Berkeley students defend violent protests over Milo Yiannopoulos talk

Prepare to be disheartened, at least if you’re in favor of peaceful protests against speakers you don’t like. As you may recall, last week Milo Yiannopoulos spoke—or rather, was scheduled to speak—at the University of California at Berkeley.  The University and the sponsoring organization (the Berkeley College Republicans) provided ample police protection, but a number of demonstrators showed up, and things got out of hand. Milo wasn’t permitted to appear (for his own safety) and some of the demonstrators went on the rampage, burning cars, smashing windows, hitting people, and destroying ATMs. The violence was not of course the fault of the University, which not only had provided lots of security, but whose Chancellor had spoken out in favor of Milo’s right to appear and warned protestors against violence.  Nevertheless, there were also peaceful protestors who dispersed when the destruction began.

All this did was call attention to Milo. If people want his influence to diminish, the worst way to do it is to riot and “shut him down” when he appears, for that just gives him a more prominent profile and makes people more eager to hear him. If the protestors simply ignored him, or at least didn’t try to interrupt him and damage property, he wouldn’t have the fame (or infamy) he does. The Authoritarian Left simply doesn’t know how to deal with someone like him, and their tactics are not only disruptive and illegal, but counterproductive.

That was amply demonstrated in Tuesday’s issue of the Daily Californian, the Berkeley student newspaper, in which several alumni and students wrote long justifications for the violence. Here we see the defining characteristic of the Authoritarian Left on full display: free speech is only for people who espouse the right views. “Hate speech”, meaning “speech that offends you” cannot be seen as free speech that deserves protection. Indeed, it deserves to be met with violence.

Take, for instance, the appealingly titled op-ed “Check your privilege when speaking of protests” by Nisa Dang, a Berkeley alumnus (she’s black, which I mention because of the “privilege” issue).  Here’s her proud tweet over a very misguided article (all emphases in the op-eds are mine):

Get that: “Trying to force nonviolence”!

Dang’s claim, which we see in the other editorials, is that Yiannopoulos himself perpetrates violence through “hate speech”, which included outing a transgender student in Wisconsin (something I deplored) and his “consistent abuse of individuals”. That, to Dang, justifies the use of violence:

From the outset, marginalized student communities have been extremely vocal about the violent impact of Yiannopoulos’ appearances and his consistent abuse of platforms. He was banned from Twitter for “participating in or inciting targeted abuse of individuals.” He outed a trans woman during an appearance at UW Milwaukee, an act that placed this individual’s life in danger. And he had plans to name undocumented students in our community as part of his appearance at UC Berkeley, an act that, in the time of Donald Trump, places our classmates at an even greater risk of being attacked. This is violence. If I know that you are planning to attack me, I’ll do all I can to throw the first punch.

Plus, she says, the presence of police also perpetuates violence. Apparently, the people who actually did the violence bear no responsibility for it:

I don’t care what Breitbart article or liberal bullshit listicle you’ve read, or what your experiences in white suburbia might have taught you — police are violent agents of the state. They carry weapons, enforce laws that place our communities in danger and use excessive force in order to subdue and “protect.” Often, the people protesting are the same people who are at most risk for being violated by the police. Thus, the presence of police officers in riot gear — armed with less-than-lethal weapons they are more than happy to use on protesters — creates an atmosphere that perpetuates violence on community members.

And here’s the telling bit: hate speech can’t be free speech, and of course Ms. Dang is the Decider of Hate Speech.

To Milo: I’m sorry that you were too scared to stand your ground during a routine Berkeley protest. Hopefully, you’ll think twice now about recruiting at my alma mater, where hate speech may be allowed a platform by the administration but will never be tolerated by the student body. Here’s a big fuck you from the descendants of people who survived genocides by killing Nazis and people just like them.

As far as I know, Milo never hurt anybody, and hasn’t called for any genocides.

*********

Here’s another op-ed on Milo, this time by Neil Lawrence, a former columnist for the newspaper. Called “Black bloc did what campus should have.”  (“Black bloc” is anarchist group supposedly behind the protests.) According to Lawrence, he was censored when he criticized Milo (what probably happened is that people simply gave him verbal pushback), and since he and others failed to get Berkeley to rescind Milo’s invitation, the violence was justified:

To those who defend free speech: I spent a semester in this very newspaper yelling about Grindr hookups and advocating rioting. My constitutional right to be outrageous and offensive in the press is very precious to me. But when I exercised my freedom of speech and called Yiannopoulos a pathetic motherfucker with ugly roots, many liberals told me I should be quiet and ignore him, and all his fans told me they were going to kill me. I expect this will happen again.

If Lawrence received credible death threats, he should have reported them to the police. Oh, I forgot, the police are instruments of violence. Anyway, given that Lawrence didn’t succeed in shutting Milo down, this whiny brat said that violence was the only recourse they had:

To those who hate Yiannopoulos and the alt-right but have a hard time condoning black bloc tactics and property damage, I understand that these tactics are extreme. But when you consider everything that activists already tried — when mass call-ins, faculty and student objections, letter-writing campaigns, numerous op-eds (including mine), union grievances and peaceful demonstrations don’t work, when the nonviolent tactics have been exhausted — what is left?

Of all the objections and cancellation requests presented to the administration, local government and local police, the only one that was listened to was the sound of shattering glass.

. . . Antifa was there to protect UC Berkeley students when the administration was not. Within 15 minutes of the bloc’s arrival on Sproul Plaza, Yiannopoulos was being rushed from the building. These were not acts of violence.

They were acts of self defense. 

And to Yiannopoulos and all your friends who invited you and hosted you and defended your “right” to speak: I recommend you learn your lesson.

Yeah, the lesson being: shut up or we’ll get violent. People like Lawrence have learned their lesson well from extremist Muslims.

*********

But wait! There’s still another editorial, this one by Desmond Meagley (“a reporter and illustrator for Youth Radio”), called “Condemning protestors same as condoning hate speech.” Really?? Well, he doesn’t mean condemning all the protestors, which I don’t do, for I condemn only the violent ones. But Meagley means “condemning the violent protestors”, which he sees as equivalent to condoning hate speech. And even if speech really is hateful, like calling for individuals to be oppressed or for ethnic groups to be marginalized, free speech means that it must be “condoned” in the sense of “allowing it to occur.” That doesn’t mean “agreeing with it”, something that Meagley apparently doesn’t realize.

Meagley’s aim was the same as Lawrences: to shut Milo up. And violence was the only way to do it: a simultaneous denigration of free speech and a call for its suppression by destruction of bodies and property:

There was no easy way to shut down the event and keep Yiannopoulos and his fans from inciting violence. The UC administration and Berkeley College Republicans made that clear by refusing to hear the concerns of their community — not just at Cal, but throughout the Bay Area.

. . . The black bloc is not an organization with an agenda. It’s a strategic approach to protest that, in the case of the entire “Dangerous Faggot” tour, was highly effective. The violence that forms the foundation of Yiannopoulos’ ideology is far worse than any tactic the black bloc uses. You don’t have to like property damage, but understand that without it, Yiannopoulos would have released private and sensitive information about innocent students and encouraged assault against them.

. . . If you condemn the actions that shut down Yiannopoulos’ literal hate speech, you condone his presence, his actions and his ideas; you care more about broken windows than broken bodies.

Let us be clear. Milo Yiannopoulos did not encourage violence towards students. Releasing public information about students that isn’t intended to incite such violence is not against the law. And condemning violence is not condoning Milo’s views; it’s condoning his right to speak.

The recurring theme throughout all these letters, which I abhor, is that “hate speech” (defined as “speech you don’t like”) is identical to hurting someone physically, or damaging their property, and therefore it’s okay to preempt that speech by using violence.

The problem, as always, is that one person’s hate speech is another person’s justifiable criticism (viz., criticism of some of the tenets of Islam), and who is to be the arbiter of what speech is okay? Free speech doesn’t need defense when the speaker says something everyone likes; when we must defend it is at the very moment it causes offense. I’d be curious to know whether people like Meagley and Lawrence think the murders of the Charlo Hebdo writers and artists were justified to forestall future “hate speech” against Islam. For it’s certain that many Muslims are even more angry about Charlie Hebdo than Meagley and Lawrence are about Milo.

*******

Finally, we have Josh Hardman, a Berkeley student, saying again that violence was necessary to shut up Milo; his op-ed is “Plurality of tactics contributed to cancellation of Milo Yainnopoulos event.” Hardman echoes the others in saying that hate speech isn’t free speech:

Yiannopoulos and his supporters have a track record of actively targeting people in their hate speech, and the ideology they peddle perpetuates ideas that urgently endanger members of our community. In short: The principle of freedom of speech should not be extended to envelop freedom of hate speech, for the unchecked normalization of hate speech will have real consequences. Dirks [the Chancellor of Berkeley] acknowledged the virulent nature of the language and ideas the speaker espoused and the ability for this to incite harm, but ultimately failed to take action.

. . . The key question now remains: Was the “violence” Wednesday night justified? I am of the opinion that it was the plurality of tactics employed Wednesday evening that contributed to the success of the cancellation of the talk. I merely wish to offer some thoughts in hope of reframing the dominant narrative. I urge you to consider whether damaging the windows of places like banks and the Amazon student store constitutes “violence” — and, if so, what weight this “violence” carries in the context of the symbolic, structural and actual violence that is proposed, condoned and actioned by the likes of Milo Yiannopoulos and his supporters.

These people have no fricking idea what violence really is. Hurting people’s feelings is not the same as hurting people’s bodies, or damaging their property. If you think it is, then tell me how much offense to one’s feelings constitutes “violence”. That’s a judgment call, and nobody has the right to make that judgement. In contrast, laying hands on someone is illegal no matter whether you push them or kill them (the penalties of course will differ). And property damage is property damage, and illegal.

What’s telling about Hardman’s piece is that he cites Martin Luther King, Jr. as a justification for this violence, despite the fact that King always called for nonviolent protest. He realized, unlike these benighted juveniles, that you effect moral change more readily by protesting peacefully, even if you have to break the law to do so.

It is patronising and privileged for UC Berkeley students to claim ownership over UC Berkeley and its affairs. We have no right to exclude others from this process. Poignantly — given that the locus of the resistance was the Martin Luther King Jr. building — King himself was a critic of this smear, arguing that we cannot “afford to live with the narrow, provincial ‘outside agitator’ idea,” adding that “anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.” King’s comments attest to the longevity of the term and also highlights the need for our movements to be inclusive of a plurality of experiences and tactics.

Translation: Because Martin Luther King considered all US citizens responsible for ending segregation, then all people offended by Milo have a right to riot (i.e., practice the euphemistic “plurality of tactics”).

If Hardman wants some real education beyond his kneejerk and ill-considered views, perhaps he should remember that Martin Luther King’s activist organization is called “The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change,” and should read the King Center’s “Six Principles of Nonviolence” as well as its “Six Steps of Nonviolent Social Change.”

183 Comments

  1. Shaokang Yuan
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Maybe our species really is evolving toward smaller brain size? How have these people not won Darwin awards yet? Every day, they grow closer and closer to becoming just like the Charlie Hebdo terrorists… Be careful out there, PCC! Today, they’ll call you racist; tomorrow, they’ll be a lynch mob! (Okay, maybe a bit exaggerated on that last bit…)

    This reminds me of when Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar talked about how once he went to a university to give a talk. Afterward, a female student yelled at him: “You emotionally raped me! That’s as bad as physical rape!” As Bill Maher once said about the Emory students whom sought counseling after seeing “Trump 2016” chalk outside, “I’d like to drop-kick these kids into some place where there’s actual [crises] going on!” We should just drop them off into Syria! After all, it can’t be worse than listening to a guest speaker speak facts!

    Looks like 8 years of Trump for sure… Maybe 12-20 years of GOP rule if they’re really unable to use their brains…

    By the way, PCC, in the last section, “agaom?”

    • veroxitatis
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Education is wasted on people such as Ms.Dang.

      • chris moffatt
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        Ms Dang isn’t educated. She’s unfortunately been exposed to several years of gender studies, womens’ studies, racial studies and general pomo incoherence and illogicality. An intervention is required.

        • TJR
          Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

          Postmodernists Anonymous.

          • eric
            Posted February 9, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

            My name is Bob, and I have been deconstruction free for 5 days.

  2. Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Plus, she says, the presence of police also perpetuates violence.

    I thought the protestors were urging the police to commit violence against the ‘Nazis’

    But wait! There’s still another editorial, this one by Desmond Meagley (“a reporter and illustrator for Youth Radio”)

    I often wonder what kind of non-jobs these people will ultimately be qualified for but I never imagined an illustrator for radio!

  3. Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    sub

  4. J. Quinton
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    I really dislike needlessly inflammatory language like this:

    “I don’t care what Breitbart article or liberal bullshit listicle you’ve read, or what your experiences in white suburbia might have taught you…”

    The assumption being that the only people who disagree with the writer are white suburban folk who are completely clueless.

    Guess what lady: I’m a black male who grew up in Harlem during the 80s to a single mother. I’m one of the winners of the oppression olympics, and I *still* disagree with you.

    The only real clueless people are those who think that violence is a proper responses to hate speech. Where I grew up, do you know what happened to people who responded with violence to “hate” speech (e.g., speech they that felt insulted them)? They wound up dead, or in jail, or much worse off for wear.

    The real privilege is thinking that dishing out violence won’t invite escalating violence in turn. Because the only thing that resorting to violence does is legitimize it in the eyes of your enemy. And they’ll ensure that the retaliation is bigger and better.

    • Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      “The real privilege is thinking that dishing out violence won’t invite escalating violence in turn.”

      Yes. And we won’t have to wait long, will we?

      • TJR
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        A very nice line, one I hope we will all remember and repeat as appropriate.

    • eric
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      This is particularly true of the police. They tear gassed the students at Berkeley not even a year ago, for a 400-person protest. I am frankly amazed (pleasantly) that they didn’t get more violent on the students this time, because this protest sounds like it was a lot bigger and more out of control than some of the other ones they’ve had in the last few years.

      • mordacious1
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        The rumor (including comments by the police that were there) is that the police were ordered to stand down. I hope Milo got back the $10 grand back that he payed for extra police security, because he didn’t get what he paid for. I also think that any property damage should be paid for by the city. If I’m a business owner, pay taxes for policing and the police refuse or are ordered to not do their jobs, then I should be reimbursed.

        • somer
          Posted February 11, 2017 at 4:07 am | Permalink

          +1

  5. Rasmo carenna
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    “Police are violent agents of the state. They carry weapons, enforce laws that place our communities in danger and use excessive force in order to subdue and “protect.” Often, the people protesting are the same people who are at most risk for being violated by the police.”
    Is this not a case of “hate speech” against police? We can all play this silly (but dangerous) game.

    • Doug
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      It’s not hate speech if it’s punching up.

      Hey, I’m learning how to play this game!

  6. Sastra
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    I’m trying to think of a situation where the arguments of these Berkely students would sway me – because the specific incident involving Yiannopoulis giving a talk which may or may not “out” individuals who may or may not then be subject to violence by fans who may or may not follow through doesn’t cut it. The best I can come up with is the go-to Hitler or Stalin analogy, where the agenda of a powerful leader has already lead to death camps and the clear and present likelihood of people being dragged away in the night. After Kristallnicht, violently shutting down the speeches of the Brown Shirts by rioting makes sense.

    This is not like that. If people are claiming instead that it’s going to get like that, real soon now, then what they’re really doing I think is advocating First Strike. We drop the Bomb on them in order to stop them from dropping it on us.

    I’m not a big fan of First Strike.

    • Posted February 9, 2017 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      Yes — exactly.

      Drumpf will undoubtedly do all sorts of horrific things, including misuse the American military far worse than the past couple administrations have. The First Amendment is under direct assault. Access to medical care, especially including reproductive health services, will assuredly suffer dramatically. And there’ll likely be a short-term economic bubble followed by a “YUGE” recession, maybe even warranting the “D” word instead.

      But even Guantanamo with waterboarding “and worse” is not going to be Auschwitz, and there won’t be a Texas Treblinka.

      And even if you did think that that’s where we’re headed, the answer most emphatically isn’t the terrorism of street thuggery.

      Terrorists like Ms. Dang are part of the problem. They are immoral and morally indefensible and reprehensible. They are also being counterproductive both tactically and strategically. Drumpf’s hold on power will not be weakened by suckerpunching his supporters — quite the contrary.

      So long as she restricts herself to speech, we must, of course, respond with speech — but she’s also engaging in incitement to violence and stating violent inclinations on her own part. That’s far more than enough to warrant police investigation and potential continued surveillance.

      Cheers,

      b&

      • mordacious1
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        Just to be clear Ben, are you stating (or implying) that the First Amendment is under assault by the Orange Beast? Or by the Regressive Left?

      • FiveGreenLeafs
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        “They are also being counterproductive both tactically and strategically. Drumpf’s hold on power will not be weakened by suckerpunching his supporters — quite the contrary.”

        Indeed. I think there are many reasons to suspect that that is the case, but I ran past a fresh paper in my information flow today, that address this explicitly. (The paper is on SSNR, and is free)

        Extreme Protest Tactics Reduce Popular Support for Social Movements

        Abstract:

        Social movements are critical agents of change that vary greatly in both tactics and popular support.

        Prior work shows that extreme protest tactics – actions that are highly counter-normative, disruptive, or harmful to others, including inflammatory rhetoric, blocking traffic, and damaging property – are effective for gaining publicity.

        However, we find across three experiments that extreme protest tactics decreased popular support for a given cause because they reduced feelings of identification with the movement.

        Though this effect obtained in tests of popular responses to extreme tactics used by animal rights, Black Lives Matter, and anti-Trump protests (Studies 1-3), we found that self-identified political activists were willing to use extreme tactics because they believed them to be effective for recruiting popular support (Studies 4a & 4b).

        The activist’s dilemma – wherein tactics that raise awareness also tend to reduce popular support – highlights a key challenge faced by social movements struggling to affect progressive change.

    • eric
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      I’m not a big fan of First Strike.

      I think one of the classic indications that escalation is going to be a problem is when both sides think they are merely responding; neither thinks they struck first.

      That seems to be the case here. However wrong we think they are, the far lefties at Berkeley have taken the story about the trans girl and interpreted it as a ‘first strike’ on them.

      • BJ
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        But even long before that story, there were countless protests, many of them violent, against Milo on campuses across the US whenever he came to speak. This is just the newest story to which they’ve latched themselves, in order to continue justifying their BS claim that “speech (that they don’t like/disagrees with them) is violence.”

  7. jaxkayaker
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Berkeley needs to institute some quality control in their admissions and in their courses if this is typical of their students.

    • Kevin
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Berkeley is not the starting point. My kids are in elementary school and it starts there and just gets worse.

      Nothing prejudicial can come out of the mouths of anyone. Nothing bad can be said about others. Nobody is willing to talk about hard problems and no one’s feelings, under any circumstance, can get hurt.

      George Carlin we need you back. America is one soft pillow and the left are mostly to blame.

      • FiveGreenLeafs
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        One small ray of hope from Australia, which, if this tw**t turns out to be correct, may have taken the first small step, on the road back…

        Gender theory banned in NSW classrooms

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted February 9, 2017 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

          NSW maybe, Australia? No.

          Victoria is not like that at the moment.

          In law and in education feminist ‘creep’ is quite significant.

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted February 9, 2017 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

          Although your comment is still correct, in that it is a small ray of hope.

          • FiveGreenLeafs
            Posted February 10, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

            All journeys must start with a first step, somewhere 🙂

            It might also be quite rapidly reversed (I don’t know about the specific situation in NSW), but we don’t have that many positive news to rejoice about, so it might symbolically be more significant if nothing else.

            • Michael Waterhouse
              Posted February 10, 2017 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

              Yes, agreed that was why I added my addendum after realising I rained a bit much on at least a little ray of hope.

    • eric
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Keep in mind the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Including the grad students and the law school, it’s a 37,000 student community, practically none of which are commuters (meaning they all live right there). Out of those 37,000 students, maybe a few hundred or a few thousand at most showed up to protest. A few tens got violent.

      That violence is not acceptable, but IMO it also doesn’t mean all Berkeley students are equally idiotic.

    • BJ
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      All of these schools need to change. Can you imagine if right-wing students protested leftist speakers like this on college campuses? All of them would be expelled, and many of them charged with criminal offenses. But these campuses let the left get away with this over and over because (1) they’re supported by most of their professors; (2) these students are constantly talking about how “oppressed” and “traumatized” they are; and (3) they’re probably afraid of them.

  8. Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    It is patronising and privileged for UC Berkeley students to claim ownership over UC Berkeley and its affairs.

    Trump’s threat to punish Berkeley in response suggests he agrees with them.

  9. dd
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    As Ayaan Hirsi Ali notes in her book, “Infidel”, “hate speech” is the secular term for “blasphemy”.

    The anger of these students is not justs. political or economic, but religiou

  10. Malgorzata
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    sub

  11. Historian
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    The Nation magazine has published an article by Robert Cohen, who wrote a biography of Mario Savio, the person who led the free speech movement in the 1960s at UC Berkley. This article was written in response to the events on that campus. Cohen notes:

    ———-

    “ Mario Savio supported the right of speakers from all political perspectives to speak on campus. He helped lead the Free Speech Movement in 1964 to secure that right and endured suspension from school and months in jail for the acts of civil disobedience (the mass sit-ins) he led at Cal to win those rights. Rather than ban speakers he disagreed with, Savio debated them, whether they were deans, faculty, the student-body president, or whoever. And this was the spirit not only of Savio but of the FSM, which had an almost Gandhian faith that through open discourse anyone had the potential to be won over to the movement’s free-speech cause, whose justness seemed to them self-evident.”

    “Savio supported freedom of speech not merely on instrumental grounds but as an end in itself, since speech acts were in his eyes the essence of what it meant to be human, and were the key to enlightenment and freedom. “

    ————

    According to Cohen, while Savio would certainly supported Milo’s right to speak, he believed that free speech should be used responsibly. I take this an ideal, which is often abused, but that is the price to be paid if freedom of speech is to flourish. The pro-violence protestors lack a sense of history, do not understand the tactics that could be used to accomplish their goals, and will only inspire the right-wing, which is so much larger in numbers and resources, to someday crush them with the impunity of a person stepping on a bug.

    https://www.thenation.com/article/what-might-mario-savio-have-said-about-the-milo-protest-at-berkeley/

    • mordacious1
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      “… he believed that free speech should be used responsibly”.

      And who would be the arbiter of what is and what is not responsible free speech? And what does that even mean? I can certainly tell you that MY speech is always reasonable, but I question yours.

      • eric
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think we need get our gander up about that statement. Given the rest of Savio’s extremely pro-free-speech position, I think the reasonable interpretation here is that he was making a normative statement rather than a legal suggestion.

        • mordacious1
          Posted February 9, 2017 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

          Geese, no. Temper, maybe.

  12. Ken Phelps
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Exactly how stupid do you have to be to get into university without understanding that, no matter what you believe, at least half the planet wouldn’t mind at all if someone killed you for it. Berkeley, clearly a “participation trophy” school.

    • mordacious1
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      “Berkeley, clearly a ‘participation trophy’ school”.

      I’d like to take a poll of what majors students have that were participating. I know that when I was at university, I didn’t have 5 minutes of free time to protest. I suspect there were few hard science students in the group.

    • Posted February 9, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Unless things have changed radically from when the California State Colleges’ Chancellor’s Office did a transcript study from all California high schools in the state back in the 60s that determined the percentages of high school students (based on their grades) that would be admitted to Berkeley and all other California state colleges, that’s still the primary determining factor. Yes, I know, that most colleges look at additional factor such as race, sports, clubs, school government, community involvement,etc. High grades are as good as the quality of education received by the students before college, and how rigorously teachers grade.

      There are still people who have great respect for California State universities and colleges and the students that go there.

      • Craw
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        A blind eye helps.

  13. eric
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Dang’s claim, which we see in the other editorials, is that Yiannopoulos himself perpetrates violence through “hate speech”,

    Well then, I have a solution that may be acceptable to both groups. If hate speech is violence and you think you are justified in responding to it with other violence, then hate speech right back at him.

    You’ll have met violence with violence as defined by you – which is what the authoritarian left deems the correct response. And you’ll have used speech to do it – which is what more mainstream liberals deems the correct response.

    • Cindy
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Which is evidence that they goddamn well *know* that words are not literally violence.

      • Pali
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        I suspect they would instead say that their words don’t count as violence, because they aren’t backed by the state/patriarchy/corporations/etc. As is usually the case with these extremists, there’s a bit of truth in this, but they treat it as the whole picture.

    • BJ
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      And their truly stupid explanation still doesn’t account for all the assaults at this and other similar protests upon the people merely trying to attend the event.

  14. eric
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    But when you consider everything that activists already tried — when mass call-ins, faculty and student objections, letter-writing campaigns, numerous op-eds (including mine), union grievances and peaceful demonstrations don’t work, when the nonviolent tactics have been exhausted — what is left?

    Um, not going to hear him speak? Encouraging your friends not to go hear him speak? A speaker has no effect on an empty room; the chairs and tables can’t be convinced of his position, no matter how charismatic a speaker he may be.

    [A different op-ed]

    You don’t have to like property damage, but understand that without it, Yiannopoulos would have released private and sensitive information about innocent students and encouraged assault against them.

    This is probably the only argument the protestors make that I would find to be a credible reason to consider prior restraint. However, AFAIK Milo has done this exactly once and wasn’t sued for it. To justify prior restraint, it’s probably going to require something more like this:
    1. He does it. Somebody sues him for it…and wins (‘on what grounds’ is a good question).
    2. He then advertises he’s going to do it again.
    3. Potential victim takes him to court before the next appearance, arguing that his past documented illegal behavior combined with the advertisement is a credible reason to believe he’s going to act illegally again.

    Barring a successful suit against his past action – i.e., unless the Courts agree that he did something warranting a civil penalty in the past – I don’t think there’s a good legal reason to justify stopping his talks.

    And it should go without saying that destroying some third party’s property is never a justified method of stopping a speaker like this.

    A third op-ed:

    I am of the opinion that it was the plurality of tactics employed Wednesday evening that contributed to the success of the cancellation of the talk.

    I was at Berkeley in the ’90s when a holocaust-denier’s talk was cancelled. The protests that lead to his cancellation included a candlelight vigil and a 60’s style sit-in in front of the building, blocking the entrance but not in any way violent.

    So no. Violence was not necessary to get the talk cancelled. I know this to be true as an historical fact.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      If Milo was planning to release the details of students, that is unacceptable and some move should be made to stop him from doing that. It goes without saying that those moves should not be violent!

      I’m pleased to see that Nisa Dang was writing in opposition to liberals – the far right confuse the terms left and liberal all the time (as do many on the left) to the detriment of liberals. It is oxymoronic to consider the authoritarian left liberals.

      • BJ
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        Of course, this “releasing of information” excuse is just smoke and mirrors, as it doesn’t explain all the similar protests against him that took place well before he pulled that stunt.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted February 9, 2017 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

          Yes. Whatever is happening, there’s no excuse for the violence.

    • Taz
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      However, AFAIK Milo has done this exactly once and wasn’t sued for it.

      I’m not sure it’s accurate to say he’s done it even once. As I recall the story, he didn’t release “private and sensitive information” nor “encourage assault”.

      • Craw
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        Correct. The student had publicized the case and the details. There was nothing Milo mentioned but information the student had made public and there was no incitement.

      • BJ
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. The student was an activist, had given TV interviews, and was a well-known personality on campus. I’m not defending what Milo did, but let’s not lie about it.

    • Posted February 9, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      When I was a student I didn’t go to listen to anyone speak.

      It’s really not that hard to avoid listening to someone who has nothing interesting to say.

      Between my studies, my social life, and my hobbies, I found plenty to occupy my time without worrying what other people were listening to.

  15. nicky
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I do agree with our host here, but (the dreaded but) I do think there really is something like hate speech: ‘Radio Mille Collines’ for example or Joseph Goebbels. I think when there is talk about exterminating, final solutions, cleansing, subhumans or ‘vermin’ (which implies extermination) we are in the realm of calling for violence. (Note, I do not think Milo is in that category).
    It is a bit like ‘racism’, it really does exist, but is abused a lot by the regressive left, to the point of becoming a virtually meaningless epithet.

    • Posted February 9, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Hate speech is not new. Trying to shut it down is not new. However, for example, in the case of Rush Limbaugh, people were able to pressure a number of radio stations he was on
      to terminate his contract by threatening a boycott. Same with the advertisers. No hate speech if no air time. When the event is one to go to physically, not going and getting your friends not to go is similar. An unattended event is shaming and laughable.

      I agree with those who feel that physical violence and property destruction is never called for. Anger does no good when misdirected at people and properties not associated with the issue. Deal effectively and sanely with the primary issue(s).

  16. A Shearin
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Not comparing Islamic terrorism to these violent protests, yet this quote from Osama bin Laden from his BBC interview rings eerily similar:

    “Terrorism against America deserves to be praised because it was a response to injustice…”

    Hate speech is far too arbitrarily defined to be given credence by the law, and prof Coyne is completely right–hate speech is not equivalent to violence. There’s no virtue in having thin skin.

    • eric
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      OBL wasn’t talking about anti-Islamic speech. That wasn’t really even a thing at the time. His first fatwa cites the west’s ‘attack’ as being economic sanctions that crippled Islamic countries and so indirectly caused the deaths of innocent Muslims (through poverty, starvation, etc. brought on by lack of “fair” access to cheap western goods).

      I’d actually put his complaint as one step more reasonable than these postmodernists, because “human deaths from economic sanctions” is at least a physical harm. He wasn’t claiming harsh language = violence. Now to be clear, I think he was a murderous fanatic with no justifiable reason for his murders. He likely blamed US economic policy for events that had nothing to do with it. And in any event trade sanctions don’t justify violent attack. However, he was (IMO) ironically on stronger moral footing than these idiots who claim conservative arguments are a reason to punch people and vandalize shops.

  17. KD33
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Dang is clearly beyond hope. But is there any truth to her claims:
    ” He outed a trans woman during an appearance at UW Milwaukee, an act that placed this individual’s life in danger. And he had plans to name undocumented students in our community.”

    If he were planning to do this during a speech that would change the equation a bit for me as this goes beyond Milo espousing his opinions. Has he done this before?

    • mikeyc
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Dang’s statement is false on it’s face.

      I usually ignore this nonsense but I looked into this one (don’t know why. The transwoman at UW Milwaukee was not outed by Milo. She outed herself; she appeared in campus publications prior to Milo’s visit talking about her experiences as a transwoman. Milo was an ass and was being deliberately provocative for making fun of her, but he did not out her.

      Since she lied about the outing, I suspect Dang is just making that up about his plans to name undocumented students.

    • Cindy
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      What mikeyc said. The trans woman in question also appeared on TV, not as a trans woman, but looking like a typical male, and talked about how it was discrimination to keep her out of female only showers and locker rooms, since gender identity apparently determines biological sex.

      • Posted February 9, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        Yes, many people are indignant that Milo identified her during his speech, and very few are indignant that she forced herself, penis and all, into the room full of undressed cis-females.

        • somer
          Posted February 11, 2017 at 4:09 am | Permalink

          +1

  18. Tomáš Janáček
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Why is murder of a child punished more harshly then murder of an adult, when the latter causes more damage to society? Because in the first case more emotional harm is done.

    • Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      “Why is murder of a child punished more harshly then murder of an adult…”

      Is this true?

      • Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        Not in the USA, as far as I know.

        • Tomáš Janáček
          Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          In Texas and Florida it is.

          • Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

            You’re right!

            I looked into Texas’ sentencing guidelines. They don’t have a 1st degree murder charge; they call it “Capital murder”. One of the criteria to raise a murder charge to “Capital murder”, in addition to killing a police officer, committing a murder during a felony or murder for hire is; “The defendant murders a child younger than six years of age”.

    • Cindy
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Stephen Pinker wrote an interesting article on infanticide and attitudes towards it:

      http://www.gargaro.com/pinker.html

      • nicky
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        Interesting indeed.
        Who said Galton invented eugenics? Of course we knew that already, the Spartans officially imposed ‘eugenic’ infanticide.
        And the article also implies that abortion may help reduce infanticide.

  19. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    “These were not acts of violence.

    They were acts of self defense.”

    Yeah, well, you can call chickenshit “chicken salad,” but that don’t make it taste good or kill the smell.

    There’s a bright line between speech and conduct, and another between violence on non-. You fail to respect those bright lines, you engender chaos and undermine democratic values.

    • eric
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      They were acts of self-defense

      Pretty soon these folks will be Standing Their Ground-ing people to death. Then the political circle will be complete, and right will have met left around the back.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        Yep, sometimes you can look back and forth, and back again, from pig to farmer, and not be able to tell which is which.

  20. Brian Salkas
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    It’s word-games to justify violence. All we have to do is tell students that any intimation of an insault or offensive view is a “microaggression” or otherwise tantamount to violence in order to justify our own violence. So I do blame the college for playing along with the stupid word games and allowing the students to feel like they were justified here. After all, they were just using “macro-aggressions” in retaliation against “microaggressions”.

    • BJ
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      I blame them too. How many professors at these schools have taught their students that speech disagreeing with social justice is “violence”? How many have been teaching them about “microaggressions”? Hell, tons of schools now have incoming student orientations teaching them about microagressions, hate speech, and the shame of many of the students’ privileges.

      And it’s not just college. It has seeped into high and even middle and elementary schools in many places.

  21. Cindy
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    It is sad to think that free speech is now considered by some to be a value of the Far Right.

    • Craw
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      It’s been trending that way for 30 years. I saw an old interview with Gore Vidal. I think he was talking about Buckley, whom he loathed. But at some suggestion he just brushed it aside — everyone has free speech of course. That view was common on the left once, less so now. Horrible.

      • Cindy
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        Let’s say these illiberal leftists get their way and free speech is illegal. The First Amendment is overturned. The USA turns into a one party state – ruled by regressive leftists.

        What makes them think that this will turn out in their favour? Without any competition, with any and all criticism of the government made effectively illegal, how could this possibly turn out well? When government sees that competition has been effectively silenced, they can do whatever they want. And i suspect that such a ‘utopia’ would not be a utopia for very long.

        • eric
          Posted February 9, 2017 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

          And i suspect that such a ‘utopia’ would not be a utopia for very long.

          Oh they’re in a much worse situation than that. They’re calling for “bad” speech to be considered legal assault just when Trump is in office, the Senate is conservative, the House is conservative, and the SCOTUS is going to get a solid conservative majority. They’ll never get their utopia, not for a single minute. The moment they are successful, it’ll be their speech under the gun.

          Forget about the ideological short-sighted-ness of being authoritarian in the first place; these folks don’t even have the ounce of political self-preservation instinct right-wing authoritarians have. Even would-be authoritarians should have the two neurons it takes to realize that now is not the time for the left to be handing expansive speech controls to the government.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      The Far Right has always been horrible on free-expression.

      It was the far right that drove the imprisonment of immigrants for printing Yiddish anti-conscription pamphlets during World War One, that drove the “Palmer Raid” seizures of “subversive” literature, that drove the blue-nose anti-obscenity laws, that drove the Red Scare, that drove the US ban on Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Tropic of Cancer and Ulysses.

      I wouldn’t look to the far right for free-speech succor. It’s never shown any interest when anyone else’s ox was getting gored.

      If you enjoy reading and writing and watching whatever you damn well please, thank a leftist like Louis Brandeis.

      • Cindy
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        Please re-read my comment. You just managed to massively strawman it.

        Hint: I was criticising these idiots who think that free speech is a value of the far right IE, something horrible that needs to go.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted February 9, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

          I’m not straw-manning your argument; I’m criticizing the same view you are.

          The “you” in the last paragraph wasn’t directed at you personally; it was meant as second-person narrative address.

          Sorry for the confusion.

          • Cindy
            Posted February 9, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for explaining!

            I really was confused!

            Yeah, the idea that free speech = Nazi is just incomprehensible to me!

  22. Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    It really worries me that these kids have no empathy, cannot see it from any other than their own point of view!

    Seriously folks, turn it around and see how it fits!

    Would you think it’s morally and socially acceptable for people that disagree with you to physically assault you or prevent you from speaking.

    How short their memories are!

    (For all their posturing, they are likely historically illiterate.)

    • nicky
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      I think it has to do with peer pressure, why else would one ‘virtue-signal’? And we know that young adolescents are very ‘peer pressurable’.

    • FiveGreenLeafs
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      “It really worries me that these kids have no empathy, cannot see it from any other than their own point of view!”

      Identity politics is (to my mind) tribalism on steroids, and, when you have established the we and them, the expanding circle of empathy (a la Peter Singer), often breaks down.

      In many ways I think the regressive left has managed (in a crucial way) to reincarnate, the very evil they claim to fight against…

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

      Yeah but I heard that this Milo guy is a racist, homophobic bigot who wants to deport everyone.
      Reputable sources, I heard.

  23. merilee
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Very disheartening.

    Am I the only one who is tired of the whole “check your privilege” thing?

    • Denise
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Yes, but when I see it at least I know right away not to read further.

    • eric
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Its a good reminder. Kind of like checking your tires or the battery in your smocke alarm. Gotta make sure that stuff’s intact and functioning correctly. 🙂

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        Which ‘privilege’ would that be? *Everybody’s* fucking privileged in one way or another.

        Ms Dang is privileged economically (I’m sure) in comparison with many USAnian residents, she’s privileged enormously both economically, socially and legally over, e.g. black women in many African countries, she’s privileged over women in countries such as Iran who not only have clerical oppression to contend with but also the results of economic sanctions, I could go on forever.

        But to the people who use that phrase only one sort of privilege is relevant, and that’s the one they wish to invoke in their opponent at the time.

        cr

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted February 9, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

          This reminds me of a story a close family friend told me. He is Maori and we were visiting and staying at their place. He said that some French Canadians were telling him (he used to shuttle people to/from the airport) how oppressed they were in Canada (this makes me laugh pretty hard given that many of our PMs have been French Canadian) and finally (and this is a very soft spoken, gentle man) he said “Shut-up! I’m Maori! You don’t know what oppression is!”. 😀

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      OMG yes. I just stop listening when that word is used.

      HEY! BERKLEY KIDS – YOU’RE PRIVILEGED! MORE PRIVILEGE THAN EVEN THIS WHITE BITCH (in reference to the language they use when they see people like me). Guess what else? When you destroy property those people have a really financially difficult time replacing it. You wouldn’t know about that because your rich mommy and daddy always gave you things. You see, people who aren’t privileged don’t have rich mommies and daddies. We have to work for our things.

      I’m really at the end of my rope with these brats and their temper tantrums and I’m tired of being told I’m a “white bitch” and a “racist” when I’m really “white trash” and very open to other cultures. Good grief – how many of these kids went to university without enough food to eat. Universities are so worried their food is culturally insensitive but I think it’s a privilege to eat – I couldn’t when I was in school – my hair even started to fall out and I couldn’t get impacted wisdom teeth removed because I was poor. I didn’t grow up in white suburbia but in a rental house on a highway. I’m pretty sure these kids wouldn’t survive a day in house with only one bathroom!

      • Cindy
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        They are “Starbucks Marxists” Diane.

        Tim Hortons Communists

  24. David Coxill
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    When Emperor Hirohito made a state visit to Britain ,he was met by a silent protest and former POWS turned their backs to him .
    Perhaps that’s the way to do it.
    PS what does sub mean ?,i see it left as a reply.

    • mordacious1
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      It’s a large boat that goes under water, but can also be short for “subscribe”. In order to get some feeds, you have to leave a comment, most just post “sub”.

  25. DrBrydon
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    The reality is that they can only say these things and be violent because those they claim to hate are not violent. Once their targets start carrying brass knuckles and switchblades, well, we’ll see who has the courage of their convictions. In the meantime, let’s get the Paddy Wagons ready. Civil society does not allow private vengeance.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      It’s the same kids that threw temper tantrums but now they are adult sized.

  26. Posted February 9, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    “The Authoritarian Left simply doesn’t know how to deal with someone like him”

    The same was true of the authoritarian right when they were trying to deal with those who demonstrated for civil rights, women’s rights, and against the vietnam war. The tables turned when the right brought out the water cannons, and 4 died in OHIO. I suspect much of the support Milo has will shift when Trump loses control, calls out the national guard, Milo is recognized, as part of the establishment, and his opponents start being the target of state supported violence.

    • Posted February 9, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      The tide turned when the state turned on largely peaceful protests.

      Nobody is going to give a shit if Trump turns canons, water or otherwise, on rampaging thugs.

      • Posted February 9, 2017 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        “The tide turned when the state turned on largely peaceful protests.”

        The protests against Trump, and Yiannopoulos ARE largely peaceful. In fact as someone who lived through, and took part in some of the protests in the 60’s I would argue there were larger, and more unpeaceful elements than is the case now. In fact some protesters were going so far as engaging in firebombings, and the like as part of their repertoire.

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted February 9, 2017 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

          But the true horror of the Vietnam War was on TV for all to see and rebel against.
          That it took as much as it did was a surprise.
          Here in Australia was the same.

          Milo has not been filmed napalming naked children.

          • Posted February 10, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

            “Milo has not been filmed napalming naked children.”

            Yeah, and the slow painful death that results when Trump cancels your Obamacare doesn’t play as sympathetically on TV, but that doesn’t make it any less horrific.

            • BJ
              Posted February 10, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

              Is what Milo does killing people and, thus, “horrific”?

            • Michael Waterhouse
              Posted February 10, 2017 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

              Come on.

              A difference of opinion on healthcare provision is not the same as carpet bombing, napalming, deforestation, torture, massacre, starvation, loss of limbs, mine fields and so on.
              You have a strange notion both of what horrific means, and how cause works.

              It is that kind of mentality that justifies the ‘punching’ of those ‘types’, the horror is same after all(not). The ‘deaths’ the same? maybe?
              If a punch doesn’t work to stop the horror, then a stick, then a gun, then ??

              Really? Milo is as horrific as the Vietnam War.

              • Posted February 10, 2017 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

                “A difference of opinion on healthcare provision is not the same as carpet bombing, napalming, deforestation, torture, massacre, starvation, loss of limbs, mine fields and so on.”

                Perfect example how people can casually go about their day opposing a global redistribution of wealth while, for a start, 25,000 children suffer starving to death every day. There is little real difference between a causal difference of opinion on healthcare, and intentionally slowly torturing sick people to death.

              • BJ
                Posted February 11, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

                @ Mike Paps

                So, I assume you are, every single day, giving every cent and minute of time you can beyond what you need to live the most meager life possible (and, if so, how are you affording a computer, internet, and the time to use them?)? Otherwise, if you’re not actively doing everything to help these people you care so much for, you’re even worse than people who just have differences of opinions (according to your logic). You’re not just disagreeing on what you personally believe is the objectively true opinion, you’re actively ignoring what you could be doing for the sake of your own comfort. Using your logic, you’re practically Stalin posting on the internet.

              • Diane G.
                Posted February 11, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

                Why is it so hard for some to realize that without sufficient healthcare, people die? Die. Why does the majority of the western world understand this but not the US?

              • Diane G.
                Posted February 11, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

                Damn NYT, I always forget this new “feature.”

                Since I noticed the last time I forgot that no link came through on the email alert, here’s another attempt to provide just the url:

                http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/14/opinion/sunday/without-obamacare-i-will-get-sicker-faster-until-i-die.html

              • Diane G.
                Posted February 11, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

                @ BJ: Are you trolling? Can you not put yourself in the shoes of those who suffer and die because they can’t afford healthcare? (Or because insurance companies deny certain treatments, for that matter.)

              • BJ
                Posted February 11, 2017 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

                @Diane: I support a universal, single-payer system. Please don’t act as if my response to Mike’s absurd claim that if you disagree on how we should conduct our healthcare is the same as killing thousands of people with your own hands.

              • Diane G.
                Posted February 11, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

                @ BJ: And I don’t see how condemning people to death because they can’t afford health care is less reprehensible than the casualties of war. Surely we can oppose both.

              • Posted February 11, 2017 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

                “I don’t see how condemning people to death because they can’t afford health care is less reprehensible than the casualties of war. Surely we can oppose both.”

                At least we claim to do our best to try to limit collateral damage in the case of war. The same can’t be said of Trump’s plan to end Obamacare, in that sense it could be argued it’s more reprehensible.

              • BJ
                Posted February 12, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

                @Diane and Mike

                Because there are literally hundreds of things that you could be doing with your time and money that could save lives, but instead you’re using that to argue on the internet whether people who disagree with a single-payer system literally have blood on their hands. If they do, then every single one of us in the world do. We buy slave work-made products from China, as well as products made where the people aren’t paid at all or paid so little that they often starve to death. We could redistribute our own wealth and save a few lives, but we would rather live in comfort and give here and there.

                My point is that people disagreeing with you on matters that you feel are life and death, if they have a problem of blood on their hands because of their lack of agreement, so do you, Mike, and everyone else in this world.

                But, as humans, we prioritize. We prioritize the safety and welfare of those closest to us, while ignoring horrors far away. We prioritize our physical, emotional, and mental needs before we try to save the world. That’s not living murderously, and to call people murderers for not agreeing with you on how to solve the healthcare crisis doesn’t help, but rather hurts your arguments and ability to persuade others. Nobody likes to be shouted at and told they’re murdering people.

                Finally, let’s admit it: Obamacare IS a mess. Many people who could afford insurance before it can’t now, so it could be having the affect you so decry, if on less people. The real solution was a single payer system. But, in reality, Americans (and you, me, and Mike) wouldn’t like how that went either, because such systems must make utilitarian decisions — that means they have to see patients as numbers and decides who needs to wait for care (and therefore live in pain and possibly die) and those who go to the front of the line.

                No matter how you do things, resources are finite, and a utilitarian view will always result in unpleasantness.

              • Cindy
                Posted February 12, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

                Many people who could afford insurance before it can’t now

                I am not going to pass judgment either way other than to say that I have heard about that. Some people’s premiums have risen so high that they can no longer afford insurance. Middle class people. And even if they can afford insurance, the deductible can be in the 5 figure range.

                However way you slice it, someone is going to go without health insurance. There has to be another way. I hope that Trump will at least keep the good parts of Obamacare and jettison the bad.

              • BJ
                Posted February 12, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

                Exact;y, Cindy. People have been talking about Obamacare as if it’s the greatest triumph of citizen-wide healthcare ever, but it’s still significantly worse than basically every one first world democracy. It raised prices and premiums for those who had it, forced those who couldn’t afford it to buy it and add another expense to their monthly list, and put tons of money in the pockets of the insurance companies. Obamacare isn’t a good system. The answer isn’t dismantling everything Obamacare did, but keeping the good parts and improving the rest.

                And no system will work until a group of politicians is willing to take on the medical lobby. Why do you think healthcare costs are five times greater here than in the next most expensive country? It can’t be because of the amazing efficiency of the bureaucracies in those other places. We need to take on the nickle-and-diming healthcare and hospital lobbies.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted February 12, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

              I agree with Mike here – maybe if you were to see how horrifically people suffer with stage IV metastasized cancer and how their families are now poor a destitute from trying to pay for their help, you’d see how Mike’s equivalency isn’t a false one. I know someone who is in the situation of being in hospice with stage IV breast cancer that has moved into her liver and bones right now – for those unfamiliar, hospice is where you go to die. A nurse visits you and makes sure you are drugged up enough to take away the pain but nothing is done for your illness to stop it. This person is drugged up so much on fentanyl and morphine and everything else, I’m surprised she can function and if she loses what she is getting from Obamacare, she may have to go back to work. Go back to work!! While THAT sick! She has a small child she is looking after and her husband works but it won’t be enough for them to pay the rent on their house. Keep in mind, this woman has fractured ribs from radiation treatment – she broke a rib recently just from moving normally and she is in pain all the time that fentanyl just takes the edge off. Imagine taking all that away to let someone writhe in agony?

              • BJ
                Posted February 12, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

                Again, you’re appealing to emotion. You assume that anyone who disagrees with you on the correct solution to something must be suffering some kind of privilege or lack of empathy.

                I watched my grandmother die over three years from breast cancer, my father is currently dying of cancer, and I watched my other grandmother live out her final years in a terrible nursing home because of all her medical issues. My grandfather suffered from Parkinson’s until it killed him.

                I’ve seen suffering on the level you suggest. And neither you nor Mike has yet answered my question as to how mere disagreement on the proper healthcare system makes you practically a murderer, but not doing all the things you could personally be doing besides just expressing an opinion and are not doing by choice somehow doesn’t make you just as bad, if not worse. Things you could be doing right now to save and improve lives. Money you could personally be redistributing. Time you could be volunteering. If Mike’s false equivalency is, in fact, true, then each of us who doesn’t give every second and penny to those who need it, uses products made effectively from slave labor, doesn’t do everything possible to be environmentally friendly at every moment, etc., has blood on our hands.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted February 12, 2017 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

                First of all, sorry about your mother. I found having cancer much easier to deal with than having to watch someone else have cancer. In my cases, both turned out well and neither involved copious amounts of suffering, but I do have taste of what it can be like to be both care giver and sufferer.

                Second of all, I think you are mixing me up with Diane because this is the first time I’ve commented on this particular part of this post and you are telling me I’m doing something “again”.

                And lastly, to your point — I’m not appealing to emotion, I’m simply addressing the claim of false equivalency. You and Mike have gone back and forth arguing if it’s really just as bad to napalm people as it is to take away their access to health care. I’m simply pointing out that it is in many circumstances just as cruel a thing to do. It may not seem that way because most of the public does not see someone suffer when they can’t pay for health care but if there were cameras and newspaper reporters in the homes of all these people, I think it would become very obvious.

              • Posted February 12, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

                “You and Mike have gone back and forth arguing if it’s really just as bad to napalm people as it is to take away their access to health care. I’m simply pointing out that it is in many circumstances just as cruel a thing to do.”

                Yes, exactly the point I’ve been trying to make in response to the claim BJ and others have made that they aren’t just as cruel, when in fact intentionally taking away someone’s healthcare can be worse if it’s intentional compared to unintentional collateral damage from napalm.

              • BJ
                Posted February 12, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

                Diane M.: I sincerely apologize for mixing you up with Diane G. It can get confusing in these longer threads sometimes.

                I’m not going to argue the points further, but I hope you understand how it can make someone like me angry (perhaps unearned anger) when I’m told that I don’t agree with someone because I haven’t experienced the horrors of certain decisions, activities, outcomes, situations, identities, “privileges,” etc. because of the life I’ve lived.

              • Merilee
                Posted February 12, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

                @BJ, let me respectfully point out that it’s DianA Mc and DianE G. That way you might not confuse these two very reasonable members of our tribe:-)

              • BJ
                Posted February 12, 2017 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

                @Mike Paps

                So, I’ll ask once more and, if you don’t respond, I’ll just assume you don’t have an answer: if opposing your particular choice of a healthcare system is just as bad as those things you’ve mentioned, how is you spending your time arguing on the internet on devices built by slave labor and starving families, using time you could use to volunteer saving lives and spending money you could use to do the same, somehow *not* even worse? I mean, you are *intentionally* making these choices. So aren’t you intentionally murdering people every single day, according to your logic?

                The logic you’re using leads to the inevitable conclusion that if you are not doing every single thing you can possibly do at every moment to alleviate all human suffering, you are basically a genocidal maniac. And we are all, then, genocidal maniacs.

              • Posted February 12, 2017 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

                “how is you spending your time arguing on the internet on devices built by slave labor and starving families, using time you could use to volunteer saving lives and spending money you could use to do the same, somehow *not* even worse? I mean, you are *intentionally* making these choices. So aren’t you intentionally murdering people every single day, according to your logic?”

                I wasn’t, if you recall, the one arguing I, or others held some moral high ground because they ONLY want to take away people’s healthcare, not use napalm on them.

              • Merilee
                Posted February 12, 2017 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

                Anyone else think a dead horse has been sufficiently beaten?

              • Posted February 12, 2017 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

                “Anyone else think a dead horse has been sufficiently beaten?”

                I didn’t think mentioning the horse made sense to begin with. :p

              • Merilee
                Posted February 13, 2017 at 12:00 am | Permalink

                Not addressing this at you in particular, Mike:-) Just seems a stalemate has been reached and life’s too short!

              • BJ
                Posted February 12, 2017 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

                Haha thanks Merilee. I already knew about both of them, but since I had already been discussing the issue with Diana G. at length in the thread, I saw a similar name and my brain read what it thought was there, as our brains so often do 🙂

                Again, apologies for the mix-up!

              • Posted February 13, 2017 at 12:01 am | Permalink

                Can we still punch the horse?

              • Posted February 13, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

                good one!

              • Merilee
                Posted February 13, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

                But presumably punching the dead horse would be punching down, which is a no-no.

              • BJ
                Posted February 13, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

                @Mike

                You said, in the comment that kicked this off: “‘Milo has not been filmed napalming naked children.’

                Yeah, and the slow painful death that results when Trump cancels your Obamacare doesn’t play as sympathetically on TV, but that doesn’t make it any less horrific.”

                You then went a step even farther, saying, “Perfect example how people can casually go about their day opposing a global redistribution of wealth while, for a start, 25,000 children suffer starving to death every day. There is little real difference between a causal difference of opinion on healthcare, and intentionally slowly torturing sick people to death.”

                You proceeded from there to continue justifying this equivalency. All I’ve done is argued against it, and all you’ve done is defended it. People are right: I’m done kicking this horse, because you’re now denying that the horse ever even existed in the first place.

              • Merilee
                Posted February 13, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

                🦄🐎🐎🐴

    • BJ
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      And the same was true of the authoritarian left campaign of terrorism in the seventies, or the splinter group of feminists who used terrorism in the early 1900s, or the countless violent leftists movements that have taken place within and without this country throughout history.

      Both sides have done it. Equivocation and whataboutery don’t serve any discussion well.

      • BJ
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        By the way, many of the people who planted bombs and funded leftist terrorism in the 1970s are now…I’ll give you a moment to guess…college professors.

        • Diane G.
          Posted February 12, 2017 at 12:24 am | Permalink

          Well, emeritus, mostly… 😉 I believe several (and remember that our “most” and “several” actually refer to a very small subset of protesters) have died.

          Hmm, getting interested in actually researching this, now…

          • BJ
            Posted February 12, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

            Happy to oblige 🙂

            Bernardine Dohrn, or the terror group Weatherman, who herself made and planted bombs, was a clinical associate professor of law at Northwestern University for more than twenty years. Another Weatherman, Eleanor Stein, was arrested on the run in 1981; she got a law degree in 1986 and became an administrative law judge. Radical attorney Michael Kennedy, who funded leftist terror groups (especially Weatherman) through his radical group of lawyers, has been special advisor to President of the UN General Assembly. Bill Ayers, whose name we all know from Obama’s initial campaign for president, is now a highly respected Democratic fundraiser, despite being the founder of Weatherman, planter of many bombs, and even managed to kill a couple of people.

            Kathy Boudin, who was convicted of helping to kill multiple people for a black radical group, was paroled in 2003, and is now an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s school of social work.

            There are many more. These are just those I could find by skimming through I single article I remembered reading.

            • BJ
              Posted February 12, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

              Can you imagine people being associated with right-wing violence being allowed to teach our children? haha

  27. Posted February 9, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    While a moral case can certainly be made for using violence as minimally necessary to stop others from committing violence, that’s not at all what these idjits are calling for.

    They’re calling for undirected acts of random violence in response to nonviolence.

    We have a word for that sort of thing:

    Terrorism.

    As much as it pains me to make this observation, Ms. Dang is a terrorist.

    The proper response in her case is the same as with all other terrorists, including the ones that have the T-Party so terrified: meet words with words, and have the police prepared to use the minimum amount of violence necessary to restrain them.

    Cheers,

    b&

    • DrBrydon
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      You forget that in the idiom of Higher Education at the moment words can be violence. Therefore, if I punch you for saying something, it is self-defense. And thus does the basis for our system of law go out the window. Welcome to revolutionary justice. Expect the mobile guillotines any day now.

  28. jay
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    In this clip a self identified school teacher at a Seattle anti Trump rally goes on a profanity laced tirade, then about 1:50 starts saying ‘we need to start killing’

    These all (including many of the ‘non violent’ protesters) are violating a federal civil rights law which outlaws not just violence or threats of violence but intimidation (huge crowds blocking access to a venue for instance) to prevent someone’ exercise of their free speed rights. Actually prosecuting SJWs under civil rights legislation should be interesting.

    There is often a symbiotic relationship between the ‘violent’ and the ‘non violent’ actors. In many cases (not always), the ‘non violent’ crowd makes no real effort to stop them or even cooperate with the police. The violent criminals run out, do their damage and disappear into the ‘non violent’ crowd which willingly serves to protect them

    • Cindy
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      we need to start killing’

      I saw that one. She also said that white people need to start paying reparations, *now*

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        I knew a girl in university like that. She was West Indian and she told me that because my ancestors had committed atrocities against black people, I should be barred from going to university and all white people shouldn’t be allowed to have their jobs and those jobs should be given to black people because that’s what we deserved.

        I wondered how that would be delved out. What if you were half white – maybe only work part-time? And I have all kinds of weird ancestors. I’m sure some of my ancestors would have oppressed my other ancestors and I bet even some of them might have eaten the others.

        • Merilee
          Posted February 9, 2017 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

          Lol- Diana, you never told me you had cannibals in your family tree! Please eat a hearty meal before we next get together😁

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted February 9, 2017 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

          It seems self evident, that if one looks back at messy turmoil that is human history, sooner or later we all owe reparations to someone.
          Maybe Italians owe some for the Roman Empire’s behaviour.
          How about a next favourite goto, the Mongols. They committed a few atrocities.
          And so on.

          Jebus.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted February 10, 2017 at 12:02 am | Permalink

          We have a delicious recipe for MacPherson sous-vide in my family.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted February 10, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

            It’s probably too salty.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted February 10, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

              My ancestors did complain that your ancestors were “a bit gamey.”

              • Diane G.
                Posted February 11, 2017 at 1:44 am | Permalink

                LOL, you two!

    • jay
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      I meant to include a link NSFW

      http://dailycaller.com/2017/01/30/blm-anti-trump-protest-in-seattle-we-need-to-start-killing-people/

  29. Posted February 9, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    I think that, while Milo has most likely been predisposed to narcissism from an early age, these students and others before them have inflated his ego to grotesque dimensions.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      A narcissistic orgy since those kids feeding Milo’s narcissism are also narcissists who feed off his narcissism.

  30. Bruce Gorton
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    I have hit a point where I can no longer call myself leftwing.

    I can no longer lump myself in with a bunch of people who think it is okay for them to do something, but not okay for anybody else to do it.

    There are a million and one ways they make excuses for it – citing power dynamics, proclaiming their critics “privileged”, saying they’re fighting fascism etc…

    But it all amounts to nothing more than “It is okay for me but not for ye”.

    It is like they never stop to consider that the people they hate have reasons for their actions, believe they are doing the right thing too, and things might just be a little bit more complicated than “Leftwing good, righting bad.”

    It is like all they can do with an opponent is hate, they’re incapable of actually learning.

    And it is like they can’t think for two seconds about the exact arguments they were countering during the Bush era, so as not to echo them.

    Yeah, a pre-emptive strike, great, isn’t that exactly what Bush did with Iraq?

    I’m tired of it all. The left will do its thing, they’ll probably end up triggering an American dictatorship in the process, and there is precisely nothing I can do about it.

    All I can do is say fuck ’em, it is not my circus, they’re not my monkeys.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Yeah me too at least not a progressive liberal. If this is what progressive looks like then we are living in an Orwell novel.

      • Posted February 10, 2017 at 12:02 am | Permalink

        In the time of about two weeks, I’ve gone from being liberal- even progressive- and now some consider me to be a “Nazi sympathizer.”
        I find this ridiculous. And quite insane.

    • ToddP
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      It is like all they can do with an opponent is hate, they’re incapable of actually learning.

      After the election, some people saying things like: “Hopefully, the Regressive Left and SJWs will learn a lesson from this. Trump’s victory is partly a result of their behavior.”

      But that’s just wishful thinking. They will learn nothing. No lessons. There is no compromise allowed anymore. All they do is double down on the insanity. When you’re 100% convinced of your own infallible ideological and moral purity then you cannot be open to other ideas or opinions. They are righteous, and apparently will even resort to violence to ensure nobody is allowed a counterargument.

  31. Rob
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    If violence is called for, by all means, go ahead and break your own windows and burn your own car.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      😀

  32. Robert Ryder
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    One of the greatest flaws in their “reasoning” is the assumption that they will always be the ones deciding what constitutes hate speech. What if Trump decides that speaking against him is hate speech? Will his supporters be justified in attacking his critics because they are using “hate speech”? It could happen.

  33. Curtis
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    The one good things is that virtually all of people who responded to these editorials spoke against violence and in favor of free speech. I have no idea which view is more representative of the students.

    • eric
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Well given 37,000 students at the school and the crowd was maybe a few hundred to a thousand or so, I’d say the most representative opinion of the students to Milo was “meh.”

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        Or maybe ” . . . . . . . . . .[blank look] . . – who?”

        cr

  34. Vaal
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Today’s Universities should ensure they offer courses in Critical Thinking.

    One course sub-heading should be: “A Sense Of Proportion.

  35. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    “Here’s a big fuck you from the descendants of people who survived genocides by killing Nazis and people just like them.”

    Huh? When did that happen? My BS detector just went off. I thought Ms Dang was black?

    So, when did the Nazis try genocide on a black population and the blacks killed the Nazis instead, thereby surviving?

    Or am I being pedantic in asking for, like, historical facts?

    cr

    • BJ
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      And here’s my big fuck you to them, as someone who had most of his ancestors wiped out by the Nazis (and the Bolsheviks during their revolution) for the crime of being Jewish.

      But of course, the one group these leftists always leave out of their oppression games is Jews, because so many of them are extremely anti-Semitic.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      Yeah I thought that too. And from what I could tell the people who killed Nazis were mostly soldiers and I’m pretty sure a lot of those soldiers were white dudes – the same ones that are seen as white supremacists. The whole world is completely crazy.

      • BJ
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

        The only others that killed Nazis were the resistance groups in the very white countries like France and the Nordic ones.

      • Michael Waterhouse
        Posted February 10, 2017 at 12:20 am | Permalink

        I was just thinking a very similar thing.
        I am a bit old and have seen this ‘Fascist’ label hurled around willy nilly before (not quite like this though), often at people who were returned soldiers, who had fought real fascism and real fascists in the real war, but they may have been a little conservative (or maybe not).

  36. Posted February 9, 2017 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Several mentions of outing a trans person here. I was under the impression that this person had pretty much outed themselves on TV so there was no outing really. While I don’t think that he needed to point out this person in his talk, I hardly saw it as inviting violence.

    I’m not at all sure that a Charlie Hebdo incident is impossible with these idiots. It’s justified in their minds to do most anything it seems.

  37. Cindy
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    So I just watched this video from a self-identified anarcho-communist:

    https://therationalists.org/2017/02/09/neets-larping-as-revolutionaries/

    Hates liberals – because liberals are not all about violence, we talk and stuff!

    Loves violence, wants more of it.

    Is irritated that people are attributing
    violence to right wing false flag operations and not anti-fa asshats such as himself.

  38. heddle
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Bravo, excellent post.

    In about five or six years I’ve gone from more-or-less uniform disagreement with everything you wrote, to the current state of agreeing with almost every post. (I guess the only way to tell if I have changed would be to go back to the old posts and see if they still rile me! Bleh. Who cares?) So again– thanks for writing on this. Some of us who are professors worry that these attacks on free speech will spread. (And of course some of my colleagues might welcome such a development.)

  39. ToddP
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    How long until we start seeing other people get punched and assaulted, like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Maajid Nawaz, even PCCE? The Regressives have completely lost their minds.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted February 10, 2017 at 12:23 am | Permalink

      Exactly.
      And while a mob hysteria may facilitate such a happening, it seems as though mob hysteria is not even needed.

    • Diane G.
      Posted February 11, 2017 at 2:01 am | Permalink

      I’ve actually been surprised that hasn’t happened already.

  40. Michael Waterhouse
    Posted February 10, 2017 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    I just can’t believe my ‘side’ has become so absurd.
    As mentioned above it is not even possible to identify as left or liberal any more.

    But all the silly argument are one thing, calling for actual violence is unbelievable.

    Violence? Punching?
    As i have been at pains to point out every where I can, punching is not just a black eye or a sore arm or bruise.

    It can, it will, become a horror of broken bone and blood and pain and death.

    Is that really what they want?
    For questioning things?

    It seems as though they do, and have thus lost ‘all’ moral ground.

    • Diane G.
      Posted February 11, 2017 at 2:02 am | Permalink

      + 1

    • Posted February 11, 2017 at 2:58 am | Permalink

      “I just can’t believe my ‘side’ has become so absurd.”

      While I agree we shouldn’t be punching Nazi’s, or no-platforming Milo, perhaps this video will help you to have a bit more sympathy for, and not be so condemn as absurd those who aren’t as quick to ridicule those things as you seem to be. I don’t know your circumstances, but as someone who’s life almost certainly will be shortened if Obamacare is cancelled, and who’s son-in-law is a transexual, I perhaps unfairly, suspect your privilege might be showing. BTW that video is not a pro-nazi punching video, so give it a chance.

      • BJ
        Posted February 11, 2017 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        Oh, stop with the “you must be privileged if you disagree” stuff. I was born to a Jewish family. I exist because a very small number of my ancestors escaped the pogroms during the Bolshevik Revolution and made it to America (the rest of my ancestors but two died in the Holocaust). I grew up being called kike, Jewbag, and other things, having rocks and pennies thrown at me from cars, etc. Probably forty percent of my friends from college are gay, bi, or trans.

        I still disagree with most of what you tend to say on this site. Is this because of my privilege?

        Accept that people can disagree with you no matter where they come from, who they are, who they know, and what life experiences they have.

      • Posted February 11, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        Well, that settles it then. We just punch everybody until the only people left are those who agree with us. Or they are all dead, whichever comes first.

        • Diane G.
          Posted February 11, 2017 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

          If that’s your response to Mike’s vid, I think you missed the point entirely. (Though I would agree that it was sometimes confusing…)

          • Posted February 11, 2017 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

            I think I got enough of the point. But I refused to be guilted into feeling like it’s my fault that Obamacare may go away which is what you and Mike want to me to feel. Nuts to that. I’d like more accessible healthcare too. I guess my privilege and opinion probably makes me worthy of punching now too.

            • Diane G.
              Posted February 12, 2017 at 12:13 am | Permalink

              Um, sorry that I haven’t been keeping track of user names like I should have been; does this mean you voted for Trump? If so (well, even if not), I’m not trying to guilt anyone into anything; I do think it was pretty obvious that Obamacare was imperiled by Trump’s campaign and congressional Republicans in general, also that Obamacare insured millions who otherwise would be uninsured. (There are data.) I’m certainly not in favor of anyone punching anyone else and pretty sure Mike feels similarly.

              • Posted February 12, 2017 at 12:31 am | Permalink

                Mike’s video is presented as something that will make me think with understanding on why people want to resort to violence. Despite the assertions that it’s not a pro punching video, it still tries to gain sympathy for it. I have none.

                This attitude is a major factor in Trump’s rise to power. Time to knock it off.

              • Diane G.
                Posted February 12, 2017 at 12:42 am | Permalink

                And see, I thought it instead stressed the importance of a nuanced approach and decried violence. The trans character grudgingly agreed to try violence (after arguing against it earnestly) which only made matters worse. In the end both characters were immersed in pointless, potentially deadly violence.


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