Monday, October 22, 2007

Tonight at DePaul University in Chicago: A Clash of Ideas, if not Civilizations

It is anticipated that protestors, from a variety of perspectives, will be present tonight. With the original, if not current, spirit of universities in America prevailing, they are welcome... so long as they are...

As we used to say in East L. A., “Be there or Be Square, No Levis or Capris, please.” Well, Okay, you can wear Levis or Capris (if you can find some). However, the important item is not your attire, but that you choose to come to tonight’s clash of ideas, if not civilizations.

The topic, I am told, is “War with Iran,” as a part of this week’s “Terrorism Awareness Week,” events [See here], sponsored by DePaul’s Conservative Alliance.

The program features speakers Amir Abbas Fakhravar (an Iranian dissident student leader) and Robert Spencer, a prolific author who I am told will touch on, among other matters, the religious conflict within Iran. Other topics to be discussed, I imagine, will be the burgeoning nuclear capability of Iran, and what type of a national security threat, if any, that poses for the United States and what, if anything, should be done to deal with that.

The event begins at 7:00 pm tonight at Cortelyou Commons, 2342 N. Fremont St., DePaul University with Nicholas G. Hahn III, President, DePaul Conservative Alliance, presiding.

Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of “Public Affairs,"(Watch here) a contributing correspondent at the Illinois Channel and the publisher of this blog, will be moderating the event. As regular viewers of Public Affairs would know, Berkowitz is the white line down the middle of the road in terms of presenting balanced shows, discussions and university programs, and he will try to moderate in accord with that guiding principle.

Berkowitz has been told that Amir Abbas Fakhravar and Robert Spencer have each been allocated about twenty minutes, or so, to speak, followed by Scott Hibbard, a DePaul University Assistant Professor of Political Science, who perhaps has a more liberal perspective than the other panelists. Hibbard will be given five minutes to speak or ask questions and then the program will be thrown open to questions of the panelists from the audience and moderator.

Berkowitz suggested a somewhat more balanced conservative/liberal allocation of time, but the powers that be have decided to go with the above described format, arguing that “all involved understand that the audience is coming primarily to see and hear Amir Abbas Fakhravar and Robert Spencer, and that Hibbard is okay with that allocation."

It is anticipated that protestors, from a variety of perspectives, will be present. With the original, if not current, spirit of universities in America prevailing, they are welcome and will be given an opportunity to ask questions (not make speeches), along with all others, so long as they are civil at all times and respect the right of others to speak and the right of the program’s sponsor to run the program in a fair, orderly and thoughtful manner.

Of course, again, this being America, the media are invited to attend, report, record and film the event, or parts thereof, at their choice. Indeed, the media won’t want to miss tonight’s program: a vigorous exchange of ideas on important questions of the Day on a university campus —this should be an intellectual event of note and an illuminating and entertaining discussion.
Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs," and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at You may watch "Public Affairs," shows with Presidential Candidates Richardson, Obama, McCain, Giuliani and Cox and many other pols at