He Wimped Out (UPDATED)

Just posted on Facebook:

ATTENTION LSU: According to Kristine Calongne, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Communications for LSU, Benjamin Haas has decided that he will NOT burn the flag due to him being “misguided” in his protest. This is OFFICIAL WORD FROM LSU. I just called University Relations to confirm this. Way to go Cody, Kathleen, and anyone else involved this week & last week in standing up for LSU! GEAUX TIGERS!!
(From David Jones II, student)

Looks like the flag-burner thought twice about his plan.

The fact that 1,000 people showed up in a surly mood for the festivities might have had something to do with it.

All in all, not a bad outcome.

UPDATE: Word is Haas actually did show up, but never burned anything and essentially high-tailed it out of there when he saw the crowd. Word also has it that he left in a police cruiser. Working on confirmation.

We did get this picture e-mailed to us, though…

UPDATE #2: Now we’re hearing that it went down this way – there was a huge crowd full of combative folks. Somebody in the crowd read an e-mail with the news above that Haas decided not to burn the flag. Big cheer went up.

But then Haas was spotted walking across the parade grounds, and he got rushed by some of the crowd. Water balloons were in full flight. Police were everywhere, and Haas was quickly escorted into a cruiser on Highland Road and spirited away.

You’ve got to appreciate the tactical skill of the crowd.

Water balloons, si.

UPDATE #3: This is apparently a shot of Haas when he showed up at the parade grounds…

UPDATE #4: Here’s a first-person account that came from a message board at TigerDroppings.com, an LSU site…

First of all the “bad field reporting” was because it was CHAOS out there. If you looked away to type something for 5 seconds you would miss something. Pics were hard enough.

I got there at around 1145 and there was a SWARM of people in front of the union. One man yelling about his son being shot in Iraq, a VERY vocal OT7 yelling non stop in a red dress, cops on horses, camera crews, tents, free flag giving, people for DAYS. At about 1158 a man announced, “Attention LSU students, this is from the Vice Chancellor, ‘Benjamin Haas has canceled the flag burning.'”

As I started to walk home I noticed people hauling arse to the parade grounds, I ran, and a circle formed around Haas. Cameras in his face and horses making sure no one cam close. Then the water balloons started, then ice, then actual military personnel yelling things like “my brother was killed for you.” shite WAS INTENSE. He pulled out a piece of paper and then proceeded to read something in front of the cameras (all while getting doused with balloons) then I GUESS he pulled out a flag and lighter? I couldn’t see. If he did it didn’t last long because he was immediately escorted by cops to the middle of the parade grounds and then back to the street in front of the law school where he got in a cop car and drove away.

From the time he was starting to be escorted through the grounds to the street and even into the cop car, it was CRAZY. people yelling all kinds of shit, horses stepping on people (not in a violent way), people running up to the cop car beating on the window, and still throwing water at him, cops, whomever was in the way.

And here’s a link to a quick video snippet – giving an indication of the size and intensity of the crowd.

UPDATE #5: Another video snippet…

UPDATE #6: And another…

What a Charlie Foxtrot.

UPDATE #7: One more video of the crowd following Haas to that cop car…

Meanwhile, the LSU Reveille has a photo gallery up from the affair. Classic shots. My two favorites…

I particularly like the second one. Haas was all wet before he showed up at the Parade Grounds, but now there’s really no doubt.

Oh – and here is a SIX-MINUTE video of the thing…

UPDATE #8: WBRZ-TV Channel 2 in Baton Rouge has this video of the fracas, including what Haas was trying to say (something about defending students and suspected terrorists alike) and what the ROTC guy said when he got in Haas’ face…

UPDATE #9: Also, LSU’s Daily Reveille has some video from Haas’ bad day, plus a little from the subsequent patriotic rally the LSU Student Government Association President Cody Wells organized after the fact…

UPDATE #10: In a nice piece of journalism, the LSU Reveille got an up-close photo of the piece of paper Haas was going to read from in the little speech he was trying to give. Here’s the transcript they came up with off that shot…

“Funny Facebook said that there were only going to be 64 of you. I initially began this flag burning protest to define due process for students and suspected terrorists alike, to call on LSU and universities across the country to defend basic human rights and avoid putting students into the criminal justice system when it can be taken care of internally.

Solidarity means standing with those who are treated as guilty until proven innocent, instead of the other way around. That’s what freedom is, standing with those who express their constitutional rights in ways that may be unpopular, especially the accused and the marginalized no matter the consequences.

In the name of peace, there will be no flag burning today. This country and the flag that flies over it stands for freedom, democracy, love, peace and the ability to question our government.”

– Benjamin Haas, communication studies graduate student

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93 thoughts on “He Wimped Out (UPDATED)

  1. I’m heartened to learn the campus critters weren’t amused by the proposed antics of an anarchist and showed up to run him off.

    Water balloons? What a hoot!

  2. Thanks for my cite, assholes. Don’t steal information from my Facebook without giving me the credit of staying on phones to get this confirmation.

      1. I guess that’s acceptable then. I stayed on the phone for almost an hour trying to confirm what was going on. Wanted to know whether or not to get my bail money together.

      1. It’s called intimidation. It’s a favored method of suppressing undesirable speech. I don’t like what he was doing either, but I would have let him do it.

        1. Maybe people are just plain fed up with the liberal loons who have pushed the limits. They are simply pushing back for once. He can burn the flag all he wants but he faces the consequences of being counter protested. Free speech did work as this was a COUNTER PROTEST. The counter protestors were simply expressing their freedom of speech. Free speech goes both ways.

          1. And throwing things at him and threatening him while wearing a military uniform is what exactly?

            Also “plain fed up with the liberal loons who have pushed the limits” is a bit of an overstatement in Louisiana. We don’t have liberals here anymore, there’s only one statewide elected official who’s a Democrat, the GOP controls both houses and the governor’s mansion. If New Orleans wasn’t in the state, it would pretty much just become an Alabama clone. A liberal in Louisiana is like sighting a rare bird, you don’t see any on any kind of frequency to be able to complain of being “fed up” with them.

            1. I don’t agree with throwing the water bottles which I’m sure the throwers were dealt with by the law enforcement officers there.

              I’m from Louisiana and there are still plenty of liberal loons here. I have too many in my family still. The liberals ran the state for well over a hundred years until Katrina. Maybe the reason the state has turned pretty much conservative/libertarian is that we learned a hard lesson about continually electing corrupt and incompetent politicians.

                  1. The state had been turning right for some time before Katrina, I don’t know if you voted in 2002 Landrieu election, but Suzie Terrell came within a few points of defeating Mary and at that time, it was among the few statewide elected seat in Louisiana. Blanco was elected, but she was an aberration sandwiched in between two republican governors, Foster and Jindal. Republicans have been running this state since 2000.

                    Whatever else you’re “sick of”, liberals don’t really exist in this state. Landrieu isn’t a liberal, in case you were wondering, either. She’s easily more republican than Scott Brown of Massachusetts or Olympia Snowe of Maine, that just happens to still make you “left-wing” in Louisiana.

                    1. “Republicans have been running this state since 2000?”

                      Funny how Republicans only achieved majorities in the state legislature a
                      couple of months ago, then.

                    2. Your history skills are rather weak. Take a look at the Secretary of State’s page. Starting with the Bush/Cheney win in Louisiana in 2000, it started a huge Republican swing in the state, Vitter got 80%, Tauzin got 78%, McCrery got 71%, Cooksey 69%, Baker with 68% and only one Democratic US rep, Chris John. For the state legislature, the two republicans on the ballot both had the most votes, one winning right out and the other going into a runoff. The state’s federal representation hardened Republican in November 2000 and hasn’t looked back, the state legislature was eroded slightly more slowly, but democrats have not controlled since 2000, and now both houses and the governor’s seat are republican.

                    3. That’s not what you said.

                      You said “Republicans have been running this state since 2000.”

                      Republicans have been winning presidential and congressional elections since
                      2000, sure. But Democrats have had majorities in the state legislature,
                      without which no meaningful policy can be enacted, until early this year.
                      And a Democrat still controls the Senate despite a GOP majority. If you
                      think that’s irrelevant you should research the results of last year’s
                      budget fight and ask yourself who won it.

                      Besides, anyone who believes Republicans were running Louisiana from
                      2004-2007 is deluded in the extreme.

                    4. We’re splitting hairs here. The whole point of the comment is that there aren’t any liberals left in this state outside of New Orleans, and that the state turned red in 2000 and hasn’t looked back.

                    5. No. You made a statement that was clearly untrue, and as a lefty it was also
                      a self-serving statement – because it indicated that the Louisiana
                      electorate was already hard-right before the unmitigated disaster of the
                      Blanco administration and as such the state’s Democrats bear no
                      responsibility for their own electoral immolation.

                      Katrina showed the end result of left-wing policies, and the people of
                      Louisiana learned that lesson well. That’s why lefties can’t get elected
                      here anymore outside of existing within the realm of identity politics in
                      Orleans Parish and a few other locales. You’re correct that there aren’t any
                      “liberals,” as you term them, left. But you dodge the reason this is the
                      case, which an honest man wouldn’t do.

                    6. Landrieu is very much liberal. Her job is to represent her constituants You can thank us for her “moderate” (if you want to call it that) voting record on Capitol Hill.

                    7. Landrieu is very much liberal. Her job is to represent her constituants You can thank us for her “moderate” (if you want to call it that) voting record on Capitol Hill.

                    8. You have a twisted view of what compromises liberal if you think Landrieu is one. She’s a blue dog democrat. I like her, but she ain’t liberal.

                1. Well….congtatulations….since I cannot read any more of your post without losing my dinner, I will just quit replying to you because you just are not worth the effort or the nausea

                2. You are wrong there. Dixiecrats, KKK, Democrats (all the same) have had over a 150 years to put blacks and any other percieved “lesser” back into slavery. They may have lost the battle in the 1840s, but that section that fought for slavery have apparently won the war in the 2000s. The Republicans have an outstanding record on basic human rights. Democrats, uh, well… Let’s just mention the Civil Rights Act. There are more. Don’t believe me? Look at the government welfare programs and the subsequent level of decay of black communities under democratic control. It’s working.

            2. The guy in uniform didn’t threaten him. He told him “my brothers died for
              you.” He did so in a rather loud and intense way, but that doesn’t
              constitute a threat.

              As for the folks throwing water balloons, they ought to be charged with
              misdemeanor assault. And they ought to demand a trial by jury; let’s see if
              there are 12 of their peers who would vote to convict.

        2. You don’t seem to fully understand the concept of free speech as it’s
          established in the 1st Amendment.

          Maybe this will help.

          “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
          prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech,
          or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to
          petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

          There was no Congress on the Parade Grounds at LSU today.

          1. You don’t seem to fully grasp the English language. I said, and I quote, “Good job suppressing free speech, y’all.” His was the free speech, the angry mob and throwing things at him and yelling in his face was a suppression of that free speech. I never said anything further about that. I did not say it was unconstitutional, I did not say it was illegal, I did not say anyone should have been arrested. I just said good job in suppressing his free speech. Because they did.

            1. Not at all. He was free to speak. The concept of free speech – which is
              expressed and crystallized in the Constitution, by the way – says absolutely
              nothing whatsoever about the right to an audience. Haas had some prepared
              remarks to offer, and he wasn’t received well. He could have offered them in
              a press release, a letter to the editor at the Advocate or LSU Reveille, or
              posted them on Facebook or a blog. Instead he chose the most hostile venue
              possible – a venue he had already poisoned by threatening an outrageous act
              at that spot.

              It is questionable in the extreme to suggest that Haas’ free speech has been
              infringed on in any way. If John Rocker showed up at an NAACP convention and
              asked for a platform to hold forth on his dislike of black culture, the
              resulting poor reception would be no more reflection of “suppression of free
              speech” than what happened to Haas. If you’ve incited a crowd against you
              and you choose to carry through with your incitement, it’s a reflection of
              your bad judgement more than your audience’s poor manners.

              1. So the fact that because of the angry reception by the crowd, the threats of physical harm, the pelting, and specifically the guy in military uniform screaming in his face, you think he was still “free” to go about his speech? That’s textbook suppression. It’s not state suppression (unless that guy in uniform was a CO or sent there by his CO), but it’s still suppression. It’s a large group, the majority group, asserting their will against another group, in this case the minority group. It’s not patriotism.

                  1. I don’t like it when any group uses un-democratic means to suppress the voices of those they disagree with. But you don’t get to play the strawman argument for justifying its use.

                1. I make no assertion of patriotism on the part of the crowd. It’s not
                  patriotism so much as it is indignation. Righteous indignation, as the case
                  may be.

                  Can you prove Haas was directly threatened with physical harm? There were
                  several armed policemen protecting him including three of them on horseback.
                  Any such threats would not have been credible under such circumstances.

                  The military guy in his face was yelling “My brothers died for you!” That’s
                  information, not a threat. Haas didn’t have the fortitude or even social
                  grace to engage him in conversation. He could have taken control of that
                  situation merely by turning to the cadet (I’m assuming that guy was ROTC)
                  and thanking him for his service. The fact that he handled it poorly doesn’t
                  give him any special victim status.

                  Haas could have finished that speech. I’ve seen speakers persist through
                  being pelted with worse than water balloons. I saw a U.S. President dodge a
                  shoe thrown by an Iraqi once, and he didn’t miss a sentence. That he chose
                  not to finish his speech because he didn’t like the crowd’s reaction is more
                  a testament to the weakness of his convictions than the “suppression” of the

                  As to this business of the majority asserting its will against the minority,
                  This. Is. What. Democracy. Looks. Like. As I said before, Haas had a wide
                  range of options as to the venue for his expression. He chose the worst
                  possible one, and failed miserably in executing his free expression.

        3. Veritas….once again you make the same mistake and I can only imagine what you would have let him do….perhaps shout “FIRE” in a crowded theater?

      2. It’s called intimidation. It’s a favored method of suppressing undesirable speech. I don’t like what he was doing either, but I would have let him do it.

    1. Nobody stopped him from speaking. As a matter of fact, a lot of manpower was spent protecting him. Unfortunately for him, a couple thousand other people showed up with their freedom of speech. Yes, America!

    2. Nobody stopped him from speaking. As a matter of fact, a lot of manpower was spent protecting him. Unfortunately for him, a couple thousand other people showed up with their freedom of speech. Yes, America!

    3. His free speech rights weren’t suppressed. He got to say what he wanted to
      say. And the crowd expressed their free speech rights in reacting to him.

      You don’t have the right to a friendly audience. There’s no mention of that
      in the Constitution.

    4. Veritas…Your chosen name means “TRUTH”. While it is true that burning the flag is not a crime under U.S. law, it has been left to the states to choose whether or not they consider it a crime and Louisiana is one of the states that does make it illegal. I am a non-violent person, but if I had been present there, since i defended the flag in wartime, I think I just might have been tempted to throw more than a water baloon. That gr5ad student, if he has even one brain cell left, will sit out the rest of the yeaear then transfer to a different school. Otherwise they might find HIM hanging from the flagpole. To the LSU students……..THANK YOU !

      1. Well said–especially since you got the plausible deniability in, enabling you to indignantly tell people that you didn’t ENDORSE any sort of death threat, just observed that there might probably be one. The combat vets I know are all smart enough to know that they weren’t defending a flag–they were defending values that the flag symbolizes. Burning a million flags can’t harm those values. The only thing that actually can harm the values our flag stands for are morons who believe that freedom is what happens when everyone is forced to conform to their opinion–morons like al Quida, or like another group of violent thugs that rioted on the LSU parade grounds yesterday. Some minor clothing changes, and those supposedly educated college kids could have been mistaken for Islamist militants celebrating an American’s beheading. And yes, the comparison is VERY apt, considering the number of thugs screaming “faggot” and threating murder and revenge for anyone daring to violate the Holy Quran…uh, I mean, the jingoistic LSU hive mind.

  3. The puke has the right to burn our flag, the crowd has the right to protest his act. Gotta love these LSU students! There is some hope for our country if we could get rid of the flaming liberal professors who probably encouraged this poor dupe. What a mo-ron!

  4. The puke has the right to burn our flag, the crowd has the right to protest his act. Gotta love these LSU students! There is some hope for our country if we could get rid of the flaming liberal professors who probably encouraged this poor dupe. What a mo-ron!

  5. Very ironic.
    What the flagburner is saying is that the law should not
    apply to college students like it does to the rest of the people. He wants the university to handle the guy who stole the flag, burned it and committed other acts of vandalism “internally.”
    Screw that, he can go to court just like everyone else. THAT is justice, not the preferential elitism that this moron is seeking.

  6. Ok, people, seriously. When police have to show up to protect the safety of someone exercising their free speech, something is going seriously wrong. It is not ok to bully someone just because you don’t like what they have to say. If you think that’s patriotism, you have a pretty misguided idea of what this country was founded on.

    1. This country was founded by people who had no qualms about tarring and
      feathering those they found offensive, or riding ne’er-do-wells out of town
      on a rail. The idea that this was some shocking or unprecedented reaction to
      a provocative act is based in pure fiction.

      Haas played the flag-burning game in a whorish attempt to get attention, and
      then he didn’t have the courage to carry it through or even explain his
      position after showing up at a venue he had already poisoned. He should have
      put out a statement to the media rather than attempting to get his mug on
      camera and be made a martyr.

      1. This country was founded on telling people to stay out of their private business and allowing them to govern themselves actually. But you are correct, hatred of minorities did play a big role, too.

    2. Jason….you have the right to show up at a meeting of the Black Panthers and wear a white hood and say the hate blacks. I think you would be happy to have police officers to protect you.

  7. Yee Haw!! It’s about freaking time!! Proud of you guys for stepping up. So tired of the leftist morons making all the noise. Can’t tell you how satisfying it is to see all American college students proud of the USA.

  8. Sorry but I think the mob of drunken brats was in the wrong in thinking that there is no right to burn the flag. Political correctness has taken over our young people.

    1. They were counter protesting his right to burn the flag. It’s all part of free speech. Too bad some don’t get it. This is like the Patriot Guard responding to the Westboro Freaks. They have the right to protest funerals but people have the right to drown them out.

  9. Not that it matters but does anyone know what his beef with the flag/our country is/was?
    I must say inspite of the cussing, I am sooooooooo very proud of these young adults that stood up for our flag and our country I am crying that they get it – they get it, they get what we are about to lose forever. I now have hope – the real kind of hope we used to feel and took for granted in this country.

    Please kids spread the word to your friends and students across the country to gain their voice and courage to stand up and to understand and know how they are being used and mislead by the DC administration. VOTE NO NO NO TO OBAMA in 2012.

  10. While free speech is indeed a right of all Americans, I seriously doubt that anyone would be crazy enough to show up at a Taliban meeting and shoult that they love the USA. He had many ways to express himself and he chose the way of self agrandizement. It was his choice to do that as it was his choice to say he was going to burn the American Flag. A glory play….ONLY

  11. With the first amendment comes responsibility—to self, to family, and to country. Something liberals like Haas fail to understand. To try something so un-patriotic on the heels of Osama’s death is a slap in the face to all American, but especially to the military. He should be tried as a traitor, considering the timing.

  12. this is a great example of how retarded america is that they would put so much attention to him for mearly suggesting he would burn the flag. now he has so much more popularity and everyone just jacked eachother off with there patriotic ooze. would it really had ruined your day if he burned the flag? what the hell does it even matter? go ahead and say how your red white and blue heart just wont stand for it and its a good exercise and patriotic event to be a part of. hmmm. why is it that everytime you remember you love your country your super pissed off? i feel dumb for being upset with idiots who rejooice over death.

  13. Oh goodness XD I dont go to this school but I want to let all of you know how proud I am of these students standing up for our country! God bless them all. I wish I could’ve been there with them! I know now that there are people out there who don’t stand for this nonsense. 

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