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Thank You Mr. Bloomberg 
by Vice President Knight Allen
Originally published on June 06, 2014 - reprinted with permission

    Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not one of my favorite politicians. In fact, to say I have a strong dislike of his governing style would be a serious understatement. To me he is the personification of the nanny state elected official. A man whose ego is so big he really believes everyone should live their lives exactly the way he thinks they should and who happily uses the power of government to make sure it happens.

    However, having said that, Mr. Bloomberg did something so completely out of character, in such conflict with his own political ideas and, in its own way quite courageous. He gave the commencement address at Harvard University on May 29th and blasted the closed mindedness and politically correct terrorists so dominant on college campuses and particularly on those in the Ivy League where speakers with different ideas who were not acceptable to the PC terrorists were denied the right to appear on campus-even after being invited. It's a really pathetic situation and Mr. Bloomberg, much to his credit, said so in no uncertain terms.

    Herewith for your consideration are some direct quotes from the speech:
 "Repressing free expression is a natural human weakness, and it is up to us to fight it at every turn. Intolerance of ideas-whether liberal or conservative-is antithetical to individual rights and free societies, and it is no less antithetical to great universities and first-rate scholarship."

    "There is an idea floating around college campuses-including here at Harvard-that scholars should be funded only if their work conforms to a particular view of justice. There's a word for that idea:   censorship. And it is just a modern-day form of McCarthyism. In the 2012 presidential race, according to Federal Election Commission data, 96% of all campaign contributions from Ivy League faculty and employees went to Barack Obama. Ninety-six percent. There was more disagreement among the old Soviet Politburo than there is among Ivy League donors. When 96% of Ivy League donors prefer one candidate to another, you have to wonder whether students are being exposed to the diversity of views that a great university should offer. Great universities must not become predictably partisan. And a liberal arts education must not be an education in the art of liberalism."

    "If a university thinks twice before inviting a commencement speaker because of his or her politics, censorship and conformity-the mortal enemies of freedom-win out. Isn't the purpose of a university to stir discussion, not silence it? What were the students afraid of hearing? Why did administrators not step in to prevent the mob from silencing speech? And did anyone consider that it is morally and pedagogically wrong to deprive other students the chance to hear the speech?"

    Serious questions. Great points. Well done Mr. Bloomberg.

Contact Director Knight Allen

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