Islam

At U. of Maryland, Commitment to Free Expression Collapses When Muslims Say American Sniper Offends Them

Fear of Muslims is irrational. So is fear of offending Muslims.

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American Sniper
American Sniper

Student Entertainment Events, a student group at the University of Maryland, cancelled a planned screening of American Sniper due to complaints from Muslim students.

In an announcement, SEE described the cancellation as a postponement, although no latter date for the screening was given. The announcement also touts SEE's commitment to "free expression" and having "hard conversations." Try not to laugh:

SEE supports freedom of expression and hopes to create space for the airing of opposing viewpoints and differing perceptions. In the event this opportunity develops, we encourage the University of Maryland campus citizens to join us in crafting this type of ongoing community dialogue. While not easy, we want to start having these hard conversations.

The program will not be offered to campus community this semester. SEE would like to take sufficient time to continue communicating with involved parties and other interested members of the university including students and faculty/staff. Together we would like to create a program and space where we can listen to each other and learn. 

Who could be against learning? I'm not. Debate the film, invite professors to discuss interpretations of the film, let critics blast the film—I'm for all of those things. Of course, one would have to possess the fortitude to actually screen the picture, first.

But the Muslim Student Association is never going to let that happen, as long as its members have any say. According to the group's petition to have the screening cancelled:

This war propaganda guised as art reveals a not-so-discreet Islamaphobic, violent, and racist nationalist ideology. A simple Google search will give you hundreds of articles that delve into how this film has fueled anti-Arab and anti-Islamic sentiments; its visceral "us verses them" narrative helps to proliferate the marginalization of multiple groups and communities—many of which exist here at UMD.

… This movie dehumanizes Muslim individuals, promotes the idea of senseless mass murder, and portrays negative and inaccurate stereotypes.

SEE is providing a platform for the spread of such an unjust, discriminatory form of entertainment. SEE has even acknowledged that the film depicts Muslims in a negative light and perpetuate negative ideas, values, and beliefs. According to SEE's constitution, they "work to enhance The Adele H. Stamp Student Union – Center for Campus Life (The Stamp) and its community atmosphere." However, the screening of this film creates a dangerous climate for Muslim students and severely devalues the community atmosphere.

Let's presume the group's worst assumptions about the film are true—even though its politics are considerably more complicated, according to Reason's Jesse Walker—and American Sniper really is anti-Arab propaganda. Would that make it unworthy of being shown at a university campus—a place where students are supposed to grapple with history, art, and culture? Can anyone confidently state that a propaganda film has nothing important to teach us?

The Muslim students aren't making that argument; they are claiming that screening the film makes them less safe by creating a "dangerous climate" on campus and "marginalizing" them. It would be easier to dismiss this wrongheaded notion if it wasn't so deeply ingrained in the minds of so many students; unfortunately, the idea that students deserve protection from even their most unreasonable fears has become distressingly popular at universities around the country.

So I'll say two things. First, who has the real power here? If American Sniper truly contributes to the further marginalization of an already marginalized community, why is it that this student group bent over backward to accommodate the demands of MSA? Why did a similar thing happen at the University of Michigan? Why do university administrations routinely cancel, restrict, de-fund, or suspend the activities of students who draw the ire of the always offended? If trigger warnings are supposed to protect the powerless from their oppressors, why are they most often employed by groups whose views dominate on campus against those whose ideas lack popular support?

Second, if one is so afraid of the damage a film's message could do, isn't engaging it a better tactic than pretending it doesn't exist?

Censorship-inclined students should at least try to answer these questions before they resume their odious quest.

Watch Reason Editor in Chief Matt Welch discuss threats to free spech at Reason Weekend 2015 below.

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  1. let critics blast the film…

    Racist. Against Muslims.

    1. Indeed, and given the perilous unrest that would predictably be fomented by recalcitrant individuals upon the film’s screening, it has the potential to be far more harmful to public order than, say, sending out preposterous “confessions” in the “name” of a well-connected academic department chairman?and even that has been labeled a crime in the nation’s enlightened cultural capital. Here, the university is not actually imprisoning the individuals who wanted to show the film, it is merely preventing a dangerous offense before it takes place with a few minor scheduling adjustments. See the documentation of America’s leading criminal satire case at:

      http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

      1. I was referring to the use of the word blast. Idiot.

        1. What greater peril to the public than blasting a film? Here is an example of how language can be twisted and controversy stirred up with words, just as New York’s finest prosecutors put it in our leading criminal satire case. Words, and especially names, are very dangerous things. The cheap movies, even the Reason articles in which ironical metaphors are deviously purveyed can be even more dangerous, both to our minds and our bodies, than the words themselves.

          To reiterate: I believe there is now widespread recognition that our “free speech” adventures have taken us far beyond the boundaries of the ordered liberty and civility that our noble founders envisaged. It’s time to draw some lines and bring back some respect in this country. Manhattan prosecutors have shown the way, the universities are following, and hopefully some of the future judges being educated in today’s establishments of higher learning will come to the bench with a keener understanding of how words, just like acts, can make some of us feel so terribly unsafe.

  2. I find Cinderella offensive to step-parents.

    1. Wait, you told me you considered it porn.

      1. I don’t see why it can’t be both.

        1. Cinema-Intersectionality.

        2. Touch?, ProL. Touch

          1. Do you think there’s a market for porn flicks that offend people in other ways? You know, like a porn version of The Satanic Verses?

            1. Rule 34 says there is …

  3. Just once, I would like to see someone stand up and tell these assholes, “if you cannot tolerate being around views that you find insensitive or offensive, you have no place in this country or in its future. The future will belong to freedom not to the oppressive and the perpetually offended.” For God’s sakes someone needs to stand up to these assholes.

    1. I suddenly understand why aliens don’t make contact with us. We’re too easily offended.

      1. I find that offensive! This is the worst kind of discrimination! The kind against me!

        1. Wouldn’t it be deeply ironic if aliens watch Futurama? Especially aliens from Omicron Persei 8?

          1. They’re too busy watching Single Female Lawyer, ProL.

            1. Even during commercial breaks? Perhaps they aren’t as advanced as we suspected.

              1. They need that time to ponder the big questions raised during the show. Like: why Warty, as the largest commenter, does not simply eat the other ones?

                  1. Some of us have other natural defenses.

                    You just know Sugarfree has spines and a bitter taste.

                    I rely on my natural camoflage.

      2. I thought it had something to do with tacos?

    2. You don’t understand, John. By not tolerating what they find insensitive or offensive, the truly believe they are being tolerant. After all, if they find something to be insensitive or offensive, then it must be intolerant. Tolerant people do not tolerate intolerance.

      1. they keep using that word tolerance, ignorant as to what it actually means.

        1. Of course. The entire strategy of the left rests on these word games.

          “Racism” now means anything bad that happens to a non-white person.

          “Equality” now means the right to leech wealth from others.

          “Rape” now means any physical contact that a woman later regrets.

          “Freedom” means government involvement.

          And of course, “government” means “us”.

          1. Yep. Don’t like something the Constitution says? Redefine the words so that it means something completely different.

            1. “Consteetushun? We don’t need no steeng-king Consteetushun!”

              /Leftards of Sierra Madre

      2. Repressive tolerance, again

        https://archive.is/sN67e

    3. Right before my unit deployed to Saudi Arabia in 1990 we sat through a long briefing on how to not offend the locals. Our Company concluded it with: “As soon as the shooting starts, the only thing holy is our mission”.

      1. Company Commander

  4. Of course, one would have to possess the fortitude to actually screen the picture, first.

    I fail to see how that would affect anyone’s opinion.

  5. These stories have become so redundant that you can take the comments on any of them and interchange them.

  6. This war propaganda guised as art reveals a not-so-discreet Islamaphobic, violent, and racist nationalist ideology.

    So nationalism is bad. You know what another word for nationalism is? Patriotism. These people hate this country and anyone who takes pride in it or tries to defend it. Fuck them.

    1. That’s par for the course. The part that galls me is the “propaganda disguised as art” line. PROPAGANDA IS STILL ART, you stupid cunts.

      1. Also, propaganda is not necessarily untrue or intended to deceive. It is just something meant to support and promote a particular viewpoint or policy.

      2. It’s especially funny given that some great works (such as Germinal by Emile Zola or Battleship Potemkin) are outright socialist (or Soviet in the second case) propaganda, yet there’s no agitation to ban such things.

        Hell, Battleship Potemkin is propaganda produced on behalf of an incredibly warlike and oppressive dicatatorship, so it’s certainly worse in that regard than American Sniper.

        1. Triumph of the Will is amazing from a cinematic standpoint. Unrepentant propaganda, but pretty stunning visually too.

        2. Casablanca has some propaganda in it.

          1. Hundreds of Hollywood movies from the WWII era and even afterward had a pretty obvious and intentional propaganda element to them.

          2. “Casablanca has some propaganda in it.”

            In the sense that the ocean has some water in it.

            1. They all but put up a neon sign saying “AMERICA, GET OFF YOUR NEUTRAL ASS AND FIGHT THE NAZIS, EVEN THOUGH IT WILL INVOLVE GREAT SACRIFICES.”

              1. Hey, even I want to go fight the Nazis after they sing “La Marseillaise.”

                1. Funny – hearing them sing “La Marseillaise” made me want to join the Nazis.

                  1. Oh, come on. How can you watch that movie and not want to free France, only to later realize that, in fact, you don’t really want to risk your life fighting for France? That’s what happened to Rick, only Ingrid fucked up his head and made him go fight for France again.

    2. Propaganda is supposed to further a cause or damage an opposing cause. Did American Sniper really do either? Was it even an attempt?

      1. I haven’t seen it, but it sounds like it’s got some hallmarks of what used to be called an anti-war film.

        1. Some of the enemies, when we see them are brutal, even evil.

          But we see Kyle going back again and again, his friends being killed – for nothing really. And it is destroying him and his family.

          1. He definitely gets close to breaking for a bit.

        2. Apparently that’s not good enough unless it is portrayed in a completely unrealistic way so there is no moral ambiguity at all. Basically, they want Libertymike to direct it.

          1. How many truly pro-war movies have there been in recent years?

            1. I can’t think of any. But I don’t see many new movies.

            2. Blended made me want to go out and murder people.

              And it sounds like Adam Sandler’s latest made some people go on the warpath.

            3. Just “South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut”

  7. Surely these students remember their lessons on Areopagitica from their European history classes.

  8. I’m thinking that the best thing to do with this absurd and idiotic shit is to just let campuses implode with censorship and internecine battling between the perpetually offended. These fucks always eat their own anyway. Just let them make campuses so unlivable and intolerable that sane people either leave or do something about it en mass. Yeah, it would suck, but they’re like an infection that needs to just run its course and burn itself out.

    Because I am sick to death of this shit. Fuck all mewling whiner pussy shitheads. Offend this.

    (drops pants)

    1. My son is a few years away from college, so I find these articles extremely helpful. No chance one of these cesspools gets a dime from me. I’m hoping some enterprising university starts marketing themselves as the anti-prog alternative.

      1. I wonder how much it has changed in the 15 years since I was at college. There was plenty of prog-derp going on then (and my school was/is somewhat known as a place with lots of lefty activism) but you could ignore it and just do what you are supposed to do at college if you wanted to and still get a good education. It does seem like this kind of shit might be invading every part of college life, though. Which is really depressing. I like academia and liberal education and learning for it’s own sake. It sucks to see it turning into such a pile of shit.

        1. I know these are the most outrageous outliers. My son is very much a science and math nerd, and my guess is engineering schools are light years away from this shit.

          I just had such a blast in college, I really want that for my kids. Freedom and debauchery are fundamental rights.

            1. Fuck. I was wrong.

                1. “PhD minor” is an oxymoron.

                  1. I never even knew they had such things as PhD minors, but
                    I guess they do. Where I come from, they called them “specializations”.

            2. The one thing that STEM subjects have in their favor is that it is more difficult to insert the idiocy into the classroom (thought I’m sure they try). I don’t know how much it has changed, but I never had a math professor try to insert anything PC/political into a class. Even in philosophy (my other major), except for a few brushes with post-modern-feminist-gender-blahblah-theory, I never encountered much. Though it helps that I focused on classics and very technical math/logic stuff.

              So probably what anyone needs to do is find a nice academic niche where you can mostly ignore the noise and make the most of it. I’ve been out of touch with academia for some time now, so perhaps you know better.

              1. Being in academia, I can tell you there is no shortage of progressives in STEM. But in the classroom, it is usually so completely off topic that it really can’t come up unless you are making a concerted effort. Most people I know don’t care enough to go on a crusade — they are sort of casually political, save for some specific issue (science funding, gender equality, that sort of thing).

                You just can’t politicize Newton’s laws or the stellar evolution.

                1. Funding is a huge thing. Ask someone who works for NASA how they feel about the budget cuts that would come from a smaller federal government.

          1. Another option, albeit more complicated, is to check various programs and see which profs in them are at least ideology-neutral. Then apply to those schools with the caveat that most of the prog-shit will be in the intro required classes. Just parrot back the answers and move on to what he really wants to study.

            1. There are also schools with very general requirements that don’t involve specific classes.

        2. what has happened since your time is that this thinking has become entrenched; it’s not part of the campus culture, it IS the campus culture because no academic had the balls to say “Free thinking means hearing ideas you may not like. Come up with arguments against them instead of agitating to shut them down.”

      2. They already have those, Tundra: Liberty University, Regents University, Bob Jones University. Of course those are all religious schools. George Mason, although a state run college, is said to be pretty libertarian friendly.

        1. I bet community colleges don’t have a lot of this crap.

    2. STEVE SMITH APPROVES.

    3. I think you are probably right. The current faculty and administration of colleges are either all for this shit or don’t have the balls to tell these people to get fucked. Higher education in the US is going to have a nasty rough patch sooner or later. Both the student loan/government aid bubble and the absurd PC nonsense are bound to implode eventually. Might as well get it over with.

    4. Offend this.

      okay.

      1. Dude. Uncalled for. Come on. This is supposed to be fun. Now it’s just horrible.

        1. *hands Epi an apple*

          Just give her this and run like hell.

  9. I can see why they dislike the movie, from a culture that typically promotes selfishness and degeneracy, here is a portrayal of a real hero. The man’s only flaw was that he served a government that hates him.

  10. “A simple Google search will give you hundreds of articles that delve into how this film has fueled anti-Arab and anti-Islamic sentiments; its visceral “us verses them” narrative helps to proliferate the marginalization of multiple groups and communities – many of which exist here at UMD.”

    Why don’t you Google it, they aren’t going to let you enact their labor.

    1. You keep reversing it, Irish! It’s your labor, and they’re not going to enact it for you.

      1. That doesn’t make sense grammatically. I assumed they meant that they’re not going to let me enact their labor to my ends, i.e. that they wouldn’t allow me to take control of their labor to give me something I want.

        If they’re saying they won’t enact MY labor, what does that even mean in context?

        1. Uh oh, now you’ve done it, Irish, you idiot. You’re opening the pedantic floodgates. It was nice knowing you.

          1. THIS IS HOW I HELP PEOPLE, EPI. OPENING NEW DOORS OF UNDERSTANDINGZ.

              1. I like that guy.

          2. *makes another tub of popcorn*

            1. Fatass.

              1. No worries; he’ll squat it out.

            2. Is this a claw-foot tub? Or just one of those fiberglass jobbies?

        2. It means they’re not going to do your work for you. Enact labor just means do work. Researching why X is racist is work, but it’s your work (because you want to understand why X is racist), not their work (because they don’t want to the work of educating people).

          1. OHHHHH DAMN

            Irish, you’re just going to let her say that to you?

          2. I liked it better when they just called it Samyaksambuddha-hood vs. Pratyekabuddha-hood.

          3. But then it should work in both directions.

            If they say they won’t enact my labor they’re saying they won’t do my work for me.

            If they say they won’t let me enact their labor, they’re saying they won’t let me make them do work.

            It’s a subtle difference, but it’s there.

            /end pedant

            1. Nicole, he’s fighting back! Get him!

            2. If they won’t let you enact their labor, they won’t let you do their work. Which, why would you want to, I guess?

              1. I remain convinced that the term enact labor is a nonsense term that you’ve been tricked into thinking means something because you take SJW driveling too seriously.

                If I type ‘enact labor’ into google, I get no actual definitions and a bunch of progs using the term. It’s a phrase basically invented by progressives which seems to me to be effectively meaningless. It’s just another example of them using bizarre sentence structure so they can pretend they’re saying something smart by being obfuscatory.

                1. Well yeah. But I don’t think it’s that hard to interpret. Turning their obscurantism into clear, concise English is a vital skill. And it turns out most of the time it’s not that hard.

                  1. “And it turns out most of the time it’s not that hard.”

                    Well clearly we’ve established it is, Nicole. Sorry I don’t speak SJWese with your fluency.

    2. and that same simple google search will yield virtually no instances of anti-muslim violence.

  11. “Fear of Muslims is irrational.”

    *Gives us story about yet another Muslim attempt to suppress our freedoms.*

    This is why I’m not a libertarian.

    1. “Fear of Muslims is irrational.”

      *Gives us story about yet another Muslim attempt to suppress our freedoms.*

      I don’t see the contradiction. I don’t fear Islamists; I oppose them.

    2. FUCKIN MUSLUM FAGGOT QUEER FAGGOTS TRYIN TO BAN THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OR SOMETHIN

    3. hardly irrational. There’s a non-zero chance that if you merely offend them, you’ll be burnt alive, get blown up or get your fucking head sliced off.

  12. Can’t we just agree to only show movies depicting white male corporate executives as evil crooks, killers and polluters obsessed with usurping democracy and enslaving minorities for the sake of their icky profits? Nobody could be offended by that, because it’s true.

  13. Time to start home-colleging kids.

    1. Sure, but when I tried to home college my kid, all of the sudden CPS had to get involved just because he got super-drunk and slept with the chick down the hall.

      He was just acting like a normal college kid, Child Protective Services, Jesus Christ. But when he does it during home colleging all of the sudden I’m getting lectured by the judge for constructing an ‘environment of incest.’

      Fascists.

      1. But isn’t the chick down the hall his m…oh god…..

        1. Dude, that link, I think you Sugar Free’d it.

          1. It was for the best. Let’s never speak of it again.

            1. I mentioned it once. But I think I got away with it all right.

  14. “us verses them”

    You lose. Learn to spell, then try again.

    1. One day I hope to be as pedantic as Nicole. That will be the Worst Day.

      1. It takes a lifetime to get this bad, dude.

    2. Us can verse them. For instance, here’s a verse to them:

      Ode to them
      whom shall not be
      named.
      For clockwise
      is the
      opposite
      of how they think.
      They are here with
      us,
      their beauty
      no beauty.
      Scars, flesh,
      ragged bones.
      Only blood
      knows them
      truely.
      Ode to them
      whom are
      here with us,
      waiting ever so
      tenderly
      for us to close
      our eyes,
      for us to be
      vulnerable.
      They are among
      the shadows
      the sounds
      the dead wood.
      Their eyes
      no eyes.
      They eat cries
      of despair
      and sorrow.
      Ode to them
      whom cannot be
      loved,
      but judged,
      and always sly.
      Ode to them.
      They know where you
      are
      live
      sleep
      die.
      Ode to them
      with their vivid
      dislikes.
      They are waiting for
      you.
      And always remember:
      don’t look if you think
      they’re there,
      because they are there.
      They are more there
      than you will ever be.
      Ode to them
      the killers
      the rivals
      the smokers of
      pipes drenched in horror.
      They are watching you.
      Behind you
      across the room from
      you.
      Ode to them
      that you’ve seen
      portrayed in
      movies of death.
      They are real
      and they
      are beautiful
      to me.
      They are here.
      I would say
      ode to them
      but they would
      not like that now
      would they?
      Ode to them who crumple
      the paper,
      who dance
      before death.
      None of you
      is aware
      that they are
      here
      until your last
      sickening breath.
      Wretched,
      vivid memories
      are their
      favorite,
      where all you can do
      is watch out.
      Ode to them who are kding
      underneath
      your bed,
      in your laundry
      basket, and
      right
      above
      your
      head. . . .

      1. How did that pass the text limit?

        1. Maybe because of the block quote?

        2. Hmm, there may be an exception for text within a blockquote or other types of tags. If I weren’t completely uninterested in the answer, I’d test it.

          1. Yeah, that’s not the case, I’m always having to shorten blockquotes.

            1. Not. Interested.

              1. That’s why you responded, right?

                1. Look, I’m trying to get across to you how uninterested I am. Like, it’s a lot. Tons. A huge amount. OK? Do you get it now? Tell me you get it. Do you?

                  1. I think so.

                    Is it…THIS MUCH?

        3. By being 1417 characters? OHHHHHHHHHHHHH PWND

          1. Dammit, Warty, you’re getting as bad as Nicole.

            1. It actually wouldn’t let me post the whole thing, which is why there’s an ellipsis. Is it any good? I didn’t read it.

            1. I know what you’re thinking. Did he write 1417 characters or only 1416? Well, in all the confusion, I kind of lost count myself. So you’re going to have to ask yourself one question: do I feel lucky?

              1. Why did you leave out the “punk?” That’s only effective with “punk.”

                1. Hey Pro Glib, you do know where San Quentin is, don’t you, asshole?

                  1. Look, dude, endeavor to persevere.

                  1. Well, you are.

    3. No, Nikki, he was using the royal we and saying that he planned to attack them in verse, like the ancient celtic bards who it was believed could rhyme a man (or woman!) to death.

      1. Dammit, ProL beat me to that.

        1. It’s okay, she deserves a pile-on for her lack of vision.

  15. In addition to everything else, this is extra-stupid because I am sure that there are also Muslims who are not offended and want to see the movie. But the loudest, stupidest ones get the heckler’s veto, apparently.

    To compare to another event in the news, it’s like using what victims think to determine whether the Tsarnaev guy should die. Some want death for him, some don’t. So it’s just not a valid argument for or against.

    You will always piss someone off no matter what decision you make. So grow some balls and make decisions based on your supposed principles.

    1. I find that offensive, Zeb. 😛

      1. I’m offended by your offense. I’m also offended by anyone offended by my offense and, paradoxically, by anyone who shares my offense of your offense.

  16. This is deja vu. We’ll continue to see this at campuses across campus after Michigan got national media attention.

  17. nothing creates an “us versus them” narrative like preventing others from watching a fucking movie you don’t like. Nazis.

  18. Ever notice that the unemployment/underemployment rate amongst recent college grads is high?

    Anyone think that’s just a total coincidence, given that so many of them just spent 4 year marinating in this crap?

    We had a presentation recently about how you just can’t manage Millenials like real people. You have to accommodate their weird schedules, wardrobes and workstyles.

    I asked what the unemployment rate was for Millenials (high, thanks for asking), whether the perception that they are special snowflakes that you can’t manage like other people might be contributing to that, and whether we were doing them any favors by not requiring that they act professionally, to our standards, in the workplace.

    Blank stares were given. Answers were not.

    1. The simple answer is to break their spirits and rebuild them as productive members of society. I propose a new profession–the Breaker.

      1. Job opportunity for former Drill Sergeants!

        1. Indeed! Call it something hippie sounding, but with the full metal abuse of the drill sergeant.

          1. Adaptation Facilitator and Workplace Environment Specialist?

        2. Sales Staff not producing their numbers?

          BRING IN = RETIRED MARINE GUNNY, MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER

    2. The millennials I have managed were pretty functional. But they didn’t do the standard 4 year college right after high school thing.

    3. Not even the least bit coincidental. We’ve produced the most self-confident, ignorant, and unemployable generation in American history, and it was done completely on purpose by the powers that be.

  19. Is fear of Nazis or Communists irrational? If not, then why is fear of Muslims irrational? Sure, not every Muslim is a murderous lunatic, but a lot of Nazis and communists are not either.

    1. Someone said that a liberal is a man who is too obtuse to take his own side in a fight. That describes libertarians too.

    2. Is fear of Nazis or Communists irrational?

      At the moment, yes. Unless you have some skinheads trying to kick your teeth in.

      Same with Muslims. There is no real reason for any random American to fear Muslims as a class. Certain subsets of Muslims, maybe. But even then, there are much more immediate things for almost everyone to worry about.

      Most fear is irrational outside of very specific and dangerous situations.

      1. So you would have no fear at all if say, a million or two committed communists moved to the country?

        1. Maybe. I’m just saying that some generalized fear about communists or Muslims or whatever is not rational.
          Maybe fear isn’t supposed to be rational. It’s a useful emotion in situations where you have to act quickly and get out of danger. But other than situations like that, the rational thing is not to fear but to rationally consider what can be done to eliminate a threat like communism or Muslim extremism in the long term. I don’t think fear helps in that situation. Nor is it rational if there is not an immediate threat.

          I’m not saying fear isn’t understandable or natural in some situations. Just that it usually is not rational.

          In the specific case of Muslims, at least within the US almost no Muslims pose any threat to me. So it would be stupid to go around fearing Muslims.

  20. Speaking of universities, the victim of the matress girl hoax is suing Columbia. Her response to the lawsuit is a fantastic piece of newspeak.

    In response to the lawsuit, Sulkowicz (who is not being sued), told the Associated Press that she thinks “it’s ridiculous that Paul would sue not only the school but one of my past professors for allowing me to make an art piece.” She also said that it was “ridiculous that he would read it as a ‘bullying strategy,’ especially given his continued public attempts to smear my reputation, when really it’s just an artistic expression of the personal trauma I’ve experienced at Columbia.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer……_click=rss

    So falsely accusing someone of rape is just “art” but defending yourself against such an accusation is being a bully.

    1. As has been repeatedly noted –

      the people the SJWs attack inevitably use the SJW own chosen weapons against them.

    2. Projection, John. Always projection.

  21. “This war propaganda guised as art reveals a not-so-discreet Islamaphobic, violent, and racist nationalist ideology. A simple Google search will give you hundreds of articles…..”

    Ahh, the Progressive “Google It!”-argument.

    Step 1 = flood the internet with hysterical shrieking

    Ensure that the most prominent cheerleaders in the SJW-culture-war-assault publish dozens of variations of the same bullshit screed, creating the impression of “consensus” through sheer volume.

    Step 2 = cite hysterical shrieking on the internet as the *conclusion* of the debate: not simply evidence of one side of the debate currently being avoided

    1. My the data collection/analysis section of my next research article is just going to be “This researcher is not going to enact the data collection and analysis. Just Google it.”

      1. There is some evidence showing that the SJW movement has some support in “new media” academic circles, and that the M.O. of =

        ‘first, twitter-bombing the internet with SJW memes and arguments, creating ‘controversy’ in public forums ex-nihilo’

        then

        ‘publish research papers citing the online prevalence of X debate, showing its ‘contemporary relevance’ and importance’

        then

        ‘cite research papers when arguing for more federal funding to “study” said issues”

        … that the whole ‘virtuous cycle’ of engendering* controversy, then using existence of said ‘controversy’ as justification for the importance of your work, is something already well-established in the uber-progressive Academic circles

        1. (the specific evidence yes, surrounded GamerGate, but i avoid the cite for sake of avoiding the Juvenile Psychopath thing)

          unrelated =

          the other day i asked if there was a specific term for the “Using Identity as replacement for argument” in a sentence.

          i.e. instead of saying, “I believe X (opinion), because Y (reason)“,
          people say, “As a Y (identity characteristic), I believe X (opinion)“, and skip the ‘reasoned argument’ part altogether – because *you can’t dispute identity*.

          something i’m interested in now, is whether there’s a term for the style of ‘academic writing’ which takes extremely weak statements, and reinforces them with multiple terms/overlapping issues, increasing their scope so broadly that its impossible to establish what they’re saying at all (if anything).

          Example = “OUR GROUP” aims to serve as a designer, broker, and implementer of ideas and activities, bringing together institutions and individuals around common principles and objectives through collaborative research, training and capacity building, technical assistance, convening, knowledge curation, and advocacy. “

          A prize to the first person who can correctly identify what it is they actually “Do”

          1. the other day i asked if there was a specific term for the “Using Identity as replacement for argument” in a sentence.

            Not sure about a term. However, I’d say that by and large these people are pretty up-front about rejecting the idea that they need to argue points. They are not interested in argument and basically reject the idea that arguments are valuable. If the value of lived experience is real, then arguments are beside the point, and the “As a X” structure ties any belief being express directly to the idea of (identity-based) lived experience (which is, of course, the only kind that’s relevant).

            1. I get the “abandoning reasoned argument” bit.

              The problem is that the “value” of the “lived experience” is entirely assumed.

              As someone who grew up poor, I believe in a strong social safety net and a progressive redistribution of wealth to help mitigate inequality

              As someone who grew up poor, I believe it is fundamental that we remove barriers to growth and investment and promote opportunities for economic advancement

              The identity part is completely flexible. Neither belief – despite being ‘tied’ to the identity – naturally follows from it.

              I know that is the point for most of the people who employ it – but it doesn’t make it any less irrational and rhetorically evasive.

              It really does need a “name”, though. My favorite example here

          2. A prize to the first person who can correctly identify what it is they actually “Do”

            First of all, what’s the prize?

            I don’t know if this is what you’re looking for, but Skoal called that obscurantism. Spivak and fucking Zizek are prime examples.

            1. I like “Obscurantist”. Its even already in my ‘spell-check’ which means its a ‘real word’.

              A prize is a social-construction. It need not take physical form, like a ribbon, medal or trophy. I can simply name you, “Lord Master of the Gibberish, Purple-Belt Rank”

              Which is huge deal. You have no idea how few people ever advance that far.

            2. And speaking of Zizek, have the perfect takedown

            3. On further review, i’m not sure “obscurantism” by itself is enough

              Much of what falls under that term tends to be noted for its reliance on highly specified, technical terminology, internally-referential definitions, and specific redefinitions of otherwise common-terms.

              What i’m thinking of is actually more akin to ‘consulting-industry’ marketing-babble than academic techno-obscurantism, a la Zizek.

              e.g.
              Our organization works creatively with stakeholders and end-users to enable innovative solutions and proactive processes to be made available both in the marketplace as well as for institutions via a decentralized, people-focused strategy

              in particular, the thing i’m focusing on is the “creating vagueness through addition”.

              I see this a lot in the SJW argumentative-style, where they pile-on redundant terms to create the appearance of substance. Sometimes t

              “Enacting labor” is a great example of using 2 words when one is much clearer.

              1. sorry – “…they pile-on redundant terms to create the appearance of substance. Sometimes they simply use the same terms repeatedly, as though repetition grants them more power”

    2. This is a common tactic. They do this with politicians all of the time.

      Step 1 – Have your operatives in the media invent a series of “gaffes” and “scandals” about a candidate.

      Step 2 – Refer to the candidate as “gaffe prone” and “scandal plagued” in all future media stories.

      1. Are you suggesting that all roads lead to Alinski?

  22. Good news:

    Columbia is being sued by the guy who didn’t rape mattress girl.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer……_click=rss

    Two questions:

    Why not sue mattress girl into the bargain?

    Why not sue Kirsten Gillibrand, who has been a very high profile defamer of this guy?

    1. Dammit, John beat me to it.

    2. You don’t sue mattress girl because she likely has no money, few job prospects and hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. She went to Columbia and is some kind of hate studies major. Columbia costs like $75,000 a year. Maybe her parents are rich, but you are never getting to that money.

      1. Sure, sure.

        Still, you could hang a garnishment on her that will follow her the rest of her life (or until she files bankruptcy, and probably even after that) and give you the sweet, sweet satisfaction of cashing a check from her every single month.

        Plus, she and Columbia might turn on each other in the litigation.

      2. ” hate studies major.”

        lol

        1. I loled at that too

    3. According to a link inside that article, it’s because you wouldn’t be able to win the libel suit against her since she never claimed to have evidence about it. This seems hard for me to believe, but here’s how it explains it:

      Volokh then provided an analogy using President Bill Clinton:

      Example one: Someone says “Bill Clinton raped Juanita Broadrick, and I’ve seen a video that proves it.” This would be libel, because the person is claiming to have evidence showing Clinton is guilty (should the video not actually exist).

      Example two: Someone says “Juanita Broadrick’s story is true, and I’ve seen a video that proves it.” This, according to Volokh, would also be libel, because the person is claiming to have unseen evidence and people would be able to figure out they are referring to Clinton.

      Example three: Someone says “Juanita Broadrick’s story is true; the man she accused is a rapist.” Volokh said this would not be libel because it would be recognized as an opinion.

      1. It is not that. It is that she never named Nungesser as her rapist. She just claimed she had been raped and Columbia wouldn’t do anything about it. It was Columbia who made it clear that Nungesser was the guy she was accusing of rape.

        1. This was talking about the Senator, not the girl who claimed to be the victim.

      2. Example three: Someone says “Juanita Broadrick’s story is true; the man she accused is a rapist.” Volokh said this would not be libel because it would be recognized as an opinion.

        Its not my area of specialty, so grain of salt, everyone.

        I could see the first clause maybe be an opinion about the truthfulness of the story. The second strikes me as a flat out assertion of fact. I was not aware that you could make any false assertion of fact about someone and walk away scot-free unless you also claimed to have evidence.

        Looking back to the Great Sheep-Fucking Scandal in these precincts, I don’t recall that commenters claiming to have evidence that a certain someone had a fondness for sheep being a critical element of the complaint.

    4. Duke lacrosse players…a fraternity at Virginia…those at Oberlin who sponsored Christina Hoff Sommers…mattress girl at Columbia…Lena Dunham’s fictional attacker…

      Doesn’t there seem to be an epidemic of college men being falsely accused of rape? In fact, it seems that college men these days have a one in five chance of being falsely accused of rape, doesn’t it? I tell you, we live in a false accusation culture!

      I am sure the federal government will use Title IX to mandate strict enforcement of policies prohibiting false accusations, (and don’t tell me about proof beyond a reasonable doubt!), counseling for false accusation victims — excuse me, I mean false accusation survivors! — trigger warnings and “safe places” for those falsely accused, and the prosecution of false accusation deniers.

  23. By sheer will.

    A triumph, as it were.

    1. Interesting that there may be a Nazi workaround to the character limit. What could that mean?

      1. Pro lib, it’s okay. You can tell them the real workaround. The same solution we use for every problem.

        1. Okay, okay, so I roughed up Nick a little. From space.

  24. “Why do university administrations routinely cancel, restrict, de-fund, or suspend the activities of students who draw the ire of the always offended?”

    That’s pretty easy to answer. When Hollywood comes out with a Major Motion Picture that features a Muslim hero whose job is to kill non Muslims, university administrations will get their chance to vary from their routines and cancel something that offends the unoffended.

    “Second, if one is so afraid of the damage a film’s message could do, isn’t engaging it a better tactic than pretending it doesn’t exist?”

    Typical liberal thinking. Ever consider the possibility that the protestors don’t share your liberal views? They very likely see engagement with the film as a waste of time and energy. Engagement as a tactic only makes sense if you think you have something to gain from the encounter.

    1. I wish they would make a movie that portrays a jihadist as a hero. Watching these assholes twist themselves into pretzels explaining how showing it was absolutely essential would be hilarious.

      1. It might be more fun to make a movie that portrays Anders Breivik as a hero. If you want to see a great example of triggered, that’d do it for you.

    2. engagement also implies legitimacy. If I argue against your point, then I am giving it some validity by taking the time to construct a counter to it. The left seeks to render any opposing thought as illegitimate and, therefore, unworthy of debate.

      1. “engagement also implies legitimacy.”

        That’s certainly true as well. It’s also worth noting that liberals tend to see engagement as a positive end in itself. These protestors, not so much.

        1. of course, engagement also implies that you have something of substance to say in response to your opponent. If you don’t, engagement is something you want to avoid.

    3. When Hollywood comes out with a Major Motion Picture that features a Muslim hero whose job is to kill non Muslims

      You mean Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven?

      1. Imagine the butt hurt and posturing that would occur is a Christian group demanded that movie not be shown on campus.

        1. It would fuel the Daily Show for three seasons.

        2. That would be completely different John. In that case, objecting to the movie being played would be fueling anti-Arab and anti-Islamic sentiments and therefore creating an unsafe space.

      2. “You mean Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven?”

        I was thinking of a more modern setting. How about the brave and noble Taleban taking time off from tending his goats for a few months each year to fight the foreign invaders of NATO. Something like that is very rare. The closest I can think of was at least one Reagan era drama about Russians getting picked off by mujahideen. Even in these films, the focus was on the non Muslim Russian characters. And the mujahideen characters were mostly played by Jewish character actors.

        1. And the mujahideen characters were mostly played by Jewish character actors.

          The horror!

          1. Looking at the info on the American Sniper, it seems that Arab actors are employed to play the Arab roles. It wasn’t all that long ago that WASPS (and Jews) were cast in the roles of Mexicans (C. Heston), Chinese (D. Carradine) etc. And what was the first film you remember seeing with a black actor in the lead role? Was it Night of the Living Dead? A film made by a communist (not a Reason communist, but a real one) outside the Hollywood system.

            1. And what was the first film you remember seeing with a black actor in the lead role? Was it Night of the Living Dead?

              If you must know, it was Krush Groove.

        2. Where does a white, impeccably liberal actor like Matt Damon or George Clooney fit into this setup? That’s why you can’t have a movie like that – it has to be White Man Learns America Is Horrible, Maybe Does Something About It and there’ve been a few of those.

          1. “it has to be White Man Learns America Is Horrible, Maybe Does Something About It and there’ve been a few of those.”

            Haven’t seen the American Sniper. Doesn’t that fit into your Hollywood setup? From what I’ve seen of Eastwood’s recent output, it wouldn’t surprise me. Though he did do a pretty convincing job not long ago at a WWII movie from the perspective of the Japanese.

  25. Ever notice that the unemployment/underemployment rate amongst recent college grads is high?

    There is a finite supply of street corners suitable for a Starbucks.

  26. “This researcher is not going to enact the data collection and analysis. Just Google it.”

    .
    Give yourself some credit.
    “The conclusions presented here are so obviously] true no supporting documentation is req1uired.”

    1. “check your cite checking privilege”

      We could have HM on Easy Street in no time!

      1. We could have HM on Easy Street in no time!

        Alcohol privilege is really all I’m after.

    2. Give yourself some credit.
      “The conclusions presented here are so obviously] true no supporting documentation is req1uired.”

      Excellent idea!

  27. Example = “OUR GROUP” aims to serve as a designer, broker, and implementer of ideas and activities, bringing together institutions and individuals around common principles and objectives through collaborative research, training and capacity building, technical assistance, convening, knowledge curation, and advocacy. “

    A prize to the first person who can correctly identify what it is they actually “Do”

    They rent drums for drumming circles.
    What have I won?

    1. You’ve won front row seats (*standing room only) at the next “Occupy” event

      You can find the address and date at this easy-to-use portal designed to help Occupiers coordinate their efforts

  28. For the record, explanation (link) of the law and policy, fact basis for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    Context is essential. This was Petty Officer Kyle’s over-all mission in Iraq mandated by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1511 (2003) (link) that was enforced by the US Military under US law:

    13. Determines that the provision of security and stability is essential to the successful completion of the political process as outlined in paragraph 7 above and to the ability of the United Nations to contribute effectively to that process and the implementation of resolution 1483 (2003), and authorizes a multinational force under unified command to take all necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq, including for the purpose of ensuring necessary conditions for the implementation of the timetable and programme as well as to contribute to the security of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, the Governing Council of Iraq and other institutions of the Iraqi interim administration, and key humanitarian and economic infrastructure;

  29. …let critics blast the film…

    Really? Nobody else thought this was funny?

  30. So, Academe is ruled by the Heckler’s Veto – so much for “compare and contrast”.
    Will they protest the uni’s of the women’s basketball and/or volleyball teams next?

  31. Unfortunately, it seems that if one wished to see administrative cowardice, or cowardice on the part of administrators, one need these days look no further than universities and or institutes of learning, higher or otherwise.

  32. Is fear of Muslims really irrational when their holy book (which you can’t question) instructs them to conquer the world and subjugate all non-muslims?

    Especially when they are putting it into practice?

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