University Provost threatens “criminal charges” before Coulter speech

Written by Lotus on Sunday, 21 of March , 2010 at 9:03 pm

Best-selling author Ann Coulter is scheduled to speak at several colleges in Canada this week.  On the heels of her first talk at the University of Ottawa, the Vice President of Academic and Provost sent a threatening letter addressed to Coulter to lecture organizers.  Here’s the letter:

Dear Ms. Coulter,

I understand that you have been invited by University of Ottawa Campus Conservatives to speak at the University of Ottawa this coming Tuesday.  We are, of course, always delighted to welcome speakers on our campus and hope that they will contribute positively to the meaningful exchange of ideas that is the hallmark of a great university campus.  We have a great respect for freedom of expression in Canada, as well as on our campus, and view it as a fundamental freedom, as recognized by our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  I would, however, like to inform you, or perhaps remind you, that our domestic laws, both provincial and federal, delineate freedom of expression (or “free speech”) in a manner that is somewhat different than the approach taken in the United States.  I therefore encourage you to educate yourself, if need be, as to what is acceptable in Canada and to do so before your planned visit here.  You will realize that Canadian law puts reasonable limits on the freedom of expression.  For example, promoting hatred against any identifiable group would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges.  Outside of the criminal realm, Canadian defamation laws also limit freedom of expression and may differ somewhat from those to which you are accustomed.  I therefore ask you, while you are a guest on our campus, to weigh your words with respect and civility in mind.  There is a strong tradition in Canada, including at this University, of restraint, respect and consideration in expressing even provocative and controversial opinions and urge you to respect that Canadian tradition while on our campus.  Hopefully, you will understand and agree that what may, at first glance, seem like unnecessary restrictions to freedom of expression do, in fact, lead not only to a more civilized discussion, but to a more meaningful, reasoned and intelligent one as well.

I hope you will enjoy your stay in our beautiful country, city and campus.


François Houle

Vice-recteur aux études / Vice-President Academic and Provost
Université d’Ottawa / University of Ottawa
550, rue Cumberland Street
Ottawa (ON)  K1N 6N5
téléphone / telephone : 613 562-5737
télécopieur / fax : 613 562-5103

Given this week’s developments in the House of Representatives, hopefully the U.S. won’t also be importing Canada’s “freedom of expression.”

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Firebrand sets off furor: Outspoken American Ann Coulter gives a London speech on Monday

Group attempts to silence U.S. right-winger’s talk

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Category: Conservatives I Love,Higher Education

LOTUS Reclaims Youth at CRNC

Written by Lotus on Saturday, 6 of June , 2009 at 2:03 pm

Some of the speakers at the conference included Rep. Paul Ryan, Phyllis Schlafly, Rep. Aaron “Abs” Schock and Sen. John McCain. Thankfully there was a tastefully scheduled lunch break between McCain and the “Why We Lost in 2008” discussion. I assume most of the discussion will be about “reaching out.” [UPDATE: I learned on Twitter that our friend David All said that Republicans lost because they didn’t utilize the internet enough. Now is the time I wish I had taken that picture of McCain in front of the CPAC booth with his iPhone.]

Friday night was the Lee Atwater Dinner Gala. Buddha has an objection to anything being named after Atwater. I wonder if he feels the same way about Goldwater. Both had “coming to Jesus” moments toward the end of their lives. The speaker at the Gala was Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Earlier this week Pawlenty announced that he wouldn’t be seeking reelection, so the speculation began that he would be running for president in 2012. Um, EVERYONE is running in 2012.

Buddha likes to focus on the crowd, so I suppose I’ll make a few comments. As usual, the girls are pretty in their TJ Maxx suits. White is in. White skirts, white pant suits.  I even saw a pair of white stripper heels.  What’s the rule?  White stripper heels are acceptable after Easter and before the season finale of Daisy of Love?  The boys are ok. On the plus side, they seem less dorky than years past. I think I may prefer the dorky boys over the frat boys. Of course, any media coverage of the CRNC will focus on the boys with the most ill-fitting khakis, red tie and blue jacket. I’d say less than 20% of the boys here are actually dressed that way.

One similarity between CRNC and America’s Future Now conference is lots and lots of Starbucks cups. Perhaps caffeine addiction (or the allusion, i.e.“OMG, I need a coffee, like, NOW”) could be what brings both sides together. It’s the 00s version of the “Buy the world a Coke” commercial. Starbucks should really look into this.

autograph.JPGI had a nice chat with Chris Malagisi of the Young Conservatives Coalition. After getting an unsolicited autograph, we talked about me and Buddha’s experience at America’s Future Now. While the crowd wasn’t raucous, they aren’t laying down. They’re still approaching their issues as fights that need to be won. The other side is in power and they’re not sitting back and waiting for their agenda to pass. What are we waiting for?

Finally, in an effort to reclaim my youth at the biannual College Republican National Conference, I had a Shirley Temple for lunch. Buddha, an old soul, had a Bloody Mary.

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Category: C-Word,Conservatives I Love,Higher Education

Dress Blues vs. Polyester Cap and Gown

Written by Lotus on Thursday, 29 of May , 2008 at 9:00 pm

Two students at Chardon High School in Cleveland, Ohio are giving up on-stage diploma presentations so they can wear their hard-earned dress blue uniforms.  WTAM reports:

Will McDonnell, an active duty marine, and Tony Workman, an Army National Guardsman, are graduating from Chardon High School in Geauga County.

McDonnell took extra classes and met his graduation requirements last fall so he could attend a 13-week Marine Boot Camp in February.  Workman went through the Army’s 10-week basic training last summer. 

McDonnell tells Newsradio WTAM 1100 he was stunned when his dad told him the news. He says he and Workman had previously been told they would be allowed to wear their uniforms.

McDonnell says Principal Doug Delong did listen to their concerns, but says he doesn’t want to open the door for similar requests from members of other organizations. The two will be allowed to lead in the Honor Guard in their uniforms.

But Delong says if they don’t wear the robe and cap for the ceremony, they can’t walk on stage with the other students on Saturday.  McDonnell tells our Bill Wills they will wear their uniforms, but will simply stand at their seats when their names are called.

Good for them.  I understand if the school wants to have a “zero tolerance” dress code for their ceremony.  Life is about choices.  These young men are choosing to be recognized for their hard work in basic training and want to wear the uniform they earned.   I’d venture to say that getting through 13 weeks of basic training is more commendable than 13 years in a public school. 

Check out the entire statement from the school.  I can’t help but laugh at this silly ending, “We believe that wearing your school’s cap and gown to receive your diploma is a show of respect to your school, fellow classmates, and for the public education you have been privileged to receive.” [emphasis added]

Not that internet polls mean much, but readers of the news report (presumeably funders of their public education, as well) overwhelmingly voted that the students should be allowed to wear their dress uniforms on stage.



H/T (those folks are the best despite never greenlighting me)

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Category: Higher Education

Help write this valedictorian’s speech

Written by Lotus on Sunday, 27 of April , 2008 at 10:41 pm

A high school valedictorian asked FARK readers to help him write his graduation speech, sort of like the famous “Wear Sunscreen” column.  By the way, it’s usually falsely attributed to Kurt Vonnegut.  I imagine that the original author, Mary Schmich, can’t be too upset given that many writers would love to be compared to Vonnegut.

Anyway, submit your pearls of wisdom or vote on the best.  Here are some of my favorite submissions:

You will end up regretting what you didn’t do more then all the stupid things that you do end up doing. So kiss the girl/guy and stay for the last dance.

Don’t cook bacon naked.

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

When you’re struggling to grab the brass ring in life, be aware that you might be already holding a gold one in your other hand.

Go out, make millions, and never forget your good buddy the valedictorian.

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Category: Back When I Was a Kid,Higher Education

Guest Commentary: University of Florida’s Liberal Obsession

Written by Lotus on Saturday, 1 of December , 2007 at 1:42 pm

By Ashley Emans, University of Florida

On November 13, several student groups at The University of Florida held a viewing and a panel discussion of the documentary film Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West. Fliers advertising the event (which had of course been repeatedly torn down by free speech loving liberals) contained the phrase, “Radical Islam Wants You Dead.” Now the university administration is demanding an apology from the five hosting student organizations: College Republicans, Law School Republicans, the Jewish Law Students Association, the Jewish Student Union, and Gators For Israel. This is likely the direct result of Islam On Campus lobbying the highest ranking UF officials, including President Bernie Machen, for an investigation into the event and its advertising.

Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Patricia Telles-Irvin, sent an email to every single UF student on Monday, November 26 that explained the university’s disapproval of the advertisements and asked for an apology and clarification. The letter was slavish, bland, hypocritical, and disappointing. In it she fell all over herself in a rush to restore the Gator universe back to its proper leftward rotation.

“At the University of Florida we have embraced a set of values, one of which is diversity. Diversity is not just about having representation from various cultures on campus, it also is having each member contribute to an inclusive and safe environment and collectively enhancing our understanding and appreciation of the richness brought by such differences.” wrote Telles-Irvin. UF does so much hand-wringing over racial/ethnic/class/gender/religious diversity, yet it shuns the most important type of diversity a college could ever give: diversity of thought. Conservative impulses are swiftly suppressed, in and out of class, just as the Obsession kerfluffle has proved. Dr. Telles-Irvin and the rest of the administration apparently believe students who feel threatened by radical Islam have forfeited their rights of expression by not falling in line with what is the acceptable opinion according to them, namely that you are not allowed to fear radical Islam.

(Read more…)

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Category: Higher Education,Religion of Pieces

Happy Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week!

Written by Lotus on Monday, 22 of October , 2007 at 9:51 pm

I feel like it starts earlier and earlier every year!  I mean, burqas in the stores in March?!?!?

All kidding aside, here’s some advice to all of you libtards on these college campuses: Don’t even think of trying to disrupt these important events.  My BFF and SAS-trained bodyguard will not be amused.

Lisa and Floyd

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Category: Higher Education

Columbia and Ahmadinejad: The New Woodward and Bernstein

Written by Lotus on Monday, 24 of September , 2007 at 12:23 pm

This week the once-esteemed Columbia University will host another speaker in its on-going “Conversations with Islamo-Fascists” series. I can hear the speaker’s introduction music now:

You can reach me by caravan,
Cross the desert like an Arab man
I don’t care how you get here,
Just get here if you can

This is the second time that Columbia University has invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak on their campus. His first speech was canceled because of security concerns. No, not security concerns over inviting a terrorist to an American university, but concerns that they couldn’t guarantee the safety of the terrorist.

Read the rest of my column this week here.

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Category: Higher Education,Weekly Column

Dante’s message for Columbia University

Written by Lotus on Sunday, 23 of September , 2007 at 10:41 am

“The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.” — Dante’s Inferno

Read Columbia alumnus David Horowitz’s reaction to Ahmadinejad’s upcoming speech.  By the way, after writing my column on Ahmadinejad this week (check Townhall on Monday), I can understand why Ann Coulter used short-hand.


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Category: Higher Education

A Professor’s last lecture

Written by Lotus on Thursday, 20 of September , 2007 at 6:52 pm

What wisdom would we impart to the world if it were our last chance?  At many colleges and universities, their best professors are asked to participate in a series in which they are to give a lecture as if it were their last.  For one professor, it’s more than a hypothetical exercise.  Randy Pausch, a professor of computer science at Carnegie-Mellon University, jokes that he “nailed” it.  Professor Pausch has pancreatic cancer and doctors estimate he only has a few weeks or months left to live. 

Watch excerpts of his inspirational lecture, courtesy of  Professor Pausch says, “If I don’t seem as depressed or morose as I should be, sorry to disappoint you.”

Watch his entire lecture, “Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.”

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Category: Higher Education

LOTUS got a dismal 70%

Written by Lotus on Thursday, 20 of September , 2007 at 6:21 pm

Columnist Cal Thomas noted this week that for the second year in a row, students from Ivy League universities didn’t earn above a D+ in the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s civics test.

Take the test here and share your score in the comments section.  

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Category: Higher Education


LOTUS lives in Northern Virginia. NOTE: The views expressed on LOTUS blog are the author’s alone. Organizations listed on this blog are for identification purposes only.