Now In Cartoon Form . . .

Professors-JonathanTurleyDr. G. Tod Slone, Founding Editor of the The American Dissident (aka P. Maudit), has sent us this cartoon. (I never realized that I looked so much like Ted Cruz in cartoon form). It is a response to the blog on the “Yield For Sneaker’s Bacon” sign controversy. The cartoon shows, in addition to my need for better fitting suits, that academics make for lousy cartoon characters because we can only speak in 100 word increments. It does contrast the pro-free speech statement with a caution posting about George Washington University’s policies by The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) that I was not aware of.

I have added an enlarged version to be able to read the cartoon better but notes that FIRE criticizes GWU for a computer rule with a rather open-ended standard. FIRE actually lists a number of such policies that are matters of concern. The “yellow” light is clearly not great but it is not quite as bad as other schools. I have actually been critical of some GWU rules, particularly on the loss of due process for our students. However, I am deeply concerned about the reduction of free speech rights on campuses. Indeed, there has been a decline in the value placed on free speech as limits on hate speech, discriminatory speech, and even simply political have been imposed on campuses. The creation of “free speech zones” is the worse manifestation of these new restrictive policies.

I have been periodically lampooned in cartoons and I never come out Popeye buff-like (more Pillsbury dough-like). However, at least the cartoon recommends our blog!


37 thoughts on “Now In Cartoon Form . . .”

  1. “We cannot have a society where terms, words, and expressions are banished by any objection of any group.”

    At least the cartoonist put him in a dark suit.

    Yesterday, I had two comments deleted, neither of which violated the civilty rules of the blog, though I admit the first comment was poorly written and therefore could have been misinterpreted as a violation. No argument with that one. But there was absolutely no grounds, in my view, for deleting the second comment, which deletion was more than just a threat, but a direct denial of free speech.

    Folks used to vigorously engage each other here regularly on this blog for their views, such as controversial issues as abortion or as well for distaste for religious bigotry or views on alternative lifestyle, etc. But not much anymore because commenters are self censoring, afraid of being deleted. Many have. It’s both chilling and ironic that a blog that defends personal freedoms and free speech, constructively denies free speech. And, so far as I know, no one has yelled fire in a theather when there’s been none. Sure, there have been violations of the civilty rule. But the rule is unevenly enforced. Even so, I do not think any comment should be deleted, willy-nilly, without at least a smidgen of due process. Admonishmint? Yes. It serves as course correction. But outright deletion? No. It’s denying free speech without due process in some form. It resembles too much that what we criticize in Iran or Saudi Arabia.

    If you write a book or produce a film, either one controversial, no one is going to delete it. No one has that power, and if they did, who would ever risk effort writing a book or producing a film? Well, in the Middle East they don’t take such risks.

    Where would we be as a society if, say, the president has the power to push a button, delete JT’s blog because JT had the temerity to push for charges of war crimes for Administration officials?

    It is blog comment sections that have paved the way for the growing disdain for PC, behind which are militant agitators who should not have the power to deny free speech anymore then they should have power to deny life. This progress wouldn’t’ve been possible at all without the free speech afforded readers in comment sections.

    This blog may once have been an echo chamber, but now it’s becoming a silence chamber on many issues.

    1. samantha, I think you are kind of overreacting. Your posts hit my email box before they get deleted from the web, so I saw what you wrote. Your post had a double entendre which likely sparked the deletion. In any case, it didn’t really say something so important that you should be upset that it was deleted.

      Think about this blog as being Jonathan Turley’s private property. Though viewable by all, it is like something hanging on his living room wall at home. If he doesn’t like something here, he is free to take it down. We are his guests here.

      Normally your posts are very civil and not personal at all. Don’t let a misunderstanding sour things for you. Don’t let it have a chilling effect on what you want to say. Just say what you want to say, and as long as it does not come across as a personal jab at someone, there is no problem. I think most of us know that you were not trying to be uncivil with Nick. It was just a poorly worded sentence. Leave it be and carry on. We want to hear what you have to say! I always like your posts.

  2. @Nick

    I am not advocating no rules. For example, I think behavior that might be called stalking or intentionally revealing personal information in an attempt to embarrass or punish a person ought to be restricted.

    And personally, the use of curse words or intentionally insulting a person suggests to me that the writer has no good arguments to support their position. I frequently just dismiss the remarks of a writer who begins with a personal attack.

    But I do not believe that my personal values or anyone’s personal values should prevent others from expressing themselves on the internet. Within a broad range if we don’t like the content on the internet we can easily skip over it.

    In contrast to that, it is much more difficult to ignore obnoxious speech in a town hall meeting or in a discussion group. The rules ought to be different for these different venues of speech because the effect of obnoxious speed is different in the two settings.

    In a face to face setting obnoxious speech can act as a veto and prevent others from having their say.

    On the internet, no matter how obnoxious, speech cannot prevent others from giving a reasoned response. Within a very broad range there is no reasonable basis to restrict speech on the internet – no matter how much it offends us.

  3. The disconnect is the civility rule and anonymous identities. I try to imagine what would be appropriate conduct if we were all physically in the same room; we wouldn’t be anonymous and the civility would naturally sort itself out.

  4. BFM, There are laws we all dislike, and sometimes violate, speeding being a big one. But few would argue we don’t need speed limits.

  5. The cartoonist is not going to be hired by the local fair to do likenesses. That said, I am someone bothered by the suppression of free speech on campuses. Some of this is coming from the Obama administration.

  6. “Squeeky, I don’t like the civility rule. I often violate it.”

    I think I am with you Nick. In a town hall meeting I think civility is extremely important.

    But on the internet how, does it interfere with anyone if someone is rude.

    Having said that, I think civility ought to be encouraged. And I do try to keep my remarks on the issue and not about the person – not that I am perfect in that regard.

    But it is very easy for the reader to act as an their own editor of the conversation and just skip over the remarks they find off topic, boring or offensive.

    Civility on the internet is overrated.

    If you don’t like what some is writing on the internet, ignore them, skip over the comment and read something else.

  7. The Civilty Rule is what keeps RIL from becoming other political blogs that resemble something like a scene from Mad Max. I’m glad for it, despite having been vexed by it myself.

  8. The artist did a terrible job capturing your image, and clearly does not understand the difference between the need for civil dialogue and people who whine about being offended by speech.

  9. “Everybody gets a trophy for showing up.” LOL. That is the insane faux self esteem taught by the education industry in grammar school. Kids understand there are winners and losers. To indoctrinate them into a fantasy world where everyone is special is another reason we need to disband the education industry.

  10. @NickS

    I think the Civility Rule is a good idea and necessary to reasoned debate. It is no different than a person being required to be respectful in a courtroom and not showing up drunk or cursing the defense lawyer. People have confused “free speech ” with tantrums too often, and opted for the “anything goes ” approach which I see as part of the Left ‘s attack on normative values. Where a primal scream is the equivalent of an argument before the Supreme Court, and where everybody gets a trophy for showing up.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  11. Squeeky, I don’t like the civility rule. I often violate it. But, it has allowed you and others to return here. This place was Thunderdome w/o it being enforced. I know you remember what most call the bad old days, but some consider the good days. The rule has created desperately needed diversity. We still need more. We have gotten more women, but we need different color and socioeconomic..

  12. HELP! I had a comment eaten. Thank you for your anticipated assistance.

  13. It takes a secure person to have themselves in a cartoon and laugh. Myself and one or two others often mention the superb website, FIRE. I have FIRE on my favorites list and I have donated to that most worthy nonpolitical, free speech organization. Thanks for highlighting it here. We have some folks here who don’t believe our colleges and universities are the breeding ground for PC. The education industry created PC and they indoctrinate young people into it’s destructive mindset. PC must be stopped by any means necessary. Our education industry needs to be dismantled and reassembled w/ people who love the Constitution, not those who @ best just tolerate it.

Comments are closed.