Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Post-Secondary Expurgation

Last week charges were filed against two students who disrupted a speech by Bill Clinton at New York’s Pace University.


The students reportedly shouted “War criminal!” and handed out flyers to protest Clinton’s visit.


I don’t agree with these students, as Clinton is a personal hero, and a real war criminal is the current occupant of the White House. Their energies would be better spent heckling someone who still holds a dangerous amount of power, rather than a former president on the public speaking circuit.


However, I do support their right to express their misguided views.


Maybe they shouldn’t have made a scene, but they also shouldn’t face ongoing harassment and possible expulsion for “protesting without a permit.”


What kind of bullshit is that? Isn’t it a violation of their right to expression and a contradiction in terms? Get permission and/or pay a permit fee for “free” speech?


If the university is embarrassed by the behavior of a few of their students in front of a guest, they ought to issue a warning against disrupting events, not go all fascist on them.


In closing, if Bush does some public speaking after he’s out of office (and I don’t recommend it), I can’t say I wouldn’t be tempted to heckle him. But I was raised not to poke fun at the “special” people among us.

34 comments:

Jack K. said...

Hi, Pete:

We effing liberals have a delicious quandary that the neocons are too self-absorbed to understand. We are open to inquiry and investigation of numerous and varied ideas. We would like to look at them intelligently and then discard the ones that do not fit into our scheme of things. And, for the most part, we are willing to let others keep and practice their unique ideas about the world around them.

I agree wholeheartedly with your comment that the students have a right to their opinion. Perhaps one of their primary goals was to insure that they would be singled out and dragged from the room kicking and screaming for the media's benefit.

We seem to be a nation that is becoming quite uncivilized and impolite. We are relying more on the strength of weapons than the strength of character to resolve problems.

It seems as though we justify our reliance on more sophisticated weaponry we have no funds nor resolve to circumvent the root causes of the discontent of the disenfranchised.

Just some thoughts from a guy who swore to uphold and protect the Constitution from all enemies, both foreign and domestic.

Thanks again for your keen insights.

Pete Bogs said...

Jack - I hear you, and I have put some similar ideas this way... liberalism encompasses a conservative's right to do/say as he/she sees fit, so long as no harm is done, and no one is forced to accept their ways... the latter is why prayer in public schools is a problem for a lot of us...

yet conservatism by nature PRECLUDES most liberals from pursuing their own lives by their principles...

long story short: conservatism can exist inside liberalism, but the reverse is not true... that's part of the reason I bristle at kneejerk criticism of liberals... it's really a good way to be...

Bird said...

i like that - conservatism can exist within liberalism, but liberalism cannot exist within conservatism. Sadly, this very maxim will bring liberalism down every time.

but ...about these students.

although we have the right to express our opinions, there are rules that guide that expression. we do not have the right to completely disrupt a speech and if we choose to do so -there are consequences for that action. And there are degrees of disruption as well.

what i cannot tell by the reports about this incident (because so far, the outlets covering this story are only telling one side of the story and are not providing much in the way of details) is where this protest took place (inside/outside, small/large area) and the degree of disruption caused (speech came to a grinding halt whilst clinton and the audience waited for the secret service and the campus police to "escort" the protestors away? or, a few folks protesting OUTSIDE the lecture hall (if it was a lecture hall) and being escorted away to a bit of gawking - but no real interruption occurred? )

on the face of it, the protest itself feels like a stunt, not legitimate protest, nonetheless, on the face of it, the response doesn't seem proportional.

at my campus last spring, a student organization disrupted a job fair because miitary recruiters were present. protestors prevented other students from entering the fair, and were so loud within the fair, they disrupted not just the military recruiters' table, but the tables of companies who were there to offer jobs and internships to students. the protestors effectively shut the job fair down and campus police were summoned to clear the area and restore order. students seeking jobs and internships went home with naught that day and charges have been filed against the student organization. they are claiming their rights have been trampled on - that they have the right to protest and the charges are a violation of their rights. though i do not want military recruiters on campus, this group prevented 100s of students from networking with potential employees that day. it may or may not have been an effective protest. however, there is a price to be paid sometimes for civil disobedience, and especially civil disobedience that interfers with the rights of other citizens.

The Pace U situation doesn't seem as extreme, but again, I can't really tell given the coverage.

i wonder what clinton thinks of about the response of Pace University.

Pete Bogs said...

bird - we could use a lot more details to be sure... what I heard was they'll yelled this while he was speaking... not sure where it was... but the school is coming down a bit hard on them... a shame about that job fair... the best way for those students to show their disapproval to the military recruiters is not to patronize them... just like I always tell conservative people, if you don't like (insert whatever here), then don't be part of it... but let others who wish to do so have at it... so, I agree with your students' message but not methods...

Mr Q said...

I wonder, what are "my rights" or freedom anymore? Is still the option of the government or the manipulators of the law what it is. I am not scared of freedom of expression until is time to do it BIG TIME like these guys did. I read down the list in the constitution and the ammendments and still ask, what does it all mean? and who enforces it? and who disputes it? and who can change it? is war the only answer to redraw common law? I think that the cycle has no end.

ChasingMoksha said...

The difference between what happened with Clinton and how it may happen with Bush is, Bush’s people will not allow a dissenter to get anywhere near shouting distance. Bush’s technique is beyond fascist. Nevertheless, I am sure Clinton can handle the heckling. And if anything, the university has an opportunity to blame it on the current administration, for it has been them who has set the precedence that dissention cannot be tolerated. It is time liberals employ the Rovian techniques that have mesmerized the average American and use it to steer the country back in a direction that we can once cry “We are a great nation” not a “savage nation.”

Good Heavens, I think I just mounted a soapbox. So sorry.

Hellpig said...

Ah But Clinton Is guilty of War Crimes GUILTY

Clinton tries to squelch press Fearing US Indictment, Clinton Stifles International War Crimes Court

Clinton has Milosevic Killed to avoid subpoena Cover up

Clinton worlds leading war criminal
War Criminal

You flamming liberals are hipocrates beyon belief Clinton was and will always be the worst President this country has ever had,you keeping yelling foul foul but refuse to accept the facts of your own hero.

BTW who do you think becomes President if Bush gets impeached,fucking idiots.

whether you accept these links,which I know you won't,the rest of the world does and isn't that what matters world opinon?

prosecute CLINTON

Pete Bogs said...

I've heard that conspiracy theory, hell... yeah, he probably had the same guy who "killed" Vince Foster kill Milosevic... on trial all these years and all the sudden Clinton orders him dead... you know that's why Clinton has his office in Harlem - to have quick access to gangstas who can pop a cap in someone's ass for him...

and if you believe that, well, you're an average conservative...

Clinton was actually criticized by some righties for not being strong enough against threats... he wanted to find out who was behind certain terrorist acts, where advisers were just telling him to bomb the shit out of the Middle East... boy do I miss a level-headed president...

some people are saying Clinton is a war criminal for bombing over there a few years ago... I don't know what the lawbooks say, but he's no longer got any power... I also don't trust most sources when it comes to Clinton, because he was reviled and demonized long before he was elected... unjustifiably...

I'm more concerned about our present, ongoing criminal regime...

yeah, Cheney's got problems of his own, though... they're all tied up in the mess...

flame on!

infinitesimal said...

Clinton made me denounce him after Kosovo...

Lets not forget Milosivitch was also a jackass.

At my university, we are required to sign contracts regarding plagerism and such and we also must agree in writing to be representative of the University at all times. Behaving appropriately or facing expulsion as a reprecussion.

I think that the students should get a grip and we should not mess with the University's policy.

But if it was Russ they were heckeling Bogs... Well you an' me we'd be on a HEAD collection tour of duty.

NOBODY messes with RUSS!

infinitesimal said...

Milosevic

sorry... and I do not even know if KOSOVO is the right reference. But I am an idiot, so that is my addled excuse.

Hellpig said...

im not a conservative bogs for the 10th time

Hellpig said...

Bogs said
I'm more concerned about our present, ongoing criminal regime..



Last week charges were filed against two students who disrupted a speech by Bill Clinton at New York’s Pace University.

yet you lead off with a Clinton post

can you say hipocracy NOW?

Pete Bogs said...

it was Kosovo, and some are still trying to keep that alive:

“Clinton's 1999 NATO war in Kosovo was illegal under U.S. and international law. The U.S. Congress never voted for it and the U.N. never endorsed it.”

situation sound familiar?

http://www.aim.org/media_monitor/2393_0_2_0_C/

they make you sign some kind of loyalty oath now in college? holy crap…


what they hell are you, hell? that's my general term for people who hate liberals, because they do... if you come up with a good name I'll call you that...

Hellpig said...

that's my general term for people who hate liberals, because they do... if you come up with a good name I'll call you that...

AMERICAN

Pete Bogs said...

I lead off with Clinton because he was the relevant party to the events about which this post is written - the protest... do you have anything to add to the subject? i.e. whether or not the university's going too far in their reaction...

I basically wrote this to explain that, even though I don't agree with the protesters, I agree with their right to protest... in that context, it wouldn't matter if Clinton was a war criminal or not (and yes, I do care)... the university isn't punishing them for the merits of the accusation so much as for the disruption it made...

you began on a tangent and just stayed there... I guess I take the blame for putting the protest issue into its original context within the post...

Pete Bogs said...

hell, then we do have more in common than I thought... I'm one of those, too...

LadyM said...

Pat, how the hell do you stay so calm???

Lisa

Pete Bogs said...

"my name's not Pat, it's Pete... Mr. Bogs if you're nasty..."

I don't stay calm, but you can't tell it through my words I guess... sometimes I skip politics altogether for a couple days just to recover...

ardlair said...

I like potato chips, moonlight and motor trips, how about you?

Hellpig said...

Bogs is a great host,he puts up with my shit daily,its called fair and balanced,what good is a blog if no one takes the other side?if for anything else poster can vent on me cause I feed on it and they know it,we all win.:)

Pete Bogs said...

ard - I do like those too, but over here we call potato chips "crisps"

actually, scratch that - it's t'other way round...

ardlair said...

Hellpig, you are a pig that I could eat swill with.

I have just written a very long blog on the subject of the dullness of most blog comments.

Visit, and say something disagreeable please, before I go insane.

ffff said...

I really agree with everything you said. We in Australia do not have a Bill of Rights and won't have as long as the Conservatives rule as they don't want people to do what you are able to do and that is to say "But it is my RIGHT".
I think to call Hell an 'American' is an insult to the rest of you thinking , intelligent, kind, generous, people. I think he is a Conservative of the worst kind. He can't even admit to it. "You can't change what you don't acknowledge".

How does the rest of the World see Clinton? Well he has just been here in Australia and we quite like him and no we do not see him as a war criminal.
So you don't speak for the rest of the World Hellpig!

I get how you need a break from political blogs, Pete. Me too!

Blue said...

I think its time for me to weigh in with the CIA Training Bin Laden under the Reagan administration.

Aaahhh the eighties, Thatcher, Reagan & Bob Hawke. Gotta miss the 'olden days.

Bird said...

Pig,
I will try to keep to a civilized tongue, but I am at my wit's end with your rude rhetoric and the manner in which you fail to back up your rather sweeping and incendiary (sp) claims.

First: "Clinton has Milosevic Killed to avoid subpoena Cover up" - the link you provide says nothing about a Clinton-devised killing of Milosevic. What the heck are you talking about? You provide no rational support for such a clearly incendiary (sp) claim. This is a habit of yours. It lessens the strength of any argument or opinion you offer.

Second: You may well think that Clinton was the "worst President this country has ever had" or will have. But your statement is a sweeping generality. No doubt, you can critique Clinton's presidency and provide ample evidence to support a claim that he was not a very good president; however, many can make an alternate claim and back it up and that does not make them hypocrites. The claim that Clinton was the worst, or the best, or in-between is DEBATABLE -it is not fact. So back up the truck there on the somewhat insulting rhetoric. Such rhetoric does nothing to bring others to your way of thinking,nor does it invite them to EVEN CONSIDER the plausability of your claim; rather it gives one reasonable cause to dismiss your remarks immediately.

Third - Let me see...if Bush is impeached, who will be president? Why, Bush will be. A president can be impeached, yet not removed from office (Clinton, for example, was impeached, yet continued to hold office). It is not a foregone conclusion that Bush would be removed from office if impeached. Before you start calling people "fucking idiots" take a good look in the mirror.

Bogs,
I too have signed an oath of loyalty to support, protect, and defend not only the Constitution of the US, but of the State of California as well. All state and federal employees are required, as condition of employment, to sign such an oath. Although I wasn't thrilled about doing so, I am pragmatic - I need to make my living teaching - thus, I must sign the oath. However, I believe I have lots of wiggle room because the constitution is a living, breathing, document subject to interpretation.

My apologies for the long post, and for presuming to take one of your visitors to task. I simply could not contain myself.

And my gratitude to your graciousness as a host as well.

Hellpig said...

Bird quit your whinning,everything I have stated is fact only you refuse to accept it,or just dismiss it as non credible ,and my link statement is no more misleading then bogs' Bush hates black people,pull you head out hipocrate.just because someone doesn't conform to your ideology,you lash out in desparation.

Pete Bogs said...

I don't have a problem with the length of any posts on here... I write these things and get a discussion (sometimes an argument) started...

when I think of Clinton's term I think of "relative" peace between the two Gulf wars... I also think of a budget surplus, a Congress that was giving it all away to companies and days of less fear and more civil rights... oh yeah, and BJs...

hell - I was quoting Kanye on the Bush/black people thing... tongue-in-cheek, but also tied neatly in with the shoplifting story... there is some truth and some BS (e.g. Aussie ads) to all my posts, but I don't specify what's what...

Jack K. said...

bird :-)

Ditto!

According to Sherlock, the word is spelled incendiary, but you knew that teaching English and all.

hp :-)

You gotta be trying to arouse the folks 'cause you can't really believe all that bs, or can you? So rant on! It does provide some comic relief.

Pete :-)

Thanks for being an erudite and quite polite host. I do visit often to see the comments too.

Jack K. said...

Since my last comment I found this interesting site armageddon buffet. It was posted at Contrary Brin, David Brin's blog site.

hp ought to really have a ball with this one.

Enjoy!!!

Pete Bogs said...

bird and infini - Bush also pledged to uphold and defend the Constitution at his swearing-in... how'd that work out for us? lol

seriously, if he can use the Constitution as toilet paper, I don't see why you or anyone else can't... I hear it's two-ply...

Jack K. said...

It may be, but there a couple of drawbacks.

It is difficult to perforate and put on the role, and it is very rough on such tender skin.

presidentbobo said...

Well, what was the point of spending all those millions to preserve and restore the constitution? Surely the presidunce can use tp like the rest of us. Or does he just fling his poo at people who rattle his cage? I'm not being harsh toward Bush - most politicians barely qualify as primates. I think most of our Dems have actually devolved into invertebrates.

Pete Bogs said...

pres - you're right, the Commander in Chimp doesn't deserve such fine toilet paper... he can fling it like the rest of his kind...

LaPopessa said...

Of course the students had a right to protest. As ludicrous as their reasoning was, it's their right to speak.

And as much as I hate to think it, that's probably why we always get our butts handed to us by the right. But I'm going to hold fast to my beliefs, and my hope that in the end, right will win out.