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  • September 26, 2007
    By Wendy Kaminer
    By Wendy Kaminer

    If the case of the Jena 6 seems, at least at first, like a depressingly simple example of racism in the justice system, (and the culture,) it also raises some complicated questions about free speech. The trouble at Louisiana's Jena High School began when white students hung three nooses from a tree that served as a de facto, whites only meeting spot, after 3 black students dared to sit under it.

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  • September 25, 2007
    By Harvey Silverglate
    When I was growing up in Brooklyn, where the only pets that landlords allowed us to have came encased in a glass bowl, I was fascinated by guppies, a species of fish that, oddly (at least I thought at the time), eats its live-born young. In order to save the offspring, you have to be pretty alert to scoop either the babies or the parents out of the tank shortly after the blessed event.

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  • September 24, 2007
    By Wendy Kaminer
    By Wendy Kaminer

    I can’t say I’m surprised by the enraged comments on my post on the Armenian genocide debate, below. I criticized the decision to boycott an ADL anti-bias program because ADL president Abe Foxman belatedly called the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians “tantamount to genocide,” and I questioned the wisdom of providing reparations to people whose distant descendents were the victims of genocide, or other state sanctioned crimes.

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  • September 20, 2007
    By Wendy Kaminer
    By Wendy Kaminer

    ADL president Abe Foxman has long exhibited intolerance for speech and debate that he considers hateful (or bad for the Jews,) so there’s some justice in his vilification by members of the Armenian community for failing to label as genocide the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians by the Turks in the early 1900s.

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  • September 18, 2007
    By Harvey Silverglate
    A recent Princeton graduate, Christian C. Sahner, who just completed a fellowship at The Wall Street Journal, wrote a departing op-ed on September 5th, titled “Sexed Up Sex-Ed”, in which he complained about a mandatory freshman orientation presentation at Princeton that dramatizes the nature and degrees of consensual and nonconsensual sex among undergraduates.

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  • September 14, 2007
    By Harvey Silverglate

    The Boston Globe had a well-reasoned editorial earlier this week pointing out one crucial difference between Germany’s recent detention of suspects in a terrorist bombing plot, and the “war on terror” being conducted by the Bush administration: Germany has followed a law-enforcement paradigm, not a war paradigm, and hence has been more protective of civil liberties.

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  • September 12, 2007
    By Harvey Silverglate

    A trend I refer to as the “corporatization” of the modern American university popped up the other day in a different context than the usual degradation of the academic curriculum or the punishment of free speech and academic freedom. It showed up in the architecture of the recently opened student center at the University of Vermont in Burlington

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  • September 12, 2007
    By Wendy Kaminer
    Court tv called it the “stupid story of the week:" 51 year old San Francisco carpenter Percy Honniball was arrested and charged with indecent exposure for working in the nude. He’d been caught engaging in naked carpentry at a client’s home after a neighbor spotted him nakedly sawing wood in the backyard.

    This is indeed an amusingly “stupid story,” but only because Honniball was acquitted last week.

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