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If Even One Berkeley Student Wants to Hear Ann Coulter, She Should Speak There

Violent protesters and their defenders are ignoring the rights of tuition-paying students.

CoulterPG / Splash News/NewscomThe University of California-Berkeley cancelled conservative author Ann Coulter's upcoming speech on grounds that the police could not guarantee her safety—a damaging blow to free speech on campus.

Administrators want to reschedule the event; the Young Americans for Freedom, who invited Coulter in the first place, have vowed to proceed as planned.

Conservative students have good reason to continue with the event anyway, although one can hardly blame administrators, at this point, for being concerned. Berkeley has played host to increasing levels of mob violence as a result of invitations to controversial speakers like Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos. Blame here rests solely on the shoulders of the people promising violence in response to speech they oppose.

Student activists and local Berkeley leftists don't want Coulter, who has a history of making vile statements, to bring her right-wing shtick to campus. And of course, they have the right to object to her presence, to protest her, and to criticize those who invited her. That's free speech. But free speech does not include the right to engage in censorship, or to engage in violence, or to threaten violence in order to prevent the university from playing host to a controversial speaker.

Is Coulter's perspective worth hearing? While she believes a great many things that I find reprehensible, note that she is one of a handful of high-profile figures on the right who opposes increased military intervention in Syria. (Yes, this is a departure from her full-throated Iraq War cheerleading, though at least she's flip-flopping in the correct direction.) And despite her quasi-religious devotion to President Trump during the campaign, recently she has shown a willingness to criticize him for catering to the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party.

But the case for giving Coulter a platform is actually much simpler, and does not require any defense whatsoever of her views. The case is this: the students who invited her would like to meet her and hear her speak. Presumably, a number of less politically active students—who probably dislike Coulter, but would appreciate the opportunity to hear from her anyway—do as well. Students are paying thousands of dollars to attend Berkeley—a public university—for precisely this opportunity: the opportunity to enjoy thought-provoking learning experiences. Groups whose violent tactics force administrators to rescind speaking invitations are essentially forcing student to waste their investment.

Those who say that students and local activists have a right to shut down the Coulter event are prioritizing one group's wishes over another's. They are trampling some students' rights in order to please others. They are saying the rights of the offended matter more than the rights of the open-minded.

Some have criticized Coulter's own approach to the issue: she demanded that the university expel any student who engages "in violence, mayhem or heckling to prevent an invited speaker from speaking." It's harsh, but I don't fully understand why it's particularly controversial. Yes, people who engage in violence should be arrested, and yes, students who prevents an invited speaker from speaking should be subjected to some kind of disciplinary action, because they are violating the rights of members of campus who are interested hearing a contrary perspective.

Students pay good money for such an opportunity. The people taking it away from them are not the good guys.

Photo Credit: PG / Splash News/Newscom

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  • Zeb||

    So, how many people have been arrested or expelled for creating a situation so threatening that the administration doesn't think they can guarantee the safety of a speaker?

  • Ron||

    Professors with tenure have already been shown to have been involved in the violence surrounding the Milo incident so nothing will happen.

  • Zeb||

    Tenure is some kind of get out of jail free card? Don't they have actual police in Berkeley? I thought cops were supposed to love bashing heads and arresting people.

  • ||

    Tenure is some kind of get out of jail free card? Don't they have actual police in Berkeley?

    Yes, Berkeley University has it's own police force like most any large University. Berkeley employees destroying Berkeley property paid for by private students securing public loans is entirely under their purview.

    Feudalism and paying off the king's men is alive, well, and thriving in the 21st Century.

  • Quixote||

    Hopefully they will soon develop a special campus police division to deal with unwanted "parody" of tenured university administrators. In this regard, it is absurd to argue that because a single, isolated individual may wish to hear something, the community at large should be obliged to tolerate it. 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:

    https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  • CptNerd||

    They've already offered to make "symbolic arrests" of the "protesters" should they request it.

  • Paloma||

    Okay, but don't they still have to obey state laws, like assault? Denver has its own police too, but if someone holds up the 7-11 they don't have the discretion to not arrest.

  • esteve7||

    yes Berkeley has a police force that is told by their marxist chief of police to stand back whenever the leftist black block terrorists are burning the city and attacking people

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Is Coulter's perspective worth hearing? While she believes a great many things that I find reprehensible, note that she is one of a handful of high-profile figures on the right who opposes increased military intervention in Syria. (Yes, this is a departure from her full-throated Iraq War cheerleading, though at least she's flip-flopping in the correct direction.) And despite her quasi-religious devotion to President Trump during the campaign, recently she has shown a willingness to criticize him for catering to the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party.

    But the case for giving Coulter a platform is actually much simpler, and does not require any defense whatsoever of her views.

    Then what point was there in writing the preceding paragraph?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    If you don't wanna get kicked by the Robby Horse, stay outta tha barn.

  • Chipper Mourning Will Grigg||

    The world is his barn. The whole world.

  • Chipper Mourning Will Grigg||

    To show that there might be some value for hearing her speak if you are a lefty?

  • Chip Your Pets||

    It's showboating on both sides.

    To claim that students are deprived of hearing Ann Coulter's positions because she does not speak at an event on campus is ridiculous. We have this thing called the Internet and plenty of in-person venues off campus. The campus conservatives are just trying to get victim status by inviting all these right-wing figures. Of course they have the right to invite who they please, but this is NOT about ensuring free speech, they're just trying to get attention too.

    And of course the black bloc thugs on the other side deserve to be shot.

  • WakaWaka||

    Banning speakers on publicly paid for land is not a violation of the First Amendment? The Supreme Court seems to disagree with you.

    This must be the Gary Johnson position you're taking.

  • chemjeff||

    The campus conservatives are just trying to get victim status by inviting all these right-wing figures.

    No no no. The real enemy here is the Proggy Left. You aren't allowed to say anything critical of those poor, poor victimized campus conservatives. Stay on message!

  • wareagle||

    So then you have numerous examples of conservative groups marshaling opposition that may include violence to block left-wing speakers from appearing?

  • chemjeff||

    But in all seriousness...

    It is a bit sad to see campus conservatives reduced to nothing more than just trolling campus liberals. Now they just invite vapid provocative speakers (Charles Murray excepted) who have nothing intelligent to say, whose sole purpose is just to get people riled up, and then when the inevitable happens, they go running to Breitbart or Daily Caller or elsewhere and shout "see? see? look at what those mean meanie libruls did!"

    Maybe the campus conservatives could, you know, lift the discourse a bit and not try to deliberately bait and troll their opponents?

  • GILMORE™||

    lift the discourse a bit

    you can't "elevate" a discourse that doesn't exist.

  • DanO.||

    The internet is an illusion? This chat room is a Chinese hoax?
    Poor Gilmore Girl, you are being silenced by the SJWs.

  • GILMORE™||

    The subject of discussion was the paucity of conservative voices on college campuses.

    Its disingenuous to suggest that conservatives should be obligated to be more generous and considerate in their choice of guest-speakers given that they are silenced and circumscribed in every single other area of campus life.

    The fact that speakers are often 'extreme' and confrontational isn't some accident or style-choice being arbitrarily made by conservative groups that otherwise have plenty of opportunities to have their views expressed.

    Pretending that this posture is anything other than the product of the campus' left's hegemonic dominance of "the discourse" is willfully ignorant.

  • chemjeff||

    "Its disingenuous to suggest that conservatives should be obligated to be more generous and considerate in their choice of guest-speakers given that they are silenced and circumscribed in every single other area of campus life."

    They are free to invite anyone they like. They are free to invite Charles Murray or Heather MacDonald. They are also free to invite people like Milo or Ann Coulter. The "campus left" (insofar as you can declare them to be some sort of monolith) will likely respond the same way regardless. But in the former case, you can see that the speaking invitations are genuine attempts to inform and convey thoughtful ideas to an audience that may not have been exposed to them. The latter case is just trolling in order to provoke a reaction. Which is a good-faith effort to further a discourse, and which is a bad-faith effort in order to provoke a reaction? The campus left shouldn't shout down anyone that disagrees with them, and the campus right should not make the campus left's job easier by making the target of their ire someone who has nothing useful to say.

  • wareagle||

    But in the former case, you can see that the speaking invitations are genuine attempts to inform and convey thoughtful ideas to an audience that may not have been exposed to them.

    and how did it work out when Murray WAS invited? Oh, that's right; the same reaction that accompanies anyone seen as outside the hive. In the Middlebury case, the right did exactly what you prescribe and the result was predictable. There may be a conclusion to be drawn.

  • chemjeff||

    "There may be a conclusion to be drawn."

    So what is the conclusion? That the campus authoritarians will shout down any speaker that they disagree with? Sure. So why make their job easier by inviting a speaker who has nothing useful to say, and is ONLY there to provoke a reaction, rather than to inform anyone?

  • wareagle||

    So why make their job easier by inviting a speaker who has nothing useful to say, and is ONLY there to provoke a reaction, rather than to inform anyone?

    are you being purposely obtuse or does it just come naturally? You mentioned Charles Murray as the type speaker who should be invited. Well, he WAS invited and the leftist mob did the very same thing it does with "any speaker that they disagree with." A professor wound up in the hospital in the melee.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    So why make their job easier by inviting a speaker who has nothing useful to say, and is ONLY there to provoke a reaction, rather than to inform anyone?

    Sorry, but this is simple-simon concern trolling. The whole point is that the campus left will rally to silence people they disagree with, taking violent action if necessary. Who gives a shit if the speaker is going to "raise the level of discourse"?

    For a libertarian, their reactionary impulse to violate the NAP ought to be enough to immediately resist them, irrespective of who the speaker is, particularly given that these assholes have no respect for the concept of a free-flowing exchange of ideas and merrily exploit your dedication to such a principle to mow you down.

  • ThomasD||

    "For a libertarian, their reactionary impulse to violate the NAP ought to be enough to immediately resist them, irrespective of who the speaker is, particularly given that these assholes have no respect for the concept of a free-flowing exchange of ideas and merrily exploit your dedication to such a principle to mow you down."

    Yep.

    No qualifiers, or pro forma genuflection required (yes, I'm talking to you Rico.)

  • ||

    The latter case is just trolling in order to provoke a reaction.

    Or, you know, go big or go home. Moreover, Murray's views may not align with the Campus Conservative's views the way Coulter does. It's plain to see from the article that her current stances, especially opposed to Robby's previous perceptions are more nuanced than he thought.

    Note to self: If ever in chemjeff's presence and he begins to act up, punch him in the face. He won't respond with violence and will curtail further speech in response to violence.

  • ThomasD||

    Oh Hell, if you did that we'd be forced (forced!) to proclaim him a victim while also pausing to note just how wrong headed and socially unacceptable he is.

    Or, maybe not. Maybe we'd, you know, do the right thing.

  • GILMORE™||

    . Which is a good-faith effort to further a discourse, and which is a bad-faith effort in order to provoke a reaction?

    I don't think your opinion on which is which is even relevant.

    I don't think anyone invited to speak could possibly be "Intended to provoke a reaction" = if people aren't interested in hearing a speaker, DONT ATTEND THEIR EVENT

    Pretending that the mere presence on campus of someone you disagree with (however violently) is in any way a threat/imposition/provocative is the exact idiotic presumption that the left uses to attempt to silence people.

    You're basically granting them their stupidest and most baseless claim, justifying their idiotic behavior.

    I recall going to see Louis Farrakhan speak @ my school (*a fairly conservative one fwiw) when i was in college. he railed against jews and said white people were devils. You will be shocked to discover that no one was particularly provoked.

    You're blaming speakers for the hysterical over-reaction of triggered idiots. Its nonsense.

  • Sevo||

    DanO.|4.20.17 @ 11:30AM|#
    "The internet is an illusion? This chat room is a Chinese hoax?"

    Given the source, it's not even worth considering that this is sarc.
    Abysmal stupidity is the default.

  • ThomasD||

    Chinese Hoax? No.

    Chinese Box? Maybe.

  • ThomasD||

    Chinese Room? Most certainly.

  • WakaWaka||

    What about Christina Hoff Sommers, Heather MacDonald, Charles Murray (which you mentioned), and Dr. Jordan Peterson? Half of these people were invited by Young Americans for Liberty (Ron Paul's group) and they were all shouted down.

    You are being ridiculous, but exposing hypocrites like yourself

  • chemjeff||

    People like Charles Murray and Heather MacDonald are the types of speakers IMO that campus conservative groups *should* be inviting. Not people like Ann Coulter or Milo. Because they have *nothing useful to say*. That is what I mean by lifting the discourse. Bring conservative/libertarian speakers on campus that will actually say something meaningful about conservative/libertarian ideas. Don't just bring speakers on campus in order to provoke a riot. That seems to me what the Coulter/Milo invitations are all about. I mean, who's next? That intellectual paragon, Sean Hannity?

  • Sevo||

    chemjeff|4.20.17 @ 11:59AM|#
    "People like Charles Murray and Heather MacDonald are the types of speakers IMO that campus conservative groups *should* be inviting. Not people like Ann Coulter or Milo."

    So they need to invite people you agree with? Is that how free speech works?

  • chemjeff||

    No. How about inviting people who will actually say something useful and thoughtful?

    This isn't about free speech. They are free to invite Milo or Charles Murray or whomever they like. This is about who they ought to invite.

  • WakaWaka||

    But, those speakers were still shouted down by the Left, thus making your point moot.

  • chemjeff||

    And my point is that the campus conservative clubs shouldn't just sink to the level of inviting speakers solely to generate outrage, like with people like Milo. They should continue to invite speakers who have worthwhile useful things to say, who are genuinely there to inform people in an academic thoughtful constructive way. Right?

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    And my point is that the campus conservative clubs shouldn't just sink to the level of inviting speakers solely to generate outrage

    Dude, this is a really dumb argument to be making. Seriously.

  • Chipper Mourning Will Grigg||

    Chemjeff, you assume the conservatives are actually interested in a discussion. Just like the left, they are not. They want to hear cheerleaders who will validate their prejudices. Just like the left. Both sides are equally at fault. Both sides are guilty of the same things.

    And yes, the right is equally guilty of anti-free speech pants-shitting, every time they whine about a Starbucks cup, or some satanist meeting, or some gay pride event, or some otherkin, or whatever else triggers their fear of the Other.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Ann and Milo are invited because they provide a somewhat humorous presentation. They're over-the-top right wing snark.

    It's letting off steam, laughing in the face of the relentless leftism that they have to cope with every day.

    That's damned useful.

  • chemjeff||

    Then let off steam in the frat house on the weekends. Don't use university speaking engagements as a vehicle for "letting off steam".

  • Zeb||

    Why not? Not everything has to be a serious academic lecture. College social committees invite musical groups that not everyone likes to perform on campuses all the time. This isn't too different if you look at it as entertainment/blowing off steam.

  • Robbzilla||

    Thanks for telling everyone that they have to think like you do! I'm sure the world would be a MUCH better place if everyone did! (That was sarcasm by the way)

    Guess what? You don't get to tell people what to think. You also don't get to ascribe motives. Someone might like hearing from Anne Coulter. I don't, but I also don't sit behind my computer pretending that I know the minds of others. Quit it. You're obnoxious, AND really bad at it.

  • GILMORE™||

    It is a bit sad to see campus conservatives reduced to nothing more than just trolling campus liberals. Now they just invite vapid provocative speakers

    People dis-invited from speaking at college campuses due 'risk of violence' by leftists in the recent past include =

    - Madeline Albright
    - Jeff Sessions
    - Randall Kennedy
    - John Boehner
    - Jason Riley
    - Harold Koh
    - Rudolph Giuliani
    - Ben Carson

    and currently on deck, VP Mike Pence

    These are hardly extreme, controversial "vapid, provocative" speakers.

    Pretending that the only people being affected by the left's anti-intellectual threats of violence are "extremists", who seek only to provoke their audience.... is either a startling display of ignorance, or willful misrepresentation.... especially considering that the people making this claim have been readers of this very magazine, which has highlighted these and many other instances of fairly milquetoast conservatives being barred from speaking events.

  • chemjeff||

    "Pretending that the only people being affected by the left's anti-intellectual threats of violence are "extremists", who seek only to provoke their audience."

    That is a lie. I said no such thing. In fact I explicitly said "Charles Murray excepted". Did you read? Yes the "campus left" is responding in an authoritarian manner to even thoughtful uncontroversial conservative/libertarian speakers. So what is the point in inviting people like Ann Coulter, who is not thoughtful and only exists to provoke rage in liberals?

  • GILMORE™||

    what is the point in inviting people like Ann Coulter, who is not thoughtful

    to you?

    Your opinion on the thoughtfulness of speakers is irrelevant to the people who want to hear what she has to say.

  • BYODB||

    All a conservative student has left at U.C. Berkley is trolling and baiting. Not only that, are you actually taking the Dalmia view that it's the Conservatives fault for inviting speakers the left doesn't like for the lefts violent reaction? They are trolling the left because, yes, they know the left will respond with violence. They need people to see that violence out in the open, or they will be beaten alone in the dark by those same forces. At least when it's out in the light everyone can see what the reaction would have been in the dark. Yes?

    I'm curious which Conservative group starting throwing rocks and burning down buildings because a leftist organization invited a far left speaker to campus. From what I've seen thus far, those speakers are perfectly safe even when their views are equally disgusting as some of these guys on the right who, like Robby, I think are pretty disgusting. That doesn't mean we should punch them in the face until they shut up, though, right?

  • chemjeff||

    It's not the conservatives' fault that the left responded violently to Milo's invitation.

    It is the conservatives' fault for their IMO poor choice of speaking invitations.

    That is the difference.

    Once again, people are responsible for their own actions.

    I don't hold conservatives responsible for the actions of their opponents. I do hold them responsible for their own actions.

    And if you think it's a good idea to invite trolling/baiting speakers so that "everyone will see the violence of the left", then WHY make their job harder when the speaker who is being shouted down is an unsympathetic shitbag? Which would you rather have the narrative be?

    "The left used violence to stop a respected scholar from speaking! How terrible!"
    "The left used violence to stop a douchebag from speaking! Well I don't agree with the violence, but I guess it's karmic justice."

  • wareagle||

    It's not the conservatives' fault that the left responded violently to Milo's invitation.
    It is the conservatives' fault for their IMO poor choice of speaking invitations.

    Please explain how this is not a justification of the violence that occurred? You can think Milo is a "poor choice" all day long, but on what planet does that qualify as a logical pretense for breaking things and assault?

    If a speaker's words are enough to trigger a violent rage within you, then the problem may not be the speaker.

  • chemjeff||

    "Please explain how this is not a justification of the violence that occurred?"

    How could it possibly be? The radicals who responded violently are solely responsible for their own actions. The campus conservatives aren't responsible for that.

    Let me put it this way. If I start insulting you personally, you might be tempted to respond with violence. If you do that, it is your fault and your choice. It was a poor choice on my part to start insulting you, but your violent reaction is all on you.

  • BYODB||

    If I know that politely telling someone my opinion is going to get my face beaten in with a brick, I might be tempted to stop saying things in a civil manner fully knowing that I'm going to get my face beaten in with a brick either way.


    At that point, what does it really matter how you say something? The reaction is the same. The conservatives know that it doesn't really matter who is invited; there is going to be violence. Therefore they're going to say the most inciting things they can to show their opponents for what they are. I can at least agree that in a civil society it is not generally justified to purposefully piss someone off to the point where they beat your face in. I think that's probably where you're coming from, or at least I hope so.


    That being said, this environment is not a civil one and I don't think those rules apply anymore once you can no longer exercise your right to free speech without violence being perpetrated on you. All you can do, at that point, is respond with your own violence or increase the decibel of your speech. The latter option is probably the most 'civilized' under the circumstances since law enforcement itself isn't interesting in being helpful.

  • chemjeff||

    "If I know that politely telling someone my opinion is going to get my face beaten in with a brick, I might be tempted to stop saying things in a civil manner fully knowing that I'm going to get my face beaten in with a brick either way."

    And if you stop saying things in a civil manner, and resort to violence, then that is YOUR FAULT, regardless of what your interlocutor might have said. YOU are responsible for your own actions. YOU are responsible for how you choose to respond.

    "Therefore they're going to say the most inciting things they can to show their opponents for what they are."

    So the real purpose of inviting these speakers is NOT to inform the audience and NOT to present a different point of view contrary to typical campus dogma, but just to rile people up? THAT is the problem. I don't think anyone, conservative groups included, should invite speakers just to provoke or incite. That isn't what a college platform should be. Using university speaking invitations as just another tactic in the "war of left vs. right" does a disservice to the mission of a university and the academic dialogue that it is supposed to engender.

  • B.P.||

    "Let me put it this way. If I start insulting you personally, you might be tempted to... (blah blah, additional gauzey horseshit intended to lump the aggressors in with the aggrieved)"

    If you show a pattern of acting like a barbarian by physically attacking them, denying their ability to peaceably assemble, etc., and those people insult you, and in response to those insults you pick up again with the violence and such, maybe you're the problem.

  • GILMORE™||

    "Why won't conservatives appeal to squishy lefty me!!! I demand to have my left-leaning sensibilties catered to!! When they invite people i don't like, I blame them!!!"

    - this isn't even a parody of your position = its exactly what you're saying.

    Jeff, you're honestly too fucking stupid to be worth talking to anymore.

  • chemjeff||

    Fuck off, Gilmore. This isn't about appeasing or catering to the left. They will object regardless of who is invited. This is about wisely choosing whom to invite, and what purpose it will serve. Sure if your only goal is to "piss off the left" and get them all riled up, then invite the most sensationalistic bombastic provocateur than you can find. That appears to be all that you want to do. Just piss them off, who cares about actually imparting any knowledge to the audience? But if you really want to inform and educate people, then stick to inviting people like Charles Murray instead.

    Perhaps you should go back to Glibertarians where you and your glibber buddies in your safe space can just repeat to each other how much you hate the left while endlessly talking about boob pics and stupid comics.

  • GILMORE™||

    This is about wisely choosing

    According to someone who doesn't even remotely share the interests of the people we're talking about.

    You keep asserting that the important thing is that conservatives "choose better people". According to who? why does your opinion matter? It doesn't. Its the dumbest fucking thing i've ever heard.

    repeat to each other how much you hate the left

    I don't recall doing that at all here, there, elsewhere. I'm just pointing out how your own argument makes no sense.

    but nail yourself to a cross if you want.

  • BYODB||


    "It's not the conservatives' fault that the left responded violently to Milo's invitation.

    It is the conservatives' fault for their IMO poor choice of speaking invitations."

    The left used violence to stop a douchebag from speaking! Well I don't agree with the violence, but I guess it's karmic justice.

    It seems like you think that this view is somehow nuanced, when in fact it is not. You are, in effect, blaming the conservatives for the actions of the left. What is more disgusting, inviting Milo to campus or physically assaulting Milo?

    Your moral equivalency arguments are not arguments, they are bullshit logical fallacies.

    And, on top of that disingenuous bullshit, you're called out above that the reaction has been the same no matter who was invited. Therefore, why not invite the speakers that will piss of the people giving you the beatings the most? It's literally the only way you can get back at them while still maintaining some semblance of the moral high ground.

  • Sam Haysom||

    Her dress was awfully short.

  • Zeb||

    But like it or not, people like Milo (I've given up on trying to spell his last name) and Coulter are somewhat mainstream political commentators (maybe less so with Milo at this point). So it's quite possible that many of the conservative students actually do want to hear what she has to say and aren't merely trolling.

    SO while Coulter may be a crazy fucking cunt (which is what I happen to think), I still don't think there is anything to hold them responsible for. They just invited a fairly well known public speaker to come and speak.

  • BYODB||

    Agreed. I personally don't like Coulter either. In effect, the left is lending her more authority than she deserves by being petulant violent children over her being invited at all.

    I was only running with the 'trolling' bit because even under those circumstances it still doesn't make what the left is doing any more 'right' or 'justified'. As you point out, it's fully possible they wanted to hear what she had to say and nothing more. I merely hope that they're trolling the left. In the event they aren't, the only way they'll ever conclude she's vile on their own is to hear her speak. After all, that's what made me dislike her personally.

    I wouldn't punch her in the face though, even if offered a free pass.

  • MJBinAL||

    Free Speech

    "Freedom of speech is the right to articulate one's opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship, or societal sanction." Wragg, Paul (2015). "Free Speech Rights at Work: Resolving the Differences between Practice and Liberal Principle" (PDF). Industrial Law Journal. Oxford University Press.

    I know it is hard for you but try to pay attention. Notice it does not say "if I agree with you" "if no one takes offense", or "if I like you". It SPECIFICALLY mentions government retaliation, censorship, or societal sanction.

    Now, are you a supporter of Free Speech, or not? Simple, yes/no answer required here. Black and White, no gray. Hmmm?

    YOUR position, is pretty much just like every dictator .... ever. In short, saying things they don't like is just provoking them to repression. It is not their fault the secret police busted heads. They would not have done it if you had not been saying things to make them angry.

  • Robbzilla||

    Nice blame-sharing.

    You just said this in other words:

    "It's the woman's fault she got raped because she was wearing revealing clothing. "

    Massive fail, dude. You couldn't be more wrong if your name was Wrongy McWrongerstein.

  • Sam Haysom||

    Chemjeff arguement is laugh out loud ridiculous in that it is basically the if she didn't want to be raped she shouldn't have been wearing that dress argument except that chemjeff is too much of a coward to come out and actually make that argument.

  • chemjeff||

    That is absolutely not what I'm saying.

    If a hot woman wears a short dress, or if a hot man wears tight jeans, then they shouldn't be surprised that they get leered at. In fact one might argue that this is exactly the type of reaction that they wanted to provoke.

    But if a bystander takes the leering too far and descends into violence, then that is the fault of the assailant. Once again people are responsible for their own actions.

  • MJBinAL||

    ho Ho HO!

    "That is absolutely not what I'm saying."

    So, then you find different words and say it AGAIN!

    Just checking, so if YOU are saying things which really, Really REALLY offend me ... is it ok for me to beat the $hit out of you as a lesson to others? Seems like that would be your fault after all, for saying all those offensive things.

  • Robbzilla||

    It's absolutely what you ARE saying.

  • buybuydandavis||

    It is a bit sad to see campus conservatives reduced to nothing more than just trolling campus liberals.

    Conservatives stand up for free speech at universities.

    Progressitarians at Reason stand up for Bolsheviks who attack them.

    Sad.

  • DanO.||

    The campus conservatives are just trying to get victim status by inviting all these right-wing figures.

    Yup. Republican students -- America's persecuted minority.

  • BYODB||

    Glad you agree that young, college aged individuals skew heavily to the left making Conservative and/or Republican students a minority.

    That awkward moment when your attempt at sarcasm is actually the truth.

  • ||

    Of course they have the right to invite who they please, but this is NOT about ensuring free speech, they're just trying to get attention too.

    Personally, I find the best public speaking events to be those where they invite barely literate morons that nobody cares about. You want to be entertained as well as morally, politically, and intellectually stimulated? Invite your local mentally-handicapped grocery store bag boy or borderline crazy neighborhood drifter to speak.

    They should work out a complex sort of exchange program with some of the other clubs where politics and/or safety aren't a concern like the outdoorsmen or boxing clubs. So that Bear Grylls or Mannie Pacquiao show up and deliver Ann Coulter's political message at the campus conservatives event and the other group gets boxing lessons or survival training from Ann Coulter and members of either/any group attend whichever talk they please.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Berkeley has played host to increasing levels of mob violence as a result of invitations to controversial speakers like Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos.

    Your very next sentence better be about how this is the result not of the invitations but of cultivation of anti-speech mobs.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...Okay, you lucked out.

  • Chipper Mourning Will Grigg||

    Are you saying there is some sort of algorithm to Robby's articles? Cause you know what that would mean.

  • Set Us Up The Chipper||

    Slightly off topic but related. Down South we don't put up with that kind of shit... "Auburn,AL police deal with AntiFa douchebags appropriately.

  • Set Us Up The Chipper||

  • wareagle||

    Dressing up like some Mad Max character is not going to get you taken seriously. The cops handled this well.

  • Set Us Up The Chipper||

    Believe me I hate to give AU much credit for anything. ;-)

  • wareagle||

    don't make me narrow my gaze.....

    On a serious note, I had wondered how this approach would fly outside of Blue zone comfort.

  • ThomasD||

    Interesting how they we so quick to shield themselves from the camera. There could be multiple reasons.

    1. They are planning criminal acts
    2. They don't want mummy and poppy finding out how they are spending all that tuition money
    3. Their employers don't want the public learning it's the same small band of paid astroturf popping up everywhere.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    And despite her quasi-religious devotion to President Trump during the campaign, recently she has shown a willingness to criticize him for catering to the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party.

    Everyone was devoted to the candidate they thought could make sure the other candidate didn't get in. It's called selling your soul and it's the norm. The real test is if that devotion held after the election. She passed. WHICH IS MORE THAN I CAN SAY FOR CERTAIN OTHER PEOPLE.

  • WakaWaka||

    You leave Justin Raimondo alone!

  • ||

    *Can't tell if psychic or just in charge of squirrels*

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I'm in your head.

  • Tyler.C||

    Hey! Gary Johnson had a real chance!

  • buybuydandavis||

    Voting Libertarian is the ideal virtue signal. Never have to remove that "Don't Blame Me, I Voted Libertarian" bumper sticker from your car.

  • Ron||

    Is just a potential threat reason enough to silence anyone, see how simple its become to silence opposition now. Will the University also stop the printing of press since it might scare someone or cause disruption no matter how small.

  • wareagle||

    The potential threat is more an excuse than a reason. A sane person would think administrators embarrassed to say out loud that their campuses are governed by the whims of the mob, but they don't appear to be.

  • ||

    And despite her quasi-religious devotion to President Trump during the campaign

    What the hell does quasi-religious even mean in this sentence? Did she have a shrine or an altar to him on which she was sacrificing goats? Was she on TV with pushpins, lengths of yarn, and star charts? Highlighting selective passages out of ancient texts foretelling the rise of an orange-headed lion?

    Coulter correctly predicted that Trump would win. Everyone else was worshiping an empress with no clothes. Moreover, the fact that she 'turns' on him once he's won hardly represents anything I would call devotion. Especially in light of all the worshipers who still remain faithful despite the prophetic ascention not occurring.

    #IFLS #IFHR

  • therabidfrog||

    I'm going to be quietly chuckling all day.

  • therabidfrog||

    I'm going to be quietly chuckling all day.

  • Zeb||

    What the hell does quasi-religious even mean in this sentence?

    Maybe something like having faith in a person without good evidence or reason to do so? Seems to be the case with most political partisans (and yes, Hillary was a particularly strong example of this) and at least bears some resemblance to religious faith.

  • Sam Haysom||

    So something like Reasons religious snake-handling belief that open borders can promote libertarianism.

  • Zeb||

    I think you might misunderstand the position on immigration. Libertarianism isn't about promoting libertarianism, it's about respecting the rights of individuals. Balancing principle and pragmatism is the tricky part of having principles. Too much pragmatism and you lose your claim on being principled. And whatever you think of it as policy, open borders is the purely pricipled libertarian position.

  • MJBinAL||

    So the best way for everyone to have a house is to burn down the one we have?

    Oh wait, is it, the best way to expand a set of ideas is to maximize the number of voters who will oppose it?

    Sorry, I forget, common sense is not usually welcomed in this conversation.

  • mortiscrum||

    If defending a principle requires doing something that runs counter to that principle, you're NOT upholding the principle. That's kind of baked in to the definition: the whole idea of "principles" is that the ends don't always justify the means.

    Even if that wasn't the case, immigrants are still something we should want more of: they commit less crime, start more businesses, bring needed skill sets, and are a net boost to the economy.

  • ||

    Libertarianism isn't about promoting libertarianism, it's about respecting the rights of individuals.

    I was under the impression that it was a consistent exercise in maximizing liberty through explicit respect of property rights.

    Open borders with regional and disparate government taxation (or any taxation at all) is not the principled libertarian position, it's the pragmatic one.

  • chemjeff||

    While she believes a great many things that I find reprehensible,

    Uh-oh, Robby. You know how it works here at Reason. You can't support someone's right to free speech unless you also defend and support the speech itself. It isn't enough to say that Milo and Coulter have a right to speak. You also have to say "plus, they are fighting the Proggy Left, so I support everything Milo and Coulter say!!!!!"

  • DanO.||

    Feelz must be assuaged.

  • Chipper Mourning Will Grigg||

    Because we all know people's passion for defending free speech only extends to the borders of their world view.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Or you could just take the tack that free speech is an unvarnished good regardless of the speaker as long as they are not directly inciting violence. That's totally equivalent to your position though.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Robby obviously knows how it works at Reason.

    He properly performed the ritual Two Minutes Hate for Coulter before saying that, yes, even those deplorable conservatives should have their right to free speech protected too.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Robby obviously knows how it works at Reason.

    He properly performed the ritual Two Minutes Hate for Coulter before saying that, yes, even those deplorable conservatives should have their right to free speech protected too.

  • Not a True MJG||

    #LoweRoast

  • ||

    I can only assume Nick was invited.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Blame here rests solely on the shoulders of the people promising violence in response to speech they oppose.

    This is good.

    Student activists and local Berkeley leftists don't want Coulter, who has a history of making vile statements, to bring her right-wing shtick to campus.

    This could be less virtue-signally. I mean, I would have gone with "controversial", not "vile".

  • chemjeff||

    OH NO! WE AREN'T ALLOWED TO CAST JUDGMENT ON SPEECH! IF WE DO THAT, WE ARE LETTING THE PROGS WIN

  • GILMORE™||

    You're really elevating the discourse Jeff.

    I think we got the gist of your idiotic straw-man the first time you tried it. its not getting any more clever with repetition.

  • ThomasD||

    It's purely emotional.

    He knows his preferred white hats are coming off as the total heavy in this extended drama and cannot deal with the cognitive dissonance.

  • WakaWaka||

    Actually, you're not suppose to judge what they are saying. Children do that. Grown-ups adhere to the maxim: "I don't agree with a word that you say, but I'll fight to the death your right to say it".

  • chemjeff||

    "Actually, you're not suppose to judge what they are saying."

    Oh, so "I don't agree with a word that you say" is not a judgment on the speaker's words?

  • Zeb||

    That is indeed what grownups should adhere to. But it does explicitly include a judgement of the speech. As long as you don't mean a legal judgement that leads to censorship, judge all you want. Isn't that what we do here all day long?

  • Zeb||

    "I don't agree with a word that you say, but I'll fight to the death your right to say it".

    And isn't that pretty much exactly what Robby is saying about Coulter here?

  • WakaWaka||

    I'm not disagreeing with Robby. I was critiquing those who would rather argue over whether or not Ann Coulter has anything to offer. It makes no difference

  • Zeb||

    Yes, you were. Threading gets confusing sometimes.

    Yeah, who gives a shit if she's the worst person in the world. They wanted to invite her to speak and that's their business.

  • WakaWaka||

    I suck at replying. It's hard to keep track of what you are trying to reply to

  • WakaWaka||

    Although, it is telling when Robby selectively virtue signals.

  • wareagle||

    To a degree, Robby is saying that. But he has also created his own mode of virtue-signaling where the defense of any principle must be couched with explanations of why he detests the person involved. It's tedious.

  • Zeb||

    It does get old sometimes. I won't argue with that.

    But the comments on his posts being largely complaining about it gets old too. I suppose maybe I should just ignore that too, but it keeps me entertained.

  • Not a True MJG||

    Actually, you're not suppose to judge what they are saying. Children do that.

    So when a bunch of you freak out over a Rico Suave post, you are acting like...

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Aw snap!

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Just because Robby likes to engage in false equivocation and virtue signaling completely irrelevant to the topic of free speech rights doesn't mean he can't say it. To be sure.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    What is virtue signaling called when you do it?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Robby has you on speed dial for tire changes, right?

  • Chipper Mourning Will Grigg||

    Loooool. Thanks for that, Not a True MJG. All the bitching and whining we have had to put up with over Robby and Shikha articles...that's totally different, of course.

  • Not a True MJG||

    As I hit submit, I kicked myself for not adding, "And when you call for Shikha to be fired over a tweet..."

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    If Coulter is really so stupid and extreme, what are the Proggies worried about? Why, with their vast intellectual superiority they can easily demolish any argument she makes, right?

  • Chipper Mourning Will Grigg||

    Don't be so glib.

  • esteve7||

    Please progressives, tell me who the real fascists are. Oh, it's you! And your black bloc thugs in the street. Literally terrorists, since terrorism is violence for political gain.

    Since they can't win an argument their only option is to bully and threaten people they disagree with

  • esteve7||

    Robby, you idiot. To hell with you and your virtue signalling. No one cares if you don't like what Coulter says. Every one of your articles is "X has freedom of speech, EVEN IF WHAT THEY SAY IS BAD". There is no qualifier, all you need to say is "X has freedom of speech"

    Robby in the 1930s: "Everyone should has Due Process rights, EVEN IF THEY ARE BLACK"

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    No one cares if you don't like what Coulter says

    Don't think you can speak for me, douchebag.

  • geo1113||

    Robby in the 1930s: "Everyone should has Due Process rights, EVEN IF THEY ARE BLACK COLORED PEOPLE"

  • Longtobefree||

    Any one have any data on if there is a contract involved here?
    What exactly is involved in the "invitation" to speak? If the YAF did the inviting, what is their relationship to the school? Have any other groups with the same relationship been told that security issues (as in, "sorry, we won't do our job") force them to cancel an event? Any that are "liberal" in leaning?

    As I remember, the "free speech movement" got started as being mostly about disrespect for social courtesy.

    If Berkeley is concerned about security, they could contact Kent State.

  • Zeb||

    Call in the Ohio National Guard?

    As I remember, the "free speech movement" got started as being mostly about disrespect for social courtesy.

    Can you elaborate? I'm having a hard time thinking of what would be considered the start of the free speech movement.

  • ||

    Can you elaborate? I'm having a hard time thinking of what would be considered the start of the free speech movement.

    This was my immediate thought when he said this. It depends heavily on when and where one thinks the free speech movement started. IMO, Martin Luther was being deliberately disrespectful (to social courtesy) when nailing up his theses.

  • Sam Haysom||

    Huh? Social convention of the time was to hang items that you wanted read on the church door. He was in fact behaving precisely in line with social norms.

  • Zeb||

    That was my understanding as well. I think Luther was sincere and a bit naive and didn't even know what he was starting when he put up his theses. He just thought he was helping out by trying to correct some things the church got wrong and had no idea he was starting a great schism. Or so I've been led to believe.

  • ToCa81||

    Am I a bad person for wanting the whole thing to go forward and devolve into an uber violent, chaotic riot? Probably yeah. But I really think we need some kind of cataclysmic event to wake the American people out of this childish schoolyard political war and restore sanity to the masses. Plus I just really want to watch some of these little bastards get the shit beat out of them.

  • esteve7||

    well if the riots, burning, looting and assaults doesn't do it...

    I like how they really only pull this shit in friendly Berkeley with the friendly police chief, in a very leftist area. You don't see them pulling this in red counties.

    And unfortunately, the only way this is going to get the attention you want is when someone ends up dead. When some business or someone uses a gun to defend themselves from these terrorists, that's when it'll be national news, and it won't be framed as an innocent bystander protecting themselves from the people who dress like ISIS, it'll be framed the other way. Like when people show up to attack Trump supporters and they fight back, it's "protesters clashed..."... no they didn't, they defended themselves from leftist radical terrorists.

  • ToCa81||

    Unfortunately you are 100% correct. I had hoped growing up that the internet would provide people with better access to information and allow them to circumvent the traditional agenda driven media conglomerates. Sadly the public has only doubled down on its ignorance and provided their masters with more avenues to mold their opinions for them. Everyone just wants to hear the story that fits their unbending worldview.

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    It's funny: these commie "antifas" are probably opposed to the second amendment, and they're violently attacking people who probably know their way around a firearm and would have a valid claim of self-defense

    You'd think they might see the danger in this approach. But then again, you're likely correct that the media would frame it in a way that absolves them of blame

  • damikesc||

    "I like how they really only pull this shit in friendly Berkeley with the friendly police chief, in a very leftist area. You don't see them pulling this in red counties."

    Sadly, I feel the word "yet" should be added here. A group would be insane to play by rules their opponents simply eschew. And it won't be a "crisis" until the first time it happens.

  • JuanQPublic||

    As primitive and tribalist Coulter's assertions are, I fully support her being able to speak. For that matter, I fully support Richard Spencer being able to speak.

    Of course, this support for the 1st Amendment will be translated as "I'm a Nazi enabler/supporter", and that's ok. Clowns to the left of me and jokers to the right certainly won't see the glaring irony of that translation. They also have every right to retreat to their reactionary bubble and be spoon-fed in their ideological cul de sac.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Blame here rests solely on the shoulders of the people promising violence in response to speech they oppose.

    Wrong.

    Blame also rests on the University and local police for willfully refusing to protect those attacked by the Bolshevik thugs.

    The cops are supposed to be protecting rights and enforcing the law. They don't when it's Bolsheviks beating on conservatives. Indications are that this is coming from the university administration and the local police chief.

  • ThomasD||

    Yes. Those cops who stood back and did nothing in the presence of criminal acts are explicit confirmation that some 'law enforcement' is nothing more than paid muscle of whoever is in political power.

  • buybuydandavis||

    What are universities doing with their own police forces?

  • Johnny B||

    Apparently, Coulter will appear at a later date:

    http://www.washingtonexaminer......le/2620854

  • Warren||

    Students are paying thousands of dollars to attend Berkeley—a public university—for precisely this opportunity: the opportunity to enjoy thought-provoking learning experiences.

    Well the problem with that line of reasoning, is that the tax-payers of California are paying many more thousands of dollars for them those students to attend Berkeley, and the tax-payers would rather the students not enjoy this particular experience.

  • tommyguns2||

    If the head of security at Berkeley cannot provide security at Berkeley, why does he/she still have a job?

    And if the President of Berkeley is not capable of hiring a head of security that is competent to do his/her job, why does he still have a job?

    Sounds like a bunch of incompetent administrators who either can't, or most likely won't, do their job. That's a pretty easy fix to me....

  • E. Kline||

    "Is Coulter's perspective worth hearing? While she believes a great many things that I find reprehensible, note that she is one of a handful of high-profile figures on the right who opposes increased military intervention in Syria. (Yes, this is a departure from her full-throated Iraq War cheerleading, though at least she's flip-flopping in the correct direction.) And despite her quasi-religious devotion to President Trump during the campaign, recently she has shown a willingness to criticize him for catering to the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party."

    That, that right there was not just unnecessary but seems forced. Every fucking article. It's like your God damned signature.

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