Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Latest From Academia

Ann Coulter was invited by the Berkeley College Republicans to speak on their campus. As tends to happen with conservative speakers who are invited to speak at college campuses, the complaints from those needing safe spaces rolled in. Berkeley officials initially said the speech would have to be cancelled, citing safety and security concerns. After then reconsidering, it was apparently determined by UC Berkeley administrators that the speech should be given in the afternoon. Of course, most students would be in classes during the afternoon.

It was also claimed that the location of the speech would not be announced until close to the time of the event. Of course, that would mean few students would know where to go to hear the speech.

The administration claim about safety is disturbing on at least two fronts. First, notice how when liberal commentators are scheduled to speak at college campuses there never seems to be any worry about safety and security. The reason is simple - conservatives respect the First Amendment and the right to free speech, even when disagreeing with the speaker. Leftists, however, do not have the same respect for the First Amendment, and clearly do not believe in free speech. How else to explain the constant protests every time a conservative is scheduled to speak on campus?

Here are some examples. One protester was holding a sign "Out of Berkeley Nazi Scum." Who really acts as fascists - the intolerant leftists or the tolerant conservatives? One student expressed this sentiment: "I think sometimes the free speech amendment is used as a way to frame violent conversation as a matter of free speech." Violent conversation? I believe that would be any speech which this student finds offensive. What this student, and many like him, do not understand is that non-controversial speech does not need protection, as it tends to offend no one.

Another student felt that speakers coming to Berkeley needed to be held accountable to the school's "principles of community," and ought to "promote constructive dialogue rather than destructive dialogue." Constructive to who? Once again, we have a generation of students who have not been taught the importance of the First Amendment. Why? Because as has been discussed in this blog before, the Left does not share in the fundamental American values - such as free speech. For the Left, their agenda always takes precedence over other values. Which explains why they believe the content of the speech is all that matters - either they agree with it and then no problem, or they disagree and the speech should be barred.

As mentioned above, there is another problem with preventing speech based on a claim of safety and security concerns. It is the equivalent of allowing a heckler's veto. The answer is to increase security. The answer is not to stand down and allow protesters to interfere with lawful speech. The answer is to arrest and charge those who obstruct ingress and egress to where speeches are being given.

The bigger picture is that it is up to parents, and teachers and professors, to instill those fundamental American values, to instill a belief in the right to speak. Adults need to explain that one need not agree with speech to understand that it is entitled to protection none the less. But given that teachers and professors engage in their own misbehavior, all we have is hoping for the best. One high school teacher in West Virginia wore a jacket to school with these words on the back: "Tuck Frump." The letters f-u-c-k were all in white. Clearly, not a teacher who believes in the fundamental American values.

What a Difference!

Recall that under President Obama, he had his UN Ambassador, Samantha Power, abstain from the completely one-sided anti-Israel Security Council resolution in December, 2016. That resolution, essentially establishing a Palestinian state on the so-called 1967 borders, said that the purpose was to reaffirm "that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity, and constitutes...a major obstacle to the achievement of the two state solution."

The same resolution also called for the boycott of Israeli goods originating in the West Bank. As for the UN, the inaptly named Human Rights Council passed 67 anti-Israel resolutions in a ten year period ending early 2016, but none against China, Russia or Saudi Arabia, to name a few.

Now, we have a new President in Trump, and a new UN Ambassador - Nikki Haley. Upon arriving at the UN Security Council, Haley got to see first hand that the Council's attention was not focused on Hezbollah or Iran and its exporting of terror to other countries in the Middle East and much of Latin America. Their focus was not on Syria and Assad. Haley: "instead, the meeting focused on criticizing Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East."

Haley announced to the other members of the Council: "I'm here to say the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore...I'm here to underscore the ironclad support of the United States for Israel...I'm here to emphasize the United States is determined to stand up to the UN's anti-Israel bias." And finally, this: "The days of Israel-bashing are over."

What a difference a new President makes! What a difference a new UN Ambassador makes! But, for the anti-Israel Left, the change is not an improvement. For the anti-Israel Left, including leftist Jews, this new support for Israel is not well received. Just remember when you see the leftists out there demonstrating against Trump, this new pro-Israel attitude is one of the things that they are demonstrating against. And ask yourselves if you think that a President Hillary Clinton would have appointed a Nikki Haley to be UN Ambassador.

Recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke at the Organized Crime Council and Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force in D.C. Sessions: "Under President Trump, the Justice Department has zero tolerance for gang violence." Sessions went on to say that gangs "represent one of the gravest threats to American safety."

Sessions: "If you are a gang member, we will find you - we will devastate your networks. We will starve your revenue sources, deplete your ranks, and seize your profits. We will not concede a single block or street corner to your vicious attacks." What an impressive turnaround in approach from the prior AG.

An article in the 12/7/14 NY Post said this: "In the past five years, (Eric) Holder has more than doubled the number of police department probes compared with the previous five years, opening more than 20 investigations and pressuring 15 consent orders to stop "biased policing," and other alleged violations." You see, whereas Sessions has declared war on criminal gangs, Holder declared war on the police departments across the country.

Not surprisingly, under the various "consent" decrees, police enforcement decreased and crime increased. One example: Seattle. Following a "consent" decree to require training of police in "bias free" policing, crime went up. From 2012 to 2014 murders were up 21%, car theft 44%, and aggravated assault 14%.

So, remember, when you see people in the street demonstrating against Trump, they are protesting the new war on criminals. I remember these same people also protested against the police. So, no joy on the left with an Attorney General who actually wants to fight crime. But what a difference a new President makes! What a difference a new Attorney General makes!

Which side are you on? The police or the criminals? Israel or the Palestinians who want to destroy Israel? For me, it's two more reasons to support Trump.