Sunday, April 23, 2017

Ann Coulter rejects Berkeley’s new invite — and a lawsuit may be pending

Officials at the University of California at Berkeley are offering conservative firebrand Ann Coulter a new date to make a speech on campus, but she says she can’t make it that day, and the student group that invited her is threatening to sue the school.

The university announced Wednesday that it was canceling Coulter’s appearance following several political protests in Berkeley that turned violent. But on Thursday, the university said it had found a venue where it could hold the speech on a different day, May 2, instead of the original April 27 date.

Coulter and the college Republican group arranging her event said they are rejecting the new invitation, and a lawyer, representing the organizer, has been hired.

In a series of tweets Thursday night, Coulter criticized the university, saying Berkeley officials were adding “burdensome” conditions to her speech. She said she had already spent money to hold the event on the original April 27 date and is not available May 2. She also pointed out that May 2 would coincide with a reading period before final exams, when there are no classes on campus and fewer students around.

And she vowed that she is going to speak in Berkeley on the originally planned April 27 date, whether the university approved or not.

A lawyer representing the college Republican group that invited Coulter sent a letter late Thursday night to the university threatening litigation if the university does not allow Coulter to speak on campus April 27. In the four-page letter, the lawyer demands that the university find a venue near the center of campus for Coulter and allow her to speak in the evening rather than daytime. If that does not happen, the letter says, “we will seek relief in federal court, including claims for injunctive relief and damages.”

A leader of the college Republicans said the university is placing strict conditions on the event. But a Berkeley spokesman rejected the claim, saying the one main request the university made in extending its new invitation was to hold the event in the afternoon.

In its offer to Coulter to host her speech on campus on the new date, the university has asked for the event to end by 3 p.m. or 3:30 p.m., said Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof. Holding the event later in the day would risk protests and potential violence stretching into the evening when the campus tends to get crowded with commuters and students.

“Everything we’re doing is so the speaker and students can actually exercise their rights without disruption,” Mogulof said. “It’s hard to understand this display of disdain and disregard for the assessment of law enforcement professionals, particularly when their primary concern is the safety and well-being of college students.”

Even before the university’s new invitation and date was announced, Coulter had vowed to go ahead with an appearance anyway. If she does appear next week as she has promised, it will probably put security officials on high alert and may spark still further debate on the campus as the university wrestles with safety, student views and ideological openness.

“What are they going to do? Arrest me?” she said late Wednesday on the Fox News show “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

Coulter said she “called their bluff” by agreeing to rules set by the university seeking to prevent violence.

University officials originally sent a letter canceling the event to a campus Republican group that invited Coulter to speak. In it, university officials said Wednesday that they made the decision to cancel Coulter’s appearance after assessing the violence that flared on campus in February, when the same college Republican group invited right-wing provocateur and now-former Breitbart News senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos to speak. As the protest and clashes escalated during the Yiannopoulos’s event, some began setting fires, throwing rocks and molotov cocktails, and attacking members of the crowd.

The violence and damage caused by Yiannopoulos’s invitation garnered national attention and forced officials to put the campus on lockdown. And after the university canceled Yiannopoulos’s talk, President Trump criticized the school and threatened in a tweet to pull federal funds from Berkeley.


Fascism is not only alive and well in America, it is being actively nurtured on college campuses throughout the nation

Fascism is not only alive and well in America, it is being actively nurtured on college campuses throughout the nation.

The University of California at Berkeley has now endured two riots, one to deny conservative firebrand Milo Yiannopolous from speaking, the other to disrupt a pro-Trump rally last weekend. The school also just canceled a speech by Ann Coulter over safety concerns. Violent protesters at Middlebury College blocked author Charles Murray from speaking, surrounded his car as he was leaving, and assaulted Middlebury professor Allison Stanger who was hospitalized as a result. “The War on Cops” author Heather Mac Donald was forced to give her talk at Claremont McKenna College via Livestream, after which she left through the kitchen into an unmarked police van, as per her pre-arranged “escape plan.”

On the other side, Fresno State professor Lars Maischak tweeted, “To save American democracy, Trump must hang. The sooner and the higher, the better. #TheResistance #DeathToFascism.” (“Death to fascism”? Talk about an utter lack of self-awareness.) Arizona State University professor Angeles Maldonado allowed her Global Politics of Human Rights class to organize an anti-Trump protest in lieu of taking a final exam. And an editorial in The Wellesley News — which insisted free speech is not violated at that college — nonetheless declared that “if people are given the resources to learn and either continue to speak hate speech or refuse to adapt their beliefs, then hostility may be warranted.”

As National Review’s David French explains, there is a method to the orchestrated madness. “On campus and in the streets, a violent or menacing core seizes the ground it wants, blocks access to buildings, and shuts down the speech or events it seeks to suppress,” he writes. “This violent core is often surrounded and protected by a larger group of ostensibly ‘peaceful’ protesters who sometimes cheer aggression wildly and then provide cover for the rioters, who melt back into the crowd. After the riot, the polite progressives condemn the violence, urge that it not distract from the alleged rightness of the underlying cause, and then do virtually nothing to enforce the law and punish the offenders.”

The Wellesley editorial epitomizes the ignorant self-righteousness that enables these marauders. “Wellesley is certainly not a place for racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia or any other type of discriminatory speech,” it states. “Shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others is not a violation of free speech; it is hate speech. The founding fathers put free speech in the Constitution as a way to protect the disenfranchised and to protect individual citizens from the power of the government. The spirit of free speech is to protect the suppressed, not to protect a free-for-all where anything is acceptable, no matter how hateful and damaging.”

This is colossally wrong. The founding fathers weren’t in support of free speech to protect individuals from the power of government, only to have some Ivory Tower grandees and their “disenfranchised” student collaborators censor, sometimes violently, anything they consider “hateful and damaging.” Even more appalling, their laundry list of “taboo” isms and phobias is nothing less than an effort to obliterate the First Amendment and replace it with Political Correctness.

It doesn’t get more fascist than that.

Trump assassin-promoting professor Maischak has apologized for his tweets — perhaps prompted by the reality that college President Joseph Castro alerted federal authorities to Maischak’s possibly law-breaking activities.

Yet he remains unhinged. “I do not intend to harm Mr. Trump, nor do I wish for anyone else to harm Mr. Trump by way of an assassination!” he stated. “I am, however, convinced, given the nature of his regime, that he will be held accountable for his crimes in a court, and that historical precedent suggests that a death sentence is inevitable, if democracy prevails.”

Claremont students are not content with running Mac Donald off campus. In a letter written to outgoing Pomona College president David Oxtoby, who had reminded students such efforts are inimical to “the discovery of truth,” three self-identified black students revealed they want objective truth itself eliminated. “Historically,” they write, “white supremacy has venerated the idea of objectivity, and wielded a dichotomy of ‘subjectivity vs. objectivity’ as a means of silencing oppressed peoples.”

Many Americans believe the election of Donald Trump dealt campus fascism a substantial rebuke, and what we’re seeing is the manifestation of a decaying ideology. Nothing could be further from the truth. American culture is moving inexorably leftward, driven in large part by the failure to confront this growing cancer on college campuses.

It’s a cancer decades in the making. National Review’s Stanley Kurtz divides it into four anti-speech waves that infected institutions of higher learning beginning more than 50 years ago. The first phase was the “Young Radicals” wave of the ‘60s when colleges began rejecting classical Western liberalism and embracing neo-Marxist ideas. It was followed by the “Long March” of the '80s when those '60s student radicals took up junior faculty positions. After that came the “Takeover” of the mid-'90s when older professors began retiring, and the juniors moved up, giving them control of the hiring process that ultimately produced an “intellectual monopoly of the Left” in many social science and humanity departments. The fourth wave, a.k.a. the “Transformed Generation,” is composed of Millennials who demand safe spaces, trigger warning and free speech zones.

Far more important, Kurtz notes the effort to counter this campus cancer is declining. “Top comedians and an unknowable number of conservative speakers now avoid college campuses,” he explains.

The problem goes far beyond college campuses. Most people avoid confrontation of any kind in any environment, much less confrontation that might result in one being labeled a bigot. Yet it is precisely this kind of “silent default” that further empowers progressive ideology, whose adherents remain smugly self-assured such silence is tantamount to victory.

Sadly, they are correct. Moreover, the playing field is tilted in their favor. Most Americans still believe the nation’s cultural concepts, traditions and morals are both self-explanatory and virtuous. Thus, they are completely unprepared for a progressive assault that holds many of those values in utter contempt. Values like marriage being reserved for members of the opposite sex, gender being tethered to biology — or objective truth being immutable.

College campuses are a great place to begin a counter-attack. As Kurtz so rightly envisions, “It is incumbent upon Congress to make the protection of First Amendment rights a prerequisite of its financial assistance to America’s colleges and universities.” He notes the Higher Education Act (HEA), first passed in 1965, is scheduled for reauthorization this year, and that the National Association of Scholars has created “Freedom to Learn” amendments aimed at re-instituting the free and open exchange of ideas on college campuses.

If colleges insist on remaining de facto leftist indoctrination centers? Let their alumni finance them. Student loan defaults? Make colleges partially liable for the $1.4 trillion in outstanding, taxpayer-guaranteed, student debt and see if they’re still willing to continue sending tuition costs skyrocketing — or continue funding exponentially expanding bureaucracies rife with diversity “experts” who manipulate race, sex and gender to justify the campus fascism they define as “social justice.”

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction,” stated Ronald Reagan.

It’s time the American taxpayer stopped underwriting that extinction.


Australia: Homosexual promotion project to lose funding in Tasmanian schools too

Following NSW

Tasmania will scrap support for the contentious Safe Schools program, opting to focus on a comprehensive anti-bullying scheme for the schoolyard.

Tasmania’s Education and Training Minister Jeremy Rockliff has confirmed that his government would not fund the program — which has so far been adopted by 22 Tasmanian schools — once federal funding stops mid-year.

“The Tasmanian government is committed to providing a safe and inclusive school environment to support student learning and wellbeing, which is why we have invested $3 million over four years as part of the Combating Bullying budget initiative,” Mr Rockliff said.

“It is up to each Tasmanian school to make their own decisions about the programs used in their school, and government schools are encouraged to use the Department of Education’s own program.

“Given the significant investment in our own anti-bullying ­initiative, the state government has no plans to take over funding for the federal program.”

Tasmania’s defection follows the weekend’s announcement from NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes that his government would introduce a broader anti-bullying scheme to replace Safe Schools, leaving support for the La Trobe University-developed program resting largely with the Labor-governed states.

Financial support for Safe Schools was a key part of West Australian Labor’s successful election campaign last month, while a spokeswoman for Queensland Education Minister Kate Jones said yesterday that there were no plans to ditch the program.

In South Australia, the government is weighing up whether to take over funding the program, in much the same way the Victorian Labor government has done.

“We see value in having a specific program to support schools to tackle bullying against LGBTI ­students,” said a spokeswoman for the SA Department of Education and Child Development. “We expect to make an ­announcement shortly about the future of the safe schools program.”

While Victoria has committed more than $2m to roll out the program to all state schools by the end of 2018, questions are being asked about the level of its commitment following the decision to sever ties with La Trobe and run Safe Schools directly from its own Education Department.

Previously vocal supporters of the program Premier Daniel ­Andrews and Education Minister James Merlino have lately left the job of defending it to departmental staff and media advisers. And following widespread criticism over Safe School’s promotion of contested gender ideology and sexual politics, the department has taken to describing the program as a “pledge” or a “policy” to create a safe and inclusive environment, with schools having discretion over how “this commitment is ­realised”.

Victoria’s opposition education spokesman Nick Wakeling said it was time for Mr Andrews to “admit he got it wrong on this discredited program”.

He said the Liberal Party would scrap the program if elected and ­replace it with a program “that teaches kids the importance of ­respecting people of all appear­ances, sexuality, gender, religion and ethnicity”.

“Daniel Andrews is very naive if he thinks school bullying is only confined to sexuality and doesn’t include appearance, religion, ­ethnicity or gender,” Mr Wakeling said.

A spokeswoman for Safe Schools Coalition Australia, which is convened by the Foundation for Young Australians, declined to comment on the NSW decision, other than to say the organisation ­remained committed to supporting LGBTI young people.


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