Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Freedom of Speech Is Dying : Campus Tyranny Rules The Day?

When freedom of speech is defined as what others say it is, we are engaged in a civil and cultural revolution. A real war against the very foundations of our society and our Constitution. And given what has transpired on so many college campuses as well as some elementary and high schools where actual programs are willingly and knowingly administrated and instituted without parental approval to teach subversive ideas that restrict freedoms that are guaranteed by our Constitution.

Specially on this day where our founders, the patriots of 1776, took upon themselves to risk their lives and fortunes to demand freedom from the tyranny of others, we find ourselves becoming embroiled in similar tortured attacks on our most scared freedoms by people and organization that have dedicated themselves to bring a '' fundamental transformation'' to our civil society.

Again, our forefathers understood the need to be free of the domination and suppression brought by others that believe a freedom to chose one's own destiny is harmful and must be ''changed'' to reflect the larger needs of the group and of those that have and control the levers of power, whether in our schools or our government.

As Edmond Burke said it best concerning what is needed to combat the forces of tyranny, ''For tyranny to succeed, all it takes is for good men to do nothing''. Fortunately we do have many good men and women that believe in this country, and how it was founded on the liberty to seek individual freedom as a path to success in life's struggles for a future with prosperity.

So on this special day in our history, take a minute to remember what has gone before us, and all of those that have fought and made the ultimate sacrifice to make sure the next generations will have the same privileges as they did to enjoy the fruits of their labors without anxiety and fear from those in power. 

God bless our country and all of those that have given us what we have today. Never forget this from Ronald Reagan, "freedom is only one generation away from extension". 

Another more modern expression from the lyrics a song that fits this day in our history, "Freedom means having nothing else to lose".

God bless you on this 4th of July and God bless America.

Free Speech Is Dying on the College Campus. How We Can Revive It.
Sen. Chuck Grassley / /    

Higher education rests on the free flow of ideas. Education requires that positions be held tentatively, tested by opposing arguments that are rationally considered, and evaluated. All colleges therefore must protect free speech. Public institutions must adhere to the various guarantees of the First Amendment.

Too often, all of these fundamental principles have been under assault. Even worse, some people who have exercised their First Amendment rights have been themselves assaulted. As a result, those who would curtail free speech have been emboldened and those who disagree with the prevailing orthodoxy have been censored or chilled from speaking freely. There is no point in having a student body on campus if competing ideas are not exchanged and analyzed.

At Kellogg Community College, administrators required prior approval for speech in public forums, a twofold violation of the First Amendment. Amazingly, students there were arrested for distributing copies of the United States Constitution. Their lawsuit against the college and against its administrators in their personal capacity is pending. Many students erroneously think that speech that they consider hateful is violent. Yet some students engage in acts of violence against speech, and universities have failed to prevent or adequately punish that violence.

At the University of California, Berkeley, two invited speakers were prevented from speaking due to mob violence and other projected safety concerns that the university failed to control. That university should be reminded of a passage in one of the Supreme Court’s most important First Amendment rulings: “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics … ”

A lawsuit has been brought that alleges that Berkeley has systemically and intentionally suppressed speech protected by the First Amendment because its viewpoint differs from that of university administrators.

At Middlebury College, the eminent scholar Charles Murray was at first shouted down from speaking, then when the event was moved, students pulled the fire alarm to prevent him from speaking.

No. The First Amendment does not permit arbitrary prior restraints on speech by university administrators on a case-by-case basis. That is an open invitation to discriminate based on viewpoint.
That is where too many colleges are right now. Any great university would welcome numerous speakers whose positions made the president and many others on campus uncomfortable.
Some may advocate legislation in this area. Theoretically, private colleges that accept federal funds could be subject to individual private lawsuits when free speech rights, including religious free speech rights, are violated.

Some may even suggest an analogue to section 1983. Under that approach, officials of private universities that accept federal funds would be subject to individual private rights of action for damages if they violate free speech or fail to train university officials and campus police to adhere to the First Amendment.

Signs of Hope
Fortunately, not all schools adopt the censorship approach. The University of Chicago has adopted a policy that some other universities have followed. This policy prohibits the university from suppressing speech that even most people on campus would find offensive or immoral. It calls for counter-speech rather than suppression by people who disagree with speech. And while protecting protest, it expressly prohibits “obstruct[ing] or otherwise interfer[ing] with the freedom of others to express views they reject or even loathe.”

Finally, it commits the university to actively “protect that freedom when others attempt to restrict it.”
This is the approach of true education as it has always been practiced. Let us hope that it takes root in more campuses, leading more students to engage in thoughtful—and free—discourse.

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