Be Outraged By Big Government, Not the American Flag

It’s quite saddening the American flag has been the subject of intense scrutiny of late…First, students at a University of California campus near my hometown deemed the flag “offensive” and attempted to ban it (which has been unsuccessful, thankfully). Now, a Virginia photographer is receiving threats for photographing a picture of a Navy veteran holding his newborn child with a flag (it doesn’t appear to evoke or suggest any desecration of the flag, IMHO).

Yes, the Constitution protects free speech – even stupid speech – and people are within their right to criticize the flag – however, they will be (rightfully) subjected to criticism and publicly shamed for conduct or statements made about the flag that are unbecoming.

However, the lack of reverence for Old Glory today is troubling. People view it as a symbol of “nationalism,” “sexism,” and “imperialism” thanks to indoctrination in our schools. Hell, they revile it and even have a more positive view of the Soviet flag and other communist symbols. (Sigh.)

The American flag doesn’t simply comprise of stars and stripes or the colors red, white, and blue. It symbolizes freedom, sacrifice, and perseverance. It is a symbol of hope, of the triumph of good over evil, and of boundless opportunities. Millions of people have died for this country and for our right to express ourselves. If you have gripes with the flag or have qualms with the American way of life, North Korea and Russia will happily welcome you with open arms.

Want to be offended about something? Look at our government and how gargantuan it is. Legal plunder is disgusting; patriotism is not.

My two cents…

Crossposted from Facebook.

Lindsay Graham gets schooled…BY A GIRL!

Ann Barnhardt takes Graham’s recent remarks on free speech into context and accordingly delivers him a dose of reality.

Kudos, Ann!

UC-San Diego V-DAY Co-Director Sends Odd E-mail

This past evening, I received an e-mail from the director of The Vagina Monologues at UCSD.

The e-mail reads:

Hi Gabriella,

My name is Van Nguyen and I am the co-director of The Vagina Monologues at UCSD this year. It has been brought to my attention by several members of V-day that you have recently posted a conflicting image in regards to The Vagina Monologues. As a key member in this organization, I would like to extend an invitation to this year production on opening night.

We would love to take this opportunity to educate you about our organization. There will be a ticket waiting for you at will-call on Wednesday, February 16th at the PC East Ballroom. Doors open at 7pm and show begins at 8pm. If you are able to make it, I believe this will be a valuable experience for you.

Van Nguyen

Although the director was kind enough to offer me an invitation to the play, Nguyen largely ignores the fact that I have not produced any written material (i.e. articles, print articles, or blog posts) criticizing The Vagina Monologues thus far.

Before she, her respective organization, and the cast wage a full-fledged campaign against any critique of the play, I would kindly appreciate criticism after an article is published, not beforehand.

UCI’s MSU Will Stop At Nothing to Advance “Free Speech”

Taken from NewsReal Blog on October 1st, 2010:

Following the suspension of the University of California—Irvine’s Muslim Student Union this past June, members of the MSU are bitter about the university’s decision. I reported on NewsReal Blog back in June  about the suspension as it was a milestone in suppressing their antics. Obviously, their reaction to the decision has only prompted their hate and schemes more. Do not buy into their lie of wanting free speech, as they wish to deny it to their opponents.

A writer for New University—UC-Irvine’s paper—lamented how sad it was that the Muslim Student Union’s presence was sorely missed during Welcome Week festivities. This girl—including other fanatics—failed to register in their brains that the Muslim Student Union breached university rules when interrupting Michael Oren’s speech in February. UC-Irvine’s administration stressed civility and respect at the event—standard protocol expected when speakers come to campus to engage in dialogue. Let this be known: the Muslim Student Union’s cries of having their free speech “deprived of them” is hypocritical, as they heckled Oren by showing their continual efforts to suppress the speech of pro-Israel views.

The suspension of the MSU for the duration of the school year, including a two-year period of probation, is obviously “unjust” for this group according to Madiha Shahabuddin. She points out:

Or is it that this apparent trend of the university shutting down student voices and actions is somehow here to stay?

Since when are other Muslim Student groups on universities being shut down on a routine basis? The UC-Irvine MSU’s suspension is the only action of its kind in existence! The only groups that could justify their voices being shut down are conservative and Republican organizations.

An event or protest in which a few individuals take part is not reason enough to suspend an entire group on which so many Muslims on campus rely for their social, spiritual and humanitarian needs.

When a group fails to respect the wishes laid out by administrative officials—regardless of the number of people involved— association will be noted and collective punishment will result. Universities ruthlessly punish right-leaning groups in high frequency compared to any radical Muslim group. You can thank the leftist agenda at universities for this endless persecution of conservatives on campus.

The MSU is not an honest group, as it disguises its anti-American efforts as free speech and derides those “impairing” them.

An Alternative to the 32 Demands

Alec Weisman, Editor-in-Chief

As you know, we’ve been closely watching the recent antics of the BSU and their allies, and we’re deeply disheartened by how thoroughly they’ve lost sight of Martin Luther King’s ideals. So many of their demands push not for color-blindness, but for explicit race-based favors.

In response, we’ve compiled a list that reflects our view of what UCSD would be like under Dr. King’s dream.

This is not a slate of demands. We will not occupy the Chancellor’s office, or plant a noose, or otherwise disrupt campus life, if our quiet voice of reason gets lost amidst the opportunistic aggression of the race-baiters. We’ll live in a world that’s a bit more racist, we’ll have a bit less pride in our alma mater, and our best potential successors will be a bit less likely to come here… but life will go on.

And this is not the work of a disembodied intelligence; you’ll see the stamp of our individual life experiences. One of our staff members is an economics student, frustrated by the disconnect between “pay people to dig ditches and refill them” Keynesian orthodoxy and the complexities of the real world. Others have sat in philosophically or politically biased classes, wondering about (and sometimes discovering) the consequences of articulating a coherent dissenting perspective. And most of us have grappled with that eternal mystery, “Why?”… in the context of the meal point system, at least. But we understand that our pet peeves are not as important as universal issues like maintaining academic standards. It’s okay if some items receive much more attention than others.

With that said, here’s what we wish to see:

• a school that hires the best and brightest of academia, regardless of race or creed or politics.

• a school that continues to respect the spirit of Proposition 209, admitting students on the basis of academic merit and personal accomplishments without any reference to race. This is in the interest of all parties; the black graduation rate at UCSD doubled after the proposition’s passage.

• a school that helps minimize exploitation by informing students of their legal rights. Perhaps a list can be provided to every student during Welcome Week.

• a school that applies its standards of taste to its own buildings, not just its off-campus parties or rogue publications. For instance, the name “Che Café” is, at best, of questionable propriety; “Revolutionary Cafe” preserves the theme without giving too much sanction to a mass murderer. (Yes, we realize it doesn’t rhyme. On the other hand, it is good enough for an etude. Anyway, we’re open to other suggestions.) It can be repainted with a mural of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mohandas Gandhi, and Henry David Thoreau.

• a school that does not withhold funding from student organizations following the rules. We believe the Koala should be socially sanctioned for its inflammatory and vulgar response to recent events. But it should not be forced to shut down, unless it actually broke the law.

• a school with transparent student government. Transparency is a powerful enemy of organized favoritism. All Associated Students meetings should be open to the public; and we believe it is also now practical and desirable to film and broadcast them live on the A.S. website.

• a school that provides funding and resources to ethnic groups in an equitable manner. There’s room for debate regarding what that entails; quite a few of the BSU demands can be accepted under this principle (and we’re okay with that). But certainly not all of them.

• a school that fosters a racially integrated community by hosting inter-group dialogue and activities.

• a school that offers more humanities classes with a neutral point of view. We believe in intelligent diversity of thought on campus, not just diversity of color.

• in the same vein, a school providing an economics education not any more wedded to Keynes than the facts justify.

• a school that minimizes the financial burden it places on its students by taking advantage of digital books and other cost-effective technologies.

• a school that enforces financial discipline on its programs. Departments and organizations should not be allowed to disproportionately drain UCSD’s resources by accruing massive debts; that hurts everyone, regardless of color.

• financial transparency of the UC Regents, the University of California, San Diego, and the Associated Students of UCSD.

• a school that respects voluntarism, not just “official” forms of social work.

• a school that encourages active citizenship by promoting involvement in student media. (Granted, since we are a student media organization, this request is self-interested.)

• a school that honors greatness, regardless of its source. We think a showcase of student, alumni, and faculty achievements, at a central visible location on campus, is a good way to do this.

• a school that demonstrates its commitment to economic efficiency by allowing students to opt out of purchasing meal points.

• a school that properly disciplines any student who violates another student’s rights.

• a student government structured to defend student rights. We recommend renaming the A.S. position of Associated Vice President of Student Advocacy to Vice President of Student Rights; this would confer voting privileges on the position, allowing its occupant to be an effective force for respect of student rights at UCSD.

• and finally, an administration and A.S. committed enough to peaceful inquiry to consider this list, despite our lack of threats.