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The AALS Boycott:
I don't have much to add on the substance of the AALS boycott: I agree with Monroe Freedman that these things are a matter of taste, based, I think, on one's subjective sense of what ideas or causes are "beyond the pale" and the subjective value of declaring so in public. As a result, there isn't a whole lot to say on the merits. On the other hand, I can say one thing with certainty: Whoever thought up a boycott that requires you to be in San Diego in January but forbids you to attend the panels has a keen sense of how to appeal to the academic mind.
corneille1640 (mail):
Amen, brother!
8.5.2008 10:35pm
Matthew K (mail):
I literally laughed out loud at that. Fair enough!
8.5.2008 10:36pm
Steve Bainbridge (mail) (www):
The best comment on the mess to date (except my own, of course). (Well, okay, even including my own.)
8.5.2008 11:11pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
I had a travel agent tell me not to go to South Africa (this was the 1980s), but it was ok to go to the Soviet Union. I thought this rather strange as the Soviet Union had missiles pointed at me. South Africa didn't. At the time the Soviet Union was oppressing Jews. South Africa didn't do that either. The Soviet Union was giving material support to Arab countries menacing Israel. South Africa had good relations with Israel at that time. When the government of the Soviet Union fell, life ultimately got better for the people there. But after the government of South Africa fell, the place became crime ridden and poorer. The travel agent was in Berkeley. Now I don't travel to Berkeley and I'm happier for it.
8.5.2008 11:18pm
Bob_R (mail):
And note that the protesters are smart enough not to directly attack the AALS -lest they be put in charge of organizing the next meeting and finding a hotel that would satisfy the finely tuned political requirements of every member.
8.5.2008 11:21pm
Randy R. (mail):
Don't feel bad, Zarkov. I have a lot of business in China, and I get it from liberals AND conservatives.

(Canada, on the other hand, well, everyone just loves Canada!)
8.5.2008 11:23pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"I have a lot of business in China, and I get it from liberals AND conservatives."

China has missiles aimed at us as well. For the record I did once travel to the Soviet Union when I was young, but I was not fully aware of what it was like. After the trip I became aware. So perhaps on balance the trip there was a good idea. On the other hand, I knew who also went there, but for some reason they did not see what I could see.
8.5.2008 11:34pm
Psalm91 (mail):
Mr. Zarkov:

Is your point that there was something admirable about the apartheid era South Africa? You may not like Berkeley, but.....
8.6.2008 1:26am
A. Zarkov (mail):
"Is your point that there was something admirable about the apartheid era South Africa? You may not like Berkeley, but....."

I'm trying to point out contradictory attitudes about boycotts I found in Berkeley.
8.6.2008 5:27am
Public_Defender (mail):

these things are a matter of taste, based, I think, on one's subjective sense of what ideas or causes are "beyond the pale" and the subjective value of declaring so in public.


But it seems Prof. Bainbridge is arguing that it's "beyond the pale" to argue and act on the belief that supporting anti-gay causes is "beyond the pale."
8.6.2008 11:23am
The General:

But it seems Prof. Bainbridge is arguing that it's "beyond the pale" to argue and act on the belief that supporting anti-gay causes is "beyond the pale."


It's not anti-gay, it's pro-family, pro-traditional marriage, pro-child, pro-religious rights, and pro-rights of the people to make their own laws and not have out of touch elitist judges undemocratically strike down the democratically enacted definition of marriage based on their personal whims rather than the laws as they're written.

or maybe, you just need to look up "subjective" in the dictionary.
8.8.2008 1:43pm