I. The Daily Telegraph officially apologized “unreservedly” to Melania Trump and agreed to pay her “substantial damages” for an article it published last week. Mrs. Trump had sued the paper in British courts.
The paper said its Saturday Magazine cover story “The Mystery of Melania” this month contained false statements, as her lawsuit claimed. It wrote,
Following last Saturday’s (Jan 19) Telegraph magazine cover story “The mystery of Melania”, we have been asked to make clear that the article contained a number of false statements which we accept should not have been published. Mrs Trump’s father was not a fearsome presence and did not control the family. Mrs Trump did not leave her Design and Architecture course at University relating to the completion of an exam, as alleged in the article, but rather because she wanted to pursue a successful career as a professional model. Mrs Trump was not struggling in her modelling career before she met Mr Trump, and she did not advance in her career due to the assistance of Mr Trump.
We accept that Mrs Trump was a successful professional model in her own right before she met her husband and obtained her own modelling work without his assistance. Mrs Trump met Mr Trump in 1998, not in 1996 as stated in the article. The article also wrongly claimed that Mrs Trump’s mother, father and sister relocated to New York in 2005 to live in buildings owned by Mr Trump. They did not. The claim that Mrs Trump cried on election night is also false.
We apologise unreservedly to The First Lady and her family for any embarrassment caused by our publication of these allegations. As a mark of our regret we have agreed to pay Mrs Trump substantial damages as well as her leg
It would be understandable if you were in shock reading this, since the prospect of an American paper having to admit printing falsehoods about anyone named Trump and paying damaged for it is unimaginable. The British system is not constrained by a Bill of Rights, however, or a First Amendment. “Freedom of the Press” is far from absolute. Thanks to New York Times v. Sullivan, For a newspaper to have to pay damaged to a target who is a public figure requires, “actual malice” as well as reckless disregard for the truth must be proven–and that standard is impossibly high. Melania’s husband, among others, has called on the U.S. to modify its nearly absolute protection of the press, so stories like the Telegraph’s could be actionable in the U.S. as well. Tempting as it is, especially to the Trumps, this is a bad idea, even though it allows, and encourages, the current plague of “fake news.”
The principle, as Clarence Darrow wrote in a letter (that has somehow avoided the internet, but I have read it) “In order to have enough liberty, it is necessary to have too much.” Darow’s point is that liberty requires breathing room and wide margins for error. If the institutions and public in a democracy have to fear too much of nicking the law and provoking official revenge, or if the “truth” is used to constrain statements of opinion, even reckless opinion, then the governments’ boot will soon be on the throats of all of us.
No, the news media must be given free rein to be irresponsible, for all the harm they do. Remember the adage that when ethics fail, the law steps in, and usually makes things worse. Responsible journalism must be a matter of ethics, not law.
II. Tennessee state Rep. Antonio Parkinson (D) has proposed a bill that would enforce a dress code on all parents in the state when they visit public schools. He argues that such a measure is necessary because of the decline in decorum and civility, with parents undermining efforts by the state to civilize students
“People wearing next to nothing. People wearing shirts or tattoos with expletives. People coming onto a school campus and cursing the principal or the teacher out. These things happen regularly,” Parkinson told an interviewer. “A principal I talked to told me a lady came into the office with her sleepwear on with some of her body parts hanging out. You got children coming down the hall in a line and they can possibly see this.”
Parkinson’s law would also require public school districts across Tennessee to create their own “codes of conduct” for adults when visiting public schools.
“Whether you’re there to work, whether you’re a teacher, a parent, a vendor, a visitor, a speaker — anyone who steps on a school campus should be held to a basic minimum expectation of conduct and behavior,” he asserts. “That includes how one dresses.”
Nope. Heaven knows I sympathize with Mr. Parkinson, but that’s the nose of one mean and ugly camel, and we don’t want his smelly proboscis in the tent of our democracy. Once the government starts enforcing “codes of conduct” for private citizens beyond prohibiting criminal activity like disturbing the peace and starting riots, liberty’s life in America will be nasty, brutish and short. Here, as in I above, I am confident that the Supreme Court would not permit such a law, particularly since it would discriminate against the poor and those with atrocious taste, which is about 70% of the population.
“In order to have enough liberty, it is necessary to have too much.”
Memorize it. Teach it to your kids, if you have ’em, or your friends, if you don’t. Use it often.
Clarence Darrow has been dead for more than 80 years, but he may save us from the law, and ourselves, yet.
Eh, what the hell: if you want to read my book (compiled and edited with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Ed Larson) about Darrow’s varied and fascinating speeches and writings, you can do so here. Don’t worry: I won’t get any more royalties; at this point, I owe the publishers.
Unfortunately, I didn’t find that Darrow quote until years later, in this book, which revealed the great lawyer’s previously unpublished letters.
50 thoughts on “They Seem Like Good Ideas…But Not Really. Clarence Darrow Knew Why.”
I wonder how Darrow’s quote applies to criminal.procedural rights or gun control laws.
In his view? Completely and 100%. Darrow would have loved the Exclusionary Rule—he just didn’t think of it. As for guns, he was a country boy born in the 19th Century. NOBODY questioned the right to own guns.
I still think that the press should be regulated in line with how other rights are regulated. Publishing false information under the heading “News” should still draw some consequence.
The problem with the government punishing false content in the news is that it will be politicians and their pet bureaucrats dictating what news is false. The solution to liars lying is not to distribute guns to some liars and set them to watch over the other liars.
Actually, it would be judges and juries who would make that determination.
Remember, the process is the punishment. They don’t need to win a conviction to ruin a company, let alone an individual.
Explain this further, please.
Thank you, Michael.
1. WHAT consequence?
Question: What the premise of Rashomon that people were perceiving the same event differently? Or, that they were lying about what happened because they each had an interest in lying?
The former. None were lying. All were telling the truth as they perceived it.
I didn’t have anything quite that drastic in mind. Of course Vlad got results, as well.
dragin_dragon wrote, “I still think that the press should be regulated in line with how other rights are regulated. Publishing false information under the heading “News” should still draw some consequence.”
That’s a terribly slippery slope.
What should happen in a society that hasn’t been dumbed down for years is that these media outlets would fail miserably because no one would support them with their dollars.
Maybe Conservatives should actively employ some of the tactics that progressives and social justice warriors have been using and boycott any company that advertises with a media outlet that’s constantly lying.
“…then the governments’ boot will soon be on the throats of all of us.”
Yeah. That thing. Maybe we should all pay attention to that some. Perhaps think through these things, and apply a worst-case-scenario to ourselves. A little self-examination reflecting on our own desires to dictate what others do, say and think might be in order.
Unfortunately, most who undertake any self-examination into their own motives generally come to the conclusion that they’re right, their hearts are pure, and most dangerously, that it would be better for everyone.
It seems to me that here one has *the essence of liberalism*: “In order to have enough liberty, it is necessary to have too much.”
There are a few problems here, and I should also say consequences. They are quite simply, really.
1) It requires a *truly liberal individual* who had been schooled in the principles, the ethical and moral foundation on which Liberalism was predicated and built, to have both a responsible social and political actor, and a culture capable of expressing the same on the large scale.
2) When the *truly liberal individual* no longer exists — no longer is created, encouraged, empowered nor even valued — there arises out of liberalism a distortion of the former individual, and a distortion of the former liberalism.
3) There are influences that can and do corrupt a sound, ethical & moral liberal person, and there is such a thing as ‘social decadence’, interior decay, and loss of an ability to conceive of ‘higher value’.
4) It is inevitable, when educational influences no longer exist and function, that the formerly well-grounded and proactive ethical & moral liberal woman and man, begin to lose power over their own selves. That is, when the ‘inferior elements’ in them gain dominion over the ‘superior elements’.
5) This process (of decadence) has been seen, recognized, understood and explained by women and men of ‘vision’. In every political and social system of the Occidental-liberal variety liberalism inevitably leads to the seduction of the individual, and the seduced individual, when restraints are progressively released, invades and infects the public areas.
6) And here s/he can do so because of the social ethic that “In order to have enough liberty, it is necessary to have too much.”
7) Obviously — to any person with common sense and the most elemental and sketchy grasp of historical affairs — can see and does see that we have now approached a point where a) we recognize that we have no means to exert control over the ‘inferiors’ among us and in us and, because of our own ideology, and b) have no means to oppose or to chasten that ‘inferior’ sort who, by definition, abuses the freedoms offered by liberalism.
8) That type of individual, both *out there* and *in here* (in the sense that we are complicit in hyper-liberal decadence), is now destroying the Republic. The process began, it has evolved, it will continue to evolve, and its effects will become more and more apparent every day that passes.
9) These are facts. These facts are not (in my exceedingly and achingly humble opinion) non-contestable.
10) We must recognize that this is true, and we must develop an interim strategy. A countervailing strategy. We have no idea how to do this because we ourselves, in recognizable ways, have become victims of the same *infection* that we notice around us. We are sinking, we see that we are sinking, and yet we are powerless to resist or to reverse that process.
Things will sink until some sort of bottom is hit.
When the bottom is hit a social movement must come into being.
It will have to restrain former abuses of liberty; and it will have to define exactly what those are.
This is what I have referred to as ‘restoration’ and ‘renewal’.
This will be the reverse, in significant senses, of late liberal processes. It will, it must as anyone can see! — involve counter-liberal restraints that are agreed upon (until, one would assume, a proper situation for the function of *true liberalism* is recovered).
What this refers to, what hyper-liberal decadence calls forth by necessity, is what the Hyper-liberal system now describes as ‘fascism’ or ‘right-wing intolerance’. For example the developing movements in Poland and in Austria and in other nations.
This is why I have always said that it is necessary to better understand ‘right-wing reaction’ and neo-fascism (especially of those varieties that came into focus in the Interwar Period 1920-1930) because, then as now, these arises as necessary counter-responses to the inevitable destructive influences of ungrounded liberalism: liberalism which has lost its ideological foundation. When liberty is abused, the social body is damaged, and responsible actors must come on the scene to restore it.
One either swims or, I guess, one sinks!
I don’t think there is any human system, liberal or conservative pure anything else, that flourishes in pervasive corruption. You pretty much get to choose only whether you will allow a large number of corrupt individuals to abuse the system in small ways, or whether you’re going to allow a small number of corrupt individuals to abuse the system in large ways.
The authoritarian favors the latter strategy, hoping that a cadre of honest actors in positions of power can keep the corrupt actors out of those positions. But the downside is that if corrupt actors do capture those positions, they can likewise prevent the virtuous from putting a stop to their antics.
I actually read a great portion of this book.
Clarence Darrow represents (I use this term in a special sense) the adamancy of an ‘inferior’ sort which infects a society and, eventually, undermines its capacity to assign values. Unquestionably smart, unquestionably capable of exploiting a liberal system, and unquestionably destructive: Clarence Darrow is an ’emblem’ of destructive processes that have infected and are now destroying the Republic as conceived.
Clarence Darrow, appearing on the scene with tremendous will and power, operates similarly to Nietzsche’s willful ubermench. Except that he has no interest in *higher things*and, by definition, cannot see them nor recognize them.
Yet, he acts *completely within his rights*.
It should be obvious that teaming up with the ACLU and with those factions within later historical America that desired to undermine its hierarchies, that such activism, unrestrained, would lead to the destruction of the possibility of Liberalism! It is so simple, it is almost mathematical!
Was it Adimagejim who said that we have to *name* the culprit? And that name is *Alinsky*?
Non non non non et non!
These processes began far earlier than with either of these actors who merely ‘represent’ certain ideologies.
To reverse the trends of our present requires a foundational restoration not the further destruction of it.
The problems is that the press has become tyrannical at this point. There are going to be demands to limit their conduct and I can’t see that it can be avoided if the press won’t change. Covington was seen as a huge anomaly in the press, but I am not so sure. How many Covingtons have there been that we didn’t know about because there wasn’t evidence to show the truth? How many Covingtons have their been because there was no YouTube and alternative press to put the truth out for people to see? The left is actively trying to remove those alternate outlets. Look what they did to Alex Jones. You may not like him, but his content is no worse that Vox or CNN. They have pushed so many Big Lies that most people believe the majority of them. Covington follows the typical M.O. of the leftist media. Look at the Jazmine Barnes case. How is it any different than Covington? How many of them breathlessly carried the story of Jazmine Barnes’ death? How many eagerly reported it was a hate crime, ordered by a Donald Trump dog whistle (actually reported by the Young Turks)? Once it was found that the shooters were black, what happened? Once it was discovered that one of the shooters was Facebook friends with the mom? Once it began to look like a drug deal gone bad? Crickets…almost. The BLM blogger who offered a reward for finding the killer is now being harassed for ‘snitching’. The rest of the media deleted many of their articles about it to cover their tracks.
I would fully support a law that requires the first and second amendments to be regulated identically.
Well, that’s two of us.
That would be a good idea.
I think that statement is in direct opposition to the words and actions of progressives, antifa, social justice warriors, and a cross-section of the modern Democratic Party since President Trump was elected; unfortunately these groups of people are the ones that are trying to drive massive social change in the USA.
Remember the “logic” that these people are ramming down the throats of our society looks and sounds a lot like this…
Indeed, it is traditional,classic liberalism, and at the core of current libertarianism.
“In order to have enough liberty, it is necessary to have too much.”
1) In a society where the SJW ruled and had power and influence, they would teach their values to their children. They would become *norms*. Society would be, then, directed by those values. If someone said or did something different or oppositional, it would go against the *established ethics* of that society. That society would express their dislike of those ideas or actions and would shame, ban and shun the malefactor.
2) A cross-section of the American demographic, supported by powerful institutional interests and industrial players, desires to establish a ‘SJW-type society’. On one hand this is an extension of the tenets of American liberalism and cannot be denied that it is. That is, they are carrying forward, with arguments and actions of moral force, the America that they define, and under a patriotic banner (of sorts). A multicultural economic system, ethnically pluralistic, and one where the State has been given the power to insist on the social values defined by the majority.
3) They must be given even more liberty to define and engage in activism to construct that America they want.
4) The election of Trump was a fluke. It came about through an error in assessment on the part of what is likely a greater majority. The larger majority do not like him or appreciate him. They must be given more liberty to achieve their goal of ousting him.
5) When this happens — and it will happen! — the demographic composed of SJWs, ‘Democrats’, the ‘cross-section’ you refer to, will come even more fully into their power. And they will march forward under the banner of Liberty with that much more assurance and conviction.
6) (Keep your dogs locked in).
You’re indirectly implying that I should have posted the following photo instead of the photo I originally chose…
You should read the deliberate dumbing down of america the following is a link to a pdf or you can purchase the book on Amazon.
Click to access DDDoA.pdf
I listened to numerous of her talks that are there on YouTube. I think I understand her premise.
Thanks for the PDF! I swill look it over.
Thank you, Z.
Just the first few paragraphs of the preface makes it gold. I downloaded it and will circulate it. Where has it been hiding?
Another Mike wrote, “Where has it been hiding?”
It’s been hiding in plain sight for many years. The author has been smeared as a crackpot conspiracy theorist but what the people actively doing the smearing don’t want others to understand is that even if they completely succeed in forever smearing her as a crackpot, that in itself doesn’t mean the information she presents is false or that she is wrong. Lots of attack the messenger stuff launched towards the author which was, and still is, quite typical of anyone that points out things about the ideologically entrenched extremes.
I don’t agree with all of her conclusions; however, some are enlightening enough that they are worth remembering to see if, over time, her opinions are correct or incorrect. The knowledge she presents is valuable even if some of the conclusions based on that knowledge are a stretch.
There is another format for reading the book. On that page there is this solitary review of Dumbing Down which is interesting for a few reasons:
A few things have to be pointed out, each one of them is important in my view.
1) Since we do not, and perhaps cannot fully, understand our world, we have to make guesses. We take the information that we have, we run it through our perceptual mill, and we extrude an *interpretation*.
2) We need *interpretations*. If we did not have some general interpretations of the world that surrounds us (starting from the social, going up to the political, and extending into the metaphysical), we feel that we would not be able to adequately navigate life.
3) We suspect that we not told the full truth about *things*. If we had absolute trust at some point, that trust was shattered. Especially though, when we find out that the government lied to us (about some chemical release, or the need and justice of a war perhaps: there are many instances) we become suspicious.
4) Suspiciousness of *the world* has been — for a very long time — the underpinning of a core existential metaphysics which as ‘guiding idea’ about things was very alive in the Medieval era. The nature of the sublunary world, the world of fallen man, is one of ‘tarnishment’, of trickery and deception, and the world as the cesspool of the cosmos, was a dangerous locale where devils & demons & dark spirits had power. Just a very few short years ago this view was not just a *belief*, it was the perceptual world-picture (cf. The Great Chain of Being.)
5) Obviously, this ‘understanding of things’ still holds. For many, the Prince of Darkness still lives and his domains are this manifested world. But the essential terms have changed. Now, it is a sign of madness if one hallucinated spirits or goblins. But spirits and devils still exist! They are ‘projected’ onto different objects.
6) Metaphysics, projections, hallucinations, and the spiritous world aside, we live in a present in which people look out on their world and try to interpret it with the resources of information they have available to them. We are creatures who must interpret.
7) The writer of the above paragraph — relatively *sober* as far as some conspiratorial thinking goes! — is ‘interpreting his world’ according to a schema. The core of it is here:
Though sober (largely), it is still, in its way, a demonology.
Consider what Michael Barkun wrote about in A Culture of Conspiracy (2003):
8) We are forced to *interpret our world*, but the very topic of ‘what is the world?’ is contested. We do not look out on the same world. We live in different worlds. The notion of *world* is deeply contested and divisive.
9) Do you expect me to conclude this little essay with some encapsulating, resolving statement? 🙂 Hard to believe that this was a commentary on Iserbyt who is one of the many who lends herself to conspiratorial amplifications, as they might be called.
But all of this is related to the fact that we do not know how to interpret our world in an absolute sense; and it is still *up for interpretation* in an era of unsettled metaphysics . . .
You could narrow that 1,111 word post down to this 50 word post…
“You don’t have to agree with all of her conclusions; however, some are enlightening enough that they are worth remembering to see if, over time, her opinions are correct or incorrect. The knowledge she presents is valuable even if some of the conclusions based on that knowledge are a stretch.”
Simplicity is a wonderful thing Alizia.
Simplicity of the sort you recommend . . . is for idiots & simpletons & Walmart shoppers. There is nothing at all simple in this Kairos, my dear friend.
My interest is in deciphering it.
Your reduction is evidence of the narrowness of your starting point. The classic anti-intellectual American.
This just won’t do!
(Don’t worry, old grump, I still admire you).
Alizia Tyler wrote, “Simplicity of the sort you recommend . . . is for idiots & simpletons & Walmart shoppers.”
Actually no Alizia, simplicity is for intelligent people that don’t need or want someone others insulting their intelligence by explaining that grass is green and water is wet in a dissertation of cosmic puzzles.
Alizia Tyler wrote, “Don’t worry, old grump, I still admire you.”
Well that makes it all better now.
Do you shop at Walmart? They have everything you know.
You could also simplify Iserbyt’s book of 700+ pages to:
Then you wouldn’t have to bother to read the book. Think of the time you’d save. . . You could get through all the important titles of world literature in an afternoon.
Why complicate it , keep it simple, the deliberate dumbing down of america.
I only shop at upscale boutiques myself.
Whatever is wrong with shopping at WalMart?
Jack, with regard to #2 – and at the risk of being obtuse – is it because it is a public school? I worked at one such institution and I can attest to the state of dress or undress (seriously, the only thing some mothers were missing was the stripper pole), of parents and their bad behavior. I witnessed parents screaming, swearing, and throwing things. I once witnessed a mother in the main office with her right breast hanging out of her t-shirt. I finally called the daughter over and said “you might want to tell your mom she’s hanging out of her shirt”. To which the daughter looked over and nonchalantly said “hey, ma!”
Can a public school not post a sign saying “no shirt, no shoes, no service?”
(This is probably more of a rant than a question.)
Yes, because it is a public school, and because what is being proposed goes well beyond “don’t come naked.”
That said, I will cop to threatening my kids with showing up at their school in my bathrobe if they misbehaved.
Would you have done it?
I will say this: a couple of times in car pool I was motioned to come inside the school. I yelled out the window “but I’m barefoot!” I ended up going inside anyway.
Unless it violates some legal standard, I don’t expect, want, or allow the school to determine my actions in regards to my children….in theory and basic practice anyhow…
I am still pondering submitting, at my cost, a flyer discussing “open carry” and firearms laws, to be sent home as part of the weekly pile of “free offers and deal” that local businesses,religious organizations, and such, that my children bring home.
Off topic: Open carry is a bad tactic. Make the bad guy have to guess– 1) is anyone here armed? and 2) which one(s)? Your muzzle flash should be the first indication to him that he chose wrongly.
I return you now to your regular programming, (Sorry, Jack).
Another Mike wrote, “Make the bad guy have to guess– 1) is anyone here armed? and 2) which one(s)? Your muzzle flash should be the first indication to him that he chose wrongly.”
There is something to that argument; however, there is also something to the argument that open carry can and does actually prevent some bad guys from committing the criminal activity in the first place (or forces them to pick what is perceived as a softer target) because they actually see that there are armed people there fully capable of putting a stop to them.
Another Mike wrote, “Open carry is a bad tactic.”
There are reasonable arguments on both sides of this and neither are completely false; but categorically stating that “open carry is a bad tactic” is just nonsense. I think the perceived situation possibilities and skill levels should dictate what tactic is better for civilians but neither is “bad”. Authorities and civilians alike are open carrying all over the United States and it does deter violent criminal behavior from starting when there is a presence of known firearms, maybe not in all cases but for the most part that is true.
As society becomes more and more unstable and it becomes very clear to the public that it’s getting highly likely that the any police are going to be present to help when imminent violence rears its ugly face in your presence more and more people are going to open and/or concealed carry. I personally know some that have done both at the same time, their concealed carry is their “off-hand” back up (smaller pistol) in case a violent criminal is actively trying to take their open carry firearm (larger pistol) and their strong-arm is thoroughly preoccupied preventing the theft.
In violent encounters…
We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.
Most civilian violent encounters where the use of deadly force is warranted only lasts a few seconds to under a minute, being reasonably prepared is the key to an outcome that’s in your favor.
Heh, I would rather “he” looks around and goes, not here, not today…
If he selects me first, hopefully I am not the only armed individual around and he is not even remotely rational, therefore it is just a bad day all around…
The answer to lies should be more truth, by them, us, everyone….Liberty and freedom should be defined by what we CAN do, not what we are punished for…
Vitaeus wrote, “The answer to lies should be more truth, by them, us, everyone….”
Truth across the board would be nice; however, what the hell do you think should be done when you’re dealing with a progressive ideology that literally doesn’t give a damn about truth and projects that Lies are Truth for everything they say and Truth are Lies for everything their opposition says.
PROGRESSIVE’S: A VIEW FROM THE EYES OF AN INDEPENDENT