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Smart Institutions, Foolish (grand)stands

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Originally from Gus Van Horn,

Recall awhile back how Google simultaneously caved in to China's demand that it censor its search engine results, while it made a big deal out of refusing to permit the U.S. government to have access to its customers' search records?

Note the parallel between how this company, founded by leftists, chose its battles, and the stands pertaining to academic freedom taken recently by two American universities. We have seen (1) New York University submit to dhimmitude rather than permit the infamous (but still largely unseen) Danish cartoons to be shown at a recent event; and (2) Yale University striking a blow for "academic freedom" by admitting an official of a hostile regime as a student. (And I agree with Deroy Murdoch that he should be sent to Gitmo post haste. And: Does this man read my blog? Heh.)

In the cases of Google and the modern American university, we had defiance of the freest nation in the world, the United States, in the name of "freedom" -- and kowtowing to totalitarians for the flimsiest excuses and contrary to explicit statements regarding the value of free inquiry.

While I am not necessarily saying that Google should hand over search records to the feds, I have to wonder at what appears to be an emerging pattern among the allegedly pro-freedom of expression left. Is the pattern of continual opposition to the American government coupled with abject surrender to tyranny simple cowardice? Or is it treachery?

I bring these examples up not because they are the first examples of their kind, but because they show just how deeply this pattern of behavior runs in our culture. Many leftists, after all, opposed even the war in Afghanistan. More, the war in Iraq (and not because it was "the wrong war", or was otherwise not a good enough way for America to defend herself). In the meantime, we have heard nothing but pleas for "consideration" of Islamic "sensibilities" that amount to abject dhimmitude.

This is very discouraging in and of itself, but more so when I realize that so many people are so used to such things that these daily surrenders seem as unremarkable as breathing.

A major part of winning the current war is to help people realize sooner than they would otherwise that this is not the normal behavior of a defender of freedom.

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