Christopher Hitchens on Free Speech: To whom are you going to award the job of being the censor?

Excerpted from University of Toronto debate “Freedom of Speech includes the Freedom to Hate” held November 2006.

“To whom do you award the right to decide which speech is harmful or who is the harmful speaker? Or determine in advance what are the harmful consequences going to be, that we know enough about in advance to prevent? To whom would you give this job? To whom are you going to award the job of being the censor?”

Ben Shapiro to Speak at UConn; Intellectual Counter-event to Occur; UConn Bars Public Attendance

UPDATE 1.23.18 UConn has now announced only students can attend. This below article explains that this is not customary–a recent event featuring Anita Hill was free and open to the public:

https://legalinsurrection.com/2018/01/uconn-bars-public-from-ben-shapiro-speech/


How to watch live:

LIVE TONIGHT: Ben Shapiro Kicks Off 2018 Campus Tour

Ben Shapiro is scheduled to speak at UConn this week, hosted by UConn College Republics.

Event Details Courtesy Facebook:

Come listen to Ben Shapiro lecture about contemporary political issues and then answer questions from the crowd. Ben Shapiro is the voice of the young american conservative movement, this is will be a night of intellectual diversity, that the University of Connecticut has ever seen.

For a refresher, Ben at Berkeley and Ben at University of Utah, Salt Lake City sparked enormously emotional reactions, even accusations of fascism and hate.

Ben Shapiro at Universities: Why Are Students Driven to Seek Counseling?

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In a departure from other universities who have loudly protested Ben Shapiro, sometimes requiring a large and expensive security presence,  an “intellectual alternative”  event will be held by UConn College Democrats. Titled “Ben Shapiro is Not as Insightful as He Thinks He Is,” the event recognizes the value of free speech and a free exchange of ideas.

Event Details Courtesy Facebook:

The UConn College Democrats are pleased to host Nathan Robinson this Wednesday, January 24th at 7:00 in the Dodd Center. His talk will be named, “Ben Shapiro Is Not As Insightful As he Thinks He Is.” The talk will be followed by a Q&A.

Nathan Robinson is the editor in chief of Current Affairs, a Yale Law graduate, current Ph.D. student at Harvard, a prolific author and a public defender in New Orleans. He has written extensively on conservative thought and Ben Shapiro’s arguments throughout his career.

The UConn College Democrats are dedicated to free speech and scholarship on campus. Nathan will offer an intellectual alternative to Ben Shapiro. He will dissect the arguments used by campus conservatives and demonstrate that behind the big names of people like Ben Shapiro, there is little of substance to their arguments. We want to strike a balance between the desire for a free exchange of ideas and the desire for the ideas presented to be factually accurate, respectful in their presentation, and grounded in public policy and politics, not baiting people into the culture war. This event will be happening at the same time as Ben Shapiro’s talk, as we hope that this will be a better space for true discussion of the tough topics we face here at UConn and as a nation. We seek for this to be an event that confronts these tough topics while taking a stand against Shapiro and the UConn College Republicans’ attempts to divide our campus rather than unite us.

FREE tickets can be acquired the day of the event from 1-6pm at the Student Union ticket booth. A valid UConn ID is required. Please note that there will be bag restrictions for the talk and that security will be present to ensure an orderly event. We are excited to host Nathan and this campus for a wonderful night of discussion.


Kudos to UConn!

 

Milo Announces Berkeley Free Speech Week September 24-27, 2017


According to Milo Yiannopoulos, Berkeley Free Speech Week will be a peaceful event with speakers and surprises at different locations on campus throughout each day. Berkeley Free Speech Week is open to all political ideologies, with speakers representing conservatives, libertarians, and even liberals.

Berkeley has proclaimed this to be a “free speech year” and Milo Yiannopoulos will host the event in conjunction with the Berkeley Patriots. Milo hopes to include other speakers previously banned from speaking at the campus. A full line-up of guests has not yet been announced, but on 9.12.17 Milo announced Steve Bannon will be joining him during Free Speech Week.

Each day of Berkeley Free Speech Week will have a theme:

  • Sunday, 9/24 — Feminism Awareness Day
  • Monday, 9/25 — Islamic Peace & Tolerance Day
  • Tuesday, 9/26 — ZUCK 2020
  • Wednesday, 9/27 — Mario Savio is Dead. MILO will present the first annual Mario Savio Award for Free Speech on Wednesday evening to close out Berkeley Free Speech Week.

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Violent protests forced Milo’s last appearance at UC Berkeley set for February 1, 2017.
The Daily Cal published footage of the protest.
Cinematography by Dapree Doyle Contact us at multimedia@dailycal.org

Milo recorded the following video on the night of the event after he was escorted away from the violence.

Berkeley Vows to Protect Free Speech Rights

“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.”–UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ in a message to the campus community on August 23. 2017

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.

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.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.

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 Oct. 5; PEN, the international writers’ organization, will hold a free speech convening in Berkeley on Oct. 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

Anti-Antifa Stores Now Abound Online: Capitalism is Winning

Antifa stores started popping up all over the Internet in the last month or so. See Antifa Supply Stores Being Launched: Truth IS Stranger Than Fiction: New Items Daily

http://skepticreview.com/2017/08/31/antifa-supply-store-recently-launched-truth-stranger-fiction/

Now, the Anti-Antifa products are available as well–some vendors are even offering products from both sides and at times it can even be hard to tell the difference.

While some of these Anti-Antifa products seem to be in good humor, others not so much–echoing a message of violence and counter-violence.

Take a look at some of today’s t-shirts and stickers for sale:

And the not so funny:

More items to be added, but one thing is for certain. This Antifa sticker appears to not be true:

New Anti-Antifa shopping items 9.11.17

Ben Shapiro at Universities: Why Are Students Driven to Seek Counseling?

“Facts don’t care about your feelings.” Ben Shapiro

Best-selling author, journalist and media personality Ben Shapiro was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley on September 14, 2017. Security surrounding Shapiro’s speech was unprecedented, and Berkeley issued an invitation to students and faculty to seek counseling at the University Health Center if they found the event too unsettling. (See Berkeley counseling for impact speakers “have on individuals’ sense of safety & belonging” http://skepticreview.com/2017/09/08/uc-berkeley-offers-counseling-impact-speakers-may-individuals-sense-safety-belonging/

So what exactly is Ben Shapiro doing or saying that is causing folks to seek mental health treatment?

Ben Shapiro is a conservative promoting traditional values. Shapiro advocates for capitalism, traditional marriage (man and woman), intact family units (two-parent households) and morality derived from religion (unless it’s Islam–more about that below).

Shapiro is a prolific author. His conservatism is reflected in some of his more popular titles:

Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth (2004).

Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future (2005).

Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America (2013).

How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument (2014)

In Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth, Shapiro writes:

“At my own beloved UCLA the numbers are just as frightening. There are thirty-one English professors with registered party affiliation. Twenty-nine of them are affiliated with the Democratic party, the Green party, or another leftist political party. Out of thirteen journalism professors with registered affiliation, twelve are affiliated with leftist parties. Fifty-three out of fifty-six history professors are affiliated with leftist parties. Sixteen out of seventeen political science professors are affiliated with leftist parties. Thirty-one of thirty-three women’s studies professors are affiliated with leftist parties.”

In Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future, Shapiro says:

“Never in our country’s history has a generation been so empowered, so wealthy, so privileged—and yet so empty.”

But where Shapiro really goes hard on college students is in his book How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument:

“College students’ sense of moral righteousness doesn’t come from achievement – it comes from believing that you are a bad person. You are a racist and sexist; they are not. That makes them good, even if they don’t give charity, have never met a black person, stand for policies that impoverish minority communities across the United States, and enable America-haters around the globe.”

And this, also from How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them:

“The leftist bullies have taken over the major institutions of the United States. The university system has been monopolized by a group of folks who believe that it’s no longer worthwhile debating the evidence on tax rates, or whether the Laffer curve is right, or whether Keynesian policies actually promote economic growth. They don’t want to debate those issues. What they want to teach instead is that is you are personally ignorant, bigoted, corrupt, and mean if you disagree with them. Their opinions are not opinions; they are fact. This is the hallmark of being stuck inside a bubble. The people who occupy the professoriate have not had to work a real job – a job with real-world consequences — in over 30 years. They’ve lived on a campus where everyone agrees with them, convincing them that their beliefs are universally-held. Anyone who disagrees is a “flat earther.” Anyone who disagrees is a monster. You are a monster.”

In 2014, Shapiro ruffled feathers when he published this video titled, “The Myth of the Tiny Radical Muslim Minority is Just That.”

And then, in 2015, Shapiro got in heated debate with transgender journalist Zoey Tur, after which Shapiro filed a police report.

So that’s Ben Shapiro. Berkeley’s message to students and faculty reads: “No one should be made to feel threatened or harassed simply because of who they are or for what they believe.”

As Ben Shapiro says, “Facts don’t care about your feelings.”

Antifa Supply Stores Being Launched: Truth IS Stranger Than Fiction: New Items Daily

Gretchen Mullen, Skeptic Review

It’s Going Down is a digital community center from anarchist, anti-fascist, autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements. The mission is to provide a resilient platform to publicize and promote revolutionary theory and action.

It’s Going Down maintains an online store which gives a glimpse into the Antifa/Anarchist mindset.

It also links to a new online store called Limitless, launched on July 31, 2017.

Here are a few sample items:

Clothing items: The catalog notes that black sunglasses pair well with black hat.

Buttons:

Stickers:

Zines: Catalog describes item as zines on topics related to “insurrectionary anarchy.”

And a few new items from Etsy:

Punch Nazis Antifa Hand Embroidery only $41.82
Everything’s Better When We’re Smashing Together 2 Patches
Antifa Punch Your Local Nazi Leggings only $57.00

AND JUST FROM HERE AND THERE AROUND THE WEB…

Antifa United Card Knife for sale at online ammo store
Stylish face shield

Today’s new items (9.2.17)

Anti Imperialist Solidarity – East German Antifa Clutch $54.16
Anti Imperialist Solidarity – East German Antifa Throw Pillow only $20.84
Antifa Messenger Bag, Black, Medium only $125

Today’s new items (9.3.2017):

Blues Lives Splatter Stickers
F the Police Brass Knuckles Shirt $35
Antifascist Sticker for sale

Today’s new Antifa items (9.4.2017)

Love Antifa Hate Cops sticker
Police Not Welcome sticker
Gas Mask Sticker

New Masks For Sale, various outlets,  9.8.17