Academia

The Clear and Present Danger Posed by Space Captains

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James Miller, a theater professor at the University of Wisconsin in Stout, is a fan of Firefly, Joss Whedon's short-lived science fiction series. Evidently Lisa A. Walter, the school's chief of police, is not. After Miller put a Firefly poster on his office door, Walter removed it, perceiving it as a clear and present danger to public safety. The poster shows Nathan Fillion as Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds, captain of the spaceship at the center of Firefly. Superimposed over the image of Reynolds is a line he utters in the first episode: "You don't know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you'll be awake. You'll be facing me. And you'll be armed." (This is Reynolds' response to a question from a prospective passenger: "I'm trying to put this as delicately as I can…how do I know you won't kill me in my sleep?") In a September 16 email message to Miller, Walter explained that "it is unacceptable to have postings such as this that refer to killing." When Miller asked her to "respect my first amendment rights," Walter claimed the poster was not covered by the First Amendment:

Speech can be limited on a reasonable expectation that it will cause a material and/or substantial disruption of school activities and/or be constituted as a threat. We were notified of the existence of the posting, reviewed it and believe that the wording on the poster can be interpreted as a threat by others and/or could cause those that view it to believe that you are willing/able to carry out actions similar to what is listed. This posting can cause others to fear for their safety, thus it was removed.

To protest Walter's censorship, Miller put up an orange warning poster parody that shows the outline of a cop beating a prone man. "WARNING: FASCISM," it says in big type. "Fascism can cause blunt trauma and/or violent death," it continues in a box at the bottom. "Keep fascism away from children and pets." At this point Walter chuckled, seeing the error of her hasty decision, and apologetically returned Miller's Firefly poster. Just kidding. She took down the new poster too, explaining her rationale in a September 20 email message:

The posting depicts violence and mentions violence and death. The campuses threat assessment team met yesterday and conferred with UW System Office of General Counsel and made the decision that this posting should be removed. It is believed that this posting also has a reasonable expectation that it will cause a material and/or substantial disruption of school activities and/or be constituted as a threat. 

Miller has been summoned to discuss "the concerns raised by the campus threat assessment team" with Raymond Haye, interim dean of his college, on Friday. Meanwhile, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is asking the administration to back off and respect Miller's freedom of speech. It notes that, contrary to Walter's implication, neither of Miller's posters constitutes a "true threat," which is a statement in which "the speaker means to communicate a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals."

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  1. “Do you know what the chain of command is here? It’s the chain I go get and beat you with to show you who’s in command.”

    1. I think the prof needs to put on this one as a direct response to the admin

      “And I’m thinkin’ you weren’t burdened with an overabundance of schooling. So why don’t we just ignore each other until we go away?”

      I love this one

      “Mal: It would be humiliating, having to lie there while the better man refuses to spill your blood. Mercy is the mark of a great man.
      [He lightly stabs Atherton.]
      Mal: Guess I’m just a good man.
      [He repeats the poking.]
      Mal: Well, I’m all right.

      1. “My days of not taking you seriously are definitely coming to a middle.”

        1. Ohh, the poster wars could be glorious.

  2. How do either of the posters threaten anyone specifically at all?

    And the he’s a THEATER professor for godsakes!! What if had posted this instead?

    Let’s be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius.
    . . . And, gentle friends,
    Let’s kill him boldly, but not wrathfully;
    Let’s carve him as a dish fit for the gods,
    Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds;
    And let our hearts, as subtle masters do,
    Stir up their servants to an act of rage,
    And after seem to chide ’em.

    Would this be taken down too?

    Jesus what is happening to these University administrations. They are simply losing their MINDS.

    1. No wonder education sucks ass so badly now.

    2. Jesus what is happening to these University administrations.

      Too many of them relative to the professors with little real work to do. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop, and all.

    3. Et tu, Brute?

      Sic semper tyrannis.

      1. Yeah, and looked what happened with that quote–dead Lincoln!

        1. The second quote, that is. The first one was dead Caesar, but the quote came–if it ever happened–before the play.

          1. But ProL says he was ambitious; and ProL is an honorable man.

            1. How inciteful.

          2. I read once that the line was most likely something line “And thou, Brutus, my son?” because apparently Caesar thought Brutus was his son from somewhere.

            1. He had relations with Brutus’ mother, but I don’t think there was actually any question that he was Brutus’ father. That got tossed in later to make it more dramatic.

              1. I had no idea Caeser slept w/ Brutus’ mom. Stabbing justified.

      2. “Semper fidelis tyrannosaurus Rex!”

        1. “Elcomeway ootay eethay olicepay atestay, eonspay!”

        2. What’s that from? This is going to bother me all day until I can remember where that’s from. I’m tentatively guessing Archer.

          1. Now I’m beginning to think it’s from the Venture Brothers when #23 (#1?) attacked Brock Sampson. Dammit! Someone help me out with my knowledge of cartoons aimed at man-children like myself.

            1. “The Venture Brothers,” I Know Why the Caged Bird Kills

            2. 21 attacked Dr Henry Killinger

        3. It’s sic semper tyrannis. You said, “always faithful terrible lizard”

          1. Uhh, that’s the joke

          2. Since we’re being pedantic, db actually said “always faithful tyrant lizard king.” Which would be a pretty good name for a band.

    4. No, they are just seriously humor-impaired.

      I really, really like this professor. He’s got stones.

      1. That’s saxist.

    5. Jesus what is happening to these University administrations.

      Keep using language like that, and you will be forced to attend religious/spiritual thought diversity awareness training. This University will not tolerate the promotion of religion.

    6. “Would this be taken down too?”
      YES
      And the poster would be tazered and than kicked to death for “resisting”

      Now I can’t use quotes, but what the door should have said:

      STUPIDITY can be limited on a reasonable expectation that it will cause a material and/or substantial disruption of school activities and/or be constituted as a threat TO THE US CONSTITUTION. We were notified of the existence of the SCHOOL”S CHIEF OF POLICE’S REACTION to the posting, reviewed it and believe that the wording OF THE POLICE CHIEF can be interpreted as a threat by THE POLICE CHIEF and/or could cause those that view it to believe that the POLICE CHIEF is willing/able to carry out actions similar to what is listed. This posting can cause others to fear for their CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, thus the POLICE CHIEF was removed.

  3. There is no tyrant quite the equal of the petty tyrant.

    1. “It is the beauty of a well-designed fascism that it gives every pissant an anthill to piss from.”

    2. Speaking of petty, where is the prune deficient nanny Tulpa to defend this tomfoolery?

      1. What’s your beef now, doc? I won’t defend the second poster decision but I certainly don’t think the First Amendment is involved. This fellow isn’t being coerced, unless libertarians have suddenly decided that being fired is coercive.

        1. Uh… you don’t think the First Amendment is involved? How the fuck is it NOT involved? It’s a state university and therefore subject to the First Amendment via the 14th. Putting up a poster like that certainly is an “expressive act” of the type the SCOTUS has no problem determining to be “speech” potentially covered by the First.

        2. This fellow isn’t being coerced

          So ripping down someone’s property isn’t coercion?

          1. It’s not coercion to remove someone else’s unwelcome property from your property (in this case, the university’s door).

            1. Who owns this PUBLIC UNIVERSITY again? Not the administrators, right? Or are you really saying that?

              1. For practical purposes, the govt is the owner. Technically they hold it in trust for the public blah blah blah, but allowing everyone to treat public property like it’s their own is unmanageable.

                1. Since when did the left become fascist? Is Tulpa representative of the modern left?

                  1. Nope, Tulpa’s just clueless.

    3. I guess you think you’re like an authority figure, with that stupid fucking uniform? Fucking clip-on tie there. Big fucking man, huh? These are the limits of your life. Ruler of your little fucking gate.

    4. What about great tyrants? Surely they’re more equal. QED

  4. I felt personally threatened by both of those posters, and I’m not even on that campus! GO POLICE!

    1. I felt personally threatened by both those police actions, and I’m not even on that campus! GO POSTERS!

    2. You’re entirely too easily intimidated. Obviously you have never been properly threatened previously.

      1. ##, My apologies. I meant to reply to Gojira. Of course, we have much to fear from the thought police actions, as well as the inaction of those whose thoughts don’t need policing, since they never stray from preset boundaries.

  5. “Campus Threat Assessment Team” *snort* *giggle*

    1. Lead by the Campus Undersecretary of Nascent Threats.

      1. Ha-ha!!!!

  6. His new poster should read:

    “Don’t touch my stuff, cunt”

    1. An appropriate response to the Campus Undersecretary of Nascent Threats

    2. And risk the wrath of the gender studies department? No thanks.

      1. Piss them off and you get a visit from the Tactical Womens Action Team!

  7. Proper procedures were followed?

  8. I’ll be in my bunk.

    1. Funniest tv moment ever. That is all.

      1. That day we were all in our bunks.

  9. There is no such thing as Free Speech. It costs $$ to go to college and be indoctrinated by the Progressives who employ Fascists to protect them from independent thought.

    But I like the poster, where can I get one?

  10. The poster shows Nathan Fillion as Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds, captain of the spaceship at the center of Firefly.

    I don’t understand why this would be viewed as threatening. It is not like he placed a poster of Commander Zapp Brannigan…

    … considering his many “exploits,” all of them trully un-PC:

    Carpet bombing Eden 7 (“Brannigan Begin Again”)
    Defeating the pacifists of the Gandhi nebula (“When Aliens Attack”)
    Conquering the Retiree People of the Assisted Living Nebula (“A Flight to Remember”)
    Single-handedly defeating the “weak and womanlike” Spiderians of Tarantulon 6 (“Three Hundred Big Boys”).
    Driving the native population off the planet Spheron 1 (although it was actually Bender who accomplished this feat, not Brannigan) (“War Is the H-Word”).
    Defeated the Killbots in the Auctlian system (“Love’s Labors Lost in Space”). He was able to win the battle when he realized each Killbot had a preset kill limit. Zapp sent wave after wave of his own men until all of the Killbots had reached their limits and froze in place.

    1. “She’s built like a steakhouse but she handles like a bistro.”

    2. “Lower…lower..lower…
      TOO LOW! TOO LOW!”

      1. sultrily“… Lower”

    3. “Soon the craving will set in. Then you’ll be back for tasty, tasty, candy – (points to gut) Bam!”

    4. Best Zapp Brannigan quote of all time (this is objective fact, not a matter of opinion…)

      “We need rest! The spirit is willing, but the flesh is spongy and bruised.”
      -K

      1. From a deleted scene:

        “Looks like I’ll have to sleep my way to the top again. Kyf, wake me when I’m there.”

    5. “That young man fills me with hope. Plus some other emotions which are weird and deeply confusing.”

      1. “Oh god, I’ve never been so happy to be beaten up by a woman.”

    6. “That young man fills me with hope. Plus some other emotions which are weird and deeply confusing.”

    7. “If it’s a lesson in love, watch out! I suffer from a very sexy learning disability.”

  11. I feel personally threatened by all the anti-rape posters around campus. SOME OF US CAN’T HELP THE WAY WE ARE

    1. Um, you’re not following this with a Barbra Streisand video, are you?

  12. The theater has met Lisa Walter’s kind before.

    CONSTABLE DOGBERRY:

    “Dost thou not suspect my place? dost thou not suspect my years? O that he were here to write me down an ass! But, masters, remember that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass.”

    1. I think I might be in love with you!!! Nothing like a good Much Ado quote! 🙂

      How about this one in response to the above-referenced article:

      “This learned constable is to cunning to be understood.”

      1. Edit: *too* cunning to be understood.

        I hate it when I make a typo.

  13. Isn’t the text of the poster more like an anti-threat? He’s assuring the other person that he won’t in fact kill him, unless provoked to do so.

    1. That’s like saying to a cop “if you come at me with a gun and try to bully me I’ll drop you where you stand.”

      Don’t you think someone who spends most of their time armed and bullying people might take that as a threat?

    2. Well yes, but it is also a hurtful play on the campus police motto:
      “When we shoot you, you’ll probably be unarmed, asleep and with your back turned.”
      So you see why this poster just had to come down.

    3. he won’t in fact kill him, unless provoked to do so.

      Which in turn is a direct threat to any fascist.

  14. Truly this is the most pressing issue of campus safety there is.

    1. Well there’s also the big “No means NO!” rally on the 30th.

      1. Is that before or after the right to be slutty rally?

        1. In Baltimore they had the “Take Back The Night” rally. I was amused, given that most sane men wouldn’t walk around Baltimore after dark, let alone the women. This was 1990. Twelve year olds were mugging people with shotguns.

          1. Must have been some big twelve year olds or those people were really lousy shots!

            1. Fucking preview, how does it work?

          2. I like to yell “Why don’t you just keep it this time?”

            1. We responded to the situation like any normal college age male would. We fired bottle rockets over their heads while cavorting drunkenly on the rooftops of the nearby buildings.

    2. There’s also the demanding issue of establishing only fair trade coffee beans at all of the donut and coffee stands across campus.

  15. I see a market niche–think of the economic demand in University of Wisconsin in Stout for smelling salts and clutching pearls!

  16. You want to be captain of this ship?

    :yeah:

    Well, you can’t.

  17. That Miller dude seems pretty cool for a theatre dork.

  18. FIRE, FIRE, FIRE. Wait, am I under arrest? I’m not a Yiddish speaking socialist so I guess not.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOck_bDb0JA

    1. did he die?

      I knew he had cancer…he kind of just fell off the radar.

  19. emotional reaction != rational thought

    Obviously this police chief is an emotional creature, not capable of rational thought.

    That’s really fucking scary if you think about it. A chief of police, someone who is tasked with directing violent force, who makes decisions and gives orders based upon not what she thinks but on how she feels.

    Damn.

    1. Affirmative action.

      What don’t people understand about its consequences? This woman isn’t qualified to do make even simple legal decisions.

  20. Nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure…..

  21. There’s stupid, and then there’s Wisconcin stupid.

    1. That was deliberate. I didn’t fuk it up. Honest.

      1. I fale 2 c watz rong wit da oryginyl verzhen.

      2. I fale 2 c watz rong wit da oryginyl verzhen.

  22. Actually, I endorse any effort that cracks down on Firefly fans.

    May I suggest using your stick, officer?

    1. We’re better than Red Dwarf fans

      1. And Doctor Who fans.

        1. I bet the police chief already owns a sonic screwdriver, if you know what mean, and I think you do.

      2. There are Red Dwarf fans? At ComicCon do they meet in the booth next to the one the Space: Above and Beyond fans meet in?

        1. Martin Landau, of Space: 1999 fame, despairs of your attention.

  23. For someone in favor of the First Amendment, you sure seem to be censoring the alt-text.

  24. Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill them right back.

  25. Y’all got on this boat for different reasons, but y’all come to the same place. So now I’m asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything, I know this – they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten? They’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people… better. And I do not hold to that. So no more runnin’. I aim to misbehave.

  26. So, once again, Reason wants to give extra rights to state employees that those in the private sector don’t have. A professor at a private university would have no first amendment case, I think we’d all agree.

    The Bill of Rights only applies to coercive actions by the government. If Professor Miller wants to use his employer’s property to speak and get an audience delivered by his employer, he is perfectly free to find an employer who agrees to do so.

    1. If my employer were to direct me to take down a poster, they wouldn’t send a police officer to do it…

      1. Your employer doesn’t have a state-registered police department, I guess. If they have a security department, they might send a security person to take it down.

        1. My employer would send my functional fucking manager, who is supposed to handle these sorts of things. Then MAYBE HR.

          What’s wrong with you?

          1. Who cares who took it down? Why the fixation on that? Would you all approve if it had been the dean instead of the campus cop?

            1. I’d imagine the largest part of the problem is the cop claiming to be an expert on 1a issues and being a fucking nazi at the same time.

    2. Moreover, it hinges on the employment contract that the University entered into with the good professor.

      It’s quite possible that, as in the case of the conflict UNLV had w/ Hans-Herman Hoppe’s over his views on gay people’s time preference, the university might be violating its contract with the professor by tearing down the posters.

      I should point out that if a person enters into a contract to be paid $50.00 per hour in exchange for driving a < 5 year old car that is well maintained per the dealer manual, and the employer provides him with a six year old fiesta with no brakes, telling the employee to suck it up and get another job is turning a blind eye to a genuine injury.

      Now, with that being said, once threats of lawsuits start flying, it is time to find another job.

      1. If it’s in his contract that he’s allowed to put posters of his choice on the door, then why isn’t he suing on the basis of breach of contract rather than a dubious 1st amendment argument?

        1. Because the cop DID violate his first amendment rights. She wasn’t acting in capacity as an employee of the campus. She was acting in her capacity as law enforcement. I don’t go ripping shit off people’s desks if I’m offended by something; I go file a fucking complaint. If she’s employed directly through the campus, which I doubt, you might have a point.

    3. Actually, the First Amendment gives rights to public sector employees that private sector employees don’t have.

      1. That’s crap. I refuse to accept that.

        1. Because you are a FASCIST.

    4. My employer doesn’t claim to be a place of open thought and free expression. We just make money.

    5. I wasn’t aware that the professor was employed by the chief of police.

      1. If you want to be pedantic, replace “employer” with “employer or employer’s agents”.

    6. This may not be a pure first amendment violation, but it is assholish and censorial. I’d complain just as much if my company made me remove posters that no reasonable person would see as offensive.

      1. Yeah for me it’s more pointing out the hypocrisy of the “free and open discussion center of dissent and tolerance and learning and unicorns” banning a damn poster.

        I think we can all agree that the only reason she made him take the poster down was because all the ladies in the building were forced to put plastic on their seats after they walked by the poster.

        I will say this. Posters on the outside of a door are kind of pointless. I buy posters for me to look at, not for other people to look at.

      2. its the unreasonable ones who sue the company because of your posters

    7. Wrong.

      That the First Amendment’s protections fully extend to public universities like UWS is settled law. See Healy v. James, 408 U.S. 169, 180 (1972) (citation omitted) (“[T]he precedents of this Court leave no room for the view that, because of the acknowledged need for order, First Amendment protections should apply with less force on college campuses than in the community at large. Quite to the contrary, ‘the vigilant protection of constitutional freedoms is nowhere more vital than in the community of American schools'”)

      There are further precedents in the Supreme Court’s records.

      So, no, public universities do, in fact, fall under the wider protection of the First Amendment via the Fourteenth.

  27. That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

    http://store.schlockmercenary……de=P-TER35

  28. Oh, and I can easily see how a person unfamiliar with Firefly could see the first poster as an implied threat. You can’t expect the universe to be in on the same jokes you are.

    The second one was just a “contempt of cop” moment, but as I said above, the options are to suck up and deal or find another job, just like any other employee.

    1. WTF are you talking about, idiot? This was on a PUBLIC university campus, which IS a public institution and therefore MUST respect the First Amendment. I swear, you are the dumbest troll I have ever encountered.

      1. By that logic, anyone can write anything they want on a traffic light, bus shelter, traffic sign, bridge, etc, and no one can legally prevent them because those things are public property.

        The first amendment does not mean you have a right to use public property as the medium for your speech.

        1. It depends. If there was a policy in the school prohibiting all door posting – then sure. But I bet there isn’t.

    2. “”Oh, and I can easily see how a person unfamiliar with Firefly could see the first poster as an implied threat.””

      Only a dumbass that isn’t familar with the word “if”.

    3. And exactly what threat would be implied? “Oh my God, someone is planning to wake me in the middle of the night, roll me over, give me a gun, and shoot it out with me???” Even if I knew nothing about Firefly, I wouldn’t find it remotely threatening. On the other hand I hesitate to think how the police would have reacted if he’d put up a poster of, say, some wild eyed revolutionary shouting “I have not yet begun to fight!”. They’d have probably reported him to Homeland Security.

      1. John Paul Jones was not wild eyed. He was short and blunt.

        1. and for the record, he had the biggest pair of balls the ocean has seen in 2000 years.

          1. And yet another reason that someone might find his poster offensive….

            1. John Paul Jones died in France, was preserved in a sealed lead casket of full of brandy, and was eventually dug up, shipped home amidst great honors, and entombed on the US Naval Academy campus in Annapolis, Maryland. His tomb, a serious confectionary of marble provided by the French government, is quite awe-inspiring and worth a visit.

    4. “Oh, and I can easily see how a person unfamiliar with Firefly could see the first poster as an implied threat.”

      Only if they go around armed.

      1. Someone goes around unarmed? Sheesh, that’s just silly, like walking around with one’s eyes screwed shut.

  29. You ever see what happens when college students stampede when they got no place to go? It’s like a meat grinder, we’ll lose half the student body.

    1. *Snarf* – that… was awesome!

  30. Maybe he could try this Philip K Dick quote (from A Scanner Darkly):

    IF I HAD KNOWN IT WAS HARMLESS, I WOULD HAVE KILLED IT MYSELF

  31. He could go into the hearing with another Mal quote: “I’m confused. I’m annoyed. And I’m armed, and that is a bad combination…”

  32. I suggest taking this photo. Photoshopping it to give it the Sheppard Fairee (sp?, but who cares?) treatment, putting OBEY under it in big letters, and posting it all over the campus.
    But I’m busy now and my Photoshop skillz mostly suck.

    1. I see the problem here. She makes Janet Reno look like Summer Glau.

      Giving ugly women authority is against the natural order of things.

    2. it’s that dude from “Road House” right?

  33. Back in the day, the saying for 2.0 GPA high school students in Wisconsin and Minnesota who were weighing the costs vs. benefits of attending college was “when in doubt, go to Stout.” So I’m guessing the police chief is an alumna.

  34. People people people. If we start allowing free speech on state-university campuses, where will we have to allow it next?

    Didn’t think of that, did you?

    1. I bow to your superior logic.

      1. Bowing is always appreciated. Deep bowing, deeply.

    2. this is not about free speech. its about an employee displaying a poster which other employees and customers (students) may see and which the employer finds to be unacceptable. Can you put up a poster of whatever the fuck you want at your place of work?

      You are pissing on the 1st amendment by trying to make this a violation of said amendment.

  35. This dumb lady evidently is laboring under a different definition of “threat” than I’ve ever seen. Idiot.

  36. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s website helpfully suggests: “Firefly flans [sic] and others can let Chancellor Sorensen know what you think by phoning him at 715-232-2441, emailing sorensenc@uwstout.edu, or using our Take Action page [http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5896/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=8262] to tell Chancellor Sorensen to restore free expression on campus today. “

  37. The man in the poster seems to be supine, not prone. Prone is on your belly, not your back.

    /pedant

  38. I don’t know if this is the case here, but sometimes an employer censors an employee, not because of any genuine disagreement with what the employee said, but out of fear of legal liability or (in the case of universities) loss of government funding. Depending on the situation, they may be worried about “hostile environment” (“you permitted offensive and hurtful speech, so you have to pay large damages!”), or it could be a fear that the professor will climb a water tower and start shooting people, and the victims’ relatives will sue the university for failing to see the “warning signs” (“and isn’t it true, Mr. Chancellor, that this professor put up a sign threatening to shoot people, and you failed to do anything about it? Shouldn’t you at least have alerted the Threat Assessment Team?” – another large damage payment!)

  39. Campus police chief Lisa A. Walter?

    1. The horror, the horror . . .

  40. Know who else…?

  41. “That’s what governments are for. Get ?in a man’s way.”

    – Mal Reynolds, “Serenity” (FIREFLY pilot)

  42. UW-Stout is located in Menomonie, Wisconsin, not that it matters, having gone to UW-Eau Claire there are similar instances of nonsense like this all across the UW System. Political Correctness reigns supreme across the weird land of Wisconsin…Thank God I moved to Chicago where politics is wholesome and good…oh wait…

  43. “”Lisa A. Walter, the school’s chief of police, is not.””

    Chief of police? Shouldn’t they be security guards? Does everyone get their own police force these days? Do they have a SWAT Team too?

    Security Guard: Sir, you are parked more than 8 inches from the curb. I’m going to give you a warning.

    Hank Hill: You’re not a cop.

    Security Guard: No sir, that’s why it’s just a warning.

    1. why should they be security guards vs. police. college campuses (especially large ones) are like their own cities – they have restaurants, living accomodations, roads, etc. etc.

      college pd’s are hardly something new.

      i went to a UC school, and they had a very good police force. every officer was POST certified, meeting the same standards as any city cop or sheriff, at least as far as the state standards went

      many think a campus police can more effectively serve the campus community (better response time, more understanding of issues unique to a college campus, etc.)

      a problem of course is that a campus police chief can be apolitical animal beholden to the powers that be, much like a city police chief.

    2. why should they be security guards vs. police. college campuses (especially large ones) are like their own cities – they have restaurants, living accomodations, roads, etc. etc.

      college pd’s are hardly something new.

      i went to a UC school, and they had a very good police force. every officer was POST certified, meeting the same standards as any city cop or sheriff, at least as far as the state standards went

      many think a campus police can more effectively serve the campus community (better response time, more understanding of issues unique to a college campus, etc.)

      a problem of course is that a campus police chief can be apolitical animal beholden to the powers that be, much like a city police chief.

  44. Liberalism brought us to this point, and many others just like it.

    Thanks a lot, Team Blue.

  45. The state of Wisconsin, if it had any class, would cut all funding to the University of Wisconsin, including student loans, until the administration drops this idiotic crusade. Clearly this is politically motivated.

  46. Must be working for the Alliance…

    1. Should really have a browncoat protest.

  47. NOT shiny!

  48. First it’s just a show, yes a good show but tv program the remarks made where written to be said by hot actor. Don’t understood why officers making big deal. Before I skimmed article and read, commented wrong now correcting what I should of wrote. Do u now go after the writers, will u be even more petty. Let it go, a line I will write for u to say.

  49. This is the same Chancellor who tried to ban the ROTC program in 2005 in an attempt to “protect diversity.” He also exclaimed in 2008 email to the Veterans on campus he was surprised that “only 25%” of Veterans had experienced any discrimination on campus (we took a campus poll). Its a school dedicated to freedom of expression if you’re a devout liberal. Everyone else is SOL.

  50. Since Mr. Miller is such a threat as well as a theatre professor, will he be restricted from doing Shakespeare? the whole situation seems that someone feels the need to pick on the theatre dept.

  51. I went to school at Stout and know Dr. Miller (we called him DOC). His office is tucked away in a dark corner of an old building, so it’s not as though either of the posters was going to be seen by very many people. He also teaches theatre so it’s not as though a large number of students are stopping by his office to discuss class.

    DOC has been singled out before by administration so reading this doesn’t come as too much of a shock. I’m proud to say that I went to UW-Stout because of professors like DOC and ashamed because of a variety of administrative decisions, indecisions and ridiculous incidents like this one.

  52. If I was the professor, this would be my next poster.

    Barney Fife

  53. that is fine and well, but this is still not a 1st amend. case.

    Is it PC? Stupid? A vendetta? Probably all of the above. And perspective students should take incidents like these into consideration before enrolling.

  54. Goddamned purplebelly.

  55. Did they also take down any movie posters for “Kill Bill”, “Saw”, “Fight Club”, and “Inglorious Basterds”? On a University campus, they seriously did this? Wow.

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  57. Nincompoops such as this campus police chief are precisely why America has become such a laughing stock throughout the free world. Our educational institutions, from grammar school through college, have become bastions of political correctness, run by fools who haven’t enough brains to fill a thimble.

    After working in the public school system for approximately the past twenty years, I can assure you it is not just idiots such as this police chief who are making such asinine decisions on educational institutions across America – it is school administrators themselves!

    For at least this long we have been turning out automatons who lack the ability to think for themselves; we have been teaching children what to think, not how to think! In addition to this, the liberal legal system has made it nearly impossible to express an opinion without fear of being sued for liable, slander or committing a “hate crime” offense!

    The result is that we currently have people in high places who couldn’t arrive at an independent decision if their lives depended on it,who are so petrified of “offending” someone that they have all but annihilated free speech!

    God help us, because we are in deep, deep trouble!

  58. The posting depicts violence and mentions violence and death.

    No irony?
    (Hint to the Slow: the email from Lisa the copette contains the elements she decries).

  59. Walter also threatened Miller with criminal charges: “If you choose to repost the article or something similar to it, it will be removed and you could face charges of disorderly conduct.”

    A sworn officer of the law, acting on the authority of the University, attempts prior restraint of an act of expressive speech with a threat of criminal sanction. How in the name of Holy Hell is that not a violation of this man’s First Amendment rights?

    1. It is a violation. And Miss Piggy can kiss her Qualified Immunity bye-bye if this gets to federal court.

  60. The entire campus should wear t-shirts with the River Tam (Summer Glau) quote: Also – I can kill you with my brain.

  61. Gorram Alliance bastards!

    On another note … Joss Whedon’s Firefly: Best TV show nobody saw.

  62. “You don’t know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I censor you, everyone will be looking the other way. Everyone will be making justifications. You’ll be speechless.”

  63. Then I don’t want to see any more images or discussions about the war in the Middle East, or the criminal activities in Mexico and Columbia. No more disaster news from overseas or here in the US. And I definitely don’t want to hear about one of the upper-class-twits-of-the-year’s car getting stolen or getting beat to a pulp.
    And they are all invited to my house so they can see the pics I draw and the posters of fictional heroes beating the bejeezus out of villains. Say something then.
    Way to go for allowing these j@ckoffs take these jobs. Waiting for the last straw, til then, I’m watching.

  64. I always situations like this to be very interesting and they come with no lack of complexity.

    On the one hand, and the main notion folks fixate on, is the right to free speech. However, having seen issues like this come up whilst working in university administration, the administrative part of the university has to perform its job in maintaining the smooth running of the campus. For the chief of police, it’s making sure that the students, staff, visitors and administrators are safe from mental and physical harm.

    Imagine a parent of one of the students were to walk by and see this poster on the professor’s door. It’s not irrational to assume that he or she might be concerned about the possible (violent)influence of this professor on their child, especially since Firefly is not a show many know about. Personally, I am a die-hard fan of the show and the ‘verse; I always lament Fox’s idiotic decision to cancel it, and I would love to know that a professor of mine was a fellow fan. I’d go in during office hours and instigate a quote-off.

    But the point is, people in administration are forced to do their jobs (at the expense of common sense) because they answer to a slew of people above them, from board members to parents to the president of the university. Who knows, Ms. Walter may be a secret fan of Firefly and probably recognized the quote and chuckled appreciatively. But she has to think about the responsibilities of her job first and the implications a situation like this will have on the people she is supposed to officially protect.

    Conversely, let us assume she hadn’t done anything and someone else made a complaint about the fact that this professor was instigating violence with his poster. She would have come under fire for not addressing the issue. I’ve seen a lot of university administrators come under fire for just doing their jobs, but most people forget that the administrative side of the university is what enables the latter to function, to acquire funding, to maintain facilities, etc.

    Ergo, being an administrator requires having a thick skin and knowing that whatever decisions one makes will result in a backlash from somewhere. Better to get it from the place that does not compromise one’s job security, especially in this economy. Just my two cents as a Firefly fan, fervent free speech enthusiast (since I live in a third world country that does not know the meaning of free speech), and a former grad student who used to work in university administration in the US.

    “There’s no place I can be
    Since I found Serenity
    But you can’t take the sky from me…”

  65. I don’t understand, does your country’s constitution allow for cutting freedom of speech in private environments?

    So only in public institutions are you able to exercise freedom of expression? How can you allow that! That is outrageous!

    1. Free speech can happen anywhere as long as the government is not criticized. If it is, people disappear.

      And your reaction, while justified, is immensely interesting to me because it is borne out of a mind that has taken the existence of freedom of speech for granted. It’s a given, for you, for Americans, for Western countries in general. You assume it’s a choice for us, but it is a reaction in favor of survival. And unless some of us have a chance to receive a western education, this reality is all that there is. Here’s to hope for change, though! 🙂

    2. Of course you’re allowed to cut freedom of speech in private environments! It would be ridiculous if you weren’t. Say you have a guest in your house who starts swearing loudly. Do you not have the right to tell them to stop? What if someone comes into your office and starts yelling out insults or using offensive language. Are you honestly telling me that you don’t have the right to ask them to leave? What if your employee does the same? You can tell an employee to change their behaviour if that behaviour is disruptive to the environment. The majority of contracts have that as an added clause.

  66. I arrived here via Niel Gaiman’s Facebook post, and was wondering where Lisa A. Walter thought she was going with this? Or, indeed, if she’d thought it through at all. Would she see the univesity of Wisconsin enjoying productions of “To [Pose A Direct Threat To] A Mockingbird”, “[Severe Inconvenience] in Venice”, or “[Permanent Compromise To The Effectiveness] Of A Salesman”?

  67. I am ashamed to say that I am from Wisconson and attended a Wisconsin Univercity too. My youngest son who graduated with two degrees last year also attended a UW school. I am not surprise by the story. While he was attending he was very active in Student Government. I was horrified by many of the decisions that were made in the “spirit” of “political correctness.” …head banging on the wall now begins:(

  68. Concerning first poster: Well, just don’t go into his office armed, and you’re fine, right??

    Concerning second poster: too speechless to comment..

  69. Not really adding anything useful to the discussion, just pointing out that there is no University of Wisconsin at Stout, UW-Stout is in Menomonie, and was named for its founder. Nothing to see here, move along.

  70. I think the reaction to remove the poster is more likely to “cause a material and/or substantial disruption of school activities and/or be constituted as a threat” Lisa A. Walter, the school’s chief of police sounds like she’s got a bit too much time on her hands.

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  72. I have no idea what the correct answer is

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