• Last night the Ole Miss “Rebels” played football against the Cal Bears—in Berkeley. And yet Antifa didn’t riot. Seems they are losing their touch. Seriously—how can Berkeley tolerate a team with such a name? Let alone their mascot—the old one (left) was blatant, but isn’t the new one close to a trademark infringement on the Cal Bears?
• Speaking of Berkeley, I haven’t had anything to say about Ben Shapiro’s triumphant appearance on campus Thursday night. I didn’t attend, in part because I didn’t have anything else on my calendar for Berkeley this week and decided to stay home down at my central coast home base, but in part because, having seen the February 1 Milo riot first hand, I thought there was a chance the Antifa goons might stage an even larger and more dangerous riot. Kudos are due to the administration, which I know from private conversations is intent on reclaiming control of the campus from the fascist left. The clearest sign to me that they were serious about it was the announcement the day before that the police had been authorized to use pepper spray against protesters, and moreover the placement, in the middle of the night, of concrete Jersey barriers around the perimeter of Zellerbach Hall, where the Shapiro event was taking place.
Friday a week ago I appeared on a faculty panel about the future of free speech at Berkeley before a packed, standing-room-only crowd, which was remarkable because the campus is usually deserted Friday afternoons. I would have advertised it to local Power Line readers, except that it was open to the campus community (student and faculty only). This story in the DailyCal isn’t very complete, but has a nice pic of me hulking in the middle:
Two notes. First, although I identified myself proudly to the audience as a Fox News-watching, certified card-carrying member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, the most hostile questions from the audience were not directed at me, but rather at the new Chancellor, Carol Christ (left in the photo), who is an old-fashioned John Stuart Mill-quoting liberal. Just as in the 1960s, the far left hates liberals more than conservatives.
Second, the whole episode demonstrates the political incompetence of the radical left. Because of all the national fuss over Shapiro’s appearance, an estimated 400,000 people watched the live webcast. I call that a win. Shapiro has actually spoken twice before at Berkeley in recent years, with no fuss. And a much smaller audience. No wonder Whoopi Goldberg (following Robert Reich last February) wonders whether Antifa is a false flag operation of the right. I’m tempted to stoke this paranoia with rumors that Antifa is a Koch brothers manipulation.