The Eternally Radical Idea

The Eternally Radical Idea
The Eternally Radical Idea

Since late April I have been following the case of Professor William I. Robinson at UCSB, who became the subject of an official university investigation after sending the students in his Sociology of Globalization class an e-mail comparing the Nazi treatment of Jews with Israel’s actions towards Palestinians. The e-mail ignited a firestorm of controversy... Read more Read more


The Eternally Radical Idea

Back in May, I reported on the case of William I. Robinson, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara who is being investigated for writing his students an e-mail comparing the Nazi treatment of Jews with Israel’s actions towards Palestinians. At that point the investigation seemed somewhat tentative and I had hoped that... Read more Read more


The Eternally Radical Idea

Back in March, I uncovered that members of the Oklahoma state legislature had launched an investigation of a March 6 speech at the University of Oklahoma by noted evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. The investigation was preceded by an attempt by another Oklahoma legislator to pass two bills condemning Dawkins and proclaiming the theory of evolution... Read more Read more


The Eternally Radical Idea

Academic freedom is once again in the news, this time because a professor at UC Santa Barbara is being investigated for sending his students an anti-Israel e-mail blast. At the middle of the controversy is sociology professor William I. Robinson, a self-proclaimed “scholar-activist,” who sent an e-mail comparing Israeli policy with that of the Nazis... Read more Read more


The Eternally Radical Idea

Two weeks ago, I was working as a staff member at a Buddhist retreat in New York City. On the way to lunch, I was discussing with our instructor for the weekend the passions and anger often ignited when fighting for free speech on campus. He was surprised to hear that sometimes my work is... Read more Read more


The Eternally Radical Idea

There are a whole host of little lessons one learns when working in First Amendment law: What is vulgar to one person might be poetic to another, occasional offense is a small price to pay for a pluralistic democracy, without a free press there can be no meaningful democratic process, etc. But one of the... Read more Read more


The Eternally Radical Idea

The week is not quite over, and it’s already been a lousy one for free speech on America’s campuses. Yesterday, angry students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst were caught on video stealing a conservative student newspaper, while a police officer stood by and not only watched, but excused the students’ behavior. A graduate student... Read more Read more


The Eternally Radical Idea

Well, it’s official: Oklahoma’s state legislature is investigating the University of Oklahoma for hosting a speech by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. As I noted in a post over the weekend at Dawkins’ website, the legislature first considered two resolutions condemning both Dawkins and the theory of evolution as “an unproven and unpopular theory.” (I highly... Read more Read more


The Eternally Radical Idea

Good morning everybody. I am going to follow the template that Steve Balch asked me to. He sent me an e-mail asking me to cover a number of topics. The first thing he said was, “You’ll take up the topic of the state of free speech and civil liberties on campus.” I should hope so,... Read more Read more


The Eternally Radical Idea

In a case that harkens back to the old-timey censorship of yesteryear, it appears that the Oklahoma legislature is pulling out the stops to oppose the University of Oklahoma’s decision to host the Oxford evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins on its campus. Dawkins was invited to speak at an event celebrating the 150th anniversary of Charles... Read more Read more



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