February 09, 2017

The First Amendment for me but not thee, #SJW division

Nat Hentoff may have passed away, but the title of his keystone book was never more true than in recent weeks, what with Richard Spencer being hippie-punched, then riots forcing the cancellation of multiple Milo Yiannopolis appearances.

On the latter, especially, SJW folks, and others, are armed for bear. Here's an example.

Problem is, snowflakes like this cannot cite a specific "fighting words" or "clear and present danger" reason to deny Yiannopolis his right to free speech.

Chancellor Dirks at Berkeley put it well on First Amendment issues and public universities.

But, what if student activity fees money went to help put on the event? What if the additional security costs went beyond any campus Republican group's ticket sales? All good thoughts, it seems.

But, in the flip side of the Citizens United "money = speech" idea, Dirks said that to impose extra fees would itself be a burden.

As for the idea that no student activity fees go to such an event, period? Well, since Henry David Thoreau, if not earlier, such ideas have been raised in conjunction with various local, state and federal taxes. And, if we really took that idea to its logical conclusion, then we'd have a federal budget subject to 250 million line-item vetoes. That's no way to run a railroad.

As for Thoreau? He went to jail.

I guess some sort of suspension would be similar punishment for a college student refusing to pay activity fees.

To put this another way, here's Roper and More, in a famous interchange from "A Man for All Seasons":

Roper: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law!
More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
Roper: I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you — where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man's laws, not God's — and if you cut them down — and you're just the man to do it — d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.

"Snowflakes," if you take Roper's position, then you have no room to complain when some government censors you, too.

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