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Feb 24, 201602:43 PMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Free speech and diversity of thought at the UW? Who’da thunk it?

(page 1 of 2)

The University of Wisconsin–Madison expends countless hours of tenured talent chasing diversity that is only skin deep. Color, gender, orientation, ethnicity — everything but what really counts: intellectual diversity. UW–Madison remains a virtual monoculture of Bernie Sanders-style progressive socialism.

A Washington Post columnist acknowledges, “Maybe conservatives are right to freak out about illiberal lefty militancy on college campuses. Today’s students are indeed both more left wing and more openly hostile to free speech than earlier generations of collegians. … There are [I would say “is”] hard data to prove it.”

Even the Puffington Host acknowledges that:

This past year will be remembered as the year that freedom of speech (or the lack thereof) on U.S. campuses became international news. Even President Barack Obama felt compelled to comment on the issue (three separate times). Although those of us who have worked for years on the front lines defending freedom of speech on campus think the media was a little late to the story, we can all agree that last year was an especially contentious one.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education named Marquette University as one of its 10 worst colleges for free speech.  

Among the institutions on FIRE’s annual “worst of the worst” list are a university that fired two faculty members for criticizing the university president’s plan to oust low-performing freshmen, a college that suspended a student for making a six-word joke on social media, and [a] university that punished a student for something someone else said — and then went after the student newspaper for reporting on the story.


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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Feb 25, 2016 07:33 am
 Posted by  Anonymous


With your track record you really shouldn't be lecturing anybody about free speech. Your support of the current cast of clowns under the dome and their full-throttle assault on open records, local control and now the Mark Harris fiasco disqualifies you from being included in intelligent discussion. Hypocrite

Feb 25, 2016 12:09 pm
 Posted by  madisonexpat

Sifting and winnowing is hard. Better to outlaw grain crops.

Feb 25, 2016 12:47 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

The illiberal atmosphere on college campuses can be traced directly to liberals' touching, child-like faith in the perfectibility of human nature. They're determined to transform campuses into prelapsarian paradises where not even the tiniest microaggression is tolerated, where not one word that could be construed (however far-fetchedly) as racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., etc. is uttered, where "safe spaces" abound, where professors are obliged to include "trigger warnings" on their syllabi, and where dissent from prevailing orthodoxy is crushed underfoot the moment it raises its head. In other words, campuses have become prototypes of what liberals dream of imposing on society at large. (Does anyone take Obama seriously when he wags the occasional finger at colleges that suppress free speech ... only for the most high-minded reasons, of course?)

Want to take bets on whether Black Lives Matter or some other group that enjoys the blessing of the crypto-fascist academic elite tries to shut down the lectures scheduled at UW-Madison next month?

Feb 25, 2016 01:00 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Love the graphic but it might need explaining. The woman pictured is a journalism professor at the University of Missouri who was videotaped attempting to prevent a journalism student from covering a public gathering on campus during the recent protests by Black Lives Matter and other groups; as a result, she inadvertently became the poster girl for campus intolerance. She perfectly represents the current academic mindset that elevates one's personal crusade against racism (or whatever evil real or imagined one chooses to embrace) above the basic guarantees of free speech.

Feb 25, 2016 01:19 pm
 Posted by  AnonyBob

Yeah, Dave, 7:33 makes some interesting points. I'd only add I'll never understand your defense of Citizens United and how unlimited dark corporate cash is free speech like your personal piddly contributions (if you make any) are to the candidates of your choice.
But what I'd really like a response from you about is the Mark Harris bill. As a former elected county official, what do you think about Fitzgerald and the Senate GOP rushing thru a bill (aren't they all, now?) to stick it to a county executive who happens to be a Democrat, who is thinking about running for an open senate seat? Shouldn't the acceptability of this be left up to the voters? Fitz didn't seem to have a problem with someone serving as a county exec and in the legislature at the same time when it was Bob Ziegelbauer. Of course, he was a conservative Democrat turned Independant who voted reliably with the Republicans. Do you think that made a difference? Please, I'd really like to hear your opinion of this. Explain to me how it is not petty partisan politics and an abuse of power and of law making. (Man, do I get tired of those words with the GOP in control.)

Feb 25, 2016 03:24 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Well stated Anonymous at 7:33!

Feb 25, 2016 03:35 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Scott Who?

Trump/Kassich 2016 Boom!

Feb 25, 2016 04:08 pm
 Posted by  David Blaska

Bring It! readers will know that the Squire has already declared fatwah against the Mark Harris bill.

Feb 25, 2016 04:18 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous


I am an elected county board member. Should I be prevented from running for the legislature? Or if elected have to resign the board position? Please answer that with a straight face, without fingers crossed. Thanks

Feb 25, 2016 04:45 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Predictably, you misstate the purpose behind safe zones. But why should you care? It's not like you have to actually deal with operational and practical implications of your bloviations. Your laptop, surrounded by reality.

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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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