Wrong on both sides

lelijk-geertje

Quite a head scratcher here the other day in Philadelphia. We had Geert Wilders of Fitna fame come to give a speech, invited by conservative Republicans. You see as good Christians, they love anyone who not only bashes Islam, but actually is working to outlaw and censor it, which is what he’s trying to do in the Netherlands. Also, taking a page from the creative word play of our conservative Republicans, his political party is the Party of Freedom, because as you know, nothing says freedom like censorship and outlawing peoples’ rights to think. Now on the other side of the whackaloon spectrum, you have the lost their way Left, those who rightly object to Wilders’ attempts to censor but ironically endorse censorship themselves by way of what they call hate speech. They were out in droves to protest Wilders at the Union League, an impressive building on Broad Street a block or so south of City Hall where the Republicans gather and do whatever it is they do behind closed doors (and in absolute luxury, let me tell you, because I’ve been in there and it’s beautiful).

First off, the entire notion of hate speech is ridiculous. It’s merely secular blasphemy. As reprehensible as it may sound, anyone should have the right to say they hate gays, Jews, whites, blacks, men, women, whatever. It’s the next step of actually acting upon such beliefs that is criminal, not thinking or expressing one’s thoughts. We cannot begin entertaining the idea of thought crime simply because we don’t find certain things to be nice. That’s censorship.

This notion that we can’t have certain things said or else it will drive people to do bad things is also absurd. Whatever happened to personal responsibility? Explain to me how thinking people need to be protected from hearing someone say “whitey must die” or else they’ll be inspired to kill whites and thinking women need to be covered in a burka or else men will be inspired to rape them. It’s the same damn thing! 

So everyone should have the right to say Sharia law is crap. They should also have the right to say Islam is crap, Muslims are crappy people, the Koran should be censored, and that such speech is offensive and that it should be censored. Opinions, however much any of us disagree with them, have a right to exist and be expressed. Again, it’s taking the next step of acting upon such opinions which alone enters the realm of criminality. 

Everyone has the right to be protected from harm, but no one has the right to not be offended or insulted. This political correctness run amok is not just absurd, but dangerous, just as dangerous as those on the far right who would outlaw Islam altogether.

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30 Responses to “Wrong on both sides”

  1. I honestly think they do as much as they possibly can to piss people off while keeping just inside the bounds of legality so that people *WILL* try something and they can descend upon them like lawyers out of hell. It'll certainly fund their shenanigans when they can sue people for millions of dollars and play the victim card all at the same time.

  2. Because we've allowed the lawyers to turn our society into a sue-happy hell-hole. The instant solution to any problem is a lawsuit. You get the ambulance-chasing lawyers on TV trying to convince anyone with an injury to jump on the class-action bandwagon, you have entire classes of lawyers dedicated to attacking doctors, chasing disabled claims, etc. If you look at someone funny, you can expect a lawsuit in your mailbox.

    When they said shoot all the lawyers, they had the right idea.

  3. The last part is in reference to name calling being an aspect of free speech. If I call somebody a caveman for having a mere 80 IQ, then I would probably get sued for being mean to cavement. Suing people is so easy that even a caveman could do it these days.

  4. Freedom of Speech includes speech that the popular majority disagrees with, since popular speech doesn't need protection.
    There's no need for "hate speech" legislation, as the hate speech that leads to actual, physical harm is already covered under the slightly less nebulous "incitement" laws. Hate speech that just leads to hurt feelings is called "high school". *sniff*

  5. Absolutely. The idea that speech that makes a particular group "feel bad" is somehow evil and needs to be prosecuted is ridiculous. There are no rights to "feel good" and for people who act on this supposed "hate speech" we already have laws against that.

    This is just more idiotic thought crime nonsense. You'll never control what people think, you can only control what they actually do.

  6. We cannot begin entertaining the idea of thought crime simply because we don’t find certain things to be nice. That’s censorship… Opinions, however much any of us disagree with them, have a right to exist and be expressed.

    Yet, don't you censor Gideon and refuse to let him comment here? If so, where's the consistency in your worldview(s)? Maybe this post was just meant to have a little fun??

  7. BREAKING NEWS –

    I love this little gem of Christian superstition:

    John 5:4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and stirred the water: whosoever then first after the stirring of the water stepped in was cured of whatever disease he had.

    ….I could probably make a case for a hot-tub massage parlor from that verse, nude massages in a river, that's probably what baptism is all about.

  8. That's probably because Gideon is a stupid little prick troll who just wants to cause trouble. If he wanted to run over to my blog, he could be the first perma-ban I've ever had or will ever have, more than likely.

    He gets off on being an asshole. What does he expect?

  9. He's either lying for attention or having technical difficulties posting to Intense Debate. As his web savvy buddy, perhaps you could coach him on how to post to Intense Debate.

  10. Nah, I don't feed the trolls, I also don't help them out. When he manages to grow up and stop acting like a total asshat, then maybe he'll have a shot.

    Until then, he can continue to fail on his own.

  11. Chief,

    He's either lying for attention or having technical difficulties posting to Intense Debate. As his web savvy buddy, perhaps you could coach him on how to post to Intense Debate.

    I have no way to confirm or deny that. On the one hand, I could see that maybe there's some sort of technical issue going on. On the other hand, I could equally see you just wanting to cut the whole thing off at the knees.

    Cephus,

    ..Gideon is a stupid little prick troll who just wants to cause trouble. If he wanted to run over to my blog, he could be the first perma-ban I've ever had or will ever have, more than likely. He gets off on being an asshole.

    You don't? Honestly. Be real with yourself. Even when I tried to have a decent discussion with you, it was loaded with insults and insinuations on your behalf. I know, I know, I probably just wasn't intelligent enough for you. The point is, some people probably think you're a dick, too, and instead of spreading it around the internet or censoring you, maybe they just deal with it? Lastly, I wasn't talking to you here anyways. I was making an honest attempt at seeing how Philly justifies censorship, if he in fact practices it. And "asshattery" is certainly in the eye of the beholder.

  12. I think he gets much more mileage out of claiming I censor him than he ever could actually working out the problem. If you want to test that, offer to help him with his technical issues and see if he takes you up on it. ;)

  13. Discussion? You mean that disaster where you kept making claims, I kept challenging you to back them up and you ended up running away with your tail between your legs? That "discussion"?

  14. Chief,

    If you want to test that, offer to help him with his technical issues and see if he takes you up on it.

    Fair enough. I shall.

    Cephus,

    You mean that disaster where you kept making claims, I kept challenging you to back them up and you ended up running away with your tail between your legs?

    That’s exactly the “distorted view of reality” I allude to. In that post, after you were all done condescending and either asserting and/or implying intellectual superiority, it turned out you had only one single blog post dedicated to the subject matter, which was Bigfoot. Far cry from the “thorough investigation” you implied existed.

    It’s not that I ran away with my tail between my legs, it’s just that I realized you and I have irreconcilable differences in the way we determine what’s real and what we consider a valid treatment of the subject matter. It doesn’t matter what evidence I present, you will believe what you will believe about Bigfoot – until you see the beast yourself, or until you get permission from the men and women in white coats. That’s how skepticism works.

    I get it – your blog is your “bitchspot” where you “bitch” about all the “stupidity” that irks you, and it’s impossible to dialog because “theists aren’t intelligent enough.” It can’t be that condescending demeanor might be a turn off or anything. I’m afraid your ilk are a dime a dozen, my friend.

  15. I have a problem with all sides of this issue. Liberal, conservative, the middle of the road people (these probably irritate me more). At my first introduction to this behavior, my favorie, and readily used response, had been: bullshit.

    It has a tendency to backfire and I've weaned myself away from using it. Even if I think it constantly.

  16. I'm not sure what the middle of the road looks like here.

  17. "When are you going to publish a book, Brun-ildi, about your many sexual exploits in the dumpster behind the 7/11? Truckers and sailors still talk about you wherever fine anatomical enhancements are sold!" ~ Random Gideon sighting

    I think that most of us put some limits on Freedom of Speech. Inciting someone to harm a third party, for example, falls under "incitement". Yelling "Fire!" in a theatre is another (note: exempt during most Adam Sandler movies).
    I can't find anything other than the desire to be an obstructionist asshole in the above quote (in that, he resembles most of what's left of the Republican party). The rest of the time, he's so far off that he's not even arguing in bad faith (facts be damned, he's just taking up the contrarian spear, because "Liberal=bad", "atheist=bad" "science=bad", etc). If I had a blog, I wouldn't ban him, personally, but then I don't have to put up with him where I am (where, incidentally, I would ban him in a heartbeat for being a needlessly disruptive drama whore, but where I am isn't this kind of place here. Instead, it's some other kind of place. Plus, the wallpaper tastes like lemons, but that's probably tangental).
    Some people just want to stumble into your house to shit on the chesterfield. To those people, Gideon is king.

  18. I do find it annoying on other blogs where the discussion gets taken over by both idiots and those fighting with the idiots, but that's the price of free speech.

    I have a hard time with incitement. At its core, it's an admission that people aren't responsible for their actions and that the masses are idiots. If you yell "fire" and people trample each other to get out, they're a bunch of idiots. Anyway, that notion of incitement gets extended to say the Klan for inciting violence against non-whites or Muslims inciting violence against the Jews and other infidels, and from that we get this hate speech crap. Look, if someone tells you to kill whitey and you kill whitey, that's on you, not the guy who told you. That's the way it should be, but it's not. I hate those Law & Order episodes where they go after the "inciter" (which I think the next episode focuses on with that guy from the Daily Show).

  19. But the masses are idiots. Glen Beck's audience proves that. Or are we talking about different masses? How about the masses that massed for Kristallnacht or any other number of wildly popular pogroms, up to and including the commie pinko ones? How about the ones that still think Saddam was behind 9/11 (note: may overlap with Beck's crowd)? Or that the universe is a shade over 6,000 years old (note: may overlap with Beck's crowd)? Or anyone that listens to Jenny McCarthy? Or are we talking about different masses?

    Sometimes, emotions run high. Add in an someone pushing in a certain direction and things can get ugly. Make that person an "Authority Figure" and things get uglier.
    Then people get lynched. It's the fault of everyone whose involved.

    And, if someone's trying to get away from a fire, that whole "walk calmly and politely" thing goes out the window the first second someone tries to budge. Then it's on. The flight reflex is not the kind of thing you can just turn off.

    Hate speech is annoying, but it keeps your enemies out where you can see them, which is better than having them out of sight. You have the right to hate (insert group here), as long as it doesn't involve you hating them with your fists. You have the right to hate (insert group here), as long as it doesn't involve you getting someone else to hate them with their fists.

    The difference between hate speech, which is protected, and incitement, which is not, is that the former is "I hate (insert group X)" while the latter ads "and you should cause them harm." The latter bit is why there are so few incitement convictions. O'Reilly can call Tiller "Tiller the baby killer" and pass on half-truths and lies about him, but if someone pointed that out after Tiller's murder, O'Reilly had just enough cover to get away with it. Same with all the pastors and the vile, anti-gay rhetoric (with biblical passages proving that God's behind them 100%), or the kooks and the anti-Obama smear campaign (which has apparently resulted in the Secret Service getting overwhelmed).

    But I'm rambling. I do that, sometimes. Other times, I play Borderlands, which I think I'll do right now.

  20. Yes and I was waiting for you to back up your claim that you could produce some objective evidence for the factual existence of Bigfoot. I'm still waiting. You made the claim, you failed to support it, which is pretty much what I expected.

    The problem, and I hate to waste space on Philly's blog but since you've run away from mine and brought it up here, I have little choice, is that you don't comprehend what evidence is. You make wild leaps of illogic from one element to an entirely unsupported conclusion because that's what you psychologically want to be true. You don't comprehend how to follow the evidence to whatever conclusion it supports, you only look at evidence that specifically supports what you want to be true and ignore everything to the contrary.

    That's not logic, it's irrationality.

  21. I wish I could establish that irreconcilable differences status if it meant I didn't have to encounter his crap anymore. Lucky you.

  22. It's not too hard, you just have to know more than cl, which isn't all that difficult. Don't let cl spew crap unanswered and don't allow anyone to make assertions without challenge.

    It'll get people like cl running pretty fast. Gideon is probably a different animal, that's a theist troll you just have to ban.

    At least it worked for me.

  23. Ha! You haven't learned yet that his game is to engage you in endless tagential discussions? He's counting on you responding to all his spewed crap, and he'll keep dishing it out faster than you can respond to it all, and that's what it's all about. He's discussion quicksand, the more you fight the further and faster you sink.

  24. That's the point, you don't respond to the skewed crap, you hold fast and keep insisting he back up the nonsense he's already vomited all over your comments. No answers, I don't go any farther. Since he has no answers, the discussion stops and he ends up looking like the asshat he is.

    Simple really.

  25. I'm puzzled by the statement that the Left were "out in droves" to protest Wilders at the Union League. I arrived several minutes before his speech was supposed to start, and there were a handful of conservatively dressed young people who apparently intended some kind of protest inside. After they went in, two others showed up to protest him outside, including the one who'd put out the email alert I'd seen. No one said he didn't have the right to speak.

  26. Well either the details were exaggerated or I misunderstood them. I never mentioned that they said he didn't have a right to speak that day though. I was referring to those who try to censor by way of hate speech labels and similar "offensive" speech.

  27. cl – I honestly have to say that cutting off someone's comment privilege is completely appropriate when they are simply being very little more than disruptive. I know you didn't say so, but this has *nothing* to do with free speech. I don't think Philly has done it (yet) but if he does he would have my full support. If the government prevented people like Gideon from web access, that would be a completely different issue, and I would support him.

    Gideon is continually and unrelentingly rude, repetitive, vulgar, sexist, homophobic and threatening. I can provide you with actual examples of females who will not come to my blog anymore due to his presence. As Jim eloquently put it (paraphrased) "your right to free expression doesn't require me to allow you in to my house to shit on the living room floor".

  28. Says something about cl that he thinks that's funny…

  29. He's also a fan of Everybody loves Raymond. True story.

  30. Contentious concept of freedom of speech!

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