Monday, April 24, 2017

Let's face it, Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos just want a riot because it will help sell their books

At least they don't reproduce
Mod: The thought that Broomstick Annie and preening child sex advocate Milo Yapalot are somehow being prevented from speaking their feverish little minds is kind of laughable since neither ever seems to shut up. Not even for a blessed moment. But there's a lot of money to be made so the campus outside agitator circus must go on. So why their fixation on Berkeley? The very real potential for riots and mayhem, of course. And in a very symbolic setting no less. Nothing will help boost their speaking fees and book sales like the sight of brightly burning buildings and chaos at one America's most venerable universities. Here are a couple of articles with all of the latest excitement.

Ann Coulter vs. Berkeley, Round 2 - She refuses to speak when university says it would be safe and insists she will appear this week. Milo Yiannopoulos says he's coming back in the fall (Inside Higher Ed link): The fight over whether and when Ann Coulter will speak at the University of California, Berkeley, did not end with the university's invitation to her to speak there May 2.

Before that invitation was extended, the university had said it could not allow campus Republican groups to host her talk April 27 because of security concerns, and that she would have to wait until the fall semester. Amid charges that it was denying Coulter a platform due to her views (charges Berkeley officials repeatedly denied), officials regrouped and said they had found a location on campus where she could appear with security assured, on May 2.

But the fight is not over. Coulter is vowing to show up Thursday. And she's suggesting that she will sue Berkeley for insisting that she appear May 2 instead. The university, meanwhile, is accusing Coulter and her campus fans of distorting free speech principles, and putting the safety of Coulter and any who might attend her talk in danger.

Further, the university is arguing that a commitment to free speech does not mean that it has to agree to let Coulter appear at any time or any place -- and that its objections to her plans have nothing to do with her political views.

A letter from a lawyer representing Berkeley College Republicans and Young America’s Foundation -- two groups seeking to bring Coulter to campus -- says that May 2 is an inappropriate date because it comes during the study period after classes end and before final exams. This date was selected, the letter says, to depress attendance and because Coulter will no longer be in the area to give a talk.

Further, the letter accuses Berkeley of a pattern of "similar silencing" of guest appearances of conservative thinkers. It cites the planned appearance of former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos in February, which the letter says was "canceled at the last minute on the pretext of being unable to provide adequate security."

Berkeley officials defended the right of Yiannopoulos to appear (amid considerable criticism from campus groups for not blocking him from appearing). The university called off the event as it was about to start, as noncampus groups engaged in violent protest and vandalism while student groups engaged in nonviolent protest.

In a letter back to the conservative groups' lawyer, Berkeley defended its actions. The Berkeley letter said that the campus groups bringing in Coulter signed contracts with her before conferring with the university about security issues. When Berkeley learned of the invitation, officials were concerned because of the violence that accompanied the Yiannopoulos visit to campus, and violent clashes among protesters in the city of Berkeley more recently. The university rejected the April 27 event based on "mounting intelligence that some of the same groups that previously engaged in local violent action also intended violence at the Coulter event."

Further, the university said that -- when security issues are involved -- student organizations don't have an absolute right to host events whenever they want. "Student organizations’ access to event venues on campus is subject to the availability of venues of appropriate size and the ability of the university to provide adequate security," the letter said. "Security risks of each event are evaluated independently. Differences in the management of event security have nothing to do with the university’s agreement or disagreement with the opinions of the speakers, but are based entirely on [the police department's] assessment of the security risks and the measures needed to minimize them."

Finally, the university said that it is untrue to say that Berkeley hasn't worked to allow conservative student groups to hold events, even those requiring security. "This semester, UC Berkeley has dedicated more resources -- in the form of staff time, administrative attention, police resources and cash outlay -- to facilitating BCR's [Berkeley College Republicans'] expressive activities than have been devoted to any other student group in memory. Dedicated staff and administrators have spent countless hours, including during weekends and vacations, working to enable BCR’s planned events and to maximize the possibility that those events can occur safely for the participants, the speakers, our students and others in our campus community."

Must be allergies
Yiannopoulos Plans Return
Whatever happens with Coulter this week, Berkeley appears likely to continue to be the focus of debates over free speech and security.

Speakers known for their inflammatory statements -- and for attracting both violent and peaceful protests -- are vying to visit the campus. Since Yiannopoulos tried to speak on campus in February, he has gone from a conservative hero to (in some circles) a conservative embarrassment. In February videos circulated in which Yiannopoulos appeared to defend sex between boys as young as 13 and older men.

Yiannopoulos has since said that his views were distorted and that he was talking about older teenagers, and that he opposes the sexual abuse of children. But the Conservative Political Action Conference withdrew an invitation for him to speak there, and Yiannopoulos all of a sudden became someone not just opposed by many campus groups for his rhetoric, but by conservatives as well.

But Friday, Yiannopoulos on Facebook announced his plans to return to Berkeley.

"I am planning a huge multiday event called Milo's Free Speech Week in Berkeley later this year. We will hold talks and rallies and throw massive parties, all in the name of free expression and the First Amendment," he wrote. "Free speech has never been more under threat in America -- especially at the supposed home of the free speech movement. I will bring activists, writers, artists, politicians, YouTubers, veterans and drag queens from across the ideological spectrum to lecture, march and party.

"Milo's Free Speech Week will include events on the UC Berkeley campus. We will stand united against the 'progressive' Left … Free speech belongs to everyone -- not just the spoiled brats of the academy … Each day will be dedicated to a different enemy of free speech, including feminism, Black Lives Matter and Islam. If UC Berkeley does not actively assist us in the planning and execution of this event, we will extend festivities to an entire month. We will establish a tent city on Sproul Plaza protesting the university's total dereliction of its duty and encourage students at other universities to follow suit."

Guillermo: Ann Coulter No Free Speech Saint (Diverse Education link): I believe in free speech, the First Amendment and all that. That’s our starting point on campus, and in America. It’s free speech for me and thee, as the saying goes, in a healthy democracy.

So let’s not make Ann Coulter into a free speech martyr just yet because the University of California, Berkeley switched her speech dates from this coming Thursday, April 27, to a time and place that could assure her safety. That would be May 2.

Instead of being flattered that there are some people concerned for her personal well-being, Coulter’s not going to have it. In addition, the more she complains, the more it comes off as a less-than-fine whine.

There is good reason for the switched dates. Some people were actually thinking nice things about Coulter and showing concern, which is more than most of the public would. However, such is the price one pays for living life as the ever-provocative right-wing media persona of one’s own creation. She’s Bill O’Reilly in a dress. And I’m sure she’s upset to not be considered for his replacement. She’ll just have to make her noise elsewhere.

As I’ve long said, colleges and universities don’t have a “free speech” problem. They have a “how to present provocative speakers” problem.

And Berkeley has actually come up with a good compromise after it originally cancelled Coulter’s April 27 appearance.

Berkeley’s solution — a different date and a safer venue — actually makes common sense.

Of course, everyone seems to have a dog in this fight, from the Berkeley College Republicans that sent her the initial invitation, as well as the national conservative group, the Young America’s Foundation (which incidentally reported as footing the vast part of Coulter’s $20,000 speaking fee). And everyone is threatening legal action.

However, university spokesperson Dan Mogulof said the school was on solid legal grounds and spoke about putting public safety first.

“We are concerned about (Coulter’s) disregard for the assessment and recommendations of law enforcement professionals whose primary focus is the safety and well-being of our students and other members of our campus community,” Mogulof told the Washington Post.

I suppose a right-wing, pro-gun fanatic like Coulter would say we’d all be safer if everyone just showed up with their own guns. As I write the sentence, the notion is ludicrous.

However, I would like to see how much concerned she would have for her safety at a right-to-carry school like the University of Texas at Austin.

Instead, Coulter is all too willing to put herself up on a stake as if she were the First Amendment’s St. Joan. The symbolism is more appealing than anything.

Coulter’s part of the showbiz realm of politics, which Donald Trump has exploited to the extreme. More than actually speaking to the crowd, Coulter gets her jollies from the process of getting to the podium. The news generated from being cancelled, then offered a substitute venue, and then rejecting that and threatening legal action, does more for Coulter than actually giving the speech.

Whatever she was going to say would not be considered news. Rejecting a substitute venue makes Coulter news.

What gets lost in all the posturing is the real problem of adequate public safety at events that draw large numbers of outsiders — and potential disrupters.

The school’s solution made sense. Hold it during day hours when the dark of night is not an ally to protestors. And have it during a break period. Fewer students, sure, but those students who desperately want to meet Coulter will be there. And those who don’t will be away. Such a move also lowers the net potential liability to actual university community members. And the ones who want to see her and show up will be adequately protected by university cops.

A fair compromise. Personally, I would have had it while class was in session during the day. In a classroom, students who did want to ask questions and challenge Coulter could do so.

But again, that’s not really what Coulter or the young conservatives are interested in. It’s not about the public discourse. It’s all about the public show, and exploiting the legacy of Berkeley, the great public university that has its symbolic legacy of protest and free speech. And now they have a week’s work of buildup before any speech or discourse occurs.

Coulter gets much pub. And likely will get to keep a chunk of her $20,000 fee whether she speaks or not.

If she’s really interested in free speech, let’s see her volunteer to show up at a class. Forget the fee. Go to a lecture hall and teach without portfolio. (What does Coulter know compared to say Robert Reich, the former Clinton labor secretary who teaches there?) Talk for a while and take questions. Make it a class, not a rhetorical circus for media attention. Act like a scholar with something to say, instead of a blonde mannequin with something to sell — books, an image, a right-wing viewpoint. Let’s see if she actually belongs up there with the best professors speaking to the students of arguably America’s finest public university.

Who knows what will happen this week?

But if Coulter wants to keep playing free-speech saint, I’d settle for her showing up unannounced on Bancroft and Telegraph during the day with a bullhorn next to the mobile falafel stand. Let’s see who draws more — Coulter or the chickpea balls.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

47 comments:

  1. She is a master at this. A con-artist that will usually make an outrageous comment to get air time just as she comes out with a new book. #45 USES THIS DAILY, TO SEE HIMSELF IN THE NEWS. Both petulant babies with mental disorders.

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  2. I say force her to sign a agreement to provide her own security and insurance and let her speak on the 27th. and announce the event as a culture event put on by her and security by her so she will be responsible if some student gets killed.

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    Replies
    1. I'm with you 100%. Her security....her neck.

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  3. Of course they do. All rightwing lunatics want a Reichstag fire.

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  4. Remember the bumper sticker "What if they gave a war and nobody came?"

    If I were at UC Berkeley and if anyone one would listen to me, I would say just stay as far away from tees megalomaniaca and their entourage as possible.

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  5. Project Science (this is my idea, but anyone out there want to run with it?) send a science toy to the local Boys and Girls clubs, church and school afterschool day care, etc. all over the US, primarily in Red States, as a gift from Barron Trump. Children love science.

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  6. Send those fake blonde aryan wannabes back to the corrupt swamp they slithered from

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  7. The extreme right and left need each other. Nobody else would pay attention if they weren't out there destroying stuff and each other.

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    Replies
    1. Except there really is no 'far left' movement of any note in this country.

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    2. There are some pretty robust and quite militant anarchist groups in places like Berkeley and Portland. That is who showed up when Milo the Creep was there.

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    3. Name them. I say there is no notable 'far left' movement of any significant influence in this country.

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    4. The anarchist groups? What are you babbling about?

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  8. What would Mario Savio say?

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    1. I think he would use his right to free speech to question why anyone would want to pay attention to a strange little creep who advocates for child molestation.

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  9. I hope they cut her hair and shave her head.

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    1. Yikes.
      Just forcing her to answer some questions with coherence will be enough.

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    2. Women Nazi collaborators in France at the end of WWII had their heads shaved so everyone could see them for what they were.

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    3. Of all the cowardly things the French did during WWII, punishing the women who collaborated with the Germans was their low point. The very men who capitulated to the German army after just 45 days had the nerve to condemn those same women they left unprotected. They surrendered "unconditionally" and allowed the Germans to occupy their country for over four years. These same cowards expected those women to resist the Germans when they did not. They should have had their heads shaved, and then apologized to the women they left unprotected.

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    4. Poor misunderstood traitors.

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  10. Let me understand this.
    A University that prides itself on freedom of speech, has a prior Obama appointed Homeland Security Chief, now sitting in as the schools Chanslor, can't figure out what to do.
    Now "you"know why Donald J Trump was elected as President of the United States, "children" can only be in charge for a moment in time, before the adults step back into the picture and sort out the tantrums.
    UC Berkeley is a joke and a waste of public funds, cut the funding.
    Freedom scares the "left", that's why supporters cling to big government.

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    Replies
    1. I think 8:00am didn't get accepted there.

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    2. Berkeley is a superb school. It is the only public university that repeatedly makes the ranking of one of the best universities in the world, and there are more noble laureates on the faculty there than there are anywhere else.
      But of course with the ascendancy of the ignorant, noble laureates are no big deal.

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    3. That's troll #1- exercising his right to poor grammar

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    4. Poor fellow has lost an oar.

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    5. Trump guy is feeling blue today. It looks like Le Pen is going to Le Lose.

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  11. 8:19am. That explains why nothing of value in the real world, comes from UC Berkeley.

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    1. Your inability to understand difficult subjects and discoveries is not the equivalent of "nothing of value."

      Here's nothing: http://berkeley.edu/news/features/nobel/

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  12. 8:25am. Berkeley grad?
    Must be, your snooty intolerance of anything not related to expensive academy is showing.

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    Replies
    1. Actually it was the bad spelling and awful grammar.

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    2. Don't need no book learning' 8:25. Learn all you need to know watching Fox News and Duck Dynasty.

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    3. Don't need no book learnin' nobow.

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  13. Troll #1 doesn't think that trump has tantrums, still thinks he one the majority vote.

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  14. Can you just state affirmatively and finally that you won't cover Sierra Madre? Just change the byline.

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    Replies
    1. Weds, Thurs, Fri and Sat were all Sierra Madre posts.

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    2. Why do you care ?

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    3. Who doesn't?

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  15. If she wants to speak there so badly (pun intended), why pay her a speaking fee? She should pay to speak there, and, as stated by 5:54, should pay for security and insurance. Why should tax payers subsidize what is nothing more than a promotional event with a planned controversy designed to sell books?

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    Replies
    1. An infomercial is not Free Speech.

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    2. Good point. Neither is a publicity stunt.

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  16. UC Berkeley, where to send your kids for the cradled, entitled, white anglo, george soros paid protests experience.

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    Replies
    1. Completely clueless.

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    2. White people comprise barely 25% of newly enrolled students at UC Berkeley. No more fake facts from you racist alt-reality idiots!

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    3. Or if you want your kids to have the greatest education a school can offer. Caltech is a good second choice.

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  17. If Adolf Hitler had been contracted to speak by a local group would the University have no grounds to refuse him a platform?

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  18. Did ivanka have plastic surgery on her nose and chin?

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