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Colleges Being Remade Into "Repress U"? 527

Posted by kdawson
from the don't-speak-out dept.
The Nation has up a sobering article from its upcoming issue about how colleges and universities are being turned into homeland security campuses, in the name of preventing homegrown radicalization. Quoting: "From Harvard to UCLA, the ivory tower is fast becoming the latest watchtower in Fortress America. The terror warriors, having turned their attention to "violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism prevention' — as it was recently dubbed in a House of Representatives bill of the same name — have set out to reconquer that traditional hotbed of radicalization, the university."
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Colleges Being Remade Into "Repress U"?

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  • Free Speech Areas (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShakaUVM (157947) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @06:45PM (#22145654) Homepage Journal
    I think I'm more troubled by the "designated free speech areas" that are springing up on campuses everywhere.

    Not because people can (sort of) speak freely there, but colleges are banning free speech everywhere else.
    • by Aeron65432 (805385) <agiamba@noSpaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @07:03PM (#22145936) Homepage
      Agreed. This is one area where it's an advantage to attend a state-university than a private one.....public universities have to afford you the Bill of Rights. If you're on a private campus, they can do whatever the hell they want. (not exactly, but more than a public university)

      Moreso, it'd be better if we had this article from a newsworthy source...not an article as blatantly partisan as the Nation. (For the record Reason magazine or National Review would be wrong, too)

      • Re:Free Speech Areas (Score:5, Informative)

        by boarder8925 (714555) <thegreentrilby@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @07:19PM (#22146174) Homepage

        Agreed. This is one area where it's an advantage to attend a state university than a private one... public universities have to afford you the Bill of Rights.
        That's news to me. FSU's got "free speech zones." Maybe you could come and explain to them that they're not allowed to do this?
        • by DustyShadow (691635) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @07:43PM (#22146538) Homepage
          Reasonable restrictions on speech is allowed even by state and federal government. For example, the school in the "Bong hits for Jesus" case was free to punish that kid who was allegedly disruptive to the school's activities.
          • by Original Replica (908688) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @08:08PM (#22146818) Journal
            "Bong hits for Jesus" is the perfect example of just how over-controlling schools are becoming. Frederick, then a senior, was off school property when he hoisted the banner but was suspended for violating the school's policy of promoting illegal substances at a school-sanctioned event. [msn.com] So in the eternal bloating of government, students are now subject to the law of the school board even when they are not on school property. The fact that it was a "school sanctioned event" is irrelevant. The kid wasn't being disruptive to the schools activities he was being harmlessly disruptive to the Olympic torch passing. If you think that qualifies as a reasonable restriction you need to snap out of your sheep's mentality. Rights, like free speech, are not something that the government "allows". They are inherent to all humans, in places they are repressed by governments, in places they are repressed by cultures, but they always there. The difference is not trivial. In fact it is central to a free society.
            • by CajunArson (465943) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @12:29AM (#22149296) Journal
              He might not have been standing on school ground, but he was out of his normal class with school permission under school control at a school sponsored event. The kids are in school to learn, they had no "right" to see the torch go through, but they were still let out and the kid abused the privilege. He also expressly refused to put the sign away when the teachers who were there (because it was a school event) told him to. The sign was factually shown to be disruptive... he did it to grab attention and it worked. If you want to see how an actual political protest IS allowed in schools see the Tinker decision in which case there was an actual political protest that did not disrupt the educational process and was allowed. The Court has never said students don't have free speech, but free speech does not mean you can act like a jackass on the school's time and not have to worry about getting a (pretty normal) punishment for it.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by belmolis (702863)

                It is not true that the students' banner was shown to be disruptive. What are you thinking of? The passing of the torch was not disrupted. There was no class to be disrupted.

              • by The Spoonman (634311) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @10:58AM (#22153164) Homepage
                free speech does not mean you can act like a jackass on the school's time and not have to worry about getting a (pretty normal) punishment for it.

                funny, I was always taught my freedom of speech was meant to protect me from idiots who would label me a jackass because my opinion differed from theirs.
        • by Reivec (607341) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @10:47AM (#22153042)
          This is the first I have heard of this.... what the hell is a free speech zone? That sounds scary as hell. I laugh in the face of anyone who still claims America as a free country.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      The free speech areas actually make me somewhat optimistic.

      The reputation for activism that American universities received as a result of the Vietnam War has largely faded. Corporations have invaded the collegiate research department decision making process en-masse. The Federal Government has used the threat of widespread disqualification for Federal funding to coerce administrators into making certain changes (FBI record access w/o warrant springs to mind).

      Top this all off with the ever increasing trend
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Hell, various European nation student bodies have maintained significant political clout over the years... Why not ours?

        Well, it's either one of two things:

        a) You are a nation of pussies.
        b) The powers that be have been slowly tipping the balance of power in their favour over the last 50 years, turning you helpless.

        Option a) is the popular choice, but I'm firmly a believer of b). You're not asking for it, you're getting raped.
        • by Sylver Dragon (445237) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @09:54PM (#22148012) Journal
          I think it's more along the lines of it was first 'a' and now it's becoming 'b'.
          The American people gave up on taking responsibility for themselves when the Great Depression hit. They had screwed up and instead of working themselves out of it, they turned to government to fix it. Ever since, when troubles arise, instead of working it out themselves, people turn to government to fix it. It should be no surprise that our leaders have used that blind trust and faith to garner power and money for themselves and their cronies. The end result is where we are now, the people have given up their superiority over their government and unless we the people decide it's time to take responsibility for ourselves, and actually do it, it's going to be a fun ride into whatever form of tyranny we end up with (I've got my money on a "Brave New World" type central authoritarian system).
          And to think, I consider myself a patriot. But, I'm not so blinded by it to be unable to see that we have screwed up royal and that we're in trouble.
          • Re:Free Speech Areas (Score:4, Interesting)

            by rtb61 (674572) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @11:20PM (#22148748) Homepage
            'Er' no, it is meant to be a government of the people, by the people and for the people. In europe people readily do force the government to work in and preserve their best intrests. When the government does something for the people it is the people doing something for the people, not some mysterious alien force. When the government is corrupted it is private agencies, individuals who corrupt the government so it only serves the intrests of a greedy minority.

            Rampant capitalism is simply feudalism and bonded servants. In the US it has been the dismantling of the good work done at the end of the depressions, the rules the constrained the worst excesses of corporations and the rich, the social services that were put in place that stabilised and produced a healthier society, and as a result a more complacent society. It was a complacent society that allowed the damage to be done starting in the 70 and culminating in the current disaster.

            You can guarantee things will get worse if you create an even more ineffective social security net, allow fewer constraints upon the greed of corporations, less tax for the rich (they should pay the most, they benefit the most), fail to ensure free trade is actually fair trade (it ain't free trade if one side can cheat by underpaying workers, with poor and dangerous working conditions, use child slave labour, and polluting the environment). Failure to turn things around will ensure a path to a more primitive Mexican economy of the previous century that the Mexicans are now endeavouring to leave behind. A vote for even more necon capitalism is a vote for 'El Presidente de la República de los USA' , a vote for someone who fights for the workers, the majority of the people, is a vote to recreate a country the respects it's own constitution and the people it is meant to respect (don't think so, check out the social security net of Mexico that's what you are aiming for).

            As for turning around private campuses, haven't you realised yet, that they are in fact trying to get rid of the smart arse free thinking individualists because they are buggering up the grade averages and making to hard for the spawn of the 'rich but ugly' and the 'pretty but stupid' to gain a passing mark ;).

    • Sad but necessary (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Moryath (553296) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @07:19PM (#22146168)
      I work on a University campus, so I know what's really going on. It's simple: too many people abused their "right" to free speech by making it impossible to hold classes, being rowdy and loud in the halls, preventing people from passing into buildings, etc. In essence, depriving the students of the very thing they paid for. End result? The university isn't about having "free speech all the time", it's where people pay for an education. So the Universities had to strike a balance, and they had to do something so that those who wanted to protest can do so, but WITHOUT DISRUPTING CLASSES.

      You don't have the "right" to stand up and have a bitch-fest in a class you're signed up for, either - if you disrupt class, the professor has the right to order you out and call security if you don't leave. You don't have the "right" to prevent people from reaching classes either, and we had fuckwits from Code Pinko blockading the classrooms of engineering profs who had military service records and have some military research grants.

      And that even includes the fuckwad professors who hold chemistry class bitching about Bush and why everyone should be antiwar, too. You want to protest them? Take it up w/ the Dean, in the student newspaper, in the courts, or on your own time - not in the class.

      students at Hampton and Pace universities faced expulsion for handing out antiwar fliers, aka "unauthorized materials."

      I don't care what you're doing - whether it's an anti-abortion flyer, a pro-abortion flyer, an antiwar flyer, a pro-war flyer, or an advertising for your frat/sorostitute group's drinking party. If you're trying to force it into people's hands, or putting it on their cars (which is what WE get all the time where I work)... no. If someone actively takes it from you? Fine. But you don't have the right to force crap into my hands and you don't have the right to fuck with my vehicle. And I'm 100% sure that's the bullcrap they are really referring to.

      I also love this little gem:
      1. Target dissidents. As the warfare state has triggered dissent, the campus has attracted increasing scrutiny--with student protesters in the cross hairs. The government's number-one target? Peace and justice organizations.
      I'd trust the guys writing this so-called "report" more if those so-called "peace and justice organizations" weren't fronts for communist groups (ANSWER, International Socialist Workers Party, etc), anarchist groups, blatant racial supremacist organizations (MEChA and La Raza, motto "For the race, everything, for other races, nothing"), or international terrorist/genocide groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.

      I mean, really. We had a table of morons set up who were boldly collecting money that they admitted they'd be sending to Hezbollah. They should all have been deported for violating their visas - half of them had already dropped this semester's classes anyways, like they do every semester.
      • Almost forgot: (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Moryath (553296) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @07:36PM (#22146432)
        3. Keep an eye (or hundreds of them) focused on campus. Surveillance has become a boom industry nationally--one that now reaches deep into the heart of campuses. In fact, universities have witnessed explosive growth since 2001 in the electronic surveillance of students, faculty and campus workers. On ever more campuses, closed-circuit security cameras can track people's every move, often from hidden or undisclosed locations, sometimes even into classrooms.

        I helped get this established on our campus. Why did we do it? It has nothing to do with "tracking everyone" and everything to do with crime. We have cameras on the parking lots because we kept having "neighbors" from the black-dominated slums nearby breaking into cars and carjacking people, and so they now have someone watching to dispatch a cop to a problem spot 24/7. We have cameras on buildings leading to classrooms, and even a few IN classrooms, because of people committing rapes and getting into fights.

        5. Track foreign-born students; keep the undocumented out.
        Yeah. Because enforcing the law is a problem... how?
        The American Immigration Law Foundation estimates that only one in twenty undocumented immigrants who graduate high school goes on to enroll in a college--many don't go because they cannot afford the tuition but also because they have good reason to be afraid: ICE has deported a number of those who did make it to college, some before they could graduate.
        When every one that gets in displaces a legal citizen, legal resident, legal visa-holder who had the RIGHT to apply... yeah. I applaud such efforts.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by riceboy50 (631755)

          We have cameras on the parking lots because we kept having "neighbors" from the black-dominated slums nearby breaking into cars and carjacking people, and so they now have someone watching to dispatch a cop to a problem spot 24/7. We have cameras on buildings leading to classrooms, and even a few IN classrooms, because of people committing rapes and getting into fights.

          These are not new problems, and society has been dealing with them for centuries. Using that as a justification for creating a surveillance state is not okay with me. This is in the same line of thinking that brought us the PATRIOT ACT.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by pimpimpim (811140)
          I have been at several university campuses in Europe, and all these measures haven't been necessary there, except maybe for a few cameras near the entry of the door. The newspeak "Free Speech Areas" are the beginning of the end IMHO.

          There's only one appropriate way to summarize the situation you describe:

          WTF? What is wrong with you people. Seriously. What kind of mentality do you need to screw up your own education and throw away your liberties in the process? And these are supposed to be the intellectu

        • Re:Almost forgot: (Score:4, Insightful)

          by vic-traill (1038742) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @07:16AM (#22151302)

          ... in response to controversy regarding camera systems on post-secondary education campuses ...

          I helped get this established on our campus. Why did we do it? It has nothing to do with "tracking everyone" and everything to do with crime. We have cameras on the parking lots because we kept having "neighbors" from the black-dominated slums nearby breaking into cars and carjacking people, and so they now have someone watching to dispatch a cop to a problem spot 24/7. We have cameras on buildings leading to classrooms, and even a few IN classrooms, because of people committing rapes and getting into fights.

          I am empathetic to the issues you're presenting here. On the grounds of the university I work at, crime is very much an issue - usually, as far as I can tell, perpetrated by individuals not enrolled at the university. I hear you, and I don't think you're trolling.

          But - what makes the camera response difficult for me is that such institutions, in my experience (which makes this just another fscking opinion), are *incapable* of setting and sticking to terms of reference for such a facility. Once the cameras are in place, people just can't help themselves in using them beyond a scope of a video record to be used to identify thieves in response to car break-ins, for example.

          The transition to surveillance devices is fast, not matter how big a stack of bibles were used in swearing that they would never be used that way. Once the facility is in place, there is *always* what sounds to be a reasonable context for going beyond the original terms of reference.

          I believe that, in a free society, an individual has a reasonable expectation of proceeding through their day without being subject to arbitrary surveillance. If you remove that expectation, you take a significant step towards a functioning police state.

          Arbitrary surveillance is like crack for enforcement agencies of all ilk. Once they've tried it, they can't get it off it - it just works too damn well. And major precepts of privacy and freedom go out the window without a genuine debate about it every having taken place.

          I'm not trolling either - I just feel strongly on this issue.

      • Re:Sad but necessary (Score:4, Interesting)

        by The Anarchist Avenge (1004563) <.nicho341. .at. .morris.umn.edu.> on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @07:46PM (#22146572)

        I'd trust the guys writing this so-called "report" more if those so-called "peace and justice organizations" weren't fronts for communist groups (ANSWER, International Socialist Workers Party, etc), anarchist groups
        That's interesting. You're implying that anarchists can't want peace or justice?
        • You're implying that anarchists can't want peace or justice?

          Peace I'd agree with you... but I'd be interested to hear an anarchist's definition of 'justice'.

        • Anarchists just don't seem to exist anymore. I've been invited to "anarchist" events by "anarchists", and I always point out that organizing is the antithesis of anarchy, but they never seem to be sufficiently educated to grasp that point. When I was a kid the idea of anarchy was pretty universally understood -- no law, no rules, no-one in charge. I think kids today just like the fact that it sounds sensational, "I'm an anarchist, HIDE YOUR CHILDREN!!!".

          Poor kids today got nothin'. They're still learning
          • Re:Sad but necessary (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Artifakt (700173) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @11:22PM (#22148764)
            Anarchy literally means NO Archy, as in No Hierarchy. No person set up over other persons, everybody equal, and so on. Technically, the phrase "A nation of laws and not men" fits this definition. A strict definition of the word equates to having "No rulers", but not necessarily or even likely having no laws.
                  This is not just a matter of semantics. I wouldn't bother with this point if the vast majority of 'anarchists' were "Chaoticists" misusing the word to mean doing away with all law. The word is actually, very frequently used to mean no rulers. In the UK, there have been literally over 10,000 people put on lists of suspected anarchists because they oppose Monarchy (literally "One-archy"). They are people advocating getting rid of the British monarchy, including having no House of Lords, but many still support elections and laws, including having a House of Commons based parlimentary system. The U.S. gets these lists as part of establishing its own no-fly, and no-visit lists, and the US's intelligence services usually take the British anarchist designation as meaning "opposed to all government" so the U.S. is currently keeping "British anarchists" out of the country because they are people who don't support the current heir to the throne of George III. Funny, I thought the U.S. got started that way.
            • Re:Sad but necessary (Score:5, Informative)

              by demachina (71715) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @02:36AM (#22150144)
              "because they are people who don't support the current heir to the throne of George III"

              The current American President is from a family that are for all practical purposes Tories, pro aristocracy both in Britain and in America.

              Its quite possible British anarchists would be banned by the current administration precisely because they are vocal critics of the British royal family. The Bush clan are inordinately fond of the British monarchy.

              Yale and Connecticut have been a hotbed of Tory sympathizers since the America revolution and its that is the heartland of the Bush clan, not Maine or Texas. The Yale Fraternity Skull and Bones, where most of the Bush men have been members, originates from a group of Connecticut Tories and prominent opium traffickers. The Skull and Bones emblem comes from the pirate flags of Opium smugglers. A number of blue blood American families acquired much of their wealth trafficking in Opium in China in the 1800's. They were more or less the same as Heroine smugglers are today. Reference Wikipedia on William Huntington Russell [wikipedia.org] one of the principal founders of Skull and Bones.

              Americans were never universal in their support of the American revolution, for severing ties with the British throne, or establishing a Democracy which many Tories considered mob rule. Tories morphed into the Whig Party which in turn was the foundation of the Republican party which is why Republicans tend to be white, elitist and pro wealth.

              One interpretation of the Republican revolution over the last 10 years is it was basically the Tories regaining control of America 200 hundred years after they lost the American revolution. The last 8 years have been marked by the Republican aristocracy regaining control of the reins of power in America and doing away with as much of the American constitution as they could manage. Tories have always held the constitution in complete contempt along with the concept that all men are equal. Tories/Republicans are most decidely of the opinion that some people are better than others.
              • Re:Sad but necessary (Score:4, Informative)

                by Monsuco (998964) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @10:51AM (#22153098) Homepage

                Tories morphed into the Whig Party which in turn was the foundation of the Republican party which is why Republicans tend to be white, elitist and pro wealth.
                Incorrect! The Republican Party was founded when there was a split between the Democratic-Republic party. The Democrats formed when they started to oppose the anti-slavery sentiment in the party so they left and formed the Democrats. The Republicans formed out of what remained of the party and took up the issue of opposition to slavery. Also the modern day Democratic party is often considered to be the elitist party. Who are the elite members of the Democratic party? Large CEO's (despite the strange stereotype that all businesses are conservative look at most CEOs, most are Democrats), college professors, 85% of the media, and the educated elite, and most actors. The Democratic party tends to include the richest of the rich, and at the same time the poorest of the poor. The Republican party includes the small business owners, the Democrats have the CEO's. The Republicans include more people at the less extreme ends of the scale if you look at facts instead of stereotypes.

                Your blathering about the skull and bones sounds like the dude who got tazed.

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by rsborg (111459)

                  Incorrect! The Republican Party was founded when there was a split between the Democratic-Republic party. The Democrats formed when they started to oppose the anti-slavery sentiment in the party so they left and formed the Democrats. The Republicans formed out of what remained of the party and took up the issue of opposition to slavery.

                  You're about correct until you forget to mention that the pro-slavery democratic vote of the 60's died when the Democratic party became the party of civil rights (with Lyndo

          • I always point out that organizing is the antithesis of anarchy [...]

            No it's not. Anarchy is not chaos; it's a lack of rule. Chaos is just a natural result.

            There's nothing about being an anarchist that prevents you from listening to someone else's advice. The key difference between an anarchist and, say, someone who believes in electing a leader is the expectation that once a leader is chosen that everyone *must* listen to them. An anarchist is free to nod his head at the advice and then go off and do h
      • by Profane MuthaFucka (574406) <busheatskok@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @08:38PM (#22147168) Homepage Journal
        So you're in favor of suppressing the freedom of speech in some places so that we can have ORDER. I get it - you want the trains to run on time!
        • by cicho (45472) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @10:15PM (#22148210) Homepage
          Moderators on crack again. Parent is slightly inflammatory but makes a valid illustration of the idea expressed in GP. Security and liberty should not be a zero-sum game.
          • Re:Sad but necessary (Score:5, Interesting)

            by SteelAngel (139767) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @12:39AM (#22149364)
            There's a difference between the right to protest grievances, and the right to protest wherever you damn well want to and in whatever circumstances you want to. One of these is an actual right.

            Full disclosure: I am a 30 year old college professor at a small private school.

            Disrupting classes, invited lectures or other campus-wide gatherings is not only rude, but it is nothing less than thuggism. The whole point of the academy is the free and open flow of ideas. You may agree or disagree with those ideas, but to shout them down or disrupt the educational process is beyond the pale. Engagement with those you disagree with is far more constructive than acting like a jackbooted jerk.

            Before the late 1960s, hipsters were escorted off of campuses, student radicals were usually expelled. Professors who did not 'fit in' were routinely let go.

            Today, the politics on campus has all but reversed itself from the 1950s. "The man" today is the Boomer-aged Administration and Faculty: leftists who promote speech codes and shut down campus debate, harass conservatives, excuse 'favored groups' antisocial activity, etc. There hasn't been a truly progressive bone in the corpse of campus leftism since I was an undergrad in the late 90's. All that is 'left' is a proto-totalitarianist mantra of thoughtcrime and newspeak (oddly enough, that was the name of our campus newspaper whilst I was there!)

            To be a real 'campus radical' today is not to be a pot-smoking hippie; it is to be a member of the campus Republicans!
            • by maccam (967469) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @08:51AM (#22151778)
              Your comments imply that hippies took over the colleges, which is why universities are perceived to have a left wing bias (aah for the good old 1950's where the world was perfect and people knew their places).

              The reason "campus Republicans" are perceived to be the campus underdogs is that at this point in history the right tends to produce ideologues, who don't deserve and rarely qualify for university positions. This lack of open-mindedness is the biggest hinderance to right-leaning scholars playing a bigger role on campuses. The ideologues have all the answers and simply must find away to make data and evidence fit their ideology; whereas, a credible and open-minded conservative can soundly analyze data, let chips fall where they may. The manufactured threat that accompanied the run up to the Iraq war is a perfect example of the soft thuggery of the neocons (leave out contradictory evidence, use the most bizarre interpretation of data--the Al centrifuge tubes come to mind). The intellectual conservatives, the kind that fit in an academic environment, happen to be out numbered at the moment.

              Sincerely,
              Boomer-aged Faculty
      • by TheGreatHegemon (956058) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @09:07PM (#22147522)
        Looking [slashdot.org] at [slashdot.org] your [slashdot.org] posts [slashdot.org] and even some others comments in this thread [slashdot.org] (black dominated slums...) I can tell you're a tad on the conservative side, which really isn't too much of a problem. However, I sincerely doubt the situation is as severe as you claim it to be - are you honestly telling me that we're more disruptive that students during the Vietnam era?

        Believe it or not, Universities are traditionally considered bastions OF free thought and speech - these are the tools of learning. If I wanted to just learn from the professor in a classroom, then why don't we just simply call it "High School v.2"?

        I'm at a public University, and guess what? No designated "Free Speech Zones" or anything. Do the students riot? Scream in classes? Block the professors? Never. And we do have some issues [wikipedia.org].

        It's bad enough that the K-12 system starts students off on the idea of utter compliance (might even be part of the reason why your University has these issues now), but to even make Universities stifle speech - then what good is that pesky Bill of Rights?

        Here's the interesting part: We're considered on of the more conservative University of California schools - nestled in the heart of a Conservative part of California.

        I'd trust the guys writing this so-called "report" more if those so-called "peace and justice organizations" weren't fronts for communist groups (ANSWER, International Socialist Workers Party, etc), anarchist groups, blatant racial supremacist organizations (MEChA and La Raza, motto "For the race, everything, for other races, nothing"), or international terrorist/genocide groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.
        Just because you don't agree with their agendas (I definitely don't), doesn't mean that they should be banned. It's the cost of free speech - and one that we SHOULD be willing to pay! ESPECIALLY at Universities, where people should be rational and educated enough to know what they should listen to!
      • Really? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by copponex (13876)
        What I love about American culture (I was born and raised in the southeast) is the inability to try and comprehend why otherwise reasonable people engage in ultra-violent activities en masse. Sure, there are some sociopaths, but when your average citizen starts to follow sociopaths, there's likely a reasonable explanation. I think it's more likely that they live in perpetual poverty and are subject to random acts of violence directly by US forces or those who are backed by the US, rather than they "hate fre
      • "I'd trust the guys writing this so-called "report" more if those so-called "peace and justice organizations" weren't fronts for communist groups"

        Err, so fucking what, what the hell is wrong with having people involved in socialist organisations?
        They may well be idiots, but it's a perfectly valid political viewpoint.
      • by daigu (111684) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @10:03PM (#22148116) Journal
        Have an agenda? Want to make the argument that Quakers [afsc.org] are communists?

        At least four of the incidences of surveillance uncovered were activities coordinated or supported by the American Friends Service Committee, a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947. Founded by Quakers in 1917, the Service Committee began as a vehicle for conscientious objectors to the First World War to contribute to binding up the wounds of war: by building houses for war victims, feeding hungry children, and clothing the displaced. AFSC has historically felt called to witness against war and for changing the conditions that cause violent conflict.
        Your commentary that free speech zones are necessary to make sure there aren't disruptions in people's education is silly. It's not a factor and doesn't explain the sudden emergence of this kind of activity. And your anti-communism? It belongs to the 1950s. It's this kind of thinking that shows the bankruptcy and enablity to tolerate diversity of thought that is the hallmark of people calling themselves conservatives these days. I feel sorry for you.
    • Free speech areas aren't new, they're just getting a lot of attention these days. I lived on a campus that had a huge fracas over their long-standing speech zones back in 2000-2003 and may have sparked this entire issue, and I'm inclined to say this problem is a non-starter.

      The reason these areas were created, and the reason a lot of campuses still maintain them, is that in most cases the "speech" we're talking about is recruiting/issue advocacy by a student organization that wants to set up tables with
  • Queue (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Crowhead (577505) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @06:48PM (#22145712)
    Queue the "Loose Change" music while you read that.
  • by Malevolent Tester (1201209) * on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @06:50PM (#22145742) Journal
    Can't say I'm a great fan of TWAT, but even so:

    Target dissidents. As the warfare state has triggered dissent, the campus has attracted increasing scrutiny--with student protesters in the cross hairs. The government's number-one target? Peace and justice organizations.

    The Weathermen were a "peace and justice organization".

    Many campus police departments are morphing into heavily armed garrisons, equipped with a wide array of weaponry, from Taser stun guns and pepper guns to shotguns and semiautomatic rifles.

    Dear me, police armed with non lethal weapons? They have guns in a gun owning society? We're all doomed, I say, doomed.

    Track foreign-born students; keep the undocumented out

    Enforce the law against illegal immigrants? A horrific sign of incipient totalitarianism.

    Take over the curriculum, the classroom and the laboratory

    I'm shocked by this one, frankly (even more so than I was by the tasers). A government department wants to sponsor research within it's remit?

    Privatize, privatize, privatize.

    a) this has fuck all to do with repression of academia, just a left wing fear of the private sector
    b) giving contracts to private sector companies is not privatisation.

    The new homeland security campus has proven itself unable to shut out public scrutiny or stamp out resistance to its latest Orwellian advances

    Protip: Orwell wasn't warning about the right in 1984. If the average reader of the Nation got their way, only the targets would change. Any kulaks here?
    • by Stanistani (808333) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @06:56PM (#22145830) Homepage Journal
      The Weathermen?

      1968 called - it wants its bogeyman back.

      Geez, enough straw men in that field already? Crows have to eat y'know.
      • by phoebusQ (539940)
        Your accusation of straw-manning is a straw man in itself, as he was not construction such. The article itself draws parallels that he was merely taking to a further conclusion.
      • The Weathermen? 1968 called - it wants its bogeyman back.

        The 1980's called - you can keep their band [wikipedia.org]. It's okay.

    • by mvdwege (243851)

      You would do well to read a little more Orwell than just the wing-nut commentaries. Start with his 1946 essay 'Why I Write' for an education.

      In summary: Nineteen Eighty-Four was inspired by both totalitarian movements in Europe, both of the Left and of the Right. In fact, Orwell discusses this very point in a lenghty essay on the work of John Burnham, who he acknowledges as an inspiration for Nineteen Eighty-Four.

      Mart
      • by IgLou (732042)
        Some people fail to realize that if you go far enough left or right you've really met back end up in the same place. Well, in a way...
      • by Lane.exe (672783)
        That would require reading. It's much easier just to pontificate online as if you know what you're talking about than actually, you know, research something. That's what I learned in college!
      • by BeanThere (28381)

        'Totalitarian right'? That's technically a contradiction in terms, actually --- the source of most people's confusion in this regard is that left/right is overly simplistic, there are actually at least four poles (left/right/north/south), plus centrist ... take the world's smallest political quiz [theadvocates.org], it'll give a basic introductory overview of why. Usually when people speak of 'the right', at least in the US, they refer to freedoms (either economic freedoms and social freedoms, or just the former - where the c

  • Give me a break (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phoebusQ (539940) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @06:55PM (#22145820)
    Fearmongering is considered a traditional tool of the Right, but the Left appears to have become its new master. Frankly, I'm tired of it from both sides.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Fearmongering is considered a traditional tool of the Right, but the Left appears to have become its new master.

      I'm not sure if I understand what you're saying but the article on university repression, while a bit over the top, seemed to me to be more about outrage than fear - "we don't like being pushed around" rather than "we're afraid of being pushed around".

      One thing that has struck me as a bit strange is that I've seen former members of the Bush administration get university faculty appointments. I kn

  • by riseoftheindividual (1214958) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @06:58PM (#22145876) Homepage
    ... after we survived the radical 60s and proved to the world that free speech and tolerance of dissent works, the very generation that watched freedom of dissent work to fizzle out radicalism has come into the positions of power and are now acting as if it didn't work. Fear is truly the mind killer.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by QuantumRiff (120817)
      Obviously, they devoted their time in school to protesting and changing the world, instead of studying history textbooks.. ;)

      But damn, everything our parent's generation did when they were kids, they have made illegal for the next generation. Did your parents go to parties when they were underage and drink? Did they get Cited by the police for it? What about smoking a bit of weed. Bet they would ground you! In my town, they used to cruise one of the main roads. Nowaday's there are signs posted saying
      • by HTH NE1 (675604)

        Obviously, they devoted their time in school to protesting and changing the world, instead of studying history textbooks.. ;)
        Some who learn from history seek to improve upon a repetition of it.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by bersl2 (689221)
        I have always said that parenthood is a powerful poison of the mind; it seems to cause profound and uncontrolled reversion to instinct, something which is often harmful and dangerous to modern society and to the individuals thereof.

        Then again, many of these individuals may not have been thinking beings beforehand: mindless children become mindless adolescents become mindless adults. :P
      • I believe you, we had similar crackdowns in the late 80s when I was a teen on cruising in my area.

        It's like the older generations expect the younger ones to be more perfect than they ever were. I've been through it with my family, you should heard my mom and her siblings talk about me when I was a kid getting into trouble, making it sound like I was especially bad. Then as I became an adult, I became close friends with my grandfather and found out about *credit card fraud* and other outrageous things I ne
        • by CSMatt (1175471)
          Or you could think of it like Stephen Colbert does: The hippies of the 60s pissed everybody else off so much that they became conservatives.
    • the very generation that watched freedom of dissent work to fizzle out radicalism has come into the positions of power and are now acting as if it didn't work. Fear is truly the mind killer.

      Or... a whole generation of people isn't a monobloc that thinks alike. There were Young Republican types on those campuses as well.

  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @07:06PM (#22145972)
    "From Harvard to UCLA, the ivory tower is fast becoming the latest watchtower in Fortress America. The terror warriors, having turned their attention to "violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism prevention' -- as it was recently dubbed in a House of Representatives bill of the same name -- have set out to reconquer that traditional hotbed of radicalization, the university."

    Tonight... on 24! Jack Bauer delivers the glorious CTU smackdown to some girly man professors with their sights set on terrorizing the Heartland! Watch the Godless professors soil their undies as Bauer delivers a peer reviewed parcel of whoopass!

    Presented in high definition Tyranovision!
  • Free Speech Zones (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ProteusQ (665382) <dontbother.nowhere@com> on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @07:07PM (#22145980) Journal
    I was teaching at Wichita State before the Free Speech Zones. They had to implement them because Women's Studies majors were interrupting class by blowing an air horn to announce "Take Back the Night"-type events. So, the left-wing administrators had to find a way to kept the far-left-wing advocates from interrupting class and came up with the zoning scheme as the solution.

    If the right is truly repressing speech on campus via federal reg's, it's double-plus bad ungood; however, I contend there's far more internal repression of speech, and hence of thought, from the left on campus and has been for decades. (Why? Because they believe that true diversity will be achieved once everyone agrees with them.) So, if we want free speech on campus, let's make sure all of the sources of repression are dealt with.
    • by Ajehals (947354)
      Does it really matter what the political affiliation of those who support and encourage this are? I would have thought that in the "Land of the Free" the limitation of freedom would be frowned upon. Moreover what worries me with these free-speech zones is that I have no idea what is permissible outside of them. I hope they don't catch on anywhere else, small protest exclusions zones in sensitive areas are bad enough but the reverse (i.e. small protest-zones with protests banned everywhere else) are fright
    • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @07:41PM (#22146502) Homepage Journal
      Is there really a need for a "free speech zone" in this case? Why not just make a "don't be a dick" rule that says if you're disturbing classes then campus security (or cops) can haul you away. The restriction of free speech across the entire campus (save the parking lot behind the cheap bleachers on the far side of the campus) seems like gross overkill for the problem.
  • by jameskojiro (705701)
    A lot of colleges have agendas when it comes to allowing conservative students hold events and speak out, Which is ironic considering who is pushing this down our throats. Of course new-liberal types want to shut up consrvative speakers because they "know they are right". I say let both groups speak and if you don't like who is speaking you don't have to listen.

    • While I agree with your final conclusion, gross stereotypes help no one. Are there left wingers who want to shut everyone up? Yes. Are there right wingers that want to shut everyone up? Yes. Do they comprise the entirety of those that hold beliefs on either side? Hell no. Theres always going to be some wackos out there that believe that people need to be regulated, but they are spread across ALL demographics, and saying that "new-liberal types want to shut up conservative speakers" does everyone a disse
  • Is there any evidence of this ever being a problem such that this is worth spending any money on?

    Timothy McVeigh is the only example of home-grown terrorism I know about, and I don't recall him causing trouble at any institution of higher learning.

    And to prove the opposite point, that government is over-reaching, we can cite, e.g. Kent State.

    No wonder the Ron Paul rally I attended was overwhelmingly 20 & 30-somethings.

    • How about Ted Kaczynski [wikipedia.org] or in Canada the FLQ [wikipedia.org]. That said I think the American government has gone way to far. When I was young crossing the border was a decent way to kill a weekend. I don't do it anymore because your border guards scare the hell out of me. I strongly encourage all Americans to take a week and spend it in another western country. Just take the time to look around and realize how far you've gone to becoming a police state.
      • How about Ted Kaczynski

        According to Wikipedia there's a 10-year gap between the time he was associated with a university and when he did anything. He _targeted_ university folks, but nothing the TFA is talking about would have hindered him.

        or in Canada the FLQ

        I admit to knowing nothing about the FLQ, but Wikipedia doesn't say that its members were students - were they? It says that one of its cell leaders was a history professor.

        Score: Terrorist Professors - 2, Students - 0

        That said I think the American g
  • by superwiz (655733) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @07:24PM (#22146256) Journal
    This is the beginning of the end. First, they own your money. Then they monitor your correspondence. Then they call you crazy if you call them on what they are doing. Then ignorance is called strength. And then universal surveillance is called freedom. So how's is Britney Spears doing today? Anyone caught the game?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by maxume (22995)
      If "the game" is something Britney Spears has, I don't think I want to catch it.
  • Think. It's like in chess. First you strategically position your pieces. Then, when the timing's right. You strike.
  • by Kohath (38547) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @07:40PM (#22146490)
    The main watchdog for campus rights abuses is FIRE [thefire.org].

    Speech codes and anti-harassment "respect" policies are the most common culprits when it comes to violating individual rights at colleges.
  • by georgewilliamherbert (211790) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @07:41PM (#22146510)
    Two issues out of the article -

    1. Police departments on campus getting more firearms, including semiautomatic rifles and pistols.

    This is just dumb, for several reasons.

    A. Students may not see it that way, but the reason that campus police have guns is to protect the students. Criminals love to target students. Better armed criminals argues for better armed campus police. Happy peaceful unarmed campus police equals soft target. And there are always some nuts out there. Campus police may seem intimidating to students, and part of their job is to keep students from rioting and burning campuses down during periodic fits of dissention, but their primary job is to go get the people who come from outside to prey on students.

    B. 99% of police in the US now use semi-automatic pistols - they're just a better choice for officers than revolvers.

    C. Semi-automatic rifles are, in many situations, less likely to hurt bystanders than shotguns, the more common shoulder arm police use. Police also have had some long-range issues (snipers, mass murders, etc) which rifles are needed to counter.

    2. Blackwater as an example in the privatization

    Blackwater has for a long long time been a police and security training company. They also got into private security in Iraq, yes, but what they do in the US is nearly entirely provide tactical and skills training to police officers. Do you want more professional, better trained police? Most people do... Doctors and Paramedics need continuing training, so should Police. Some departments are big enough to do most of their own training, but most aren't. Training is good.
    • by fredklein (532096) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @08:24PM (#22147004)
      Criminals love to target students.

      Why?

      Because schools are a 'gun-free' zone'.

      Better armed criminals argues for better armed campus police

      No- they argue for better armed students. The cops are minutes away. The students are right there. The cops will 'form a perimeter' , then wait for SWAT to show up before going in. This can be many more minutes. The students are right there.

      Who should be armed? The people who won't show up for 10 minutes? Or the people who are on the scene?
      • Who should be armed? The people who won't show up for 10 minutes? Or the people who are on the scene?

        Yeah! Allow a bunch of young adults (many of whom partake of alcohol and other mind-altering substances on a regular basis) easy access to firearms! That sounds like a success strategy to me!

      • Actually, in major mass shooting incidents, cops responding will form up pairs and go into the building after the shooter, in most departments. Forming a perimeter is so pre-Columbine...

        I have to agree with the other responder - a lot of 18 and 19 year old students don't have great judgement on things like shoot / no shoot decisionmaking. And the law in the US prohibits handguns from anyone under 21 anyways, so that's 3/4 of the undergrads being unable to arm themselves anyways, unless you propose to ch
    • Do I detect another armchair cowboy?

      "Criminals love to target students". Huh? In most cases of attacks on students these have been a result of students attack their own co-students.

      ". Semi-automatic rifles are, in many situations, less likely to hurt bystanders than shotguns." and in many/most cases the shotgun is superior because it is less likely to cause unintended damage. A rifle bullet can travel many miles and can also go through walls etc. Not a good thing in a situation where there are a lot of inno

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Do I detect another armchair cowboy?

        I don't know, but I smell one now.

        "Criminals love to target students". Huh? In most cases of attacks on students these have been a result of students attack their own co-students.

        Students beat each other up regularly. A bit. Rarely with any serious injury. With regularity, they date rape each other, unfortunately.

        Forcible stranger rapes, murders, muggings, knifings, etc? Almost entirely off campus individuals.

        I paid attention to statistics when I was in college, and m

      • Re:Informative? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @10:19PM (#22148242) Journal

        in many/most cases the shotgun is superior because it is less likely to cause unintended damage.

        Um, do you have any experience with shotguns other than Doom/Quake? A shotgun fires a number of pellets that spread rapidly into a cone shape. After about 30 ft, the spread will be about 12 inches. With 00 buck shot, that is 8 pellets somewhere in a one foot circle. Think about a shoulder shot with 4 pellets missing the target entirely. They will be heading down range and can easily hit a bystander. Shotguns are great weapons for close in fighting, especially indoors and in heavy brush, due to limited range. At anything more than 60 ft, they loose effectiveness and are a danger to anything down range.

        Oh, and shotgun pellets can go through walls just fine. Especially 0 or 00 buck shot at close range. The big difference is that the shotgun will put a 2-3 inch hole in the wall and create more shrapnel.
    • by TheSkyIsPurple (901118) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @09:33PM (#22147778)
      > B. 99% of police in the US now use semi-automatic pistols

      That's a funny one for me... semi-automatic sounds so SCARY, but really isn't much different from a revolver.

      With a revolver you have, one click = one shot.
      With a semi-auto pistol you have, one click = one shot.

      Only effective difference is reload time (and autoloaders close that gap with training), and rounds in a load (usually 6 for revolver, more for semi-autos)
  • While many of the things addressed in the article, especially about trying to shift the social environments of many colleges are troubling, in the end I don't think universities are going to be very easily overcome as centers of free speech and dissent. The really simplified reason behind this in my opinion is this: smart engaged people who's world view comes from 'the left' tend to make great teachers, and great teachers have profound impacts on their students opinion and thought processes. Smart engaged p
  • It seems they are battening down all the hatches, going totally overboard as far as "Homeland Security" is concerned. The question is what for? Is it paranoia for its own sake or is something going to happen in the near future that they are preparing for?
  • if thinks like students getting tased for trying for trying use the right for free Speech or because they are black / Muslim or any other thing that some rent a cop campus security keep happening. How long before some one gets shot?
  • Proof! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by B5_geek (638928) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @08:54PM (#22147394)
    Finally we have proof that (all) Government(s) fear the education of the populace. As if there was any doubt before.
  • Free Speech Zone (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ohio Calvinist (895750) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @09:03PM (#22147474)
    I've worked for several colleges, and most had Free-Speech Zones where student organizations, community members where allowed to setup tables, pass out leaflets, etc. The other instututions that didn't have these, had a general understanding of "where" was appropriate to have peaceful protest, or speakers.

    In all cases, these areas were central to the campus and often in areas where students tended to gather normally. I never observed police try to interfere with the students or speakers and only interfered outside these areas when they were breaking the law (e.g. using chalk on unviersity buildings walls where the rain wouldn't wash it off), harassing bystanders going to class, or were being loud as to interupt others right to peace. (e.g. interupting classes.)

    Unfortunately in my experience, the only situations I observed censorship in higher ed were in the classrooms, where students were penalized in their academic work for arguing alternative theories (e.g. in the social sciences) that were not the prefered theories or ideologies of the professors. I found it was a lot easier to grit my teeth and agree in class and on paper with the professors than argue any alternative viewpoint.

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