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How do you improve a nation? Do you start by amending its laws? Not so, according to our nation’s most famous conservative jurist.

A nation’s character is a reflection of its citizens’ character, more so than its laws.

During a recent speech before the Baton Rouge chapter of the Federalist Society, a national organization of conservative lawyers and law students, Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia addressed topics ranging from Duck Dynasty to Obamacare. But perhaps his most poignant remark had to do with the character of our nation’s citizens:

“To the extent that the country is in a downward spiral, Scalia said, “it’s not because of the law, it’s because of the people. You can’t have a good country without good people. I fear we have lost some of the virtues that characterized Americans in the past.”

Read more of Scalia’s remarks here.

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A little over a week ago, NYC police commissioner Ray Kelly visited Brown University to speak about his efforts to reduce crime in the Big Apple. Efforts that have been remarkably successful by most any measure, with drastic reductions in violent crime across the city.

How did Kelly do it? That’s what, presumably, most students in the audience at Brown wanted to know. However, thanks to a group of rowdy leftists protestors who made a point of shouting Kelly down repeatedly until the event had to be cancelled, no one in the audience heard a word from Kelly.

Just take a look at the video clip below, and look at the sheep-like actions of these misguided students, reading their “protests” off of note cards because–obviously–they didn’t know enough about what it was they were protesting to be able to do it without the aid of a written note. Such a knockout combination of ignorance and arrogance can be found perhaps nowhere else other than the halls of our nation’s elite universities–chock full of wealthy liberal kids who have never dealt with the threat of urban crime for a second of their lives, yet are convinced that they are champions of justice.

 

Over at Minding the Campus, Heather MacDonald analyzes the awful spectacle above with laser-like precision:

Kelly had come to Brown to talk about the New York Police Department’s unmatched success in lowering New York’s crime rate.  The students, however, heckled him off the stage, shouting that Kelly had “institute[ed] systemic racism” in the city through the NYPD’s contested stop, question, and frisk tactics.

The protesters of course take for granted that they can go about blithely squandering their parents’ tuition money at Brown without fear of getting shot, robbed, or raped.  Nor do they have to navigate through a gauntlet of drug dealers on their way to the store or while picking up their mail.  Residents of New York City’s poorest neighborhoods by contrast endured just such constant fear and disorder until the NYPD embraced proactive policing and other revolutionary reforms in the early 1990s, reforms which Kelly perfected.  When every criminologist predicted that the NYPD’s 1990s crime drop had bottomed out, Kelly drove crime down another 31%, in the process saving another 5000 minority lives.

The Brown students have zero understanding of the massive disproportionality in crime commission in New York and other American cities… The police focus on minority neighborhoods in order to protect the many law-abiding residents there; if the police ignored those areas, only then could they rightly be accused of racism…

The Brown protesters disgraced themselves and their school in silencing a selfless public servant who has done more in twelve years for New York’s poorest neighborhoods than decades of the big government redistribution programs that the Brown hecklers most certainly support…

Read MacDonald’s full commentary here.

A critical point here is that the display of close-mindedness and self-righteousness put forward by the students at Brown is about more than this one issue of policing New York. Rather, that close-mindedness points us to the underlying problem of liberal bias on campus. Because students go through four years of education without having their far left political views challenged even once, it’s no wonder that they end up unable to think clearly, critically, or for themselves. If there’s an opposing viewpoint out there, they don’t want to hear it. They are interested only in the cliches of class warfare and racial grievance.

After years of elite education, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition, they end up shouting words off of a note card with a black power fist held weakly in the air.

These days, that’s what they call an Ivy League education.

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A lecture at Brown University by New York City Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly was scrapped after protesters – a mix of students and community members inside the auditorium – continually interrupted Kelly until administrators finally shut down the spectacle.

The protestors were upset about alleged police brutality and New York’s stop and frisk laws, which some deem racist. But one brave Brown alumnus and current biology professor there, Ken Miller, has called the protestors out for their shameful and boorish behavior last week.kenmiller

Ray Kelly, whatever his misdeeds, is no George Lincoln Rockwell (leader of the American Nazi Party who spoke at Brown University in 1966). Rockwell’s idea of racial profiling wasn’t “stop-and-frisk.” It was “round up and deport.” Kelly has been accused of fascism, but Rockwell actually was a fascist — and a racist — and was proud of it on both counts. Yet the Brown community of the 1960s opened its doors to him, to avowed communists, and, at the height of the Vietnam war, to anti-war activists as well as the generals in charge of that war — like Earl Wheeler, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was a lively and vibrant place.

The crowd who managed to silence a speaker yesterday accomplished something, to be sure. But it wasn’t a blow against racism, fascism or police oppression. It was a step towards a closed campus where mob rule determines who can speak and who will be shouted down. It was a shameful day. And it deprived every member of our community of the chance to hear Kelly and decide for themselves whether his policing methods are indeed the first steps of a Rockwell-like campaign against minorities and the poor in America’s greatest city. To those individuals, let me put it plainly. Yours was an act of cowardice and fear, unworthy of any of the causes you claim to hold dear. I hope President Christina Paxson will show the courage to stand up to you, to invite Kelly back and to give every member of this community the chance to have a “Rockwell moment” of the sort I had in 1966.

Read more.

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IMAGE: Main: Fox News screenshot, Side: Brown University website

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Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation delivered a speech defending the definition of marriage as a union between man and woman at Princeton University on Thursday.

The Daily Princetonian reports details:

Heritage Foundation fellow Ryan T. Anderson ’04 argued for a traditional conception of marriage as a union between one man and one woman in an event sponsored by the Anscombe Society and the American Whig-Cliosophic Society on Thursday evening. About 30 students assembled outside of McCosh 50 before the talk in support of same-sex marriage.

Before the event, members of the Princeton Equality Project gathered at the building entrance handing out pins and posters to arriving audience members. A number of students came draped in rainbow flags.

PEP member Kelsey Dyer ’17 said many members of the LGBT community had come to respectfully hear what Anderson had to say while also making their presence known in hopes that the event could be part of an ongoing dialogue about the meaning of marriage…

Anderson has been making the rounds, speaking to universities audiences on this issue lately. Frankly, I’ve been surprised and encouraged by the civility of the student audiences he has encountered.

Normally, we’re used to hearing of conservative speakers being shouted down by hordes of hecklers whenever they deliver unpopular ideas on college campuses.

It’s a good sign–in terms of the level of civility on campus–that Ryan has been able to present his ideas to students without difficulty–ideas that, mostly likely, the vast majority of students in the elite bubble of liberal higher ed have probably never encountered.

Anderson offers an intelligent and compelling case, which he also lays out in his book, What is Marriage?, written with Sherif Gergis and the redoubtable Robert P. George. Even if you disagree with the premise, it’s the kind of book that’s worth reading simply because it addresses the question in a way that may not have occurred to you before.

With these campus talks, Anderson is prompting students to explore the purpose of marriage. Essentially, he argues that it is an institution designed, above all else, to help ensure that children are raised by their biological parents. Outside of that context, he argues, marriage doesn’t seem to have much purpose at all.

Why not, for instance, simply have couples live together? Homosexual, heterosexual, polygamous, whatever… Why does a coupling need to be recognized by the government at all? His answer, to put it simply, is that the welfare of children is best served when they are raised in a stable home by their biological mother and father–something countless studies have demonstrated. Government, therefore, has a responsibility to see that the preservation of the nuclear family is encouraged as much as possible.

Again, that’s putting it simply.

I think there’s more to it than this. And leaving out the religious question may miss the starting point for all our society’s disagreements on the issue. But part of what is so interesting about Anderson’s message is that he focuses on the non-religious questions. He focuses on the political consequences of redefining marriage, the sociological consequences.

In the end, he succeeds in arguing that–religious issues aside–there’s not much point in having any such thing as marriage, if it doesn’t involve keeping mothers and fathers together for the sake of children.

And no, that doesn’t mean that childless marriage is meaningless. To learn what he says about that, I suggest you read the book. But I will say that it may be at this point that the moral and religious question becomes harder, at least for me, to ignore.

Ultimately, most folks either believe God forbids it or they don’t. Nevertheless, Anderson shows that there are other non-religious reasons to oppose gay marriage, and they are compelling reasons. This is a major political issue in America, after all, and students ought to hear more than just one side of the issue.

No doubt a few students on the audience on Thursday were exposed to an entirely new perspective. They were given a chance to reconsider what marriage is, and what it isn’t.

 

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

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“In Funding Fight, Republicans Back Away from Ted Cruz” — that’s the headline at the New York Times this morning as I write this. Perhaps no headline could more succinctly sum up the failures of the establishment, old-guard leadership in the GOP, whose jealous disregard for a younger, more passionate, and more principled politician like Cruz is matched only by their apathy in the face of a law that is sure to speed America toward a future of European-style democratic socialism.

Meanwhile, the Texas senator continues his long lonely stand against Obamacare on the Senate floor. He has been speaking now for about 18 hours. By this afternoon, he may have the record for the longest filibuster (yes, it is one, despite Harry Reid’s assertion to the contrary). But, more importantly, he will have the increased respect of millions of young people who are looking for leaders who stand for something.

Among the top trending terms on Twitter right now are #MakeDCListen and #StandWithCruz. Republican leaders may be “backing away” from Cruz or ignoring him altogether, but it is certain that he has the attention of young, social media-using Americas.

Young people are paying attention today because they finally see, in Mr. Cruz, someone who understand the peril our republic faces and is willing to do whatever he can to reverse course. In Cruz, they see a man driven by principle.

Contrast that to the statements of old-guard Republicans to the press. Orin Hatch told the Washington Post yesterday, “We’re in the minority. We have to find a way of standing up for our principles without immolating ourselves in front of everybody, in a way when we don’t have the votes to do it.”

Not an encouraging word, not a statement of moral support. Just a blanket dismissal of the one man willing to spend his strength utterly in order to protest this dangerous and unprecedented shift toward state control of the private economy.

After Obamacare, America will never be the same. We are following in the footsteps of our economically hamstrung, welfare addled allies in Europe. We are extinguishing the flame of liberty, independence and industry that have always been at the core of the American spirit. We face a future of death panels, health care rationing, dependency, exchanging liberty for the phantom promise of security and a hundred years of darkness beyond. Cruz knows it. And even if he can’t stop it, how could not try?

There’s a risk of hyperbole at a moment like this. On the other hand, I think it’s hard to overstate the historical importance of this moment in American political history. But anyone who doesn’t understand that the nature of our country is about to change in a fundamental way does not understand the full implications of Obamacare. It’s about more than health insurance. Instead it is a new frontier of government power over our private lives. The lines between state and citizen are being redrawn.

For the first time, the government has seized the power to compel us to purchase a commercial product. The cost of insurance is going to skyrocket, but that isn’t the worst of it. The real danger of Obamacare lies in its power to encourage government dependency. It is only a matter of time until we descend fully into socialized medicine–the single-payer government controlled system that Democrats have long been fighting for, knowing full well that such an entitlement will secure them favor at the ballot box with untold millions of voters.

Meanwhile, minority leader Mitch McConnell has been spending his time trying to discourage Cruz’s efforts. He slept soundly last night, I suppose, while Ted Cruz spent the long wakeful night hurling words against the ominous political future Obamacare represents.

There are two ways to look at today’s historic marathon speech in the Senate chamber. To take the cynical view, one could say that Cruz is simply seizing the spotlight for his own political advantage. With an eye on running for the White House in 2016, he’s merely grandstanding. The other view, however, is that Cruz is doing all that he can (and maybe it isn’t much) to fight back against the overwhelming tide of liberalism that threatens the heart of America today. He’s standing on principle. He’s doing anything he can to make America, and his fellow members of Congress, pay attention. And if they were smart, they would pay attention. Because there is an entire generation of conservative young people out there who desperately want a noble cause to fight for. They desperately want to #MakeDCListen. Cruz is their voice.

Yes, young America is listening to you, Mr. Cruz. As long as you are able to stand and speak today, you will have the support of those who love this country and believe the liberty so many have bled for is not something we ought to allow Obama and his acolytes to destroy. It’s not something we ought to stand by and observe with tired resignation. The stakes are too high. No, we will not take defeat lying down. Whatever the final outcome, today we #StandWithCruz.

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

Like The College Fix on Facebook. / Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden

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My name is Christopher D. White, author of the article published last week on The College Fix that highlighted the U.S. Secret Service’s rude and ill treatment of six Missouri College Republicans at an Obama speaking engagement at the University of Central Missouri.

For those unfamiliar with the controversy, allow me to delve into some particulars.

Last Wednesday, members of the Missouri College Republicans were cordoned off to the UCM “public speech area,” far from the recreation center used to house President Obama and his audience, to protest the deleterious policies promulgated by our current president.

After a long day of peaceful demonstrations, the College Republicans decided, about 20 minutes before the president was scheduled to give his talk at 4 p.m., that they would, with tickets in hand, head toward the recreation center to watch the speech.

Nowhere on the ticket, a copy of which was provided to The Fix, stated a cutoff time for admittance.

The young Republicans, dressed in politically partisan Tea-Party t-shirts and College Republican attire, were stopped by a member of President Obama’s security detail and told to turn around, that the doors to the recreation center were shut and locked, rendering their tickets worthless.

The reason stated can be summed up simply: for the safety of the president, two separate students turned away from the event told The Fix.

In the wake of outrage over the news that these Republican students were rejected from the speech, University of Central Missouri and the Secret Service pushed back recently against my initial article.

University officials did not respond to my phone call seeking comment, but did take their case to the New York Daily News, telling the newspaper: “No one who presented a ticket was turned away prior to all doors being locked in accordance with Secret Service procedures.”

Having arrived about 20 minutes before the president was supposed to deliver his speech, the students were not late for the event, but rather came after the Secret Service decision to close and lockout ticket-holding audience members.

An interesting aside – the president did not speak until 5:30 p.m., nearly two hours after the students were turned away from the locked event. Indeed, when the students were rejected, POTUS had yet to arrive in the state of Missouri.

Another response to the students’ claims came way of Secret Service Spokesman Brian Leary, who told Fox News the rec center doors were locked because the event had reached maximum capacity, saying: “The event at University of Central Missouri was closed to any additional general public due to the event site reaching maximum capacity.”

However the students had tickets to said event, as evidenced by the image shown here. ticket

Student Debby Huebert, who was with the Missouri College Republicans, gave her version of events to The College Fix in an email on Saturday, saying as they headed to the event, they were stopped in their tracks. When they explained to the agent they had tickets, he told them “it doesn’t matter, the doors are closed and locked. No one else can get in,” she stated.

Huebert goes on to note:

We were all very surprised; this was definitely the last thing we expected to hear. While we sat there talking amongst ourselves about what to do next, the officer suddenly spoke up and said, ‘Listen, it doesn’t matter if the president is Democrat or Republican, the secret service has a duty to protect the president and it’s as simple as that.’ We looked at him in surprise, because none of us said anything to the contrary.

This was the only reason we were given for being turned away at the door. No one said anything about lack of space or being there late … In fact, we were stopped at 3:43 pm. I remember because I looked at the time on my phone and said, ‘Come on guys, I don’t want to be late!’ To my knowledge, people were even leaving early anyway because it was so hot in there and the president was VERY late. We later discovered that he hadn’t even landed yet when we were stopped!

So people were leaving early – the doors were not locked.

People were leaving early – there were seats to spare.

The College Republican students had tickets to the event – and the agent knew they were Republican, as evidenced by his comment that it wasn’t about politics.

POTUS was running extremely late, and with today’s technology, his security detail was well aware of that. And here, a patriotic group of students just wanted a glimpse of the president of the United States, wanted to hear him speak.

That is saying something. They should have been let in.

As an aside, the University of Central Missouri also failed to address student concerns about its “public speech area” policy, the ramifications it has for free speech rights, the chilling effect it has on freedom of expression, and its overall dismissive attitude toward political viewpoints deemed outside of the mainstream.

While it is important that the Secret Service ensure the safety of the president while traveling to universities, the question remains: was it appropriate for the Secret Service and the university to redirect all protesters hundreds of yards away from the recreation center? No.

That opinion is shared by tens of thousands of college students across the country.

University of Missouri student Jake Loft, an active Republican (who was unable to attend the Warrensburg event), told the College Fix “the fact that there is a ‘public speech area’ is an infringement on our basic right to free speech. Doesn’t our right to free speech follow us wherever we go?”

I should hope so.

Shunting young protesters—regardless of political persuasion—off into a barren hinterland, devoid of human contact, in hopes that his or her voice will never reach the ears of an offended person, seems the height of intolerance.

UCM and its “public speech area” policies during presidential visits is ostensibly saying that their students can have freedom of speech—but only in prescribed areas of the administration’s choosing and if no one hears what they have to say.

This prescription raises an important note: in order for something to be considered free, it must not be restrained.

Going forward, I certainly hope that the Secret Service tweaks its attitude toward persons who appear to hold different political ideas than the president who they are protecting, and I hope that the UCM considers throwing their “public speech areas” onto the scrap heap of human history.

Fix contributor Christopher White is a University of Missouri graduate student, an editorial assistant for The College Fix, and Missouri state chairman of Young Americans for Liberty. He may be reached at [email protected].

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