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07/29/2002 Archived Entry: "Welcome to McBlog"

Welcome to McBlog, my venture into the weblogging!! I love having guests drop by.

You won't find much on feminism here, I'm afraid, because that intellectual interest is well and duly satisfied by ifeminists -- the individualist feminist site I edit daily for the Henry Hazlitt Foundation. Instead, I want to create a forum to focus on the civil liberties that are being threatened -- or outright destroyed -- in the wake of 9/11. I will post links to any interesting relevant articles I find...as below...

Bush looks at suspending the Posse Comitatus Act

Is Bush following Orwell's 1984 blueprint?

Librarians under siege to turn over records to FBI

I also want to keep friends and acquaintances current on projects, events, ideas I'm percolating, etc. To wit...This is my first full work day back at the computer after returning late Friday night from an exhausting and exhilarating week at Bryn Mawr, lecturing on behalf of the Institute for Humane Studies. The other lecturers: Alan Kors, Lynne Keisling, John Hasnas, James Taylor, and Nigel Ashford (also the seminar organizer). The event was a tremendous success. How successful? Well...On Thursday night, the 61 attending students threw a toga party that began at midnight and lasted until 7 a.m. Nevertheless, 55 of the students promptly showed up at the 9:00 lecture on Law and the Constitution, much to John Hasnas' surprise. (One of them showed up still wearing a toga, wrapped around his head -- apparently he lost a bet.) The intellectual content of the speeches was *that* good. On three hours or less sleep, the students ended the seminar by grilling the faculty during the "Big Question" segment, in which we bounced from children's rights to abortion, the source of value, globalization, cloning...

The highlight of the seminar was probably Flossie. Mild-mannered and boyish James Taylor delivered a lecture on "Banning" -- that is, what should society prohibit. The usual vices were suggested for prohibition by the students and James, through commentary and argumentation, arrived at a point where no one in the audience thought that a sexual act in which all adult persons involved had consented should be banned. Declaring himself relieved by this show of tolerance, James admitted to his own "minority preference." Producing a large stuffed sheep doll, he spoke of the the "love that dare not bleat its name..." [Oscar Wilde reference] At this point and after the uncontrollable laughter had stopped, about a dozen students wanted to ban his alleged preference.

Why? One girl yelled out, "Flossie didn't consent!" "Ah..." said James, "you're a vegetarian I presume?" She wasn't. He went through a graphic description of how sheep are slaughtered, finally asking, "You condone all that but you would deny an act of love?" And so it continued...with James making one of the most dramatic and brilliant cases I've ever heard for the social tolerance of peaceful but offensive behavior.

How airport screening/security guards reacted to the large stuffed sheep in James' backpack is quite another story...

Ah, well...back to work. I'll see you tomorrow.
Wendy aka "mac"

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