Your Speech Has Been Weighed In The Balance And Found Wanting

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15 Responses

  1. Dustin says:

    "The survival of core cultural values like robust freedom of expression depends upon you — and people like you — calling out and condemning the censors of the world."

    That's the bottom line.

  2. David says:

    Many many chuckles, a Far Side.

  3. John Kennedy says:

    uh, can someone explain to me what is "racist" or "discriminatory" about Jesus and Mo having a beer (they appear to be drinking a Guiness…mmmm.yum). I would think that Jesus and Mo having a beer together sends a good message, at least that's how I interpret this. You know, a cant we all get along kind of thing.

  4. Dan Weber says:

    There are kids who get involved in the newspaper group, or the dance group, or the computer group, or the photography group, or the lockpicking group. These students do so because they are interested in the subject matter.

    Then there are students who head up the student union. Their main interest is managing other student groups. This position should be denied to anyone who actually wants to hold it.

  5. Goober says:

    I've often thought, Mr. Weber, that the mere desire to run for political office should be a disqualifying flaw in a person's character. What is one to do? Draft the unwilling into service?

    The Student Union is no different. We are talking about a group in which the desire to be part of said group should be considered a diqualifying flaw on the individual trying to sign on.

  6. C. S. P. Schofield says:

    When I was on and around the Johns Hopkins undergraduate campus I hear of a period in the late 1970's when agents of the Hopkins Science Fiction Association managed to accumulate a huge amount of campus political power and effectively took over the student government for a few years. At one point HOPSFA held proxy votes for organizations as wide ranging as the Gay Students Organization and the Young Republicans. Eventually, with the connivance of certain key Faculty as I understand it, there was some sort of coup, and control of the student government was returned to the usual dog's breakfast of incipient politicians, Big Names On Campus, and suchlike. Pity.

  7. Rick C says:

    John Kennedy, anything that offends certain Muslims is deemed by them to be racist, in spite of the fact that Islam is a religion, not a race.

  8. Acleron says:

    John Kennedy – This is just a puerile attempt by the Union officers to conflate racism, which implies discrimination, with offensiveness, which does not.

  9. markm says:

    JK: Many Muslims consider drawing Mohammed drinking alcohol to be doubly offensive.

    1. Mohammed banned alcohol.

    2. The Torah/Christian old testament bans the worship of graven images. Mohammed took that further – to the point that many branches of Islam avoid any representation of the human form, and even all non-abstract art.

    3. Also, the alarmingly large numbers of Muslims who seem to be batsh** crazy might take offense at the mere suggestion that Jesus and Mohammed could sit down peacefully together.

    None of these are a good reason for official recognition of the muslim's sense of offense – especially in a nation where the established religion is Christian, decorates its churches with images of Jesus, and celebrates mass with wine…

  10. matriarch918 says:

    I have to ask, Ken, if there is a subtle reference to Daniel chapter 5 and the handwriting on the wall hidden in your title?

  11. David says:

    @matriarch918. Yes, that was his allusion. It was mine, too, in a subsequent comment.

  12. Unity says:

    With your legal background, you might interested to know that the LSE Student Union currrently believe that they can run a general meeting and introduce rule changes to shaft the Atheist Soc, on two days notice and on the back of a set of byelaws which contradicts their own Articles of Association on, amongst other things, notice periods, quora and voting procedures.

    As my professional field is organisational governance of charities and non-profit organisations under UK law, ASH has now received some detailed advice (pro bono, natch) on where all the holes in LSESU's rulebook are and how to use them to invalidate the meeting and any idiot motions they try to pass, plus how to use the university's statutory duties – they have legal duty to ensure the SU operates in a fair and democratic manner adn to protect free speech on campus within the law – in order to make the SU's life extremely interesting if they don't see sense and back off.

  1. January 24, 2012

    […] Your speech has been weighed in the balance and found wanting (Popehat) All the tropes of the censorious bureaucrat are there: leaping into action to bring petty power to bear, inquisitorial demands about the reasons for speech, and a bold pronouncement that free expression must be "balanced" — the balancing to be done by petty bureaucrats — against open-ended, vague, and unprincipled anti-discrimination principles. All of this was a result of a cartoon, on an organization's own Facebook page. […]

  2. February 1, 2012

    […] speech under fire in the U.K. as "Jesus and Mo" controversy spreads to LSE [Popehat] British speech prosecution of soccer star [Suneal Bedi and William Marra, […]