Thursday, October 14, 2004

Hey look! We’re balanced! We invited a conservative!

Sorry about how long the following entry is going to be, but I felt it necessary. That, and I don’t know (or really care) how to do the page cuts to hide most of the article. Anyway, prepare for horrible stupidity.

I was excited when I received an official Penn State News e-mail with this title:
Op-ed: Free speech embraced at Penn State
By Vicky Triponey
Vice President for Student Affairs
And, stupid me, I clicked on the link. After all, I work for the university, and I know exactly how much they value actual free speech. Let’s just say that you could add 272 to their respect for free speech and still be below freezing on the Celsius scale.
At some colleges and universities around the nation this fall, Michael Moore is speaking to crowds of tens of thousands of students.
And it’s a darn shame too. The venom he spews only adds to the hatred dished out by most of the professors. Hitler was driven by his hatred of the Jews and other non-Aryans. No college would invite him to speak, right? But this Jabba the Hut look-alike, driven solely by his hatred for the President and conservatives, is embraced with open arms by the educational elite. Screw that.
Under pressure from legislators, parents, donors, alumni and conservative groups, other University arenas sit empty, with speeches by Moore canceled because some people disagree with the filmmaker's politics.
Well, ummm, let’s take a look at your list here, missy.

Pressure from legislators? I suppose that could happen if either A) Moore is breaking the (dubious) campaign-finance laws (which isn’t an issue with his speeches), or B) the school is using donated taxpayer money to fund his speaking engagement, which is transparently political and biased, or C) he is breaking election law by offering goods in exchange for votes. I don’t recall hearing either of the first two cases occurring, while the third has been documented on many occasions; more power to the legislatures for, you know, making LAWS that should be followed. This is a lawful society, right?

Pressure from parents? Makes sense! If I am paying out the nose for my child to be indoctrinated at your school, and you are going to take some of that additional money coerced from our pockets for the “activity fund” and pay that slime ball to spit out his hatred, you bet I am going to make a fuss. You guys are in business because people like me give you money; in effect I am both shareholder and employer, and my voice had better matter.

Pressure from donors and alumni? See above. If I happened to be brainwashed by your college to the point where I give you money, voluntarily, on a regular basis, the same shareholder/employer analogy holds. I want my money to go to the music department, NOT to promoting a political agenda with which I completely disagree and find quite offensive. If I am a donor, my wishes better be upheld, and the organized pressure of many donors better get results. If you continue your offensive practices, don’t be surprised to find one of your biggest sources of (completely free!) money disappearing. It’s almost like, oh, business! You have your precious freedom of speech or whatever, but damn if we don’t have the freedom to not donate to your shitty school. You want alumni’s money, you make the alumni happy. See how that works?

Last but not least, she cites the eeeeeeevil “conservative groups.” Ahhh yes, those demented, perverse, unbalanced, hateful mongrels which are your only claim to any sort of intellectual diversity at your campus. I see. And do you, in general, fork over $23,000 to them to pay for one speaker of their choice to come to campus? Bet not. First of all, most greedy, money-grubbing, super-wealthy, middle-class-hating conservative speakers actually don’t demand such outrageous honorariums in the first place. Only the tolerant, loving, compassionate, I-feel-for-you liberals like Moore have the gall to demand such a fee (normally he commands $35,000). Secondly, it’s against your style to invite conservative speakers to campus anyway; it kills your liberal hatred-buzz you have going. But all that aside, why are students not free to assemble and petition their school to see changes enacted? Why does part of the first amendment hold for campus but not all of it? If a conservative group wants to mobilize and drum up support, why do you view this as a problem?
Michael Moore is scheduled to speak at Penn State on Oct. 22, and even with Homecoming activities in full swing he is likely to draw several thousand people.
Draw them in with his gravitational field, you mean? Alas, not at Penn State, where most students are as apt to have sex with a tree as with each other (and it happens with each other quite often [hello? Morals anyone? Decency, wherefore art thou?]). They will show up in droves to have their own hatred for decent, conservative Americans affirmed by this bloated whale, in much the way that a Klansman (like Senator Robert Byrd) would encourage an African American to rape his daughter so that he feels more reason to hate blacks as a whole.
Also currently slated to speak at Penn State that day is conservative radio talk show host Mike Gallagher. He is angry that Penn State students have invited Moore to campus and is staging a protest.
Wow that’s a crock. This woman is some manner of Vice President of Bullshit for a major university and resorts to crap like this. Mike Gallagher is NOT staging a protest any more than Moore is doing so. Moore wants to wander around the country and spread intolerance and hatred, while lining his pocket with large sums of money from student’s tuition. Mike Gallagher, on the other hand, is making this trip at no profit to himself, and is only soliciting private donations which will be used, in their entirety, to help troops in Iraq. His event is going to be a speech and a viewing of the movie Faren-HYPE 911. Again, the event is free, open to anyone who wants to attend, and any donations will be donated to troop funds. Information is available here. This hardly sounds like “staging a protest.” Get a life, woman.
Fortunately we live in a country that values free speech -- everyone's free speech -- and we have a Constitution that protects the right of Penn State students to invite a broad range of speakers to campus. Thus we believe both Moore and Gallagher can and should visit campus.
Funny that Gallagher is actually “free” speech while you are paying Moore $23,000 out of student funds, while the remainder of his demands must be secured through donations and fund-raising before the event happens. Unlike the moronic picture you moronic liberal administrators try to paint, free speech was never the issue. Moore can wander around and spout off whatever he likes. That was never in question. The problem is when you start giving away university money. Every month, when I get paid, I am encouraged to donate some of my cash back to the university. My father, an alumnus, is routinely asked to donate. Many friends attended Penn State, where EVERY SINGLE YEAR the tuition jumped by asinine amounts. Maybe, if you quit spending so much money on bringing these people to campus and paying them large sums of money to have a public venue (I don’t recall the First Amendment ever guaranteeing a right to large honorariums and large audiences in cushy performance venues), tuition levels could remain constant for a change. Maybe you could even try paying us all biweekly instead of once a month. Or maybe, just maybe, all of us underpaid and overqualified staff could even see a reasonable pay increase for a change. The possibilities are endless! Moore is guaranteed FREE speech, not COSTLY speech. Use our money more wisely, thank you very much.
The clear winners in this mini-drama over Constitutional rights are Penn State students.
Ummm….. nope. They don’t learn a thing about the Constitution through this process, and you distort whatever facts their brains might have started to grasp by painting a free speech issue where none existed. You, actually, are the biggest loser in this arena, proving you really have no reason at all to exist ever.
As we approach election day in this important, hotly contested national election Penn State students will have the opportunity to hear advocates on both sides advancing their perspectives.
Yeah, because they couldn’t get all of that from The New Republic (I can’t believe I just linked that filth) and National Review. Penn State students, if they aren’t lazy, stupid, and happily ignorant imbeciles, already have the opportunity to learn about both sides of all the issues. If they don’t do so it’s because they don’t want to, and as a result they should NOT be encouraged to go vote. Plato got it right millennia ago; why are we too dumb to see that now? Learning both sides of an issue doesn’t involve students’ money being spent on ridiculous speakers spouting ridiculous hatred at a ridiculous period in history.
We know in this case both speakers have agendas. Both speakers are using Penn State's national visibility to advance their own ideas; both claim to be patriots who love their country, albeit in very different ways; both maintain Web sites where you can buy their products and their point of view; and both profit financially from their work.
Again, you are a misleading tramp. Mr. Gallagher is NOT profiting from his trip to PSU, at least in a financial sense. Feel free to actually represent the facts. It would be nice for a change.
What is most important at Penn State is that both speakers -- one strongly against President Bush and one strongly for President Bush -- have a right to speak.
Grrrrrrrr…. This is NOT a free speech case. Repeat it with me. Idiot. Yes they both havethe right to open their traps and create audible patters of waves in the surrounding medium. Good call there; you get the “Obvious Award” for the day. What you are doing is paying them for their speech, which is NOWHERE PROTECTED. Get a clue, lady. Or resign and allow me to take over your position, wherein I can do nothing, be dumb all day, and probably make about 10 times what I get now. Heavens knows I am qualified for your responsibilities.
This is the promise of the First Amendment of our Constitution. The right to disagree is the foundation of our government.
Yadda yadda yadda… yes this has only been established how many times. I am not even going to touch the “right to be wrong, the right to lie and misrepresent, the right to… whatever the hell else…” because I am already fed up with this. I am almost embarrassed to work here with idiots like you running things. Again, I ask you to show me where, in the First Amendment or anywhere else, one is guaranteed large fees for speaking and guaranteed large venues in which to speak.
Some people support and defend the First Amendment.
For example, not you.
Others say they support the First Amendment, but only when it protects their own cause and not a cause with which they disagree.
For example, you.
At Penn State, we embrace the First Amendment -- in principle and in practice.
Lies!!! Do you honestly expect me to believe that Mike Gallagher would be coming to Penn State so soon had he not been doing it for free and only raising donations for the troops? Please. Furthermore, the First Amendment protests us from the government’s censoring of speech. Since when does Penn State get to legislate anything?
The long list of conservative speakers who have appeared on Penn State stages in recent years ranges from President George W. Bush to Anne Coulter. From Robert Novak to Jeanne Kirkpatrick. From William F. Buckley Jr. to Oliver North, and from Phyllis Schlafly to Michelle Malkin.
Cool. A whole eight of them in “recent years.” Why, your political diversity just knows no bounds. Rattling off a list of speakers from “the other side” is simply a losing tactic. You are trying to pre-empt any discussion about your track record – a desperate play brought about by a losing position.
A good university is not threatened by a conservative speaker,
You wouldn’t know it by ever looking at a university’s reception to a conservative speaker, would you?
and it is not threatened by a liberal speaker.
Ahhh… a truth at last.
Penn State is a great University; supporting our students in their freedom to present and hear divergent points of view.
Unless any one of a huge number of crank jobs finds it “offensive,” right? Just ask Mike Battaglia. His point of view was certainly protected by the University. Penn State spokesman Bill Mahon called Battaglia’s Constitutionally-protected free speech “an embarrassment to the entire university.” Oops, I guess you aren’t quite as open and accepting as you would like up to believe.
For every caller who has described Michael Moore as a traitor, we have heard others describe him as a patriot. For every writer who has said Moore vilifies the president in his movie, another has said that quotes from the president in the movie are in fact words he probably now regrets but actually said.
I sincerely doubt that the ratio of kool aid drinkers to people with common sense is nowhere near 1-1, but I’ll cede the point.
So where does the truth lie?

Does the talk show host with the most listeners win or is the winner the movie-maker who sells the most tickets at the box office?
Of course not, because Al Franken has yet to admit defeat at the hands of Rush and Sean and Mike and Mike and Mike and Glenn and Bill. However, from a common sense business stand point, he probably should.
One way to find out is go to Moore's speech and listen to him, and also to hear the message from conservative speakers like Mike Gallagher. And we encourage our students to hear both of them.
Lip service, pure and simple.
There still are places in the world where this freedom is not available. In those places there is no free speech for anyone except a ruling party or their dictator.
Places like Saddam’s Iraq, which, of course, we were wrong for helping. According to this woman then, Moore believes that some people just simply aren’t good enough for freedom. While this is hardly in doubt, the sentiment still pisses me off.
We have a thoughtful process on campus where student groups can propose speakers and request funding from a student committee that allocates a budget generated from a student activity fee.
And we even listen to them when they propose liberals we like!
Some students choose not to attend the plays, movies or activities supported by their fees. Sometimes funds are allocated for speakers who draw a small audience and other times, groups raise their own funds from other sources, such as private donations and fund raisers.
Redistribution of tuition? That sucks. If you want to see some speaker or play, why not pay for a ticket. That way, when slime balls like Moore demand exorbitant amounts of money, you can be sure it’s coming from people who actually care. Of course, Penn State already thinks that it is some manner of government entity, and any governmental body is threatened by citizens keeping their own money.
The important principle at Penn State is that students are making these decisions regarding who to invite. And overall they seem to have a sense of balance and fairness in their funding decisions.
Who, exactly, determines that? You?!


In the end our students are better off, better served and better educated when they can listen to both sides of important debates. That is something students at some schools will not get to do this fall. In those cases, free speech has been attacked and successfully stifled.
Again, no. If you don’t allow a single conservative speaker on your campus, it certainly makes you look like intolerant bigots, but it hardly is a free speech issue. It is not the government prohibiting their appearance. However, the schools that adopt such practices had better be ready to accept the consequences, including donations disappearing and protests from family and alumni.
At Penn State, we welcome Michael Gallagher and Michael Moore. We are glad Theresa Heinz Kerry and Michelle Malkin were here earlier this fall. We look forward to Bernard Goldberg and Howard Dean's visits in the coming weeks, and we have extended invitations to both presidential candidates to visit and talk with our students.

We applaud our students for inviting these speakers, for exercising their right to free speech, and for learning about the issues that affect their world. And we encourage them to vote on Nov. 2.

This is American democracy in action at Penn State.
I am SICK of Penn State thinking that it is somehow a part of the government. PSU has no legislative ability, nor does it cover its shoddy record of using student money to pay for horribly biased perspectives from guest speakers by making it a free speech issue. I am sick of it; this woman said nothing coherent and sensible and betrayed Penn State as the money-grubbing liberal institution it is.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Putting words in the President's mouth

P.J. O'Rourke had quite a clever piece in The Weekly Standard online today. It is a list of things he wishes the President would say at the debate (there aren't enough of those columns out there, right?). O'Rourke goes for hard hitting humor rather than serious statements, however.

Among my favorites:

(2) There are two organizations pushing for change in November--al Qaeda and the Democratic party. And they both have the same message: "We're going to fix you, America." On the whole, the terrorists have a more straightforward plan for fixing things. They're going to blow themselves up. Although, come to think of it, Howard Dean did that.

(4) Speaking of jobs, Senator, how come every illegal immigrant who wades the Rio is able to find one in about 10 minutes? Meanwhile, your Democratic core constituency has been unemployed for years. Are your supporters lazy, Senator Kerry? Or are they stupid? Back when Clinton was president, did your supporters think they got their jobs at Burger King because Bill was sleeping with the cow?

(7) You say that we won the war, but we're losing the peace because Iraq is so unstable. When Iraq was stable, it attacked Israel in the 1967 and 1973 wars. It attacked Iran. It attacked Kuwait. It gassed the Kurds. It butchered the Shiites. It fostered terrorism in the Middle East. Who wants a stable Iraq?

(15) Senator Kerry, you say you were in favor of threatening to use force on Saddam Hussein, but that actually using force was wrong. The technical term for this in political science is "bullshit."