An intellectual cocoon

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Ben Stein is one of the smartest guys going today. Fascinating to listen to. A funny guy, too. And he comes from good stock -- his father was an oft-quoted economics professor and chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Any college would be fortunate indeed to have someone of Ben Stein's caliber as a commencement speaker.

Sadly, students at the University of Vermont were supposed to have that opportunity this spring, but Stein withdrew. The economist's son, it turns out, can put two and two together, and it was clear from angry e-mails to the university that he wasn't going to be welcome there.

Stein is, you see, guilty of heresy for the high crime of questioning the tenets of evolution and being a believer in Intelligent Design -- which holds that the universe was designed by an intelligent creator, rather than a series of wildly random coincidences of chaos.

Off with his head!

How sad that liberals such as those in Vermont have spun themselves into such an impenetrable cocoon that they fear and loathe outsiders with radical ideas -- so much so that they won't deign even to listen to them.

How sad that a college campus, which one would think would aspire to introduce students to mind-stretching ideas and people, would essentially pull the welcome mat out from under someone because of his beliefs.

Many believe the silencing of conservative views is only in its infancy. Leading Democrats in Washington, for instance, have made it clear they would like to reinstitute the so-called "Fairness Doctrine," which would require conservative speech on broadcast stations to be matched by an equal amount of liberal speech -- regardless of what listeners and viewers want in the marketplace of ideas.

How intolerant will the American left become of views they disagree with?

And how self-defeating is it to block out great thinkers such as Ben Stein?

Where will it end?

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cdesignproponentsists
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cdesignproponentsists 02/07/09 - 02:52 am
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The reality is Ben Stein is

The reality is Ben Stein is not a great thinker at all. He's a talking head for hire who's handy with a crowd-pleasing platitude. An economist who's been consistently wrong about the economy, a scientific illiterate that promotes the introduction of pseudoscience into the educational system, and claims a 19th century biologist is responsible for the holocaust. The man who gave us the great thought, "Science leads you to killing people", helped produce one of the most egregious anti-science propaganda films ever seen. The students and faculty of the University of Vermont have shown uncommon good sense in rejecting a speaker who has consistently shown his contempt for science and higher education.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 02/07/09 - 06:44 am
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The left is VERY intolerant

The left is VERY intolerant of anyone who doesn't fall in line. (see previous post). Ben Stein is an example of what a man should be. Intelligent, witty, responsible and able to grasp the whole picture. Of course the left hates him. Having the University of Vermont not accept him is high praise indeed.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/07/09 - 06:47 am
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Of course liberals will shout

Of course liberals will shout down and personally attack conservatives. No such thing as free speech with them. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, is calling for hearings to discuss talk radio. Obama's attack on Limbaugh is setting the stage. The "Fairness Doctrine" is coming. We've had it. Next all illegal immigrants will be granted citizenship and enrolled in the Democratic Party. When we get this country to about 60% nonproducers, demanding government services, it is game, set, match. Any asset will be fair game for the masses to confiscate for the "people."

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 02/07/09 - 06:48 am
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First gain control of the

First gain control of the entertainment, then gain control of all news outlets, finally, gain control of the schools. It's all laid out in The Manifesto. And it seems to be working very well...depending on your perspective.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/07/09 - 07:25 am
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We are pretty close to what

We are pretty close to what Marx called for in the Manifesto. His 10 tenets are coming to be in this country. Let's go over them and see how many you recognize as already here. 1. abolition of private land ownership. 2. a progressive income tax. 3. abolition of rights of inheritance. 4. confiscation of the property of those who resist. 5. centralization of credit with the state by means of a central bank. 6. centralization of the means of communication and transportation. 7. extension of government owned factories. 8. equal liability of all to labor. 9. combination of agriculture with manufacturing. 10 free education in public schools.

justus4
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justus4 02/07/09 - 07:42 am
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Stein is not a great thinker.
Unpublished

Stein is not a great thinker. Who believes that? Only someone with a limited understanding of intellegence. The university don't need another word-for-word pundit. Thats all he is. He will not utter an original thought. Because he is on TV and radio, he must be smart. Ha! The university did the right thing.

dashiel
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dashiel 02/07/09 - 08:20 am
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In the "marketplace of ideas"

In the "marketplace of ideas" (lol!!!!) Stein believes in eye drops.

johnsmith
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johnsmith 02/07/09 - 11:02 am
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Interestingly, the liberals

Interestingly, the liberals believe that we should listen to a "man" (RFJK, Jr.) who believes that hog farms are more dangerous than al quaeda, but who will not allow wind farms near his family home. They believe that we should listen to tax attorneys who don't pay their taxes. They believe that we should listen to labor nominees who don't believe that laborers should have a voice in fundamental questions regarding their employment. They believe, in short, that we should be "open" and "nonjudgmental" and listen to anyone who promotes a class warfare, anti-production, anti-capitalist, liberal agenda at any time, because that is what "tolerance" means. However, they believe that we should NOT listen to university presidents who notice that men and women have different experiences in math departments. They believe that we should NOT listen to someone who sincerely and truly believes something like the Christian creation story, and whose opinions actually reflect that view. The believe, in sum, that we should ostracize anyone who believes in something other than liberal orthodoxy. After all, a failure to believe exactly as liberals believe is evidence of a "closed mind"...

johnsmith
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johnsmith 02/07/09 - 11:04 am
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Take a look at the Life of

Take a look at the Life of Brian, sometime...there's a great scene in which Brian tells his thousands of adoring followers: "You are all unique individuals!" and they all respond, in a creepy, cadenced, unison, "We are all unique individuals!" "You can think for yourselves!" "We can think for ourselves!" Hilarious, and quite reminiscent of liberal "discourse" in our modern world...

GGpap
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GGpap 02/07/09 - 11:05 am
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AC Ed. Staff: "How sad that

AC Ed. Staff: "How sad that liberals...have spun themselves into such an impenetrable cocoon that they fear and loathe outsiders with radical ideas." Many of us could say EXACTLY the same by substituting the word "conservative" for the word "liberal." Neither side is free from "cocoon-like" philosophies. GGpap

dashiel
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dashiel 02/07/09 - 11:20 am
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You will find your hymnbooks

You will find your hymnbooks on the backs of your seats. Let's all stand for the responsive reading. I believe in tort reform; the fair tax; no-choice and every other zombie topic that might bore liberals to death--if only I was quick enough to latch onto their lapels.

Bizarro
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Bizarro 02/07/09 - 11:52 am
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This is America he has a

This is America he has a right to his opinions no matter how misguided. We have to tolerate the ignorant rants and those opinions we tolerate least-like most of you morons here so it is just a part of life. Remember the argument now is America is no longer an intellectual haven (duh like it isn't obvious with people like Ward Churchill, etc)-it's all overseas like industry. Our kids have no interest in science and math so I doubt we can maintain our state of affairs. We will have and are already finding Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Europeans to come here and bring our kids upto speed. I guess you losers have bred a generation of losers. Great job.

Motorman5039
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Motorman5039 02/07/09 - 12:14 pm
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Ben Stein chickened out on

Ben Stein chickened out on his own, and I don't fight or defend chickens...So what if a few angry emails were sent out, he could have had a good debate there; but we will never know because he ran...

Bizarro
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Bizarro 02/07/09 - 12:50 pm
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Intelligence has nothing to

Intelligence has nothing to do with it. We tolerate you morons who don't believe in evolution just like we tolerate you morons who don't believe in God. Works for me. hee,hee,hee.

jack
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jack 02/07/09 - 02:21 pm
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JohnSmith, there is no bigger

JohnSmith, there is no bigger leftist hypocrite than RFK Jr who rides to his global warming hysteria crowds in his personal jet and limosine. Ya' know, kind of like Al Ozone?

jack
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jack 02/07/09 - 03:33 pm
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Motormouth, I am sure the

Motormouth, I am sure the reason Stei backed out was tht he didnd't want to go through the pie throwing punks Ann Coulter had to with her intolernat leftist studfent body. Frankly, speaking at a New England leftist indoctrination facility is a waste of a conservative, intelligent person's time.

mafarmerga
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mafarmerga 02/07/09 - 05:32 pm
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Those who protested Stein's

Those who protested Stein's appearance were right to do so. In his appalling film "Expelled" Stein makes the outrageious claim that Darwin was somehow responsible for the holocaust and murder of millions. In a television interview Stein repeated these lies and went further to say that "Science leads one to killing people."

If someone who espoused such hatred and lies were to try and speak at UGA I would drive there and protest myself. College campus are places for free expression of ideas, but that does not mean we should give an open mic to every nut job that comes along.

BTW "cdesignproponentsists" is an EXCELLENT screen name. For those who don't know what it means you should look it up!

Bizarro
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Bizarro 02/07/09 - 06:04 pm
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Well people let Ward

Well people let Ward Churchill propagate his lies-like the people in the Twin Towers deserved and precipitated their own deaths. His whole career and life is one big lie but the Colorada faculty supported him till he became too obvious an embarrassment with fraud, lies, etc.. People need to allow the debate and prove your points with arguments with merit rather than hand waving, rhetoric, and dismissing the argument. I'd gladly debate Behe over Intelligent Design and Dick Dawkins over the God delusion. Both ignoramuses and both wrong.

mable8
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mable8 02/07/09 - 06:35 pm
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Gee, but it's okay of the big

Gee, but it's okay of the big O's friend, Ayers, continues to teach his dogma of communism as if that is the best there is the world has to offer! And it's okay if Ayers continues to contend (gleefully) that he IS responsible for the bombings (and innocent people died as a result of his heinous crime) and wishes he could have done more. Wow, what are the colleges and universities coming to these days--

disssman
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disssman 02/07/09 - 06:42 pm
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I wonder who made the

I wonder who made the dinosaurs? Or how about why aren't cave men referenced? I know you have seen the remains of the cave man found a few years ago in switzerland, haven't you, or do you deny that also?

cdesignproponentsists
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cdesignproponentsists 02/08/09 - 05:13 am
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Anyone who thinks Ben Stein

Anyone who thinks Ben Stein is "one of the smartest guys going today" really needs to sit down and listen to his words sometime. People who care about education in this country have had enough of his outrageous and ridiculous claims that the scientific and academic communities are some type of conspiratorial cabal linked to Communism, Naziism, and the holocaust, and are finally holding him accountable for his words. Apparently there's no shortage of misinformed or uneducated people out there who actually believe this kind of crap.

orgpsych
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orgpsych 02/08/09 - 04:00 pm
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How appalling to read the

How appalling to read the thoughts and barbs of the so-called "fair and balanced" right of our society. They bemoan the censoring of free speech and fear a doctrine that would require a more even handed presentation of opposing views. They point to relatively minor missteps as evidence of total imcompetence from our new President. All of this comes as we FINALLY say farewell to one of the most corrupt administrations in our history. Can you say distract and confuse? Maybe we will forget about what has transpired over the last 8 years like the mindless sheep they seem to think that we are.

Bush and cronies LIED TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE repeatedly and denied many of the very same rights, including free speech, that the right-wingers say will be denied by REQUIRING a more fair and balanced presentation of political ideas.

Most people in this country are not right wing conservatives. Nor are they left wing liberals. Most people in this country are fairly middle of the road embodying a varying blend of both liberal and conservative ideas. Isn't it time that the PEOPLE are considered rather than the narrow political interests of one group or the other?

SandyK2005
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SandyK2005 02/08/09 - 09:12 pm
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"How intolerant will the

"How intolerant will the American left become of views they disagree with?" --------- About as intolerant as the American right. I take it you never posted on Hannity's forum, and how it's "Darths" run it (nor the hypocrisy of how some used it as a dating service, complete with married folks turning it into a swinging club, right??). That's political extremism as equal to Daily KoS and associated flaming liberal sites. Been on both, and both stink like high hell, as the only tolerance they understand is being a lemming to (R) and (D) and their "actiongrams".

SandyK2005
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SandyK2005 02/08/09 - 09:18 pm
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"An economist who's been

"An economist who's been consistently wrong about the economy, a scientific illiterate that promotes the introduction of pseudoscience into the educational system" ------ And the Dawkins and "Amazing" Randi debunking showman types on the other extreme aren't any better. The point is the extremes don't want other people to make up their own minds, so each wants to dictate what people should know. Knowledge itself is never evil. What's evil is when a few wanting to tell others WHAT to think. Between the extremes, is a much happier medium -- you investigate, do your OWN thinking and make your OWN decisions of validity!!

cdesignproponentsists
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cdesignproponentsists 02/09/09 - 02:21 am
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"What's evil is when a few

"What's evil is when a few ...tell others WHAT to think"

Yes, it's also known as "curriculum". : )

Problem is, what is accepted as science is not decided in the classroom, by people making their "OWN decisions of validity" or otherwise. There's a well established process for that, and ideas that make it through eventually become part of educational curricula automatically. We may never know if the ideas of Intelligent Design would fail this process or not, since its promoters work very carefully to avoid having it subjected to scientific scrutiny. They've decided that circumventing this process entirely, i.e., cheating, is a much more viable strategy for getting their ideas into the classroom, and they're probably right about that.

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