U-Wisc Prof May Not Have Aimed To Misbehave, But Is Busted By PC Police Anyway
As Instapundit said, it’s Brownshirts vs. Browncoats, as a University of Wisconsin professor displays a poster of an unapproved rebellious figure.
‘Firefly’ and Anti-Fascism Posters Get Professor Threatened with Criminal Charges on University of Wisconsin Campus
MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 26, 2011—A professor has been censored twice, reported to the “threat assessment team,” and threatened with criminal charges because of satirical postings on his office door. Campus police at the University of Wisconsin–Stout (UWS) censored theater professor James Miller’s poster depicting a quotation from actor Nathan Fillion’s character in the television series Firefly, and the police chief threatened Miller with criminal charges for disorderly conduct. After UWS censored his second poster, which stated, “Warning: Fascism,”
FIRE is on the case:
Miller came to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help.
“Colleges and universities are supposed to foster brave and bold environments of freewheeling intellectual inquiry and expression. If a quote from a network science fiction show is a bridge too far, something has gone seriously wrong,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “As both president of FIRE and a huge Firefly fan, I call on the chancellor of UW–Stout to rein in his overreaching administration and to restore both free speech and basic common sense.”
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The spirit of Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler are alive and well on most university campuses. And I have noticed this same fascist nonsense creeping into the workplace over the years. It may be 2011 but it is “1984” every day until we take back our freedom and our nation…
University of Wisconsin-Stout is a joke .. and a bad one at that.
When criminal charges are considered over something as stupid as a poster, the entire faculty and administration needs to be thrown to the curb, and the doors closed.
This is a UW campus. Mutually exclusive.
From TheFire’s website, police chief Walter:
Intersting. As a concealed weapon permit holder I am well aware that a person’s “willingness/ability to do bodily harm” against me is a deliberate threshold that I have to keep in mind if I’m ever to respond to a threat with deadly force.
What Walter seems to be saying (which, of course, destroys her credibility and should cost her her job) is that the poster exceeds the threshold, and if someone were to go into the professors office and shoot him dead they could use, as a defense, the police chief’s words. “Well, your Honor, the police chief said that the professor was willing and able to kill me. What was I supposed to do?”
Even worse, if the police feel that way they should arrest him for more than disorderly conduct. He is an imminent threat.
Granted, I’m posting an off-the-cuff opinion on a legal blog and may very well have no idea what the hell I’m talking about. Walters doesn’t have the same excuse.
Oh Police Chief Walters has the same excuse. Warning: I’m about to generalize.
By and large, Police personnel are WOEFULLY ignorant of the law. They often charge based on what they think they can get away with, or within VERY specific boundaries that have been hand-fed and drilled into them by the local prosecuting attorneys. You give them even the SLIGHTEST situation that they’re not familiar with and they will go off the legal rails into something that isn’t anywhere close to what is legally permissible. The standard response is “well we’ll dismiss the charges” if the police are wrong.
A KEY area where this happens is “open carry” laws for firearms. I used to be staff at the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners, and was the PAC Treasurer. During my stint there, a case was filed to sue one of the towns because they confiscated a gun being open-carried at a street festival in full compliance with the law. The officers in question said the individual “was disturbing the peace” by carrying openly. Never mind that Open Carry is EXPLICITLY permitted by the State Constitution and by other state law AND the individual had a concealed pistol license as well, so he COULD have covered it up if he wanted to.
It took this individual 9 months and the threat of a Constitutional lawsuit (where costs, fees and attorney’s fees and damages have been explicitly provided for by the state legislature against municipalities that violate this particular law) to get the charges dismissed, and then on top of that, it took another 6 months for him to actually get his confiscated pistol back from the police. The police chief promised the MCRGO that the police would receive more training. Three months later, after all the publicity, it happened again in the next township over.
The point is, the police aren’t lawyers. They often make snap decisions based on the dry text of the legislature, or worse – some criminal “charging” handbook which is flavored by whatever prejudices the Attorney who put it together has. They have no concept of having to abide by decisions that were made previously under similar circumstances, so you get widely varying treatment. They SHOULD be better, but often they are not.
If someone were awake, facing me and armed, I hope I’d be willing and able to kill them! My Word, my life would be in danger! 😉
What did the first poster say?
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