Patterico's Pontifications


Some Great Blog Posts About My Court Victory Over Convicted Bomber Brett Kimberlin

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:58 am

I wanted to take a moment to thank a few people who took time out of their schedule to post about my court victory over convicted bomber and perjurer Brett Kimberlin.

WJJ Hoge, as always, had the news early on and provided the documents. His post noted a curious silence about the summary judgment at the Kimberlin propaganda site Breitbart Unmasked — a silence that appears to continue today. Hoge also today publishes a list of Kimberlin’s court losses, here.

William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection reminds us that one of Brett Kimberlin’s targets was Mandy Nagy, who suffered a horrible stroke from which it appears she may never fully recover. As difficult as this experience was, talking to Mandy about it regularly was one of the things that made it bearable. I miss our conversations.

Ron Coleman had his own interesting writeup about the affair. He has a particularly fascinating (and distressing) story about how people tried to “help with” (read: take over) the Slants case once it was clearly headed for a high-profile victory . . . yet when he was looking for pro bono local counsel in Maryland on this case, the sound of crickets was loud indeed — until my hero Bruce Godfrey came along.

Scott Greenfield expands on Ron’s observations, and reminds us that while some free speech causes seem to motivate the public into action, others (like mine) become largely ignored. The job is then left to stalwarts like Ron Coleman of Archer & Greiner and the Likelihood of Confusion blog, and Bruce Godfrey of Jezic & Moyse LLC, to step in and defend free speech.

Eric Turkewitz also gives a tip of his hat to Coleman and Godfrey. I think it’s worth noting that I am not a political kindred spirit of Greenfield or Turkewitz — but as Turkewitz says: “[T]hat is not the point. The First Amendment doesn’t belong to the right or the left, it belongs to all of us. When the rights of one are curtailed then the rights of all of us are.”

Robert Stacy McCain had this post, which reminds the reader that he and several other Kimberlin critics were SWATting targets. Stacy’s perpetrator was caught. The perpetrators of most of the others have not.

If I have missed any posts, let me know. Thanks to those who took the time to write about this, or to leave a comment, or send an email of congratulations. And again, thanks to people like commenters Dianna and Dustin and others (you know who you are) who have stood by my side for years while this unfolded. Folks like you made it easy to keep slogging forward when it seemed like the rest of the world had forgotten.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]


Parents Of Charlie Gard: We Are About To Let Our Beautiful Little Charlie Go

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:53 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Heartbreaking decision announced today from the parents of Charlie Gard. They have decided to end their legal battle to be allowed to take their son to New York for treatment. In the words of Connie Yates, Charlie’s mother:

“The last 11 nearly 12 months have been the best, the worst and ultimately life changing months of our lives, but Charlie is Charlie and we wouldn’t change him for the world. All our efforts have been for him.

“We are about to do the hardest thing that we’ll ever have to do which is to let our beautiful little Charlie go.”

Time was of the essence in Charlie’s case, but it had run out far too soon:

The parents had been told by Professor Michio Hirano, a New York neurologist who has pioneered an experimental therapy for children with a similar condition to Charlie, that there had been a chance of helping their son. The case had become a cause celebre with support from the parents coming from Donald Trump and Pope Francis and a 500,000 signature petition calling on the hospital to let Charlie go abroad for treatment.

Miss Yates said it was “unfortunate” that Prof Hirano had not been given access to GOSH’s “raw data” in April – at the time of a previous High Court hearing – that showed “no actual evidence of irreversible brain damage”.

Two doctors had said further scans carried out last weekend had not shown “irreversible” brain damage, as the hospital had claimed earlier this year, but a new body MRI scan on Friday had revealed “irreversible” deterioration of his muscles that meant he was untreatable.

Miss Yates: “They [the doctors] both agreed that treatment should have been started sooner. There is one simple reason for Charlie’s muscles deteriorating to the extent they are in now – time. A whole lot of wasted time.

“Charlie had a real chance of getting better. It’s now unfortunately too late for him.”

She went on: “We are now in July and our poor boy has been left to just lie in hospital for months without any treatment whilst lengthy court battles have been fought.”

You can watch Charlie’s dad, Chris Gard’s statement below. Of note: “This has never been about parents who know best. All we wanted to do was to take Charlie from one world-renowned hospital to another world-renowned hospital in the attempt to save his life…” And they weren’t allowed to do this for their little boy. They weren’t allowed to follow through on their decision to do what they – Charlie’s parents – believed was in his best interest. That they also weren’t allowed to take Charlie home to die speaks to a frightening level of State control exerted over the lives of private citizens. Private citizens, who loved their child beyond all measure, saw their primary function as parents stripped away by powerful entities.

Here is a statement from Great Ormond Hospital:

“We have always paid tribute to the extraordinary courage and strength of Connie Yates and Chris Gard and their devotion to their son. Today our hearts go out to them as they face the most difficult decision that any parent should ever have to make.”

Our staff share the parents’ sadness over Charlie, whom they have cared for with dedication during the months he has spent at Great Ormond Street Hospital. We were heartened to hear their appreciation of our staff’s care in their recent public statement.

We seek to care for and support every parent who brings their child to Great Ormond Street Hospital and it is a source of great regret in the very rare cases when an agreement cannot be reached about what is in the child’s best interests.

This has been an incredibly complex case, going to the heart of medical ethics and when, and if, experimental treatment is acceptable for children suffering from rare diseases. We would like to acknowledge all those who have contributed their expertise and advice.

Chris and Connie have communicated their desire to spend time with Charlie. We appeal for them to be given the space and privacy they need at this heart-breaking time.

This from the very hospital that told them, repeatedly, no. Just, no.

May God comfort Charlie’s parents during such an agonizing time, and may He bring them some measure of peace in their decision. As their hearts break a hundred times over, I will quietly take courage from them, knowing that they have chosen to pay the highest price a parent can in order to know the fullest love possible: “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.”

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Victory over Brett Kimberlin: Summary Judgment Granted Against Convicted Bomber and Perjurer

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:51 am

Free speech has won.

After nearly four years, convicted bomber and perjurer Brett Kimberlin has lost his lawsuit against your favorite blogger (that’s me!). Federal District Judge George Hazel today issued an opinion granting me summary judgment in Kimberlin’s frivolous and censorious lawsuit against me.

It is a total and complete victory. There will be no trial. I will pay nothing. I will take down no blog posts about Kimberlin. The lawsuit is simply over. (Of course, he’ll appeal. He always appeals.)

My deepest thanks go to my pro bono counsel: Ron Coleman of Archer & Greiner and the Likelihood of Confusion blog, and Bruce Godfrey of Jezic & Moyse LLC.

I can’t say enough about these guys. They stood by me at all times, working for no pay — all for the righteous cause of defending free speech. Ron Coleman juggled this case with his internationally known pro bono case for the Slants, which resulted in total victory and a landmark opinion for free speech. In addition to his fine legal work with Ron on the briefs, Bruce Godfrey dealt with a prickly and difficult client (that’s me!) on discovery issues, and spent countless hours cataloguing, redacting, and organizing the voluminous discovery — not to mention dealing with the court and Kimberlin, and navigating me and Ron through the Maryland legal world.

(In an unrelated note: If anybody knows Jennifer Lawrence, contact me at Inside joke. But seriously, write me if you know her.)

These guys also work for pay. You should hire them.

I would be remiss if I did not mention as well the efforts of Kenneth P. White of Brown White & Osborn LLP and the essential Popehat blog. Ken not only provided strategic advice and endured dozens (hundreds?) of emails about the case, but he and Ron also handled the frivolous lawsuit against me by Nadia Naffe — another total victory where I paid nothing and retracted nothing I had said. The Naffe case was cited by Judge Hazel in today’s decision, and provided an important precedent for free speech by prosecutors and other government employees.

Thanks to my readers for sticking with me through all of this, and for the support I have received from so many of you.

It’s a good day for free speech.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]


These Three Conservatives Make Me Feel Like There Is Still Sanity in the World

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:30 am

Ever since Donald Trump became the Republican standard bearer, I have praised him when he has pursued conservative policies, and defended his excellent Supreme Court pick from unfair and absurd attacks. I have also criticized Trump when he has either pursued leftist policies or acted the fool. Since Trump patently cares little about policy, and spends most of his time acting the fool, I end up criticizing him a lot.

Two years ago, I would have told you that if I criticized a president when he deserved criticism, and praised him when he deserved praise, conservatives would be on board and do the same. Today, I know better. It makes most conservatives sad when I criticize Trump for any reason.

If I criticize him for acting the fool, I am told we should look at what he does, not what he says. (Somehow, what I say is fair game for criticism, but what the President of the United States says is not.)

If I criticize him for pursuing or extending leftist policies (forcing transgender terminology on schools, calling a tepid non-repeal of ObamaCare “mean,” etc.) I am told he is Not Hillary — as if being Not Hillary excuses him for all future leftist policy positions.

If I praise him for pursuing conservative policies — something I have less and less opportunity to do these days — I am given a pass, of sorts. But usually a few people will come along and gloat, saying that if I had gotten my way and Hillary were President, we would not have this wonderful conservative outcome. And then I get to explain to these people for the umpteenth time that I did not want Hillary to be President and did not vote for her. No matter. The argument proceeds on the assumption that Donald Trump was owed my vote and the fact that I did not give it to him was an unforgivable betrayal of all that is good and right.

Sure, Trump may have praised the Chinese massacre at Tiananmen Square. Sure, he equated U.S. realpolitik with Putin’s murder of journalists — and even gave Putin cover on that issue by asserting that the murders cannot be attributed to Putin. Sure, he has praised single-payer health care in the past. Sure, he said he likes the ObamaCare mandate. Sure, he supports economically ruinous protection policies because he is pig-ignorant on economic issues. Sure, he donated to Hillary in the past. Etc. etc. No matter. I am history’s greatest monster because I did not give this tremendous human being my vote.

When you criticize Donald Trump, it can feel like a lonely slog.

So when I read opinions by other people that give me comfort that there is still sanity out there, I really appreciate it. And this morning I read three such pieces. They are all excellent and deserve your attention. Let me link them and quote from them in turn.

The first piece is about four days old. It’s from Ben Shapiro, and it’s so good I just want to quote the whole thing. But I won’t, because I want you to read it all. Shapiro writes:

Trump has re-enshrined the Iran deal; his greatest defender on Fox News, Tucker Carlson, now spends his evenings browbeating commentators who suggest that Iran poses a threat to the United States. Trump has doubled down on President Obama’s policies on Russia in Syria; his cease-fire deal with the Russians was so bad that even the Israelis rejected it. Trump has not reformed taxes. There is no world in which Obamacare will be repealed. There is no wall, nor will the wall be forthcoming anytime soon.

That’s not to say that Trump might not end up fulfilling some of these promises. I hope and pray he does. But it’s clear that the vast majority of Republicans no longer care if he does, so long as he does one thing: keep tweeting about the fake-news media. Were Trump to fulfill every conservative pledge but stop tweeting about Mika Brzezinski’s face and CNN’s ratings, many Republicans would be less enamored of him. Trump’s visceral rage is what thrills Republicans, not his policy — and a huge number of Republicans aren’t even interested in whether the rage undercuts his policy. If Mike Pence replaced Donald Trump and implemented every jot and tittle of the conservative program, then won reelection, most Republicans would be enraged, not excited.

Trump’s character is now a thoroughly accepted positive good.

The piece is just so great, and the next passage so on target, that I hope Ben will forgive me if I quote it at some length. This captures precisely what I have come to believe about too many conservatives these days:

Trump allows us to indulge our id and feel righteous while doing it. We grew up believing that decent behavior made you a decent person — but then we realized that breaking the rules not only makes victory easier, it’s more fun than having to struggle with the moral qualms of using moral means to achieve moral ends. So we’ve constructed a backwards logic to absolve ourselves of moral responsibility. The first premise: The other side, which wants bad things, cheats and lies and acts in egregious ways.

The second premise: It requires cheating to defeat them.

The third premise: If they are not defeated, the country will be destroyed.

Conclusion: It is morally required to cheat and lie and act in egregious ways.

Now, the first premise may indeed be true. But the second two are arguable at the very least. Without cheating and lying and acting in Trumpian fashion, Republicans in 2016 won massively at the state level, including governorships, and retained control of the Senate and House. And Democrats, for all their horrible perspectives, are not ISIS or Nazis. That means that the means we use matter.

But we don’t want them to matter.

And so we castigate as “weak-kneed” anyone who says that colluding with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton is wrong. We suggest they just don’t get it. They must have wanted Hillary! They must be idiots or rubes. We must fight anyone who opposes Russian collusion, because that would undercut our fun.

A year ago, many conservatives said that ends justified means — and that the end was the implementation of conservative policies. Some conservatives still feel this way. But now that Trump isn’t actually implementing conservative policies, the truth is coming out: For most conservatives, the ends don’t just justify the means, the means are the ends. All that matters is the punching, even if the punching is both counterproductive and immoral.

Next, we have Jonah Goldberg.

I have few illusions about my ability to talk anyone out of their delusions, particularly liberals. But it is part of my job description to try, particularly with conservatives. To say I have failed — largely true — is not an argument against making the effort.

If you’re a cultist, the only thing that will snap you out of it is Trump himself. At some point, he will do something that will cause the worshippers — or at least most of them — to recognize he was a false god all along. It will be like that scene in The Man Who Would be King, when the girl bites Sean Connery on the cheek. When he bleeds, the faithful realize he is but a mortal.

But in the meantime, horrible damage is being done, because the rationalizations and tribalism are being institutionalized. Clicks-from-cultists media outlets strive to justify and rationalize every failure as a success and every setback as part of the master plan. If you don’t see it, you’re part of the establishment, a globalist, or an elitist. The RNC is reportedly refusing to support Republican candidates who criticized Donald Trump in the wake of the Access Hollywood video. “[The president] is unhappy with anyone who neglected him in his hour of need,” an anonymous RNC insider explained. Horrible damage is being done, because the rationalizations and tribalism are being institutionalized.

This is sickening madness. If this is true, then the logical inference is that the GOP as a party believes that there was nothing wrong with the president’s conduct, even though he was a Democrat at the time. Or, perhaps, that there is nothing so wrong with what he said — and what he claimed he did — that it can justify breaking faith in the Leader.

That is moral rot on an institutional scale and the people aiding and abetting it should be ashamed of themselves.

Finally, Charlie Sykes:

Trump, who remains unbowed and unchanged by the presidency, continues to transform the party that last year capitulated to him. Or more accurately, the conservative movement continues to transform itself into his image.

. . . .

[W]e have become precisely what he hated and claimed to stand against. Add in the ways the Right has succumbed to cult of personality politics and you have the toxic stew in which we now find ourselves marinating.

. . . .

Trump will not, of course, always be with us. But he will leave a mark on the culture and character of conservativism for a very long time.

Thank you, Mr. Shapiro. Thank you, Mr. Goldberg. Thank you, Mr. Sykes.

Thank you for setting an example. Thank you for reaffirming that decency is not a joke — in a culture that increasingly treats it as one.

For each of you, saying these words, and staking out these positions, is both easy and very difficult. Easy, because it’s the only way you know. You would never become one of the panderers — we all know they exist and who they are — who openly praise the worst of Trump’s immorality, and decry as “sissies” anyone who disagrees. So in a way, it’s easy for you . . . because you would never contemplate being other than who you are.

But at the same time, it’s difficult. Because expressing these positions opens you up to a lot of flak from partisans who have constituted a large bulk of your fans over the years. Your livelihood depends on an audience — and not being a panderer is costing you clicks. And you know that’s true. And still, you stand up for the right things. I admire that about you.

Thanks for helping to make the world seem a little less insane.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]


Is It Just Me, or Is That Sessions Story Much Ado About Nothing?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:30 am

Let’s review the central allegation of the Washington Post‘s latest “bombshell” on Jeff Sessions:

Russia’s ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s accounts of two conversations with Sessions — then a top foreign policy adviser to Republican candidate Donald Trump — were intercepted by U.S. spy agencies, which monitor the communications of senior Russian officials both in the United States and in Russia. Sessions initially failed to disclose his contacts with Kislyak and then said that the meetings were not about the Trump campaign.

In other words, the allegation is that Sessions’s account differs from that of Kislyak’s. Gee, why might a Russian mischaracterize his conversations with a top campaign official like Sessions? Can you think of any reasons?

If Kislyak didn’t know he was being monitored, he might want to make his conversations sound more important than they actually were.

But what if Kislyak did know he was being monitored? Indeed, there’s no reason to assume he didn’t know. Someone in his position would have to assume his conversations are constantly monitored. And in that case, imagine the chaos that he could cause if Americans were to believe him over Sessions. Why, he’d be laughing behind his hand!

And indeed, if you read far enough into the article, it admits that the anonymous “officials” leaking all this stuff said as much, and “acknowledged that the Russian ambassador could have mischaracterized or exaggerated the nature of his interactions.” What’s more:

Russian and other foreign diplomats in Washington and elsewhere have been known, at times, to report false or misleading information to bolster their standing with their superiors or to confuse U.S. intelligence agencies.

You don’t say!

So we have 1) a story based on anonymous sources that 2) even if true, does not mean Sessions lied.


All this is very interesting, I suppose . . . to Beltway insiders. But the American people don’t care about it very much — and nowhere near as much as the media does. Jon Gabriel did a very interesting analysis a few days ago, looking at the issues that Americans say they care about, and comparing that to the issues that are given time on Big Media. The results have to be seen to be believed:


If we spent half the time talking about the treachery of Shelly Capito and Lisa Murkowski that we spent lambasting our Attorney General because his statements have been contradicted by a lying Russian, we might actually get something accomplished on health care.


[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]


Sean Spicer Resigns

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:04 am

[guest post by Dana]

Here we go:

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, resigned on Friday morning, telling President Trump he vehemently disagreed with the appointment of the New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director.

Mr. Trump offered Mr. Scaramucci the job at 10 a.m. The president requested that Mr. Spicer stay on, but Mr. Spicer told Mr. Trump that he believed the appointment was a major mistake, according to a person with direct knowledge of the exchange.

It’s true that Spicer faced a great number of difficulties in his short tenure, and yet he was the one who chose to jump on the Trump train, knowing full well what that entailed. While some of the difficulties he faced were of his own making, some were the result of trying to cover for a boss who habitually undercut his staff and turned on a dime. Ultimately, the press secretary damaged his own credibility from the get-go. So, on one hand: It took 183 days to resign??? On the other hand: It took 183 days to resign!!! Also, I’m not surprised that President Trump tapped his friend Scaramucci for a position. It makes sense: Trump reportedly likes how Scaramucci appears on television and he’s a close and loyal friend to the President. It hardly matters that his experience is in finance, not communications.

With that, here is a revealing look at Anthony Scaramucci:


And there is this: ABC News Chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl just tweeted:

Strange times — I just went to ask @PressSec (@seanspicer) a question about @Scaramucci. He slammed the door in my face.

Strange times, indeed.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


READER POLL: Would You Support Trump Pardoning Himself?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am

A report in the Washington Post, based on anonymous sources (natch), suggests that Trump is looking into pardons, including even a pardon of himself:

Some of President Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort.

Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.

Reports based on anonymous sources are not to be taken at face value until corroborated. But it made me wonder:

If President Trump pardoned himself, would you support that action?

Would you support President Trump pardoning himself?

create surveys

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]


O.J. Simpson Granted Parole

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:55 pm

[guest post by Dana]

This after serving nine years of a nine-to-33 year sentence:

Simpson, convicted of robbery and kidnapping, was granted parole Thursday — a unanimous vote by the four-member Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners reported instantly by national and international media. He could be free as soon as Oct. 1.

His release, too, is unlikely to go unnoticed. The moment Simpson received his fourth and final vote from the Nevada Board of Parole recommending release, he dropped his head, as if to give a quiet cheer of celebration to himself, before responding, “Thank you.”

Simpson was also asked what he thought life outside might be like:

The former USC and NFL star running back shrugged it off like a tackler who had taken a bad angle on him. “I’ve been recognized since I was 19,” he said. “I’ve dealt with it my whole life.”

Simpson told the board he wanted to be with his family after missing birthdays and graduations. When it was suggested he might have a webcast or blog once he’s out, he shook his head. Not interested.

That’s probably a good thing because some in the entertainment industry have already explained why they don’t think he should work in Hollywood again:

Giving Simpson a slick reality show or some other lucrative vehicle that allows him to make money while rehabilitating his image would be one more example of the media — more specifically, the entertainment industry — getting it wrong. Making O.J. the center of a new story and telling it from his point of view would, inevitably, make him sympathetic to some. Point of view is a powerful tool, and storytellers taking up O.J.’s cause, whatever the environment, would not hard-pressed to resist a redemption narrative. But that tendency would have the unfortunate effect of minimize and possibly even de-legitimize those who think his troubled past — which was not, as he claimed at the hearing, free of violence — is problematic in the extreme.

America loves second chances, but this one has far too many queasy elements to make it work.

It’s just as well. Simpson would then have time to pursue the real killer of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman.

In reading about today’s hearing, I was struck by how many people, along with myself, remember exactly where they were in 1994 as they watched a bizarre drama unfold on television with O.J. Simpson in the backseat of a white Ford Bronco and the driver leading the police on a nearly 50 mile chase from Orange County to Los Angeles.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Bloomberg Report: Mueller Expanding Probe to Trump Business Transactions

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:15 am

Bloomberg released this article this morning:

The U.S. special counsel investigating possible ties between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia in last year’s election is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe.

The president told the New York Times on Wednesday that any digging into matters beyond Russia would be out of bounds. Trump’s businesses have involved Russians for years, making the boundaries fuzzy so Special Counsel Robert Mueller appears to be taking a wide-angle approach to his two-month-old probe.

FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said.

With Trump’s warning that such an investigation would be out of bounds, the speculation that Trump may fire Mueller is bound to explode today.

Consider this your routine warning that a report based on “a person familiar with the probe” is worth nothing until corroborated by something more tangible.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

UC Berkeley Says Not So Fast To Another Conservative Speaker, Terms To Be Worked Out (UPDATE ADDED)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:36 am

[guest post by Dana]

I’m seeing a pattern. It looks like University of California, Berkeley is still struggling with issues of speech. Particularly speech from conservatives. This time, as with Ann Coulter earlier this year, administrators are using the flimsy excuse that they can’t find a suitable location to host conservative speaker Ben Shapiro.

From the Washington Examiner:

Young America’s Foundation announced that administrators informed the Berkeley College Republicans in an email this week they were “unable to identify an available campus venue” to host the lecture, which was slated for Sept. 14. The administrators, identified by YAF as Dean of Students Joseph Greenwell and Student Organization Coordinator Millicent Morris Chaney, claimed the lecture was spiked “despite extensive efforts.”

“Ben Shapiro is welcome on our campus, and we are committed to supporting his, and your, rights to free speech,” the administrators contended in their message to students, which was sent Tuesday.

The YAF isn’t buying it:

“Berkeley’s inability to find a lecture hall more than two months in advance is laughable,” the Foundation declared in its statement, noting the university’s insistence that it can only host Shapiro “when events are held at a time and location that allow for the provision of any required security measures.”

“An endless stream of liberal speakers continue to be granted opportunities to speak, unobstructed by time, place, or manner restrictions while conservatives are continually treated unequally, and repeatedly relegated to the margins of campus activity,” YAF explained in the statement.

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to attend a lecture by Shapiro at our local university. There were no hysterical protests or riots. Instead, a group of 20 or 30 students held a rather sad looking “dance-off protest” about 50 yards away from the building where he was speaking. Inside the packed hall, there was an assembled group representing just about every age and ethnicity possible. It was a respectful audience, and when Q&A time came, a solid line of men and women snaked all the way to the back door waiting their turn to address Shapiro. He didn’t shy away from anything thrown at him. He spent the most time with a young woman who challenged him on a woman’s right to have an abortion. And in spite of her continually moving the goal posts in an effort to rattle him – which Shapiro patiently pointed out each time – he was consistent in his viewpoints as he thoughtfully responded to her. In light of my experience, I can only assume that UC Berkeley must be made up of an awfully fearful and timid group of faculty and students. Because really, why else be so afraid?

For his part, Shapiro, who spoke at Berekely in 2016 without any problems, vows to fight back:

We’re coming to Berkeley, regardless of attempts to stop us. It’s just a question of when and where. Stay tuned.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


UPDATE: It looks like the show will go on after all:

“It’s clear that we have a number of workable options,” said Dan Mogulof, Berkeley’s assistant vice chancellor for public affairs. “This event is going to happen. We just need to sit down with the College Republicans to talk through the details.”

He said it was unclear whether the Berkeley College Republicans had been informed of the news.

Mogulof said Berkeley reconsidered its initial denial of the College Republicans’ request for a free, centrally located, 500-seat campus venue. Berkeley initially said the College Republicans didn’t follow the rules by pre-booking Shapiro before they asked whether the university had a room available.

“We didn’t have any options in terms of the spaces available free of charge,” Mogulof told FIRE, but “because of the extent of our commitment to free speech, the campus will help fund any fees associated with hosting this event if need be.”

The Daily Wire is also reporting that at the time of this report, the “Berkeley College Republicans confirmed that they haven’t heard from the administration directly.”

Also, the Foundation for Rights Individual Rights in Education (F.I.R.E.) brings clarification with a fuller reporting of the exchange between the university and Berkeley College Republicans. As such, I have changed the title of the post in an effort to more accurately reflect that the university offered to “negotiate the terms of the event”.

Further, in catching up with the comments, I see that Dave posted this comment: “Also, the title of this post is false and misleading. Berkeley has not “said no” to Shapiro; as the university statement shows, they said the exact opposite.” While I don’t agree that Berkeley said the “exact opposite,” I would agree that in light of the clarification, the original title of the post was inaccurate and misleading.

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