Saturday, October 13, 2007

A sign that the end is near

What is the sign? I actually agreed with something from the Teachers College Record, Teachers College, Columbia University. The TCR typically espouses a Marxist-laden worldview. But, when they get it right, they get it right.

Geoffrey R. Stone of the University of Chicago wrote:

Just as it is not the business of Columbia University to declare some views “right” and other views “wrong,” it is similarly not the business of the United States Senate to enact resolutions condemning the constitutionally protected expression of private citizens.

...

But it is not a legitimate role for the Senate of the United States to pass formal resolutions condemning the expression of constitutionally protected views. Do the supporters of this resolution honestly believe that it would be appropriate for the Senate to officially condemn those who question the integrity of Vice President Cheney, or the wisdom of Justice Scalia, or the candor of President Bush? Such expression, like MoveOn.org’s attack on General Petraeus, is not only protected by the First Amendment, but it is essential to the functioning of a self-governing society. For the very same reasons that Columbia University should not declare particular ideas, perspectives, or questions “out of bounds,” the United States Senate should similarly foster “uninhibited, robust, and wide-open” debate and not attempt to intimidate citizens by official public condemnation. Such a tactic smacks of the abuses of the McCarthy Era.

The freedom of speech can be ugly, but interference from the state is much, much worse. -- Jim

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The most striking observation to me is not the TCRs position, but that they took a position at all. What do Senate resolutions about Free Speech have to do with the TCRs mission of educating "educators"? This, to me, is just another confirmation of the activism that permeates teacher colleges.

This reminds me of the ALA condemning the Iraq War, as if there was a battalion of librarians on the front lines to justify an official opinion on it.

Interestingly, the ALA had no opinion on the jailing of 6 librarians in Cuba for possessing pro Democracy literature and refused to render judgement on (pedophile) NAMBLA chapters using public libraries as meeting places--during after school-hours.

I say to the TCR: "Just shut up and teach". Then again, if their distraction from the mission of educating the educators means less edu-speak laden nonsense, then maybe they should continue focusing on congressional transgressions.

Complaint retracted.