Home » Ohio State » On Gee.

On Gee.

Maybe he was using air-quotes?


In an example of the lack of critical thinking within an educational community which one would hope should encourage it, Gordon Gee has been forced out of Ohio State after it was reported that he was “ripping” Catholics.

I took the time to explore the context of Gee’s remarks and transcribed more than what you’ll find in the AP or SI stories.

There is nothing for anyone to be upset about.

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 8.30.28 AM

In a December meeting with the OSU Athletic Council Gee provided the back-story of how Rutgers and Maryland joined the Big Ten.  Interesting stuff actually.  Here’s Gordon Gee talking specifically about approaching Maryland (start at ~2:30):

We also have talked for sometime about Maryland and Rutgers.  But what happened after the meeting was to approach Maryland.

Some of that was precipitated very candidly by the fact that Notre Dame had moved off to the ACC.

I want to make it very clear, we have never invited Notre Dame to join the Big Ten and the reason is the fact that they — first of all they’re not very good partners.  I’ll just say that.  I negotiated with them during my first term.

[Begin reported excerpt.]  [SI’s descriptors included.] ****

“The fathers are holy on Sunday, and they’re holy hell on the rest of the week,” Gee said to laughter at the Dec. 5 meeting attended by Athletic Director Gene Smith and several other athletic department members, along with professors and students.

OMG and he’s a Mormon too??

“You just can’t trust those damn Catholics on a Thursday or a Friday, and so, literally, I can say that,” said Gee, a Mormon.

**** [End reported excerpt.]  [SI needs you to know Gee is Mormon.]

Father Joyce was one of the people who ran the university for many many years .. saying that .. Notre Dame wanted to have its cake and eat it too and the ACC was feeling very vulnerable and they added Notre Dame as a non-football school something we (Big Ten) would never do.  You’re either in or you’re out.

Then he circles back to talk about how Maryland and Rutgers fit in the Big Ten.

Does truth,,, matter?

Let’s look at what Gee really said.  No, not the clearly tongue-in-cheek crack that Gee dropped for the specific and receptive audience he was speaking to.  What Gee said concerning Notre Dame, after having negotiated with them:  “… they’re not very good partners.  I’ll just say that.”

Now that’s kinda provocative.  Is it true?  Is Notre Dame a good partner?  Let’s take a look at their current partnership as a non-football member of the ACC.  Does Notre Dame want to have their cake and eat it too?  HELL YES.

In a related story, Tom Hammond thinks ND is a bad partner too.

ND just extended their football television contract through 2025 at $15,000,000/year.  Do their partners in the ACC share in this?  No.  Does Notre Dame share in the ACC Basketball franchise built upon Duke and UNC?  Yes.

This is not a good partnership.  ND wants and gets its cake and eats it.  Gee is 100% correct in his assessment is he not?

If your takeaway from Gee’s words is that he an anti-Catholic Mormon bigot, you’re not even trying to listen.

Gee as Ohio State President.

Not that it matters when we’re safe-guarding correct speech and thinking, but Gee was a very good president.

Ramzy gets it right here:

You won’t hear much these days about is Ohio State’s dramatic and holistic improvement well beyond donations, solvency, research grants and caliber of incoming students – though Time recently named him the best college president in America.  “Hurr hopefully Jim Tressel won’t fire him” is so much easier to categorize him.

Hurr indeed.

I’m not going to research the metrics Ramzy lays out above.  I will tell you that both my parents are OSU alumni and when it was time for me to look at schools, OSU was not on the list.  “Just a huge impersonal factory college” was my perception.  Two years ago I drove my son out for a visit and would’ve been most pleased if he’d enrolled as an out-of-state student.  Without citing admissions selectivity metrics, I can tell you my perception from out of state is that OSU’s reputation is tip-top.  The recent OSU alums I’m acquainted with have more pride in their alma mater than other alums from other schools.  Not an exaggeration:  I know of no other sets of alumni with the pride of community the Ohio Staters share.

While there are surely many drivers for that improvement it’s hard not to credit Gee for much of it.

Ohio State:  poorer.

It doesn’t really matter who replaces Gee.  It’s possible, but unlikely, that the new president will improve on the momentum Gee’s administration has put in place.  No, Ohio State is poorer because they let political correctness trump common sense.  They had a choice between making the right call and being cowed by the mob.  They chose the wrong.

If pride in your alma mater is a goal worth shooting for, the removal Gee works against it.  It reminds a bit of uniquely OSU/Woody Hayes quandary all over again.  Trying to explain Woody to someone outside I-270 was a fool’s errand and after a while you just stop.  But yet here is OSU worrying about being liked by people who don’t care.  Hey.  Columbus.  Do what’s right and let the chips fall.  The rest of the country doesn’t get this and never will.


For more, Eleven Warriors is all over this and doing it better than I am.  Click that link.  Must read.

The big picture in closing.  Because I just can’t stop myself.

$75,000 to make it go away.

History will laugh at this era of Americana.  It will compare the current imposed orthodoxy by a strident minority to Nazi Germany, Stalin’s USSR, and Mao’s China.  It matters not that correct thinking is not formally enforced by a Gestapo, NKVD, or Cultural Revolution.  (Although the IRS and FBI seem to be sliding into those roles.)  Because in those examples, it was the threat of a neighbor’s reporting that created a culture of guarded speech and the power to enforce a correctness of  thinking was derived from the mob.*  The shrillness of social media and 24 hour news cycle chill free speech in the same way black bags and GULAGs did before twitter.  The net result is the same.  Free speech and free thinking shuts down.**

Over-reaction?  I don’t think so, I really don’t.  And if you wait until 1939 to take notice it’s too late.


* From a documentary “Chaos and Consent” there’s this:  Far from there being a Gestapo officer on every street corner, there were only 28 secret police officials for the Wurzburg region of nearly 1,000,000 people.

** If you don’t think it’s out of control, consider that the NBA and Roy Hibbert just transacted $75,000 of ‘punishment’ for a non-slur because it’s easier to do that versus confront the mob.


  1. jimkanicki says:

    response to bup: we were pretty much at a stopping point till we got to voter registration and gerrymandering. as a formerly disenfranchised Massachusetts voter i think we should call it bad and even and with 200 years of precedent as far as how re-districting is carried out. i assure you mass is not 100% dem (see weld, romney, brown) but the house delegation is and has been since 1997.* it sucks to be on the wrong side of it. not as familiar with ny state, but i assume it the same.

    on voter reg, i guess youre referring to ACORN with the bush administration DOJ but a quick look-see yields forged sigs and perjury and identical handwriting. do we have to get busy with that?

    *note both of these districts have since been redistricted to ensure republicans have a harder time. blute’s worcester district now includes fall river; torkildsen’s essex county now includes tewksbury and billerica.

    • Anonymous says:

      Honestly I forgot all about the ACORN thing, which was also a total partisan joke aimed at intimidation and reduction of voter roles. I meant the thing where the DOJ very actively and very politically trumped up criminal “voter fraud” investigations and prosecutions in order to put weight behind the voter suppression efforts that were then seeded into the states.

      That was far more egregious (and ultimately effective– the various voter suppression laws in the sates directly removed hundreds of thousands of predominantly Dem voters from the roles and created hurdles for several hundred thousand other predominantly dem voters. Compared to failing to tax-subsidize tea party groups in a timely fashion… well,, there is no comparison.

      I’m not going to stand up for Gerrymandering anywhere, but if you don’t think

      • jimkanicki says:

        yeah that’s right. you’re cut off. 🙂

        [i apologize for not having a forum section that allows user edits. if you care to finish the comment, i can clean things up from this side. i probably need to move to a big boy self-hosting thing.]

        • bupalos says:

          Whoop…there we go, now where was I…. ah…

          ….that Republicans aren’t at the least WAY BETTER at it, then look here:


          The more that comes out about the IRS thing the smaller and smaller it seems, and the less the data backs up the rush to judgement. It really does look like the “profiling” was entirely about the Tea Party and entirely about overcoming the procedural difficulty of having to deal with a huge flood of little chapter groups of a national organization (which happens to bill itself either as a political party or a tax revolt for god’s sake). I have a hard time thinking that ALL of these groups didn’t deserve the same kind of special scrutiny our fracking group was promised. I guess I’ll still agree that despite their being a billion of them, they all deserved their own process and chance to shade their applications (lie) as they saw fit. But I feel more strongly now that this effort to make some kind of massive “trend” or conspiracy out of it is just the next installment, another few syllables for the cult of Obama failure mantra:
          rev.wright-OMMMM —- birth.certificate — OMMMMM —-death panels—– OMMMM — bengazzi/benghazzi/bengazi —-OMMM—- solyndra — OMMMM —- IRS —- OMMMM

  2. Big Luke says:

    It’s a tad derpy and a full Godwin to pretend that people exercising their first amendment right to criticize another’s use of that right is akin to Gestapo. Come on, think more critically. Also, an Ohio State president should know to exercise a tad more caution before going with the anti-Catholic jokes with regard to Notre Dame. Google Fielding Yost and learn a bit why Notre Dame is not already in the Big 10. Hint: the Big 10’s existing members led by OSU and Yost were quite anti-Catholic and conspired not to allow in a Catholic school.

  3. tmoore94 says:

    Gee is an example of an older person who doesn’t get that you can’t talk the way you could 30-40 years ago and not have consequences. You can say someone is bad, but when you start adding modifiers to it you open yourself up to trouble.

    “You just can’t trust those damn Notre Damers on a Thursday or a Friday” is different that “You just can’t trust those damn Catholics on a Thursday or a Friday.” If Gee had gone with the first, no one would have cared outside of South Bend. The second one opens him up to potential headaches.

    Did the punishment fit his crime? Probably not. A public reprimand seems like it would have been more in order. This also opens the door to speculation that he must have done something else because this seems so benign. And that’s probably not fair to Gee. It also could be that someone made the decision that it was time to move him out of the public spotlight before he actually did say something that would really hurt the school’s image.

    It’s also possible that someone making a power play saw this as an opportunity to get Gee out the door for their own gain. Given the profile of Ohio State, and if Gee is held in high regard by the alumni, I don’t think the decision was made lightly or quickly (at least I hope it wasn’t).

    On a very simple level, given his position, Gee should have known better and even if he was in his comfort zone he shouldn’t have said it. Your words and actions are scrutinized more when you are a high-profile person – it might not be fair, but it comes with the title and the paycheck.

    • jimkanicki says:

      on awareness: i thought tressel should have been aware of the bullseye on OSU football’s game (after the USC penalties) and so his non-by-the-book activity was utterly foolish.

      but gee’s statements were simply not offensive. i mean, i’m hearing a lot of people trying to project empathy for aggrieved catholics but i’ve yet to hear one catholic say they were offended.

      obviously i think acceptance of this surreal new normal is a problem and has problematic historical precedent.

      • tmoore94 says:

        I don’t think they were offensive either, but I also don’t think they were necessary. I wasn’t really following the story at first as I’m not an OSU fan but the more I read about it the more interesting I find it.

        Words mean things and you have every right to say what you want, you just need to be prepared for consequences. Although in this case the consequences were over the top.

    • bupalos says:

      I think this is dead on. Especially the calculus that happens with the decision makers at Ohio State. Whether they believe this statement itself hurt them, they know this guy is a bit of a loose canon.

      I also don’t think we can be so quick to say that the statement itself wasn’t damaging. That guy’s #1 job is fund raising. If someone in development had a Tom Monaghan type on the line for a big donation, I can easily see a statement like that causing trouble.

  4. bupalos says:

    The problem with this whole way of thinking is that it actually ascribes a certain inevitable aspect of an increasingly national (or global), increasingly inclusive, and increasingly capitalist culture to some shadowy supposed minority pulling strings of power. You can argue whether Gee is in any way seriously disparaging Catholics. You can argue whether the incredibly vitriolic passages in the book of Mormon specifically towards the Catholic church have any bearing towards determining this. What you cannot argue is that a whole shit-ton of people (though yes, a minority) will find that his banter falls somewhere on a spectrum between extreme unprofessionalism and actual anti-Catholic sentiment. In an increasingly national (or global), increasingly inclusive, and increasingly capitalist culture that simply creates a problem for the institution. Not a PC-police problem. A commercial problem. Because it is simply bad business to fail to pander to ALL potential customers.

    I’m fine if you want to lament the exit of the kind of interesting characters who increasingly don’t fit in to the increasingly bland corporate-commercial state that we’ve become. Who doesn’t feel that way? Or the general stupidity of the mass of people. That’s an ancient sport. But to seriously suggest that this is some kind of Nazi level oppression, created by an overweening minority you equate to the brownshirts? That’s more than a bridge too far.

    As for the rest, newsflash: human beings sometimes abuse power to further their own ends, feather their nests, or right wrongs as they see them. It happens in and out of every political system, every regime, every administration. That you apparently assume the Cinci IRS situation is universal, only cuts one way, and somehow ties into a broader PC narrative that includes Gee and Chick-fil-a is also more than a bridge too far.

    • jimkanicki says:

      i guess because it’s happened before there’s nothing to worry about.

      • bupalos says:

        I’m not saying there’s nothing to worry about. It’s definitely worth a look. Bu that look deserves a bit more critical eye than you’re displaying here:

        >>>not to mention if you use a term like ‘liberty’ on a non-profit application to the IRS you’re subject to bureaucratic harrassment. if you have ‘progressive’ in your application you are not. this shouldn’t be excused… but this is being excused by many. not all. but many refuse to see the trend.>>>

        First, factually not true. The ratio of right/left groups referred for extra review was 2:1, not 1:0. As I looked at it (I haven’t spent a ton of time admittedly) it looked like the whole disparity was because three groups– tea party, the glen beck thing, and one other I forget– were lumped together and bulk-treated as political cases. The IG says they all should have been treated as separate non-affiliated groups and each determined on it’s own merits if it was political or not (My guess would be in a bureaucratically perfect world, most tea party and glen beck groups should be, because their fundamental purpose seems to me to be to affect elections, but perhaps not, and in any event they should be given the same opportunity to lie on their application that everyone else gets and uses.) That and the probable fact that these right-affiliated groups were likely overrepresented in those application years because they were new or on the grow. It looks like that was a bureaucratically indefensible decision, probably made by someone who felt strongly that those groups were inherently political, and I think it’s likely that decision was an inappropriately political one. A second issue is how long these special review groups had to wait for a determination and whether there is a further disparity there on the right/left spectrum in that sense. I don’t think that’s in evidence yet.

        I can tell you that Concerned Citizens Ohio (our local group mostly concerned with fracking) was advised over a year ago by our lawyer that we would very likely get this same treatment because we engage in direct activity to affect elections and support and oppose candidates. The group decided not to bother orto be shackled by the rules that apply for 501c3, which is essentially the government subsidizing the activity and thus rightfully does have a bunch of restrictions.

        As far as “refusing to see the trend,” what “trend” are you showing? It looks to me like people playing connect the dots with their own spaghetti-wall/dartboard.

        • jimkanicki says:

          i don’t quite know why you’re accepting of govt abuse on anyone but i’m leaning toward, ‘really partisan.’

          here’s what the IG found:
          * The Determinations Unit Used Inappropriate Criteria to Identify Potential Political Cases
          * Potential Political Cases Experienced Significant Processing Delays
          * The Determinations Unit Requested Unnecessary Information for Many Potential Political Cases

          stepping back from the abuse through systemic targeting, my take is that it’s emblematic of the stupidity of the tax laws that determining between partisan and public good organizations is a thing that IRS does.

          nonetheless for the last several years, conservative groups were targeted systemically for having ‘patriot,’ ‘tea party,’ and ‘912’ in their names. ratios have nothing to do with improper process that was in place. ie, when you show me groups targeted by keyword ‘progressive’ i’m here to join you in outrage.

          here’s the criteria the IG found the IRS was using. i don’t see any lefty political agendas represented here, certainly not by keyword search. maybe there’s a ‘make america a better place to live’ lefty org. if there is, i say to you now: it’s horseshit that that group should’ve been singled out for special treatment.

          in other words: if i started a group in 2011 that wanted to make people aware that each household owes $150K of govt debt, i would have been placed in the special assignment bin. from testimony, that means i wouldn’t have received the approval for a year or two. that means my group would have been impaired and less able to bring this ‘public good’ education within the obama campaign cycle.

          i get you don’t care about the Wetumpka Tea Party or San Fernando Valley Patriots but maybe you should. if you can spare a half hour, watch their testimony. starts at 21:30.

          video: http://waysandmeans.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=558
          hearing notice: http://waysandmeans.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=335744

          [in particular, i think you will like the Linchpins of Liberty guy.]

          • bupalos says:

            Where am I accepting government abuse? I already said that those groups should have been given the same process as everyone else and I support fixing that, which it seems has already occurred. But ratios do have something to do with proving the falsity of your statement:

            >>>not to mention if you use a term like ‘liberty’ on a non-profit application to the IRS you’re subject to bureaucratic harrassment. if you have ‘progressive’ in your application you are not.>>>

            That’s simply not true. A whole bunch of organizations with “progressive” in their name (I’d venture to guess most, if not all) did end up subject to the same process, as our lawyer said we would too if we filled ou our application truthfully. The ratio of clearly left-inflected to right-inflected groups that ended up in the special scrutiny bin was nearly 1:2. Do we know what the ratio of total applicants overall was? No. That would be interesting to find out. What if that is also about 1:2? One of my problems with this whole thing is that you’re just running too far with it, inferring an improper outcome and a “trend” without any evidence. I’d bet you by the rules and with the correct bureaucratic procedure, just about every single applicant that did happen to have 9/12 or tea party or patriot in their name did belong in the special assignment process. Those are all going to be political organizations if our anti-fracking group is. That shouldn’t have been bundled by name like that, but reality is reality. Ditto for anyone talking about taxes, wars, public debt, even probably voter registration if they have a specific area focus. Annecdotally, I can tell you the tea party group out here sponsors most of the pro-fracking events, invites candidates to speak, etc., there is no way they should be 501c3.

            Is a year and a half an egregious time to have to wait for your tax subsidy that you probably shouldn’t be getting in the first place? I can tell you the Carpatho-Rusyn museum in Cleveland had to wait that long. I didn’t hear anyone suggesting we were all heading to the gas chambers or suggesting Obama’s jackbooted thugs were trying to destroy the Carpatho-Rusyn heritage. There’s just 0 sense of proportion or practicality here.

            So yeah, it was a kind of prejudicial process abuse that I don’t support or excuse. Needed to be fixed. Got fixed. But the only real “trend” I see here is more of the same, furiously trying to tie every little wrong that happens in this country into the grand unified foxified conspiracy theory that Obama and the left are trying to destroy the country.

            • jimkanicki says:

              i think you’re still missing it. you’re saying a set of lefty groups were targeted so what’s the problem? the problem is that the righty targeting was procedural. the jpg shows that the IRS was looking specifically for conservative tags. if lefty tags were likewise enshrined through policy, the IG would have reported it.

              [i dont get at all the point on number of applications. tea-party is specifically grass-roots and naturally there will be more applications. i happen to find that preferable to a massive 501c4 like Organizing for Action whose “May engage in political campaign intervention” activity must be “Limited (must not constitute primary activity of organization)” but let’s get real: it’s a DNC contribution that doesn’t have donor disclosure.]

              it wasn’t kind-of a prejudicial process, it was an unprecedented prejudicial process.

              are you accepting of govt abuse? well yeah, kinda… i read the equivocations about ratios and ‘i bet .. did belong in special assignment’ and yeah, i read your comments that way.

              as for the ends justifying the means, i’ve said and say that ‘public betterment’ seems by definition to relate to influencing elections. eg, your group wants an anti-fracking candidate to win his election right? stopping fracking is a public betterment; the public betterment won’t occur unless you elect stop-fracking pols. it’s silly to create a distinction. so i hope you’ll join me in supporting a revenue neutral flat tax and ending the prospect bureaucratic abuse for whatever ends moving forward.

              • bupalos says:

                I’m not saying “what’s the problem?” I see the problem. I think heads should have rolled. Heads are rolling. All I am saying is it’s a bridge too far to assume, as you seem to, that this is some great “trend” (read conspiracy) that cuts one way and that it’s sad that others can’t see it and that they must just be partisan blowhards. It seems at this point the righty targeting was procedural specifically because they had a flood of these “grassroots” groups that were all an offshoot of larger national groups that had specific names. Keywording the names was a way of bundling them. That was inappropriate. But I again would say, as far as outcome, how many tea party groups do you think do not have political advocacy as their main function?

                >>>it was an unprecedented prejudicial process.>>>

                Absolutely not unprecedented, far from it. Did you happen to follow the “voter fraud” investigations under the Bush DOJ, or the subjective way they looked at and pushed voting restrictions? I guarantee that had a stronger bottom line effect on actual votes than this issue. Or for god’s sakes the Texas gerrymandering stuff or just the gerymandering in general that enables the R’s to control the house despite getting less votes in the chamber that’s supposed to be most directly representative. Political operatives get in positions of power and abuse it to further political ends. When it happens it should be called out and fixed. Seems like that’s happening here and good thing. But the fact that it’s being called out and fixed is the most unprecedented thing about it.

                We’re in total agreement that the government shouldn’t be in the business of subsidizing any of this advocacy stuff through the tax code, and that’s where I wish the ire would be leveled rather than the ongoing conspiracy theories. I don’t think a single one of those groups represented at the hearings should have any preferential tax status, nor our fracking group. That’s aside from the issue of whether a tax code should be progressive (I think it should), or whether the US needs more public revenue (I think it does, I don’t know how a concern with the debt jibes with this insistance).

  5. NeedsFoodBadly says:

    It is an over-reaction.

    If you said something the Gestapo(Red Guards/NKVD) didn’t like, they beat you wtih rubber hoses then shipped you off to the camps. This is fundamentally different from someone “yelling” at you on twitter. Part of allowing free speech means allowing disagreement, disagreement which may be vociferous.

    People getting upset because not everyone agrees with each other doesn’t mean free speech is in trouble. It means people are sensitive when other people don’t share their thoughts, or when other people think they might be stupid.

    The functioning of a police state is a much more complex entity than what you’re describing here. When the volume on everything gets turned up (OBAMA/BUSH IS HITLER), it makes it that much more difficult to work on fixing the truly important stuff, rather than some ruffled feathers.

    • jimkanicki says:

      after (circa) 1939, yes. before 1939 the brownshirts would just enforce a boycott on your business if you were disliked. like say… chik-fil-a.

      it’s called ‘organizing for action’ not ‘organizing to yell-at-people-on-twitter.’

      not to mention if you use a term like ‘liberty’ on a non-profit application to the IRS you’re subject to bureaucratic harrassment. if you have ‘progressive’ in your application you are not. this shouldn’t be excused… but this is being excused by many. not all. but many refuse to see the trend.

      the point is not the end result of the punishment. the point is that free speech and really free thought are being actively curtailed.

      the functioning of a police state is enabled by a self-righteous mob. i guess congrats that you haven’t felt inhibited yet. i surely have and do.

      when a demonstrably able and effective university president is canned for truly harmless banter in the name correctness, it is a flag.

      • NeedsFoodBadly says:

        Free speech doesn’t mean free of consequences.

        Interesting you bring up Chik-fil-a. Their business is doing fine, so what’s your concern there? Do you think the people that had an issue with Chik-fil-a’s politics didn’t have a right to voice their opinions, or announce that they would no longer patronize that business?

        Re: the IRS thing – it’s being investigated. The media brought the issue to light;. Congress is looking at it. The issue is in the process of being resolved. What the resolution is and whether it will accurately assess blame/punishment is immaterial to the point, which is that we still have a working democracy. When people slip up and abuse power (which they will, whether in the IRS, other government, or business), investigation follows. As opposed to, say, murdering the journalist who uncovers it and burying the evidence. One of these is a perhaps slow-moving, clunky democracy. One of these is a police state. I’m curious as to what trend you see, since people from both parties are screwing each other constantly – one party’s star being ascendant doesn’t absolve the other’s history of doing similar stuff. I’m not interested in a Red vs. Blue debate since it invariable leads to each side calling the other fascist Nazis, just the recognition that corruption is an inevitable part of politics, and inevitably endemic to those in power. Remember the “free speech zones” from a few years back? Did that also bother you, and if it didn’t, why didn’t it?

        How is your free speech and free thought being curtailed? Because you perceive that some number of people do not agree with you, and tell you so? Would you rather they not express their thoughts? Have you risked imprisonment for voicing your opinions? Have you or any of your neighbors been visited by law enforcement and threatened with bodily harm?

        I haven’t seen anything in the United States that remotely compares to things that occurred in Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, the Cultural Revolution, etc. etc. etc. Just a lot of hurt feelings from a bunch of people upset about disagreements in politics and culture.

        • jimkanicki says:

          >>>Free speech doesn’t mean free of consequences.>>>
          In the case of Gee, the consequence of not ripping Catholics but being perceived to be ripping Catholics by the PC crowd is for him to lose his job. That’s a fair consequence to you, I guess. I think it’s wrong. I also think it’s a direct result of the ‘yell-at-you-on-twitter’ people which you don’t think affects free speech. I’m calling it out; you’re cool with it. We differ.

          >>>the IRS thing – it’s being investigated. The media brought the issue to light;>>>
          Hardly. The IRS planted a question in a news conference to get out in front of a pending Inspector General’s report.

          >>>Have you or any of your neighbors been visited by law enforcement and threatened with bodily harm?>>>
          I just watched six witnesses in front of Ways and Means yesterday who testified at having being abused and intimidated by a law enforcement agency because they held conservative viewpoints. If you think there has to be a Dachau to intimidate and abuse people … I can’t help you.

          Clearly we’re not going to agree here. Thanks for stopping by and adding your comments.

        • jimkanicki says:

          “How is your free speech and free thought being curtailed? Because you perceive that some number of people do not agree with you, and tell you so?”

          I’ve decided to answer this.

          It occurred to me that an anecdote that happened here recently provides a useful example.

          As you know, I contributed to the Frowns community for several years. Just offered up what I saw from here, no biggie, I enjoyed it. MKC says Shurmur is a QB guru; I don’t see this. Wahoo does look like Sambo. Mangini’s 2009 season fell apart in the Jets game with Greco Yates’ injury and Stuckey’s fumble. At first I never worried about disagreeing because it seemed like a collection of open-minded types, free exchange of ideas, all that. But over time I learned that it’s not a free exchange of ideas at all. Wasn’t the casino supported by the mayor and city council and govt unions? Dan Gilbert didn’t spend lavishly for Baron Davis and Shaq? He hasn’t brought thousands of jobs to Detroit? I learned that it wasn’t a free exchange of ideas at all. I admit to be dismayed that a comment on the role of free will in determining individual happiness was met with hostility. But hey: his site, his rules.

          I no longer participate at Frowns. The tipping point centered on my exploration different viewpoints on the PFJ case. My first post on PFJ conjectured on the possible crimes that might be under investigation and I was pretty ruthless with my catalog. The post was widely retweeted and had many hits. When the search warrants were unsealed, I saw that it was a fraud case for apparently small dollars built upon witness intimidation and tipped off by someone who’s agenda is unknown to us. As the crimes involved seem to be relatively small, much smaller than I expected, I said that it opens a door of conjecture regarding IRS/DOJ being used for political ends. For offering that comment at Frowns I was called paste-eater; all the likes.

          I then wrote a post centering on the seeming smallness of the crimes, again observed that it leaves IRS/DOJ open to questions of politics, and added that the schaudenfraude I saw as many people are facing prison seemed small to me. “Cost-plussin. HAR-HAR-HAR.” For expressing these views, Frowns asked me to unlink to his site.

          Three plus years of contributing to Frowns and I’m a butt-hurt paste-eater. No support from any other long-time posters, they don’t need the aggravation. Nope. All I got for questioning govt law enforcement tactics was derision from the sycophancy.

          No thanks. I don’t need it either.

          (And not for nothing: even after the abuse by the IRS for partisan ends, even after DOJ warrantless wiretaps on journalists, even with today’s news that your Verizon usage is now at NSA… I have not heard a word saying that my suggestion may not have been so tinfoil hat after all.)

          Sure I still express my views here and you can say my speech hasn’t been curtailed at all. I can write here; they write there. I can read Drudge; they can read Dailykos. We don’t have to talk at all. But the dynamics are reflective of current left-wing polemics and we’re all poorer for it. (I use left-wing specifically because that is what I see. If anyone can provide a right-wing type who was calling for Gee’s removal due to Catholic-ripping, I’ll cheerfully edit the preceding sentence.)

          At the risk of another “Full Godwin” this calls to mind another Weimar parallel. The July 1932 election went 37% Nazi; 36% Communist+Sociailist; 11% Centre. When you have no respect for the others’ philosophies you stop talking to each other and gravitate to extremism.

          For the record, let me level-set on my politics. I’m for smaller government, not because I’m mean, because the current size is not sustainable. I’m also for banning import of exotic woods, eliminating the mortgage interest deduction, and am open to nationalizing energy resources. I think it’s immoral to collect taxes on cancer delivery products. I think the underlying problem with the current IRS tea-party is the foolishness of trying to divine between public-betterment and political organizations. I don’t give a shit if gays are married or civilly-united so long no discrimination occurs. But mainly, I think we as a generation suck for saddling future generations with $17,000,000,000,000 of debt. Frankly, everything else is noise to me.

          I dislike being labeled. If you want to call me a republican, well I voted Romney last time. I also voted Obama in 2008, Tsongas in 1992 (NH primary), Andersen in 1980. I was most invested in Bill Weld’s senate loss to Kerry in, I think it was 1996. I thought Judge Bork got railroaded. I don’t think Sarah Palin is an idiot.

          Anyway, there’s the bona fides. You can make your own label but I’ll appreciate it if we move beyond closed-minded Palinite.

          Bringing this back to the Gee post and the thought police trends that I observe. I was pretty careful to specify that it doesn’t matter that correct thinking is not formally enforced by a Gestapo, NKVD, or Cultural Revolution Red Guards.  … [T]he threat of a neighbor’s reporting created a culture of guarded speech and the power to enforce a correctness of thinking was derived from the mob. I stand by that. The electronic mob does not tolerate divergent thinking. If I felt like proving that point, I’d write a post supporting National Organization for Marriage and wait for the hate. I don’t feel like proving that point and I will tell you that one of the reasons I wouldn’t try such an experiment is due to groups like Anonymous.

          I’m just giving you my POV. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe short defensive backs will work out. Maybe the Patriot Act and DHS are good things because govt is always benevolent. Maybe Shawn Lauvao is a really good OG. Maybe endless QE is won’t ever have an effect on inflation. I’m just bringing such things to your attention.

          • tmoore94 says:

            That’s a good and important lesson to share. We recently had our commencement at the school I work at and the speaker was the president of the College of Wooster. A couple of comments he made speak directly to your point:

            “We are a community with differences and education happens when we listen to those differences, We are inter-dependent as people to our core and truth seeking is a social endeavor. I urge you to look for opportunities to listen to and spend time with people who think differently than you. Democracy works, and knowledge is advanced, when we commit to listening across our differences.

            “When we work together the end result will be greater than when just one individual is talking. If you surround yourself with people who only think like you do, then your knowledge will be much smaller.”

            The ability to debate and talk about different angles or different opinions without making in personal is what makes being a part of a community fun – and one of the things that the majority of Cleveland-based sports blogs do very well. If it wasn’t for the Internet we very likely would never have met (even if it is only virtually). And the fact that we can have a civil back-and-forth on the height of the Browns secondary is healthy and fun and, most importantly, the collective knowledge is raised for everyone involved.

            When things turn into the Rush Limbaugh show and the only opinions allowed are the ones preferred by the host or author, the value goes down.

            Good job.

            • jimkanicki says:


              i looked up your speaker’s wiki and a background article. seems like he was a very good get for wooster (and for your school’s commencement).

              it won’t surprise that i recoiled at the part where his scholarship/teaching includes Critical Race Theory. (this was the unspoken underpinning concept i was questioning in the ‘free will’ ‘debate.’) but if he approaches his teaching with precepts in place as outlined in your quotes, i’m lot more interested in hearing what he has to say.

              ps: rush limbaugh is an boorish fool. his existence and longevity are wholly due to the lack of balance in MSM. ignoring (or dismissing) the opinions of large groups doesn’t make those opinions evaporate; they just find a different outlet.

          • NeedsFoodBadly says:

            Word up. A lot of stuff here.

            First, as regards the Frowns/PilotFlyingJ fracas – I’m the one responsible for the “tinfoil hat” thing, and I’ve felt sorry about it ever since. For the record, I’d said “approaching tin hat levels,” as I was trying to soften it, and was going for a more jocular tone. Shortly after that, things got a bit nasty. Obviously that phrase struck a chord with you, and I apologize for using it since my intent wasn’t to offend, and it was an issue I really enjoyed discussing.

            When Frowns kinda blew up at you, I didn’t say anything because I felt it was very personal and I figured/hoped you two would work it out between yourselves. It didn’t feel like my place to get involved. That was something that actually bothered me quite a bit more than I would have thought, considering I’ve met one of you once and the other never. (I mean, what’ll happen to Cheddar Bay???)

            And this goes back to the wider free speech issue. I don’t have an expectation of unfettered speech on Frowns’ website, nor do I have one here. Frowns IS right in describing it as something like a dinner party, with the right and responsibility for discussion guidance falling on behalf of whoever is paying for server costs. These days, he’s tightening up what he does and doesn’t want to discuss. That’s his prerogative and whether I agree with it is immaterial. Similarly, when you seemed to be ending our conversation yesterday, I didn’t feel too bad. You didn’t want to engage with it/me any more, and that’s fine. (I wasn’t being sarcastic, either. I do appreciate a cordial “Thanks for the posts” much more than “You’re an idiot, get out.) If I wanted to create a website where I just wrote refutations of every web posting I disagreed with, no one could stop me. Someone calling me a jerk or deleting my comments on their website or whatever else… that’s them exercising their right to free speech. Me saying they don’t have a right to call me an asshole is me saying I believe in censorship.

            I want to stay away from the political for the most part right now, but I don’t believe in political orthodoxy either, I think that engagement and discussion are very important things (which is why I bother with it at all) and I don’t like it when people aren’t willing to discuss things with folks across the aisle. I’m always willing to agree to disagree, but most times I’ll argue something until the heat death of the universe, as long as both parties can garner at least a modicum of respect for each other’s thought processes, if not their opinions.

            So, if I thought you were a paste-eater and stupid, I wouldn’t bother reading your site or trying to engage you in a conversation or debate. It’s because I value your thought processes that I comment here, and when I express disagreement, it’s because I’m curious as to why you hold certain ideas and I want to poke at them. I’m glad you decided to write stuff here because I like your analysis and think that you’re basically a smart thinker.

            Lastly, on the political stuff – the NSA/PRISM stuff is a troubling part of the War on Terror erosion of civil liberties, and it’s not something I want to handwave away. I also lay the blame squarely at both parties’ feet, since they’re both equally complicit in it. But at the same time, while I feel we must be vigilant, I strongly disagree with any characterization of our country as a police state. Because we DO still have the right to free speech. In a real police state, people talking like we talk… are tortured or killed, not called an asshole. I get ruffled sometimes because I think it denigrates all the folks who were harmed by totalitarian regimes over the years… equating harassment on Twitter with Solzhenitsyn is a bad comparison to make.

            So I’m not comfortable with the militarization of the police, the surveillance state, etc. But I will strenuously argue the USA is NOT a police state. We can talk about ways how this horrible stuff could lead to the establishment of a police state, but we’re not there right now. It seems you draw the line for that much differently than I do, but I don’t make any apologies for that bothering me. But again, given the space and time, I could argue that endlessly with you and if you want me to shut up about it, that’s fine.

            • jimkanicki says:

              many thanks for this. i guess now you know why the cordial brush-off before… i knew where i wanted to go but wasn’t quite sure if i really wanted to take it on, ya dig? i was hoping your cordial brush-off comment was meant at face value, i took it that way.

              i didn’t remember you as the tin-foil guy but thanks for owning it. i’ve jumped peoples’ shit before (not saying you did me) and regretted it and apologized. (eg, i’m not totally proud of my response to big luke above, but i’ll leave it up since i said it.)

              i too don’t want to be thin-skinned guy and certainly not thin-skinned troll guy. of course i know that a contrary opinion is going to yield contrary responses. on the other hand, in a discussion forum i can hardly let what i see as an unfair set of falsehoods go unchallenged. but yet i was -hey i’ll say it- hurt by the whole episode. if it were a dinner party, it’d have been awkward at best and damaging moving forward.

              imo, frowns site and mine are far more interesting for the discussions they inspire and in particular the discussions beyond sports. when i added the final thoughts with refs to NKVD i expected responses and didn’t expect it to be unanimous praise. at the same time, it’s what i see. in a way, when i express thoughts like that, i’m asking for feedback and, somewhat, asking ‘is it just me?’ anyway, i’m very grateful for the contributions from you and bup and titus and luke in this thread.

              glad we’re on the same page w.r.t. patriot act, etc. whenever i have to remove my belt at an airport i always feel like the terrorists have already won. i’m surely being provocative in the comparisons but at the same time, there’s plenty of precedent for enacting emergency powers in response to a perceived need for public protection. since i’ve gone to the well on Germany too often here (*cough* Reichstag fire *cough*), i’d just mention abe lincoln’s suspension of habeus corpus and ignoring of the supreme court. i’m not saying we’re in imminent risk of this;; but it’s something to keep in mind.

          • bupalos says:

            Thought I responded on this before. I didn’t know about the frownssnub and cant really defend that except by oblique reference to the fact that I know he’s involved with some work stuff that could easily drive someone over an emotional cliff, involving monied interests defending things so disgusting and perverse you can’t really imagine it and running roughshod over some poor working folk as a side effect to boot. I can’t really do it justice but trust me on that.
            So your natural instinct to make sure the wealthy aren’t discriminated against and unmasking the potential socialist plots undoubtedly is something he just can’t digest right now. When I step back and consider your take there on pilot, ill admit there is some potential there. Part of the problem listening to that kind of thing is it seems to accept tea party propaganda at its root, most of which is provable balderdash. Its just tiring to hear again and again about the next link in the conspiracy, so that’s where some of the tinfoil stuff came from I think.

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