Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

No Go Zones Mean No Academic Freedom

It was reported this morning in the Orlando Sentinel that the Florida State Legislature has passed an anti-terrorism bill that would prevent the faculty and students of public universities and community colleges from traveling to countries on the US State Department's Terrorism Watch List with either state or non-state(read private) funds. The countries banned are Cuba, Sudan,Iran, North Korea, and Syria. It has the support of Jeb Bush. No surprise there.

This would, in effect, bar professors and students from conducting research in these countries. I don't need to say more about the stupidity of such a move as everyone here understands. So much for academic freedom. Let's hope it doesn't become a trend.


Dr. Strangelove said...

Wow. Yet another dumb law from Republicans. What will they think of next?

Anonymous said...

This disgusting infringement on a fundamental democratic liberty (the freedom to learn without interference from the state or Church) is wrong just on the merits. But think of the consequences!

The already below average Florida public university system - already not up to the standards of the UC system or the Big Ten - will continue its proud climb to mediocrity. Scholars who already specialize in social scientific and cultural studies of these countries/regions will either refuse job offers in Florida universities or leave as soon as possible. Prospective graduate students who wish to specialize in these countries will go elsewhere.

In addition, suppose we imposed this fascist policy nation wide! Where do the Bushies think the CIA, Defense Department, State Department etc will find trained experts to analyze the intelligence we so desperately need on these potentially hostile countries!? Imagine if Harry Truman had responded to the Cold War by outlawing the teaching of Russian or the study of Soviet politics?!

This version of the Republican party must be stopped for the good of the country, I hope the Democrats can win in November! 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

Even before you bring up academic freedom and value to the country up, isn't this infeasible on its face? The article doesn't quote much of the bill directly, but prohibiting academics from `using "state or non-state funds" to travel' seems like saying I can't go there on my own dime.

Are they seriously restricting freedom of travel, just on the basis of being a particular type of state employee?

Of course, I want to go on, but as USWest said, I'm sure that you and all right-thinking people are probably thinking exactly the same things I'm tempted to fulminate about.

I greatly appreciate USWest bringing this to my attention, because frankly it is so inconceivable to me that I wouldn't have imagined it possible. Proposing polygraph loyalty tests for all state employees would've surprised me less. 

// posted by Bob