UC Davis welcomes violent speech from radical left-wing professors

Let’s kill all the Jew-loving journalists — and all the cops while we’re at it.

Of course I don’t mean either of those two things.  I mean, who says that kind of stuff anyway?

Start with UC Davis professors.

Recently Jemma DeCristo, a faculty member, tweeted: “One group of ppl we have easy access to in the US is all these zionist journalists who spread propaganda & misinformation[.] They have houses w addresses, kids in school[.] They can fear their bosses, but they should fear us more.”

Subtle! Especially with the images of a knife, ax and blood droplets along with her tweet.

Even if you set aside the overt anti-Semitism, which is hard, her grammar and lack of intellectualism would suggest this person is a poor fit for University of California faculty.

It should terrify everyone that this person teaches kids, especially Jewish ones.

To its credit, the university has at least temporarily removed her faculty page and Chancellor Gary S. May condemned the tweets and announced an investigation for “harassment, discrimination and faculty conduct.”

But May also defended DeCristo’s First Amendment rights (which are not unlimited), pointing to a broader question of where the line is for faculty members.

We know advocating for the death of police is not out of bounds, since a few years ago a student journalist reported that UC Davis professor Joshua Clover had tweeted: “I am thankful that every living cop will one day be dead, some by their own hand, some by others, too many of old age #letsnotmakemore.”

The news report also found an interview where Clover answered a generic question about the problem with society by saying: “People think that cops need to be reformed. They need to be killed.”

Though May condemned Clover’s comments, no investigation was ever launched, with the First Amendment again making an appearance.

Maybe the First Amendment protects these professors, maybe it doesn’t. But what’s interesting is that neither led to the kind of backlash that right-wing provocateur Charlie Kirk drew when he appeared on campus.

Kirk has made deplorable comments in the past, but not any more deplorable than the comments of DeCristo and Clover. Regardless, Kirk’s campus appearances drew violent protests from students.

As you can guess, May also condemned Kirk, but allowed the appearance to proceed (because of the First Amendment).

Clover, who still works at the university, argued in the student newspaper that Kirk should not be welcomed on campus, going so far as to call Kirk’s organization, Turning Point USA, a group of “Hitler enjoyers.”

Ironically, Clover has made no comment I can find on his colleague, DeCristo.

Clover questioned whether the First Amendment actually protected Kirk’s appearance (it does) and argued that even so May should cast it aside if he “cared about the well-being of the community.”

“Are we truly to imagine then that Gary May would, for example, sign off on a recruitment event led by someone who called for ethnic cleansing or openly eugenicist violence? Surely he would not. And if he did, he should be removed from his position,” Clover wrote.

Calling for killing cops and Jews seems pretty close to calling for “ethnic cleansing” and “eugenicist violence” and I would think this has some effect on the “well-being of the community.

It’s also strange that Clover only sees the First Amendment as “ethically repugnant” when it comes to shutting down a speaker he doesn’t like but not when it protects employees who call for genocide.

And while reprehensible language is reprehensible no matter the speaker, it seems to me that it’s far worse for professors with hateful ideologies, who have regular access to students and hold positions of power over them, than to have one speaker come for a few hours.

Click here to read the full article in the OC Register

After Yiannopoulos cancellation, UC Davis wants to ensure controversial figures speak

As reported by the Sacramento Bee:

UC Davis Interim Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter said Thursday he will form a group to examine how to ensure even the most controversial speakers can deliver their messages on campus, weeks after former Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos canceled his engagement in the face of protests.

The work group of students, faculty and staff will recommend practices and policies to ensure that speakers can deliver their messages unimpeded, Hexter said in a letter released Thursday to the UC Davis community.

“When we prevent words from being delivered or heard, we are trampling on the First Amendment,” Hexter said. “Even when a speaker’s message is deeply offensive to certain groups, the right to convey the message and the right to hear it are protected.”

The Jan. 13 Yiannopoulos incident drew condemnation from conservatives who said campus protesters were stifling free speech, while some activists said on social media that the safety risks posed by demonstrators were exaggerated. …

Click here to read the full article

Sacramento ethics law getting long-due overhaul

Image converted using ifftoany

After 42 years of regulating the state’s political ethics, with countless updates and tweaks, the Political Reform Act is due for an overhaul — and stakeholders are set to begin the process next week.

On Thursday, July 14, Fair Political Practices Commission Chair Jodi Remke and John Mayer, president and CEO of California Forward (a government and political reform advocacy group), will host a webinar to kick off the first of two rounds of public participation to create a comprehensive overhaul of the act.

Incumbents and candidates complain of an overly complicated system. The FPPC receives between 15,000-to-20,000 requests every year for advice from candidates and public officials.

Numerous legislative and voter-approved updates have left an “overly complex, cumbersome and sometimes contradictory” law, Remke said.

“This process is designed to simplify and streamline the act without weakening it or losing any accountability,” Remke said.

Law students at UC Berkeley and UC Davis have also contributed to the process by reviewing the law and making recommendations to the FPPC. And California Forward will help raise public awareness of the coalition’s efforts.

The Political Reform Act was passed in 1974, just two months before President Richard Nixon resigned over the Watergate scandal, with the protracted scandal highlighting the need for political ethics legislation.

The law created the FPPC and regulated campaign finance, among other things. The original ballot summary is here:

“Requires reports of receipts and expenditures in campaigns for state and local offices and ballot measures. Limits expenditures for statewide candidates and measures. Prohibits public officials from participating in governmental decisions affecting their ‘financial interests.’ Requires disclosure of certain assets and income by certain public officials. Requires ‘Lobbyists’ to register and file reports showing receipts and expenditures in lobbying activities. Creates fair political practices commission. Revises ballot pamphlet requirements. Provides criminal and civil sanctions for violations. Enacts and repeals statutes on other miscellaneous and above matters.”

This piece was originally published by CalWatchdog.com

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi on investigatory leave due to ‘serious questions’

As reported by the Sacramento Bee:

Citing “serious questions” about whether UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi violated policies on employment of her family members and the use of contracts to remove negative information from the Internet, UC President Janet Napolitano placed Katehi on leave Wednesday night pending the outcome of “a rigorous and transparent investigation.”

“Information has recently come to light that raises serious questions about whether Chancellor Katehi may have violated several University of California policies, including questions about the campus’s employment and compensation of some of the chancellor’s immediate family members, the veracity of the chancellor’s accounts of her involvement in contracts related to managing both the campus’s and her personal reputation on social media, and the potential improper use of student fees,” Napolitano’s office said in a statement issued Wednesday night. “The serious and troubling nature of these questions, as well as the initial evidence, requires a rigorous and transparent investigation.”

Napolitano said she would appoint an independent investigator to compile a report before the start of the next academic year and that UC Davis Provost Ralph Hexter would fill the chancellor’s post on an acting basis. …

Click here to read the full article


Experts Divulge More Info on Zika Virus at Sacramento Forum

As reported by the Sacramento Bee:

A panel of experts spoke Saturday about the prevention, care, and transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus at a community forum hosted by the UC Davis Health System.

In February, Yolo County had one confirmed case of the virus. The infected, unnamed person had been traveling outside of the U.S., but made a full recovery, The Sacramento Bee reported.

The California Department of Public Health website reports that as of Friday, there have been three confirmed cases of the virus in California this year and 10 in the state since 2013. Zika is transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Fever, rash, reddening of eyes and joint pain are common symptoms.

“The virus and the mosquito are found mainly in tropical and subtropical areas, and recently there have been outbreaks in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County health officer. Currently, there is no vaccine or medication available to treat Zika, Kasirye said. …

Click here to read the full story

California drought impact pegged at $2.7 billion

As reported by the Sacramento Bee:

The drought is costing California about $2.7 billion this year, according to a new UC Davis study, although the statistics suggest the state’s overall economy can withstand the impact.

In their latest estimate of the four-year drought’s economic effects, professors at the university’s Center for Watershed Sciences said Tuesday the drought has reduced seasonal farm employment by 10,100 jobs this year. When indirect job losses are thrown in, including truck drivers, food processing workers and others partially dependent on farming, the impact on payrolls comes to 21,000.

At the same time, the study said farmers are holding up reasonably well in spite of significant water shortages and the fallowing of 542,000 acres of land. “Agriculture is very resilient because of the underground water,” said Richard Howitt, professor emeritus of agricultural and resource economics and a co-author of the report. “The economic impact is not as severe as it could be.”

UC Davis Pepper Spraying Officer: A Clear Case Of Brutality

If you want to know which of your friends or neighbors believe in a free and humane society and which ones believe in a police state, show them the now gone viral video of a riot-gear-clad University of California-Davis police officer dousing a peaceful group of Occupy protesters with pepper spray as they sat, arms linked, in the campus quad. Most of us react in horror at what we saw, and at the absurdly dishonest explanations from the campus police chief. But some people think the protesters got what they deserved and even called for heavier-handed tactics.

Police officials – and these days, campus security guards have gained the power of full-fledged police officers, complete with those massive pensions and all the usual protections from accountability – claimed that the officer felt that his life was in danger when he methodically walked down the line of protesters and assaulted them with the spray. “If you look at the video you are going to see that there were 200 people in that quad,” said Chief Annette Spicuzza, who was placed on leave (i.e., additional paid vacation) Monday after backlash against the brutality. “Hindsight is 20-20 and based on the situation we were sitting in, ultimately that was the decision that was made.”

That’s what police always say no matter the situation. But in this age of video, we can see for ourselves that the officers were in no danger. Multiple officers effortlessly moved in and around the protesters. The burly officer who sprayed the kids strutted slowly in front of them in a way that belies any sort of danger, real or perceived. He, too, was put on administrative leave after the video went viral, along with another officer. Without the video, you know what would have happened – nothing. The lies would have become the official record. This is why police officers have become zealous in their confiscation of video cameras and arrest of people who record them doing their jobs.

Such brutality is par for the course for today’s militarized police and campus security departments. What’s really disgusting is the natural instinct of so many conservatives to stick up for the police. They don’t like the Occupy protesters, so they willingly back brutality against them, without considering the possibility that conservatives at some point might be on the receiving end of this aggression. Then again, this common, vulgar form of modern conservatism almost always sides with the state, even as it champions the empty words of limited government.

A blog called Extreme Conservatives wrote the following, “Sorry libs… You can quit your squawking and take your leftie-indoctrinated butts back to class. The UC Davis pepper spray incident was standard police procedure. On Friday a group of UC Davis students blocked the campus walkway with arms linked and started chanting, ‘From Davis to Greece, F*ck the police!’ Moments later the little darlings were doused with pepper spray. This was only after several attempts by campus police to get them to move. Of course, the liberal media only played the part where the students were sprayed down.  But after two days of leftist outrage we find out that this was standard police procedure.”

The idea that this is “standard police procedure” is exactly what makes the video so horrifying. It doesn’t make it acceptable behavior. That’s why so many viewers were offended by it. The cop struts in front of the students and sprays them with massive amounts of pepper spray. He’s not in any danger. This is just standard procedure, ma’am. We treat everyone that way!

According to Rick Hahn from Accuracy in Media, the problem here was, of course, the liberal media, which failed to provide proper context. Hahn, who is identified as having worked for the FBI for 32 years, made the usual law-enforcement case that the cops were really in danger: “Many of the protesters were seated with arms interlocked. This means police would have had to physically engage them. The fact that the protesters were seated leaves police trying to disengage them from one another at a balance disadvantage. The cops have to bend over or crouch down to try to physically disengage any one individual, bring him or her to their feet and affect the arrest. The fact that the protesters had interlocked their arms was surely an effort to avoid any one individual being removed for arrest. There’s no way of knowing how strongly the protesters would have fought disengagement, but the fact is, they were inducing, baiting if you will, physical confrontation from the police.”

Scott Spiegel, writing in Conservative Outpost, joined a growing chorus of conservatives who seemed to want the police to behave even more brutally toward these “animals” and who have a rather authoritarian view of the world: “When cops say move, you move – even if you’re curled in a fetal position on the ground with flowers in your hair listening to Cat Stevens and nursing orphaned kittens. The UC Davis police could have acted a lot more brutally, including prodding or beating protesters with batons.  The occupiers should consider themselves warned: Trust fund brat refuses to move, trust fund brat gets spray tanned. Protesters in the UC Davis videos can be heard chanting ‘Shame on you!’ at police after the incident.  Actually, shame on patsy mayors like Michael Bloomberg and Jean Quan for not empowering police to clear out these animals ages ago.”

For insight into the modern conservative rabble, one ought to read FreeRepublic. It’s beyond irony. One commenter expressed disbelief at the sight of police backing away rather than engaging the protesters: “Do you get a chill up your spine like I do when you see the police slowly back away as if they are backing down from an impending violent stand-off?” Others seemed eager to see violence: “A billy-club to the ribs would have been just as effective at removing the bums and we would be hearing all this crying about pepper-spray!” Granted, these are anonymous commenters, but they reflect widespread sentiment.

I disagree with most of what the Occupy protesters are saying, quite obviously, but when I see lines of riot-gear-clad officials standing in front of these unbathed wretches, my heart goes out to the wretches. They need a lesson in economics and politics. The policies they advocate – to the degree that many of them have any well-defined grievances – range from the silly to the disastrous. They are inconsistent, foolish and hypocritical. Many of them are lazy freeloaders. Such is life. They do create filth and chaos in public parks, but if one cannot protest in a public park, there are not many places to have a protest. It’s in everyone’s best interest for the authorities to provide as much latitude as possible for protesters of any political persuasion. We still do pretend to live in a free society, right?

Whatever the bigger picture, this was a clear case of abusive and heavy handed behavior by the campus police. The president of the university was right to call for an investigation and the officer and the chief need to be removed from their positions, not just given meaningless and indefinite paid leave. And now it’s time for Californians to take a closer look at issues of police conduct and secrecy. In recent years, Democrats and Republicans have made those issues off limits thanks to their close association with the police unions.

Maybe the Occupiers can become productive and lead a real movement for civil libertarian reform. I know it won’t happen, but who can live in California without embracing a little wishful thinking?

(Steven Greenhut is the Editor-in-Chief for CalWatchdog, where this article was first posted. Greenhut was deputy editor and columnist for The Orange County Register for 11 years.)

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