Bollinger, Coatsworth and Mahmoud (goodbye testicles)
I agree with you on Columbia/Ahmedinijad. But you left something out.
There is quite a bit of BAD FAITH in Columbia's invoking freedom of speech and "reasoned discourse" to justify the invitation to Mahmoud. Dean Coatsworth said that even Hitler would have been invited to Columbia to speak. Well, maybe Hitler could have spoken at Columbia ... but ... this is what happened when Jim Gilchrist (a purveyor of "odious ideas?") spoke at Columbia: http://youtube.com/watch?v=PuNXmy0e5fc
As for Bollinger, how stupid does he think we are? He invites a man to engage in "reasoned discourse" and then insults him to his face in public. Everyone knows that such behavior is reprehensible, especially so in Iran, whose traditions of hospitality forbid insulting your guest, no matter who he is. Could Mahmoud, at that moment, have had less than absolute contempt for his host? I do not think so. Mahmoud knows his adversary is a worm, and I know it, too.
Thankfully, Columbia may be exceptional. Not all universities invite monsters to speak; for example, UC Davis, which rescinded Larry Summers' invitation.
I realize I'm sounding like Victor Davis Hanson, but sometimes, Norm, it does seem that a big part of the problem is this:
Thank you for your work,
Bob adds: I have added some links to my last post on this.