Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Lightning Rod Wins

 Protesters outside Student Union were mainly an older crowd

Maybe I'm spoiled having come of age in the 1970s when protest was at its peak and a darn site more creative than what I saw this evening: Abby Hoffman bringing the NY Stock Exchange to a halt by unleashing a bag of $1 bills (not all of them genuine) from the gallery.

Or protesters filled with enough resolve to continuing chanting "The whole world is watching," while Chicago cops beat their heads in.

No, what we got this evening was a smattering of clueless cuckoos who couldn't even read their cue card lines correctly, or loudly enough to be heard (Abby Hoffman had his own bull horn).  The first interruption, only minutes into Karl Rove's speech, brought no response from security so I thought it was going to be short night.

 Rove became animated when talking about Iraq (and how the Democrats supported the war)

Chancellor Subbaswamy, looking unhappy, struck a blow for Free Speech

But then after two more interruptions -- perhaps invoking the three strikes and you're out routine -- Chancellor Swamy took to the microphone demanding respect for Free Speech.  And with the next outburst security started escorting the protesters out a lot quicker, which seemed to dim the enthusiasm of the entire protest movement.
Ladies read their protest lines

 Even seated protesters holding sings were asked to leave

All in all between presentation and question and answers Karl Rove probably only talked for an hour and a quarter and the interruptions only consumed a few minutes.  The audience numbered about 500 people and the protesters were easily in the minority. 

Maybe there's hope for Free Speech at UMass after all.  Certainly paid off for Karl Rove.


Anonymous said...

I guess free speech only applies to these people if you're spouting their party line. God forbid they just don't go to the event if they don't like what he's saying, or just be quiet and listen. No one invited them, why didn't they just stay home? But of course, if I was disruptive at an event one of their anarchist pals was speaking at, I'd be called all kinds of names and been pelted with objects. You gotta love this place.

Dr. Ed said...

The son of GOP hack Ron Kaufmann spends $15K of mandatory student fee money to bring has-been-hack Karl Rove (whose "Super-PAC" only won 5%/10% of the elections it was involved in) to campus. Rove -- who essentially gave us Obama -- rails on about how evil Obama is.


And the left can't even put together a real protest. Larry, if you want to know why the GOP is on its last legs and soon to go the way of the Whig Party, you saw it last night.

TCC said...

Karl Rove getting shouted down by protestors and defended by Chanc. Kumble ... quite the event!

Although what would these Umassers do if a real conservative actually came to speak at their playground?

Rove is just another member of the corrupt consultant class. He kinda deserves some public scorn. Yet the forum to do that is the Q and A time, as he pointed out.

Still I am sorry to see taxpayer/student money go to this opportunist, as I can't see him waiving any fees.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand what makes this a "free speech" issue

Chancellor Subbaswamy could plead good manners, academic freedom or even perhaps public order, but I think not a first amendnent issue:

The government is prohibited from abridging the freedom of speech - that doesn't mean that the state university (or a sponsored club, or anybody else) is obliged to provide a podium, microphone and a pitcher of water-or a quiet and respectful audience.

Larry Kelley said...

Technically no, it is not a First Amendment issue since it was not the government shutting down Rove's right to speak.

The things you mention are good enough form me.

Dr. Ed: David Kaufman is not the son of Ron Kaufman. No relation.

Larry Kelley said...

And now that I listened to the audio clip (via Mary Serreze) he clearly does ask the crowd to "be civil."


TCC said...

Ok, since this blog post involves one of the Happy Valley's colleges, let me use it to ask: Where is the love for Amherst College at OITROA?

The hoops team (men) just won the D-III national title! Congrats to Coach Hixon, et. al.


Dr. Ed said...

"Free speech" in terms of the "Berkley Free Speech Movement." Something that was championed as a principle by the very people who now disrupt stuff like this.

I remember speaking at rallies when they were throwing condoms, although I should add that they didn't quite dare throw them at me.

I agree with Izzy about Rove, and also know what HAS happened when a real conservative spoke at UMass -- UMass shut down the Republican Club.

Larry Kelley said...

Izzy: USA Today mixed up Amherst College -- even though they used the nickname "Lord Jeffs" --with UMass/Amherst (darn print journos):

"This year, UMass-Amherst took a 23-game winning streak in the national championship game and their 24th straight win earned them a national title."

Anonymous said...

Oh, poor Karl. My bleeding heart bleeds for him.

After what Rove did to Iraq, the tens of thousands of dead Iraquis, the dead Americans, the suffering veterans who have returned home only to have the Republicans who sent them to war turn their backs on them.

Screw Rove.

The worst we could wish on those war mongers wouldn't begin to bring justice to them after what they did to our young men and women and the Iraqi people.

Larry Kelley said...

And I'm sure if Rove were reading this he would point out -- as he did last night -- that prominent Democrats supported going to war in Iraq.

That's what you get for being a NY Times reader.

TCC said...

Larry, re: the USA Today gaffe - hilariously embarrassingly. Thanks for sharing!

Larry Kelley said...

Reminds me of the CNN Obamacare Supreme Court ruling screw up, or their treatment of the Amherst flag story the morning of 9/11.

Anonymous said...

RE Larry at 6:07: The difference (not that I have any love for the Dems either) is that Rove was in the administration that lied to us about WMD and participated in those lies. He even lied to his fellow adminstration member Colin Powell. The Dems were just stupid, gullible and afraid of being seen as unpatriotic.

Dr. Ed said...

Ummm, Iraq had WMD and much of it is in Syria right now, which is why people are so worried about what is going on in Syria.

It's called "going across the border", you know, kinda like going across the NH border to avoid the sales tax -- and no one does that, do they?

And a lot more of it got buried in hidden places throughout Bagdad, by people who are now dead, and as Bagdad has a very high water table (a few inches below the surface), it is only a matter of time before one or more of the containers is going to rust/corrode through and then there are going to be a large number of dead people that the UN or someone eventually traces to the rusted-out WMD buried under some rose bushes or something.

Look at it this way: WMD is the size of a keg of beer. Has anyone noticed how adept the UM kids are at getting kegs of beer into town (and into dorms) notwithstanding some very intense efforts to prevent it? Now picture an area the size of all of New England with New York and a few more states included, and try to find all the beer kegs that have been hidden in a patch of land that big...

And the other thing is this -- if GWB could have made a credible threat of going to war, he wouldn't have had to -- it was the unpatriotic protesters who made the second war necessary.

Trimegistus said...

Anonymous is saying that it's okay to harass and shout down Rove because Anonymous believes Rove did something bad.

In other words, Anonymous is a fascist, who wants to be able to decide who can speak and who must remain silent.

I think that's a bad thing, Anon. Which means by your logic, I have the right to silence you.

Or are you just a big fat hypocrite?

Larry Kelley said...

Hypocrites come in all shapes and sizes.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, amazing how easily people misunderstand what you say.

Trimegistus: I'm NOT saying that it was okay to shout down Karl Rove. I was pointing out re Larry 6:07 comment that there was a difference between Rove and the Democrats. He lied to the American People whereas the Dems were just stupid, scared and spineless.

Ed, if you still think that their were WMDs in Iraq and/or they were moved to Syria, then you and I are living in very different realities.

Larry, please read the original comment a little more carefully.

Anonymous said...

Those looked like some very young and dangerous free-speech haters.

college is NOT the place for young men and women to discover their political voice!

Anonymous said...

michael graham said: "what the left did to karl rove at umass..."

uh, michael, that wasn't the "left"... that was a group of young ladies from one of the local dorms...