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Apr 14, 201407:29 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Diversity, but not of thought or speech

(page 1 of 2)

It is gratifying that voices more amplified than your humble Squire’s wheezing squeeze box are beginning to sound the same alarm: that so-called progressives are doing their damnedest to stymie free speech.

These electronic pages have chronicled the Hate-Walker crowd shouting down conservative speakers on the Capitol grounds, protesters attempting to shut down a bank on the Capitol Square (some of its executives had donated to Walker’s campaign), Mayor Soglin demanding ideological purity as a condition for doing business with the City of Madison, and the general mau-mauing of minority opinions hereabouts. Aside from Miss Vicki, who else in Greater Madison has spoken out for free speech?

This intolerance has achieved weapons grade with “Move to Amend,” the most potent enemy the First Amendment has encountered since Tailgunner Joe McCarthy. (Note the “Occupy This” and “Progressive and Social Justice That” list of supporters.) Its stated purpose is to prevent voluntary associations of citizens from speaking collectively if they have organized as a corporation — as almost all print, broadcast, and online media have. (Of course, they exempt themselves.)

The chilling effect

More troubling still is the partisan use of the secret investigatory process known as “John Doe” to squelch speech. Fortunately, almost the only news media outraged is also the largest print presence: The Wall Street Journal. (“Wisconsin Civil Rights March.”)

The John Doe probe has been a one-sided investigation conducted against political opponents to chill their ability to influence elections …

The state’s news media and self-appointed good government watchdogs, sad to say, remain complicit in this assault on political speech. (Cast your vote in the right-hand column on who is least likely to speak out on free speech.)

Jonah Goldberg picks up the trail in the National Review:

Think about what connects so many of the controversies today: Mozilla’s defenestration of Brendan Eich, Brandeis [University]’s disinviting of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the IRS scandal, Hobby Lobby, Sisters of Mercy, the notion climate skeptics should be put in cages, the obsession with the Koch brothers. … They’re all about either the hunting of heretics and dissidents or the desire to force adherence to the One True Faith. — “When liberalism fails.”

Add to that toxic mix the Harvard Crimson’s demand that “academic justice” replace academic freedom. The New York Times’ token conservative, Russ Douthat, warns:

Too many powerful communities … promise diversity but only as the Left defines it, fill their ranks with ideologues and then claim to stand athwart bias and misinformation … — “Diversity and Dishonesty.”

Pulitzer Prize-worthy Charles Krauthammer writes:

No longer trying to win the debate, the Left is trying to stop debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition. The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. — “Thought Police on Patrol.”

Social justice= political censorship

Even some progressive voices are reaching that oh-oh moment. Here is Michelle Goldberg in The Nation:

It’s increasingly clear that we are entering a new era of political correctness … the idea, captured by Herbert Marcuse … that social justice demands curbs on freedom of expression. — “The Return of the Anti-Liberal Left.”

As far back as September 2011, your humble Squire wrote, “Madison liberals have no interest in opposing viewpoints.” That article two and a half years ago was a distillation of a theme I had been sounding for at least a year before. I quoted UW law professor and blogresse Ann of Althouse: Why does the left hate free speech?

Having submerged themselves in disciplining each other by denouncing any heretics in their midst, they find themselves overwhelmed. … When they failed to win over the American people, and when in fact the speech from their opponents seemed too successful, they switched to the repression of speech.


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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Apr 14, 2014 08:00 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

If Dear Leader Comrade Obama wanted the masses to have diversity, he would have given you some with your rations of beets and potatoes.

Long live the glorious vision of the Progressive revolution, as we liberate millions from the tedium of the workplace through Obamacare.

Apr 14, 2014 08:23 am
 Posted by  Anonymous


are you serious ?

Apr 14, 2014 09:02 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Yes, Miss Vicki is certainly a beacon of hope for free speech advocates. That is, when she's not shouting down or hanging up on callers with whom she doesn't agree. Meanwhile, Blaska and his friends like Brian Schimming are given all the time they'd like to speak on public radio.

Apr 14, 2014 11:16 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

I was going to vote on the poll, but Blaskas' name wasn't on it. Once again, skewing the results by rigging the data... how blaka-ish..

Apr 14, 2014 04:54 pm
 Posted by  David Blaska

"I was going to vote on the poll, but Blaskas' name wasn't on it. Once again, skewing the results by rigging the data... how blaka-ish.."

Have I not spoken out in favor of free speech? Have I denied yours? How Anonym-ish!

Apr 14, 2014 08:30 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

If the dems are against free speech, they can just move to their favorite communist controlled country and leave our country alone. And the only persons I've heard Vicki hang up on are just plain idiots that really shouldn't be allowed out of the asylum. But that might be the norm for Madistan. We should put a big fence around the city and require ID and proof of sanity to get out.

Apr 14, 2014 08:56 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

In 2014 America, the biggest threat to diversity of speech and thought is the Obama regime. The militarization of the IRS and naked use as a deterrent of political dissent is a prime example. The alphabet soup bureaucracies of DHS, FEMA, TSA, FBI, CIA etc etc have never been more encouraged to spy on Americans on domestic soil.

None of this bothers the true believers in the media, as their silence indicates tacit approval of the systematic stripping of rights by the federal government. There is no doubt that Comrade Nichols would welcome the equivalent of an Obama KGB political officer overseeing his press operation to maintain Marxist ideological purity at the Capital Times.

Apr 15, 2014 05:47 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

So you say for yourself.

how blaka-ish.

Apr 15, 2014 06:01 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Yes, Dave you have censored comments I posted to this site. Several times. There were factual and provable accounts of situations that did not fit in your argument. But I let it ride as I understand your blog is more "entertainment" like Rush rather than a cogent analysis of the facts. Keep saying you defend free speech, maybe someday you will believe it.

Apr 15, 2014 06:55 am
 Posted by  Tom Breuer

To be clear, David Blaska has never censored a comment on this blog. All comments are reviewed by an administrator. We reject comments that include profane language or are potentially defamatory. Mr. Blaska has no control over which comments are approved.

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Who's the Worst Defender of Free Speech?

About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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