Sunday, April 16, 2017

Unbelievable: I was censored at Berkeley

David Horowitz

The freedom to speak is inseparable from the freedom to hear. The UC Berkeley administration is hostile to both these freedoms.

I know this by personal experience. The College Republicans invited me to speak at Berkeley on April 12. I had hired bodyguards and was ready to go into the lion’s den. But in a death of a thousand bureaucratic cuts, UC administrators placed such harsh restrictions on the event that it had to be cancelled the day before my appearance.

The administration feared a repeat of the February leftwing riot on campus when masked leftwing thugs prevented Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking, and caused $100,000 property damage as well as physical violence to bystanders. The UC Police Department did nothing to stop or arrest the rioters who as a result would not have to think twice before rioting again, at my event or at Ann Coulter’s which is scheduled to take place at the end of the month. The UC administration used their own cowardice at the Yiannopoulos event as an excuse to silence me.

Everyone is by now familiar with the left’s desire to gag its political opponents. The university is the left’s playground because it can count on administrators like UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor Stephen Sutton, desperate for what all appeasers seek — peace in his time — to place crushing burdens on conservative students who want to hear other opinions.

In my case, the administration insisted that the speech take place at 1 pm, when most students are in class, and at a site a half mile away from the campus itself. But that wasn’t enough. UC Campus Police Chief Yao, in a moment that called up Lewis Carroll as well as Kafka and Orwell, told me that College Republicans could announce the event but not tell people where it would take place.

But the administration wasn’t through. Two days before the event, the College Republicans were summoned to a meeting with Vice Chancellor Sutton and UCPD Captain Yao to be told that in addition to the other burdens their club was going to be charged $5,778 for “security” and an additional $2,000 for rental on the room that was half a mile from campus.

The birthplace of the Free Speech Movement once again spit in the face of free speech.

This entire episode is another disgraceful chapter in the nationwide story being written every day of the university’s sycophantic capitulation to the totalitarian left and its collaboration in the left’s attack on ideas it doesn’t agree with.

At the same time UC Berkeley and universities like it gag me and other conservatives, they open their arms to racist organizations like Black Lives Matter and anti Semitic hate groups like Students for Justice in Palestine, providing them with offices and money and ample opportunities to present their rancid ideas at the times and places of their choosing.

I know the reason that the Berkeley bureaucrats killed my speech was that they knew I would attack their criminal policy of providing a “sanctuary” for illegal immigrants, thus putting our students and our society itself at risk. And they knew I would attack too their support for Students for Justice in Palestine, a front group for the Hamas terrorists. The cowardly UC administration believed it was more important to appease leftist thugs it has given free reign than it was to protect and defend the principle of free speech and a true diversity of ideas on campus.

I will continue to appear universities across the country and I will continue to embarrass administrations like UC Berkeley’s that degrade our constitution by trying to silence me.

Via email


Three recent reports below

New York making state colleges tuition-free for middle class, poor

New York will be the first state to make tuition at public colleges and universities free for middle-class students under a state budget approved by lawmakers Sunday.

The plan crafted by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo will apply to any New York student whose family has an annual income of $125,000 or less. To qualify the student would have to meet certain class load and grade point average restrictions, and room and board would not be covered.

“College is today what high school was 50 years ago,” Cuomo said on a radio interview Sunday on AM 970 in New York City. “If you’re a young person who wants success and a career, a college education is necessary.

The initiative is included in a $153 billion state budget proposal that passed the state Senate late Sunday after being endorsed by the Assembly a day earlier. The budget was due by April 1, but difficult negotiations delayed passage.

The tuition plan will be phased in over three years, with families making $100,000 or less annually eligible in the fall of 2017, with the threshold rising to $125,000 in 2019. Cuomo’s office says some 940,000 families will qualify. The initiative also includes $19 million for a new tuition award program for students at private colleges.

The governor’s office estimates that the program will cost the state $163 million.

When asked by CBS New York if he feared an exodus of students to free state schools, Robert Gilmore, who handles admissions at Manhattanville College, replied, “I really kind of am.”

Private educators are framing their concerns in terms of protecting choice.

“I do think we need to take a breath,” Dr. Joseph Nyre, president of Iona College, remarked to CBS New York. “I do think we need to hit the pause button and think hard about, how do we support choice?”

The governor’s office estimates the program would bring new students into higher education, and that fewer than 2 percent would be transfers from private institutions.

The budget approved Sunday also includes provisions allowing the ride-hailing apps Uber and Lyft to expand upstate and a juvenile justice reform known as “raise the age” that would raise the age of adult criminal responsibility from 16 to 18.

After years of failed attempts, Uber and Lyft finally would be able to move into upstate cities such as Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester and Albany. The ride-hailing apps have been limited to the New York City area but are expected to begin service upstate 90 days after the budget is approved.


The True Costs of New York’s ‘Free College’ Program

On Friday, New York decided to become the first state to offer four years of tuition-free public college to its residents.

Starting in the fall of 2017, any student from a family who is making less than $100,000 annually can qualify for free tuition, under certain conditions, such as a requirement to maintain a minimum grade point average and commit to living and working in New York for four years after graduation.

Like all tuition-free proposals, this policy kicks the can down the road, leaving taxpayers and future generations with the bill.

As Education Secretary Betsy DeVos aptly reminded Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., during her confirmation hearing, “There’s nothing in life that’s truly free.”

Providing students four years of tuition-free college does not mean that professors have generously decided to forgo their salaries and academic buildings now come rent-free. In fact, it does not even mean that universities have a plan to cut administrative bloat to focus more of their efforts on academics.

Indeed, offering free college to students means that someone else is now paying for it: New York taxpayers, many of whom do not hold bachelor’s degrees themselves and will likely earn less in the future than their college-going counterparts for whom they are now footing the bill.

Recent history has shown that removing any financial responsibility from the student to pay for their degree does more harm than good. Economists have found that virtually unrestricted access to federal student aid encourages colleges and universities to raise their tuition prices.

When universities are not directly accountable for their prices to consumers, tuition can gradually increase without jeopardizing the loss of significant numbers of students. However, American taxpayers feel this tuition increase quite a bit when students default on their loans.

The proposed budget plan for New York couples the state taxpayer-funded grants with federal Pell Grants, which has been shown to increase tuition as much as 40 cents on the dollar.

Creating a state grant for higher education, coupled with federal grants, will likely lead to further increases in the cost of higher education. The program is slated to be phased in over three years and is expected to cost taxpayers $163 million.

Additionally, in response to concerns from private universities that tuition-free public universities will affect their enrollment, private universities will also see an increase in state funding, although more modest.

New York’s taxpayer-financed tuition boondoggle will also likely crowd out private universities, who must now compete with the artificially “free” public system.

Overall, New York’s tuition-free plan puts taxpayers on the hook for college costs that will only go up. Setting this plan in motion with nothing in place to put downward pressure on costs is fiscally irresponsible.

Furthermore, New York’s plan feeds the narrative that no matter who you are or what career you want to pursue, a four-year bachelor’s degree is the only way to achieve your goals.

For many students, spending four years at a university, often studying material that does nothing to contribute to their future earnings, is not the best option.

Instead, policymakers should look toward innovating and diversifying the higher education sector and offering more options to students who may want to streamline their degree toward a specific skill set.

Repealing Obama-era regulations that limit the ability of for-profit technical schools to operate would be a great first step in achieving that goal.

Policymakers are right to want to offer students relief from high college costs. However, offering free tuition ignores true drivers of tuition inflation, and in fact exacerbates them.

If we truly want to make college more affordable and accessible for all Americans, policies should be geared toward limiting federal involvement in higher education and repealing regulations that stifle new and innovative ways of teaching students.


Free tuition is still no guarantee of employment

New York is truly Hillary Clinton’s home state; which is why it is no surprise the state became the first in the country to adopt a full tuition scholarship to provide essentially “free” college attendance for students living in the state, similar to what Clinton had proposed nationally on the campaign trail. This ambitious effort passed through the New York state legislature provides full funding for tuition at state two-year and four-year colleges and universities based on income; however, while New York claims to be expanding opportunity in education, they’re using artificial wealth to drown their economy.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed the Excelsior Scholarship in the state’s $153 billion budget plan, to cover tuition costs provided families earn less than $125,000 a year. Families earning up to $100,000 a year would be eligible in the scholarships first year of implementation, and by the third, the threshold will increase and stabilize at $125,000 a year.

According to the Governor’s office, “Based on enrollment projections, the plan will cost approximately $163 million per year once fully phased in.”

Cuomo defended the plan, explaining, “Today, college is what high school was — it should always be an option even if you can’t afford it. With this program, every child will have the opportunity that education provides.”

College attendance has expanded, but access is not the problem — if anything over-access is a much greater problem Cuomo is prolonging.

By creating more artificial demand for a college degree, it becomes less valuable to the millions of Americans already in the labor force. College degrees are no longer preparing students for success in the current economy, they have lost their value because of their expansion.

Millennials are now the largest and the most college educated generation in history, yet more and more are leaving the labor force. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows labor participation for 25-34 year olds has dropped from an annual, unadjusted average of 84.6 percent in 2000 to 81.6 percent, accounting for 1.3 million millennials who never entered the labor force on a net basis if labor participation had remained at the same rate.

Bloomberg’s Richard Vedder explains how the drop in labor participation this cripples our overall labor field and the ability for students to succeed. Vedder writes, “the number of new college graduates far exceeds the growth in the number of technical, managerial, and professional jobs where graduates traditionally have gravitated…we have a new phenomenon: underemployed college graduates doing jobs historically performed by those with much less education. We have, for example, more than 100,000 janitors with college degrees, and 16,000 degree-holding parking lot attendants.”

Massive incentives to attend college, like Cuomo’s, only perpetuate the idea that everyone should go to college, and that is simply untrue. Expanding funding for college education does not allow underprivileged children the opportunity for a genuine education, it offers them an artificial degree Cuomo has told them they “should” have but is increasingly failing to secure career prospects.

Regenerating the mentality that college is the new high school transmits the idea that college is for everyone, ignoring the economic and individual value of alternate paths like entering the workforce.

As students flood into their now free colleges, college costs will continue to rise and Cuomo will fall into a similar trap as Clinton’s plan.

Tuition has an average growth rate of 6.61 percent since 1970; similarly, public university enrollment has grown over time as well, with an average annual growth rate of 1.34 percent.

As columnist Andrew Kelly explained in an Oct. 2015 report, colleges inflate tuition prices when they receive greater government aid. Under Cuomo’s plan university enrollment will boost and universities will be forced to expand to accommodate, continuing to raise costs over time.

Universities will experience even greater trials as they are forced to keep these students longer than just four years. The National Center for Education Statistics’ most recent numbers show, only about 34 percent of students at public institutions even graduate in four years. With an increase in the number of students going to school while struggling with work and childcare responsibilities, these programs will pay for students’ educations for significantly longer than just four years even if these students attend four year institutions.

As Kelly warned, “The exact relationship between aid and tuition increases — whether it causes or enables — is actually less important from a policymaking perspective because the end effect is the same: more aid, higher tuition prices. That’s why simply pouring more aid into the system won’t create affordable college. To get there, we need reforms that actually change the incentives for colleges.”

Tuition free college does not fulfill a dream of adequate access, it simply devalues the degree and raises costs for everyone. College is meant to prepare students for the real world, it is not Cuomo’s holding cell for students while the economy and their own personal growth fail.


No comments: