Thursday, November 22, 2012

X-Post: That guy's ' "Raging Primordial Rage"

So, I've been trying to figure out how to respond to that guy's latest diatribe against me. Ostensibly, it's a post about free speech, but the argument the guy offers: 1) is primarily about me, not free speech, 2) is not based in fact or evidence, but is instead just another example of him ranting and raging away, and 3) displays a profound misunderstanding as to what the Jonathan Rauch video he features and the organization behind it (The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education - FIRE) are all about.

Let's go to the videotape, and then to the guy's "argument," such as it is:

"Rauch, who is a far-left progressive, nails it on who's the biggest threat to freedom of speech, thought and expression in the country today. What's surprising, though, is that harassment-blogger Walter James Casper III "liked" it on Twitter --- tweeting it out a couple of times in fact. And it's ironic too, since Repsac3 is the epitome of the hateful, speech-controlling progressive that Rauch is denouncing. From racism to anti-Semitism to the recent attacks on Ann Coulter at Fordham, Repsac3 is down with it. He never, ever speaks out against it, and in fact joins in with his progressive hate-commentariat in mounting campaigns of personal destruction against those with whom he disagrees. I've chronicled Repsac3's criminal campaigns of intimidation many times. If he truly "likes" the ideas of Jonathan Rauch he should in fact practice them. Sadly, the record shows that while the demonically hate-addled Repsac3 purportedly champions this kind of classical liberal thought, his actual political loyalties are with those who stand against it. It's not just that Walter James Casper III is a stupid man. It's that he's also been psychological corrupted by progressive evil. Where there's a bodily inclination in him that says leftist thought suppression is not just wrong but massively vile, his raging primordial rage at conservatives kicks in to advance the exact kind of censorship that Rauch excoriates above. Repsac3 is a rodent of a person, and hardened, blackened chip of human refuse. Honestly, his only hope is to follow the words of people like Rauch and literally repent his ideology of hatred and secular demonology."
The first line isn't far off. Jonathan Rauch does believe that "the humanitarian impulse" to prevent bigots from saying bigoted things so as not to offend minorities, enforced via campus/workplace speech codes, (and yes, often put into place by progressives) is one of the biggest threats to free speech. While I still believe there should be time/place/manner standards for speech (and from what I can tell, FIRE does, as well), I'm inclined to agree. The answer to overt or implicit bigotry isn't legal/statutory rules and punishment, it's more speech--reasoned argument to persuade, and denunciation of the bigotry and those who engage in it to create a social penalty for such behavior. You don't prevent people from being attacked, you stand shoulder to shoulder with them when they are.

Sadly, therein ends the guy's engagement with the topic at hand or with reality. Everything after that first line is dishonest attack, and nothing more.

The guy labels me "the epitome of the hateful, speech-controlling progressive that Rauch is denouncing," but never offers a single example of my attempting to control speech in the manner that Rauch discusses. He accuses me of "advanc[ing] the exact kind of censorship that Rauch excoriates," but fails to offer anything in support of his accusation. Mostly though, he just vents his spleen by calling me names and vomiting up meaningless epithets--(harassment-blogger, hate-commentariat, criminal, demonically hate-addled, stupid, psychological corrupted by progressive evil, raging primordial rage [my personal favorite, and thus the title of this post], a rodent of a person, and hardened, blackened chip of human refuse, ...)--and pretends that by doing so, he's actually saying anything.

The facts are very different. Who is the guy saying those things, if not a man who believes that the brand of conservatism he espouses is the one true answer, and that everyone else is wrong (and demonically evil) for believing in a different set of political ideals?

Which of us controls the ideas that are permitted to appear on our blogs, actively moderating for content, weeding out commentary that he doesn't like or agree with?

And which of us tried to shoehorn disagreement on the internet onto criminal laws against harassment and stalking, even going so far as to talk to his local police and his congressman.

Just recently the guy approvingly tweeted about a case in England where a conservative is using that country's anti-free speech slander laws to lash out at everyone who (falsely, as far as the available evidence is concerned) accused him of being a paedophile on twitter and other social media outlets. (And when I say "everyone," I mean it... According to the linked article "His lawyers are reported to have already discovered around 1,000 original offending Tweets and a further 9,000 re-Tweets." That's a whole lotta lawsuits...):

For all his blather to the contrary, the guy has no problem applauding legal enforcement to criminalize speech he disapproves of, even going so far as to attempt to do so himself...which is exactly what Jonathan Rauch and FIRE oppose.

And even aside that, the guy's scapegoating of progressives is wrong. FIRE co-founder Greg Lukianoff is a former ACLU lawyer and a progressive. And the guy himself admits that Jonathan Rauch is a "far-left progressive" (who apparently also "totally awesomely sucks the cock," by the way... I know how the guy likes to highlight that fact whenever he finds it, for reasons I leave to the reader to suss out.)

Sure, there are progressives who mistakenly believe that protecting minorities from offense by using speech codes on campus and in the workplace is a good idea. But it is also progressives (like FIRE, and like the ACLU) who're on the front lines protecting unpopular speech from those who would censor or criminalize it. That the guy tries to sweepingly generalize about progressives as though Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Rauch don't exist--while simultaneously using them to bolster his bullshit attack on progressives--is the height of hypocrisy, and shows that the guy has zero credibility.

Progressives Are the Biggest Threat to Freedom of Speech in America (& as of 11/25/12, Freedom to Blog Update November 25, 2012, which links back to the previous post, as though it hadn't already been fully discredited above four days earlier.)

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education - FIRE

New FIRE Video: Jonathan Rauch ‘In Defense of Being Offensive’ - The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education - FIRE

Twitter / repsac3: I liked a @YouTube video ...

Criminalizing the Internet - The Ongoing Saga

California Penal Code Section 653m on Criminal Harassment With Intent to Annoy: Report on Unwanted Illegal Contacts by Fascist Hate-Blogger Walter James Casper III

Federal Investigation of Walter James Casper III Could Involve Civil Rights Abuses

'Isn't It Totally Awesome That Nate Silver Sucks Cock?'

Still more on Dishonest Donald Douglas' attempts at Lawfare: In Reply: "I never thought that person did it because of their political leanings, I think they did it because they were cowardly bullies." (Popehat, Team Kimberlin, that guy)

An x-post from a blog that was.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

In Reply: What Happened at Fordham Wasn't Censorship...It Was Speech

In reply to: The Weekend Interview with Greg Lukianoff: How Free Speech Died on Campus -

This whole thing is a put on. No one forced the College Republicans to disinvite Coulter. They did that on their own, of their own free will (and to hear them tell it, BEFORE president McShane expressed his opinion on the subject.) No one issued a law. Campus security was not dispatched to keep Ann Coulter (or those who invited her) off the campus.

What happened was exactly what so many of us so often say we want; for those who don't like the speech of a particular speaker to respond with speech of their own. McShane, along with many Fordham students, believe that Ann Coulter has said offensive things in the past, and spoke out against giving her the opportunity to say them again at Fordham. Whether the college Republicans legitimately agreed, or simply bowed to the pressure of having so many people disagree with their choice of speaker, this isn't a case of censorship or a lack of acedemic freedom. The college president didn't stop Ann Coulter from coming or threaten to punish those who invited her. All he did was speak out saying he was disappointed in the choice they had made, and saying why. That's not's speech.

I agree that too many schools go too far in trying to curb unpopular or hurtful speech. While I do believe that not all speech is appropriate in all situations, there is no speech that should be suppressed in all situations, on or off campus. And while I understand the appeal of making hard and fast rules, accusations of bigoted or hurtful speech have to be judged on their own merits. Zero tolerance policies seldom work, no matter what "evil" they're trying to prevent.

While i'm a liberal, I often agree with the stands FIRE takes... But I think they're missing the mark on this one... This is speech in response to speech, and a group who says they were convinced by some of that speech to change their minds.

Posted Saturday, 11/17/12

Richard Tauchar Replied:
"All he did was speak out saying he was disappointed in the choice they had made, and saying why."
Isn't that bad enough? It's not his place to influence students in that way. Yes, he used "speech", but it's the speech of the person in power, which carries extra weight.
My Reply to Richard:

First off, the College Republican group claim that they had already decided to "disinvite" Ms. Coulter prior to McShane releasing his statement, but even if they had not, no, I don't believe that the college president should refrain from being a part of the debate because he holds power at the college anymore than I believe Ann Coulter should refrain from participating in the debate because her celebrity affords her more power than others. If he wasn't using his power--by sanctioning those who invited Coulter, or creating a rule whereby he would have to approve all on-campus speakers prior to their being invited to speak--the fact of his power at Fordham University should not prevent him from expressing his opinion, even if some with less power at the campus may feel bad (or even vaguely threatened, though he issued no threat) because he disagreed with them.

Tom O'Hare sez:
BS, James. The president used his power to discourage a well-known media writer/lawyer from expressing her opinion. Stop the spin. If it had been Angela Davis, he would have been fawning all over her. Get real.
My reply to Tom:

How so, Tom?

What specifically did Reverend McShane say or do that prevents (or in any way discourages) Ann Coulter from expressing her opinions? She's as free to speak today as she ever was...

When you "get real," Reverend McShane didn't even discourage the College Republicans at Fordham University. Their own statement, signed by the President, VP, Treasurer and Secretary, the Fordham College Republicans had already decided to drop Ms. Coulter before McShane made his statement:

“We made this choice freely before Fr. McShane’s email was sent out and we
became aware of his feelings– had the President simply reached out to us
before releasing his statement, he would have learned that the event was being

And while you're at it, perhaps you will back your claim that Reverend Joseph McShane is in any way sympathetic to Communism--or in fact, resides anywhere on the left side of the partisan political spectrum--with more than just your own intuition. (I mean, I suppose it's possible that he's a communist (or God forbid, a Democrat), but I can find no report saying so, and no statements of his supporting communist rhetoric or ideals.)

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Evolution is a thing...

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

"Ohio really did go to the president last night. 

And he really did win.
And he really was born in Hawaii.
And he really is -legitimately- President of the United States.

And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make-up a fake unemployment rate last month. 
And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence
That cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy.

And the polls were not skewed to over-sample Democrats.
And Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election
To make conservatives feel bad.
He was doing math.

And climate change is real.
And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes.
And evolution is a thing.
And Benghazi was an attack on us.
It was not a scandal by us.

And no one is taking away anyone's guns.
And taxes haven't gone up.
And the deficit is dropping, actually.
And Saddam Hussein didn't have weapons of mass destruction.

And the moon landing was real.
And FEMA isn't building concentration camps.
And UN election observers aren't taking over Texas.
And moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry
And the financial services industry
Are not the same thing as communism."

By Will Femia - Thu Nov 8, 2012 1:00 AM EST Adapted from The Rachel Maddow Show 11/7, and originally posted here: Evolution is a thing - The Maddow Blog

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