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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2002 7:47 pm 
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Okay . . .

Lemme get this straight: Harvard is letting an openly antisemitic, violence-advocating poet, some Irish guy named Paulin I believe, onto its grounds to give a reading of said violently antisemitic poetry. They retracted their invitation originally, but have now reinvited him, citing freedom of speech as their reasoning. Now, can understand this, and in fact I may have even supported it. Except for one little problem.

Harvard is also considering a ban on what students can say in public, citing "tolerance" and trying to prevent the hurting of its students' feelings.

What's bugging me is this . . . why, if Harvard is so concerned with making its students feel GOOD, why are they letting this guy on campus? I mean, how do they think their Jewish students feel about being told they deserve to die?

Just a thought to ponder as those of you still young enough to decide contemplate where you're going to go to college . . .

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2002 7:55 pm 
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Harvard's actually one of the most intellectually restraining campuses out there. You get a lot of the "rich white overachiever" types out there. And, yeah, it is a double standard to some degree, but going around calling people fags on campus is difficult to justify as "constitutionally protected speech", but if you make a CD and music video that make fun of fags you make millions of dollars and become world-famous. Personally I think the guy should be allowed to speak, and people should be able to say whatever the fuck they want on the college campus to other students.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2002 8:16 pm 
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Actually, the free speech argument is bull. We had a neo-Nazi by the name of Matt Hale who claimed right to free speech when Northwestern police booted him off campus, and was shortly afterwards informed that no, you do not keep your Constitutional rights on the campus of a private University.

So I dunno what their angle is, but they're under no obligation to let him speak unless unlimited free speech is part of the school's charter...which, at Harvard, would surprise me very much.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2002 9:13 pm 
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While it's true that you do not have an inalienable right to free speech at a private university, that doesn't make free speech a bad idea. On the contrary, in fact...

Long story short, I agree with Veritron on this one.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2002 12:51 am 
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Point of clarification: any speaker requested by a legitimate (meaning recognized by the university) student organization is generally allowed to speak, and there isn't much the university can do. So the legitimacy of this particular situation would depend on what Kitsune means by "invited" in the original post.

On a broader topic, I'm a big fan of private institutions' rights to determine policy within their boundries. Sort of the "you needn't pay for it if you don't want it" school of thought--there are, after all, state universities where your Constitutional freedoms are guaranteed (well, mostly--please remember, the 1st Amendment does specify "Congress shall pass no law...", and although state Constitutions also mention free speech, the rules aren't always exactly the same).

At any rate, I figure universities gives applicants plenty of information regarding all manners of educational and behavioral policy beforehand...so, if you go ahead and get it and accept it and so forth, you do agree to those (yes, they do make you and your parents sign forms to this effect). So, although I don't always agree with what they do or don't let on campus, Harvard has that right, and I think they should have it regardless of the ends they use it toward.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2002 6:12 am 
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Just a little note here-- although the First Amendment does specify that Congress alone shall pass no law restricting freedom of speech, the equal protection clause of the 14th (I think) amendment has been invoked since then to extend that protection to state (as opposed to federal) institutions.

Kind of a sneaky way to do it, but I'm all for anything that protects my rights (or grants me more, however you look at it).

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2002 12:00 pm 
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And also a clrarification for Treespeaker, about my use of "invited" . . .

Harvard itself invited the poet, not a student organization. It was the school. Not a student group or anything, because then it wouldn't be such a problem with me, because it'd be the STUDENTS' decision to let this man on campus. It was the college's decision, however, and that's why the two events have rankled me so much. They should practice what they preach.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2002 4:12 pm 
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I have to agree with you on that Kitsune. Colleges talk of wanting "diversity" and being open to ideas, but in reality they hate America and they don't care about individual rights. There is one kind of diversity they will not tolerate, and it shows in that the faculty is comprised almost totally of Democrats, who range anywhere from moderate all the way to marxist. People with Conservative or Libertarian views aren't hired and all the ideas we are force fed in college are of a far left slant. It happens to me in my Poly Sci class everyday.

The one thing I have noticed about the far left is that they will tolerate any kind of tyranny but condem the freest nation in the world for a minor moral lapse, when it is the tyrannys which deserve the condemnation. In Iran, young protestors are going up against their government, facing beatings and torture, or even death to protest their governments oppressive rule. Yet it is the thugs who go to WTO and other similar events to break people's property and loot, in order "to protest," that get the most coverage in the news and praised by liberal elites, not the true revolutionarys in Iran.

I don't think that the liberals care about freedom at all, and any liberal who claims he does is a hypocrite.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2002 4:21 pm 
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Well, I wouldn't say they "hate America". They're usually as patriotic as anyone; they just happen to have the wrong idea about what America represents. The same could be said for conservatives, really, although their major malfunction tends to center around religion rather than social welfare.

I would personally hesitate to apply the "hates America" label to any political faction; it's a cheap shot, first and foremost, but I don't think anyone that genuinely hates America the country (as opposed to hating, say, its current political state) would try to gain power over it.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2002 4:40 pm 
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You have a point about the conservatives, but it is the liberals who control the schools and universities and (most of) the media and while they claim to be in favor of freedom they will ignore the real enemies of freedom and not support those who truly fight for freedom. Why is it that I always hear about the protesters against the WTO and a war with Iraq get hailed as heroes for violence and destruction, while real heroes in Iran who face violence against themselves by their government are not given the most attention?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2002 8:02 pm 
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Oh, let's be fair...peaceful protest gets laughed at: "Bunch of nancy little liberal pantywaists!" Then violent protest gets them accused of hypocracy: "You can't fight for peace, stupid!" It's as much a lose-lose situation for the liberals as anyone.

That said, I'm actually kind of in favor of radical protests that sometimes turn violent. The other option is to leave the protesting up to the people I see in school who join groups like "Youth for Social Action," "Students Together Against Racism," "The Gay-Straight Alliance," and "The Environmental Awareness Club" so that they can put it on their resume and talk to their friends/parents about the good they're doing. I've been to meetings of all of the above, and 90% of the people draw from the ultra-trendy socialite crowd (you know, the dyed, Abercrombie-wearing blondes who drive Daddy's SUV to Environmental Awarness Club). Given that, I'd say that it's somewhat comforting to see people who are still willing to go flip some police cars or what have you to prove a point. If you really think war in Iraq or international capitalism or whatever kills hundreds; thousands of people, then smashing a few storefronts is by far the lesser of two evils.

On the note of the growing trendiness of policical activism, a classmate of mine attended a social activism camp over the summer. Beside wondering what one does at such a camp ("All right kids--lie in front of the police cars!"), I have to wonder--when did this become a socially acceptably, summer-campy, fun-for-everyone activity?

In short, my opinion on this subject is that the reformers need reforming more than the rest of the world. So, it does my heart good to see a few radicals left out there worthy of the title.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2002 10:58 pm 
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That said, I'm actually kind of in favor of radical protests that sometimes turn violent. The other option is to leave the protesting up to the people I see in school who join groups like "Youth for Social Action," "Students Together Against Racism," "The Gay-Straight Alliance," and "The Environmental Awareness Club" so that they can put it on their resume and talk to their friends/parents about the good they're doing. I've been to meetings of all of the above, and 90% of the people draw from the ultra-trendy socialite crowd (you know, the dyed, Abercrombie-wearing blondes who drive Daddy's SUV to Environmental Awarness Club). Given that, I'd say that it's somewhat comforting to see people who are still willing to go flip some police cars or what have you to prove a point. If you really think war in Iraq or international capitalism or whatever kills hundreds; thousands of people, then smashing a few storefronts is by far the lesser of two evils.


Oh god. That's all there IS in my goddamn school. It's a nightmare. I'm not exactly in favor of the "violent" protest thing exactly, but I see your point. I think the problem is that those people don't live in the real world - they see their entire reality as but mere symbols of oppression, and TALK about lifting it. If anything, there should be a protest against the likes of the liberal left being overrun with those fuckers - it's why initially I veered conservative to try to avoid those people. Our thoughts, our ideas, our goals - all our dictated by a society whose only goal is self-preservation. The advent of moral relativism and thinking of the world in a completely abstract manner has led to the nihilism of the intelligensia and the disenfranchisment of the lower class, and has caused this country, once valued for its intellectual freedom, to devolve into a democracy in which the unpopular ideas are ridiculed and mocked and shunted to the back areas, and everyone's values and goals are but merely fads of the month. In pure moral relativism, where nothing is seen as preferable to anything else, what is there to live for?

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2002 1:42 am 
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This charming little antecdote probably won't make anyone's day better. But it's kind of funny, at least until you think about the inevibility it suggests.

I'm sitting there talking to a girl I know who's a member of our school's chapter of Amnesty International. Just recently, they taped a bunch of flyers all over the school telling us that "In Saudi Arabia, a woman was stoned to death for having a child out of wedlock. This was upheld by the courts. If you want to help prevent this, join Amnesty International today!" In our conversation (which was not related to Amnesty International; in fact neither of us mentioned anything pertaining at all to the club or the signs), she went on at some length about how the action in Afghanistan is just the same old problem of how the U.S. gets imperialistic and tries to impress its ways upon other countries that never asked for them.

(That's the funny part)

I made no criticism, questioned no hipocracy. It would have served no purpose.

(That's the depressing part)


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2002 9:28 pm 
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No, the REAL depressing thing about that is that brainwashed scum like the person you speak of will mate with OTHER brainwashed scum and produce a legion of offspring crawling over the nation trying to bring about the end of all rational thought and wisdom to humanity, in the name of "moral relativism."

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2002 10:36 pm 
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MLK Jr had the right idea. In a society in which you the person has no say, violent overthrow is the only option. In a peaceful, democratic society, peaceful negotiations and above all the spreading your ideas will ultimately prevail over a hostile rebellion, be it revolution or riot.

Ideally, if you're ideas hold some logical appeal and arn't horribly complicated, the majority of the people in the society will eventually come to agree with them, and no matter how much you feel democracy sucks, the one thing that happens is that politicians want to keep their jobs.

So, in conclusion, if the 'wrong' idea is the majority opinion in a society, either

A- the opposition isn't doing an even half-assed job
B- the opposition, believing itself intellectually superior, constructs large, complicated arguements against the original idea that no one will pay attention to
C- the wrong idea is in fact the one you have, not the one society has


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2002 2:18 am 
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On 2002-11-29 21:36, Kills Commies wrote:

So, in conclusion, if the 'wrong' idea is the majority opinion in a society, either

A- the opposition isn't doing an even half-assed job
B- the opposition, believing itself intellectually superior, constructs large, complicated arguements against the original idea that no one will pay attention to
C- the wrong idea is in fact the one you have, not the one society has


That has got to be the stupidest I've heard in quite a while.

For the vast majority of the history of the human race, 99.9% of the ideas held by the majority of the people at the time were later proven to be totally wrong. This wasn't because those who had the right ideas were doing a half-assed job, and it wasn't because they were overcomplicating things. Usually, it's been a combination of just plain ignorance and the fact that the prevalent ideas were supported by those who held the power (look at what happened to Galileo).


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2002 3:44 am 
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It might be better not to speak of "true" ideas, but rather of "better" ones. While Galileo (as an example) was wrong by Einstein's standards (or even Newton's), he was closer to the truth (whatever that is) than his predecessors, which is why we tend to view his persecution as unjust from a historical perspective.

Yes, most of what we think now is probably not entirely true. However, not all untrue ideas are created equal; if they were, we would just be floating around without any standards whatsoever. It's the same reason why any kind of hard-core relativism is a bad idea; while ideas do tend to seem better when viewed from a certain context, they are not without intrinsic truth value of their own.

While there are problems with KC's argument, that's not one of them.

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Pyromancer on 2002-11-30 02:45 ]</font>


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2002 11:35 pm 
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My problem is more that KC seems to not only accept but advocate simplistic, mass-produced ideals. I hate to break it to you, but ending society's problems is not going to come in simple, easy-to-understand steps. It's definatly something that calls for a little brainwork, and saying "your idea won't work, it's too complex for the common man" is exactly the sort of sentiment that prevents sweeping reform: it's not ignorance, it's willing ignorance.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2002 12:08 am 
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*yawn*

No, it wasn't being rude. Late, just a little tired.

I'm not advocating cheap mass produced ideas. I'm saying that for an idea to appealing to people, it must have the data but also an easily understood principle that it follows. That is a problem with a lot of left wingers today- they feel that if they don't couch their phrases in technical speak, they are stupid and therefore their ideas irrelevant. What most of them fail to see is that the message must be simple- the proof behind it can be as complex as you want, but the idea has to be clear and easily understood, otherwise its hardly worth discussing when you have to talk for a half hour just to piece together what the person is talking about.

Of course, the right has a whole other set of problems. But thats for another day's talk.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2002 1:02 am 
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actually, i have to somewhat agree with KC on the over-complifying of ideas.

by this i mean filling your concept full of big incomprihensible words you leant in your fancy university, talking to your trendy university friends about polotics and The Social Order. (do people actually DO this? "...and realign the social structure comprehensively to focus on the juxaposition of nature VS nurture, and not concentrat on the establishment of personal interjection*" "...dawson's creek was awsome last night." "...yeah...")

there is, i think a difference between uneducated and plain ol' Stupid. now, i don't doubt there are some very stupid individuals out there, but i think that your average joe can tell a good idea from a bad idea, if they understand what it is the other person is saying. think of the intellectual 'uni-speak' as another language.

personally, i prefer questions to ideas...asking someone a question makes them think more often that telling them How It Is does. the best trick for using this is to stick 'what if' at the beginning of your Great Idea.

Mad out.

*this doesn't make any sense. i hope that means it's accurate.

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