Free Markets, Free People


Irony alert – “Mean-spirited” Chancellor of UC Berkeley uses “hateful rhetoric” to attack political opponents

The LA Times brings us yet another example of the apparent immunity to irony most folks on the liberal side of the house tend to exhibit.  This time it is the Chancellor of UC Berkeley –  an institution probably considered the cherry on top of the sundae of liberal academia.

Apparently Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau sent out a campus-wide email in which he blamed the shooting of Rep. Giffords in Tucson on  Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigrants and the failure to pass the DREAM act.  The email was sent out Monday.  Giffords was shot the previous Saturday.

In the email, Birgeneau said, "I believe that it is not a coincidence that this calamity has occurred in a state which has legislated discrimination against undocumented persons."

Well, as a matter of fact, it is a coincidence that it happened in Arizona regardless of anyone’s views on the immigration enforcement law the state passed.  In fact, it appears immigration wasn’t even on Loughner’s rather weirded-out radar screen.

Birgenau also made it clear he believed a "climate in which demonization of others goes unchallenged and hateful speech is tolerated" was also partly responsible for the shooting.  Subsequent revelations seem to pretty much debunk this theory.  0 for 2.

Speaking of demonization and hateful speech, Birgenau went on to say, "this same mean-spirited xenophobia played a major role in the defeat of the DREAM Act by legislators in Washington, leaving many exceptionally talented and deserving young people, including our own undocumented students, painfully in limbo with regard to their futures in this country,"

“Mean-spirited xenophobia”?  It couldn’t be that many who opposed the legislation saw it as giving an unfair advantage to those who had chosen to ignore our laws over those who were playing by the rules could it?  It couldn’t be that those who oppose the law have absolutely no problem with legal immigration and actually agree our system is broken and needs to be fixed, could it?

Nope, they must be “mean-spirited xenophobes” if they opposed the law.  The irony impaired say so.

By the way, this is also a great example of “projection” – another thing the left seems to be unable to spot.  Blame the other side for doing what you’re caught doing, i.e. using overgeneralizations, demonization and hateful speech to attack your opponent  – while in the middle of decrying it.

It just doesn’t get much better than this.

~McQ

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58 Responses to Irony alert – “Mean-spirited” Chancellor of UC Berkeley uses “hateful rhetoric” to attack political opponents

  • In the e-mail, sent Monday, Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau condemned a “climate in which demonization of others goes unchallenged and hateful speech is tolerated.”

    Isn’t this the classic definition of the “circular firing squard” ?

  • Further examples of inept decision making by UC Chancellor Birgeneau.
    When UC Berkeley announced its elimination of student sports including baseball, men’s, women’s gymnastics, women’s lacrosse teams and its defunding of the national-champion men’s rugby team, the chancellor sighed, “Sorry, but this was necessary!”
    But was it?  Yes, the university is in dire financial straits. Yet $3 million was somehow found by Chancellor Robert J Birgeneau to pay the Bain consulting firm to uncover waste, inefficiencies in UC Berkeley (Cal), despite the fact that a prominent East Coast university was accomplishing the same thing without expensive consultants. 
    Essentially, the process requires collecting, analyzing information from faculty, staff.  Apparently, Cal senior management believe that the faculty, staff of their world-class university lacks the cognitive ability, integrity, energy to identify millions in savings.  If consultants are necessary, the reason is clear:  the chancellor has lost credibility with the people who provided the information to the consultants.  Chancellor Robert J Birgeneau has reigned for eight years, during which time the inefficiencies proliferated to $150 million.  Even as Bain’s recommendations are implemented (‘They told me to do it’, Birgeneau), credibility, trust, problems remain.
    Bain is interviewing faculty, staff, senior management and academic senate leaders to identify $150 million in inefficiencies, most of which could have been found internally. One easy-to-identify problem, for example, was wasteful procurement practices such as failing to secure bulk discounts on printers.  But Birgeneau apparently has no concept of savings:  even in procuring a consulting firm he failed to receive proposals from other firms.

    Students, staff, faculty, California Legislators are the victims of his incompetent decisions.   Now that sports teams are feeling the pinch, perhaps the California Alumni, benefactors, donors, will demand to know why Birgeneau is raking in $500,000 a year while abdicating his work responsibilities.

    Let there be light.

    The author, who has 35 years’ consulting experience, has taught at University of California Berkeley, where he was able to observe the culture and the way the senior management operates.
    PS University of California Berkeley (Cal) ranking drops.  In 2004, for example, the London-based Times Higher Education ranked Cal the 2nd leading research university in the world, just behind Harvard; in 2009 that ranking had tumbled to 39th place.
    University of California, Berkeley.
     

    • This same mean-spirited xenophobia played a major role in the defeat of the Dream Act by our legislators in Washington, leaving many exceptionally talented and deserving young people, including our own undocumented students, painfully in limbo with regard to their futures in this country.

      I wonder if he had a vested interest in seeing to it that “undocumented students” kept their status.
      I also wonder if the taxpayers of Kuhlifornia really feel well-served by educating “undocumented students”.

      • I wonder if he had a vested interest in seeing to it that “undocumented students” kept their status.

        >>> As long as they’re paid for somehow, he couldn’t care less.

  • Yeah, I posted on that on Monday.
    http://hindenblog1.blogspot.com/2011/01/burn-name-that-demonizer.html

    I believe that it is not a coincidence that this tragedy has occurred in a state which has legislated discrimination against undocumented persons.

    This genius was willing to indict a whole state on the strength of his own…really obvious…prejudices.
    But this kind of crap is actually GOOD for us.  Sane people can’t read that without laughing at the kind of mind that could compose it.

    • But who can prove that “hateful” affects anybody to do anything.
      Think back to a church in Chicago whose pastor, Jeremiah Wright, screamed out “God Damn America”.  A certain parishioner of 20 years, we were told, was totally unaffected.   Maybe I’m wrong about that part … hmmm.

  • Another irony example …
    Buchanan tells Matthews that he is “left’s version of a ‘birther’” then …

    “You shouldn’t say Second Amendment remedies,” Buchanan said.
    “But let me ask you something – who said it 1,000 times on the air? Sharron Angle said it once. I agree with you. You would say, ‘Look Sharron, don’t use it. Are you inflaming or informing?
    … But you keep repeating it.”
    Buchanan is on to something here.

  • You can see where this will all wind up.  Right now, many on the left seem to be comfortable with the notion that we can use a tragic incident to deal with a “problem” (like free speech) that is not associated with that incident at all.  That has been the pattern so far– “we acknowledge that this fellow is deranged and does not appear to have been affected by political rhetoric from any side, but clearly this is an indication that we need to tone that rhetoric down, at least from the right.“  At some point, some incident will occur that will require them to take the exact opposite tack, at which point they’ll have to backpedal clumsily.  Then they’ll spend the ensuing weeks bemoaning the existence of the internet and bloggers and the First Amendment.

    If the fates are feeling particularly fickle, this will happen sometime around August or October of 2012.

    • Saturday’s shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, in which six people were killed, could not have been prevented, 40 percent of American voters say in a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. Another 23 percent blame the mental health system, while 15 percent say it was due to heated political rhetoric and 9 percent attribute the tragedy to lax gun control.
      American voters say 52 – 41 percent that “heated political rhetoric drives unstable people to commit violence,” the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Liberals rather than conservatives are more responsible for such rhetoric, voters say 36 – 32 percent.

      This is highly anecdotal, but I get the impression that all the air has gone out of the moonbat side of the blog-o-sphere.  They seem to sense that America not only isn’t buying it, but recognized the smears and exploitation as what it was, and don’t like it.

  • That rhetoric is even more distasteful coming from the Chancellor of a University.  Universities should be the bastions of free speech and the exchange of ideas.  To connect other peoples’ ideas and political stances to a shooting is irrational.  While that kind of stuff is the bread and butter of various talk radio and blogs, it certainly should be condemned as unworthy of a university Chancellor.

    • OK, who are you, and what did you do with Erp?

      • Excellent progress.

        However, I looked twice, he only mostly made it into a safe area – get him to amend it as follows and he’ll be on the road to honest discourse.
        “While that kind of stuff is the bread and butter of MSNBC and blogs,” .  It was not talk radio that linked political ideas and stances to the shooting.

        Pity, I was about to give him a hearty well done, because the sentiment about Universities being bastions of free speech and idea exchange is right on target.

        • Well, in fairness…there ARE some 5 watters out there where moonbats broadcast.
          Randi Rhodes is still on the air, for instance…

        • “MSNBC and Democrats” …

          • I was thinking of Daily Krass specifically.  It’s a blog – if this was OZ, it would be kinda the Wicked Witch of the West to our Glinda, but oh well, still a witch.

            Yet I can’t argue with your correction :)

    •  To connect other peoples’ ideas and political stances to a shooting is irrational.  While that kind of stuff is the bread and butter of various talk radio and blogs, it certainly should be condemned as unworthy of a university Chancellor

      >>>> Yes, it’s more along the lines of what Poli-Sci professors would do!

      • shark…”praise when performing”…
        Erp is showing progress.

        • “Erp is showing progress.”

          Nah, you just have not been around long enough to see the cycles he goes through. He does the faux reasonable routine every once in a while when it’s clear that everyone here has stopped taking him seriously. It’s usually some variation of “why can’t we all get along” and/or “both sides do X”.

          It’s just to sucker people back into responding to him so he can return to his usual smug condescension. At least, that’s been the five-year-long pattern, and I’d be shocked if he gets very far away from it. Heck, he can’t even be upfront about his coming here; just a couple of days ago it was “I’m not planning to comment here”. He comes here because this blog has one of the most liberal commenting policies in the blogosphere, and he won’t get banned the way he would at most other libertarian sites. He needs an audience to lecture down to, and he finds it here. He just has to fish for a while sometimes to get people to pay attention first.

          • Billy, what exactly is “smug condescension.”  You realize the insults and ridicule I get here from a few people.  I work at not giving in to the temptation to respond in kind.  I suspect I sometimes respond to a blatant insult with a more veiled insinuation, and that probably comes through as smug condescension.  But man, if you guys are going to dish it out like many of you do, surely you can take a little smug condescension sometimes!

          • Billy, what exactly is “smug condescension.”

            See, this illustrates the problem perfectly. Since you’re too clueless to understand your own effects on people, the longtimers here know you can’t change or improve. Plenty of folks over the years have gone over the whole thing with you multiple times, and you’re just incapable of getting the point.

          • “a more veiled insinuation”

            LOL.
            Right. Your subtlety is legendary.

        • 1) The meds are kicking in.
          2) The new photo means he has to act more mature. I sorta liked the clown avatar.

      • I remain optimistic.  Fight though the temptation to revert, Erp…!!!

        • Sorry, this is just another version of the ‘all opions are valid, and now we all need to get along’ comment Erb made to the “Fools Rush In” post from last Sunday. Now that the left has spent two years ignoring all reason, it’s time to act civil. The last thing the left wants is people to think the differences are enough that the health-care monstrosity should be repealed.

          (BTW  Ragspierre - when looking back to make sure I was referring I had the right post, I noticed that Erb responded to your request for information about what unites us -five days later, after its moved off the front page. Suffice to say, Billy nails it in his comment above.)

          • Ah, well…  I live in hope…
            Should I even bother to read what he said…???

          • I did post my response late because I checked hadn’t read it — but I then went to the thread at the top, the one on Illinois taxation, and I responded to a post from Rags, telling him that I had responded to his question back in that thread (figuring he might not go back there at that point unless I pointed that out).   So I’m not sure what I should have done differently — or why you would criticize me on that.

    • Someone here has been fooling around with pentagrams again!

  • I guess it’s time to check all the Tea Party photos for anybody in a bright red g-string

    TUCSON — Law enforcement officials said Friday they have multiple photos of Jared L. Loughner posing with a Glock 9mm pistol next to his naked buttocks and dressed in a bright red g-string.

    • I’m sorry…THAT was just WAY more information than I EVER needed…!!!
      Now I’ll have to wash my brain…

      • Yeah, how’d you like to have to be the officer that had to log that stuff for the evidence folders?

        Police really do have to see many things that I thank God I’m not forced to see, and hear things I’m glad I don’t have to hear.
        Oh wait, you’re not a criminal law attorney are you?

      • The saving grace, so far, is that they didn’t release any of the photos, but we all know they will get released eventually.
        Perhaps a pool, as to which media darling releases them first, is in order.

    • Hey, a little warning?  Some of us just ate!

  • “I believe that it is not a coincidence that this calamity has occurred in a state which has legislated discrimination against undocumented persons.”

    errr… how dare you discriminate against lawbreakers?

  • Billy Hollis, you can dish it out, but it seems you can’t take it.   You take me too seriously.

    • Heh! No, Scott, I don’t take you seriously at all, and that’s what you absolutely can’t stand.

      And this “dish it out but can’t take it” line is just like your “doth protest too much” line. It’s one of the generic, meaningless, trite responses you pull out when you don’t have a real response.

    • You have clearly taken to heart the message of transparency, Scott.

    • “You take me too seriously”

      BWAHAHAHA!
      Whew!

      Thus proving Billy’s point.
      One more time, Erp, noone here takes you seriously anymore.

      But thanks for the laugh.

      • OK, I wasn’t going to start posting here again, but you guys are making it too fun!

        • Why don’t you stop lying to yourself? You will always find a reason to come here. We’ve been through this. You can’t stay away, not for any length of time. You crave the attention too much.

          We understand your narcissism, even though you deny it to yourself. We’re the ones who can predict what you’ll do, even when you say you’re going to do something else. Every time you said you were going to stop commenting here, we said you would come back, and you always have. Even after you stormed off in a huff claiming we were like Goebbels. The obvious conclusion is that, at least in some ways, we understand your psychology better than you do. You’re like the smoker who is sure he can quit any time he wants to, but somehow never manages to quit for any length of time.

          We all understand that it would be too painful to face these truths about yourself. So you just go on denying them, and we’ll go on making fun of you for denying them. The alternative, since you are never going to stop coming here, is to take you seriously, and that just leads to every thread being a dreary, drawn-out mess that’s all about you as our intelligent, perceptive commenters try to correct your errors, misapprehensions, and bad predictions.

          • Like I said, Billy, you take me and all this too seriously.  Your efforts at psychoanalysis are funny. I don’t have a grudge against anyone here, and prefer debating real issues.   Personal insults on the internet are irrelevant and cheap.  I’ll post arguments and opinions on issues, and try to avoid ad hominems.   Argumentum ad hominem is, of course, a logical fallacy.  You can choose to launch personal attacks and insults.  Frankly, I don’t take any of that seriously.   If you make a good argument, or present evidence, I take that seriously.  But insults?   Nah, they are irrelevant and irrational.  I don’t take the insults seriously.  And that’s what bugs you, right?

          • Like I said, Billy…

            Like I said, Scottie, you’re lying to yourself. If you think otherwise, explain why you have said multiple times that you won’t comment here, but you keep coming back.

            And as for this “prefer debating real issues” BS, that’s absurd, and we all know it. As Andrew McCarthy said about leftists, your arguments are purely tactical. 

            I recall, back when I actually gave you some benefit of the doubt, trying to argue about Iraq and after going a dozen rounds over months, having one day when I said I was just too busy. Your response? “It sounds like you’re afraid to debate!” That was stupid, a cheap shot, and totally betrays that you are out simply for rhetorical advantage rather than actually debating the issues. You just want the psychological satisfaction of lecturing people. It has nothing to do with facts, logic, or reality, as you have proven by being so consistently wrong.

            You’re a sad little man, who knows deep down how mediocre he is, and found the best way to avoid facing it by becoming a mediocre teacher in a mediocre college where there are not even any bright graduate students to challenge your BS. You come here out of a desperate need to validate yourself. I say again – you can’t stay away. The psychological craving is too strong, and you have proven it over and over again. 

            So keep telling yourself that it’s “funny” when others realize what you are really like. I’m sure it helps you get through the day. But just remember: we know the truth, and you prove it to us every time you show up here. After all those times telling us you were not going to, you just keep coming back. You. Just. Can’t. Help. It.

  • The local sheriff announced that illegal alien drug smugglers had a free pass in the county so the shooter could have plenty of pot to use and sell so the chancellor was right about immigration law having something to do with the slaughter but it was non enforcement of law that caused it just as it does south of the border.

  • “As the truth comes out about this nutcase, doesn’t it seem like the media can’t believe that the killer doesn’t care about them? It’s like they think they had an impact on him, when in fact all he cares about is UFOs.”

  • Mark Rudd, founder of the Weather Underground:

    I considered myself an agent of necessity in a political revolution. I’m not sure if Loughner, who seems to suffer from mental illness, can be considered an agent of anything. But I’m sure that if, as alleged, he pulled the trigger, he had convinced himself that he was doing what needed to be done.

    I’m sure the good Chancellor is doing what he thought he had to do, too.

  •  Erp , like the Maytag repairman in the commercials, got a little lonely over at his blog and decided to come over here.  Being laughed at and insulted is better than being ignored, I guess.

    • Yes, but he had to stay away for awhile after being so howlingly wrong about the elections. And when he finally put in the obligatory brief note about being wrong, he put it in an old thread hoping no one would read it, but he could still piously point to how he admits he’s wrong sometimes.

      If he were really able to own up to his own limitations, he would congratulate McQ. If I recall correctly, McQ predicted 61 GOP pickups in the House and 8 Senate pickups. Very, very close: a bit under in the House and slightly over in the Senate. This from someone who just does this as a hobby.

      Yet a political “scientist” can’t come anywhere near that level of accuracy with his prediction. He’s supposed to be a pro at this. He whines all the time about his advanced degrees and how we ought to take him seriously. Yet he looks at exactly the same election and is way, way off. As if he’s living in a different world (imagine that). 

      If were an honest participant in debate, he would have come back the week after the election, congratulated McQ for being so prescient, and admitted that he has a lot to learn from McQ. But he hid in shame and waited until he hoped things had died down to come back. What a wimp.

  • My specialization is International Relations and European politics.   When it comes to American politics, I claim no expertise, though I have a colleague who I often pepper with questions about Maine and US politics.     I have always tried to focus on the issues and treat people here (and elsewhere) with respect.  If I haven’t done that, I apologize.   I don’t mean this as an insult, but I honestly think it’s the fact that I don’t get bothered by the insults and I’m pretty effective at arguing a different perspective than yours is what annoys many of you.  I also think you’d prefer your opponents to be angry, lashing out insults, and not trying to find some common ground.
    I do agree I should have come back and congratulated you.   I have been working on a big project (reflected in some recent blog postings of my own) that is going to take awhile — I also taught an overload last semester.   I purposefully limited any political blogging to avoid time drain.  I stuck to my own blog and a few others, avoiding ALL intensely partisan blogs.  I would check in time to time to see your take on an issue, but wanted to avoid doing what I’m doing now and spending time responding.  I figured you’d appreciate it.   But yes, it should have occurred to me to come back after the election, I apologize, and commend you for accurately and with foresight understanding the political environment much better than I did.    You can think I’m a dishonest wimp if you want, but I wasn’t thinking about Q&O much at the time.

    • My specialization is International Relations and European politics. I have an advanced degree in that, have I mentioned that? Anyway, when it comes to American politics, I claim no expertise. So all those election predictions? That was just me talking out of my a–. Wait… that didn’t come out right. Um, I was a Senate staffer in the eighties, have I mentioned that? But I wasn’t just a gopher so stop saying that, no sir, I had an important job. But one in which I learned nothing of signficance about American politics. No, wait, that’s not right either. Look, you’re just going to have to give me more time to come up with a better rationalization here.

      But I have a colleague who I often pepper with questions about Maine and US politics while we’re sitting around the faculty lounge. I made my predictions based on what he told me, so I guess he doesn’t know what he’s talking about either and I don’t know I brought it up.

      I have always tried to focus on the issues and treat people here (and elsewhere) with respect. Stop laughing! If I haven’t done that, I apologize. Really, it’s a sincere apology! Stop laughing, I said! You sound like a bunch of hyenas! And those times I called you guys sterile and inbred and Nazi-like and stuff, well, you just misunderstood, because I ALWAYS tried to focus on the issues and treat people with respect. Always. I decree it.

      I don’t mean this as an insult, but I honestly think it’s the fact that I don’t get bothered by the insults and I’m pretty effective at arguing a different perspective than yours is what annoys many of you. Dammit, stop laughing! I am effective, I tell you! Even when I’m just talking out of my a–, like with the election predictions! And I was completely effective in explaining that you guys are climate deniers even though I’m just talking out of my a– about climate stuff too. And the stuff I predicted about how the Surge was going to fail, I was completely effective in arguing about that, since it was in my field of international relations. I mean, really though, how hard could that be, arguing against you ex-military basket cases who are wigged out from the stress of being in the military. Yep, that Surge thing was just a bad, bad idea, and Iraq was the worst foreign policy mistake in American history, and the violence is going to crank up any time now, you just wait. For the last time, STOP LAUGHING!

      I also think you’d prefer your opponents to be angry, lashing out insults, and not trying to find some common ground. Which isn’t like me at all. I’m constantly trying to find common ground, and the fact that we never seem to find any is just due to my godlike powers of political science, I guess, and your inability to see the beauty of my pragmatic moderate leftism and the fact that our march towards glorious leftist utopia must always take first priority.

      I do agree I should have come back and congratulated you. But I was busy. That’s the ticket. Yeah, real busy. I purposefully limited any political blogging to avoid time drain. It certainly didn’t have a thing to do with burying my head in shame because I actually made a prediction that was not subject to opinion or spin and got my rear end handed to me. Nope, that’s not it. I decree it.

      I stuck to my own blog and a few others, avoiding ALL intensely partisan blogs. Like you guys, who are intensely partisan, unlike me of course with my wise pragmatic moderate leftism. And the fact that at the end of the day I somehow always end up taking a position with the partisan left on policy doesn’t mean I’m partisan, so stop saying that.

      I would check in time to time to see your take on an issue, but wanted to avoid doing what I’m doing now and spending time responding. Seriously. I figured you’d appreciate it. So I stopped having fun by coming here and irritating people as I mentioned in the comment above, and having fun irritating people isn’t either a sign of a sick mind, so just don’t start. I figured I’d come here and irritate you for a while, and then you’ll appreciate it even more when I go away for a while.

      But yes, it should have occurred to me to come back after the election, I apologize, and commend you for accurately and with foresight understanding the political environment much better than I did. Grrrr. OK, I said it. Are you happy now? You can think I’m a dishonest wimp if you want, but I wasn’t thinking about Q&O much at the time. I was thinking about… um, I don’t remember, but I certainly was definitely not thinking about how you guys made me look stupid. I was thinking about anything but that.

      • “I was thinking about anything but that.”
        Probably those busty magenta caterpillars.

      • “Um, I was a Senate staffer in the eighties,”

        I believe that is pronounced ‘gofer’.

        • $&*^&%$%$
          I should have read the rest before I commented. Sorry.

        • Well, I was a Legislative Assistant, was often on the Senate floor, wrote some speeches and bills, was part of a junket to Greece and Turkey (really cool to go through the Isthmus of Corinth by boat at sunset — a Greek billionaire’s yacht, no less), and got to meet most of the biggies.   I shocked a lot of people when I quit, but I knew I didn’t have the heart for the cold minded power games that defines Washington.   That’s probably one reason I’m cynical about the federal government and so strongly support devolving rights to states and localities.  I trust my state politicians far more!

          • …I’m cynical about the federal government and so strongly support devolving rights to states and localities.

            No, you’re not.  You are a mindless cheerleader for federal Health Care Deform and federal environmental laws and international treaties based upon dubious climate alarmist theories.

    • “My specialization is International Relations and European politics.   When it comes to American politics, I claim no expertise,”

      Then you must have started specializing in high school, given your startling lack of expertise in American politics. Too, your record in international relations ain’t that good, either.