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Federally Funded Censorship

14 Feb

A different version of this was published at The Federalist this morning.

Donald Trump famously tweeted a question of whether schools that don’t protect free speech on campus should lose federal funding, after flamboyant conservative speaker (and Trump promoter) Milo Yiannapolous was prevented from speaking at UC Berkeley earlier this year.

But generous federal funding of universities – which critics say has fueled tuition hikes and the growth of expensive university plant, property and equipment like palatial conference centers and spa-quality gymnasiums – may also create a more permanent threat to free speech on campus.

Almost three million of the the 13 million undergraduate students in the U.S. could be hearing their fellow students talk about “Bert” this year.

But they won’t be talking about Bert of Bert and Ernie, or any other Bert they’ve met before.

They’ll be talking about “BRTS,” Bias Report Teams, a new collegiate institution now found on about 232 campuses that serve those 3 million students.

A new report on free speech on American campuses was just released by FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a report that tabulates and surveys the rise of Bias Response Teams.

While colleges and their surrounding communities have long had mechanisms for addressing ugly hate crimes, BRTs address the subtle slights and micro-aggressions – whether intentional or unintentional – that might make someone feel unsafe.

BRTs are mainly staffed by deans, administrators, and campus staff borrowed from diversity, student life, LGBT, and Equal Opportunity offices. But FIRE reports, 42 percent also include law enforcement personnel, what FIRE called “literal speech police.”

The BRT at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. deemed the message “Make America Great Again” written on the whiteboards of two female faculty members of color as a “racial attack.” Pro-Trump messages written in chalk at the Emory University in Atlanta and the University of Michigan also prompted school-wide investigations.

BRT officials at the University of Oregon spoke with staff members of the campus newspaper in response to an anonymous complaint alleging a lack of coverage of transgender people.

Mike Jensen, an adjunct professor at the University of Northern Colorado was warned “not to revisit transgender issues in his classroom” after a student complained about If somebody has never been a woman, how can they know they feel like a woman?

“Inviting students to report a broad range of speech to campus authorities casts a chilling pall over free speech rights,” Adam Steinbaugh, senior program officer at FIRE, said in a statement. “Bias response teams solicit reports of a wide range of constitutionally protected speech, including speech about politics and social issues. These sometimes anonymous bias reports can result in interventions by conflict-wary administrators who then provide ‘education,’ often in the form of a verbal reprimand, or even explicit punishment.”

Martin Berger, the Acting Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of California–Santa Cruz told AMI that BRTs are necessary. “For many year bias reports, if they were dealt with at all, were handled haphazardly.  Campuses in recent years have sought to build multi-disciplinary teams capable of handling any incident that arises.”  Berger says there were hundreds of reports last year at UC Santa Cruz, though he doesn’t know exactly how many.

So far, according to Steinbaugh, BRTs are mainly staffed by deans, administrators, law enforcement, and campus staff borrowed from diversity, student life, LGBT, and Equal Opportunity offices.  But just as these bureaucracies once did not have their own separately funded staff and offices, separately funded BRTs may be the next bureaucratic growth to sprout under the rain of federal funding.

Even the University of Chicago, whose Provost famously issued a statement against restrictive campus speech codes in 2016, has a Bias Report Team.

I interviewed Carleton College Professor Jeffrey Snyder for this article, because he’d written for The New Republic last year critical of the chilling effect of BRTs on free speech.  I asked about the irony of the University of Chicago promulgating the “Chicago Statement” while having a BRT, and he agreed but said it was part of a more general problem where administration and faculty are often at cross purposes and have opposed interests – a point I was interested in hearing in part because it raises the question of whether government funding doesn’t tend to expand the administrative bureaucracy and its power relative to that of faculty, and shift the mission of schools away from teaching.  (Curiously Dr. Snyder a day and a half later sent me an email saying I could not use his quotes if I was writing an article for Breitbart.  When I said I was, as I had originally stated, writing a short newsy piece on the FIRE report for my own employer, the American Media Institute Newswire, and then a longer more op ed-ish piece for The Hill or the Daily Caller, and I sent him a rough draft of this article, with his quotes so he could see them, Dr. Snyder decided he did not want to be quoted. Apparently it’s dangerous to be an academic and be quoted in a favorable way by an author who might not be writing for politically correct venues.)

When Dr. Snyder surveyed the existing BRTs only a year ago he found only 100. This year the FIRE report finds over twice as many.  The FIRE report’s author, Adam Steinbaugh, says that though the number of BRT’s is growing, he doubts it doubled in one year, and he suspects Snyder just had a different method of surveying campuses (Steinbaugh surveyed 500).

Off-campus rioters used the occasion of a peaceful protest by students of  Yiannapolous at U.C. Berkeley last week to set fire to university property.  A group of students and faculty at NYU protested another conservative speaker, Gavin McGinness, the next day.  Earlier this week the student government at Santa Clara University banned its local chapter Turning Point USA, a group that advocates “fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government,” reportedly claiming that such beliefs and discussions were in themselves racist and made liberal students uncomfortable.

Steinbaugh (and Snyder) points out that though conservative and libertarian groups feature heavily in reports on campus censorship, campus speech codes and institutions like Bias Report Teams can and are being used by almost anyone, including white students who claim they are offended by Black Lives Matter style protests or lecturers claiming policing in America targets blacks, by conservative students claiming they are offended by progressive groups claiming then candidate Donald Trump was racist, and even by progressive and minority students squabbling among themselves.  In a 2015 incident, discussed by FIRE founder Greg Lukianoff in an article he co-wrote for The Atlantic, when a group of Asian students at Brandeis University had an installation on campus attempting to raise awareness about smaller, unintended slights referred to as “micro-aggressions” – things like being questioned about “where did your family come from?” or “what was your first language?” – only to have it shut down by other students claiming that the installation itself was a micro aggression.

According to FIRE, only half of the BRTs surveyed said they believed there was a tension between free speech and combatting bias.  Almost half involved law enforcement officials in their bias reports.

Steinbaugh thinks the impetus behind the growth of BRTs is more bureaucratic than purely ideological, resulting more from campus administrative bureaucrats importing harassment reporting and counseling practices from corporate HR departments than from ideas about taking power from or censoring privileged groups and empowering minorities derived from academics like Herbert Marcuse or Eve Kosofsky Sedgewick.

Trying to find proponents of Bias Report Teams who will discuss them can be difficult.  Two days spent emailing Dr. Archie Ervin, president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education finally resulted in his secretary reporting that he said he was getting ready to go on a trip and could not talk.  Attempts to reach those in charge of Bias Reports at the University of Chicago was similarly difficult.  The number used to make a Bias Report asks the caller to choose from a menu including being connected to the police or to the “Dean on Call,” with the latter option leading to a beeping voice mail box with no greeting or other message.  One University of Chicago dean’s office referred me to an employee in a student affairs office with an LGBT portfolio who is on the University website, but when called turns out to have left the university the year previous.

Dozens of email queries to campus BRT offices around the country and to a variety of civil rights groups produced only one response. to the earlier quoted Martin Berger, Acting Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Campus Diversity Officer for Faculty.  Berger argues that FIRE is wrong to be concerned that police officers on are on the BRTs: “They seem concerned that 42% of bias teams contain members of law enforcement.  They apparently take this as a sign that police are used to suppress free speech… Campuses in recent years have sought to build multi-disciplinary teams capable of handling any incident that arises.”  But lumping “any incident” reported as “bias” seems to be exactly the problem: having a belief, stating a belief, and other forms of protected speech, are lumped together with violence, threats, intimidation.  In a previous era much of what most people would view as “bias” that should be punished on campus would simply be considered “hazing.”  But punishing “hazing” means punishing actions, not protected speech or beliefs – it is not a tool of re-education to eliminate wrong thoughts. (A few university BRTs – George Washington University, the University of Virginia – do actually also refer to the older concept of “hazing.”)

If President Tump and the GOP decide to reign in federal spending on post-secondary education, especially in the non-STEM subjects, highlighting the institutionalization of censorship on campus may give them plenty of talking points and anecdotes that will resonate with the voters who elected them.

Stephen Bannon and the Media Meltdown

18 Nov

This was published earlier today at The Daily Caller.

As Democrats – or at least people hired by groups funded by George Soros – break windows, burn cars, and assault suspected Trump supporters in liberal cities around the country, neither President Barack Obama or Presidential-wannabe Hillary Clinton have admonished their violent followers to return to peaceful protests.

Only Senator Bernie Sanders has.

But there is another danger to public safety President Obama and Presidential-wannabe Clinton have not addressed.

That’s the imminent danger to those who work in, or near, America’s newsrooms.

The American media, now exposed as frauds, liars, and incompetent pollsters – in the case of the New York Times, which has belatedly apologized, admittedly so – are doubling down, and are so much in denial of reality they are on the edge of a psychotic break.

It’s only a matter of time before one of them goes postal, and comes to work with a gun, shooting the innocent receptionists, secretaries, advertising sales reps, and cleaning crews who are unfortunate enough to be working when the final wires snap.

So far they are concentrating their ire on one individual, former Breitbart publisher Stephen K. Bannon.  President-elect Donald Trump has chosen him to be the chief strategist  for the White House, a position for which associates say he is better suited than the chief of staff position that went to former RNC chair Reince Preibus, because Bannon is said to favor casual dress and a looser schedule than the chief of staff position would require.

But casual dressing is not what the establishment media is attacking Bannon for.  They claim – with no evidence – that Bannon is a “white nationalist”…or maybe encouraged or mainstreamed “white nationalists”…or maybe supported something they call the “alt right” which they then associate with white nationalists.  Or something.  Anyway, the party that earns about half of its campaign donations, after Wall Street of course, by kidnapping poor black children and selling them to National Education Association and American Federation for Teachers bureaucrats in exchange for candidate support, is as usual screaming that the people who beat them at the ballot box are racists.

Bannon doesn’t really need me to defend him.  Bernard Marcus, of the Republican Jewish Committee has already publicly said he knows Bannon and he is no anti-semite.  I’m a lowly gay libertarian writer at Breitbart and have barely met Bannon, though I have been to an event at his home.

If you check any of the TV or print stories denouncing Stephen Bannon and Breitbart, you will mainly see the headlines of two articles cited over and over.  You won’t see the articles quoted.  You won’t find a link to them so you can read them.  You won’t learn who the authors are.  You will just be told the headlines, and be expected to conclude from that that Breitbart is an oceanic cesspool of bigotry with Stephen Bannon as its slimy Poseidon.

The first article is entitled “Bill Kristol – Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew”.  I’m personally not a fan of headlines that discuss people’s religion, but what the smear merchants aren’t telling you is that the author of this piece, David Horowitz, is himself a Jew and a constant critic of anti-Semitism.  He simply thinks Kristol inserts himself into elections in ways – helping recruit independent conservative Evan McMullin to run for President, for example – that are rarely helpful for Republicans.  But the smear merchants on TV or newspapers want you to assume that this article was anti-semitic.

The second article was headlined “Gay Rights Have Made Us Dumber It’s Time to Get Back in the Closet” and the author is one of Breitbart’s gay contributors (I am among them), its most famous gay editor and contributor, the satirist and provocateur Milo Yiannopolous.  One can easily not like all of Milo’s shtick, though he’s very clever and very funny and almost exclusively targets the intellectually dishonest academic and media types conducting the smear merchantry against Stephen Bannon.  But what none of the smear merchants will tell you is that this inflammatory headline is to an article written by a very openly gay man criticizing parts of the gay establishment.

The media have few tools.  Mainly all they know how to do is scream “racism” (or in the monotone hectoring of Presidential wannabe Hillary Clinton “racist… sexist… homophobic… xenophobic… Islamaphobic…”  What they actually fear is that a “paradigm shift” is happening, to use the academic jargon of the 70s, or we are at a “tipping point,” to use the jargon of a few years ago.  They have been the American Pravda for decades, the well remunerated propaganda class of the ruling political elite.

It is projection that journalist’s journalist Jack Shafer labels Breitbart to be Pravda in the pages of the DNC house organ Politico.

Now a populist politician has beaten their elite candidate.  And he has his own media allies.  They are shut out.  Trump is already tweeting rebukes at them when they lie.

They have no idea what to do.

So the only thing they can do is to slime and decry as a racist the person they most fear, their media rival, Stephen Bannon, who helped Andrew Breitbart build an alternative to the mainstream media, who then beat them in an election they were sure they would win, and who is now a chief strategist in the enemy administration-elect.

Sad news at Breitbart

15 Mar
I’ve been writing freelance at Breitbart for almost a year, often posting the fuller, original versions of my pieces here.  Including one piece entitled Two libertarian cheers for Trump.

Indeed it has been my practice to offer pieces to Breitbart before I offer them to the Daily Caller or other venues.  One piece ended up at TheHill because it was too favorable to Megyn Kelly, which was not kosher in the Breitbart Trumperverse.

Lately the demands of a second job – thanks Obama! – have kept me from writing as much as I want.  But I am removing Breitbart from the list of places I write for from my Twitter profile.  Though since they have a huge audience, I may still write for them.

I kind of grazingly know or have met many of the people in the current situation, where a Trump staffer assaulted a Breitbart reporter, whom Breitbart senior editors did not then support, because of their obeisance to the Trump movement.

It’s a sad situation and does not bode well for the Trump campaign.

I’m not in a swing state though so voting for Gary Johnson (or John McAfee or Austin Petersen) is an easy solution.

Update:  Others, mainly lesser known bloggers critical of “cuckservatives,” have alternative interpretations of the videos of the event, and think this is a pre-publicity tour for Michelle Fields first book, out in June.

Washington Post / Getty Images

Here’s Ben Shapiro’s full resignation statement:

As a close personal friend and mentee of Andrew Breitbart’s, it saddens me tremendously to announce that as of 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time, I have resigned from Breitbart News as editor-at-large. I met Andrew Breitbart when I was seventeen years old and remained his friend until his tragic death; I signed on with Breitbart News two weeks before Andrew’s death because I believed in his mission.
I am proud of what we accomplished in the years following his death, fighting back against the leftist media and debunking the left’s key narratives. I have many good friends at Breitbart News, including editor-in-chief Alex Marlow and editor-at-large John Nolte, and I admire CEO Larry Solov for his dedication to ensuring a financial future for Andrew’s widow, Susie, and his four children.
Andrew built his life and his career on one mission: fight the bullies. But Andrew’s life mission has been betrayed. Indeed, Breitbart News, under the chairmanship of Steve Bannon, has put a stake through the heart of Andrew’s legacy. In my opinion, Steve Bannon is a bully, and has sold out Andrew’s mission in order to back another bully, Donald Trump; he has shaped the company into Trump’s personal Pravda, to the extent that he abandoned and undercut his own reporter, Breitbart News’ Michelle Fields, in order to protect Trump’s bully campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who allegedly assaulted Michelle. I spoke with Michelle the night after the incident. She told me her story. That story was backed by audiotape, eyewitness testimony from The Washington Post’s Ben Terris, physical bruises, and video tape.
Both Lewandowski and Trump maligned Michelle in the most repulsive fashion. Meanwhile, Breitbart News not only stood by and did nothing outside of tepidly asking for an apology, they then attempted to abandon Michelle by silencing staff from tweeting or talking about the issue. Finally, in the ultimate indignity, they undermined Michelle completely by running a poorly-evidenced conspiracy theory as their lead story in which Michelle and Terris had somehow misidentified Lewandowski.
This is disgusting. Andrew never would have stood for it. No news outlet would stand for it.
Nobody should.
This truly breaks my heart. But, as I am fond of saying, facts don’t care about your feelings, and the facts are undeniable: Breitbart News has become precisely the reverse of what Andrew would have wanted. Steve Bannon and those who follow his lead should be ashamed of themselves.

Here’s Fields’ full resignation statement:

Today I informed the management at Breitbart News of my immediate resignation. I do not believe Breitbart News has adequately stood by me during the events of the past week and because of that I believe it is now best for us to part ways.

Chelsea Clinton to star in "Taken IV"

18 Jun

Breitbart just published my Op Ed today but edited out my Chelsea joke at the end! Oh well! They are respectable. Thank goodness here at IL we are not:
Here is the missing final paragraph:
One begins to suspect the only thing that saved Chelsea Clinton from being sold to a Saudi Prince as a teen is that her face resembles more Bill’s than Hillary’s.

Right On Line – Reviewed

8 May

Right On Line is the conference for bloggers and other new and digital media activists and journalists held more or less annually, with varying sponsorships.

I attended the 2011 one in Minneapolis, the last one Andrew Breitbart enlivened, which had been deliberately and provocatively  scheduled to occur in the same city at the same time as NetRoots Nation, the socialist conference for digital media types.  (Breitbart went over to the NetsRoot confab to conversate.) NetRoots was being held in the civic center so its speakers were cast to the surrounding hotels for shelter, and Daily Show creator Liz Winstead ended up in mine, riding the elevator with an unknown ROL spy.

This year’s Right On Line was sponsored by Americans for Prosperity at the new Marriott Marquis hotel across from the Cato Institute, which got mentioned a lot due to its proximity, although only one Cato employee (Kat Murti) was on a panel.  (Coincidentally, this new hotel is next to the D.C. government owned convention center, also new, where AFP held its annual American Dream summit a few years ago, “inciting” Occupy to block traffic outside and then storm the building, in hopes of kidnapping David Koch for ransom.)

I don’t know who used to be in charge — perhaps the Breitbart organization — but the conference used to have a bigger share of borderline hipsters and a smaller share of soccer moms and older people, either way a fascinating social amalgam.  There were a sprinkling of gay celebrities, including Breitbart London editor Milo Yiannopoulous (with his mop and pompadour bleached blond for the visit to the colonies) and newly self-outed Townhall political editor Guy Benson, dressed in as conservative and midwestern a fashion as ever, his good little boy demeanor now potentially taking on a new erotic edge for some (something he may not care for).

Most of the discussion were nuts and bolts about blogging or doing investigative journalism (like Ed Morrissy of above), or surveys of media as an industry and a political force (like Sheryl Atkinson’s keynote address).

Much of the upper level staff and directorate of AFP appeared on stage at some point.  Tim Phillips, the CEO, spoke several times.  If you’ve seen him speak once you’ve pretty much seen him I think, so it was good the others presented.  I was especially curious to see Freyda Levy speak, and she did, on the state of the liberty movement, and it was good.

Libertarians at CPAC 2015

4 Mar

Your humble blogger started going to CPAC back in 2007 (or maybe 2008?) and has attended every CPAC since.  Both in 2008 and 2015 I ran exhibit hall booths, which limited or changed my perception of what went on at CPAC.

My early CPAC attendance was due to my participation in a local DC metro Ron Paul meetup.  Mitt Romney dropped out of the Republican primaries the day before that CPAC, and the young woman who had spent a huge amount of time organizing volunteers and supplies for his booth was very angry with him.  And Ron Paul was her second choice.  So she told us to take over the booth, which we did with less than 24 hours notice (Ron Paul had, amazingly, not secured one — he was a CPAC virgin only 8 years ago).

I showed up with the only thing I had, a small business card sized brochure I was distributing for Ron Paul door to door in Maryland, and a reason magazine with Ron Paul on the cover as my only graphic for the wall behind me.  By the end of the day a full booth of volunteers had showed up and they had brought more than enough flyers, buttons, bumper stickers etc.  (A comely 22 year old man/boy asked me for that copy of reason, and when I told him I had subscribed to it since I was younger than he, and that only a few years earlier it had been a mimeographed zine, he cocked his pretty head quizzically at the word mimeograph.)  The then libertarianizing George F. Will strolled near our booth and I was able to hop out and thank him for his recent column praising Ron Paul.

CPAC has now moved out of DC, to the Gaylord National Resort on the Potomac River in Oxon Hill, Maryland.  (Allegedly it outgrew the DC hotel, but the straw poll vote remains in the 3000s, down a little from its peak the last year it was in DC.  Behind the scenes people say it moved because SEIU union ‘crats were paying homeless people to hold protest signs in DC (Andrew Breitbart famously went out to confront them at his last CPAC before he passed away), but the leftover groups now can’t figure out how to transport paid protesters out to the Gaylord, where there is no subway stop.)

Back in 2008, when we did not know Rand Paul would ever run for office, Ron Paul traveled about the Wardman Marriott hotel (back in DC, where CPAC used to be, and where the International Students for Liberty Conference is now) with an entourage of Governor Gary Johnson, Judge Andrew Napolitano and constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein.  This year there was a little friction between the Rand Paul and Gary Johnson peeps, as Johnson said Paul is not a libertarian and the Libertarian Party posted an anti-Rand graphic  (below).

Since then I’ve covered CPAC – what the gays were up to, what Ann Coulter said, who won the straw poll, what the libertarians did – in my old tea party blog (which I actually started originally to cover the divisions at CPAC).

This year I was in charge of staffing a booth for Gary Johnson’s Our America Initiative, so my experience of most of CPAC 2015 consisted of running the booth and watching the actual speeches on Fox and YouTube.  (CPAC 2015 also created an app you can download, which would allow you to follow what was going on in multiple panels, happy hours, receptions, workshops and parties.) Though I did talk individually with hundreds of attendees and made it to four parties (those of the Republican Liberty Caucus, where Julie Borowski and Governor Johnson spoke, the Leadership Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Rand Paul’s Young Americans for Liberty event, where Rand Paul took photos with supporters, though a third walked out when Ted Cruz spoke).

At the booth I got mainly three responses: people coming up to tell us they were libertarians (including young people who said they voted for Romney but since became libertarians and wish they had voted for Johnson), a few people critical of libertarians, and libertarians from Rand Paul’s booth coming over to give me static over the so very well timed meme posted on the Libertarian Party facebook page (and produced by the gay group Outright Libertarians), comparing Rand Paul to Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.

No one had much interest in the particular items Our America had wanted us to push, about the law suit Gov. Johnson has against the presidential debate commission (I killed a tree for nothing), though LP News, Gary Johnson books and buttons, and libertarian bumper stickers were popular.  The Libertarian Party itself has not had a booth at CPAC since 2011 (see video h/t Wes Benedict). (At my first CPAC the LP booth was organized by a not fully ripened Austin Petersen, a lowly intern in the Libertarian National Committee office.)

Gary got his main publicity for faking a heart attack when debating a former, one term, Congresswoman, who said 1 in 5 pot smokers are more likely to have a heart attack from using pot.  (I wonder:  Are 1 in 5 people, those with the worst cardiac health, more likely to have a heart attack from drinking coffee, eating sweets, having sex. or walking up stairs?)

But there was other fun to be had.  reason magazine created a Grindr account to interview the gays, whose organizations (Log Cabin and GOProud) were forbidden from being sponsors – though American Atheists did sponsor CPAC – and Log Cabin director Gregory Angelo was on a panel on (gays in) Putin’s Russia.

The coverage of CPAC by conservatives typically emphasizes how “unfair” and unrepresentative it is when Rand (or Ron) Paul win the straw poll, given that many of their voters have no money and crashed in cheap hotel rooms 4 and 6 to a room and paid only $25 for a student ticket, unlike the more representative Jeb Bush or Scott Walker voters, who are older and rented a $400 a night hotel room for 3 or 4 nights and bought a platinum level $800 CPAC ticket that gets them into fancy dinners.  (Sponsors who have booths also tip the voting in that booth volunteer passes are also voting credentials.  I am pretty sure the Our America Initiative booth created 6 votes for Rand Paul.)  There is a big age divide between Rand (or Ron) Paul fans and those of the other candidates, and the Rand people are willing to walk out, boo, etc. the other politicians.

CPAC has lots of pricey or exclusive parties.  You can buy a VIP pass that gets you into everything; I bought one in 2011 and was constantly shocking the young door keepers at the more silk stocking events, when I would show up in jeans, under 60 years old, plastered with Ron Paul and libertarian buttons, looking like someone they were sure did not belong in the front row or the annual Reagan Dinner ($450 a la carte without the VIP pass).  (I used my old VIP lanyard this year with my booth pass and the CPAC 2015 staffers kept thanking me and giving me a thumbs up.)  Other exclusive events include the annual Breitbart party on Capitol Hill (I was invited once, it’s Breitbart and other bloggers, minor Fox News contributors, and anyone they thought was pretty) and Reaganpalooza, the annual party for young conservatives and conservatarians.  Rand Paul supporters and other libertarians have their own after party at a DC metro area libertarian group house, the Casa de Liberte, which isn’t strictly invite-only but does require a cover charge and ideological litmus test.

Most of what I think is interesting about CPAC this year is the tension between the Rand Paul and the LP libertarians, so I’m just going to end with quotes from around the net this week, some occasioned by the Outright meme, along with photos of people and swag from the exhibit hall (I will be adding comments and photos all week, so check back later):

Bruce P. Majors 
Washington DC

It’s sloppy and wrong. You can criticize Rand Paul for not being libertarian enough or Ron Paul for not being your kind of libertarian without saying they are like the Clintons. The posters on the LP page completely rip them for this idiocy. Someone keeps deleting my comments there.

Jeff Olson
The Midwest

I’d say he’s about 70% libertarian, versus RP’s 95% libertarian. He certainly isn’t less “anti-immigration” – something that RP in recent years has totally de-emphasized and Rand sends me emails daily protesting about (Obama’s “amnesty”). To give one illustration – Rand thought Snowden should’ve gone the “legal route” while Ron declared him to be a hero. That’s a huge litmus test right there. Rand is much more soft-spoken about the USG involvement abroad, where Ron just straightforwardly says it’s bullshit….

All that said, I like Rand a lot compared to anyone else out there.

Gregory Contreras
Baltimore MD

 It’s a false flag operation. Actually, the “libertarian party” has been infiltrated by the far left, I saw it first hand during a recent stint in NYC.

Shawn Quinn 
Lusby MD

I saw the post as the three biggest liers in the upcomeing race and all will hurt our freedoms.

Shawn McElhinney 
Oceanside CA

[In response to the claim that Rand Paul is not libertarian] Neither was Gary Johnson…until he failed to get any traction in Republican primaries in 2011.

Dan Ust
Seattle WA

…I think they’ve both been good gateway drugs, but that can go either way… I mean I’ve talked to people who’ve gone on a journey from either Paul to more radical libertarianism, but I’ve also talked to those who merely reinforced their basically conservative views, just with a wee less mainstream corporatist stance. That probably there are more of the former is either due to a sampling error (on my part) or the tone of our times (where I believe more newbies are more likely to not embrace conservatism).

Nicholas Sarwark
Denver CO

The former Governor of Florida is part of a famous Republican political family. The former Secretary of State is part of a famous Democratic political family. The junior Senator from Kentucky is part of a famous Republican political family.

David Silvers
Alexandria VA

I got their point. Rand inherited power from his father, and his father was a congressman from Texas whose high water mark was chairing a subcommittee after a few decades in office. But okay, I guess that’s just like having your dad be president

Arlington VA

Dear LP. This is how you kick yourself in the nuts.

The Woodlands TX

Rand Paul has his roots in the Libertarian party…. I will drop this page before I drop him!

Nacogdoches TX

How dumb do you have to be to include Paul with Clinton and Bush? This … has gotten childish.

Auburn ME

What are you? Stupid or something? No one would even know about the Libertarian Party if it were not for Ron and Rand Paul. In fact, childish antics like these—alienating the very liberty-minded people you need to grow your party—are the reason why no one will ever take the Libertarian Party seriously.

As a State Senator, I am the highest-elected libertarian in the state of Maine, and right now, I am ashamed to have this organization appropriate the name of my political philosophy.

Shame on you.

By the way thanks to booth volunteers Juanita Billings, Seth Ryan Levy, Connie Harrigan Frank, Virginia state senate candidate Carl Loser, J. Todd Martinson, former Virginia Congressional candidate Jeffrey Carson, Ashley Edwards, David Valente, Diana Castillo, Kirby Myers, Libertarian National Committee vice chair Arvin Vohra, Arvin’s friend whose name I don’t know, Jason Amatuci, and Charles Peralo.  And to booth cheerleaders/lunch partners Chenelyn Barker and Krista Kirlew.

Today in "progressive" racism – Jezebel editor bashes dangerous D.C.

3 Mar

The snark rag Jezebel, talented sometimes at the only thing it is competent to do (snark), like so many pubs and sites (Wonkette comes to mind), has a very white editor with a very white name, Ms. Erin Gloria Ryan.

She recounts her experiences at this weekend’s CPAC, where she was invited to the invite-only Breitbart party.  It was a harrowing experience:

“[We] gingerly made our way from our Uber to the steps of a place I heard referred to as “The Embassy,” “The Breitbart Mansion,” and “that place where they have that big party,” unsure of what kind of murder situation we were willingly entering. We’d been invited by a man we’d never met before who spotted us and told us to come to a party in a strange city, miles from our hotel, something no self-respecting urbanite would do unless they were interested in having a kidney stolen.

It’s hard to imagine if a non-“liberal” had written about going to a party for Ready for Hillary, or Mother Jones, or Organizing for America, and then worried that he or she might be murdered, and then said the majority black city, zip code, or neighborhood it was held in was “strange,” that MSNBC would not trot out the “Reverends” Al and Jesse, as well as Charles Page and Eugene Robinson, to decry the racism.  (They’d have to use all four since only Page can speak intelligible, grammatically correct, non-mushed mouth English.)

The Breitbart house this tourist is discussing is a block or so behind the Supreme Court, in the posh zone that Senators and Congresspeople like Steve Israel and Mary Landrieu have owned homes in, where the Capitol Hill police sit on every corner in cars providing security, in addition to the regular DC Metropolitan police force.  It’s tax assessed value is over $1.5 million.  I’m sure she was in terror the whole time, clutching her purse.

Oversexed at CPAC

9 Mar

Dredging up coverage of sex at CPAC is nothing new.  For years leftovers have been shocked, shocked!, that 23 year old gay guys, away from home in the big city at nice hotels with like minded people and a lot of booze go online to hook up with each other – which has led me for two years to post a spoof Craigslist ad:

 CPAC – m4m – 43 (National Harbor)

age : 43
Radical libertarian would like to tie up and abuse proglodyte and leftover journalists.

Boys who look like Sally Kohn or Chris Hayes who need to be tied up, slapped around and fucked.

Also any Rick Santorum supporters in the closet or younger versions of Lindsey Graham or John McCain.

Or if you are just a decent constitutionalist type, we can have regular non-hate sex, or even a drink.

Your place

    I thought I’d had an oversexed CPAC by Saturday morning – 

    On Friday at CPAC  the former Wonkette, Ana Marie Cox, flirted with me.  I had media credentials as a blogger and was sitting in the front row of the media section, when a cute, slim, strawberry blond woman asked to sit next to me, at a seat where I was charging my second IPad.  I was confused as to why she would need that seat, since I thought the rest of the row was empty (turned out people had left bags or laptops at every seat), so I quizzically said “Sure, I guess…” and Ms. Cox said “Oh, did you think I just wanted to sit by you?” not realizing I suppose that her gaydar is rather faulty.  Later, as I recorded the crowd reaction to Rand Paul’s speech with my other IPad, which is what she had swooped in to take notes on, she helpfully pointed out that my arm must be getting tired and C-Span would have it all recorded.  I don’t think it crossed her mind I wanted to record the crowd.  I started to take her photo but I just recorded a few seconds  of her in my Rand Paul video.  (I find leftovers often assume you are stupid and that they can explain to you how you might better use your time.)  Ms. Cox is famously, among other things, the gal who tittered with Maddow on her show about “teabaggers.”

    Then at dinner a libertarian conservative boy told me stories about his hilariously clueless youth not knowing women were coming onto him when they would do things like get into an elevator with him and tell him they weren’t wearing panties.  I have now collected enough silly sex stories like this, a fair portion from socially awkward libertarian boys, I may publish them as a paperback.

    Finally, a drunken grad student girl at the very classy, SCOTUS -adjacent Breitbart party on Capitol Hill (every tall, beautiful opinion commentator from FOX News, champagne flowing until 1 pm, a 10 piece band) gave me a vodka martini, climbed up on me, and ground her pudenda into my Johnson.

    So I felt that was a pretty sexualized day at CPAC.

    But then on Saturday I learned of Rainbow Beaver.  You might think this is something cooked up by Angela Keaton of Outright Libertarians at Libertopia, some wild libertarian lesbian rave.  It would be closer to say it’s the womens’ auxiliary of GOProud though, since the newly reconstituted, and somewhat more conservative (in its PR approach) GOProud was the target.

    Those lovely Catholic homophobe boys who wear red sashes at their booth at CPAC (perfect, I’d imagine, for tying up the wrists and ankles of your lover before pounding his manhole) were circulating a graphic depicting a malevolent rainbow beaver eating one of the legs of Ronald Reagan’s stool of conservatism: family values, free markets, and a strong military.  Rich Lowry of National Review went into the stool crap on the panel he shared with reason’s Katherine Mangu-Ward.

    Why do these idiot conservatives insist on this metaphor?  First of all, “stool” sounds like you are talking about unpleasant medical specimens.  Second, a stool has three legs and they often start talking about three stools.  Third, this is not conceptual thought – it’s like idiot Keynesians discussing how the economy is like a water balloon or a pump.  The three legs are in conflict they do not support each other – the conservative belief that only state engineered and approved families support the market economy is in conflict with the market economy.

    I’m beginning to think the rainbow beaver image isn’t about destroying the wood (calling Dr. Freud!) in the Reaganite stool – it’s fear of the libertarian porcupine.


    "They don’t like black people" – Matty Yglesias evicts Afro-centric business

    23 Jun
    I often blog, because it is like shooting fish in a barrel, about white, and even black and Latino, limousine liberals in DC who smear everyone else as racist while living in only the most lily white DC (or DC suburban) zip codes – in a majority black city: Jonathan Chait and all the NPR bigwigs in Chevy Chase, DC, Chris Matthews in Chevy Chase, Maryland, Jay Carney and Hilary Rosen in Palisades, David Gregory in Foxhall, Andrea Mitchell in Kent-Berkeley (so very white most black and even most white DC residents don’t know what or where that is, and her only black neighbor is a multimillionairess who married an even wealthier white man), Eugene Robinson and Chuck Todd in north Arlington, Dana Milbanks and almost every other national journalist in Cleveland Park, David Brock and one of the Podesta brothers in Kalorama (where the only people of color are either the help or ambassadors from Africa and Asia).  It’s what economists call demonstrated preference – it’s the walk you walk, not the talk you talk.

    But sometimes the leftovers and proglodytes hurl their charges of racism from somewhat less segregated homesteads, at least in a snapshot sense.  Neighborhoods that are temporarily integrated because the non-black well paid agents of Big Government are still displacing the black working class.  As the federal government, and liberal billionaires and multimillionaires like George Soros and the lobbyist Podesta brothers, import mainly white technocrats and lawyers with 6 and even 7 figure salaries into DC, waves of gentrification displace the original working class African American population.  Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner, Karen Finney and other Democrat pols and flaks live in gleaming lofts built on what used to be black neighborhoods.

    And joining them is Matthew Yglesias.  He recently bought a lovely new million dollar condo, which provoked some discussion about how well it pays to promote the leftover agenda.  This week he’s being paid to say Rand Paul is a white supremacist, because Rand Paul might just think there is a way to address bigotry in a multicultural society other than the Democrat Party’s failed model of a drug war, failed segregated public schools, the sacred cow of the Civil Rights Act, and selling poor black and brown kids to the educrat cartels to get donations for Democratic candidates.  Ironically, Yglesias home is erected on the grave of DC’s black majority, now down to 49% and shrinking – his home is the former location of  Damali African Wear.

    Wonder if he’s seen Poltergeist?

    (A side note: Yglesias did actually participate in a panel recently on how government regulation drives up the cost of housing for poor and moderate income people.  And he should be concerned about how government programs increase poverty and social ills – he’s been mugged once so far when walking home from visiting some poorer, libertarian, journalists who live in a less gentrified neighborhood.)


    26 Jan

    How your tax dollars turned Washington into America’s richest city

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