Free speech is taking a beating this year

Bob Hubbard

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Free Speech Is Taking A Beating This Year
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Author: Logan Jenkins Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)
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Title: FREE SPEECH IS TAKING A BEATING THIS YEAR

Five weeks ago, Walt Bourdot, 80, posted a bumper-style sticker on the outside of his Redwood Terrace apartment door. It read:

"DEFEND AMERICA DEFEAT BUSH."

Some, but by no means all, of the doors and recessed doorways at the 25-year-old Escondido retirement community are decorated in some personal fashion. A few display crosses or religious messages ("Let the hearts of those rejoice who see the Lord"). During the holiday season, wreaths are pinned to the doors. Following 9/11, patriotic flags blossomed.

Shortly after it went up, Bourdot's sign was ripped off and another was put in its place. It read:

"KERRY IS A (expletive)."

Not one to shy away from a conflict, Bourdot, a war veteran, pasted up another sticker: DEFEND AMERICA DEFEAT BUSH.

In short order, the unknown vandal changed the Democratic message, replacing Bush's name with Kerry's.

Meanwhile, Russ Stevens, a retired chairman of San Diego State University's psychology department, had joined forces with Bourdot and posted DEFEND AMERICA DEFEAT BUSH on his door. His sticker received the same alteration as Bourdot's.

In full throat, Stevens, 79, tacked up a broadside on his door. It read:

"BUSH & CO MUST GO! (THAT IS A MINORITY OPINION HERE AT REDWOOD TERRACE BUT IT DESERVES RESPECT.) AMERICA IS NOT YET A TOTALITARIAN STATE, SO YOU ARE FREE TO POST YOUR OWN VIEWS IN THIS ELECTION YEAR. PLEASE RESPECT OURS AND TRY NOT TO ACT LIKE A FASCIST THUG. KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF THIS NOTICE!"

On Sept. 8, a memorandum was sent to the (roughly) 160 residents of Redwood Terrace.


Original Thread: http://www.witchvox.com/wren/wn_detaila.html?id=11048
Full Story : http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/jenkins/20040918-9999-1mi18jenkins.html
 
T

Tkang_TKD

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Wow! Just Wow. This man, a veteran who served during wartime, is denied the very freedom that he protected. Tell me, what exactly are we (the armed services) fighting for, when our own voices can get squashed by some stupid policy???
 
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AaronLucia

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The difference between radicalists(good) and extremists(bad)....
 

loki09789

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Kaith Rustaz said:
Free Speech Is Taking A Beating This Year
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Author: Logan Jenkins Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)
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Title: FREE SPEECH IS TAKING A BEATING THIS YEAR

Five weeks ago, Walt Bourdot, 80, posted a bumper-style sticker on the outside of his Redwood Terrace apartment door. It read:

"DEFEND AMERICA DEFEAT BUSH."

Some, but by no means all, of the doors and recessed doorways at the 25-year-old Escondido retirement community are decorated in some personal fashion. A few display crosses or religious messages ("Let the hearts of those rejoice who see the Lord"). During the holiday season, wreaths are pinned to the doors. Following 9/11, patriotic flags blossomed.

Shortly after it went up, Bourdot's sign was ripped off and another was put in its place. It read:

"KERRY IS A (expletive)."

Not one to shy away from a conflict, Bourdot, a war veteran, pasted up another sticker: DEFEND AMERICA DEFEAT BUSH.

In short order, the unknown vandal changed the Democratic message, replacing Bush's name with Kerry's.

Meanwhile, Russ Stevens, a retired chairman of San Diego State University's psychology department, had joined forces with Bourdot and posted DEFEND AMERICA DEFEAT BUSH on his door. His sticker received the same alteration as Bourdot's.

In full throat, Stevens, 79, tacked up a broadside on his door. It read:

"BUSH & CO MUST GO! (THAT IS A MINORITY OPINION HERE AT REDWOOD TERRACE BUT IT DESERVES RESPECT.) AMERICA IS NOT YET A TOTALITARIAN STATE, SO YOU ARE FREE TO POST YOUR OWN VIEWS IN THIS ELECTION YEAR. PLEASE RESPECT OURS AND TRY NOT TO ACT LIKE A FASCIST THUG. KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF THIS NOTICE!"

On Sept. 8, a memorandum was sent to the (roughly) 160 residents of Redwood Terrace.


Original Thread: http://www.witchvox.com/wren/wn_detaila.html?id=11048
Full Story : http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/jenkins/20040918-9999-1mi18jenkins.html
This is a memorandum from a PRIVATE company that runs a seniors community that seems to be trying to maintain some harmony and reduce animosity amongst an age group that can break easily....

You can see it as a violation of a Freedom of Speech, yes. OR you could see it as the business making a policy that eliminates a topic/source of conflict that could lead to problems in the community (private, not governmental). Let the guy take them to court if he feels strongly about it.

What I want to know is why don't they target the 'vandal' that is defacing this guys private property? That would be a more reasonable and targeted way to fix the problem.

This looks like the company made a policy that is easier on them and reduces a 'rep damage' because they can claim that they have a 'harmoneous community' this way. If they let 'freedom ring' and it leads to discourse, who would want to entrust them with the care and welfare of dear old granny or granpa?
 

Flatlander

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Yes, Paul, those are likely on the same page with the institution's justification for having set the policy. A man's rights were still violated by a vandal. This was the "easy way" to deal with the problem, not the appropriate way. As you said, perhaps targetting the vandal would have been a more justifiable approach.

This looks like the company made a policy that is easier on them and reduces a 'rep damage' because they can claim that they have a 'harmoneous community' this way. If they let 'freedom ring' and it leads to discourse, who would want to entrust them with the care and welfare of dear old granny or granpa?
It would be as easy to look at this from the other side as well, if they are prepared to suppress my dear old granny or grandpa's rights, and allow others to commit 'uncivil acts' against them, should I be convinced they will stand up and protect my (grand)parents in any other circumstance? Would it be too much of a stretch to imagine they might sell them up the river in order to cut some other corner?
 

loki09789

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Flatlander said:
Yes, Paul, those are likely on the same page with the institution's justification for having set the policy. A man's rights were still violated by a vandal. This was the "easy way" to deal with the problem, not the appropriate way. As you said, perhaps targetting the vandal would have been a more justifiable approach.


It would be as easy to look at this from the other side as well, if they are prepared to suppress my dear old granny or grandpa's rights, and allow others to commit 'uncivil acts' against them, should I be convinced they will stand up and protect my (grand)parents in any other circumstance? Would it be too much of a stretch to imagine they might sell them up the river in order to cut some other corner?
I doubt that they are/were thinking along those lines of this action as supression of self expression. You're right, but that doesn't seem to the way that they are viewing it.

NOW, if the memo had simply been a reminder to respect private property, diverse opinions and such and a review of the administrative procedures around violations that would be fine to me.

This is administrative band-aiding. I don't see a violation of freedom of speech (though I do recognize that it is happening) as the problem but I do see it as an indicator of a deeper problem of "Policy policing" or corporate mentallity in this case.

Don't take the time or make the effort to actually enforce or bring to life existing policies, reinvent the wheel with the new memo. It doesn't address the real issue of vandalism (unless that is being handled through other policies at the same time that this memo was published), and disrespecting not only property but opinion.

In a poor analogy, it doesn't seem that they could be found guilty of 'murder' but only 'manslaughter' because the conscious intent seems to be "keep the peace" which led to the consequences of civil liberties violation, but wasn't the intended goal. That is my point. Yes, it happened, but it doesn't seem to be what was intended. What it might indicate about the respect and leadership style in the senior home is what concerns me more.

Bad choice of procedure but at least a decent motive of "keep the peace."
 
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rmcrobertson

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This is grotesque, and the only reason they're getting away with it is that it's old folks, who are often treated as third-class, mentally-retarded and certainly powerless citizens.

But, in one of the perks of martial arts, I look forward to the day some corporate minion tries this on me when I'm, say, 113.
 

loki09789

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rmcrobertson said:
This is grotesque, and the only reason they're getting away with it is that it's old folks, who are often treated as third-class, mentally-retarded and certainly powerless citizens.

But, in one of the perks of martial arts, I look forward to the day some corporate minion tries this on me when I'm, say, 113.

God help the minion....:) Heck, McR, I would fully expect you to have the vandal apprehended, video tape evidence and an brief written with a bow on it for the police to take with them after you called in the citizen's arrest! Never mind what you would do to the attendent/supervisor who handed you that BS memo.
 

Tgace

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http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20041017/1019818.asp

Colleges are suppressing freedom of expression
By GERHARD FALK

10/17/2004

Rigid conformity and a "goose step" mentality have become so commonplace in American higher education that college students can hardly receive a balanced education at any of the major universities. Instead, indoctrination has now been substituted for reasoned analysis by extreme ideologues who pose as scholars and even "scientists."

As one who has spent his entire professional life in the academic environment, I can say with certainty that, at least in the humanities and social sciences, freedom of expression and scholarly impartiality are out. Instead, dogmatic, unsubstantiated beliefs are imposed on students who are generally unable to resist the political harangues of professors presented as fact.

There was a time when universities were the strongholds of truly liberal ideas. Then, "liberal" meant what it says. It meant free inquiry into every opinion and a willingness to give all views an opportunity to be heard.

Today, the word "liberal" means exactly the opposite. Today, "liberals" burn college newspapers that print opinions not to the liking of "liberal" professors and their students. "Liberals" are also opposed to freedom of speech. On campuses from New England to California, "liberal" choruses shout down any speaker who presents views that "liberals" do not want heard.

Religious bigotry is another feature of the "liberal" point-of-view. At a number of universities - from Harvard in the East to the University of San Francisco in the West - anti-Jewish hatred, thinly disguised as opposition to the policies of the government of Israel, has led to physical confrontations with Jewish students, the invasion of Jewish religious establishments by hate-mongers and assaults on anyone who disagrees with the anti-Jewish bias preached in classrooms pretending to deal with the Israel-Arab dispute.

A considerable number of professors, born in this country, now also teach students that the attack on the World Trade Center was our fault. Some also say that the murder of nearly 3,000 Americans was no doubt instigated or at least deserved by the Bush administration. Others call President Bush a dictator and claim that everything "wrong" in the world is our failing.

I find this kind of anti-American propaganda in the classroom particularly offensive because I spent my youth in Nazi Germany, and know from personal experience what dictatorship really means. In fact, I can say from personal experience that the same loud defenders of Osama bin Laden in our classrooms would be the first to be shot by the oppressors they so admire.

A good example of the mindless hatred promoted by the academic "elite" is the so-called documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11." This anti-American propaganda would never be tolerated in any of the Arab dictatorships if it criticized them.

Moral relativism is another guiding ideology in many university classrooms.

Professors who disagree with the "liberal" view of things are under constant verbal assault. Viewed as "conservatives," such professors are isolated and denied tenure and reappointment if necessary. Those who are permanent members of the faculty are not invited to social events and are excluded from all committees. And all this is funded by the taxpayers at our public universities and the contributors to our private colleges.


GERHARD FALK is a professor of sociology at Buffalo State College and the author of 14 books.
 

TwistofFat

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The Sign Wars

Newspapers around the country are also reporting campaign sign thefts and disappearances.

In Maryland, Minneapolis and Beaverton, Ore., Bush-Cheney signs were torched.

A Person County, N.C., man mowed his Kerry-Edwards endorsement into his lawn after his sign disappeared.

Someone replaced a Bush sign near a Pennsylvania mall with a sign depicting the president as Adolf Hitler.

A Nashville woman coated her Kerry-Edwards sign with honey after another sign disappeared. It, too, was taken.

(http://www.charlotte.com/mld/observer/9947173.htm) From the megaopolis of CLT, NC (a slice of americana) It seems people are emotionally involved in this election.
 

loki09789

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TwistofFat said:
The Sign Wars

Newspapers around the country are also reporting campaign sign thefts and disappearances.

In Maryland, Minneapolis and Beaverton, Ore., Bush-Cheney signs were torched.

A Person County, N.C., man mowed his Kerry-Edwards endorsement into his lawn after his sign disappeared.

Someone replaced a Bush sign near a Pennsylvania mall with a sign depicting the president as Adolf Hitler.

A Nashville woman coated her Kerry-Edwards sign with honey after another sign disappeared. It, too, was taken.

(http://www.charlotte.com/mld/observer/9947173.htm) From the megaopolis of CLT, NC (a slice of americana) It seems people are emotionally involved in this election.
A country at war will react about the same way as an individual will, if you can look at the 'nation' as a 'body' and see these little scrums as signs of national level trauma issues.

We are powerless to do anything directly about the war, so we act out in these little ways about things we can control - maybe not even knowing exactly why we are so passionate about it.

I'm already stretching it here, but look at the people that are reported on, women and elderly - both the statistically larger target of assault/abuse/crime than other groups.
 

Flatlander

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I'm having trouble deciding whether or not the passion with which some people approach their political views are healthy or not. I'm referring to the people who will lie to their students, or light someone's sign on fire.
 

loki09789

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Flatlander said:
I'm having trouble deciding whether or not the passion with which some people approach their political views are healthy or not. I'm referring to the people who will lie to their students, or light someone's sign on fire.
No trouble for me, not healthy nor correct. Lieing to students over stuff like this is wrong, vandalizing property because you disagree with their constitutionally protected right is wrong as well.

Just more indication of 'war stress' on a national scale IMO.
 
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