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The real danger of quashing voices like Ben Shapiro’s on college campuses



Why is it that so many colleges react negatively when a conservative speaker is booked to do an event on campus? It seems lately the words many college administrators dread the most are, “Young America’s Foundation has invited Ben Shapiro to speak on campus.”

It isn’t just Shapiro, but he’s conspicuous for two reasons. First, the unhinged hatred towards him is not congruous with his level of offense. Yes, he will offend people sometimes as the truth invariably does, but he’s not David Duke or Louis Farrakhan. Somehow, he’s able to stir up such positive and negative responses on college campuses that one might think President Trump himself was making an appearance.

The second reason he’s conspicuous is because his protesters don’t have valid reasons to protest him. They’re forced to pull from their own irrational fears of him that have been conjured up out of fiction. He’s a devout Jew, yet protesters call him Hitler. He’s adamantly opposed to authoritarianism, yet protesters call him a fascist. He’s one of the most targeted journalists in America by white supremacists, yet for some reason protesters seem to think he’s a white supremacist.

Gonzaga recently claimed their reason for not allowing Shapiro to speak on campus is because his speeches “routinely draw protests that include extremely divisive and hateful speech and behavior, which is offensive to many people.”

They weren’t accusing him of being offensive, which colleges often cite when rejecting speakers like Suzanne Venker or Milo Yiannopoulos. Instead, they were accusing him of drawing protests that were offensive. Let that sink in for a moment. Here’s a speaker that a good chunk of any college campus wants to hear and a bigger chunk needs to hear, but he’s being quashed because of the protests that rise up when he speaks. I’m not going to go into a long rant about mob rule. Either you see it in play here or you don’t.

Commentators, particularly conservative ones, often discuss how colleges have a problem with free speech. Colleges often counter by having “free speech zones” or their polar opposite, the much maligned “safe space.” They might hold free speech events before cancelling them over someone’s… speech. Hmm.

But here’s the problem with framing the issue in this way. First, it adds to confusion about what free speech is and isn’t. The 1st Amendment, which is the first thing that comes to mind when people invoke “free speech,” has very little to do with what’s happening on college campuses. Our Constitutional right to free speech is a protection against government suppressing speech for unlawful reasons. What’s happening on college campuses is different. Now, thanks to the ugly protests that have been following conservative speakers, private AND public colleges can invoke safety concerns whenever a heavily protested speaker is planning on coming to campus. The progressive puppetmasters have known this for decades. That’s why they spark the protests in the first place. It’s a dirty little secret the organizers of these protests will never mention. By allowing their protests to turn violent, they set the precedent by which universities can turn away controversial conservative speakers. It’s not spontaneous in most instances. It’s done by design.

The second reason we shouldn’t frame the issue as one about freedom of speech is because we can debate all day about it, but the best we can hope for is a logical victory that does nothing to change the situation. We shouldn’t allow the left to drive the narrative within the futile debate over free speech. Instead, we need to address the core issue, which is the systematic quashing of free thinking.

If you read the introduction page of any college in America, they all claim to nurture free thinking among their students, but this is absolutely false. They only nurture thoughts that align with their progressive agendas. Students are free to think whatever thoughts are approved of within these leftist echo chambers. Progressives are free to do or say their heart’s desires and their worldviews are reinforced by their treatment as students. Meanwhile, conservatives must persevere through their college experience with hopes they won’t succumb to the sustained festival of leftist indoctrination they’re forced to immerse themselves in while they work towards getting their degrees.

Freedom of thought is a nebulous concept because it’s often difficult to recognize attempts to suppress thought. We can easily recognize when the freedom of expression is being suppressed because it’s enforced through rules. However, suppressing freedom of thought is done through absence. Meteorology students aren’t told it’s against the rules to be skeptical of proposed methods to reverse man-made climate change. They’re simply never shown any research that runs contrary to the “settled science” that embraces Al Gore’s politics over actual scientific debate. Students are told that socialism can be effective if the greed of the elite can be eliminated, yet every failed attempt to institute socialism is categorized as a false attempt. This is why students leave college thinking that socialism has never been tried. Legitimate contradictions to Darwinian evolution are never discussed. Once again, it’s “settled science.” If ever a student brings up evidence that points to intelligent design, they’re either told that given enough time, nature can accomplish anything, or they’re fed the multiverse theory. Either way, the challenging evidence is dismissed as settled, debunked, and let’s get back to looking at chimp DNA.

The same process is applied to conservative speakers. Rather than allow the discussion, university administrators have grown so accustomed to controlling every aspect of their indoctrination centers that they’re preference is to prevent these thoughts from making an appearance at their schools. They are ill-prepared to win the debate, so they suppress the debate before it can occur. Even those that allow conservative speakers prepare their students for the unapproved thoughts they’re about to be exposed to.

When universities hamper or block conservative speakers, they’re not attacking freedom of speech. Their suppressing freedom of thought. Indoctrination is standard operating procedure at most universities today. The greatest threat to this status quo isn’t conservative speakers who might say something offensive. It’s that their students might hear something that actually makes them think.

I’m JD Rucker. Thank you for listening.


1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Michael Dexter

    January 7, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    Romans 1:18-19 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    Unbelief and Its Consequences
    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth [a]in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident [b]within them; for God made it evident to them.

    Romans 1:18 Or by
    Romans 1:19 Or among
    New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

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Culture and Religion

The real story here is that a radical activist took on high school kids



The real story here is that a radical activist took on high school kids

The Covington Catholic School story has taken on a life of its own. What started as an attack against MAGA hat-wearing teens who supposedly went after a Native American Vietnam War veteran has turned into a witch hunt by leftist mainstream media to prove their righteous indignation towards the kids was justified.

But at the core of the story is something that most seem to be missing. Nathan Phillips isn’t a random activist. He’s an outspoken radical who intentionally inserts himself into situations to draw attention to his cause. We saw this clearly the day after the viral video was shot (but before it went viral) when he tried to storm a Catholic church to disrupt worship services. Those are not the actions of a peace-seeking, mild-mannered activist for Native American rights. They’re the actions of someone seeking trouble for the sake of attention.

Then, there’s the question of claims that he was a combat veteran who fought during the Vietnam War. To be fair, these are not necessarily his assertions, though I haven’t read everything he’s said about that period in his life. But mainstream media has painted him on multiple occasions as essentially a war hero. His claims have been that he was a “Vietnam times veteran,” which is obviously meant to insinuate he participated.

Thankfully, many of the publications that painted this picture of Phillips have since started editing their stories. Nevertheless, the damage is done. His reputation as a Vietnam War hero is still prominent in the eyes of those who read the initial stories and haven’t gone back to reread them since the corrections were made. We can assume that means nearly none of them have learned of the correction. That’s why he’s still being widely labeled as such on social media.

One of his claims to fame is that he starred in a Skrillex video that depicted armed opposition against law enforcement as a potential solution for those who are being forced from their homes by a land developer.

The sum of the parts of this story paint a very strange picture of Phillips. There is absolutely nothing wrong with activism for the sake of Native American rights. The cause is a righteous one and most activists are doing their part to properly bring awareness to the American people while working with governments in their plight.

Phillips doesn’t fall into that category. His stories keep changing, but the truth is still a mystery.

As our EIC noted yesterday, he claims to be a hero but he’s not.

Nathan Phillips claims to be a hero, but he’s the reason “MAGA kids” are now being demonized have been multiple shifts of the narrative being pushed by mainstream media about the Covington Catholic School “MAGA kids” since it first went viral. Each shift further demonstrates the far-left’s unhinged nature and mainstream media’s desire to attack conservative Christians no matter what the facts of the matter say.

All of this goes back to Nathan Phillips, the Native American who sparked the incident by trying to march through the group of kids. It wasn’t necessarily his actions that should be condemned, but how he portrayed the whole situation and his role in it have perpetuated the falsehoods that are being reported by mainstream media even today.

This all brings us back to his “opposition,” or at least the people he apparently opposes. By no means do I believe these kids are innocent. They’re kids. They were thrown into a situation they didn’t know how to handle, but even in those circumstances they handled it fairly well. Nick Sandmann, the “smirking MAGA kid” who was literally at the center of the initial controversy, is having to go on air to defend himself, his school, and to try to prevent the threats that have hit their community.

It’s a disgrace that these kids couldn’t just go to the March for Life unscathed. The trashy people who continue to dig into their pasts, shame them, and threaten their lives are being driven by the progressive worldview that is intolerant of the hats they wore.

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Tentative deal reached to end Los Angeles teachers strike



Tentative deal reached to end Los Angeles teachers strike

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A crowd of teachers roared its approval after a tentative deal was announced Tuesday between Los Angeles school officials and the union that will allow educators to return to classrooms after a six-day strike in the nation’s second-largest district.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, accompanied by leaders of United Teachers Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Unified School District, announced the agreement at City Hall a few hours after a 21-hour bargaining session ended before dawn.

“I’m proud to announce that, pending approval by the teachers represented by UTLA and educational professionals and this Board of Education, we have an agreement that will allow our teachers to go back to work on their campuses tomorrow,” Garcetti said.

Union President Alex Caputo-Pearl said the 30,000 members would vote later Tuesday, and he expected approval. A union summary of the agreement called it “historic” and urged teachers to vote yes to ratify. Educators met with UTLA representatives to familiarize themselves with the details before casting ballots.

It wasn’t clear when the vote results would be known, but teachers were expected to be back at work on Wednesday.

The deal was broadly described by officials at the news conference as including a 6 percent pay hike and a commitment to reduce class sizes over four years.

Specifics provided later by the district and the union included the addition of more than 600 nursing positions over the next three school years. Additional counselors and librarians were also part of the increase in support staff.

Marianne O’Brien said the need for additional support staff was one of the main reasons she walked picket lines. “This is not just for teachers. It’s also for counselors, nurses, psychologists and social workers,” said O’Brien, who teaches 10th grade English.

The new contract also eliminates a longstanding clause that gave the district authority over class sizes, officials said. Grades 4 through 12 would be reduced by one student during each of the next two school years and two pupils in 2021-2022.

District Superintendent Austin Beutner said he was delighted the deal was reached. But he hinted that financial challenges remained.

“The issue has always been how do we pay for it?” Beutner said. “That issue does not go away now that we have a contract. We can’t solve 40 years of underinvestment in public education in just one week or just one contract.”

Under the tentative agreement, the district, the union and the mayor’s office will work jointly to “advocate for increasedcounty and state funding” for Los Angeles schools, according to the UTLA summary.

The Board of Education met in closed session on Tuesday and was expected to move quickly to ratify the deal, which would expire at the end of June 2022.

The deal came as teachers in Denver were finishing up a vote on whether to go on strike as soon as next Monday. The main sticking point is increasing base pay and lessening teachers’ reliance on one-time bonuses for having students with high test scores or working in a high-poverty school.

In Oakland, California, some teachers called in sick last week as part of an unofficial rally over their contract negotiations, which also hinge partly on a demand for smaller class sizes.

Thousands of boisterous educators, many wearing red, and their supporters gathered on the steps outside City Hall.

The crowd began cheering, blowing horns and chanting the initials of Caputo-Pearl as the smiling union leader emerged from the building and walked through the throng.

Joaquin Flores, a special education teacher, said he believed he would support the deal unless it weakened health care or didn’t go far enough to reduce class size.

“It’s almost like metaphoric,” Flores said. “The sun’s out. When we started, it was all rainy and cold. I feel like it’s a new day.”

Teacher Sharon Maloney said she was reluctant to support the deal without seeing the details. She was skeptical that the district had made enough concessions on class size, health care benefits for new teachers or that the superintendent would spend enough of about $2 billion in reserves.

“I suspect the motives of Beutner,” Maloney said. “If he doesn’t release some of that $2 billion and there’s no understanding for moving forward how he’s going to cut out this crap that we’re running at a deficit and yet our reserves are going up every year.”

Talks resumed Thursday at Garcetti’s urging. The mayor does not have authority over LAUSD, but he sought to help both sides reach an agreement after nearly two years of fruitless talks.

Clashes over pay, class sizes and support-staff levels in the district with 640,000 students led to its first strike in 30 years and prompted the staffing of classrooms with substitute teachers and administrators.

The district maintained that the union’s demands could bankrupt the school system, which is projecting a half-billion-dollar deficit this budget year and has billions obligated for pension payments and health coverage for retired teachers.

Teachers hoped to build on the “Red4Ed” movement that began last year in West Virginia and moved to Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arizona, Colorado and Washington state. It spread from conservative states with “right to work” laws that limit the ability to strike to the more liberal West Coast with strong unions.


Associated Press writers John Antczak and John Rogers contributed to this report.


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Culture and Religion

PragerU: Do college students support abortion or life?



PragerU Do college students support abortion or life

Progressive indoctrination centers, better known as American universities, have been pushing students towards a leftist worldview for decades. One might start believing the mainstream media narrative that college students are overwhelmingly pro-abortion based solely on other things we’ve seen coming out of college campuses.

PragerU tackled the issue. While nothing in this video will shock anyone, it’s a good cross-section of perspectives that likely reflects what’s actually going on at universities like UCLA. Will Witt went there and found the standard answers on both sides of the board. While the majority were pro-abortion, two pro-life students were found. Their responses were clearly more thought through than the answers given by their pro-abortion counterparts.

This leads to my next article. I’m starting to believe that if people are given all the information about abortion, and more importantly about the life attributes of preborn babies, they’d be more willing to accept a pro-life perspective.

Of all the challenges facing America today, the abortion issue is the most directly tied to life and death, literally. A world without abortion can only be achieved when we’re willing to have the conversations with everyone regardless of their current stance.

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