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.

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