Comment Of The Day: “Comment Of The Day, Part 2: ‘Ethics Warm-Up, 7/19/2020: And The Hits Just Keep On Coming!’”

The epic, two-part Comment of the Day by Steve-O-In-NJ spawned a another Comment of the Day of perception and edge, this one by Humble Talent. His topic is the slogan “Silence is violence,” another example of a deft Comment of the Day saving me time, for I was going to have to post on it if someone else didn’t. That bumper-sticker line irritates me almost as much as “No justice, no peace,” “Black lives matter,” “Believe all women,” Give peace a chance,” “Better Red than dead,” and “Go Yankees!”

Here is Humble Talent’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Comment Of The Day, Part 2: ‘Ethics Warm-Up, 7/19/2020: And The Hits Just Keep On Coming!’”:

One of the tropes coming from the left in this latest bout of medical withdrawal guised as activism is that “Silence is Violence”. This in the latest variation on the theme of the left’s stretching to unrecognizability the definition of violence. No, silence is merely inconvenient for people looking to uproot the status quo.

Similar to that is speech. “Free speech” is one of the most commonly misused terms on the internet. The first amendment doesn’t protect you prom private individuals. A principled free speech position doesn’t require the right to an audience. There is no duty to listen. I actually think that “Free Speech” would be better understood if it were also approached from the inverse: Free speech includes the right to hear what someone wants to tell you.

Alizia made a comment recently, predicting that I would eventually speak in favor of the suppression of free speech because I wouldn’t speak out against Viacom firing a fellow after said fellow spouted anti-Semitic rhetoric on the air. I don’t think I’ll ever get there. But I do think we all need to take a step back and re-evaluate what things mean.

For instance, a “counter protest” is speech, but if the counter protest is designed not to respond to speech, but to drown it out and to prevent people from hearing the speaker they want to hear, not only does that violate free speech principles, but hiding behind free speech to conduct a counter-protest is hypocritical. A principled position is not a suicide pact. I don’t think we have a duty to humor the calls for free speech from the people actively violating yours. Sure, a protest is speech, but what’s going on here isn’t simply a protest, and it’s not just speech.

Similarly, but on a slightly different topic, are the protests in cities like Portland. Protesting is pure American. It’s what you do. When you don’t like something, you protest. Even if someone is protesting something you don’t like, until very recently, it was generally understood that they at least had the right to do that (There was some conversation around groups like the Westboro Baptists, and how far the right to protest went, but they faded into obscurity like they were always doomed to, despite the media doing all they could to prop up problematic examples of the faithful.). There are protests going on, and Americans have a right to protest, but these aren’t merely protests. It’s not just speech.

Speech is Speech. Speech is not Violence. Violence is Violence. Violence is not Speech.

Theft is not Speech. Property Damage is not speech. Arson is not Speech. Assault is not Speech. Forcible Confinement is not Speech. Rape is not Speech. Murder is not Speech.

This is made worse by media outlets additionally muddying words like “protest” or even “peaceful”. The myth of the peaceful protester is one of the most obvious bullshit memes they’ve come up with yet; Sure, *most* protests are peaceful. But it doesn’t take a whole lot of violence before it doesn’t matter how peaceful the rest of the protest is. Is a marriage where you only hit your spouse every other week a “peaceful” marriage? It it a “mostly peaceful” marriage? Or does the violence change the nature of the marriage so fundamentally it’s not the same thing anymore? Violence is not Love.

I’d argue that a hard line should be drawn between protests and riots, and that one is as American and acceptable as a cheeseburger, the other is unacceptable and needs to be stopped. And it really is that easy. There’s some room for soul searching on marginal cases, but when rioters cordon off a six block area of a city, the response shouldn’t be to cede part of your city to the rioters. While there is a right to express yourself, there is no right to steal people’s stuff. Protests are not Riots.

Which brings me to the left’s current gripe: Federal, Jackbooted Thugs without Badges Arresting People off the Street.


To be clear: I hate this. I think that there were people in offices waiting for a situation like this so they could lay the groundwork for a federal police force. I think that this flies in the face of Federalism, I think it’s a generally unacceptable use of government force. I think this has ramifications for years. But what the hell did you think was going to happen? As much as I hate this, I also accept that it was necessary.

It’s hard to go about your Life pursuing Liberty and Happiness when an angry mob is outside your house lighting businesses on fire and stealing TVs. People are being beaten in the street for having the wrong amount of melanin in their skin. And the response out of communities controlled by Democrats from the ground up? Silence (not the violent kind). When they aren’t carrying water for the Peaceful Protesters (the violent kind). Just because you think it’s politically expedient to make Trump look bad by fostering civil unrest, or you think that your constituents might abandon you if you actually uphold the laws you have sworn to uphold doesn’t make upholding those laws the wrong thing to do. Something had to be done, and I don’t know what else there was.

30 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Comment Of The Day, Part 2: ‘Ethics Warm-Up, 7/19/2020: And The Hits Just Keep On Coming!’”

  1. Ohhh excellent! Very well done!!
    Brene Brown has some excellent work on boundaries. I think this is the core of the issues. “What is okay and what is not” is how she defines them. Over time, we’ve lost our boundaries and now we have a society that isn’t enforcing them. Simple boundaries like the ones that define our nation and less simple boundaries like what is a protest and what is vandalism and a riot. I believe most agree property damage is not ok, but for some reason our elected officials are confused on boundaries. Perhaps all protests need to begin in front of their homes. Lack of boundaries with homelessness is a huge hygiene issue, among other things. There’s a reason it’s been frowned upon, but again they won’t enforce the boundaries of what is ok and what isn’t. Indecision is a decision, after all. I’ve never seen #64 “It isn’t what it is” used so frequently by so many people.

  2. There is another element to the right to protest: you petition government for redress of grievances. You do not protest in front of businesses on such issue. Protesting a private person or business is called disturbing the peace.

    You cannot claim free speech when you break down a gate and march on privately maintained streets. Those people have no direct control to effect change so you are actually simply scaring people into accepting your position. That is no different than the New Black Panthers patrolling voting places dressed in black brandishing clubs.

    • I also still don’t grasp how trashing public art is related to petitions for anything. The Young Turks smashed holy places. The Bolsheviks pulled down statues. The warring factions in Ireland burned buildings. That was war, though, in which you’re supposed to break the other guy’s stuff. I really wonder where this sense of entitlement among the young and woke comes from. It’s not written down anywhere (well, maybe online), but they obviously believe that if you go to the local authorities and ask that some public art be changed because you find it offensive, and they either give you the runaround or outright tell you no, you then are empowered and entitled to destroy it yourself. It’s just about power, and showing that you can break things.

      The Chicago PD dared to successfully stop an attempt like that this weekend, and of course now they are the bad guys. They stood there getting rocks and who knows what else thrown at them, until they had to withdraw. But then, instead of leaving the area and letting the rioters have their way, they decided to call in the guys in the armored truck with the riot gear and use their batons and pepper spray to good effect, good enough to successfully repel the attack. Good cops, like the guys in St. Paul, would have just stood down, stepped aside and let them take the statue down, or made themselves scarce like the Baltimore PD. Maybe then they’d like them to take a knee or wash the protester’s feet too?

  3. This is getting shared.

    And I’m immediately using your “mostly peaceful marriage” analogy often.

    And yes, the local governments aren’t stopping the insurrectionists so some level of government has to do so. And of course, Democrats bent on breaking up the Union are mad that a Republican President is wielding Federal force against them.

    History echoing again.

  4. So if I owned a movie studio and I refused to hire some writers because of their statements in support of, say, communism, we’re all good?

      • Well, if they were good writers, you’d be an idiot.

        Yuri Bezmenov offered a presentation in which the infiltration process of Marxist undermining is described. When I first saw it, a few years ago, I figured it was exaggerated. Now, as I am beginning to study what Marxism actually is, and the ideas it is based on, I am better understanding why and how the philosophy (it is really a philosophy: a way the world and life is understood) is having such effect in America and in the Occident (other places too of course). I have said in other places that *you* do not realize how profoundly you have been influenced by Marxian ideas.

        These ideas are commensurate in many ways with American materialist-pragmatism and commensurate as well with the take-over of the management of society by bureaucratic managers. These are, in effect, atheistic developments, and the degree that America has gone off the rails is the degree to which it no longer is linked to this metaphysical *reality*. The primary object of Marxian ‘praxis’ (the practice and application of its ideas) is to destroy the false-belief in *higher orders* and it must be said in a *moral order* that comes to man through supra-physical channels.

        In every domain, and again as a manifestation of Marxist praxis, those orders established through metaphysical concepts are slowly, and sometimes dramatically, attacked by Marxian acid. That is what it must do according to its own predicates. Eventually, and at the end of long processes of concerted effort, it attains its object when structures fall and chaos reigns. Then, the real ideologues come forward. And the *power-dynamic* is revealed through the processes of destroying opposition. It is pretty clear that what we all have been witnessing is unprecedented. It is almost too strange to take it in. But in this case it is ‘praxis’ that is aided and abetted by structural power: media, business, academia, government. It is the System itself that ‘mobilizes’ those masses and sets them into revolutionary motion.

        I have noticed that you have said at different times and places more or less the same thing that you are saying here. But what are you saying? But let me start with a bold declaration. Marxism and those who use its methods must be resisted. And they must be neutralized and defeated. They must be killed or exiled (if you want me to take it to its final and realistic point). One must declare that the end result of Marxist infiltration is to bring forward eventual destruction and real harm. One must come to a realization that they cannot be tolerated nor allowed. You cannot make peace with them. You cannot co-exist with them. But it is not a ‘them’ really. It is the nature of Marxian philosophy that one must not tolerate.

        The way that Marxian influence has entered into the social and intellectual body of America is the topic of concern for those who see and understand why it must be resisted. This is the reason why they speak of ‘Cultural Marxism’. This is the reason why they speak about the Frankfurt School and expose the ideas of Horkheimer and Adorno (and the others) to scrutiny. And this is where a critique of the present perversions of the Liberal order, that have resulted in ‘liberal rot’ and the penetration of destructive and undermining influences that affect people at that point upstream from politics and that corrodes the soul leading to a condition in people of intellectual powerlessness and apathy: an incapacity to *see* and to *understand* what is going on in them and around them and with no power or means to challenge or to reverse it.

        And I suggest that you are linked to this and so are many of those who write on this forum. My first *proof*, as it were, is that all that you-pl do is complain. You, both Steves, HT, so many, come to this space to squeak about how angry you are that this or that effect is manifesting. You see only effects and have no or very little insight into why it is happening. You will not examine the causation. As a matter of fact you are nearly entirely closed to that examination. I am not making this up. I am not saying this for effect or in exaggeration. And this is why it is logically possible for me to say that you are being dragged along by forces and powers to which you have no capacity to resist. You can’t resist them because you refuse to *see* them. And you can’t see them because you will not see this struggle in its *real* dimensionality.

        Marxism, in the end, produces a man, a woman, a person that is severed from ‘metaphysical potencies’. That destruction occurs at the level of the *soul*. When the soul is destroyed, or infiltrated, or corrupted, man is lost. You cannot — not really and not genuinely — preserve man and cultivate man if the spiritual dimension is negated. But if this *reality* is not real for you, and by that I mean *really real* and not just academically or conceptually real, but as real as a ‘praxis’ as is the Marxian ‘praxis’ which is now destroying the Old Order as it works to establish the New Order.

        Substantially, this is what has happened in America. Ultimately, it is a question of paideia: what you teach your children. But in the case of our unreally weird present what we teach children, and how we teach children, does not occur in a class-room. It is the general structure — imago and sensation — that instructs and informs.

        The comment that you made — and please allow me to be bold and direct — seems enormously ignorant to me. Yet it tells me something about you (as a plurality). It is you-plural that share the responsibility for allowing destructive influences to gain a footing. You allow these influences to gain ground. You do not resist them. You lack understanding of what is needed (what was needed) to hold them back. It is you, your generation, and a vast array of entities and influences that now rise up in a destructive orgy. Just open the window and look out.

        The influences that are now manifesting as effects will not abate. You and others here may pretend to have some faith or bizarre hope that after some months or a few years things will *return to normal*. But though I cannot predict the future I can say that such return to normal is extremely unlikely. America has entered, and very strongly, a decadent phase.

        There is a war going on. It is a war unlike any other. One can make allusions to what it is but it is hard to *see* it. The events of 9/11 seemed to have brought it in with force. It has para-governmental aspects. It has to do with structures of power that transcend any ‘Constitutional’ sense of propriety. There are many people who are examining the Covid-19 Pandemic in a similar, critical way. It is not what it appears to be. Looking further into it, seeing through it as it were, though this is hard indeed, reveals very very strange and quite dark machinations.

        The whole thing needs to be seen in its entirety. But allow me to ask a question about how you see things, and how those who participate here see things. Statement: you don’t! You do not *see*. You deal in surfaces. The question Why don’t you see? is very important. I think I have insight. In the next phases of my incarnation here I will focus on that in more detail.

    • Humble Talent wrote:

      One of the tropes coming from the left in this latest bout of medical withdrawal guised as activism is that “Silence is Violence”. This in the latest variation on the theme of the left’s stretching to unrecognizability the definition of violence. No, silence is merely inconvenient for people looking to uproot the status quo.

      Yet that is not the point. That is not the purpose of the slogan “Silence is Violence”. The purpose of that slogan, and most of the others of that sort, is to be found in its coerciveness. It is very Maoist and I can’t think of a closer comparison. They establish that certain things are true (systemic racism and all the rest) and then they say if you do not adopt and repeat our view of things your silence contributes to the general oppression.

      Nevertheless it has been established that the logic behind ‘silence is violence’ is completely accepted. It is taught in American (and Canadian and European schools): If at the time of the fascist rise you were *silent* your silence indicated collusion. We taught to our children, for a number of generations, through reference to an example: in Germany there were people who saw what was going on and said and did nothing. Their silence was complicity. It was taught to children in the Postwar that if ever such a rise of fascism was noticed that it was a moral imperative to act against it. To speak against it, to manifest against it publicly, to take personal risks in one’s opposition to it.

      One of the better examples of such opposition is Noam Chomsky’s opposition to the Vietnam War. He wrote in The New Mandarins that a class of evil men with evil policies had undertaken military action in Vietnam that was non-different from Nazi violence. And he took the same argument further when he took a moral stance against support of the military and para-military terror which the US supported, if it did not directly participate in it, in El Salvador and Guatemala. He said that what the Guatemalan generals did could fairly be compared to the cruelties of the German generals. Extreme and nearly absurd acts of violent terror against Indians in remote villages.

      The issue and question of *silence* is immensely interesting though. It is quite complex when you think about it — and I mean that even for you, a man whose mind moves in limited circles. From a Kantian perspective the moral man cannot, ever, remain ‘silent’ when any type of dehumanizing violence is going on. And yet we often find our self, when we have *interests* at stake, remaining silent. But then ‘silence’ shows its complexity if it is also understood as a willed choice not to see, not to understand, not to take the self-disturbing risk to engage in profound questioning.

      One of the tendencies I notice so very strongly here on this blog — excuse me again for making these general references — is how you your selves operate within rather strict moral binaries. I make efforts to talk about this often and — ha! ha! — what I often receive is that *deafening silence*. Certain strong critiques are not retorted with any argument at all. One gets only ‘silence’. But this is rather typical and it certainly is human.

      Similar to that is speech. “Free speech” is one of the most commonly misused terms on the Internet. The first amendment doesn’t protect you from private individuals. A principled free speech position doesn’t require the right to an audience. There is no duty to listen. I actually think that “Free Speech” would be better understood if it were also approached from the inverse: Free speech includes the right to hear what someone wants to tell you.

      Alizia made a comment recently, predicting that I would eventually speak in favor of the suppression of free speech because I wouldn’t speak out against Viacom firing a fellow after said fellow spouted anti-Semitic rhetoric on the air. I don’t think I’ll ever get there. But I do think we all need to take a step back and re-evaluate what things mean.

      You have a muddled mind at times. Let me try to sort through this. You are making a glossary statement about how people relate to and understand the idea of free-speech. So far so good. But I am not at all sure that the term is ‘misused’. Where is the evidence of this? The largest and I would suggest the most important argument on-going has to do with the right to engage in free speech on platforms that are privately owned. I assume everyone is aware of the profound importance of this problem. And while this debate is going on many thousands of people have been banned, excluded, demonetized, have had credit card companies deny them transaction-processing service, and have pushed them down into the shadows. Are you aware of this? If you are aware what do you think about it? And where is the evidence that you oppose the shutting down of oppositional and problematic voices?

      And, what is this about “The First Amendment doesn’t protect you from private individuals. A principled free speech position doesn’t require the right to an audience. There is no duty to listen”?

      This is where I doubt your-plural integrity as moral and ethical philosophers. You ‘go silent’ when you should say something, and more than this mealy-mouthed doublespeak that you spurt.

      The concept of ‘free speech’ is what is important. And if one really defends the concept one must come out in strict favor of protecting the use of the right to speak and think freely. One starts at that point and then proceeds to adjudicate the application of it.

      The man who is said to have said anti-Semitic things not only said Jewish-critical things but said anti-White things as well. I do not at all accept the far to general use of the term ‘anti-Semitic’ nor the way that every person on this blog uses it because this shows how coerced thought functions! One has to ask Why then was he shut down? The reason is because it is not allowed in the culture of today to have any contrary or critical ideas on that peculiar topic. You are not allowed to think freely there, and you are not allowed to opine freely. You know this and everyone knows this. What is interesting here — most interesting — is that you-plural accept this without question. And if you accept coercive force here, you will accept it in other areas too. And of course you do.

      Not only will you *eventually* support limitations in free speech, you already have an internal position where you your self shuts down your own self. The most important aspect is that *internal element*.

      I don’t think I’ll ever get there. But I do think we all need to take a step back and re-evaluate what things mean.

      Lofty words from a lower-order mind! and one compromised in many ways. In so many different ways, and in so many different areas, you your self have *shut down the conversation*. There is whole realms that you refuse to examine. And when someone brings them up you perform a ‘pearl-clutching rehearsal’ just as you are doing here. Shall I name all those topics that are forbidden to you?

      However, it is important that I say — once again — that there is a Dissident Right, they are not vacuous cowards as are many of *you*, and they are pushing open the parameters of possible conversation. And you will, mark my words, son, take the side of those who shut them down. Doing that is a part of who you are.

      • Addendum:

        If anyone had bothered to read what I wrote in response to Jack, you will have noticed that I suffer from a conflict of sorts: If Marxism is, in truth, a pernicious and an evil philosophy, and if I recognize the existence of perniciousness and evil, and recognize that these can ‘infiltrate’ and do tremendous harm, what is and what must be my attitude and position in regard to pernicious activism? How does a society establish barriers against what is bad and evil? But importantly what does one do, what should one do, when one finds one self in a cultural and temporal situation when things are *going down the tubes* as the expression goes. When *they* are manifesting their power and *taking over*?

        For example now, in our present. A polarity is developing between those who see their own self as holding to higher principles. For example American Progressivism and those who are opposing Trump and all that he a) represents to them in their paranoid exaggeration and b) may genuinely represent as a set of implemented policies, are holding to an ideal of what they want to see occur in this nation. They literally see them self as working to ‘save the nation’. One cannot try to insinuate that they are *lying*. No. They genuinely believe this.

        And then on the other side are those who see their activity as ‘essentially pernicious’.

        At some point or another, and *when the rubber hits the road* as another popular saying goes, someone will have to make a decision. And what I mean by that is the powers & forces that have determining power. One must recognize that these powers & forces exist. They are not *the people* and in fact the people do not decide much of anything. Walter Lippmann clearly explained how in our sort of nation the masses (such a vulgar term!) are determined by superior forces. Those forces decide what is best . . . and then they set out to communicate that to people through all the machinery of culture.

        I would also mention that song ‘Piggies’ referred to elsewhere. Harrison is said to have said around that time (I paraphrase) that the present structure of things was not serving the best interests of the people, and that therefore the system itself must change (be changed). This is a Marxian idea but it is, as with much of Marxism, not irrational. When the mode of production changes there must be social adjustments and ‘revolutions’ to restructure relationships.

        A significant and important fact is that there are tens of millions of people — average people with average lives and understanding — who do not feel that The System is geared to work to their advantage. And these tens of millions of peoples are those who may indeed advocate that socialized policies be enacted. If I read the NYTs correctly I notice that they are advocating for these changes.The Corona Virus pandemic seems to be one the vehicles to effect these changes.

        The demos has certain will and desire, and the managers of the demos have certain plans. What is manifesting in our present is without a doubt one of those steps toward constructing a Marxian-style economic and political régime. That this is coming about — this is my view — has to do with failures on the part of those who have determining power. In our present these Marxist-Communist factions exploit those failures.

        But the issue here is How will these things get resolved in thus sort of *democracy* we live in? The nation has significantly changed. It is no longer the ‘former nation’ nor is it the Old America. It is a New America. And it will be (from the look of things) a Neo-Maoist America. This will not just go away next week. This is what is being established.

        As an interesting aside, certain ‘Traditionalists’ (those who work with meta-political ideas and different forms of traditionalism) propose that there are men who work ‘In Time’ and some who work ‘Against Time’. The flow of time, at least it appears to be so, is in all these directions that we now notice. That is the direction that things are going. It is a debasement in many senses yet a tremendous equalization.

        Those who work ‘Against Time’ oppose this direction. Just as someone might oppose corruption or decadence in their own self. These people represent a power that opposes the decadent movement.

        I suggest that we live in a Time that is in a descending cycle, not in an ascending cycle. I guess it is my view that things have to get worse before they could then get better.

        I admit, these are somewhat rambling ideas . . .

  5. Humble Talent said:
    Theft is not Speech. Property Damage is not speech. Arson is not Speech. Assault is not Speech. Forcible Confinement is not Speech. Rape is not Speech. Murder is not Speech.

    Exactly right. I’d just like to expound on a bit to this, if I may, even though you mentioned this in the next paragraph:

    – Violent rioting is not “peaceful protest;”
    – Property destruction, even of public statuary, is not “peaceful protest;”
    – Breaking and entering is not “peaceful protest;”
    – Breaking only a couple of heads is not “mostly peaceful protest;”
    – Throwing projectiles at the police is not “peaceful protest;”
    – Blocking traffic illegally is not “peaceful protest,” regardless of how little the protesters move. Any legal violation renders the term “peaceful” meaningless. “Peaceful” requires lawfulness;
    – Threatening death or mayhem, regardless of execution, is not “peaceful protest;”
    – Preventing police from lawfully performing their duty is not “peaceful protest;”
    – Interfering with a lawful arrest is not “peaceful protest;”
    – Protesting without a permit is not “peaceful protest;”
    – Interfering with a public official’s performance of duty is not “peaceful protest;”

    This list, while long, is not exhaustive.

    Your comment is great, and just inspired a pet peeve of mine.

    • The first amendment states “the right to peacefully assemble” is no longer applicable when you break a content neutral law intended to promote civil behavior. Having Portland International airport as my most convenient gateway to the world, I’ll add one more pet peeve of mine: Sitting on a freeway is not peaceful protest. Destroying the cars of those trying to get through is not peaceful protest. Pulling someone from a car and beating them is not peaceful protest.

      • Matthew said:

        Sitting on a freeway is not peaceful protest.

        I believe I mentioned “Blocking traffic illegally” above. But your point is a good one, and anecdotal evidence always welcome. 🙂

    • Glenn wrote “– Protesting without a permit is not “peaceful protest;””

      How is protesting without a permit not a peaceful protest? Surely what determines whether a protest is peaceful or not is “Is it peaceful” not whether or not the protest has a permit.

      • Any violation of lawfully enacted legislation negates the term “peaceful.” The act of violating the law is violence to the rule of law, and hence society. It’s not complicated.

        • So if a group of us wanted to protest something we would have to find out;
          A.- Whether the town or city we were in requires a permit to protest,
          and B.- Whether what we a doing is actually a protest that would require a permit,
          e.g. if a group of us were walking down the street all wearing t-shirts with the same message on them are we protesting or are we just a group of pedestrians walking down the street?

          • We’re wading into areas that I’m not completely familiar with, so if someone wanted to correct me, by all means….

            My understanding is that Glenn has a point, but it’s not complete. If all it took to peel back your first amendment right to protest was for the government you were protesting to decline your permit, we’d never see protests again. I would love for an expert to expand on this, there’s obviously more to it than the base assertion.

            At what point does a protest require a permit? It obviously starts somewhere, but it’s equally obvious that not all protest requires a permit to be legal.

            For what reasons could a permit be refused? It has to be something, otherwise the permit would be a rubber stamp, and almost certainly unconstitutional. On that note, I would be gobsmacked if there weren’t SCOTUS rulings on the topic. The answer probably has something to do with bona fide safety concerns, but there might be more.

          • This ACLU outline seems basically sound. I had not ever considered that getting a permit for a large, disruptive event has a common sense element to it. The whole thing about an organization having to get the permit, have insurance, and to pay for the extra costs of managing the event is new information for me. It makes a certain sense but is ‘problematic’ for numerous reasons.

            If your *protest* is not really a protest but a manifestation of sheer disruption, or simply or riotous destruction, it should be understood that you have no *right* to that.

            Click to access kyr_protests.pdf

        • I don’t like this take even a little bit. I think it grossly oversimplifies the concepts and muddies the line between legal definitions and actual working definitions.

          By this logic, Rosa Parks sitting on the wrong seat on the bus was not a peaceful protest. And that strikes me as absurd.

          • I am happy to have someone gainsay me, but that’s how I see it. Parks’ situation was different in that there was no permit available to her, but her protest could’ve generated actual violence. It was an incitement at the time — a good and worthy one to be sure, especially in hindsight, drawing attention to the evils of segregation. But we have to call it what it was — illegal. Necessary? Maybe. Effective? Yes.
            But calling it “peaceful” is a matter of perception, and I perceive that a lawless protest is ipso facto violent.

            Protesting laws by breaking them may be effective, but it doesn’t change the reality of the damage lawbreaking does to a society that holds the rule of law in high esteem — it is a clear case of ends justify the means. Police usually break up unpermitted protests, often resulting in violence otherwise avoidable by a permit. It’s an incitement, and an illegal one. It may get results, but again, this is a case of the desirable ends of social change being used to justify the means of lawless protest. As far as I know, there has always been a legal way to protest against anything.

            A peaceful protest, in my view, must be a lawful one, and I think the Constitution is on my side here. But I’m willing to be convinced otherwise.

            • I think you’re engaging in a semantic argument, so there is no “right” answer. I just don’t know how many people will ascribe to your definition, seeing as it requires people to refer to someone sitting on a seat they aren’t supposed to be sitting on as “ipso facto violent”, I certainly won’t because I’m in favor of tightening up definitions, not stretching them further.

              No, I think the better way to approach civil disobedience is to walk and chew gum at the same time. If it’s a peaceful protest, it’s a peaceful protest. But perhaps not all peaceful protests are legal protests… Those terms shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.

              • Well, that’s fair enough. Perhaps I’m being an absolutist here, and we all know that’s a hard standard to live up to. It also doesn’t take a lot of things into account. Generally, I try to be more pragmatic, but in this case, I am struggling to find that pragmatism.

                Rosa Parks aside, what we are seeing in almost all cases is not by any definition “peaceful.” There don’t appear to be any Rosa Parks among the current crop of protesters, perhaps because they think violence will be more effective, or … well, who knows, being pent up with this stupid virus is not making any of us less cranky. That deserves acknowledgement at least.

                In the end, I support all protests that are in conformity with the law and reject all others totally as destructive to the rule of law at least, and to society in general at worst, regardless of whether it’s sitting “peacefully” on the Interstate and blocking traffic or setting a building on fire. The two things are radically different, but they have one thing in common — they deserve to be stopped.

            • Is it a requirement that in all towns and cities in the United States a permit is needed to protest or are there some places where a permit is not required?
              In a quick search of the laws here in New Zealand I found that only some but not all cities require a permit before protesting. Nelson City Council tried to pass a bylaw three years ago to require a permit for protesting but failed.

              • I don’t know, Errol. Probably a little of both, to be honest. Generally, local governments want permits primarily to ensure the safety of both protesters and the public, not to impede the protest.

                But there is no question that permitting can be an impediment. But the US Supreme Court has generally held that they serve a compelling public interest by the least restrictive means (assuming, of course, they are not denied for the content of the speech). Thus, permitting is allowed, generally.

                I would imagine there are jurisdictions that don’t require permits, but almost all large and medium cities do of which I am aware.

  6. What used to be common sense that most people fully understood is being undermined by anarchists and low life thugs who use power to intimidate those who might differ from their ideology. I think that we’re headed for a civil war in some form.

  7. Expanding upon Humble Talent’s comments about when it is time for the federal government to step in:

    I too am a strong believer in federalism. I see the federal government stepping in only as a last resort. What could we argue as the justification here? We’ve established that it is a duty of the federal government to make sure the states and their subordinate powers are not violating the civil rights. This was strongly established during the civil rights movement. That was the intent of the 14th amendment, where the rights of the individual are now protected from all subdivisions of the government in the United States, not just the federal government. By now it is established precedent that you can “send in the troops” if a locality is violating citizens rights. Also established is they can be overt action (cops beating minorities) or inaction (standing by as others beat minorities).

    Most of the time we’re discussing application of the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th amendments defining the right that must be granted to individuals. Actions can be initiated by the executive, or by individuals through the federal court system. Jack’s post this morning about taking property for delinquent property taxes is a good example of the latter. The former is often action by the executive through the justice department and comes in the form of a warning to the locality and / or state that the justice department. Ignoring the notice of the justice department usually will result in the courts getting involved.

    When the courts do rule, their rulings are not suggestions. Go ahead, ignore one and find out what happens. The judges themselves have the US Marshal service as their personal army, and that’s on top of the fact that the executive rarely challenges any court ruling by a frontal assault on the separation of powers – they will appeal and generally accept the outcome of court cases.

    As Humble Talent alluded, I do think the 10th amendment argument has merit. Already ahead of anything the Trump administration tries, the citizens of Seattle are already making a 10th amendment federal case out of the chop zone:

    It has been established that the police do not have a duty to protect. You can’t sue the government for failing to act through neglect, lack of budget, indifference, etc… But what we have something here that is different: The local politicians haven’t just been indifferent, they have ORDERED the police to ignore certain crimes. Ones the police could have stopped, but didn’t because they were ordered not to. There are examples of the police in both Seattle and Portland watching looting and doing nothing. We have the mayor of Portland saying the police need to take no action, because they will “trigger” the crowd into violence. I welcome anyone to come up with examples, but as far as I know, there is little case law in this area. There is no question that tacit approval of rioting as a political strategy is unethical. There is no question that blind support of the politicians who are doing this is unethical. We’re going to see some decisions about whether the court cases filled in Seattle and / or the Portland cases between the city and state and the executive branch proceed. I hope that last resort action is OK.

  8. As always, I wish I did more proofreading before I posted. Que sera sera. Thanks for highlighting this though, I was particularly proud of the “mostly peaceful” marriage analogy, and I think more effort has to be spent pushing back on definitions. Part of the way the left wins is by abusing cognitive dissonance by grouping things that ought not be grouped, and it’s up to us to point out how flawed that is, and how stupid or evil they are for making the attempt.

    To protest is American. To riot is Progressive.

    • And to expand on this; This isn’t the first time the left has abused “peaceful”.

      They’ve done it to excess on the topic of police shootings, where “gentle giants” or “loving sons” have been shot while peacefully trying to steal an officer’s gun or something. Or The Religion of Peace (TM) that accounts for about 2500% more terrorist activity per capita (realy number) than any other group in America, leading this commentor to coin the “Truck of Peace” (TM) after an attack in Toronto a couple years back. It is the obvious lies that put the burr under my saddle… Who do they think they’re trying to fool? And why does it work sometimes?

      • Even Bush joined in on the “religion of peace” trope after 9/11. I think his worry was about retaliation attacks against Muslim Americans.

        His comments led to the term ROPMA. Religion Of Peace My Ass.

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