Letters to the Editor

Letter: Free speech?

June 20, 2014


To the editor:

Gene Budig and Alan Heaps are all aflutter about liberal intolerance on campus. It seems students and faculty at Rutgers objected to a planned commencement address by Condoleezza Rice. Ever the chickenhawk, she canceled her visit rather than face protestors. At Haverford, former UC Berkeley chancellor Robert Birgeneau declined to speak after students and faculty opposed his invitation.

Budig and Heaps think academic freedom is in danger. What they don’t say about Birgeneau is that UC police beat Occupy protestors with batons on campus in 2011 while he was chancellor. According to news reports, he has expressed regrets but refuses to apologize.

What is the greatest threat to free speech on campus? Budig and Heaps point the finger at students and faculty who demand a voice in selecting commencement speakers. Thugs who beat students for expressing political views? Apparatchiks who back them? No problem there.

As for Condoleezza Rice, everybody knows she was an architect of the criminal invasion of Iraq. Since when does “academic freedom” mean sitting politely when she dares to show her face in public? If we really want to strengthen free speech, maybe the next commencement speaker at Kansas University should be Lt. John Pike. He was the UC Davis police officer who pepper-sprayed nonviolent demonstrators on that campus a couple of years ago, then got himself a $38,000 pain and suffering award.  In the interest of open discussion I would go see him. Would Budig and Heaps object if I wore goggles?


Brock Masters 3 years, 5 months ago

And yet when parents and students dare to oppose Mrs. Obama speaking at their high school graduation people like you shout racism.

Double standards on both sides are sickening.

Jim Slade 3 years, 5 months ago

When the worst thing FLOTUS has done was try to make our kids eat healthier and people are protesting her, then yeah, it kinda speaks to what the real issue is.

Bob Smith 3 years, 5 months ago

Well, that and wasting tens of millions of our money being the 21st Century version of Marie Antoinette.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 years, 5 months ago

Would you like to give examples? And Democrats didn't exactly oppose reading when Mrs. Bush pushed for literacy programs. Why would Republicans be upset, because we do not want schools to contribute to unhealthy diets. Parents still have the freedom to send junk food to school for their kid's lunch. They don't regulate brown bag lunches, just that our tax dollars aren't being used to send kids to an early grave. What is the real reason Republicans oppose our tax dollars not going to junk food?

Brock Masters 3 years, 5 months ago

Part of the issue with Michelle is she talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk. She lacks credibility on the subject of healthy eating.

Do as I say, not as I do.

Do as I say, not as I do. by Brock Masters

And one is example is throwing a lavish party at the taxpayers expense when the government was shut down and veterans were denied access to WWII memorial.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 years, 5 months ago

If it were a lavish party that was personal, then I thought you conservatives say people can spend their own money on whatever they want? If it was a state party, that is part of the president's duties. Do you really think your hero, Bush, didn't have lavish state parties while we were at war? Give me a break. What a stupid example.

As for eating junk food, do you really think she eats it every day? If you see someone drink a beer, do you assume they have a drinking problem?

Would you like to explain why Republicans are so much against feeding our school children healthy food? Healthy eating is a good thing. Literacy is a good thing. That's why Democrats did not come out against it when Mrs. Bush worked for literacy programs. What is the the difference between Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Bush? Hmmm.

Brock Masters 3 years, 5 months ago

One Bush is not my hero. He did many things that I vehemently disagree with - patriot act, Iraq war, spying on us,just to name a few.

I don't know why the republicans do what they do. Don't agree with much of what they do.

Difference between the First Ladies? Personalities, style and perception. Mrs Bush was sweet, seemed to love and respect all and was nice. Mrs. Obama, is abrasive, seems to dislike America and isn't very like able in my opinion.

Can't speak for all but that is the difference between them for me.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 years, 5 months ago

We did not shout racism. If you will notice, she realized she would be interfering with family celebration, so she changed her plans to a time that wouldn't interfere with the individual school graduations. Please keep up with the story.

Brock Masters 3 years, 5 months ago

Yes Dorothy, many shouted racism.

Dorothy, you posted on this thread, did you not see the comments about the issue being that she is the wife of a black president?

This is just one thread from one article. There were many others who cried racism.


Now who needs to keep up with the story?

And as far as Bush. I said the double standard exists on both sides.

People have a right to express their opinion. If people want to protest against Rice so be it, but they also have a right to protest against the First Lady, the president and anyone else they choose.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 years, 5 months ago

I personally was responding to the comment about "politicizing" the graduation ceremony, and that they wouldn't have said the same thing if it had been someone else's wife, who gets criticized for everything she does, even encouraging kids to eat healthy food. What if the 50th anniversary occurred during the Bush administration? What if Mrs. Bush had come to Topeka to speak about it? After all she was a teacher. It was an landmark decision for educators. It was also a landmark decision for Mrs. Obama. As a child she was able to attend school near here home, instead of the "colored" school blocks away.

And, please. I do not refer to Mrs. Bush as Laura, so please don't use Mr.s Obama's first name. You don't know her, and I'm sure your mother didn't teach you to be so disrespectful.

Brock Masters 3 years, 5 months ago

Nice try at deflection Dorothy. I can refer to Michelle however I want, remember - free speech. You're just upset because you said we did not shout racism and I proved you wrong.

Bob Smith 3 years, 5 months ago

It'll be interesting to follow this thread and see who is in favor of verbal terrorism.

Bob Smith 3 years, 5 months ago

If LJW installed a hyperbole filter, these pages would be like a desert.

Scott Burkhart 3 years, 5 months ago

Well, this letter is full of lies and general horse manure. Condolezza Rice canceled her invitation because she did not want to be the center of a controversy that would detract from a day that is supposed to be special for the graduates. You call that cowardly, I call it classy. You and your ilk like to call the invasion of Iraq, "criminal". Amnesty International, not a big Bush supporter, called for the deposing of Saddam Hussein for decades. Intelligence from no less than 6 or 7 different nations confirmed Saddam Hussein had chemical weapons and was continuing to produce them. General Colin Powell testified before the U.N. that Iraq had them based on what he was told by these same intelligence sources. Iraq was a safe haven for terrorists and repeatedly hosted bad actors all of the time. Invading Iraq was not criminal it was stupid. If you think the Secretary of State is the architect of these operations, then I am assuming Hillary Clinton will not be able to count on your vote after Benghazi, Crimea, uncontrolled immigration from Central America and Mexico, the "reset" button, and falling down and smacking that enormous melon on her shoulders. Your letter exemplifies your ignorance of the truth or the willing indifference to it.

Mike Ford 3 years, 5 months ago

I will give the history serum to the loud I forgot the period between 2000 and 2008 deniers. Do you in your infinite wisdom of denial remember when the US armed Iraq and Saddam Hussein against Iran in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War? Do you remember all of the threatening and cajoling the GOP did with people like Tom Delay did and your moral imperialist chest beating blind patriotism nonsense. Why of course not. You'd have to admit total failure and blame for your mess. Do you remember Bernie Kerik and all of the other gravy train people like maybe Haliburton and Blackwater? You all criminally profited from war with no bid contracts and the like. Your political party refuses to fund anything and wonders why there are skeleton security crews at many embassies. Can you do something constructive today and point the finger back at yourself? Crimea....really.....do you want to go all senile like Mr. McCain and fight everywhere all of the time? Let me spell out why immigration from Mexico and Meso America occurs. Spaniards came into these areas five centuries and plundered and exploited the indigenous or Brown people into debt peonage and servitude much like the plantations of the US South. They made Indian a racial slur. The peninsulares are even greater exploiters than the GOP of poor people for political and economical gain. I'll say this sarcastically.......the GOP could learn a thing or two or three from the 1% there whose been so successful at theft and exploitation that the Brown people have to come here to survive economically and escape the death squads and coyotes and they don't get treated any better by the exploiters here. Did you learn anything or are you tired of having facts rammed down in the face of denial that is part of the FOXNEWS/Michael Savage/ Rush Limbaugh triage of audio brainwashing?

Bob Smith 3 years, 5 months ago

Nice rant. Your sentence structure is getting more coherent. It'd be more to the point if you just typed "I hate White people." over and over like Jack Torrance in The Shining.

Bob Smith 3 years, 5 months ago

Remember what the Clash said, "you have the right to free speech, as long as you're not dumb enough to actually try it."

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