Monday, August 5, 2013

Friend of Dexter

Friend of Dexter by paynehollow
Friend of Dexter, a photo by paynehollow on Flickr.

You have to be some kind of industrial grade creep to pick on a two year old kid and his momma at the Walmarts. But, of course, there are people out there ready to step up and prove just how very large a creep they can be...

source

I gladly stand with young Dexter, his mother and anyone else who chooses to dress however they wish. Mind your own business, people.

107 comments:

Bubba said...

Did I miss where you declared yourself a friend of Jared Marcum?

Dan Trabue said...

Unfamiliar with the story. In the little that I've seen, it appears that he wore a shirt with a gun on it to his school, his teacher asked him to remove it (it appears not to be against a dress code, in the few reports I've read) and when he refused to comply, was sent to the principle's office and eventually the police were called and, while investigating the case, the student would not be quiet and insisted on keep talking about his rights to wear the shirt and then the polic arrested him. Eventually, the charge was dismissed.

So, given that info: Do I support Jared's right to wear what he wants as long as it does not violate school policy? Yes, I do.

That's the way liberals are, Bubba, they support people's rights.

Having established that, Do you agree with me that this guy was way out of line and a jerk, to boot?

Bubba said...

I think a very good argument can be made that liberals aren't entirely committed to human rights, but yeah, from that one report, I would describe that guy as a creep and a jerk -- and worse, including a bully.

But I also wouldn't hesitate to use such language against school officials who would call the cops because an eighth grader was wearing a shirt that met the school code but offended one teacher's sensibilities; the cops who threatened a charge of terrorism and who, at the preliminary hearing, defended their actions by claiming that they felt the 14-year-old threatened his safety; and the judge who decided that there was probable cause to continue with the case.

The 14-year-old sat down, as instructed, and he was alone in a room with two teachers, the principle, a secretary, and three police officers. He was arrested for "obstructing an officer" simply because he refused to be silent about the farce before him.

The charges were subsequently dropped only after it was made public, and even without your wearing an NRA shirt in solidarity.

What we have is institutionalized bullying, and I bet that some of the adults involved have political views that aren't entirely different from yours.

Alan said...

Shorter Bubba, "Gee Dan, I can't believe you'd post something about Dexter and not this Jared kid."

Bubba here is clearly implying how sure he is that Dan wouldn't support the Jared kid. When Dan demonstrates his consistency, does Bubba back off? Does he express anything positive that Dan agrees that Jared has a right to wear what he wants as long as it doesn't violate school policy?

Of course not. Nope, he doesn't even acknowledge what Dan just stated. Instead, he doubles down on the stupid with "What we have is institutionalized bullying, and I bet that some of the adults involved have political views that aren't entirely different from yours."

EVEN THOUGH DAN JUST SAID HE SUPPORTED JARED'S RIGHT TO WEAR WHAT HE WANTS, so clearly his views are different. They're not only different, but on this issue they are, quite obviously to anyone who doesn't have chocolate pudding for brains, 100% the opposite.

(And yes, let's for a moment stand in amazement at Bubba's stupid implication that West Virginia is full of evuhl libruhls, and that cops, always known to be a pansy-assed libruhl bunch clearly demonstrate this is all part of the vast left-wing conspiracy that Dan is part of.)

So here we have some cops in WVA who over-reacted, who Dan doesn't agree with, and TrollBoy is still bitching about ... well, about nothing at all, except that Dan apparently does not actually hear about every single news story ever written.

With that level of stupid, It's no wonder Bubba hides his name.

Bubba said...

Gee, Alan, I wrote that I agreed with Dan that the redneck in that story was a jerk and a creep, and I added that he was also a bully, and do you express anything positive about the common ground we just made?

Of course not -- but you're right, those teachers and cops couldn't possibly have shared any of Dan's liberal political views, and so Dan was entirely justified in crowing about how supporting people's rights is just "the way liberals are."

West Virginians and police officers are monolithic supporters of our constitutional right to free speech and our right to keep and bear arms: that's surely the best explanation for why they raised hell over a kid exercising his First Amendment right in defense of the Second Amendment.

Alan said...

"West Virginians and police officers are monolithic supporters of our constitutional right to free speech and our right to keep and bear arms: that's surely the best explanation for why they raised hell over a kid exercising his First Amendment right in defense of the Second Amendment."

Yes, because conservatives would never dream of limiting freedom of speech. LOL

Alan said...

"West Virginians and police officers are monolithic supporters of our constitutional right to free speech and our right to keep and bear arms"

Now you're just making stuff up.

Where did I or anyone here even imply "West Virginians and police officers are monolithic supporters of our constitutional right to free speech and our right to keep and bear arms"

In fact, I'm much surer that they're more likely to be knuckdragging neanderthal conservatives of your particular variety who are rarely interested in protecting people's freedoms (unless those "people" are multinational corporations.)

And you believe I said or implied just the opposite?

How do you manage at a street corner trying to figure out those complicated "walk/don't walk" signs?

Alan said...

Bubba: "I'm not going to put up with people fabricating complete bullshit about me even as I'm in the room."

But he doesn't, apparently have any problem speculating about the political leanings about people he's never met in order to make up complete bullshit.

Hypocrite.

Alan said...

In any event, back to the actual point of the post before a troll started trying to derail it.

It is astounding to me that someone would behave that way, in public, to a complete stranger.

Bubba said...

No, Alan, I believe the impulse to limit speech crosses political boundaries, and I'm quite willing to admit that there are conservatives who seek to limit speech, flag-burning being the most obvious case.

What I balk at is the claim that liberals are uniquely concerned about individual freedom, particularly in the context of a case where the police were called after a teacher balked at an NRA shirt.

"That's the way liberals are, Bubba, they support people's rights."

You're acting as if I had no reason to agree with everything Dan wrote in response to my question, that I disagreed because I'm stupid and unreasonable. You're acting as if I'm the one who injected politics into this discussion, as if Dan wasn't the first to mention the libruhls.

If you can't keep up with the conversation, perhaps you shouldn't start accusing people of stupidity and hypocrisy.

Bubba said...

"But he doesn't, apparently have any problem speculating about the political leanings about people he's never met in order to make up complete bullshit."

A teacher objects to an NRA shirt that's nevertheless within the school code for attire. It's not horribly presumptuous to draw the obvious conclusion regarding that teacher's political beliefs, at least regarding gun rights.

--

For what it's worth, Orlando's local news media is beginning to cover the story, and the police is involved, investigating both the original incident and the mother's subsequent report of receiving threats from the story going viral.

I should add that she was taken into custody for mental-health evaluation, so the story may not pan out exactly as she reported it, but we should know what happened sooner rather than later.

Alan said...

"It's not horribly presumptuous to draw the obvious conclusion regarding that teacher's political beliefs, at least regarding gun rights."

Given the lack of understanding many teachers have of legal issues such as this, it really is pretty presumptuous, actually.

But then, if I were to speculate about why this story gets you all hot under the collar and why until today you ignored the story about Dexter, you'd probably storm off in a huff again.

Alan said...

It is also possible that the teacher simply misinterpreted the dress code.

Second paragraph.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/352436/jared-marcums-nra-t-shirt-ian-tuttle

Alan said...

(But then, the national review is just a liberal rag.)

Dan Trabue said...

Okay fellas, you've sniped at each other, let it go.

Bubba, you brought it on because you came to this post - where you agree with me that, if the info is correct, the dude was a bully and jerk - and instead of saying "yeah!" said in a snarky tone of type, "did i miss where you're Jared's friend?"

If you simply and honestly wondered if I was truly opposed to this sort of bullying over clothes, you could have asked. Instead, you asked in a way that implied you suspect that I - and maybe by extension, "liberals" - were not consistently opposed to "clothes bullying."

So you can't really blame Alan for responding in kind. Alan was admittedly over the top, mind you, but he was just responding in the same tone that you began the conversation.

You all can't keep acting snarky and complain when someone responds in kind.

Now, both of you let that angle go. We appear to be united on the principle.

As sort of an aside and addressing one of your points made, Bubba:

Indeed, Bubba, freedom of speech IS a cornerstone of liberal thought. That isn't to say that conservatives don't also support freedom of speech, just that it's an especially valued tenet in liberal thinking.

"Our country: Love it or leave it (and implied, "quit complaining about it")" was not a liberal bumper sticker.

Dan Trabue said...

Oh, one point on the Jared story: He was arrested NOT for wearing an NRA shirt, but for his behavior towards the officer in the school office later.

Now, I still think that (based on the info I've read) the officer overreacted on that point, I'm just making it clear that he wasn't arrested for wearing an NRA shirt, as so many of the stories reported.

So, Bubba, where you say...

I also wouldn't hesitate to use such language against school officials who would call the cops because an eighth grader was wearing a shirt that met the school code but offended one teacher's sensibilities

From all reports, the cops were not called because he was wearing a shirt, it was because of his behavior. At least from what I've read so far, but then, it isn't real clear in any of the stories I've perused.

Also, about the school dress code, here's the report Fox News has about it...

“If in the judgment of the administration, a student is dressed inappropriately, the student will be required to change clothes or cover up inappropriate clothing before returning to classes,” the code reads.

Now, if that is it, then in theory, the administration decided and did ask the student to accomodate the decision. I would still disagree with the school decision on that point, but it sounds like, because the school forced the issue (when they shouldn't have, it seems to me) that led to the student overreacting and pushing back to the point that the police were called. I have to wonder why that is? Normally (at least here in KY), the next step in such cases would be to call the parents.

Hmm...

Bubba said...

Dan, we're just going to have to agree to disagree on just how faithfully modern liberalism resembles classical liberalism in its commitment to free speech.

It's not conservatives who instituted speech codes on campus and the farcical human rights commission in Canada. It's not conservatives who tried to pin the Giffords shooting on unrelated political speech.

Dick Durbin has suggested that only credentialed journalists should have free-speech protections, the IRS and other agencies have harassed Tea Party and pro-life groups, and the current administration has repeatedly attacked the Supreme Court decision that recognized that people DO NOT lose the freedom of speech when they excercise the freedom of association. In NONE of these cases have liberals been up in arms about the assualts on that "especially valued tenet" of free speech.

--

The Marcum case seems like another instance of school administrators' gross overreaction to even the concept of firearms; the goal seems to be making the concept a kind of thoughtcrime, even if it's expressed in ways as harmless as miniature plastic toys, innocuous ASL hand gestures, and breakfast pastries.

Here again, freedom of expression doesn't seem to be a primary concern.

And in this particular case, you seem quick to presume that the school authorities had good reason for calling the cops.

"I have to wonder why that is? Normally (at least here in KY), the next step in such cases would be to call the parents."

I guess the most probable explanation is that the kid is likely a punk.

Alan said...

Once again, Bubba conveniently forgets that the IRS has harassed liberal groups and churches during the Bush administration, forgets that it is Republicans in the PA House that barred Democratic Representative Brian Sims from speaking, etc., etc., etc.

I don't remember Bubba getting too bent out of shape about these events..

Hypocrite.

Alan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alan said...

BTW, Bubba, can you please point me to your blog post where you chastised Republicans for that incident in the PA house?

Or did you forget about it because you're a homophobic bigot and only straight guys should have first amendment rights?

I think it's not horribly presumptuous to draw the obvious conclusion regarding your bigotry, right?

Bubba said...

I'll repeat the first and last paragraphs from an earlier comment here:

"No, Alan, I believe the impulse to limit speech crosses political boundaries, and I'm quite willing to admit that there are conservatives who seek to limit speech, flag-burning being the most obvious case...

"If you can't keep up with the conversation, perhaps you shouldn't start accusing people of stupidity and hypocrisy."

Alan said...

"I believe the impulse to limit speech crosses political boundaries, and I'm quite willing to admit that there are conservatives who seek to limit speech, flag-burning being the most obvious case."

Apparently you forgot that you wrote:

"I think a very good argument can be made that liberals aren't entirely committed to human rights"

"It's not conservatives who instituted speech codes on campus and the farcical human rights commission in Canada. It's not conservatives who tried to pin the Giffords shooting on unrelated political speech. "

Looks like you're the one having problems keeping up. ;)

Nice try. LOL

Alan said...

Where is your outrage about conservatives limiting free speech? Where are the blog posts you, yourself have personally written?

Did I miss where you declared yourself a friend of Brian Sims? ;)

Alan said...

In NONE of these cases has Bubba been up in arms about the assualts on that "especially valued tenet" of free speech.

I wonder why.

Bubba said...

Apologies for the double post, Dan.

--

Alan, I believe there are some issues that cross political party and ideology.

Political elites of both parties are more supportive of amnesty for illegal aliens than are the bases of both parties. The NSA datamining program also splits both parties, as recent congressional votes indicate.

Depending on how you define freedom -- positive vs. negative rights, sexual freedoms and economic freedoms -- you'll find that support and opposition oscillates between the political left and the political right.

And neither side has a consistent record in protecting free speech.

I'm glad to see that Dan and I are basically on the same page with regards to both Dexter and Jared Marcum.

It annoys me that Dan seems more willing to assume that Marcum must have done something to merit the school officials' calling the cops, but my real complaint is that line about how free speech is a core value of the left.

That self-congratulatory bullshit was unnecessary AND counter-productive if Dan really wanted to find common ground.

For you to ignore that fact to smear me as a troll is stupid but entirely unsurprising.

Alan said...

"That self-congratulatory bullshit was unnecessary AND counter-productive if Dan really wanted to find common ground."

Oh please. It was obvious from your first post that you were trolling to try to find Dan being inconsistent about a kid wearing an NRA tshirt. Then when it turned out he was consistent, you had no interest in common ground. Instead you immediately making up things about the situation (and the evuhl librul agenda) in order to fit the narrative you've already decided is true. For you to simply making things up in a hypocritical effort to create yet another stupid librul conspiracy theory is entirely unsurprising.

That you aren't even smart enough to realize when you've been caught doing it, is even less surprising.

Bubba said...

I wasn't "making anything up," nor was I implying anything about some vast conspiracy. You're over-reacting.

Marshall Art said...

Seems to me, that if Alan really cares about fairness, free speech and true understanding between seemingly opposing sides, he'd spend more time calmly questioning those whose comments he doesn't like. No need to jump down anyone's throat when a clarifying question could be asked. That's something our host used to encourage. Perhaps if Geoffrey was to visit, he might summarize it this way:

Shorter Alan: "Pay attention to me!"

Marshall Art said...

As to the post, obviously the dude is a creep, as Dan indicates. However, had he gotten a load of Dan's pic, I wouldn't deny him. Just sayin'.

Alan said...

Still waiting, Bubba.

Bubba said...

Since I don't make ostentatious displays about how I stand up for free expression, I don't think it's reasonable to demand evidence that I stand up for expressions with which I disagree.

It's not enough that I asked about such displays from someone else -- and if you really disagreed on that point, you would have coupled your demand with links to your own acts of bravery.

You're so focused on accusing me of hypocrisy that you don't notice your own inconsistency and the basic unreasonableness of your behavior.

Dan Trabue said...

Okay, guys, enough. Let it go. You can comment on the topic or you can not comment.

We get that Alan and I think that Bubba came here looking for a fight and is thrashing around when his hunch proved wrong.

We get that Bubba thinks Alan and perhaps Dan are being unfair.

Let that part go. Move on or comment on topic.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba, I will entertain discussion on the topic of "Are modern liberals advcoates of free speech?"

I'm saying that support for free speech is one of the fundamental tenets of modern American liberalism, along with care for the poor/marginalized and willingness to embrace reasonable change as opposed to holding on to tradition for tradition's sake.

The very first item listed on the wikipedia page (I know, but it's a starting point - unlike Kirk's Tenets of Conservatism, it is more difficult to find a source for "Tenets of Modern US Liberalism"), under Philosophy of Modern Liberalism, is "Free Speech."

Speaking more of classical Liberalism, but still apropos, the American Heritage Dictionary defines liberalism as...

A 19th-century Protestant movement that favored free intellectual inquiry, stressed the ethical and humanitarian content of Christianity, and de-emphasized dogmatic theology.

And that definition tends to fit what I'm calling Modern Liberalism - I'm just wanting to distinguish it from Economic Liberalism or Neoliberalism, which are not as favored by Liberals in the US.

By any definition or tenets I can find, liberals support freedom of speech, at least in theory.

To be sure, there are elements of all of us - liberals included amongst conservatives - who like the idea of shutting down dissent or ugly, hurtful speech. "No, you shouldn't be allowed to say that!" some on all sides say.

But when they say that, it is in conflict with Modern Liberalistic opinion, rather than in keeping with it. I see no evidence whatsoever to support any other claim.

Bubba said...

Interesting thoughts: I'll try to respond tonight, tomorrow at the latest.

Alan said...

Obviously I agree with you, Dan, that liberalism is not about stifling free speech.

What I don't get is why others feel that you (or I) are in a position such that we're required to defend the actions of others they deem to be liberal.

Fer example: Apparently some (and we all agree here) overzealous cops in WVA completely overreacted to a situation about a kid's tshirt. Now I find it unlikely in the extreme that cops in WVA are liberals, and even less likely that COPS in WVA are against the second amendment, but that's been the charge.

OK, so...even if we stipulate that those things might, in some unlikely alternate Bizarro universe be true, why are we called to defend such behavior when we have clearly stated we don't agree with it.

If conservatives do something that the peanut gallery here disagrees with we get, "Oh, well, yes, tut tut, those things happen" and they clearly don't feel any need to defend the actions of wackiness by people claiming to be conservatives. (In fact, they've invented acronyms in order to distance themselves from their hoard: RINO, for example.)

And yet this same peanut gallery suggests that we defend ourselves and our beliefs from the actions of people we've never met. Because, of course, all liberals are the same and we're all part of some vast conspiracy, or whatever.

That's the BS that parades here as dialogue that I object to, and call out when I see it. That and the stupid hypocrisy game I've mentioned a zillion times, evidenced by Bubba's very first comment on this thread.

I'll say what I always say....if what passes for conservatism in this country (eg. the Republican Party) actually believed what they say they believe (eg. small government), I'd be a Republican. Instead, they want a government just small enough to fit into my bedroom.

Notice that's not asking the peanut gallery to defend the wayward actions of wacky individuals whose political leanings we know nothing about. It is instead asking for just the barest modicum of consistency from some people who claim to ascribe to the ideals of a particular political party: A party in which -- not an individual -- but hundreds of thousands vote for people who stand for things completely outside the stated goals of that party.

Bubba said...

"Okay, guys, enough. Let it go. You can comment on the topic or you can not comment."

Alan, I could write quite a bit in my defense and in correcting your apparent misunderstandings, but Dan has made his preferences quite clear.

--

Stand by, Dan, will be with you sometime today.

Bubba said...

Dan, I begin by noting your difficulty in finding a liberal analogue to Kirk's tenets. In his latest book (and summarized here), Jonah Goldberg has argued that the left has cut itself off from its own intellectual history. I think that has something to do with the fact that liberal ideology isn't all that politically popular, but Jonah has the more charitable theory that "this is a natural consequence of liberalism’s embrace of philosophical pragmatism" which emphasizes activity over ideas.

His position (and mine) is that the Left really is dogmatic but presents itself as pragmatic, and if it's the case that the Left claims to deny all dogma, I don't see how they can persuasively claim to uphold the dogma of free expression.

--

Indeed, that Wikipedia page lists free speech as the first item of interest regarding modern American liberalism, but the details don't convey an unalloyed support of free expression.

(You also mention a dictionary definition about a "19th century Protestant movement," which I don't think can be convincingly invoked when describing a 20th- and 21st-century political movement.)

The article states, "liberals typically accept scientific ideas that some conservatives reject, such as evolution and global warming."

Indeed, and they blacklist proponents of intelligent design, and they compare global warming skeptics to Holocaust deniers, arguing that the time for debate has passed.

Suggest that women ought to be required to see an ultrasound prior to having an abortion, and you'll see just how pro-science some on the Left can be -- and if you really think the Left is open to an airing of different ideas, you should talk to Larry Summers, former president of Harvard.

The article also mentions liberals' opposition to the ruling in Citizens United, which was mentioned in the Democratic Party's 2012 platform. (You'll also find support for an expansion of federal hate crimes legislation, which reeks of Thoughtcrime.)

The party supports campaign finance reform "by constitutional amendment if necessary," because their position isn't exactly consistent with the constitution as it currently stands, specifically the First Amendment.

The Left's position is, broadly, that those who exercise freedom of assembly lose freedom of speech, at least in certain circumstances. Some organizations' right to political speech is never questioned.

Incidentally, more than half of the top 20 political donors over the last 25 years are unions who are overwhelmingly liberal, tending to give less than 10% of their contributions to Republican candidates. These unions' political clout is never mentioned in the litany of corrupt and corrupting special interest groups.

It's "free speech for me, but not for thee."

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

Dan, you write:

"I'm saying that support for free speech is one of the fundamental tenets of modern American liberalism, along with care for the poor/marginalized and willingness to embrace reasonable change as opposed to holding on to tradition for tradition's sake."

I look at the Left's rigorous opposition to the DC voucher program that would have helped some of our most vulnerable students, and I look at the Left's recent temper tantrum in Madison over legislation that has resulted in worker pay raises, and I don't draw the same conclusions you do regarding concern for the poor and an open-minded approach to reasonable reforms.

Instead, I see concern, not for the poor per se, but for the policies of the welfare state ostensibly designed for the poor -- never mind that those policies eventually bankrupt the government and degrade the citizenry, such that half of Detroit's dwindling adult population is functionally illiterate.

And I see open-mindedness, not about the fundamentally statist and radical assumptions of the left, but on how to apply those assumptions to ever more territory.

It's the conservatives who are trying to reform the welfare state in light of a looming fiscal crisis, and it's the liberals who are acting like hidebound reactionaries -- and this shows the limitations of modern political terminology.

What most contemporary American conservatives are trying to conserve is part or all of classical liberalism, and by departing from classical liberalism, contemporary liberals often embrace very illiberal ideas.

A few years back, the difference became clear from a post by the great Yuval Levin. (He's the editor of National Affairs, which I recommend highly; many of its articles are online.)

In response to a comment by Jonah Goldberg (worth reading in its own right), Levin starts with the claim that modern liberalism is a product of classical liberalism, but he writes, "some liberals (including some classical liberals) have always seen their liberalism as a path to something else — something more like a rational or scientific or post-political politics."

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

Levin mentions that, in the wake of the French Revolution, Burke described the emergence of two new political parties entirely replacing the old order: the new conservatives and the Jacobins.

Levin continues:

"The question between them was whether (classical) liberalism was a way of life or a means to a rationalized politics; whether it was an end or a beginning for political thought; and whether it was defined by its principles in their purity or by its practice with its exceptional capacity for putting up with diversity, messiness, and uncertainty.

"One party therefore was a party of conservative liberals, who sought to conserve (and refine) liberalism as a product of countless generations of gradual social and political evolution. And the other was a party of progressive liberals, who sought to progress beyond liberalism by using liberal principles to enact a complete break with the past and begin anew from those principles alone, rather than from human nature or tradition or assorted lessons learned the hard way, with the ultimate aim of achieving a politics of rational control.

"In this sense, modern conservatism has always been liberal, and there is nothing particularly contradictory about the fact that American conservatives are the defenders of classical liberalism in America. There is also nothing terribly surprising about the way in which the modern left, in the effort to progress beyond liberalism, has often undermined and attacked liberalism. In that same essay, Burke argued that this would happen because (among other reasons) their attempt to rationalize politics would create such a powerful state that it could not help but crush the essential prerequisites for a free society.
"

Levin concludes, "classical and modern liberalism are really quite different, but the latter does have roots in the former."

Roots, yes, but while modern conservatives seek to preserve those roots as a working framework, modern liberals seek to move past those roots to something better -- doing so in the name of History and Progress.

You can see this in both ends and means.

The classical liberal goal of preserving negative liberty has been replaced with positive liberty: it's not enough for government to have the modest goal of securing your freedom from unnecessary coercive restraints, the government now has the much more expansive goal of providing food and housing and health care.

And to accomplish this new goal, modern liberals have largely abandoned fidelity to the Constitution as-written for the nebulous (and intellectually suspect) concept of the "living document."

I see no reason to assume, a priori, that modern liberals have retained a commitment to free expression while throwing so many other vital ideas overboard.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

Levin mentions Burke's concern that the Jacobins' statism would "crush the essential prerequisites for a free society," since (quoting Burke) they see "The state is all in all."

("No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people." - Obama's second inaugural)

(About that speech, Levin wrote that Obama limits society to the state and the individual, with no good mediating institutions in-between.)

Do I trust the Left to preserve free speech despite their expansive vision of the state? No, I don't, and I could list numerous examples of why we shouldn't.

There's the IRS' systematic targeting of tea party and pro-life groups, calls to have Rush Limbaugh's FCC license revoked, and the blood libel against Sarah Palin following the Giffords shooting.

[Indeed, there are mostly social conservatives who seek to use the state to suppress dissenting speech, but I believe that their affirmation of traditional morality should be tempered by a libertarian respect for individual freedom, just as libertarianism must be balanced by the salutary effect of a free but moral society.)

There are speech codes on-campus, Canada's human rights tribunal that tried to criminalize controversial speech, and the efforts to intimidate individual Prop 8 supporters in California.

And underlying many of these actions is the Orwellian political correctness that turns explicitly jihadist terrorism into acts of workplace violence and reduces political opposition to pathological fear and hatred.

I suspect that you would dismiss all of this as exceptional -- evidence of our human frailty rather than an authoritarian tendency in this particular political philosophy -- but strip them away, and the modern Left would be unrecognizable.

More than that, since at least the cultural revolution of the 1960's, one major tactic of the Left is built on an ENTIRELY self-serving approach to free speech -- the tactic of direct action.

Recent disruptions at Swarthmore College pefectly capture what I'm talking about: leftists abusing their freedom of speech in order to preempt opponents from exercising that same freedom.

This preemption isn't an unfortunate side effect of direct action, it's the intended result, overrunning civil discourse through obnoxious behavior being the means through which the radical ends are to be achieved.

"F--- Your Constructive Dialogue" is hardly a rallying cry for people who are committed to free intellectual inquiry.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

There's the IRS' systematic targeting of tea party and pro-life groups

That you cite this is suggestive of a partisan-based blindness, looking for politics where there is no evidence of any.

The IRS group responsible for tax free exemption did indeed "target" groups that had "tea party" and related terms in their name, as they did with more liberal groups, too. There is no evidence that the reason for this was a targeting of conservatives by liberals, but rather. Indeed, since they also "targeted" liberals, they'd be very poor liberals if the intent was politically-based.

But that's more of an aside. It gets down to your suggestion here...

I suspect that you would dismiss all of this as exceptional -- evidence of our human frailty rather than an authoritarian tendency in this particular political philosophy -- but strip them away, and the modern Left would be unrecognizable.

Yes, it is exceptional, not normative. If you strip away these isolated incidents - lump them over with the isolated incidents of conservatives blocking free speech - you would still have a group that, as a group, values free speech, free thought and liberty, in general.

I see no evidence to the contrary, despite the outliers. Ask a modern liberal, "Do you affirm free speech?" the answer is always yes.

Comparing scientists (not always liberal, mind you) who write off as irrelevant those who'd argue the "science" of voodoo or other non-science or politically-based belief systems to liberals denying free speech is not a compelling argument.

Are there some liberals who'd shout down someone raising questions about evolution or a flat earth? Yes. Are there conservatives who'd shout down someone who claimed Christianity and yet who disagree with the traditional teaching on marriage and gays? Yep.

Does that mean that either group is opposed to free speech?

Nope. It just doesn't.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

I look at the Left's rigorous opposition to the DC voucher program

Don't know what this and some of your other comments have to do with free speech. Do some have rigorous opposition to vouchers? Yes. Do some have rigorous opposition to abortion? Yes. What of it?

Also, I'm unsure how any of your quotes touch on the question...

There is also nothing terribly surprising about the way in which the modern left, in the effort to progress beyond liberalism

In what ways have the Modern Left progressed beyond liberalism? What evidence is there for this?

You say, perhaps in answer to that question...

the government now has the much more expansive goal of providing food and housing and health care.

I would argue that ensuring education (as Jefferson supported), ensuring that people aren't dying on the streets serves the fiscally conservative ideal of responsible investment to be proactive, rather than reactive and paying more. This fiscally sound and conservative ideal is something that liberals tend to support, but it really seems to have more fiscally conservative motives (at least for me) rather than anything else. Does that make it a bad thing?

That is, do you think it is bad to make wise investments in the commonwealth that ultimately save money? Regardless of whether that is liberal or conservative, it just seems wise.

And regardless, what does that have to do with free speech??!

Bubba...

Do I trust the Left to preserve free speech despite their expansive vision of the state?

As Alan noted, do I trust modern "conservatives" to actually support a small (but smart) gov't? Not so much. They are, it seems to me, the ones who want the expansive gov't.

That we support the principle of making smart investments (paying bridge inspectors, rather than paying for the damage and reconstruction when a bridge collapses; paying for food, water and air inspection rather than the excessive costs associated with pollution/contamination of our food, air and water, etc) does not, in any way that I can see, suggest that we'd support limitations on free speech.

Where is the evidence for that? You all are depicting modern liberals as if we had some fascist-leaning goals of ultimate conquest by a few in gov't. WHO'D want that? If you think that is what liberals want, you just don't know any modern liberals. At all.

Dan Trabue said...

Just to clarify, Bubba...

strip them away, and the modern Left would be unrecognizable.

Is it your suggestion that, even though if you were to ASK 99% of liberals if they supported free speech and the answer was yes... and even though you can find no serious liberal seriously espousing limiting free speech... that despite this, that you believe opposition to free speech is fundamentally a part of modern liberalism?

If no one is espousing a doctrine and, in fact, everyone is denying that doctrine, how can you say that doctrine is part of what they believe?

Again, that some relatively few liberals act CONTRARY to espoused tenets of liberalism is not really evidence that it isn't a tenet, is it? (That's rhetorical.)

Dan Trabue said...

I mean, wouldn't that be like saying, "Well now, I KNOW that conservatives espouse a devotion to the family, and I KNOW that they say that cheating on your wife is wrong, BUT, in the real world, there are many conservatives who DO cheat on their wives. Therefore, cheating on one's wife is a tenet of conservatism..."

How is that analogy not apt?

Marshall Art said...

Really, Dan. One who falls prey to the temptations of sins one recognizes as sinful is not the same as one who claims to be a champion for virtue but routinely legislates the opposite. A better analogy would be a conservative who stands for virtue but proposes or votes for legislation that compels immorality.

It is not enough to say "libs support free speech" when so much suggests that is only lip service.

Bubba said...

Dan:

I mention the DC voucher program, not in reference to free speech, but in reference to the OTHER supposed foundational principles of modern liberalism -- concern for the poor and a willingness to consider reasonable reforms. I was only responding to your digression.

I mention Intelligent Design because of the Wikipedia article you mentioned: under "free speech" it discusses how liberals are oh-so-open to evolution and global warming. I was addressing the actual content of an article you cited as evidence of modern liberalism's commitment to free speech.

(Honestly, if you want to convince people that you're a Bible-loving Christian who worships the Creator God, you probably shouldn't insinuate that ID is as disreputable as voodoo.)

And I link to Levin's article to make a very simple point, which evidently wasn't made clear enough:

1. Modern liberalism has abandoned many tenets of classical liberalism, including the concept of a limited government that focuses on the modest ends of negative liberty and is restrained to those means that are provided in an originalist reading of the Constitution.

2. Since modern liberalism has abandoned so much of classical liberalism already, its historical roots in classical liberalism is not itself sufficient evidence of a continued commitment to free speech.

(About Alan's claim that conservatives "want a government just small enough to fit into my bedroom," most of us are not at all interested in criminalizing the private behavior of consenting adults, we just don't think that all such behavior should be endorsed in public. I didn't realize Alan's personal bedroom was in a public courthourse.)

--

Your argument seems to boil down to the claim that liberals self-identify as concerned for free speech.

"Ask a modern liberal, 'Do you affirm free speech?' the answer is always yes."

Ask a modern conservative the same thing, and you'll get the same answer, but the details of one's beliefs aren't trivial.

Ask a modern liberal whether he supports the Citizens United ruling since it enshrines the free speech of people working in coordination, and is the answer always yes? Or is he likely to sneer about how corporations aren't people?

Ask a modern liberal whether he opposes hate-speech legislation and on-campus speech codes, and is the answer always yes? Or does he think that some political speech is hateful and hurtful, is therefore illegitimate, and ought not to be permitted?

Ask a modern liberal whether he's concerned about the chilling effects on free speech that might result from political correctness, the intimidation of individual supporters of Prop 8, and the slander against Sarah Palin following the Giffords shooting, and is the answer always yes?

And ask a modern liberal whether he opposes the sort of direct action where people abuse their own right to free speech in order to preempt others from exercising the same, and is the answer always yes?

We'd probably disagree on the answer to many of these questions, but the questions are entirely legitimate. It's not enough to point to the Left's stated support of free speech if their actions suggest that their support is inconsistent, self-serving, and largely dependent on that freedom's political utility.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Honestly, if you want to convince people that you're a Bible-loving Christian who worships the Creator God, you probably shouldn't insinuate that ID is as disreputable as voodoo.

You know I believe in a Creator God, as by my testimony. I believe in the concept of ID as a philosophy, but it just isn't science in any way that I see. Trying to suggest a philosophy is somehow science is in no way respectful to a Creator God who created us with brains and the ability to reason.

As a philosophy, I think it's starting from a rationally sound place, but as a science, ID comes closer to voodoo. That is not disrespectful to a Creator God to note that.

Bubba said...

This is off the beaten path, but I wonder, do you think SETI is unscientific, too?

How about plain old archaeology? Is it okay for a geologist to examine a piece of clay and theorize about the entirely natural processes that may have led to it, but not for an archaelogist to theorize that the object is really a potsherd rather than just a rock formed by eons of geological forces?

And why exactly is it okay to believe in an intelligent Creator philosophically, but not to look at His creation for signs of His intelligence?

I'd hate to imagine that you accept uncritically the sneering comments of anti-theistic leftists.

Dan Trabue said...

It's not science, Bubba, because you're starting with a philosophy (God created the world in six days) and then you're trying to build a science around it, selectively picking data and non-data to support a premise, rather than going where the evidence leads.

I have no opinion of SETI, since I don't really know what it is beyond generalities.

Archeology is obviously a science - looking at data and trying to make sense of it, given known, observable, confirm-able information.

Bubba said...

Dan, I think you're conflating Intelligent Design with Young Earth Creationism, specifically Six-Day Creationism. People in the field tend to be more careful about their terminology.

As I understand it, Intelligent Design doesn't presume the existence of a supernatural creator, much less the Creator of a specific religion, to say nothing of a specific concept of a specific deity -- that is, a concept of Yahweh that requires creation in 144 hours.

All ID does is look for signs of intelligent design in biology. It doesn't insist on attributing those possible signs to a specific intelligence, as the intelligence could be a supernatural deity, a natural (but ancient and advanced) alien species, or a pantheistic universal consciousness.

Archaeology examines earthbound phenomena for signs of past human intelligence: does the uniform curvature of this piece of clay suggest that it was part of a manufactured piece of pottery? do these discolorations suggest that the clay was painted by a primitive artist? (Surely some mere rocks were mistaken as arrowheads, and vice versa.)

SETI examines phenomena beyond our planet for signs of non-human intelligence: does that transmission contain a pattern that is probably too complex for a natural event, such as a sequence of prime numbers? (So far, the answer has been no.)

ID purports to examine biological phenomena for signs of intelligence in the exact same way. I don't think it's fair to dismiss its cliams to be science, and it's certainly unfair to invoke comparisons to voodoo.

--

But this digression brings us back on-topic.

ID'ers don't claim to start with theism and cherry-pick data to support their premise. They claim to practice the scientific method.

Ask an ID'er, "Are you engaging in scientific inquiry?" the answer is always yes.

Why shouldn't we believe him? Why shouldn't we accept his claim at face value and dismiss any acts to the contrary as "outliers" that don't count as evidence of their actual beliefs?

In short, why would you not apply to ID'ers the same contentious standards that you strongly demand for liberals?

It's bad enough that you seem to argue against Matthew 7:20, must you also defy Matthew 7:12?

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Ask a modern liberal whether he supports the Citizens United ruling since it enshrines the free speech of people working in coordination, and is the answer always yes? Or is he likely to sneer about how corporations aren't people?

It's not a trivial matter to say that people WILL disagree on where to draw the lines. But that we disagree is not to say that one group favors free speech and the other group does not.

That some people don't agree with letting non-living corporations with massive resources have the same "rights" to free speech as humans does not mean that liberals are not in favor of free speech. It means we disagree with treating corporations as people.

That some people don't think "Money=free speech" is not an indication that we disagree with free speech. If your money was a human person and wanting to actually speak, we'd support it.

Liberals favor free speech. Don't be ridiculous and try to suggest that the group "Liberals" disagrees with free speech. You sound like the oft-mentioned tin foil hat militia when one suggests things like that.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

ID'ers don't claim to start with theism and cherry-pick data to support their premise.

Does there exist even ONE ID'er who isn't starting from a point of presumption of a god?

Dan Trabue said...

re: Matt 7, I AM doing unto others as I'd have them do unto me. I'm not saying, "Conservatives disagree with me, therefore, conservatives as a group don't agree with free speech," rather, I believe that conservatives believe in free speech. JUST AS liberals do.

I'm asking the same courtesy of accepting the evidence that exists.

It's not disputing Matt 7:20 (by their fruit you will know them) to say that it is goofy to say that the group, "Liberal" all will attest to supporting free speech, obviously so.

I return to an earlier point: IF I point to a conservative or 100 conservatives who fail to live up to their ideals, does that mean that "conservatives" as a group disagree with the ideal?

Don't be ridiculous.

Bubba said...

Dan, you write, "I believe that conservatives believe in free speech. JUST AS liberals do."

I think you could have avoided a lot of needless friction in this thread if your first comment to me had not included this:

"That's the way liberals are, Bubba, they support people's rights."

I think it's entirely reasonable to read into snark like this the implication that liberals are exceptional in that regard -- that liberals "support people's rights" while conservatives don't, or at least not as much.

For that matter, I would have been a little more impressed with your initial blog post if you had photoshopped yourself with a pink hairband AND an NRA shirt (or a gun-shaped pop-tart, etc.) and wrote that you gladly stand with Dexter AND Jared.

--

"Does there exist even ONE ID'er who isn't starting from a point of presumption of a god?"

I'm not sure, but by previously stated your standards it would seem not to matter: what matters is whether they claim to be conducting science.

Bubba said...

(Sorry for the double post; the more important stuff is coming momentarily.)

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

I think it's entirely reasonable to read into snark like this the implication that liberals are exceptional in that regard -- that liberals "support people's rights" while conservatives don't, or at least not as much.

I think a lot of needless friction could have been avoided if you just took my words for what they actually said (liberals support freedom of speech) without assuming that I meant to suggest that conservatives don't. I never said that. OF COURSE they do. That I point out that one of the central tenets of modern (and classic) liberalism is support from freedom of speech is not to make the negative claim, "Therefore, Conservatives don't."

Didn't say that. You should not have read that into what I said. Had you not, we could have avoided this kerfluffle.

Bubba...

I would have been a little more impressed with your initial blog post if you had photoshopped yourself with a pink hairband AND an NRA shirt (or a gun-shaped pop-tart, etc.) and wrote that you gladly stand with Dexter AND Jared.

I had never HEARD of Jared, I had to look his story up, Bubba. WHY would I post about a story that I'VE NEVER HEARD? I'm not magic.

Bubba...

what matters is whether they claim to be conducting science.

Science does not (should not) begin with an agenda, Bubba.

IF a person says, "I believe in the scientific method... AND I'm going to use that method to PROVE something I believe..." they are not engaged in objective science, they are engaged in trying to prove their beliefs.

Bubba said...

Now, Dan, you mention that disagreements about free speech aren't binary, they're along a continuum.

"It's not a trivial matter to say that people WILL disagree on where to draw the lines. But that we disagree is not to say that one group favors free speech and the other group does not."

Indeed, even most minarchists and philosophical anarchists hope that private civil courts would address purjury, and even the most oppressive police state allows its people to exercise their right to speak freely -- if only in glowing support of Dear Leader.

But that fact doesn't counter the reasonable conclusion that, at some point, a person's stated support for free speech becomes so attenuated and self-serving that it's misleading to call that person a champion of individual liberty.

I think the Left crosses the line with two positions that you mention and evidently claim for yourself.

"That some people don't agree with letting non-living corporations with massive resources have the same 'rights' to free speech as humans does not mean that liberals are not in favor of free speech. It means we disagree with treating corporations as people.

"That some people don't think 'Money=free speech' is not an indication that we disagree with free speech. If your money was a human person and wanting to actually speak, we'd support it.
" [emphasis mine]

To whatever degree you believe in freedom of speech and freedom of association (I earlier misstated "assembly"), the first paragraph shows that you don't believe in a right to exercise both freedoms in tandem.

And to whatever degree you believe in property rights, the second paragraph shows that you don't believe in a right to dispose of one's property in the course of exercising one's right to speak.

Sure, I can exercise my right to free speech, but if I band together with like-minded individuals, we have no right to speak AS A GROUP: that right is revoked, or at best it is granted only as a privilege.

And I can speak out with my physical, God-given voice, but I have no right to buy a microphone or printing press to broadcast what I have to say, or to purchase air time or page space from others who have microphones and printing presses.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

You literalize de-humanize people and remove them from the scene in both cases. It's not a group of people expressing a point of view in unison, it's a "non-living" corporation; in order to ignore the humanity of GROUPS OF PEOPLE, you trade the phrase "groups of people" with "corproations."

(That's what that line means, "we disagree with treating [groups of people] as people.")

And it's not a person buying a soapbox or airtime to give his views the widest possible airing that his resources can afford, it's the absurdity of inanimate money trying to speak for itself.

(Since money doesn't act on its own, why does your side seem so interested in outlawing an event that doesn't actually occur?)

The Declaration of Independence was explicitly signed by a group of people, describing themselves as "the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled."

Evidently, Thomas Jefferson and John Hancock EACH had the right to express the views contained therein, but not to do so as part of a group elected by the rest of the colonies.

Common Sense was influential because it was published.

Evidently, Thomas Paine had the right to tell people his ideas in as large a crowd as he could physically assemble, but he had no right to purchase equipment to make his ideas more widely available -- not a printing press, and presumably not pen and parchment, either.

--

In sum, your side has no problem deriding the right to amplify one's speech through property rights and the freedom of association.

Catharsis is fine, getting something off your chest is a God-given right.

But effective speech that runs the risk of bringing about political change, well, that's not a right, that's a privilege, exercised only at the discretion of Leviathan.

Please, do tell us again how liberals just adore free speech.

Bubba said...

On other, minor points:

1) You have no problem drawing inferences from other people's writing, mine and others.

You described my writing as having "a snarky tone of type," and told me, "you asked in a way that implied you suspect that I - and maybe by extension, 'liberals' - were not consistently opposed to 'clothes bullying.'"

In the same comment you write:

"'Our country: Love it or leave it (and implied, "quit complaining about it")' was not a liberal bumper sticker."

That's a likely implication only if there's no difference between complaints and outright contempt, but be that as it may: you had no problem drawing your own inferences about other people's communication.

Gripe about the quality or accuracy of what I infer, but quit objecting to the mere fact of my drawing inferences.

To do so is hypocritical, and I refer you again to Matthew 7:12.

3) You write:

"IF a person says, 'I believe in the scientific method... AND I'm going to use that method to PROVE something I believe...' they are not engaged in objective science, they are engaged in trying to prove their beliefs."

Who says that? Nobody I know. Instead, I'll say again that, if you ask ID'ers, they'll tell you that they're conducting legitimate science.

If you expect people to accept at face value the liberal's affirmation of free speech, you ought to likewise accept ID'ers' claim of practicing sound science.

To do otherwise is to hold others to a much higher standard than you do your own group. That is where hypocrisy comes, and THAT is why I'm bringing up Matthew 7.

Dan Trabue said...

"a vast accession of strength from their younger recruits, who, having nothing in them of the feelings or principles of '76, now look to a single and splendid government of an aristocracy, founded on banking institutions, and monied incorporations under the guise and cloak of their favored branches of manufactures, commerce and navigation, riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry."

~Thomas Jefferson, who clearly hated free speech

But charters and corporations have a more extensive evil effect than what relates merely to elections. They are sources of endless contentions in places where they exist, and they lessen the common rights of national society”

~Thomas Paine, another free speech hater

"As a result of war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless..."

"The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. The banking powers are more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. They denounce as public enemies all who question their methods or throw light upon their crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe."


~Abraham Lincoln

Haters of free speech, all.

Bubba, look, you know me well enough to KNOW that I regularly participate in groups participating in free speech. Thus, it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to believe what you are concluding and asinine to suggest it.

Again, liberals don't hate free speech and you're just nuts if you think so. I mean that literally. Nuts. Crazy. Out of touch with reality.

Peace.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Gripe about the quality or accuracy of what I infer, but quit objecting to the mere fact of my drawing inferences.

I will gripe. There are reasonable inferences and nutty ones. That was a nutty one. I grew up conservative. My family is half conservative, as well as many of my dearly loved ones and former mentors. You should know this by now.

I love my family and my mentors, even the conservative ones (of course). I do not think they are opposed to free speech, even the ones who'd shut down discussion on controversial topics or who'd say, "America, love it or leave it."

I've never given any indication that I think conservatives are anything but sincere and good folk - as I once was - with whom I disagree. (And note, by my indicating "as I once was..." I'm NOT saying that I'm no longer sincere or good folk, any more than by saying "free speech is a fundamental belief of liberals" is an indication that others don't believe in free speech...)

There are rational inferences and irrational ones. That was an abundantly irrational one.

Alan said...

Bubba, I have to hand it to you...This statement is, perhaps, the most awesome thing you have ever written:

"If you expect people to accept at face value the liberal's affirmation of free speech, you ought to likewise accept ID'ers' claim of practicing sound science."

Seriously?

Wow.

There is so much wrong with that sentence... just wow. "I believe X is true. Therefore I must agree with whatever else anyone else believes is true, otherwise I am a hypocrite. Because there is no such thing as what is true and false, there is no way to distinguish between the two."

How is it possible that someone is so poorly trained in even the most basic thinking that they wind up making such bizarre and random statements?

Wow. Seriously, you deserve an award for that nugget.

Alan said...

"Instead, I'll say again that, if you ask ID'ers, they'll tell you that they're conducting legitimate science."

Wow...just making a claim about something means that claim must therefore be true.

Dan Trabue said...

And, just to be clear in case you really just don't get it, where you say...

In sum, your side has no problem deriding the right to amplify one's speech through property rights and the freedom of association.

In sum, don't be ridiculous. That is insane, Bubba. WE REGULARLY participate in group protests, thus, OBVIOUSLY we don't disagree with that right.

I'm not sure what you mean by amplifying speech through property rights, but I'm relatively sure you're entirely mistaken there, too.

If you mean, "Liberals don't agree with being able to spend money in support of a group or candidate..." of course we do. We do it all the time.

If you mean, "Corporation enterprises should have human rights," no, we don't agree with that. Why? Because corporations aren't people. But noting that obvious real world fact is not a blow against free speech.

Alan said...

I now have to say, I'm completely mystified by Bubba's random keyboard diarrhea. If he believes any claim made by anyone must therefore be true, why exactly his he disputing your claim that liberals are in favor of free speech?

Why and how can he dispute such a claim if he thinks... I mean... Seriously? OMG, I can't even begin to unravel the total waste of time he's been here just BSing about something he doesn't even believe or agree with, only to find out at the end he thinks any claim made by anyone must therefore be true.

Holy shit what a troll.

Bubba said...

Alan, notice I'm mentioning the liberal's "AFFIRMATION OF" free speech, not their supposed "belief in" free speech.

It seems that Dan wants others to conclude that liberals believe in free speech simply on their say-so.

"Ask a modern liberal, 'Do you affirm free speech?' the answer is always yes."

Evidence that their belief in free speech is half-hearted and self-serving can evidently be ignored, going by a sentence that I find stunning.

"I see no evidence to the contrary, despite the outliers."

That argument's perfect, aside from its flaws.

But if others MUST accept at face value the liberal's claim to love free speech, indeed consistency requires the liberal to be just as trusting of others and their claims.

Alan said...

"It seems that Dan wants others to conclude that liberals believe in free speech simply on their say-so."

You have missed his examples, spread liberally (heh) throughout this comment thread??!? How is that even possible? Why do you bother responding if you're not going to read?

Seriously, what a complete troll.

Alan said...

Shorter Bubba: If 100% of all people who claim to be liberal throughout all of human history do not uphold ***Bubba's*** ideas of what constitutes freedom of speech, then any suggestion that liberals in general uphold the value of freedom of speech is a lie.

But exactly the same situation for conservatives? Well, conservatives obviously uphold ****Bubba's Definition*** of freedom of speech, in spite of any outliers.

And if you disagree with Bubba about that, then you must agree with anything anyone else says about everything. Otherwise you're a hypocrite because it's the favorite thing Bubba likes to say about anyone...in spite of the fact he's at least as much of a hypocrite as anyone I've ever read on the interwebs.

And this is what you call thinking??! How is it possible that someone is so desperately, completely, totally and dangerously incapable of seeing how stupid and illogical that line of thought is?

Alan said...

Anyway, I'm done...what a total waste of time. 68 comments later and we find out that Bubba doesn't even believe the crap he's spewing. I wonder how much of the rest of the crap he's written over the years was just BS that he didn't actually believe either.

No wonder he stays anonymous.

Bubba said...

What you wrote, Alan, is stupid and illogical, but it hardly bears even a passing resemblance to what I've written.

Not that you give a shit.

Bubba said...

Dan:

SIERRA CLUB

Does the Sierra Club qualify as a protesting group whose right to free speech you don't question? Or is it a "corporation enterprise" that has no right to free speech, since corporations aren't people?

--

You write that you have no problem spending money in support of a group or candidate, so what exactly do you object to in decrying the formulation that "money = speech"?

Marshall Art said...

Not one of Dan's quotes of famous Americans mentioned anything regarding denying corporations the right to express their opinions. Just sayin'.

Marshall Art said...

Liberals make all sorts of claims. The question is whether or not their actions support those claims. Here, on the subject of free speech, it is clearly not enough to poll lefties to see how they'll respond to the question of support for free speech. What have they done when free speech was at issue?

Well, there's the Fairness Doctrine, which they hoped to resurrect when conservative talk radio shows began to proliferate.

Campaign Finance reform has been mentioned here somewhat, and that has been championed by less than conservative politicians (yeah, I mean McCain).

Hate crimes, speech and thought policies are proposed by lefties all the time.

While conservatives question the wisdom of sexually provocative books for high school student reading lists, lefties deny religious speech in teaching and in student expression.

Conservative speakers have had their speaking engagements cancelled for being conservative and others, like Michelle Malkin for example, are often made to deal with lefty hecklers who are extremely vocal in trying to drown out whatever message the speaker might have.

Conservatives have lost their jobs because of the positions they've taken outside of the workplace.

Some lefty bloggers will delete or block comments under weak pretenses such as "off topic" or "not answering the question", giving readers no opportunity to see for themselves if the deleted comment had any value to them.

One would be hard-pressed to find such a degree of "free speech" advocacy amongst conservatives.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

This is so precious. Dan writes a post about an incident. Bubba comes along and wonders if Dan would be as supportive in a similar incident. Dan says he knows nothing about it, but given a glance at the facts, says he probably would. Bubba then spends who knows how many comments insisting (a) Dan is lying; and/or (b) wondering why Dan didn't include the incident - about which he knew nothing and hadn't heard until Bubba brought it up - in the original post.

And Art comes along and says that liberals don't like free speech.

I'm wondering: Could Bubba and Art just write a comment that says, "I'm with Dan on this one," and leave it at that?

Bubba said...

Marshall:

"Not one of Dan's quotes of famous Americans mentioned anything regarding denying corporations the right to express their opinions. Just sayin'."

That's assumed. I mean, for all the various subjects mentioned by Jefferson and Paine, they never expressed anything that resembled skepticism about the inherent goodness of government.

They hated corporations but trusted the state, so presumably they supported using the state to constrain these private institutions.

--

Dan, I genuinely understand at least some level of concern about large corporations, but I remain skeptical about the implication that government is the solution. The reasons to worry about corporations are generally present in government -- AND THEN SOME.

And yet, when government acts, you've shown a tendency to equate the government with the people, but here you repeatedly insinuate that at least the actions of at least some corporations aren't the result of their very human owners.

Just where are we supposed to draw the line between legitimate "protesting groups" and "corporation enterprises"?

You've defended the IRS by saying that the groups investigated may not be primarily involved in promoting the common good, but it would be VERY easy for the government to politicize the definition of the "common good."

The state could declare that groups that lobby for laws that protect the environment or strengthen workers' rights are working for the common good, while those who advocate free enterprise are stooges for their corporate masters -- never mind that a healthy economy isn't a non-essential for a free society.

Is the line is to be drawn between non-profits and profitable corporations? There are plenty of tiny businesses that have incorporated, any of which can be bullied by giants like the Sierra Club. And there are businesses whose free speech rights are sacrosanct.

Namely, Disney, Viacom, and Time Warner.

Citizens United wanted to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton; do you think the most rigorous campaign finance reforms would have prevented Lions Gate from distributing Fahrenheit 9/11, or Sony from releasing Zero Dark Thirty?

And if mayors of big cities like Chicago are specifically targeting individual companies with their bullying behavior, why shouldn't those companies have the right to fight back in print and on the air?

I generally believe that the solution for "bad" free speech is MORE free speech, but we can agree to disagree.

But when you argue that the state ought to pick-and-choose which organizations to permit to speak, it DOES undermine your claim that free speech is "an especially valued tenet in liberal thinking."

Are liberals entirely opposed to free speech in all circumstances? OF COURSE NOT, but I don't think it's outrageous to believe that your support of free speech is inadequate for a truly free society.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

Apparently you missed the part where Dan said

"Bubba, I will entertain discussion on the topic of "Are modern liberals advcoates of free speech?""

Thus, my comments are on topic, and you're just crying for attention.

What's more, I was not making the claim that libs don't like free speech as much as demonstrating that their position isn't the advocacy they claim. All those examples I listed demonstrate a rather one-sided love of free speech, rather than a general love and tolerance for all speech; a willingness to allow all speech to be heard.

And while Alan insists on making much of the Bush investigation of one church and their political advocacy (after complaints prompted the investigation in the first place), it must be noted that a Democrat was the reason there even exists a law that put that church under scrutiny.

Conservatives don't have a problem with politics from the pulpit.

Marshall Art said...

Bubba,

My comment was to distinguish between constraining corporate power from stifling their ability to express their opinions on any given issue. I don't think the founders were looking to do that. I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

Alan said...

I gave one example...there are many others, but what difference does it make how many examples there are? 1? 10? 100? 1000? As Bubba has clearly stated, it doesn't matter if there are examples of conservatives trampling on free speech, those exceptions don't matter. They only matter if he can find a few liberal exceptions.

And as for your constant crying about blog meanies who edit your comments or delete them, I can say that I have seen far more conservative bloggers edit, delete, and ban comments than liberal bloggers. Heck, I can't count the number of conservative blogs I've been banned from. Your buddy HWMNBN comes to mind.

I don't, however (and I'd like to make this clear) care about that, nor am I complaining about it. Anyone who runs a blog can edit, delete, or ban all they want. I only respond to the point because you're so blind to reality, MA. Go ask HWMNBN about banning people from blogs ... I bet he agrees with me.

Which leads me to wonder why anonymous trolls like Bubba don't get their own blogs instead of shitting on everyone else's. If he were truly for free speech, wouldn't he expend the tiny bit of effort to utilize it himself?

Marshall Art said...

Nice try. It isn't about matching examples of "trampling on free speech" (that is, libs vs cons). It's questioning the truth of the claim Dan made concerning the left's advocacy of free speech weighed against so many examples of the very opposite.

As to "blog meanies", I don't know that I "constantly" cry about such things rather than simply point it out. (Remarkable how you, Parklife and one or two others like to frame such as "crying".) But that you get banned by conservative blogs does not surprise given your general manner. And I have asked Neil about his policies. They're quite reasonable and he hasn't banned more than one or two. Maybe your one of them. Again, that would not be surprising.

Bubba can explain his specific reasons for not starting a blog. But that isn't necessary to exercise his right to freely express himself as long as blogs, such as this one, invite comments.

Bubba said...

"As Bubba has clearly stated, it doesn't matter if there are examples of conservatives trampling on free speech, those exceptions don't matter. They only matter if he can find a few liberal exceptions."

Where, exactly, did I "clearly" state that, Alan?

Alan said...

Bubba, "It's not enough to point to the Left's stated support of free speech if their actions suggest that their support is inconsistent, self-serving, and largely dependent on that freedom's political utility."

But when we point out examples in which conservatives' stated support of free speech is inconsistent with their actions, well ... clearly that's different.

Do try to keep up, Bubba.

Bubba said...

And where did I say it's different?

"Bubba complains about the Left's insufficient defense of free speech" simply doesn't imply that I dismiss examples of conservatives' infringing on speech as irrelevant.

Instead, I did make clear my opposition to censoriousness on the part of social conservatives, in a parenthetical comment I posted as part of my lengthy, substantive explanation of my position.

"Indeed, there are mostly social conservatives who seek to use the state to suppress dissenting speech, but I believe that their affirmation of traditional morality should be tempered by a libertarian respect for individual freedom, just as libertarianism must be balanced by the salutary effect of a free but moral society."

Gosh, how horrible of me.

Alan said...

And yet, you apparently do not think those conservatives who trample free speech speak for all conservatives, as you do the examples you find from people you suppose to be liberals. If you did, you wouldn't have bothered commenting on this post in the first place.

Your whole point in this thread has been that liberals do not support freedom of speech, and as evidence you site some examples of people who are liberals (or who you imagine are liberals, like WVA cops.)

I'll repeat your words yet again, "It's not enough to point to the Left's stated support of free speech if their actions suggest that thir support is inconsistent..."

Yet you clearly don't believe the same is true for conservatives. Go move to TN and try to name your kid Messiah, for example. Some fundy judge will change your kid's name for you ... because conservatives are champions of free speech. (And let's not forget TN's "Don't say gay" bill ... truly a proud moment for conservatives' defense of free speech.)

So, Bubba, clear this up for us. Do you believe that the Right's stated support of free speech is inconsistent with their actions?

And an answer of less than 100 words would be good. We know you can type, you no longer have to prove it to us. Let your yes be yes and your no be no.

Marshall Art said...

There's no comparison. You point out anomalies and think that parallels the routine of the left. I'd be interested in examples of conservative suppression of free speech. Banning flag burning perhaps? Hardly similar to the Fairness Doctrine.

Bubba said...

"Do you believe that the Right's stated support of free speech is inconsistent with their actions?"

For too many social conservatives, at least, the answer is unfortunately yes.

It's also the case that too many on the right are pro-business rather than pro-market, and some paleo-conservatives who claim to believe in national defense never seem to get around to supporting any major action of the U.S. military -- and some retroactively criticize our involvement in WWII and other wars.

I'm not reflexively defensive of everyone on my side of the political divide. Can you say the same?

--

Alan, I didn't just mention WV cops, and I believe it *IS* reasonable to guess that, at a minimum, the school administrators who objected to the NRA shirt and subsequently called the cops aren't a million miles from people like you and Dan on the subject of the Second Amendment.

But notice I haven't been focusing exclusively on the Marcum case, because I haven't needed to.

Dan sneers that (some) corporations aren't people: while he affirms that people can exercise their free speech rights while associating in some vaguely defined protesting group, he denies those rights if those people incorporate in other ways.

And while Dan affirms the right to support politicians with one's own resources, he also made the bizarre statement that "If your money was a human person and wanting to actually speak, we'd support it."

See, I don't have to go very far to find leftists whose stated support of free speech is belied by the details of their positions.

Alan said...

"See, I don't have to go very far to find leftists whose stated support of free speech is belied by the details of their positions."

More accurately, support of free speech as defined by you.

So gee... Some liberals don't agree with your definition of free speech and/or your definition of people.

Do you agree with unfettered access to pornography, regardless of age? Do you believe that people should have the right to yell fire in a movie theater? No? Well then you have clearly placed some conditions on what you define as "free speech". Others have defined it differently.

Stop the presses! In other news, dog bites man. Sheesh.

Alan said...

In other words, if you believe that pornography should be restricted, and/or you do not believe a person should have the right to shout fire in a crowded theater, then according to one definition of "free speech", your stated support of "free speech" is inconsistent with the details of your position.

Bubba said...

It's interesting that you bring up smut, because I believe that highlights the difference between tradtionalists and progressives.

Social conservatives and other traditionalists sometimes seek to suppress indecency.

Progressives of both parties (e.g., McCain and Feingold) sometimes seek to suppress the political opposition.

(The difference is why I think Marshall is right, that when the Left is opposed to free speech, their position is the more objectionable.)

People expressing political opinions while exercising their freedom of association is hardly comparable to smut or yelling fire in a theater.

You're free to disagree, but those who do shouldn't simultaneously preen about their love of the First Amendment -- not when political speech at the very core of what the First Amendment protects.

Jonah Goldberg summarized my frustration at this particular sort of hypocrisy a decade ago.

"For some reason the editorial pages, Congress, hordes of academics, and, of course, Hollywood types, honestly, truly believe that the state cannot proscribe images of women getting it on with horses in public libraries for fear we’ll skid down the slippery slope to tyranny. At the same time, however, they fervently believe that the federal government can regulate the content of political ads leading up to an election.

"This throws out the whole doctrine of protecting the fringe to safeguard our essential freedoms. If you think some talentless boob who defecates in a tuna can and calls it art is the canary in the coalmine of our free-speech rights, fine. But, if you believe that, I am at a loss as to how you can tolerate a federal government that attaches all sorts of strings to the fundamental liberties the Founders considered essential to a free society.
"

Alan said...

Just FYI, whenever you cite Jonah Goldberg I just chalk you up to crazy town. He's an idiot.

So again, you admit that both some liberals and some conservatives look to limit some free speech.

And for liberals, the exceptions are the rule. For conservatives the exceptions are exceptions. Which is what I've said that you've been saying all along, and is indeed what you are saying.

" that when the Left is opposed to free speech, their position is the more objectionable."

There, you have clearly stated it.

QED.

Now I'm done.

Alan said...

BTW, Jonah Goldberg, the guy you keep citing, thinks that the voting age should be higher because kids are too stupid to vote.

But he doesn't want to limit freedom of expression.

Game. Set. Match. Thanks for playing, Bubba.

Alan said...

"Progressives of both parties (e.g., McCain and Feingold) sometimes seek to suppress the political opposition."

I love that you think McCain is a progressive. ROFL. What a gem.

In other words, anyone who suppresses political opposition (eg Richard Nixon) is BY DEFINITION an progressive, in your book, THEREFORE obviously, only progressives want to suppress political opposition.

Thus liberals are not for free speech, and conservatives are (because anyone who wants to limit free speech is not, BY DEFINITION, a conservative.)

Nice little circular argument you've made there.

No wonder you idolize Jonah Goldberg when that is what passes for "thinking" in your mind.

Bubba said...

What I "clearly" stated, Alan, is that the opposition to free speech is worse coming from the left, NOT because I'm some sort of hypocritical hyper-partisan, but because the speech that they tend to oppose is dissent rather than indecency.

I WROTE: "The difference is why I think Marshall is right, that when the Left is opposed to free speech, their position is the more objectionable."

What difference is that? You can't be bothered to know that, and you'll ignore that part of the sentence because it undermines the idiotic point you're trying to make.

"In other words, anyone who suppresses political opposition (eg Richard Nixon) is BY DEFINITION an progressive, in your book, THEREFORE obviously, only progressives want to suppress political opposition."

No, you won't find such a circular argument from me; there are plenty of reasons to categorize Nixon as a progressive -- reasons that Slate recognized, including his support of wage controls and price controls, his creation of the EPA, and his opposition to gun rights. And McCain's progressivism is obvious to anyone paying attention, on issues ranging from amnesty to global warming to conservative judicial appointees to fiscal responsibility.

Jonah Goldberg has never presented himself as an absolutist on free speech -- in the article I cite, he writes that there ought to be consensus on age restrictions regarding smut -- but you evidently don't care about the facts.

Smearing those you disagree with is far too important for that.

Alan said...

Smut is not voting, Bubba.

Kids vote for democrats more than conservatives. Jonah Goldberg wants to limit political expression for that reason.

Therefore conservatives oppose freedom of speech.

You lose. Be sure to pick up your rice-a-roni on the way out.

Bubba said...

I'm sure you're summarizing Goldberg's position with as much care and accuracy as you've been summarizing mine.

It's certainly true that I can't reason with the unreasonable and reach some kind of common ground with someone who's so obsessed with demagoguery that he can't be bothered with a piddling thing like the truth.

In that sense, you win, and your parents must be so proud.

Alan said...

"someone who's so obsessed with demagoguery that he can't be bothered with a piddling thing like the truth."

You mean like...

" the opposition to free speech is worse coming from the left, NOT because I'm some sort of hypocritical hyper-partisan, but because the speech that they tend to oppose is dissent rather than indecency."

Hypocrite.

Alan said...

Or like....

"I think a very good argument can be made that liberals aren't entirely committed to human rights,..."

"What we have is institutionalized bullying, and I bet that some of the adults involved have political views that aren't entirely different from yours."

"It's not horribly presumptuous to draw the obvious conclusion regarding that teacher's political beliefs, at least regarding gun rights."

" It's not enough to point to the Left's stated support of free speech if their actions suggest that their support is inconsistent, self-serving, and largely dependent on that freedom's political utility."

ROFL.

Bubba said...

You show once again that you neither understand nor care to understand my position.

Maybe Dan had a point in asking us to focus on the subject at-hand rather than each other.

Alan said...

See Bubba, you can keep claiming that I don't understand your "argument" as a way to try to move the goal posts, but what I have just done is get you to explain it once again. And once again, your position is clear as day. You're just sulking because your position has been shown to be the vacuous, silly, circular BS it is.

Your argument is:

Liberals want to limit freedom of speech, particularly of a political nature, because there are examples (eg Citizens United) that prove it.

Conservatives do not want to limit freedom of speech, particularly of a political nature, even though there are examples (e.g.. raising the voting age, the Brian Sims incident in PA, the TN "Don't Say Gay" bill, proposals to require civics tests in order to register to vote, multiple bills attempting to limit voting rights of minorities, etc.) that are inconsistent with conservatives so-called devotion to freedom of speech.

That's your argument. You've made it (ad nauseum) several times now. You ignore (or absurdly rationalize) example after example that cuts the legs out of your argument because you are so obsessed with demagoguery.

Hypocrite.

Alan said...

"Maybe Dan had a point in asking us to focus on the subject at-hand rather than each other."

I agree with Dan, which is why I just tore your sloppy "thinking" a new one.

Alan said...

Anyone ever heard of the "Respect for Fallen Heroes Act"? It's a law that limits protests within 300 feet of any cemetery run by the government from 60 mins before to 60 mins after a funeral.

Guess who proposed it? Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican (And if anyone wants to suggest he is a progressive they are an absolute idiot.)

The no votes? Barney Frank, perhaps the most liberal member of Congress, David Wu, also a democrat, and Ron Paul (who is hardly what one would call a Republican.)

But conservatives are clearly defenders of political speech.

Alan said...

Oh, woops...guess who opposed the law and who also successfully challenged such a law in MO, according to wikipedia?

The ACLU.

Those damn, free speech hating libtards!

Alan said...

The Russians have a law now which bans what they call "homosexual propaganda", in other words any sort of speech, political or otherwise that "promotes" homosexuality.

Guess who support Putin's draconian laws that mandate jail time for any political speech regarding LGBT rights?

Pat Buchanan, another one of those progressive evil liberals who hate free speech.

Because liberals hate free speech.

Alan said...

Global gag rule, proposed by liberal President Ronald Reagan.

Yet another example of evil liberal restriction of free speech (and anyone who suggests that speech about abortion is about decency and isn't political speech has not been awake since Roe v. Wade.)

Bubba said...

Some of your examples, Alan, are just bizarre, as is your statement that Ron Paul is hardly a Republican. What party's nomination did he seek the last two cycles? Other than a brief period in the late eighties, Paul has been a consistent Republican for decades.

Paul may not be a "typical" Republican, but he is a member of the party, and we shouldn't conflate political parties and political philosophies, even as Pat Buchanan's "conservatism of the heart" shared a lot of the same statist assumptions of Bush 43's "compassionate conservatism."

Now:

Voting rights and speech rights are both political rights, but they're not interchangeable: the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, but not suffrage, hence the need for the Fifteenth and the Nineteenth Amendments.

I understand Goldberg's deliberately thought-provoking position, even though I'm deeply ambivalent about it (especially if the age to be eligible for the draft is lower than the voting age), but:

A) You're wrong to impute to him the worst possible partisan motives when he DOES provide a good rationale for the position.

B) The issue involves voting rights, not free speech.

C) His position DOES NOT invalidate his observation that too many on the Left defend the fringe of aberrant speech while seeking to regular core political speech.

I know of no attempts to limit minorities' voting rights, just to limit fraud by requiring a government-issued photo ID: people do not have the right to cast fraudulent votes.

(And isn't it funny how Democrats seem to think that their electoral prospects require protections for fraud.)

And again, the right to vote and the right to free speech aren't equivalent.

And the so-called global gag rule doesn't restrict speech, it just has requirements for organizations receiving federal funding, just as domestic contractors have to meet quotas, etc. The government is well within its rights to have strings attached to funds it provides to third parties.

I've already responded to the Sims incident -- one of the few relevant examples you've cited -- by writing (repeatedly) that attempts to limit speech do cross political boundaries.

But:

1) You don't see attempts to limit speech make it to the GOP platform, the way you see it in the Dems' platform, re: Citizens United and hate speech legislation.

2) You don't see conservatives HERE IN THIS THREAD doing anything like Dan has done, championing themselves as being especially supportive of free speech while seeking to undermine core political speech.

Alan said...

" championing themselves as being especially supportive of free speech while seeking to undermine core political speech."

You just did. Right there. In your answer.

Thanks.

Bubba said...

No, I didn't.

You're welcome.

Marshall Art said...

"Anyone ever heard of the "Respect for Fallen Heroes Act"? It's a law that limits protests within 300 feet of any cemetery run by the government from 60 mins before to 60 mins after a funeral."

You use THIS as an example of suppressing free speech? THIS??? You give the terms of the act and STILL invoke it as an example of speech suppression? What desperation!!! So, for a two hour period surrounding a FREAKIN' FUNERAL (for FALLEN HEROES no less), low character protesters must stifle themselves, with no restrictions on their protests outside of those two hours? THAT'S suppressing speech??? Good gosh!!