Free Markets, Free People

Bill Maher

Calling all Grand Dragons …

Say what you will of Bill Maher (I’m not a fan), his statement about Muslims seems to have some legs:

“In his comments on his HBO show, Maher noted that too many Muslims reject the very notion of free thought and free speech, that the problem is not just ‘a few bad apples.’”

See Europe after the Mohommed cartoons and just about anywhere else concerning a little known video that Muslims found to be sacrilegious (and the US government blamed for the deaths in Benghazi).  Or any of a thousand examples.

It is also something many of us believe about the left, for the most part.  And good old UC Berkley has decided to prove the point.  And Bill Maher is the “problem”:

In response to an announcement last week that comedian Bill Maher would speak at UC Berkeley’s fall commencement, an online petition started circulating Thursday that demanded that the campus rescind its invitation.

The Change.org petition was authored by ASUC Senator Marium Navid, who is backed by the Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian Coalition, or MEMSA, and Khwaja Ahmed, an active MEMSA member. The petition, which urges students to boycott the decision and asks the campus to stop him from speaking, has already gathered more than 1,400 signatures as of Sunday.

Maher, a stand-up comedian and host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, is best known for his often-polarizing political commentary. Recently, Maher faced some backlash after controversial remarks regarding Islam during a segment on his Oct. 6 show.

Navid claims this isn’t about free speech, it’s a matter of “campus climate”:

“The First Amendment gives him the right to speak his mind, but it doesn’t give him the right to speak at such an elevated platform as the commencement. That’s a privilege his racist and bigoted remarks don’t give him.”

For the most part, I agree that freedom of speech doesn’t give one the “right” to speak anywhere – that, in fact, this is an invitation to speak at a “commencement”, and that’s a privilege the university extends.  Okay, got it.

But that’s not what this is about … it’s about shutting Bill Maher and those like him up.  It’s about letting a certain group outside the administration of the university decide who will be awarded the privilege to speak and who won’t.  And in that case, it becomes a matter of free speech, doesn’t it?

Perhaps the most ironic development, though, was on MSNBC (of all places) when an advocate for free speech on campus crossed swords with a spokesman for CAIR:

In a heated debate on MSNBC with free speech advocate Greg Lukianoff, CAIR’s Ibrahim Hooper defended UC Berkeley students’ efforts to uninvite comedian Bill Maher for his comments on Islam, comparing him to the Grand Dragon of the KKK.

[…]

LUKIANOFF: The fact that people so vehemently disagree with him is the more reason to hear him out. It’s an art that I feel is actually being lost on the campuses, where we should be teaching people is to at least hear people out before you to get them kicked off campus.

HOOPER: So if they invited the Grand Dragon of the KKK…

 

CAIR, of all organizations, comparing any other organization to the KKK … well, let’s leave it at “ironic” shall we?

The left’s the “useful idiot” in the attempt of organizations like CAIR to stifle any debate or criticism of Islam.  And, Maher is the Grand Dragon?

~McQ

If you’re going to have to apologize, don’t say it. But if you do say it, man up and live with it and the consequences

There are going to be very few times Bill Maher and I essentially agree.  Today would be one of those days. Apparently he doesn’t like the world Media Matters has created.  He begins his NYT piece defending Robert De Nero’s recent nonsense. 

THIS week, Robert De Niro made a joke about first ladies, and Newt Gingrich said it was “inexcusable and the president should apologize for him.” Of course, if something is “inexcusable,” an apology doesn’t make any difference, but then again, neither does Newt Gingrich.

Mr. De Niro was speaking at a fund-raiser with the first lady, Michelle Obama. Here’s the joke: “Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?”

The first lady’s press secretary declared the joke “inappropriate,” and Mr. De Niro said his remarks were “not meant to offend.” So, as these things go, even if the terrible damage can never be undone, at least the healing can begin. And we can move on to the next time we choose sides and pretend to be outraged about nothing.

This is an example of the left’s propensity toward faux outrage at every utterance from the right backing up on them.  And, since Mr. Maher has been the target of that, he’s all for settling this once and for all.

In essence, Maher wants to be able to say anything he wants and not have to apologize for it.

I agree.

Please, do so.  And don’t apologize.  That is fine with me.

But … and you knew there had to be one … that doesn’t mean what you say is consequence free.  You still get to pay the price for what you say.

That’s really what Maher wants to see go by the boards, make no mistake about it.  No-penalty “free speech”. 

Sorry, no such thing.  Never has been, never will be. 

However, the faux apologies to address the faux outrage (and hypocrisy), yeah, I can do without those.  They’re only trotted out when the consequences of stupid, degrading or demeaning speech put the speaker in an untenable situation.

Here’s an idea – think before you speak?  Exercise a little self-discipline?

Nah … way to restrictive, huh?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

Violent hateful rhetoric? The left is peerless in that realm

It appears we’re again witnessing leftist projection as those on that side of the ideological divide continue to try to sell the “violent and hateful right-wing rhetoric” canard as a reason for concern.

In fact the right can’t really hold a candle to some of the left.  Media Research Center provides a little primer.

Under the category of hateful rhetoric, see if you can guess who said this Michelle Malkin?

“…a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it.”

If you guessed Keith Olberman, give yourself a point.  Of course we could probably cite Olberman for any number of hateful diatribes but one example makes the point.

And this about then sitting (2007) VP Dick Cheney?

I’m just saying if he did die, other people, more people would live. That’s a fact.”

A little hard but not much – that would be Bill Maher, that paragon of restraint and good taste.  Maher also popped this one out there about Rush Limbaugh when Heath Ledger was found dead (2008):

Why couldn’t he have croaked from it instead of Heath Ledger?”

No cries for “civility in discourse” then, were there? 

Hateful?  Try this from Charles Karel Bouley, a San Francisco radio host on the announced death of Presidential spokesman Tony Snow from cancer:

I hear about Tony Snow and say to myself, well, stand up every day, lie to the American people at the behest of your dictator-esque boss and well, how could a cancer NOT grow in you. Work for Fox News, spinning the truth in to a billion knots and how can your gut not rot?

Yeah, “civil discourse”.

Violent rhetoric?  Any idea who said this about Congresswoman Michele Bachman in 2009?

“Slit your wrist! Go ahead! I mean, you know, why not? I mean, if you want to — or, you know, do us all a better thing. Move that knife up about two feet. I mean, start right at the collarbone.”

That would be Air America’s Montel Williams.  Had that been someone on the right we’d have heard the usual suspects on the left denounce Williams as a misogynist, etc.  Instead – crickets.

Mike Malloy, a favorite lefty radio talker on Rush Limbaugh:

“I’m waiting for the day when I pick it up, pick up a newspaper or click on the Internet and find out he’s choked to death on his own throat fat or a great big wad of saliva or something, you know, whatever. Go away, Rush, you make me sick!

That was just last year when Limbaugh was taken to the hospital with chest pains – you know, “civil discourse.” (more Malloy here)

Ed Shultz joins the civil discourse choir talking about the left’s favorite righty, Dick Cheney.  Here he lovingly wishes the former VP a happy life in 2009:

“He is an enemy of the country, in my opinion, Dick Cheney is, he is an enemy of the country….Lord, take him to the Promised Land, will you?

And in 2010, Schultz continued his enviable record of “civil discourse” when talking about Cheney and his heart problems:

“We ought to rip it out and kick it around and stuff it back in him!”

Who is “we” Mr. Schultz?

Finally, another hypocrite master of civil discourse who has been chiding the right for a couple of weeks now fantasized on the air about the death of Rush Limbaugh:

“Somebody’s going to jam a CO2 pellet into his head and he’s going to explode like a giant blimp.”

Bless their little hearts, when it comes to “civil discourse”, they are the standard, no?  And of course, as anyone who has followed the “discourse” during the Bush years (and as the examples above point out, since) they know that what is listed above is the very tip of a honking big iceberg of similar “civil discourse” from the left.

It is the primary reason I refuse to be lectured to by these people.  I’ll again make the point that they’re much less interested in “civil discourse” than they are in shutting the right up. 

Ain’t gonna work, fellas.

~McQ

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