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Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 11:56 AM
Haven't seen any threads regarding this, but if there is, my apologies...

There is currently a controversy here in Ottawa where Conservative author/columnist Ann Coulter was supposed to give a speech at the University of Ottawa. However, the talk was canceled after protests by students (including a falsely-pulled fire alarm).

This was not the only negative reaction to Coulter... posters of the event had been banned from certain buildings, she's been criticized in our house of parliament, and one of the professors at the university mailed her a letter suggesting she "tone down" her comments.

As a result, Coulter has labeled the Canadian university as 'bush league', pointing out that such protests would never have happened at the more high-quality colleges in the U.S.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5grH5rnCyMoqFbARVHi9zhJY-kQnAD9EKVOKG1
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/always+bush+league+schools+Coulter+contends/2720460/story.html

Now, I am not a fan of Ann Coulter. I have never read any of her books, watched any interviews with her, or read any of her articles. From what I have heard of her, she sounds like an idiot in so many ways.

That said, I think she's right... cases like that do reflect very badly on our universities (and by extension our population). The proper response to bad speech is to counter it with good speech. Yes, Ann Coulter says dumb things. Best way to handle it is to let her rant and rave, then bring in your own speakers, or write a letter to your local newspaper pointing out all the stupid things she said.

Unfortunately, now she has the "moral high ground", and Canada looks like we don't respect the concept of freedom of speech.

GreNME
24th March 2010, 12:06 PM
Unfortunately, now she has the "moral high ground", and Canada looks like we don't respect the concept of freedom of speech.

I don't see how either of those cases are so. Coulter backed out, and is trying to claim that the criticism stopped her from appearing when it didn't. It just shows how much of a liar and a wimp she really is.

pgwenthold
24th March 2010, 12:09 PM
As a result, Coulter has labeled the Canadian university as 'bush league', pointing out that such protests would never have happened at the more high-quality colleges in the U.S.


Wasn't she the one who got hit with a pie in the face on a University visit once?

Praktik
24th March 2010, 12:12 PM
I understand the ideal of Universities as being sites where all ideas are welcome. That being said, the base nature of Coulter's comments belong in a bar, not in a university where we hope that discussions occur at a much higher level.

The only place for Coulter in University is as an object of study in a course on political discourse, where she would fit in under the portion of the class dedicated to mass media debasement of politics, she doesn't fit in as a speaker, since the quality of her ideas is just "bush league" when it comes to intellectual authority.

Buckaroo
24th March 2010, 12:19 PM
Her fake indignation is priceless. She's loving this.

lomiller
24th March 2010, 12:20 PM
I think there is plenty to dislike about Coulter and the protesters were well within their rights for the most part. The university was also well within it’s rights to respond the way it did and I don’t necessarily think there is anything wrong with a university avoiding some controversies.

The problem is that this was part of a free speech series specifically aimed at putting controversial figures up and allowing them to talk with the overall message that even controversial voices should be allowed to speak. If the university wasn’t willing to weather the controversy they should have never agreed to take part in the series to begin with. It amounts to them saying they support controversial free speech, unless it turns out to be controversial.

Naturally the conservative pundits on corus radio have missed the point and are trying to tout this as some type of “anti-conservative agenda” it much more a case of the university wanting to be bold and controversial until they realize what that implies. They should have thought it though before they decided to participate, not after.

Praktik
24th March 2010, 12:24 PM
ya if they wanted controversy they coulda picked someone who doesn't conceive of politics as a form of schoolyard taunting.

There's plenty of controversial figures out there that are still intellectually coherent and worthy of respect.

AvalonXQ
24th March 2010, 12:26 PM
The problem is that this was part of a free speech series specifically aimed at putting controversial figures up and allowing them to talk with the overall message that even controversial voices should be allowed to speak.

... ouch.
Yeah, the University loses on this one.

quixotecoyote
24th March 2010, 12:29 PM
I think there is plenty to dislike about Coulter and the protesters were well within their rights for the most part. The university was also well within it’s rights to respond the way it did and I don’t necessarily think there is anything wrong with a university avoiding some controversies.


I'd draw the line at pies-in-the-face and false fire alarms, though.

Protesting against giving a disingenuous hatemonger a platform is fine. I support free speech, but that doesn't mean I'd let someone put up a racist sign on my lawn.

However, there are lines as to what acts of protest are acceptable.


The problem is that this was part of a free speech series specifically aimed at putting controversial figures up and allowing them to talk with the overall message that even controversial voices should be allowed to speak. If the university wasn’t willing to weather the controversy they should have never agreed to take part in the series to begin with. It amounts to them saying they support controversial free speech, unless it turns out to be controversial.

I think there's a difference between a speaker whose ideas may be offensive and a speaker whose idea is to be offensive.

Thunder
24th March 2010, 12:31 PM
Canada is not the USA. I don't know what your Freedom of Speech laws or principles are.

However, I believe in her right to speak, and the right of protesters to call her names and yell.

TraneWreck
24th March 2010, 12:32 PM
This is very, very shaky ground. The beginning of this trend was the German prohibition against Halocaust denial. ONe can certainly understand their sensitivity, but I believe we're coasting down that infamous "slippery slope" as we speak.

Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 12:32 PM
Unfortunately, now she has the "moral high ground", and Canada looks like we don't respect the concept of freedom of speech. I don't see how either of those cases are so. Coulter backed out, and is trying to claim that the criticism stopped her from appearing when it didn't. It just shows how much of a liar and a wimp she really is.

First of all, yes, Coulter did back out, but that may have had something to do with the strong possibility that any protests would get out of control. (Remember, at least one of the protesters thought pulling a fire alarm was a 'good idea'.) I'd also have to wonder if she would have even been able to give her speech or if she would have had protesters shouting at her all through her speech.

Secondly, remember, it was not just the protests, it was the fact that we have hate speech laws, and the fact that a professor at the university took the time to write her suggesting she 'tone things down'.

AvalonXQ
24th March 2010, 12:32 PM
However, I believe in her right to speak, and the right of protesters to call her names and yell.

How about the right of protesters to physically block the event hall so she and others can't get in?
How about the right of protesters to create a false alarm to force the event to adjourn?

Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 12:40 PM
I understand the ideal of Universities as being sites where all ideas are welcome. That being said, the base nature of Coulter's comments belong in a bar, not in a university where we hope that discussions occur at a much higher level.

The only place for Coulter in University is as an object of study in a course on political discourse, where she would fit in under the portion of the class dedicated to mass media debasement of politics, she doesn't fit in as a speaker, since the quality of her ideas is just "bush league" when it comes to intellectual authority.
Just wondering... who exactly do you suggest is responsible for making a decision about what is "bush league" when it comes to free speech? How do you determine what is acceptable for universities and what should be restricted to just 'bar talk'? Where do you draw the line, and how do you guarantee that whatever 'criteria' you use to filter out the riff-raft at universities doesn't result in some borderline ideas being condemned?


There's plenty of controversial figures out there that are still intellectually coherent and worthy of respect.

Respected by whom? Who decides who's worthy of respect? And doesn't that mean that you could miss out on 'valid' ideas just because they're spoken by someone not worth respect? (Remember, the saying... even an blind squirrel can find an acorn.)

The people who invited her to speak probably felt she was "worthy of respect". I certainly don't agree, but do you think your opinion on respectability should always override others?

Thunder
24th March 2010, 12:46 PM
How about the right of protesters to physically block the event hall so she and others can't get in?
How about the right of protesters to create a false alarm to force the event to adjourn?

um...that's not speech. one person's speech should not violate another person's ability to use the same right.

AvalonXQ
24th March 2010, 12:47 PM
um...that's not speech.

I'm glad we agree.
The college messed up on this one.
Oh, well. They'll learn.

lector
24th March 2010, 12:47 PM
As a result, Coulter has labeled the Canadian university as 'bush league', pointing out that such protests would never have happened at the more high-quality colleges in the U.S.



That, of course, is pure bull pucky. This sort of thing has a long history on U.S. campuses.

Typical of Coulter to whip out the gratuitous xenophobe card.

AvalonXQ
24th March 2010, 12:48 PM
That, of course, is pure bull pucky. This sort of thing has a long history on U.S. campuses.

I doubt the people at this university dislike Coulter any more than the Ivy League, but she's never been physically blocked or sabotaged from giving talks at any of those schools.

Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 12:50 PM
Canada is not the USA. I don't know what your Freedom of Speech laws or principles are.
Well, we do have "freedom of speech" in our constitution, but we also have an article in our charter of rights that states:
1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
So, the government can pass laws against 'hate speech', pr0n, or anything else, and claim those are 'reasonable limits' to free speech. (That would leave it up to the supreme court to decide what is 'reasonable'.)

Of course, in this case, it wasn't necessarily the government that was shutting her down. Instead, it was a group of protesters.
However, I believe in her right to speak, and the right of protesters to call her names and yell.
Well, as others have asked, does that include the right to set off false fire-alarms?

And does that also include the right to yell loud enough to disrupt her own speech? Do I really have "free speech" if, every time I open my mouth someone over-shouts me with a bull-horn?

Praktik
24th March 2010, 12:51 PM
Just wondering... who exactly do you suggest is responsible for making a decision about what is "bush league" when it comes to free speech? How do you determine what is acceptable for universities and what should be restricted to just 'bar talk'? Where do you draw the line, and how do you guarantee that whatever 'criteria' you use to filter out the riff-raft at universities doesn't result in some borderline ideas being condemned?




Respected by whom? Who decides who's worthy of respect? And doesn't that mean that you could miss out on 'valid' ideas just because they're spoken by someone not worth respect? (Remember, the saying... even an blind squirrel can find an acorn.)

The people who invited her to speak probably felt she was "worthy of respect". I certainly don't agree, but do you think your opinion on respectability should always override others?

All good questions and should be determined by the university administration - but I don't think people like Coulter are at the level of discourse that universities should be fostering. She's a cable-TV, bite-size zinger person - might as well invite the anchors of E! Hollywood to come talk about politics...

The one problem with going down the "who determines what is respectable" route is that if this becomes our overriding fear, then the logical end of that route is an open-season in which any and all speakers are invited to speak at the university, even if their intellectual worth is at the level of WWE pre-match speeches...

lector
24th March 2010, 12:53 PM
I doubt the people at this university dislike Coulter any more than the Ivy League, but she's never been physically blocked or sabotaged from giving talks at any of those schools.

The OP misquoted Coulter. She actually said that this sort of thing has never happened TO HER. That may be true.

AvalonXQ
24th March 2010, 12:53 PM
Do I really have "free speech" if, every time I open my mouth someone over-shouts me with a bull-horn?

No, you don't. "Freedom of speech" means that if you want to say something, and I want to hear you, and we do what it takes to make that happen, nobody else has the right to prevent it.

Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 12:53 PM
How about the right of protesters to physically block the event hall so she and others can't get in?
How about the right of protesters to create a false alarm to force the event to adjourn?
um...that's not speech. one person's speech should not violate another person's ability to use the same right.
But that's exactly what was happening here.

A fire alarm was pulled.
And, if I remember correctly, prior to the hall being evacuated, there were protesters who were in attendance who had already started up chants to disrupt the meeting. (Could be wrong about that though.)

ksbluesfan
24th March 2010, 12:56 PM
When I lived in the dorms oh so many years ago, it seemed like the fire alarm was pulled at least once a month, usually early on Sunday morning.

Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 01:03 PM
Just wondering... who exactly do you suggest is responsible for making a decision about what is "bush league" when it comes to free speech? How do you determine what is acceptable for universities and what should be restricted to just 'bar talk'?All good questions and should be determined by the university administration...
So, if the university administration were run by right-wing conservatives who wanted to ban, for example, any art on campus that featured nudity, would you be in favor of that? After all, if you think the university administration should be vetting acceptable activities on campus, shouldn't you be prepared for all such eventualities?

The one problem with going down the "who determines what is respectable" route is that if this becomes our overriding fear, then the logical end of that route is an open-season in which any and all speakers are invited to speak at the university, even if their intellectual worth is at the level of WWE pre-match speeches...

Of course, you're assuming that such unworthy speakers would find enough of an audience to make such invitations useful. (It does cost time and money to rent the hall, arrange the speakers, publicize the event, etc.) . If too many unworthy speakers are invited, the "market" will be saturated, attendance will fall, and most of the 'unworthy' speech will just fall by the wayside.

Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 01:09 PM
The OP misquoted Coulter. She actually said that this sort of thing has never happened TO HER. That may be true.

I never actually quoted Coulter... I summarized her claim when I stated:
that such protests would never have happened
I never specified whether such protests would have happened to just her, or to other conservative speakers as well.

I believe there was an episode of Penn&Teller: Bullsh*t where they talked about free speech oppression at U.S. colleges.

Praktik
24th March 2010, 01:09 PM
So, if the university administration were run by right-wing conservatives who wanted to ban, for example, any art on campus that featured nudity, would you be in favor of that? After all, if you think the university administration should be vetting acceptable activities on campus, shouldn't you be prepared for all such eventualities?

They already are vetting activities on campus, its not like we're asking to introduce anything new in that respect, and for the record, I would be against that, we're not talking art here, where I think the boundaries are fuzzier and harder to determine.

If you're saying its just as hard to rank Anne Coulter and say, Andrew Coyne on an "intellectual respectability" scale, well, you're just wrong.

I'm ok with people with views on politics from any place on the spectrum, be it hard core republican, libertarian, eco-warrior or communist. I only ask that the ideas presented be a few notches up on the scale from the E! Hollywood cesspool of intellectual debasement.

Of course, you're assuming that such unworthy speakers would find enough of an audience to make such invitations useful. (It does cost time and money to rent the hall, arrange the speakers, publicize the event, etc.) . If too many unworthy speakers are invited, the "market" will be saturated, attendance will fall, and most of the 'unworthy' speech will just fall by the wayside.

Is there anything the magic of the free market can't fix? Glory be!

Fnord
24th March 2010, 01:10 PM
This is just my "two cents" -- and it likely isn't even worth that much -- but if I were in charge of bringing guest speakers into a college forum so that impressionable young students could hear their words and learn their wisdom, among those people that I would NOT invite would be Sylvia Browne, Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter.

Better to not invite ignorant, bigotted and deceitful people to speak in the first place, then to invite them now just to dis-invite them later.

Vic Vega
24th March 2010, 01:11 PM
No, you don't. "Freedom of speech" means that if you want to say something, and I want to hear you, and we do what it takes to make that happen, nobody else has the right to prevent it.

That is not what it means. Not in the United States anyway.

AvalonXQ
24th March 2010, 01:11 PM
Is there anything the magic of the free market can't fix?

Liberal cynicism. :cool:

dudalb
24th March 2010, 01:11 PM
Wow, someone on the Political Left finds all kinds of reasons to deny someone on the Political Right the right to speak. What a surprise.

quadraginta
24th March 2010, 01:20 PM
Did the University tell Coulter she was not allowed to speak, or did Coulter choose not to speak?

Fnord
24th March 2010, 01:22 PM
Just because someone has the right to speak, does not mean that anyone is obligated to provide a forum for their free speech, or to even listen to them when they speak. For example, Ann Coulter's freedom of speech does not trump my right to exercise freedom from her speech.

Aren't there sufficient street-corners and soap-boxes? Doesn't Ann Coulter have a web-page or a blog? Can she not simply buy time on a public-access cable channel and scream at the camera? Has she no idea that she can self-publish her own books, or find some hack publisher to print a few thousand copies for her?

Does she absolutely, positively, have to speak at that particular college, or can she not convince some other college to let her use their facilities to spread her particular "philosophy"?

AvalonXQ
24th March 2010, 01:25 PM
Just because someone has the right to speak, does not mean that anyone is obligated to provide a forum for their free speech, or to even listen to them when they speak. For example, Ann Coulter's freedom of speech does not trump my right to exercise freedom from her speech.

That's true. However, it's also true that if I want her to speak, you don't have the right to physically block her from coming to me or sabotage my environment so that I can't hear her.
The students were well within their rights to appeal to the college administration and ask them to cancel the engagement. Certainly the college was well within its rights to never invite her in the first place. But rioting to prevent her from coming when the college has decided to invite her? That's inappropriate.

Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 01:26 PM
So, if the university administration were run by right-wing conservatives who wanted to ban, for example, any art on campus that featured nudity, would you be in favor of that? After all, if you think the university administration should be vetting acceptable activities on campus, shouldn't you be prepared for all such eventualities?
They already are vetting activities on campus, its not like we're asking to introduce anything new in that respect,
Well, it does sound like you're asking them to make value judgements on the worthiness of speakers, something that they didn't do when Coulter was first invited to speak.

...and for the record, I would be against that, we're not talking art here, where I think the boundaries are fuzzier and harder to determine.
I used 'conservatives banning art' as just a simple example. I could have used others:
- What if a conservative administration wanted to ban a speaker who was a homosexual activist?
- What about banning an Israeli or Palestinian speaker?

If you're saying its just as hard to rank Anne Coulter and say, Andrew Coyne on an "intellectual respectability" scale, well, you're just wrong.
I have no problem claiming Coulter is, shall we say, intellectually challenged. I even pointed that out in my opening post.

What I do have a problem with is trying to define some sort of dividing line between "worthy of speaking" and "not worthy of speaking".

... If too many unworthy speakers are invited, the "market" will be saturated, attendance will fall, and most of the 'unworthy' speech will just fall by the wayside.
Is there anything the magic of the free market can't fix? Glory be!

I'm assuming that's sarcasm.

So, you have any proof that won't happen?

Personally, I feel much more comfortable with the idea that 'bad' speech will get eliminated through indifference by the audience than the idea that a vocal minority will be able to dictate what is acceptable.

Drudgewire
24th March 2010, 01:30 PM
Just remember, if you're going to mess with Ann Coulter make sure the moon isn't full first:


http://i39.tinypic.com/hrbk0x.jpg http://i44.tinypic.com/epkt9t.jpg


:eek:

Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 01:34 PM
Just because someone has the right to speak, does not mean that anyone is obligated to provide a forum for their free speech...
You're right...

In this case however, I believe that the hall where she was going to speak was rented for the occasion, and if that's the case "we" were not actually providing the forum, people that wanted to hear her speak were. (At the very least, the the hall would have been reserved by students who had the same rights to reserve halls as anyone else.)

...or to even listen to them when they speak.
You're right... you should never be subjected to speech that you don't want to hear. But this wasn't the case here. Coulter was not running through campus with a megaphone, she was in a hall where people actually had to make a decision to attend or not.

Does she absolutely, positively, have to speak at that particular college, or can she not convince some other college to let her use their facilities to spread her particular "philosophy"?

A group of people at the university invited her. If there was no invitation from the University of Ottawa, she would not have spoken there.

Fnord
24th March 2010, 01:35 PM
Rioting is rarely ever a good way to get one's point across, and I can not justify such an act in most cases -- certainly not in this one.

What was the university's reason for inviting her in the first place? For her conservative views? There are other conservatives that inspire less controversy. For her widespread appeal? Someone like Dr. William H. Cosby Jr, Ed. PhD. has far greater appeal and is also conservative in his opinions.

I hypothesize that the college administrators were looking more towards all those potential annuities and other donations that the wealthier and more conservative fans of Ms. Coulter could bring in, and when they saw how much a destructive riot could cost them, they caved in to the students' demands.

Eh ... maybe not ...

AvalonXQ
24th March 2010, 01:36 PM
What was the university's reason for inviting her in the first place? For her conservative views?

It was mentioned earlier that she was part of a series on free speech that was based on inviting controversial figures to campus.

lomiller
24th March 2010, 01:47 PM
Hmmm on further consideration I think there is some valuable free speech lessons to be learned here.

While many people are focusing on Coulters ability to say her piece I think the other side may be more interesting. How far do you go in preventing the protesters from having their say as well? Does free speech mean they can incite violence against her? Does it mean they should not be allowed to express their opinions in a way that stops Coulter from speaking?

Coulter seems greatly concerned that her ability to speak in whatever way she wants may be curtailed, but if that’s so why should the protesters have their speech restricted in a way her speech isn’t? Of course the protesters themselves could be accused of the same thing so it becomes a legitimate question to ask just how do you allow for free speech in this situation?

Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 01:50 PM
What was the university's reason for inviting her in the first place?
I don't think it was the university that invited her... I believe it was the "University of Ottawa Campus Conservatives".

http://www.steynonline.com/content/blogsection/14/128/

Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 01:56 PM
While many people are focusing on Coulters ability to say her piece I think the other side may be more interesting. ... Does it mean they should not be allowed to express their opinions in a way that stops Coulter from speaking?
I'd have to say "Yes"...

Protesters should not be allowed to prevent or restrict Coulter from speaking, any more than I should be allowed to yell at you with a megaphone whenever you try to watch TV.

Coulter seems greatly concerned that her ability to speak in whatever way she wants may be curtailed, but if thatís so why should the protesters have their speech restricted in a way her speech isnít?
Because, Coulter's speech was not going to affect the speech of the protesters.

If the student protesters thought Coulter was wrong, they had ever right to bring in their own speakers, or to rent out the same hall and give their own talks. Coulter was not preventing them from doing so.

dudalb
24th March 2010, 01:59 PM
Hmmm on further consideration I think there is some valuable free speech lessons to be learned here.

While many people are focusing on Coulters ability to say her piece I think the other side may be more interesting. How far do you go in preventing the protesters from having their say as well? Does free speech mean they can incite violence against her? Does it mean they should not be allowed to express their opinions in a way that stops Coulter from speaking?

Coulter seems greatly concerned that her ability to speak in whatever way she wants may be curtailed, but if thatís so why should the protesters have their speech restricted in a way her speech isnít? Of course the protesters themselves could be accused of the same thing so it becomes a legitimate question to ask just how do you allow for free speech in this situation?


Simple. The prostestors are often infringing on the rights of others with their activities. Coulter,in this case, is not.
It's called, "intimidation".

lomiller
24th March 2010, 02:01 PM
I'd have to say "Yes"...

Protesters should not be allowed to prevent or restrict Coulter from speaking, any more than I should be allowed to yell at you with a megaphone whenever you try to watch TV.

I agree, but since that means restricting what the protesters can say doesnít this point to a contradiction? In this case, clearly all speech canít be protected, so we must ask whose speech we should protect and why. Furthermore once we know the why part, have we not defined, in part, a new limit on protected speech?

lomiller
24th March 2010, 02:02 PM
Simple. The prostestors are often infringing on the rights of others with their activities.

but this is the very essence of their complaints about her speech, and the free speach laws she was being encouraged to obey...

AvalonXQ
24th March 2010, 02:05 PM
Hmmm on further consideration I think there is some valuable free speech lessons to be learned here.

While many people are focusing on Coulters ability to say her piece I think the other side may be more interesting. How far do you go in preventing the protesters from having their say as well? Does free speech mean they can incite violence against her? Does it mean they should not be allowed to express their opinions in a way that stops Coulter from speaking?

I'll repeat my assertion from earlier: "freedom of speech" means that if you want to say it, and I want to hear it, and you and I put in the effort to make that happen, then others cannot interfere. Such interference is "censorship", and so another definition for "freedom of speech" would be "lack of censorship".
The protesters being allowed to stand outside the lecture hall with signs, while not assaulting anyone or blocking people from entering, should be permitted -- no censorship there. However, an attempt by the students to physically block Coulter or those trying to come to see her is an attempt at censorship.
If no one invites Coulter campus, there's no willing listener, and hence no censorship.

AvalonXQ
24th March 2010, 02:07 PM
I agree, but since that means restricting what the protesters can say doesnít this point to a contradiction? In this case, clearly all speech canít be protected, so we must ask whose speech we should protect and why. Furthermore once we know the why part, have we not defined, in part, a new limit on protected speech?

No, because we are not limiting the protesters' speech. We are only limiting their actions. We can do so without any censorship at all -- because requiring them to stand aside and let people pass isn't censorship (there is no interference between willing speakers and willing listeners).

AvalonXQ
24th March 2010, 02:08 PM
To be more specific: "Stand a few feet to your left and say what you're saying so people can get past you" isn't censorship.
"Stand a few feet to your left, shut up, and take those signs down" IS censorship.

Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 02:09 PM
Protesters should not be allowed to prevent or restrict Coulter from speaking, any more than I should be allowed to yell at you with a megaphone whenever you try to watch TV.
I agree, but since that means restricting what the protesters can say doesnít this point to a contradiction?
Actually, you're not really restricting what the protesters can say...

If the protesters want to chant "Coulter go home" or even "Coulter is a nazi" they should be free to do so. They can reserve their own lecture hall to do that, take out newspaper ads, heck, just go nuts. The content of their message will remain intact.

Normally I am against restrictions on the method of speech delivery, but from the looks of it the point of the protests was only to disrupt the speech. The protesters were not exactly bringing any useful intellectual arguments during the protest.

In this case, clearly all speech canít be protected, so we must ask whose speech we should protect and why.
Don't think its all that complex... if the purpose of one person's "free speech" is only to disrupt the free speech of someone else, then the disruptive speech should take a lower priority.

TraneWreck
24th March 2010, 02:14 PM
I agree, but since that means restricting what the protesters can say doesn’t this point to a contradiction? In this case, clearly all speech can’t be protected, so we must ask whose speech we should protect and why. Furthermore once we know the why part, have we not defined, in part, a new limit on protected speech?

No one is suggesting a restriction on the content of the protesters' speech, just the manner and location.

Place restrictions regulate where individuals may express themselves. The Supreme Court has recognized three forums of public expression: traditional public forums, limited public forums, and nonpublic forums. Traditional public forums are those places historically reserved for the dissemination of information and the communication of ideas. Consisting of parks, sidewalks, and streets, traditional public forums are an especially important medium for the least powerful members of society who lack access to other channels of expression, such as radio and television. Under the First Amendment, the government may not close traditional public forums but may place reasonable restrictions on their use.

The reasonableness of any such restriction will be evaluated in light of specific guidelines that have been established by the Supreme Court. First, a restriction must be content-neutral, which means the government may not prohibit entire classes of expression, such as speech concerning poverty, drug abuse, or race relations. Second, a restriction must be viewpoint-neutral, which means that it must apply uniformly to all speech; that is, it may not silence only those speakers whom the government opposes or sanction only those whom the government supports. Third, a restriction must burden speech no more than is necessary to serve an important government interest. Restrictions that are carefully aimed at controlling the harmful consequences of speech, such as litter, unrest, and disorder, will normally satisfy these guidelines.
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Time,+Place,+and+Manner+Restrictions


Telling people that they can't shout down another speaker, block an entrance, or otherwise physically disrupt proceedings is not a violation of free speech. In fact, no doing so would be an omission that violated the free speech of others.

fitzgibbon
24th March 2010, 02:18 PM
Did the University tell Coulter she was not allowed to speak, or did Coulter choose not to speak?

I'd like to know how ticket sales were going. There's quite likely less to this than meets the eye.

quadraginta
24th March 2010, 02:20 PM
Actually, you're not really restricting what the protesters can say...

If the protesters want to chant "Coulter go home" or even "Coulter is a nazi" they should be free to do so. They can reserve their own lecture hall to do that, take out newspaper ads, heck, just go nuts. The content of their message will remain intact.

Normally I am against restrictions on the method of speech delivery, but from the looks of it the point of the protests was only to disrupt the speech. The protesters were not exactly bringing any useful intellectual arguments during the protest.


Don't think its all that complex... if the purpose of one person's "free speech" is only to disrupt the free speech of someone else, then the disruptive speech should take a lower priority.


For some reason this brings to mind memories of Tea Party protesters and town hall meetings.

dudalb
24th March 2010, 02:20 PM
In this case, clearly all speech can’t be protected, so we must ask whose speech we should protect and why.

Once you go that path, you are indeed on the slippery slope.

fitzgibbon
24th March 2010, 02:20 PM
Just remember, if you're going to mess with Ann Coulter make sure the moon isn't full first:


http://i39.tinypic.com/hrbk0x.jpg http://i44.tinypic.com/epkt9t.jpg

:eek:

:dl::dl::dl::dl::dl:

Nice summation there, Drudgewire!

dudalb
24th March 2010, 02:21 PM
I'd like to know how ticket sales were going. There's quite likely less to this than meets the eye.

Exactly, I would not walk across the street, let alone pay, to see Ann Coulter.
But I still do not like the de facto intimidation tactics the Anti Coulter people were using.

Fnord
24th March 2010, 02:26 PM
I don't think it was the university that invited her... I believe it was the "University of Ottawa Campus Conservatives"...

In that case, what was their real motivation? Was it to merely present a more conservative view than what the student body at large may have found acceptable?

Or was it something along the lines of Orangemen marching through Catholic neighborhoods in Ulster? Officially, they're commemorating William's victory at the Battle of the Boyne (among other things), but somehow their demonstrations also seem to stir up ill-will between otherwise peaceful neighbors, thus giving the Unionists excuse to commit acts of violence of their own.

fitzgibbon
24th March 2010, 02:26 PM
Exactly, I would not walk across the street, let alone pay, to see Ann Coulter.
But I still do not like the de facto intimidation tactics the Anti Coulter people were using.

Assuming it wasn't the pro-Coulter organisers fishing for column space. Stranger things've happened.

Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 02:29 PM
I'd like to know how ticket sales were going. There's quite likely less to this than meets the eye.

Ticket sales were very good...

From: http://www.calgarysun.com/news/alberta/2010/03/23/13335846.html
The event was nearly sold out by Tuesday afternoon, said Gelinas, with a nearly even split between students and non-students registering.

fitzgibbon
24th March 2010, 02:33 PM
In that case, what was their real motivation? Was it to merely present a more conservative view than what the student body at large may have found acceptable?

I heard Preston* was busy


*Manning for the non-Canucks here


Or was it something along the lines of Orangemen marching through Catholic neighborhoods in Ulster? Officially, they're commemorating William's victory at the Battle of the Boyne (among other things), but somehow their demonstrations also seem to stir up ill-will between otherwise peaceful neighbors, thus giving the Unionists excuse to commit acts of violence of their own.

I wouldn't set that aside as a possibility, Fnord. The Canadian right-wing (well, as right-wing as we get anyway) holds sway on Parliament Hill at the moment. So there's a tendency to crow while they can because it'll likely be another decade or so before their stars align again.

lomiller
24th March 2010, 02:33 PM
Once again, I think the protesters were in the wrong here but as a starting point for discussion this works just as well as Coulter speaking and discussing whether it should have/havenít been protected speech. So far the most notable thing about the discussion seems to be that it breaks down along political lines with each side arguing why ďtheir sideĒ should be the one allowed to speak. While I disagree, itís still interesting.

No one is suggesting a restriction on the content of the protesters' speech, just the manner and location.


So the idea is that people can say whatever they want, but can be restricted in where they say it? Does that mean, for instance that it would be perfectly acceptable to allow Coulter to speak just not in a lecture hall? Just not at the university? Just not in public?


The protesters being allowed to stand outside the lecture hall with signs, while not assaulting anyone or blocking people from entering, should be permitted -- no censorship there. However, an attempt by the students to physically block Coulter or those trying to come to see her is an attempt at censorship.

But we donít know if they would have done any of those things since the speech never took place. We canít presume this any more then we can presume Coulters speech would have violated hate speech laws.

fuelair
24th March 2010, 02:35 PM
I'd draw the line at pies-in-the-face and false fire alarms, though.

Protesting against giving a disingenuous hatemonger a platform is fine. I support free speech, but that doesn't mean I'd let someone put up a racist sign on my lawn.

However, there are lines as to what acts of protest are acceptable.



I think there's a difference between a speaker whose ideas may be offensive and a speaker whose idea is to be offensive.Actually, especially from a symbolic (message-sending) point of view, no.
They should have let her speak, with no booing, cat-calling or any response.
Not clapped or reverse at the end, just she leaves. In essence, she gets no reaction.

fitzgibbon
24th March 2010, 02:36 PM
Ticket sales were very good...

From: http://www.calgarysun.com/news/alberta/2010/03/23/13335846.html
The event was nearly sold out by Tuesday afternoon, said Gelinas, with a nearly even split between students and non-students registering.

'K. Just had to eliminate them falling on their swords as an out. That said, she sure comes off as a kith 'n kin of "Brave Sir Robin". :D

Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 02:36 PM
Exactly, I would not walk across the street, let alone pay, to see Ann Coulter.
But I still do not like the de facto intimidation tactics the Anti Coulter people were using.
Assuming it wasn't the pro-Coulter organisers fishing for column space. Stranger things've happened.
Don't think so...

They've had various interviews and quotations from students involved in the protests and it seems like the protests were genuine.

From: http://ottawa.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100324/OTT_Coulter_Rxn_100324/20100324/?hub=OttawaHome
Meanwhile, the head of the university's student association said he was happy Coulter didn't get the opportunity to speak.

"I know this is a difficult debate and it's not a black and white issue, but Ann Coulter constantly and consistently doesn't just go into the realm of free speech, but goes way past it into the realm of hate speech where she condones murder, condones violence and she actually incites that type of behaviour and that's the type of thing we do not allow in Canada and I'm proud we do not allow at the University of Ottawa," said Seamus Wolfe.

Frankly Seamus Wolfe sounds like a first class idiot who doesn't understand the basic concept of "Freedom of Speech". (They had an interview with Wolfe on the radio this morning too...)

quixotecoyote
24th March 2010, 02:36 PM
Actually, especially from a symbolic (message-sending) point of view, no.
They should have let her speak, with no booing, cat-calling or any response.
Not clapped or reverse at the end, just she leaves. In essence, she gets no reaction.

Ahh sort of like how effective we are here when we try to ignore troll threads.

fitzgibbon
24th March 2010, 02:37 PM
...Coulter speaking and discussing...[snip]

Ah! You see, that's where yer goin' wrong! :D

lomiller
24th March 2010, 02:38 PM
Once you go that path, you are indeed on the slippery slope.

So you think it's perfectly acceptable for protestors to block people from speaking?

Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 02:40 PM
I don't think it was the university that invited her... I believe it was the "University of Ottawa Campus Conservatives"...
In that case, what was their real motivation? Was it to merely present a more conservative view than what the student body at large may have found acceptable?

Or was it something along the lines of Orangemen marching through Catholic neighborhoods in Ulster?

Well, think its more a case that:
- Coulter is (for whatever reason) well known so they'd be able to sell tickets
- She was on a tour anyways (She had already spoken at other colleges in Canada)
- Controversial figures do generate the most discussion

Don't think it really goes much deeper than that.

TraneWreck
24th March 2010, 02:43 PM
So the idea is that people can say whatever they want, but can be restricted in where they say it? Does that mean, for instance that it would be perfectly acceptable to allow Coulter to speak just not in a lecture hall? Just not at the university? Just not in public?

Yes; depends; depends; depends.

There's quite literally a ton (going by the weight of the published Court opinions) of legal precedent on this issue in the United States.

That link I posted earlier does a fairly good job of running down the basics. The Courts recognize different arenas of speech, from public to private, and adjust laws accordingly. The basic notion is that if the "state" has a legitimate interest (a concept defined by precedent), such as allowing other citizens to travel through a city, they can disallow large protests, scheduling them for another time.

There's very little state interest in a speaker speaking in a University auditorium. To my knowledge, no such person has been restricted from doing so in the United States.

The state may have an interest in keeping protesters from harassing others--as in the zone around an abortion clinic--depending on how out of control that crowd at the Coulter speech was, authorities could step in if for no other reason than allowing access to the auditorium.

fitzgibbon
24th March 2010, 02:43 PM
Actually, especially from a symbolic (message-sending) point of view, no.
They should have let her speak, with no booing, cat-calling or any response.
Not clapped or reverse at the end, just she leaves. In essence, she gets no reaction.

Truthfully, this is a tempest in a teapot. Coulter's brand of right-wing is so far to the right of Canadian right-wing (even Albertan brand right-wing) as to be meaningless insofar as concerns the day-to-day practicalities of the Canadian purview. Our right-wing is left of the States' which is a reality lost on many.

fitzgibbon
24th March 2010, 02:44 PM
Frankly Seamus Wolfe sounds like a first class idiot who doesn't understand the basic concept of "Freedom of Speech". (They had an interview with Wolfe on the radio this morning too...)

Assuming him to be a student, is first-class-idiocy not the purview of students of a certain age?

fitzgibbon
24th March 2010, 02:48 PM
Well, think its more a case that:
- Coulter is (for whatever reason) well known so they'd be able to sell tickets
- She was on a tour anyways (She had already spoken at other colleges in Canada)
- Controversial figures do generate the most discussion

Don't think it really goes much deeper than that.

Agreed. There's a desire in the Conservative side of things here to hitch their pony and ape trends from the States. T'is cheaper and brings a non-Canadian validation that I can't begin to explain to a citizen of any other self-respecting country. To compound the irony, we're Stuart Smalley writ large.

lomiller
24th March 2010, 02:49 PM
There's quite literally a ton (going by the weight of the published Court opinions) of legal precedent on this issue in the United States.


As there is in Canada, where this took place.

However the point of this speaking tour, as I understand it, is to encourage discussion over what should be protected speech rather then what the courts have deemed is protected speech.

Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 02:50 PM
No one is suggesting a restriction on the content of the protesters' speech, just the manner and location.
So the idea is that people can say whatever they want, but can be restricted in where they say it?
Don't even have to go that far...

You don't have to restrict where they can exercise free speech, you just have to ensure that their 'free speech' isn't designed only to interrupt someone else's free speech.

As another poster said, by all means wave your signs outside the hall. Just don't stand in the way of people who want to enter.

Does that mean, for instance that it would be perfectly acceptable to allow Coulter to speak just not in a lecture hall? Just not at the university? Just not in public?
Not sure what your point is. Coulter was invited by groups within the university. It would be natural for her to give her speech at the university.

The protesters being allowed to stand outside the lecture hall with signs, while not assaulting anyone or blocking people from entering, should be permitted -- no censorship there. However, an attempt by the students to physically block Coulter or those trying to come to see her is an attempt at censorship.
But we donít know if they would have done any of those things since the speech never took place.
But, as we have pointed out before, there was a false fire-alarm. That's an pretty good indication that at least some protesters are there to do more than just wave their little anti-Coulter signs.

And yes, the decision to cancel was made by Coulter and her security, but from what I understand it was under recommendation by the police. I figure they have at least a little experience with crowd control and can tell when there is the potential for problems.

TraneWreck
24th March 2010, 02:53 PM
However the point of this speaking tour, as I understand it, is to encourage discussion over what should be protected speech rather then what the courts have deemed is protected speech.

The issues might be slightly different between the countries. I know I read some talk about arresting Coulter for hate speech, but when I googled it I just got a lot of rumor-mongering.

As for the United States, obviously no one has restricted anything Skeletor wants to say, which is why she's very, very rich. The only way she could say something in the US that would get her in trouble is if it was libelous (a civil issue) or actually incited violence, which is a tough standard to meet.

I think Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969), is one of the definitive cases on that score.

That's a long way of saying you might be right, but that's certainly not a debate in the US. She's covered.

fitzgibbon
24th March 2010, 02:57 PM
As there is in Canada, where this took place.

However the point of this speaking tour, as I understand it, is to encourage discussion over what should be protected speech rather then what the courts have deemed is protected speech.

Then why invite someone from out-of-country with a known track record for divisiveness as opposed to having national players wit greater familiarity of the Canadian view? This wasn't about doing it our way so much as 'how cool would it be to do it theirs'?

dudalb
24th March 2010, 03:03 PM
So you think it's perfectly acceptable for protestors to block people from speaking?

No.

lector
24th March 2010, 03:05 PM
I never actually quoted Coulter... I summarized her claim when I stated:
that such protests would never have happened


OK so you missummarized her claim.

My profound apologies for my lack of precision.

quadraginta
24th March 2010, 03:14 PM
<snip.

There's very little state interest in a speaker speaking in a University auditorium. To my knowledge, no such person has been restricted from doing so in the United States.

<snip>


North Carolina Speaker Ban (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Carolina_Speaker_Ban)

On June 26, 1963, the North Carolina General Assembly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Carolina_General_Assembly) passed the Act to Regulate Visiting Speakers, later known as the Speaker Ban Law. The law forbade anyone to speak on a University of North Carolina (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_North_Carolina) campus who was a known members of the Communist Party, or who was known to advocate overthrow of the Constitution of the United States, or who had invoked the Fifth Amendment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution) in respect to communist or subversive connections. The law was rushed through in the closing hours of the legislative session with virtually no debate.
To challenge the law, two speakers were invited to campus who were communists under almost any definition. When university officials refused to allow them to speak on campus, students from the university, led by Student Body President Paul Dickson, filed a federal law suit that ultimately declared the Speaker Ban Law invalid due to vagueness (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Void_for_vagueness).



It stood in place for nearly five years before it was finally overturned.

Neally
24th March 2010, 03:17 PM
What was the university's reason for inviting her in the first place? For her conservative views? There are other conservatives that inspire less controversy. For her widespread appeal? Someone like Dr. William H. Cosby Jr, Ed. PhD. has far greater appeal and is also conservative in his opinions.

Why she was invited and possible alternatives is not really relevant to the point here, that being that a group of people prevented a person, that was there by invitation, from speaking. Rather than simply not attending if they didn't want to hear what she had to say they physically prevented her and others from participating.

Very deserving of the criticism that Coulter gave them.

fitzgibbon
24th March 2010, 03:53 PM
Why she was invited and possible alternatives is not really relevant to the point here, that being that a group of people prevented a person, that was there by invitation, from speaking. Rather than simply not attending if they didn't want to hear what she had to say they physically prevented her and others from participating.

Goodness me. Some of us actually reared-up. Actually, it's quite relevant. The problem (from a Canadian perspective) is that we have a non-Canadian (primarily States) perspective constantly cited as the be-all-and-end-all of how to do anything and it isn't like we don't have people in our own country attuned to something closer to the Canadian perspective as opposed to a U.S. carpetbagger like Coulter.

After a certain amount of time where an outside perspective is constantly cited from without as to be aspired to, it does get just a little bit tiresome.[/rant]

Very deserving of the criticism that Coulter gave them.

Let he who is without sin.......

Tsukasa Buddha
24th March 2010, 03:54 PM
I read Coulter's speech at another uni just a bit ago and considered posting about it. I was surprised at how trashy it was. Really, it was awful. If you want to start discussion, you don't invite Coulter.

Of course, now she can mock college students and universities. She wins either way. Just ignore her, this is all empty outrage.

Praktik
24th March 2010, 04:00 PM
As for the United States, obviously no one has restricted anything Skeletor wants to say, which is why she's very, very rich.

HAHAHAHAH!

Great!

Glad to see I'm not the only one to see that connection, I've been referring to her as the Bride of Skeletor for some time now..;)

Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 04:03 PM
Goodness me. Some of us actually reared-up. Actually, it's quite relevant. The problem (from a Canadian perspective) is that we have a non-Canadian (primarily States) perspective constantly cited as the be-all-and-end-all of how to do anything and it isn't like we don't have people in our own country attuned to something closer to the Canadian perspective as opposed to a U.S. carpetbagger like Coulter.

Why should the fact that she's American matter?

Some people in Canada wanted to hear her speak. She was willing to speak here. That should be the end of the free speech argument.

The fact that others may be tired of Canada vs. US comparisons is not relevant to the issue.

So, you want to ban ALL non-Canadian speakers at university? Or only ones that you disapprove of?

rwguinn
24th March 2010, 04:25 PM
Obviously, a lot of folks do not understand the difference between "speech" and "action"

Kevin_Lowe
24th March 2010, 04:33 PM
While I'm all for free speech, I have to say that anti-intellectual, populist opportunists like Coulter have no place at a university. She's a mascot for far-right idiots, not a serious contributor to any kind of intelligent discussion. You might as well invite Sarah Palin.

TraneWreck
24th March 2010, 04:34 PM
It stood in place for nearly five years before it was finally overturned.

That was interesting, thanks for the post. I hadn't realized that McCarthy-era paranoia actually resulted in legislation. Glad that was eventually beaten back.

Davidlpf
24th March 2010, 05:12 PM
Some people in Canada wanted to hear her speak. She was willing to speak here. That should be the end of the free speech argument.



Probably as a warning of how far is too far.

Praktik
24th March 2010, 05:16 PM
While I'm all for free speech, I have to say that anti-intellectual, populist opportunists like Coulter have no place at a university. She's a mascot for far-right idiots, not a serious contributor to any kind of intelligent discussion. You might as well invite Sarah Palin.

Thank you...;)

Heck, Bill Bennett, why not Bill Bennett?

Praktik
24th March 2010, 05:18 PM
Heck, I'd take Pat Buchanan in a heartbeat over Coulter if I was running things at that Conservative club...

Neally
24th March 2010, 05:36 PM
While I'm all for free speech, I have to say that anti-intellectual, populist opportunists like Coulter have no place at a university. She's a mascot for far-right idiots, not a serious contributor to any kind of intelligent discussion. You might as well invite Sarah Palin.So you support the students that effectively denied her freedom to speech, or you simply would not have wanted to attend the speech?

Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 05:38 PM
While I'm all for free speech, I have to say that anti-intellectual, populist opportunists like Coulter have no place at a university. She's a mascot for far-right idiots, not a serious contributor to any kind of intelligent discussion.

Please explain to me how you can definitively differentiate between a speaker who is worthy of appearing at a university and one who is simplay a 'mascot for far-right idiots'.

You might as well invite Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin might be an idiot. However, she was a vice presidential candidate and former gov. of Alaska. Even if you hate her, she is a relatively significant historical figure.

tyr_13
24th March 2010, 05:45 PM
I read Coulter's speech at another uni just a bit ago and considered posting about it. I was surprised at how trashy it was. Really, it was awful. If you want to start discussion, you don't invite Coulter.

Of course, now she can mock college students and universities. She wins either way. Just ignore her, this is all empty outrage.

She is highly over rated. Her arguments are extremely weak and easy to counter. Why she is held up as some sort of conservative powerhouse is beyond me.

AchŠn hiNidrŠne
24th March 2010, 06:07 PM
Oh please, spare us the right-wing persecution complex! The protests (while their opinions on free speech) were peaceful, the university had NOTHING to do with canceling Coulter's "lecture" (http://www.alumninews.uottawa.ca/alumni/View.aspx?id=195828&q=194726803&qz=61ec9c)(that was her decision and the organization that invited her), and there is no proof that the pulled fire alarm had anything to do with her appearance. The only one talking about violence is Coulter and her cronies and they haven't offered any real evidence that these "threats" existed at all.

Face it, she saw that the venue was unfriendly, so tucked her reptilian tail between her skinny legs and ran home crying "evil liberals" all the way home. (Boo hoo. My heart weeps for the female dog.)

IMHO, this is the typical manufactured controversy that has been a hallmark of right-wing media since the Rush Limbaugh and his imitators first oozed their way on to the airwaves.

ravdin
24th March 2010, 06:12 PM
She is highly over rated. Her arguments are extremely weak and easy to counter. Why she is held up as some sort of conservative powerhouse is beyond me.

Probably because she is seen as important enough by the far left to be barred from speaking publicly by means of shouting and physical intimidation.

I've always thought of Coulter as a performance artist and the world's unfunniest comedian. I also don't understand why her opponents (or anyone else) takes her seriously.

fitzgibbon
24th March 2010, 06:54 PM
Why should the fact that she's American matter?

Some people in Canada wanted to hear her speak. She was willing to speak here. That should be the end of the free speech argument.

If you want informed discussion of Conservatism in Canada (which, as I said earlier, is politically to the left of the Democrats in the States), why not have someone with some credentials and knowledge of the Canadian lay of the land? That's the point I was making. Coulter has no special credibility in that department.

The fact that others may be tired of Canada vs. US comparisons is not relevant to the issue.

Actually, it's relevant although not central.

So, you want to ban ALL non-Canadian speakers at university? Or only ones that you disapprove of?

:rolleyes:

Get over yourself. Who made that suggestion aside from you?

Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 06:57 PM
Oh please, spare us the right-wing persecution complex! The protests (while their opinions on free speech) were peaceful, the university had NOTHING to do with canceling Coulter's "lecture" (http://www.alumninews.uottawa.ca/alumni/View.aspx?id=195828&q=194726803&qz=61ec9c)(that was her decision and the organization that invited her)...

First of all, nobody claimed it was the university itself that canceled the speech. Its been stated multiple times that it was the organizers themselves canceled it. Claiming that the university was responsible was a straw man argument. (I find it rather ironic that you would accuse the right wing of 'manufacturing controversey' when you bring up incorrect information yourself.)

Secondly, not sure how exactly you characterize the protests as 'peaceful'. I've seen some videos of the event on YouTube. The crowd there was very noisy, and from what I've heard many of the protesters were in the hall as well (not exactly a good opportunity for anyone to make a speech.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOP_kbU7XxA&feature=player_embedded

Lastly, as I have stated before, while it was the decision of her security to cancel things, I believe it was recommended by the Ottawa police that the current site was not approprite. (Oh, and by the way, her security has dealt with 'hecklers' before; why exactly do you automatically assume that they are being dishonest when they think the situation was unsafe?)

...and there is no proof that the pulled fire alarm had anything to do with her appearance.
You're right, there is no proof. But don't you think its suspicious that it just happened to happen right before her speech?

fitzgibbon
24th March 2010, 06:57 PM
Sarah Palin might be an idiot. However, she was a vice presidential candidate and former gov. of Alaska. Even if you hate her, she is a relatively significant historical figure.

Who'll be forgotten in 8 years. Her relative significance is only in comparison to the average poster on JREF; even that's debatable.

Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 07:58 PM
Why should the fact that she's American matter?

Some people in Canada wanted to hear her speak. She was willing to speak here. That should be the end of the free speech argument.
If you want informed discussion of Conservatism in Canada (which, as I said earlier, is politically to the left of the Democrats in the States), why not have someone with some credentials and knowledge of the Canadian lay of the land? That's the point I was making. Coulter has no special credibility in that department.
Still irrelevant. Even if she's the most incompetent person when it comes to conservatism in Canada, you still have the fact that some people wanted to listen to her talk, and she was willing to give a speech. Its not for you or anyone else to decide whether her opinions are worthy of listening to.

The fact that others may be tired of Canada vs. US comparisons is not relevant to the issue.
Actually, it's relevant although not central.

Nope, still not relevant. The people that wanted to listen to her talk had no problem with any sort of Canada vs. US comparisons. If you don't want to listen to her, then don't attend her speeches, don't watch her on TV, etc. But nobody should have the authority to say "I'm not going to let you listen to someone whom I disagree with/think is wrong".



So, you want to ban ALL non-Canadian speakers at university? Or only ones that you disapprove of?
Get over yourself. Who made that suggestion aside from you?
Well, you used the phrase "U.S. carpetbagger like Coulter". If country of location wasn't the issue, why did you bother specifying her as a U.S. citizen?

GreNME
24th March 2010, 08:33 PM
This thread is hilarious. The lengths being gone to in order to defend Coulter chickening out are laughable, especially given how opposite those same posts would be stance-wise were the speaker who backed out Rachel Maddow or someone along those lines.

Face it, Coulter backed out of an appearance when it became obvious that she wasn't going to be facing heavy opposition, the same as she has more than once when she's appeared on television and gotten backed into a rhetorical corner. This instance is no different behavior for Ann Coulter than the following video:

AZLfLmncPEc

Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 08:56 PM
This thread is hilarious. The lengths being gone to in order to defend Coulter chickening out are laughable,
So, you think the local police were idiots when they recommended she not give her presentation at that hall on that night?

You think it was just a coincidence that the fire alarm was pulled right before the event?

You think that all the loud yelling by protesters (you DID watch the video link I gave earlier, didn't you?), many of whom were actually in the hall, would actually have stopped when she actually started to give her speech?

...especially given how opposite those same posts would be stance-wise were the speaker who backed out Rachel Maddow or someone along those lines.

Uhhh... no. Some of us actually believe in the concept of free speech regardless of the message or the person giving the speech. I'm not familiar with Maddow, but I'd feel the same way about someone like Michael Moore if he were to give a speech up here. Moore is an idiot, but if he were invited to give a speech here and others wanted to listen to him, then he should be free to do so.

Face it, Coulter backed out of an appearance when it became obvious that she wasn't going to be facing heavy opposition, the same as she has more than once when she's appeared on television and gotten backed into a rhetorical corner.

Ummm.... not sure if that sentence makes sense...

Did you actually mean she backed out when she was going to be facing heavy opposition?

A couple of things should be noted:
With free speech, you should be able to deliver your message without being shouted down. You are also under no obligation to allocate time during your message to opposing views.

During her previous appearance, she both gave a speech, and engaged in a Q&A with the audience. If students at the university really wanted to challenge her, they could have listened to whatever B.S. she slung in her speech, and then raised questions during the Q&A to point out her failings. Or, like I said, they could have brought in their own speakers, wrote letters to newspapers, etc.

Kevin_Lowe
24th March 2010, 09:05 PM
So you support the students that effectively denied her freedom to speech, or you simply would not have wanted to attend the speech?

I don't support those students, but I count Ann Coulter not giving a speech as a win for intelligent political discourse as a whole.

Please explain to me how you can definitively differentiate between a speaker who is worthy of appearing at a university and one who is simplay a 'mascot for far-right idiots'.


I deduce from the fact that you're asking that question that you are unfamiliar either with Ann Coulter, or with civilised political discourse that doesn't involve racist or homophobic abuse, or calls for mass murder.


Sarah Palin might be an idiot. However, she was a vice presidential candidate and former gov. of Alaska. Even if you hate her, she is a relatively significant historical figure.

Just because worthy discussions can be had about her does not mean that she has the anything worthwhile to contribute to such discussions.

Tsukasa Buddha
24th March 2010, 09:15 PM
A couple of things should be noted:
With free speech, you should be able to deliver your message without being shouted down. You are also under no obligation to allocate time during your message to opposing views.

Can't say I've ever heard that before, on either side of the free speech debate.

Segnosaur
24th March 2010, 09:36 PM
I don't support those students, but I count Ann Coulter not giving a speech as a win for intelligent political discourse as a whole.
Do you think that she was basically "shouted down" is a win for intelligent political discourse?

Hey, I'd be quite happy if she never spoke in Canada, but I would want that to be because nobody has an interest in her, not because some group of students believes free speech doesn't apply to messages they don't like.

Please explain to me how you can definitively differentiate between a speaker who is worthy of appearing at a university and one who is simplay a 'mascot for far-right idiots'.
I deduce from the fact that you're asking that question that you are unfamiliar either with Ann Coulter, or with civilised political discourse that doesn't involve racist or homophobic abuse, or calls for mass murder
Here's a suggestion... try reading the opening post.

In it, I pointed out that I have never read anything that Coulter has written or watched her on TV, but I am aware of some of her idiotic statements and I feel she is an individual worth of contempt.

Once again, the issue is where do you draw the line? And who decides where the line is drawn. If you are willing to state "Coulter does not belong at a university" are you also willing to allow universities to ban other speakers? Or perhaps art that people think is offensive?

re: Sarah Palin

Just because worthy discussions can be had about her does not mean that she has the anything worthwhile to contribute to such discussions.
You don't think it would be worth while to actually hear directly from her, perhaps learning what her actual opinions are, or what her motivations were behind her decisions, rather than learn about such things filtered through an imperfect news media and pundints?

badnewsBH
24th March 2010, 09:36 PM
If Coulter was stopped from speaking by protests that were over the top, I disagree with the people who were acting against her. Better to let her have her say, and reply in whatever way you feel suits the situation. If hate speech occurred, the authorities could have dealt with it as the law requires.

In other words, if you're dead set on putting your foot in your mouth, no one should have the right to stop you from opening wide. :p

quixotecoyote
24th March 2010, 09:39 PM
You don't think it would be worth while to actually hear directly from her, perhaps learning what her actual opinions are, or what her motivations were behind her decisions, rather than learn about such things filtered through an imperfect news media and pundints?

She is a pundit. She speaks directly through the news media. We have already heard directly from her. Over and over again.

Corsair 115
24th March 2010, 11:14 PM
Two simple words summarize the entire event: publicity stunt.

quadraginta
25th March 2010, 02:39 AM
<snip>

You think that all the loud yelling by protesters (you DID watch the video link I gave earlier, didn't you?), many of whom were actually in the hall, would actually have stopped when she actually started to give her speech?


<snip>

A couple of things should be noted:
With free speech, you should be able to deliver your message without being shouted down. You are also under no obligation to allocate time during your message to opposing views.

During her previous appearance, she both gave a speech, and engaged in a Q&A with the audience. If students at the university really wanted to challenge her, they could have listened to whatever B.S. she slung in her speech, and then raised questions during the Q&A to point out her failings. Or, like I said, they could have brought in their own speakers, wrote letters to newspapers, etc.

Do you think that she was basically "shouted down" is a win for intelligent political discourse?

<snip>

Tea Party Protesters & Town Hall Meetings

I note that you did not choose to address the potential similarities when I brought this up earlier.

Do you see no analogues between the two situations? Were you equally outraged by the behavior of the Tea Party Protesters?

Praktik
25th March 2010, 03:58 AM
She is a pundit. She speaks directly through the news media. We have already heard directly from her. Over and over again.

poor muzzled Anne Coulter - if only she had a platform from which she could speak and we could hear directly from her! If only there was a book of hers I could read somewhere!

themusicteacher
25th March 2010, 04:30 AM
So "free speech" means you should be handed a public forum from which to spew your venomous, hateful, vitriolic, hopelessly one-sided nonsense? Maybe Ann "The Man" Coulter should take a cue from one of her conservative buddies, SCOTUS justice Clarence Thomas, who suggested that we should "be less concerned with our freedoms than with our responsibilities." Of course, she has no intention of representing anything truthfully. She's a known liar (in the form of hyperbole, straw-men and cherry-picking; just like most "commentators") and well-paid flame-thrower.

The students and MP's had every right to protest and Coulter did what she always does: toss out insults and say how much better things are in her fantasy world where people "appreciate" her viewpoints. They didn't have to cancel but it wouldn't be the first time a controversial figure has been not allowed to speak at events. I'm wondering, did they invite David Duke or Fred Phelps because they're in the same league as Coulter.

Darat
25th March 2010, 04:45 AM
I think the question has to be "Did the people who were against her speaking do anything illegal?"

If they did then they stepped over a line (albeit I do support the principle of 'civil disobedience' as long as it is not violent), if they didn't then why is what they did wrong?

quixotecoyote
25th March 2010, 04:48 AM
I think the question has to be "Did the people who were against her speaking do anything illegal?"

If they did then they stepped over a line (albeit I do support the principle of 'civil disobedience' as long as it is not violent), if they didn't then why is what they did wrong?

My understanding is that they physically blocked people from entering a building and that they pulled a fire alarm to attempt to empty out the building.

The first I could see as a legitimate form of protest in extreme circumstances that this doesn't entail.

The second is probably illegal.

Drudgewire
25th March 2010, 05:35 AM
My first semester of college Abbie Hoffman spoke at our school. The campus conservative group protested it, mainly because the school paid for it rather than any group. To say it was incindiary would be a gross understatement, it was also one of the best nights of my life.

Protest is a good thing. Stifling speech, ANY speech, is shameful.

"Freedom for everyone, unless I think you're wrong."
-GWAR

Darat
25th March 2010, 05:40 AM
My understanding is that they physically blocked people from entering a building and that they pulled a fire alarm to attempt to empty out the building.

The first I could see as a legitimate form of protest in extreme circumstances that this doesn't entail.

The second is probably illegal.

I've only read the two articles linked to in the opening post and they don't mention either the preventing of people getting into the hall (they say the entrance was crowded) and one states that 100 people had already entered when she decided to cancel her talk:

... The announcement of the cancellation was greeted with shouts of "Shame" and "We want Ann" from about 100 people inside the hall. Outside protesters mockingly chanted "Goodbye Ann Coulter." ...

And neither mention the fire alarm?

That aside I would agree that if a false fire alarm was triggered that steps over the line because of the potential danger it causes. However the people outside chanting and so on? I can't see why they shouldn't be allowed to do that.

Cayvmann
25th March 2010, 05:49 AM
Did the University tell Coulter she was not allowed to speak, or did Coulter choose not to speak?

She chose not to speak, because the people at the University are all big meanies.

Drudgewire
25th March 2010, 05:49 AM
Yeah, I haven't seen anyone besides a conservative blogger reporting it say the entrance was blocked, and even he doesn't mention a fire alarm. And the NY Times article quotes the police chief as saying the behavior of the crowd was not the reason they suggested stopping event.

I'm with Darat, if lines were crossed it was wrong. If they weren't, you should expect the occasional brushback when you make your living being controversial.

ReFLeX
25th March 2010, 06:06 AM
I received this email yesterday (I'm a graduate):

Special Announcement

Dear Alumni and Friends,

On Tuesday, March 23, an appearance by Ann Coulter was scheduled on our campus, organized by the International Free Press Society Canada and the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute.
The University of Ottawa has always promoted and defended freedom of expression. For that reason, we did not at any time oppose Ann Coulter’s appearance. Whether it is Ann Coulter or any other speaker, diverse views have always been and continue to be welcome on our campus.

Last night, the organizers themselves decided at 7:50 p.m. to cancel the event and so informed the University’s Protection Services staff on site. At that time, a crowd of about one thousand people had peacefully gathered at Marion Hall.

"Freedom of expression is a core value that the University of Ottawa has always promoted," said Allan Rock, President of the University. "We have a long history of hosting contentious and controversial speakers on our campus. Last night was no exception, as people gathered here to listen to and debate Ann Coulter’s opinions.

I encourage our students, faculty and other members of our community to maintain our University as an open forum for diverse opinions. Ours is a safe and democratic environment for the expression of views, and we will keep it that way."

I think this happened not so much because of the content of her opinions or particulars of free speech as much as the publicity she received before the event. The Ottawa Citizen had a story on the front page in which the University provost "reminded" her that Canada had hate speech laws. Although the end of the article included a professor of law disagreeing that she would be breaking said laws, her appearance got a lot of attention very quickly. In this way, the situation is sort of like the hysterical tea party protests.

ETA: Here's a link to the article (http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Host+draws+firebrand/2714542/story.html) that ran the day before the speech was scheduled. I should also have mentioned it contains several inflammatory nuggets of Coulter wisdom.

Darat
25th March 2010, 06:14 AM
Have to say it seems to me that a person who apparently has made quite a career out of being "controversial" and "outrageous" was put off from making a speech because people were protesting against her. I've seen nothing to indicate that she was at risk or that her talk could not have gone ahead.

ReFLeX
25th March 2010, 06:22 AM
Short letter from an attendee (http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Idiotic+decisions/2723141/story.html)

Schrodinger's Cat
25th March 2010, 06:37 AM
Haven't seen any threads regarding this, but if there is, my apologies...

There is currently a controversy here in Ottawa where Conservative author/columnist Ann Coulter was supposed to give a speech at the University of Ottawa. However, the talk was canceled after protests by students (including a falsely-pulled fire alarm).

This was not the only negative reaction to Coulter... posters of the event had been banned from certain buildings, she's been criticized in our house of parliament, and one of the professors at the university mailed her a letter suggesting she "tone down" her comments.

As a result, Coulter has labeled the Canadian university as 'bush league', pointing out that such protests would never have happened at the more high-quality colleges in the U.S.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5grH5rnCyMoqFbARVHi9zhJY-kQnAD9EKVOKG1
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/always+bush+league+schools+Coulter+contends/2720460/story.html

Now, I am not a fan of Ann Coulter. I have never read any of her books, watched any interviews with her, or read any of her articles. From what I have heard of her, she sounds like an idiot in so many ways.

That said, I think she's right... cases like that do reflect very badly on our universities (and by extension our population). The proper response to bad speech is to counter it with good speech. Yes, Ann Coulter says dumb things. Best way to handle it is to let her rant and rave, then bring in your own speakers, or write a letter to your local newspaper pointing out all the stupid things she said.

Unfortunately, now she has the "moral high ground", and Canada looks like we don't respect the concept of freedom of speech.


Speakers aren't protested at colleges in the United States? What's she talking about. When I was in college, I can't count how many protests there were regarding planned speakers, even seemingly innocuous ones. There would even be protesters when the speaker was speaking at a closed event. For instance I was a part of "Floridians for Humane Farming" which was a very small club, and we had a speaker at a club meeting who was an animal welfare activist, and there were conservative protesters, I don't even know how they found out about the event, there who protested the speaker because he knew someone who knew someone who had ties to the ELF, and so of course that made him a terrorist. (not that I'm singling out conservatives as if the leftist side didn't do this sort of thing just as often)

And there are often news stories about high profile speakers being extremely contested when they speak at universities.

What world is she living in where American college students don't protest speakers they don't like at their school?

Darat
25th March 2010, 06:41 AM
...snip...

What world is she living in where American college students don't protest speakers they don't like at their school?


From what I've read and seen from her - Planet Coulter - and from her descriptions of it it seems to be a terrifying and horrendous world, not surprised she emigrated to this planet.

AvalonXQ
25th March 2010, 06:44 AM
What world is she living in where American college students don't protest speakers they don't like at their school?

Again, protesting is expected. Rioting to force an event to cancel is not.

Darat
25th March 2010, 06:45 AM
Again, protesting is expected. Rioting to force an event to cancel is not.


I think we can all agree on that (for most events) but since there was no riot in this instance what relevance has it to do with Coulter cancelling her appearance?

AvalonXQ
25th March 2010, 06:49 AM
There was a protest that blocked entrance to the event, and a false fire alarm.
These are actions of censorship, and inappropriate.

Darat
25th March 2010, 06:53 AM
There was a protest that blocked entrance to the event, and a false fire alarm.
These are actions of censorship, and inappropriate.

All well and good (and inaccurate) but what is this about a riot?

AvalonXQ
25th March 2010, 06:57 AM
All well and good (and inaccurate) but what is this about a riot?

That's my terminology: crowd of people protesting + violent behavior against those not in the crowd (blocking people from going places, sabotaging an event) = riot. I'm differentiating between a "protest", which uses a crowd to convey speech and should be permitted, and a "riot", which uses a crowd to carry out violent actions and should not be.

Darat
25th March 2010, 07:06 AM
That's my terminology: crowd of people protesting + violent behavior against those not in the crowd (blocking people from going places, sabotaging an event) = riot. I'm differentiating between a "protest", which uses a crowd to convey speech and should be permitted, and a "riot", which uses a crowd to carry out violent actions and should not be.

And of course there was no such violence. (And the only indication we have of the entrance being blocked is from the letter linked to above which states that the organisers of the event at least at some point were blocking the entrance, plus we know that 100 people were waiting for her inside the event.) Even by your own definition of a riot there was no riot at this event.

Drudgewire
25th March 2010, 07:07 AM
The cops don't seem to agree with the whole "riot" thing:


Constable Alain Boucher of Ottawa Police Services (DW note: Oops, I said police chief. My bad) said that the police had recommended calling off the appearance because of the crowdís size, not its behavior.


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/world/americas/25coulter.html

And I have no problem at all with Ann Coulter, and would bet a lot of those protesters would be the first ones crying about assaults on free speech if the same thing happened to a lefty speaker... but that doesn't mean the facts should be fudged to make her seem like a victim (something she's the first to accuse others of).

In other words, there's lots of hypocricy to go around in this story.

fitzgibbon
25th March 2010, 07:09 AM
That's my terminology: crowd of people protesting + violent behavior against those not in the crowd (blocking people from going places, sabotaging an event) = riot. I'm differentiating between a "protest", which uses a crowd to convey speech and should be permitted, and a "riot", which uses a crowd to carry out violent actions and should not be.

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

Hyperbole much?

AvalonXQ
25th March 2010, 07:12 AM
And of course there was no such violence. (And the only indication we have of the entrance being blocked is from the letter linked to above which states that the organisers of the event at least at some point were blocking the entrance, plus we know that 100 people were waiting for her inside the event.) Even by your own definition of a riot there was no riot at this event.

If your understanding of facts, rather than mine, is the correct one, that would certainly change my characterization of the situation.

AvalonXQ
25th March 2010, 07:13 AM
Wait, the cops recommended calling off the event simply because there were a lot of people protesting it?
That's weak.

Drudgewire
25th March 2010, 07:14 AM
Wait, the cops recommended calling off the event simply because there were a lot of people protesting it?
That's weak.


They're Canadian. They're not used to people acting unruly about anything non-hockey related. :p

Darat
25th March 2010, 07:18 AM
If your understanding of facts, rather than mine, is the correct one, that would certainly change my characterization of the situation.

I am basing mine on what the reports have said. The AP article referenced in the opening posts states that there were already 100 people inside the event when it was decided to cancel it. That report also only mentioned "crowding" at the entrance, it makes no mention that the entrance was blocked by anyone. The only mention of the entrance being blocked is in the letter linked to a few posts above in which the author (who claims to have been at the event) states that the organisers at one time blocked the entrance.

From that letter:

...snip...

The U of O Campus Conservatives who organized the event did a very poor job. They were close to an hour behind schedule before they announced to the large crowd of then-agitated students that if we weren't registered, we weren't getting in. It was chaos when frustrated fans and critics of Coulter were then penned inside the building, the organizers were blocking entry into Marion Hall and the large crowd outside made it to difficult to leave.

...snip...

GreNME
25th March 2010, 07:18 AM
So, you think the local police were idiots when they recommended she not give her presentation at that hall on that night?

I think local police don't want to have to deal with people who come into a place to intentionally start trouble like Coulter does.

You think it was just a coincidence that the fire alarm was pulled right before the event?

:dl:

Are you serious about this one? How many others avoided the event because the fire alarm was pulled? What is that supposed to mean? Is there somehow an implied threat to Coulter's life, instead of a typical juvenile action defying authorities?

You think that all the loud yelling by protesters (you DID watch the video link I gave earlier, didn't you?), many of whom were actually in the hall, would actually have stopped when she actually started to give her speech?

I don't give a crap. If she doesn't have the courage of conviction (on free speech) to speak anyway, that's her failure. Practically every member of the House of Reps in the US last year had the courage to show up at Town Hall meetings despite the early-recognized trend of sign-waving, gun-toting, and won't-shut-the-heck-up Tea Party nutjobs, and Coulter doesn't seem to have been able to muster even the level of courage that politicians (who are notoriously un-courageous) managed to exhibit.

Uhhh... no. Some of us actually believe in the concept of free speech regardless of the message or the person giving the speech. I'm not familiar with Maddow, but I'd feel the same way about someone like Michael Moore if he were to give a speech up here. Moore is an idiot, but if he were invited to give a speech here and others wanted to listen to him, then he should be free to do so.

The only one who limited Coulter's speech was Coulter by not showing. And frankly, I don't believe you that you'd react differently were it Moore.

Ummm.... not sure if that sentence makes sense...

Did you actually mean she backed out when she was going to be facing heavy opposition?

I mean that she has a history of disliking any situation where her target or target audience isn't kissing her ass or cowering at her verbal assault. Any bit of fighting back, and Coulter either backpedals or turns tail and runs, just like she did with this event.

A couple of things should be noted:
With free speech, you should be able to deliver your message without being shouted down. You are also under no obligation to allocate time during your message to opposing views.

That's a funny world you live in. Unfortunately, "opposition must be quiet while the speaker is talking" does not happen to be any kind of current rule for free speech, and in fact instances where opposing speech gets stifled actually tends to result in quite the opposite to what you're suggesting regarding free speech. Frankly, I find your suggestion that opposition should be silenced while a speaker is talking to be antithetical to free speech.

During her previous appearance, she both gave a speech, and engaged in a Q&A with the audience. If students at the university really wanted to challenge her, they could have listened to whatever B.S. she slung in her speech, and then raised questions during the Q&A to point out her failings. Or, like I said, they could have brought in their own speakers, wrote letters to newspapers, etc.

Or they could have protested, which they did. Just because they didn't follow the set of actions you would have prescribed does not automagically make Coulter's turning tail and running any less the fault of Coulter. Singing the "Brave Sir Robin" song about her running away from the opposition, or trying to inflate the protests by describing them as "riots" (as AvalonXQ is hilariously doing), does not change the fact that the decision to stay or leave was Coulter's and she chose to not show up. Let me repeat: Ann Coulter chose to not show up, no one forced her to call off the appearance.

quadraginta
25th March 2010, 07:45 AM
If your understanding of facts, rather than mine, is the correct one, that would certainly change my characterization of the situation.

I am basing mine on what the reports have said. The AP article referenced in the opening posts states that there were already 100 people inside the event when it was decided to cancel it. That report also only mentioned "crowding" at the entrance, it makes no mention that the entrance was blocked by anyone. The only mention of the entrance being blocked is in the letter linked to a few posts above in which the author (who claims to have been at the event) states that the organisers at one time blocked the entrance.

From that letter:

...snip...

The U of O Campus Conservatives who organized the event did a very poor job. They were close to an hour behind schedule before they announced to the large crowd of then-agitated students that if we weren't registered, we weren't getting in. It was chaos when frustrated fans and critics of Coulter were then penned inside the building, the organizers were blocking entry into Marion Hall and the large crowd outside made it to difficult to leave.

...snip...


I was about to post the very same thing, except I was going to include this additional excerpt from the letter...

Most people had learned about the Coulter event only a few days prior from the mainstream media. We had no idea that we needed to pre-register online to attend.




... and re-iterate this part.

They were close to an hour behind schedule before they announced to the large crowd of then-agitated students that if we weren't registered, we weren't getting in.



So it would seem that not only was it the organizers who were blocking entry, but they were blocking the entry of people who actually wanted to attend, but were uninformed due to poor pre-event preparation by those same organizers. The entire debacle seems to be the fruit of their own incompetence.

Only in an Ann Coulter Bizzaro reality could this be spun into a riot by anti-Coulter protesters.

DDWW
25th March 2010, 08:34 AM
Usually in those venues the speakers are paid in advance.

I hope she is keeping the money.

DDWW

Gord_in_Toronto
25th March 2010, 09:20 AM
As an amusing aside I see that news.google.ca has 1020 news articles on The Coulter Incident. Not a single one of which is from a news organization outside of Canada. :D

Captain.Sassy
25th March 2010, 09:30 AM
Ann Coulter can go to hell.

Telling a 17 year old muslim girl to go ride a camel?

Seriously.

The issue isn't her 'conservatism' or political views or even the intellectual level of her discourse.

It's that she's an openly racist hate monger.

If she had said something like the above comment playing on a stereotype about jewish people or black people there is no way that her speaking at the university would even be an issue and it definitely would not be framed in the same way.

*spit*

tyr_13
25th March 2010, 09:42 AM
Ann Coulter can go to hell.

Telling a 17 year old muslim girl to go ride a camel?

Seriously.

The issue isn't her 'conservatism' or political views or even the intellectual level of her discourse.

It's that she's an openly racist hate monger.

If she had said something like the above comment playing on a stereotype about jewish people or black people there is no way that her speaking at the university would even be an issue and it definitely would not be framed in the same way.

*spit*


As inane and bad a person as I believe her to be, the highlighted part isn't as bad as it sounds. That seventeen year old student had just made a joke about, 'not being able to ride a magic carpet' so I'm willing to give Coulter the benefit of the doubt and say that it was probably just a joke.

Captain.Sassy
25th March 2010, 09:51 AM
Hm.

My understanding (second, third hand) of the interaction was that the 17 year old girl asked Coulter about a comment she had made saying that muslims should be barred from planes and can ride flying carpets if they want.

Coulter replied to the 17 year old that she could ride a camel if she didn't have a carpet.

So yeah I find that pretty f'n offensive and derogatory, absolutely unacceptable and completely indefensible.


[puttin' the super in superlatives]

Praktik
25th March 2010, 09:54 AM
Hm.

My understanding (second, third hand) of the interaction was that the 17 year old girl asked Coulter about a comment she had made saying that muslims should be barred from planes and can ride flying carpets if they want.

Coulter replied to the 17 year old that she could ride a camel if she didn't have a carpet.

So yeah I find that pretty f'n offensive and derogatory, absolutely unacceptable and completely indefensible.


[puttin' the super in superlatives]

Exactly, the girl may have been poking fun, but she was poking fun at the insensitivity of Coulter's statement from a while back and said "I don't have a magic carpet... so what can I do?" (paraphrasing)

And then Coulter applied more racist insensitivity on her earlier racist insensitivity.

Fnord
25th March 2010, 10:22 AM
Short letter from an attendee (http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Idiotic+decisions/2723141/story.html)
.
Concluding exerpt:


"... this event was cancelled due to extremely poor planning by the organizers, some idiotic decisions by the SFUO and some prankster pulling a fire alarm."

.
I'll buy that. One eye-witness account trumps untold numbers of speculative opinions.

tyr_13
25th March 2010, 12:23 PM
Hm.

My understanding (second, third hand) of the interaction was that the 17 year old girl asked Coulter about a comment she had made saying that muslims should be barred from planes and can ride flying carpets if they want.

Coulter replied to the 17 year old that she could ride a camel if she didn't have a carpet.

So yeah I find that pretty f'n offensive and derogatory, absolutely unacceptable and completely indefensible.


[puttin' the super in superlatives]

Exactly, the girl may have been poking fun, but she was poking fun at the insensitivity of Coulter's statement from a while back and said "I don't have a magic carpet... so what can I do?" (paraphrasing)

And then Coulter applied more racist insensitivity on her earlier racist insensitivity.

Ah, I saw a video from the event on CNN and must have misheard the girl.

Steelmage
25th March 2010, 12:52 PM
When I read about this item, I though "Oh irony".

Segnosaur
25th March 2010, 01:53 PM
You think that all the loud yelling by protesters (you DID watch the video link I gave earlier, didn't you?), many of whom were actually in the hall, would actually have stopped when she actually started to give her speech?
Tea Party Protesters & Town Hall Meetings

I note that you did not choose to address the potential similarities when I brought this up earlier.

Do you see no analogues between the two situations? Were you equally outraged by the behavior of the Tea Party Protesters?
What's there to say? I agree with you... there were similarities, and I think the Tea Party Protesters did step over the line at times. (I didn't respond to that part because I didn't actually see much point in posting a message just saying "I agree".)

I am more concerned about this particular incident than about the Tea party protesters because:
A: It happened in my home town
B: Universities are supposed to be places that allow the free exchange of ideas.
But again, I agree, any protester (be it tea party, student activist, or anyone else) who attempts to 'shout down' people expressing views they don't like is in the wrong.

Segnosaur
25th March 2010, 02:06 PM
A couple of things should be noted:
With free speech, you should be able to deliver your message without being shouted down. You are also under no obligation to allocate time during your message to opposing views.
Can't say I've ever heard that before, on either side of the free speech debate.

Well, in a radio interview with Seamus Wolfe (president of the university's student federation) had made some sort of comment along the lines of "it wasn't fair to let her speak because we couldn't debate her".

And remember, the poster that I was responding to suggested she canceled because of 'opposition'. Why should opposition matter? If I have a message (even if its wrong-headed and can't defend it) I should have the right to deliver it without facing opposition.

Segnosaur
25th March 2010, 02:12 PM
I think the question has to be "Did the people who were against her speaking do anything illegal?"

If they did then they stepped over a line (albeit I do support the principle of 'civil disobedience' as long as it is not violent), if they didn't then why is what they did wrong?

Why exactly is it important whether what they did was illegal?

If every time I try to speak someone shouts me down to drown me out, it may not necessarily be illegal, but it is at least a violation of the concept of freedom of speech. After all, you're preventing my message from getting out to an audience who wants to hear it.

quixotecoyote
25th March 2010, 02:14 PM
Why exactly is it important whether what they did was illegal?

If every time I try to speak someone shouts me down to drown me out, it may not necessarily be illegal, but it is at least a violation of the concept of freedom of speech. After all, you're preventing my message from getting out to an audience who wants to hear it.

Once again, you have a unique conception of freedom of speech.

The idea that you have a right to speak without government interference is not generally extended to the concept that someone should shut up the crowd so you can be heard. That generally falls under property rights and the ability of owners to do what they want with their own platforms, including kicking the rabble out.

AvalonXQ
25th March 2010, 02:16 PM
Why exactly is it important whether what they did was illegal?

If every time I try to speak someone shouts me down to drown me out, it may not necessarily be illegal, but it is at least a violation of the concept of freedom of speech. After all, you're preventing my message from getting out to an audience who wants to hear it.

Exactly. If person A wants to speak and person B wants to hear and person C interferes, then person C is engaged in censorship.
Whether it's preventing person A from speaking or preventing person B from hearing it, it's censorship plain and simple.

Segnosaur
25th March 2010, 02:17 PM
Speakers aren't protested at colleges in the United States? What's she talking about. When I was in college, I can't count how many protests there were regarding planned speakers, even seemingly innocuous ones.

Don't think she was saying that there were "never" protests at various universities/colleges. Just don't think the protests directed at her were bad enough to actually cancel events.

Edited to add: I'm not sure if its true... does anyone have any video or news reports from appearances of Coulter at various American universities? Are they ever like the one that happened here in Canada?

stilicho
25th March 2010, 02:34 PM
Canada is not the USA. I don't know what your Freedom of Speech laws or principles are.

We just make 'em up as we go.

Actually, pretty similar to yours, I'd imagine. Here's a summary of a Canadian satirical magazine inviting young Tories to deflower a former Prime Minister's daughter:

http://www.spiritus-temporis.com/caroline-mulroney/

Darat
25th March 2010, 02:46 PM
...snip...

But again, I agree, any protester (be it tea party, student activist, or anyone else) who attempts to 'shout down' people expressing views they don't like is in the wrong.

That has to mean that you are either fine with curtailing of "free speech" you don't agree with or you think people should have (or do?) a right "to be heard".

Darat
25th March 2010, 02:49 PM
Why exactly is it important whether what they did was illegal?

...snip...

Because I hold if that if doing something isn't illegal* someone shouldn't be able to prevent me from doing it.




*In the colloquial sense e.g. regulations, ordinances, by-laws and so on.

Darat
25th March 2010, 02:51 PM
Exactly. If person A wants to speak and person B wants to hear and person C interferes, then person C is engaged in censorship.
Whether it's preventing person A from speaking or preventing person B from hearing it, it's censorship plain and simple.


So you also have to believe that people have a right to be heard or that some people don't have a right to "free speech".

Segnosaur
25th March 2010, 02:52 PM
I think local police don't want to have to deal with people who come into a place to intentionally start trouble like Coulter does.
So? If the students actually respected the concept of "free speech" there would have been absolutely no risk of "trouble starting".

Are you serious about this one? How many others avoided the event because the fire alarm was pulled? What is that supposed to mean? Is there somehow an implied threat to Coulter's life, instead of a typical juvenile action defying authorities?
Pulling a fire alarm is juvenile. But it is also disruptive. (It leads to delays, it has the potential for interrupting the flow of things.) Sorry, I just don't accept that because a tactic was "juvenile" that it is acceptable.

You think that all the loud yelling by protesters (you DID watch the video link I gave earlier, didn't you?), many of whom were actually in the hall, would actually have stopped when she actually started to give her speech?
I don't give a crap. If she doesn't have the courage of conviction (on free speech) to speak anyway, that's her failure.

First of all, whether she has "conviction" or not should be irrelevant. Freedom of speech should not mean "freedom of speech but only if you feel strongly about it".

Secondly, why exactly should anyone be forced to "yell" to make their ideas heard?

The only one who limited Coulter's speech was Coulter by not showing. And frankly, I don't believe you that you'd react differently were it Moore.
Thank you. You just called me a liar.

Are you a mind reader? If so, I know where you can get $1 million easily.

Ummm.... not sure if that sentence makes sense...

Did you actually mean she backed out when she was going to be facing heavy opposition?
I mean that she has a history of disliking any situation where her target or target audience isn't kissing her ass or cowering at her verbal assault.

Yes, I assumed you meant that... But your previous post had stated she "backed out of an appearance when it became obvious that she wasn't going to be facing heavy opposition". It was your use of the word "wasn't" that didn't make sense.


A couple of things should be noted:
With free speech, you should be able to deliver your message without being shouted down. You are also under no obligation to allocate time during your message to opposing views
That's a funny world you live in. Unfortunately, "opposition must be quiet while the speaker is talking" does not happen to be any kind of current rule for free speech...
Actually, whomever is providing the forum for the speech/message/presentation can and should be allowed to set the rules (whether they want the presentation to take the form of a basic speech, Q&A, or full debate.) People who do not like the rules should not attend the presentation. Those who violate the rules should be removed.

We regularly see protesters removed from other meetings for violating rules:
http://www.dailycal.org/article/25061/protesters_arrested_at_uc_board_of_regents_meeting
http://www.wate.com/Global/story.asp?s=%20%201599859

Frankly, I find your suggestion that opposition should be silenced while a speaker is talking to be antithetical to free speech.
Nope. You see, I have a belief that the right of "free speech" should not belong to just the person who happens to have the loudest megaphone.

Segnosaur
25th March 2010, 03:05 PM
But again, I agree, any protester (be it tea party, student activist, or anyone else) who attempts to 'shout down' people expressing views they don't like is in the wrong.
That has to mean that you are either fine with curtailing of "free speech" you don't agree with or you think people should have (or do?) a right "to be heard".

As I mentioned to another poster... I believe in free speech, and part of that freedom is in the ability for those providing the forum to decide the rules for the speech/presentation/etc. (whether they want it to be a straight speech with no audience feedback, a Q&A session, a full debate, or even a "shout off".) Those who do not want to respect the rules should not attend. Whomever is providing the forum should not be forced to change the rules against their will.

Otherwise, the only person who has "free speech" is the one with the largest megaphone.

Let me put it this way, what do you think would be an appropriate course of action if, at the next TAM, a group of christian fundamentalists bought passes to attend, and started yelling "Atheist Babykiller" or "God punishes nonbelievers" whenever Randi tried to speak? Would you consider that acceptable behavior? Or would you expect that the protesters would be removed?

(Not that I'm trying to say Coulter has anywhere near the respectability of Randi; but the measure of 'free speech' should include our willingness to accept even the worst messages.)

AvalonXQ
25th March 2010, 03:07 PM
So you also have to believe that people have a right to be heard or that some people don't have a right to "free speech".

I've made this point before and I'll make it again -- people have the right to speak, and to be heard by those who want to hear them and are willing to make the effort that that requires.
Censorship is action, not speech. The fact that your action also contains words, like shouting so others can't be heard or blocking people with your demonstration, doesn't change the censoring action into speech itself. You can divorce the speech from the action and still allow everyone to speak while not allowing anyone to censor.
The only way I could ever see speech itself "censoring" is if that speech convinced people to not want to listen to another speaker -- and I have no issue with this. Removing people's willingness to listen isn't censorship; it's persuasion and completely appropriate.
But dressing up thuggery as though it's the same as an expression of ideas is disingenuous and inaccurate.

rwguinn
25th March 2010, 03:11 PM
Because I hold if that if doing something isn't illegal* someone shouldn't be able to prevent me from doing it.




*In the colloquial sense e.g. regulations, ordinances, by-laws and so on.
We take our rights seriously here, and the Brit/UK attitude depicted by some folks here is why we kicked them out in 1776...
We have this thing called The Constitution of the United States of America (http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html), as Amended.
The very FIRST AMENDMENT states That the People have the right to peaceably assemble. Now, many have held that only the Government can abridge these rights-but I know of one case where an individual has been sued for violating the Constitutional Rights of another, and one case where the threat to sue was made, both in wrongful death lawsuits.

Darat
25th March 2010, 03:12 PM
As I mentioned to another poster... I believe in free speech, and part of that freedom is in the ability for those providing the forum to decide the rules for the speech/presentation/etc. (whether they want it to be a straight speech with no audience feedback, a Q&A session, a full debate, or even a "shout off".) Those who do not want to respect the rules should not attend. Whomever is providing the forum should not be forced to change the rules against their will.

...snip...

And in this instance none of what you don't agree with happened.




Let me put it this way, what do you think would be an appropriate course of action if, at the next TAM, a group of christian fundamentalists bought passes to attend, and started yelling "Atheist Babykiller" or "God punishes nonbelievers" whenever Randi tried to speak? Would you consider that acceptable behavior? Or would you expect that the protesters would be removed?

...snip...

Can't see how this is relevant to what happened to Coulter - but it would all depend on whether what they were doing was illegal (as I defined it earlier) or not.


(Not that I'm trying to say Coulter has anywhere near the respectability of Randi; but the measure of 'free speech' should include our willingness to accept even the worst messages.)

That is then a right "to be heard" which is quite a different right to the right to "free speech".

Darat
25th March 2010, 03:13 PM
We take our rights seriously here, and the Brit/UK attitude depicted by some folks here is why we kicked them out in 1776...
We have this thing called The Constitution of the United States of America (http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html), as Amended.
The very FIRST AMENDMENT states That the People have the right to peaceably assemble. Now, many have held that only the Government can abridge these rights-but I know of one case where an individual has been sued for violating the Constitutional Rights of another, and one case where the threat to sue was made, both in wrongful death lawsuits.

What has this to do with the topic under discussion?

(and you seem to be quite confused - I am arguing for the right of people to demonstrate and have free speech.)

Segnosaur
25th March 2010, 03:14 PM
Why exactly is it important whether what they did was illegal?
Because I hold if that if doing something isn't illegal* someone shouldn't be able to prevent me from doing it.

*In the colloquial sense e.g. regulations, ordinances, by-laws and so on.
But then, aren't you assuming that legal=moral, and illegal=amoral?

There is nothing illegal about a man cheating on his wife. Yet it is immoral to do so. Similarly, the protesters may not have been violating any laws/rules, but their unwillingness to let Coulter speak (and possibly taking actions such as yelling when she tries to do so) still violates the idea that "people should be allowed to hear things they want to hear".

Now, had the speech gone on and Coulter was actually shouted down, the protesters might have been guilty of trespassing. (I'm not sure of the exact rules that were given, but if they included a clause such as "You may be removed for disruptive behavior", then they'd be doing something 'illegal'.)

Darat
25th March 2010, 03:15 PM
I've made this point before ...snip...

Which has nothing to do with the instance under discussion.

Darat
25th March 2010, 03:19 PM
But then, aren't you assuming that legal=moral, and illegal=amoral?



What I am saying is that we all have the right to "free speech" my right to exercise that should not be curtailed unless I am doing something illegal.


There is nothing illegal about a man cheating on his wife. Yet it is immoral to do so. Similarly, the protesters may not have been violating any laws/rules, but their unwillingness to let Coulter speak (and possibly taking actions such as yelling when she tries to do so) still violates the idea that "people should be allowed to hear things they want to hear".
...snip...

Since the attendance to the event required pre-registration and the organisers controlled who could be in the hall I can't see how this applies to this event. Indeed the only mention of shouting in the actual event hall was from apparently people wanting to hear Coulter speak:

....The announcement of the cancellation was greeted with shouts of "Shame" and "We want Ann" from about 100 people inside the hall. ....


Now, had the speech gone on and Coulter was actually shouted down, the protesters might have been guilty of trespassing. (I'm not sure of the exact rules that were given, but if they included a clause such as "You may be removed for disruptive behavior", then they'd be doing something 'illegal'.)

There is no evidence that she would have been shouted down by the people attending the event and as I show above the evidence is that the people in the event hall wanted to hear her speak.

Corsair 115
25th March 2010, 03:24 PM
We take our rights seriously here, and the Brit/UK attitude depicted by some folks here is why we kicked them out in 1776...


And yet when it comes to some rights, citizens in Canada are more free than their counterparts in the United States. To name two quick examples: Gays can marry freely anywhere in Canada; in the U.S. they are restricted to a few specific locales. Gays can serve openly in the military in Canada; not so in the United States.

The point here is merely to illustrate that there are a great many human rights, and that no one nation can claim superiority in all such rights. It's more of a continuum where some rights are better protected in some nations than others.

Segnosaur
25th March 2010, 03:26 PM
As I mentioned to another poster... I believe in free speech, and part of that freedom is in the ability for those providing the forum to decide the rules for the speech/presentation/etc. (whether they want it to be a straight speech with no audience feedback, a Q&A session, a full debate, or even a "shout off".) Those who do not want to respect the rules should not attend. Whomever is providing the forum should not be forced to change the rules against their will.
And in this instance none of what you don't agree with happened.

But look at what GreNME suggested... He blamed Coulter for canceling and said she should have gone on despite constant shouting from the audience.

So, he was expecting that the format be changed from a speech to a 'shout off'.

Hey, maybe each and every one of those protesters would have stopped yelling the moment Coulter started talking. Somehow I doubt it.

Let me put it this way, what do you think would be an appropriate course of action if, at the next TAM, a group of christian fundamentalists bought passes to attend, and started yelling "Atheist Babykiller" or "God punishes nonbelievers" whenever Randi tried to speak? Would you consider that acceptable behavior? Or would you expect that the protesters would be removed?
Can't see how this is relevant to what happened to Coulter - but it would all depend on whether what they were doing was illegal (as I defined it earlier) or not.
Quite relevant....

In both cases you have a presentation with an expected set of rules. (I.e. one person talks, others listen. Possible Q&A at the end. Followed by snacks.) In both cases you have a group of individuals who are preventing the dispersal of ideas through disruption (rather than providing counter ideas in the same or an alternate forum).

Darat
25th March 2010, 03:30 PM
But look at what GreNME suggested... He blamed Coulter for canceling and said she should have gone on despite constant shouting from the audience.

So, he was expecting that the format be changed from a speech to a 'shout off'.

Hey, maybe each and every one of those protesters would have stopped yelling the moment Coulter started talking. Somehow I doubt it.
...snip...

The only evidence of shouting in the hall is of people who wanted to hear her speak and that only happened after the cancellation was announced. There is no evidence that there was any other shouting inside the event hall.


Quite relevant....

In both cases you have a presentation with an expected set of rules. (I.e. one person talks, others listen. Possible Q&A at the end. Followed by snacks.) In both cases you have a group of individuals who are preventing the dispersal of ideas through disruption (rather than providing counter ideas in the same or an alternate forum).

There is no evidence that there was any disruption of any sort in the event hall before she was due to speak.

Segnosaur
25th March 2010, 03:33 PM
And yet when it comes to some rights, citizens in Canada are more free than their counterparts in the United States. To name two quick examples: Gays can marry freely anywhere in Canada; in the U.S. they are restricted to a few specific locales. Gays can serve openly in the military in Canada; not so in the United States.


Technically, I don't know if those would be considered 'rights' here in Canada. For example, I don't think the court ruled that laws against gay marriage were unconstitutional. There was a law passed allowing gay marriage, but in theory a government could actually pass a law restricting it again.

There is a slight difference between a constitutionally guaranteed right, and one that is given through your regular, garden-variety law.

But then, that might be splitting hairs.

Segnosaur
25th March 2010, 03:38 PM
The only evidence of shouting in the hall is of people who wanted to hear her speak and that only happened after the cancellation was announced. There is no evidence that there was any other shouting inside the event hall.

Actually I had heard (through radio reports) that there were protesters who were actually in the hall as well (although they were in the minority.) Unfortunately, I don't know if that was before or after the fire alarm was pulled.

stilicho
25th March 2010, 03:50 PM
Technically, I don't know if those would be considered 'rights' here in Canada. For example, I don't think the court ruled that laws against gay marriage were unconstitutional. There was a law passed allowing gay marriage, but in theory a government could actually pass a law restricting it again.

There is a slight difference between a constitutionally guaranteed right, and one that is given through your regular, garden-variety law.

But then, that might be splitting hairs.

I'm not sure the Americans have anything even close to Section 15. Might be wrong about that but I thought they tried something like it about thirty years ago and it fell flat on its face.

Segnosaur
25th March 2010, 03:59 PM
Technically, I don't know if those would be considered 'rights' here in Canada. For example, I don't think the court ruled that laws against gay marriage were unconstitutional. There was a law passed allowing gay marriage, but in theory a government could actually pass a law restricting it again
I'm not sure the Americans have anything even close to Section 15. Might be wrong about that but I thought they tried something like it about thirty years ago and it fell flat on its face.
Yeah the Americans did try to pass an "Equal Rights Amendment" back in the 70s but it didn't succeed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_Rights_Amendment

Of course, all this in a way is irrelevant... with the 'notwithstanding' clause as well as section 1 of the charter, many of our rights can be eliminated.

ScannerHead
25th March 2010, 04:12 PM
That being said, the base nature of Coulter's comments belong in a bar,

Sounds more like an opinion than anything else. Of course... shut down any discourse. It's easier that way.

Freddy
25th March 2010, 04:13 PM
Hm.

My understanding (second, third hand) of the interaction was that the 17 year old girl asked Coulter about a comment she had made saying that muslims should be barred from planes and can ride flying carpets if they want.

Coulter replied to the 17 year old that she could ride a camel if she didn't have a carpet.

So yeah I find that pretty f'n offensive and derogatory, absolutely unacceptable and completely indefensible.


[puttin' the super in superlatives]

The girl should have asked to borrow Ann's broomstick.

GreNME
25th March 2010, 04:59 PM
So? If the students actually respected the concept of "free speech" there would have been absolutely no risk of "trouble starting".

"Free speech" is a double-edged sword: all opinions are open territory with free speech, no respect for anyone's position is required.

Pulling a fire alarm is juvenile. But it is also disruptive. (It leads to delays, it has the potential for interrupting the flow of things.) Sorry, I just don't accept that because a tactic was "juvenile" that it is acceptable.

I don't care whether you accept it or not. It's still not an excuse to back out of an appearance.

First of all, whether she has "conviction" or not should be irrelevant. Freedom of speech should not mean "freedom of speech but only if you feel strongly about it".

It also shouldn't mean that everyone should treat your views as sacrosanct. Coulter's own act embodies this.

Secondly, why exactly should anyone be forced to "yell" to make their ideas heard?

Why don't you ask Coulter herself, or o'Reilly, or Hannity, or Beck, or any of the popular commentators of Coulter's ilk who bank on shouting others down as part of their act. Crying and running because they can't take their own treatment is quite frankly hypocritical.

Thank you. You just called me a liar.

Aww, does my incredulity at your statement hurt your feelings? Tough. Your own posts in this thread indicate that you're working from an interpretation of events that isn't jibing with reality anyway-- most notably with a number of your posts indicating somehow that there was more threat evident than the later descriptions of the event by those who were there-- and that gives me no reason to simply take your word that you're not viewing this through a set of partisan goggles.

Are you a mind reader? If so, I know where you can get $1 million easily.

And the ever-popular variation of the no-true-skeptic insult. Classic.

Yes, I assumed you meant that... But your previous post had stated she "backed out of an appearance when it became obvious that she wasn't going to be facing heavy opposition". It was your use of the word "wasn't" that didn't make sense.

Then the use of the "n't" was my mistake.

Actually, whomever is providing the forum for the speech/message/presentation can and should be allowed to set the rules (whether they want the presentation to take the form of a basic speech, Q&A, or full debate.) People who do not like the rules should not attend the presentation. Those who violate the rules should be removed.

Actually, hardly anyone who was there was even granted admission. Have you not been reading the other accounts? The more information that comes out about what was actually going on there, the less it sounds like the pandemonium your defenses for Coulter backing out make sense.

We regularly see protesters removed from other meetings for violating rules:
http://www.dailycal.org/article/25061/protesters_arrested_at_uc_board_of_regents_meeting
http://www.wate.com/Global/story.asp?s=%20%201599859

Which is completely unrelated to this case, since all of the protesters were outside of the venue and were not given admittance because they didn't call ahead for registration. The organizers were the ones blocking the doors, not the protesters. Since none of the protesting was taking place in the venue, your examples don't apply here.

Nope. You see, I have a belief that the right of "free speech" should not belong to just the person who happens to have the loudest megaphone.

Which has nothing to do with what I said. Expecting an opposing view to be silent is absolutely antithetical to free speech, especially since the students opposed to Coulter should have been silent despite none of them actually being in the venue where Coulter was to speak.

Coulter backed out of the appearance when the conditions were actually set against any of the protesters being able to get into the venue, and under conditions that seem less and less like the dangerous, riotous scenario that the earlier posts by AvalonXQ and yourself have suggested. At no point was Coulter in physical danger or threat, and the organizers of the event were actually actively blocking opposition from entering, which just brings the hypocrisy level that much higher.

But, please, continue trying to justify Coulter backing out as more information keeps coming in about what happened. At least you'll be maintaining consistency of defense... in spite of facts or reality, but consistency nonetheless.

stilicho
25th March 2010, 05:17 PM
Yeah the Americans did try to pass an "Equal Rights Amendment" back in the 70s but it didn't succeed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_Rights_Amendment

Of course, all this in a way is irrelevant... with the 'notwithstanding' clause as well as section 1 of the charter, many of our rights can be eliminated.

Overridden, not eliminated. There is certainly a notable distinction there and the notwithstanding clause is relatively weak because its overriding characteristic is consistent with inalienable rights to replace the government's representatives.

The US constitution has an amending formula that is harder to enact but much harder to revert. Here, we just have to wait five years and the bums are out.

Kevin_Lowe
26th March 2010, 12:36 AM
Do you think that she was basically "shouted down" is a win for intelligent political discourse?

Sure. She has nothing to contribute to intelligent political discourse, except her absence.


Once again, the issue is where do you draw the line? And who decides where the line is drawn. If you are willing to state "Coulter does not belong at a university" are you also willing to allow universities to ban other speakers? Or perhaps art that people think is offensive?

That is not the issue. It's an idiotic distraction you just cooked up to get yourself out of a corner.

Wherever the line is, Coulter is hell and gone past that line. Trying to kick up dust about where exactly that line should be drawn is disingenuous.


You don't think it would be worth while to actually hear directly from her, perhaps learning what her actual opinions are, or what her motivations were behind her decisions, rather than learn about such things filtered through an imperfect news media and pundints?

No. She has had, and continues to have, ample opportunity to get her statements on the record.

Segnosaur
26th March 2010, 01:25 AM
Once again, the issue is where do you draw the line? And who decides where the line is drawn. If you are willing to state "Coulter does not belong at a university" are you also willing to allow universities to ban other speakers? Or perhaps art that people think is offensive?
That is not the issue.
No, its exactly relevant.

Hey, if you want me to admit Coulter is a moron and society would be better off if she were lost on a deserted island, I would agree 100%. If you want me to agree that most of her statements have no worth, I would also agree 100%.

But until you can actually define some sort of criteria that would define what is acceptable and what is not acceptable at a university, in such a way that nothing "valuable" ever gets censored, then you don't really have a leg to stand on.

You have no interest in what she has to say. I have no interest in what she has to say. Probably most Canadians don't have any interest in what she has to say. But that doesn't mean that she should be prevented from saying what she wants, nor does it mean that people should be prevented from listening.

It's an idiotic distraction you just cooked up to get yourself out of a corner.
Nope, its actually an issue that people like you (plus other posters in this thread) like to avoid. I've brought up this issue before when people have claimed its valid to 'ban' Coulter. Instead of actually trying to justify where "the line is drawn", we just end up with a repeat of "Coulter should be banned".

Wherever the line is, Coulter is hell and gone past that line.
Well, where's the line? If you consider your intellect to be so 'superior' please define what you think is acceptable free speech and what is not.

Segnosaur
26th March 2010, 02:01 AM
"Free speech" is a double-edged sword: all opinions are open territory with free speech, no respect for anyone's position is required.
And nobody claimed that anyone with more than 2 brain cells to rub together should actually respect Coulter's political positions. By all means, organize your own speeches pointing out what a moron she is. Write to newspapers showing all the errors in her 'facts'. That's the proper way to do things.

But if you stifle even bad speech, then you should also be worried that good speech might likewise be stifled.

First of all, whether she has "conviction" or not should be irrelevant. Freedom of speech should not mean "freedom of speech but only if you feel strongly about it".
It also shouldn't mean that everyone should treat your views as sacrosanct. Coulter's own act embodies this.

And nobody (least of all myself) has said her views shoudl be sacrosanct.

But there is a difference between condemning a view/opinion, and stifling free speech because you happen to disagree with it.

Secondly, why exactly should anyone be forced to "yell" to make their ideas heard?
Why don't you ask Coulter herself, or o'Reilly, or Hannity, or Beck, or any of the popular commentators of Coulter's ilk who bank on shouting others down as part of their act.[/quote]
Hey, here's a suggestion, why don't you actually try reading my posts?

I've already explained that whomever is providing a forum for "free speech" has every right to decide on whatever rules are in place. Yes, O'Reilly is well known for 'shouting down' is opponents/guests. But that's the way the creators of his TV show want the show to be. On the other hand, if the creators of a TV show wanted to set the rules to have more, ahem, 'gentle' debates, they should have that right.
Thank you. You just called me a liar. Aww, does my incredulity at your statement hurt your feelings?
Nope, I just find that it:
A: Makes you look like an idiot, and
B: detracts from your arguments.
From the looks of things, you know absolutely nothing about me, yet you think it significant to label me as someone who favors right wing lunatics.
Are you a mind reader? If so, I know where you can get $1 million easily.
And the ever-popular variation of the no-true-skeptic insult. Classic.
Well, you're the one who claimed I was lying when I said I would similarly defend free speech if it were from a left-wing source as well.

At no point in this forum have I ever expressed support for the views of Coulter, Beck, O'Reilly, or any of the other right-wing nuts. At no point have I ever suggested that people on the 'left wing' should be censored. Yet here you are, somehow magically claiming that my support of 'free speech' extends only to people on the political right. You must be getting that wonderful information from somewhere.

The fact is, I've always considered myself to have libertarian principles.

You know, so far, there has only been one issue that I've felt was worthy of writing to my local M.P. about. A few years ago, Canada Customs was seizing shipments meant for a gay/lesbian book store in B.S. Even though I'm not gay, (and, lets face it, most Conservatives wouldn't be caught within a 100 miles of a gay book store) I still thought it was significant enough to write in to my Member of Parliament to express my disgust over the censorship by Canada customs.

Actually, whomever is providing the forum for the speech/message/presentation can and should be allowed to set the rules (whether they want the presentation to take the form of a basic speech, Q&A, or full debate.) People who do not like the rules should not attend the presentation. Those who violate the rules should be removed.
Actually, hardly anyone who was there was even granted admission. Have you not been reading the other accounts?
Yes, I've been reading other accounts. I've heard various stories that are sometimes conflicting, but I recognize that there was a certain amount of poor organization. (Remember, I actually live in Ottawa; as such, I've also been able to hear some of the accounts on local radio, in some cases by students at the university; some of those accounts I've never seen published.)

However, that's not relevant to that particular point. The format that the organizers had decided on was a speech (yes, a one sided speech, as you are allowed to make in a free society), followed by a Q&A session. That was decided on long before Coulter had ever set foot in Ottawa. They did not have a desire to organize a full-scale debate, nor did they desire to organize a full-scale shout-off.

Coulter backed out of the appearance when the conditions were actually set against any of the protesters being able to get into the venue,
Actually, that might not be quite right....

Some of the protesters had been claiming that the only way you could get in is if you were a conservative (or signed up to some conservative forum). But from reports I've heard, that's not the case. The even was being discussed on various Conservative blogs, but there was no requirement to be a conservative to attend.

Nope. You see, I have a belief that the right of "free speech" should not belong to just the person who happens to have the loudest megaphone.
Which has nothing to do with what I said. Expecting an opposing view to be silent is absolutely antithetical to free speech,...
Except I never said that people with opposing views should be silent. I said that whatever opposition they take should take the form of useful counterpoints, rather than simply yelling to drown out those making a speech they disagree with.

Andrew Wiggin
26th March 2010, 02:29 AM
Sarah Palin might be an idiot. However, she was a vice presidential candidate and former gov. of Alaska. Even if you hate her, she is a relatively significant historical figure.

Sarah is only a significant historical figure if you're claiming that people still spend a lot of time thinking about Geraldine Ferraro, who beat her to the VP race by a few years...

A

Darat
26th March 2010, 03:22 AM
Actually I had heard (through radio reports) that there were protesters who were actually in the hall as well (although they were in the minority.) Unfortunately, I don't know if that was before or after the fire alarm was pulled.


You have information not available to me then, I can only comment on what is in the reports that I have access to.

Segnosaur
26th March 2010, 07:58 AM
Actually I had heard (through radio reports) that there were protesters who were actually in the hall as well (although they were in the minority.) Unfortunately, I don't know if that was before or after the fire alarm was pulled.
You have information not available to me then, I can only comment on what is in the reports that I have access to.

Yes, although I do have to admit, radio reports aren't always the best source of information, given the difficulty of following up what was said. Personally, I think there's a lot of lying and spin-control from both sides of the debate.

However, even if there were absolutely no protesters in the hall itself... even if you think Coulter could have continued to give her speech, a few things need to be remembered:

- The student's union still blocked posters advertising for the event in certain buildings. Even if you assume that Coulter could have spoken, shouldn't posters themselves be considered a form of free speech? And isn't it a form of censorship if you block some event posters, but not others? (And even if the student's union had the legal authority to block the posters, isn't it still a form of censorship to allow some posters but disallow others?)

- During interviews with various protesters, I have heard it commonly said that "We're glad we stopped her" (or something along those lines). If the students themselves believed in free speech, shouldn't they be saying "too bad she didn't speak, we just wanted to make our voices heard.". Even if you think Coulter could have proceeded, the fact that the students themselves felt they were effective and justified in curtailing speech is, in my opinion, significant.

- Then there was the letter written by one of the professors/administrators at the college who suggested Coulter "tone it down". If the administration actually believed in free speech, should they not be saying "Say whatever you want, we believe in free speech and will defend your right to say what you want".

Segnosaur
26th March 2010, 08:21 AM
Of course, all this in a way is irrelevant... with the 'notwithstanding' clause as well as section 1 of the charter, many of our rights can be eliminated.
Overridden, not eliminated. There is certainly a notable distinction there and the notwithstanding clause is relatively weak because its overriding characteristic is consistent with inalienable rights to replace the government's representatives.
Your right, there is a distinction, and yes, the 'notwithstanding' itself has to be re-invoked every 5 years. However:

- The fact that certain rights can be overridden even for a few years is, I think, rather serious.

- There is no guarantee that, following later elections, the same party that invoked the notwithstanding clause won't get re-elected, or that a newly elected party won't continue the same policy if they feel it is politically popular/advantageous to do so. Witness for example the use of the notwithstanding clause to override freedom of speech in Quebec . Both the Parti Quebecois and the provincial Liberals have had no problem using the clause.

GreNME
26th March 2010, 10:31 AM
"Free speech" is a double-edged sword: all opinions are open territory with free speech, no respect for anyone's position is required.
And nobody claimed that anyone with more than 2 brain cells to rub together should actually respect Coulter's political positions. By all means, organize your own speeches pointing out what a moron she is. Write to newspapers showing all the errors in her 'facts'. That's the proper way to do things.

But if you stifle even bad speech, then you should also be worried that good speech might likewise be stifled.

You're dancing away from the point I was responding to, which was you saying that for some reason "free speech" required one group to stay silent while another group had their say. You're laying conditions to speech that are not synonymous with the "free" part of free speech.

And nobody (least of all myself) has said her views shoudl be sacrosanct.

But there is a difference between condemning a view/opinion, and stifling free speech because you happen to disagree with it.

The only stifling going on in this case was by Coulter and the organizers. While you've not said that anyone's views should be sacrosanct, you have suggested more than once in this thread that those who oppose her views should be silent while she states her views.

Why don't you ask Coulter herself, or o'Reilly, or Hannity, or Beck, or any of the popular commentators of Coulter's ilk who bank on shouting others down as part of their act.
Hey, here's a suggestion, why don't you actually try reading my posts?

I've already explained that whomever is providing a forum for "free speech" has every right to decide on whatever rules are in place. Yes, O'Reilly is well known for 'shouting down' is opponents/guests. But that's the way the creators of his TV show want the show to be. On the other hand, if the creators of a TV show wanted to set the rules to have more, ahem, 'gentle' debates, they should have that right.

Nope, I just find that it:
A: Makes you look like an idiot, and
B: detracts from your arguments.
From the looks of things, you know absolutely nothing about me, yet you think it significant to label me as someone who favors right wing lunatics.

You're correct that I know nothing about you personally. All I have to go on are your posts in this thread so far, and based on those posts I have the opinion that you're being selectively sympathetic.

Well, you're the one who claimed I was lying when I said I would similarly defend free speech if it were from a left-wing source as well.

Wrong, I said I didn't believe you, which is not mutually exclusive from you believing your own claim. In fact, the more you post in this thread the more I believe that you believe your claim that the ideological bent of the speaker wouldn't matter, but that doesn't change my original statement about not believing that you'd be equally defensive if the speaker were someone else. The reason I don't believe you is because I don't trust your interpretation of reality, and that goes back to your posts in this thread that are taking a very creative interpretation of reality that so far hasn't been jibing with the increased information that's been coming out about the incident.

At no point in this forum have I ever expressed support for the views of Coulter, Beck, O'Reilly, or any of the other right-wing nuts. At no point have I ever suggested that people on the 'left wing' should be censored. Yet here you are, somehow magically claiming that my support of 'free speech' extends only to people on the political right. You must be getting that wonderful information from somewhere.

The fact is, I've always considered myself to have libertarian principles.

You know, so far, there has only been one issue that I've felt was worthy of writing to my local M.P. about. A few years ago, Canada Customs was seizing shipments meant for a gay/lesbian book store in B.S. Even though I'm not gay, (and, lets face it, most Conservatives wouldn't be caught within a 100 miles of a gay book store) I still thought it was significant enough to write in to my Member of Parliament to express my disgust over the censorship by Canada customs.

I don't care. Good for you.

Yes, I've been reading other accounts. I've heard various stories that are sometimes conflicting, but I recognize that there was a certain amount of poor organization. (Remember, I actually live in Ottawa; as such, I've also been able to hear some of the accounts on local radio, in some cases by students at the university; some of those accounts I've never seen published.)

However, that's not relevant to that particular point. The format that the organizers had decided on was a speech (yes, a one sided speech, as you are allowed to make in a free society), followed by a Q&A session. That was decided on long before Coulter had ever set foot in Ottawa. They did not have a desire to organize a full-scale debate, nor did they desire to organize a full-scale shout-off.

There was no "full-scale shout-off" taking place, so again I don't trust your interpretation of reality. The reports we have so far is that the protesters were almost exclusively outside the venue and being blocked out by the organizers themselves. The description you continually try to portray-- one where Coulter is facing a horde of screeching opposition-- is simply not reflected in the descriptions of what was actually taking place. Your reality-bending characterization notwithstanding, the other accounts coming out about the event are certainly relevant to this topic, because they highlight the cognitively dissonant skewed framing of reality that must take place for Coulter's backing out of appearing to seem even remotely justified.

Coulter backed out of the appearance when the conditions were actually set against any of the protesters being able to get into the venue,
Actually, that might not be quite right....

Some of the protesters had been claiming that the only way you could get in is if you were a conservative (or signed up to some conservative forum). But from reports I've heard, that's not the case. The even was being discussed on various Conservative blogs, but there was no requirement to be a conservative to attend.

Very cute diversion on your part. There was a requirement to register to attend, however, and that requirement was not disseminated. As a result, the organizers were blocking the entrances and disallowing people to enter. So, while no, there was no ideological requirement to attend, there was a registration requirement that was not made clear and was used to the advantage of keeping the protesting folks out. Again, your reality-bending interpretation is dodging the obvious by addressing what may have been a rumor (conservative requirement) instead of what actually happened (registration requirement) with the case.

Which has nothing to do with what I said. Expecting an opposing view to be silent is absolutely antithetical to free speech,...
Except I never said that people with opposing views should be silent. I said that whatever opposition they take should take the form of useful counterpoints, rather than simply yelling to drown out those making a speech they disagree with.

No, you never said those exact words as I wrote them. Of course you didn't. Instead, you've repeatedly skewed the characterization of what was actually taking place and have yet to modify your assessment as new information has come out about who was doing things like actually blocking the entrance. But let's look at some of the things you have said using your own words:

And does that also include the right to yell loud enough to disrupt her own speech? Do I really have "free speech" if, every time I open my mouth someone over-shouts me with a bull-horn?

The answer here is yes, people have the right to yell loud. However, since they weren't actually in the hall where Coulter would have been speaking (presumably with an amplified microphone in a closed hall), there was no need to try to shout over the protesters anyway.

The following three are very close to my paraphrase of what you were saying:Protesters should not be allowed to prevent or restrict Coulter from speaking, any more than I should be allowed to yell at you with a megaphone whenever you try to watch TV.

Normally I am against restrictions on the method of speech delivery, but from the looks of it the point of the protests was only to disrupt the speech. The protesters were not exactly bringing any useful intellectual arguments during the protest.


Don't think its all that complex... if the purpose of one person's "free speech" is only to disrupt the free speech of someone else, then the disruptive speech should take a lower priority.

You don't have to restrict where they can exercise free speech, you just have to ensure that their 'free speech' isn't designed only to interrupt someone else's free speech.

You see, you weren't declaring that opposition should simply be silent, you-- while still using the false scenario that the protesters were inside the hall with Coulter even though they weren't-- were laying out conditions for why the protesters should have been removed or silenced.

And then in a later response to me:You think that all the loud yelling by protesters (you DID watch the video link I gave earlier, didn't you?), many of whom were actually in the hall, would actually have stopped when she actually started to give her speech?

As a matter of fact, I did watch the video and it doesn't jibe with what you're saying. While the voice-over characterizes the situation similar to the Coulter-spin, if you actually watch the video at around the one-minute mark there is a girl who states that she and "around five" others actually had been in the hall. Five or six people in the hall apparently brought the event to its knees. If you're not seeing the inflated whopper of a "threat level" being described regarding this event, then your hyperbole is pretty thoroughly reality-proofed.

So, yeah: you never said those exact words as I wrote them-- you only implied it.

Praktik
26th March 2010, 11:58 AM
Sounds more like an opinion than anything else. Of course... shut down any discourse. It's easier that way.

Nice strawman, got any other words you wanna put in my mouth?

stilicho
26th March 2010, 03:43 PM
Your right, there is a distinction, and yes, the 'notwithstanding' itself has to be re-invoked every 5 years. However:

- The fact that certain rights can be overridden even for a few years is, I think, rather serious.

- There is no guarantee that, following later elections, the same party that invoked the notwithstanding clause won't get re-elected, or that a newly elected party won't continue the same policy if they feel it is politically popular/advantageous to do so. Witness for example the use of the notwithstanding clause to override freedom of speech in Quebec . Both the Parti Quebecois and the provincial Liberals have had no problem using the clause.

That's the reason the notwithstanding clause was put in there as it was. It is a sop to the Canadian "odd couple"--Quebec and Alberta.

I have absolutely no issues with this as a long-time Albertan (now transplanted to a different province).

I'll let you get back to your regularly-scheduled flame-fest. By the way, I think Coulter should have simply gone ahead with her production. All she'd have had to do is announce free tickets to the next Phish concert and the protesters would have instantly dispersed.

TheDaver
26th March 2010, 05:58 PM
I’ve been thinking… Ann Coulter’s nothing but a troll. She loves how freedom of speech gives her the right to say the things that she does, and she loves riling people up.

Well, up here in Canada, free speech is a bit weird. It’s restricted by the whole “hate speech” thing, but on the other hand, we have much higher standards for slander and libel here.

I’m thinking it would be a great experiment as well as a hilarious idea to spread the rumour that Coulter’s a convicted child molester or something like that. In the US, that would be pretty risky, but up here, as I understand it, you need to prove actual tangible loss of property or income (and not just obvious damage to one’s reputation) to be awarded anything in a libel/slander suit.

Beat the @#$% at her own game, you know?

stilicho
26th March 2010, 11:41 PM
Iím thinking it would be a great experiment as well as a hilarious idea to spread the rumour that Coulterís a convicted child molester or something like that. In the US, that would be pretty risky, but up here, as I understand it, you need to prove actual tangible loss of property or income (and not just obvious damage to oneís reputation) to be awarded anything in a libel/slander suit.

I don't like being too self-referential but I hinted at that here: http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=5755055&postcount=150. Or Coulter could try it herself using, say, Al Franken as an example.

Stout
27th March 2010, 06:52 AM
I've been thinking too.:) and although I'm not familiar with Coulter's material I think she's best classified as a comedian rather than a serious political analyst.

I'm impressed by her damage control. filing a human rights complaint, that's just too funny.

Here's an interesting CBC blog post (http://www.cbc.ca/politics/insidepolitics/2010/03/ann-coulters-adventures-in-ottawa-so-what-really-happened-last-night.html) about what happened that fateful night and I highly suspect that Coulter used these protests as a source for some new material and probably never intended to show up in the first place.

TheDaver
27th March 2010, 07:34 AM
I've been thinking too.:) and although I'm not familiar with Coulter's material I think she's best classified as a comedian rather than a serious political analyst.
Funny you should say that. I was thinking that earlier too. Seriously. And I decided that if she’s a comedian, then she’s desperately, pathetically bad at it. I mean, between her and… say… Stephen Colbert… there isn’t even a comparison.

Here's an interesting CBC blog post (http://www.cbc.ca/politics/insidepolitics/2010/03/ann-coulters-adventures-in-ottawa-so-what-really-happened-last-night.html) about what happened that fateful night and I highly suspect that Coulter used these protests as a source for some new material and probably never intended to show up in the first place.
I think that’s probably exactly right. When I heard that she was coming up here I was surprised, because a couple of years ago I had heard her opinion of our country.…

Stout
27th March 2010, 08:12 AM
There was a thread around here a while ago about bad comedians, I wish I'd thought to nominate Coulter on that one. I tried reading her stuff, back when i was entertaining myself reading right wing extremist sites eg World Net Daily ie Wing Nut Daily, but I found that I didn't know who/what she was talking about.

Now I'm into left wing extremism, it's much funnier.:)

Yes, given that Coulter isn't a fan of Canada and we make up such a tiny percentage of her market, I'm surprised she decided to cross the border in the first place.

Under the freedom of speech idea, i support both her coming up here and the protesters exercising their rights under the same idea however I'm glad to see they didn't invite the black bloc like they did to the protests at the start of the Olympics and last weeks anti Nazi ( or whatever it was ) protest in Vancouver.

I'm figuring inviting the black block is in the same league as promoting 911 truth at a protest, bye bye credibility.

Coulter isn't going to "influence" anyone, anybody going to one of her talks already shares her political views ( save hecklers ) and based on this I can't support any calls for banning her.

I found it interesting that those calling for Coulter to be silenced were the same people that screamed blue murder when George Galloway was denied entrance to Canada last year. The difference here of course, was that Galloway was banned for handing money to a known terrorist organization ( Hamas) rather than his political views.

TheDaver
27th March 2010, 08:35 AM
Personally, if it was up to me, I would have had her speak at Ottawa, but made sure there was absolutely no security. I’m all for freedom of speech but that doesn’t mean freedom from cosequences of said speech.

Stout
27th March 2010, 08:55 AM
Would you be OK with it if she supplied her own security ?

Kevin_Lowe
27th March 2010, 04:38 PM
No, its exactly relevant.

Hey, if you want me to admit Coulter is a moron and society would be better off if she were lost on a deserted island, I would agree 100%. If you want me to agree that most of her statements have no worth, I would also agree 100%.

But until you can actually define some sort of criteria that would define what is acceptable and what is not acceptable at a university, in such a way that nothing "valuable" ever gets censored, then you don't really have a leg to stand on.

Rubbish. You might as well say that without posting an infallible set of criteria for what makes a movie a Western, I cannot state that For a Fistful of Dollars is a Western.

You got called on making dumb claims about a black-and-white case. Now you're trying to drag this into being a discussion of irrelevant shades of grey. No dice. Nobody is playing along.


Nope, its actually an issue that people like you (plus other posters in this thread) like to avoid. I've brought up this issue before when people have claimed its valid to 'ban' Coulter. Instead of actually trying to justify where "the line is drawn", we just end up with a repeat of "Coulter should be banned".

Well, where's the line? If you consider your intellect to be so 'superior' please define what you think is acceptable free speech and what is not.

It's cute that you want to relive some internet "victory" from the past, but you're trying to put words into my mouth. I never said anything resembling "Coulter should be banned", and you know it.

I said that Coulter had nothing to contribute to intelligent political discussion, and that I'm not in the least sorry that she failed to give a talk at a university.

If you want to attack that position you need to argue that she has something to contribute to intelligent political discussion, or that we should be sorry that she failed to give a talk at a university. You don't get to redefine my position for me, redefine what the discussion is about, and then claim that you are heroically battling for free speech.

Freddy
28th March 2010, 01:22 PM
Personally, if it was up to me, I would have had her speak at Ottawa, but made sure there was absolutely no security. Iím all for freedom of speech but that doesnít mean freedom from cosequences of said speech.

In the United States your second statement is false, at least as it pertains to your first sentence. For example, if the KKK has a demonstration, the city they march in must provide security. The same goes for controversial speakers at universities: the university must provide whatever security is necessary. If someone got hurt and could show that adequate security would have prevented the injury, then the university is liable.

And if you approve of an angry mob beating someone for expressing their opinions, then how exactly are you for free speech? Sounds like you're for free speech in theory, but think that it's okay to physically harm those you think deserve it for expressing their views, and that as long as the government doesn't do it it's not a violation of their rights. The Supreme Court disagrees. You may not be able to expect to keep you job if you say certain things publicly, and saying some things can get you sued, but you do have a right to expect not to be beaten when you are invited to express your opinion or obtain a permit to do so.

I don't know the law in Canada, but I'm pretty sure battery is illegal there as well.

Also kind of ironic that you would say this when the main argument against letting Coulter speak is that what she says encourages hatred and perhaps even violence. Good to see that you need no such encouragement.

GreNME
28th March 2010, 07:19 PM
Here's an interesting CBC blog post (http://www.cbc.ca/politics/insidepolitics/2010/03/ann-coulters-adventures-in-ottawa-so-what-really-happened-last-night.html) about what happened that fateful night and I highly suspect that Coulter used these protests as a source for some new material and probably never intended to show up in the first place.

Segnosaur, please read the linked article in the above quote, and then come back here and let me know if you're still as adamant for all those reasons you've been going on about throughout this thread. Looks like the "police suggestion" line was a lie. Looks like there was a total of 8 people in the auditorium who were anti-Coulter, and they actually got shouted down. Looks like the biggest actual issue was seating space and not any type of threatening or out-of-control situation at all.

Still think this story falls in Coulter's favor?

GreNME
30th March 2010, 12:57 PM
Segnosaur, you're missing your opportunity to prove me wrong. Check the link in the previous post about how many of the claims by Coulter-- particularly about the police and the fraction of actual people who were anti-Coulter inside the venue-- were simply false or blatantly misrepresented, and then let me know if you're still adamant that the story falls in Coulter's favor. You indicated in previous posts that I'm wrong to doubt your approach to this story, and that you are someone who considers the case on its merits instead of bias. Does the information in the aforementioned link alter your opinion on the merits of the situation at all?

TheDaver
31st March 2010, 10:11 AM
In the United States your second statement is false, at least as it pertains to your first sentence. For example, if the KKK has a demonstration, the city they march in must provide security. The same goes for controversial speakers at universities: the university must provide whatever security is necessary. If someone got hurt and could show that adequate security would have prevented the injury, then the university is liable.
Oh, you didn’t hear? Coulter cancelled her Ottawa speech for security reasons, then threatened to file a human rights complaint.

She can’t have it both ways.

And if you approve of an angry mob beating someone for expressing their opinions, then how exactly are you for free speech?
Again, freedom of speech means freedom of speech, not freedom from consequences. Having the government not go after her for expressing her opinions is one thing, but having it throw millions of dollars into letting her spread it is entirely another.

Sounds like you're for free speech in theory, but think that it's okay to physically harm those you think deserve it for expressing their views, and that as long as the government doesn't do it it's not a violation of their rights.
Sounds like you’re grasping at straws.

The Supreme Court disagrees.
Your Supreme Court doesn’t get to dictate how my country does things.

you do have a right to expect not to be beaten when you are invited to express your opinion or obtain a permit to do so.
But you can’t realistically expect someone else to foot the bill for security and then complain about your rights being violated when it turns out they can’t handle it and you decide to cancel.

Also kind of ironic that you would say this when the main argument against letting Coulter speak is that what she says encourages hatred and perhaps even violence. Good to see that you need no such encouragement.
Wow, you really are grasping at straws.

Segnosaur
31st March 2010, 05:00 PM
But until you can actually define some sort of criteria that would define what is acceptable and what is not acceptable at a university, in such a way that nothing "valuable" ever gets censored, then you don't really have a leg to stand on. Rubbish. You might as well say that without posting an infallible set of criteria for what makes a movie a Western, I cannot state that For a Fistful of Dollars is a Western.
Nope, point isn't rubbish.

Your comparison of me asking you to define 'free speech' and your suggestion that its like trying to define what a 'western' is fails for a couple of reasons.

First of all, free speech is something that should be defined. Its relevant to all members of society (unlike trying to define what a movie 'type' is). Not only that, its something that can be defined. We can define what we think reasonable limits are.

Secondly, if I really wanted to, I could define what constitutes a 'western'. (How about "a movie that takes place in the western 'prairies' of North America, after the civil war but before the invention of the internal combustion engine. There, see? Was that so hard?

You got called on making dumb claims about a black-and-white case. Now you're trying to drag this into being a discussion of irrelevant shades of grey. No dice. Nobody is playing along.
Of course you're not playing along. Because you can't. You see, you have no leg to stand on, so its easier to avoid the issue.

Actually, I'm the one who wants things defined in black and white. I think free speech can and should be defined. People like you (or anyone of the "Coulter shouldn't speak because she has nothing useful to contribute" group) are the ones who want to introduce shades of grey because you're not bothering to define what is 'useful'.

It's cute that you want to relive some internet "victory" from the past, but you're trying to put words into my mouth. I never said anything resembling "Coulter should be banned", and you know it.

I said that Coulter had nothing to contribute to intelligent political discussion, and that I'm not in the least sorry that she failed to give a talk at a university.

So, you're not sorry that she was prevented from speaking, but you're not sorry that she was 'banned'. You'll have to excuse me if I don't exactly see much difference between the 2 situations. In either case, someone who wanted to talk, and someone who wanted to listen to that talk, were prevented from doing so by a 3rd party. What is it, you don't like the word 'banned'?

If you want to attack that position you need to argue that she has something to contribute to intelligent political discussion...
Nope, I don't. Because you've never given any sort of indication of what you consider to be 'intelligent political discussion'.

Once again.... Either all speech must be protected (and not just from strict government censorship, but from people who want to 'shout down' your message) or you don't have "free speech".

GreNME
31st March 2010, 05:47 PM
Once again.... Either all speech must be protected (and not just from strict government censorship, but from people who want to 'shout down' your message) or you don't have "free speech".

I'll quote someone else in case it coming from me isn't good enough:Again, freedom of speech means freedom of speech, not freedom from consequences.

You still haven't answered whether the newer facts about what actually happened-- particularly the police suggesting nothing regarding security or safety, but instead about venue size (but not excluding the other facts)-- has affected your opinion.

No one threatened Coulter's speech. She ran out of her own accord and then (as per usual) lied about it.

Segnosaur
31st March 2010, 06:28 PM
Here's an interesting CBC blog post about what happened that fateful night and I highly suspect that Coulter used these protests as a source for some new material and probably never intended to show up in the first place.
Segnosaur, please read the linked article in the above quote, and then come back here and let me know if you're still as adamant for all those reasons you've been going on about throughout this thread.
Ok, first of all, keep in mind that that blog post was through the CBC. Not sure if you're familiar with the Canadian media, but the CBC is generally seen as having a left-of-center bias. (Perhaps not as bad as, lets say, Fox news, but expect that whatever is presented by them will usually be slanted.)

Secondly, this was a very poorly written and researched article. There are some rather significant mistakes in it. For example, one of the claims is that she never intended to show because she would have had to have left the Rideau club 'a half hour before' in order to make it. Ummmm.... I live in Ottawa. The only way it would take you half an hour to get from the Rideau club (located downtown Ottawa) to the University is if you were walking. With a broken leg. While dragging a 100 pound boulder. Had she spent 2 minutes with a city map (or even mapquest) she would have seen that travel time by car is roughly 5 minutes. Should you really trust an author who makes blunders such as this?

Lastly, the author of this article seems to be relying on certain sources, but ignoring others. Heck, she even ignores information even from sources she referred to. For example, she claims that: They [her source] added: "At no time was there any evidence of physical threat." Yet one of her sources also pointed out: One male in his early twenties was escorted out of the foyer of the building by an Ottawa police officer..

Umm.. Just wondering, just why do you think the police would be escorting someone out of the building? Unclaimed parking tickets?

Oh, and by the way, there was evidence of a threat provided by reporters that were there. For example:
From: http://deborahgyapong.blogspot.com/2010/03/anti-free-speech-students-shut-down-ann.html
...a group of people rushed the hall, jostling the three people who were at a table checking student ids and those who had registered. The table got pushed aside. When the volunteers said they needed order and for people to come to the table, some of the rowdies folded the table up and threw it aside. Then the volunteers decided it was too dangerous for them and they shut the doors to the auditorium.


re: police suggestion that they simply "find a bigger venue"

Looks like the "police suggestion" line [that they cancel the event] was a lie.
Ok, first of all, my personal belief is that, on average, the Ottawa police are incompetent. Just a general observation from living in the city (and from seeing crimes that the police did absolutely nothing to stop). Its also borne out by statistics (for example, they have the lowest clearance rate for crime in the region.)

Secondly, the author of the article spoke to an Ottawa police media relations officer... but did she actually talk to police that were there? Quite possible that the media relations officer is just attempting to provide a 'spin', while those at the event might have had a different story to tell.

Lastly, and most importantly, just what would be the purpose of "finding a bigger venue"? You had to have a prior registration to enter, and the article itself points out that they were making sure only registered participants entered. So why was a bigger hall needed? Did the police mistakenly think everyone should be let in? Were they just too lazy to provide proper crowd control outside the hall?

If I go to a movie, and the movie theater is sold out, I go home. I don't expect they'll move the movie to somewhere with more seats.

And just how practical would it have been to move the talk? I'm not a student at the University of Ottawa, but from what I've read, Marion hall was already the largest hall on campus. (See: http://web5.uottawa.ca/mcs-smc/virtualtour/science_buildings.php) Think they'd actually be able to just pick up and move somewhere else in the city?

Frankly, the idea that they could have just "moved" the thing is a foolish idea that would have been seen as impractical had the author of this article spent 2 minutes doing some investigation.

Looks like there was a total of 8 people in the auditorium who were anti-Coulter, and they actually got shouted down.
Yes, 8 people in a hall that wasn't even near full. And for which other protesters were attempting to enter. And do you really think its possible to give a speech when people are having a shout-off?

Segnosaur, you're missing your opportunity to prove me wrong.
Sorry, but I had limited time and wanted to save my responses in this thread to when I had significant opportunity to provide a proper debunking.

And nobody claimed that anyone with more than 2 brain cells to rub together should actually respect Coulter's political positions. By all means, organize your own speeches pointing out what a moron she is. Write to newspapers showing all the errors in her 'facts'. That's the proper way to do things.
You're dancing away from the point I was responding to, which was you saying that for some reason "free speech" required one group to stay silent while another group had their say. You're laying conditions to speech that are not synonymous with the "free" part of free speech.

Nope, I'm not 'dancing away'. I've been entirely consistent. As I've said before (and will probably have to again since you seem to have a lack of understanding over this point)... Free speech should not belong to only those with the largest megaphone.
The only stifling going on in this case was by Coulter and the organizers. While you've not said that anyone's views should be sacrosanct, you have suggested more than once in this thread that those who oppose her views should be silent while she states her views.
Once again, Free speech should not belong to only those with the largest megaphone.

How many more times do I have to repeat that before you understand?

There was no "full-scale shout-off" taking place, so again I don't trust your interpretation of reality. The reports we have so far is that the protesters were almost exclusively outside the venue and being blocked out by the organizers themselves.
And as the source I have pointed to earlier indicated, It was being blocked because people who had not registered were attempting to gate-crash. Registration for the event was required, when certain people were asked for 'order' so that they could be checked off, their table was pushed aside (the word "thrown" was used, although I suspect that is a bit of poetic license.)

Coulter backed out of the appearance when the conditions were actually set against any of the protesters being able to get into the venue,
Some of the protesters had been claiming that the only way you could get in is if you were a conservative (or signed up to some conservative forum). But from reports I've heard, that's not the case. The even was being discussed on various Conservative blogs, but there was no requirement to be a conservative to attend.
Very cute diversion on your part. There was a requirement to register to attend, however, and that requirement was not disseminated.
Actually, it was disseminated. It was probably discussed more on conservative message boards and similar places because they had more interest, but the fact that at least some protesters were actually admitted suggests that the event (plus the registration requirement) was disseminated.

And do you know why it wasn't disseminated more widely? One of the reasons is that the head of the student council (Seamus Wolfe) banned posters from certain buildings. So, he bans posters giving details about the event, then complains that people don't know the details of the event.

And does that also include the right to yell loud enough to disrupt her own speech? Do I really have "free speech" if, every time I open my mouth someone over-shouts me with a bull-horn?
he answer here is yes,
In that case I find your definition of "free speech" to be rather idiotic.

Remind me if I ever see you in a movie theater to yell as loud as I can... after all, it is free speech, isn't it?
However, since they weren't actually in the hall where Coulter would have been speaking (presumably with an amplified microphone in a closed hall), there was no need to try to shout over the protesters anyway.
Another idiotic suggestion. Yeah, an amplified mic can be louder than a voice, but there are limits, and I doubt anyone that was within a few seats of the protesters would have found the 'amplified mic' to be all that beneficial.

Kevin_Lowe
31st March 2010, 06:40 PM
Nope, point isn't rubbish.

Your comparison of me asking you to define 'free speech' and your suggestion that its like trying to define what a 'western' is fails for a couple of reasons.

First of all, free speech is something that should be defined. Its relevant to all members of society (unlike trying to define what a movie 'type' is). Not only that, its something that can be defined. We can define what we think reasonable limits are.

I guess you must have completely lost track of what you were talking about. That or you thought nobody would notice if you suddenly switched topics to demanding a definition of free speech, instead of demanding a definition of the exact degree of mendaciousness, stupidity and ignorance that makes a person unfit to contribute to university-level political discussion.

Once again, sorry, but nobody is going to play along with your goalpost-moving.


Actually, I'm the one who wants things defined in black and white. I think free speech can and should be defined. People like you (or anyone of the "Coulter shouldn't speak because she has nothing useful to contribute" group) are the ones who want to introduce shades of grey because you're not bothering to define what is 'useful'.

I can merely repeat that calling for a discussion of where the exact boundary line lies between valid and non-valid contributions to a serious discussion when Coulter is clearly miles beyond the non-valid line is irrational and unproductive.

You are trying to pick some pet fight of yours about free speech, but I'm simply not interested in being your straw man. Please relive your internet "victories" elsewhere.


So, you're not sorry that she was prevented from speaking, but you're not sorry that she was 'banned'. You'll have to excuse me if I don't exactly see much difference between the 2 situations. In either case, someone who wanted to talk, and someone who wanted to listen to that talk, were prevented from doing so by a 3rd party. What is it, you don't like the word 'banned'?

Have you been reading the thread? Coulter was not prevented from doing anything.


Once again.... Either all speech must be protected (and not just from strict government censorship, but from people who want to 'shout down' your message) or you don't have "free speech".

Knock it off with the straw men. Nobody is saying Coulter shouldn't be allowed to stand on a milk crate on a street corner and make whatever noises she likes.

I am saying that she shouldn't be given a platform to make her noises at a university.

Segnosaur
31st March 2010, 06:44 PM
Once again.... Either all speech must be protected (and not just from strict government censorship, but from people who want to 'shout down' your message) or you don't have "free speech".
I'll quote someone else in case it coming from me isn't good enough:
Again, freedom of speech means freedom of speech, not freedom from consequences

So, you try to justify your idiotic statements by quoting someone else who isn't really much better.

Hey, if you want to claim 'free speech does not mean freedom from consequences[/i] I agree... If I say something wrong, I could expect to be insulted, criticized for my views, shunned by society, etc. But the point is, I should still be able to get my message out there without having it shouted down by someone with a bigger megaphone.

Oh, and by the way, I do think that acceptable consequences should not include physical harm or property damage.

You still haven't answered whether the newer facts about what actually happened-- particularly the police suggesting nothing regarding security or safety, but instead about venue size (but not excluding the other facts)-- has affected your opinion.

Already answered. (I was in the process of answering when you made your post.

The suggestion by the police should have been seen for what it was: an idiotic suggestion not worthy of consideration....
- Marion hall was already the biggest one on campus. And I doubt it was really practical to move the event on short notice.
- Registration was required (and registration was open to anyone who wanted to register ahead of time).. So, why would a bigger hall be required?

GreNME
31st March 2010, 07:58 PM
Ok, first of all, keep in mind that that blog post was through the CBC. Not sure if you're familiar with the Canadian media, but the CBC is generally seen as having a left-of-center bias. (Perhaps not as bad as, lets say, Fox news, but expect that whatever is presented by them will usually be slanted.)

When cornered play the good-old "librul media" canard, as if that somehow proves what was said wrong. Lame.

Secondly, this was a very poorly written and researched article. There are some rather significant mistakes in it. For example, one of the claims is that she never intended to show because she would have had to have left the Rideau club 'a half hour before' in order to make it. Ummmm.... I live in Ottawa. The only way it would take you half an hour to get from the Rideau club (located downtown Ottawa) to the University is if you were walking. With a broken leg. While dragging a 100 pound boulder. Had she spent 2 minutes with a city map (or even mapquest) she would have seen that travel time by car is roughly 5 minutes. Should you really trust an author who makes blunders such as this?

Lastly, the author of this article seems to be relying on certain sources, but ignoring others. Heck, she even ignores information even from sources she referred to. For example, she claims that: They [her source] added: "At no time was there any evidence of physical threat." Yet one of her sources also pointed out: One male in his early twenties was escorted out of the foyer of the building by an Ottawa police officer..

Umm.. Just wondering, just why do you think the police would be escorting someone out of the building? Unclaimed parking tickets?

To the second: trying to change the subject because you think she too long getting there is insipidly pedantic, and blatantly trying to play incredulous. To the last, unless you have some proof of reason why the young man was being escorted away (for pulling the alarm maybe?), you have nothing supporting that there was any threat. The police themselves said they were never concerned about a threat (but open to any being reported), so in case you're missing this Coulter's people have lied about that.

Oh, and by the way, there was evidence of a threat provided by reporters that were there. For example:
From: http://deborahgyapong.blogspot.com/2010/03/anti-free-speech-students-shut-down-ann.html
...a group of people rushed the hall, jostling the three people who were at a table checking student ids and those who had registered. The table got pushed aside. When the volunteers said they needed order and for people to come to the table, some of the rowdies folded the table up and threw it aside. Then the volunteers decided it was too dangerous for them and they shut the doors to the auditorium.

Nice backpedaling. The police never warned of any threat. Repeat it with me: the police never warned of any threat. Ann Coulter and friends are outright lying about the police having any concern of a threat. You're just retreating into hearsay now that the authorities don't back up Coulter's claims. Speaking of the authorities not backing them up:

Ok, first of all, my personal belief is that, on average, the Ottawa police are incompetent. Just a general observation from living in the city (and from seeing crimes that the police did absolutely nothing to stop). Its also borne out by statistics (for example, they have the lowest clearance rate for crime in the region.)

Wow, it's like you're playing directly from the Fox News playbook now: when the facts don't fit the narrative, character assassination is soon to follow. Great job on being uncreative.

Secondly, the author of the article spoke to an Ottawa police media relations officer... but did she actually talk to police that were there? Quite possible that the media relations officer is just attempting to provide a 'spin', while those at the event might have had a different story to tell.

You're fishing now. Coulter's quote of the police in her tweets and blogs were creatively paraphrasing the police concern over capacity. The very person whom Coulter quoted was asked to verify, and he contradicted them. Why can't you just admit the duplicity?

Lastly, and most importantly, just what would be the purpose of "finding a bigger venue"? You had to have a prior registration to enter, and the article itself points out that they were making sure only registered participants entered. So why was a bigger hall needed? Did the police mistakenly think everyone should be let in? Were they just too lazy to provide proper crowd control outside the hall?

Do you not understand what a fire hazard is? The hall had a capacity of 400 people, and by the time the event was canceled the hall was already at half capacity with more than twice the capacity outside. That you can't see the obvious venue size concern seems intentionally obtuse after so many pages on the topic.

And just how practical would it have been to move the talk? I'm not a student at the University of Ottawa, but from what I've read, Marion hall was already the largest hall on campus. (See: http://web5.uottawa.ca/mcs-smc/virtualtour/science_buildings.php) Think they'd actually be able to just pick up and move somewhere else in the city?

Perhaps that's a question you should be asking the organizers... you know, the guys who cut and ran.

Frankly, the idea that they could have just "moved" the thing is a foolish idea that would have been seen as impractical had the author of this article spent 2 minutes doing some investigation.

No one is suggesting they should have just "moved" that day. You're making up strawmen to ignore the reality of the only concern the police expressed.

Yes, 8 people in a hall that wasn't even near full. And for which other protesters were attempting to enter. And do you really think its possible to give a speech when people are having a shout-off?

8 people out of 200, and those were shouted down by the others there to see Coulter. This is actually described quite plainly in the link, and you're ignoring it to continue insisting on a fantasy scenario.

Nope, I'm not 'dancing away'. I've been entirely consistent.

Yes, you've certainly been consistently giving a narrative from bizarro-world that the updates on what happened completely contradict. In doing so, you've pretty much solidified what I said earlier about not believing that you would be making these same defenses were the ideological bent switched. Again, while I can believe that you believe you would defend the same, the lengths to which you are denying reality in your defense of Coulter's lying does not support your insistence that you'd behave the same with different characters at play.

As I've said before (and will probably have to again since you seem to have a lack of understanding over this point)... Free speech should not belong to only those with the largest megaphone.

Once again, Free speech should not belong to only those with the largest megaphone.

How many more times do I have to repeat that before you understand?

And as the source I have pointed to earlier indicated, It was being blocked because people who had not registered were attempting to gate-crash. Registration for the event was required, when certain people were asked for 'order' so that they could be checked off, their table was pushed aside (the word "thrown" was used, although I suspect that is a bit of poetic license.)

Look, you (and AvalonXQ) were the one who earlier in the thread seemed to be implying that the anti-Coulter folks were the ones blocking entrance to the event, and it turned out that the organizers were blocking entrance to the event. That you're not admitting the reality is the opposite of what was being presented earlier in the thread is why I pointed it out. You're just avoiding admitting as much.

Actually, it was disseminated. It was probably discussed more on conservative message boards and similar places because they had more interest, but the fact that at least some protesters were actually admitted suggests that the event (plus the registration requirement) was disseminated.

You don't at all see the cognitive dissonance in what you're trying to argue here, do you? If the dissemination was as selective as you seem to be admitting, how does that support what you're asserting and disputing what I'm saying?

And do you know why it wasn't disseminated more widely? One of the reasons is that the head of the student council (Seamus Wolfe) banned posters from certain buildings. So, he bans posters giving details about the event, then complains that people don't know the details of the event.

And yet the word got out to at least 190+ people who made it to the event, and presumably more-- unless you're now asserting that everyone present who wasn't admitted was anti-Coulter-- who showed up.

In that case I find your definition of "free speech" to be rather idiotic.

And I find yours dishonest.

Remind me if I ever see you in a movie theater to yell as loud as I can... after all, it is free speech, isn't it?

What part of "no freedom from consequences" did you not understand?

Another idiotic suggestion. Yeah, an amplified mic can be louder than a voice, but there are limits, and I doubt anyone that was within a few seats of the protesters would have found the 'amplified mic' to be all that beneficial.

An amplified mic wasn't necessary-- the anti-Coulter folks were already shouted down before the event was put off. You're just ignoring this to continue insisting that your fantasy-land scenario is the one that actually played out when it didn't.

So, you try to justify your idiotic statements by quoting someone else who isn't really much better.

Nope, just pointing out that your weird conditions do not seem to be recognized as valid by anyone but those defending Coulter on ideological bases, which is part of why I said I didn't believe you earlier.

Hey, if you want to claim 'free speech does not mean freedom from consequences[/i] I agree... If I say something wrong, I could expect to be insulted, criticized for my views, shunned by society, etc. But the point is, I should still be able to get my message out there without having it shouted down by someone with a bigger megaphone.

No you shouldn't. There's no guarantee of that. It's completely irrelevant to the event in question though, because the only people who got shouted down were the anti-Coulter folks who made it into the hall. Don't let the facts stop you from continuing to argue along your goofy fantasy scenario though.

Oh, and by the way, I do think that acceptable consequences should not include physical harm or property damage.

How many times does it have to be pointed out that the police issued no warnings about physical threats? There were no reports of fights or other injuries happening, and about the closest you could get to "property damage" is your anecdote about a table being pushed over. You're just making crap up to try to present Coulter and the organizers as victims, when in reality it's precisely as I've been saying since the first page-- Coulter cut out on the event for false pretenses and is trying to claim moral high ground based on lies.

Already answered. (I was in the process of answering when you made your post.

The suggestion by the police should have been seen for what it was: an idiotic suggestion not worthy of consideration....
- Marion hall was already the biggest one on campus. And I doubt it was really practical to move the event on short notice.
- Registration was required (and registration was open to anyone who wanted to register ahead of time).. So, why would a bigger hall be required?

To the first, again you're making up a scenario where someone suggested moving the venue on short notice (no one did), and to the second all you're doing is displaying the logistical fail of the organizers that turned out being precisely the problem the event was called off anyway (despite the lies from Coulter-fantasy-land). Funny how all of the sudden the police concern has stopped being a talking point waved by you in your defense of Coulter's walking out, and now is being lambasted as idiocy because it contradicts your earlier assumptions-- classic confirmation bias failing and then facing scorn as a result.

And with that, I'm done trying to see if you could actually live up to your claim of ideological agnosticism on the topic after pointing out the facts contradicting the early claims (lies) by the Coulter crowd. You've basically proved why I said earlier I don't believe you would make the same defense under different circumstances, and you've already had the facts and reason pointed out to you several ways and you refuse to acknowledge them. Have fun in your ideological imaginary land.

Darat
1st April 2010, 04:00 AM
...snip...

So, you're not sorry that she was prevented from speaking, ...snip....

All the evidence shows that she was not prevented from speaking but that she or she and her team made the decision not to speak, the two things are quite different.


...snip...

Once again.... Either all speech must be protected (and not just from strict government censorship, but from people who want to 'shout down' your message) or you don't have "free speech".

Your view is contradictory - what you are saying is that my freedom of speech should be curtailed so that someone else can be heard because that person has a right to free speech. Either I am granted that right as well as the person I am "protesting" about or you are arguing that some people's right to free speech should be restricted.

Segnosaur
8th April 2010, 04:29 PM
My apologies again for responding so late in this thread. (After all, the replies here are rather lengthy and my time has been limited lately.)

All the evidence shows that she was not prevented from speaking but that she or she and her team made the decision not to speak, the two things are quite different.
Yes, the organizers made the decision not to speak. However, that decision was made in the face of: A: Protesters, many (even if not all) of whom were there only to disrupt her speech, and B: A police force who did not appear to be willing to help the event proceed as planned.

Given those conditions, canceling the event (rather than have it turn into a 'shout off' with protesters, or end up with similar problems) may have been the only option.

Suggesting that the organizers were to blame for canceling the event is a little like saying a homeowner who escapes when his home is torched by an arsonist is responsible for leaving his home, when the real blame should reside with the arsonist who actually started the fire.

Your view is contradictory - what you are saying is that my freedom of speech should be curtailed so that someone else can be heard because that person has a right to free speech. Either I am granted that right as well as the person I am "protesting" about or you are arguing that some people's right to free speech should be restricted.

There will be situations in the real world where it is only possible to hear one voice at a time. Otherwise, as I keep pointing out, only those with the loudest megaphone will actually have "free speech".

It should also be pointed out that most of the people that went to hear her wanted to hear her speech (even if they may not necessarily agree with her opinions). They weren't there because they wanted to hear protesters chant. The right of free speech should also include the right to access the content you want to access. Protesters shouting over a speaker you wanted to hear interferes with that right.

As an analogy: if I don't like what my local TV station is broadcasting, should I be able to build a bigger transmitter and overwhelm their signal? Most people would say 'no', and I'll agree. But the law against building a bigger transmitter to overwhelm my local TV signal is not necessarily affecting my right to free speech. There's limited space on the broadcast dial, and somehow the situation must be regulated.

Segnosaur
8th April 2010, 04:41 PM
Actually, I'm the one who wants things defined in black and white. I think free speech can and should be defined. People like you (or anyone of the "Coulter shouldn't speak because she has nothing useful to contribute" group) are the ones who want to introduce shades of grey because you're not bothering to define what is 'useful'. I can merely repeat that calling for a discussion of where the exact boundary line lies between valid and non-valid contributions to a serious discussion when Coulter is clearly miles beyond the non-valid line is irrational and unproductive.
Actually, its quote productive.

Removed breach of Rule 10 and Rule 12

Remember, whatever justification you seem to be making to ban Coulter could just as easily be made by (for example) religious fundamentalists who want to prevent Dawkings from talking, a fact which seems to be lost on you.
Once again.... Either all speech must be protected (and not just from strict government censorship, but from people who want to 'shout down' your message) or you don't have "free speech". Knock it off with the straw men. Nobody is saying Coulter shouldn't be allowed to stand on a milk crate on a street corner and make whatever noises she likes.

I am saying that she shouldn't be given a platform to make her noises at a university.Ok, first of all, you do realize that a lot of people think that universities should be leading the fight to protect free speech, not cowering from it.

So, is it an accurate description to say you don't believe free speech should exist at universities?

Secondly, you do realize that most of the people who tried to attend the talk were Canadian citizens. Many were students who paid tuition, others were regular citizens who's tax money had gone to support the building. (Coulter herself may have contributed if she had payed any Canadian taxes.)

Frankly, the whole idea that "We know better than you, so you can keep sending us your money and we'll tell you want we think you should hear" is something most people would find rather repugnant.

Ya know, I'd really think that the loony-right was full of hot air when they make claims of things like elitism, censorship, etc.. However, you seem to be doing everything you can to prove them right.

quadraginta
8th April 2010, 05:27 PM
<snip>

Suggesting that the organizers were to blame for canceling the event is a little like saying a homeowner who escapes when his home is torched by an arsonist is responsible for leaving his home, when the real blame should reside with the arsonist who actually started the fire.

<snip>


Unless you've got something to add that hasn't been shared in this thread so far, a reasonable person could conclude that in this case the homeowner was the arsonist.

I guess he shouldn't have been smoking the kool-aid in bed like that.

Segnosaur
8th April 2010, 05:44 PM
Secondly, this was a very poorly written and researched article. There are some rather significant mistakes in it. For example, one of the claims is that she never intended to show because she would have had to have left the Rideau club 'a half hour before' in order to make it. Ummmm.... I live in Ottawa. The only way it would take you half an hour to get from the Rideau club (located downtown Ottawa) to the University is if you were walking. With a broken leg. While dragging a 100 pound boulder. Had she spent 2 minutes with a city map (or even mapquest) she would have seen that travel time by car is roughly 5 minutes. Should you really trust an author who makes blunders such as this?

Lastly, the author of this article seems to be relying on certain sources, but ignoring others. Heck, she even ignores information even from sources she referred to. For example, she claims that: They [her source] added: "At no time was there any evidence of physical threat." Yet one of her sources also pointed out: One male in his early twenties was escorted out of the foyer of the building by an Ottawa police officer..

Umm.. Just wondering, just why do you think the police would be escorting someone out of the building? Unclaimed parking tickets?

To the second: trying to change the subject because you think she too long getting there is insipidly pedantic, and blatantly trying to play incredulous.
Let me try to explain, since you seem to have missed the point...

I really don't care where Coulter was at any particular time. The issue is that the author of the CBC blog made a specific claim that was wrong (regarding travel time). The author should have known the facts... it takes ~5 minutes to get from point A to point B, not ~30. Even if she didn't know, it would have been very easy to verify. Yet she did not... And the fact that she could get one simple fact wrong should make anyone hesitant about trusting her fact checking in other areas.

Put it this way, would you trust someone writing about astronomy if they had included the claim that "the Sun revolves around the earth"?

Well, obviously you might, since you seem to like any source which validates your ideas. But some of us, when we see parts of an article with glaring faults, usually have less trust in the remainder.

Oh, and by the way, there was evidence of a threat provided by reporters that were there. For example:
From: http://deborahgyapong.blogspot.com/2...-down-ann.html
...a group of people rushed the hall, jostling the three people who were at a table checking student ids and those who had registered. The table got pushed aside. When the volunteers said they needed order and for people to come to the table, some of the rowdies folded the table up and threw it aside. Then the volunteers decided it was too dangerous for them and they shut the doors to the auditorium.

Nice backpedaling. The police never warned of any threat. Repeat it with me: the police never warned of any threat.

Correction... the police spokesman, quoted in a badly-written and researched article, never said that there was a "warning of a threat".

But, the event didn't go on, and all we get is a bogus claim by a spokesman that "they could find a bigger venue".

So, where exactly is the police claim that "the event could have gone on as scheduled. We could have kept the crowd in check"?

Lastly, and most importantly, just what would be the purpose of "finding a bigger venue"? You had to have a prior registration to enter, and the article itself points out that they were making sure only registered participants entered. So why was a bigger hall needed? Did the police mistakenly think everyone should be let in? Were they just too lazy to provide proper crowd control outside the hall?
Do you not understand what a fire hazard is? The hall had a capacity of 400 people, and by the time the event was canceled the hall was already at half capacity with more than twice the capacity outside.
Ummm... first of all, where exactly did you hear that the concerns were due to a "fire hazard"? There's certainly nothing in the CBC article (just the bogus recommendation that they 'find another venue').... nothing in the article suggesting why a bigger venue was needed. Seems to me you're just making an assumption (probably an incorrect one at that) that it was a 'fire' hazard (as opposed to a "there are too many disruptive people to handle properly" hazard.) But hey, if you've got some sort of proof that "fire hazard" was the underlying issue, I'm open to seeing it.

Frankly, the whole "it was a fire-hazard" thing just doesn't make any sense. They took pre-registrations, so it wasn't like the hall was going to be filled to over-capacity. No fire-hazard there. Most of the people waiting were actually waiting outside; again, no fire hazard there. Were they concerned about people waiting in the hallway outside the hall? Simple solution.. tell them to leave the building and only let them in if they have pre-registered.

8 people out of 200, and those were shouted down by the others there to see Coulter.
Lets say once the hall fills up, you'd have twice as many people, thus twice as many protesters.

You don't think over a dozen protesters shouting in a closed hall would have, shall we say, a negative impact on people attempting to listen?

Tell you what, next time you go to a movie, let me come along. I'll sit a couple of rows away from you and start yelling at key points in the movie. See how much you get out of the experience.



Look, you (and AvalonXQ) were the one who earlier in the thread seemed to be implying that the anti-Coulter folks were the ones blocking entrance to the event, and it turned out that the organizers were blocking entrance to the event.
Once again, let me explain....
- From reports of people that were there, there were people trying to gate-crash
- Blocking the entrance may have been the only way to stop said people from gate crashing
If people try to gate crash and I have to block the entrance to stop them, then the fault lies with the gate-crashers, not with the people trying to provide security.


You don't at all see the cognitive dissonance in what you're trying to argue here, do you? If the dissemination was as selective as you seem to be admitting, how does that support what you're asserting and disputing what I'm saying?
I never said that the dissemination was 'selective'. I pointed out that people naturally discuss things that appeal to them. People on the political right like Coulter more than people on the left, so they'd be more interested in discussing her/hearing her speak.


Remind me if I ever see you in a movie theater to yell as loud as I can... after all, it is free speech, isn't it?
What part of "no freedom from consequences" did you not understand?
Hey, it would have been your decision to go to the movie. It was the decision of the director and producers to make the movie. So, why shouldn't I be allowed to yell during it? It was your consequence to go.

Another idiotic suggestion. Yeah, an amplified mic can be louder than a voice, but there are limits, and I doubt anyone that was within a few seats of the protesters would have found the 'amplified mic' to be all that beneficial.
An amplified mic wasn't necessary--
Yet you were the one that claimed that she didn't need to worry about protesters because she would have had spoken "presumably with an amplified microphone in a closed hall". (Your exact words, see post 181). Why did you bring up the whole "amplified mike" thing at all?
the anti-Coulter folks were already shouted down
Dumb dumb argument.

Even if the protesters were shouted down at the time, such "shout downs" (were they to happen during the course of the talk) would have prevented many who attended from hearing everything.

Do you honestly think that some hardcore protester is really going to say "Hey, someone yelled at me... I think I'll keep quiet now"?
Oh, and by the way, I do think that acceptable consequences should not include physical harm or property damage.
How many times does it have to be pointed out that the police issued no warnings about physical threats? There were no reports of fights or other injuries happening, and about the closest you could get to "property damage" is your anecdote about a table being pushed over.
Actually, I never claimed there was property damage. The reason why I brought up the issue is to explain what I think is a proper definition of 'free speech.' is. Its a tangent to the issue.

No one is suggesting they should have just "moved" that day. You're making up strawmen to ignore the reality of the only concern the police expressed.
Actually, nobody seems to know what exactly the police meant when they suggested "find a bigger venue". The rather poorly written and researched CBC article never went into details.

The suggestion by the police should have been seen for what it was: an idiotic suggestion not worthy of consideration....
- Marion hall was already the biggest one on campus. And I doubt it was really practical to move the event on short notice.
- Registration was required (and registration was open to anyone who wanted to register ahead of time).. So, why would a bigger hall be required?
To the first, again you're making up a scenario where someone suggested moving the venue on short notice (no one did)...
Well the only other option to moving the venue on short notice is to reschedule it on some other day, another idea which is just as lame-brained.

Organizing any event like this takes time (e.g. volunteers) and resources (money, for speaking fees, transportation, hotels, renting a venue, etc.). Did the people organizing the talk have unlimited volunteers and money? Were the cops going to assist in helping plan and pay for this re-scheduled event? Heck, would Coulter have even been available to give her speech on some other day?

Unless the police spokesman who claimed that they suggested they 'find a bigger venue' had some idea of when and where it could be held (that would fit with the available resources, and had some idea of when Coulter wold be available), then this suggestion should be discounted.

Segnosaur
8th April 2010, 05:55 PM
Suggesting that the organizers were to blame for canceling the event is a little like saying a homeowner who escapes when his home is torched by an arsonist is responsible for leaving his home, when the real blame should reside with the arsonist who actually started the fire.

Unless you've got something to add that hasn't been shared in this thread so far, a reasonable person could conclude that in this case the homeowner was the arsonist.


You're kind of missing the point...

I was not trying to discuss "who should be the prime suspect in a criminal investigation". (I had been assuming the arsonist was a second party...)

I was pointing out how sometimes people make decisions (e.g. to leave their house after someone else set the fire, cancel an event when it becomes impractical to proceed) where they are presented with a list of bad options caused by forces outside their control, and they may be forced to pick the lesser of 2 evils. In that case, don't blame the person for making the choice, blame the person who eliminated all the 'good' options and left only the bad options behind.

quadraginta
8th April 2010, 06:08 PM
You're kind of missing the point...

I was not trying to discuss "who should be the prime suspect in a criminal investigation". (I had been assuming the arsonist was a second party...)

I was pointing out how sometimes people make decisions (e.g. to leave their house after someone else set the fire, cancel an event when it becomes impractical to proceed) where they are presented with a list of bad options caused by forces outside their control, and they may be forced to pick the lesser of 2 evils. In that case, don't blame the person for making the choice, blame the person who eliminated all the 'good' options and left only the bad options behind.


I know what your point was. I was disagreeing with it.

You just made it again. I'm gonna disagree with it again. The analogy you are attempting to make is only comparable to the event under discussion if the two people mentioned in the sentence I highlighted are the same individual.

To try and make this simpler for you, the organizers built their own fire, lit it, watched it grow out of control, panicked, and then started running around telling people to look for an arsonist. Preferably a liberal one.

Segnosaur
8th April 2010, 10:33 PM
To try and make this simpler for you, the organizers built their own fire, lit it, watched it grow out of control, panicked, and then started running around telling people to look for an arsonist. Preferably a liberal one.

The organizers did not ask for protesters to come to the event with the intention of disrupting the speech. (Yet they had to contend with others organizing such protests.)

The organizers did not pull the fire alarm, or ask that it be pulled. (Yet they had to contend with it being pulled prior to the event.)

The organizers did not ask for people to "gate crash"; they made it clear, both in their ads and via announcements that only registered people would be allowed in. (Yet they had to contend with people lying to try to get in, with intimidation tactics such as throwing tables, etc.)

The organizers did not ask for their ads to be banned from certain parts of the university (yet the decision to do so was made without any input by the organizers.)

Once again, the measure of "free speech" in society is how you deal with people who might say things that are distasteful. Such speech must be protected. If you claim it is "proper" to drive Coulter away because she says things that most of us dislike, then you have to be prepared to expect people you might happen to like to be driven away by people who have a similarly negative view.

Think it would be good to prevent someone like Randi or Dawkins from speaking using the same tactics? After all, they must know that their godless atheist views would cause widespread panic amongst good christian people! They must be shut down! Won't somebody think of the children!

Such a simple concept. Too bad so many people here in this forum just don't seem to "get it".

quadraginta
8th April 2010, 11:38 PM
The organizers did not ask for protesters to come to the event with the intention of disrupting the speech. (Yet they had to contend with others organizing such protests.)

The organizers did not pull the fire alarm, or ask that it be pulled. (Yet they had to contend with it being pulled prior to the event.)

The organizers did not ask for people to "gate crash"; they made it clear, both in their ads and via announcements that only registered people would be allowed in. (Yet they had to contend with people lying to try to get in, with intimidation tactics such as throwing tables, etc.)

The organizers did not ask for their ads to be banned from certain parts of the university (yet the decision to do so was made without any input by the organizers.)

Once again, the measure of "free speech" in society is how you deal with people who might say things that are distasteful. Such speech must be protected. If you claim it is "proper" to drive Coulter away because she says things that most of us dislike, then you have to be prepared to expect people you might happen to like to be driven away by people who have a similarly negative view.

Think it would be good to prevent someone like Randi or Dawkins from speaking using the same tactics? After all, they must know that their godless atheist views would cause widespread panic amongst good christian people! They must be shut down! Won't somebody think of the children!

Such a simple concept. Too bad so many people here in this forum just don't seem to "get it".


There's nothing to "get".

They planned badly, and couldn't cope with the results of their poor planning. When things started to develop beyond their obviously limited abilities to control they panicked and pulled the plug. Then they started looking around for someone else to take the rap for their piss poor preparations. Being young conservatives they did what they had learned at their elders' knee and blamed the nearest liberals.

Nothing you mention in your list of horrors is particularly surprising to anyone who has dealt with event planning of any size. Obviously they hadn't. It is apparent that they approached the gig the way a handful of junior supervisor wannabes would set up a seminar on inspirational office management. Any popular college town music bar deals with similar crowd control situations on a regular basis, and they're dealing with drunks on top of all that.

If they had had a lick of sense among them they would have just opened the doors and welcomed everyone in that the Fire Marshall would allow, and apologized to the rest. They could also have arranged for their speaker to show up on time (that would be before she was supposed to start speaking), which would probably have avoided most of the disruptions we've been told about in what little audience they did let in.

Why didn't they know that some of their ads would be disapproved? Didn't they do any prep work to confirm their arrangements? Did they think they were setting up some kind of fraternity 'meet & greet'?

They screwed up, and they were too chicken**** to own up to it. That's what I get.

Skeptic
8th April 2010, 11:50 PM
The problem isn't protests against Coulter. The problem is when the word "protest" is actually a euphemism for "not allowing her to speak" and "threats of violence".

Skeptic
9th April 2010, 12:06 AM
They planned badly, and couldn't cope with the results of their poor planning. When things started to develop beyond their obviously limited abilities to control they panicked and pulled the plug. Then they started looking around for someone else to take the rap for their piss poor preparations.

That woman planned badly, took no pepper spray, handgun, or strong male escort with her, and still went down that street.

Now, naturally, she blames the violent rape on the violent rapist -- can you believe the gall she has? -- instead of on her own piss-poor preparation against being raped.

Stupid conservative, always blaming others for her own shortcomings.

Darat
9th April 2010, 12:30 AM
That woman planned badly, took no pepper spray, handgun, or strong male escort with her, and still went down that street.

Now, naturally, she blames the violent rape on the violent rapist -- can you believe the gall she has? -- instead of on her own piss-poor preparation against being raped.

Stupid conservative, always blaming others for her own shortcomings.

And then it turned out that she hadn't actually been raped, she'd torn her own clothes, messed up her own hair and made up the story about being raped to try and excuse why she didn't turn up at the restaurant.

Segnosaur
9th April 2010, 01:05 AM
There's nothing to "get".

They planned badly, and couldn't cope with the results of their poor planning.

Ummm... what exactly did they 'plan badly'? What exactly do you think should have been done 'better'?

Lets see:
- They reserved the largest available hall on campus (to hopefully allow anyone interested to attend)
- They had a pre-registration process in place (to prevent overcrowding in the hall). The requirement for pre-registration was mentioned both in ads for the event, and announced to the crowd when lining up
- They had people checking IDs/registrations at the door
- The majority of the people lined up outside (which would help crowd control inside the hall.)
- They had some people acting as security

Maybe they should have armed the security people. Tazered anyone who tried to gate crash. Would that have satisfied your desire for "better" crowd control?

When things started to develop beyond their obviously limited abilities to control they panicked and pulled the plug.
Well-behaved individuals (both attendees and protesters) would not have tried to gate-crash. Well-behaved individuals would not have pulled the fire-alarm.

Under normal circumstances, the arrangements that were made by the organizers would have sufficed. It should have sufficed. Similar speeches were made at other Universities in Canada without the unmanageable protesters that were at the University of Ottawa.

And for the protesters that were getting out of hand, the police should have stepped in to help (instead of just saying "Oh, hold it somewhere else, on some other day.")

You know, there is a limit on just how much "preparation" can be done. We don't expect to build cars out of solid titanium "just in case" there is some freak accident that is outside the norms. Nor should we expect the organizers/available security to be able to handle a situation that is outside the norms for what had happened previously.

Any popular college town music bar deals with similar crowd control situations on a regular basis, and they're dealing with drunks on top of all that.
Ummmm... I've been to university. Yes, bars have to have security to handle checking IDs at the door and handle drunks inside. But I never recall seeing any event on campus where there were students who planned to gate-crash with the purpose of shutting down the place. Any disruptions there tend to be by individuals. And those students don't want the bar shut down (as compared to the protesters at the Coulter talk who were trying to disrupt the thing.)

So your comparison fails.
If they had had a lick of sense among them they would have just opened the doors and welcomed everyone in that the Fire Marshall would allow, and apologized to the rest.
Which of course would have made it unfair to those who bothered to pre-register.

Not only that, I doubt it would have actually fixed the problem. Protesters not let into the hall may still have tried to gate-crash (after all, they were trying to get in even after being told that registration was required), and there would still have been the problem of how to control the crowds outside the hall while trying to let the right number of people in.

Why didn't they know that some of their ads would be disapproved?
Ummm.... because the ads were to go up in university buildings, and universities are supposed to actually, you know, support free speech.

Oh, and it wasn't that "some" of their ads weren't approved... its that they weren't allowed to post any ads at all in the main student building. It would not have mattered what the content of the ads were, the problem is that they were advertising an event that the student government disagreed with.

Kind of hard to have done the ads different when the only 'solution' acceptable to those banning the ads would have been to cancel the event all together.

Skeptic
9th April 2010, 02:43 PM
Well, their #1 lack of preparation was not to realize that on most college campuses, those who scream the loudest about how they're in favor of "inclusiveness" and "diversity" and "free speech" and "non-violence" are usually likely to violently attack those who actually dare disagree with them.

Marcuse's famous dictum -- "no free speech for fascists!" ("Fascist" = "disagrees with me") is still the law in many campuses, alas.

Then again, "fascist" is a very relative term here: if someone like Ahmadejinad came to give a speech, however, as he did in Columbia University, I'm sure the same folks who violently shut down Coulter's speech would be falling over themselves to treat him respectably, as Columbia (to its shame) did.

I can't stand her... but she has the right not to be violently shut down, and she isn't in the same league of evil as Ahmadejinad. (In fact I think she isn't really a conservative, and is merely playing a loony all-stops-pulled conservative for the money. But that's still no reason to violence.)

tyr_13
9th April 2010, 02:53 PM
Well, their #1 lack of preparation was not to realize that on most college campuses, those who scream the loudest about how they're in favor of "inclusiveness" and "diversity" and "free speech" and "non-violence" are usually likely to violently attack those who actually dare disagree with them.

Marcuse's famous dictum -- "no free speech for fascists!" ("Fascist" = "disagrees with me") is still the law in many campuses, alas.

Then again, "fascist" is a very relative term here: if someone like Ahmadejinad came to give a speech, however, as he did in Columbia University, I'm sure the same folks who violently shut down Coulter's speech would be falling over themselves to treat him respectably, as Columbia (to its shame) did.

I can't stand her... but she has the right not to be violently shut down, and she isn't in the same league of evil as Ahmadejinad. (In fact I think she isn't really a conservative, and is merely playing a loony all-stops-pulled conservative for the money. But that's still no reason to violence.)

There are no such folks. They only exist in the lies Coulter has told about the event. They're fictional.

So I have no idea if the imaginary people from Coulter's lies would like him. You'd have to ask her.

Segnosaur
9th April 2010, 03:59 PM
Then again, "fascist" is a very relative term here: if someone like Ahmadejinad came to give a speech, however, as he did in Columbia University, I'm sure the same folks who violently shut down Coulter's speech would be falling over themselves to treat him respectably, as Columbia (to its shame) did.
There are no such folks. They only exist in the lies Coulter has told about the event. They're fictional.

So I have no idea if the imaginary people from Coulter's lies would like him. You'd have to ask her.
Well, not exactly Ahmadejinad, but in the weeks prior to Coulter's speech, Ottawa was one of the Universities participating in the "Israeli Apartheid Week". This event is widely seen as anti-semitic, and has been widely condemned.

And lest you think its just Jewish people and Israeli apologists who were complaining, Michael Ignatieff (leader of our main opposition party and possible future prime minister) said:
...Israeli Apartheid Week is a deliberate attempt to portray the Jewish state as criminal.

The activities planned for the week will single out Jewish and Israeli students. They will be made to feel ostracized and even physically threatened in the very place where freedom should be paramount -- on a university campus.
(From: http://www.liberal.ca/en/newsroom/media-releases/17617_statement-by-liberal-leader-michael-ignatieff-regarding-israeli-apartheid-week)

Yet this event was allowed to proceed. No letter from the university administration was sent suggesting they "tone things down" (as coulter was asked). The student government did not ban posters from buildings (as they did with ads for Coulter's speech). There may have been some students speaking out against the event, but the student government didn't take action against it.

Why the double standard?

tyr_13
9th April 2010, 04:12 PM
Well, not exactly Ahmadejinad, but in the weeks prior to Coulter's speech, Ottawa was one of the Universities participating in the "Israeli Apartheid Week". This event is widely seen as anti-semitic, and has been widely condemned.

And lest you think its just Jewish people and Israeli apologists who were complaining, Michael Ignatieff (leader of our main opposition party and possible future prime minister) said:
...Israeli Apartheid Week is a deliberate attempt to portray the Jewish state as criminal.

The activities planned for the week will single out Jewish and Israeli students. They will be made to feel ostracized and even physically threatened in the very place where freedom should be paramount -- on a university campus.
(From: http://www.liberal.ca/en/newsroom/media-releases/17617_statement-by-liberal-leader-michael-ignatieff-regarding-israeli-apartheid-week)

Yet this event was allowed to proceed. No letter from the university administration was sent suggesting they "tone things down" (as coulter was asked). The student government did not ban posters from buildings (as they did with ads for Coulter's speech). There may have been some students speaking out against the event, but the student government didn't take action against it.

Why the double standard?

I don't know enough about his visit to say. However, none of the things you describe are anywhere near 'violently shutting down' or what Coulter claimed happened.

Without enough information to say, I can't call it a 'double standard'.

Bill Thompson
16th April 2010, 04:01 PM
First of all, she was not banned. She was shout down by a group of kids who did not do their homework and her body guards decided it was not safe for her to leave her hotel room.

Secondly, the kids who protested did so because they were told an untruth. Some professor or school admin wrote a piece claiming Ann said something that she did not say.

In the end it is Canada who has been shown to believe in lies and also uses hate speech to deny freedom of speech.

Kevin_Lowe
17th April 2010, 09:52 PM
Actually, its quote productive.

Removed breach of Rule 10 and Rule 12

Remember, whatever justification you seem to be making to ban Coulter could just as easily be made by (for example) religious fundamentalists who want to prevent Dawkings from talking, a fact which seems to be lost on you.

Oh really? I assume you mean Dawkins, but his academic credentials are excellent and I suspect any talk he gave at a university would be of sufficient merit that nobody would even question whether it had a worthy place at a university.


Ok, first of all, you do realize that a lot of people think that universities should be leading the fight to protect free speech, not cowering from it.

Universities can and do lead the fight for free speech of reasonable intellectual quality. There are street corners, open mike jams and Youtube for idiots to make noise on, so their free speech is not threatened.


So, is it an accurate description to say you don't believe free speech should exist at universities?

Not for idiots, no. It's a university. It's a place to create, preserve and pass on knowledge, not a soapbox for every passing lunatic.


Frankly, the whole idea that "We know better than you, so you can keep sending us your money and we'll tell you want we think you should hear" is something most people would find rather repugnant.

Ya know, I'd really think that the loony-right was full of hot air when they make claims of things like elitism, censorship, etc.. However, you seem to be doing everything you can to prove them right.

I'm guessing you have a lot in common with the loony right and the anti-science crowd if that's your attitude.

Hell yes academics know better than Joe Average when it comes to their area of specialisation, that's their job. Hell yes they take public money and pass on their informed conclusions to the public, that's their job too. That's why we have universities in the first place.

GreNME
18th April 2010, 12:21 AM
First of all, she was not banned. She was shout down by a group of kids who did not do their homework and her body guards decided it was not safe for her to leave her hotel room.

You have an odd concept of facts. There were less than ten anti-Coulter people in the auditorium, and it was they who were shouted down by others once it was known they were anti-Coulter. Coulter was never at any point justifiably under any threat to her safety, and is hiding behind that to avoid admitting to backing out of an appearance due to piss-poor planning by the organizers.

Darat
19th April 2010, 03:02 AM
First of all, she was not banned. She was shout down by a group of kids who did not do their homework and her body guards decided it was not safe for her to leave her hotel room.

...snip...

Apart from the "not banned" everything else you state is not true.