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Opinion

Don’t give campus censors more power — they’ll double down on woke agenda

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8 minute read

From the MacDonald Laurier Institute

By Bruce Pardy

Expression on campus is already subject to the laws of the land, which prohibit assault, defamation, harassment, and more. The university has no need for a policy to adopt these laws and no power to avoid them.

Last Saturday, Liz Magill resigned as president of the University of Pennsylvania. Four days earlier she had testified before Congress about campus antisemitism. Does calling for the genocide of Jews violate Penn’s code of conduct? “It is a context-dependent decision,” Magill equivocated. Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman launched a campaign calling for Magill to step down, along with the presidents of Harvard and MIT, who testified alongside her. Their reluctance to condemn revealed a double standard. That double standard, like the titillation of a scandal, has distracted from the bigger mistake. Universities should not police the content of expression on their campuses.

In 2019, I invited a member of Penn’s law school to give a lecture at Queen’s University, where I teach. Some students at my law school launched a petition to prevent the talk. To their credit, administrators at Queen’s did not heed the call, even though the professor I invited, Amy Wax, had become a controversial academic figure. In 2017, she championed “bourgeois culture” in an opinion essay in the Philadelphia Inquirer (with Larry Alexander of the University of San Diego). The piece suggested that the breakdown of post-Second World War norms was producing social decay. Some cultures are less able than others, it argued, to prepare people to be productive citizens. Students and professors condemned the column as hate speech. It was racist, white supremacist, xenophobic and “heteropatriarchal,” they said.

Wax was not deterred. She continued to comment about laws and policies on social welfare, affirmative action, immigration, and race. When she was critical of Penn Law’s affirmative action program, the dean barred her from teaching first-year law students. In June 2023, he filed a disciplinary complaint against her, seeking to strip her of tenure and fire her. It accused Wax of “intentional and incessant racist, sexist, xenophobic and homophobic actions and statements.” The complaint alleged that she had violated the university’s non-discrimination policies and Principles of Responsible Conduct. But unlike others, allegedly, on Penn’s campus, Wax had not called for, nor was she accused of calling for, violence or genocide. She continues to wait for a decision in her case.

For years, North American universities have embraced certain political causes and blacklisted others. To stay out of trouble, choose carefully what you say. You can accuse men of toxic masculinity, but don’t declare that transgender women are men. You can say that black lives matter, but not that white lives matter too. Don’t suggest that men on average are better at some things and women at others, even if that is what the data says. Don’t attribute differential achievement between races to anything but racism, even if the evidence says otherwise. Don’t eschew the ideology of equity, diversity, and inclusion if you want funding for your research project. You can blame white people for anything. And if the context is right, maybe you can call for the genocide of Jews. Double standards on speech have become embedded in university culture.

Universities should not supervise speech. Expression on campus is already subject to the laws of the land, which prohibit assault, defamation, harassment, and more. The university has no need for a policy to adopt these laws and no power to avoid them. If during class I accuse two colleagues of cheating on their taxes, they can sue me for defamation. If I advocate genocide, the police can charge me under the Criminal Code.

In principle, universities should be empty shells. Professors and students have opinions, but universities should not. But instead, they have become political institutions. They disapprove of expression that conflicts with their social justice mission. Speech on campus is more restricted than in the town square.

The principle that universities should not supervise speech has a legitimate exception. Expression should be free but should not interfere with the rights of others to speak and to listen. On campus, rules that limit how, when, and where you may shout from the rooftops preserve the rights of your peers. Any student or professor can opine about the Ukrainian war, but not during math class. Protesters can disagree with visiting speakers but have no right to shout them down. Such rules do not regulate the content of speech, but its time and place. If you write a column in the student newspaper or argue your case in a debate, you interfere with no one. The university should have no interest in what you say.

Penn donors helped push Magill out the door. In the face of rising antisemitism, more donors and alumni in the U.S. and Canada are urging their alma maters to punish hateful expression. They have good intentions but are making a mistake. They want universities to use an even larger stick to censure speech. Having witnessed universities exercise their powers poorly, they seek to give them more. Universities will not use that larger stick in the way these alumni intend. Instead, in the long run, they will double down on their double standards. They are more likely to wield the stick against the next Amy Wax than against woke anti-Semites.

The way to defeat double standards on speech is to demand no standards at all. Less, not more, oversight from universities on speech is the answer. If a campus mob advocates genocide, call the police. The police, not the universities, enforce the laws of the land.

Bruce Pardy is executive director of Rights Probe and professor of law at Queen’s University.

armed forces

Trudeau pledges another $500 million to Ukraine as Canadian military suffers

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From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

Despite the nation’s own armed forces grappling with an alarming recruitment crisis, Justin Trudeau and his government have poured over $13.3 billion into Ukraine.

More Canadians tax dollars are being sent overseas as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised an additional $500 million in military aid to Ukraine. 

During a July 10 meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trudeau announced that he would send another $500 million to Ukraine as it continues its war against Russia, despite an ongoing decline in Canada’s military recruitment.  

“We’re happy to offer we’re announcing today $500 million more military aid this year for Ukraine, to help through this very difficult situation,” Trudeau said. 

In addition to the $500 million, Canada will also provide much of Ukraine’s fighter jet pilot training as Ukraine receives its first F-16s. 

Trudeau’s statement comes after Canada has been under fire for failing to meet NATO’s mandate that all members commit at least two percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) to the military alliance. 

According to his 2024 budget, Trudeau plans to spend $8.1 billion over five years, starting in 2024-25, and $73.0 billion over 20 years on the Department of National Defence.   

Interestingly, $8.1 billion divided equally over five years is $1,620,000 each year for the Canadian military. Therefore, Trudeau’s pledge of $500 million means he is spending just under a third on Ukraine compared to what he plans to spend on Canadians.  

Indeed, Trudeau seems reluctant to spend money on the Canadian military, as evidenced when Canadian troops in Latvia were forced to purchase their own helmets and food when the Trudeau government failed to provide proper supplies.  

Weeks later, Trudeau lectured the same troops on “climate change” and disinformation.       

However, at the same time, Trudeau readily sends Canadian tax dollars overseas to Ukraine. Since the Russia-Ukraine war began in 2022, Canada has given Ukraine over $13.3 billion, including $4 billion in direct military assistance.    

In May, Trudeau’s office announced $3.02 billion in funding for Ukraine, including millions of taxpayer dollars to promote “gender-inclusive demining.”  

Trudeau’s ongoing funding for Ukraine comes as many Canadians are struggling to pay for basics such as food, shelter, and heating. According to a recent government report, fast-rising food costs in Canada have led to many people feeling a sense of “hopelessness and desperation” with nowhere to turn for help.  

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International

Viktor Orbán’s peace tour includes visits with Zelensky, Putin, Xi Jinping, and Trump

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Viktor Orbán and Donald Trump 

From LifeSiteNews

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been traveling the globe to set up the baseline for a peace agreement between Russia and Ukraine. However, the U.S. intelligence community is not happy about this strategy at all.

During the NATO summit in D.C. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said, “At today’s NATO Summit, I will reaffirm that Hungary will not participate in the NATO-Ukraine mission, but we will continue to meet our objectives in the development of Hungarian defense capabilities, thus strengthening our Alliance.”

Orbán has been traveling the globe, establishing a coalition of partners and setting up the baseline for a peace agreement between Russia and Ukraine. However, the U.S. intelligence community and all those downstream politicians who work at the behest of the global crisis agents are not happy about the peace strategy at all.

PM Orbán went to Ukraine to speak to President Zelensky, then went to Russia to speak to President Putin, then went to China to speak to Chairman Xi, then headed to Washington, D.C. to meet with President Biden, then Thursday night went to see the key that would bring it all together, President Donald Trump.

Orbán then tweeted a video saying, “We continued the peace mission in Mar-a-Lago. President @realDonaldTrump has proved during his presidency that he is a man of peace. He will do it again!” The collective uniparty inside Washington, D.C. is having absolute fits about it.

READ: Viktor Orbán announces his vision for a stable Europe that defends Christian values

It’s not just Joe Biden and the current administration who are apoplectic about Prime Minister Orbán’s peace effort. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is furious and vowing to stamp out the ideology of the Republican network who dares to challenge the current geopolitical efforts.

The Republican senator from Kentucky said defending the blood-soaked efforts of the New World Order is his priority:

‘This is going to be my top priority. No question about it,’ McConnell said in an interview this week. McConnell added that he might even start to hold court with reporters in the halls of the Senate. ‘This is the most important thing going on in the world right now,’ the Kentucky Republican said.

Mitch McConnell is furious about the efforts to bring about a peace agreement between Russia and Ukraine, and he is vowing to confront any Republican who doesn’t acquiesce to the foreign policy program of the uniparty. McConnell’s intents are in full support of the U.S. intelligence community and the Biden administration. However, McConnell has an ally in Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson.

As noted, “Speaker Mike Johnson, who held up Ukraine aid for months despite public pressure from McConnell, is now starting to sound a lot like the Kentucky Republican when talking about national security, especially Ukraine.” For Speaker Johnson, Zelensky’s ability to maintain access to the U.S. treasury is a top priority. The money must keep flowing in order to keep the conflict alive.

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers, and countless mercenaries sent by allies, have reportedly been killed in America’s European proxy province, and the D.C. benefactors of the conflict are prepared to fight to the last of them. Prime Minister Orbán’s pesky interference and talk of peace is not a welcome addition to the intents and purposes of the proverbial West; or to Blackrock, Wall Street, or the bankers who ultimately benefit from war.

According to what seems like ordinary logic, Russia has secured the buffer zone they wanted in eastern Ukraine, while the bayonets behind the Ukrainian soldiers being pushed into the meat grinder are held by team USA.

Washington, D.C. fears that if Donald Trump wins in November, they will lose their ability to push NATO into war.

Meanwhile, PM Viktor Orbán continues his mission for peace!

 

 

Reprinted with permission from the Conservative Treehouse.

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