Dear Pawns

To:  Parkland High School Students / Sudden Media Stars
From:  Mitch Berg, peasant
Re:  Your sudden stardom

Students,

First things first – I’m sorry for the trauma that happened to you and your school.  You might want to have a word with not just the FBI, but your school board, who was apparently aware of Nik Cruz’s growing madness.

Anyway – condolences.

Now – you’re not gonna like this, but some of you will thanks me, someday.  I’m going to do something none of the adults in your life – especially those people whew flew down from Washington and New York with the bales of airline tickets and hotel reservations, barely hours after the shooting – are going to do.

I’m going to tell you the truth.

You’re being used.

I get it.   You’ve been through a traumatic experience.  But you need to know that none of the things you’re ostensibly campaigning for would have prevented the shooting at your school.

Background checks?  Florida has a huge gap it the mental health information it reports to the feds.  Just like Minnesota.  It wouldn’t – didn’t – work.

Banning “Assault Weapons?”  It’s been tried – you were toddlers when the last ban ended.  Even its supporters said it was just a feel-good law that did nothing about crime.

Bagging on the NRA?  Yeah, that’ll save lives.

Repealing the Second Amendment?   Please.  Mass shootings and denying the right to keep and bear arms is not correlated with mass shootings.

Look, I get it; when I was your age, I thought the NRA was a CIA plot to make gun companies rich.  it was an idea put in my head by the parents and grandparents of the people chaperoning you around DC and the CNN studios.  They are using you as another way to try to turn the tide in a political battle they’ve been losing for thirty years, now.

You are being used as props.  Pawns.  Stage dressing.

Most of you will figure it out someday, with any luck.

That is all.

The Gray Wasteland

Kevin Williamson sums up a vast expanse of “suck” in re the NYTimes’ coverage of gun issues:

he New York Times is uniquely bad on the subject of firearms. There are two ways to understand that sentence, and both apply: Among major news publications, the Timesregularly exhibits an unparalleled level of illiteracy on the subject of firearms, and it exhibits comparable illiteracy on practically no other subject. Even on such self-acknowledged weak spots as American religion, the Times rarely sinks to the level of outright stupidity that characterizes its coverage of firearms and related crimes.

That’s just the introduction.  It gets worse.  Read the whole thing.

Choice

A friend of the blog emails:

Found very different headlines from NPR regarding food choices. Democrats love telling the poor what to eat when they see fit. Tax sugary drinks. They need to eat healthier, why, the tax helps fight obesity:

Even this article seems concerned that SNAP recipients may be using food stamps to buy the cheapest food, which “isn’t healthy for them,” and the article even has to question, once again, are SNAP recipients consuming too much sugary beverages?

But, now that Trump is proposing a change, a change in which the government does exert more control over what SNAP recipients might be given to eat, there is all of a sudden a different tone? Suddenly, Trump is some evil government official trying to tell people what to eat? Give me a break.

Moral, intellectual and logical inconsistency  is less important to Big Left than adherence to narrative.

The Higher Education Butane Balloon

Students at the University of Wisconson’s Stout Campus must prove they’ve absorbed the PC narrative to Big Brother’s satisfaction before being granted a diploma:

In order to fulfill the requirement, students must complete at least six credits from a list of approved courses that address at least two out of four categories: Global Self-Awareness, Global Knowledge, Global Viewpoint, and Global Engagement.

“Global self-awareness” courses, for instance, focus on embracing the “values of diverse others,” helping students to “develop appreciation for diverse voices and stories and the contributions of cultures and countries different from one’s own.”

The “global knowledge” goal, meanwhile, addresses “the deeply interconnected nature of the world,” with courses exploring concepts like how “the impact of globalized capitalism and neoliberalism on economic systems, inter and intra-societal stratification, civil and human rights, and sustainability” form the “historical roots” of inequities around the world.

The “global viewpoint” category aims to introduce students to different cultural and historical perspectives, while the “global engagement” element teaches students to “take effective critical action” on the basis of their new knowledge by “contributing to positive change in globally diverse, interconnected, and interdependent natural, social, and business environments.”

It took a moment to realize they weren’t talking about Evergreen State.

Sign O The Times?

Big Left seems to thrive on misery.  They seem to love to cling to the notion that things have never been worse, in the nation or the world (or at least they do when there’s no Democrat in the White House).

For example – ask a typical liberal, and they’ll say that “gun violence” is at an all time high.  It’s not – nationwide, it’s at sixty-year lows, and even in Democrat-controlled major cities it’s lower than it was 25 years ago.  And yet if you ask a “progressive” what’s going on in the world, they’ll to a person insist “violent crime is out of control”.

And that’s not the only area.

I mentioned the other day the church service I went to on Christmas Eve, featuring a homily that made it sound like the world was teetering on the the brink of collapse – notwithstanding the fact that, for most of the world, things have never been better.

Don’t get me wrong – the human condition is an ugly thing.  I’m of Scandinavian descent, so optimism and pollyannaism don’t come naturally.   And the arc of the universe, while long, curves inexorably toward tyranny and barbarism.  It could all go south someday.  And there certainly  are wars going on, refugees in camps, pockets of malnutrition.

But for now, for most of the world’s people, things have never been better. As evidence, I submit this:   for the first time in the history of humanity, obesity is a bigger problem than malnutrition, as reported by those noted conservative crazies in The Lancet, in this case via both CNN and an actual news organization (which notes that obesity kills three times as many people worldwide as malnutrition).

This, not fifty years after “experts” like Paul Ehrlich “proved” that mankind was headed for an unavoidable date with Malthusianism ; that poor countries in South Asian and Africa were beyond hope and would need to be “triaged”; that India was, inevitably, going to plunge to a stable population of 100 million, and Subsaharan Africa was going to mostly die off as well.

Bear in mind that throughout all of human history, mankind has always been one bad crop away from mass starvation.  This is the first time in history most people on this planet can take a deep breath and think about a future that goes past the net harvest.

And this is almost entirely due to the success of the free market – even in places that have repudiated free markets!

Again – not that life is a picnic everywhere on earth.  It’s not.  But it’s also never been less dire and threatened.

There’s just no telling that to Big Left.

Whenever I Need A Little Pick-Me-Up…

With the departure of Fast Eddie Schultz from the (American) national media, Cenk Uygur has taken sole possession of the role of dumbest person in American public life.

And every once in a while, when I need a little pick-me-up, I re-roll this clip of his election-night journey from entitled, Urban-Progressive-Privilege-sodden, illiterate profane smugness to prehensile, Urban-Progressive-Privilege-sodden, profane rage.

Tarred

The good news?  You’ve got people on the left defending free speech on campus, and defending it well, as Charles C. Cooke notes in the National Review about a piece in New York Magazine by Jesse Singal:.

But there’s still a bit of fact-checking to do, as Cooke notes – in this case, quoting Singal:

“The existence of white nationalist Richard Spencer, and other bigoted far-right figures like him, poses a genuine challenge to public universities. Conservative student groups invite these sorts of figures to speak fairly often, and the courts have consistently held that public universities can’t really interfere with such events.”

There’s just one thing wrong:

Having read this, you could be forgiven for thinking that “conservative student groups” have invited ”white nationalist Richard Spencer” to speak on campus, and that they have done so “fairly often.” This isn’t correct. Richard Spencer has indeed spoken on college campuses recently. But, invariably, he has invited himself.

After which the conservative groups do what they do – defend actual free speech, including the stuff that everyone hates, which is indeed why we need “Free Speech” in the Constitution in the first place.

So there’s that.

But there’s one other problem:  Singal refers to Spencer et al as “bigoted far-right figures”.   And he’s far from alone.

Thing is, as Michael Knowles points out in this superb Prager U video, the “Alt-Right” is not right.  It repudiates, in fact, much of what American conservatism believes:

To sum up, the “Alt-Right” – or “Alternative to the Right” – believes in:

  • Relentless identity politics, just like Big Left does, only in  its case the identity is “White”.
  • Atheistic.  Christianity important to the alt-right only as a motivator for Western European civilizzation – but rejects faith as a moral, ethical or spiritual force.
  • A disdain for the value of the individual in favor of the primacy of the group.

Conservatism is focused on the individual, and the presence of a stable, higher order (even conservative atheists – they exist – generally believe in some sort of higher moral order).

I know, I know – they christened themselves “Alt-Right”, sparing the media the trouble of doing it for them.

Stage IV Pauline Kael Syndrome

Katha Pollitt is sort of a gender affirmative action project; Big Leftymedia has Jonathan Chait, so the need a female version (pardon the redundancy).

She never disappoints, which is another way of saying if you have any hope that our coastal elite can be salvaged, she disappoints intensely.

In this case, Pollitt “writes” about the rage that’s been buiding in her since…well, that day last November:

Unlike my friend’s, my life has changed a lot in the year since Trump was elected. Not materially, except for the fact that my stepson and daughter-in-law moved to Canada partly because, as non-citizens, they worried for their futures here in the US.

Er, right.  That’s why they moved.  Not to be rid of their ninny mother in law. Nosirreebob.

I mean psychologically. I sometimes feel like I’m a different person now. I’m fidgety and irritable and have trouble concentrating.

I have little doubt that the affliction is real; she hands out straight lines like after-dinner mints; either she’s so addled by her rage, or so secure in never being challenged by her audience:

My work seems trivial: Given what we are facing, what difference does one more Nation column make? I might as well be an ancient Egyptian scribe logging production figures for cat mummies.

Katha:  your work is trivial.  Even when your guy was in power, you were a joyless scold who served only to fluff your social class’s sense of self-importance.

Today, you are the same thing, plus depression born of unrequited entitlement.  Mazel tov.

In the old days, the days before Trump, it bothered me that so many people loved things I thought were stupid. Now I just think, Go ahead, enjoy yourself. Maybe your Batman DVDs will comfort you when we’re wandering around in the ashen hellscape of whatever apocalypse Trump will bring down upon us.

Katha:  Sylvia Plath called.  She told you to buck up and quit being such a downer.

But the main difference is that I hate people now. Well, not all people, of course. Just people who voted for Trump.

Of course you hate people “now”, Katha.

People who do their own “research” on the Internet and discover there that President Obama is a Muslim and Michelle Obama is a man. People who use the n-word and can’t even spell it right, because—have you noticed?—Trump supporters can’t spell. Well-off people who only care about lowering their taxes. People who said they couldn’t vote for Hillary because of her emails. Excuse me, sir or madam, can you explain to me what an email server even is?

The real question, Katha, is can you?

No.  You can’t.

If you want to see example 25,695 on why Trump/Pence are going to win re-election in 2020, look no further.

Sadly Disappointed

When I read the headline on this piece (“We Should Ban Cars From Big Cities. Seriously.”), the first thing that crossed my mind was “Oh, this could be a fiendishly brilliant parody of gun-grabber “arguments”.

Then I saw the masthead; BuzzFeed.  Which means nothing clever, fiendish or otherwise.

A gun lobbyist would typically step in right about now to ask whether those who demand gun control after mass shootings also want to ban cars after events like this week. To which I say: Hell yes. Cars don’t belong on the streets of big cities, and we should do everything in our power to get rid of them.

You can’t stop crazy. But you can reduce the number of people allowed to drive their 4,000 pound machines into city parks, along city beaches, past playgrounds, and alongside the sidewalks of the most pedestrian-packed places in the nation. If we banned cars from every city in the US tomorrow, we would stop vehicular terrorism overnight — and save thousands of lives.

The “writer” – Jessie Singer – fancies himself a transportation expert.  Clearly he’s not an expert in logistics; that Ethiopian coffee doesn’t arrive at his New York cafe on the backs of unicorns.  They arrive in commercial trucks.  And they likely will for a long, long time.

The trucks in New York and Nice, France were…what now?  A rental from a Home Depot or a Lowe’s ($19.95 an hour) in NYC; a regular delivery truck in Nice.

With experts like this, it’s hard to believe the left needs ignorant people.

Life Cycle Of Uselessness

It was over a year ago that we carried the story of the Pillsbury Foundation’s buyback fiasco.   Which doesn’t narrow it down much; while the buybacks last year in Minneapolis were very poorly organized, their effect on crime was the same as any other buyback program.

Nil.

But this buyback was different in one way; unlike other buybacks that just sell guns for scrap (allowing criminals to dispose of crime guns without leaving a paper trail), the guns gathered were doing to be donated to “artists” to do “art” that was supposed to “raise awareness” about “gun violence”.

A friend of the blog writes:

more “gun art” that will never be displayed on anyone’s wall

The Pillsbury folks paid for this apparently

The only thing really on display (at least in the objects pictured) is the paucity of imagination in these “artists”

Look at the things that have created great art over the centuries:  Longing, anger, the search for justice, the search for God, the quest for beauty – lots of motivations.

“Spoiled, subsidized, entitled, Urban Progressive Privilege-sotted pseudo-“artists” barking like dogs on their political masters’ command” isn’t one of them.

Facts In The Dark: If You Get Your News About Gun Crime/Laws/Owners From NPR, You Are Starting The Race With One Leg Tied Behind Your Back

Over the weekend, NPR came out with a “Fact Check” piece about whether Chicago is “proof” that gun laws don’t affect crime.

Is the “fact check”, well, factual?

It’s NPR and they’re talking about guns. What do you think?

NPR starts with Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ post-Vegas press conference statement:

“I think one of the things we don’t want to do is try to create laws that won’t stop these types of things from happening,” Sanders said Monday. “I think if you look to Chicago where you had over 4,000 victims of gun-related crimes last year they have the strictest gun laws in the country. That certainly hasn’t helped there.”

Pointing to Chicago to suggest that gun laws don’t work is not a new talking point — Trump claimed Chicago had “the toughest gun laws in the United States” in a 2016 presidential debate; his fellow Republican candidate Chris Christie likewise pointed to Chicago as a place with high crime despite tight gun laws.

Now, if you’re a Right to Keep and Bear Arms person, you know what that really means; the idea that tight regulations on law-abiding civlilians owning guns hasn’t the foggiest impact on crime, at best, and a negative impact at worst.  That – crime and death, and how infringing freedom for the law-abiding doesn’t affect either – is what we’re concerned about.

And what does NPR focus on?

The Fussy Tangent:   Hey, at least NPR acknowledges the real problem, sort of:

It’s also true that there were more than 4,000 shooting victims in Chicago in 2016. It’s also true that Chicago has suffered a massive amount of gun crime recently. In 2016, homicides in Chicago sharply rose, mostly as a result of gun homicides, as the University of Chicago crime lab found in a January report.

Gun homicides in the city rose by 61 percent between 2015 and 2016. That helped make the gun homicide rate…25.1 per 100,000 residents in 2016, compared to 14.7 in Philadelphia and just 2.3 in New York.

But never mind all the carnage and death.  It’s Huckabee-Sanders’ assertion that’s the real issue!

But it’s not true that Chicago has the toughest gun laws in the country, as other fact checkers have also repeatedly found…”We generally think of California as having the strongest gun laws in the country,” said Hannah Shearer, a staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “The whole state’s laws are pretty strong.”

The center has given California an A rating and ranks it No. 1 in terms of the tightness of its gun laws.

Ah.  So law-abiding citizens are disarmed, and criminals are deterred only by the ministrations of the Chicago Police Department – but they’re not the “toughest” laws, according to the abstract reasoning of a gun grabber group?

This is not a “fact check”.  This is an ideological purity test.

It gets worse.

The Mean Streets Of Hammond:  NPR next revisits the old canard; Chicago would be safe, if it weren’t for those darned Hoosiers and Badgers:

It’s important to remember here that Chicago is very close to two states that have relatively weak gun laws: Wisconsin and Indiana. So while it’s easy to pick on Chicago (or any other high-crime city) for its ugly statistics, says one expert, taking bordering states into account weakens this gun-advocacy talking point.

“It’s not a scientific study. It’s an anecdote,” said Philip Cook, a professor of public policy studies at Duke University. “They might have pointed to Washington, D.C., back in the days when D.C. banned handguns and yet had high gun-violence rates. Those bans are only at best partially effective, because the borders are permeable.”

So why aren’t Indiana, Wisconsin and Virginia stacking up bodies like cordwood?    If availability of guns were the problem, then wouldn’t places like North Dakota, New Mexico and Wyoming be shooting galleries?

NPR does try to drill further into the issue:

2015 study of guns in Chicago, co-authored by Cook, found that more than 60 percent of new guns used in Chicago gang-related crimes and 31.6 percent used in non-gang-related crimes between 2009 and 2013 were bought in other states. Indiana was a particularly heavy supplier, providing nearly one-third of the gang guns and nearly one-fifth of the non-gang guns.

Other evidence corroborates this — a 2014 Chicago Police Department report found that Indiana accounted for 19 percent of all guns recovered by the department between 2009 and 2013.

NPR has found correlation, not a cause.  Yes, there are guns from other states to fill the black market demand for firearms.  Every single one of them is the result of a felony – a theft (a state felony) or a “straw purchase”, a person with a clean record buying a buy and giving/selling it to a criminal, which is a federal felony.

Is it because Indiana has “lax” gun laws?

Or is it because the US Attorney for Northern Illinois announced that his office wasn’t going to spend time prosecuting “straw buyers” anymore?  Because he wanted to focus his office on politically-sexy prosecutions, and nobody ever got elected to the Senate by showing off a record of  prosecuting gang-bangers’ girlfriends, junior high pals and grandmothers?

So, In Summary:  The NPR “fact-check” ignored the actual point of the Trump Administration’s statement – that gun control and public safety are not in any way linked, and in some cases may be inversely correlated –  to pedantically nitpick Huckabee Sanders’ conceptually accurate statement about the legalities, and issue a deflection about other states’ laws that actually reinforces the Pro-Civil Rights’ side’s point.

Facts In The Dark rules this article as part of the NPR’s effort to be part of Big Left’s Praetorian Guard.  

Dawn Of The Doakes: Fact-Checking MinnPost; Like Cleaning Up Puerto Rico With A DustBuster

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A friend of your blog mentioned a MinnPost article, in a column captioned Big Words.  Since it’s the MinnPost, you have to wade through the stage-setting lies to search for a possible grain of wisdom.

Lie #1.  Trump did not refer to Kaepernick as a son-of-a-bitch, Trump explicitly referred to present players who take the knee.

Lie #2.  Kneeling is not about “a persistent American injustice” since Kaepernick himself was quoted in the article saying it’s no longer about police brutality, it’s about general unfairness.

Lie #3.  The world does not wonder if Trump seeks a return to pre-Jackie Robinson days, the author imputes that, groundlessly.

Lie #4.  Trump did not receive comeuppance from the players last week; viewership was down another 11% as fans heeded his advice to skip the game and owners now beg them to return.

Lie #5.  It’s true that Trump was elected by a minority of Americans, just like every modern President.  Half of Americans don’t vote at all; the winner is the person who gets half of the half that do – meaning a quarter of the whole.  The implication that Trump therefore lacks a mandate is not true, his quarter gives him the same mandate as Obama or Bush or Clinton.

Lie #6.  Trump’s approval rating has not fallen as a result of these tweets, it’s still hovering around 40% which is all he ever had

Lie #7.  Trump is not the person threatening the destroy the entire nation, that’s Rocket Man, who was subsidized and enabled by prior administrations kicking the can down the road.

After all those lies, what is the author left with?  Wishful thinking about impeachment.  Hope that Trump will get bored and quit (bad news – that doesn’t get you Hillary, it gets you Pence).  Exhortation to sit during the national anthem, because that’ll show him.  None of those will work and everybody knows it, even the author of the article.

He urges us to pray.  I agree, but I’m astonished MinnPost printed it.  Pray?  Pray to the God that Democrats repeatedly rejected at their convention, the God that Liberals have banned from schools, the God whose Commandments must be removed from the courthouse lawn?

Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn occasionally.  I’m thrilled this author found his.  I’m just sorry it cost him so many lies to get there.

Joe Doakes

All in a day’s work at the MinnPost.

Word Choice

Rolling Stone, reeling from a decade of decay of the print publication biz and its own growing irrelevance, is on the market; Jann Wenner is looking for a buyer.

The NYTimes notes (emphasis added by me):

But the headwinds buffeting the publishing industry, and some costly strategic missteps, have steadily taken a financial toll on Rolling Stone, and a botched story three years ago about an unproven gang rape at the University of Virginia badly bruised the magazine’s journalistic reputation.

“Botched”.

“Unproven”.

The actual word is “false”.

 

Let The Great Retraction Begin

There must have been a poll showing that voters don’t, in fact, thing of “Anti”-Fa / the “Black Bloc” as anything but a bunch of pampered snowflakes; the left is starting to distance themselves from them.

The mayor of Berkeley – which has all but packed box lunches for the Blackshirts in recent months – is suddenly talking…well, as tough as a Democrat is allowed to talk about the children of his pals:

“I think we should classify them as a gang,” said Arreguin. “They come dressed in uniforms. They have weapons, almost like a militia and I think we need to think about that in terms of our law enforcement approach.”

Arreguin said that while he does not support the far right, it was time to draw the line on the left as well, especially on the black-clad activists who showed up in force and took over both the protests and the park, and played a part in Sunday’s violent clashes.

Word has it the Blackshirts plan on “demonstrating” this Sunday at/around the State Fair.  It’ll be interesting to see if the City of Saint Paul – which has, in the past, “stood down” for the children of their political superiors – will do anything.

Devalued

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Well I’m certainly not in favor of this proposal.  Took years and cost a fortune to get my license to practice law including a background check and continuing classes every year – now they’re proposing to hand out law licenses to people who aren’t even supposed to be in the country?

 

What’s the point of following the law, if nobody else has to?

What’s the point?

Devaluing law, the same as Big Left has devalued labor, community, morality and individuality.

I’m Not Saying The Strib Editorial Board Seeks A Totalitarian Government.

I’m just saying that in the future, if some future wannabe despot wants to take over this country, suspend the Constitution and crush our freedoms without firing a shot (up front, anyway), he’ll need a society full of people who “think” like the Strib editorial board to have a chance of succeeding.  r

They want the President to stop having rallies like last week’s event in Phoenix – for everyone’s best interest:

These campaign-style rallies serve little practical purpose with the next presidential election not until 2020. Instead, they unnecessarily stoke anger and division at a volatile time, with the rally locations attracting the violence-prone on all sides of the political spectrum.

Well, no.  For the past year and a half, they have drawn unstable, violence-prone, Urban-Progressive-Privilege-sotted “Anti”-Fa blackshirts.  Lately, to be sure, they’ve drawn people on the other side who’ve come to aggressively defend themselves.  What, you expect people to stand still while they’re being gassed and clubbed for exercising their rights?

Clashes between white supremacists and counterprotesters have already left one woman dead. It is only by the grace of God that more people didn’t die in Charlottesville. Or that violence didn’t spiral out of control during another gathering last Saturday in Boston.

Excluse my middle English, but bullshit.  All the violence in Boston was on the left.   Thousands of drooling scumbags descended on an expressly peaceful event that specifically excluded and condemed “white supremacists”.  Boston was a monument to the spoiled entitlement of Big Left and its idiot children – which is why it’s disappeared from the media.

It’s just common sense to let these tensions settle down and, until then, not offer up another obvious gathering point for extremists itching for action. President Trump should have recognized this before Tuesday’s rally, but making his way through the large, tense and often heavily armed crowd in Phoenix should have really driven that point home. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries Tuesday, but the event clearly strained local law enforcement’s capacity.

Look at the bright side; being a Red area, at least the cops in Phoenix showed up.

My suspicion; Big Media is decreasingly able to cover up the depravity of its nephews and nieces in the extreme left.

News Conferences I’d Love To See. And Participate In.

SCENE:   Press conference where a Free Speech Rally is being announced for the Minnesota state capitol grounds.   A group of reporters is questioning the organizers of the rally – Madison JAMES, Tyrone JEFFERSON, and Jorge WASHINGTON.

WASHINGTON:   …So to sum up, we will hold our Free Speech rally at precisely noon.  We have our permit, and we are ready to stand up for the free speech rights of all Minnesotans and all Americans.

JEFFERSON:  Even those we don’t agree with.

JAMES:  We’ll now take questions.   (Sees hands rising, points to a sallow endomorph in his late forties with severe acne).  Yes.

REPORTER 1:  I’m Edmund DuChey, from “MinnesotaLiberalAlliance.Blogspot.com”.  So your rally of Nazis and White Supremacists…

WASHINGTON:  Yeah, you can stop right there.  As noted before, this rally specifically denounces the American Nazi Party, the Ku Klux Klan, and everyone who would actively curtail the rights of others based on their ethnicity, religion or anything else.

JAMES:  And we’ve specifically disinvited them from the rally, and are ready to enforce that.

JAMES:  Next question.

REPORTER 2:  Walter Lennon-Marks from Minnesota Public Radio.  I notice that you have not disinvited people who plan on carrying firearms, concealed or openly, from the rally.

JEFFERSON:  That’s correct.

LENNON-MARKS:  Don’t you find that intimidates other speech?

WASHINGTON:  I find that it most definitely intimidates those who would threaten our rally with violence like “Anti”-Fa did in San Francisco.

JEFFERSON:  Or those who would act on those threats, as “Anti”-Fa did in Boston, and clearly plan to elsewhere.    Inducing them to keep their speech non-violent is a feature, not a bug.

JAMES:  Next question?

REPORTER 3:   Yes – Yvette Stahlen from the Star Tribune.  Why do all three of you make the scare quotes with your fingers whenever you say the “anti” in “Antifa?”

WASHINGTON:  Because they are “against fascism” in exactly the same way the Bloods are against the Crips, or the Gambinos were “against” the Luccheses.   These are two sides of the same noxious, anti-democratic, anti-freedom, pro-totalitarian coin.

STAHLEN:  But my editors’ oldest daughter is a member of Antifa, and has been ever since zhe graduated from Oberlin.

WASHINGTON:   (Walks down from the stage with a microphone, hands it to STAHLEN).  Here.

STAHLEN:  What do you want me to do with this.

WASHINGON:  Drop it for me.  I couldn’t possibly have ended this better than you did.

(And SCENE)

Charlottesville = Gliwice?

It’s not quite a Berg’s Law, but it’s getting close; if violence breaks out between the left and the right, and the media claims not to know who started it?  The left started it.  And if they claim the right started it, without absolute dead to rights evidence?  The left started it.

Maybe a corollary to Berg’s Seventh Law.

Was Charlottesville painstakingly engineered by Charlottesville’s Democrat government?  .

Maybe.  I am not quite ready to nail this down into the “Setup” category – I’d like some on-the-record sources.

But as Joe Doakes noted the other day, the “Anti”-Fa had a demonstration permit – that they had to violate to attack the “White Supremacists”, who were apparently in their permitted area.  Because that’s why they give out permits for demonstrations; to keep them apart.

So if “Anti”-Fa had a permit, they broke the rules to get to the “White Supremacists”.  And if they didn’t, they broke the rules to get to the “White Supremacists”.

Rebooting Berkeley

This email was circulated at Berkeley earlier this week, according to an acquaintance of mine:

 “Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
This fall, the issue of free speech will once more engage our community in powerful and complex ways. Events in Charlottesville, with their racism, bigotry, violence and mayhem, make the issue of free speech even more tense. The law is very clear; public institutions like UC Berkeley must permit speakers invited in accordance with campus policies to speak, without discrimination in regard to point of view. The United States has the strongest free speech protections of any liberal democracy; the First Amendment protects even speech that most of us would find hateful, abhorrent and odious, and the courts have consistently upheld these protections.
But the most powerful argument for free speech is not one of legal constraint—that we’re required to allow it—but of value. The public expression of many sharply divergent points of view is fundamental both to our democracy and to our mission as a university. The philosophical justification underlying free speech, most powerfully articulated by John Stuart Mill in his book On Liberty, rests on two basic assumptions. The first is that truth is of such power that it will always ultimately prevail; any abridgement of argument therefore compromises the opportunity of exchanging error for truth. The second is an extreme skepticism about the right of any authority to determine which opinions are noxious or abhorrent. Once you embark on the path to censorship, you make your own speech vulnerable to it.
Berkeley, as you know, is the home of the Free Speech Movement, where students on the right and students on the left united to fight for the right to advocate political views on campus. Particularly now, it is critical that the Berkeley community come together once again to protect this right. It is who we are.
Nonetheless, defending the right of free speech for those whose ideas we find offensive is not easy. It often conflicts with the values we hold as a community—tolerance, inclusion, reason and diversity. Some constitutionally-protected speech attacks the very identity of particular groups of individuals in ways that are deeply hurtful. However, the right response is not the heckler’s veto, or what some call platform denial. Call toxic speech out for what it is, don’t shout it down, for in shouting it down, you collude in the narrative that universities are not open to all speech. Respond to hate speech with more speech.
We all desire safe space, where we can be ourselves and find support for our identities. You have the right at Berkeley to expect the university to keep you physically safe. But we would be providing students with a less valuable education, preparing them less well for the world after graduation, if we tried to shelter them from ideas that many find wrong, even dangerous. We must show that we can choose what to listen to, that we can cultivate our own arguments and that we can develop inner resilience, which is the surest form of safe space. These are not easy tasks, and we will offer support services for those who desire them.
This September, Ben Shapiro and Milo Yiannopoulos have both been invited by student groups to speak at Berkeley. The university has the responsibility to provide safety and security for its community and guests, and we will invest the necessary resources to achieve that goal. If you choose to protest, do so peacefully. That is your right, and we will defend it with vigor. We will not tolerate violence, and we will hold anyone accountable who engages in it.
We will have many opportunities this year to come together as a Berkeley community over the issue of free speech; it will be a free speech year. We have already planned a student panel, a faculty panel and several book talks. Bridge USA and the Center for New Media will hold a day-long conference on October 5; PEN, the international writers’ organization, will hold a free speech convening in Berkeley on October 23. We are planning a series in which people with sharply divergent points of view will meet for a moderated discussion. Free speech is our legacy, and we have the power once more to shape this narrative.
Sincerely,
Carol Christ
Chancellor”
In between the lines, it looks like the Chancellor is trying to reboot Berkeley’s policy to disallow violent suppression of dissenting opinions.  This is a marked contrast from the University’s behavior over the winter.
Of course, the real bellwether would be “how do the campus’s tiny conservative minority fare in day to day interactions”.   That’s the part I’m most intrested in.
But it’ll be interesting to see if this announcement is followed up with effective execution – and if any other schools follow suit.