Lunch Links

Friday, September 28th, 2012

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42 Responses to “Lunch Links”

  1. #1 |  Mike T | 

    It seems to me that the main problem with hate speech here is that those who want to outlaw it simply don’t have the stones to unleash the full might of the state on these rioting mobs. They would rather punish the speaker than punish the proles acting like barbarians in the street.

    The proper response to such a riot on US soil would be: go home, or the police will empty their magazines into the crowd.

  2. #2 |  nigmalg | 

    Regarding the censorship article. The whole point was that these self “enlightened” individuals would be the sole arbitrators of what is in fact “hate speech”. So consider the victim to be dynamic; changing at the whim of who needs protecting.

  3. #3 |  Jerryskids | 

    Obviously you didn’t read the learned professors article on free speech closely enough – being offended by censorship doesn’t make you right, it makes you a NAZI! See, the idea that you – as a human being endowed by your creator with certain inalienable rights – have a right to freedom of expression was not an idea that Thomas Jefferson borrowed from the British and exported to the French, it was an idea thought up by the UN to protect us from Nazis. So by restricting your right to free speech, the UN makes you more free. See how that works?

  4. #4 |  HD | 

    Wait, in that universe, the cops went looking for a bike thief!?! What? But they still shot the dog. So it’s not a better alternate reality, after all.

    (Bike rider and dog owner)

  5. #5 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Another major publication runs an essay calling for censorship…

    “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.” But, of course, that’s not the way it works anymore. Now you’re allowed to say whatever you want unless someone claims to be “offended”, in which case you are abusing your First Amendment rights which is bad, bad, bad. We have turned over control of what we say to people who disagree with us and, for doing that, we deserve everything goddamn thing we get.

    Here is what it boils down to: Contrary to what people incessantly proclaim, the First Amendment doesn’t protect your right to free speech and neither does the government. The government is, by far, the biggest threat to your rights and it is limited only by “what it can get away with”. The Constitution doesn’t mean shit if the population doesn’t raise holy hell when it’s violated. And, in case you haven’t noticed, the public doesn’t raise holy hell when it’s violated. Today’s public only knows one thing: When my party does it, it’s okay, but when the other party does it, it will ruin the country. What “it” is, is irrelevant.

    It’s not really news that our right to free expression is under attack. The amazing news is that we have any free expression left.

    Have a nice day.

  6. #6 |  Aresen | 

    From the Atlantic Free Speech opinion piece:

    By this standard, protecting hate speech is not simply unusual — it is actually unlawful. Similar limitations on free expression are contained in other important human-rights documents. Under these norms, blasphemy laws are not “the essence of free speech” — not because foreigners live in the middle ages, but because they understand freedom differently than we do.

    No, Mr. Epps, protecting “Hate Speech” is the very essence of protecting free speech. Any dissent can be labelled ‘hate speech’ by those whose interests are served by repressing dissent.

    (The commenters on the article do not appear impressed by Mr Epps.)

  7. #7 |  Aresen | 

    Re: The Creepiest Building:

    I note the name: “The Ozymandian hotel”. Were they completely oblivious to the meaning of Ozymandias?

  8. #8 |  Sean | 

    At least on the puppycide article the comments thus far are encouraging — all of them are anti – police . I’m sure the thin-blue liners will be along soon to change that though, like they always do.

    I don’t think the cops even have a clue as to how much puppycide is turning average citizens against them. Along with their “why do we do it? …. because fuck you! … that’s why! ” attitude about it.

  9. #9 |  Ken | 

    “What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty? I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws, and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there, it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it.”

    –Judge Learned Hand, “Spirit of Liberty” speech, “I am an American” Day, June 21, 1944.

  10. #10 |  Bernard | 

    Epps is someone who would sacrifice liberty for security and so deserves neither.

    I’m no fan of incivility, but the idea that it should be illegal is absurd. If muslims genuinely can’t live in a world where non-muslims have opinions then that’s going to work out badly for them.

    If, as I’m confident from daily interaction with many of them, the majority are as baffled and irritated by violent radicals as everyone else is, then giving the radicals more power by kowtowing to their demands is precisely the last thing anyone should do.

  11. #11 |  Les | 

    The proper response to such a riot on US soil would be: go home, or the police will empty their magazines into the crowd.

    So, the “proper” response to a riot is to shoot everyone? That would require a devotion to the state and its authority that Stalin would approve of. In the U.S., we tend to frown upon shooting into crowds. At least lately.

  12. #12 |  Jim | 

    I don’t think that the Epps piece calls for censorship, though it could be put to the use of those who support laws against so-called hate speech. The article mainly is stating something that is self-evidently true, that many countries that we usually think of as free, including lots of European democracies, have laws that criminalize hate speech. Further, even if these laws are misguided or worse, they are not obviously wrong, and indeed, many intelligent and informed people around the world support them. Jeremy Waldron’s “The Harm in Hate Speech” offers what I think is a clearer presentation (and defense) of the views that Epps discusses.

  13. #13 |  Mattocracy | 

    “The proper response to such a riot on US soil would be: go home, or the police will empty their magazines into the crowd.”

    It’s people like you who enable the police state to get bigger and worse.

  14. #14 |  Mike T | 

    It’s people like you who enable the police state to get bigger and worse.

    No, it’s people like you and Les who who enable it by failing to draw a distinction between a protest and a riot that is threaten to burn down a small chunk of a city. Rioters have declared war on the society against which they are rioting. They are actively engaging, en masse in direct attacks on their civilian neighbors lives, liberty and property. A state constituted for the preservation of life, liberty and property does not respond meekly to that sort of thing. It responds with whatever martial force it can bring to bear on them.

    It says a lot about you that you think the lives of rioters are so precious that the state should respond meekly while they indiscriminately attack their fellow citizens. In fact, I think it completely destroys whatever libertarian credentials you have by showing that your questioning of police authority is based primarily on a reflexive hatred of the state, not distrust of it.

  15. #15 |  awp | 

    These essays for censorship actually lead me to believe there is some hope for the country. All you have to do is scroll down to the comments (No matter where it is published or by whom) and 99% of the commenters are properly calling bullshit (or worse). At some point and on certain things people will not be misled by pseudo-intellectuals who think they are intellectuals because they can see the “nuance” where there is none.

  16. #16 |  EH | 

    Mike T: The attacks you decry are always started by law enforcement.

  17. #17 |  Highway | 

    Aresen, the use of Ozymandian is descriptive by the article. The name of the building is the Ryugyong Hotel. I think it’s just capitalization you’re not expecting.

  18. #18 |  albatross | 

    The Atlantic article didn’t call for censorship, it described why a lot of other first world democracies with what they consider free speech also have hate speech laws. Those laws seem like a very bad idea to me, but you should criticize the writer of the article for what he actually argued for.

  19. #19 |  Nick T. | 

    I think these pro-censorship articles should begin by arguing that trying to explain riots, attacks and anti-American sentiments by pointing to single ridiculous film should be the first type of speech criminalized as false and insulting.

  20. #20 |  Discord | 

    “It is an unfortunate circumstance that the dog and the police met.”

    You said it, Sarge.

  21. #21 |  Aresen | 

    albatross | September 28th, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    The Atlantic article didn’t call for censorship,

    Uh, please explain the difference between ‘censorship’ and outlawing certain forms of speech because they are ‘hate speech’.

    Give the Putins, Chavezes, the CPPRC, the mad Mullahs, the GOP and the DNC the right to decide and ANYTHING can be classed as ‘hate speech.’

  22. #22 |  PersonFromPorlock | 

    In defense of the Obama administration, it’s ‘transparent’ enough that there’s not a lot of doubt about how things work there. In fact, it’s very transparent.

  23. #23 |  Jeff | 

    I don’t think Epps was advocating that America should take a particular point of view on free speech – indeed, he says “My point is not that the international community is right and we are wrong.” He’s saying that other countries mean something completely different when they say “free speech,” and our way of doing free speech is not the only way that exists. It’s certainly the right way in my opinion, but the point is that we have to address the fact that (say) a Frenchman can say he believes in free speech and censoring Holocaust denial and that in his mind, that’s not an obvious contradiction.

  24. #24 |  John C. Randolph | 

    The Atlantic seems to be full of slime these days.

  25. #25 |  John C. Randolph | 

    #14 awp: “At some point and on certain things people will not be misled by pseudo-intellectuals who think they are intellectuals because they can see the “nuance” where there is none.”

    It seems to me that sophists posing as intellectuals have always been rejected by most people, since most people possess common sense. What’s happening today though, is that sophists publish their drivel in forums where it’s far easier for people outside their close circle of fellow sophists can speak up and say “bullshit.” Compare the circle-jerking that Keynes got to the rough-and-tumble that Krugman has to endure. Keynes could even toss off such heinous drivel as his full-throated praise of eugenics without anyone answering “fuck you, you pompous, autocratic piece of shit.”

    The world wide web is a very different arena from the mentally stunted environment of “higher education”. There’s a bunch of naked emperors in the world, and today they are all exposed.


  26. #26 |  John C. Randolph | 

    “The proper response to such a riot on US soil would be: go home, or the police will empty their magazines into the crowd.”

    I take a slightly different view on this. I would say that it’s appropriate for the owners of any property that the rioters are damaging to use force, including deadly force if the rioters don’t fuck off after a warning shot, but having the police do it makes me very uneasy.


  27. #27 |  Weird Willy | 

    @ #26

    Why the “warning shot?” Is that to make sure that you surrender the advantage of initiative to your attackers, or just to more readily identify yourself as a target for any who are armed? Or, is it to ensure that those who have begun threatening your life and destroying/taking your property will receive the benefit of their prior acts of aggression as a “freebie?”

  28. #28 |  Burgers Allday | 

    I know a lot of you are interested in cases where teachers are falsely accused of sexual molestation. I just blogged a case where an apparently falsely accused teacher sued for false arrest:

  29. #29 |  Jeff | 

    I’m a little disappointed all the discussion is on the censorship article, with none on the Popehat article. The former is a matter of “should we,” while that latter is “we are,” which I find much more immediate.

    Just a quick quote from the article for those who didn’t read it:

    “But the War on Terror, unlike other wars, will last as long as the government says it will. And, as the MEK episode illustrates, the scope of the War on Terror — the very identity of the Terror we fight — is a subjective matter in the discretion of the government. The compelling need the government cites to do whatever it wants is itself defined by the government.”

  30. #30 |  Mattocracy | 

    The problem with opening fire and spraying bullets into a crowd is that you end up killing people who aren’t “rioters”. Collateral damage is not ok when it involves killing people.

  31. #31 |  BakedPenguin | 

    MA police drug lab closed, chemist arrested under suspicion she faked thousand of results.

  32. #32 |  Les | 

    Mike T., there have been a few riots in the U.S. in the last 30 years. Are you saying that in every one, the police should have just started shooting into the crowd. Tipping over cars is a death sentence? Smashing a window is a death sentence?


  33. #33 |  Nate | 

    Any God that can’t take a little razzing is obviously not all powerful.

  34. #34 |  liberranter | 

    To those of you finding encouragement at the large number of anti-police/government/authority comments on blogs, I wouldn’t be too optimistic of this as an indicator of the level of dissent. The fact is that those of us who visit, read, and comment on such blogs are a very small percentage of the majority. We might be vocal and visible in our criticism of the status quo, but our numbers are very small as a percentage of the majority. I hope I’m wrong here, but I don’t think that our registered displeasure is indicative of impending mass revolt.

  35. #35 |  Alex | 

    Re: censorship & the Innocence film.

    No one seems to mention the detail that the film is not hate speech and not incitement. It’s a drama. It shows people talking and doing things. Sure, it portrays certain characters in ways that piss off lots of people who are invested in those characters. The same could be said for the later Harry Potter novels! This is Salman Rushdie all over again, regardless of relative literary merits.

    True, it’s important to acknowledge that it is taken as hate speech. I think this is the essence of the Epps article. (Even so, I usually respect Epps’ work a lot more than this.)

  36. #36 |  Red | 

    “Why the “warning shot?” Is that to make sure that you surrender the advantage of initiative to your attackers, or just to more readily identify yourself as a target for any who are armed? Or, is it to ensure that those who have begun threatening your life and destroying/taking your property will receive the benefit of their prior acts of aggression as a “freebie?””

    The warning shot along with not shooting people in the back was a sign of civilized behavior. It demonstrated the willingness to your deadly force and give the person a chance to back off or give themselves up. As we are a post civilized nation warning shots are now illegal. People who continue to advocate them are living in the 19th century.

  37. #37 |  EBL | 

    The Iranian MEK was self described “Islamic Marxist” so I can see why the Obama Administration might find some common ground with it.

  38. #38 |  divadab | 

    @EBL – Obama is a Marxist! Man what a deluded and idiotic statement. How could he be more of a tool of corporatist interests than he is?

    When I hear people parrot this “marxist” absurdity, I hear the results of complete brainwashing combined with a total inability to think critically.

    Obama is a Marxist. If you believe this, you are a deluded fool.

  39. #39 |  Jeff | 

    EBL, the push to delist MEK has come from both sides (with the MEK paying well for their support). But going back to our invasion of Iraq in the name of terror, the Bush administration gave them special treatment.

  40. #40 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    “The Innocence of Muslims”: never has such a low-grade, junior-high produced video caused so much trouble. Well, “Garfield”…maybe.

    Pretty amazing actually.

  41. #41 |  albatross | 

    Seems to me the MEK thing is just one more example of the growing third-world style impunity for the powerful in the US. Some nobody from New Jersey does hard time for selling satellite decoders that can receive a Hamas-produced channel, because they’re a listed terrorist group. But the powerful and well-connected can take money from a listed terrorist group, and then lobby and advocate for them, and there’s no problem.

    The other lesson from this is the utter lack of morals of the powerful and connected. A bunch of “respectable, trusted” people took money to shill for the MEK, which is a cult with a history of terrorism (including against the US). Earlier, there were plenty of respectable, trusted, powerful people who took money from Gadafi to come give talks, and who then had nice things to say about him. Respectable publications were giving Assad glowing coverage back before the stink of the burning kids and rotting mass graves got too thick. And on and on.

  42. #42 |  albatross | 


    Actually, I think he’s supposed to simultaneously be a marxist, a fundamentalist Muslim, an extremist black Chrisitan, and a Kenyan anti-colonialist. He is the first quantum president, in a superposition of conspiratorial states. Will he surrender to Al Qaida? Nationalize the Fortune 500? Declare war on the UK? Impose anti-white apartheid? Peel off the fake human skin and announce the Martian takeover? Nobody knows–you just have to wait till you take the measurement and he collapses into a single state.