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Eric Posner: College Students Are Children Who Should be Seen But Not Heard
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Eric Posner, a U. of Chicago law professor (and son of Judge Richard Posner), has been on a roll lately with a series of reductio ad absurdum articles, such as last year’s Open Borders classic in The New Republic, “A Radical Solution to Global Income Inequality: Make the U.S. More Like Qatar.” Whether Professor Posner gets his own jokes is another question, though.

From Slate:

Universities Are Right—and Within Their Rights—to Crack Down on Speech and Behavior

Students today are more like children than adults and need protection.

By Eric Posner

Lately, a moral panic about speech and sexual activity in universities has reached a crescendo. Universities have strengthened rules prohibiting offensive speech typically targeted at racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities; taken it upon themselves to issue “trigger warnings” to students when courses offer content that might upset them; banned sexual acts that fall short of rape under criminal law but are on the borderline of coercion; and limited due process protections of students accused of violating these rules.

Most liberals celebrate these developments, yet with a certain uneasiness. Few of them want to apply these protections to society at large. Conservatives and libertarians are up in arms. They see these rules as an assault on free speech and individual liberty. They think universities are treating students like children. And they are right. But they have also not considered that the justification for these policies may lie hidden in plain sight: that students are children. Not in terms of age, but in terms of maturity. Even in college, they must be protected like children while being prepared to be adults. …

That’s why the contretemps about a recent incident at Marquette University is far less alarming than libertarians think. An inexperienced instructor was teaching a class on the philosophy of John Rawls, and a student in the class argued that same-sex marriage was consistent with Rawls’ philosophy. When another student told the teacher outside of class that he disagreed, the teacher responded that she would not permit a student to oppose same-sex marriage in class because that might offend gay students.

While I believe that the teacher mishandled the student’s complaint, she was justified in dismissing it. The purpose of the class was to teach Rawls’ theory of justice, not to debate the merits of same-sex marriage. The fact that a student injected same-sex marriage into the discussion does not mean that the class was required to discuss it. The professor might reasonably have believed that the students would gain a better understanding of Rawls’ theory if they thought about how it applied to issues less divisive and hence less likely to distract students from the academic merits of the theory.

Posner is completely leaving out that the real issue is that a different professor at Marquette, John McAdams, is being stripped of tenure for blogging in criticism of the first professor in Posner’s example.

… Most of the debate about speech codes, which frequently prohibit students from making offensive comments to one another, concerns speech outside of class. Two points should be made. First, students who are unhappy with the codes and values on campus can take their views to forums outside of campus—to the town square, for example. The campus is an extension of the classroom, and so while the restrictions in the classroom are enforced less vigorously, the underlying pedagogical objective of avoiding intimidation remains intact

Second, and more important—at least for libertarians partisans of the free market—the universities are simply catering to demand in the marketplace for education. While critics sometimes give the impression that lefty professors and clueless administrators originated the speech and sex codes, the truth is that universities adopted them because that’s what most students want. If students want to learn biology and art history in an environment where they needn’t worry about being offended or raped, why shouldn’t they?

He’s just trolling now: “offended or raped” … Not exactly the same things.

… And this brings me to the most important overlooked fact about speech and sex code debates. Society seems to be moving the age of majority from 18 to 21 or 22. We are increasingly treating college-age students as quasi-children who need protection from some of life’s harsh realities while they complete the larval stage of their lives. Many critics of these codes discern this transformation but misinterpret it. They complain that universities are treating adults like children. The problem is that universities have been treating children like adults.

A lot of the controversies about campus life become clearer from this perspective. Youngsters do dumb things. They suffer from impulse control. They fail to say no to a sexual encounter they do not want, or they misinterpret a no as yes, or in public debate they undermine their own arguments by being needlessly offensive. Scientific research confirms that brain development continues well into a person’s 20s. High schools are accustomed to dealing with the cognitive limitations of their charges. They see their mission as advancing the autonomy of students rather than assuming that it is already in place. They socialize as well as educate children to act civilly by punishing them if they don’t. Universities have gradually realized that they must take the same approach to college students.

This explains examples such as the dean of Harvard Law School Martha Minow denouncing a third year Harvard Law School student Stephanie Grace for writing in a private email to two other HLS friends an intelligent, cautious assessment of why she can’t be as confident as they are that the origin of the Bell Curve Gap is genetic, but she can’t rule it out either: “Please don’t pull a Larry Summers on me,” she concluded. Later, owing to a catfight over a beau, the female recipient leaked Grace’s email to the black student union so Grace would be nationally shamed.

Oh wait, Grace was a third year law student and was being denounced by her dean for having a mature approach to thinking about a central question of the American social sciences.

In fact, how old was Larry Summers anyway? John C. McAdams? James D. Watson?

Donald Sterling was so old that to legalize his punishment by the NBA he had to be found senile, which raised the question why was everybody so upset over what a senile old man said in private, but that’s not the point, now is it?

So maybe political correctness isn’t about controlling children, now is it?

Yet college students have not always enjoyed so much autonomy. The modern freedoms of college students date back only to the 1960s, when a wave of anti-authoritarianism, inspired by the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement, swept away strict campus codes in an era of single-sex dorms. The modern speech and sex codes have surfaced as those waters recede back to sea. What is most interesting is that this reaction comes not from parents and administrators, but from students themselves, who, apparently recognizing that their parents and schools have not fully prepared them for independence, want universities to resume their traditional role in loco parentis.

Another theory is that the people who were the rebels in the 1960s are the now the Establishment and they’re not about to let anybody do to them what they did to the old Establishment.

Vaclav Havel had some insights into how this kind of system works.

 
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  1. Priss Factor [AKA "K. Arujo"] says:

    Someone silence Posner.
    His babytalk is annoying.

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  2. Priss Factor [AKA "K. Arujo"] says:

    “Most of the debate about speech codes, which frequently prohibit students from making offensive comments to one another, concerns speech outside of class.”

    But ‘offensive’ is subjective.

    If a student says ‘Muhammad sucks’, it might offend Muslims but not others.

    Commie talk might offend anti-communists but delight Marxists.

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    • Replies: @Stan D Mute

    But ‘offensive’ is subjective.
     
    Isn't that the point? It allows the group with power to wield it against whomever they wish for any "offense" and at any time. Thus anyone they perceive as a danger may be silenced regardless of whether that person violated any objective rule or standard.
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  3. Maj. Kong says:

    Posner: The Great Defenders of Freedom for me but not for thee

    I admit to rather liking his ideas, raising the voting age to 21 would marginally hit the left more. And to have any prominent figure attack the perfidy of universal suffrage is a good thing.

    As society becomes “diverse” or in our terms “hodgepodged”, we’ll have to accept that freedom is going to be curtailed lest stratification accelerate. It is no surprise this movement began in the elite colleges.

    The solutions to “hodgepodge” is either Balkanization into separate countries, massive ethnic cleansing, injecting Birth Control to benefit recepients and subsidizing upper class births, or a soft tyranny that crimps efforts at ethnic-religious separatism.

    The last appears the cheapest option for the elites.

    Is the problem the structure of Political Correctness, or in who is running it?

    (Recall that the Inquisition succeded, the Reformation never hit Spain, the conversos didn’t revert)

    After all, is one-party authoritarian Singapore so bad? Did NYC become better under Bloomberg?

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    • Replies: @Bert

    After all, is one-party authoritarian Singapore so bad?
     
    Singapore isn't really multicultural.
    , @HairlessNeanderthal
    Then you, by default have to raise the age of military service to 21. Which is impossible, as that would shut down all our ROTC and academy programs, as well as savage recruitment, since most people are already on some kind of path by 21. On that note, conscription should not be possible for anyone younger than 25 otherwise there its too high of a chance that you'll be conscripted to fight in a war you never had the opportunity to vote against.
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  4. Bert says:
    @Maj. Kong
    Posner: The Great Defenders of Freedom for me but not for thee

    ---

    I admit to rather liking his ideas, raising the voting age to 21 would marginally hit the left more. And to have any prominent figure attack the perfidy of universal suffrage is a good thing.

    As society becomes "diverse" or in our terms "hodgepodged", we'll have to accept that freedom is going to be curtailed lest stratification accelerate. It is no surprise this movement began in the elite colleges.

    The solutions to "hodgepodge" is either Balkanization into separate countries, massive ethnic cleansing, injecting Birth Control to benefit recepients and subsidizing upper class births, or a soft tyranny that crimps efforts at ethnic-religious separatism.

    The last appears the cheapest option for the elites.


    Is the problem the structure of Political Correctness, or in who is running it?

    (Recall that the Inquisition succeded, the Reformation never hit Spain, the conversos didn't revert)

    After all, is one-party authoritarian Singapore so bad? Did NYC become better under Bloomberg?

    After all, is one-party authoritarian Singapore so bad?

    Singapore isn’t really multicultural.

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    • Replies: @Maj. Kong
    Being a product of Midwestern monoculture, everything below 90% YT is to me.
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  5. Maj. Kong says:
    @Bert

    After all, is one-party authoritarian Singapore so bad?
     
    Singapore isn't really multicultural.

    Being a product of Midwestern monoculture, everything below 90% YT is to me.

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  6. In my experience my 18 year old students are basically children; my 21 year old students are basically adults.
    Universities of course should not have stopped acting in loco parentis. OTOH even high school students should be allowed to disagree with political orthodoxy in class; academics certainly should!

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  7. Stephen says:

    The Havard law girl who allegedly outed Stephanie’s email out of spite, Yelena Shagall, seems to have escaped much publicity.

    I’d have thought heaping notoriety on someone else would be a double-edged sword since you risk having your own name associated with the story forever.

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    • Replies: @anonymous-antimarxist

    The Havard law girl who allegedly outed Stephanie’s email out of spite, Yelena Shagall, seems to have escaped much publicity.

    I’d have thought heaping notoriety on someone else would be a double-edged sword since you risk having your own name associated with the story forever.
     
    Well Golly Gee Batman!!! Why might that be???? Ever hear of Who, Whom???

    http://flyoverlibertarian.blogspot.com/2010/05/in-defense-of-stephanie-grace-or.html


    I managed to find the name of the leaker via a comment on a posting of OneSTDV and confirmed it with other sources. Her name is Yelena Shagall. She is a Belarusian-born Jew from Skokie, IL.
     
    Read the rest.
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  8. Beliavsky says:

    If college students are children, promoting homosexuality and genital mutilation (transgenderism) and casual sex through coed dorms with no visitation rules should be considered corrupting the morals of minors.

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    • Replies: @Simon in London
    That's certainly my view!
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  9. peterike says:

    Posner… Posner…. That’s like a classic Catholic name, right?

    On the larger subject, he’s right about one thing. Having draconian speech codes in college is certainly a good way to prepare “children” for the adult world, because the workplace today is no different. Better to learn early what thoughts are crime-thoughts.

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  10. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    If a person is over 18 they can join the military. A large number of those killed have been of college student age, which Posner classifies as being children. Will Posner come out and oppose children being killed in war?

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  11. Staaaaaaaaaan / Once you wanted revolution / Now you’re the institution / How’s it feel to be the Man?

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  12. While it’s true that the average 20 year old, especially if male, doesn’t have a brain wired for remembering responsibilities compared to that of the average 25 year old, they’re definitely capable of having informed opinions and effectively defending them.

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    • Replies: @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "While it’s true that the average 20 year old, especially if male, doesn’t have a brain wired for remembering responsibilities compared to that of the average 25 year old, they’re definitely capable of having informed opinions and effectively defending them."

    Perhaps, but that is all immaterial. The law of the land states one is an adult at age 18, period. Despite the restrictions on the purchase of alcoholic beverages (which I frankly think should be repealed, at least for beer & wine, if not necessarily the hard stuff).
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  13. NOTA says:

    If we took Posner’s thesis seriously, we would have to go back to strict rules keeping women and men separated when they weren’t chaparroned, to try to save these children from sex before they’re ready. Obviously nobody is going to do that.

    So we’re really talking about suppressing the expression of ideas that are controversial in the wrong way (they offend the powerful people in the universities). Posner seems to have constructed a justification for letting the powerful suppress ideas they find offensive in the university setting, whose logic will never be applied to any other situations.

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    • Replies: @Simon in London
    >>If we took Posner’s thesis seriously, we would have to go back to strict rules keeping women and men separated when they weren’t chaparroned, to try to save these children from sex before they’re ready. Obviously nobody is going to do that.<<

    It would be a good idea, though.
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  14. Posner offends me. Can I get him to shut up?

    When 18 year olds can’t get married, vote, sign contracts, join the Army, and all the rest, then we’ll talk. Maybe they shouldn’t have to pay taxes either.

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    • Replies: @Another Canadian
    Historically, age 21 was generally considered the age of majority.

    For example, in colonial Virginia (arguably the most economically important colony) only persons who were 21 or over could:
    · Buy or sell land without restriction
    · Vote or hold public office
    · Bring suit, or be sued, in one’s own name
    · Devise land in a will
    · Sign a bond or note
    · Patent land
    · Marry without consent
    · Act as a guardian
    · Serve on a jury

    Children aged 14 and over could:
    · Witness deeds, wills and contracts
    · Bequeath personal property in a will (12 for females)
    · Testify in court
    · Act as an executor [at the age of 17]
    · Select a guardian
    · Apprentice themselves without parental consent
    . Be charged with any crime

    MINORS UNDER 14 COULD:
    . Own land acquired by gift or inheritance
    . Sell or buy land, but the contract was unenforceable if the minor later changed his mind, while a minor or after becoming an adult

    Teenagers being considered adults is a relatively recent mind set.

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  15. Re: Hodgepodization

    I recently read “Courage and Other Broadcasts,” a collection of BBC broadcasts by Field Marshall Sir William Slim, a highly decorated World War II hero. In 1947 he gave a talk entitled “Looking Ahead,” about the challenges Britain faced in trying to recover from the ruination of the war. He expressed optimism, partly because of the nation’s homogeneity: “Unlike so many countries, we have no terrible divisions among us that can hardly be settled except by violence or civil war. Whatever part of Britain you go to, with whatever people you mix, we are all remarkably alike in temper and outlook. We are still the calm, tolerant British. There is overall remarkably little scrambling for unfair advantages. We still believe in fair play.”

    That intolerable alikeness was ended within 50 years and the divisions necessary for future violence and civil war put in place. Mission accomplished!

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  16. Art Deco says: • Website

    News flash: college and university faculties (and administrations) are shot through with condescending twits and intellectual (and moral) frauds. Eric Posner is in good company. You cannot do much about the quality of the faculty. You can reduce their funding and strip higher education of much of its function in the realms of sorting and signaling in the labor market. They’d still be asses, but asses with little influence in society (rather like the mainline protestant clergy).

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  17. Bettega [AKA "Derfel"] says:

    The “War on Hate Speech” uses the same logic as the “War on Drugs”.

    When leftist judges made prosecuting criminals harder in the 1960s, the answer was to devise a way to get them in jail through drug dealing charges, since most criminals use drugs anyway.

    Now the Constitution makes prosecuting rightist dissidents for being dissidents impossible, so the solution is to devise a way to prosecute them through “hate speech”. It’s easy because most rightists will utter something that the left consider “hate speech” sooner or later.

    If i lived in the Western world, i would be reading Czesław Miłosz’s The Captive Mind, you’re going to need it.

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  18. Toddy Cat says:

    “the truth is that universities adopted them because that’s what most students want. ”

    Care to put it to a vote on any university campus, pal?

    I didn’t think so…

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    • Replies: @Maj. Kong
    The university has many "stakeholders"

    -Alumni
    -Faculty
    -Admin
    -Parents
    -Students
    -U.S. governments
    -Foreign governments (China, Saudi)

    Of that list, how many really want "free speech".

    Confucius Institutes, really???
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  19. 18 years is very young to study in University. In the end, greater majority of self called human adults are in true, adultescents. The body change, the voice change, the interests change because hormonal alteration but the mental and psychological maturity for most finish in 20 years. Earlier exposition to sexual stuff can be working to increase impulsive behaviors in youngs today. Cultural chronological stages seems very important too to create a normal fluidity of bio-developmental events.

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  20. McFly says:

    Judge Posner also has a habit of making eccentric statements in articles and judicial opinions.

    This was the major reason he could never be seriously considered as an appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, despite being the most distinguished judges in recent history.

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  21. black sea says:

    “One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.” — Orwell, 1984

    Orwell saw the 60′s generation for what they would become when they were just a sparkle in their parents’ eyes. They view themselves and their “revolution” as one of expanding rights and equality, an overturning of exhausted and confining social convention, and a liberation of the human consciousness. And what did it all add up to:

    Limitations on free-speeech, including research-based academic discourse.

    The shaming, stigmatization, and potential unemployment of anyone who voices a point of view contrary to their ideology (in some Western nations, this is already a crime).

    A sexual morality so full of internal contradictions that no one can really live up to its ideal of an absolute libertinism which somehow never leads to feelings of resentment, jealousy, exploitation, abandonment, or lonliness and self loathing. So long as we all follow the rules laid out by our self-proclaimed gurus, and forget all about human nature, we’ll all get along just fine. Oh, and don’t forget to use a condom while you’re doing it.

    The indefinite postponement of adulthood, with the ultimate goal of extending adolescence to the grave.

    Abolition of any understanding of the need to make trade offs and hard choices.

    A refusal to understand that the cleverer component of the millenial generation already takes their worldview about as seriously as they did the politics of Richard Nixon, Ronald Regan, George Wallace, and Jesse Helms.

    They may not be mocked, they may not be disagreed with, they are not subject to irony or satire, and they must be at all times agreed with, if not venerated, because after all, they broke down the barriers to justice and equality and liberated every oppressed soul from Columbia, South Carolina to Cape Town, South Africa.

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    • Replies: @Bill
    Now, that comment deserves the orange box. Excellent.
    , @Priss Factor
    "...because after all, they broke down the barriers to justice and equality and liberated every oppressed soul from Columbia, South Carolina to Cape Town, South Africa."

    But for some reason not in Israel/Palestine.
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  22. Roger says: • Website

    “If students want to learn biology and art history in an environment where they needn’t worry about being offended or raped, why shouldn’t they?”

    That’s a good one. Brilliant. I suggest going further:

    If students want to learn biology and art history in an environment where they needn’t worry about being charged tuition or raped, why shouldn’t they?

    If students want to learn biology and art history in an environment where they needn’t worry about being required to do homework or raped, why shouldn’t they?

    If students want to learn biology and art history in an environment where they needn’t worry about being tested or raped, why shouldn’t they?

    If students want to learn biology and art history in an environment where they needn’t worry about being graded or raped, why shouldn’t they?

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  23. Udolpho says: • Website

    Jewish nepotism, you say?

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  24. MLK says:

    “Students today are more like children than adults and need protection.”

    To which I would respond, today, to many adults, including Posner, are bothering young people and need to knock it off.

    “If students want to learn biology and art history in an environment where they needn’t worry about being offended or raped, why shouldn’t they?”

    Posner is smart. Therefore we should first consider why he is writing something stupid?

    As many of your incisive commenters revealed, there is a kernel of truth in a number of explanations for the psychology of adults who would find Posner’s strained, post-hoc reasoning appealing. Often, in short, they’ve got Issues.

    We have bright line rules like the age of majority to protect young people from all of them.

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    • Replies: @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "Posner is smart. Therefore we should first consider why he is writing something stupid?"

    Perhaps its because he's evil?
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  25. GW says:

    The way he misuses libertarian and free-market thought is what bothered me most. He knows well enough that colleges aren’t run like businesses, and that many receive government funding through taxpayers and grants, and have different rules and regulations than commercial businesses or other organizations.

    If radical feminists or left-wing anti-war loons can stage their demonstrations in the quad because it is public space, so too can conservatives in a pro-life rally. Classroom decorum is one thing, but if the discussion of the merits of same-sex “marriage” isn’t germane with regards to Rawlsian philosophy, then the reason for restricting someone’s rejection of same-sex marriage has nothing to do with the feelings of homosexuals. Someone getting off-topic in a class discussion is neither unusual nor a big deal; clearly the student’s opposition to same-sex “marriage” was.

    Of course Marquette is a private university and can make restrictions it feels is in the best interest of its academic aims, even if they target conservatives. One wonders if the now-libertarian Posner is fine with homeowners associations who make restrictions negatively affecting prospective black homeowners or evangelical churches who make restrictions negatively affecting homosexuals.

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  26. Your final sentence “Another theory is that the people who were the rebels in the 1960s are the now the Establishment and they’re not about to let anybody do to them what they did to the old Establishment” is the best thing I’ve read about the college campus this decade. Did you steal it from PJ O’Roarke? If not, he’s going to steal it from you.

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  27. A country can have freedom or be multiracial/multi-ethnic, but it can’t have both – at least, not for too long. Looking at our birth and immigration statistics, we’ve made our choice.

    Everything else is details.

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  28. @Maj. Kong
    Posner: The Great Defenders of Freedom for me but not for thee

    ---

    I admit to rather liking his ideas, raising the voting age to 21 would marginally hit the left more. And to have any prominent figure attack the perfidy of universal suffrage is a good thing.

    As society becomes "diverse" or in our terms "hodgepodged", we'll have to accept that freedom is going to be curtailed lest stratification accelerate. It is no surprise this movement began in the elite colleges.

    The solutions to "hodgepodge" is either Balkanization into separate countries, massive ethnic cleansing, injecting Birth Control to benefit recepients and subsidizing upper class births, or a soft tyranny that crimps efforts at ethnic-religious separatism.

    The last appears the cheapest option for the elites.


    Is the problem the structure of Political Correctness, or in who is running it?

    (Recall that the Inquisition succeded, the Reformation never hit Spain, the conversos didn't revert)

    After all, is one-party authoritarian Singapore so bad? Did NYC become better under Bloomberg?

    Then you, by default have to raise the age of military service to 21. Which is impossible, as that would shut down all our ROTC and academy programs, as well as savage recruitment, since most people are already on some kind of path by 21. On that note, conscription should not be possible for anyone younger than 25 otherwise there its too high of a chance that you’ll be conscripted to fight in a war you never had the opportunity to vote against.

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    • Replies: @Maj. Kong
    I'm not really a fan of conscription where the nation doesn't face an existential threat next door (ROC, ROK, ISR)

    During WWII we did conscript 18-45, and suffrage was at 21. A society willing to reverse the 26th Amendment would almost certainly be much more Heinlein Starship Troopers model.

    http://www.nationalww2museum.org/learn/education/for-students/ww2-history/take-a-closer-look/draft-registration-documents.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_Training_and_Service_Act_of_1940

    ---

    As an aside, I don't mind slashing recruiting. The stale pale male has no business fighting Jennifer Pritzker's wars.
    , @Forbes
    Good lord, you're either showing your age or ahistoricism. 1972 was the first federal election after the passage of the 26th amendment. Conscription (Selective Service) was active from Korean War through Vietnam. The all-volunteer military is a modern arrangement which in no way suggests shutting down any avenue of recruitment.
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  29. While I’m deeply sympathetic to John McAdams’s point of view, and I think the grad student in question acted obnoxiously and unprofessionally and was, in fact, bullying one of her own students, McAdams should not have named her by name on his blog. He was a Marquette professor, and she was a Marquette student.. Professors have a fiduciary duty to students at the institution where they teach, even though the students might not be their own or even in their department.

    That said, stripping McAdams of his tenure was a draconian punishment not at all commensurate with McAdams’s action.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Heh, I was going to object to your use of the term fiduciary duty in this context until I looked it up in Wikipedia.
    , @Bill
    John McAdams did not criticize Abbate as a student. John McAdams criticized Abbate as an instructor. She was the instructor of record for a course. It was not a secret that she was teaching the course.

    If the president of the university registers for a course, does it become a firing offense to criticize him publicly in his role as President?
    , @Simon in London
    I would never publicly criticise some nasty cultural Marxist grad student teaching at my institution like that; I wouldn't criticise a lecturer (professor) either. But I think the main reasons are (a) fear, and (b) corporate image - duty to the institution, not my duty to the student or lecturer. Anyone who says 'get out of my class if you disagree with me' would be in breach of their own duty to their students. The students are *supposed* to disagree with us, if we've done our job of teaching them how to think.
    , @Art Deco
    McAdams should not have named her by name on his blog. He was a Marquette professor, and she was a Marquette student.. Professors have a fiduciary duty to students at the institution where they teach, even though the students might not be their own or even in their department.

    She was teaching the bloody section and that student was a paying customer. If she cannot take criticism by name when she stands up in front of a class and lectures to them (especially when she bollixes matters), she needs to find a different line of work.
    , @Brutusale
    If a GA can give me a grade, they should have the responsibility to defend it.
    , @ben tillman

    While I’m deeply sympathetic to John McAdams’s point of view, and I think the grad student in question acted obnoxiously and unprofessionally and was, in fact, bullying one of her own students, McAdams should not have named her by name on his blog. He was a Marquette professor, and she was a Marquette student.. Professors have a fiduciary duty to students at the institution where they teach, even though the students might not be their own or even in their department.
     
    Um, she was teaching a course, and he most certainly did not have a fiduciary duty to her or any other student who was not in one of his classes.
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  30. On the radio this morning some politician was taking the opposite view. Apparently in the Bay Area there is a resolution to lower the voting age to 16. The guy sounded delusional, but it is SF so who knows it could happen.

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  31. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Charlotte Allen
    While I'm deeply sympathetic to John McAdams's point of view, and I think the grad student in question acted obnoxiously and unprofessionally and was, in fact, bullying one of her own students, McAdams should not have named her by name on his blog. He was a Marquette professor, and she was a Marquette student.. Professors have a fiduciary duty to students at the institution where they teach, even though the students might not be their own or even in their department.

    That said, stripping McAdams of his tenure was a draconian punishment not at all commensurate with McAdams's action.

    Heh, I was going to object to your use of the term fiduciary duty in this context until I looked it up in Wikipedia.

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  32. @Priss Factor
    "Most of the debate about speech codes, which frequently prohibit students from making offensive comments to one another, concerns speech outside of class."

    But 'offensive' is subjective.

    If a student says 'Muhammad sucks', it might offend Muslims but not others.

    Commie talk might offend anti-communists but delight Marxists.

    But ‘offensive’ is subjective.

    Isn’t that the point? It allows the group with power to wield it against whomever they wish for any “offense” and at any time. Thus anyone they perceive as a danger may be silenced regardless of whether that person violated any objective rule or standard.

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  33. rod1963 says:

    Steve Sailer wrote:

    “So maybe political correctness isn’t about controlling children, now is it?”

    Of course not, that’s merely the camel’s nose in the tent.

    Its to censor all people and their language and thinking. Just look at how many topics have become verboten in the last decade or so.

    Little boys can’t play imaginary cops and robbers or even draw a picture of a gun without getting dragooned and pumped full of drugs. Nor can they have opinions that run contrary to the establishment.

    College students not only have to watch what they say in public but in private as well without all h**l breaking lose if they accidentally let slip some un-PC thought.

    Once in the real world, the PC fetters are still in place. Write the wrong sort of letter to the editor and you’ll find yourself being targeted by special interest groups and your employer threatened.

    Now add to the picture internet capable TV’s with built in cameras and microphones that are always on.

    This is Orwell’s nightmare made manifest.

    Posner is just another footsoldier for the tyranny.

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    • Replies: @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Yep.

    The question is: How long can it last?
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  34. MLK says:

    On Tenure:

    Tenure is akin to the Supreme Court’s Strict Scrutiny form of judicial review, with — here comes the key — tenured professors as the protected class.

    In other words, authorities, in the instant case the Marquette administration, bear the burden of proving its firing of McAdams was not even in part due to impermissible motivations or objectives.

    That’s not even a close call here.

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  35. Bill says:
    @black sea
    “One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.” — Orwell, 1984

    Orwell saw the 60's generation for what they would become when they were just a sparkle in their parents' eyes. They view themselves and their "revolution" as one of expanding rights and equality, an overturning of exhausted and confining social convention, and a liberation of the human consciousness. And what did it all add up to:

    Limitations on free-speeech, including research-based academic discourse.

    The shaming, stigmatization, and potential unemployment of anyone who voices a point of view contrary to their ideology (in some Western nations, this is already a crime).

    A sexual morality so full of internal contradictions that no one can really live up to its ideal of an absolute libertinism which somehow never leads to feelings of resentment, jealousy, exploitation, abandonment, or lonliness and self loathing. So long as we all follow the rules laid out by our self-proclaimed gurus, and forget all about human nature, we'll all get along just fine. Oh, and don't forget to use a condom while you're doing it.

    The indefinite postponement of adulthood, with the ultimate goal of extending adolescence to the grave.

    Abolition of any understanding of the need to make trade offs and hard choices.

    A refusal to understand that the cleverer component of the millenial generation already takes their worldview about as seriously as they did the politics of Richard Nixon, Ronald Regan, George Wallace, and Jesse Helms.

    They may not be mocked, they may not be disagreed with, they are not subject to irony or satire, and they must be at all times agreed with, if not venerated, because after all, they broke down the barriers to justice and equality and liberated every oppressed soul from Columbia, South Carolina to Cape Town, South Africa.

    Now, that comment deserves the orange box. Excellent.

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  36. Pat Casey says:

    Great commentary. I listened to some audio of Posner and some other guy right after Charlie Hebdo. As far as I can tell, he is the only American in the media not a Muslim who advocated outlawing that stuff as hate speech in France, though he stopped short of endorsing it for America on grounds of different tradition, but he said it such that I assume he will be changing his mind about that pretty soon.

    This is the thing about college speech codes: They are TOTAL overkill, and what “hate speech” there is on campus is largely provoked by those codes. The social pressure to conform is immense. EXAMPLE: one semester I took urban sociology because I knew what it would be about and thought I’d have a lot of fun being controversial, and yeah I think it’s fun to piss people off like that sometimes. I was a philosophy major so I loved class debates, but that’s the thing about philosophy (save political philosophy) there are no taboos about what positions you can and can’t take at all.

    Have to say I’m no shrinking violet, but when every single person in the class including the teacher responds to your “hate speech” with pity in their eyes because clearly you don’t have any idea what you just actually said, well, it is strangely intimidating. And then I forget why I didn’t like that class and took Sociological Theory years later and had the exact same experience. They don’t think you’re being controversial, they think you’re perfectly innocent and perfectly dumb.

    But one time I said something in political philosophy that no one could deny was self aware, and it was when we were discussing a feminist interpretation of Rawls, and this lady said a husbands employer should give half of his salary in a paycheck directly to the wife. And I said that would likely be self-defeating for the feminist, considering the vast majority of a couple’s disposable income is spent on the wife or by the wife for herself, or anyways for whatever she wants.

    The professor was a woman and she had even said beforehand she didn’t agree with the theory in general, but when I said that she went chalk stunned, and eventually said, “Well what do they spend it on!?” And I just said that’s a good question, but look, everyone knows woman shop more than men. That proposal is just a dumb idea. Total silence for a solid 15 seconds. The next student to speak was a fat girl in dark clothes sitting in the back of the class who had that angry feminine tone that sounds like she’s desperately pleading even though she’s pissed, and all she could get out was, “This is a really important issue! And I just think…this is a really important issue!” I kid you not. Reality imitating parody is the norm more and more.

    The other thing is Posner is wrong that liberals draw a fine line between campus speech codes and free speech elsewhere. Mark my words, the people who advocate this crap in college will increasingly be doing it after college. In fact I have never heard any liberal argue that speech codes are necessary just because its college.

    I love women, but the only people afraid to allow men to debate like men rather than sensitive little bitches are women, who are the masses that support the cynical taboos minority spokesman hock, and come to think of it, that’s probably because women do not get to share the concept of “fighting words,” so anything offensive is sort of a fighting word to them.

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    • Replies: @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Exactly. The vast majority of women hate real debate. They can't differentiate an attack on their stance from an attack on them personally. This isn't a character flaw. Women have evolved this way. That's fine. But we're putting them in a situation to which they aren't designed to deal with.

    The vast majority of women are not great abstract thinkers. On top of that, they are quite emotional. And thank God for that. They are, in general, the more nurturing of the genders. They think in human terms. Good. That makes for much better mothers, community organizers , etc. In terms of business/work, smart women often make very good doctors, physical therapists, teachers, and so forth.

    Why? Because they like to know and help people.

    Men like to tinker with abstract ideas. Good for us. But it has its downsides. Just like women's emotional side has its downsides. We work well together.

    Regardless, everything you discuss has one thread: It's not the real world. In the real world (and I mean the real world of executives, small business owners and the like), women nearly disappear. When there are hard project deadlines and sales quotas, it's almost all men that get the job done. And the women who are around wouldn't put up the B.S. that your feminist student spewed.

    The real world is a remarkable antidote to the silliness of everything that the iSteve world hates. I've seen it so many times. Liberals of all stripes quietly getting rid of black employees, moving to white neighborhoods and hiring conservative types to handle their money or protect them.

    I always joke. Don't tell what political party that you belong to. Just tell me where you live and where your kids go to school That will tell me everything about your political and racial beliefs. Btw, that joke doesn't make me a lot of friends.
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  37. Bill says:
    @Charlotte Allen
    While I'm deeply sympathetic to John McAdams's point of view, and I think the grad student in question acted obnoxiously and unprofessionally and was, in fact, bullying one of her own students, McAdams should not have named her by name on his blog. He was a Marquette professor, and she was a Marquette student.. Professors have a fiduciary duty to students at the institution where they teach, even though the students might not be their own or even in their department.

    That said, stripping McAdams of his tenure was a draconian punishment not at all commensurate with McAdams's action.

    John McAdams did not criticize Abbate as a student. John McAdams criticized Abbate as an instructor. She was the instructor of record for a course. It was not a secret that she was teaching the course.

    If the president of the university registers for a course, does it become a firing offense to criticize him publicly in his role as President?

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  38. Big Bill says:

    In fairness to Martha Minow, can you imagine how humbling, how degrading it was for an esteemed member of the urban Jewish Intelligentsia? To have to apologize, publicly, to the black rabble on campus, like some charwoman who did not sweep out the hearth well enough? And (even worse) not to apologize for her own misdeeds, but for some dopey comment by some dopey blond shiksa? Here she thought she was boss of the Ivy League and suddenly she finds herself the whipping boy for some Affirmative Action student spat? Somebody was going to pay for that little contratemp and it was NOT going to be Martha Minow!

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    I bet she's less obsessed with her Jewishness than you are.
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  39. @Beliavsky
    If college students are children, promoting homosexuality and genital mutilation (transgenderism) and casual sex through coed dorms with no visitation rules should be considered corrupting the morals of minors.

    That’s certainly my view!

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  40. @NOTA
    If we took Posner's thesis seriously, we would have to go back to strict rules keeping women and men separated when they weren't chaparroned, to try to save these children from sex before they're ready. Obviously nobody is going to do that.

    So we're really talking about suppressing the expression of ideas that are controversial in the wrong way (they offend the powerful people in the universities). Posner seems to have constructed a justification for letting the powerful suppress ideas they find offensive in the university setting, whose logic will never be applied to any other situations.

    >>If we took Posner’s thesis seriously, we would have to go back to strict rules keeping women and men separated when they weren’t chaparroned, to try to save these children from sex before they’re ready. Obviously nobody is going to do that.<<

    It would be a good idea, though.

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  41. @Charlotte Allen
    While I'm deeply sympathetic to John McAdams's point of view, and I think the grad student in question acted obnoxiously and unprofessionally and was, in fact, bullying one of her own students, McAdams should not have named her by name on his blog. He was a Marquette professor, and she was a Marquette student.. Professors have a fiduciary duty to students at the institution where they teach, even though the students might not be their own or even in their department.

    That said, stripping McAdams of his tenure was a draconian punishment not at all commensurate with McAdams's action.

    I would never publicly criticise some nasty cultural Marxist grad student teaching at my institution like that; I wouldn’t criticise a lecturer (professor) either. But I think the main reasons are (a) fear, and (b) corporate image – duty to the institution, not my duty to the student or lecturer. Anyone who says ‘get out of my class if you disagree with me’ would be in breach of their own duty to their students. The students are *supposed* to disagree with us, if we’ve done our job of teaching them how to think.

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    (b) corporate image – duty to the institution, not my duty to the student or lecturer.

    It's a foundationally Jesuit institution. Their 'corporate image' is a shapeshifting entity. They're one thing to alumni they're trying to scam, another to prospective faculty, another to prospective parents, another to prospective students. They do not have any claim on anyone's cooperation in maintaining corporate image.
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  42. Art Deco says: • Website
    @Charlotte Allen
    While I'm deeply sympathetic to John McAdams's point of view, and I think the grad student in question acted obnoxiously and unprofessionally and was, in fact, bullying one of her own students, McAdams should not have named her by name on his blog. He was a Marquette professor, and she was a Marquette student.. Professors have a fiduciary duty to students at the institution where they teach, even though the students might not be their own or even in their department.

    That said, stripping McAdams of his tenure was a draconian punishment not at all commensurate with McAdams's action.

    McAdams should not have named her by name on his blog. He was a Marquette professor, and she was a Marquette student.. Professors have a fiduciary duty to students at the institution where they teach, even though the students might not be their own or even in their department.

    She was teaching the bloody section and that student was a paying customer. If she cannot take criticism by name when she stands up in front of a class and lectures to them (especially when she bollixes matters), she needs to find a different line of work.

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  43. Art Deco says: • Website
    @Big Bill
    In fairness to Martha Minow, can you imagine how humbling, how degrading it was for an esteemed member of the urban Jewish Intelligentsia? To have to apologize, publicly, to the black rabble on campus, like some charwoman who did not sweep out the hearth well enough? And (even worse) not to apologize for her own misdeeds, but for some dopey comment by some dopey blond shiksa? Here she thought she was boss of the Ivy League and suddenly she finds herself the whipping boy for some Affirmative Action student spat? Somebody was going to pay for that little contratemp and it was NOT going to be Martha Minow!

    I bet she’s less obsessed with her Jewishness than you are.

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  44. Art Deco says: • Website
    @Simon in London
    I would never publicly criticise some nasty cultural Marxist grad student teaching at my institution like that; I wouldn't criticise a lecturer (professor) either. But I think the main reasons are (a) fear, and (b) corporate image - duty to the institution, not my duty to the student or lecturer. Anyone who says 'get out of my class if you disagree with me' would be in breach of their own duty to their students. The students are *supposed* to disagree with us, if we've done our job of teaching them how to think.

    (b) corporate image – duty to the institution, not my duty to the student or lecturer.

    It’s a foundationally Jesuit institution. Their ‘corporate image’ is a shapeshifting entity. They’re one thing to alumni they’re trying to scam, another to prospective faculty, another to prospective parents, another to prospective students. They do not have any claim on anyone’s cooperation in maintaining corporate image.

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  45. Maj. Kong says:
    @HairlessNeanderthal
    Then you, by default have to raise the age of military service to 21. Which is impossible, as that would shut down all our ROTC and academy programs, as well as savage recruitment, since most people are already on some kind of path by 21. On that note, conscription should not be possible for anyone younger than 25 otherwise there its too high of a chance that you'll be conscripted to fight in a war you never had the opportunity to vote against.

    I’m not really a fan of conscription where the nation doesn’t face an existential threat next door (ROC, ROK, ISR)

    During WWII we did conscript 18-45, and suffrage was at 21. A society willing to reverse the 26th Amendment would almost certainly be much more Heinlein Starship Troopers model.

    http://www.nationalww2museum.org/learn/education/for-students/ww2-history/take-a-closer-look/draft-registration-documents.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_Training_and_Service_Act_of_1940

    As an aside, I don’t mind slashing recruiting. The stale pale male has no business fighting Jennifer Pritzker’s wars.

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    During WWII we did conscript 18-45

    The age range was 18 to 36. You could enlist until age 45 and older men had to file draft cards. It was during the 1st World War that the age limit for conscription stood at 45. However, the dispensations given to men with families to support meant that few middle-aged men were actually conscripted.
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  46. Maj. Kong says:
    @Toddy Cat
    "the truth is that universities adopted them because that’s what most students want. "

    Care to put it to a vote on any university campus, pal?

    I didn't think so...

    The university has many “stakeholders”

    -Alumni
    -Faculty
    -Admin
    -Parents
    -Students
    -U.S. governments
    -Foreign governments (China, Saudi)

    Of that list, how many really want “free speech”.

    Confucius Institutes, really???

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Of that list, how many really want “free speech”.

    You can award yourself the answer you want by repairing, when challenged, to the qualifier 'really'.
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  47. Forbes says:

    It seems to me, if you want people to act/behave as adults, you create expectations for that behavior–you don’t shield them from those expectations.

    Just as obeying traffic rules, remaining quiet in church, yielding to old women and small children, not yelling fire in a theatre, not cutting in line, shoveling the sidewalk after a snow storm, and dozens of other informal (and not so informal) expectations, they are complied with, in the main, because they are expected as coming of age as an adult–not suspended until its thought you’re ready to handle some daunting responsibility.

    Just as the assumption that people will overcome their mistakes, is in fact, based on people making mistakes and learning from those mistakes–not protecting people from making mistakes. This is known as learning the hard way. There is no such thing as learning the easy way.

    Life is a continuous series of choices among trade-offs, all filled with consequences. Yet Posner implies that college should be a strict behavioral regime that insulates students from choices, trade-offs and consequences. When does he propose that learning to be an adult should commence?

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  48. Forbes says:
    @HairlessNeanderthal
    Then you, by default have to raise the age of military service to 21. Which is impossible, as that would shut down all our ROTC and academy programs, as well as savage recruitment, since most people are already on some kind of path by 21. On that note, conscription should not be possible for anyone younger than 25 otherwise there its too high of a chance that you'll be conscripted to fight in a war you never had the opportunity to vote against.

    Good lord, you’re either showing your age or ahistoricism. 1972 was the first federal election after the passage of the 26th amendment. Conscription (Selective Service) was active from Korean War through Vietnam. The all-volunteer military is a modern arrangement which in no way suggests shutting down any avenue of recruitment.

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Conscription was in effect from September 1940 to January 1973, bar one year (March 1947 to March 1948). There were some years (e.g. 1948) when draft calls were minimal and young men during the post-war period generally enlisted rather than waiting to be drafted. About 65% of the men born during the years running from 1930 through 1938 (i.e. those who had not been subject to conscription during WWII) had some sort of military service during the Cold War. For the succeeding VietNam era cohorts that figure was lower (approx. 45%).
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  49. Priss Factor [AKA "K. Arujo"] says:

    As far as I can tell, lots of professors, politicians, and others act like children. Look at Clinton with Lewinsky. Look at Brian Williams.

    So, let’s paddle them when they act bad, ground them if they act worse, and censor them when they act like spoiled children.

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  50. Priss Factor [AKA "K. Arujo"] says:
    @black sea
    “One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.” — Orwell, 1984

    Orwell saw the 60's generation for what they would become when they were just a sparkle in their parents' eyes. They view themselves and their "revolution" as one of expanding rights and equality, an overturning of exhausted and confining social convention, and a liberation of the human consciousness. And what did it all add up to:

    Limitations on free-speeech, including research-based academic discourse.

    The shaming, stigmatization, and potential unemployment of anyone who voices a point of view contrary to their ideology (in some Western nations, this is already a crime).

    A sexual morality so full of internal contradictions that no one can really live up to its ideal of an absolute libertinism which somehow never leads to feelings of resentment, jealousy, exploitation, abandonment, or lonliness and self loathing. So long as we all follow the rules laid out by our self-proclaimed gurus, and forget all about human nature, we'll all get along just fine. Oh, and don't forget to use a condom while you're doing it.

    The indefinite postponement of adulthood, with the ultimate goal of extending adolescence to the grave.

    Abolition of any understanding of the need to make trade offs and hard choices.

    A refusal to understand that the cleverer component of the millenial generation already takes their worldview about as seriously as they did the politics of Richard Nixon, Ronald Regan, George Wallace, and Jesse Helms.

    They may not be mocked, they may not be disagreed with, they are not subject to irony or satire, and they must be at all times agreed with, if not venerated, because after all, they broke down the barriers to justice and equality and liberated every oppressed soul from Columbia, South Carolina to Cape Town, South Africa.

    “…because after all, they broke down the barriers to justice and equality and liberated every oppressed soul from Columbia, South Carolina to Cape Town, South Africa.”

    But for some reason not in Israel/Palestine.

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    There are no 'oppressed souls' in Israel, unless you're referring to the problems in living that are a part of life in any society. And there is no such place as 'Palestine'.
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  51. Art Deco says: • Website
    @Maj. Kong
    I'm not really a fan of conscription where the nation doesn't face an existential threat next door (ROC, ROK, ISR)

    During WWII we did conscript 18-45, and suffrage was at 21. A society willing to reverse the 26th Amendment would almost certainly be much more Heinlein Starship Troopers model.

    http://www.nationalww2museum.org/learn/education/for-students/ww2-history/take-a-closer-look/draft-registration-documents.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_Training_and_Service_Act_of_1940

    ---

    As an aside, I don't mind slashing recruiting. The stale pale male has no business fighting Jennifer Pritzker's wars.

    During WWII we did conscript 18-45

    The age range was 18 to 36. You could enlist until age 45 and older men had to file draft cards. It was during the 1st World War that the age limit for conscription stood at 45. However, the dispensations given to men with families to support meant that few middle-aged men were actually conscripted.

    Read More
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  52. Priss Factor [AKA "K. Arujo"] says:

    Isn’t our culture the psychological equivalent of pedophilia?

    It infantilizes adulthood and sexualizes childhood.

    So, we have young adults who don’t mature but have sex early.

    Mental babies indulging in debauchery. Mental pedophilia.

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  53. Art Deco says: • Website
    @Forbes
    Good lord, you're either showing your age or ahistoricism. 1972 was the first federal election after the passage of the 26th amendment. Conscription (Selective Service) was active from Korean War through Vietnam. The all-volunteer military is a modern arrangement which in no way suggests shutting down any avenue of recruitment.

    Conscription was in effect from September 1940 to January 1973, bar one year (March 1947 to March 1948). There were some years (e.g. 1948) when draft calls were minimal and young men during the post-war period generally enlisted rather than waiting to be drafted. About 65% of the men born during the years running from 1930 through 1938 (i.e. those who had not been subject to conscription during WWII) had some sort of military service during the Cold War. For the succeeding VietNam era cohorts that figure was lower (approx. 45%).

    Read More
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  54. Posner is right that college students had a lot fewer rights before the mid-60s. Now that those rights have been taken away again, isn’t it time for a new Free Speech Movement? These things always start on campuses. I’d love to see Martha Minow rubbing tear gas out of her eyes and announcing the creation of the Harvard Institute for the Promotion of Ideological Freedom.

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Fewer immunities to authority. At the same time, Monovox was not nearly such a problem on the faculty as it is today. Allen Charles Kors has said the halcyon period for public debate on campuses ran from about 1962 to 1974.
    , @Harry Baldwin
    Now that those rights have been taken away again, isn’t it time for a new Free Speech Movement?

    My impression is that in the 1960s, a lot of the college faculty was on the side of the student radicals, even if the administration may not have been. After a while the administration too got with the program.
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  55. Art Deco says: • Website
    @Priss Factor
    "...because after all, they broke down the barriers to justice and equality and liberated every oppressed soul from Columbia, South Carolina to Cape Town, South Africa."

    But for some reason not in Israel/Palestine.

    There are no ‘oppressed souls’ in Israel, unless you’re referring to the problems in living that are a part of life in any society. And there is no such place as ‘Palestine’.

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  56. Art Deco says: • Website
    @Maj. Kong
    The university has many "stakeholders"

    -Alumni
    -Faculty
    -Admin
    -Parents
    -Students
    -U.S. governments
    -Foreign governments (China, Saudi)

    Of that list, how many really want "free speech".

    Confucius Institutes, really???

    Of that list, how many really want “free speech”.

    You can award yourself the answer you want by repairing, when challenged, to the qualifier ‘really’.

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  57. Art Deco says: • Website
    @Jean Cocteausten
    Posner is right that college students had a lot fewer rights before the mid-60s. Now that those rights have been taken away again, isn't it time for a new Free Speech Movement? These things always start on campuses. I'd love to see Martha Minow rubbing tear gas out of her eyes and announcing the creation of the Harvard Institute for the Promotion of Ideological Freedom.

    Fewer immunities to authority. At the same time, Monovox was not nearly such a problem on the faculty as it is today. Allen Charles Kors has said the halcyon period for public debate on campuses ran from about 1962 to 1974.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "Allen Charles Kors has said the halcyon period for public debate on campuses ran from about 1962 to 1974."

    I've listened to Dr. Kors' Teaching Company lectures on Voltaire on tape. He has the ideal pacing for listening while driving the freeway. Other lecturers go too fast and you have to rewind, but Kors has just about perfected lecturing for tapes.

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  58. @Art Deco
    Fewer immunities to authority. At the same time, Monovox was not nearly such a problem on the faculty as it is today. Allen Charles Kors has said the halcyon period for public debate on campuses ran from about 1962 to 1974.

    “Allen Charles Kors has said the halcyon period for public debate on campuses ran from about 1962 to 1974.”

    I’ve listened to Dr. Kors’ Teaching Company lectures on Voltaire on tape. He has the ideal pacing for listening while driving the freeway. Other lecturers go too fast and you have to rewind, but Kors has just about perfected lecturing for tapes.

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  59. @Jean Cocteausten
    Posner is right that college students had a lot fewer rights before the mid-60s. Now that those rights have been taken away again, isn't it time for a new Free Speech Movement? These things always start on campuses. I'd love to see Martha Minow rubbing tear gas out of her eyes and announcing the creation of the Harvard Institute for the Promotion of Ideological Freedom.

    Now that those rights have been taken away again, isn’t it time for a new Free Speech Movement?

    My impression is that in the 1960s, a lot of the college faculty was on the side of the student radicals, even if the administration may not have been. After a while the administration too got with the program.

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  60. THE FIRST AMENDMENT AT UNIV. OF COLORADO
    Yet another university has put the kibosh on an anti-affirmative action bake sale, arguing, rather ironically, that allowing the political protest would violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the university’s non-discrimination policy. http://www.curmudgeonlyclerk.com/weblog/archives/2004_02.html#000704

    Shut the hell up and borrow more. Stuff cash in her…””They’ll strip for (the recruits), do lap dances for them, and then they’ll dance for the rest of the guys,” stripper-service owner Steve Lower told the Rocky Mountain News.

    And if this doesn’t embody the kind of selfless team spirit upon which college athletics were founded, tell me, what does?

    The conversation coming out of Boulder, in the wake of a full investigation into the Colorado recruiting scandal and the most recent suggestion by Lower that stripper appearances at unofficial recruiting functions were fairly common, has centered to an extent on the notion that the administration and coaches knew nothing.” http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/columns/story?columnist=kreidler_mark&id=1731981

    Now with more pot shops things should get interesting with the higher being put in education.

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  61. @rod1963
    Steve Sailer wrote:

    "So maybe political correctness isn’t about controlling children, now is it?"

    Of course not, that's merely the camel's nose in the tent.

    Its to censor all people and their language and thinking. Just look at how many topics have become verboten in the last decade or so.

    Little boys can't play imaginary cops and robbers or even draw a picture of a gun without getting dragooned and pumped full of drugs. Nor can they have opinions that run contrary to the establishment.

    College students not only have to watch what they say in public but in private as well without all h**l breaking lose if they accidentally let slip some un-PC thought.

    Once in the real world, the PC fetters are still in place. Write the wrong sort of letter to the editor and you'll find yourself being targeted by special interest groups and your employer threatened.

    Now add to the picture internet capable TV's with built in cameras and microphones that are always on.

    This is Orwell's nightmare made manifest.

    Posner is just another footsoldier for the tyranny.

    Yep.

    The question is: How long can it last?

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  62. @Stephen
    The Havard law girl who allegedly outed Stephanie's email out of spite, Yelena Shagall, seems to have escaped much publicity.

    I'd have thought heaping notoriety on someone else would be a double-edged sword since you risk having your own name associated with the story forever.

    The Havard law girl who allegedly outed Stephanie’s email out of spite, Yelena Shagall, seems to have escaped much publicity.

    I’d have thought heaping notoriety on someone else would be a double-edged sword since you risk having your own name associated with the story forever.

    Well Golly Gee Batman!!! Why might that be???? Ever hear of Who, Whom???

    http://flyoverlibertarian.blogspot.com/2010/05/in-defense-of-stephanie-grace-or.html

    I managed to find the name of the leaker via a comment on a posting of OneSTDV and confirmed it with other sources. Her name is Yelena Shagall. She is a Belarusian-born Jew from Skokie, IL.

    Read the rest.

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  63. @Pat Casey
    Great commentary. I listened to some audio of Posner and some other guy right after Charlie Hebdo. As far as I can tell, he is the only American in the media not a Muslim who advocated outlawing that stuff as hate speech in France, though he stopped short of endorsing it for America on grounds of different tradition, but he said it such that I assume he will be changing his mind about that pretty soon.

    This is the thing about college speech codes: They are TOTAL overkill, and what "hate speech" there is on campus is largely provoked by those codes. The social pressure to conform is immense. EXAMPLE: one semester I took urban sociology because I knew what it would be about and thought I'd have a lot of fun being controversial, and yeah I think it's fun to piss people off like that sometimes. I was a philosophy major so I loved class debates, but that's the thing about philosophy (save political philosophy) there are no taboos about what positions you can and can't take at all.

    Have to say I'm no shrinking violet, but when every single person in the class including the teacher responds to your "hate speech" with pity in their eyes because clearly you don't have any idea what you just actually said, well, it is strangely intimidating. And then I forget why I didn't like that class and took Sociological Theory years later and had the exact same experience. They don't think you're being controversial, they think you're perfectly innocent and perfectly dumb.

    But one time I said something in political philosophy that no one could deny was self aware, and it was when we were discussing a feminist interpretation of Rawls, and this lady said a husbands employer should give half of his salary in a paycheck directly to the wife. And I said that would likely be self-defeating for the feminist, considering the vast majority of a couple's disposable income is spent on the wife or by the wife for herself, or anyways for whatever she wants.

    The professor was a woman and she had even said beforehand she didn't agree with the theory in general, but when I said that she went chalk stunned, and eventually said, "Well what do they spend it on!?" And I just said that's a good question, but look, everyone knows woman shop more than men. That proposal is just a dumb idea. Total silence for a solid 15 seconds. The next student to speak was a fat girl in dark clothes sitting in the back of the class who had that angry feminine tone that sounds like she's desperately pleading even though she's pissed, and all she could get out was, "This is a really important issue! And I just think...this is a really important issue!" I kid you not. Reality imitating parody is the norm more and more.

    The other thing is Posner is wrong that liberals draw a fine line between campus speech codes and free speech elsewhere. Mark my words, the people who advocate this crap in college will increasingly be doing it after college. In fact I have never heard any liberal argue that speech codes are necessary just because its college.

    I love women, but the only people afraid to allow men to debate like men rather than sensitive little bitches are women, who are the masses that support the cynical taboos minority spokesman hock, and come to think of it, that's probably because women do not get to share the concept of "fighting words," so anything offensive is sort of a fighting word to them.

    Exactly. The vast majority of women hate real debate. They can’t differentiate an attack on their stance from an attack on them personally. This isn’t a character flaw. Women have evolved this way. That’s fine. But we’re putting them in a situation to which they aren’t designed to deal with.

    The vast majority of women are not great abstract thinkers. On top of that, they are quite emotional. And thank God for that. They are, in general, the more nurturing of the genders. They think in human terms. Good. That makes for much better mothers, community organizers , etc. In terms of business/work, smart women often make very good doctors, physical therapists, teachers, and so forth.

    Why? Because they like to know and help people.

    Men like to tinker with abstract ideas. Good for us. But it has its downsides. Just like women’s emotional side has its downsides. We work well together.

    Regardless, everything you discuss has one thread: It’s not the real world. In the real world (and I mean the real world of executives, small business owners and the like), women nearly disappear. When there are hard project deadlines and sales quotas, it’s almost all men that get the job done. And the women who are around wouldn’t put up the B.S. that your feminist student spewed.

    The real world is a remarkable antidote to the silliness of everything that the iSteve world hates. I’ve seen it so many times. Liberals of all stripes quietly getting rid of black employees, moving to white neighborhoods and hiring conservative types to handle their money or protect them.

    I always joke. Don’t tell what political party that you belong to. Just tell me where you live and where your kids go to school That will tell me everything about your political and racial beliefs. Btw, that joke doesn’t make me a lot of friends.

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    When there are hard project deadlines and sales quotas, it’s almost all men that get the job done.

    Dames don't do sales? Have you shopped for a house since 1965?
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  64. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    It’s odd that the people who seemed so enamoured of challenging, subversive and taboo breaking art and philosophy on one day seem so horrified by the idea of being ‘offended’ the next!…my god, ‘offending’ and being ‘offensive’ were almost required not so long ago?

    …I guess it’s a question of who is offending and who is offended.

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  65. @BehindTheLines
    Posner offends me. Can I get him to shut up?

    When 18 year olds can't get married, vote, sign contracts, join the Army, and all the rest, then we'll talk. Maybe they shouldn't have to pay taxes either.

    Historically, age 21 was generally considered the age of majority.

    For example, in colonial Virginia (arguably the most economically important colony) only persons who were 21 or over could:
    · Buy or sell land without restriction
    · Vote or hold public office
    · Bring suit, or be sued, in one’s own name
    · Devise land in a will
    · Sign a bond or note
    · Patent land
    · Marry without consent
    · Act as a guardian
    · Serve on a jury

    Children aged 14 and over could:
    · Witness deeds, wills and contracts
    · Bequeath personal property in a will (12 for females)
    · Testify in court
    · Act as an executor [at the age of 17]
    · Select a guardian
    · Apprentice themselves without parental consent
    . Be charged with any crime

    MINORS UNDER 14 COULD:
    . Own land acquired by gift or inheritance
    . Sell or buy land, but the contract was unenforceable if the minor later changed his mind, while a minor or after becoming an adult

    Teenagers being considered adults is a relatively recent mind set.

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  66. Art Deco says: • Website
    @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Exactly. The vast majority of women hate real debate. They can't differentiate an attack on their stance from an attack on them personally. This isn't a character flaw. Women have evolved this way. That's fine. But we're putting them in a situation to which they aren't designed to deal with.

    The vast majority of women are not great abstract thinkers. On top of that, they are quite emotional. And thank God for that. They are, in general, the more nurturing of the genders. They think in human terms. Good. That makes for much better mothers, community organizers , etc. In terms of business/work, smart women often make very good doctors, physical therapists, teachers, and so forth.

    Why? Because they like to know and help people.

    Men like to tinker with abstract ideas. Good for us. But it has its downsides. Just like women's emotional side has its downsides. We work well together.

    Regardless, everything you discuss has one thread: It's not the real world. In the real world (and I mean the real world of executives, small business owners and the like), women nearly disappear. When there are hard project deadlines and sales quotas, it's almost all men that get the job done. And the women who are around wouldn't put up the B.S. that your feminist student spewed.

    The real world is a remarkable antidote to the silliness of everything that the iSteve world hates. I've seen it so many times. Liberals of all stripes quietly getting rid of black employees, moving to white neighborhoods and hiring conservative types to handle their money or protect them.

    I always joke. Don't tell what political party that you belong to. Just tell me where you live and where your kids go to school That will tell me everything about your political and racial beliefs. Btw, that joke doesn't make me a lot of friends.

    When there are hard project deadlines and sales quotas, it’s almost all men that get the job done.

    Dames don’t do sales? Have you shopped for a house since 1965?

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    • Replies: @Marty
    Are they doing anything beyond order-taking? Would you rely on one to insert the proper conditions in your contract?
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  67. Brutusale says:
    @Charlotte Allen
    While I'm deeply sympathetic to John McAdams's point of view, and I think the grad student in question acted obnoxiously and unprofessionally and was, in fact, bullying one of her own students, McAdams should not have named her by name on his blog. He was a Marquette professor, and she was a Marquette student.. Professors have a fiduciary duty to students at the institution where they teach, even though the students might not be their own or even in their department.

    That said, stripping McAdams of his tenure was a draconian punishment not at all commensurate with McAdams's action.

    If a GA can give me a grade, they should have the responsibility to defend it.

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  68. anon says: • Disclaimer

    Posner should maybe have informed esteemed journalist Sabrina Erdely that early year college students are more child-like than they are responsible adults.

    Maybe Ms. Erdely then would have been less likely to believe a fantastical sounding rape story at a prestigious university and more likely to suspect the story the result of some bizarrely complex romantic maneuverings that usually only spring from the minds of lonely 18 year olds trying to find an identity away from their homes for the first time.

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  69. @Jokah Macpherson
    While it's true that the average 20 year old, especially if male, doesn't have a brain wired for remembering responsibilities compared to that of the average 25 year old, they're definitely capable of having informed opinions and effectively defending them.

    “While it’s true that the average 20 year old, especially if male, doesn’t have a brain wired for remembering responsibilities compared to that of the average 25 year old, they’re definitely capable of having informed opinions and effectively defending them.”

    Perhaps, but that is all immaterial. The law of the land states one is an adult at age 18, period. Despite the restrictions on the purchase of alcoholic beverages (which I frankly think should be repealed, at least for beer & wine, if not necessarily the hard stuff).

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  70. @MLK
    "Students today are more like children than adults and need protection."

    To which I would respond, today, to many adults, including Posner, are bothering young people and need to knock it off.

    "If students want to learn biology and art history in an environment where they needn’t worry about being offended or raped, why shouldn’t they?"

    Posner is smart. Therefore we should first consider why he is writing something stupid?

    As many of your incisive commenters revealed, there is a kernel of truth in a number of explanations for the psychology of adults who would find Posner's strained, post-hoc reasoning appealing. Often, in short, they've got Issues.

    We have bright line rules like the age of majority to protect young people from all of them.

    “Posner is smart. Therefore we should first consider why he is writing something stupid?”

    Perhaps its because he’s evil?

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    • Replies: @MLK
    You're as permissive with labeling someone "Evil" as many are with the epithet "Racist."

    My point was a simple one: Sharp adults like Posner should have more respect for themselves, and stop bothering the young people.

    It would be nice if his Old Man weighed in, and told his son what time it was. I very much doubt little Eric, even as an adolescent, was treated the way he divines today's college students require and demand.
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  71. Marty T says:

    It’s about power. The PC left has its foot on our necks and is enjoying pressing down. Nothing will change until our side is willing to hit back even more forcefully.

    The legal system and academia are completely lost. When you can lose your job for expressing your views or for even how you vote, we’ve entered a new age of tyranny. Did anything happen to those who removed Brendan eich for supporting prop 8? How about Marquette for this incident? Until cars are blown up, until rocks fly through their children’s windows, until they’re literally afraid to walk the street, they will continue oppressing us.

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    • Replies: @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "It’s about power. The PC left has its foot on our necks and is enjoying pressing down. Nothing will change until our side is willing to hit back even more forcefully.

    The legal system and academia are completely lost. When you can lose your job for expressing your views or for even how you vote, we’ve entered a new age of tyranny. Did anything happen to those who removed Brendan eich for supporting prop 8? How about Marquette for this incident? Until cars are blown up, until rocks fly through their children’s windows, until they’re literally afraid to walk the street, they will continue oppressing us."

    This is a hard truth, but I think we need to be adults about the matter, and accept that, tragically, it IS the truth.
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  72. @Marty T
    It's about power. The PC left has its foot on our necks and is enjoying pressing down. Nothing will change until our side is willing to hit back even more forcefully.

    The legal system and academia are completely lost. When you can lose your job for expressing your views or for even how you vote, we've entered a new age of tyranny. Did anything happen to those who removed Brendan eich for supporting prop 8? How about Marquette for this incident? Until cars are blown up, until rocks fly through their children's windows, until they're literally afraid to walk the street, they will continue oppressing us.

    “It’s about power. The PC left has its foot on our necks and is enjoying pressing down. Nothing will change until our side is willing to hit back even more forcefully.

    The legal system and academia are completely lost. When you can lose your job for expressing your views or for even how you vote, we’ve entered a new age of tyranny. Did anything happen to those who removed Brendan eich for supporting prop 8? How about Marquette for this incident? Until cars are blown up, until rocks fly through their children’s windows, until they’re literally afraid to walk the street, they will continue oppressing us.”

    This is a hard truth, but I think we need to be adults about the matter, and accept that, tragically, it IS the truth.

    Read More
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  73. Marty says:
    @Art Deco
    When there are hard project deadlines and sales quotas, it’s almost all men that get the job done.

    Dames don't do sales? Have you shopped for a house since 1965?

    Are they doing anything beyond order-taking? Would you rely on one to insert the proper conditions in your contract?

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Are they doing anything beyond order-taking?

    I take it you've never worked with an estate agent.

    I rely on real estate agents to do their customary functions. I do not rely on them to practice law, nor would I rely on your quota-meeting crew to do that.
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  74. MLK says:
    @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "Posner is smart. Therefore we should first consider why he is writing something stupid?"

    Perhaps its because he's evil?

    You’re as permissive with labeling someone “Evil” as many are with the epithet “Racist.”

    My point was a simple one: Sharp adults like Posner should have more respect for themselves, and stop bothering the young people.

    It would be nice if his Old Man weighed in, and told his son what time it was. I very much doubt little Eric, even as an adolescent, was treated the way he divines today’s college students require and demand.

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  75. @Charlotte Allen
    While I'm deeply sympathetic to John McAdams's point of view, and I think the grad student in question acted obnoxiously and unprofessionally and was, in fact, bullying one of her own students, McAdams should not have named her by name on his blog. He was a Marquette professor, and she was a Marquette student.. Professors have a fiduciary duty to students at the institution where they teach, even though the students might not be their own or even in their department.

    That said, stripping McAdams of his tenure was a draconian punishment not at all commensurate with McAdams's action.

    While I’m deeply sympathetic to John McAdams’s point of view, and I think the grad student in question acted obnoxiously and unprofessionally and was, in fact, bullying one of her own students, McAdams should not have named her by name on his blog. He was a Marquette professor, and she was a Marquette student.. Professors have a fiduciary duty to students at the institution where they teach, even though the students might not be their own or even in their department.

    Um, she was teaching a course, and he most certainly did not have a fiduciary duty to her or any other student who was not in one of his classes.

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  76. Richard Posner has also aggressively come out against freedom of speech (http://reason.com/blog/2014/12/08/richard-posner-privacy-is-mainly-about-c). The latest closing of the liberal/progressive mind on speech is an example of a victorious political class closing the door of legality behind them after they have used legerdemain and clout to create an opening in the original legal facade of the country.

    The audacity of the Posner family is striking nonetheless, as they enjoy at least three tenured salaries between the two of them, and are, as such, highly insulated from the consequences of their own speech.

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Richard Posner has a history of repellant statements and is long past his sell-by date. However, the article you linked to was not about free speech.
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  77. Art Deco says: • Website
    @Marty
    Are they doing anything beyond order-taking? Would you rely on one to insert the proper conditions in your contract?

    Are they doing anything beyond order-taking?

    I take it you’ve never worked with an estate agent.

    I rely on real estate agents to do their customary functions. I do not rely on them to practice law, nor would I rely on your quota-meeting crew to do that.

    Read More
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  78. Art Deco says: • Website
    @NeolithicOfficeWorker
    Richard Posner has also aggressively come out against freedom of speech (http://reason.com/blog/2014/12/08/richard-posner-privacy-is-mainly-about-c). The latest closing of the liberal/progressive mind on speech is an example of a victorious political class closing the door of legality behind them after they have used legerdemain and clout to create an opening in the original legal facade of the country.

    The audacity of the Posner family is striking nonetheless, as they enjoy at least three tenured salaries between the two of them, and are, as such, highly insulated from the consequences of their own speech.

    Richard Posner has a history of repellant statements and is long past his sell-by date. However, the article you linked to was not about free speech.

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