Boots & Sabers

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0841, 14 Oct 19

UW Regents Moving Ahead with Free Speech Rules

I’m skeptical.

The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents has approved the scope of proposed new rules aimed at punishing students who disrupt free speech on campus. But just after the vote was taken, a spokeswoman for Gov. Tony Evers said he continues to oppose the rules.

The governor’s opinion matters because any rule change proposed by the UW System cannot go into effect without his support.

The Friday vote was largely procedural in nature. It allows the UW System to work on what is called a “scope statement” that sets punishments for students caught repeatedly disrupting the free speech or freedom of expression of campus speakers or fellow students. Under the proposed language, a student disrupting free speech on two occasions would have to be suspended. If there was another disruption from the student, they would face mandatory expulsion.

The board and UW System have been working on the policy since 2017. The regent’s policy on “Commitment to Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression” was introduced shortly after state Republican lawmakers introduced legislation with similar provisions. Before the matter was put to a vote, Regents President Drew Petersen announced support for moving the process forward.

The issue is important. Too many college campuses have become outright hostile to speech that deviates from modern liberal orthodoxy. Anyone who offers contrary opinions are shouted down and denied access. But regulating free speech with set punishments is a tricky business. At the heart of any regulation is, “who decides?” Who decides what constitutes a disruption vs. expressing a different opinion? Some cases are obvious – shouting down a speaker, for example – but what about a noticeable harrumph? What about being quiet but holding up a sign? Does it depend on what the sign says? Do the lefty administrators who are allowing conservatives to be shouted off campus now get to decide these things? Would this new policy just be used as a bludgeon against certain kinds of speakers? We have a cultural drift to intolerance and this rule might just weaponize one side.

I don’t envy the Regents. This is a tricky business. These issues are pregnant with nuances and context. It is very difficult to write a rule that encompasses the grey areas.


0841, 14 October 2019


  1. Merlin

    Odd how the champions of free speech and tolerance of all things of the 60s and 70s who yelled so loud and long to be heard have become so hard of hearing and intolerant themselves. They have become what they raged against in their youth.

  2. Kevin Scheunemann

    Liberal Evers opposing free speech.

    No surprise.

    Liberals are awful. Just awful on this issue.

  3. jjf

    I thought it was the conservatives who were pressing for this rule change, not the liberals.

  4. Le Roi du Nord


    Correct, it was the previous administration that started this mess, not Evers.

    And having actually read the article attached, one would have noted that an Evers appointee (Manydeeds) is opposed to it.  But regardless of the facts, blame must be assigned.

  5. Le Roi du Nord


    So which way do you want this to go; pass the rule or not? And are you for or against free speech?

  6. Kevin Scheunemann


    I’m against the thuggish, indecent, liberal behavior in video…did you watch it?

    Those liberals should have been expelled.

    Will you denounce the thuggish liberal campus behavior?

  7. Le Roi du Nord


    The video isn’t up for a decision, the proposal before the Board of Regents is.

    If you don’t want to weigh in on it, fine, but your constant assignment of blame to assuage your ego isn’t becoming.

    But I’ll do you one better – I’ll denounce thuggish behavior on the part of anyone, be they conservative, liberal, republican, democrat, christian, rastafarian, martian or earthling.. And I’ll bet you won’t agree.

  8. jjf

    So those particular students misbehaved, and therefore we need to limit speech for all these adults at the UW?

  9. Kevin Scheunemann


    What those students did was disrupt speech for others in their liberal thuggishness.

    That kind of thug behavior needs to be punished.

  10. jjf

    I don’t know if you pay much attention to the full panoply of student behavior, but not a year goes by that you can’t find someone partying in blackface, flaunting a Confederate flag, assaulting each other, or maybe doing any of the above while exposing themselves.

    You want to forever alter the landscape of free speech on campus because Ben Shapiro suffered from not being able to talk loudly enough for perhaps nine minutes?

  11. Kevin Scheunemann


    We are talking decency when a speaker is speaking. Automatic expulsion should be punishment.

    As far as “blackface” it is you liberals that seem to have a big problem with doing that all the time…

  12. jjf

    Poor Ben, I hope he’s able to cope with this disruption.  Such hand-wringing when the provocateurs are provoked!

    Are you able to see Owen’s concerns…  that these rules could be abused by one side or the other?

  13. Kevin Scheunemann

    If conservatives did that to Greta pontificating on global warming apocalypse, liberals would go nuts and demand retribution.

    Only conservatives are abused because the nature of liberals is thuggery.

    Campus needs to deal with its rampant liberal thugs.

  14. Le Roi du Nord

    They did.  Stay current.

  15. jjf

    Stop it, Le Roi.  Next thing you know, you’ll want to break it to Kevin that China is arguably more authoritarian than they are Marxist, and that’ll break his little orange heart!  And if you remind him of the things that people said about Greta, he’ll only tell you that they must not be True Conservatives Pure Of Heart, and that all he wishes for Greta is that she know Jesus.  Awful, just awful!

  16. Kevin Scheunemann

    No surprise that you both are soft on bullying leftist behavior.

  17. Kevin Scheunemann

    …and news flash: Maxist ALWAYS EQUALS AUTHORITARIAN.

    The ruler that controls all the resources controls everything.

    Why are liberals so stupid on this point, constantly?

  18. jjf

    What does “more than” mean in your world?

    Is Trump an authoritarian?

    And stop stroking yourself.  No one here is soft on Mao.

  19. Mar

    Gee, jjf, you do support thuggish behavior. Probably support Antifa, Black Lives Don’t Matter and other terrorist groups. Probably thinks running around in his pointy white hat is acceptable to.

  20. jjf

    Back in my day, we referred to the anti-fascists as “the Allies.”

    How did BLM terrorize you today?

    Hats?  Maybe Kevin can explain if a MAGA hat is the way the Beast requires a mark on your forehead.

  21. Kevin Scheunemann


    Liberals have become the fascists.

    It’s that simple.

  22. jjf

    So you’re saying you enjoy putting the mark on your forehead, and you’re sure to show others your hat when you’re in the marketplace?

  23. Kevin Scheunemann


    When there is thuggery going on, such as the kind going on in the video.

    You can’t even bring yourself to criticize those libs disrupting the Shapiro event.

    He promised all if them time in Q&A but they continued to disrupt anyway.

    Your silence against liberal evil is showing.

  24. jjf

    If I ran around all day saying “awful, just awful” over and over then I’d be like you, Kevin.  I’ve got stuff to do.

  25. Kevin Scheunemann


    So you are not willing to call thuggish behavior out?

    Awful. Just awful.

  26. jjf

    I did!  I called it as it was:  about nine minutes of misbehavior towards a speaker who has made a living of provocation.  In short, he succeeded in his goal.  And the other side thinks they did, too.

    And September comes around and there’s a new wave of freshmen ready to be educated and have their unique college experience.  If you can’t see the couples dancing, over and over, year after year, then you’re not yet understanding this aspect of college, and maybe you’ll need to drop the course and try again next semester.

    Why aren’t you willing to attempt to understand and then discuss the points that Owen makes in his post?  Awful, just awful!

    And then there’s all the DQ advertising!  Maybe you should try a new paper sign on your doors, maybe you’ll go viral that way!

  27. Kevin Scheunemann


    That was not a denouncement of liberal thugs.

    You made it more about lefties being justified being thugs because Ben Shapiro has some diverse ideas from stale liberalism.

    Blaming speaker is awful. Just Awful.

  28. Le Roi du Nord


    k only wants you to denounce (that is his new word of the week) only the “liberal thugs”, as conservative thugs are OK in his mind.  Stay strong.

    And yet again he puts on full display his misunderstanding of the word “fascist”.  Such rejection of knowledge is awful, just awful.

  29. Kevin Scheunemann


    Find an example of thuggish conservative behavior and I will denounce it.

    I will not squirm, dodge or ignore it like liberals do for liberal evil.

    I believe in civility and decency.

  30. jjf

    Kevin’s followed his logic to its conclusion, and he concludes that everyone to the left of himself must be closet Maoists!

    “Thug.”  Dog-whistle much?

    OK, let’s just look at Ben Shapiro.

  31. Le Roi du Nord

    “Lock her up!”


    Death threats to Greta Thunberg.


  32. Kevin Scheunemann


    So because you disagree with Shapiro, you advocate liberal disruptive thuggery?

    I don’t agree with Shapiro on certain things, especially religion, but he is not this racist boogeyman you intolerant liberals make him out to be.

  33. jjf

    No, Kevin, it’s you who think everyone who doesn’t agree with you and doesn’t use the same language as you, must be the most dramatic awful polar opposite.

    Who said anything about Ben having racist ideas?  Is that what you gleaned from that overview?  Are you getting better at spotting racist ideas?

  34. Kevin Scheunemann


    “Lock her up” is political speech at a political rally. It may be rude, but it is not indecent or disruptive. If it were, every Democrat in Congress would have to be arrested for “distuptive” impeachment nonsense over nothing.

    I have denounced Charlottesville and those racist idiots should be exported to North Korea. How much more clear do I need to be.

    I denounce death threats to anyone! But you should consider how awful liberal media, in terms of decency was to Greta, compared to the savage, indecency the liberal media was to Nick Sandmann. Will you denounce what indecent liberal media did to him?

    See how easy moral clarity is? Rather than running and hiding from it for partisan hackery?

  35. Kevin Scheunemann


    Nearly every crazy liberal screams racism at Shapiro.

    He is not racist, liberals just hate imhim because he utterly destroys the liberal intersectional victimhood pyramid…and it is awesome!

  36. Le Roi du Nord


    Your feeble attempt at rationalizing really bad behavior is how trump got elected.  You ignore the, “grab ’em by the %^$$&”, and “shoot somebody on Fifth Ave.” comments, the numerous calls to violence, yet have the gall to blame others.  That, little fella, is truly awful.  A.W.F.U.L


  37. Kevin Scheunemann


    Your montage is marked “private”.

    Also, taking things out of context is bad, when it distorts the facts.

    Trump is not serious and making a joke many times, and I notice libs take him hyper serious in their blindness.

    So can you find a public link to what I am sure is an out of context liberal hit job?

  38. jjf

    See, Nord.  He’ll examine any claim we have… and declare them to be “jokes” and not serious.

    But interrupting Shapiro for nine minutes… that’s serious and not a joke and there oughta be a law, and eject them from college, and ship ’em to NK…

    Care to search for racist policies, Kevin?

  39. Le Roi du Nord

    Opens just fine on this end. And if you didn’t see it how can you make the “out of context “ claim?

    And ask the Kurds if trump was just kidding.

    Rationalize any spin away…..

  40. Le Roi du Nord

    That should be “and”, not “any”.

  41. Kevin Scheunemann

    I’d settle for an actual source first.

    …and yes disrupting an event for 9 minutes is far worse than making a joke, even if joke is in bad taste.

    Why are you libs so slow?

  42. jjf

    Link opens but clicking to play video says “video is private.”

    Libs are slow?  One minute they’re dumb, the next their heads are in the clouds because they’re over-educated.  But you’re civil and decent, right?

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