Intellectual freedom under attack on campus

Melchior writes "Cinnamon Stillwell's article Mob Rule on College Campuses in the SF Chronicle reports on a growing trend at universities towards students suppressing (mostly conservative) views they disagree with by shouting down invited speakers and disrupting their events. I'd be interested to know if LISNewsers regard such actions a form of censorship."


OPINION columnist Cinnamon Stillwell makes things up. Stillwell isn't a credible source of information and "Melchior" should really try to read credible sources instead of the incredible nonsense spouted by right-wing fiction writers.

So are you saying Stillwell made these things up? For instance:

  • Was Jim Gilchrist shouted down when he tried to speak at Columbia, or not?
  • Was David Horowitz subject to constant> when he tried to speak at SFSU by members of the Spartacus Youth Club, or not?
  • Was Daniel Pipes booed and jeered as a "racist" and "Zionist" when he tried to speak at UC Berkeley, or not?
  • Was Nonie Darwish's speaking engagement at Brown cancled because her views were too controversial, or not?
  • Was the turnout at Walid Shoebat's talk at Columbia affected by last minute changes to the university's security policy, or not?

If you aren't alleging the "or not" part of the above, then what exactly is your complaint? And if you have a specifiable complaint, can you adduce any evidence to back it up? Perhaps you think that the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)> are a conservative tool, and that the academic freedom cases listed on their website are also fabricated.


As long as fiction writer Cinnamon Stillwell is the start for a "discussion,"
here are some random opinions on Cinnamon Stillwell's errors and bias:

Cinnamon Stillwell on NOT allowing free speech for the Out Group showing
the irony (and hypocrisy) of her complaints about censorship:>

     Yes, Cinnamon Stillwell fully believes in censorship,
unless it's for haters like Horowitz and other right-wing extremists. Cinnamon
Stillwell would censor everyone that disagrees with her, if she wants to
argue about the value of free-speech, she needs to start with protecting
the speech of those she doesn't like otherwise she can't be taken seriously
on the subject of free-speech.

Cinnamon Stillwell's intolerance for immigrants (the Out Group):>

Cinnamon Stillwell on always supporting her In Group:>>

Cinnamon Stillwell's extraordinary "mind reading" and "farseeing" abilities:>

Cinnamon Stillwell conspiracy theories on 9/11 (dupes):>>> />>

Cinnamon Stillwell a "9/11 Republican:">>

Cinnamon Stillwell on feminists:>

Cinnamon Stillwell on the Vietnam War:>

It's always ironic that the neoconartists who claim "censorship" are
so quick to censor viewpoints they don't like. Certainly Stillwell's listing
and parrotting of "Hit List" Horowitz, whose attacks on professors he doesn't
like has been vicious, being "disrupted" is deeply ironic. Yup, the conartists
expected those kids to shut up and NOT exercise free-speech.

Horowitz has been repeatedly discredited, he is NOT an academic, he
does NOT do his research, and appears to be increasingly deranged each
time he's been on tv. If putting a hateful lunatic in front of college
students is OK, then don't be surprised if the kids with a clue call him
out on his bull using THEIR free-speech (clumsy as it might be).

Cinnamon Stillwell may be an excellent fiction writer, apparently she's
conned a lot of otherwise sensible righties into citing her without recognizing
her faux journalism is riddled with errors. Cinnamon Stillwell is still
NOT a journalist, she's an OPINION columnist, another MSM bloviator with
an undeserved forum.

All of the links above START with more credibility than Cinnamon Stillwell,
and even if some of them end up sounding a little nutty, they're all still
LESS nutty than nutty Cinnamon Stillwell.

Seriously, conartists like Cinnamon Stillwell give serious, thoughtful
conservatives a bad name and hurt the more rational aspects of the conservative
movement (which the neoconartists have largely been the antithesis of).


It's only censorship if the government does it. For the most part.

However, it's still bad manners and shitty gamesmanship to disrupt a speaker. Silent protest and public demonstrations are the proper way to go.

It should be noted, for those inclined not to, that a handful of students on a college campus does not constitute "the left."

Anon is...well...something is wrong.... Stalinist? Trotskyite? Some sort of ideological fanaticism at work....Something to explain the lack of a rational response to MSvF.... When it comes to Anon, as Dear Father Lenin asks, What Is To Be Done? But of course Anon has read THAT treatise, maybe knows it by heart: "'Freedom' is a grand word, but under the banner of freedom for industry the most predatory wars were waged, under the banner of freedom of labour, the working people were robbed." Undoubtedly Anon sits on the ALA board, or at least warms a SRRT seat. So nothing can be done. Nomenclatura - what else is there to say?

Frankly, this is the first I have heard of Stillwell, and I have no interest in defending everything she's done. As far as I'm concerned, she's irrelevant to the questions I pose. It is not she, but the events she describes, that is the starting point of the discussion. See my previous>.

Perhaps she's as bad as you say, but that has no bearing at all on whether the events she relates actually happened, and it has no bearing on the original question I posed: do the actions of the students constitute censorship?

For my own part, I'd prefer like> to reserve the term 'censorship' for actions by the state. It doesn't make the attempts of the students to stifle dissent from their views any less reprehensible, though.

Here are some related interesting questions: suppose Ward Churchill, or Noam Chompsky, or some other public academic from some sector of the hard left, were to speak at Columbia, and conservative student groups behaved in precisely the same manner towards that speaker as the leftist student groups did towards Horowitz et al.

  1. Would that be worse that what the leftists did to the conservative speakers?
  2. If the answer to the above is 'yes', please give your reasons.
  3. Is it plausible to think that the university and the press would treat such an event the same way as they did the interventions of the lefist students?
  4. If the answer to the above is 'no', what would explain the difference?.

For my part, I find it ironic that you choose to focus on Stillwell rather than the actual issues. I think that Franklin Saige has more than a little reason to wonder about your ideolgical>.

--MSvF (Melchior)

In terms of Cinnamon Stillwell, and their position on issues vs. the actions of students, I would like to point out three points.
1. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
2. Two wrongs don't make a right.
3. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

I agree with Chuck. I think it is a childish way to act, and wrong. I also agree that it is primarily government, either acting on its own or at the behest of citizens, that censors.

I volunteered to work there (see the last graph of>) but they never responded. I was a public librarian at the time so I didn't have any spare cash to give them.

Melchior, you've outed yourself as right wing propagandist. You trolled LISNews, didn't get the responses you wanted, and then questioned the "ideological affinities" of the commenter you couldn't control the response of.

Anybody else reading this should be forewarned that Melchior obviously asks questions not for the answer, but rather to figure out who doesn't meet his "ideological" smell test. He/she is witch hunting. Frankly, Melchior, you stink, if you want to play conartist games do it on your own site, it's a big internet.

If you want to push right-wing ideology don't assume that you've been given a special stage over here (though you're welcome to share it). Seriously, the notion that You get to control the questions is just silly.

Here's my questions if you want to continue the game: where's your posts defending the Dixie Chix? Where's your posts defending Bill Maher? Where's your posts defending big ol' Michael Moore?

Oh, wait, they don't meet your ideological "smell test," so don't deserve the same courtesy as rabid, hateful rightwingers like vigilante racist Gilchrist (an old school people CENSOR) or discredited Horowitz (with his badly researched book of 100 prof's he feels should be CENSORED).

You're not against censorship, you're just another vain right-winger that thinks he gets to rule the stage. (And apparently the world, how's that going for you?)

And again, note that you are welcome to participate in conversations at LISNew, at least until the right-wing CENSORS like Newt Gingrich (and China) get their way.

By the way, if you REALLY are genuinely concerned about censorship where's your comment decrying Newt's belief in censoring freedom of speech for ALL Americans? Oh, wait, HE meets your "smell test", doesn't he? Frankly I think he stinks (and not just for trading in his wives for younger, newer models whenever he gets bored).


Melchior, turn on your comments and leave them up.

Support free speech with your actions.

Is not allowing a voice cENSORSHIP?

Turn on your comments. Maybe you'll make some friends.

Or have you stopped listening?

Have you censored this end of the conversation Melcher?

Your not answering the questions Melchior.

I also agree that it is primarily government, either acting on its own or at the behest of citizens, that censors.

To borrow a quote from a keypal: "Big Brother is not just the gubmint, he is the people too." --Rachel Veraa

An interesting philosopical question that arises from your postulate is: Since, in free countries, We the People are the government, isn't it all censorship any time a group of people bring an action against a work? After all, such actions are a form of political activism by people engaged in politics.

Personally, I see censorship as any effort by anyone, at any time, to disrupt the free flow of information.

cen.sor n [L, fr. censere to give as one's opinion, assess; perh. akin to Skt samsati he praises] (1531) 1: one of two magistrates of early Rome acting as census takers, assessors, and inspectors of morals and conduct 2: one who supervises conduct and morals: as a: an official who examines materials (as publications or films) for objectionable matter b: an official (as in time of war) who reads communications (as letters) and deletes material considered sensitive or harmful 3: a hypothetical psychic agency that represses unacceptable notions before they reach consciousness -- adj

censor vt cen.sored ; (1882): to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable