Wingers Get One Right
to pay Michael Moore $35,000 was an atrocious
idea. The man can say whatever he wants -- but not
on the state's dime.
you, Dick Black. Thank you, Bob Marshall. Thank you
for pointing out the outrage of any university using
tax dollars to pay anyone $35,000 to speak.
was the absurd intention at
University ó to pay 35 Big Ones to
filmmaker Michael Moore, who is on a college campus
sweep across the country with his
know what? I am going to vote against Bush, and for
the Kerry-Edwards ticket ó for a lot of
reasons. But I resent Mooreís
shake-down cruise. What enrages me is that, when
called on it, he tried to hide this one in the First
he in a Washington Post write-up of GMUís
dis-invite, thanks to letters fired off by Black and
Marshall, explaining that heís coming anyway: ďIím
going to show up in support of free speech and free
Michael? Michael? Excuse me. There is nothing
"free" about anything youíve got to say
if youíre trying to bill Virginia
taxpayers 35 grand for saying it.)
I tell you that I know free speech issues when I see
them, you can take it to the bank. And you can take
this to the bank: This is not a free speech issue.
This is not a First Amendment issue. This issue is
about greed and stupidity: Mooreís
greed; GMUís stupidity.
Moore flap and that student
paper thing down at Hampton
last year makes you wonder, some days, how some of
our quarter-million-dollars-a-year college
presidents get to where they are.)
grief, $35,000 is more than a lot of brilliant,
hard-working assistant professors across Virginia
make in a year. It is more than thousands of our
school teachers make. It is about what our
legislators are paid in two years!
tell me the asking price at the University of
Virginia was $50,000!
college campuses are exactly the place for the trade
of ideas and the trafficking of fervor and passion.
Exactly the place. And Moore
is entitled to bash Bush until the cows
come home, if thatís what he wants to do. And if
somebody wants to pay him private money to do it,
fine by me, but...
to GMU President Alan G. Merten: If youíre
entrusted with Virginia
tax dollars, don't be stupid and try to
give them to folks like Michael Moore!
points: The money is not yours to give; he doesnít
need it anyway.
larger potential problem here is that the
legislature will now rush to find some fix to this
with an ill-conceived law of one sort or another.
This was a lapse in thinking, in judgment. We donít
need legislation to fix it. Please.
blackest day in
North Carolinaís history in
the last century came in 1963 when the legislature,
in the grip of anti-communist fever, passed what
became known as the "Speaker Ban Law." I
donít have space for it here, but you can read
about it elsewhere. Just know that it was dreadful.
it characteristic that Black and Marshall would be
the two members of the 140-member legislature to cry
Ďfoulí on this one?
certain amount of the "right-wingness"
cloak that drapes them is mere role-playing. Both
are fearless; both have more common sense than they
let show some days. But hereís the thing: Neither
is a drum-beating Bushite. This was not a Kerry/Bush
thing with them.
one had more to do with the shoes they wear.
shoes they wear? Yep. "How so," you say? I
have come to believe that a personís shoes better
reflects the quality of his or her thinking than any
other single bit of clothing.
donít believe it? Check it out. Youíll start
guys wear sensible shoes.
October 18, 2004