Cathy Young At Minding The Campus: ‘The Brown Case: Does It Still Look Like Rape?

People who see the world through an ideological lens of power relationships and victims may not be the people you want with extra-judicial power, but it’s what many campuses are getting:

Young takes a look at one particular case:

‘No attempt was made to independently verify any of Sclove’s claims. Most publications made no attempt to get Kopin’s side of the story. No one thought to ask such basic questions as: If Sclove was indeed violently raped and strangled, why didn’t she go to the police? Would Brown officials really readmit a known violent rapist after a brief suspension and run the risk of him reoffending?’

The sensitive nature of the subject allows it to be claimed by some people who have only ideology, not necessarily facts or standards of evidence.

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FIRE (The Foundation For Individual Rights In Education) has its hands full, intelligently pushing back against the coalitions of activists that have taken root in our colleges and universities for some time now, but which find special expression through White House task-forces under this administration:

Who needs due process when you’ve got one judge, jury, and executioner?:

‘Perhaps most worryingly, the Task Force appears to be enthusiastic about essentially eliminating hearings altogether for students accused of assault and harassment. The Task Force is exploring a “single investigator” model, where a sole administrator would be empowered to serve as detective, judge and jury, affording the accused no chance to challenge his or her accuser’s testimony.’

Remember those anti-bullying campaigns a while back?:

Yes, feminists and anti-rape activists make moral claims, and they take them very seriously, so seriously in fact that they can work themselves into a frenzy:

Greg Lukianoff:

‘If those of us who defend civil liberties had to name our greatest historical adversary, the leading candidate could be summed up in two words: moral panic. Moral panic is a sudden, powerful, and often highly exaggerated perception within a society that people or their values are facing a dire threat.’

It’s tough to pursue justice when you can’t even identify injustice to meet a basic legal standard.

elated LinksChristina Hoff Sommers (wikipedia) is trying to replacing gender feminism with equity feminism. She also wrote The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men.

Are You Man Enough? Nussbaum v. MansfieldFrom The Harvard Educational Review-A Review Of Martha Nussbaum’s ‘Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education.’

Defending Eliot Spitzer…as a man who ought to be free of prostitution laws…but didn’t he prosecute others with those same laws?: Repost: Martha Nussbaum On Eliot Spitzer At The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A very Harvard affair: The Spelke/Pinker debate-The Science Of Gender And Science

Repost-Revisting Larry Summers: What Did He Say Again?

From The NY Times: ‘Harvard Business School Case Study: Gender Equity’

Jack Shafer At Reuters: ‘Edward Snowden And The Selective Targeting Of Leaks’

Full piece here.

Shafer offers background on leaks, how they’re used for political advantage, how they’re used by the opposition party.  He finishes with:

‘We owe Snowden a debt of gratitude for restarting—or should I say starting?—the public debate over the government’s secret but “legal” intrusions into our privacy. His leaks, filtered through the Guardian and the Washington Post, give us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to place limits on our power-mad government.’

I’m not sure about the ‘power-mad government,’ but I’ve noticed that there is an individual liberty coalescence around the issue, which naturally appeals to libertarians, civil libertarians, the anarcho-left, the ACLU, some liberals, and some libertarian conservatives.  There is stronger resistance from the Obama Left (their guy is in power, possibly allowing ideological/political abuse of the DOJ and IRS) and traditional Right (placing more trust in the hierarchy and authority necessary to serve the national interest and common defense).

I’m interested in knowing just what kind of incentives we’ve been creating since the Patriot Act (for the executive branch especially), and where Big Data and Big Government are meeting.  I don’t entirely trust Snowden’s motives (likely more responsible than the anarcho-Left, recklessly ideal Wikileaks Assange and rogue Bradley Manning, but perhaps not as much as some previous leakers).

I’ll keep an ear out. 

Addition:  Why did Snowden go outside the channels available, anyways?  Eli Lake has more here.

More on Snowden.

Follow Jack Shafer on Twitter.  @jackshafer

Follow Julian Sanchez on Twitter @normative

From FIRE.org-‘Federal Government Mandates Unconstitutional Speech Codes At Colleges And Universities Nationwide’

Full post here.

Sure it’s fun to mock the p.c. crowd, but this is p.c. on steroids. Greg Lukianoff, founder of FIRE (Foundation For Individual Rights In Education) sees a new threat on the doorstep:

“In 2011, the Department of Education took a hatchet to due process protections for students accused of sexual misconduct. Now the Department of Education has enlisted the help of the Department of Justice to mandate campus speech codes so broad that virtually every student will regularly violate them.’

The kind of corruption we saw coming out of the IRS is of a piece, too.

More from the article:

‘Among the forms of expression now punishable on America’s campuses by order of the federal government are: 

  • Any expression related to sexual topics that offends any person. This leaves a wide range of expressive activity—a campus performance of “The Vagina Monologues,” a presentation on safe sex practices, a debate about sexual morality, a discussion of gay marriage, or a classroom lecture on Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita—subject to discipline.

  • Any sexually themed joke overheard by any person who finds that joke offensive for any reason.

  • Any request for dates or any flirtation that is not welcomed by the recipient of such a request or flirtation.’

This blog would like to make a brief appeal:

Without glossing too much over the historical record nor the clear moral wrongs of this country’s legacy and institutions to black folks:  The above approach is closing doors you might want to keep open.  No one can take away the civil rights ethos of your elders that’s been passed down to you.  It’s been vital in carving out space for freedom, inclusion under the law, truth, wisdom, safety, dignity and common purpose.  It’s your legacy.

That said, the playing field has changed and will continue to change.  Activists and progressive political coalitions like the ones we have in power will by their nature churn out bad, restrictive laws that tend to favor a few (usually themselves and their cronies) in the name of all.  Every law that can be used to favor your interests, can be used against your interests.

To appeal further, hopefully beyond the typical libertarian argument (freedom vs. coercion, the individual vs. the State) I would say such progressive activism can harm the soil out of which future generations will grow:  The church through onerous regulations and laws which contradict church doctrine, the neighborhood through a weakened and stagnant economy, the healthy bonds that can unite different groups society-wide by encouraging political favoritism and corruption which erodes the public trust.

What am I missing?

Related On This SiteGreg Lukianoff At FIRE.Org: ‘Emily Bazelon And The Danger Of Bringing “Anti-Bullying” Laws To Campus’

From Volokh: ‘Conservatives, Libertarians, and Civil Rights History’Libertarianism In The Mainstream?: Rand Paul In The Spotlight…Thomas Sowell archives here.

Race And Free Speech-From Volokh: ‘Philadelphia Mayor Suggests Magazine Article on Race Relations Isn’t Protected by the First Amendment’

What about black people held in bondage by the laws..the liberation theology of Rev Wright…the progressive vision and the folks over at the Nation gathered piously around John Brown’s body?: Milton Friedman Via Youtube: ‘Responsibility To The Poor’……Robert George And Cornel West At Bloggingheads: “The Scandal Of The Cross”

Richard Epstein At The Hoover Institution: ‘Civil Liberties After Boston’

Full piece here.

Epstein finishes with:

‘Indeed, it seems as though the FBI had received intelligence from Russian authorities that Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the Tsarnaev brothers, was herself a potential terrorist. With that, any doubts about Russian intelligence or the motivations of the brothers falls by the wayside. Law enforcement officials must follow such leads to their bitter end in dealing with the prevention and deterrence of terrorist activities. The quicker public officials shed their reluctance to move decisively in these areas, the safer we all shall be’

Civil liberties are often the broadest platform where left and right can meet in American life, especially about so important a topic, which cuts right at the heart of of us, much like the bombing cut deep.

There have been, and will be other terrorists, and while the profile is generally second-generation, younger men, divided between the West and Islam, American culture and Islamic identity (Islamist and radical), we have to be careful.

Addition:  Yes, I still think civil liberties are the best place to start in resisting the urge that both parties, and our currently gridlocked politics will have, to increase security and promise citizens that they can do the job of protecting them, which ultimately, they may not entirely be able to do.  This requires all of us to be strong, and send the right signals, and expect the most from them.

Related On This Site: A more Burkean look:

Via Youtube: ‘Roger Scruton On Islam And The West’

If you want to see some responses to these ideas, go to Alexandria, where it’s cross-posted

A Few Thoughts On The Marathon Bombing-From ForeigndiPolicy: ‘Portrait Of A Chechen Jihast’

Covering the law and economics from a libertarian perspective: Richard Epstein At The Hoover Institution Journal: ‘Three Cheers for Income Inequality’Richard Epstein At The Hoover Institution: ‘Death By Wealth Tax’Richard Epstein At The Hoover Institution: ‘The Obamacare Quaqmire’

Link From A Reader: ‘Richard Epstein Introduces Chicago’s Best Ideas To Students’

Greg Lukianoff At FIRE.Org: ‘Emily Bazelon And The Danger Of Bringing “Anti-Bullying” Laws To Campus’

Full review here.

FIRE: The Foundation For Individual Rights In Education.  Lukianoff is the founder.

‘If those of us who defend civil liberties had to name our greatest historical adversary, the leading candidate could be summed up in two words: moral panic. Moral panic is a sudden, powerful, and often highly exaggerated perception within a society that people or their values are facing a dire threat.’

Bullying was the cause celebre for a while, especially amongst those looking for another group of victims to rally around.  Bazelon seems to have taken a more sober and reasoned approach.  This blog is generally supportive of those who aim to protect our civil liberties by battling swells of sentiment which can surge into bad law.

That’s right, gun control advocates, give your politicians better signals, please. 

‘Bazelon emphasizes “bullying, wherever it takes place, isn’t on the rise. It feels more pervasive only because the Web is pervasive,” and that “Though bullying is a problem that cuts across lines of class, race, and geography, the reality is that most kids aren’t directly involved — either as perpetrators or as targets.” She also repeats that punishing bullying often is not the best answer. I was pleasantly surprised to see her acknowledge that there “is truth in the old sticks-and-stones chant,” for which the book is named.’

***Apparently, according to an email, it’s not ‘conservative’ enough to support libertarians in their fight against progressivism, or to support liberals who use J.S. Mill’s harm principle to challenge further Left rationalist totalitarian-types

Nor to give Glenn Greenwald’s civil libertarian tendencies a hearing when it comes to drones and the rule of law, or support Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa’s libertarian and slow change tendecies which blossomed out of the Leftism of his youth, all too standard in Bolivar’s South America.

Admit it, even if you came to learn that Christopher Hitchens started out a Marxist materialist, and ended up a contrarian, eventually tethering himself to the New Atheists, you probably enjoyed it when he defended freedom of speech against its erosion by the politically correct multiculturalists, or perhaps when he wrote his polemics supporting the Iraq war.

Keep the back flap of the tent open, and let people come have a look around.  Civil libertarians are a lot better to have around than intolerant Leftists.

Related On This Site: On Mario Vargas Llosa-Adam Kirsch At The City Journal: ‘The Dream Of The Peruvian’

Christopher Hitchens At Slate: ‘Reflections on Political Violence’

Richard Epstein At Defining Ideas: ‘Drone Wars’

Monday Quotation From Charles Kesler And A Few Thoughts on ConservatismFrom Becker And Posner: Posner On The Future Of ConservatismFrom Darwinian Conservatism: ‘The Evolution of Mind and Mathematics: Dehaene Versus Plantinga and Nagel’

A Few Thoughts On Foreign Policy-Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest: ‘Conservative Principles Of World Order’A Few Quotations From F.A. Hayek’s: ‘Why I Am Not A Conservative’From Volokh: ‘Conservatives, Libertarians, and Civil Rights History’