An Ethics Alarms Holiday Challenge! Identify The Rationalizations, Logical Fallacies, Falsehoods And Outright Errors In This Essay Advocating Limits On Speech…

…then please explain to me…

…why NBC would put such crap on its website, especially in a section called “Think”…

…how a freelance writer for a comic book website is deemed qualified to discuss Constitutional law..

…how people can graduate from college and not understand the principle of free speech better than this guy…

…why a “case” so easily refuted (“If you can proclaim what Nazis say as illegal speech, what will stop some other group with temporary power from declare your speech illegal?”) continues to be argued by so many?

Read the thing here.

(Keep a bucket handy.)

I’m expecting some Comments of the Day when I get back from my seminar…

 

60 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Rights

60 responses to “An Ethics Alarms Holiday Challenge! Identify The Rationalizations, Logical Fallacies, Falsehoods And Outright Errors In This Essay Advocating Limits On Speech…

  1. Junkmailfolder

    I’d say he’s not thinking through the logical end of many of his ideas, but it’s clear from his writing that he simply doesn’t care. Willful ignorance in order to signal his virtue.

    Take his idea that “hate speech” is violence because it can result in heightened blood pressure (only among blacks though?)–how, how, HOW can he not see unintended consequences for that line of reasoning? He’d be eagerly awaiting a visit from the gestapo RIGHT NOW for the blood pressure spike he’s causing to Jack, who is picking his brains up off the floor.

    • Tom R

      What’s funny is that I read part of that actual research paper and it talks about african americans who “think” about race, not that they’re exposed to it:

      Race consciousness (the frequency with which one thinks about his or her own race) is a measure that may be useful in assessing whether racial discrimination negatively impacts blood pressure (BP)

      • Chris marschner

        I would expect that whites who focus on race also have increase in hypertension. Does this mean their speech negatively impacts they themselves or other’s speech about race.

  2. adimagejim

    To be just and transparent, self-proclaimed conservatives such as George Will in his doctoral thesis defends the notion of excluding others, like Nazis, from the formal political process due to their explicit seeking to undermine or eliminate the constitutional rights of others. This is not classically liberal thought nor does it appropriately defend the rights of political minorities, as abhorrent as they may be.

    The problematic issue is the notion of hate speech itself. Who is to determine what is and is not hateful speech? Who is to codify it? Who will enforce it? Who will adjudicate it? Who will pronounce the types of sentences for it? It is apparent those advocating for hate speech regulations wish to be all of the above. And, again, by the annals of their thoughts, move the goal posts of right and wrong, illegal and legal as they see fit.

    Proponents of this kind of thought advocate for the notion of those they view as currently empowered as the only people capable of doing harm and therefore are one crucial step closer to conviction in the kangaroo court of their minds.

    Has anyone seen what are proposed to be microaggressions by the hate speech law proponents? It is both amazing and unintelligible. Your job as the allegedly empowered is to unceasingly bow to the offended for offenses committed by you by your existence.

    The result of all this would likely be an intellectual, if not actual, concentration camp. A camp to be run by erstwhile comic book editors.

  3. Luke G

    OK, I’ll take my shot at it.

    This argument is a clash between two viewpoints. For those of us who value free speech, the structure and procedure are immutable, and the outcomes proceed from there. We see free speech, along with the various other liberties guaranteed in the US, as an intrinsic part of a free and open society. The freedoms themselves have intrinsic value, and the national culture that rests on them is a SIGN that they are good, rather than the REASON they are good. Rich soil is healthy and good, whether it’s growing anything or not- we don’t say good soil is useful because of the beans it grows, we look at the beans as proof that we chose our soil well. The fact that rich soil also allows weeds to spring up is an unfortunate side effect.

    For those like the author of the article, their outcome is immutable, and the procedure to get there is malleable depending on their goal. Their worldview defines what outcomes are good or bad- structures that produce bad outcomes are bad structures, and those that produce good outcomes are good structures. These people see cultural cause and effect not like a field but like a factory, where there’s no such thing as a good machine that makes some good and some bad parts- if it produces any bad parts it’s a bad machine that should be upgraded or eliminated at the first opportunity so only the desired product is created. Universal free speech may have been the best machine available, but now there is the perceived power to fix it so only the desirable speech is free and the defective speech is suppressed, so it’s only logical to do so.

    Why is the field a better understanding than the factory? Because the factory supposes humans to be mechanical and uniform in their culture and interactions, under the supervision of right-minded management. It assumes a general agreement of what’s “good,” that there is a single best version of the “product” that can be created. It also naively ignores the possibility for reversal. If I red-tag a machine in my factory and shut it down because it’s making defective product, it stays shut down and the other machines stay turned on. The other defective machines can’t gang up to red-tag the good ones and take over the factory, nor can the foreman down the road sneak in and do so. Besides, if they did, I’m not bound by their tags- I’d just pull the tags off and turn the good machines back on. It’s not like that in law, though- once you create your red tag mechanism and start applying it to what you find unsuitable, it’s out of your hands. Those who desire it to be so assume they’ll always be in a position of power to determine what is good and what is bad, and believe that they are doing so objectively such that no intelligent non-hostile person could disagree.

    Like plants in a field, humans don’t work that way. You can’t just pull a part or shut down a machine, every action will affect the system as a whole. A parable in Matthew’s Gospel says to not to try to dig the weeds of evil out too early and too aggressively lest you uproot the crops, but rather to let them both grow in the good soil and then choose what to keep or discard when it bears fruit. This belief of “oh, we’ll do this but JUST to NAZIS” is like saying “there’s weeds in my field, I’ll pour some pesticide JUST on them.” You not only don’t know how you’ll affect the plants nearby, you risk permanently damaging the soil and reducing its ability to grow anything at all. I’d much rather allow the Nazi weeds to display their poisonous fruits, not because I like them but because I can then toss them aside with the rest of the trash before gathering in my bountiful cultural harvest that hasn’t been gnawed away at by my well-meaning attempts to destroy weeds at the root.

    Hm, that was longer than I expected, but what’s a good analogy if you can’t follow it through to the end?

  4. Glenn Logan

    I read this a few days ago, at least as much as I could stomach. It’s pretty irrational. I thought this was funny:

    Delgado and Stefanic, though, argue the price for freedom in this case may be higher than we think. For example, a John Hopkins study published in 2013 concluded that being exposed to racism can lead to high blood pressure and stress among African Americans.

    Being exposed to racism isn’t funny, but the idea that the stress of racism is different from other stresses is medically and logically bankrupt. Being called a racist can just as easily be shown to produce the same negative physiological effects, but the author is so incredibly purblind that this would never occur to him.

    So are we to place progressives who allege racism at the drop of a hat into the “You can’t say that, it’s hate speech!” column along with the n-word? I’m betting no.

    More hilarity:

    Currently the federal government is prosecuting 200 people for being present at the protests during Donald Trump’s inauguration, including journalists and street medics.

    Heh. I guess he’s unaware that those so-called protesters were rioting, a felony in every state in the union. Protests are peaceful demonstrations, but destroying property and participating in a riot is not free speech. Also, just because a person is a “street medic” or “journalist” does not make them automatically exempt from consequences if they participate in a riot.

    Police officer to journalist: “Did you just break that window?”
    Journalist: “Yes, but I’m a journalist.”
    Officer: “Oh, I guess it’s okay, then.”

    In what universe? Berlatsky’s, I suppose.

    Other countries are willing to take the health and safety of their most vulnerable citizens into account. Were the U.S. to properly recognize the danger of hate speech, we wouldn’t look like Orwell’s “1984.” Instead, Delgado told me, we’d “look like France, Germany, The Netherlands, Canada or Sweden, all of whom regulate hate speech but where the political climate is just as free and healthy as our own, if not more so.”

    Wow, I guess this guy doesn’t read the news in those other countries. Take France, for instance:

    The so-called comic Dieudonne M’bala M’bala will face trial for writing “I feel like Charlie Coulibaly”, hours after 3.7 million French citizens had taken to the streets behind the “je suis Charlie” rallying cry.

    Despite his claim that it was meant to be humorous (hello…comic!), the French decided it was anti-Semetic. How droll, considering Charlie Hebdo (a “so-called” satirical rag?) often gets away with worse. That’s how sideways hate speech laws can quickly go, and the other countries he cites have similar examples of draconian legal consequences for remarkably bland utterances.

    Nope, I’ll pass on those other countries and their supposedly enlightened speech restrictions. And face it, if somebody’s speech gives you high blood pressure, your doctor can get you something for that. Or even better, you could just, you know, avoid them.

  5. DaveL

    I can’t help but note that any number of things can be shown to increase blood pressure, from dancing to masturbation to salt. That the author can walk around spouting such ignorance and yet remain so thoroughly unacquainted with the nature of violence speaks well, I think, of the peaceful character of our society.

  6. Chris marschner

    Given that we already marginalize racist ideas, as a group, racists would fall into a category that would be protected if we evaluate meritorius thought based on a given population’s marginal size.

    If white racists are singled out as the only racists that can have their speech curtailed then we must eliminate the idea that all persons are to be treated equally under the law. If we do that, then we should not be concerned if some punishments are meted out more harshly based on a persons standing in the community. We can also dispense with due process when the protected group demands punishment of an unprotected accused

    Similarly, if racist white speech condemns an entire demographic group who collectively have no protection under the law, we must also condemn other groups collectively whose members in small numbers profess the supremacy of their ideas and actions.

    If we look to collectively group people by virtue of skin tone, gender, sexual orientation, national origin or other means then we cannot consider them discreetly marginalized when collectively, as a whole, have more political voting power than the unprotected group.

    The surest way to an oppressive regime is to allow the creation of laws to impute some damage to the favored classes. by the unfavored class and impose a penalty on the ideas and words proferred by the unfavored ones.

    Just some thoughts

  7. Aleksei

    Here are some of the rationalizations that I found would apply to this “great” article. Any others that would be worth adding as well?
    1. “Everybody does it”
    1A. “We can’t stop it”
    13. “It’s for a good cause”
    13A. The Road To Hell
    23. “I’m just giving the people what they want”
    27. The Victim’s Distortion
    28. “These are not ordinary times”
    29A. The Gruber Variation
    30. “It’s a bad law/stupid rule”
    31. “Ethics is a luxury we can’t afford right now”
    35. “Better late than never”
    48. “Haters gonna hate”
    51. “That’s in the past”
    57A. “If it save just one life”
    58. “I’m all right with it
    59. “It’s the right thing to do”

  8. The problem is that those that want to define “hate speech” these days don’t know the difference between free speech, hate speech, verbal threats, actively inciting riot/mayhem/chaos, and actual physical violence.

    In my opinion…

    1. Free speech as in sharing opinions, protesting, print, media, etc. etc. is clearly protected under the United States Constitution whether you agree with it or not. Period!

    2. Hate speech in its simplest form is that which implies or states outright that the speaker(s) hate someone or something, this is clearly protected under the United States Constitution. Hate is an opinion/thought not an action and you and I have every right to think whatever the hell we like and hate is part of that.

    3. Verbal threats are borderline protected speech, it can depended on the conditions surrounding the threat, the type of threat, the intent to follow through with the threat, and the physical ability to follow through with the threat. If some run-of-the-mill US citizen were to threaten to blow up NYC with a nuclear bomb, that would not likely be an achievable threatening goal because run-of-the-mill US citizens do not have possession of nor have access to nuclear devices, but if the same run-of-the-mill US citizen actually threatens to kill the mayor of NYC, the President of the United States, their spouse, the soccer coach, white people, black people, gays, their boss, or their asshole neighbor, or that drunken prick at the bar, that should be taken very seriously as an achievable threatening goal. If Jill threatens to tell Mom that Jack drank out of the milk container, it’s certainly a verbal threat that’s achievable but it’s certainly not an abusive verbal threat. Get the idea?

    4. Actively inciting riot/mayhem/chaos is not protected speech. If I tell a crowd of people to go destroy Main Street stores and that crowd of people do what I told them to do, that is NOT protected speech. Where if I say the exact same thing to a different crowd of people that thinks I’m just a nut case and they don’t destroy Main Street stores I’m not actively inciting riot/mayhem/chaos although I’m sure there would be some kind of consequences to the speech, some known and some unknown.

    5. Actual physical violence is not speech and is not protected under the Constitution.

    I’m sure you can argue those points, but for now just take them for what they are and read on.

    The part that people are having a real problem with is knowing when someone is abusing their right to free speech by using their right to free speech to squash the free speech rights of others or when their free speech goes beyond simple opinion or hate and turns into physical action or inciting physical action. There are coddled participation trophy bearing social justice warrior (SJW) complete idiots out there that are equating any kind of speech they disagree with as being actual physical violence against them. It seems that their defining line for violence is first they disagree with it, second that they label it hate speech and then they jump straight to it’s violent; hate speech is not a violent physical action and until these SJW idiots are put in their place in a very public way this nonsense is going to get worse.

  9. Don’t know if Michael Ejercito sent that article to you directly Jack, but I think he deserves credit for bringing it up first.
    https://ethicsalarms.com/2017/12/24/morning-ethics-warm-up-christmas-eve-2017-i-tried-to-find-upbeat-inspirational-items-today-santa-i-really-did/

  10. Chris

    Ugh. I follow Noah on Twitter because he sometimes writes insightful thoughts on comic books and politics. Other times, he can be an insufferable moron on both issues. I’m considering unfollowing him, and this may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. I’ve been seeing him defend this piece on Twitter for the past few days but he really doesn’t seem to be engaging with any of the critiques.

  11. Mrs. Q

    Hi. My name is Noah. I’m Jewish so I can tell you all about what black people go through. Also I just fuckin’ hate Nazi’s for the obvious reasons. So anyway I’m mostly going to refer to one book by two authors as my jumping off point. I know that’s rather limited in making a coherent case but hey, free speech right?

    First off I want you to know I’m woke. You know this because even though my fellow liberals are becoming more anti-Semitic thanks to Black Lives Matters collaborating with BDS, I’m still being published on NBC news which you know, is super down, which means I’m super down too.

    I hate modern Nazi’s because they say stuff that’s shitty. And you know what? They make black people all nervous to the point they have high blood pressure. According to a study by woke people who I’m sure weren’t paid by any special interest donors, blacks do shitty on test scores because Trump and Nazi’s.

    Eagles and snakes, paternalism, Milo Yiannopolous, trauma, Charlottesville, J20, marginalized people, Mexicans, racists, abuse, vulnerable citizens, 1984, white supremacy, Trump!!!, murder, victims, Nazi’s, and more victims. Did I get enough tags and buzzwords in this piece? I hope so! See how woke I am!

    You see I’m not racist because I advocate for people who are darker than me so that automatically makes me not racist. I suppose I could let an empowered POC write a piece like this for themselves, but they do poorly on test scores so NBC probably won’t publish them. It’s up to woke whites like me to help these poor marginalized victims of white imperialism.

    Speaking of imperialism Germany, The Netherlands, and Sweden have pretty pro-eugenics policies (wait did the Nazi’s have that too? Oh well I’m just too woke to worry about that slippery slope). I guess France is getting her ass handed to her by terrorists and their citizens complain of immigrants being a drain on the system, but hey at least they do authoritarianism the right way.

    Anyway the First Amendment sucks because feelings are more important than freedom. Never mind that it was censorship in Germany that helped Hitler gain power.
    Rather than always defending Nazi’s we should just become more like them. After all my socialist folk hero Che Guevara once said: “The Negro is indolent and lazy and spends his money on frivolities, whereas the European is forward-looking, organized and intelligent.” So yeah let’s be more like Europe!

    Love,
    Noah

    • Isaac

      “Rather than always defending Nazi’s we should just become more like them.”

      Sweet Christmas. You just summed their entire premise up right there.

    • I’m kind of late to the table, so I was reading comments to see if I had anything new to add to the conversation before commenting… And I don’t think I do, this comment is amazingly close to how I would have responded, both in content and in style (I was seriously considering a faux-first person recap). The one thing I want to say is that you hit the nail on the head with this:

      “Eagles and snakes, paternalism, Milo Yiannopolous, trauma, Charlottesville, J20, marginalized people, Mexicans, racists, abuse, vulnerable citizens, 1984, white supremacy, Trump!!!, murder, victims, Nazi’s, and more victims. Did I get enough tags and buzzwords in this piece? I hope so! See how woke I am!”

      Between the sixth and eighth paragraphs of his book review, Noah goes from asking the question “Does the 1st Amendment protect Nazis” to “Should it?” to “The best way to preserve lizards is not to preserve hawks” to “hate speech causes real harm” to “Milo Yiannopolous” to “racism causes blood pressure” to “sterotypes cause bad test scores” to, I shit you not, “men exposing themselves can create an intolerable environment”. Sage wisdom, that last.

      The speed in which he shifts the goalposts from Nazis to people he doesn’t like to topics he cares deeply about to something that isn’t even a free speech issue (unless you talk out of your penis) is only made more impressive by the fact that damn near every sentence is it’s own paragraph. I would have a hard time satirizing a more regurgitative potpourri of eclectic progressive talking points if I tried.

  12. I always have trouble getting too far into something when it has a premise like this “The best way to preserve lizards is not to preserve hawks.” If you presume this to be untrue all that follows is probably untrue. To me it’s an interesting dichotomy about that way of thinking and the actual divergence of who is going to be on what side of the discussion.

    • Null

      I certainly took it as a signal that everything to follow was equally stupid. His analogy generalizes to “The best way to preserve a species is not to preserve their predators.” doesn’t it? So healthy ecologies be damned. Genius at work.

  13. I actually thought Noah provided a very strong argument in an article that was comprehensive and well thought out. I especially enjoyed the part where he cited the 2013 Johns Hopkins study and provided a hyperlink for his readers to follow…. Only the hyperlink was to a Cleveland.com article on the Johns Hopkins study and not the actual study itself (shout out to Cleveland). I was a bit confused when I saw the article because the very first sentence says, “Black patients who worry or think frequently about race have higher blood pressure than those who don’t, according to new study by a research group based at Johns Hopkins University.”

    Hmm…. nothing about African Americans having high blood pressure because Nazis are mean and say mean things that hurt people’s feelings? Nothing about free speech?

    Cleveland.com was actually responsible enough to provide a link to the actual study and I found that the study had nothing to do with being exposed to racism but rather it examined the relationship between race-consciousness and blood pressure. Patients were asked how often they think about their race. It’s clear that Noah didn’t read the study at all.

    • Isaac

      It’s a good thing that I ignore progressives who swear that NOT thinking about race all of the time, aka being “color blind” is actually totes racist, guys.

      They can keep all of the high blood pressure to themselves.

    • I thought you might be a racist for a second there, because after reading your first two sentences, I think I was experiencing a steep rise in my blood pressure, and was doing therapeutic finger exercises in preparation for the excoriation that I was about to type. Then I read the rest. Well done.

      • I knew that my opener was a little risky so I’m glad you read on. I honestly found myself becoming more and more insulted the more I read his article. I’d consider what he wrote to be intentional gaslighting. He chose to write about racism in America, a divisive topic in the country right now, and tried to tie it to freedom of speech without conducting any research at all. I wouldn’t be so annoyed had he left it at that. But then he chose to cite a Johns Hopkins study and didn’t even read the study! As if African Americans and other minorities would blindly buy his bs wholesale without reading the actual study themselves.
        So what was his article really about? It doesn’t seem that this it was written with the intention of making any meaningful attempt to mend relations or bring opposing sides to the table to discuss their views. It was literally written with the intention of stoking the flames of bitterness and resentment that those slighted feel towards Whites. How is this helpful? It was a desperate and pathetic attempt to show minorities that he’s on the right side. Stick to comics, sir. Stick to comics.

  14. Steve-O-in-NJ

    https://law.pepperdine.edu/nootbaar-institute/annual-conference/content/brettstroud.pdf

    The upside and the downside of the internet is that almost nothing disappears once it’s posted, a lesson I myself should probably grasp before I post in anger. That said, I’m not angry right now, just disgusted with this article and the two I linked to above. I’m not going to say that all of the left is like this, but it’s clear that a healthy core of the elite at the top of the left and their supporters are interesting in two things before all else: power and control. Some of these may actually believe that they are doing the right thing and helping people, but many, and I think both our last president and his chosen successor belong to this category, simply believe that they know best, and anyone who disagrees is simply wrong and not worthy of a hearing.

    The fact is that this country was founded, indeed settled, with the idea in mind that everyone was entitled to be heard and no one’s opinion, no matter how wrong it might be, would be silenced by the heavy hand of government. We threw off the British yoke in part because they had resorted to trying to silence dissenting opinions and trying to arrest those who dared express them. In essence the British had failed to “co-opt” the colonies back into their way of doing things and tried to turn to the mailed fist when the velvet glove had failed.

    Since then the U.S. has usually been strong on freedom of speech, even when it’s been odious. We’ve typically only slipped in time of war or national security emergency, with things like the Smith Act in WWI and HUAC during the early Cold War. With the publishing of the Pentagon Papers and the conversion of the journalism industry from a valuable service to unofficial watchdogs of government honesty, even clamping down a bit on freedom of speech in time of war or protecting certain important truths with Churchill’s proverbial “bodyguard of lies” has gone by the boards.

    However, this strong freedom of speech has also left the door wide open to persistent opposition to whatever government may be in power by those who disagree with it. It’s precisely because the Nazis could march in Skokie and the alt-right could protest planned removal of a historic monument in Charlottesville that the papers and networks can expose serious wrongdoing and corruption when it does occur…if they choose to. This freedom is also why for eight years the WSJ editorial page, Fox News, and a slew of conservative and libertarian publications could continue criticism of Obama’s many errors and botches when CNN and ABC and the New York Times wouldn’t.

    That core of the left that’s all about holding onto power has let its mask slip a few times. Two key ones are the links I posted above, in which one academic argues for giving up on the Constitution as we were about to enter Obama’s second term, which would make it that much easier for Obama and his adherents to continue pushing their agenda forward, and two more argued for the end of midterm elections, conveniently on the day before the Democratic Party was about to get creamed in the 2014 midterms, leaving Obama to limp out of his presidency with few friends and taking away his chance to replace Scalia. Nobody was buying what they were selling either time, and rightly so. It was obvious that the writers of these articles wanted to make it that much easier for the Democratic Party to get in power, stay in power, and either ignore or crush the opposition.

    One card that the Democratic Party has played that has often worked very well is the racism/hate card. No one wants to be called a racist or a hater, and at heart the businessmen who form a strong part of the Republican base are all about the bottom line. They neither need nor want accusations of racism or hate hurting that bottom line, and tend to crumple easier than most at them. However, the ordinary folks who form the rest of that base don’t crumple so easily, nor do the dedicated conservatives who write and report conservatively. However, no ordinary guy wants to be hauled into court and fined, and no journalist wants to be thrown into jail. If that threat existed, both might…moderate what they have to say.

    It’s one thing to stand up to other citizens with no official status trying to bully you or silence you. You can tell someone who tries to silence you in a discussion to take a hike. You can fight back against a bully who has no official status. However, what if you get a knock at the door and there are two policemen telling you the (whatever) guy from down the street heard you say something hateful, he lodged a complaint, and either they’re issuing you a summons, or you’re going to have to come with them? What if you’re a writer, the phone rings, and it’s the FBI, telling you that the story you just published yesterday has been deemed hate speech, and you can either come down to the Federal building to explain yourself, or they can come pick you up, and they won’t be happy if they have to do the latter?

    Before long everyone is going to start overpolicing everything they say and do, afraid that someone is going to get offended and they will be branded a hater for life. Thankfully, the First Amendment stands in the way of the worst of these abuses, but this article is a good look behind the mask of the left and what they would do if that protection were taken away.

    The left isn’t so foolish to try to take that protection all away at once, or to try to take it away openly. However, they are experts at chipping away at freedoms a little bit at a time. A ban on this kind of weapon here, a ban on this kind of bullet there, a “common sense” gun law another place, and before you know it, the Second Amendment exists in name only. Dub this category hate speech here, dub this kind of writing unprotected there, maybe throw in a reference to the Nazis somewhere to keep enough people on board who might otherwise say “hey, wait a minute…” and before long the First Amendment is hollow, and hate speech is whatever someone else interprets what you say to mean.

    Some scoff at this article. No one should. It’s a harbinger of bad things to come.

  15. Still Spartan

    I have liberal friends who think counter-protesting or banning certain speakers on college campuses truly is the way to a more peaceful and enlightened society. I have conservative friends who are outraged/disgusted at gay pride parades, and quite frankly would be more comfortable going back to the days where gay men hid in heterosexual marriages or became that special uncle who remained a life-long bachelor.

    Why is it so challenging to comprehend that ALL speech has to not just be defended, but vigorously defended? In a country that is so polarized, I certainly do not want President Trump and his DOJ determining what is okay for me to speak and write. Similarly, I am sure that many people would be uncomfortable if a President Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders had that power. And with the NSA having the power to capture information on any citizen with a click of a button, we all have to scared if the right to speech is encroached.

    While it is easy to poke at certain liberals for that jaw-dropping logic on free speech, some of the blame needs to be shared by white conservatives, who largely remain silent on issues of racial, gender, and economic equality. And I understand that these conservatives are not necessarily doing so because they are against equality, but simply because time is limited and you can only get your dander up so many times while holding down a job and supporting a family. But silence often reads as acceptance, which then leads to the problem of liberals thinking they are only ones who stand against extremist views.

    The Handmaid’s Tale should be required watching/reading for all college students (I actually think the series is better than the book). Regardless of your political views, you have to retain the right to speech, associate, religion in the people. The government cannot get involved or you might be the one who ends up in a red dress.

    I am not a gun owner, and I don’t subscribe to the belief that a citizen militia could successfully oppose a modern day U.S. military. But the day that the government infringes on my speech is the day that I apply for a gun permit. Maybe I can take out one or two of these bastards at least before I am gunned down.

    • Glenn Logan

      While it is easy to poke at certain liberals for that jaw-dropping logic on free speech, some of the blame needs to be shared by white conservatives, who largely remain silent on issues of racial, gender, and economic equality. And I understand that these conservatives are not necessarily doing so because they are against equality, but simply because time is limited and you can only get your dander up so many times while holding down a job and supporting a family. But silence often reads as acceptance, which then leads to the problem of liberals thinking they are only ones who stand against extremist views.

      Conservatives have been harangued out of the discussion of racial, gender, and economic equality by progressives who are not interested in discourse, but rather in disparaging every utterance that doesn’t agree with theirs as racist, bigoted, sexist, etc.

      If you want discourse, you have to be willing to engage in it without savaging those with whom you have it. You may be willing to do so, I don’t know. Most progressives I know aren’t. They are interested only in virtue-signalling and shaming everyone who disagrees with them in the least jot or tittle.

      You wondered why. Now you know. At least, you know why I don’t bother.

      I am not a gun owner, and I don’t subscribe to the belief that a citizen militia could successfully oppose a modern day U.S. military. But the day that the government infringes on my speech is the day that I apply for a gun permit. Maybe I can take out one or two of these bastards at least before I am gunned down.

      For the first sentence of your paragraph, I have one word: Afghanistan.

      For the second part, good for you.

    • Still Spartan,
      Great comment and it’s certainly COTD worthy!

      I only have one real point to make about something you wrote, “…white conservatives… largely remain silent on issues of racial, gender, and economic equality”. The problem with talking about this particular issue is that many people, Progressives in particular, simply don’t understand that “equal opportunity” does not mean “equal outcomes”. The primary discussion that every Progressive want’s to talk about (at least all the Progressives I’ve talked to about this) is about “equal outcomes” and if people don’t get that “equal outcome” they immediately blame it on discrimination.

      We need to have the right discussion, not the Socialist discussion.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      “While it is easy to poke at certain liberals for that jaw-dropping logic on free speech, some of the blame needs to be shared by white conservatives, who largely remain silent on issues of racial, gender, and economic equality.”

      The blame for what? That kind of thinking? I assume that’s what you mean. Speaking as a white male conservative, you’re getting warm, but you’re not quite there yet. The reason we don’t join the discussion on racial, gender, and economic equality is because all too often we become targets of rather than participants in the discussion. It’s not a discussion if one side is the enemy, it’s an argument. Frankly I’d be perfectly ok making sure women lawyers didn’t get illegitimately shut out of plum assignments and promotions, and didn’t get treated like partners’ dating pools. However, that operative word illegitimately is a stumbling block for a lot of feminists, who won’t accept legitimate questioning of a claim of sexism or sexist behavior. I don’t think anyone should be shut out of being hired or promoted because of his color, but, the fact is that’s very hard to prove. Economic equality is often equality of outcome, which no one is guaranteed.

      Disgust at gay pride parades isn’t necessarily just about disgust at private alignment, Sparty. When last did you attend one? They’re not necessarily just like the other parades, with the rainbow flag replacing the Irish or Italian tricolor or POW flag that goes with other parade holidays. Some of the floats and costumes are…odd…from borderline BDSM floats to 20-foot penises to guys in chaps that show their hairy backsides to the world. Being repulsed by bizarre behavior doesn’t mean I want some poor gay guy trapped in an unhappy “lavender marriage,” which wouldn’t be fair to the wife either. By the way, I AM one of those “bachelor uncles,” but for different reasons. My now 11yo niece has never asked me why I’m not married, and I don’t think she cares.

      As for counterprotesting and banning being the way to a peaceful and enlightened society, I don’t think you agree with those friends. They’re talking about the peace and enlightenment of tyranny, and, as you point out, the road to tyranny is that much shorter in this age of cyberspace.

      Oh, and one MORE word about the first sentence of that last paragraph: Fallujah. Still one more word: Belfast. Two more: Francs-tireurs.

      • Still Spartan

        I’m talking about that some conservatives don’t believe that gay pride parades should be allowed at all. You’re within your rights to believe that they are distasteful.

        • Jeez, how many such people are there now? Back in the old, OLD days, I had several conservative gay friends who also objected to gay pride parades because the flamboyant performance art undercut their efforts to represent gays as not substantively different from anyone else.

          • Still Spartan

            I think it is a mistake to believe that this is dying out. I have family members and high school friends who think along these lines.

            • By God’s Grace we will act in this present to reverse the damage your generation has brought as it pertains to the perversions of homosexuality and deviant sexuality and the collusion between Hollywood, government and media activists in a social engineering project to make homosexuality seem normal and good and to ‘install’ it in people’s minds and in culture.

              Homosexuals and homosexuality have always existed and will always exist, but they have not always been so visible and alllowed to be so influencial. And this is what will be reversed. It was put in motion over time and with the assent of people’s conscience, and it will be reversed through the same means.

              I will not tire in repeating: there is a movement which has begun in all the English speaking countries, in all the countries of Europe to establish an idea-base and idea-activism to turn back the perversions of America and ‘the Americanopolis’. The world-movement to make homosexuality seem a normal and even a desirable option began in the US and it was carried out by homosexual activists in PR and in Hollywood.

              Through similar activism, and through the indolence and permissiveness of your generation, having come about through nescience and, I guess, your own sexual confusion, pornography and bizarre sexuality have become a feature of the present, as easily obtainable as gumdrops. In this way you have directly contributed to the open perversion of your children and the world’s children. By God’s Grace your own perversions will be brought out into the light of day and branded as such. How to begin? By talking about it. By opening the topic up for conversation. By going into the spiritual and the metaphysical dimension of the question.

              As far as weapons go, I suggest the S&W M&P .38. It is a revolver and had no magazine. A semi-automatic is a tempting option but don’t be taken in. It is very hard to reload when and if you are in a stress situation (my instructor said that ‘all your fingers become thumbs’) but it is likely that if there is a danger you will have acted against it with the first six shots.

              Please send my warmest regards to those members of your family who still have their heads on straight! I am of the young generation and know of dozens of people in my group who not only think as I do but are devoting their lives and time and resources to reversing the trends of perversion *you* have allowed to be put in motion.

              • Chris

                Do not dare to assert again that you “respect” every commenter here when you also assert that our gay commenters are “perverse” because of whom they love.

                There is no rational argument against homosexuality—you have previously attempted to defend your irrational hatred by saying that gays can’t procreate together, an argument so easily dismissed as irrelevant by pointing to the numerous straight couples that cannot procreate (such as the relationship I’m in) that I can’t believe anyone, even you, is still stupid enough to make it.

                You are perverse.

                • I think I may eventually get you stuffed. Or at the very least get you on one of those stand up carboard look-alikes, like Captain Picard! 😉

                • Steve-O-in-NJ

                  You are wasting your time arguing with Alizia, Chris. She’s a real-life Luna Lovegood (yes, Luna is fictional, but the parallel fits) who doesn’t care if she’s liked and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. She’s going to say what she’s going to say, and even the harshest insults will not put her back on her heels.

                  Frankly, I have concluded in the aftermath of last year, that posters tilting at each other is a pointless exercise. All it gets you is a terminal case of heartburn.

              • Still Spartan

                Alizia can insult me all she wants. I have not been kind to her — and I think there is actually a small chance that she might be an AI. AI always turn out to be assholes.

  16. Still Spartan wrote: “While it is easy to poke at certain liberals for that jaw-dropping logic on free speech, some of the blame needs to be shared by white conservatives, who largely remain silent on issues of racial, gender, and economic equality. And I understand that these conservatives are not necessarily doing so because they are against equality, but simply because time is limited and you can only get your dander up so many times while holding down a job and supporting a family. But silence often reads as acceptance, which then leads to the problem of liberals thinking they are only ones who stand against extremist views.”

    You actually approached some thought that was quite a bit more than a henid! But you have included a fantastic error in your basic assertion. You have apparently arrived at some conclusions about gender, economic equality and race. You present these as if they are forgone conclusions, and as normal as air breathed, decided, done, determined.

    They are not.

    This is one of the major tools by which hyper liberals turn conservatives into cucks: the degree that the cuck allow themselves to be manipulated by this sophistry is the degree that they no longer hold to the principles of clear, Aristotelian thinking. It is an intellectual error that originates in one’s psychology.

    The liberal thought-establishment dominates the thinking-space. Is it because they ‘marched through the institutions’? Is it because they dominate the media-systems? That is the question that needs to be asked. Yet they rule, significantly.I obviously assert that it is this style of thinking, or this affliction of thinking, that needs to be corrected. This is a far more difficult endeavor than meets the eye. The mind requires to be retrained. This will take time.

    Some thinking people on the progressive left succeed in establishing their pet categories as ‘givens’, and they can then attack, freely and openly, anyone who does not share their given concern, conclusion or focus. As long as they are given this power, as long as the ‘magic words’ can drop an adult man or woman at the mere mention of them, this wicked use of social blaming-power will go on. As it is going on, right now, in our society. It is a disease, a contagion, a manifestation of social hysteria.

    Designations and the application of Aristotelian methods when thinking about race, culture, disposition, character, economics and any number of different characteristics and elements and facts of life and things that exist in this world, are not determined categories. That is, these questions can be, and should be, freely thought about and decided freely by an unprejudiced mind.

    But this is not the ‘mind’ that has power in our day. Not in the academy, not in the school, not in the workplace, not in journalism, not anywhere. The mind, and our mind, is dominated by tendencies toward political correct formula and by thought-conclusions that have been deemed to be necessary, or part of state law, or social etiquette, and this style of thinking is enforced not through reasoning but through shaming.

    The ‘jaw-dropping logic’ within their assault on freedom of thought, which is a definite and demonstrable lack of use of logic, is to be found in the method and style of perverse thinking of this sort. That is where the jaw should drop.

    Clear, strong and powerful Aristotelian thinking can be applied to thinking about the hyper-liberal climate of controlled thought and choosing deliberately to counter it. And one can and one must freely think within the categories of race, gender, economics, justice, equality. Everything and all things.

    Obviously this freedom to think and reason, to weigh and decide, is what is under open attack in our present. And be it noted that what I will conclude when I freely think may differ from state-established policy or what some anti-intellectual blame-gamer has established for me to think.

    Get it? 😉

    • Chris

      “Cucks”

      You cannot pretend to be an intellectual towering over above the rest of us and then use the psychosexual insults of teenage alt-right basement dwellers, and expect to be taken remotely seriously. I think Milo Yiannopolous’ editor would like to have some words with you.

      • I’m embarrassed to ask: what does that mean? I have always tuned it out, because of the word’s context.

        • Chris

          Essentially, it uses the metaphor of “cuckolding” to describe people (mostly conservatives) whose opinions on immigration (not just illegal immigration) are less restrictive and far-right than the speaker. So a conservative who is accepting of higher levels of immigration than the speaker—whether that means they are supportive of DACA, the 14th Amendment, or merely allowing immigrants from non-white countries in at all—is similar to a white “cuckold” who allows other men (specifically men of color) to fuck his wife (here a metaphor for the country).

          Pretty gross, right?

            • Steve-O-in-NJ

              Ranks right up there with “teabaggers” for tea party members, teabagging being a sex act whereby someone places his scrotum in someone else’s mouth.

              I for one always used the term “RINO (Republican In Name Only)” for a Republican who was insufficiently conservative.

              Don’t ya just love all these expressions for those who don’t conform? Oreo, twinkie, and apple for African Americans, Asian Americans and American Indians who are perceived to be out of touch with their cultural heritage, and Milano (after the cookie) for white people perceived as trying to act black, etc.

      • Chris writes: “You cannot pretend to be an intellectual towering over above the rest of us and then use the psychosexual insults of teenage alt-right basement dwellers, and expect to be taken remotely seriously. I think Milo Yiannopolous’ editor would like to have some words with you.”

        Cuckersavtive is a completely valid term. It has a Wiki page and there are now book titles in which the term is used. For example: “Cuckservative; How ‘Conservatives’ Betrayed America’. I am one of those who can now, and does now, believe that there is a class of conservatives who have, often inadvertently, sometimes openly and with very bad intent, betrayed America. I can talk about this in rational, clear terms. Here, now, anywhere and with anyone. I will defend my ideas anywhere and at any time. And I will use any term within my discourse that suits me.

        I hope that one of these days at least you will come to see 1) that I am immune to your slander and your shaming, and 2) aware that you continually play to the crowd and attempt to get others to agree with your position. For example to use the phrase ‘towering above the rest of us’ is a cheap gambit. I respect everyone who writes here, generally, and when I differ I will make that plain.

        I can definitely claim to use intellect and to desire to deal in intellecutal terms and this has no bearing whatever on the psycho-sexual sense of the term cuckservative. Its emasculated sense is one aspect of its meaning but not the only one.

        You definition of cuckservative is an example of ‘framing’ and offers no real explanation of the term, even as it came out of 4chan and the ‘basement’ (which is not untrue). But there is more to be gained from understanding why such a term comes into existence, and then who is using it, and why, than to attempt, as you are, to essentially shut down the cognition that stands behind the term. That is what you do, Chris, That is the role you establish for yourself. I want to open up all terms, all conversation, delve into forbidden words and terms and to remove all restraints to open conversation.

        You will never be able to stop me, son!

        The term is ironic and biting, this is clear, and must always be backed up with argument. It is also a term that anyone can Google.

        • Still Spartan

          Chris plays to the crowd? Er … you realize that he doesn’t have much of a crowd here, right?

        • Chris

          You are a liar, a hypocrite, and a moron. You’re a liar because you do not respect the other commenters here, as you repeatedly demonstrate through your condescending and superior attitude. ( I am condescending and superior in return, but then, I don’t pretend to respect you.) You’re a hypocrite because you complain about others using “shaming tactics” when you use the term “cuck,” which is used for exactly that purpose. You’re a moron because you think this term is “valid” just because there are books with the word in the title, books written by morons such as yourself.

          • Good Lord, I have a very different sense of what ‘respect’ means! I have great respect for any person who takes the time to write out their thoughts. And I always respect what they have said. Your use of the terms ‘condescending and superior’ is related to your general use of ad hominem argument. You are confused about what ‘respect’ really is. I am direct and truthful in what I think. How you take it, and how anyone else takes it, is not relevant to me.

            Your use of ‘shame’ is the sole foundation of your ‘progressivism’ and SJ Warriorism as far as I have been able to tell. And as I have painstakingly said, this is one of the foundations of the hyper-liberal assault: to attack at a moral-emotional level. Both you and Spartan structure yourselves within this emotionalized posture.

            I use the term Cuck in the true sense of the word: a psuedo-Conservative. It is ironic and a little devilish, and lovely! And my point, which is an intellectual point quite strictly, and quite fairly, is to bring out that in our present we are dominated by ‘hyper-liberal thinking’. This is my term, from my lexicon.

            There is such a thing —- it is known and understod —- as American Liberalism. For example there is a webpage on Wiki entitled ‘Liberalism in the United States’. In this sense, and as far as I have been able to tell, this Blog (meaning Jack) is in essence an American Liberalist blog. But I am interested in defining conservatism. Not psuedo-conservatism but real conservatism. And in what I write —- not lacking abundance —- I clearly express the basis of my thought.

            To avoid these ideas you-plural have chosen to focus on one word. It is a tactic and a strategy. You will divert all your energy to this and thus avoid all the content.

            Though it is true that America is definitely a liberal country, I make the assertion that it has crossed a line into Hyper-Liberalism. And I write about this. I see hyper-liberalism as a perversion of Liberalism. And I notice that American conservatism has cucked-out to these virulent forms of American Hyper-Liberalism. These are fair observations and opinions. If by saying this I offend someone, I just don’t care. This is not a child’s playroom.

            I describe you Spartan and many of us as having been ‘infected’ with hyper-liberalism, or being under the sway of hyper-liberalism, and of being susceptible to these emotionalized ‘arguments’ that are ‘henids’, not real full-formed ideas. As far as I have been able to tell I find nothing even slightly ‘conservative’ in your outlook and in your expression nor in the values you represent. I assume you simply cannot, or perhaps do not know how, to see yourself.

            Chris try this:

            “Those who write books using the term Cuckservative are morons. You use the term Cuckservative. Therefor you are a moron’ demonstrats the circularity of that argument!

            If this works for you enjoy yourself!

            Whether Chris has a large crowd (of supporters) or very few has no bearing on my observation that he ‘plays to the crowd’. I say it is a questionable tactic of argumentation. I do not say that it does not work, it does! But I think it is reprehensible because it is underhanded and a little weak. But all emotional tactic usualy are weak in this sense. And the reason I point it out is because these are common methods used in so many different places. It is important to point it out so that, I hope, it can be brought to a stop. As long as people remain susceptible to it, and allow themselves to be manipulated by this deviousness, those who use these tactics will continue to gain ground.

            To combat this, one has to do just what I have done here: spell it all out as if speaking to children.

            More clear?

            • Chris

              No, telling conservatives that they aren’t *really* conservatives because they’re OK with race-mixing isn’t respectful, nor is it logical—the entire “content” behind your cuck slur is based on a No True Scotsman fallacy, so you can take your pretense that you are arguing on a higher plane of reason than the rest of us and shove it up your Nazi ass.

              My assertion that people who use “cucks” as a slur are morons wasn’t a circular argument, because it wasn’t an argument at all, because no such argument needs to be made. You insist that the rest of us lower ourselves to argue positions which no one but you even entertain. You refuse to modify your terrible writing style when asked to do so for the ease of other readers. And you do all this in defense of a philosophy that asserts that a portion ofthe regulars here are lesser humans than you. None of that is respectful. None of that is deserving of any respect. Fuck you.

              • If you can, try to notice that your ‘argument’ here is emotion-based. It looks like reasoning but it isn’t. It is emoting.

                Since I do not ‘tell’ conservatives anything but only endeavor to describe how I understand conservatism, in the areas I speak about, to have been coopted by hyper-liberalism, I am entirely within the bounds of good argument. Your false-argument about ‘disrespecting’ is a concoction on your part and supports your sentiments about me. Does that seem clear?

                I find that the term is useful, and in any case, whether you like it or not it is now a common term of discourse. I guess you are going to have to get used to it.

                The second paragraph is really only about ‘playing to an audience’. Try to look at what you wrote with a critical eye and I think you will agree. The line ‘you insist that the rest of us lower ourselves to argue positions which no one but you entertain’ is a faulty line to pursue, if only because you begin to speak for a group — this ‘we’ that you are defining. It is true that I have different understandings about topics that are definitely controversial, and yes that I express my opinions. It is true that some of the opinions I have do not seem to be shared by most here. Yet they are opinions and ideas that are becoming more common, more talked about, more up for debate out there in the greater world. Since the recent topic has focused on ‘free speech’ and such, and since we all seem to agree this is good and necessary, I think you are going to have to make an adaption inside of your own self (in respect to me, and to *us*). Doesn’t that sound reasonable?

                I do not make any demands on anyone, really. I only work to force myself to clarify what I think. My sense in reading what you write is that you will stop at nothing to bring out your negative animus toward me. I encourage you to do this if it is what you really and truly want. The thing about it is that you are missing the opportunity to carefully write out what you yourself really think. I think it might be helpful if you lift your focus off of me. Just work with the ideas.

                I think that if you really examine things critically it is you who violate ‘respect’ when you swear and use vulgarities. I never quite get it myself.

                ‘None of this is deserving of respect. F**k you’ is a wonderful line! It is also circular when you think about it.

                This is what interests me about you and why I find you so instructive and helpful. You *illustrate* very common errors with something I can only describe as inadvertent eloquence!

          • 😉

            [https://youtu.be/JWzjn0N9g4g}

    • Still Spartan

      Yeah, I stopped reading once she referred to me as a hyper-liberal as it shows no basis in reality.

      But I support her right to make these idiotic statements. Man, I am going to be REALLY pissed if I have to buy a gun to defend Alizia’s right to free speech.

  17. In sum, Noah Berlatsky argues that the harm to be addressed is “hurting people’s feelings”.

    Certainly there was a strong case that the football players who knelt during the National Anthem should be prosecuted for hate speech. After all, they were perpetrating the #HandsUpDontShoot hoax. They chose a manner of protest that hurt people’s feelings.

    Or what about banning gay pride parades? Surely those parades hurt people’s feelings. Why not ban them?

    If the price paid for the above actions is worth it, what else can not be justified?

    If the police were able to arbitrarily conduct searches and seizures, they can solve crimes more easily.

    If juries only had to use a preponderance of the evidence standard to adjudicate criminal cases, it would be much easier to convict criminals?

    Or why even have trials? Surely it would be harder for criminals to get away with their crimes if arrests were sufficient to establish guilt.

    And what about equal protection? if the police could focus on demographics they feel commits the most crimes, it would be an efficient use of scarce resources.

    Think of the lives that could be saved if only the American people paid the price.

    If Berlatsky’s proposal could be justified, why can not these be justified?

  18. The author’s final paragraph is where he most condemns himself.

    “It’s long past time we acknowledged that speech directing hatred and vitriol at marginalized people does not advance freedom or liberty.”

    I’m going to send the SJW’s into vapors, but there aren’t any marginalized people in modern America. There are groups (and a lot of them…and quite diverse…very diverse groups) that are scorned by other groups. But none *marginalized*. Marginalization would require a mass concerted isolation by a large majority of the population. This simply does NOT exist for any group in our nation. Sorry, ‘progressives’, it doesn’t.

    That being said, we must amend the claim to merely this:

    “It’s long past time we acknowledged that speech directing hatred and vitriol at people does not advance freedom or liberty.”

    Sure it does. It most certainly does. A society advances and stands on convictions. Those convictions are the very ideas protected by the 1st Amendment. Sometimes those convictions rightfully condemn entire classes of people…such as illegal immigrants or adulterers or embezzlers or internet jerks. Sometimes those convictions can actually flow through the republican process and find their way into law: like we can punish illegal immigrants and embezzlers. Sometimes those convictions are merely relegated to community market action, like we do not pay attention to the internet jerk, or we dissect his foolish ways, or we shun the adulterer for the most intimate trust he has violated.

    But how do we protect the ability of the common man to even HAVE convictions? By protecting even the ugliest and unsavory of convictions against legal recourse, leaving the market to decide what can go through the republican process. This does mean letting Nazis publish diatribes against Jews…this does mean letting socialists publish diatribes against liberty and rule of law. This means tolerating a great deal of anti-social behavior: from the hateful white supremacist who thinks whites cannot make it without suppressing blacks to the angry college professor who hatefully thinks women and blacks cannot make it on their own in the free market without suppressing non-women and non-blacks.

    “Rather than defending Nazis always and everywhere, no matter what, we need to take a more balanced approach. That approach should include defending the people that Nazis want to murder.”

    Despite what the author of this piece ignorantly believes, we do defend the people that Nazis want to murder. Believe it or not– by making murder illegal.

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