Tuesday, September 25, 2007


You thought you understand words like "freedom" and "liberty," but Wesley Pruden, writing about the Ahmadinejad visit in The Washington Times, explains that you had it all wrong:

... if Mr. Bollinger actually thinks inviting the "petty and cruel dictator" to lecture his students had anything to do with academic freedom, as he says it did, someone should keep the Columbia president in after school to explain the First Amendment and the concept of academic freedom. Mitch McConnell, the Republican senator from Kentucky, maybe.

"There's a world of difference between not preventing Ahmadinejad from speaking and handing a megalomaniac a megaphone and a stage to use it," he said.

Get it? Freedom isn't freedom. Freedom of speech is the right to speak as you choose, and encourage the speech you choose, and academic freedom is the same thing, so long as someone angry and conservative and important -- Mitch McConnell, say, doesn't think it's a bad idea. If someone like Mitch McConnell does think it's a bad idea, it's the exact opposite of freedom.

Glad that got cleared up.

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