Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Long String Getting Shorter...

I picked this story up clicking through several links over at Balloon Juice (why this didn't make Nat'l desks somewhere I do not know).

Look, I know they're just kids. I was one too a long time ago. I know they have a lot to learn about a lot of things, but I think they ought to learn about the law first and foremost by either their parents, UCSC administration, or by the authorities. The law was UNANAMOUSLY upheld two years ago in the Supreme Court that states that any institution that accepts federal dollars must allow equal access to recruiters and ROTC organizations to campus facilities. This ruling came as a result of Harvard's attempt to restrict ROTC drill from occurring on campus. I'm quite certain these organizers knew this as well. What they ended up doing was perpetrating censorship in the worst kind of way: through the use of terror and mob rule. Nice.

Enough is fucking enough. The schools chancellor should be put on notice that if this happens again (it happened the previous year and soldiers property was damaged), funds will be withheld. The next thing he ought to do is convene a hearing to expel these student organizers. Not for protesting the war but for breaking the law. If it was the first time, I'd have been more willing to let it slide with a strict warning, but this is a repeat performance. They failed to keep their event peaceful at a minimum, promoted the aggression more than likely. Where are the parents of these kids on this?

Oh Tony, that's an over reaction isn't? Well, what makes this any different than the asshat leadership of campus fraternities who force feed pledges vodka or any other heinous behavior they condone or promote getting handed their walking papers? Don't they get held accountable for their lapses in leadership? There is no distinction.

Funny, all they wanted to argue about over at Balloon Juice was who was the bigger jackass Michelle Malkin ( a very big jackass some times) for republishing a press release the Students Against War had published themselves which included phone numbers and e-mail addresses of the student organizers (as sure as the sun comes up, they received death threats from kooks and the like), or the online pundits that “get so worked up” over stories like this. Wha?

Forget the blogosphere added vitriol, read the damn source story. Two uniformed members of the military carried out their duty they were ordered to do, they set up a table at a job fair on a campus that the law of the Supreme Court allows them to do, sat down and waited for students to arrive. Then, a bunch of student antiwar protestors arrives. steals their literature, gets antsy, threatens violence, damages their property, all culminating in the soldiers being escorted off the premises by campus police (remarkable restraint demonstated by these two soldiers I might add).

How can anybody not be ashamed of the actions of these students? It the same contempt I have for the assholes who stand outside abortion clinics intimidating patients.

Here’s tip for the student organizers, something my parents I'm sure muttered to themselves about me more than once: WHY DON'T YOU JUST GO TO FUCKING CLASS!!!

33 Comments:

At 4:39 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger Chrispy said...

Of course, I have to disagree.

Uhhh... I think the military is a bit more violent than these kids were.

The school did not restrict access to the grounds by the recruiters. The recruiters were able to come in and set up their materials. The kids made it clear they weren't wanted. The recruiters did the right thing and left. The SCHOOL is required to allow the recruiters on campus, and they did. The STUDENTS are not. And the school should not be responsible for ensuring the security of the military (which would seem like a huge joke, I mean UCSC administration is supposed to protect the military?).

I find it really weird that you would say the soldiers showed "remarkable restraint". In other words, you wouldn't have been surprised - or feel contempt - if they had been violent toward these students? Shouldn't soldiers show a remarkable amount of restraint every day?

I also don't think this is really censorship. Censorship is when an idea is eliminated for the sake of the "public's good" or to further an agenda. The military has plenty of opportunities to recruit, as well as a little thing called the draft, which makes saying that they were subject to censorship by not allowed into a job fair a bit disingenuous.

This was a good old fashioned protest, plain and simple. It was not violent (the description of last year's protest showed it to be pretty tame as well, slashed tires and one injured military person isn't quite as bad as some protests get).

This is going to happen more and more as the war drags on. Better get used to it - although I do not agree with it, people will get violent when you're talking about the military killing other people in your name.

 
At 5:07 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger Jackson said...

Hell, the Armed Forces get to advertise on TV for chrissakes!

If you can't take the heat - get off campus.

Now, before you do whatever it is you are about to do in response; I do not condone violence - these kids have evrey right to protest, but no right to do harm. If they acted violently, harmed anyone, or destroyed property - than they should face the legal consequences.

Mostly, the article seems to suggest that the recruiters left BEFORE anything got out of hand - so, no harm no foul.

 
At 5:10 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger Chrispy said...

I second Jackson on the violence thing.

If they're violent, arrest them and charge them. I have no problem with that.

 
At 5:13 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger Tony Alva said...

Sorry Chris, your posit holds absolutely no water at all. The school IS responsible for the safety of all persons on their property. They have a legal obligation to see to the rights of any person or persons participating at that job fair including ensuring that students have access to military recruiters.

I say that the soldiers showed restraint because if it were me, I would have decked the shit out of anybody who came up to my table and stole my stuff. Alas, they are better men then me.

You don't think it's censorship that 100 kids decided for the entire student body that the military should not be allowed to talk to students? How can you possibly think that flies? The draft ended in the early 70's and we're talking about volunteer recruiting here. Isn't this the same as the assholes who line up outside of clinics and prevent women from exercising their right to get an abortion? Are not both groups equally contempable?

Rocks being thrown, and soldiers having their cars damaged is some how excusable to you? Only one injured military personnel out of two who were there doesn't indicate more than a good ol' fashion non-violent social change type protest?

I could give a rats ass about any of these protesters really as long as they operate within the law. Their efforts make no difference at all, and change nothing. Protest all you want I say, but once you infringe upon someone else’s rights, you have become your own enemy.

Your argument only validates that freedom of speech only applies to those individuals and organizations you happen to support personally.

 
At 5:19 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger Tony Alva said...

Jackson,

The armed forces PAY for their advertisments on TV. What are you trying to say here?

 
At 5:50 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger Chrispy said...

Tony,

Of course you would've "decked the shit" out of anyone who stole you stuff. That's the difference between you and me. And that's why it's a good thing you work in telecommunications and have never been in the military.

My "posit" (I hate that word - what is this, Crossfire?) holds plenty of water. The military operates under a different set of rules. It's ridiculous to think that they are, in any way, be prevented from getting their information out. They're the military. The seniors at UCSC, I bet, have heard of the fucking military.

The Supreme Court's decision is more than a bit controversial. Law or not, it will continue to be challenged, and it should.

Let's also do some fact checking.

A. There were 4 recruiters there, and no one "stole their stuff," unless I missed this in the article

B. I actually misspoke - not a single recruiter was hurt in last year's protest, an employee of the career center was, and there is NO indication that a student hurt them.

C. where is the rocks being thrown bull from?

D. whether or not the school is responsible for the recruiters safety (still absurd), your post was not about that. It was about how the students' actions were illegal and used "terror" (a really strong word for this - but not at all surprising, since I feel you would label anyone who disagrees with your pro-military stance a "terrorist," just like your President does). The students actions were NOT illegal. The school permitted the recruiters on campus. You said the students ought to "learn the law". It seems they did know the law, perhaps better than some bloggers.

"Freedom of speech" is not what these military recruiters were exercising, by the way. They were acting under orders from the military. The military does not enjoy "Freedom of Speech". For more information, I suggest reading the Constitution, specifically the section called the Bill of Rights. This section (maybe you were skipping class when they got to this?) was added to protect the people from the government, not the other way around.

Your true opinion becomes really clear in your comment, by the way. The protestors are not making any difference, you could give a rat's ass... why don't you be honest and admit that you don't like that they were protesting the military and the war? This isn't really about the legal issues, is it?

Alas, you try to label me a hypocrite, and yet it fails. I believe in freedom of speech everywhere and at all times. I call Fred Phelps out, but I never said he shouldn't be allowed to speak (just bombed). People at abortion clinics may or may not be reprehensible, but that's not the point. They too have every right to be there and speak. People have the right to make tasteless comments at funerals. People have the right to talk about boring metal bands.

You, my friend, are the one with the shifting code. When it's the government or military, anything goes. When it's the people... watch out.

 
At 6:41 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger Dave Cavalier said...

Chrispy -

Where in the heck in the Constitution does it say that the military does not ejnoy freedom of speech?

 
At 6:52 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger Dave Cavalier said...

I think the more cogent criticism of the students is that they attempted to bar access to the recruiters, which is antithetical to the idea of a free exchange of ideas in the university. As the article clearly states, there were students who were interested in talking to the military. Why block them?

What would have been wrong with a protest that still allowed interested students to talk with recruiters?

I don't think the students broke the law, I just think they were the typical, overzealous, self-absorbed kids who think this is effective protest. When I was in college, I remember a speech given by the Surgeon General. Well, it wasn't much of a speech because a bunch of students got up and just kept chanting about AIDS funding until nobody could hear a thing. What a mindless protest and what an embarrassment for the university. The issue of AIDS research was a serious one and, in my opinion, these students were taking it very un-seriously. At my most cynical, I would suggest that they were just more grandstanding to make themselves feel righteous.

But this is becoming something of a model for protests at colleges. It's not enough that protesters make their opposing viewpoint known. The goal is now to make sure that the other side can't even speak and, frankly, that's just lame. What are they so afraid of?

 
At 10:08 PM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous coolmomma said...

It's infuriating for me to read things like this and not hear about it in the biased media. The protest should have been conducted outside the fair and not have been allowed inside-period. The two soldiers were just doing their job.
And, go figure, this happened 2ce at the same California school.

 
At 11:33 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger Tony Alva said...

As much as you'd like to malign me for attempting to veil my feelings, in no way have I hidden my contempt for the protesters. They are clearly a bunch of misguided idiots. Maybe they need to crack a book a read about how shameful the Vietnam vets were treated upon their return and think about how they treated the servicemen who did nothing but exercise their right to enter a campus and peaceably recruit. They are very much worthy of contempt.

But that doesn’t matter anyway really. No, the facts are that 100 protesters kept others from talking to recruiters by using the threat of violence and intimidation. How is that not a terrorist tactic? What if they were some religious group, Buddhists perhaps. Would you be standing by them as they ran them off with the threat of violence too? I DID go to class and not anywhere did I see a passage in the Bill of Rights that granted anybody the right to to that. Again, I stand by my hypocrisy charge.

Re-read my comment again. Not ONCE did I say that these protesters should be prohibited from speaking their minds on the war. Nor should people be curtailed from speaking out about abortion, but once they use intimidating and threatening tactics that prevent others from exercising their right to say, get an abortion, or recruit for the armed services they have clearly crossed an ethical, legal, and moral line. Are you so hell bent on on making this an arguement about the Iraq war that you can't even agree on that?

No, the difference between you and me has little to do with my willingness to deck someone who maliciously fucks with me or my stuff, it has everything to do with the fact that I believe that there are things worth fighting for and you don’t. The sky must be blue in your world of moral relativism. Have the balls to choose a side for cripes sake.

"In regards to: You, my friend, are the one with the shifting code. When it's the government or military, anything goes. When it's the people... watch out."

How are those in the military and those that support their efforts not included in the category of “The People”? Recruiting on campus is an example of "anything goes?"

Maybe it’s you that should try to learn more about the military, it’s mission, and those who serve in it. Your ignorance on the subject is blinding.

 
At 11:49 AM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Chrispy said...

Dave (and Tony),

The Bill of Rights is about the rights of the people, not the government. The concept of "Freedom of Speech" is not guaranteed to the government, it is guaranteed to the people. If someone is going to call into question my views on "Freedom of Speech" and who it does and does not apply to, they should know what "Freedom of Speech" means and where it comes from. The Bill of Rights says nothing on the governments right to say anything, unless I'm misunderstanfing something. Where in the Constitution does it say anything about the military's right to Free Speech?

Tony,

I honestly don't care what you think about my views or whether you believe I'm a hypocrite. You did not refute a single argument I made. You did not back up your statements about rocks being thrown or recruiters being hurt. You did not back up you claim that these kids broke the law. Your original post called out the school for not allowing recruiters on campus, which they did.

I'm glad you blog is living up to its mission, ie gather the facts before making an argument.

It must be hard to be as persecuted as you are. From ESL students to the liberal media to student terrorists, I don't know how you do it.

 
At 12:35 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Tony Alva said...

That's funny, you calling me persecuted. LOL!!!

 
At 12:38 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Dave Cavalier said...

Chrispy -

With all due respect, I think it is you who needs to go back and re-read the Bill of Rights.

>>Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances<<

I don't know where you have derived your theory that the military or the government has no right to freedom of speech. If you could point to a Supreme Court ruling that clarifies this point, that would help. I don't see it anywhere in the text of the Bill of Rights, which is framed as s restriction on the legislature's ability to legislate on issues of expression or religion.

 
At 12:45 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Chrispy said...

I don't see where it states that the government is entitled to freedom of speech.

Please point this out.

 
At 12:51 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Chrispy said...

Once again, Tony, no facts to back your claims.

I'm happy the money I pay to Sprint is allowing us to have this little discussion, though.

 
At 12:58 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Tony Alva said...

Is it your position that our governments speech is not protected simply by the fact that it's not specifically stated?

Is the government not as Lincoln states, "...of the people, by the people, for the people..."?

I'm comfortable with the facts and questions I've provided and asked.

BTW, Exceedingly light day here. Higher ups are busy plotting the take over of unsuspecting countries. Don't worry though, your Sprint bill money is paying for starving children somewhere:-)

 
At 1:02 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Dave Cavalier said...

Chris -

Okay, I'll bite. Where does it state that "people" have the right to freedom of speech?

Yours is a nice theory Chris. Unfortunately, nobody on the Supreme Court seems to have heard of it.

The government "speech" here is the right of the Congress to raise and support armies, which is listed in Article I of the Constitution. The question that might be asked of the students protest is whether their speech frustrates the smooth functioning of that right.

The Supreme Court case that probably comes closest in this scenario is United States vs. O'
Brien. In that ruling, the Court held that protest speech that prevented the smooth functioning of the draft (in this case, burning draft cards), could be restricted by legislation.

Now, I will grant that the protest here is small potatoes and unlikely to generate legislation to outlaw it, but it seems that the government could argue convincingly that the military has a right to raise and support armies without direct interference (e.g., students blocking recruitment tables).

 
At 1:09 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Dave Cavalier said...

Chris -

Here's the Citation if you want to read the ruling.

United States v. O'Brien, 391 U.S. 367 (1968)

Dave

 
At 1:19 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Chrispy said...

I will explain this one more time and then I'm done.

"Freedom of Speech," as a concept, comes from the First Amendment, which Dave has already quoted. Again, Tony was saying the military's "Freedom of Speech" was being violated, and that I'm a hypocrite for not being angry at this as I would be if say, a Buddhist's right to Freedom of Speech was being violated.

I maintain that Freedom of Speech is defined as a right of the citizens, as this is what the Bill of Rights is - a list of the rights of the citizens. Article 1 is not the same thing. If these students were REALLY keeping the government from raising an army (a complete joke to even think so, but what the hell) then yes, of course they would be liable.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech". That sounds, to me, like the people are being guaranteed the right.

Tony,

You accused these kids of violence, using specific examples like throwing rocks. It's irresponsible for you to not back this up with facts. Please show me where this comes from. Otherwise, any hope you have of being taken seriously is gone.

I was afraid my Sprint bill was going to pay middle managers to blog all day. But as long as it's feeding starving children, then no problem.

Hats off to the American worker!

 
At 1:29 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Dave Cavalier said...

Chris -

"Sounds like a right of the people" is not exactly proof of your theory. If you can show me a citation where the Supreme Court has held that the government is not entitled to freedom of speech, I will yield the argument. Just "maintaining" it doesn't make it so.

I've provided you a Supreme Court ruling that explicitly states that the government can, in fact, limit certain forms of expression if they frustrate the government's right to raise and support armies. Yet you persist in "maintaining" that the government has no such right. Unfortunately, the settled law of the U.S. seems to contradict you.

There is no constitutional question whether the government has the right to send military recruiters to a university that receives federal money. That ruling covers interference by the administration of the university.

In this example, it was students blocking access to recruiters. Is that illegal? No. Would the government have a strong argument that prohibiting this type of protest is constitutional. It certainly would.

 
At 1:40 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Chrispy said...

Dave, you've misread my comment.

I am not "maintaining" that the government would not have a right to pass a law that restricts protesting if it interferes with maintaining an army. Indeed, I said exactly the opposite. Go read it again.

What I am "maintaining" is that the Bill of Rights does not say anything about the military's right to free speech. I don't see how there would even be a Supreme Court ruling on this. It's not in the Bill of Rights, due to the fact that the Bill of Rights is a list of the rights of the people.

 
At 1:44 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Dave Cavalier said...

Chris -

I understand what you think you are trying to say, but my point is that it is meaningless and you are not seeing it.

The goverment has no "speech" outside of the pursuit of its rights under the Constitution. The freedom of speech you claim only for people under ther First Amendment clearly does NOT trump that according to the Supreme Court. It couldn't be more clear.

Since this whole debate centers on whether or not the government (in this case, the military) would have the right to prevent protests such as these, it would appear that the govenment DOES have a right to recruit peaceably at the university.

 
At 2:19 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Dave Cavalier said...

Put another way:

The First Amendment prevents the legislature from passing laws wily nilly to limit expression, but it also yields to the rights of the government under the Articles.

 
At 2:29 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Tony Alva said...

Chris,

Here ya go...

"Tuesday's arrest occurred away from the job fair as the recruiters were departing in a van. While a campus police officer was videotaping a person throwing rocks at the van, a student blocked the camera and was cited for interfering with police duties, said campus spokesman Jim Burns. The student was released pending charges from the District Attorney's Office, Burns said."

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2006/April/12/local/stories/01local.htm

There may be a copy of the video, but of course we've be restricted by the ever oppressive man from viewing it on company computers. I hope my hope of being taken seriously has been restored...

 
At 2:54 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Circy Nightshade said...

A few kids (100 out of thousands), made it clear the recruiters weren't wanted. What about the kids who wanted them there? Why should a few kids get to make the decision for everyone else? Isn't college about learning to think for yourself? Joining the military is a CHOICE. You don't have to agree with it, but you should at the very least respect it.

 
At 3:11 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Dave Cavalier said...

Arguments about rights aside, I think Circy is more on target here. I have no problems with anti-war protests whatsoever. Contrary to what you might think, I think it is crucial that the anti-war view gets heard. It's a good thing to have your ideas checked constantly by opposition.

But protests that just try to squash the opposing message are contemptible. What was this protest other than intimidation (not of the Army, but of students who wanted to talk to them)? Is that really a constructive protest?

Can we just agree that these kids were jerks, whether or not you agree with their message?

 
At 12:02 PM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Jackson said...

'By any means necessary' Ring a bell Tony?

 
At 12:05 PM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Jackson said...

"Their efforts make no difference at all"

All the more reason to step it up, no?

 
At 12:12 PM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Jackson said...

From what I recall of the article - one guy was prevented from getting info about signing up - he was looking for a job - I think that speaks volumes.

 
At 1:06 PM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Tony Alva said...

"'By any means necessary' Ring a bell Tony?"

Does that include breaking the law and violating someone elses rights Jackson? When I was sixteen I would have agreed with the sentiment because when you're young your stupid, self absorbed, and believe unequivically that nobody elses opinions matter and your's trumps all. Maturity and age have a way of giving you clarity and temperment. At least it did for me.

"All the more reason to step it up, no?"

Are you now condoning violence and intimidation as a means of stepping it up and getting your message across?

You asked for examples of left wing radical violence associated with protest on another blog and I did respond. Easy example, G8 summits. Is wrecking businesses and causing injury really helping their cause(s)?

That's exactly why I think protests are absolutely meaningless at best, counter productive to the cause at worst. Even peaceful ones don't change anybody's mind, and violent ones do nothing more than turn anybody with an open mind off to whatever the cause happens to be. Ask yourself this: did any of the protests accompanying the Dem or Rep conventions change a single American's or politician's mind about anything? I may be more cynical about the subject than you are, but I say not a chance. As a matter of fact, I think they only hardened established positions. The big immigration protests have hurt their cause more than helped as another example.

Still, as Dave commented, I fully endorse and support anybody's right to bark at the moon all they want. Again, as long as it doesn't infringe upon anybody elses rights, and causes no injury to people or property.

 
At 1:33 PM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Jackson said...

You yorself have claimed - recently - that you are more in line with Malcolm X than MLK. 'By any means necessary' means just that. If it means violence, then so be it. That's not my ideology - it's yours - I'm just pointing out your hypocracy here.

I don't condone violence at all.

 
At 3:09 PM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Tony Alva said...

I'm not Malcolm was condoning infringing others rights in the name your own. I think he his message was more if someone hits, you hit them back, less be trampled on. Something I do endorse.

Not being a hypocrite at all.

 
At 6:00 PM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Jackson said...

Well that's not 'by any means necessary' then. That's 'by any legal means necessary'.

Yes you are, just a little, as I am as well on occasion. I still think your cute.

 

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