Thursday, March 22, 2007
Is Jerome M. Segal Repudiating his past Intifada against Israel's Existence?
2. Raping as Resistance:
Where are the feminizts?
3. Peace Now lies its toosik off:
Jerome Segal has long been considered by many to be one of the most anti-Israel Jews alive.Long acting as little more than a spokesman in the service of the PLO, the University of Maryland faculty member founded the pro-Palestinian "Jewish Peace Lobby," which would have better been named the Jewish self-annihilation lobby.He supported Israel turning Jerusalem over to the Palestinians.
He supported the Rwanda "bi-national state" solution to remove the problem of Israel's existence. He claims to have written a "constitution" for the state of "Palestine." He shilled for the Palestinian "right of return." He scribbled Israel-bashing screeds for The Nation.
Well, is Segal suddenly having second thoughts? Unfortunately, only in Hebrew, the very same Israel-bashing fella writes in YNET that there is no international legal justification for a Palestinian "right of return." Segal suddenly insists that there is no legal basis for it at all and that it is a stupid and harmful idea, adding that the only way to settle past scores is through compensation for losses of property.
First Benny Morris partly recants his old anti-Zionism, and now Mister Jewish Intifada follows in Morris's footsteps? I'd like to be the first to welcome Segal back to the Planet Earth.
Anyone spotted the Messiah coming?
5. Free Speech only for the enemy!
6. March 22, 2007
Free Speech Battles
Wall Street Journal:
Bong Hits 4 Jesus -- Explained
March 22, 2007
In a better world, the phrase "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" would take its place in
the library of eternal mysteries alongside "Bye-bye Miss American Pie," "I
Am the Walrus" and "It's Alright, Ma, I'm Only Bleeding." Instead, it fell
Monday to the Nine Interpreters of the U.S. Supreme Court to deconstruct
"Bong Hits 4 Jesus" and decide for the rest of us whether it falls inside
the protections of the American Constitution.
Perhaps an explanation is in order.
Morse v. Fredericks, aka Bong Hits 4 Jesus, is a First Amendment
free-speech case. The phrase "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" came to life as a 15-foot
banner, which Joseph Fredericks, a senior at the high school in Juneau,
Alaska, unfurled directly across from the school entrance as a parade
passed by bearing the Olympic torch for the 2002 Olympics. Whereupon, the
school's principal, Deborah Morse, ordered Mr. Fredericks to take down his
banner and later suspended him.
Some definitions: As defined by the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, "A
bong, also commonly known as a water pipe, is a smoking device, generally
used to smoke cannabis [aka marijuana], but also other substances." The
entry also explains a "hit." "The user places his/her lips on the mouth
piece, forming a seal, and inhales. An inhalation is known as a 'hit'."
(For the still curious, the Wikipedia entry is long and lovingly prepared,
with beautiful color photos of bongs and explanations of "bong water" and
Principal Morse, who had had other run-ins with Mr. Fredericks, believed
his sign was undermining the school system's anti-drug policy, and so took
action. Within months, Mr. Fredericks sued, assisted by the Alaska Civil
Liberties Union, claiming violation of his free-speech rights.
Some history: Lawsuits over the free-speech rights of schoolchildren exist
because the Supreme Court legitimized them in 1969. Several years earlier,
a 13-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy decided to wear black armbands to
their schools in Des Moines, Iowa, to protest the Vietnam War. The schools
had a policy against wearing symbolic armbands at school and warned they'd
be suspended. They showed up with the anti-Vietnam armbands, were
suspended and in what today is the landmark Tinker case for school
"speech," Justice Abe Fortas famously wrote that students do not "shed
their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the
Two later cases, Fraser and Kuhlmeier, refined Tinker's scope, which we'll
see shortly is the background to one of the most hilarious -- and
revealing -- exchanges at oral argument ever in a school free-speech case.
In the years since, school officials and lower courts have struggled with
Tinker. The Massachusetts Supreme Court said a T-shirt, "Coed Naked Band:
Do It to the Rhythm," was protected speech. But schools in several states
have banned a T-shirt with "Abortion is Homicide. You will not mock my
God." (Religious groups filed amicus briefs for the Juneau "bong" banner
because they want similar protections to wear anti-abortion shirts and the
like.) A federal appeals court in California said schools could ban a
T-shirt calling homosexuality shameful because it was "injurious to gay
and lesbian students and interfered with their right to learn." But a
federal court in Ohio conferred constitutional protection on a shirt with:
"Homosexuality is a sin! Islam is a lie! Abortion is murder!" All these
cases involve public schools.
There are legal blogs on the Web which try to predict Supreme Court
rulings. Many say the result in the "Bong" case is a close call.
Should we care? Are we past caring?
Here is Chief Justice Roberts Monday on applying the First Amendment in
Juneau: "You think the law was so clearly established when this happened
that the principal, that the instant that the banner was unfurled,
snowballs are flying around, the torch is coming, should have said oh, I
remember under Tinker I can only take the sign down if it's disruptive.
But then under Fraser I can do something if it interferes with the basic
mission, and under Kuhlmeier I've got this other thing. So she should have
known . . ."
The lawyer for "Bong" replied that the principal took a course in school
law and so had studied Kuhlmeier, Fraser and Tinker. Chief Justice Roberts
replied: "So it should be perfectly clear to her exactly what she could
and couldn't do." The lawyer: "Yes." Justice Scalia: "As it is to us,
right?" (Laughter in the court.)
The Nine Interpreters know that Tinker has produced a morass since 1969.
Justice Roberts said, "I thought we wanted our schools to teach
something." A school isn't an "open forum," remarked Justice Scalia, "it's
there for the teachers to instruct." Justice Ginsburg wondered about
"reasonable rules of decorum." Justice Breyer ridiculed case-law standards
in these fights: "I don't think [the principal] has to be able to read
content discrimination, viewpoint discrimination, time-place. He doesn't
know the law, the principal. His job is to run the school."
Well, it used to be.
We live in hyperpoliticized times. With the Web drawing ever-greater
numbers into the daily game, no political offense is too slight to raise
waves of high dudgeon. And they roll into the schools. Justice Breyer
worries about "people testing limits all over the place in the high
schools." I worry about dumbing down the schools to the current level of
politics in the adult world.
Rather than just fiddle with the dials on the school-speech contraption,
the solution would be to take Tinker and throw it out the window. But they
won't. They'll tinker, telling us what to do, but unable to give coherent
reasons why we should do it.
The pious extension of First Amendment speech rights amid Vietnam from
adults to students prior to college was a mistake. The Bong case may be
another nail in the coffin of public schools. Parents, including liberals
who can afford it, will quicken the trend to sending their children to
private schools whose principals can exercise real discretion and in loco
One argument for the say-it-loud status quo is that kids should be free in
school to learn how "to deal" with different viewpoints. I'd bet all nine
Justices went to high schools with principals who put learning first and
Tinkered "speech" in its place. It doesn't seem to have stopped them from
growing up to drive people nuts with their opinions.
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