Free Speech Freedom of Information

Peace Out, Man! …..Except If You’re Desmond Tutu


For four straight years, the well-regarded Justice and Peace Studies program
at Saint Thomas University in Minnesota has sponsored high-profile events featuring four different Nobel laureates such as Rigoberta Menchú Tum and Shirin Ebadi.

In keeping with the trend, the program’s heads decided to invite Nobel Peace Prize winner, Desmond Tutu to speak at the university in the Spring of ‘08. They were overjoyed when he accepted.

But when the justice and peace folks shared their good news with St. Thom’s administration, instead of expressing delight at the coup, the administration spiked the idea altogether saying that Desmond Tutu had been critical of Israel’s policy with the Palestinians and so was not welcome as campus-sponsored speaker.

The controversy hit the Minnesota papers last week then, on Friday, was picked up internationally when St. Thom’s admin received nearly 2000 emails asking it to reconsider.

Here’s a report from the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Doug Hennes, vice president for university and government relations at St. Thomas, said the Rev. Dennis Dease, St. Thomas’ president, made the final decision not to invite Tutu after consulting with his staff.

“He [Tutu] has been critical of Israel and Israeli policy regarding the Palestinians, so we talked with people in the Jewish community and they said they believed it would be hurtful to the Jewish community, because of things he’s said,” Hennes said.

To further complicate matters,
when the head of the Justice and Peace Studies program, a woman named, Cris Toffolo, sent a letter to Archbishop Tutu, informing him of the decision (and also expressing her dismay and disagreement), the administration honchos removed her from her position as head of the program. ( Professor Toffolo is still teaching at the university. I’m betting that she’s tenured.)

The whole snatched-away-invite issue
has to do with a speech that Tutu gave at a 2002 conference in Boston. A version of the speech may be found here.

Marv Davidov, an adjunct professor
within the Justice and Peace Studies program, was one of those appalled by the U’s decision.

“I am Jewish, and stifling debate and dissent [and] criticism of Israel is a disservice to all Jews, the state of Israel and the American people,” he said.


So here’s the big question: Is criticism of Israel’s government, or our own government (or any other government, for that matter) now a disqualifying factor for speaking to America’s university students? Is that really what we’ve come to?

Like his speech or hate it, Desmond Tutu is a world-renowned and beloved figure who expressed an impassioned and reasoned opinion—with which reasonable people might disagree (or even, God forbid, agree, if that sort of thing’s still permissible). But, now St. Thomas students and faculty won’t have the opportunity to agree OR disagree, or anything in between—BECAUSE TUTU’S NOT COMING TO THE SCHOOL!!!

Oh, and has anyone mentioned the teensy-weensy fact that retired Archbishop Tutu has not said anything about Israeli policy that former President Jimmy Carter has not said too, and at far greater length.

So will the 39th President of the United States be the next dis-invitee at college commencement time?

Just curious.


  • Since you compare Tutu to Jimmy, I do think that Jimmy calling Israel an apartheid state in the very title of his books, puts it on an analogous line w/ South Africa — hence, the common connection to Tutu, it would seem. It is offensive to most Jews to place Israel in that company, and just as it is Tutu’s and Jimmy’s right to say what they do, it’s the right of any university to choose not to have certain speakers at their campus. (Isn’t it this same Justice and Peace group that had a divisive speaker at UCI recently? That speaker divided the Jewish and Muslim students, rather than brought them together for honest discussion.)

    Personally, I do think some Jews go overboard in equating any criticism of Israel’s leadership with anti-semitism, and that is no more appropriate than called everyone who criticizes the Bush admin. with being anti-American. However, when there is an underlying hostility to a country, whether Israel or the U. S., then that person has an agenda which may not be welcome. It’s the choice of each institution, who would after all be footing the bill and not wanting to create more division than friendly discussion.

    I’ve traveled throughout Israel and the Middle East, and can say that until the last decade or so, there was a lot more openness between the Israeli and Palestinian territories and people. Arafat was, after all, “legalized” in 94 as a Head of State, areas like Bethlehem and Jericho did a thriving Christian tourism business, and I talked with merchants and average Palestinians who were very optimistic about their future, just like most Israelis. But recent events with the Hamas taking over from Fatah, the alleged alliance with Syria and other extremists in the region, and a Palestinian hardline on territory and indepdendence — including many openly wanting to wipe out Israel — has forced Israel to take a more hardline position.

    Sharon making a show of going into the Al Aqsa mosque as a soldier rather than a modest visitor some years ago did set off tensions more than many would have expected, and there are some Israelis who see Muslims as “the other.” But in general, I’d rather have Israelis control Temple Mount and other sites holy to all three major religions, than Muslims, who do not respect Christian freedom of religion any more than Jewish. There are problems on all sides, but I think that Jimmy and Tutu branding Israel as apartheid states akin to the Old South Africa just puts up a wall that prevents intelligent and friendly discussion.

  • …a disqualifying factor for speaking to America’s university students?

    No, mainly just being a conservative is a disqualifying factor, and conservative speakers are usually shouted down and threatened by jeering and rude liberals if the administrators slip up and let a conservative speak. Where have you been for years?


    Mob Rule on College Campuses

    Here we go again – incidents involving conservative speakers addressing colleges

    Black Conservative Silenced at Penn State

    Welcome to the Ivory Tower of Babel: Confessions of a Conservative College Professor

  • (Note: This is a duplicate of a post awaiting moderation but provided without the links.)

    …a disqualifying factor for speaking to America’s university students?

    No, mainly just being a conservative is a disqualifying factor, and conservative speakers are usually shouted down and threatened by jeering and rude liberals if the administrators slip up and let a conservative speak. Where have you been for years?

  • I don’t understand the hullabaloo about a Nobel Peace Prize winner, Desmond Tutu speaking at a Catholic University; he is not Adolph Hitler speaking at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Sounds like the Catholics at St. Thomas University had some previous problems with the Jewish Community they consulted.

    The United States and Columbia University survived the appearance of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran. The only “aftermath” left by Ahmadinejad was his funny comment “we have no gays in Iran” which has been used as material for many comedians.

  • Glad that you wrote about this. I was going to discuss this other places but let it slip among other outrages. But consider the following:

    Juan Cole is disinvited to have a tenured spot at Yale after “Jewish Groups” say he’s anti-semitc and pro-palestian. So Michigan gets to keep hyim

    Norman Finklestein is denied tenure at DePaul even though the Political Science Faculty recommends him.

    Jimmy Carter can’t speak at Brandeis thanks to Alan Dershowitz who – when not defending OJ – is the sword of David when it comes to perceived “Threats” to Israel. Also see his condemnation of Walt and Mershiemer.

    And now this. I read that more than a few members of the St Thomas community are mad as hell over this and want answers.

    In the meantime our Middle East debate is stiffled and our path toward War with Iran – a main Likud goal – moves blissfully on!

  • A Better Choice – Clarence Thomas

    These same people who are so upset about Desmond TuTu, are likely from the same feather as those who blocked Clarence Thomas as a speaker at universities and law schools.

    “These people who claim to be progressive … have been far more vicious to me than any southerner,” Thomas says, “and it is purely ideological.”

    Thomas He says his critics — “the people who question whether he is smart or qualified to be on the Court or who suggest he merely does what a white Supreme Court colleague dictates — are as also as bigoted as the whites of his childhood in the deep South.”

  • RLC, I’m glad you cited all those examples. And, as you likely know, there are more. The situation has gotten worse and worse. This summer, Walt and Mearsheimer were disinvited from their planned address in front of the Chicago Global Affairs Council, where they had spoken multiple times before. But now , since the publication of their book….

    Here’s an excerpt from their letter to the Council on the issue:

    Then, on July 24, Council President Marshall Bouton phoned one of us (Mearsheimer) and informed him that he was cancelling the event. He said he felt “extremely uncomfortable making this call” and that his decision did not reflect his personal views on the subject of our book. Instead, he explained that his decision was based on the need “to protect the institution.” He said that he had a serious “political problem,” because there were individuals who would be angry if he gave us a venue to speak, and that this would have serious negative consequences for the Council.

    Pokey, it is indeed alarming if Clarence Thomas was disinvited or banned from speaking at universities. Do you have any examples?

    In terms of Thomas, he faced a very tough confirmation fight which had everything to do with his ideology. And the problem with that would be…..?

  • Celeste, I can’t even believe that you have to ask for examples of where conservatives would not be invited to speak at colleges, have been uninvited, have given up during their talks because of rude and loud interruptions by the left, or even hit with pies. Surely, you are competent enough to know about and find such examples yourself and fair enough to stand up for them, too.

  • Interesting, isn’t it Celeste, that when you ask Pokey and Woody for examples of conservatives who were disinvited they come baack and say, well we make make the claim but its you’re job to provide the examples!

    It really is like that truly god awful and mediocre man Clarence Thoms moaning and groaning that no one likes him. Some nuns take pity on him and help him – for that they’re dissed! Holy Cross and Yale Law make him an Affirmative Action baby (and he’s not a rich alumni legacy like Bush) and take a chance on him – and his diploma is “worth 15 cents”. No one will give him a job – except John Danforth offers him one – guess that doesn’t count!.

    No Thomas is a nobody who got where he did because of the efforts of others and he knows it. And he also knows that he replaced a giant – one of the great lawyers of the 20th century. What a wanker!

  • Woody, the deal is, if you put forth the example, it’s on you (or whomever) to provide the cite. Not my job to do research for somebody else’s point. (BTW, a very fast Google search turned up nothing.)

    On the subject of pies, I don’t consider Ann Coulter—the pie target—to be a conservative. She’s a vile, hate-mongering, sociopathic opportunist….in a black cocktail dress. (Although, her taste in black cocktail dresses is generally pretty good, I’ll give her that.)

  • There was an article in the UCLA Bruin within the past 6 mos. or so, confirming that students feel there is an extremely liberal bias on the part of many professors, and they feel a need to agree in order to get a good grade in those courses. Sure, freedom of expression, IF you agree with the extreme left. It was like that at my Ivy university, too, which is one reason I avoided broad courses like sociology (which invariably reaffirm biases of discrimination), and what do you think “women’s studies,” “Chicano studies,” “African American studies,” and even “queer studies” programs now, teach? And in terms of government, people like ric and Celeste think it’s just horrible that someone with an anti-Israel bias wouldn’t be welcomed by most Jews and hence some universities, but would you also say that Chavez (the guru of Hollywood sages like Sean Penn and Kevin Spacey, who’ve made recent pilgrimages to see him in Venezuela) would add anything to the public discourse about the U. S.’s role abroad? Curious how Celeste only supports ric, who thinks the Likud is pushing us “blissfully along” our “path toward war with Iran,” because of “perceived threats to Israel,” but believes that someone who agrees with him that Israel is the cause of the problems in the Middle East would of course just broaden our “Middle East debate,” instead of just pushing his anti- Israeli views and creating discord. But Israel-bashing is so much a part of the liberal left university agenda these days, hand-in-hand with the America as evil imperialist power view, that that is the only view considered “honest.”

    Curiously, clearly neither of you has first-hand experience of the region, so it’s easy to provide all sorts of links to others’ books which support your views, but don’t reflect the reality on the ground. Before I went to the Middle East and traveled extensively, I was more inclined to buy into the anti-Israeli view, because so many American Jews have been so prickly about criticism. But the broad diversity of views in Israel, which is a laid-back Mediterranean-feeling place overall, changed my mind. They really are fighting a narrow, increasingly fundamentalist interpretation of Islam which denies rights to Christians, Jews and others, women, gays (yeah, that was a pretty “funny” comment by Ahmahinajad that they have no gays, because they kill them all) and anyone who doesn’t observe sharia law. (Speaking of academic freedom, what about the visiting American-Persian academics who are either arrested and held there for months and years, or are just too afraid to go to Iran at all? But Ahmaninajad was pretty charming, and had a funny suit, too.)

    Actually, reading the naive and knee-jerk leftist anti-Israel views here and by leftist academics, reinforces my lack of interest in giving forums for more ignornant pundits. These people are welcome to preach to the converted but offer no more objectivity to students than did Ahmaninijad on what Iran is really like. (I’m all for questioning, for example, whether freezing funds to the Palestinian people because they’re controlled by Fatah is any more effective than the Iraqi embargo when it was ruled by Hussein, but Tutu doesn’t talk about that stuff, but about his broad view of Israel as an oppressive state.)

    (By the way, I have a special contempt for Jimmy Carter from his extolling the virtues of Coucesceu in Romania, even as the guy was among the world’s worst offenders at the time of ethnic cleansing. In order to destroy the language and culture of the Hungarians who had been absorbed into Romania after the Austro-Hungarian empire was carved up after WWI by the botched Versailles Treaty, he literally bulldozed their villages, imprisoned those who taught or broadcast in Hungarian outside of a few government-sanctioned schools, and even made it illegal for more than three Hungarians to speak their language in public without arrest. This is just like if we in S. Cal woke up and were told we now belonged to Mexico, and English language and culture was punishable by draconian measures, and we were now to profess ourselves loyal Mexican subjects.

    Jimmy knew all about this, from Hungarian groups who presented evidence but he chose to ignore them because Coucesceu was “his friend.” So one can’t even say he’s siding with Palestinians because he always sides with perceived underdogs — the saving grace of some libs like Celeste, who has a good heart — he seems to just side with personalities who charm him. And from Cousesceu to Ahmaninajad to Hussein to Chavez and Castro, these guys sure can turn on the charm to influence others.)

    I know anything I’ve said will fall on deaf ears here, just as my initial comment did, but maybe that’s why I comment on this blog, to poke some holes in the conformity of opinion.

  • Maggie,

    I’ll try to keep this short as I’m on deadline:

    I think there is assuredly a liberal bias
    on a lot of American campuses—particularly in the liberal arts areas (no irony intended). We can argue the reasons for this, but to argue the fact, is foolish. You’re right. It’s there.

    On the other hand, there’s no witch hunt against conservative professors or speakers. There is, however, a very pronounced witch hunt—not against liberals, but against anyone who is critical of Israeli policy.

    I’m the last person to agree on everything with Jimmy Carter. I respect much of what he does and loath, for example, the fact that it was his administration that pushed to continue to seat the Khmer Rouge as the legitimate government of Cambodia long after it was clear that they had murdered well over a million their own people, and were no longer in power. Then the Carter people blocked international aide from reaching Cambodia’s starving masses because we didn’t like that their government at the time was pretty much controlled out of Vietnam, so we punished the Cambodian people. I was on the second American plane ever to fly into Phnom Penh since its fall to Pol Pot, and then spent time in the refugee camps at the Thai Cambodian border and saw the terrible human cost of that ill considered, politicized American policy close up. So, no, I’m not down for all things Carter.


    But here’s the point: if some university chooses not to invite a speaker, that’s their right. But, once the offer has been tendered, its a whole other matter.


    About the middle east, as it happens, I do have first hand experience with the region and during a certain period in my life, reported on it quite a bit.

    (Weirdly, I was once even flown to Israel by that country’s government as part of a highly orchestrated “informational trip” offered to certain journalists.)

    All my articles from that era were written too long ago to be Googled, but if you put my name and that of King Hussein into any search engine you’ll come up with one LA Weekly piece about my very first trip to the middle east that, at the very least, I think you’ll find amusing to read. (And you’ll be slightly sad for me.)

  • LA res, wow, you really showed the liberal sense of humor. The clip starts by showing Ann Coulter in bed with Hitler. It doesn’t get any funnier than that.

    – – –

    Celeste, Ann Coulter is part entertainer, but what she says about liberals is usually right on target, which is why they really get upset with her. Your characterization of her is as bad as your accusations against her. No invited speaker deserves pies thrown at her, but you completely dodged any condemnation of that.

    Plus, you should see the outrageous speaker fees paid to liberals with taxpayer money that you don’t see paid to conservatives. Forgive me for not googling that for everyone.

    In an earlier post, I provided links to examples of liberals denying conservatives the ability to speak on campuses. Conservatives also get attacked and uninvited to speak at non-academic organizations. Oh, the speaker bans also extend to liberals who don’t toe the liberal line, too. They’re considered traitors to the cause.

    The left just screeches with a noise worse than fingernails on a blackboard when conservatives are given a chance to provide balance to debates.

    But, even if you had more links, we have learned that liberals can take the most obvious claims by conservatives and deny that the well-known claims are valid by asking for examples ad nauseum and pretending that none provided count. Nevertheless, here’s a few more:

    Lawrence Summers, former president of Harvard University who lost his job for asking a legitimate un-PC question, uninvited to speak at a UC Board of Regents dinner. (Where were you for him?)

    Ann Coulter uninvited to speak at Harding University.

    Bill O’Reilly uninvited as keynote speaker to Nat’l Ctr for Missing and Exploited Children.

    Lakeside School univited Dinesh D’Souza to speak as part of a distinguished lecture series, and apparently allowing a conservative to speak creates a “hostile work environment.”

    Neal Boortz was uninvited to speak at Emory University.

    Star Parker, a black conservative and former welfare mother, was invited to speak at Penn State. Her speech entitled “From Entitlement to Empowerment” was cut short by aggressive student demonstrators, and her character was attacked and she was called a whore in the media by Penn State employees under the moniker of their PSU position. Parker described her experience as “very frightening” and said she “feared for my life” in the frenzied environment. “I am prepared to invest in a bullet-proof vest the next time I go on a campus in the state of Pennsylvania,” avowed Parker, a veteran of the lecture circuit who is not unaccustomed to controversy. Officers from PSYAF were forced to usher Parker through a back door after the event. A heated mass of demonstrators had gathered outside the building, waiting to confront her.

    But, you can bet that Angela Davis and people like her never had any trouble getting jobs in colleges and speaking their minds.


    The Campus Blacklist, By David Horowitz

    YAF brings ‘leftist’ campus bias to light — again

    The Young America’s Foundation (YAF) says for the last 14 years, the majority of commencement speakers at the nation’s top 100 colleges and universities were Democratic Party officials, left-wing activists, and liberal members of the media — and this year was no exception. YAF spokesman Jason Mattera says, in 2007, the ratio of liberal to conservative graduation speakers was 7-to-1.

    That’s all for now. I’m sure that none of these examples count in the liberal world.

  • Woody, thanks for providing examples. I’ll look into some of the others when I’m past my deadline. But I did think the Lawrence Summers/UC incident was dreadful. I have my own reasons for not liking Summers (aside from the fact that the percentage of tenured job offers made to women by the university’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences dropped dramatically after Summers took office, which was more the problem than his extremely stupid remark.)

    But point taken: either invite the guy or don’t. Don’t disinvite him.

    I did try to find a reference to Neal Boorz being disinvited by Emory and can find none. Perhaps you have it?

    The YAF rationale for who qualifies as a “liberal” commencement speaker is HILARIOUS.

    Okay, now I’m really out of here.

    Being stalked by my NY editor! Deadlines! The horror!

  • Maggie, you mention “Chicano Studies” programs in Universities not every Chicano believes their ideals and chicanos are victims of the “gavachos” teachings. Even “liberals” like me think they are wacko just like the far right or many Christian fundamentalists are wacko. It is these types of groups which have polarized our political system and not allowed more balance in our political debates.

    Living in the Los Angeles, one does not have to travel very far to understand the views of people from Israel or the Middle East or just about any part of the world. You already know we have a large Jewish and Arab population in the L.A. area. In engineering there is an especially diverse group of people from all over the world working in that field. If you go to engineering companies like Bechtel or Parsons it is like the United Nations, especially since these companies do projects all over the world. And when I worked there have also traveled to many countries.

    I have taken groups of young people to the Simon Wiesenthal Center to educate some kids what happens when you vilify an entire race or nation of people such as many in this country have done towards the “terrorists”. A “terrorist” does not mean every person of Arab descent. I don’t let the policies of the leaders of a country form my opinion about all the people of a country. I’m too old and wise and have seen this done towards the Russians, Chinese and a long list of others.

    The point of my “funny” comment by Ahmahinajad is that he did not sway anybody’s opinion of him, but was seen as more a caricature making absurd comments such as “no gays in Iran” and yes the college students understood openly gay persons are probably killed in Iran. And no I don’t think he is a charming well dressed political leader. I have talked to many Iranian co-workers to believe he is a charismatic leader. Most people know what happens when you have an extremist religious leader in any country.

    The reason more “liberals” probably support/lean towards the Palestinian cause is because the country of Israel has the military might and power. Do I think Israel needs a strong military “hell yes”, Israel is surrounded by their enemies. But when people see images of poor people being displaced from their homes by military tanks and kids throwing rocks to defend themselves against a well armed military that is what people will base their opinions on. You seem to forget people are going to defend those in need of (or perceived need) defending that is why you don’t have “rich white kid” studies in schools. Even Jesus Christ was a “militant defender of the poor and downtrodden”

    Jesus is;
    …..militant defender of the poor and downtrodden.
    …..wise and brilliant champion of reason and truth.
    …..friend to hopeless and despairing individuals.
    …..heroic conqueror over evil and death.
    …..liberator of the oppressed.

  • Celeste, we’ll just have to disagree that there is a witch hunt against anyone who disagrees with Israeli policy (I’ve conceded that it is true by some, but there are also many Jews who side with the pro-Palestinian leftists on this issue), while there is none against conservatives. I located a UCLA Bruin article from Dec. 9 2004, called “Students Feel Pressured to Agree: Study finds students take professor’s political stance to earn better grade,” and those stances are virtually always left-wing and anti-conservative. (Details below.)

    L A Res., I don’t find that the issue of the Middle East is necessarily illuminated by the heated debates here in L. A. You’d have to visit the Middle East, starting in Israel, where the liberals are way more diverse than you’d get from the local Jewish community and flavor the country more than the Jerusalam Orthodox, to the Palestinian territories, to Egypt and Jordan (which has huge numbers of Palestinian refugees). Many Palistinian emigrees here in the U. S. and Europe are far more educated than the ones who remain, and are far more moderate in their views. However, Arab hospitality among all classes is justly famous and I find the people overall warm. BUT not accepting of other religions. Even in Nazareth, where the Church of the Annuniciation (on site of Mary’s birth home) is a major Christian pilgrimage site, and there are many Druze Christians (who strictly separate men from the women in their public observances, like the Muslims), the Muslims within the past few years set up an open-air makeshift mosque in the square directly next to the church, chanting loudly five times a day, to “claim” the city as Muslim. There are plenty of other places they could have gone, and even moderate Muslims I talked to are ashamed of their brethrens’ lack of religious acceptance (except insofar as making profit from surrounding gift shops, tours, etc.). This is just one small aspect of life on the ground. (In Egypt, the ancient Coptic Christian church is sanctioned by the government, but observance and even additions to any existing churches require the permission of Mushareff himself, or else they provoke outright violent opposition.)

    Also, the Palestinians are good at coming off as the underdogs, but their leadership has squandered many, many millions in aid (Arafat’s widow is quite wealthy, living abroad), alienating their own people. They also support and receive it from Hezbollah, Syria, even Iran — whose leader in the funny suit wants to openly destroy Israel, as does the leadership of Fatah. It’s been said that they are adept at “seizing defeat from the jaws of victory,” which they were on the verge of several times; and every time Israel makes a territorial concession to them, at its own political cost, the radicals see it as Israel’s “weakness” and a chance to push Israel harder — forcing it to react. They really don’t see concessions as anything but weakness. And I don’t agree that their violence is the only possible reaction: look at the Tibetans, and how the Dalai Lama is handling the situation. If that were a politically important region to the world like Palestine, he’d have won international support and a solution by now. There is a violent, take-no-prisoners tactic by Fatah and other radical leaders which only hurts their own people.

    Re: Ahmadinajan, check out the article in today’s LAT about how angry some students in Tehran’s top university are at him, for claiming they have freedom of expression — they risked imprisonment to protest at his getting an honor there. Counter protestors shouted “Death to the traitors!”
    Arguably, there is collateral damage in giving dictators a forum in the U. S. — their home media can just cut out the scenes of protests, and anything negative, making it look like an endorsement.

    Back to the UCLA article: While it’s no secret that there is a strong liberal bias at universities, this study surveyed 658 randomly selected students from the top 50 universities and liberal arts colleges as ID’d by US News & World Report, so it was hailed as objective confirmation.

    The study reports that “nearly half of all college students believe that professors are infusing course curricula with their own political beliefs,” and “nearly one-third of the students…reported that they had to agree…to get a good grade.”

    “The results of the study also indicated a liberal slant among professors. 74% of surveyed students reported that some professors use class time to make positive comments about liberals and nearly half of those surveyed reported professors making negative comments about conservatives.”

    Thomas Schwartz, a poli sci prof at UCLA, and “one of the few Republican professors at UCLA… believes that the political atmosphere is so radically liberal that students — while initially enamored with liberal causes — are eventually more likely to be turned off and adopt conservative points of view.” (Amen to that, that did happen to me, too — those old libs seemed comically self- righteous and predictable after a while.)

    He adds, “Students catch on that they are in a special, funny place where people act strangely much as they act at Disneyland.” (I love that one!) I’d add the anti-Israel lobby to this mindset at universities these days.

  • Celeste, I can’t find the details, but the Boortz/Emory thing was discussed on his show maybe three years ago.

    Regarding the definition of a liberal, I have found that most liberals consider themselves moderate, which shows how blind they are to real world perceptions. Please tell me what was “hilarious” about the YAF definition of liberal or the people whom they labeled as liberal that you think are not–after you make your deadline.

  • Maggie says ….
    Re: Ahmadinajan, check out the article in today’s LAT about how angry some students in Tehran’s top university are at him, for claiming they have freedom of expression — they risked imprisonment to protest at his getting an honor there. Counter protestors shouted “Death to the traitors!” Arguably, there is collateral damage in giving dictators a forum in the U. S. — their home media can just cut out the scenes of protests, and anything negative, making it look like an endorsement.


    Maggie I have to chuckle at the irony in your mention of the Los Angeles Times article(which I did read because it was on the front page of the L.A. Times web-site). The angry protesting Iranian students are probably the “liberals” of their country.

    And thanks to the Internet and satellite television many Iranian people especially those liberal university students probably even saw Ahmadinajan on 60 minutes and Columbia University. The Iranian student whose picture was on the L.A. times probably even saw his own picture on the L.A. Times. The communication between Iranians here and in Iran is wide open. Many people here in the U.S video-chat over the Internet to where ever they originally immigrated from. If you hang out with any immigrant population you would be surprised at the money, products and information exchange.

    And also due I.M (Instant Messaging), MySpace and other social networking web-sites the free-flow of information and news is now unbelievable. I’m sure most young Iranians know all the latest U.S. pop musicians and many things about American culture. You have to remember Iran has a pretty large well educated population of which many studied abroad and have returned to Iran starting back in the 70’s.

  • Wasn’t it liberal Iranian “students,” possibly including Ahmadinejad, who took over our embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held our diplomats hostage for a year-and-a-half? Gotta love those liberals.

  • L A Res., your equating those protesting in Iran at the risk of their freedom and lives with protesters in America is exactly the kind of illogic that makes leftists’ arguments irrelevant. And just because there is Internet around the world, doesn’t mean that its use isn’t monitored and censored in places like Iran and China. And I’d have to question that large numbers of Iranians have come here to study and gone back “home” to a society where even Western dress is outlawed. My Persian friends in Beverly Hills certainly don’t think so.
    Only thing I agree on, is that they all know that they’re getting international press and know how to play it up, most of all Ahmedinijad and his “supporters.”

  • Maggie,

    Why do you insist and reading one sentence or statement and taking a leap to draw other conclusions? I’m not equating the U.S. to Iran, obviously we enjoy more freedoms here that the people in Iraq living under Ahmadinajan.

    If I say we have a right to voice dismay about our government’s actions; that does NOT mean I am saying we need a revolution. Don’t be like Woody and assume everybody is a radical liberal who hates America and is burning flags for fun.

    Read what I actually said about the Iranian students studying abroad starting in the 70’s and returning back to Iran. Remember Ahmadinajan only recently came into people and started to impose stricter regulations, so there are plenty of western educated people living in Iran who are familiar with western culture and freedoms. That was the only point I was trying to make when you said that Ahmadinajan could control the information shown to his people.

  • L A Res, I don’t know where you get your Iranian history, but the Ayatollah came to power around 79, and it’s been a Muslim theocracy ever since. Until then the Shah, despotic though he may have been in some respects (keeping these fundamentalists at bay), did allow and encourage Western views, dress and relative artistic freedom. Since Beverly Hills is about half Persian these days, I do know quite a few of them and their histories and reports from relatives in Iran You did equate the “liberals” of Iran, i.e., the students demanding basic human rights like not being put in jail for expressing their opinions, with liberals here, which is what I was responding to. Glad to know you don’t in fact see an equation.

    By the way, rereading Tutu’s speech linked here, from ’02, he does indeed sound offensively naive and pompous about Israel — making one visit there under the auspices of his cleric friends does not equip him with relevant knowledge to impart to students here. The settlements he talked about were controversial, but now most have been dismantled, and a lot has changed since then including territorial concessions to Palestinians, yet their leadership is more radical than ever, emboldened by Israel’s liberal “weakness.” His and Jimmy’s nerve equating it with former S Africa, is really outrageous. If he wants to talk about real apartheid, he should speak about Zimbabwe, and how the whites’ lands have been seized, and themselves killed off to virtual extinction while the world, except Britain, sits silent because they’re white. Instead he uses his status to promote his ignorance.

  • Ah yes, UCLA, that bastion of PC “liberalism”. Somebody here might want to look into those lefties in the economics deptartment who, next to Chicago, are the leading monetarists (read “Freidman”) in the academic world. And of course the PC admin that named the school of public health for that great lib Ronald Reagan! Give me a break!

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