Friday, February 24, 2017

Three shades of grey (or how Ruby made three)

I am taking a break from political commentary today to do what I have occasionally and previously done on this blog. That's right, time for a rattie update.
During my last entry on the subject, I told you about how Gwen, our Queen, had just lost her cagemates Crunchie and Twix to old age/illness. We picked up two girls, an eight-month-old named Marshmallow and an eleven-month-old called Elsa. Gwen and Marshie pretty much bonded straightaway, but Elsa was a challenger.
A week later, after Elsa had flipped the elderly Gwen on her back and slashed away at her belly, she had to live on her own. Marshie stayed in the cage with Gwen for a while, but the trauma had proven too great for our old Queen and she was uncomfortable with any rat being kept with her. Marshie went back into the smaller cage with Elsa. However, we let Marshie free range with Gwen and then Elsa would come out for her time once Gwen went back in her cage.


Gwen had to be put down on Christmas Eve day 2015. She was a real character, hard to get to know at first, although that was in no way her fault. Queen Gwen grew comfortable with her surroundings and her way of life and she was content by the time she had to be euthanized. She had loved her live-in friends, Crunchie and Twix, two of the gentlest rats anyone could have asked to have as company, and had some good rat interaction with Marshmallow.
Formerly a bit of a biter, Gwen would lick either of us copiously when she was propped up on her haunches to groom herself during her last few months of life when tumors made it too difficult to do this on her own. Gwen was a rehabilitation project, but she was entirely worth it. When she shed her earthly body for the spirit world of Rainbow Bridge, she was 2 years, 9 months old.


Elsa then inherited the mantle of Queen and Marshmallow was our little Princess. Marshie loved collecting paper at first, then it became Elsa's job. Elsa would probably stuff as many as fifty or sixty old catalog pages into their little fabric hutch every night whilst having their free range time. Both girls were spunky, mischievous, a bit easily spooked but outward and trusting.


Like Gwen, they were not very familiar with humans before they came to us. Their previous owners basically just fed them and that was all. There had been very little to no substantial interaction.
We had a wonderful Christmas with them, their third Christmas overall and their second with us. We rang the new year in with them. Then things went south. On the 23rd of January, Marshmallow's tumors had rendered her tender to the touch and not very interested in food. It was time.
Once Elsa understood what was going to happen, she let herself succumb to her own cancer. Elsa had put up a very brave front for her smaller, younger step-sister, being the one to look out for her, on the surface still physically capable. But with Marshie gone, and Elsa knowing that, she allowed the energy to drain out of herself. Elsa had to be put down later that same day. Marshmallow was 2 years, 4 months and Elsa was 2 years, 7 months old. 


Squirrel immediately contacted a local National Fancy Rat Society breeder from which to get our next rat pack. Two days after saying goodbye to Elsa and Marshmallow, we said hello to two adorable kittens, Skittle and Willow. Their personalities continue to grow the more they get used to us and their surroundings, but they're practically there already. Skittle is an Essex rat, which is basically a form of Berkshire, with silver hairs among her charcoal black fur. Willow is a chocolate rat, but can appear grey.

 
Willow and Skittle

We were originally due to get a rat called Ruby, but the breeder said that she had mated with a male and could be pregnant. We continued training Skittle and Willow and waited for news on Ruby. Finally, news came and it was good. Ruby wasn't pregnant! Squirrel collected her and we had our complete rat colony. Ruby is a Marten rat, a dark grey color pattern with red eyes.

 
Ruby

The two kittens were happy to see Ruby. It didn't take much for them to get re-acquainted with each other.
Skittle, the youngest, appears to be the most outgoing and is often the easiest to pick up and snuggle. Willow is jumpier and more commotion-prone, but is also very gentle and not that far behind Skittle in her willingness to approach us. Ruby is still a work in progress, very wild in many respects, but also very curious about us, and it is that very curiosity that will see her calm down a bit the longer she is exposed to us, especially during her free range time.
At the end of the day, all very young rats are going to be all over the place and very excited/excitable. But this is precisely when their personalities start to develop and shine through as well.

 
Ruby and Willow

 
Ruby, Willow and Skittle

As she is the oldest and seemingly the alpha, Ruby has been given the title of Queen. Skittle and Willow are Princesses. And of course, with rats of any age, they love to sleep!

 
Skittle, Willow and Ruby

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Never-Trump "heroes" defy democracy

Let me try to get my head around this one. It's not okay to talk with the Russian ambassador, among other heads of state, when you're chosen to be the incoming President's national security adviser. It is a violation of this arcane statute from 1799 known as the "Logan Act," which is so important, you see, that nobody has ever been found guilty of contravening it.
But it is alright to have used illegal surveillance of a US citizen's calls in order to know who the soon-to-be national security adviser was talking to and what he was saying. I see. So this "Logan Act" must be the letter of the law with regard to retired Lieutenant Michael Flynn. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution can screw off.
And, furthermore, there are figureheads defending this gross suspension of civil liberties. I speak of former pres ... A-HAH-HAH-HAH!—sorry, I couldn't control that. Former presidential cand ... *snort*. OK, I'll pull myself together. Former presidential candidate and spokesmouth for the Purist Holier-than-Thous, Evan McMullen Egg McMuffin.
McMuffin took to the airwaves, granted to him by liberals who just adore #NeverTrump "conservatives," oh yes, they do! On CNN and Jack Dorsey's Twitter, McMuffin opined that President Donald Trump "presents a threat to the country". Not Hillary Clinton, right? With her illegal server open to hackers of all stripes and motives, selling of state secrets and American blood on her hands? Nah. Pshaw! The grave danger to the US is Donald Trump because he's dismantling Honolulu Barry's legacy—including, golly gee, his wonderful deal to allow Iran, within a mere ten years, to develop nuclear weapons, accomplished through $150 billion of your money. He's upsetting the George Soros New World Order. Like, omigod!
Speaking about the rogue "intelligence" agencies aligned against Mr. Trump, McMuffin told Kelly Megyn the Second, also known as Brooke Baldwin, "I'll tell you what their concerns are. Their concerns are that Donald Trump presents a threat to the country because ... what they see as his relationship with Vladimir Putin and the relationship of his team to other Russian intelligence officers."
Oh yeah, that monster that wants to eat up the entire planet. Vladimir Putin. Uh-huh. A man who isn't actively reviving slavery nor chopping heads off Christian, Yazidi and moderate Muslim men and raping their women and infiltrating swarms of invaders into Europe and America to commit terror. A man who even ended the seal cull in Russia—something we won't see hippy-dippy Justin Trudeau's Canada do anytime soon. I'm so glad our "intelligence" services are so actively pursuing nationalist, Christian Russia. That's brilliant. Your government hard at work, folks. Too bad the Russkies aren't ragheads. They'd be left well the bloody hell alone then, wouldn't they?
Listen, McMuffin, shine that chrome dome of yours and then stick a pacifier in your mouth to complete the look. You're absolutely pathetic.
Oh, but Nightdragon, he's a former CIA operative, I hear you protest. Exactly. I'd rather have a drug dealer in office. We'd have more honesty. And besides, we could always encourage him to undertake a diplomatic visit to the Philippines whereupon Rodrigo Duterte would have him executed. 
Then there's the other sourpuss and loser, William Kristol. You know, the one who publishes The Meekly Standard? Wait, it's the Weakly Standard, that's it. On Twitter, Kristol wrote, "Obviously strongly prefer normal democratic and constitutional politics. But if it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state."
Gotta hand it to user Ben Domenech who responded, "I prefer the elected to the unelected." What, now? Round that man up and put him away under the uh, ... under the uh, ... under the "Logan Act"! Yeah, that's it!
Golly, aren't men like McMuffin and Kristol such staunch, trustworthy defenders of the American way? That's why they'd give the office over to the shriveled-up old harridan in a split second if only they could. After all, they voted for her. Oh wait, I forgot. Voting for Hillary meant actually putting an "X" next to her name, simple electoral algebra be damned. Silly me.
How about this: They have dedicated themselves to the cause of defying a totally legitimate presidency. I thought that was the job of Democrats. That's normally how it goes. But, because the Republicans are led by spineless wonders and total corporate whores like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, it's no wonder oh-so-heroic independents like McMuffin and Kristol can effortlessly attach themselves to the cause.
Erick Erickson has moved on. Glenn Beck has at least somewhat moved on. Kristol, however, has a hate-on for Trump that is horrifyingly priapistic. 
Let me spell it out for you phenomenally ignorant people who think men like this and those in the deep state are courage personified. The intelligence services are there to protect the President. They work for him and assist any administration who's in power. Their existence is not to be a check on the executive. That is the job of Congress. Show me where in the Constitution that powers are granted to surveillance forces to watch over the executive branch. C'mon, brainiacs, where is it?
Barry Obama greatly expanded surveillance powers on his way out the White House door. Known as Executive Order—and with B.O., what else could it possibly have been?—12333, it almost completely disregards any right to privacy in allowing the National Security Agency to share information, no matter how dubious and no matter how raw, with the FBI, the DEA, the ATF, the DHS and the CIA. You know, our seventeen five members of the intelligence community.
General Mike Flynn was a private citizen at the time. But he was aware of his duties and was having preliminary talks with several heads of state beforehand. It's called preparation, something a general would particularly know more than a thing or two about. I know Gen. Flynn is no deep state boy-hero like McMuffin, but hey, he did the best he could.
Obama could be taped on a hot mic telling then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev that he would have more flexibility in bending over for him and his country once he won the 2012 election, knowing damn well that voter fraud would indeed see him reëlected. Oh wait, there's no such thing as voter fraud—another Great Lie pumped out by the Progressive-Purist Axis of Evisceration. Anyway, this upset absolutely no-one in this valuable "intelligence community" of ours. General Flynn tells Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak that he has no further information on the sanctions against his country and it's the end of the world.
Listen to me, you Cruz-bot purists, Republican Establishment loyalists and those who wish to carry the Reagan mantle even though you're making Dutch turn in his grave. What does it say about men who lose an election, either directly or indirectly, and who carry on as if they won, who continue to push an agenda and a status quo that obviously got resoundingly rejected, men who don't do the humble thing and go away, recognizing that the people have spoken, but who allege that, because they lost, our democracy was fiddled with by a foreign power? And you're more frightened by Donald Trump, even though you said absolutely nothing about Barry or Hillary?
I've said it before and I'll gladly say it again: If this is conservatism, count me out. I'm finding it impossible to differentiate from progressivism/Marxism at this stage. I'm more than happy to be a populist-nationalist.
I've left the best for last: John McCain McManiac. Talk about bitter, sore losers— whoa! Remember during the campaign last summer when the punditry was abuzz with news about how Trump had sunk his bid for the presidency because he dared to opine that McCain was not a war hero? Well, Mr. Trump was wrong, we all know that. But here's the thing. I've grown tired of hearing it. Mark Levin was right when he recently said that McCain is not the only war hero out there. There are plenty of others. But the senior senator from Arizona hogs the limelight with respect to that.
I no longer care about McManiac's war hero status. Apparently, he learned nothing, because he's a warmonger. This man has never met a military conflict he didn't like, approve of and want to keep going for decades. The war machine, the government-military complex, has been good to this guy and he's clearly missing the Cold War. So, let's ramp up hostilities with Russia, knock Assad out of power in Syria so that we can have yet another unstable, jihadist-governed country in the Middle East, and continue pinprick airstrikes on ISIS. That is the McManiac (and Lindsey Grahamnesty and Little Marco Rubio) policy. Ain't it great? Nice contracts if you can get them.
McManiac is a disgrace. He's been in office for way too long. What is it with us that we allow octogenarians to serve in Congress? John Lewis. Dianne Feinstein. John Conyers. Should we not have an upper age limit? You know, if you have reached the stage where you have to go back into diapers, you should probably not be serving any longer. Who wants to campaign when they're 80? I don't get it. Must be the riches, eh? They went to Washington to do good and stay—and stay, and stay—to do well.
This bad-tempered coot, McCain, demanded candidate Trump's loyalty. So Trump gave it in good faith and therefore denying it to the genuine conservative in the 2016 Arizona primary, one Kelli Ward. And now McCain is on the war-path, Trump's endorsement having earned the President no loyalty. Trump called out the "Gold Star" Khan family. McCain bitched. Trump criticised Judge Curiel. McCain kvetched. McCain invoked "demeaning comments about women" on Trump's part upon withdrawing his endorsement in October. Take Trump's recent humiliation of the media, which was long overdue and entirely merited because the mainstream media are biased, are liberal hacks, do make stuff up or embellish and spotlight only one part of a varied story, do regularly cite unnamed sources and are completely worthless when it comes to actual, trustworthy journalism. The media had it coming.
Well, according to Senator McManiac, this was indicative of "how dictators get started," don'tcha know. He blasted Trump for being a big meanie to immigrants and minorities and, of course, restated the whole Russian angle. Can't talk about our new President without adding Russia, can we? Vladimir Putin is the "u" to the Trump administration's "q," according to the McCain-Graham-Ryan lunatics.
I entirely agree with Senator Rand Paul when he recently told ABC's This Week, "We're very lucky John McCain’s not in charge, because I think we'd be in perpetual war" and that "everything that he says about the president is colored by his own personal dispute he's got running with President Trump." Rand also said, "If you look at the map, there's probably at least six different countries where John McCain has advocated for us having boots on the ground."
McCain wants to be the star of the show and precisely because he cannot get past his 2008 Presidential defeat. He's a little old to act so jealously, but, as Senator Rand also said, "Not everyone is perfect."
To give McCain credit, he did blast Barry O. after the Orlando nightclub slaughter, correctly pointing out his failure in Iraq by preëmptively withdrawing the troops and not signing the Status of Forces Agreement, and he has voted for nearly all of Trump's cabinet picks. I have, however, had it with his maverick status. It's old, like him, and it needs to be retired—again, like him. Time this man stopped schmoozing with Saudi and United Arab Emirates sheiks, sit back on the porch in Arizona and watch the tarantula hawks pollinate the milkweeds. It's over, Johnny. I honestly don't know what's pricklier, a saguaro cactus or you.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

No popular vote, no Super Bowl trophy? #LiberalsGottaGrowUp

Allow me to take a stab in the dark here, mes amis, and posit that, outside of New England, people have seized upon the hashtag "Not My Super Bowl Champions".
I can understand the bitter sense of resignation for other denziens of the nation that comes with witnessing a particular team or city enjoy what may be considered too much sporting success. Yankees fans, and New Yorkers in general, have dealt with that sentiment since the '20s. Chicago and Los Angeles have also had their dynasties. Boston witnessed an incredible 2000s and has seen the Bruins and Red Sox triumph once and the Patriots twice in this decade (so far). It's been a long time since the New England sports scene was "Losah-ville".
History has determined that there are two paths people can choose in dealing with a super successful team. You either dedicate your life to hating them with as much spitfire as you can muster, or you take the "if you can't beat them, join them" approach and become a fan yourself, despite the fact that you don't live in the city or part of the country where they're based. But if you're going to indulge the whole "Not My Super Bowl Champions" trend, then you're allying yourselves with violent Leftists who are also calling for Tom Brady's assassination. Are you sure you want to go there?


 
"Are you still here, Roger?"
(Photo: Getty Images)

I realize we New England fans might be insufferable with our "Yankees suck!" chants, even during events where the Yankees are nowhere in sight, our die-hard nature, sense of determinism (or fatalism) and especially our nutcracker vowels. Understood, dear reader. But that's the way we are and we aren't going to change for anyone. Start learning to deal with it.
The Patriots have a great name with an equally great symbol. I do miss the old Paul Revere-looking dude hiking the ball, but the "Flying Elvis" is also cool. It's all so ... well, patriotic. We have the best owner a team could hope to have in Robert Kraft, the greatest coach the game has known in Bill Belichick. And we possess the best quarterback the game has ever witnessed in Tom Brady.
Like him or not, whinge about his friendship with Donald Trump (as with Belichick and Kraft), hate on him because you think he magnifies this fairy tale known as "white privilege," but he is the best quarterback there has ever been. Forgive me, but I don't want to hear about Joe Montana, Brett Favre, Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers. I really don't want to hear about Tony Romo, Ben Roethlisberger or Robert Griffin III. I especially don't wish to entertain the thought of either of the Manning brothers. Don't even!
They were all great, or at least very good to some extent. Nonetheless, Tom Brady is quite simply the best QB to have ever donned an NFL uniform, and good luck arguing against that. He lost a season due to injury. He has been accused of deflating footballs to suit his hands, despite Aaron Rodgers pumping balls a little too taut to suit his hands and about which nobody made a federal case. Brady has been described as too flashy, a show-off and perhaps a little feminized by his model wife Gisele Bundchen.
People forget that this guy is the very essence of teamwork. He beat an excellent Steelers team in 2004 while battling a severe case of the 'flu. He has consistently gone above and beyond in his role with the team and looks fit to carry on for at least another two seasons. If he does this, he will retire at 42. Five Super Bowl rings and perhaps six or even seven by the time he hangs it up. Any further questions about how phenomenal this guy is? Do you still want to argue about quarterbacks?
The progressives have brought their sudden obsession with the popular vote into this Super Bowl result. They allege that the Atlanta Falcons carried the popular vote across the country, and I don't doubt they did. As I noted, there is a lot of hate directed at the Patriots outside of New England. So what do these snowflakes want? Let's not even play the game and just give the Vince Lombardi trophy to the Falcons because "they won the popular vote"? Is there no level of insanity, of total and complete unreality, that the libtards will not sink to? At this stage, the answer is quite clearly "no".
Do you see what being "best friends" with your children and awarding them a trophy simply for participating, or even losing, has done to this pathetic generation? If they actually do bother to work, they enter the workplace on the first day and wonder why they haven't been awarded the CEO's office by the time five o'clock rolls around.
Buck up, buttercups. You really need to start acknowledging how the world really works. If you can bring yourself to put the bongs away for long enough.

*   *   *
Incidentally, ladies and gents, I believe I have found the proof of collusion between Russia and President Trump that everyone has been scrambling to present evidence of:


That's right, smack-dab in the City of London (the ancient financial district), Russia Row leads into Trump Street. I swear this is not doctored, look it up on Bing or Google Maps for yourselves.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Return free speech to college campuses NOW!

They went on the rampage in Berkeley, the poor, oppressed little buttercups. And aren't they lucky they have a hobbit like Robert Reich to give them cover?
Reich, the former Secretary of Labor for the Clinton administration, was speaking to Don Lime Lemon and opined that right-wingers were, in fact, the troublemakers who invaded the University of California Berkeley campus and then went on to terrorize Telegraph Avenue, attacking banks, and that's how you know they were Lefties, Reich's assertion be damned. It was a tell-tale sign, as it were. Their rampage also targeted a Starbucks coffee shop and an Amazon pop-up store, because both of those companies are well-known for their extremist right-wing, anti-refugee views. Yep, yep.
This sacking and looting horde of "alt-right" white supremacists supposedly hired by Breitbart News—allow me to further indulge this fantasysmashed windows, tipped over a generator-powered mobile light pole and lit it so it could create a huge diesel fire, crisping one of Sproul Plaza's 60-year-old London plane trees, tore down barricade fencing and used the sections as weapons, invaded the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center, and beat the bejezus out of those students who had assembled to hear the cancelled speech by Milo Yiannopoulos.
Yiannopolous is a "right-wing provocateur," according to the too-numerous press releases I've read. He is an editor at the aforementioned Breitbart News, so there's the link between the destroying barbarians and right-wing populism, as proscribed by the media and the Left. Exactly why Yiannopolous chose to end his "Dangerous Faggot" tour like this goes unexplained. The Left isn't known for providing details, just pretexts.
But who else is this man Milo? He's gay and very open about it. Yiannopolous is not latent about his homosexuality as anyone who's ever listened to his podcast can attest to. He is a devout Catholic who loathes third-wave feminism and does not hold back in his criticism of it and its defense of abortion and embrace of radical Islam. He's a foreigner in America, an Englishman of Greek heritage. Ethnically, he is also part Jewish. Finally, his boyfriend is a black guy. And don't give me that Milo probably exerts his "privilege" by being the top. That's none of your business. Stay out of people's bedrooms, liberals. Am I right?
So, we are to believe that this "white nationalist," as the press also loves to identify Mr. Yiannopolous, would take a black lover? Is this not insane? Why don't the liberals acknowledge the interracial openness of his relationship?
Furthermore, where's the Anti Defamation League to defend this ethnic part-Jew? Where is the Catholic church leadership and the Vatican itself in protecting one of its flock? Why has the LGBT community not got its brother's back?
Milo Yiannopolous is everything that the press and the progressives would normally love. Except he's conservative, anti-political correctness, pro-Trump and defies the extremist liberal narrative. Therefore, he must wear the white nationalist label according to these self-styled moral arbiters.
Morality to the Left is telling you to embrace diversity and take a "migrant" into your home while excusing themselves from having to do the same or even having them in their swank neighborhoods which are so bohemian—and lily-white. Some people are more equal than others, y'know. You're the ignorant sheeple and you will do what you're told. If you don't want to be regarded as naïve and uneducated, do as we say (but not as we do). There's the politics of the New Left—progressivism, socialism, Marxism, Communism, "opposing the man"—as we know it.
Just ask the people of Cuba who dream about liberty. Oh yeah, they're either stuck on the prison island itself or shanghaied in Mexico and Central American countries because Saint Obama got tough on their ability to emigrate to America. Nice one, Dear Leader. Level of outrage on the Left? Zero, zilch, nada, nothing. I guess allowing subjects of the murderous Castro regime to live free is "not who we are".
Alas, I digress. Robert Reich, currently a public policy professor at UC Berkeley, and who clearly chose to be an economist over a crowd-drawing spectacle in Barnum & Bailey's Circus, which given his dearth of verticality was likely his only other option in life, reported that he could not see any of his students among the rioters at Berkeley. Well, firstly, what were you doing there, Mr. Reich, when you should have been home sipping Napa Valley Chardonnay, and secondly, you must have incredible superpowers of observation if you can spot and recognize members of a student population of 38,204! I'm impressed, little dude. Reich could not have seen over my back, never mind that of a six-footer's. I wonder what his secret is.
"I was there for part of last night, and I know what I saw," Reich reported on the February 3 edition of CNN Tonight. "Those people were not Berkeley students. They were outside agitators. So Donald Trump, when he says Berkeley doesn't respect free speech rights, that's a complete distortion of the truth. There are rumors that they were right-wingers, they were part of a group that were organized and ready to create the tumult and danger you saw that forced the police to cancel the event."
The Left has a history of accusing their opponents, their enemies, of exactly the sort of things they themselves do. For instance, all we heard previous to the election was that if Trump had lost, his supporters would have rioted. Hillary Clinton lost instead, and what happened? Riots. And they haven't stopped. Yet neither Robert Reich nor Don Lemon nor any of these losers posing as journalists will make that point, will they?
Nor, now that I think about it, will they point out that for all the Right's supposed anti-environmentalism, Tea Party and Pro-Life marches leave the streets and parks cleaner than before these rallies take place. The recent "women's march," as with Obama's 2008 inauguration, as with every other traveling Leftie mass indoctrination event, created what you'd swear was a new landfill site. We certainly did not create the environmental near-disaster that is the Oceti Sakowin camp near the Cannonball River in North Dakota which is going to require a huge effort on the part of the federal government to clean up. Members of the local Sioux community are beside themselves at the sprawling litter containing various forms of detritus and jetsam that the Dakota Access Pipeline protestors left behind. Ask them if extremist liberals care about the environment.
I wish these inspired young people would spend more time organizing street, park and forest clean-ups as opposed to creating more CO2 in complaining about "climate change". They could literally change the world if they did that, but golly gee, it involves actual work, so we won't be seeing it anytime soon. The Right would do it, but alas and alack, we have jobs and our own families that take up our time. We have these things known as responsibilities. We do our part by trying to keep the bums who create these messes far away from our communities.
The thing I cannot get past is the Berkeley students who distanced themselves from the agitators the next day, citing Yiannopolous's free speech. The same ones who carried signs announcing "Trans Dykes Are Good" and "Bash the Fash" told stories about how concerned they were that the original home of The Free Speech Movement was the site of violent intolerance. A 20-year-old student, Russell Ude, told the press, "Berkeley has always stood for self-expression. Things like this discredit peaceful protest."
Legendary UC Berkeley professor John Searle noted that the cancellation of Yiannopoulos's speech was "an absolute scandal" and that "free speech has to be allowed for everyone." Dan Mogulof, a spokesman for the school, said that "it was not a good night for this campus. We are proud of our history and legacy as the home of the free-speech movement." The Associated Press reported that in the aftermath of the violence, the University of California at Berkeley "struggled with questions of why the violence spun out of control and what has happened to the open-minded Berkeley of the 1960s."
So why did a 1,500 strong group of reportedly peaceful protesters, who were exercising their free speech rights by denouncing Yiannapolous's "fascism," allow only just over 100 violent extremists to mar and disrespect their campus? Do the math—did they not have the advantage? I agree that UC Berkeley does have a proud and notable tradition of respecting free speech, but that has been on the slide as Black Lives Matter (Only When White People are Involved) and radical feminists and other assorted far Left rabble-rousers have put the kibosh on full freedom of speech and expression over the course of the past two years or so.
It was only this past October when radicals formed a blockade at one of the university's entrance gates, denying access to Sproul Plaza and refusing entry to white students but allowing transgender or non-white students through. White students had to traverse Strawberry Creek, which runs through the campus, in order to get to their classes as they could not cross the bridge spanning it.
UC Berkeley is a beautiful campus. Any alumnus of that university has a right to be proud of it. As a UMass-Boston alumnus, I can tell you that our small campus wasn't much, but it was lovely in its own way. There was an eerie beauty about the place, situated right by Boston Harbor, that I grew to love. Salty fogs would blanket the campus at times and then clear up to reveal an almost blindingly sparkling bay. It was a nice environment to attend university. And the majority of the student population would not have stood for radicals trying to burn it down.
I attended the school at a time when liberalism was on the uptick. Reganism was in retreat during the later years of the George H.W. Bush administration and Bill Clinton was rising in the polls. What I can remember during one contentious on-campus debate concerning the 1990 Massachusetts gubernatorial race between Democrat John Silber and Republican William Weld is that when some rally attendees tried to get confrontational, they were quickly put down. "Not on this campus, not here!" was one cry from the audience, assembled in front of McCormack Hall, that I heard.
Our newspaper, The Mass Media, was fiercely pro-free speech. I was the only conservative on the paper's editorial board. Yet, dominated by political/social liberals as our board was, we produced an editorial attacking the political correctness that was denigrating the "white, rifle-toting" Minuteman, the symbol of our larger sister campus in Amherst (where I had also attended prior to my matriculation at the Boston campus). This was in 1993, folks! I was so proud of my newspaper colleagues, these twenty-something liberals, and happy to identify myself with them, even though we disagreed on a lot. We worked together every week in the writing of the lead editorial and it was a fun life lesson in compromise and togetherness. We were as tight-knit as they come—and we positively relished free speech.
We recognized the horrors of authoritarianism. We were grateful that the Berlin Wall had come down and that the Soviet Union had been defeated in the Cold War and broken up. No-one would have ever thought to defend monsters like Fidel Castro. If you were looking for a challenge at UMass-Boston, that, mes amis, would have been the way to go about it.
Oh yeah, and as I recall, we regularly expressed our disgust at lush administrative salaries while working students struggled with tuition. Can you imagine any student newspaper, anywhere, discussing that now? Good grief, what has happened to our precious college campuses?


 My sweet little alma matter university campus 
(Photo courtesy of University of Massachusetts archives)

Yes, there were the seemingly old-as-time-itself issues of race relations, taxes, abortion, the role of public schools and people's rights and place in society just as there are today, but they were never explosive, not even in the wake of the L.A. riots. What was radical in 1992? The Veterans' Center hanging up a banner across their windows reading "Fuck Not Guilty!" That was that. (And, believe it or not, some students I'd talked to objected to the very open advertising of the F-word!)
I know what it was like to be a Berkeley or Columbia student in 1969. Yes, I didn't have a questionable war to worry about being drafted into service for, but I do absolutely have the experience of defending, and reveling in, the right to freedom of speech. During the early 1990s, there was a bit of Sixties redux, especially on college campuses like UMass-Boston, and I was absorbed into it. There was, however, never any violence.
My biggest fear regarding this trend is that another Kent State-style massacre is bound to happen somewhere eventually and that's the last thing I want to see. Those "four dead in Ohio" in 1970 did not deserve their fate, but it's hard to feel sorry for these anarchists if that's indeed who they were. One of these days, and it'll be soon if this madness continues, it won't be rubber bullets being shot at students but lead or copper alloy ones.
I repeat, I DO NOT want to see this. But, unless the Left learns this history lesson and damn quickly, it'll be a case of them reaping what they have sown. As always throughout history, they will have plenty of blood on their hands.
God spare our college campuses and save them from the radical Islamists and their brainwashed defenders, illegal alien "students," and the anarchists and anyone else who cannot be reasoned with, and return them to the centers of learning, uncensored exploration and self-expression for young American citizens or legal foreign students that they used to be. They are too dear to lose.