The War On Irony

I saw a lovely young woman on TV tonight at NYU, New York University. She was in a riot that was designed to silence someone, to keep them from speaking on campus. She was screaming “We will not sit back and allow Nazis to have a platform to feel comfortable and organize and mobilize!” …

I wanted to reach through the TV and shake her and say “Nazis are people who use violence to silence others from speaking, and that’s you!” But unfortunately, this bizarre inversion is all the rage these days. I saw an email to a Republican electoral voter that said “You are a hateful bigot, and I hope you die!”

Clearly the writer had not heard of irony … berkeley-iii

Now, I was a student at the University of California in Berkeley during the Free Speech Movement of 1964-65. I was just a foot soldier, I went to rallies and speeches. It was a movement designed to force the University to use the same rules on campus that apply off campus—the usual American First Amendment rules. The movement was driven by the liberal side of the political spectrum. We sat in and had peaceful demonstrations to demand that the University stop censoring speakers and stop preventing them from speaking on campus. Back then, liberals were all about free speech and non-violence. And we succeeded, the University started letting all speakers have equal access.

So I nearly wept last night to see the University of California once again conspiring to silence a speaker, and the irony was, it was being driven to do so by violence from the very same liberals that once prized free speech and non-violence. When did that change happen? How did I miss it? When did the Democrats become the party of riots, beatings, and intimidation?

The Berkeley speaker in question was Milo Yiannopoulos. He is the ultimate liberal nightmare, because he is a funny gay Jewish Republican. He breaks all the boundaries at once, their minds can’t handle it.

Now, the University played an underhanded game. First they said OK, the campus Republican Club can invite you to speak. Then, not long before the event, they said the Republican Club had to pay for the security.

Note that this is not security to protect people from the Republican club. This is security to protect people from liberal rioters … explain to me why the organizers need to pay for that?

Now, imagine for a minute that you run such a University. If you know that people may riot against a speaker, the obvious response is that you get your campus cops together with the city police. You plan on how you are going to control the crowd. You consider what you will do if various scenarios occur. You design, barricade, and enforce a pathway for people who wish to hear the speaker have safe access. You deploy your women and men to minimize and prevent violence from happening.

However, Janet Napolitano, the head of the University, along with the Mayor of Berkeley, acted in a most cowardly manner. Rather than do any of that planning and coordination and action, they stood idly by while a hundred thousand dollars worth of damage was being done by rioters. I couldn’t find a single report of anyone arrested.

And of course, a predictable riot occurred as an inescapable result of the pusillanimous actions of the authorities. Then the University cravenly used that riot as an excuse to cancel the event, preventing Milo from speaking. Not only that, but another University of California campus followed up by cancelling Milo’s speaking engagement there. Gutless University cowards. UNIVERSITIES ARE SUPPOSED TO PRESENT AND PROTECT OPPOSING VIEWS!

berkeley-iSo we have the irony of the University and the Berkeley Police force, those very institutions who are supposed to promote and protect free speech, standing by on a miniature modern Kristallnacht and watching as the windows of UC Berkeley, my alma mater, where liberals once demanded, promoted, and protected freedom of speech, get shattered to the ground by liberal rioters.

Then we have the irony of the name of the group who led the rioting and broke the windows to stop someone from exercising their Free Speech rights. They call themselves the “AntiFa”. This is short for “Anti-fascists”.

Who knew? Curiously, at least on my planet, “fascists’ are people who riot and break windows to stop someone from speaking, and “anti-fascists” are the people who oppose that violence … in other words, anti-fascists are what the police and University are supposed to be.

Finally, we have the irony of the media. The Bloomberg headline about the UC Berkeley riots says “Milo Yiannopoulos Sparks Riots”. The Wrap says “Milo Yiannopoulos Speech at UC Berkeley Sparks Fiery Protest”.

Milo sparked the riots? Get real. THE ANTIFA SPARKED THE RIOTS! Milo is a smart, funny conservative comic who terrifies the liberals. The liberals are afraid someone might actually enjoy him and learn something from him. He didn’t “spark” anything. He was the victim of the riots, and as is far too common these days when the victim is a conservative, the media is blaming the victim. 

So just to make sure I have this straight: white is black, up is down, people exercising their free speech rights are Nazis, a gay Jew is a homophobic anti-Semite, the victim of the riot caused it, and anti-fascists are people who riot and burn things … OK, got it …

Like the song says, “I fought the irony and the irony won” …

Best to all, liberals and conservatives alike. I do wish the Democrats would get it together. Not one word from the Democratic leadership condemning this kind of rioting and violence. We need a strong opposition party, not a one-party state …

w.

Advertisements

73 thoughts on “The War On Irony

  1. From Brendan O’Neill of The Spectator:

    A great irony occurred yesterday. Many on the left spent the day flitting between mocking Donald Trump for not knowing who Frederick Douglass was and defending the shutting down of the Milo Yiannopoulos meeting at Berkeley by a loud and angry group of protesters. Their online commentary alternated between “OMG the actual president doesn’t know who Frederick Douglass is!” and “So what if a mob shut down Milo? This is how the fightback starts.”

    This suggests they also don’t much about Douglass. Because if they did they would know that one of most stirring, moving things he ever wrote was a criticism of the shutting down of public meetings by mobs.

    On 2 December 1860, at the Tremont Temple in Boston, anti-slavery activists held a meeting titled “How Shall Slavery Be Abolished?”. Douglass, being of course an escaped slave turned writer and campaigner for abolition, was at the meeting. To his and everyone else’s horror, a group of pro-slavery people — Douglass called them “a mob of gentlemen” — disrupted the meeting. They screamed insults at the attendees, took over the room, and drowned out anyone who tried to speak. They pushed the attendees about. Douglass was most shocked by the failure of the mayor of Boston to protect the meeting. The gathering was “broken up and dispersed by the order of the mayor, who refused to protect it, though called upon to do so”.

    In response, Douglass wrote a short article titled “A Plea for Free Speech in Boston”. It is one of the best things about free speech you will ever read. He said the intrusion and dispersal of the meeting was “a palpable and flagrant outrage on the right of speech”. He said it had “trampled under foot… the law of free speech and the law for the protection of public meetings”. And then he spelled out why freedom of speech is so incredibly important:

    “Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down. They know its power. Thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, founded in injustice and wrong, are sure to tremble, if men are allowed to reason of righteousness, temperance, and of a judgment to come in their presence. Slavery cannot tolerate free speech. Five years of its exercise would banish the auction block and break every chain in the South.”

    This is perhaps Douglass’s most important legacy: the argument that free speech underpins all liberty; the idea that the freedom to think and speak and write is a precursor to any kind of progress. And it’s this legacy that is shot down by those who argue that using pressure or threats or speech codes or whatever to shut down controversial speakers is acceptable behaviour. Yes, the men meeting in Boston 150 years ago were discussing something important and progressive — how to abolish slavery — while Milo’s meeting would largely have consisted of provocateur pisstaking, but so what? As Douglass said in that article, all people, whatever their ideas or social station, should enjoy freedom of speech: “There can be no right of speech where any man, however lifted up, or however humble, however young, or however old, is overawed by force, and compelled to suppress his honest sentiments.”

    Yes, of course Trump should know who Douglass was — I hope someone has given him a copy of “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”. But in continually compelling people to suppress their honest sentiments, in “overawing by force” those they disagree with, in thinking it is acceptable to use pressure or law or rules to prevent the holding of public meetings, the left does as grave a disservice to Douglass as Trump did. They forget that liberty is meaningless where people’s right to utter their thoughts has ceased to exist.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I agree with most of your comments. However, your statement “the left does as grave a disservice to Douglass as Trump did.” is nonsense. There are a lot of great people and a lot of facts I do not know about, and many I do, but unless one is a historian, or has a near perfect memory, all people, including presidents will have some limits to their knowledge. This is likely more so for Trump, since he was not a politician, a teacher, a lawyer, etc., but a businessman. Trumps lack of familiarity is not a disservice, just limited knowledge. What the left is doing is major bad behavior and a disservice to Douglas.

      Liked by 2 people

      • “[…] all people, including presidents will have some limits to their knowledge. This is likely more so for Trump, since he was not a politician, a teacher, a lawyer, etc., but a businessman.”

        Well put, Leonard. I’m sure the previous President was filled in on the details of the 57 states he visited by the Marine Corpse.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Not everyone keeps up a proper study of history (or of music, or of engineering, etc,). For myself, when told what a current celebrity just spouted off, almost certainly I must respond “Who?”

      I happen to know who Frederick Douglass was – mainly because I grew up in Honeoye NY, the birthplace of his second wife Helen Pitts Douglass. A classmate lived in the Pitts Mansion (home of Helen’s father Gideon and Underground Railroad station). Of late, you can buy summer produce at the stand in the yard. Gideon was a friend and close associated of Douglass. Some accounts say the Gideon was opposed to the mixed marriage of his daughter to Douglass. Others state that he was opposed to their marriage, but because Douglass was so much older. Who knows or ever will? History consists of the best stories!

      Four miles away, a stone’s throw down the road (Reed Road) from where I myself lived, was the “Old Reed Homestead”, a brick house dating to 1803 built by Phillip Reed. It too was an Underground Railroad station (to Rochester). As a small child, I was disappointed that there was no tunnel or train tracks – only a secluded room for daytime hiding!

      It was said that the home was contracted by Phillip and his family who came from Vermont bringing a black “slave girl” with them. It is further rumored that she is buried in the “Reed Cemetery” (back toward Honeoye) but was marked only by a plain cedar post that was still there (late 20th century). More to the truth, she seems to have been beloved and adapted. She rests among the rest of HER Reed family, fully marked as Jane Lebanon. But that perhaps is too benign a version for today. The Reeds were and are people of exemplary good will.

      Another Reed Homestead story relates to the front wall that bulged out a foot or so after construction, and was propped with poles, rebuilt completely recently. The workers had been paid in part with a whiskey ration. The rest of the story self-assembles! A poor foundation of cobbles is not colorful enough.

      So I know who Douglass was, and even things about the Pitts family and the Reeds and details most people don’t know. I HAPPEN to know them. Many things I don’t know. For example, I don’t even know what teams are playing in tomorrow’s World Series game!

      Like

  2. I do quite like Milo but I wish he would stop playing the Jew card, since he claims to be a practising Catholic

    I understand that Judaism has an ethnic as well as a religious component, but this does rather sound like the kind of identity politics that Milo (rightly, IMO) rails against

    Like

    • I think that he plays both the Jew and Gay cards specifically to point out that his opponents are not protecting opinions of the minorities like they claim to be doing.

      Just like the Sad Puppies didn’t start pointing out who they were until they were bashed as being Racist White Mormon Males (including the Female Immigrant from Portugal and the guy married to a Black woman for 20 years)

      Like

  3. Thank you for this piece, Willis. I’m a few years younger than you, but remember those days and what was accomplished by a relatively few determined souls.

    Although the activists today mouth haughty words, their actions speak volumes about their real motives. We are stuck on a journey through accursed “interesting” times, and it remains to be seen how it will eventually turn out. The sad thing is that far too many very good people are going to suffer serious harm, and there’s little I can see that might be done to stop it.

    Like

    • Dave and Willis, I was about 15 years old at the time . I can assure you that in those days those type of protests were happening all over the world. I grew up in Europe and as far as I can remember we had a “slogan” for them. I don’t know what they were called in the US at that time but many times they in Europe they were called “Love ins”. Sure a lot different now. Willis, your analogy to “Kristallnacht ” is on point!
      I am frightened for our countries in the west, this attitude these few true anarchist have is terribly destructive and will not lead to a stable community.

      Like

  4. “So just to make sure I have this straight:”….
    Another indication for the recent uptick in sales of 1984. Your article has two items I have not seen elsewhere: that the speaker sponsors had to pay for security and about Janet N. being the UC head. Furthermore, no one else presented or integrated as many aspects as you have. Thank you.

    Like

  5. ‘So just to make sure I have this straight: white is black, up is down’

    Everything is upside down, inside out. Every yelp of complaint is just a mirror put up to the yelper. Every ‘truth’ a lie, every compassion built on hate.

    Leftists are damaging their brand, and the power of their ideas, beyond repair.

    After Brexit, and with the election of Trump, the greatest left projects are in serious jeopardy. Decades of hard work building non-accountable institutions are in danger of being lost. The scare tactic of global warming is being dismissed. The white-anting of nations is exposed. The whole edifice is crumbling before their eyes. I guess they are in panic. They are showing who and what they really are. They are no longer trying to sweet-talk us and cosy up to us with weasel words of comfort and care. Now it’s Kristallnacht.

    I wonder if there will be a drift towards libertarianism over the longer term. Despite the best efforts of the left, we are becoming wealthier, and more connected via information technology. Government may be becoming less relevant. If so, it is democratic liberal* capitalism that will be the main driver of change, not socialism.

    * Per JS Mill et al.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “violence from the very same liberals that once prized free speech and non-violence”

    Not the very same liberals. That word doesn’t mean what it used to. Liberal values are out; progressive values are in.

    The usage of “fascist” is trending up. For a very interesting article about what that word really means (especially for those who think they know), see:
    http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/barbara-kay-fascism-in-america-sure-but-not-because-of-you-know-who

    Note especially the parts on Mussolini and Woodrow Wilson. Before WW2, many big names in the US and the UK were pro-fascism.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Agreed, it was not actual “liberals” but “Progressives” who have infiltrated the liberal perspective. Oddly, Classic Liberalism supports individual freedom (speech, press, religion, etc.), the rule of law, and limited government. Blurred lines? The Tea Party movement seems very much a Classic Liberal group. As the song goes, “how bizarre”.

      Like

    • Yep – we have a problem down here in South Africa. It seems like some of the people who run our so-called Government are using ‘Animal Farm’ and some of ‘1984’ as INSTRUCTION BOOKS.

      Like

  7. Technically, as Milo is a Brit, he’s not a Republican, despite his obvious preference for the policies of that political party.

    Like

  8. Another observation that everything is upside down:
    YMMV’s second link has this:
    ‘For it is only on a university campus that simple, basic words are made by violence to take on their exact and opposite meanings: up is down, right is wrong, day is night, and anti-fascism is fascism.’
    The idea of a kind of inverse world is appealing as a thought meme.
    I am reminded of Lévi-Strauss’s observations of Fire Island in Tristes Tropiques.

    Like

  9. Good post, Willis.

    The Wrap says “Milo Yiannopoulos Speech at UC Berkeley Sparks Fiery Protest”.

    Yet Milo was unable to make a speech. As a fellow Brit I think he is a very brave man with a sharp mind and a sharper tongue.

    While I’m here, I was reminded of the scene when I watched the last(?) of the Presidential debates and HRC – feeling very confident about her coming inauguration – asked DJT if he would accept the outcome of the vote. DJT hesitated for a second before saying that he would, but with reservations. I remember the whole pail of sh*t that was tossed on his head for even thinking such a thing. How many of those now demonstrating against his election were the ones carrying that pail when they thought HRC would win? How much irony, hubris and arrogance can be demonstrated by one woman and her supporters?

    Like

  10. Democrat leadership will not condemn any of this because they are the one organizing it. And I don’t want them to stop. All of this rioting and vandalism is cutting the Democrat Party’s throat. The American people are seeing Democrats for what they really are, America’s enemies. An old military axiom, when you see the enemy making a mistake don’t stop them.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m a little uncomfortable about the current usage of the terms “liberal” and “conservative” — I think they are rather anachronistic.

    Rioters whose purpose it is to shut-down the free exchange of ideas are in no sense liberal — they don’t stand for liberty, they stand for a suffocating conformity enforced at the point of a gun (figuratively or perhaps even literally). They would bring liberty like Mao brought liberty.

    Those of us who believe that the Constitution, interpreted as intended, is a stroke of genius and should only be tampered-with after great and considered deliberation of the citizens of the country at large (not by edicts from unelected (wo)men in black or a wannabe despot who is elected for the wrong reasons) may rightly be called conservative in the sense that we think the principles behind the Constitution are worthy of conservation, but we are hardly “conservatives” in the sense of being illiberal.

    Now the so-called “progressives”, who claim to be liberal but aren’t, in general probably favor the riots and other coercive means of silencing those with whom they disagree. Sure they claim to favor the usual Commandments of the “liberals” of the ’60’s: abortion, homosexuality, extremes of sexual perversion, the poisoning of minds with drugs, the “environment” and general hedonism and moral decay, but these are only trojan horses through which they seek to bring about an authoritarian regime in which they imagine themselves being the nomenklatura.

    So now I think the usual divisions are realigning: the “progressives” or “progs” for short, and those who have awoken to the dangers of an all-powerful central government who believe that such is antithetical to liberty and are against it, and are therefore “libertarians”.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. As Hayek pointed out, Socialism, Fascism, National Socialism have common roots: central economic control; empowerment of the State against the individual. One can add no respect for private property particularly that private property which is the person.

    The ‘Left’ likes to make much ado about ‘Fascists’ and ‘Nazis’ being extreme Right in order to distract from the fact that they are in fact sects of Socialism and the Left is then of the same feather… and to understand what people are, it is not what they say, it is what they do that is the revelation.

    .

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “Janet Napolitano, the head of the University, ”

    The same Janet Napolitano who was Secretary of Homeland Security under Obama. A Progressive then, a Progressive now and still a detriment to us all.

    Like

  14. As a Berkeley student of 75 living on Haste street I have a different view of the calm protests back then.
    There was a memorial-painting on a building at that street of riots that had happened some years before.
    Something happened between 65 and 75 even in Berkeley.
    The frustration of democrats wanting Bernie Sanders and getting Trump is noticeable even on our side of the Atlantic.
    Give Trump a 100 day grace period.

    Like

  15. I’ve said it before (on this blog ! https://rosebyanyothernameblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/forbidden-words/#comment-63 )

    “The inherently intolerant left, who make a great song and dance about tolerance and ‘diversity’, are all focused on outward appearances (skin color, gender, handicap, ethnicity …), but they are not at all keen on diversity of opinions. Progressive creatures thrive in shallow waters.”

    And in the words of ….. ?? …. :
    “The fascists of the future will be the anti-fascists” (falsely attributed to W. Churchill)
    “When fascism comes to America, it will be called anti-fascism” (attributed to Huey P. Long)
    “If fascism ever returns, it will be under the name of anti-fascisme” (Jacob Presser, Dutch jewish historian)

    Well… whoever said it (first), he nailed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Excellent article !!

    Marleen Hoffman-Stone

    On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 8:32 PM, Skating Under The Ice wrote:

    > Willis Eschenbach posted: “I saw a lovely young woman on TV tonight at > NYU, New York University. She was in a riot that was designed to silence > someone, to keep them from speaking on campus. She was screaming “We will > not sit back and allow Nazis to have a platform to feel comforta” >

    Like

  17. Willis, I was unable to formulate my thoughts well enough to compete with you. You are one amazing writer. A free speech is by definition an offensive speech. My favorite definition of a free speech is “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    Compare it to a muddled thinking of Wendy Brown, a political science professor: “We can support free speech without choosing to host those who gleefully attack our most vulnerable, seek deportations and bans of our students and faculty, trample the principles of equality and respect.”

    I think that Milo actually expected the final result. He demonstrated that there is no free speech in Berkeley any more, so he wins.

    Like

    • This young man has certainly got the left in a tizzy. Hope he keeps good security for they will merrily murder him given half a chance. Their Kristallnacht parties are a clear indication of readily they will use violence.

      Like

    • This interview with Tucker Carlson is part of my recent puzzlement over the reaction at various locations during Milo events. Before his tour started I was only vaguely aware of who he was, and did not read anything he wrote for Breitbart, or wherever else he posts. Recently in my area, there was a big uproar at the UofW in Seattle over Milo. Extra security needed; please pay extra – it’s your fault; no hate speech here, and all the rest. The night of the event, the “extra” security allowed the anarchist types to block the entrance to the building, even though the Seattle Police tactical squad stood in a line a few feet away. Many people with tickets could not gain entry. Then somebody outside got shot. Fast forward to this past week at Berkeley, and the whole world gets to learn who Milo is if they didn’t already. If the anti-Milo forces around the country had never said a word, people like myself would still only be vaguely aware of him and still not reading his posts. Instead, I was watching live coverage at Berkeley from KPIX, and watched the Tucker interview yesterday. Berkeley is an example of the Barbra Streisand effect on steroids, and a great way to learn about the anarchists. (Memo to anarchists: your gonna need a better plan. This one ain’t working in your favor.)

      Like

  18. The more things change the more things stay the same. The Nat’l Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi) attacked the international socialist (communist) even before they took control of Germany. The totalitarian philosophies are really two sides of the same coin. Neither have any interest in human liberty.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I found this little gem in http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/letterstoeditor/article/Letters-to-the-Editor-Feb-4-10907331.php?cmpid=gsa-sfgate-result

    Protected speech

    The right to free speech was not violated at UC Berkeley by protests of the ultra-right agitator, Milo Yiannopoulos. Yes, the Constitution protects the right of Yiannopoulos to his ideas. But it also protects our free speech rights to counter his neo-fascism. Yiannopoulos’ speech was not banned by authorities, but rather shut down by the massive opposition to his presence. Like it or not, that is democracy. Let’s not allow the reaction to some broken windows to overshadow the public’s right to demonstrate against neo-Nazi ideas. That is a right we cannot afford to lose.

    Luma Nichol, San Francisco

    Like

    • This is where the Supreme Court blew it big time with equating flag burning with free speech. No where in the constitution does it say anything about “free expression”. By generalizing the right to speak to the right to do anything you damn well please as expression you arrive at what we saw at Berkley. The thugs were “expressing themselves”. Who has a right to stop them? They’re exercising their consistutional “right” which they see as the right to destroy other peoples property

      One incident that wasn’t mentioned here was the pepper spray attack on a woman who was a Trump supporter by one of these thugs. So they see a right to threaten or attack anyone they don’t like.

      Like

      • Bear February 4, 2017 at 11:01 am

        This is where the Supreme Court blew it big time with equating flag burning with free speech. No where in the constitution does it say anything about “free expression”.

        Thanks, Bear. You’re right. Also, nowhere in the Constitution does it say anything about speech over the internet. Despite that, the Constitution clearly has implications for and directly regulates speech over the internet … the Constitution by its very nature regulates lots of things that it doesn’t mention directly.

        By generalizing the right to speak to the right to do anything you damn well please as expression you arrive at what we saw at Berkley.

        While this is true, NOBODY but the rioters themselves are saying they have the “right to do anything they damn well please”, certainly not the Supreme Court, and assuredly not me.

        The thugs were “expressing themselves”.

        Say what? Nobody but you has made this strange claim that they think they are protected by the First Amendment?

        Who has a right to stop them?

        Cops. University police. The FBI. Determined citizens. Everyone has the right to try to stop the commission of a crime.

        They’re exercising their consistutional “right” which they see as the right to destroy other peoples property

        Citation? I’ve not seen that claim made by any of the rioters.

        ==================================

        Finally, I disagree with your premise. The Supreme Court ruled, for example, that paintings and logos and such are symbolic speech. Despite the fact that the term “symbolic speech” doesn’t appear in the Constitution, do you disagree that paintings are symbolic speech?

        Because if you do disagree with the Supremes about symbolic speech, that means that you think that the government should have the right to regulate and control the images you paint … and you don’t strike me as a man who wants that to happen …

        w.

        Like

  20. I was mislead by the photo of the Berkeley 1964 protesters in suits and ties. It turns out that they weren’t “liberals” back then either, and it wasn’t free speech they were fighting for. I believe Willis since he was there, but perhaps he speaks for some of the crowd and not for the organizers. Were there riots at Berkeley in 1964? If not, when did they start? Berkeley certainly has a reputation for riots. Anarchists, before they invented their graffiti symbol. “Down with the system”.

    Good reading from Jonah Goldberg:
    http://www.nationalreview.com/g-file/444595/berkeley-riots-free-speech-reasonabilists

    I didn’t realize that the great facts / feelings divide went that far back.

    Like

  21. “However, Janet Napolitano, the head of the University, along with the Mayor of Berkeley, acted in a most cowardly manner.”

    You give them too much credit. Those actions were with malice of forethought. They knew exactly what was going to happen and applauded it behind close doors.

    Like

  22. Milo? I never heard the name until a few months ago with the protests of him by the so-called Progressives. Now I know much about him and may soon even learn how to spell and possibly pronounce his name. I support his approach to shaking up the left. He keeps hitting home runs. Hope others follow in his footsteps. The Streisand effect on steroids!!!

    Soon we will hear that this was all part of a vast right-wing conspiracy that was meant to fool the fools on the left.

    Like

  23. Thanks for the response.

    [Despite that, the Constitution clearly has implications for and directly regulates speech over the internet]

    Which I don’t think it has a right to when it comes to political speech, but that’s just me. Of course the Dems would like to regulate conservative radio and TV out of existence or at least severely limit it. All in the interest of equality of course.

    [While this is true, NOBODY but the rioters themselves are saying they have the “right to do anything they damn well please”, certainly not the Supreme Court, and assuredly not me.]

    Some what hyperbole on my part, but I can’t agree that “NOBODY but the rioters” are saying that. See the Luma Nichols quote in a previous comment for one. I’m sure I’ll find a number of intellectuals and politicians who will provide support if I looked.

    In the Baltimore riots over Freddy Grey, Mayor Rawlings-Blake said
    “”While we tried to make sure that (protestors) were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well,”

    I’m sure Bill Ayres and his ilk would praise the rioters too.

    [Say what? Nobody but you has made this strange claim that they think they are protected by the First Amendment?]

    Given the lack of police and administration response why wouldn’t they? Of course most of them probably have no idea what’s in the Constitution. If history majors don’t have to take a course in American history

    [Cops. University police. The FBI. Determined citizens. Everyone has the right to try to stop the commission of a crime.]

    But they aren’t trying to stop them when they’re rioting, especially on college campuses. Intimidation of conservatives is prevalent at many of these schools and no one is stopping it. Can you imagine what would happen if you were a shop owner and shot one of these thugs who were destroying your store? You really think you wouldn’t be arrested in Berkley?

    [“They’re exercising their consistutional “right” which they see as the right to destroy other peoples property”

    Citation? I’ve not seen that claim made by any of the rioters.]

    I think that can be inferred from their actions. Do you actually think they are doing this because it’s wrong?

    [Because if you do disagree with the Supremes about symbolic speech, that means that you think that the government should have the right to regulate and control the images you paint … and you don’t strike me as a man who wants that to happen …]

    No I don’t want that to happen but I don’t think that’s a right enumerated in the constitution except for one (the 10th) Amendment which has regrettably become almost totally forgotten by the government and even the judiciary. Now I believe totally in freedom of political speech and the press (which obviously should include the internet. Why because the physical apparatus has changed but not the intent). I don’t believe that you should be able to “false shout fire in a theater and causing a panic.” in paraphrasing Oliver W. Holmes, but I do believe that you have the right to say that you should have that right as a political statement.

    YMMV

    Like

  24. Hi Willis congrats on stepping out on your own here. Read your personally authoritative viewpoint at IceCap, and couldn’t agree more.

    Pene and I talked about it yesterday and she just can’t believe it either. What is wrong with these young people? It’s like they’re brainwashed & agit-propped. These anarchists are tacitly given free-reign by Obama era operatives. Really sad for the tuition paying students and parents too, and for the reputation of the university, city, and state.

    I don’t understand how these liberal university administrations think they are paragons of virtue and decency when they refuse to protect and enforce the rights of all their campus, and condone the ensuing violence by not stopping or preventing it by any other means than by shutting down the speaking event.

    The anarchists will learn from this and feel emboldened unless clear boundaries are drawn and enforced.

    Climate skeptics are thankful the election prevented deeper erosions of our freedom of speech.

    Like

  25. Well the rioters at least had the proper effect on Milo’s soon to be published book Dangerous which, even though not to be released until March, has shot up 12,740% and from 642nd to 5th best seller on Amazon. He does have most of his college speeches on youtube but beware they can be very sexually crude as well as humorous and educational. My favorite video is one adapted from a protester that attended one of his events. Included below are a couple of analysis from Scott Adams in case anyone is interested.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-02/berkeley-blowback-milo-book-sales-soar-12740-overnight
    http://blog.dilbert.com/post/156778990841/berkeley-and-hitler#_=_
    http://blog.dilbert.com/post/156806516721/the-social-media-hive-mind#_=_
    Trigglypuff protester to song Numa Numa:

    Like

  26. The constitution only protects our speech from government. It doesn’t say that other institutions can’t stifle it. Now, we can talk about the “amount of government” contained in Berkeley, and thus try to hold Berkeley accountable cuz it has “lots of govt input” but I don’t think that’s the intent of the constitution.

    Your argument is better when you were deploring Berkeley in the 60s to be more inliine with constitutional free speech, and won, thus pointing out the irony. But no one’s violating constitution. (and they wren’t in the 60s either)

    Like

    • Bruckner8 February 5, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Your argument is better when you were deploring Berkeley in the 60s to be more inliine with constitutional free speech, and won, thus pointing out the irony. But no one’s violating constitution. (and they wren’t in the 60s either)

      Bruckner, I fear I don’t understand your point. I said NOTHING about the constitution, didn’t mention the word.

      This is why I ask people to quote what they disagree with. You obviously disagree, but you disagree with something you THINK I said about the Constitution.

      How can I possibly defend myself when you are attacking me for something I never said? Please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU DISAGREE WITH, so I can understand what the heck you object to. I might indeed be wrong in what I said … but we’ll never find out until you quote what I said.

      Thanks,

      w.

      Like

      • I guess I must have misinterpreted your use of “Free Speech Movement” (your caps) as something tied to the Constitution. My bad.

        Like

    • > The constitution only protects our speech from government. It doesn’t say that other institutions can’t stifle it.

      Actually, well established case law for government funded colleges says that they have two options

      1. they can opt to not rent out their facilities to anyone

      or

      2. if they allow some groups to rent their facilities, they have to allow all groups to rent their facilities, as these facilities become public forums where speech cannot be regulated.

      Since all the colleges want to allow events that they like, they are required to allow student groups that they don’t like to host events with speakers that they don’t like.

      Berkley reluctantly admitted this when they allowed Milo’s event to be booked.

      But there is another aspect of this as well, which is the responsibility of the law enforcement organizations to protect everybody, especially those who are not popular, from assaults.

      This is where they utterly failed at Berkley, but did a lot better at NYU.

      David Lang

      Like

      • By standing aside and allowing rioters to destroy property and assault people the police in Berkley chose sides politically. THAT is what people should be upset about. The law applies equally to all or it does not apply to anyone.

        Like

        • That’s all part of a vast right-wing conspiracy. If law enforcement had stopped the riots they would be part of the vast right-wing conspiracy for stopping their “noble” protest. That they (law enforcement) let it continue out of control was because it allowed the protesters to look like thugs and fools, clearly in the left’s eye a right-wing conspiracy. Everything the left doesn’t like is part of a vast right-wing conspiracy. By posting this I am part of it too!

          Methinks the left has hung themselves with the rope they were allowed to play with. Should now give them those plastic bags with the warning label regarding children. Wait …. recyclable bags of course.

          Like

  27. I came across this the other day, sorry but I don’t have an attribution but I thought it was perfect

    “Big Government is addictive, what we are seeing here is withdrawal symptoms.”

    Like

  28. Radicals, that’s what they were called back then. The leader of the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley in 1964 was Mario Savio. YouTube has several video clips of him giving speeches.

    “The Machine Speech” on The Sproul Hall Steps, December 2, 1964

    He has an entry in WIkipedia too:

    There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part! You can’t even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels…upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!

    Like

  29. First, Willis, your premise–that “Nazis are people who use violence to silence others from speaking,”–is patently incorrect. It would be more accurate and less historically revisionist to say that “nazis” are defined those with a pro-fascist nationalist political worldview who espouse “scientific” racism, antisemitism, anti-communism (including anti-trade unionism) and promote organized or semi-organized paramilitary violence on a racist and anti-left basis, often with the aim of consolidating political power by virtue of violent suppression of racial minorities and the organized left. An individual nazi may never use categorical “violence” themselves and may frequently find themselves victims of violence or targets of state surveillance and “repression.” (E.g., before hitler’s ascent to power, he and other members of the German Workers Party were arrested and jailed for their roles in anti-government actions, meetings, writing and so on).

    But this does not mean that “non-violent” nazis shouldn’t be held responsible for the downstream de-facto violent effects of their ideological rants. There is ample historical evidence showing that this kind of “hate speech,” when allowed access to the open stage and microphone of legitimate institutions, can foster climates in which rabid racism, immigrant bashing and even lynchings become tolerated and normalized.

    Milo Yiannopoulos claims to speak for all white gay men, urging them to side with a “conservatism” that argues their interests are naturally aligned with policies like a Muslim ban, anti-trans bathroom bills and unequal pay for women.

    These are but two examples from Yiannopoulos’ public speaking and writing that are the very definition of inciting “hate crime”:
    1) “Never feel bad for mocking a transgender person. It is our job to point out their absurdity, to not make the problem worse by pretending they are normal. Much like shaming fat women, if our mockery drives them to get the help they need, we may save their life.”
    2) “It is time for the gay community to take up arms in order to defend itself from further Muslim attacks. Guns are not icky, gross, or scary. In the next Muslim terror attack on gays, a gun will save your life and those of the people around you.”

    And indeed, we have seen that his supporters do carry arms and have proved willing to use them against people they perceive to be “pro-Muslim.”

    Beyond all of that however, Willis, you and other academics debating the question of violence as a tactic to confront the rising tide of neo-nazi and neo-fascist ideology have failed to accurately appraise the character of the antifa militants you argue suffer from an inability to appreciate irony. Some of you are baffled that anyone who would oppose right-wing hate speech would engage tactics that could possibly undermine other mass efforts underway to stop the right-wing trump administration. And some of you actually fall into the liberal-intellectual trap of presuming the antifa are infiltrated by right-wing provocateurs who must be responsible for this anti-milo violence. To be sure, the state and right-wing paramilitary operatives *have* infiltrated militant left groups–you are not wrong. But they infiltrate in order to sabotage, surveil, and aid in the arrest and prosecution of the most ardent antifascists, not to provoke anti-right-wing violence. Whatever actions were successful in shutting down milo or others like him are the result of determination on the part of people who have joined antifa and other groups because they themselves are at risk and are motivated to act in self-defense. They are trans people, queer, women, Black, Chicana, immigrant, Muslim, disabled, student, anarcho-communists who understand better than most academics the irony of the situation. How ironic that those who have so much more to lose than us don’t recognize the enemy swarming around them and decide instead to rail against the only group organizing to fight back with a full and robust diversity of tactics?!

    Like

    • > And indeed, we have seen that his supporters do carry arms and have proved willing to use them against people they perceive to be “pro-Muslim.”

      please present your proof that Milo’s supporters have used their guns against people they perceive to be “pro-Muslim”

      The violence I’ve seen has been by the Left to shut down speech by those they disagree with, not by the people who they are trying to silence.

      “Hate Speech” is not prohibited in the US, instead it’s explicitly protected. You can counter-protest if you want, but using violence to silence any speakers is against the law.

      Like

  30. thewallager February 10, 2017 at 10:32 am

    First, Willis, your premise–that “Nazis are people who use violence to silence others from speaking,”–is patently incorrect.

    Mmmm … an infelicitous opening. People who use violence to silence others are known by a variety of names—totalitarians, bullies, intimidators, fascists, and yes, nazis …

    Is this an accurate description of the actions of the historical Nazis? Yes indeed. They assuredly used violence to silence others. So it is not “patently incorrect” to use the term to describe the “AntiFa”. Both used mob violence to get their way and silence the opposition. Q.E.D.

    It would be more accurate and less historically revisionist to say that “nazis” are defined those with a pro-fascist nationalist political worldview who espouse “scientific” racism, antisemitism, anti-communism (including anti-trade unionism) and promote organized or semi-organized paramilitary violence on a racist and anti-left basis, often with the aim of consolidating political power by virtue of violent suppression of racial minorities and the organized left. An individual nazi may never use categorical “violence” themselves and may frequently find themselves victims of violence or targets of state surveillance and “repression.” (E.g., before hitler’s ascent to power, he and other members of the German Workers Party were arrested and jailed for their roles in anti-government actions, meetings, writing and so on).

    Sorry if I was unclear. The term “Nazi” was used by the protesters to describe Milo. I think we can both agree that whatever describes Milo, “Nazi” is not in the differential diagnosis. I merely wanted to point out that they were describing themselves so I used their term. I was not claiming it was an exact parallel with the fine details of German Nazi history …

    But this does not mean that “non-violent” nazis shouldn’t be held responsible for the downstream de-facto violent effects of their ideological rants.

    Sorry, bub. It’s called “freedom of speech” and it is guaranteed by the First Amendment. FOR EXAMPLE. You are here advocating for or at least defending violence … so if one of the “downstream de-facto violent effects” of your words is that somebody is arrested for violently protesting, WILL YOU TAKE RESPONSIBILITY?

    You’d be mad to take responsibility, as would Milo. What happens “downstream” is of no concern.

    There is ample historical evidence showing that this kind of “hate speech,” when allowed access to the open stage and microphone of legitimate institutions, can foster climates in which rabid racism, immigrant bashing and even lynchings become tolerated and normalized.

    The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that this kind of “hate speech” is PROTECTED UNDER THE CONSTITUTION!

    Milo Yiannopoulos claims to speak for all white gay men, urging them to side with a “conservatism” that argues their interests are naturally aligned with policies like a Muslim ban, anti-trans bathroom bills and unequal pay for women.

    Milo never made any such claim in his life. That is anti-gay hysteria.

    These are but two examples from Yiannopoulos’ public speaking and writing that are the very definition of inciting “hate crime”:
    1) “Never feel bad for mocking a transgender person. It is our job to point out their absurdity, to not make the problem worse by pretending they are normal. Much like shaming fat women, if our mockery drives them to get the help they need, we may save their life.”

    You still don’t get it. You seem to think that freedom of speech applies to everyone … except the people you disagree with. Sorry, doesn’t work like that. Everyone, even Milo, can speak their mind.

    And yes, you can incite any damn thing you like. You, for example, are inciting people to beat up on each other, right here on these pages … it’s your constitutional right, but you don’t want to extend that same right to anyone but you and your ilk.

    Who made you the judge of who is fit to speak? The beauty of the First Amendment is that it says we are ALL FIT TO SPEAK. Even people I dislike have the right to take offensive positions.

    2) “It is time for the gay community to take up arms in order to defend itself from further Muslim attacks. Guns are not icky, gross, or scary. In the next Muslim terror attack on gays, a gun will save your life and those of the people around you.”

    You seem to think Moslems are just Christians in funny hats. MUSLIMS THROW GAY MEN TO THEIR DEATH OFF OF TALL BUILDINGS! That is the slime that you are defending when you say gay men should not protect themselves, with guns or otherwise. Did you notice what happened in Orlando? Do you remember that the attack was INSPIRED BY ISLAM?

    Finally, I see that the idea of armed gay men is very frightening and upsetting to you … you might profitably consider what underlies that fear.

    However, don’t get me wrong. I’m not defending Milo. I’m defending his CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO SPEAK even if you get in a hissy-fit.

    And indeed, we have seen that his supporters do carry arms and have proved willing to use them against people they perceive to be “pro-Muslim.”

    If they do then arrest them. However, you miss the irony. Let me use your words:

    We have seen that Milo’s OPPONENTS do carry arms and have proved willing to use them against people they perceive to be “pro-Trump.”

    Until you stand up and denounce that, you’re a hypocrite. You’re saying violence by your side is fine, but violence by Milo’s side is horrible.

    Beyond all of that however, Willis, you and other academics debating the question of violence as a tactic to confront the rising tide of neo-nazi and neo-fascist ideology have failed to accurately appraise the character of the antifa militants you argue suffer from an inability to appreciate irony.

    “Appraise their character”? To start with, if they had a scrap of character they wouldn’t use violence to intimidate people … but I digress. You continue.

    Some of you are baffled that anyone who would oppose right-wing hate speech would engage tactics that could possibly undermine other mass efforts underway to stop the right-wing trump administration.

    Not me. I’m not baffled as to why they do what they do. It’s because they are bullies and cowards.

    And some of you actually fall into the liberal-intellectual trap of presuming the antifa are infiltrated by right-wing provocateurs who must be responsible for this anti-milo violence.

    Only person I’ve heard trying to sell that particular lie was Robert Reich. So I have no idea who you’re referring to.

    To be sure, the state and right-wing paramilitary operatives *have* infiltrated militant left groups–you are not wrong. But they infiltrate in order to sabotage, surveil, and aid in the arrest and prosecution of the most ardent antifascists, not to provoke anti-right-wing violence.

    Since nobody was either arrested or prosecuted in Berkeley it is totally unclear what you’re talking about.

    Whatever actions were successful in shutting down milo or others like him are the result of determination on the part of people who have joined antifa and other groups because they themselves are at risk and are motivated to act in self-defense.

    So your argument is that when people feel they are “at risk”, that they are justified in using violence? Say what? Do you actually think about what you write? I will tell you what is frightening.

    You and others like you. I’m scared of you and your violence. I feel at risk … which according to you means I’M JUSTIFIED IN BEATING YOU UP BECAUSE I FEEL AT RISK!

    Dude … that claim is dumb as a bag of ball bearings. I don’t care if people are frightened of what someone might SAY, not might do but might say. If you and your pusillanimous fellows are scared of what someone might say, I advise you to get counseling.

    They are trans people, queer, women, Black, Chicana, immigrant, Muslim, disabled, student, anarcho-communists who understand better than most academics the irony of the situation.

    I don’t care if the cowardly bullies that you adore are farkin’ Eskimos. They are still cowardly bullies. You seem to think that their diversity gives you bonus points or special privileges. All it means is that you have cowardly bullies of all sexes, genders, races, nationalities, moeities, clans, tribes, sub-groups, and … and … and whatever special interest groups you’re gonna diss me for forgetting. Them too, I wouldn’t want them to get all upset that I forgot their specialness.

    Ask me if I care. Multicolored viciousness and violence is just the same as monochrome viciousness and violence.

    How ironic that those who have so much more to lose than us don’t recognize the enemy swarming around them and decide instead to rail against the only group organizing to fight back with a full and robust diversity of tactics?!

    Dear heavens, that is a boldfaced deception of the highest order. Beating up on defenseless women and intimidating people and destroying $100,000 worth of property is NOT called “a full and robust diversity of tactics”. It’s called being too chickenshit to let your intellectual opponents speak. It’s called bullying. It’s called violent intimidation. “Robust diversity” has nothing to do with it, that’s deceptive NewSpeak. It is intellectual dishonesty to call violence just another robust tactic.

    Are you from America? I ask because it seems you truly do not understand the concept of “free speech” as laid out in the First Amendment. It means that charmingly antisocial folks like you can’t legally stop someone from speaking even if you disagree with them. Free speech is a fundamental concept of the American way of life.

    If you disagree with freedom of speech and you are living in America, let me cordially invite you to either read and totally accept what the First Amendment say … or to self-deport your sorry corpus at the first opportunity to some place of your choosing. We don’t want people here who will not accept the First Amendment, PARTICULARLY WHEN THEY DO SO VIOLENTLY.

    Your choice …

    w.

    PS—All you charmingly naive folks advocating violence seem to forget one thing … if your violence spreads to other cities and other places as you seem to devoutly wish, if it turns into a real movement, if people across America do rise up violently against their brutal conservative oppressors like you want …

    … which side has all the guns?

    Like

  31. The way it’s going, all speech will soon be classified as hate speech.

    Another week, another riot at Berkeley to prevent a Republican from speaking.
    Meanwhile, enjoy this Onion piece while you can:
    http://www.theonion.com/article/berkeley-campus-lockdown-after-loose-pages-wall-st-55815

    And if you want a good, short history of how Free Speech came and went, read this:
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/447145/berkeley-free-speech-movement-resistance-liberal-democratic-capitalism

    The foundation of democracy is not the vote, it is free speech.

    Like

  32. Beautiful i love it. You explain the situation very well, i do stuff on the radical group that did this. They have been building up underground for awhile but disrupt j20 was the catalyst. Project veritas truly saved Trump and those guys deserve the highest of honors.

    Like

You are invited to add your comments. Please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING so we can all be clear on your subject.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s