colleges

The Un-Free Speech Movement at Berkeley

Silencing Ann Coulter is not the right choice.

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Berkeley protester
Noah Berger/EPA/Newscom

There are few prospects in life more appealing than the silence of Ann Coulter. She brings to mind what novelist Mary McCarthy said about playwright and Stalinist Lillian Hellman: "Every word she writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the.'" If the world never suffered another emission from Coulter's toxic brain, it would be a better place.

But she said she would speak at the University of California, Berkeley even though the school administration had canceled the speech she was scheduled to give April 27 at the invitation of two student groups. Faced with that challenge, the university changed its mind, sort of, proposing to let her appear May 2. All I can say is something I never thought I would: It will be a great thing for Ann Coulter to speak.

UC Berkeley is an exceptional institution whose history includes the 1964-65 protests that gained fame as the Free Speech Movement. Long known as a hotbed of left-wing activism, it has lately gained attention as a place where right-wingers venture at their peril.

In February, the administration abruptly called off a talk by then-Breitbart News troll Milo Yiannopoulos after protesters threw stones and firebombs and smashed windows. In all, they caused $100,000 in property damage and several injuries.

The destruction came not from students intolerant of unwanted opinions, according to the university, but from masked self-styled anarchists bent on wreaking havoc. After Yiannopoulos was invited, the administration had issued a ringing statement condemning his views while defending his right to speak. It affirmed the university's commitment to "the principle of tolerance, even when it means we tolerate that which may appear to us as intolerant."

The event was canceled only after it became clear that the unexpected violence might prove "lethal," as campus police said. Assistant Vice Chancellor Dan Mogulof offered a plausible excuse: "We have never seen this on the Berkeley campus. This was an unprecedented invasion."

Whatever turmoil might attend Coulter's appearance, though, would not be unprecedented, and it would not be impossible to contain. With so much advance notice, the university should be able to mobilize an abundance of police resources to prevent and, if need be, suppress another riot.

By deciding to deny her a venue until a time it deems suitable—September was its preference—the administration gave the strong impression that its devotion to intellectual liberty is negotiable.

Its partial reversal Thursday may have been a way of avoiding the embarrassment of having Coulter show up in defiant glory. Or it may have stemmed from the greater embarrassment of letting feral troublemakers shut down any event they choose. But Coulter, noting that students will be on break May 2, has vowed to come April 27.

At other public institutions, the record of tolerance is mixed. When white nationalist Richard Spencer was invited to Texas A&M, the school defended his right to free speech and deployed riot police to handle any violence—while sponsoring a well-attended counter-event.

Conservative writer Heather Mac Donald's talk at UCLA went off as planned but provoked angry yelling from some in the audience, ending with her being escorted out by cops. When Spencer was invited to Auburn, the university said no—only to be overruled by a federal court.

Auburn's excuse was the same one offered by UC Berkeley: It couldn't permit an event that might jeopardize safety. That policy defers to what lawyers call the "heckler's veto"—which gives those inclined to violence the privilege of silencing any speech that might upset them.

State universities, being organs of government, are bound by the First Amendment. That may be why some of the worst episodes, including the one at Middlebury College when conservative writer

Charles Murray was shouted down and physically attacked, have occurred at private institutions, which may ban speech they don't like. But the spirit of free inquiry ought to be upheld at any college or university worthy of the name.

For any school to impede speakers because critics might protest violently is to give the critics control of who may speak. That's why UC Berkeley's handling of Coulter is so dangerous. At the moment, it's rewarding thugs for being thuggish and thus encouraging more thuggery. It threatens to make the school a hostage to bullies instead of a place where ideas may be heard and answered without fear.

UC Berkeley faces a dilemma that implicates the most vital part of its mission. And right now, it's making the wrong choice.

© Copyright 2017 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. Two Minutes Hate of Ann Coulter, rationalized by “I’m Really Motivated by Free Speech, and not my Hatred of Unbelievers”.

    The Progressitarian virtue signaling splooge must be too exquisite to bear.

    1. Ann Coulter is a turd; I can’t imagine how anyone who purports to value freedom could not find her loathsome.

      1. I don’t get how anybody who purports to value freedom could find her loathsome.

        1. I don’t get how anybody purports to value freedom.

          1. It is certainly absurd to “value freedom” when everybody knows there are so many forms of “free speech” that should not be allowed. Heck, even in New York academic administrators have even been obliged to call in the police to deal with certain unwanted manifestations. Surely no one here would dare to defend the “First Amendment dissent” of a single, isolated judge in our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case? See the documentation at:

            http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

        2. I value freedom and I find her brand of politics loathsome. Because I am free to do so.

        3. The problem is that typically in the hard cases where freedom of speech becomes a real issue, the speaker in question is usually viewed as an asshole by at least part of the population. If everybody liked Coulter and what she says there would be no controversy.

        4. Really? If a Christian theocracy is your idea of freedom I guess. You must have endured a serious head injury to think Coulter is remotely libertarian in her outlook.

          I get it though, if leftists expressed aversion to baked horse turd you would feel obligated to eat said turd and declare how tasty it is, but some of us form our opinions from something other than tribal knee jerk reactions against people we don’t like.

        5. False equivalences don’t count.

      2. Indeed. But of greater importance, one ought not to be able to imagine how anyone who purports to value freedom could not find loathsome that a government organization is forbidding her speech.
        Sadly, one need no longer imagine such things, the reality is all to present.

      3. there is this little thing of principles over principals

        1. there is this little thing of principles over principals

          Not for the Proggies, it is just the reverse.

        2. And principles require that I acknowledge the cunt’s right to speak, not to pretend that she’s not a cunt.

          And she is a cunt.

      4. I can’t imagine how anyone who purports to value freedom could not find her loathsome.

        It certainly gets hard to put her towards the top of the list above other people who’ve been doing more, more politically, and for longer. I can’t see how you would find Ann Coulter loathsome and be cool with James Carville, Jonathan Gruber, or Karl Rove or the host of other figures where were far more heinous/felonious, just much less vocal, like Sandy Berger, Alberto Gonzalez, Rumsfeld, etc.

        1. I would find it hard to rank which one of those is the most loathsome at any given point in time, but I would still believe any of them has the same right to speak as anyone *I* want to hear.

        2. Who said that I am?

          And the only thing that makes Coulter ‘better’ than them is the fact that she’s never held real power. You could say the same thing about Richard Spencer or Noam Chomsky. Are we not allowed to express contempt for them without first offering a ‘to be sure, they’re so much better than…’

      5. Annie is fucking awesome. Don’t trust anyone who hates her.

        1. I guess Ann Coulter does serve a purpose; she helps you low IQ types advertise your disability.

          Tell us about how dinosaurs lived at the same time as people?

          1. MarkLastname|4.24.17 @ 3:14PM|#
            “I guess Ann Coulter does serve a purpose; she helps you low IQ types advertise your disability.”

            Helps ID dipshits like you, also.
            See, she’s not all bad.

          2. She certainly does help the low IQ types advertise their disability – as in when they attack her for telling the truth.

            1. I know, right? I hear bitching how she’s so horrible, but not a shred of specificity. No examples of her lying. No examples of her being some rotten piece of shit. Nothing.

              She is definitely a bomb thrower, and I can certainly see where people may disagree with her. However, she backs up her statements with facts, and research. I have never heard of her having to make a significant retraction, ever. Also, she regularly sends progressives into seizures.

              Anyone who creates as much misery for the progressives as she does is at least a little bit awesome.

      6. “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.'” If the world never suffered another emission from Coulter’s toxic brain, it would be a better place.

        And yet there is more truth in any of Coulter’s speeches than in all of Steve Chapman’s columns collectively.

        I can certainly understand socialists, apologists for criminal invaders, anarchists, the mentally defective, the uneducated, ill-informed or merely stupid opposing much of what Coulter says, and I by no means believe she is infallible. But her rhetoric has about it more truth in an 10-minute span than most politicians – and a number of Reason writers – will attain in lifetimes of their endeavors.

    2. Or maybe he just doesn’t like her.

      The obsession with “virtue signalling” around here is getting a bit ridiculous. Yeah, it happens. And it’s often stupid and annoying. But it’s what people do. Hell, complaining about other people’s virtue signalling seems to have become it’s own virtue signalling, telling people “look what a tough minded, sensible person I am, not like those pansies who just want people to like them”.

      1. Maybe the “obsession” around here with virtue signalling is getting ridiculous because in general virtue signalling is getting ridiculous. Or maybe complaining about people who complain about virtue signalling, is the worst virtue signalling of all. Maybe.

        1. Or maybe complaining about people who complain about people complaining about virtue signaling is the worst virtue signaling of all.

        2. Could be. But so what? Everyone does it all the time. Part of what I’m trying to say is that it’s not a big deal or a terrible thing, but a big part of how people communicate. I’m not accusing the people virtue signalling about virtue signalling of anything beyond being a bit tedious and annoying (and yes, certain Reason writers and syndicated columnists can get similarly tedious and annoying).

          1. Everyone does it all the time.
            Come on, man. That is the weakest justification going for bad behavior and stupidity. This place used to be a little different, mostly because it was not beholden to either of the two major Teams, but also because its writers dared be original. Now, it’s a rush to kinda, sorta, semi-agree with people bitching about a principal while tepidly defending the principle that is in play.

            1. This place used to be a little different

              Yeah, used to be you could call someone a scumbag without 40 people suddenly demanding that you justify why you think the person is a scumbag. Once upon a time people didn’t see a negative opinion about someone they like as a personal attack.

              1. Oh, and accusing you of virtue signaling when you call someone a scumbag.

                1. Oh, and accusing you of virtue signaling when you call someone a scumbag.

                  You scumbag.

            2. I guess I just don’t see the prefacing condemnations as weakening the defense of the principle at all. Defending the right to speak even if you hate the speaker or what they are saying has long been a standard and (I think) effective way to make clear what you are arguing for when you argue for free speech.

              I should probably take my own advice and ignore the stuff I find tedious and annoying in the comments. But it’s aggravating that half of what limited commenting is left now tends to be bitching about some opinion expressed by the author and the subsequent arguments.

              The comments are supposed to be the best part of H&R, so why not ignore the annoying tics that the writers have and say something interesting.

              1. The comments stopped being the best part of HnR about five minutes after Trump took the lead for the GOP nomination.

            3. “Now, it’s a rush to kinda, sorta, semi-agree with people bitching about a principal while tepidly defending the principle that is in play.”

              That does appear to be the working template.

          2. It’s like you’re deliberately not understanding.

            Reason has become a place where, whenever anyone tries to uphold a libertarianesque principle, the writers seem to go out of their way to attack or distance themselves from that person–up to the point where the reason writers appear to be attacking the principle themselves.

            And, quite often, they are.

            Currently, reason is committed to free markets only insofar as they act within vast managed ‘free trade’ agreements. And minds are only free when adhering to the prevailing orthodoxies of the moment.

            I mean, really–reason recently printed an article arguing against property rights! And in favor of all manner of ‘white indian’ nonsense.

            1. I don’t mind the opinion sharing aspect. It’s the absolute lack of substantiation, along with the feigned offense at having someone else question it, or offer a counter opinion.

              Robbie’s Milo schtick being exhibit A. And the two-minute Coulter hate being the example du jour.

              1. I mean, the name of the place is Reason not Bombastic Hytperbole.

        3. It’s virtue signaling all the way down. The only way to avoid being accused of virtue signaling at this point is to just shut up. Which is the whole point of calling other people out for virtue signaling.

          1. Virtue signaling gets geometrically more concentrated the further you are from the original complaint. So the originator is 1x signaling, first complainer is 2x, second complainer is 4x, third is 8x, etc. The idea is to see how many complaints you can chain together to get the most concentrated signaling with the last person being the winner. This way you can discourage people from letting someone else get the last word.

            1. Not to impugn yourself or the people ‘defending’ virtue signalling, but this is signal processing in general and a big reason why I don’t, exactly, like virtue signalling. For any given signal, there’s no way to know what percentage is virtue, what percentage is sloppy thinking/thought, and what percentage is willful conflation. I think there are some reason writers who are better than others about this, but after consistent iterations, whether virtue signalling or not, you get the other two aspects baked in. At large, we end up with pepe the frog as a symbol of white nationalism.

              1. For any given signal, there’s no way to know what percentage is virtue, what percentage is sloppy thinking/thought, and what percentage is willful conflation.

                Absent from your argument is the chance that an opinion writer is offering an opinion that isn’t meant to be a signal.

                1. Another question comes to mind. Is expressing an opinion in public ever not in some sense social signalling? I’m not attached to any particular answer.

                  1. Is expressing an opinion in public ever not in some sense social signalling?

                    Interesting question. I guess you’d have to consider something innocuous like “vanilla is better than chocolate” to really get at the heart of it. I don’t think something like that is automatically some kind of signal.

              2. Also, I don’t totally disagree with what you’re saying.

          2. No, you have to equivocate about how rabid theocratic right wing lunatics are really not so bad and it’s unfair to criticize them. Some regulars would likely defend the honor of Jerry Falwell to the death here just because progs don’t like him.

            Call Francisco Franco a tyrant? Pfff, just trying to get into those cocktail parties, you should be criticizing Pol Pot instead!

            It’s standard bulverism. Purport to explain why some thinks something rather than offering rebuttal. And intellectual laziness.

        4. So now libertarians can’t criticize Ann Columbus later. What next, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson? Are they veritable friends of liberty too? Any criticism of a maniacal right wing asshat is now ‘progressive virtue signaling?’

          Take your meds FS. Coulter is a detestable human being, most conservatives dislike her (bunch of Cucks, right?) and if finding her palatable is your benchmark for a true libertarian, then you’re the one who’s off the deep end.

          1. Ann Coulter, not Columbus, obviously.

          2. Maybe people who purport to be a libertarians should expect to be called out any time they attempt to criticize anyone or anything.

            To think that you can toss around words like ‘loathsome,’ ‘poopyhead,’ or any other sort of vague pejorative and not be asked to explain yourself is wholly unrealistic.

            And characterizing such questioning as some sort of attempted suppression is silly.

      2. “getting”? We turned that corner months ago.

    3. Oh look, it’s the virtue signaler complaining about virtue signaling!

      1. So?

    4. You seem to assert that the author should support Coulter’s message if they’re going to support the first amendment. Do you have a problem with principled support of Coulter’s rights that doesn’t ideologically subscribe to her positions? It certainly looks like it offends you.

      So much for nuance.

  2. Completely OT: a nice obituary with this great request:

    Christine requested that six players from the Sacramento Kings be her pallbearers so that they could let her down one last time.

      1. Doesn’t a team have to be good enough to get your hopes up before it can let you down?
        I don’t see how anyone could think the Browns or the Kings might be worth getting excited about.
        Now the LA Clippers, on the other hand…

    1. A life well led.

      Wonderful obit. — made me wish I knew the lady. She was probably more interesting than anyone I know. (You jokers excepted of course.)

      The pallbearer joke wasn’t even the best. It was rumored that she took a bullet for Nixon, but she wouldn’t admit to anything because “he is a Republican”.

  3. I don’t get the Ann Coulter hate here. I’ve been coming to Reason’s website pretty much everyday for something like 15 years, and I’ve read and heard plenty of what Ann Coulter has said over the past 20 years. The majority of what she has said coincides with what has been said here at Reason–or at least what has been held out to be the general libertarian beliefs shared here. So why lead with vitriol? Or are we falling for the lies that everyone the progressives label as a nazi-racist-fascist is indeed such?

    1. Leading with vitriol is virtue signalling because… cocktail parties.

      I get the want to display “I am not with her.” But that could be done subtley instead of the direct way it was handled here. However, some of the audience does not deal well with nuance.

    2. Because she despises the LP as the joke the LP just so happens to be.

    3. Its a virtue signalling bandwagon, don’t you want to ride, too?

    4. I agree. I often but not always agree with Coulter. She can and does engage in pretty good debates as long as she isn’t matched up against a shouting Prog. (in which case she just goes for the throat)

      On the other hand, I very rarely agree with anything Steve Chapman has to say other than the basic “free-speech = good” argument.

      1. I very rarely agree with anything Steve Chapman has to say other than the basic “free-speech = good” argument.

        …and Chapman can only ever be forced to say this if he’s allowed to bracket it with successive layers of virtue signaling and denunciations of the very idea that something as vile as ‘free speech’ could be a good thing.

    5. Forget it Ogre, it’s Chapman town.

    6. I just find Coulter personally obnoxious. Something about her presentation grates on me so badly that I want to scream at her, even when I agree with what she’s saying.

      1. For me, it’s her voice. There’s just something smarmy sounding about it no matter what she’s saying.

        1. smarmy

          Very true. Kind of the flip side of Maddow – who I heard speaking for the first time in that clip where she’s blaming the unrest in Venezuela on Trump. They both have annoyingly smug vocal tics.

          1. Once they start blaming Trump for Venezuela, you know they are deserting the regime in Venezuela they once lionized.

    7. She’s a creationist theocrat who’s love for Donald Trump is basically religious; she loves pretty much any war you could think if starting; she’s a big fan of the Iraq one and seems to favor war with Iran. She openly favors invading foreign countries, massacring civilians, and converting them to Christianity.

      So yeah, if theocratic Christian reconstructionism and a new round of medieval crusades with modern weapons are libertarian, she’s totally on board with libertarianism.

      If of course you can get past the fact that she hates libertarians because, in her own words, they don’t like ‘local fascism.’

      Maybe that’s the new definition of libertarian: local statism. Yeah, we hate when the federal government tells us what to do; what we really want is the county commissioner telling us we’re not allowed to drink, smoke, and confiscating our money.

      Christ, this place had gone to shit.

      1. It would be nice of you to flush twice!

      2. Funny, I’ve read a lot of her columns and seen her on various programs. Never heard any of the shit you’re saying. Do you have any points of reference to back that up?

  4. “The destruction came not from students intolerant of unwanted opinions, according to the university, but from masked self-styled anarchists bent on wreaking havoc.”

    I’d ask how the officials would know, since they haven’t investigated anything and Berkeley police, headed by their pro-antifa mayor, haven’t done so either.

    It might be time for the DoJ to investigate Berkeley and their profoundly unequal treatment and protection of civil rights.

  5. That’s why UC Berkeley’s handling of Coulter is so dangerous. At the moment, it’s rewarding thugs for being thuggish and thus encouraging more thuggery.

    True enough. But Coulter’s claims to the benefit of that principle are undermined by the fact that she herself has supported thuggery, or “manly temper” as she put it, when the shoe was on the other foot. http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-…..from-trump Live by the sword, die by the sword?

    1. Except the key difference is Coulter there is proposing violence in response to violence. The leftist snowflakes are initiating actual violence in response to speech they don’t like. Yes you could argue given her influence this is irresponsible but I don’t see the equivalency.

      1. But in the minds of the Left, speech they don’t like is violence. So when they beat up somebody for saying things they don’t like, it’s really just self-defense, or something.

        1. This is really the problem, but this stupid idea is not exclusive to the political left. This idea that speech can be considered as a form of oppression or violence is just another reflection of this modern, deconstructionist horseshit that removes meaning from language and extends speech to “action.” Otherwise known as “thought crime.”

          1. but this stupid idea is not exclusive to the political left

            They own the copyrights.

        2. Coulter’s “violence” is pretty mild compared to Angela Davis’, who was party to the murder of a federal judge, and actually was a professor at the University of California in Santa Cruz.

      2. Self defense is, of course, one’s right and people being attacked by anti-Trump protestors certainly have the right to defend themselves.
        That said, meeting violence with violence is probably not a good move strategically or a good thing for the country. If both sides engage, political violence becomes more normalized and that would be a terrible thing. Especially given the biases of much of the news media.

        What I would call for here (and this is pretty rare coming from me) is for the police to do their damn jobs for once and arrest the violent protestors for assault and/or battery.

        1. That said, meeting violence with violence is probably not a good move strategically or a good thing for the country. If both sides engage, political violence becomes more normalized and that would be a terrible thing. Especially given the biases of much of the news media.

          At some point, though, appeals to “principle” are inevitably going to go by the wayside and people will decide to stop being punching bags out of sheer self-preservation. Antifans are violent fuckwads and there’s no legitimate reason for someone to martyr themselves on the altar of reason if they won’t act otherwise.

          In the case of Antifans, aggressive self-defense is the most logical course of action, as long as you make sure you’re not doing some suicidal lone-wolf charge into their mobs and wear appropriate protection such as a motorcycle helmet and a flak vest of some kind. Until some Antifan skulls get broken on a consistent basis as a result of their repeated NAP violations, they’ll continue their antics.

          1. I still think it’s best just to avoid engagement with them if at all possible. Let them take the heat for all of the violence. Engaging with them risks making street battles between competing activists more likely and more normal. Trump supporters haven’t been engaging in violence, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Put more of the violent assholes in prison and let the rest of them continue pissing off normal people and they will defeat themselves.

            1. Put more of the violent assholes in prison and let the rest of them continue pissing off normal people and they will defeat themselves.

              Like you said, a lot of this crap would be mitigated if the police, both campus and municipal, would do their actual jobs and start throwing people in prison. There was a post by some Antifan after the inauguration that was bellyaching about the Antifans that were arrested that day being charged with inciting a riot, which is a felony–this is probably the best way to go for tamping down violence on both sides, but I doubt most police departments would take that step if lefty mayors and campus deans won’t authorize that action.

          2. Haha, no. These people live for that. You think Antifa people getting beat up will make them think ‘gee I guess we should just go back to work?’ They’re saying something similar about you right now on their websites.

            There are plenty of good histories on the Weimar era that apparently have gone utterly unread.

  6. We are reaching the logical conclusion of teaching impressionable youths that words are violence. This disgusting perversion is what rationalizes any evil they commit because they are attacking first is defense from the “violence” that Richard Spencer, Ann Coulter, Ben Shapiro, etc. are enacting upon the oppressed classes. Really shameful, but just history taking another turn round the merry-go-round.

    1. It is worse than this because they believe that just by EXISTING, people like Coulter and Trump are oppressing them. No actual concrete examples of this oppression are needed, they just feel oppressed therefore they are, and this means there must be an oppressor. And if you are oppressed in this horrific way, you have a right to revolt, right? That is the logic. All white men are racist/sexist oppressors and therefore valid targets.

  7. masked self-styled anarchists bent on wreaking havoc

    One of these days I’m going to track down the root of the thinking that anarchists are just people who break shit and anyone who breaks shit is an anarchist.

    1. One of these days I’m going to track down the root of the thinking that anarchists are just people who break shit and anyone who breaks shit is an anarchist.

      Probably has a lot to do with the anarcho-communists of the late 1800’s who often performed “propaganda of the deed.” Basically it seems that at some point the word “anarchist” was appropriated from the relatively pacifist individualist anarchists of the early 1800’s by violent thugs. Even back then, Marxists ruined everything.

      1. Interesting. At least in the beginning the violence was directed towards government.

  8. What’s funny is the people that claim to support her right to speak don’t even have the balls to just come out and say that. Instead they have to insert a disclaimer by saying they don’t agree with her ideas and that she is a monster, but she has the right to speak. Why not just tell everyone to plug their ears and yell, “La la la” while anyone they disagree with is talking.

    These rabbit holes are god damn deep now-a-days.

    1. I know, right? It’s like the retards are too scared to just come out and say Fred Phelps can say whatever he wants. Nobody really gives a shit whether you like him or not, keep your opinion to yourself.

      1. I stand firm in my position that Fred Phelps doesn’t actually have a right to speak.

        1. Especially now that he’s dead.

          1. LIES! Fred is eternal.

          2. Yup. If he rises from his grave and begins talking, I wholly condone any violence done against him. I, and I’m sure others, would prefer destroying the cerebellum, severing the spinal column, or a wooden stake through the heart for good measure, but would condone other forms as well.

          3. And as a dead Democrat, he is probably voting in every election, no?

    2. Why not just tell everyone to plug their ears and yell, “La la la” while anyone they disagree with is talking.

      Probably because that’s not what they want to say. Saying that you think someone is a piece of shit doesn’t necessarily that you don’t want anyone to hear what they have to say. It’s good to keep track of what people you think are wrong are saying.

  9. The funny part is how the people that are “defending” her right to speak must disclaim that position by saying, “I think she’s a monster and her ideas are abhorrent, but she has the right to speak.”

    Lately these rabbit holes have gotten god damn deep.

    1. I know, right? Stupid opinion writers should keep their opinions to themselves.

  10. Bruce Jenner is a disturbed man. And a disturbing woman.

    Fighting words?

  11. Nice picture. My caption: “Steve Chapman stood in his finest balaclava and blue marshallow suit and smiled. This was his best handiwork yet.”

  12. Berkeley Mustn’t Silence Ann Coulter: New at Reason

    “It’s Ann Coulter who should silence Ann Coulter!”
    /Proggie speech police.

    Then again, I would not pay or even accept payment to hear her speak. Her simplistic view of things and her lack of knowledge of even the simplest of economic concepts makes her speech sound like listening to nails scratching a blackboard.

  13. Every word she writes is a lie

    This sort of thing has been repeated so many times in the last few days – without evidence – that I’ve forgotten exactly what it is that she said that is so very wrong.

    1. Bill Maher: “Ann, which republican candidate has the best chance of winning the general election?”
      Ann Coulter: “Of the declared ones, right now, Donald Trump.”

      I didn’t listen to her at the time. I’m unaware of anything she’s done since. I guess, as long as she’s dictating, it’s not a lie.

    2. I am not sure anyone has said what exactly is so bad about her that they would prefer she would disappear. Disagreement is one thing, but this seems to be implacable hatred.

      1. Her whole thing is to piss certain people off (not a dig, she pretty much says so herself). And she’s good at it, so it’s not too surprising that she gets a lot of hate from people who don’t subscribe to the brand of conservatism that she promotes.

        I think she’s wrong about a lot of things, is an unpleasant person in her public persona, and can be a dishonest debator, but again, that’s what she does. She’s a polemicist, not a political analyst.

        Some disdain for her is to be expected and is appropriate, but it is true that some of the names she’s being called are a bit over the top.

        1. If they were backed up with the sort of reasoned specifics you offer they might not be (or, at least, not be seen as) ‘over the top.’

          1. Sigh. There are plenty of specifics. She basically wants the US to be a Christian state, supports enforcement of religious law, wants American foreign policy to be based on violent forced conversion of other countries to Christianity.

            But yeah that’s just a minor deviation from the ideals of classical liberalism. Just a little, minor issue.

            1. Sigh. Thanks for your opinion.

            2. Uh…..no. That is extreme hyperbole. You are either not rational, not honest, or some mix of both. Maybe it’s just an obsession on your part, but it looks more and more unhealthy with each successive post you make stating this nonsense.

      2. I am not sure anyone has said what exactly is so bad about her that they would prefer she would disappear.

        part of the bullshit about declaring someone completely-invalid (*e.g. “every word she writes is a lie”, “her toxic brain” etc.) is that it generally is done without ever citing a single example of their toxic-invalidity or demonstrated-dishonesty.

        basically – “all Tell, no Show”. Its just an unsupported statement meant to be accepted at face value.

        Why fail to substantiate the claim, if its so goshdarn *easy*? I mean, if EVERYTHING she says is hateful awfulness, you’d think it would be child’s play to simply cite something that everyone would universally say was completely unacceptable and ‘beyond the pale’.

        Its fundamentally intellectually-dishonest.

        This point isn’t about Coulter or Milo or anyone else specific that constantly gets this sort of treatment in the press = its about the method of ‘handwaving dismissal’ which pretends that there is no need to ever substantiate a public-judgement. Its the pretense that “everyone already agrees with me/everyone knows this!”, ergo there’s no need to prove the point.

        It belies confidence in one’s own critique. If one were convinced that X person had nothing of value to say, you’d happily demonstrate it. The reason they don’t is obvious = doing so would likely reveal the claim to be debatable. Its just intellectual cowardice masked as certainty.

        1. This.

          Virtue signaling is called what it is because it is a vapid form of preening. Not because it communicates a substantive opinion or position.

          That thje term now gets turned back on those who question the virtue signaler is a lame form of tu quoque.

  14. I kind of wish I was still in college. It would be fun to wear Trump and/or MAGA and/or Pepe apparel on campus in order to irritate the precious, sjw snowflakes.

    1. If you want perpetual fun, just do sidewalk chalk graffiti. Imagine the hilarity as an entire campus has to walk by a wall with a Pepe saying “Trump is our President and basically you’re fucking stupid.”

    2. I’m honestly debating enrolling in a state college where I live. I pay 1990 tuition rates due to my Gulf War participation, so the money is inconsequential. It would be thoroughly enjoyable to antagonize these progtard punks on a daily basis. At the same time it would be fun to take money away from the school through some kind of Title IX related lawsuit.

      1. Piece of cake. They will require you to take an indoctrination course called something like sensitivity training, gender awareness, or the like. Tell the one in charge (person/man/woman/other) talking about sex makes you uncomfortable. They will tell you you have to take the course or drop out. That amounts to a sexual assault because they are making you perform a sexual act (aural sex) in order to remain a student. Run, don’t walk to the Title IX office and file a complaint. When they ignore you, because “something, something, rules”, head to the lawyer of your choice.

  15. What could be more appealing than Coulter’s silence? Chapman giving up writing comes to mind.

    1. I don’t think Chapman’s a bad writer. He gets his point across fairly well. Predictability helps, to be sure, but what I don’t understand is why the powers that be think he belongs here.

      1. I was being sarcastic, but I do not have much regard for Chapman as a thinker.

  16. “destruction came not from students intolerant of unwanted opinions, according to the university, but from masked self-styled anarchists”

    this is false at least one professor and several students of the university have admitted to being among those masked anarchist and if there is one there are probably others if not most

  17. I don’t like Bill Marr but I believe in his right to speak so I guess its fine for Chapman and other writers to make their claims of dislike for other okay but they way they write does seem a little disingenuous at times and may even undermine the rest of their articles.

    Note I did not call Bill Marr any names or describe him as loathsome. I think just disagreeing with someone is enough while the name calling does the undermining

    1. Bill Maher is loathsome. But he still has the right to speak.

      I’ll bet there will be no outrage at my ‘virtue signaling’ my distaste for Bill Maher.

      1. I’ll bite.

        What makes him loathsome? Because, while I find him annoying, and he reminds me of the kid who would always talk smack but only when the teachers were in visual range. But I would not use the word loathsome to describe him. Mainly because I tend to reserve words that strident for people who really deserve them – e.g. Assad, or Obama.

        And if anyone wants to know why I associate Obama with the likes of Assad look no further than the new Politico article about the Iran deal.

        1. I’d say he’s loathsome. He lies a lot, for money, and he’s an asshole. Yep, loathsome. Same for Coulter.

          Both of them are loathsome; and what makes them more so is the (alleged) fact that they use to date. Which plays into my conspiracy theory that most of the big time pundits aren’t really true believers but actually cynical showmen who play the part for money and fame. Only reason I can think of why those two could date without their heads simultaneously exploding.

          1. Dang. You people are a bunch of total hard asses.

            Although, I do agree that Coulter and Maher are birds of a feather and the rhetoric is largely costuming.

          2. Like James Carville and Mary Matalin. As soon as I learned they were married, I knew they were just actors portraying being opposite political activists/commentators with no actual convictions. And “loathsome” fits the bill for people like that.

      2. And that “right to speak” would not be impacted one bit if a place invited him to speak, and then cancelled on him.

        “Freedom of Speech” does not mean “Entitlement to a Platform”.

  18. “There are few prospects in life more appealing than the silence of Ann Coulter. She brings to mind what novelist Mary McCarthy said about playwright and Stalinist Lillian Hellman: “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.'” If the world never suffered another emission from Coulter’s toxic brain, it would be a better place.”

    Fuck you Chap-Man

    So she is a liar? Which lies? Everything I’ve ever heard her say or write she has backed up successfully. I can’t say the same for Chapman. Who IS a disingenuous piece of shit.

    Chapman, you’re not fit to sniff Coulters panties.

    1. You’re messed up, buddy.

  19. RE: The Un-Free Speech Movement at Berkeley
    Silencing Ann Coulter is not the right choice.

    “There are few prospects in life more appealing than the silence of Ann Coulter. She brings to mind what novelist Mary McCarthy said about playwright and Stalinist Lillian Hellman: “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.'” If the world never suffered another emission from Coulter’s toxic brain, it would be a better place.”

    Fuck you Chapman.
    Even though Coulter is a neo-con puppet, no one can do sarcasm like her.
    Why don’t you go suck Hillary’s dick again?


  20. “The destruction came not from students intolerant of unwanted opinions, according to the university, but from masked self-styled anarchists bent on wreaking havoc.”

    Ha Ha! Ha! No, but really guys, they’re totally not students. It’s a total coincidence that things only seem to get this out of hand on our campus. There must be a suburb of Anarchists somewhere around our radical left wing university! Ha Ha! There’s no overlap on that Venn diagram at all! Ha!

  21. Lets be perfectly clear about something.

    Universities inviting Ann Coulter and then cancelling for bullshit reasons? It’s spineless and cravenly.

    What it is not, is an attack on Ann Coulter’s rights. Fact is, she is just as free to speak today as she was a week ago. And amusingly enough, her platform this week is probably bigger then it was last week because she gets attention due to the controversy. And the bottom line is that she is not, nor is anyone else, entitled to a speaking engagement.

    The simple fact is that these universities were not obligated to invite her to start with, they are not obligated to see it through?, and they are not obligated to ever invite her back again. And that has no impact on her Free Speech rights.
    ________
    ?There may be cancellation penalties involved based on whatever contracts may or may not have been signed, but that’s a different topic.

    1. You raise a serious point. It is something of a mistake to talk about the ‘University’ inviting a speaker. What is really happening is that the University provides a platform, and allows student organizations to invite speakers of their choosing. Because this is a public university the platform should be substantially open and equal. In this instance the University has chosen to veto a group’s chosen speaker, an act you (accurately IMO) describe as spineless and cowardly. In effect it is a form of viewpoint discrimination.

      Personally I am less bothered by the effect on Coulter than the effect on the members of that student group – who are also being silenced.

      1. “In effect it is a form of viewpoint discrimination.”
        Sure.

        But it has fuck-all to do with Freedom of Speech.

        That said, do you remember those cases about whether or not a university could require that official student groups to have non-discrimination policies? The case(s) basically boiled down to “Freedom of Association for the school” vs. “Freedom of Speech for the student group”.

        In that case, much like this one and all the other “university disinvites speaker” cases, the students were free to say whatever they wanted. The point of contention was that they wanted to say and do things that displeased the university while still having the university foot the bill. And in the end, the University wins out for the same reasons. Because they are not stopping the students from doing things, they are saying “we won’t pay for it”.

        ’cause face it, if these students really wanted to invite Coulter and not have to worry about getting the University’s approval? They could rent an off-campus venue and pay for speaking fees themselves. But they won’t. Because they aren’t the ones with deep pockets.

        And that’s why “Freedom of Speech” doesn’t include “entitlement to a platform”. Because words? They cost nothing. But platforms cost something.

    2. The right to speak also includes the right of people to listen. If people are denied the right to listen then there is no right to speech. Canceling her speech deprived people the right to listen.

      1. “The right to speak also includes the right of people to listen.”
        Even if I agree with that?, you’re ignoring that what’s at issue here isn’t that Ann Coulter isn’t really being prevented from speaking. It’s that she’s not being given security, a venue, and a speaking fee to do so. If she wanted to, she could show up at campus and speak from a random street corner?, or come to a student club meeting.

        Freedom of Speech, and whatever rights you think flow from that, do not include a right to a venue, a security team, and a paycheck. That’s at the discretion of whoever is paying for it.
        ________
        ?I don’t.
        ?At that point if anyone tried to physically stop her you would have a Free Speech issue. But please note, that hecklers don’t count. Ann Coulter doesn’t enjoy a right to be free from hecklers any more then your run-of-the-mill street preacher does.

        1. Bzzt! Thanks for playing. You win a lifetime supply of Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco Treat!(tm). UCB is a public institution receiving federal dollars and thus subject to its laws including 1A and Equal Protection. If it were a completely private institution, then it could have full discretion on whom it allows to speak. It is not.

          As to your argument that a Heckler’s Veto is allowed, good luck with that. No doubt you would have no problem with someone playing loud music on the public street in front of your house 24 hours a day. After all, you don’t enjoy the right to be free from hecklers…

          1. “As to your argument that a Heckler’s Veto is allowed, good luck with that”

            If the government has any duty at all, it is to protect citizens from thugs. EE votes for thugs; EE sucks canal water.

  22. How absurd. ‘Reason’ says Berkeley should just accept the obvious, that there would be destructive riots, and possible injuries? Has ‘Reason’ ever heard of ‘liability’…or ‘responsibility’? Guess who’d pay for all the destruction? Yeah… Not Reason.

    1. The bourgeoisie.

    2. Ideally, all the students/protestors arrested for the destruction.

    3. Please contact John B. Egan for information on how to donate to the “Save the Hecklers Veto Fund.”

  23. Pull UC Berkeley’s federal funding (if any) till they stop this idiocy. Cancel existing contracts (if any). Tell them it’s the cost for cherry-picking the constitution.

    1. I will bet my next paycheck that every “student” at that university receives government funding, most likely federal funding (AKA tax dollars)
      Full disclosure, I am retired.

  24. I haven’t heard Ann Coulter speak in some time. It would have been more professional of you, after saying her every word is a lie, to quote a couple of her statements to support that.

    Otherwise, a great piece.

  25. The Un-Free Speech Movement at Reason.

  26. When Edith Efron died, Reason Magazine started its down hill slide into mediocrity. I’m curious to know if anyone at Reason has any of Coulter’s stuff. I seriously doubt it. Where is Reason’s stuff that would meet the high standard of Efron’s “Can the President Think?” where she presented facts and came to the conclusion that he couldn’t.

    1. Sorry. “I’m curious to know if anyone at Reason has read any of Coulter’s stuff.”

      1. Only a little from her books, but a lot her columns, and interviews. She is NOT an open borders advocate, which is where I think a lot of the people who write for Reason don’t like her. Same for the commentariat.

  27. I like coulter. And id fuck her too. With glee

  28. “…The destruction came not from students intolerant of unwanted opinions, according to the university, but from masked self-styled anarchists bent on wreaking havoc….”

    The check’s in the mail, too,

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  32. There are few prospects in life more appealing than the silence of Ann Coulter.

    Never change, Chapman. Being a douchebag even when you take the right side of an argument.

    Then again, I award no credit for taking the right side of this argument, because only a moron would come out against it. Oh, wait … maybe Chapman does deserve some credit….

  33. I fail to see how this whole thing is all that complicated. Previously, due to fear or cowardice, Berkeley has failed in providing a safe venue by which alternative views may be expressed and debated. They should be ashamed.

    Going forward:
    1. Strap on a pair and do your job

    1a. If the head of security cannot provide adequate security, fire him/her and replace them with someone who is competent.
    1b. If the chancellor is not capable of hiring a head of security that can do his/her job, then he in fact is incompetent and needs to be replaced as well. This seems pretty darn simple.

    2. Any student who attempts to disrupt the event in a way that disables the alternative viewpoint to be expressed shall be subject to discipline. Make it a penalty with teeth. Expulsion or whatever is sufficiently aggressive to encourage students to behave as intelligent adults and not intolerant a-holes.

    3. Any student or non-student who indulges in an act of physical violence against another person or private/public property shall be arrested and prosecuted aggressively.

    This is NOT complicated. Just requires grown-ups who are committed to the principles that they allege to hold.

    I do find it hilarious that everyone qualifies their remarks about how awful Ann Coulter is before mouthing their support for free speech. How many rioters have read a single thing she’s written? Probably not many. If she’s such a dunce, why is she considered so dangerous?

    1. This is NOT complicated. Just requires grown-ups who are committed to the principles that they allege to hold.
      You receive a grade of 100% on stating the obvious. However, UCB is known as a left wing institution, so the use of the word principles is suspect.

  34. But the spirit of free inquiry ought to be upheld at any college or university worthy of the name.

    Since that name isn’t worth much anymore, they don’t need to uphold that stuff anymore either.

  35. nice post. Keep it up.

  36. A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    California = infringement = no free state; no second amendment, no first amendment. QED
    Secede already!

  37. I couldn’t get past the title. My sense is that the right is now fighting back, throwing off the chains of political correctness and all the verbal malformations that undergird the whole thing.

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