❝❝What the hooligans last Thursday at my lecture in Colorado were objecting to was a very different kind of invasion—a peaceful, voluntary offering of ideas they were unaware of, didn’t want to hear, and thought it was their right to prevent others from hearing. Their intent was to intimidate, to harass, to silence, to dominate. This is not conduct that a citadel of education should tolerate for an instant.
Interesting, isn’t it, that what some go to college for, others find “offensive.” As I watched the incident occur, I thought to myself, “I’m standing in a taxpayer-funded institution of supposedly ‘higher’ education, not a Khmer Rouge re-education camp, for crying out loud!”❞❞
— Lawrence W. Reed
❝❝Instead of defining freedom of expression as guaranteeing the robust debate from which the truth emerges, Lyotard focused on the asymmetry of different positions when personal experience is challenged by abstract arguments. His extreme example was Holocaust denial, where invidious but often well-publicized cranks confronted survivors with the absurd challenge to produce incontrovertible eyewitness evidence of their experience of the killing machines set up by the Nazis to exterminate the Jews of Europe. Not only was such evidence unavailable, but it also challenged the Jewish survivors to produce evidence of their own legitimacy in a discourse that had systematically denied their humanity.
Lyotard shifted attention away from the content of free speech to the way certain topics restrict speech as a public good. Some things are unmentionable and undebatable, but not because they offend the sensibilities of the sheltered young. Some topics, such as claims that some human beings are by definition inferior to others, or illegal or unworthy of legal standing, are not open to debate because such people cannot debate them on the same terms.
The recent student demonstrations at Auburn against Spencer’s visit — as well as protests on other campuses against Charles Murray, Milo Yiannopoulos and others — should be understood as an attempt to ensure the conditions of free speech for a greater group of people, rather than censorship. Liberal free-speech advocates rush to point out that the views of these individuals must be heard first to be rejected. But this is not the case. Universities invite speakers not chiefly to present otherwise unavailable discoveries, but to present to the public views they have presented elsewhere. When those views invalidate the humanity of some people, they restrict speech as a public good.❞❞
— Ulrich Baer
h/t Bookworm Room
❝❝I recall my elementary school science teacher’s story of when a Neo-Nazi gave a speech at UC Berkeley in the mid-60s. It was her first year there, and she was unsure what to make of the atmosphere. Around 250 Berkeley students and community members listened carefully as the Nazi spoke. As a Jew whose family had recently fled Europe because of anti-Semitism, the talk was shocking. But she stayed and listened politely like the other students. After the talk was over, the audience did not rush the stage, chant or even call the man names. They were even more devastating. They asked questions using logic and history, confusing and confounding the unabashed racist. They made him look like a fool. Somewhere along the way, the bulk of college progressives abandoned this method of dealing with people with whom we disagree.
I know my example is extreme. You may justifiably say it’s unreasonable to expect students to be respectful of those promoting genocide, but the targets of political censorship in 2017 are not limited to Neo-Nazis, or even alt-right trolls. Middlebury students silenced social scientist Charles Murray by shouting “Racist, sexist, anti-gay. Charles Murray, go away” before destroying his car. Berkeley students attempted to cancel a speech by liberal comedian Bill Maher because of his comments criticizing radical Islam. If we have the intellectual tools to debate these people on a level ground, it should be unnecessary to silence them. Macalester students have the privilege of getting one of the greatest educations in the history of mankind. It is counterproductive to deprive ourselves of conversations that might make us uncomfortable. These conversations are as rewarding as they are difficult, but they require us to talk to those who offend us, instead of isolating and humiliating them. As Victorian novelist Goerge Eliot put it, “the last refuge of intolerance is in not tolerating the intolerant.”❞❞
— Jacob Hill
A microcosm of the maddening mix of Progressive hate, ignorance, and nonsense at an American college
❝❝Unlike those other American colleges, however, Macalester is never in the news. I suspect this is because no student or faculty member would ever dream of inviting to the campus someone who doesn’t meet the Progressive purity scale. Without any opposing views, there is no call for violence.
It was therefore a great and pleasant surprise to discover that one young man is defending the free exchange of ideas. What moved Jacob Hill to write was the fact that the staff of the college radio station, perfectly emulating a Maoist re-education camp, grouped together to castigate a fellow employee for having dared to place on the college Facebook page a meme that “satirized the prevalence of white Adidas sneakers among women who claim not to conform to societal norms.” I’m having trouble envisioning how offensive such a meme could be but for the student’s cohorts at the radio station, it was a bridge too far.❞❞
❝❝The IRS seized more than $17 million from innocent business owners over a two-year period using obscure anti-money laundering rules and civil asset forfeiture, compromising the rights of individuals and their businesses, a government watchdog has found.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released a report Tuesday detailing how, between 2012 and 2014, IRS investigators seized hundreds of bank accounts from business owners based on nothing but a suspicious pattern of deposits. In more than 90 percent of those cases, the money was completely legal. The report also found that investigators violated internal policies when conducting interviews, failed to notify individuals of their rights, and improperly bargained to resolve civil cases.❞❞
— C.J. Ciaramella, IRS Seized $17 Million From Innocent Business Owners Using Asset Forfeiture
❝❝Former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice ordered U.S. spy agencies to produce “detailed spreadsheets” of legal phone calls involving Donald Trump and his aides when he was running for president, according to former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova.
“What was produced by the intelligence community at the request of Ms. Rice were detailed spreadsheets of intercepted phone calls with unmasked Trump associates in perfectly legal conversations with individuals,” diGenova told The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group Monday.
“The overheard conversations involved no illegal activity by anybody of the Trump associates, or anyone they were speaking with,” diGenova said. “In short, the only apparent illegal activity was the unmasking of the people in the calls.”❞❞
— Richard Pollock, Former US Attorney: Susan Rice Ordered Spy Agencies To Produce ‘Detailed Spreadsheets’ Involving Trump
❝❝Since news broke Monday that the Obama Administration's National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, directed the "unmasking" of NSA intercepts of Trump associates, CNN has raced to shoot down the blockbuster report.
CNN Tonight's Don Lemon went so far as to announce he would ignore the news at all costs.
Over the last 24 hours, the network has repeatedly called on its chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto, to dismiss the reports as a non-story, even arguing that Rice "wasn't aware" what unmasking Rep. Devin Nunes (D-Calif.) was referring to when she claimed ignorance only two weeks ago.
"New Day" anchor Alisyn Camerota openly pleaded with Sen. John McCain to write-off the news as unimportant.❞❞
— Grabien News, CNN Goes On Rampage Against Susan Rice Bombshell, Instructs Viewers To Ignore Story
❝❝Civil asset forfeiture is a national problem, and a big one. In 2014, for the first time in recorded history, police in the United States seized more money and property through civil asset forfeiture than all burglars and thieves combined. Making matters worse, civil asset forfeiture has been known to disproportionately impact African Americans and Latinos, creating significant barriers to opportunity in their communities. According to a study in Oklahoma, nearly two thirds of seizures come from racial minorities, representing a significant disparity.❞❞
— Payton Alexander, Maine is poised to make it a lot harder for police to steal your stuff
Emphasis added. H/T reddit
One backed down. So much for character. So much for honor. So much for principle.
She’s going to stay where the money is.
❝❝The parents were acting to protect their daughter, and discipline her, if necessary. The police were trying to build a case for a criminal prosecution. Those objectives were irreconcilable, which is why the parents should have either refused all cooperation, or insisted on being accompanied by an attorney during their meeting with the police.❞❞Read More...
❝❝The sky is not falling, and when the dust settles, Britain's decision may very well prove to be a pivotal event in the reshaping of global relationships and trade that will, in the final analysis, benefit all of us.❞❞
— Gary Johnson, You Can Look at Brexit as a ‘Catastrophe’ or an ‘Opportunity’
❝❝In the sixty years since the Civil Rights movement, the Left has entirely perverted the whole notion of civil rights. Civil Rights as the Founders intended meant the right of all citizens, regardless of race, color, religion, sexual, gender, etc., to be free of government constraints (although the government’s police powers certainly required the government to protect citizens when others amongst them worked to injure them or constrain their basic freedoms). Civil Rights as the Left demands it has become an all powerful government that is responsible for redistribution wealth, property, access to government and even happiness, from whites to blacks.❞❞Read More...
— Bookworm, American Christians are the new blacks; and Leftists own the new Jim Crow movement
❝❝CNN’s Carol Costello ATTACKED Duke head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski for refusing to weigh in on the new religious freedom law in Indiana. I’m not kidding. Krzyzewski didn’t come down one way or the other on the law, he simply refused to address it. But because he didn’t fall in line, I guess, with other sports figures condemning the law, CNN does a whole segment attacking him…❞❞
❝❝Nobody should be forced to do something they don’t want to do, whether it’s bake cakes for gay weddings or decorate cakes with anti-gay slurs. To me, whether a person’s or a business’s decision is based in religion is immaterial.
Whatever you may think of Jack Phillips’s refusal to bake a wedding cake for gay customers, there’s something as or more disturbing about the court ruling against the owner of Lakewood, Colorado’s Masterpiece Cakeshop. Not only was the baker forced to change his store policy, he and his staff were required to attend sensitivity training. That sounds like something out of China during the Cultural Revolution. It doesn’t help that Phillips offered to make the original complainants any sort of item but a wedding cake.
Most Americans don’t agree with Phillips’s beliefs in this case, but such disagreements are one of the prices we pay for living in a free society, in which we seriously recognize and respect that different people have different value systems. It’s worth noting that in the segregated South, very different rules applied. It was common, for instance, that local and state governments and laws actively prevented businesses from treating customers equally. When laws were not openly racist, “citizen’s councils” and terror groups such as the Ku Klux Klan enforced a de facto standard against businesses that treated all customers equally. This is not the case today with regards to gays and lesbians.
By the same token, any individuals or businesses that exclude certain sorts of business can’t exactly bitch and moan when people decide to publicize such policies and organize boycotts, as is happening to the entire state of Indiana now.❞❞
Oh, and speaking of Apple and Tim Cook.
❝❝Now, there would be an argument to deny business owners even this little space to live by their spiritual sensibilities if the discriminated individuals couldn't obtain the services they needed elsewhere — as was the case with blacks in the Jim Crow South prior to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. But discrimination isn't as institutionalized now as it was then, especially against gays, who have gained rapid acceptance in recent years. If one establishment refuses to service gay customers, there are myriad others that will, imposing no severe hardship on them. To insist on being served by the few people whose beliefs would be violated seems more like a projection of power rather than a plea to secure legitimate rights.
Furthermore, if Cook merely boycotted Christian businesses whose beliefs he found abhorrent, it would be one thing. But what's truly obnoxious about his campaign is that he is using his right not to do business with Indiana, because it's doing something he disagrees with, to obtain a law that would deny Indiana businesses the same right not to do business with folks who they don’t agree with. This is simply intolerance masquerading as a crusade for justice and equality — a naked use of brute market power to legislate his views.❞❞
Doug Powers may have gone a little overboard with the “snark setting,” but he makes a pretty good point about Tim Cook and Apple too.
❝❝Hey, if a theocratic Islamic monarchy can show Indiana how to do religious freedom and gay rights correctly, Apple’s CEO is hot-to-trot for that particular business deal.❞❞
Here’s the thing.
Americans have the right to discriminate. The right of the people “peaceably to assemble” also means that you don’t have to associate with people you don’t like. If the government doesn’t have the power to force you to attend church, they don’t have the power to keep someone from practicing their religion as they choose so long as it doesn’t injure another. Neither help nor hinder.
If your neighbor doesn’t have the power to control your actions by his beliefs, you don’t have that power either. It’s the parity test again.
I said it before in my True Believer Rant.
❝❝In other words, inflict government on someone today, and you shouldn't be surprised if someone inflicts government on you tomorrow.
All these are examples of what I call True Believer Syndrome. The idea is not original with me, heck, Isaac Bonewits spends most of his Cult Danger Evaluation Frame defining exactly what makes a True Believer, and in several of his other essays he details why they can be so dangerous.
But the one thing that I have found in all True Believers is an absolute belief that their particular book, method, faith, interpretation, or silly hat is The Only Acceptable Choice. They will ignore anything that anyone else does if it doesn't adhere totally to The True Way. Worse, they will overlook mistakes and abuses made by the people on the correct side, even as they violate the principles they hold central to their belief.
Or as the old Genesis song goes, "Do as I say, don't do as I do."
I often call True Believers fundies because it gets the point across. At least, to most people.
Lately I've seen a disturbing trend. Both the "right" and "left" have their extremists, but it seems that the leadership on the left is made up mostly of extremists. Most moderates and conservatives seem to be willing to sit down and talk over differences, but that doesn't seem to be true on the "progressive" side. It's a lousy observation to make, but by golly, that is what I see. The "leadership" of the "left" wants to exclude any other possibilities.
The people making the loudest noises about "diversity" are the very ones who want to take it away.❞❞
Ten years later, and it’s the same thing only with the volume turned up.
❝❝Yes, f*** your trauma. My sympathy for your suffering, whether that suffering was real or imaginary, ended when you demanded I change my life to avoid bringing up your bad memories. You don’t seem to have figured this out, but there is no “I must never be reminded of a negative experience” expectation in any culture anywhere on earth.❞❞Read More...
— Chris Hernandez, ‘Microaggressions’ And ‘Trigger Warnings,’ Meet Real Trauma