1 that the ad “might be construed as libel” and “could lead to legality issues for the Bucknellian.” (The ad only reflects FIRE’s opinion and therefore is not libelous by any definition.)

“First, Dean Commerford silenced the conservative club’s expression. Now, even the student newspaper is afraid to print a perfectly lawful third-party ad about it,” said Adam Kissel, Director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program. “Bucknell richly deserves its place on our Red Alert list of schools where students should think twice before jeopardizing their rights by enrolling.”

FIRE’s rejected ad in The Bucknellian was FIRE’s latest effort to convince the private university to honor its own promises to its students. After the three instances of censorship this spring, FIRE wrote Bucknell President Brian C. Mitchell, reminding him that the university’s handbook “instructs students not only that they have freedom of speech but that ‘deliberate interference’ with this freedom is prohibited.” In June, after FIRE publicized the case, Bucknell responded with false and misleading information about what actually happened, flatly contradicting the documentary evidence. FIRE wrote Bucknell a second time on June 30 to correct the record, but Bucknell refused to accept that the documentation soundly contradicted Bucknell’s position. A third letter on August 6, to Bucknell’s trustees, has gone unanswered.

As of August 25, Bucknell thus joined five other schools on FIRE’s Red Alert list of campus censors. The other schools on the list, highlighted in a full-page ad in the “ America’s Best Colleges” issue of U.S. News & World Report, are Brandeis University, Colorado College, Johns Hopkins University, Michigan State University, and Tufts University.

Over the summer, Bucknell silently expanded and renamed its Sales and Solicitation policy as “Sales and Promotions.” It now ambiguously covers promotions that “promote … causes” and does not clarify whether distributing protest literature, an American free-speech tradition which includes Thomas Paine’s pivotal Common Sense and The Crisis, still requires prior permission. “In response to national criticism about its stifling of protest on campus, the university actually made its policies more restrictive and more clearly applicable to the BUCC. Bucknell’s retrenchment against student speech in the face of criticism should concern all students and faculty at Bucknell,” Kissel said. “The new ‘promotions’ policy remains utterly inconsistent with Bucknell’s existing commitments to freedom of speech.”

Tell Bucknell administrators to stop inventing excuses and to allow its students to enjoy the free speech rights that Bucknell has promised. Write to them here.

CONTACT:

Adam Kissel, Director, Individual Rights Defense Program, FIRE: 215-717-3473; adam@thefire.org

Brian C. Mitchell, President, Bucknell University: 570-577-1515; brian.mitchell@bucknell.edu

Gerald W. Commerford, Associate Dean of Students, Bucknell University: 570-577-1634; gerald.commerford@bucknell.edu

FIRE’s work is made possible by the generosity of our individual supporters. Please click here to make your tax-deductible contribution.

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

Obama moving towards unilateral nuclear disarmament

Posted by iusbvision on September 21, 2009

If we just make ourselves more defenseless, Putin will see that we care and turn into a nice guy…..

This is the same nonsense that we have gotten from the far left and leftist academics for years. The left and leftist academics freaked when Reagan called out the USSR as an evil empire and freaked even more when Reagan used the arms race and space based missile defense to bring them to their knees. I was there and saw this first hand.

The policy of appeasement that the far left has repeatedly championed since the end of the Korean War has proved to be foolish time and time again, but as usual elitist leftists believe that the most brilliant leftists (themselves) have not tried it yet. Sean Hannity’s book “Deliver Us From Evil” explains these policies and how wrong-headed they proved to be.

The left has consistently misread the “good intentions” of our “former enemies”. Jimmy Carter and the leftists in Congress were shocked when Russia invaded Afghanistan. They were also shocked when they discovered the true nature of the radical Islamic regime in Iran that the Carter Administration actively helped come to power.

Today, when it comes to the brutality of Hugo Chavez, Castro and Daniel Ortega in the 80’s, the left was well aware that these leftist leaders were killers and thugs and they just don’t care. President Obama’s support of the former President of Honduras who tried to make himself dictator like Hugo Chavez is a prime example and so is his abandonment of US agreements to help provide missile defense for our allies in Eastern Europe to appease Russia…and Obama did this with nothing to show for it in exchange (LINK).

Putin had an agreement about his Georgia invasion that was negotiated by France. Putin stands in gross violation of that agreement to this day.

To put it in Trek terms, Putin like other militant leftist leaders is a Romulan. This means that he exploits weakness, creeps slowly and deliberately, and is predictably treacherous. He was the former head of the KGB after all.

Appeasement reflects the hope that the crocodile will eat you last – Winston Churchill.

UK Guardian:

Barack Obama has demanded the Pentagon conduct a radical review of US nuclear weapons doctrine to prepare the way for deep cuts in the country’s arsenal, the Guardian can reveal.

Obama has rejected the Pentagon’s first draft of the “nuclear posture review” as being too timid, and has called for a range of more far-reaching options consistent with his goal of eventually abolishing nuclear weapons altogether, [except for Russia’s – Editor] according to European officials.

Those options include:

• Reconfiguring the US nuclear force to allow for an arsenal measured in hundreds rather than thousands of deployed strategic warheads. [Making it much easier to take them out with a first strike – Editor]

• Redrafting nuclear doctrine to narrow the range of conditions under which the US would use nuclear weapons.

• Exploring ways of guaranteeing the future reliability of nuclear weapons without testing or producing a new generation of warheads. [Guarantee without a test..I thought this administration opposed junk science – Editor]

The review is due to be completed by the end of this year, and European officials say the outcome is not yet clear. But one official said: “Obama is now driving this process. He is saying these are the president’s weapons, and he wants to look again at the doctrine and their role.”

The move comes as Obama prepares to take the rare step of chairing a watershed session of the UN security council on Thursday. It is aimed at winning consensus on a new grand bargain: exchanging more radical disarmament by nuclear powers in return for wider global efforts to prevent further proliferation.

That bargain is at the heart of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, which is up for review next year amid signs it is unravelling in the face of Iranian and North Korean nuclear ambitions.

In an article for the Guardian today, the foreign secretary, David Miliband, argues that failure to win a consensus would be disastrous. “This is one of the most critical issues we face,” the foreign secretary writes. “Get it right, and we will increase global security, pave the way for a world without nuclear weapons, and improve access to affordable, safe and dependable energy – vital to tackle climate change. Get it wrong, and we face the spread of nuclear weapons and the chilling prospect of nuclear material falling into the hands of terrorists.”

According to a final draft of the resolution due to be passed on Thursday, however, the UN security council will not wholeheartedly embrace the US and Britain’s call for eventual abolition of nuclear weapons. Largely on French insistence, the council will endorse the vaguer aim of seeking “to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons”. [Even FRANCE says this plan is too dovish – Editor]

Gordon Brown is due to use this week’s UN general assembly meeting to renew a diplomatic offensive on Iran for its failure to comply with security council demands that it suspend enrichment of uranium. The issue has been given greater urgency by an International Atomic Energy Agency document leaked last week which showed inspectors for the agency believed Iran already had “sufficient information” to build a warhead, and had tested an important component of a nuclear device.

Germany is also expected to toughen its position on Iran ahead of a showdown between major powers and the Iranian government on 1 October. But it is not yet clear what position will be taken by Russia, which has hitherto opposed the imposition of further sanctions on Iran.

Moscow’s stance will be closely watched for signs of greater co-operation in return for Obama’s decision last week to abandon a missile defence scheme in eastern Europe, a longstanding source of irritation to Russia. [Unilateral move to make us more defenseless against Russian missiles – Editor]

“I hope the Russians realise they have to do something serious. I don’t think a deal has been done, but there is a great deal of expectation,” said a British official. [Translation: Obama is doing this without an agreement or a committment with any verification from Putin… this is tantamount to unilateral disarmament in the face of evil and what has history taught us about that? – Editor]

Russia has approximately 2,780 deployed strategic warheads, compared with around 2,100 in the US. The abandonment of the US missile defence already appears to have spurred arms control talks currently underway between Washington and Moscow: the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, said today that chances were “quite high” that a deal to reduce arsenals to 1,500 warheads each would be signed by the end of the year.

Ed Morrissey at Hotair.com comments HERE. Ed is a truly brilliant man, but I am not certain that he understands the full measure of the impact of what the Guardian is saying here.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration, Russia, Stuck on Stupid | Leave a Comment »