Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Here’s How Gutless Bureaucrats Are Helping Antifa Mobs Censor Speech with Threats of Violence

This past week, the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada effectively canceled an event sponsored by the Laurier Society for Open Inquiry (LSOI) by hiking the original security fee of Can$1,600 up to Can$28,500.

The reason administrators gave for the increase was negative “community response.” The event featured Dr. Ricardo Duchesne, professor of sociology and author of “Canada in Decay: Mass Immigration, Diversity, and the Ethnocide of Euro-Canadians,” and Faith Goldy, a far-right independent journalist whose previous talk at Wilfrid Laurier University (also organized by LSOI) was shut down last month after a protestor unlawfully pulled the fire alarm.

In response to the Duchesne-Goldy event, Kitchener-Waterloo Against Fascism organized a protest they called “Rally Against White Supremacists in Waterloo.” And the university’s Indigenous Students’ Association petitioned the administration to “protect” its students and refuse Faith Goldy and Dr. Ricardo Duchesne a platform. The hashtag “#NoNazisAtWaterloo” briefly picked up on social media before the event was officially canceled due to the exorbitant security costs. Once the Laurier Society for Open Inquiry announced the cancellation of the event, many people who opposed it went to Twitter to celebrate the censorship.

The use of the heckler’s veto and the threat of violent disruption of speech is nothing new. It is rather new, however, that so many organizations and venues are folding to both the use and threat of the veto and the associated threat of adjacent violence.

This past winter, Norwegian black metal band Taake had to abruptly cancel its North American tour because of threats of violence originating from members of Antifa.

Taake is a band with a 25-year history which has toured the United States (and even Israel) in the recent past. However, this time around Antifa members (who falsely labeled the band as “Nazi”) went on an aggressive campaign to reportedly threaten the venues, fans and workers would be at the band’s performances.

As one post (new removed) from “Kansas City Revolutionary Collective” (an Antifa social media account) stated, “The scumbags at the Riot Room have invited notorious nazi (sic) metal band Taake to Kansas City. We call on all area antifascists to show up the night of the show p***ed and ready to send a message to the Riot Room and any other venue that might consider booking nazi acts, that if you bring Nazis to our city you will get f**ked up.

Come out on Saturday, March 31 at 7pm to the Riot Room, prepared with masks, sticks, shields and whatever else you might need to make Taake, their fans and enablers fear for their safety. Enough with nazi metal bands, enough with the Riot Room and their nazi apologia. Death to fascists!”

The Riot Room, and many other venues (who were similarly threatened) cancelled the event. Many of these venues were weary of the violent threats from a known radical entity comfortable with the use of physical force and the potential costs incurred stemming from the violence. These music venues claim to promote art and painfully few would admit they act as censors, yet the reality is that they are, with chilling effects across the greater live music landscape.

Closer to home in academia, the heckler’s veto has been successfully utilized in speaking events at many institutions including DePaul University and Lewis and Clark University. In fact, a number of individuals have celebrated the successful use of the heckler’s veto. The Toronto Star’s race and gender columnist, Shree Paradkar, wrote an article with the headline “Faith Goldy’s talk at Wilfrid Laurier was cancelled. And a damn good thing, too.”

What has significantly changed in recent months is that this latest incarnation of the heckler’s veto does not necessarily come in the form of heckling or merely the threat of violence at an event. It now more often comes in the form of excessive security fees to prevent an event from ever happening. This has been become common at universities and is a way for these institutions to mask their displeasure with the content or disposition of the speaker.

Are you a venue that doesn’t like Faith Goldy but still want to make it seem like you wish to protect free speech and are against censorship? Simple. Just charge excessive security fees — and maybe make fee hikes very last minute. Crisis averted, right? We know that many university administrators will experience pushback for preventing a talk based on content, and maybe even for threats of violence. The use of excessive security fees, however, gives universities an “out” for shutting down speech without actually “shutting it down.”

And it should be of little surprise that many of these speakers being shut down are those on the right, who are held in extremely low regard and general disgust amongst the vast majority of university administrators who unabashedly lean left and label themselves as “progressives” or “social justice warriors.”

While many universities in the United States have found ways to deal with security concerns in an appropriate and economically viable fashion, many still hide behind the fees. Thankfully though, many are fighting back. The University of Washington’s College Republicans sued the university this past February over a $17,000 security fee planned for a talk by the leader of Patriot Prayer, Joey Gibson.

Institutions like the private Franklin & Marshall College have adopted (or closely adapted) the Chicago Statement demonstrating a commitment to free speech on campus. In just this past year Franklin & Marshall has hosted talks from very public and very polarizing figures as such Jeffrey Lord and Jasbir Puar without incident. Princeton and Georgetown are other adopters.

We can only hope that universities like Waterloo and Laurier can look to these institutions that facilitate the expression of ideas and open discourse. The reality is that students and community members truly experience the ability to develop and grow when they are allowed to actually engage in dialectics, challenging art and open debate. Institutions, both public and private, need to dig in and stop allowing themselves to be controlled by violent mobs.

Who knows what these mobs will demand next.


UK: Crackdown on university students silencing free speech

Students will be banned from refusing speakers a platform at their universities under the first government intervention on free speech on campus for 30 years.

Sam Gyimah, the universities minister, will announce tough guidance on the issue at a meeting today, calling attempts to silence debate “chilling”.

He will accuse some student societies of “institutional hostility” to certain unfashionable but perfectly lawful views. A “murky” legal landscape, with guidance from various regulators, lets zealots censor those with whom they disagree, Mr Gyimah will say.

The new rules signal the seriousness with which the government is taking free speech on campus. The previous universities minister Jo Johnson said last year that the Office for Students, the new university regulator, would enforce existing measures.


Destroying America, One Miseducated Student After Another

A corrupt public school system indoctrinates semi-literate cannon fodder for the Democrat Party

Last Wednesday, the Miami Herald reported that Venezuela’s inflation rate rose from an astonishing 4,966% to an almost incomprehensible 18,000% in the months of March and April alone. If the trend holds steady, the annualized rate could top 100,000%. The same day, Hillary Clinton opined that being a capitalist hurt her election chances because “41 percent of Democrats are socialists or self-described socialists.” The day before that, the National Assessment of Educational Progress’s (NAEP) 2017 test results released by the U.S. Department of Education revealed that 65% of eighth graders lacked proficiency in reading and 67% lacked proficiency in math. In short, a corrupt public school system indoctrinates semi-literate cannon fodder for a Democrat Party that now clamors for the same socialism devastating Venezuela.

How corrupt is the current system? “The atrocious NAEP performance is only a fraction of the bad news,” explains columnist Walter Williams. “Nationally, our high school graduation rate is over 80 percent. That means high school diplomas, which attest that these students can read and compute at a 12th-grade level, are conferred when 63 percent are not proficient in reading and 75 percent are not proficient in math. For blacks, the news is worse. Roughly 75 percent of black students received high school diplomas attesting that they could read and compute at the 12th-grade level. However, 83 percent could not read at that level, and 93 percent could not do math at that level.”

Such machinations are nothing less than outright fraud, which continues in large part because of collective bargaining.

Collective bargaining has recently manifested itself a series of teachers’ strikes that began in West Virginia on Feb. 22, and spread to Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona and Colorado. What are these strikes about? With the exception of Kentucky, where the primary issue was pension reform, they were about teacher pay. To be fair, teachers in Arizona, West Virginia and Oklahoma have salaries that rank near the bottom nationally, even when cost of living is factored into the equation. Yet many of those same teachers get pension benefits that dwarf comparative private-sector benefits, and many get retiree health coverage that has become virtually nonexistent in the private sector.

As American Enterprise Institute education expert Frederick Hess explains, the media would like to blame “stingy taxpayers” for stagnant teacher pay. Yet he notes per-pupil spending actually grew by 27% between 1992 and 2014. “Between 2003 and 2014, even as teacher salaries declined, per-teacher average benefits spending increased from $14,000 to $21,000 — much of which goes to paying down pension debt rather than benefits for current teachers,” Hess reveals. On top of that, there’s been a substantial increase in the number of non-instructional staff precipitating “top-heavy bureaucracies that add nothing to students’ learning, but do add to union membership rolls and make teachers’ jobs easier,” as Investor’s Business Daily puts it.

They also add to the inconvenient reality that funding the current system has pushed many states to the brink of insolvency.

Moreover, while pay raises may be the teachers’ impetus for striking, their union leaders have other ideas in mind. “What do all of these strikes and protests have in common?” asks columnist Kevin Boyd. “They are taking place in states where Democrats are either trying to make gains or consolidate their power in this fall’s elections.”

Columnist Jenni White takes this assertion further, insisting school officials used the strikes as a pretext for promoting the Democrat agenda. One parent reported that her child was required to write a paper on her feelings about the walk-out, and another student told her mother that teachers were offering pupils extra credit if they attended a student rally in support of the teacher strike.

And then there’s American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten. Last month, Weingarten made a phone call during a train ride to New York. Unfortunately for her, she was overheard plotting a teachers’ strike in Puerto Rico.

Why? Because Gov. Ricardo Rosselló signed legislation aimed at increasing the number of charter schools and voucher programs that pose the greatest threat to union hegemony. “We never use the word strike,” Weingarten said. “We are a human shield for the kids … teachers are doing this in the stead of parents and kids.” Weingarten also referenced the strikes in Oklahoma and West Virginia, saying the union’s goal should be “cloaking” their efforts. “Let everyone call in for a personal day so they can’t open schools,” she said. “Let them call in for a sick day. They’re sick to death about the schools. They’re so anxiety ridden about the schools.”

When she realized she’d been outed Weingarten remained defiant, insisting support for school choice and vouchers was tantamount to “feeding Wall Street vultures,” and a “perversion of priorities.”

Whose priorities? Charts of 2017’s eighth grade reading and math proficiency rankings in 27 large urban districts published by the DOE reveal the most successful districts sport a 41%, proficiency rate in math, and a 36% proficiency rate in reading.

In a better nation, “success” rates that condemn six in 10 children to compromised futures would be considered appalling. In this one, they are union priorities. And since Democrats are more than willing to march in lockstep with those priorities, it should surprise no one that the worst performing districts are all Democrat strongholds.

“Teachers’ unions have immense political clout, and can demonize anyone who disagrees with their agenda,” Investor’s Business Daily explains. “They’ve been tremendously successful, becoming one of largest contributors to Democratic and left-wing political candidates to get their generally hard-left union agenda past local legislatures and through our nation’s Congress.”, a website dedicated to tracking campaign contributions, translates that clout into monetary terms revealing that from 2004 to 2016 political donations by teachers’ unions “grew from $4.3 million to more than $32 million — an all-time high.”

Such clout has real-world consequences. A 2017 Investor’s Business Daily editorial asks if we’re becoming “too ignorant” to save our constitutional republic. A Rasmussen survey released April 30 suggests a highly disturbing answer: 46% of Americans favor government-guaranteed jobs for all.

In 2001, Venezuela was the richest county in Latin America. Seventeen years later, the nation that embraced “21st Century Socialism” stands on the brink of total collapse. The Democrat Party and its unionist education allies, “socialists or self-described socialists” as Hillary Clinton describes them, endeavor to put America on a similar path to self-destruction.

Every political war currently occurring in this nation is secondary to this one. Yet it remains the only one where only one side is doing the fighting.

If this dynamic remains unchanged, American exceptionalism will cease to exist — one mis-educated student after another.


No comments: