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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Democracy Dies in Hate Speech Laws

Silverfiddle Rant!
Former Time Editor and CEO of Constitution Center (!) Wants To Cancel First Amendment, Pass Hate Speech Laws

The rest of the world--from Central Europe to the Islamic lands of the Middle East--hate our liberal Free Speech laws. Free Speech is a threat to tyrants and hidden agendists everywhere, and it is a particular threat to multi-cultural societies, since they have more friction points than homogeneous ones.

Social media platforms hate free speech: It is a threat to their revenue models. Now more than ever, they need a global speech code enforced by powerful nations in order to legally shield their profits and eliminate costly and legally-precarious nation-by-nation tailored enforcement. One Automated Speech Code to Rule Them All.

Asshat Richard Stengel, Obamaite and former Time Magazine editor, is the latest "serious person" to make anti-First Amendment arguments. We are in scary territory. Here are some excerpts:
On the Internet, truth is not optimized. On the Web, it's not enough to battle falsehood with truth; the truth doesn't always win.
What planet does this man live on? The Truth is slaughtered daily on the altar of partisan politics. Unfortunately, here in the real world, everything doesn't wrap up nice and neatly like a Leave it to Beaver episode. That is no reason to stamp out free speech.

Government schools that propagandize and indoctrinate, while making our children dumber, are also no reason to attack the First Amendment:

A 2016 Stanford study showed that 82 percent of middle schoolers couldn't distinguish between an ad labeled "sponsored content" and an actual news story.
Here's another pearl of wisdom:
All speech is not equal. And where truth cannot drive out lies, we must add new guardrails.
Something is crooked here, we all perceive it, but we can't put our finger on it. This quote provides some illumination:
Only a quarter of high school students could tell the difference between an actual verified news site and one from a deceptive account designed to look like a real one.
The linked article laments how students unquestioningly lap up information shoveled to them by an official-looking website that is really a "fake." 

What is "an actual verified news site?"  And what Official Verifier bearing the official Seal of Approval decides?

When the Washington Post libeled those schoolboys from Ohio, was that "actual verified news?"

More importantly--in this mortal coil where "truth cannot drive out lies," who decides what it the truth and what are the lies?  

Who was lying, Christine Blasey Ford, or Justice Kavanaugh?

Who was lying, the stolen valor Native American, or the schoolboys?

Restoring Walter Kronkite

This is revanchist Establishmentarians aching to restore the ancien r√©gime of  "Because We Say So." They long to return to the days where they determined what is right and what is wrong.  The Information Totalitarians are working to restore the regime that dictates Truth to the pliant masses who obediently lap it up and regurgitate, while the dissident fringe damns itself by its refusal to say  2+2=5.

We all grew up in an age of appeal to authority--"Four out of five doctors smoke Camels!"--but the "authorities" have beshat themselves and their credibility is shot.  There is no monopoly on truth.

See also: No, the US does not need European-style hate speech laws


  1. Democracy dies when any one of us presumes to infringe on the rights of another. Good, bad, or indifferent, every voice needs to be heard. Allowing some to truncate the cries of those out of fashion, is merely the assurance that we proceed without thought or reason.

  2. I have an instinctive appreciation of the profound difference between news coverage, editorial, and talking-point-factory fake-news outlet. I'm a big fan of free speech, but I don't think we should pretend that there is no difference between those three things. Mind you, I cannot immediately articulate what the difference is... anyone care to take a shot at it?

  3. Barring proven libel or the conveyance of a threat, the State dictating what a Citizen can or cannot voice.....is an anathema to a free society.

    Private companies and platforms are different. As abhorrent as it may seem, Citizens enter into relationships with these entities on a voluntary, contractual basis, and they can craft their terms of service (generally) as they wish.

  4. Vivan los officialistas! Officialismo para todos!

    The King will now issue official TradeMarks at 10 pounds each...

  5. CI said "Barring proven libel..."

    Once it's proven, isn't the damage done? If someone has been successfully libeled, he or she may have lost everything before anything could be done.

    The question for me, and maybe you and Silver, as more libertarian guys can answer, is one of limits. Everyone talks of truth, facts, etc, and who gets to decide what's true.

    But what about denigrating accepted facts, such as the existence of the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews? Germany made that type of speech illegal. Should people be able to deny the Holocaust and teach that it never happened?

    How does a society, or country, determine what speech, like yelling fire in a crowded theater, is not protected?

    Where as Virb says "every voice needs to be heard" what if my neighbor is always talking around his BBQ about people and using the "N" word and his voice carries into my yard daily and scares my African American wife?

    What are the ways we can protect the right we have, yet also accept some limits?

    1. You’ve stated the obvious point - “once it’s proven”. Until such time, it’s NOT proven. There have been false allegations ever since libel laws were invented; do you propose to ensure that every allegation results in a “pre-crime” sentence of guilt?

      Should I not be able to speak as I wish, especially within the confines of my property?

      Yelling “fire” in a crowded theater has always been a poor example of limits on free speech......because such an action is premeditated to provoke a dangerous reaction. Not so for almost any other example that I can think of.

      If I desire to malign clams of the Nazi holocaust, and teach that idea to my fellow Citizens.......why should the State be empowered to penalize me?

      Limits have their place, but limits designed to curb hurt feelings are waaaay out of bounds for State power.

    2. To sit by and silently accept falsehoods is to actively condone evil.

    3. Yes, people are free to state horrible and demonstrably false opinions. I want to know who the kooks and racists are, and letting them speak is a good way to identify them.

      Using denigrating language towards other could fall under provoking speech, fighting words, etc, and I have no problem with laws that punish it, if they are clearly defined.

      No topic or opinion should be off-limits.

    4. To sit by and silently accept falsehoods is to actively condone evil.

      This is easy. It is more evil to support "hate speech" laws, as its impact is upon the whole body of the People. The impact being, the infringement of enumerated, Constitutional Rights

    5. CI... you asked about the "confines of your property." I would agree with you. Until those words eek out, cross the fence and infect my property.

      So practically speaking, yes, in your house I'd say you have an absolute right to say what you want. But outside, on your porch, at a volume that cross my fence and impacts my rights?

      Maybe not.

    6. We all acknowledge the power of the state to step in and curtail our "rights" under certain circumstances. The question usually becomes where, and when, that line is crossed.

      From my perspective, many on the left are too quick to draw that line, while many on the right, too slow.

      And I've yet to see an objective standard that can be uniformly applied.

    7. Dave, I said “especially” on my property, in specific response to your invented anecdote. Words don’t infect.

      You seek to control not only the speech, but also the volume of a fellow Citizen? Why are you so afraid of ideas contrary to your own, that you would need the protection of the State to insulate you?

    8. Well CI... first of all, it's not an invented anecdote. My wife and I have in fact been robbed of the peace of enjoying our property because of the actions, speech and behavior of neighbors.

      What could I have done? Absolutely nothing. It was months later when SWAT had to come and with about 20 men, tanks and snipers, evacuate that house.

      But during the interim, our rights to the pursuit of happiness on our property were violated by the free speech of my neighbors.

      Was that legal? Should they have had that right? Were they exercising their rights in a way that infringed on my rights?

      I guess I think I have a right to live in my house, enjoy my backyard and not hear how niggers are horrible people, black people are great to f*^k, but not marry, etc.

      Perhaps you disagree?

    9. I used “invented” because you employed “what if”. I wholeheartedly disagree with your neighbors message, but unless their rhetoric was a threat, I defend their right to voice their opinion.

      Simple as that.

    10. On YOUR PROPERTY is it not true the space your property occupies is in fact space belonging to YOU.

      If it is then why does Dave's racist neighbors right to be disrespectful a-holes trump (pun intended) Dave's family's right to not feel FORCEDto hear their racism and hate being LOUDLY PROJECTED so they are forced to endure their racist rants.

      They are free to be as racist and hateful as they want. INSIDE THEIR OWN HOME.

    11. "Right to feel/not feel........

      That's adorable...but not how Rights work. I'm sure your list of objectionable words and thoughts is long and distinguished.

      BTW, I'm sure that you believe your first statement backs up your position, but as Dave's neighbors were on their property...it doesn't.

    12. I refer you to my comment regarding rights and respect.

      Some people are simply so narcissistic they believe they have the absolute right to say whatever they please, wherever they may be, whenever they please. And sure enough we, as a nation, elected Trump. And a fundamental shift away from a democratic republic followed. We let this slide (Trump's abuse of power) and we put our republic at future risk.

    13. Respectfully [pun intended?] your previous comment is not relevant where it concerns penalizing the actions [or words] of the Citizen. This is also quite irrespective of Trump, since the speech police exist primarily on the Left....and as such said shift from a Constitutional Republic, began far earlier than current occupant of the White House.

      Respect is the optimum......Rights are enumerated.

    14. Dave and RN...you're both on the Left; and if I may be so bold to presume that you may hold a common Leftist belief that our judicial system and law enforcement apparatus are inherently racist.....why would you wish to place even more vague and subjective power into the hands of such a system? Couldn't it be assumed that invariably, minorities would become even more oppressed with such punitive power arrayed against them?

      You cannot legislate nor codify respect......silence perhaps, but not respect.

    15. Do you know what assume does CI?

      You may be so bold to presume. But, speaking for myself, you'd be wrong.

      But to deny that institutional racism has existed, and still exists to some, perhaps minor degree is naive at best.

      IMO the majority of law enforcement in this day are not racist. A small minority of law enforcement is. That minority colors perceptions of the whole. They, when identified, need to be fired.

      As to the judiciary, it has had problems in regard to sentencing of minorities. IE sentencing severity of minorities -vs- caucasians for the same crimes.

    16. Your right CI. You cannot legislate or codify respect. One either knows what respect is or they don't. If they know what it is and choose to be disrespectful it is a view into their character. If one doesn't know what respect is they're simply hopeless. Eventually they end up paying the fiddler.

    17. So, you concur that one does not have a Right to respect? Where does that leave you with regard to “hate speech” legislation?

    18. Speaking for myself, I extend respect to all automatically upon first meeting them. It is theirs to keep, or lose. That choice is theirs to make. Once lost it's never easy to regain.

    19. Of course, that completely dodged the question.

    20. @ CI: "Of course, that completely dodged the question."

      That's one thing RN is good at: Making absurd claims he can't back up.

    21. CI... well yes, I lean left.

      As for speech, doesn't, or didn't my neighbor's actions affect my rights?

      I'd assert that they do/did. As such, does the classic "your rights stop when they impinge on my rights" statement apply?

      Mustang hit it well later in this thread when he talked of manners and civility. But are you saying there is no remedy to someone exercising his or her rights to free speech even if in so doing, they impinge, offend, or otherwise affect another's rights?

      Is te right to free speech so sacrosanct that the speaker holds all the power?

      That may be, in reality, or in your opinion. I'm just asking.

    22. What Right of your was violated? Should be an easy question to answer, no? Not state of mind, not feeling, not desired paradigm......what Right?

      Civility is great, but you hold the same 'power' as your neighbor; not being offended isn't [or shouldn't be] protected by punitive actions of the State.

      I notice, similar to any Leftist who advocates for restriction on Constitutional Rights, that you seem incapable of defining Rights v. desires....and don't seem to have a firm understanding of what you would even prohibit....beyond what "offends" you.....

    23. I’m guessing that we don’t get to know........

    24. Sorry CI... I was not avoiding your question... I just got back to it.

      I hear what your're saying about space, property, etc. I guess I could appeal to a general right to privacy in my own space, as affirmed by multiple SCOTUS decisions. Cops need a warrant to enter my house, a warrant to tap my phones, [mostly... I know there are exceptions] and even to surveil me in my backyard.

      But, and I agree, it's a big but, the world is way more connected today and our country way more densely populated.

      We can't put up pornographic billboards near a school. Do you see that as unconstitutional? If not, why not?

      Does the state have a right to enter and remove a child from a house of the child is being abused? Is that right specifically delineated? Is smoking and subjecting a child everyday to second hand smoke abuse worthy of removal?

      I would argue that everyday we recognize, some would say invent, rights that are not specifically spelled out in our founding documents.

      I don't know where all of this ends, or goes.

  6. Rights we all have --- They begins with mutual respect. They flows by mutual respect. They end with mutual respect.

    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    When and if all folks ever "get it", we won't be talking about this anymore. But yeah, if it ever develops to the point of Silverfiddle's post there will be much gnashing of teeth.

  7. Democracy dies a little more on a daily basis under this corrupt president.

    1. Democracy dies even more when the "loyal opposition" does everything in it's power to subvert, overthrow, and undermine the legitimately elected President. Democracy dies in #resistance. Suck it up and try harder next time. Unless you believe that it's only the will of the people when your side wins.

    2. Yes, we've all heard that talking point before. They're not trying to 'undermine the legitimately elected President.''They're investigating a president who jeopardized the safety of the US by engaging with a foreign entity to subvert an election for personal gain. And used tax payer's money in the process.

    3. How did he jeopardize the safety of the US?

      How would they have subverted an election?

    4. The Democrats have realized their own "greatest fears". LOL!

    5. I doubt the founders described impeachment by your words FJ. But I do recognize the purpose behind YOUR word selection.

    6. C'mon Rational Nation. We're supposed to giggle like fawning schoolgirls about the President of the United States seeking assistance from another country to sidestep an American citizen's Constitutional rights to habeas corpus and due process. Because, viz a viz the logic of Florida's elected potato Matt Gaetz, that President donated over 50 times as much money to the Clinton Foundation than a Constitutional law professor testifying in an impeachment hearing.

      You can't make this shit up.

    7. Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner. Probably not the most tragic hyperbole to see die.

      Either we live under a Constitution, or we don't. That's the binary at hand. Are "hate speech" laws Constitutional? My rifle says no.

    8. When principles of decorum and decency no longer matter a nation gets... Donald Trump.

    9. Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld created a ME catastrophe of biblical proportions, but they did it with Decorum!

      Hillary wrecked Libya and created one of the greatest humanitarian crises of the 21st century that kicked off the Million Man Muslim March into Europe, but she did it with Decorum!

      Barack Obama violated the constitution and illegally took billions from the treasury to pay off insurance companies, but he did it with Decorum!

      Enough with the decorum-draped politicians violating the constitution, conservative principles, and the will of the people.

      President Donald J. Trump is what you get when enough people get pissed off at a rotten, corrupt political system that is intellectually, morally and financially bankrupt.

    10. Yup. Embrace Trump. Hug him tight.

      Napolitano gets it. You don't. Apparently.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. You can take this anyway you like –– and of course you can DELETE it since YOU have that power –– but I am heartily sick of all the pious prating and dry, humorless, legalistic hairsplitting, mincing rhetoric, and self-importat, self-righteous posturing.


    The bells rang wildly in the town
    To greet The Man of high renown.
    As Trump came striding in
    The pealing clanging, booming sound
    Filled the air with fearful din

    And when the president arrived
    and strode into the room
    The clanking from his dangling balls
    resounded through the halls
    Sonorous enough to drown
    the dreaded Crack of Doom.

    Before the brazen bonging's end
    had finally came to pass
    Trump had torched the premises
    with lightning from his ass!

    ~ FreeThinke

    The TRUTH is not Hate Speech.

    VULGARITY is not Hate Speech either.

    RIBALDRY and RABELAISIAN wit are time-honored literary conventions.

    An excessive show of POLITENESS, PIETY and DECOROUS PULING, INGRATIATING is not only SMARMY it has too often served as a mask for cold-hearted contempt, bitter antagonism and outright viciousness. One doesn't have to indulge in nakedly aggressive INVECTIVE or flagrant NAME-CALLING to be guilty of behavior unworthy of a true gentleman or lady.

    It's only right, fair, good and proper to call a SPADE a S_P_A_D_E –– especially when it's used to dig into, stir up, and possibly TRANSPORT putrid matter from a COMPOST HEAP.

  10. I wouldn't say "Democracy dies" I'd say FREEDOM Dies"

  11. To me, slander and libel aside, freedom of speech means that people should be allowed to express their opinions no matter how horrid they may be, or hurtful to the feelings of others, since “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Once we get onto the slippery slope of restricting speech simply because someone may be offended by it, then there is no more true liberty in these United States. And if we can limit speech, we can also limit association, limit what the press may print, and may even get to the point of imposing our religious views on others. We have arrived at this point, not because of hurtful opinions or verbal assaults, per se, but rather because citizens today do not impose upon themselves good will, good manners or simple courtesy. Sure, we have a right to say what we want, but there are some things that we ought not say to others simply because in doing so, we demonstrate that we are ill-mannered, crass, or intellectually capable of non-hostile discourse.

  12. Jeffrey Epstein was MURDERED by agents of the CLINTONS –– probably on direct orders from Lady Macbitch, herself..

    you can safely bet on it, or take it to the bank –– or both.


  13. MOST likely the agents of Trump had him snuffed. Bet on it, or, Take lt to the bank.

    Merry Christmas!

    1. What makes you say that? What evidence do you have? There are books and investigations on Epstein's horrible activities. If there were any whiff of Donald Trump involvement, it would be all over the Infotainment Media Complex.

      Try thinking sometime.


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