Wednesday, March 11, 2009

There they go again

Gotta love the one on one audience exchange (the right idea wins)



UPDATE: 6:00 PM
Naturally this embarrassing story goes national before the local media even makes a peep.
Michelle Malkin (female Bill O'Reilly)

So to no big surprise conservative author Don Feder’s hate crime speech this evening at Umass, the flagship of higher public education in Massachusetts, never got off the ground. Well...more like that Airbus A320 that sort of, briefly, got off the ground and then crashed into the Hudson River.

“The way to counter bad speech is with good speech. “ ACLU

And if the Justice for Jason crowd had brought in a black speaker expounding on racist hoonkies hiding under every bed, would the conservatives on campus (not that there are all too many) have interrupted, harassed and shut down his presentation?

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it," Evelyn Beatrice Hall

If the purported 400 protesters did not want to hear Feder's opinions, then they could have simply stayed home and played hackey sack. They trampled--in a hateful way--his First Amendment right to free speech and the rights of those who came to actually hear his presentation.

Got to wonder what they are teaching in Umass classrooms these days (at least the ones those nitwits attend.)

“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” Benjamin Franklin

21 comments:

O'Reilly said...

Anger seems to be the currency of the day.

I think you and I would like to see a vigorous verbal debate of ideas after the man has spoken.

I don't see this as a first amendment issue though, the state did not surpress his free speech, students who have not been shown how to debate ideas on the merit did.

Anonymous said...

Compare this, O'Reily, to some kids who simply exercised their free speech rights IN PRIVATE and got deferred expulsion for their efforts:
http://www.thefire.org/index.php/case/649.html


Oh, and look what the not-so-sympathetic collegian had to say:
http://www.dailycollegian.com/news/feder_s_hate_crime_speech_cut_short_by_protests-1.1604850

The middle will not hold forever. Picture a couple hundred white guys with baseball bats pummelling the Justice for Jason folk...

Scary - and if you think this not possible, study Nazi Germany and how Hitler came to power...

Remember that Hitler actually won a basically fair election....

LarryK4 said...

Yes O’Reilly, it’s true the First Amendment only applies to government intrusion on free speech—say, a town forcing a private July 4’th Parade Committee to include protesters in the line of march—but I’m wondering if it works both ways.

As in, what if the government does not try hard enough to protect free speech? The speech was paid for with tax dollars and occurred on state property. And most of the protesters are probably highly subsidized by taxpayers.

The cops were there and seemed to put up a token defense--but could they have done more?

If it was a ‘Justice For Jason’ rally and hate groups from the deep south had pre-advertised they were coming in force to disrupt the event, would the cops have done more; or would higher officials have supplied more cops?

I can’t imagine the Republican Club is overly popular with the Umass bureaucracy. And yes, the Pubbies were definitely spoiling for a fight.

And in fact, maybe they could have put up a better physical defense as well (not using baseball bats of course)

Remember, this is the same University where STAFF and students tried to shout down President Jack Wilson awarding an honorary degree to Andy Card.

Umass/Amherst: where the only thing worse than a Nazi is a Republican.

Ed said...

it’s true the First Amendment only applies to government intrusion on free speech

It gets messy here because Student Government is involved - a recognized subdivision of the Commonwealth with various authorities including the ability to extract a manditory fee from students. And as many of these student leaders are paid, they technically are "public employees" under the law. And even those who aren't paid - well the Ethics Law defines "volunteer" public officials as public officials and if these students are exercising real authority over a seven figure budget and real authority over use of state buildings, then....

There was a secret meeting held last Sunday where only those who were supportive of the cause were permitted to attend. The disruption was coordinated out of a room in a state building and UM resources were used. I argue that there isn't a whole lot of difference between this and some of the stunts the Town Mangler has pulled.

what if the government does not try hard enough to protect free speech?

I look at it more in terms of equal protection of the law. If they are going to use facial recognization technology and the student ID database to indentify and expel troublemakers at the "riots" then since this essentially was a riot too, they should do so here.

I am not holding my breath...

And most of the protesters are probably highly subsidized by taxpayers.

Even though they have trust funds, yes, most are doing quite well with various sorts of public funding...

The cops were there and seemed to put up a token defense--but could they have done more?

The university *REQUIRED* the club to hire five cops even though only two were in the budget. Which also raises the question of did they get what they paid for?

or would higher officials have supplied more cops?

You know, there is a real issue with requiring people to pay for police protection. Imagine a woman reporting suspicious men doing suspicious things as she goes jogging somewhere and being told that she needs to pay police overtime before they will chat with the perps...

And in fact, maybe they could have put up a better physical defense as well

This is carefully worded: what happened last night didn't have to happen. I have four "magic" words... Notwithstanding that, why is a knowledge of tactical security and psychological warfare a prerequisite to hosting a speaker on a college campus?

I don't know a single professor who doesn't have an opinion that *someone* vehemently disagrees with, even if it is the shape of Shakesphere's stage or obscure provisions of the IRS code.

this is the same University where STAFF and students tried to shout down President Jack Wilson awarding an honorary degree to Andy Card.

It was the PROFESSORS who did that - I was there and have pictures.

The problem, quite simply, is that certain behavior is licensed toward certain people and everyone knows this. There are three versions of the code of conduct - the one for conservative students (who are guilty of everything with only the date and time needing to be added), the version for most students, and then the blanket amnesty for those advocating an approved cause.

The issue I have with Charlie Scherpa and some of the past disturbances is not that they are enforcing the law but that they ONLY enforce the law against some people while ignoring far more eggregious acts by others.

Umass/Amherst: where the only thing worse than a Nazi is a Republican.

Tell me about it. I was literally thrown out of classes (not permitted to take them) because of my political views/affiliation, notwithstanding a Systemwide Trustee policy that includes "political views or affilation" in the nondiscrimination statement.

And there is an underlying rage that percolates up every spring in the out-of-control parties -- this is what causes that....

Anonymous said...

So the tradition continues on our college campuses.

The places where the exchange of ideas is celebrated in theory become the places where the exchange of ideas is suppressed in practice, essentially by mob rule.

It's hard to make victims out of Republicans, but the students at UMass have been doing it for decades.

And, actually, it's not just Republicans: some of the readers of this blog may remember the heckling-marred public appearance of one Mr. Hubert H. Humphrey at the University several decades ago. These events are a stain on the history of the Valley.

Rich Morse

LarryK4 said...

And it is even HARDER to make a victim out of a guy like me (and by the way, I'm not a Republican).

As we have seen many times over just the past two years (talking blog-time, otherwise it would extend back 25 years) public officials have abused the system to try to shut me the Hell up, including a now-former Select Board Chair trying to have me arrested, a now-former School Superintendent invoking a “trespass notice” on me for all school property (and Town Meeting is coming up soon, meeting at the Middle School).

I even had a now-former Selectman threaten to turn me in for having an unauthorized illuminated sign in my upstairs window because he was upset with my staunch defense of the smoking ban in bars.

Amherst supposedly embraces voices from the margin. But in reality, they can’t deal with the truth.

Anonymous said...

Amherst celebrates its diversity. That means they have people with differently colored skin with the exact same ideas inside their heads.

Izzy said...

I wrote about Don's visit to Hampshire College (this was a few years ago). No theatrics from the students; overall, he received a very cordial reception compared to those airheads at Zoo Mass.

I'm reporting that ferret-toting protestor to PETA.

Izzy said...

Here's the link:

http://www.massnews.com/2003_Editions/2_Feb/022703_mn_don_feder_lion_den.shtml

LarryK4 said...

Hey Izzy,
Yeah, that ferret thing was W-A-Y weird.

I’m sure the little beastie can be vicious if cornered. But not very effective as an attack critter.

Pretty scary that Hampshire College can be more tolerant of diverse opinion than Umass.

Ed said...

heckling-marred public appearance of one Mr. Hubert H. Humphrey at the University several decades ago.

I saw references to Governor Ed King being shouted down at commencement in the '80s - and I vaguely remember him defeating Michael Dukakas in '78 during the Democrat Primary (with Dukakas then defeating him in '82, serving until Weld won in '90) so King had to be a Democrat at the time.

Harvey Silverglate - writing in the Boston Phonex -- we aren't talking bastions of right wing activism here - wrote:
http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/other_stories/multi-page/documents/04224658.asp

Ed said...

Izzy Said: I'm reporting that ferret-toting protestor to PETA.

It wasn't a ferret, it was a large rat. (The Collegian got it wrong - although in fairness a ferret does sorta look like a rat if you have never seen either before.)

I have it on good authority that a woman had said rat on her person, with it partially concealed by her shirt and her hair. I am not making this up....

Now the thought I had was if she planned to release the animal into the crowded room so as to cause a panic. Well when you have small women getting knocked over and possibly trampled in the ensuing melee, well that stops being fun real fast...

And as to the young man with the Orange, it wasn't that one but the other half dozen that he also had, although if he was really hungry, then...

izzy said...

Rat, ferret, hamster - whatever.
Seriously, the little critter shouldn't be used as an agitprop (or a prop) at a public event. That's irresponsible, and it shows how low these people have sunk.

Too immature even for ZooMass.

Ed said...

One other thing not widely known: a couple years back Michelle Malkin declined an invitation to speak at UMass due to her concerns for her personal safety.

I don't remember the exact details, I wasn't even the person trying to make the arrangements, but I do remember this happening (she is on the YAF speakers' tour, just like Feder).

Ed said...

Rat, ferret, hamster - whatever.
Seriously, the little critter shouldn't be used as an agitprop (or a prop) at a public event.


My point is simple - I would not put it past these clowns to sacrifice the physical safety (or even lives) of their own people to make a point. If you had a panic, a scared animal running up some guy's pants leg (which, scared, it well might do) and the guy wearing said pants sorta freaking out and general chaos in a crowded room -- well you are going to have people seriously injured.

Anyone remember the WHO concert back in the '70s?

One other thing - I heard their forward observer calling people on her cell phone and waving stuff off -- telling people not to do "it" and not to "come" because "they have lots of cops here." Now I don't know exactly what she was talking about, but I somehow don't think it was peaceful people bringing daisies to the event.

These people are REAL Brownshirts, not just pretend anymore, and they are damn dangerous. I think that a lot of the campus left is starting to realize that -- and that isn't exactly a bad thing.

LarryK4 said...

The Pubbies should have stocked up on bars of soap and ever so gently (underhand of course) lobbed them into the seething mass of nitwit protesters.

Anonymous said...

Next time you see a television host who has "invited" an opposing view on his/her show, and then spends the entire time cutting the guest off, doing most of the talking, never letting the guest put two sentences together, you should recall this particular event.

My favorite suspects in this regard are Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Chris Matthews, and Isaac Ben-Ezra (on his ACTV show). My standard for an interview is that, if the host is doing over 50% of the talking, it's a bad interview, whether I agree with the host or not. You can go through the motions of giving people the chance to speak, when it's really fraudulent.

What we are talking about here is the opportunity for a person to offer an idea or a viewpoint that may need to be expressed in more than one sentence or even several paragraphs without either being shouted down in a forum, cut off by the all-powerful host, or being edited to death by some "news organization". That window is closing shut tight in our society, and the quality of our public discourse suffers as a result.

You heard the young man rationalizing his own intolerant approach on the youtube clip, inventing a prior wrong that makes it all ok, but that dog won't hunt.

Despite what he said, the "marketplace of ideas" is not about who can shout the loudest.

Rich Morse

Ed said...

The Pubbies should have stocked up on bars of soap and ever so gently (underhand of course) lobbed them into the seething mass of nitwit protesters.

After the Mike Adams event, which was almost as bad as the Feder one,
http://townhall.com/columnists/MikeSAdams/2006/11/21/planet_u-mass
I actually proposed that.

That we put cases of hotel-sized soap (that you have got to be able to buy somewhere because small motels buy it) into the budget and that it be handed out to the dirty hippies.

Sad thing is that they probably would eat it or something. Never underestimate the extent to which many of these folks are on heavy drugs...

Anonymous said...

Gotta wonder why the cops didn't arrest anyone....

MGL Chapter 272: Section 40. Disturbance of schools or assemblies

Section 40. Whoever wilfully interrupts or disturbs a school or other assembly of people met for a lawful purpose shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one month or by a fine of not more than fifty dollars; provided, however, that whoever, within one year after being twice convicted of a violation of this section, again violates the provisions of this section shall be punished by imprisonment for one month, and the sentence imposing such imprisonment shall not be suspended.

Anonymous said...

From my experience, people are not tolerant creatures. Right or left, they all talk a good game but when push comes to shove they don't tolerate opposing viewpoints very well. So, the right shouldn’t get too full of themselves, and the left shouldn't be so holyier than thou.

Ed said...

Right or left, they all talk a good game but when push comes to shove they don't tolerate opposing viewpoints very well

There is a difference between speaking out and shutting down. Last year when the left said something we didn't like (the penis montage), we didn't go break their windows or spraypaint them over or anything like that.

We had a rally to condemn them, and things like that. And this year when the right says something that the left doesn't like - they didn't respond in a like manner, they resorted to violence, or what would have bee violence had the right not walked away.

Sooner or later the middle will cease to hold. Then things will get nasty - there are already poster on Free Republic calling for the right to "stop talking and start acting" and that should scare people.....

BTW - John Bowes got a $200 fine and probation, beat the hate crime charge and the punching was dropped. Wanna bet we have protests when the lefties find out?