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A note to ND student conformists

| Wednesday, November 11, 2015

As I sat in the auditorium, I double checked the address that I put into WAZE just to make sure that I hadn’t erroneously entered the Alliance for Liberal Learning Organizations. No, I had it right — Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, at which the public was invited to attend a panel discussion about the controversial Iran Nuclear Agreement.

I sure was looking forward to hearing unfiltered, intelligent commentary from both sides. Where other than Notre Dame could I learn from knowledgeable experts, filling in the gaps left open by narrow, shallow media reporting? I wanted to soak into my open mind the deep intellectual analysis of the pros and cons without the emotional, partisan demagoguery.

My wife and I settled into our primo seats, and, for light entertainment, began to speculate on which speakers were going to be for or against the Agreement, based upon their body language — casual, innocent stereotyping for amusement purposes only.

Much to our surprise, when the discussion was concluded, we discovered that all three speakers opined that the Iran Nuclear Agreemen is a wonderful deal. John Kerry could not have picked a better panel to praise his negotiating prowess — groupies, you might say.

Not only did we not hear an opposing point of view, but America, as a country, was soundly criticized because of its role in agreements throughout history. And we gave up a pleasant evening of bike riding around our small American town to come to Notre Dame for this?

After the discussion, I asked the moderator if he was unable to find a single professor at this entire world-class university who held a different opinion and could speak intelligently on the topic. He said he could not.

Nevertheless, more disturbing was the failure of the student body to raise a single voice in opposition. What? No dissent from about 140 students? In the 1960s, college students were unabashed critics of the status quo and verbally challenged university professors for pure sport. In 2015, do the students happily march in lock step with the propaganda at this prestigious university? Have you no desire, or courage, to dissent? Whom do you fear?

My wife and I left Notre Dame that night petrified — not of an Iranian nuclear bomb, but of the lack of balance, open-mindedness and independence of the next generation of leaders of our great country. Student indoctrination with one political philosophy, regardless of the bent, diminishes free speech and critical thought.

Let us all learn from Bill Maher of Politically Incorrect, “This country is not overrun with rebels and free thinkers. It’s overrun with sheep and conformists. We need more people speaking out.”

C’mon Irish, wake up the echos!

Kim Hall
Notre Dame dad

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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  • what no really

    Maaaaybe no one takes the opposing view because it’s nonsensical and no serious thinker has taken it for any reason that isn’t a political one?

    • MG

      Really? Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others in the Middle East certainly seem to have reservations. To label an opposing view as “nonsensical” is as shallow as being against the agreement because Obama is for it. It would have been a much better discussion if someone had presented an opposing viewpoint. Simply dismissing opponents as not being serious thinkers doesn’t prove the case for the agreement.

    • Johnny Whichard

      Wake up. The Iranians are still chanting “death to America”. Read the news.

      • what no really

        If some are, what relevance does that have to this deal?

        • Johnny Whichard

          um Given their head of their military has also said it….I’d say that’s pretty relevant. They also want to obliterate Israel off the face of the earth…

          • what no really

            “Iran doesn’t like us or Israel” is not a reason to not do the deal.

            The deal makes it more difficult or nearly impossible for them to make a nuclear weapon is a reason to do the deal.

          • Johnny Whichard

            Who told you that? CNN? The “deal” is throwing money to a country we flat out cannot and should not trust. Any country with a military that has STATED they want to kill US and Israel is more than a valid reason to not give them money and “trust” them to keep their word. Giving them billions of dollars to “develop” their current nuclear capabilities in the hopes that they remain peaceful is insanely foolish.

          • Johnny Whichard

            Additionally, this “deal” you are so fond of has left four Americans hostage in Iran. Obama really did a great job of taking care of our own citizens, didn’t he? One heck of a deal!

          • Johnny Whichard


            Great. Now future generations will get to worry about these jerks so Obama could try to leave his “legacy”.

            When a bully on the playground keeps threatening to kill you, you don’t bend over and give him money. You freaking stop him from threatening anybody else.

          • what no really

            why are conservatives so terrified of everything? What could Iran possibly do to the United States?

            And what would you propose we do? Nuke Iran?

          • Johnny Whichard

            Iran could attack us or our allies…like they have been pledging to do for years…

            They are an ENEMY…not a friend.

          • what no really

            “They could attack us” is a little vague. And my second question went unanswered.

          • Johnny Whichard

            “A little vague”….okay. They already have missiles….so they could develop a nuke warhead with $150b we gave them (not hard with their sketchy allies) and NUKE Israel….or develop said warhead and smuggle it into the USA and detonate it….(again not that hard with our open border).

            As for what we should’ve done? DON’T GIVE THEM ANY MONEY. Keep the sanctions on them. Demand our American prisoners be returned, or send in the Seals. That’s how a real president would act….not try to leave a “legacy” and bend over to the Iranian caliphate. Additionally, we should be striking down every single non-authorized nuclear facility. Did you know that Obama’s deal entrusts Iran to inspect themselves? Any of these “peaceful” nuke sites should be inspected by a third-party….and if Iran violates ANY of the nuclear agreements, they should be mercilessly punished financially.

          • what no really

            So I should trust you instead of disarmament and non-proliferation experts and nuclear scientists?

            I mean I know you guys are all anti-science in general but come on now.

            Again I ask, why are you so terrified of everything?

          • Rational Person

            “You guys” is a great generalization.

          • João Pedro Santos

            Iran never invaded a country in the last hundred years. On the other hand, the US…

          • what no really
  • BC

    im sure you were clamoring for balanced conversation scop held their righties against gay marriage conference.

    • Rational Person

      Very thoughtful contribution to the issue at hand. Thanks, DW.

  • João Pedro Santos

    ND’s Catholic organizations, such as SCOP, organize events consisting in:
    – Catholics claiming to be oppressed by atheists.
    – Hate speech against atheists.
    – Hate speech against gays.
    But apparently, if there is a liberal talk, it is completely biased. Conservatives’ double standards all over again.

    • MG

      Labeling something as “hate speech” is the ultimate insult in 2015. Any opinion with which one disagrees becomes dismissible if it’s called “hate speech.” I don’t hate atheists, gays, Tea Party members, liberals, conservatives, libertarians, Catholics, Jews, or Muslims. Somewhere in each of those groups some member will say something with which I strongly disagree. That doesn’t mean it’s hate speech.
      Good Lord, can people simply lighten up a bit and stop looking for reasons to be aggrieved at every turn? Someone with whom we disagree is not necessarily an enemy or oppressor.

      • João Pedro Santos
        • MG

          Yes, precisely my point. I’m surprised you don’t see the irony in sending the Wikipedia link.
          Unless somehow your point view is infallible the opposing view is not necessarily bigotry. I’m not advocating the idea that all opinions are of equal validity. I’m suggesting that simply dismis

          • João Pedro Santos

            “I’m surprised you don’t see the irony in sending the Wikipedia link.”
            I’m surprised (not really, actually) that you don’t understand that your argument sounded like “I’m entitled to my opinion”. And if you don’t know the definition of hate speech, I’d suggest you to search for it. You can also search for “prejudice”.
            PS: You’re an idiot. But don’t get offended by this, it’s just my opinion, it doesn’t mean I have something against you.

          • MG

            …ahh, the “ad hominem” fallacy. Well played, sir.

          • João Pedro Santos

            There was no ad hominem fallacy from me. Just because I think you’re an idiot, I don’t plan to use that has an argument… unless I explain that you’re an idiot based on the fact that you consider calling something “hate speech” as an insult. It isn’t an insult, it’s a statement. The same way that saying that a criminal is a criminal isn’t an insult, it’s a statement.
            But I’ll be clear: I was being ironic and trying to explain you how your point makes no sense. By calling you an idiot, you have your right to be offended (in fact, just because you said stupid stuff, it doesn’t make you an idiot automatically).
            Plus, the ad hominem come from you when you completely ignored what I wrote and said that using the term “hate speech” was an insult.