With Ominous Tweet, Comey Pal Suggests Bombshell Story Is Soon to Drop

A longtime friend of James Comey is teasing what could be a bombshell story about the former FBI director and his interactions with President Trump.

Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, posted an ominous message on Twitter on Friday: “TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK.”

The lawyer, who blogs at Lawfare, has posted similar messages in the past just before major stories in the ongoing Trump-Comey saga hit The New York Times.

Wittes wrote on Twitter that the upcoming story could be published late Friday or on Monday. The heads-up comes a day after Trump revealed that he was bluffing last month when he suggested that he had recorded his conversations with Comey.

May 16 appears to be his first time Wittes previewed Comey stories.

(Read more from “With Ominous Tweet, Comey Pal Suggests Bombshell Story Is Soon to Drop” HERE)

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DHS Agent: “Staggering” Pedophilia Crisis Uncovered With Mass Arrests of Entertainers, Community Leaders, Professionals and Clergy

As bogus news pushing the divisive two-party paradigm about which puppet politician said something stupid this week fills the airwaves, very real news is taking place and conveniently getting glossed over. This very real news involves very real victims — who happen to be innocent children.

This week, a massive operation came to a head that was carried out across southern California which swept up 238 child predators and traffickers — including clergymen attempting to buy a 6-year-old boy.

Conducted by the Los Angeles Regional Internet Crimes against Children task force, “Operation Broken Heart III” targeted offenders wanted for the sexual exploitation of children, child prostitution, sex tourism and possessing and distributing child pornography, said Deputy Chief Matt Blake of the Los Angeles Police Department, as reported by the LA Times.

The mass arrests were not made up of reclusive pedophiles living in their mother’s basements either. In fact, much of the arrests involved high-profile figures throughout the community.

John Reynolds, acting special agent in charge for U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations said that among those arrested were entertainers, community leaders, white-collar professionals and clergy members.

“The incidence of child sexual exploitation has reached staggering proportions,” he said at a news conference.

These are not your typical Internet dwellers looking to prey on children online with images and pornography. These people are willing to cross the globe to purchase children for sex. What this exposes is the very real, elite, and extremely horrific market for children.

In May, Michael Quinn, 33, traveled from Australia to Los Angeles to complete a deal to buy a 6-year-old boy for sex, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles.

As the Times reports, undercover agents met Quinn on a social media networking site, where he had communicated that he wanted to “meet up with a dad who shares his young one,” according to prosecutors.

“Quinn explained to the undercover agent he was hoping to meet ‘other pervs’ in the U.S. and ultimately agreed to pay a human trafficker $250 to provide him with a young boy with whom he could engage in illicit sex,” according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles.

Since its inception in 2014, Operation Broken Heart has increased resources to law enforcement agencies and task forces which have resulted in thousands of arrests. It is one of 61 programs nationwide funded through the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Sadly, the funding for the prevention of child sex trafficking is but a drop in the bucket to the $51 billion spent annually fighting a [largely unconstitutional] drug war. . .

However, as the Free Thought Project has reported numerous times, many of these sickos hold positions of power within high levels of the government. They have an incentive to protect their operation and can do so using the many corrupt pedophiles within law enforcement as their minions.

In case after case, the Free Thought Project reports on horrifying instances of child sex rings that were allowed to go on for decades because politicians — including heads of states — policemen, clergy, and others were all in on the sick game.

In fact, as the new Netflix series, The Keepers set out to launch an investigation into a murder cold case it soon became much deeper because of the high-level pedophilia it revealed. The story exposed a concerted effort to conceal widespread rape and sexual abuse committed by Keough school chaplain and counselor Father Joseph Maskell, as well as other clergy, police, and a local gynecologist.

On multiple occasions, the Free Thought Project has reported interviews of former child sex trafficking victims who’ve all noted that they had nowhere to go as police and high-level politicians all took part in the abuse.

Hopefully, as the government’s war on drugs continues to crumble, people will wake up to the fact that rescuing a child from a rapist is far more important than catching some dude smoking a plant. Hopefully. (Read more articles from the author of “Staggering Pedophilia Crisis Uncovered,” HERE)

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project.

Despicable Nebraska Democrat Says He’s ‘F**King Glad’ Scalise Got Shot

A Nebraska Democratic Party (NDP) operative has been fired from his position on the Technology Committee of the of the NDP after recorded audio appeared in which he says he was “f***ing glad” that Congressman Steve Scalise, R-La., was shot and that he wishes Scalise “was f***ing dead.”

Phil Montag, the state party’s technology committee co-chairman, was recorded saying “I’m glad he got shot” and “I wish he was f***ing dead” during a private meeting with NDP Black Caucus Chair Chelsey Gentry-Tipton that was recorded.

Rep. Scalise was shot during a targeted attack on GOP members of Congress in Alexandria, Va., in mid-June by radical leftist James T. Hodgkinson, who wanted to kill Republicans. Gentry-Tipton has come under fire herself after she made comments on Facebook that she thought it was “funny” that Republicans were “crying” after Scalise and four others were injured.


Here is a transcript of the discussion, provided by Leavenworth St., a conservative blog in Nebraska:

Male: “Right now, so what is it that you want to do?”
Phil Montag: “Let me tell you, that motherf***er, the one that was shot, the scafie guy…I mean that guy, what’s was his name scafie?”
Female: “Scalise”
Male: “I really don’t want you to deflect right now.”
Montag: “No, this motherf***er, like his whole job is to like get people , convince Republicans to f***in’ kick people off f***in’ healthcare”
Female: “We know all of this.”
Montag: “I hate this motherf***er”
Female: “We know this”
Montage: “I’m f***in’ glad he got shot!”
Male: “Phil! Phil!”
Montag: “I’m glad he got shot!”
Male: “Dude!”
Montage: “I’m not going to f***in’ say that in public.”
Female: “You don’t have to say that in public.”
Male: “Then what are you saying it to us for?”
Female: “Say something, say something.”
Male: “What are you telling us for?”
Montag: “I wish he was ***in’ dead!”
Male: “Why are you telling us but not telling anyone else?”
Montag: “Cause I’m trying to f***in’ figure all this s*** out.”
Male: “It’s OK, because I’ve been recoding this conversation since you’ve come in, so I will publicly release it myself.”

In the wake of the released audio, NDP Chairwoman Jane Kleeb removed Montag from his position with the state party.

“I apologize to all the Democrats who now have to answer at the sale barn or hair salon what is wrong with the direction of politics,” Kleeb told the Lincoln Journal Star.

“The hateful rhetoric has no place in the Democratic Party and does not represent the values of Democrats across our state and country who lift up working-class families every day.”

Reached for comment by Conservative Review, Kleeb said “The amount of heated political rhetoric is dangerous and reckless.”

Montag denied wishing that Scalise was dead, arguing to the Omaha World-Herald Thursday that his words had been taken out of context.

“Like every decent American I am saddened and horrified by the shooting of Congressman Scalise,” Montag told the paper by email. “I do not and did not wish for his death. I am hopeful that the entirety of the original, unedited recording will emerge so we can get to the truth of the matter.”

Mr. Montag did not respond to a request for comment from Conservative Review. (For more from the author of “Despicable Nebraska Democrat Says He’s ‘F**King Glad’ Scalise Got Shot” please click HERE)

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Asian Yale Dean Makes “White Trash” Comment, Forced to Step Down

June Chu, who came under fire earlier in 2017 for using disparaging terms like “white trash” in Yelp reviews, has left Yale University.

“Dean Chu has left her position at Pierson College and wishes the best to the students,” Pierson College administrative head Stephen Davis wrote in an email to students. “As a result, I am initiating the process of the search for a new dean, who will be in place before the start of the fall term” . . .

Chu had been placed on leave by Yale towards the end of May over disparaging remarks she made on Yelp towards local establishments surrounding New Haven, Connecticut, where the university is located.

“This establishment is definitely not authentic by any stretch of any imagination and perfect for those low-class folks who believe this is a real night out,” Chu wrote in one post. In another review, Chu wrote that the restaurant was perfect for anyone who was “white trash.”

“Let me be clear,” she wrote. “No one, especially those in trusted positions of educating young people, should denigrate or stereotype others, and that extends to any form of discrimination based on class, race, religion, age, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation.” (Read more from “Asian Yale Dean Makes “White Trash” Comment, Forced to Step Down” HERE)

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How Low Can They Go? CNN’s Laughably ‘Sketchy’ Stunt

The CNN team is extremely upset that the White House is limiting coverage of daily press briefings. White House press secretary Sean Spicer is relying more heavily on gaggles and audio only press briefings. To fight back, CNN actually brought in a courtroom sketch artist. No, really, they did.

On Thursday, CNN’s Jim Acosta even said the White House was violating the “rights” of the American people.

No, Jim, that isn’t how the First Amendment works. No politician has an obligation to hold press briefings or even allow those briefings to be televised, lest he or she violate the “rights” of Americans. The First Amendment states that the freedom of the press should not be infringed upon. That means government officials shouldn’t be allowed to shut down media outlets because they don’t like what they are saying. It doesn’t mean anyone in the government must talk to those outlets on their terms.

Here are more of the sketches.

As Miller said, this is more about the media personalities wanting to preen for the camera than any fundamental right.

The CNN crew should probably get over themselves. (For more from the author of ” How Low Can They Go? CNN’s Laughably ‘Sketchy’ Stunt” please click HERE)

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No Tapes: Trump Says He Didn’t Record Meetings With Comey

President Donald Trump said Thursday he “did not make” and doesn’t have any recordings of his private conversations with ousted FBI Director James Comey, speaking up on Twitter after a month-long guessing game.

“With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information,” Trump said he has “no idea” whether there are “tapes” or recordings of the two men’s conversations. “But,” he declared, “I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.”

The saga began in May, just days after Trump fired Comey, who was then leading an investigation into contacts before and after the election between the president’s campaign and Russian officials. Trump disputed Comet’s version of a January dinner during which Comey said Trump had asked for a pledge of loyalty. (Read more from “No Tapes: Trump Says He Didn’t Record Meetings With Comey” HERE)

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The Key Difference Between Christianity and Islam

The key difference between Christianity and Islam is the difference between Jesus and Muhammad. Jesus was a spiritual leader who laid down His life to save the world. Muhammad was a spiritual leader, who became a political leader, then a violent military leader. Jesus accomplished His mission by dying on the cross. Muhammad accomplished his mission (at least largely) by ruling by the sword.

There are, of course, great similarities between the world’s two largest religions. Both point to a holy book, allegedly inspired by God, for faith and practice. Both call for high moral standards and serious personal commitment. Both share common traditions, since Muhammad learned from Jews as well as Christians. And both have a vision to spread their faith around the world.

But this is where the two faiths diverge. One follows the example of a crucified and risen Savior. The other follows the example of a prophet and military leader.

Cross vs. Sword

The biblical verses of violence (as in “Kill the Canaanites”) were limited to a specific place and time. No such commands are found on Jesus’ lips. The Quranic verses of violence (as in “Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them”) do not have such obvious limitations. Many Quranic interpreters and Islamic jurists claim that those verses cannot be applied indiscriminately today. But others differ. And they proudly cite them in their jihadi manuals.

Again, the difference is that of the cross versus the sword. That’s why Jesus and His followers never established the death penalty for leaving the faith. Muhammad established it once he assumed military dominance. And the death penalty for apostasy from Islam remains in force in a number of Islamic countries today.

Muhammad beheaded some of his enemies. Jesus forbade His followers from taking up the sword in His defense. The differences are glaring and clear.

Just compare the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels with those of Muhammad in the Hadith. Jesus never calls for violent acts against enemies of the faith. Muhammad often does. That’s why there’s no gospel (or apostolic) equivalent to the lengthy collection of Muhammad’s military raids.

Exception vs. Expression

The most tolerant expressions of Islam are found when: 1) Muslims are the minority in a country, as in America; or 2) the Muslim-dominated country is quite secular, as in Indonesia. In strictly observant Muslim countries, there is limited tolerance for non-Muslims.

If you don’t believe me, try setting up a public Christian mission to Muslims in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iran. Tell me how long it lasts.

I do commend those Muslims who call for a more tolerant expression of their faith. They abhor the terrorism carried out in the name of their religion. But if they’re honest, they will have to admit that violent Islam has a long and rich history.

To quote the noted Catholic scholar of Islam Samir Kahlil Samir,

I speak about the violence expressed in the Qur’ān and practiced in Muhammad’s life in order to address the idea, widespread in the West, that the violence we see today is a deformation of Islam. We must honestly admit that there are two readings of the Qur’ān and the sunna (Islamic traditions connected to Muhammad): one that opts for the verses that encourage tolerance toward other believers, and one that prefers the verses that encourage conflict. Both readings are legitimate.

Acts of violence carried out to advance the Christian faith are the extreme exception to the rule. Acts of violence carried out to advance the Islamic faith are all too common.

Liberation vs. Subjugation

When it comes to freedom of religion, a country like America, drawing on Judeo-Christian principles, has allowed this liberty from its founding. And in a country like England, which also has a rich Christian history (despite its current backslidden state), Muslims can practice their religion freely. They can even proselytize non-Muslims.If Muslims became the majority religion in England, it would be a different story. Non-Muslims would become second-class citizens. They would have limited freedoms (like Christians in Pakistan), unless they converted to Islam.

It is true that both faiths seek to spread their message by disseminating information. Both faiths point to the sublime message of their founders. But the message of Jesus leads to liberation while the message of Muhammad leads to subjugation.

Again, I know there are honorable Muslims who seek to reform their faith. Some of them believe they are being true to the real spirit of their faith.

But there’s a reason that, in general, true Christians are persecuted by true Muslims rather than true Muslims persecuted by true Christians. It’s the difference between the cross and the sword. (For more from the author of “The Key Difference Between Christianity and Islam” please click HERE)

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Military Heads Want Transgender Enlistment Hold

Military chiefs will seek a six-month delay before letting transgender people enlist in their services, officials said Friday.

After meetings this week, the service leaders hammered out an agreement that rejected Army and Air Force requests for a two-year wait and reflected broader concerns that a longer delay would trigger criticism on Capitol Hill, officials familiar with the talks told The Associated Press.

The new request for a delay will go to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis for a final decision, said the officials, who weren’t authorized to discuss the internal deliberations publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. (Read more from “Military Heads Want Transgender Enlistment Hold” HERE)

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Bernie Sanders’ Supporters Face Threats Over Their Lawsuit Against the DNC, Cite Seth Rich Murder

The Democratic National Committee has tried to shut down investigations into the mysterious death of former DNC staffer Seth Rich, who was suspected of leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks. They have labeled questions into his death a “right-wing conspiracy.” In retaliation for his discussing the topic, they convinced some of conservative talk show host Sean Hannity’s advertisers to pull their ads from his show.

But it’s not just the right looking into the suspicious death.

Strange Bedfellows

This makes for some strange bedfellows. Antifa USA promotes violence against conservatives. They also praised a lawyer who filed a lawsuit against the DNC on behalf of Bernie Sanders’ supporters.

They filed the class-action lawsuit after the leaked DNC emails showed that the DNC was slanting the election to favor Hillary Clinton. Many suspect that Rich, a Sanders’ supporter, leaked the emails because he wanted to expose the fraud. The suit was filed on July 13, 2016, just three days after Rich was murdered. It accused the DNC of fraud and other legal violations. The plaintiffs are asking for damages, including punitive and compensatory.

The actual complaint doesn’t allude to Rich. Instead, it alleges that Russian hackers accessed the DNC’s emails and posted them on the website of shadowy figure Guccifer 2.0. He is rumored to be Russian.

On June 13, plaintiffs’ attorneys filed a motion requesting a protective order for the plaintiffs, their families and any potential witnesses. In support of the motion, they cited:

1) The untimely death of their process server, Sean Lucas

2) Rich’s unsolved murder

3) The recent untimely death of federal prosecutor Beranton Whisenant, Jr., in south Florida

4) Recent bizarre and disturbing conduct, including threats directed at the plaintiffs, their counsel and employees.

‘Bizarre and Disturbing Conduct’

The fourth category includes several disturbing actions. Florida resident Carol Wilding, a secretary in the Beck & Lee law firm representing the plaintiffs, said someone called the firm with a voice-masking device. She also reported that an unknown woman paid a strange visit to her mother’s home. The woman asked her mother if she was around, and left a DNC vote-by-mail application. The stranger did not visit any other homes in the vicinity.

On June 1, the plaintiffs’ attorneys filed a notice with the court about the call Wilding received. The caller used a voice changer and asked her about the firm’s lawsuit against the DNC. The firm took a screenshot of the caller ID, which showed “305-936-5724.” An internet search of the number traced it to Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s congressional district office in Florida.

Schultz was the head of the DNC at the height of the scandal. She denies the call came from her office. She said she has turned the matter over to the police to investigate.

Attorney Cullin O’Brien, who is also representing the plaintiffs, said he received received three telephone calls from a “No Caller ID” number. The caller identified himself as “Chris.” He inquired if O’Brien was working on the “DNC fraud lawsuit.” When O’Brien asked him to put this in writing, the caller hung up.

The second call appeared to be from the same caller. He said, “This is bigger than you and your family and your law partners.” He referenced the news of the recent mysterious death of Assistant U.S. Attorney Whisenant. Whisenant was allegedly looking into Wasserman Schultz. O’Brien again asked the caller to put his message in writing. The caller responded in part, “I’ll play the law firms off of each other.”

O’Brien hung up, but the caller called back again. O’Brien didn’t pick up the phone. The caller left a nearly four-minute-long message. It is included in the suit as a sealed exhibit. O’Brien also said he received 11 emails from the caller. They are included in another sealed exhibit.

Plaintiff Angela Monson says she returned home recently to discover that her computer had been tampered with and was no longer working. Finally, the motion referenced the death of Rich and the mysterious death of their process server, Shawn Lucas, who served the DNC with notice of the lawsuit. The DNC has been trying to get the lawsuit dropped for improper service, and Lucas is no longer available to testify and refute this.

Motion Denied

The judge denied the motion on June 15, citing the defendants’ denial of the charges.

Two of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, husband-wife team Jared and Elizabeth Beck, often tweet about the lawsuit. On May 27, Beck tweeted that he feared for his life.

Left-Wing Conspiracy Theory?

Rich was the DNC’s Voter Expansion Data Director. One of his duties was developing an app to help voters locate polling stations. In one video, he can be seen asking officials about votes that aren’t counted. He asks, “How do we get better access to data that tell us why ballots were rejected, why ballots were cast as provisional …?”

While Sanders’ supporters may be be proved wrong on some or all of their theories, their questioning of these circumstances shows everything cannot be written off as a “right-wing conspiracy.” (For more from the author of “Bernie Sanders’ Supporters Face Threats Over Their Lawsuit Against the DNC, Cite Seth Rich Murder” please click HERE)

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A Liberal Democrat Student Explains Why He Advocates Free Speech at Colleges

Free speech on campuses—and the lack thereof—was the topic of a hearing on Tuesday of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Among the panelists was Zachary Wood, a 21-year-old student at Williams College and president of a group called Uncomfortable Learning, which attempts to expose students to a diversity of opinion by hosting speakers on campus.

Opposition from administrators and students forced the cancelation of two speeches planned by the group this year. Wood, a self-described liberal Democrat, is a passionate advocate for free speech, and wise beyond his years.

Madison Laton, a member of The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program, interviewed Wood the day after the hearing about the search for civil discourse on campus.

Why did you get involved with Uncomfortable Learning?

I got a sense early on that there were certain subjects on campus that people were less inclined to want to discuss and debate simply because they were controversial. It wasn’t the case that people could debate things and disagree on things and work through their understandings of complicated issues without thinking, “This person is against me, or doesn’t like me.”

I thought that Uncomfortable Learning was important because it addressed the need to bring views to campus that people really weren’t engaging with, and those were largely conservative views.

While I identify as a liberal Democrat, and while I admire President [Barack] Obama and I agree with him on most things, there are times, there are circumstances in which I think what Republicans are saying not only needs to be heard, but has some insight and might even be right. Just because I’m a liberal Democrat, I don’t always agree with liberal Democrats.

How would you describe the political climate on your campus?

A lot of people are solidly to the left, but the most vocal factions on campus are not just left, they tend to be very radical. They don’t really believe in the political system. They don’t just think the right is wrong, they think that the left and right together are wholly inadequate and that what we need is a kind of socialist democracy. They’re Marxists, largely.

So the ones who constantly speak out on everything are far to the left, so it gives the impression that everyone is that far to the left.

Do those who oppose Uncomfortable Learning fairly represent the student body?

We have got a group of about 50 to 70 students who absolutely hate Uncomfortable Learning, and because they are so vocal, and because some are antagonistic—even using intimidation at times—it is difficult for people to come out and say, “I’m not that against this idea of Uncomfortable Learning, I’m at least willing to think about it more and try it out.”

And there is a number of people who are like, “I like UL but don’t tell anyone I said that.”

Why do you think so many of your generation are against free speech?

One thing at work is the echo chamber. You have a bunch of liberals in one place. The second part of it is that people have so much access to information, and so much of the news is opinionated and opinion-based.

Sites like Facebook that have algorithms make it easy for people to create a steady influx of things they want to hear. It makes it very easy for people to just say, “If there is a certain set of views that I don’t want to engage with, then I’m just not going to engage with them.” You can block anything or ignore anything.

I also think there is another element, and this is not discussed much: the trend on the left, in progressivism, to view inclusivity as a necessary component of moral progress. I have no problem with inclusivity, but in many respects this push for inclusivity often means restricting or constraining the rights of others, and that’s what I have a problem with.

College administrators and college educators are not encouraging students to see the world as a place with many layers of complexity, and a place in which you have to work through your differences and solve things and figure things out, not just push everything away and ignore it. So I think that my generation is less resilient than generations in the past.

Are students exposed to a variety of viewpoints in class?

No, with one caveat on that: I can name a few professors at Williams who do their very best to expose us to a variety of viewpoints. But outside of that, I do not think that people are exposed to a variety of viewpoints in class. It is often the case that professors have leftist views and they advance these views and they express these views as if that’s simply the way it is.

I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, not to assume that because of moral or political differences someone doesn’t have principles as well. Maybe they have insight into something that I could really benefit from.

What do you think are the consequences of barring speakers from campus?

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, touched on this [in the hearing], and I was glad he asked the question: “What happens when a heckler’s veto wins, when people can effectively shut down a speaker or prevent an event from happening?”

It allows them to see that as a victory when it should not be viewed as a victory. That is not what this country was founded on. That’s not what America’s about at our best. We are about empowering dissent. We are about saying, “Listen, you say what you think, you stand by your principles.”

When speakers are barred, what happens is that you have certain preconceptions, certain assumptions about how people see the world that do not get challenged in any way. You lose sight of individual differences. It subsumes individuality, and you don’t appreciate people for the uniqueness of their own perspectives. You lose sight of things like, Cruz and I disagree on a number of things, but when it comes to free speech, it sounds like we are pretty much in line with each other.

If colleges and universities are supposed to foster ideas, why do so many administrations cave to demands that undercut free speech?

It has to do with job security. It has to do with this idea of “no trouble on my watch.”

But my view is very different. I think that every issue that matters in this country is, in and of itself, controversial because people disagree. We shouldn’t be running from that on college campuses. We should be embracing that precisely because by embracing that we are deepening and advancing our own ability to construct stronger arguments.

That’s what college is really about. It’s about preparing us to be, whatever we’re going to be in the world, to make a positive difference in the world and to address any number of these issues that we really care about.

A lot of times, college administrators are trying to make students feel safe. But who is going to try to make you feel safe after you graduate? Is your employer going to say, “I want to make sure you feel safe today at work, so in this meeting, no one is to say anything”? That’s not how the world works.

At the hearing, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said that the threat of violence should carry more weight than free speech in deciding whether to allow a speaker on campus. Do you think there is a point when security concerns should outweigh free speech?

I would agree with what Floyd Abrams and Frederick Lawrence said: We should always make the presumption in favor of free speech. That is to say, we should trust students, have faith in our students.

Let’s trust that if college administrators are doing our jobs correctly, students can handle this. If you really believe in the fact that your institution of higher education is a great institution, then you’ve got to have faith in your students.

Everyone needs to understand that part of liberty is the fact that I can’t force you to go to a talk you don’t want to go to. If it bothers you that much, don’t go. When I invite Suzanne Venker or John Derbyshire, you’re not mandated to attend. You’re not mandated to read their books. I think it would be great if you did, and I would encourage you to do so.

Administrators need to think about ways in which they can ensure that events are conducive environments for learning. If that requires more security, if that requires police, if that requires planning ahead, they need to take those steps. What they shouldn’t be doing is discouraging students from bringing controversial speakers.

You mentioned yesterday that you have tried to encourage your conservative classmates to speak up in class. What do you think it would take to convince them to do so?

The one thing that I’ve tried to do is when we’ve had panels, and everyone on the panel is liberal, if I have a friend who is a conservative, I’ll say: “This is an opportunity. They’re not grading you, they’re not someone from whom you may end up having to ask for a letter of recommendation. Try it here.”

The real fix would be for professors to encourage students to say what they think, to encourage them to speak up, to challenge them. I’d say that fewer than 20 percent of my professors, maybe 15 percent, say that.

How did you feel after the hearing? What do you think it accomplished, if anything?

I was encouraged by the fact that there was a general consensus that free speech is not just critical as this abstract value, but that people understand the concrete ways in which free speech is essential to our democracy, the concrete ways in which intellectual freedom on a college campus is indispensable to the kind of intellectual growth and development that is essential to becoming a more capable citizen in a very complex and competitive world.

I was emboldened by the fact that everyone on the panel, for the most part, seemed to agree that we’re oftentimes compromising speech and we need to push back against that.

Is there anything you would like to add?

I’ve received a lot of criticism and backlash, and I think it’s very easy sometimes for people to say that the problem is students—they are too sensitive or too intolerant.

I want to be clear about this: There is intolerance on college campuses, and the idea that you’re too weak or too frail or too sensitive is real. But it is on educators and administrators to think about the ways in which they can do more.

I think students mean well and administrators mean well, but I want to encourage people to not just blame student activists. Ultimately, we need to see this in terms of “What are the ways educators and administrators can do more to protect these values and promote political tolerance on campus?” (For more from the author of “A Liberal Democrat Student Explains Why He Advocates Free Speech at Colleges” please click HERE)

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