Clemson Dean Calls For Students To Pass “Intercultural Competency” Test As A Pre-Condition for Holding School Offices

Clemson_University_Seal.svgAltheia Richardson, Clemson University’s director of the Gantt Multicultural Center has triggered a controversy with a proposal that all students should pass an “intercultural competency” test before they’re allowed to run for office or hold positions in the South Carolina college’s student government.  Clemson students are already required to  to take a social justice course following enrollment.  Richardson’s proposal has enraged some students as an ideological test for office — a position that Richardson denies.

Robinson presented her proposal  to the senate of the Clemson Undergraduate Student Government (CUSG). She told the CUSG “So when it comes to this whole idea of intercultural competence, what would it look like to have a standard for if you’re going to be elected as an officer, or hold a seat within CUSG, that you have to demonstrate that you have a certain level of intercultural competence, before you’re allowed to take that office, or that seat.”

She dismissed notions that her proposal would limit the democratic process: “Well, it could happen before the democratic election process,. If that is set by your Elections Board as a standard, then if you’re vetting the candidates who are running, then it can happen even before the democratic process takes place.”

That seems a rather curious cabining of the democratic process.  After all, you are eliminating from the ballot any students who object to the mandatory training.  We do not accept such convenient arguments in other countries which control the ballots to bar those who might present opposing views.  Iran recently did precisely that with a former President of the country.  Obviously no one is suggesting that Clemson adopting the same authoritarian controls but threshold tests (other than common limits like age)  for candidates has long been denounced as inimical to the democratic process.

The concern is heightened the erosion of free speech on campuses.  We have been discussing the rising intolerance and violence on college campuses, particularly against conservative speakers. (Here and here and here and here). Berkeley has been the focus of much concern over mob rule on our campuses as violent protesters have succeeded in silencing speakers.  Both students and some faculty have maintained the position that they have a right to silence those with whom they disagree and even student newspapers have declared opposing speech to be outside of the protections of free speech.  At another University of California campus, professors actually rallied around a professor who physically assaulted pro-life advocates and tore down their display.

 

Imposing threshold tests on a candidate’s completion of cultural training interjects the university (and its values) into democratic process to a degree that leaves many uneasy.  In combination with rising speech codes and regulations, such certification as a good cultural citizen leaves many uncomfortable.

What to do think?

121 thoughts on “Clemson Dean Calls For Students To Pass “Intercultural Competency” Test As A Pre-Condition for Holding School Offices

  1. I am not sure that it can be seen as “an ideological test”. Whilst in the modern day I agree that most people (not just students) should accept the differences that other cultures bring. This test will not, by itself, stop bigotry.

    • “Whilst in the modern day I agree that most people (not just students) should accept the differences that other cultures bring. This test will not, by itself, stop bigotry.”
      ****************************************
      What exactly does “accept” mean? If a culture accepts female genital mutilation as peachy (as recent events show true), must the society as a whole “accept” it? How about misogyny? Or capital punishment for apostasy? Are condemnation of these well-subscribed ideas, the work of the bigot? The truth is that societies thrive when cultural values are universal not cafeteria-style, so “accepting” the unacceptable is just another mush-headed liberal dropping of standards and, as such, doomed to failure — ours.

      • Sir, you have gone off in a completely different direction, not one I had given thought to and were not the primary thrust of the original piece. Of course each of the issues you identify are unacceptable. If a Muslim kneels to pray of course I expect bigots to see them as a terrorist, I do not.

        The original question raised here is “intercultural competency” and “the erosion of free speech”. As an atheist I renounce religious belief (for myself) yet I also recognise that others have a right to believe in whatever faith system pleases them and we should have no right to stand in the way. Of course it is relatively easy to defend belief systems in parts of the world not affected by bigotry, yet there are many nations where such rights are abridged every day. That is unacceptable. Misogyny happens in too many places, and must be opposed, but that was not the point of this article.

  2. It’s a private school. The administration can do what it wants, including shutting down political speech if it can afford operating federal funds.

    As for “Berkeley has been the focus of much concern over mob rule on our campuses as violent protesters have succeeded in silencing speakers,” I see this situation a bit differently. This afternoon, Ann Coulter is expected to make her appearance somewhere outdoors on campus while thumbing her nose at reasonable content-neutral time, place, and manner restrictions in a traditional public forum, tendered by the university to protect everyone concerned as opposed to restricting her access or the content of her speech. The University would have had her speak indoors next week, but she’s refused because opposition would be allowed to attend. In terms of free speech, to Coulter it’s only free if it’s hers. She a walking contradiction, but the self-serving usually are.

    Self-promotion of her book has to be balanced against protection of the public, but campus police can only do so much wherever and whenever she decides to speak, and she knows it. The attention is too profitable to comply with the University’s offer, although she’s been warned by the University that there’s a credible threat of harm. If there’s blood, it’s as much on her hands as anyone’s.

    • It’s a private school.

      It’s a state school, a research university, and more selective and demanding than the state’s flagship campus. Pretty much top-of-the-heather in South Carolina.

    • I think Coulter is forcing Berkeley’s hand a bit. They have been quite complicit over the last 10+ years in their overall support for free speech. They have provided minimal police protection and support when violence has broken out. As such, if I were a violent thug, I would expect to be able to do pretty much whatever I please on the UCB campus and thus exercise my heckler’s veto. I don’t have all the details on why they can protect her next week, but not this week, but it would seem that you could limit attendees to students and other’s affiliated with the university, and then use strong policing and disciplinary actions to provide for the safety of all.

    • The lawsuit against the university is what matters. I watched the lawyer’s press conference. When you allow organized masked outsiders covertly armed with Sympathy from the Berkeley mayor – what do people expect.?

      • I agree, I am very interested in the law suit, and from my observation of Harmeet Dhillon, she appears screwed together well.

        The criticism of the school (in my opinion Dirks is a dipsh*t) and esp the cops is very widespread. Shane Bauer, one of the 3 who were held by the Iranians for about 2 years and is Left, is very critical of the cops and that they will not intervene in clear brutal beatings…

        I see today the cops are adopting, at least in display and public statements, a different stance.

        SO, we shall see.

    • The cops are half right, Coulter is half right, and the University is half wrong. She deserves a building to speak in but outsiders attending besides the press are a luxury not a right.

      • “She deserves a building to speak in but outsiders attending besides the press are a luxury not a right.”

        Why are you distinguishing the press from “outsiders” as those with the constitutional right “peaceably to assemble” and receive information at a public forum? Wouldn’t it be a presuming “outsiders'” intent to disrupt Coulter’s speech when there’s no reasonable basis for doing so?

        I agree it should be indoors, but I think anyone should be allowed to attend, not just students, in a public forum.

    • “The University would have had her speak indoors next week, but she’s refused because opposition would be allowed to attend.” That week is finals week. No one would attend, opposition or otherwise. That’s the basis of the students’ lawsuit as well. The school was insisting on the speech moving to a time when no one would be able to attend. Why does the public need to be protected from conservative views? It appears they actually need to be protected from Liberals, who are the ones threatening the violence. In which case, it’s not the conservatives’ problem, then, is it? It’s the Liberals. Pro Life advocates are not allowed to silence the voices of Pro Choice on campus with the threat of violence. And Pro Choice advocates are not allowed to silence Pro Choice. That thought exercise can continue on down the line of myriad opinions.

      Other than that, I agree with you that the university in this article is a private school. As such, they are certainly allowed to become a seminary for the hard Left, unless they market themselves as an inclusive university of higher learning that is not political at its core. That would leave them open to false advertising, I suppose.

      • Actually it is dead week at UCB. Finals is a following week. So yes, many students absent themselves during dead week. However, that is the earliest that UCB can offer a secure venue.

        If she rescheduled for September all would have well.

        • “If she rescheduled for September all would have well.”

          So, if only Coulter had been patient and considerate enough to wait till September, the groups threatening violence would have relented and the university administration would have no reason to prevent her from speaking on campus.

          Truly amazing what a few short months will do for civility. I have to admit I am impressed.

      • ” Blackwater does contract work for the military or other public agencies in lieu of the military. It cannot replace the military.”

        Regardless of what Blackwater can or cannot do, what is the argument that mercenaries cannot replace the military? Aside from law or politics what would prevent privatization of a combat brigade or an air craft carrier.

        I doubt that privatization of military units would save money and I suspect privatized units might be less effective – but that would seem to depend greatly on leadership.

        But I see no general principle that would prevent mercenaries replacing the military.

        Can anyone think of any arguments that would demonstrate the impossibility of contracting out the management and command of units like combat brigades, fighter and bomber wings, naval combat task forces?

        • Here are a few instantly coming to mind: Work stoppages and strikes during times of war, potential for the creation of a contracting force more power than our standing military, general unlawfulness (see Blackwater in the Wild West of Baghdad ca. 2005), and an inability of foreign victims to seek relief in US courts.

          • I think those are all good points that argue against privatization. But I don’t think any of them are fundamental in the sense they prevent privatization. In particular the prospect of work stoppages and strikes would seem to depend entirely on the labor contract and what labor protection is afforded during the tour of duty.

            We already see limitations in labor rights in civil servants and law enforcement. I don’t think it is unreasonable to believe that any real move to privatize military units could include sever limitations on labor actions such as unionization, work slow downs or strikes.

            • I agree. A privatized military, theoretically at least, is possible, and as as you alluded it would probably have to include a contractual waiver of a host of fundamental rights. Doing so, however, would be against the advice of some pretty intelligent and courageous Americans and might strengthen oppositional resolve as happened in the Thirteen Colonies and perhaps more recently in Iraq:

              “The Declaration of Independence, . . . condemned the king for ‘transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.’ During the war, Hessian plundering often pushed neutral or indifferent Americans to the Patriot side.”

              http://www.mountvernon.org/digital-encyclopedia/article/hessians/

        • what is the argument that mercenaries cannot replace the military?

          Who or what ultimately enforces contracts?

          This isn’t that difficult.

          • “Who or what ultimately enforces contracts? .. This isn’t that difficult.”

            I see a question. As usual I do not see an answer or an argument.

            If you have any thoughts on the matter, why don’t you speak up – surely you can think of something to say???

            • No, you see the answer. As in our previous discussion, you baldly refuse to acknowledge the obvious when the alternative is walking back something you’d said.

              • “Who or what ultimately enforces contracts? .. This isn’t that difficult.” I see a question. As usual I do not see an answer or an argument. If you have any thoughts on the matter, why don’t you speak up – surely you can think of something to say??? … No, you see the answer. As in our previous discussion, you baldly refuse to acknowledge the obvious when the alternative is walking back something you’d said.”

                Your opaque remarks seem to suggest that your argument would be that mercenary forces pose a greater threat to civilian or authorized control that do military forces authorized by constitution or legislation.

                I really hate to make someone’s argument for them. That is the only implication that I see from your remarks. Can anyone see any other argument tha DSS is trying to make?

                I hesitate to put such a sophomoric argument out there. When we consider the irregular but frequent events in which national defense forces intimidate, disobey or overthrow civilian leadership we know that the authorization of the military force whether constitutional, legislative or contractual is absolutely no protection from mis use of military units.

                Surely you were not trying to make the silly argument that mercenary forces are a greater threat!?!?!?

                Whey don’t you make you own argument instead of us haveing to guess from you opaque remarks. Surely you have something worthwhile to say.

                I have no interest in putting words in your mouth. But you keep saying you have something important to say then refusing to say what it is and then inviting me to explain what your mean.

                Surely you can speak for yourself. And surely you are not trying to make the sophomoric argument that mercenary forces are a greater threat than national defense forces.

                Tell us what you really think! Tell us in your own words what ever it is that you believe!

              • “you baldly refuse to acknowledge the obvious when the alternative is walking back something you’d said.”

                BTW, I have not walked anything back. I stated clearly that there is no inherent reason that mercenary forces could not perform as national defense forces – which directly contradicts your initial statement.

                In response to my remarks you have played a guessing game challenge me and any other reader to guess what your arguments are.

                If you have any thought at all on the subject your ought to state them clearly. If you do not state you position we have evidence that you are capable of thinking anything at all.

                What, exactly is it that you are trying to say???

                I am eagerly waiting to read you opinion and you argument supporting your opinion.

    • Clemson is not a private school. It is a public university. It is also quite wealthy due to the fact that is is a land grant school. I’ve just about reached a point where I’m ready to remove it from my resume. What you are seeing is NOT the Clemson of my youth.

        • Dabo is the Clemson Tiger of our youth! He’s possibly the “surviving remnant” of our “Southern Civilization.”

          • Joanna Jones – I am not sure if it is much comfort, but they have changed Sparky at ASU and moved him from the side of the helmet to the back. The side now has a Devil’s Fork. My wife finds me all the old Sparky stuff she can and I treasure it.

            • Paul Schulte – Actually “Dabo” is Dabo Sweeney, coach of the Clemson Tigers’ football team (National Champions, I might add) and a real, live, Southern gentleman who is so in love with his “calling” as coach, he has no time or patience for things politic. That’s why I said he was the “remnant” of our Southern Civilization.” I guess as long as those Tigers keep winning, he will survive. Glad your wife collects Sparky stuff for you though. We all need spouses who help us treasure the remnants of our youth.

              • Joanna Jones – I came to ASU during the era of the great Frank Kush (the field at Sun Devil Stadium is named after him). Kush is why there is a Fiesta Bowl, no one was brave enough to play ASU in a bowl game, no one would invite them to a major bowl, so they made their own.

    • Mr. Green, don’t blame Ann Coulter for the bigotry ecouraged by Berkeley’s far left tradition. Ann Coulter did not cancel until she was advised by conservatives her safety could not be guaranteed. Although I saw a huge number of police there later. Knowing she wasn’t speaking might not stop the trashing we saw two? weeks ago. Freedom of speech is taking a beating at Berkeley. Where was Janet Napolitano during this travesty? Upper education is meant to teach thinking. I think since Berkeley is doing a lousy job of teaching our Constitution’s guarantees for EVERYONE that any Federal monies be suspended.

      • Ms. Hemming: Ann Coulter canceled her book tour at Cal because her safety couldn’t be guaranteed? Well, hell’s bells. Isn’t she the patriot?!

        As for the lawsuit the students brought against the Regents, the administration’s position is it’s on firm constitutional ground with regard to credible threats of harm that it believed justified canceling Coulter’s first scheduled appearance. If you think Coulter’s got an absolute right to speak in a public forum, it’s a justifiable argument, but it’s not the law under the federal Constitution nor the California Constitution. There’s a critical mass after which speech surrenders to safety.

        However, it’s the lawsuit, not Ann Coulter, which should test Cal’s actions. Knowing many if not the overwhelming majority of students at Berkeley are traditional attendees right out of high school with little to no worldly experience, it’s pathetic she tried this marketing stunt.

        Mentioning in passing she’d appear on campus – somewhere sometime yesterday, anyway – reflects petty gamesmanship, her complete lack of responsibility, and the increased expense of campus police presence. Campus police can only do so much. They’re not a battalion of Army Special Forces nor do we want them to be.

        The University offered her an indoor venue more conducive to the protection of everyone concerned, but she refused because she wanted zero opposition in attendance. Yet, it’s not the students she’s trying to sell her book to because they don’t have any money. It’s the general public some here, including Mr. Turley, have argued shouldn’t be allowed to attend for purposes of adequate protection. The fact is she was trying to stifle the fundamental right of peaceful assembly of her opposition to the same extent she extols her own fundamental right to speak. Isn’t she the patriot?!

        • Steve – if the hard Left students are a credible threat to the safety of conservative students and the conservative speakers that they invite, then shouldn’t the school take action for the safety of the students? They could have a police presence ready to make arrests and line paddy wagons down the street. They could require ID for anyone entering the venue, and expel or suspend students who engage in violence.

          If someone says you must give up your right to free speech, or else they will burn down the school, then you don’t kowtow; you force their hand and throw them in jail. Otherwise, there is a dictatorship of the Left at the school, operating through threat of violence. That level of harassment and threat to safety is entirely unacceptable at a university.

          I do not believe that silencing conservative students out of fears for their safety is wrong, and it emboldens the bullies.

        • That’s the problem, Olly. Authoritarianism wouldn’t allow Coulter’s access or the content of her speech. Not so at Berkeley, but real authoritarians, like you waving the flag like it’s JESUS, refuse to acknowledge this reality.

          Have a great day!

          • LOL! It’s a great day, every day that a bright light is shined on folks like yourself who are ideologically opposed to equal protection under the law. That’s right, your comments show a gut instinct to infringe the rights of those who you disagree with. No apology would be necessary if that weren’t so.

            • Gut instinct, Olly? Admittedly, Cal-Berkeley denied her access and content when it cancelled Coulter’s appearance for a health and safety issue, but it immediately sought to remedy what may have been error. It’s offered her a venue, but now she’s refused it because there may be hecklers present. You don’t see that, of course.

              Nor do you see the irony, frankly, in your being a proponent of rugged individualism, deregulation and free markets, and limited government, while having been on the government payroll for such a long time. How long has it been? Three decades? Four?

              Feel the hypocrisy, Olly?

              • “Nor do you see the irony, frankly, in your being a proponent of rugged individualism, deregulation and free markets, and limited government, while having been on the government payroll for such a long time. How long has it been? Three decades? Four?

                Feel the hypocrisy, Olly?”

                Not at all. So now you oppose veterans? Or only those that outlive what you deem is justifiable? Are you arguing that it’s egregious for someone that served for 20 years in the armed forces to retire with Tricare and a monthly pension?

                Put down the shovel.

              • Nor do you see the irony, frankly, in your being a proponent of rugged individualism, deregulation and free markets, and limited government, while having been on the government payroll for such a long time. How long has it been? Three decades? Four?

                The services provided by the military are what economists call a ‘public good’. There is no ‘free-market’ option in the production of military services, the fantasies of Murray Rothbard acolytes notwithstanding. Nor is pacifism an option a serious person can adopt outside of Mennonite populations, Bryan Caplan’s fantasies notwithstanding.

                It’s often difficult to tell with you whether stupidity or gamesmanship is the source of some of your remarks.

              • Steve – the reason that she and the students gave was that the alternate venue was shortly before finals, when no one would be able to attend.

                Although to be sure if they allow hecklers with no security, then the bullies will merely shout her down or charge the stage.

                It is beginning to look like conservative students are not welcome at universities.

                As for Olly being on the government payroll, I do not equate a military pension with being on the doll. And no one who says the government is too intrusive advocates abandoning the military. We pay our military a pittance, and in return, they risk their lives when they serve in action. In the same way, our police and firemen get pensions for risking their own lives. A military pension is not advocating for expanding our bloated government. Even if you would prefer that military, police, and firemen pensions be replaced with 401K plans for future enrollees, that is still a separate issue than the role of government.

                I encounter the same disagreement with people when I complain about too many regulations. The response may be along the lines of an accusation that I oppose all regulations, or want children in coal mines. It’s either love all regulations or be accused of wanting none of them. This reasoning is similarly applied to the role and size of government. It’s either more government all the time, or be accused of supporting anarchy.

                I do appreciate your view, but we diverge on the military pension issue. Full disclosure, I’m a military brat.

                • “As for Olly being on the government payroll, I do not equate a military pension with being on the doll. And no one who says the government is too intrusive advocates abandoning the military. We pay our military a pittance, and in return, they risk their lives when they serve in action. In the same way, our police and firemen get pensions for risking their own lives. A military pension is not advocating for expanding our bloated government. Even if you would prefer that military, police, and firemen pensions be replaced with 401K plans for future enrollees, that is still a separate issue than the role of government.”

                  I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a very good writer. “There is no such thing as good writing. There is only good rewriting.”- Oliver Wendell Homes, Jr. (or was it Sr., or Robert Jackson?)

                  My foray into Olly’s hypocrisy focused on his labeling me an authoritarian and his shallowness in supporting social Darwinism, free-market capitalism, and limited government.

                  First, if anyone’s the authoritarian, it’s Olly. He favors foreign conformity to our cultural norms because we know best what’s good for others. He’s the empire-building guy. There’s not a word from Olly with regard to our intervention everywhere and anywhere on earth, because he likes it. Trump can bomb anyone because of separation of powers, according to Olly. It’s a matter of national security, sort of like oil, you see. I’d also guess he’d like English as the national language, first-generation Americans known as anchor babies taken out of schools if their parents are undocumented and sent back to wherever their parents came from, marriage between a man and a woman only, the privacy of the womb and the stereotypical laundry list of fundamental rights taken away, while calling me the authoritarian. Hey, if we’re going to take away fundamental rights, for instance the right to interstate travel, Olly, I’ll be the first to support a California law which requires those not born in California to go back to wherever they came from.

                  I’ve posted this simple “political compass” quiz here before wherein the X-axis represents fiscal politics and the Y-axis represents social politics:

                  https://www.politicalcompass.org/analysis2

                  I realize the quiz may be somewhat lacking by the limited number of questions on limited subject matter, but it’s a pretty good indicator I’ve found, and I invite Olly to give it an honest go and see which quadrant he ends up in. I’ll post my result if he’ll post his.

                  Secondly, the individualism Olly espouses belies the 20 years he put into the military, which is as Stalinist a job description as the West has. He apparently liked it, and still likes its fruits in the form of respectable retirement check every month and essentially free healthcare benefits. I have no problem with pensions, and they certainly aren’t a public dole because he earned them, but for a guy who wants to limit a government that spends more on the military than the next seven most powerful military budgets combined, who lived off of it for 20 years, and continues to live off of it, he sure knows how to put his foot in it by portraying himself as a rugged individualist. Survival of the fittest, my arse. Get out into the marketplace, and see just what it’s like. It’s why so many like the convenience of a military career.

                  So, there you go, Ms. Karen S., the military brat.

                  • Steve – well, thank you for your response.

                    Free market capitalism does not usually refer to complete laissez-faire, but rather a free market economy governed within regulations that must make sense. For instance, I can’t think of any free market capitalists who would send kids into coal mines or allow the sale of asbestos. There is a a basic premise that the market will create supply and demand, and the government must for the most part prohibit abuse. In my own mind (and I do not speak for anyone else), strong individual rights mean you do not have the right to harm anyone else (see asbestos).

                    As for the other beliefs with which you disagree, I cannot think of a single person on this Earth with whom I agree on all things. I rather take it as a given that anyone I interact with will diverge from my own opinions at least in part. We are, and are supposed to be, a nation with myriad opinions. Everyone has their own good reasons for forming them.

                    My own view on anchor babies or kids brought here as young children by illegal immigrants is mixed. On the one hand, I do not in any way blame these kids. Nor would I want an English speaking kid to lose the country they’ve called home for all of their life that they can remember. On the other hand, amnesty acts like a lure. One of the reason why we have crushing illegal immigration, and the accompanying crime, such as identify theft and the cartels, is that we essentially invite them through our policies. It is our fault, as an attractant, that so many parents send their precious children to coyotes, who may be working for the cartels. The road to the US is littered with tiny graves. So many kids do not make it, get sick, get abused, get enslaved…And too many heavily pregnant women give birth, and sometimes die, out in the desert trying to make it here close to their due date. It kills me. I do not want this to happen anymore. And there is the added problem of numbers. We are supposed to regulate our population growth through immigration, to avoid over burdening our natural and social resources. We do not want the US to become like the city planet of Coruscant of Star Wars, without a square foot of open space. The more crowded we become, the harder it is to feed and water us, and the more expensive shelter becomes. (See San Francisco, where real estate can cost upwards of $8,000/square foot.) I would be far more amendable to forgiving the immigration status of kids born or brought here if we sealed up the border tight, shutting off the faucet. But as long as that faucet is on full blast, I am less enamored of the idea, and remain mired in my quandary.

                    Forgive me for being stubbornly obtuse, but is your objection to a military pension that the guaranteed income is an advantage over those who work in the private sector, who have to build up their own 401K? I’m unclear why you feel the military is Stalinism, which would be communist, an arm of terrorism of the state, and government control of industry and agriculture. Our military does not terrorize our people, it is not an arm of our government used to control and frighten us, and its members hold private property. It is, however, a bloated bureaucracy at some level, and its procurement system is a mess. It instills an instinctive response to follow orders, which is necessary in the fear and heat of battle. And yet, if you follow an unlawful order you are criminally culpable. You can serve in the military, and work like a well oiled machine, and yet still think for yourself. I’ve heard a lot of criticism of the military, but convenient is not one I’ve heard before. As an example, a paratrooper friend of mine took a course on surviving POW. They made the guys were pajamas, marched them through the jungle for days, berated them, broke them down, made them drink a huge bowl of water, stuffed each one in a crate so tight that their knees were up by their head, nailed them in, and left them there for 3 hours or longer until they had to pee on themselves. And that was just the beginning. A lot of them couldn’t make it through the class. And as a paratrooper, he learned that they make the parachutes small so that the troops get on the ground fast, and out of the sky where they are targets. So that means a hard landing and the risk of injury. I imagine that upon leaving the military, they would not think of it as a convenient or easy time. There are a lot of pros and cons to the military, but we diverge on this topic, I think.

                    • “Free market capitalism does not usually refer to complete laissez-faire, but rather a free market economy governed within regulations that must make sense.”

                      Assuming your distinction is correct for the moment (although my understanding is that free-market capitalism seeks to regulation itself in the marketplace, with no government intervention whatsoever), would you answer a question for me? Are the following “regulations that . . . make sense”?

                      1) The Sherman, Clayton Antitrust, and Robinson-Patman Acts (which gave us the power to prevent monopolies) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherman_Antitrust_Act;

                      2) The Securities Exchange Act (which gave us the SEC, insider-trading and anti-fraud laws) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Securities_Exchange_Act_of_1934; and,

                      3) The Commodity Futures Modernization Act (which gave us the derivatives market and credit default swap) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity_Futures_Modernization_Act_of_2000.

                      The reason I ask is because while all three may appear to be a significant governmental impediment to a free-market economy, the third was a seemingly innocuous deregulatory measure but by most accounts a major part of the recession of 2008, which saw many lose some or all of their retirement funds and banks ejecting people from their homes while, on the other hand, the banks were all along encouraging liars’ loans, begging and getting government handouts, and only being spanked on the wrist for forging security instruments to enforce lost lien instruments. To use your terms, what is regulation that makes sense?

                      “[I]s your objection to a military pension . . . ?”

                      I have no objection to military pensions or for that matter making a career of the military. (Frankly, I think everyone should be obligated to serve in the military for 2 to 3 years as both a method of preparedness and to foster cooperation between the warring socio-economic classes.) My aim was to show that a purported proponent of Ayn Rand socio-political ideology who makes his living off the taxpayer, being employed by government for 20 years under a highly-controlled authoritarian lifestyle and paid by the government for a lifetime while at the same time passing himself off as an individualist and libertarian, hasn’t practiced the virtues he now preaches. It seems to me a classic example of hypocrisy.

                  • My foray into Olly’s hypocrisy focused on his labeling me an authoritarian and his shallowness in supporting social Darwinism, free-market capitalism, and limited government.

                    You’ve both mischaracterized Olly (who has almost certainly never uttered one word on this site derived from anything Herbert Spencer ever said) and engaged in witless rhetorical games to boot. You’re not ‘deep’ because you despise businessmen or soldiers, just rude and vain.

                    There is no contradiction in anything Olly advocates. The military, business, the civil service, and the professions encompass sets of distinct occupational cultures germane to the performance of the tasks undertaken in those vocations. The military has a command and control architecture. It’s not an encounter group nor is it a set of real-estate transactions, nor could it function if it were. Firms have hierarchical structures as well, even as they negotiate with each other in self-organizing markets. Not much of an alternative to that either if we’re to get any work done. Your complaint makes no bloody sense unless it’s your contention that militaries should not exist in any political economy, and all firms should consist of sole proprietors with no employees. That’s just bizarre, and completely unserious.

            • Olly –

              Steve Groen is an Attorney-AT-LAW. He is “a member of the State Bar of California and of the San Diego County Bar Association” (see )

              Steve Groen is an officer of The Court. As such, his allegiance is to The Court, and NOT to “equal protection under law”, his clients, nor any other entity or their Rights.

  3. Julian Assange: The CIA director is waging war on truth-tellers like WikiLeaks

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/julian-assange-the-cia-director-is-waging-war-on-truth-tellers-like-wikileaks/2017/04/25/

    Just a portion of the piece:

    “All democratic governments are managed by imperfect human beings. And autocracies are much worse — the “benign dictator” is a myth. These human beings, democratic and autocratic alike, make mistakes and commit crimes, and often serve themselves rather than their countries. They are the focus of WikiLeaks’ publications.

    “The “Pompeo doctrine” articulated in his speech ensnares all serious news and investigative human rights organizations, from ProPublica to Amnesty International to Human Rights Watch. The logic that WikiLeaks, or these organizations, are somehow “intelligence agencies” would be as absurd as the suggestion that the CIA is a media outlet. Both journalists and intelligence agencies cultivate and protect sources, collect information and write reports, but the similarities end there. The world cannot afford, and the Constitution does not permit, a muzzle placed on the work that transparency organizations do to inform the American and global public.

    “Fundamental issues of free speech and freedom of the press, and of the interplay between liberty and security, date to the Republic’s founding. Those who believe in persecution and suppression of the truth to achieve their parochial ends are inevitably forgotten by history. In a fair fight, as John Milton observed, the truth always wins.”

  4. Thankfully, Clemson has a more reasoned approach than this Dean. Implementing any kind of “test” like this is purely Orwellian in nature and unlikely to be totally view point neutral.

    “UPDATE, April 27: Clemson University has issued a statement regarding Richardson’s proposal.

    The university appreciates the opportunity to set the record straight on this matter.

    One Clemson employee – out of thousands of Clemson employees – offered her personal observations to student government leaders on campus at a meeting of the student Senate, to which she was invited to offer her perspective on opportunities and challenges facing student leaders.

    There is no university plan to propose a cultural literacy test for student government leaders. It hasn’t been discussed by university leadership, nor is it going to be discussed.

    This is a non-story. There is no “litmus test” nor did the staff member propose one.

    Media accounts that have stated or suggested otherwise are, at best, misleading.

    • Chuck:

      And our reply to the smug statement of Tiger U is (or should be): The question isn’t the ultra vires of the speaker of this nonsense; it’s the suitability for employment of the speaker of this nonsense as a teacher to young men and women by a state university. It’s a story alright, just not the one you think.

  5. This woman’s employed in the diversity racket. This goes under the heading of ‘promotion’ and ’empire-building’. Of course she’d say that. The problem is that they hired her. The school should show it’s serious about academics by firing her and closing her office down.

  6. “Clemson students are already required to to take a social justice course following enrollment.” Well, then this isn’t a university devoted to higher learning, is it? It’s an arm of the Democratic Party, a seminary for the far Left. They just need to update their marketing brochures to clear up any confusion that conservative students may have on whether they would be treated fairly and with respect as they gained a non political education.

    That loyalty test make them sound more and more like a socialist dictatorship, doesn’t it? Actions speak louder than words. They may say they are tolerant and pro woman and democratic, but what do they do? They attack conservative minorities and women with racist and misogynistic slurs, they harass and punish conservative students and faculty, they deny free speech to conservative students, they preferentially block conservative speakers in viewpoint administration, they require a far Left class as a condition of enrollment, and now they demand an oath of loyalty to serve in office. On top of which, they refuse to accept the result of a lawful election, engaging in anarchy in the streets and refusing to follow federal law.

    And which government model do they most admire? Socialism, the architect of much misery in the world, where individuals are powerless and starved “for the good of the many”, where “good” is determined by the government. Good for you, good speech, good opinions, good education…

    This is the aspect of progressivism that they have just never managed to shake off through their repeated attempts at reform. The basis of progressivism is determining what is “good for you” and then imposing it through force of government, eroding individual rights and liberty. Progressivism has very little in common with classic liberalism, which values individual freedom. That is the cornerstone of conservatism. Prohibition and Eugenics were both misguided Progressive ideals that were forced upon the public, at the great cost of individual liberty, through the power of government. And there was a reason why Progressives and Fascists merrily corresponded and exchanged ideas up until WWII. And it dismays me that we still see the Democratic party threaten and coerce blacks who dare to think for themselves and vote differently. They are pilloried and punished and receive the most vile slurs. You would think that after everything that women and African Americans went through to get the vote, that the Democratic Party would take the stand, “I disagree with what you say, but I’ll fight to the death to ensure you can say it.” But, rather tellingly, they don’t. It’s vote Democratic or be branded sub human. And you would think that women and African Americans, after everything their ancestors went through, would tell anyone who dared to try to pressure them to vote a certain way to shove it where the sun doesn’t shine. But, many are afraid of the social costs.

    It’s a shame, to be sure.

  7. There are MANY foundations and individuals out there in America who give money to education purposes. We need a Free Speech Foundation. Set up an off campus free speech center near each campus. It has to be close but not under control. Have a monitor at the door to kick out administrators and campus police. Allow any student or their friend to attend as audience. Invite in controversial speakers. Allow students to stand up and be heard. FSOC: Free Speech Off Campus.

  8. Plus there is a sequestered cash account that has come to light in the past few days …. UC had opened an account for which there was no oversight, even as they asked for more money for this and that, and raised tuition (or “fees” is the word they use). I haven’t been able to follow it too closely…. but with this at Cal and now the money game (think it was around 175 million tucked away, not minor not really pin money) and Janet Napolitano is silencio.

    Who knows ??..maybe she is walking the Appalachian Trail, like that governor who was in Argentina iwth his Mistress…. IMO she needs to go. But then I was dead set against her from the get go.

  9. Until the Oxford University Act 1854 and Universities Tests Act 1871, both students and prospective fellows had to pledge the Oath of Supremacy, thereby only allowing members of the Church of England or any assimilated church. Catholics (whose conscience wouldn’t accept what they thought as a schism) and Nonconformists (who disagreed with parts of the theology of the Thirty-Nine Articles), who couldn’t conform to both, were excluded, in a time where oaths were taken seriously.

    It seems this dean wants to reestablish this state of things.

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