All of the recent buzz about freedom of speech and freedom of the press reminds me of the first, and only, course I ever took dedicated to these topics.
I was working on my M.A. at the University of Houston, and in my first semester in 1976, I took a graduate course in Issues in Freedom of Speech.
The professor was William A. Linsley, who had both a J.D. and a Ph.D., and was the author of a book entitled Speech Criticism: Methods and Materials (New York: William C. Brown, 1968). At the time, he was a Full Professor at the University, and the Chairman of the Department of Speech Communication.
In the course, we reviewed historical and current free speech cases that were reviewed by the United States Supreme Court.
I reflect back upon the importance of those cases, and comparing them with the tit-for-tat interplay between President Trump and the media today, well – there is no comparison. The current rhetoric reminds me of playground bullying, and the CNN video Trump tweeted this weekend illustrates the unproductive use of time and attention that surrounds all this. It is laughable to me that the Supreme Court would ever agree to consider anything about all of this current case or recent incidents.
I would like to go back in time to Dr. Linsley’s class, and insert the current situation, and see what he and my classmates would say about all this from an academic free speech perspective. My guess is that the consensus would be it is “their choice,” poke fun at it, and move on.
And, what happened to Linsley? He passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2006. I found his obituary from the Houston Chronicle.
WILLIAM ALLAN LINSLEY, J.D., PH.D., died on October 24, 2006, from pancreatic cancer at the Houston Hospice at the Medical Center. Dr. Linsley was born to William Les and Berta M. Linsley on September 22, 1933, in Peoria, Illinois. He grew up in Peoria where he attained the rank of Eagle Scout at the age thirteen. William graduated from Woodruff High School and earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Bradley University in Peoria. At Bradley, as well as at Woodruff, William was national champion debater and served as the Bradley Brave at the University. He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. William continued at Indiana University earning a law degree. Following his graduation from Indiana University in 1956, he entered the Air Force as a second lieutenant through an R.O.T.C. commission. He served tours of duty in Washington, D.C. and the Far East as a counter intelligence and espionage officer. Upon completing his service at the rank of captain with the Air Force, he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma in 1963. William also did graduate research at the University of Illinois and Northwestern University. By 1963, William had earned five university degrees. Following the completion of his Ph.D., William joined the faculty at the University of Houston. He taught communication law and ethics, copyright law, and First Amendment Freedom of Speech to students in the School of Communication. He published many articles relating to these topics including the review of the Supreme Court cases relating to the First Amendment and served as a consultant to H.L.&P., M.D. Anderson, and Rice University. After thirty-three years, Dr. Linsley retired with the rank of Professor Emeritus. Professor Linsley is survived by his wife Joan; daughter Ann Linsley-Kennedy, her husband John Kennedy, and grandson and namesake William Kennedy of Bellaire, Texas; daughter Vanessa Linsley of Key West Florida, brother Dwight Linsley and his wife Karen of Whitehall, Michigan, brother-in-law Robert Van Horn and his wife Mary of Glidden, Iowa, sister-in-law Jean Cavanaugh of Great Bend, Kansas, nieces and nephews Kathleen Bowman, Tom, Jones, Mike, and James Cavanaugh, John Van Horn, his companion dogs Peter Paul and Bear, and many friends around the world. William was preceded in death by his parents, William Les and Berta M. Linsley and his beloved pets Cynthia, Freddie, Louie, DinKie, and Reggie. We are grateful for all the support and assistance that have come from special friends and colleagues Mr. And Mrs. Paul Eads, Dr. Les Switzer, Dr. Larry Judd, James Schumburg, Dr. Eugene Decker, Dr. Gerald Falchook, Mrs. Fanny Man, Laura Kirby and the exceptional caretakers, Mrs. Joan Wilcox and Ms. Margaret Watkins. Donations in William’s memory may be made to the Houston Hospice at the Medical Center or the S.P.C.A. Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from five o’clock to seven-thirty in the evening on Friday, October 27 at the Bradshaw-Carter Funeral Home, 1734 West Alabama, Houston, Texas. A memorial service will be held at four o’clock in the afternoon on Saturday, October 28, 2006, at the same location. On line tributes may be posted @www.bradshawcarter.com.
And, what happened to me in his class? I made an A. I still would (LOL).
I won’t spoil the presentation next week at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas, but if you attend, you will certainly find Rory Vaden‘s approach to time management very different from every traditional approach you have ever seen.
His premise is different, yet realistic. We all have the same amount of time. His idea is to ignore methods and tools you have heard about for years. These include prioritizing daily tasks, segmenting parts of your day into specific focused activities, and so forth. Rather, his focus is on understanding and coming to grips with the emotions that get in our way and preventing us from maximizing our time. To Vaden, time is not something you spend, but something you invest.
You will remember his previous blockbuster best-seller, Take the Stairs. Over time, Vaden has become one of the most popular and influential speakers and authors of our time.
As an award-winning entrepreneur and business leader, Rory Co-Founded Southwestern Consulting™, a multi-million dollar global consulting practice that helps clients in more than 14 countries drive educated decisions with relevant data. He’s also the Founder of The Center for the Study of Self-Discipline (CSSD). Rory is the world’s leader on defining the psychology around modern day procrastination, called Priority Dilution™ – in fact, he coined the term. He speaks and consults on how to say no to the things that don’t matter, and yes to the things that do. His client list includes companies and groups such as: Cargill, The Million Dollar Roundtable, P&G, True Value, YPO, Wells Fargo Advisors, Land O’Lakes, Novartis, and hundreds more. His insights have recently been featured on/in: Fox News, CNN, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Inc, Fortune, and the New York Times. He is a regular contributor for American Express Open Forum, Huffington Post, and The Tennessean and his articles and insights average more than 4 million views every day.
For more, you need to attend the presentation on Friday. You will hear all about the five permissions.
I can promise you it will be a very different approach to managing time, from someone who is very different himself.
I will see you then!
Cheryl offers: There is a reporter at CNN named Caitlin Hagan that I really like. Her latest achievement is today’s story about a surgeon at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. It seems his patient, a young Afghani soldier who had been brought there with a serious head injury, was also quite dangerous to himself and those around him without even knowing it. What they initially thought was shrapnel turned out to be a live bullet that had not detonated. After multiple tests confirmed the identity of the object, an explosive ordnance disposal team was summoned. That’s when Major John Bini, who oversees all major trauma cases there, became what Jim Collins defines in his book Good to Great a Level 5 leader. Bini took all the precautions necessary such as donning body armor under his scrubs, dismissing all non-essential personnel from the premises, removing sources of electricity in the operating room, manually administering the procedures for the operation and when he couldn’t use clamps or a scalpel close to the bullet, he pulled the object out with his hands. When it was all over, he calmly deflected praise and instead pointed to the soldiers who are in the field as the ones deserving praise. Collins defines a Level 5 leader as someone who “Builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will.” Dr. Bini saw this as his job because he is the director of the emergency surgery course, nothing more, nothing less. To me, that is greatness, courage, and humility. Who wouldn’t want to follow that leader?