Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the need for the Trump Administration to rescind the ill-conceived Obama order calling on universities to strip away due process rights of students accused of sexual harassment or assault.
We previously discussed the controversy over a painting by a constituent of Democratic Rep. William Lacy Clay that depicted police as pigs in Ferguson, Missouri. As we discussed, the House had a right to remove the art and eventually did precisely that. However, before that decision from the House, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R., Cal.) took down the painting. Clay called for criminal charges. When the painting was rehung, another Republican member removed it. At the time, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said “We may just have to kick somebody’s ass and stop them. Then the architect stepped in and barred the hanging of the picture. A lawsuit challenged the actions of the House of Representatives and I expressed my great skepticism over the merits of such a case. It appears that U.S. District Judge John D. Bates agrees with that assessment. In a ruling yesterday, Bates rejected the claim that the Architect’s actions were unlawful in removing the painting by David Pulphus, a student artist from Missouri. Pulphus joined Rep. William Clay, in the legal challenge.
The world has condemned the referendum that narrowly gave near dictatorial powers to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Not only was the government accused of tampering with the close results, but the referendum represents the final demise of democracy in Turkey. Erdogan is also responsible for destroying the separation of church and state. However, Erdogan did get one call of congratulations . . . from the President of the United States.
There is an interesting study out this week by two University of Kentucky researchers that the number of atheists may be twice as large as previously estimated. The number may be closer to 26 percent — an fascinating prospect given the politics surrounding faith-based initiatives and policies. As I have previously discussed, both parties have courted the religious vote and largely ignored the sizable number of Americans who are either agnostic or atheist. That number may be finally reaching a political tipping point for office holders to heed their preferences for secular government and the separation of church and state. We have previously discussed studies indicating that one out of four Americans may not believe in God. This study would seem to support those earlier estimates.
We have been discussing the erosion of free speech on our campuses across the country. Much of that trend is the result of faculty members who have taught that free speech itself is a threat to students. The erosion of free speech has come in stages. First, schools began to declare speech to be hate speech while creating “safe zones” from the exercise of free speech. Second, schools began to enforce the ill-defined “microaggressions” to punish speech that is deemed as contributing to hostile environments or fostering stereotypes. Now, faculty and students are increasing declaring opposing views as simply outside of the definition of free speech. That extreme argument was advanced this week by the editors of The Wellesley News who published a column entitled “Free Speech Is Not Violated At Wellesley.” It is chilling message from the Editorial Board composed of Co-Editors in Chief Sharvari Johari and Michele Lee and opinion editors Maya Nandakumar, Genae Matthews, and Tabitha Wilson. Once the champions of free speech, students have become the new censors and have adopted the perfectly Orwellian notion that the protection of free speech requires the denial of free speech. Continue reading
I have been writing about the surprising bias shown in coverage of the Trump Administration. While I strongly disagree with Trump’s portrayal of the media and believe that much of the negative coverage is legitimate coverage of Administration missteps and controversies, the media appears to be losing sight of its navigational beacons in pursing Trump like some “great white” out of Moby Dick. The latest example is an interview of actress Debra Messing by MSNBC reporter Morgan Radford during the Tax Day Protests. (For the record, I agree that Trump should disclose his tax records and that his rationale of being audited is not a compelling legal basis for withholding the records). In the course of the interview, Radford not only refers to “our voices” in agreement with the protesters but refers to the Trump Administration as threatening democracy.
The attack on the Syrian airfield has sent the polls for President Donald Trump into a sharp rise and he has been praised by various Democrats. Others have called for the commitment of thousands of troops. No one seems interested in speaking of the absence of congressional authorization. Indeed, when Sen. Rand Paul objected to the lack of congressional consent, Sen John McCain denounced him as a non-entity in the Senate who does not listens. Below is my column on the mounting attacks on Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D, HI) from Democrats after she called for the release of evidence on the culpability of the Syrian government in the recent gas attack on a village. Even though some (including a recent MIT professor) have questioned the evidence, Gabbard’s desire to see the evidence was viewed as inexcusable. It appears that war, like Saturn, devours its young.