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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

More On Virginia Tech's Effort To Ban Speech

"We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still."
-- John Stuart Mill --

"The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion."
-- Henry Steele Commager --

"Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself.  It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime."
-- Potter Stewart --

"Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too."
-- Voltaire --

"Books won't stay banned.  They won't burn.  Ideas won't go to jail.  In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost.  The only weapon against bad ideas is better ideas."
-- Alfred Whitney Griswold --

"Did you ever hear anyone say, 'That work had better be banned because I might read it and it might be very damaging to me?'"
 -- Joseph Henry Jackson --

"The test of democracy is freedom of criticism."
-- David Ben-Gurion --

"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."
-- Noam Chomsky --

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
-- Voltaire --

And speaking of the enlightened "liberals" at Virginia Tech, the Washington Post continues the story that I touched on yesterday:
Va. Tech panel advises university to pull funding on campus media
By Jenna Johnson, Washington Post Staff Writer

A Virginia Tech advisory committee has recommended that the university cut funding to all campus media unless the student newspaper bans anonymous comments on its Web site.

The University Commission on Student Affairs, which is made up of mostly students, decided that the way the newspaper monitors online comments is irresponsible, lacks accountability, victimizes students and misrepresents the university, according to minutes of its meetings.

The issue of online comments first surfaced two years ago, when incidences of violence on campus led to racist posts on the student paper's Web site. "Meanwhile, individuals and groups are continuing to be victimized verbally by individuals enabled by the commenting system," said the commission chairwoman, Michelle McLeese, in a letter to the newspaper's parent company this week.

The students on the commission were addressing comments that "border on hate crimes," Hincker said. "These are college students who want to live in a world where college newspapers don't post hateful material." [link]
"These are college students who want to live in a world where college newspapers don't post hateful material."  No, it goes beyond that.  These are college students who want to live in a world in which opposing viewpoints are banned.  College students who need to grow up.  College students who need to realize that when we begin down that path of censorship, nobody's thoughts are safe.  Including theirs.

Let's go back to that quote from Joseph Henry Jackson: "Did you ever hear anyone say, 'That work had better be banned because I might read it and it might be very damaging to me?'" That's exactly the argument being made here. That's what "hate speech" codes are all about.

Don't like what others are saying?  Enter the arena.  Prepare for combat.
Or start a blog.

The alternative?  As Tommy Smothers said it best: "The only valid censorship of ideas is the right of people not to listen."  Exercise liberally that right.

It Is Kinda Funny

Yeah, he's an America-hating ultra liberal who famously compared our fighting men and women to Nazis.  Which makes him forever an asshole.

But darned if Dick Durbin didn't come across with a good line or two here:
Durbin: D.C. residents panic as if snowstorm is 'a nuclear attack'
By Jordy Yager, The Hill

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) blasted Washingtonians for going “into a full-scale panic” during snowstorms, unlike people from Illinois who “know how to live with it.”

“I first came here as a student in 1963 … I lived a big part of my life, at least part-time, in Washington, D.C.,” Durbin said in remarks delivered on the Senate floor on Thursday. “I never could get over how people in this town reacted to snow.

“I am convinced that infants born in Washington, D.C., are taken from the arms of their loving mothers right when they are born into a room where someone shows a film of a snowstorm with shrieking and screaming so that those children come to believe snow is a mortal enemy, like a nuclear attack, because I have seen, for over 40 years here, people in this town go into a full-scale panic at the thought of a snowfall. [link
Cute.  The kind of thing I'd say.

Daughter Jodi called from the eastern shore of North Carolina yesterday to inform me that they were expecting an inch of snow around Wilmington last night and this morning.  The local Food Lion was backed up with people preparing for it by buying up all the bread and milk.  An inch of snow.

Shoot, here in the mountains we don't even record an inch of snowfall.  That kinda thing goes into the category of dandruff.  Flaky frost.  A weather burp.

Anyway, Dick pulls a funny.  Maybe he should get out of politics and become a comedian.

- - -

Update 0930 hours: Jodi sent this photo of her home, taken this morning, smothered in fluffy, white splendor:

 
Question: Why does snow always look more wondrous when it's at someone else's house?

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Quote of the Day

From some moron named Emily Figdor, the "Federal global warming program director" of Environment America:
 The snowstorms that ground the nation's capital to a halt only underscored the need for bold action to fight global warming. Heavier, more frequent snowstorms are just what scientists predict in a warming world, as extreme weather events -- whether blizzards or heat waves -- become more common.
Earth to loony program director:
Much of U.S. Faces Record Cold Winter
By John Jessup, CBN News Washington Correspondent

Washington -- This week the United States is facing what could be its worst winter in 25 years.

Whether buried under a colossal record 33 inches of snow in Vermont or braving the unseasonably low temperatures blanketing the South, the bitter cold and snow has left millions of Americans in a deep freeze.

In the nation's capital, temperatures have been below normal for the past week or more and will likely stay that way for at least another week. [link]
Here's the theory these environmentalists cling to in this regard: Cooler ground temperatures or water temperatures collide with warmer atmospheric temperatures and ... voila! ... precipitation, in the winter in the form of snow.  Anyone who's ever been in Benton Harbor or Cleveland or Buffalo during a "white-out" will attest to the fact that the theory holds.

Only one problem: The average atmospheric temperatures up and down the East Coast this winter - in fact across the eastern half of the country - have been considerably below normal.  Just the opposite should be the case if "global warming" were to be causing all that snowfall, particularly in D.C..

 
But those are just facts.  As Al Gore might say: We don't need facts!  The potential for disaster is the important thing!

As sane people argue, however, deep thinkers like Gore - and this Figdor character - are entitled to make up their own opinions, but they're not entitled to make up their own facts.

Map courtesy of the U.S. Climate Prediction Center, National Weather Service, dated Feb. 12, 2010