Friday, February 3, 2017

Universities and politics in the Trump era

Two observations today.  You may not like 'em.

First, a bunch of university muckety-mucks here at Case Western Reserve University have released a statement condemning Trump's Muslim redlining.  Yeah, I'm sticking with that as the proper terminology.

I am reminded of some fun times from grad school.  One of my advisors, Nelson Polsby, was a crotchety old bastard.  Translation: he was awesome.  During the George W. Bush administration and protests on the UC Berkeley campus, he made reference to protests of previous Republican presidents  like Reagan, and how he assuredly opened up the papers, wondering in terror what they must have thought of him in Berkeley, California.

Anyone who thinks that Trump gives a shit that the faculty and administration at CWRU condemn him, well, they don't get it.  Sherrod Brown already agrees, and Portman is only slightly less constipated on the matter than Trump.  By a factor of epsilon, which is the Greek letter we use in math to denote a value not equal to, but arbitrarily close to 0.  (Sorry, can't find it in the editor here).

So why do I bother with what I write?  I know a few things.  Not many, but a few.  Nelson Polsby and some others made me read a lot, and some of it stuck.  If a few students and other interested parties find something interesting here, then something is accomplished.  Also, it's a fun thing to do while I drink my morning coffee.  I have no delusions that anything more will happen.  So that statement?  Yeah.  I can hear Nelson's voice I my head.  Maybe I should get that checked out.

But that brings me to Berkeley, California and Milo Yiafuckoffeatshitanddie.  He had another speech shut down.  This time, at UC Berkeley.  In fact, I've dealt with this before, in my "welcome back to school" post.  Same basic points.  First, why are serious universities inviting a fundamentally unserious person to speak as though he has something useful to say?  He is a subject to study, not an educator.  Second....

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If you believe in the concept of free speech...

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I can't fucking believe I have to type this, but...

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Trump isn't exactly right, but...

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he's more right than the protesters who shut down the speech.

He is wrong about cutting off federal funding and all that shit, but remember.  The ACLU defended the neo-Nazis' right to march in Skokie, IL.  This ass-clown is nothing but a professional troll who feeds on your anger.

Don't feed the troll.  It is the most basic rule of the internet.  Once you become the enemy of the concept of free speech, you don't get to pretend that you are the one opposing fascism.

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