Category Archives: Free Speech

‘Mercy For Animals’ Contaminates Worthy Message With The Illogic Of Racial Politics

Argument, COVID-19, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Free Speech, Logic, Political Philosophy, Politics, Propaganda, Race, Racism, Reason

All good people would intuitively support “Mercy For Animals,” if the organization refrained from veering into racial politics. Such fuzzy, imprecise thinking, as expressed in this fortune-cookie quality notice above, will only serve to weaken the appeal of the worthy causes of “Mercy For Animals.”

In connecting the cause of animals with the “Black Lives Matter” production, “Mercy For Animals” has ridiculously and irrationally conflated unrelated issues. It’s akin to the epidemiologist who suddenly starts rabbiting about racism as a pandemic.

Racism is generally a thought crime—the crime of thinking politically impure thoughts.

COVID-19, the pandemic, is the spread of a physical, contagious disease that affects the body.

Logically, never the twain shall meet.

Aside from spouting irrational stupidity, such “medics” have crossed over into politics—policing thoughts, in particular—and should forthwith, as a result, lose all medical credibility.

Likewise, “Mercy for Animals” should stick to their needy charges: abused and misused animals.

Andrew Sullivan Forgets How He ALSO Once Policed Uniformity. Iraq, Andrew?

America, Argument, Bush, Conflict, Constitution, Free Speech, Iraq

What Andrew Sullivan, a fine essayist, says in this one paragraph of his latest piece, “Is There Still Room For Debate?,” is profound. It concerns the manner in which adherence to ideology is policed in America (and it is):

In America, of course, with the First Amendment, this is impossible. But perhaps for that very reason, Americans have always been good at policing uniformity by and among themselves. The puritanical streak of shaming and stigmatizing and threatening runs deep. This is the country of extraordinary political and cultural freedom, but it is also the country of religious fanaticism, moral panics, and crusades against vice. It’s the country of The Scarlet Letter and Prohibition and the Hollywood blacklist and the Lavender Scare. The kind of stifling, suffocating, and nerve-racking atmosphere that Havel evokes is chillingly recognizable in American history and increasingly in the American present.

The new orthodoxy — what the writer Wesley Yang has described as the “successor ideology” to liberalism — seems to be rooted in what journalist Wesley Lowery calls “moral clarity.” He told Times media columnist Ben Smith this week that journalism needs to be rebuilt around that moral clarity, which means ending its attempt to see all sides of a story, when there is only one, and dropping even an attempt at objectivity (however unattainable that ideal might be). And what is the foundational belief of such moral clarity? That America is systemically racist, and a white-supremacist project from the start,

Funny thing, however: I well remember, early in the 2000s, how Mr. Sullivan, together with the likes of David Frum (see my “Frum’s Flim-Flam” ), scolded and almost silenced those who objected to the invasion of Iraq. Well, I was certainly exiled from polite political company, around about then.

From my “PUNDITS, HEAL THYSELVES!” (May 29, 2004):

Thomas Friedman, Christopher Hitchens (undeniably a writer of considerable flair and originality), George Will and Tucker Carlson (both of whom seem to have conveniently recanted at the eleventh hour), Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, Mark Steyn, Max Boot, John Podhoretz, Andrew Sullivan – they all grabbed the administration’s bluff and ran with it. Like the good Trotskyites many of them were, once they tasted blood, they writhed like sharks. Compounding their scent-impaired bloodhound act was their utter ignorance of geopolitical realities – they insisted our soldiers would be greeted with blooms and bonbons and that an Iraqi democracy would rise from the torrid sands of Mesopotamia.
Their innumerable errors and flagrant hubris did not prevent the neoconservatives from managing to marginalize their competitors on the Right: the intrepid Pat Buchanan and his American Conservative; the quixotic Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. of LewRockwell.com, and Antiwar.com. (Plus this column, of course). Unfortunately for America, there hasn’t been a horror in Iraq that these prescients did not foretell well in advance.

Confess, Clinton; Say You’re Sorry, Sullivan” (2007):

Senator Hillary Clinton and neoconservative blogger Andrew Sullivan share more than a belief that “Jesus, Mohamed, and Socrates are part of the same search for truth.” They’re both Christians who won’t confess to their sins.

Both were enthusiastic supporters of Bush’s invasion of Iraq, turned scathing and sanctimonious critics of the war. Neither has quite come clean. Both ought to prostrate themselves before those they’ve bamboozled, those they’ve helped indirectly kill, and whichever deity they worship. (The Jesus-Mohamed-and-Socrates profanity, incidentally, was imparted by Sullivan, during a remarkably rude interview he gave Hugh Hewitt. The gay activist-cum-philosopher king was insolent; Hewitt took it .)

I won’t bore you with the hackneyed war hoaxes Sullivan once spewed, only to say that there was not an occurrence he didn’t trace back to Iraq: anthrax, September 11, and too few gays in the military—you name it; Iraq was behind it. Without minimizing the role of politicians like Clinton, who signed the marching orders, neoconservative pundits like Sullivan provided the intellectual edifice for the war, also inspiring impressionable young men and women to sacrifice their lives and limbs to the insatiable Iraq Moloch.

The latest policed orthodoxy Sullivan expounds on and wishes to be able to debate openly is, “That America is systemically racist, and a white-supremacist project from the start, that, as Lowery put it in The Atlantic, ‘the justice system — in fact, the entire American experiment — was from its inception designed to perpetuate racial inequality.”

Obviously incorrect.

Another of those Big Lies guarded across the spectrum, left and right, are the lies about America’s mandate around the world, borne of its exceptionalism: The Big Lies undergirding the destruction of Iraq (supported by Republicans like Sullivan) and Libya (brought about by Democrats like Hillary Clinton).

These are typical American truisms which need shattering, too. Mr. Sullivan, in his defense, did apologize for his role in the destruction of Iraq (after the fact).

* Image courtesy John @John89325183

The Daily Northwestern, A Newspaper, Says ‘No’ To Journalism

English, Free Speech, Journalism, Kids, Media

Woke journalism puts feelings before facts.

The background to the latest campus snowflake storm comes straight from the horse’s mouth (with apologies to horses). Writes The Daily Northwestern (in crappy English and style):

former Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke on campus at a Northwestern University College Republicans event. The Daily sent a reporter to cover that talk and another to cover the students protesting his invitation to campus, along with a photographer.

We recognize that we contributed to the harm students experienced, and we wanted to apologize for and address the mistakes that we made that night — along with how we plan to move forward.

One area of our reporting that harmed many students was our photo coverage of the event. Some protesters found photos posted to reporters’ Twitter accounts retraumatizing and invasive. Those photos have since been taken down. On one hand, as the paper of record for Northwestern, we want to ensure students, administrators and alumni understand the gravity of the events that took place Tuesday night. However, we decided to prioritize the trust and safety of students who were photographed. We feel that covering traumatic events requires a different response than many other stories. While our goal is to document history and spread information, nothing is more important than ensuring that our fellow students feel safe — and in situations like this, that they are benefitting from our coverage rather than being actively harmed by it. We failed to do that last week, and we could not be more sorry [SIC]

And so it goes. If only this tinny denunciation of basic journalistic practices was, at least, written with some flare.

MORE of the mea culpa:Addressing The Daily’s coverage of Sessions protests.”

Free Speech: When It’s ILLEGAL To Say ‘ILLEGAL Immigrant’

Constitution, Free Speech, Law, Natural Law, Regulation

This is a case of a city’s anti-discrimination ordinance overriding the U.S. Constitution.

Most of us are unaware that the First Amendment to the Constitution has been flagrantly compromised by a city’s anti-discrimination ordinance. In this case, the New York City Human Rights Law.

Last week, New York City’s Commission on Human Rights declared that using the term “illegal alien” pejoratively to describe an undocumented person violates laws designed to protect employees and tenants from discrimination, and could result in fines of up to $250,000.

How long before “merely calling someone an illegal alien on the street, or threatening to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement on them, [becomes] illegal”?

The author at Reason seems to have confidence the above won’t occur, writing that, “It’s important to note that this guidance does not affect all kinds of speech: The law covers workplace harassment, tenants’ rights, and public accommodation.”

More moderate fluff from Reason:

The government cannot simply prohibit people from making politically incorrect statements about undocumented people—it must limit the scope of anti-discrimination mandates in order to satisfy the broad free speech guarantees enjoyed by all people.

Just you wait.

A way more principled analysis—as principled as the positive law can be—is Eugene Volokh’s. He has determined that “constitutionally protected speech [does not] lose its protection because of the speaker’s supposedly improper purpose.

Also way better than the milquetoast Reason Magazine is “NYC Seeks to Curb Speech About Illegal Aliens” by Hans Bader.

Thinking of the Constitution as the supreme law of the land is just silly. Any vestiges of the natural law in the Constitution have long since been buried under the rubble of legislation and statute.