Fundamental to freedom is free speech. Free speech is the first freedom lost as despots seek and solidify power over people.
In his excellent article “The Fight for Free Speech” the late Walter E. Williams makes a compelling case for free speech and against the tyrannical trends trying to take away freedom of expression from political opponents. In the remainder of this post I excerpt several portions of Williams’ article.
“The violence, looting and mayhem that this nation has seen over the last several months has much of its roots in academia, where leftist faculty teach immature young people all manner of nonsense that contradicts commonsense and the principles of liberty. Chief among their lessons is a need to attack free speech in the form of prohibitions against so-called hate speech and microaggressions… It is a tragic state of affairs when free speech and inquiry require protection at institutions of higher learning.”
Right on. I’m going to say here what many so-called intellectuals will consider to be a “microaggression” (or macro, perhaps), or may even be considered by some as “hate speech”: I utterly disrespect and despise anyone — particularly the supposedly “educated” of academia — who seeks to silence or censor their political opponents. Their efforts are evidence that the beliefs they so desperately seek to shield from questions and criticism are wrong.
A monopoly of ideas is just as dangerous as a monopoly in political power or a monopoly in the production of goods and services.
A monopoly of ideas — i.e. the silencing and censoring of opposing ideas — is precisely what leads to and perpetuates monopolies of political power, and the inevitable totalitarianism, oppression and suffering inflicted upon the masses by those who hold the monopoly.
We might ask what is the true test of a person’s commitment to free speech? The true test does not come when he permits people to say those things he deems acceptable. The true test comes when he permits people to say those things that he deems offensive.
Anyone who claims the right to free speech for themselves, but denies that right to someone else they deem “offensive” or “wrong”, is not just a hypocrite, but is also a tyrant.
Tyrants everywhere, from the Nazis to the communists, started out supporting free speech rights. Why? Because speech is important for the realization of leftist goals of command and control. People must be propagandized, proselytized and convinced. Once leftists have gained power, as they have in most of our colleges and universities, free speech becomes a liability. It challenges their ideas and agenda and must be suppressed.
I can only imagine the self-recriminations and regrets rampant among the “useful idiot” academics, journalists and news people who used their free speech rights to propel to power Lenin and Hitler and Stalin and Mao and Ho Chi Min and other brutal despots, only to later be compelled to be pathetic propagandists or, if they dared oppose their masters, to be numbered among the expendable millions of cold corpses. The complicit professors and pundits of today may find themselves in such a predicament one day in the not-too-distant future.
The “E” stands for “Excellence”, Walter E. (Edward) Williams would sometimes say about his middle initial, and, judging by his accomplishments, he was right.
Born in 1936 to a devoted and determined single mother, Walter overcame adversity to become a leading economist, scholar, political philosopher and defender of truth and reason. He passed away on December 2nd, 2020.
Walter achieved many things in his lifetime. He was a true champion of liberty, particularly of economic freedom, and was an outspoken and unapologetic critic of government policies harmful to minorities, and of false narratives blaming whites for the problems in minority communities.
“Whereas, Europeans kept my forebears in bondage some three centuries toiling without pay, Whereas Europeans ignored the human rights pledges of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, Whereas, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments meant little more than empty words, Therefore Americans of European ancestry are guilty of great crimes against my ancestors and their progeny.
“But, in the recognition Europeans themselves have been victims of various and sundry human rights violations to wit: the Norman Conquest, the Irish Potato Famine, Decline of the Hapsburg Dynasty, Napoleonic and Czarist adventurism, and gratuitous insults and speculations about the intelligence of Europeans of Polish descent
Therefore from this day forward Americans of European ancestry can stand straight and proud knowing they are without guilt and thus obliged not to act like damn fools in their relationships with Americans of African ancestry.
Walter E. Williams
“I, Walter E. Williams do declare full and general amnesty and pardon to all persons of European ancestry for both their own grievances and those of their forebears against my people. Therefore from this day forward Americans of European ancestry can stand straight and proud knowing they are without guilt and thus obliged not to act like damn fools in their relationships with Americans of African ancestry. Walter E. Williams, Gracious and Generous Grantor.”
Amen. Rest in Peace, Walter Excellence Williams, and may your liberty-loving legacy live on in the hearts and minds of those who have the privilege of learning from your lifetime of courageous scholarship.
For additional information about Walter E. Williams, I recommend:
The epithet of “racist” is used as a powerful political weapon by the Democrats and their allies to smear conservatives. I have yet to see any evidence of their claims of racism by Donald Trump, or by any other conservatives that they target. Nobody I have challenged to provide evidence of their supposed racism has ever produced any. Meanwhile, I have seen evidence of racism by Joe Biden and by other Democrats and their supporters, evidence that is hypocritically ignored, all in the name of partisan politics.
Being racist, or calling someone “racist” is not a laughing matter. But Joe Biden and the Democrats deserve to be mocked and ridiculed for their lies and hypocrisy, and this video does a great job of doing that:
You would really have a hard time making this stuff up, never mind getting someone to believe it. But it’s true.
The University of Florida’s Anthropology department recently sponsored a town hall they specifically told white students not to attend. It was just for so-called “BIPOC” students, meaning students who are black, indigenous, or “people of color”. Here is part of the text from an email sent to all students who were enrolled in an anthropology course:
“We have some amazing graduate students in Anthropology that are holding a virtual Town Hall tomorrow… to discuss future directions and goals for a BIPOC Anthropology Group (open to non-anthro BIPOC majors and minors).
“To ensure this event is a safe space, the organizers are asking that you reach out to them for the Zoom link. An important message from them: ‘We kindly remind all that you respond to this space is only for those who identify as a BIPOC individuals in this department. While we appreciate white students may want to join to learn more about the BIPOC perspective, we ask they respect this space as a chance for BIPOC students to come together as BIPOC. We cannot hide our skin color… We ask white students to respect that this is a space where BIPOC students can come together without the need to perform any emotional or mental labor to explain their experiences as BIPOC. Additionally, we acknowledge colorism exists within our own BIPOC communities, and therefore we kindly ask all BIPOC students to be mindful that we will be a diverse group of BIPOC students, and it is expected we will respect differences in experiences due to colorism.'”
I can look past the bad grammar (barely). But I can’t turn a blind eye to the blatant and disgusting racism — what the organizers euphemistically call “colorism”.
The fact is that nobody can hide their skin color, and everybody is a person of color, whether pink, peach, tan, brown or black. Each and every person has a unique background, perspective and outlook. To pretend that because a person is light-skinned they somehow contribute less to diversity than a darker-skinned person is the epitome of “colorism”, which is, of course, racism.
The racist organizers and complicit attendees of this blatantly discriminatory and overtly racist event need to emerge from their silly “safe space” and experience the “emotional and mental” growth that real diversity engenders.
Controversy characterized last week’s NCAA track championships. A large contingent of athletes, administrators and fans were outraged by rules imposed on the participating teams by the NCAA’s College Track Championship committee. Athletes from half of the participating conferences were given sizable and insurmountable head starts in each and every event, guaranteeing top finishes and coveted championship hardware for the favored conferences.
Preposterous, isn’t it? Fake news, for sure. No one would stand for it. Yet a similar scenario unfolds each and every Division 1 (“FBS”) college football season with the so-called “College Football Playoff.”
Truly preposterous is the fact that it all happens with the blessing of the NCAA, which is ostensibly “committed to providing a fair, inclusive and fulfilling environment for student-athletes and fans.”
Here’s how the scheme works:
Near the middle of the college football season the NCAA-sanctioned College Football Playoff (“CFP”) committee releases their rankings, which, while taking into account games played, are heavily biased towards certain favored “power 5” (“P5”) conferences by past performance and preconceived notions. Each year the top 10 to 15 spots are consistently held by P5 teams, with an occasional outsider cracking the top 10. Every conceivable justification is used to keep P5 teams from falling out of the top 10, and to keep non-power 5 (“group of 5” and independent, hereafter referred to as “G5”) teams from climbing in. That way, when the four “playoff” teams are anointed, and the remaining big-bowl participants are selected, the P5 conferences usually have 11 of the 12 big-money bowl berths.
Then, with the exposure and windfall reaped from top-tier bowl games, P5 conferences are able to hire better coaches, build better facilities, recruit better athletes, and command much higher television revenues, all of which solidify their stranglehold on the top rankings, on the so-called “championship playoff” spots, and on the next year’s rankings and revenues. For G5 teams it is truly a vicious cycle. For P5 teams, it is the Golden Goose.
Just how golden is their goose? Forbes reported in 2019 that 64 P5 teams split 573 million dollars of bowl revenue (an 8.95 million average per team), while 66 G5 teams settled for 98.75 million (a 1.5 million average per team). P5 teams made almost six times more in bowl revenue than G5 teams. Beyond the bowl bonanza, P5 teams raked in over 10 times more television revenue than G5 teams.
The Covid-compromised 2020-2021 season was no different from prior seasons. The CFP managed to fill 11 of the top 12 bowl berths with P5 teams, even though two undefeated G5 teams finished in the top 12. And, like in past seasons, there was a lot of head-scratching regarding the rankings, such as how a three-loss Florida Gators team was placed above undefeated Cincinnati, and how undefeated Coastal Carolina ranked below three-loss Iowa State and two-loss Georgia.
“I can’t help but think what might have been this season had all FBS programs been given the same equality of opportunity,” Coastal Carolina President Michael T. Benson wrote in an open letter to the CFP committee. “Just think about that: Football is the only sport where the deck is stacked insurmountably against those who have the inevitable classification of ‘Group of Five’ before toe hits the leather each fall.”
Benson went on to explain why the deck is so solidly stacked the way it is: “The [power] five” have worked to ensure that a different kind of Golden Rule remains firmly in place at the highest level of Division 1 football: those with the gold make the rules.”
Yes, indeed, when it comes to major college football, those with the money make the rules, and the NCAA openly participates in the perennial perversion of fair play that purposely perpetuates the imbalance of power.
If the NCAA had any integrity, any desire to level the playing field and ensure equality of opportunity, it would jettison the four-team playoff mockery in favor of an expanded field.
Benson and other well-intentioned opponents of the CFP propose expanding the playoff to eight teams, but still chosen by rankings. That would do next to nothing to level the playing field. Sure, once in a while a G5 team would find itself in the eight team playoff, but the P5 conferences would still dominate, and the resulting money and exposure would ensure their continued dominance.
The only fair and equitable solution is to expand to a 16 team playoff, with a guaranteed spot for the champion of each of the 10 conferences, and six at-large bids for deserving teams (including independents), selected by a published poll of all FBS head coaches, who would be prohibited from voting for any teams in their own conference.
There are no legitimate objections to such a playoff (unless you object to less dough in P5 pockets).
Too many playoff games? Division 2 (“FCS”) college football has a 24-team playoff, with eight teams granted a first-round bye. In 2019, 20-0 North Dakota State won it all. The 2019 FBS champion Clemson only played 15 games.
Not enough weeks in the season? The FCS champion played 20 games. There is no reason why an FBS team couldn’t do the same. Start the season earlier, or reduce the number of regular season games. A 12 game regular season, with a maximum four game playoff run, would result in only 16 games for the champion and runner-up.
Not enough postseason games to fill all the bowl games? In 2019, there were 29 bowl games played. A 16 team playoff would take the place of 15 bowl games. Non-playoff teams could be invited to play in 14 (or more) non-playoff bowl games. There would be half as many meaningless bowl games as there are now.
In addition to the absence of a downside, there is significant upside to be had from a 16 team playoff.
With each conference champion guaranteed a playoff berth, conference regular seasons become way more meaningful, followed by a postseason that generates more interest, excitement and revenue, much like college basketball’s March Madness.
Over time, as a level playing field leads to exposure, revenues and recruiting will become more balanced, and parity across conferences will increase, resulting in more exciting games and even more fan interest.
And a significant upside is that maybe the NCAA would be able to say — with a straight face — that it is truly “committed to providing a fair, inclusive and fulfilling environment for student-athletes and fans.”
… Police said it all started when some guys talked on Facebook and planned a meeting to sell a PlayStation.
According to police, the man who tried to turn the sale into a robbery ended up being shot by one of the victims … [who] was lawfully carrying a gun concealed and that this was a case of either shoot or be shot.
Police said the victims told them … [Miel] Santiago walked towards them and pulled a gun out of his waistband. Police said one of the victims pulled out a gun too and fired at Santiago, hitting him in the leg….
Police said the victims called 911 and stayed at the scene until police arrived…. Santiago is charged with two counts of robbery and two counts recklessly endangering another person, as well as carrying a firearm without a license, criminal mischief and conspiracy.
A plan that granted Finnish citizens a no questions asked universal basic income (UBI) is over. Finland has decided to end a first of its kind welfare experiment after only two years after the government turned down a request for extra funding from the Finnish social security agency.
Participants of approximately 2,000 unemployed individuals from ages 25 to 58 were given €560 ($685) monthly without any sort of requirements. If they found a job, they were still granted a monthly stipend for the same amount.
According to Time, Finland’s unemployment rate reached a record high of 10 percent in 2017 sparking a new debate on welfare reform.
A woman fatally shot a man in the head after he pushed his way into her home while armed with a shotgun…. Witnesses told authorities that at about 3:30 a.m. Friday, Charles Shannon Alley … knocked on the door of a home on Piney Knob Drive in Gaffney…. Alley was armed with a shotgun and when a man at the home answered the door Alley pushed his way inside…. A fight began, at which point Alley threatened to harm another man and a woman inside the home…. During the fight, Alley was shot by the woman in the home…. Witnesses told authorities a man who was with Alley ran after the shooting….
Police said a woman shot a man who allegedly threatened her with a hatchet outside of a store…. Police arrived at the scene and located a man on the ground with an obvious gunshot wound…. Investigators said the woman was leaving a store…. She entered her vehicle and as she attempted to close the door the man approached her and demanded her car keys while holding a hatchet…. The woman retrieved a handgun and told the man to leave. As the man raised the hatchet, she shot him, police said. She was able to keep the man from leaving the scene until officers arrived…..
Are cops perfect? Of course not. And no one should expect them to be. But every single day, under the most difficult conditions, the police protect us from the bad guys. In other words, they do their job and they do it well. Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke makes it very clear: cops are not the problem.
The excellent PragerU video linked below describes exactly how I feel about law enforcement, and about the villains that vilify the men and women that put their lives on the line for us day in and day out.