The Consequences of Free Speech

by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

On a recent thread, the topic of politically correct speech as it relates to free speech came up. As with many of the more interesting threads on this blog, the topic came about from meandering rather than the subject proper of the thread. The subject was brought back to fore in my mind this morning when I read this: How Free Speech Died on Campus by  Sohrab Ahmari, published on The Wall Street Journal (online.wsj.com). It seems there are a lot of misconceptions about what constitutes free speech, the limitations thereon and the consequences thereof.

The core of the American free speech right and tradition is codified in the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Congress shall make no law [. . . ] abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press[.]”

The U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Art. 19, states:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

This has implications that apply to public discourse.  Let us consider these implications.

What is free speech?  I think the Universal Declaration gets to the heart of the idea with the words “freedom of opinion and expression”. You are free to think what you like and express your thoughts. The marketplace of ideas – a consequence of freedom of speech – relies upon this. Everyone says what they like and may the best idea/argument win. However, that being said, there are some limitations on free speech that are universally accepted in domestic and international jurisprudence.  Namely the exceptions of defamation (lying about someone for gain and/or profit) and incitement language (encouraging others to violence or panic). Many countries also recognize sedition (calling for the overthrow of government) as unacceptable as well. Consider the difference in these prohibitions and the different ways of addressing the 1st Amendment: the absolutist approach, the categorical approach and the balancing of interests approach.

All three approaches allow for restrictions on free speech. The absolutist approach takes the stance that literally no law prohibiting speech is permissible . . . except when the words are so intimately tied to a specific action like inciting panic or contracting for an illegal purpose as to be inseparable from the otherwise prohibited act itself. The categorical approach attempts to define what speech is or is not protected by assigning categories such as obscenity, fighting words, commercial speech and political speech. The balancing of interests approach in every case courts should weigh the individual’s interest in free expression against a valid governmental interest in restricting the speech in question with a thumb on the scale of justice in favor of free speech. Most modern jurists adopt either the categorical or the balancing approach as the absolutist approach is impractical. Personally, I’m somewhere in between those two analytical schools: circumstances should be considered, but some speech should be categorically protected like political free speech.

Defamation and incitement have sound public policy behind them. In the case of defamation, it arises from the long respected notion in torts that someone should not be able to lie about another to their detriment and/or for the defamer’s benefit. It’s a matter of equity. It has nothing to do with your feelings being hurt. There is a separate tort recognized in some jurisdictions called “Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress”. It is a very specific, very hard to prove tort where someone says things to or about someone with specific foreknowledge and the intent to cause the hearer or subject to suffer extreme emotional distress. It is a wilful tort and you must prove the speaker had mens rea (guilty mind) in causing the extreme emotional distress.

In the case of incitement, everyone knows the old trope about “yelling fire in a crowded theater”. Inciting panic or violence often ends up with innocent bystanders getting harmed either physically or by having their property destroyed and that is a matter of public safety as well as equity. Sedition, on the other hand, is a “political crime”. In the United States, a particularly odd political crime too considering the express language of the Declaration of Independence.

However, with these above noted exceptions, free speech means anything goes basically.  You are allowed to think and express your thoughts. This carries some broader implications.

As all people are free to express their thoughts and opinions, you are certainly going to hear things you disagree with or disapprove of or maybe even find insulting or offensive. That is simply a cost of the freedom. If you value free speech then you accept that you will be disagreed with, insulted and offended at some time. If you don’t accept this fact, then you value freedom of speech as long as you approve of what others say first and that, by definition, is not free.  If you cannot accept this and try to oppress others simply for having a different, insulting or offensive opinion, then you miss the point of free speech. The antidote for different ideas, just as it is for offense or insult, is more free speech. Make a rebuttal. Offer rejoinder for insult and offense. But everyone gets their say whether you personally like it or not. Respond. Don’t. It’s your choice. However, if you value freedom of speech, you’ll never try to censor. Even if the motive behind your thought is to crush an idea that is deeply offensive and indefensible. Motives don’t matter. Once you cross the line into censorship, you’ve abandoned criticism and counterargument for oppression. You will never beat a bad idea with oppression just like you’ll never stop a good idea with oppression. As the titular character V said in V for Vendetta, “Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. There is an idea, Mr. Creedy – and ideas are bulletproof.” Ideas and arguments are not idea and argument proof though. That’s the whole notion behind the marketplace of ideas. This illustrates why the antidote to bad ideas and bad arguments is precisely more free speech – better ideas, better arguments.

Your feelings are not generally protected by law with the one exception in tort. They are subjective. They are your own reactions and you own them. They may or may not be rational.

This is part and parcel of what is wrong with the idea of politically correct speech. An idea that has crept on to what was once the bastion of free speech – American college campuses. Rather than interpret or summarize How Free Speech Died on Campus by  Sohrab Ahmari, I am simply going to direct your attention to it and suggest that you read it in full for a scathing example of “politically correct” speech regulations on college campuses and how it has gone wrong. It’s a short article, but dense and well worth the read, full of examples like;

At Western Michigan University, it is considered harassment to hold a ‘condescending sex-based attitude.’ That just about sums up the line ‘I think of all Harvard men as sissies” (from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1920 novel ‘This Side of Paradise’), a quote that was banned at Yale when students put it on a T-shirt.”

and astute observations like;

‘The people who believe that colleges and universities are places where we want less freedom of speech have won, Mr. Lukianoff says. ‘If anything, there should be even greater freedom of speech on college campuses. But now things have been turned around to give campus communities the expectation that if someone’s feelings are hurt by something that is said, the university will protect that person. As soon as you allow something as vague as Big Brother protecting your feelings, anything and everything can be punished.‘” [emphasis added]

Suffice it to say, in an academic environment, there is nothing more detrimental to learning than shutting down the marketplace of ideas because some pinheaded “risk management” administrator thinks someone’s feelings should get hurt by words they themselves are free to challenge. If this trend continues, our colleges and universities will become a global laughing stock.

Free speech must be protected at all costs.  It is how we speak truth to power, to others and to ourselves when we are interested in learning truths.  It can make you uncomfortable.  It will challenge you. It will piss you off. It will hurt your feelings.  Freedom isn’t free.  It comes with costs.  These are some of the costs that you pay for freedom of speech.  If you don’t like getting your feelings hurt? If you don’t like being challenged? Develop thicker skin, learn to counter what you don’t like, or be ready to have yet another important freedom eroded, but this time not in the name of (false) security, but the onus of political correctness and catering to the subjective over the objective. James Madison thought freedom of speech (and the press) was critical and the 1st Amendment the most important item in the Bill of Rights.  Maybe you should think about that too.

What do you think?

Think, mind you.  Not feel.  That being said, have at it.

Source(s): WSJ Online, U.S. Constitution, U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights

~submitted by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

237 thoughts on “The Consequences of Free Speech

  1. I believe that it is legal to prohibit one from yelling FIRE! in a crowded theatre. Yelling God is Dead in a crowded church or mosque is not like yelling Fire. That is the distinction that is relevant. Now, libel is a different matter. It is not fair to call Petraeus’ girlfiend a slut. If a public figure has sex with a non public figure then leave them alone. Clinton should have been left alone. The fact that both Bobby and Jack porked Marilyn in the same night is of no consequence.

  2. Great job Gene. I agree with the Supreme Court that said Free Speech is messy. I am pretty much an absolutist, with the incitement and public safety as you mention above. I cannot even imagine free speech being curtailed on a college campus. Of course, I disagree with the Roberts Court and their reasoning that corporations are people and therefore do not believe they have Free Speech rights.

  3. Excellent article….. I appreciate the topic…. Probably should have included what’s politically correct…. Gene I saw a great show called last man standing and it was based on racial PC….. They both pulled it off pretty well…. It was the first time I saw it….

    If you restrict what people say…. Then….what else is next….. There are just consequences for saying stupid and hurtful things…..

  4. AY,

    That’s kind of the point. Respecting what others say and respecting their right to say it are two different things.

    I may revise the article later tonight to include a definition of political correctness though. Good suggestion. I’m kind of tied up with T-day preps though, so I may not get to it. Trying to get as much of this out of the way as possible before Wednesday.

  5. Gene, This may piss you off, but should not surprise you, I agree wholeheartedly w/ your superb post. This is one of the best topics where what you “think” trumps whatever you may “feel.” On topics like this we are sympatico. Hopefully, that doesn’t hurt you too much. I live in Wi. and UW is one of the founding fathers err mothers in speech codes. Let’s be honest here, speech codes are primarily pushed by first generation feminists. Second and third generation feminists reject the oppression. And, as the first generation lose power on campus via attrition, this Orwellian era seems to be in its death march. I apologize for my effusive praise as you are probably saying to yourself, WTF, if Spinelli agrees I must be wrong? But this is genuine. I am many things, but I’m not a schmoozer.

  6. Gene,

    I think that’s appropriate….do what you must…. I didn’t know you ever slept….. But hey….

    Nick,

    A schmoozer you are not…. Total agreement there…

  7. “Respecting what others say and respecting their right to say it are two different things.”

    Right. Have whatever opinions you want and express them however you want. I reserve the right to listen or not, to agree or disagree, and to judge you when you choose to denigrate others in your choice of language.

  8. Is there such a thing as freedom of speech without freedom of thought? Is there an implicit right to freedom of thought? (9th and 10th Amendment) “Cognitive civil liberties” and the “War on Drugs?”

  9. Bk,

    Yes… You’re correct….then there are folks that have hidden agendas and use code words….. They are truly the possessed folks…. They have no moral compass and are in my opinion more psychotic than a politician want to be….. They divide in order to conquer…. I put them in the same class as Dahlmer…..

  10. Too bad no one ha ever actually yelled “Fire!” in crowded theater. Nor has there ever been a “Ticking Time bomb” that would justify torture …….they are both are ridiculous memes.

    Just because the courts can come up with hypothetical (but non existent) scenarios to justify official oppression doesn’t make them correct.

    Words don’t hurt people , actions hurt people.

  11. I went on the White House website last night and looked at the petitions (all 201) that had been started on there. I was totally shocked by one of them (well by several, but this is about one). Someone on there was starting a petition saying they wanted to make outlaw offending prophets of major religions. These included, Muhammad, Jesus and Moses, when you looked at what they wrote. (Apparently there aren’t as many major religions as I thought!) Here’s what they said on the petition:

    ”Such acts offend billions of people, and cause unrest in the world. Furthermore, acts like this contradict the essence of coexistence and peace among humans. Labeling these acts as freedom of speech is similar to labeling murder as freedom of expression!

    We all know the chaos such acts can cause, but it’s difficult to answer the question: What do they contribute to our nation, or humanity in general?”

    And this had over 36,000 signatures on it! So that means the president can check this out and respond to it. (Apparently our saying from back when we were in school is obsolete: Sticks and stones . . . )

  12. Freedom of speech is an illusion too. Don’t say words that tickle the ears of your hearses, and they will call the cops on you. Tell a person of a way to satisfy Fido or Fifi sexually instead of altering them will start a war against whoever. That is not having freedom of speech. I could be saying it to one person accepting what I say, but have one over hear making a face not liking what I say suddenly makes me a bad guy. What we have that is called freedom of speech Is more like I dare you to say what I don’t want to hear so I can arresting you or bane you from one place after another.. That is the lack of freedom of speech.

  13. And I have the right to ignore you or do otherwise, bettykath. :D

    *****************

    nick,

    Your vocabulary word for the evening is “indifferent”.

    ****************

    indio007,

    “Words don’t hurt people , actions hurt people.”

    That’s kind of the point made by Justice Black in taking the absolutist approach. Some speech is too intimately tied to an act to be separated from the act itself.

  14. AY,

    Sleep is for when you’re dead. I do it often enough to stay alive, but really, I think it is a huge waste of time better spent reading.

  15. Zorensen Leverthal,

    One more thought before I get back to baking . . .

    That inclination for enforcing PC language is a sign of the Thought Police. They seem to operate under the assumption that unsaid means unthought – kind of out of sight out of mind – which is of course ridiculous. When you drive negative expressions into the dark and underground, that is where they grow strong. The only effective disinfectant for bad ideas are better ideas. Truth and reason are like sunlight, a far better agent to deal with those memes than suppression.

  16. Gene, Your vocabulary word are classless and pompous. Get some help, dude. Life is beautiful, a reality you are woefully missing.

  17. Freedom of speech is one thing, but respect for the feelings of other people is another. I try not to get the two confused.

    Solipsism, Gene.

  18. “Words don’t hurt people , actions hurt people.”

    I agree that actions hurt, but so do words. Ask any kid who has been bullied by words. How many times was I called “stupid”? Enough that I actually took an IQ test convince myself that I was not.

    “Is there such a thing as freedom of speech without freedom of thought? ”

    Oh, yeah. It usually is accompanied by a foot firmly planted in my mouth. It’s tough walking like that.

  19. I also note the other guest bloggers get prime time slots. Gino gets the garbage Sunday night slot…last in the batting order. But, I’m sure in his mind he’s batting cleanup.

  20. nick,

    If it bothers you that I’m indifferent to you, perhaps you didn’t understand the lesson on the nature of free speech as well as you might have.

    **********

    “Freedom of speech is one thing, but respect for the feelings of other people is another. I try not to get the two confused.

    Solipsism, Gene.”

    Nothing solipsistic about the notion that respect is earned, not owed, when it comes to feelings. They are subjective. Not only that, they are transitory and relative. Just as your feelings are not protected by the law, unless you have another duty to not harm the feelings of another – such as a familial, business or other social tie that binds – there is no general ethical duty to respect the feelings of others. They are other’s reality and under their control, not the speaker. To cater to that notion is to invite again censorship. For an extreme example, I’m sure that the Nazis were offended that some spoke out against them. Do those dissenters owe them an obligation of silence over their hurt feelings? No. That is one of the reasons IIED is so hard to prove – it’s applying a subjective standard of mens rea in evoking a subjective reaction.

    In contrast, it is different to respect the right to life of another. That is an objective standard. I categorically reject the notion that not respecting other’s feelings is solipsistic because it removes the responsibility from the emotor for their emotions and puts it in the hands of the speaker. It may be hard, but a person’s emotional responses are theirs to own and control and recognizing that is the antithesis of solipsism.

  21. nick,

    Your desperation is showing. There is no batting order. We can post any time we choose from midnight on Friday to midnight on Sunday. Really though, thanks for proving once again that you aren’t capable of rational responses or cogent counterargument.

  22. Mr.Howington, in his near-to-absolutist defense of free speech, misses the distinction between presentation of ideas and violation of social norms. He also misses or disregards the social context in which code-prohibited speech does arise.

    Bring on the reasoned defenses of Social Darwinism. Bring on the arguments about the inherent intellectual inferiority of African-Americans. Bring on the excoriating letter to the editor of the student newspaper.

    But should the frat boys at the University of Mississippi be commended for shouting the N-word and worse after Obama’s re-election? In a dormitory confrontation, should the male student who gets the final word by yelling “You stupid c—” be praised? (And what, in the marketplace of ideas, meets that?) Should the homophobes be allowed to bully and intimidate a gay student (with words!) into dropping out or even suicide?

    And hasn’t the propriety of these university codes already been litigated and decided?

  23. bettykath,

    Words only hurt if you let them. “Stick and stones” is a pretty basic lesson in life and one I learned early. You say you were called stupid until it caused you to take an IQ test to prove to yourself otherwise? You should consider that you took responsibility to find out the reality and then owned the reality instead of the opinions of others as your truth. What others opine of you, unless they are friends and/or family, is mostly irrelevant.

  24. Spock, You stole my line re: pc and driving words and thoughts underground where they fester. I said they need the best disinfectant, sunlight. That was just a couple days ago…you can look it up. No problem, it was a good line and worthy of the sin of theft. So, you’ve paraphrased w/o attribution from myself and Walter Sobjak in the last couple weeks. You’re like that pompous ass in the Good Will Hunting clip Wootsy put up. I think you may be hot for big, ethnic types. NTTAWWT.

  25. “And hasn’t the propriety of these university codes already been litigated and decided?”

    Usually the university has lost.

    What’s your point?

    “Bring on the reasoned defenses of Social Darwinism. Bring on the arguments about the inherent intellectual inferiority of African-Americans. Bring on the excoriating letter to the editor of the student newspaper.”

    By all means. Bring them on. You can’t debunk a bad idea if you can’t talk about it freely.

    But wait! That wouldn’t be PC!

    Too bad. Free speech has costs. Thanks for weighing in on the “you can have all the free speech I tell you you can have” column, Smom.

  26. “Indifferent!!” You comment more words to me, and about me, than anyone else. “The lad doth protests too much, methinks.” You have SDS, Spinelli Derangement Syndrome.

  27. nick,

    If that makes you feel better about your own inadequacies, I don’t care what you think. That whole “sunlight/disinfectant” trope is as old as the hills. It wasn’t yours to steal in the first place. If it’s any consolation, the idea of stealing “an idea’ from you is about as fruitful and the idea of stealing blood from a stone. You have yet to prove to me you have actual ideation.

  28. oooo.

    Now the troll tries to drag in another guest blogger. We haven’t seen that tactic before.

    You kiddies have fun. I have goodies in the oven.

  29. Again, Gene as you did last Sunday you’re hijacking YOUR OWN THREAD. I gave you a sincere compliment and you have proceeded to sidetrack your interesting thread showing me how little you care about my complinents or criticism. You have an advanced case of SDS. Let it go, man. Breathe…breathe…breathe.

  30. nick,

    Your failure to grasp that indifferent doesn’t mean I’m not going to screw with you simply because I can at this point is entirely your failing. I like listening to the high pitched whine as your BP soars when someone tells you they don’t care what you think. BTW, as a style matter, usually a compliment isn’t couched in “I know this may piss you off”. Goober. I told you I was indifferent, but apparently that stuck in your craw. You trying to tell me how I should feel about your meaningless compliments, nick? Tsk, tsk, tsk. You really have missed the boat on the free speech issue.

  31. Bye then!

    Don’t let the door hit you and all that.

    I’ve said for some time now that maybe a free speech forum isn’t what you’re really looking for.

  32. Gene,

    I was too cryptic. By the term solipsism I was referring to the egotism that “it doesn’t matter to me what you think, all that matters is what I think”.

    If I want to tell myself what I think, I can do so by standing in front of the mirror and having at it. If I want to share what it is I think with others in a manner that lends my thoughts credibility and might persuade others to see it my way or to at least to understand why I see it as I do, then it is my responsibility to take into account and exhibit some respect for their existence as a fellow social being.

    Now, if I don’t care a fig for their existence as a fellow social being then I have entered the realm of “it doesn’t matter to me what you think, all that matters is what I think” at which point in time my free speech takes on a hint of solipsism. It’s certainly not illegal, except for the recognized actionable markers, but it will almost always guarantee that whatever point I may have been trying to make will be dismissed and that, if employed often enough, any future points will be steadfastly ignored.

    It’s not a responsibility I owe the other guy, it is a responsibility I owe my own intellect.

    Thus: Freedom of speech is one thing, but respect for the feelings of other people is another. I try not to get the two confused.

  33. When exploring the issue of PC, please consider that many times people are not practicing PC as much as they are criticizing solipsism.

  34. Gene H,

    I am NOT smom; I AM sdad (you may notice some stylistic differences). We have free speech, among ourselves, to argue as to whom is the better half. I am admitted to practice in MN, DC, TX, USDC in TX, the 5th Circuit and the SCt. SMom told me about the earlier discussion a few days ago, and, seeing your piece (which I do believe elevates an abstraction over actual settings and conduct) decided to weigh on, on my own, and in my own way.

    I do not yet see a reasoned, considered response or refutation. That is not a surprise from other commenters; from the actual Guest Blogger, it is a surprise.

  35. Oops! Sorry for the misnomer there Sdad.

    Actually I thought the point was quite clear.

    Such speech codes have largely been on the losing end in court and you can’t refute a bad idea if you can’t talk about.

    I trust that was clear enough.

    “But should the frat boys at the University of Mississippi be commended for shouting the N-word and worse after Obama’s re-election?”

    No, but that’s what free speech is for, excoriating them for being racist half-wits and convincing them the error of their ways. There’s plenty to be critical of Obama about legitimately. Race isn’t one of them. Pissing all over the 4th Amendment is a good place to start though.

    “In a dormitory confrontation, should the male student who gets the final word by yelling “You stupid c—” be praised? (And what, in the marketplace of ideas, meets that?)”

    Simple insult is not really an idea ergo its applicability to the marketplace of ideas is nil.

    “Should the homophobes be allowed to bully and intimidate a gay student (with words!) into dropping out or even suicide?”

    They should be taught better using persuasion and argument rather than force. If you drive them underground? Next time they decide it’s a good idea to “roll a queer” they’ll wear masks and be more careful. I’m like Lt. Aldo. I like my racists and homophobes right out in the open where I can see them, just like the fictional Lt. likes his Nazis.

    I hope that clears things up.

  36. Yes Mr. Howington….. I too want to know …… Even if they have been decided…… Do people still have opinions about them….. Does that stop people from thinking….. Seems that Plessy was a decided case at one time…. That was the supreme law of the land….. Should they have stopped then….. Oh wait…. Marshall would have not argued Brown….. Then have been appointed to the Sct…. Wait…. Wait…. If we fail to think about what has been….. We wouldn’t evolve…..

    Kind of like…. A minister punishing a boy for being gay only to find out that the minister has been molesting the boy….. Hmmmm….. If you drag it to the next logical step….. Then…. Some of those that claim to want everything to be politically correct are really racist in disguise…… Makes sense now….

  37. Wow! Even my husband gets attacked on here. I can’t say that I didn’t warn him. He is an accomplished attorney unlike some on this thread. He is also a Northwestern Law grad like Prof. Turley.

  38. So right away, I have a problem with Ahmari’s article: the College Republicans at Fordham invite a speaker. The university president doesn’t like the ideas the speaker espouses and expresses his unhappiness, but allows the speaker to speak. This is NOT an example of suppressing speech. This is an example of one set of ideas–that paying for mean, derogatory, nasty and narrow-minded speakers is not the best way to use student funds & represent your university–over another set of ideas–that this use of funds is appropriate. The College Republicans were convinced by the president’s argument. They, not he, disinvited the speaker. They were free to keep the invitation open. They chose not to. One might conclude that this is a problem with Republicans–they bow to authority to swiftly–and not a free speech issue at all.

  39. Tom Wood,

    Interesting point. But I think it all ties back to the underlying problem with PC speech – authoritarianism. That some are more quick to kneel for the boot than others? It speaks to their mind set perhaps, but it only underscores that oppressing free speech – even when your compliance is voluntary – is still submission to authority because it is authority and that is the essence of authoritarianism. Neither side of the political spectrum has the market cornered on authoritarianism and that is what makes PC so ridiculous, not so much that it is today usually perpetrated from left to right.

  40. Gene H.,

    As you now acknowledge “Simple insult is not really an idea ergo its applicability to the marketplace of ideas is nil.” And my gay-bashing hypothetical–like the actual Rutgers case–was about words i.e. speech.

    Social speech often does have a conduct aspect, and some norms of civility do need to apply, and be made to apply by enforcement, in voluntary communities like universities. You’re also ignoring the sometimes copious consumption of intoxicants in many of the situations where the campus codes actually have application.

  41. As “to the victor go the spoils” and “history books are written by the winners” so to, freedom of speech in our culture today is ruled by political correctness.

    Look at the NJ State worker who lost his job for burning a Koran on his own time. It was an unpopular, yet not illegal action, and the state felt free to fire him. He may have gotten his job back after going to court but how many state workers will think twice prior to voicing an unpopular opinion.

    Intimidation. The factor that fights freedom of speech every time.

  42. Go ahead and feed the paranoia on this one…. This appears to be baiting…. But sw….. Misses the point that there are social consequences to inappropriate conduct….. Both civil and criminal….. But just because you hurt ones feelings without more does not make it criminal….. She’s good at baiting…. Controlling….. Detach they say….

  43. Sdad,

    And my response on how to handle homophobes was with words. You never can modify bad behavior by driving it underground. You usually exacerbate it with that tactic.

    What I don’t ignore is the frequency of loss in court when these university speech codes are taken to task. “The First Amendment generally prevents government from proscribing . . . expressive conduct because of disapproval of the ideas expressed.” R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, 120 L. Ed. 2d 305, 112 S. Ct. 2538 (1992). This has been proven time and again as one speech code after another even in private schools (U.C. Santa Clara, Corry v Stanford, etc.) have been ruled unconstitutional.

    Who the Hell decides what civility is? Certainly not you. I don’t want the job either. That’s the fault of PC language. It wants to dictate was is and isn’t permissible on some nebulous subjective concept that varies from culture to culture and situation to situation. Unless someone simply goes beyond the realm of human decency to say something inhuman (like “I bet your dead daughter was a piece of ass and I’d sure like to tap that even now”)? Civil is a moving target. Subjective laws are a recipe for oppression.

  44. Gene

    what i found most interesting about the article by Sohrab Ahmari was in the comment section. it seems mitt may have under estimated the percentage of people seeing themselves as victims.

    i see nothing wrong about one group inviting a speaker to address them, or for another group to protest that person and their views.

    some fights need to be fought. just throwing a cover over anything controversial just postpones the argument and hardens everyones belief that they, and no one else, are in the right.

  45. I’ll have to check the comments on your suggestion, pete. They were scarce when I read the piece. And I agree with your last two paragraphs without reservation.

  46. You know I would expect an accomplished attorney to be able to write clearer than the mud written above….

  47. Gene H .Don’ t you know the KJV at all? 1 John 4 >> 20If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
    King James Version
    1 John 3 >> 15Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
    King James Version
    1 John 2:9 9He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 11But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
    Proverbs 14:21 >He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.

  48. Artie,

    I’m quite familiar with the Bible. Old and New Testaments, the Torah and the Gnostic Gospels. None of which are the subject here. None of which are relevant to the topic of free speech. Just like the motivation of murders isn’t relevant to the topic either. People kill for a variety of reasons. You might be shocked to know how often hate doesn’t figure in to the equation though. People have killed for all sort of emotional reasons, from love to apathy to hate. People have killed for emotionless reasons like convenience or opportunity.

    None of which is relevant to the topic at hand.

  49. A large brain and not an ounce of class, decency or humanity. This is your hero folks. Just a lot of bluster. This is all he’s got. No life, no career, no legacy, no kids?..just this blog. And, you are the folks who let his depravity slide[pretty sick mind thought up that dead sister analogy to sdad] almost daily. The pathology will continue. He’ll sense he’s dug too deep a hole tonight. He’ll schmooze some of you and you’ll let him off the hook..again, again and again. It’s called enabling. I’m fairly certain the few real relationships he has w/ people include more enablers.

  50. >”Your feelings are not generally protected by law with the one exception in tort. They are subjective. They are your own reactions and you own them. They may or may not be rational.”<

    To me, this is the crux of the free speech/politically correct speech. You are responsible for your reactions, not I. If you wish to be insulted, angry, embarrased, so be it.

  51. No swm I was expressing my opinion about you….. You were the only sw person here….. The name of the Norman Bates movie was ……

  52. SWM, The tone set by Mr. Turley is one of intelligence, class and humor. And, much of Mr. Turley’s humor is self deprecating humor, the mark of someone w/ true self esteem and grace. It is a welcoming atmosphere he creates. SWM, I’ve said this many times in my short time here. I’ve seen some very interesting, intelligent people say WTF and just leave. There are a few who relish in driving people off and consider it a notch on their holster. It’s all they got in life. Incredible negative energy.

  53. AY, Okay he will be at your place of work this week with his Texas bar card in hand introducing himself as Swarthmore dad. You can debate pc in person.

  54. Apparently nick she also has a reading comprehension issue to go with whatever else ails her…. You directed your comments to gene….. And she try’s and attaches her paranoia to your comment making it about her….. Tsk tsk….. So sad…. Bates movie time….

  55. AY, As we had this discussion recently, we agree on this topic of pc. You can have some dignity and class w/o forfeiting the philosophical non pc view. I did some tweaking a couple days ago, a lot toward SWM. However, it wasn’t mean spirited or personal. SWM can see the distinct difference, she’s quite smart.

  56. So, the Prohet Mohammed married a nine year old girl and had sex with her and I put that in a movie out in Hollywood and I get my probation revoked and al qaeda burns down an embassy and kills the Ambassador and I did not even yell Fire in a crowded theatre.

  57. Nick,

    Being capable of being Mean spirited has a level of premeditation on swm part…. She as well as most of the guest writers have the inside scoop…..and know what the real story is…

  58. AY, It’s made perfectly clear that there is plenty ofinside baseball, “in camera” and “A Team” horseshit that goes on here. I’m really not certain what you’re saying, but is that it?

  59. Gene, The point I was trying to make is that enough bullying and name calling and non-pc speech DOES make a difference if there isn’t a counter positive force. Words have the ability like little else to destroy self-esteem, especially in young people. You’re right that it’s really only what one thinks of oneself that matters, but what one thinks is frequently influenced by the words one hears.

    I’m glad that “sticks and stones” worked for you, but to others on the receiving end of the nasty words, they still hurt.

    btw, I fully agree with Blouise. There is a difference between freedom of speech as specified in the Constitution, freedom from government prohibition, and pc speech which is social.

  60. bettykath,

    Your assumption is that I’ve never been on the receiving end.

    Just look up thread to disabuse you of that notion. I get called all manner of things on a fairly frequent basis. It doesn’t bother me a bit. Why? Precisely because I don’t derive my sense of self-worth from others in general. Are other’s words meant to be hurtful. Sure they are. And the fact that I’m indifferent to them just pisses them off even more. So who wins in the end? Me who goes to bed with a smile on their face and wakes with the same or the person angry because their words have no effect on me whatsoever other than to amuse me? I do.

    I only give venom to those who serve it. And they get no mercy whatsoever. It is again the Ethic of Reciprocity. In itself a lesson. nick himself alleges that he is a grown man. If he cannot take that he chooses to give venom to one immune and far better at dishing it out than he is, then that, like his choice to argue poorly, is his decision.

    As for young people? Do you really think I’d give a young person any other advice than be true to yourself? You might think so, but you’d be wrong. Sure, what you hear may influence you, but it does not control you. You and only you make and own your decisions. There are other things I would tell a young person: think for yourself, observe the world around you, interrogate the nature of reality, makes sure what you think you see and hear is what something actually is – or to combine the two major ideas into the words of Marcus Aurelius; “Ask of each and everything what is it in itself?” and “If any man is able to convince me and show me that I do not think or act right, I will gladly change; for I seek the truth by which no man was ever injured. But he is injured who abides in his error and ignorance.”; tempered with words of Shakespeare in Hamlet; “This above all: to thine own self be true/ And it must follow, as the night the day,/ Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

    As for PC speech, institutional speech codes cease to be social when they have real consequences for students and whether state school – which is a direct governmental institution – or private school – which benefits from governmental spending and programs, when we allow schools to impose these kinds of prohibitions from the institutional level we are allowing governmental oppression by proxy.

  61. Raff,

    I don’t think it’s going to happen… And if it does…. I will object to my picture being taken and or posted…. You can understand that…. Right?

  62. Since you’re new here Sdad, I’m saying this for your benefit, but your wife knows better.

    At this time I will remind everyone that posting identifying information or other personal information about other commentators without their permission can and will likely get you banned. People here are allowed to express their view anonymously and retain control over their privacy as a matter of blog policy.

    This is the one and only warning.

    I’ll escalate the issue with our host if need be.

    If you don’t think I will? Try me.

  63. Gene, My husband knows nothing about these blog rules, and I doubt that he will be back, and I had nothing to do with his posts. He surprised me with his posts but he thought this was a legal blog not a place where he would be attacked for allegedly impersonating his spouse. He has another forum with which to deal with this person. Good evening.

  64. I’m late to this party but have read all the comments. A few brief points as I’m off to bed. In this discussion, as with the thread that suggested it, there is the intermingling of paradigms. The concept of freedom of speech from a governmental/regulatory perspective should be damn near absolute freedom, for who is to decide what is appropriate? However, there exist social penalties for such exercize and why not? If I call Jews Kikes in NY, I’m sure it would limit my employabilty. If the Republicans at a school invite a guest that the Dean deems inappropriate, that Dean should be allowed to express his beliefs about the guest. Especially since the Dean wasn’t banning the guest. If the Young Repubs chickened out fearing unknown retaliation that is on them.

    The essence of free speech is your willingness to defend it and your right to express it. Of the guest bloggers for instance, I along with Mike Appleton were the first of them to use our real names and that occured years before their was a Guest Blogger glint in JT’s eyes. I have always done that when I’ve made comments on the Internet specifically because if I was to speak truth to power my own preference was not to do it anonymously.

    As for PC I’m well aware of its history in the Conservative Movement and how it has been used to actually stifle speech, in education/media and at the same time to give license to hateful speech that had fallen into social opprobrium in the 60’s and 70’s. It is not a nice tale and its result as seen in this election is sobering.

    Now finally I am getting tired of those who come here and when their poor arguments are not greeted with enthusiasm posit that there is a behind the scenes cabal, when there isn’t. Yes I have exchanged e mails with all of the guest bloggers and with JT. We’ve never met personally and that I regret because I’ve developed affection for all of them. I’ m also in contact with OS, Blouise and AY. Do we represent an “inner circle” we do, but only in the sence that we’ve been here a long time and agree on some matters of outlook. We scrupulouly follow JT’s example of non censorship and frankly none of us have the authority.

    As for lineip positions there is much less there than meets the eye and we choose our own time to post. In this I must chastise AY for leading Nick on, because we’ve been in frequent contact. Behind the scenes at this blog can be described as there’s no there, there.

  65. Gene,

    I’m not assuming anything about you. Please don’t make assumptions about me. I’m too tired to comment on anything else.

  66. “but only in the sence that we’ve been here a long time and agree on some matters of outlook.”

    This is important to note. Just because we agree on some matters of outlook does not mean we are a monolithic cabal. We also disagree at times. Mark and I have had some rather spirited disagreements as have I had with Mike S., raff and Elaine and all of us have had disagreements with our host on selected topics. I haven’t really had a disagreement with Mike A., but I’ll work on that one. I assure you Mr. Appleton, your omission was not intentional, but you’re just too damned reasonable to argue with most of the time. :D

    One thing we do agree on: free and anonymous speech are this blog’s policy as set by the host. No one will ever be banned for having an unpopular opinion. You’ll have it challenged, but then again, that is part and parcel of the marketplace of ideas. If that’s not what you want, then as I’ve said before, maybe a free speech forum isn’t what you are looking for. Find a place in line with your thinking and seek your happiness there.

    This party welcomes all guests, but like any party, if you provoke other guests the consequences are yours. Your ideas and comments though? You should really be prepared to back them up. It’s not a matter of win or lose. It’s a matter of evolving from problem to solution.

    I’ve had my mind changed here before. Elaine made a very persuasive argument that sticks out in my mind concerning the social costs of polygamy and why it should be prohibited whereas I had previously adopted the freedom to contract stance on the issue. There is nothing wrong with changing your mind, but it should be done based on logic and evidence, not just because Joe Bob says so. I’ve also had very persuasive arguments (particularly from Mark) that while meritorious, simply didn’t convince me.

    For example, I present our prodigal son, Bron. He has some very bad ideas from time to time. His original intent in coming here was to “piss of some liberals” but by his own admission, the crowd he found frequenting this forum was not what he had expected. He has some good points too and on occasion very astute observations to go with them. Like some new comers, he began trying to carry out vendettas against those who disagree with him or disprove his posits through his employ of more venomous methods of exchange. He at one point even stooped to duplicity – which did land him in trouble but even then mespo and the lost BIL spoke up for allowing his return. I’ve read some of the arguments Bron had with bloggers past and they could truly have stripped paint. He’s stubborn and his ability to insult is actually above average. Then one day, it was like the light went on. He realized that he got further with his arguments if he stuck to logic and evidence. He finally realized the futility of that venomous tactic. That maybe he did care about how his ideas competed in the marketplace on their merits. You get what you give seemed to register.

    He changed his mind. Part of it anyway.

    Despite many of his ideas still being unpopular, he’s become a valued contributing member of this community. Even if almost no one agrees with him still. ;) But no one has tried to silence him. Challenge and criticism aren’t censorship. If your ideas have merit, they should withstand challenge and criticism. If they don’t, either they are bad ideas or you’ve failed to make your case. It’s nothing personal. Either get a better idea, learn to argue better or move along. Personal rancor over having your worldview tweaked will only get you more rancor in return. This is not a crowd where you can dazzle them with bull if you’re all out of brilliance.

    Some of you could learn a lot from Bron’s good example.

    Which I’m sure just annoys the Hell out of Bron being a good example for the community when his Randian Objectivism denies the existence of community.

    He’ll get over it though.

  67. Blouise/bettykath,

    “I’m glad that “sticks and stones” worked for you, but to others on the receiving end of the nasty words, they still hurt.”

    This statement begs the question that I don’t know this because I’ve never been on the receiving end which is manifestly untrue.

    If that was not how the comment was meant? Then mea culpa. In the alternative, please explain.

    However, I wasn’t making assumptions about bettykath in my response. I posited some questions. I made some statements about advising kids and PC language. Other than being addressed to bettykath, no assumptions about her were made that I’m aware of. The usage of “you” in those comments was mostly the generic “you” and I thought that was clear from context and when it wasn’t it was qualified by “if”. The comment wasn’t about her despite being to her.

    The only assumption I’ve made about bettykath is that she seems like a nice lady and I am expressing that assumption explicitly.

  68. Pelosi is a wonderful woman and a great politician.

    No one has ever asked me for input on blog policy which is ludicrous as I am the only one who knows the secret handshake.

    And … there are consequences to free speech.

  69. Well if you’re the only one who knows the secret handshake, you should teach the rest of us.

    However, then it wouldn’t be a secret now, would it? :P

  70. “Well if you’re the only one who knows the secret handshake, you should teach the rest of us.” (Gene)

    No

    “However, then it wouldn’t be a secret now, would it?” :) (Gene)

    I hold the patent on the secret handshake and I ain’t sharin’ it with none of youse guys ’cause you’re all blabbermouths.

  71. The consequences of free speech is gloriously seen in the last half of the twinkie thread two days ago.

    About halfway through someone nudged the petcock attached to the pent-up male urine reservoir. Someone nearby got a little spray on them. Of course the male response was to nudge the petcock a little more. A 3rd then 4th party got hit with drops. Any guess what happened next!!

    RELEASE THE HOUNDS “LET THE SPRAYING BEGIN”

    Several individuals went so far as to hook into their own private stock, most likely stored in 55 gallon drums in the back of their garages, and hooked up a hose to their lawn sprinklers. Indiscriminately splashing and spraying anyone innocently visiting the Twinkie site
    THE HORROR…THE HORROR

    How many innocents have suffered on the Twinkie thread, because of their Love and Concern, for such a fine confectionary delite, They too were infected. by the territorial markings of un-neutered male imperialism “gone wild” Oh ye stray and feral beasts, If ye only knew the trauma youse have unleashed onto the twinkie afficianados.
    , Now I like many have lost my innocence. I fear I will never again be able to enjoy the epicurian mystery delite of hostess products ever again!!!!

    Yes free speech has consequences, sadly the Twinkie empire has caught the full brunt of it. Never EVER again will I disassociate the trauma here with the freedom of filling my tub with hostess products and and setting my naked self down in their soft and embracing gooey wonderfullness.

    MADNESS.

  72. PS. I have sent copies of the twinkie thread to the SPCT (society for prevention of cruelty to twinkies). I anticipate 5 or 10 of youse guys are going to get a VERY NASTY letter.
    We’ll see how tough youse guys are then !!!!!!!!!!! NEENER NEENER.

  73. The SPCT, eh? They’re a rough crowd. Mostly ex-Mafia and the Mexican professional wrestlers known as luchadores. A couple of SAS types too. It is rumored that they use nefarious secret alien technology recovered by NASA from the Tycho crater on the Moon. Very shady.

  74. pete,

    Good catch on the comments at the source material. Most entertaining to see whom was trying to “out victim” whom.

  75. Gene H. 1, November 18, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    bettykath,

    Your assumption is that I’ve never been on the receiving end.
    ————————
    This is what I was responding to.

    In fact, I accept that you’ve been on the receiving end of hurtful language. If not, why such strong support of the “sticks and stones”. I think you’ve repeated it so much b/c the words DID hurt and you needed help in dealing with that hurt. I could be wrong so I don’t take this thought as “the truth”, just a possibility.

    Thanks for thinking of me as being nice. I don’t know about the lady part. )”Lady” brings up some images that don’t fit me.) : )

  76. bettykath,

    1) Your possibility is not so, but probably because I had a really good instructors at an early age about human nature in my grandfather and mother. I see what you describe as a problem for teens and it was something that when I was a teen I saw many friends go through. However, this is something I don’t think you can protect young people from by oppressing speech. They’ll find out the world is often not a gentle place soon enough. Better to arm and armour them from the slings and arrows by keeping the desire to please others and their sense of self-worth in perspective.

    2) You’re welcome.

  77. Any institution that would teach me a “secret handshake” is an institution I wouldn’t join. To roughly paraphrase Groucho.

    BTW I do know that “sense” is not spelled “sence”. I don’t need no stinkin spell check.

  78. “However, this is something I don’t think you can protect young people from by oppressing speech.” (Gene)

    Certainly not, but you can protect them from being the purveyors of such language by teaching them through word and deed and formal instruction what responsible free speech is all about.

  79. Mike,

    Not to worry … my organization only has one member and is so secret I never know where the next meeting will be held.

  80. The soap opera aspect of this blog is fascinating. As I’ve stated previously, my wife is a lover of fiction, I nonfiction; believing it much more interesting. I have never been a watcher of soap operas but my grandmother was. She loved the intrique, conflict, etc. However, she didn’t like the real life soap opera we all experience because she would then see the dark side of people. She felt that would turn her negative, but it didn’t. She was one of my positive mentors. However, my old man, her son, taught me to see things as they are. To never bury your head in the sand. He taught me that even when the truth is ugly, there is an inherent beauty in it. Almost all of the leaders here were obviously brought up in different variations of positive world views. People are basically good.

    Sports have also taught me a lot. I learned a lot as a player of baseball and football, finding the lessons of baseball more relevant to life. By virtue of being a coach for many more years, the lessons were greater. I learned quickly that while I was the leader, the team would also have leaders within their ranks. When the team had positive, compassionate, leaders we would exceed our talent. When the leader[s] were selfish and negative, we would have a long, underachieving season. The American Legion teams[16-18] were the most fascinating because these were talented, young men. I was never a micromanager, I had a few rules and we played a fun, aggressive style. The teams w/ good leaders never came to me w/ problems within the ranks. The negative leaders often threatened to report someone to me[I don’t miss much] and indeed did. Mr. Turley is a great coach, not a micromanager. So, it is incumbent upon the leaders in the ranks here to set the tone. I’m merely a rookie utility infielder, the veterans need to step up and make sure the tone is positive. That is NOT to say there shouldn’t be conflict. It means the conflict should be handled fairly. You deal w/ the conflict and then YOU LET IT GO. And you don’t continually threaten to “tell the coach.”

  81. Gene,

    I think we’ve been talking past each other.

    There are two parts to the problem of non-pc speech.

    One part is its affect on those who are targeted and the need to provide them with the support they need to deal with the hurt. That’s where you seem to be coming from.

    The other part is to educate those who use the speech to at least understand that they are inflicting hurt. Some really don’t know that it’s hurtful. Others know and that’s why they use it. This is where I’m coming from.

  82. bettykath,

    But in the end, both solutions to the problem aren’t less free speech, but more. You can’t educate about a problem you can’t openly talk about.

  83. I’m late to the party, though the best moments are often at the last, and admit I’ve skimmed, but has anyone here given a rigorous definition of “political correctness”? Without it your arguing art and pornography, you know it when you see it. Miller and Cleland have suffered the ambiguity. I didn’t see a definition in Gene’s essay, just an undefined assumption of what it is.
    And, Gene, or to be imprecise, Wene (only one consonant off), did you look up Hook or just avoid him?

  84. I know this is a matter near and dear to your heart, PC Queen, but the generally accepted definition of PC will do. To wit: language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, other religions, beliefs or ideologies, disability, and age-related contexts, and, as purported by the term, doing so to an excessive extent and used as a pejorative, or more concisely, that some people and institutions feel it is their job as the PC language police to tell others how they should speak as to avoid offense to others (a purely subjective standard) which is essentially censorship and antithetical to free speech which by its very nature guarantees that at some point you will be offended by something.

    Everyone so far has understood that.

    I hope that clears things up for you.

  85. bettykath and Gene,

    “But in the end, both solutions to the problem aren’t less free speech, but more. You can’t educate about a problem you can’t openly talk about.”

    Which with I agree, at least the first, but the problem is epistemological when you think you are the educator in the second. It’s the problem of religion and Ideology, they view themselves as the educators. Atheists fall for the same hubris. I pivot on educate.

    Or course, it may be just poor listening.

  86. Actually the history of inclusive language is more textured than what is provided above and has morphed into one of the rights most cherished and effective tools. I too will use Wikipedia (I loves my Wikipedia) and post most of the relevant definition. I have reordered it to make it flow from its linguistic history to the present:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness:

    Relevant excerpts not in originally formatted order:

    “Linguistics:
    In addressing the linguistic problem of naming, Edna Andrews says that using “inclusive” and “neutral” language is based upon the concept that “language represents thought, and may even control thought.”[17] This claim has been derived from the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, which states that a language’s grammatical categories shape the speaker’s ideas and actions; although Andrews says that moderate conceptions of the relation between language and thought are sufficient to support the “reasonable deduction … [of] cultural change via linguistic change”.[18]

    Other cognitive psychology and cognitive linguistics works indicate that word-choice has significant “framing effects” on the perceptions, memories, and attitudes of speakers and listeners.[19][20] A relevant empirical question is whether or not sexist language promotes sexism, i.e. sexist thought and action.

    Advocates of inclusive language defend it as inoffensive-language usage whose goal is multi-fold:

    1.The rights, opportunities, and freedoms of certain people are restricted because they are reduced to stereotypes.
    2.Stereotyping is mostly implicit, unconscious, and facilitated by the availability of pejorative labels and terms.
    3.Rendering the labels and terms socially unacceptable, people then must consciously think about how they describe someone unlike themselves.
    4.When labeling is a conscious activity, the described person’s individual merits become apparent, rather than their stereotype.

    Critics of such arguments, and of inclusive language in general, commonly use the terminology of “political correctness”.[21]”
    *****

    “Political correctness:
    Political correctness (adjectivally, politically correct; both forms commonly abbreviated to PC) is a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, certain other religions, beliefs or ideologies, disability, and age-related contexts, and, as purported by the term, doing so to an excessive extent. In current usage, the term is primarily pejorative, ….”
    *****

    “New Left rhetoric:
    By 1970, New Left proponents had adopted the term political correctness.[1] In the essay The Black Woman, Toni Cade Bambara says: “. . . a man cannot be politically correct and a [male] chauvinist too.” The New Left later re-appropriated the term political correctness as satirical self-criticism; per Debra Shultz: “Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the New Left, feminists, and progressives . . . used their term politically correct ironically, as a guard against their own orthodoxy in social change efforts”.”
    *****

    “Current usage:
    Widespread use of the term politically correct and its derivatives began when it was adopted as a pejorative term by the political right in the 1990s, in the context of the Culture Wars. Writing in the New York Times in 1990,[9] Richard Bernstein noted “The term ‘politically correct,’ with its suggestion of Stalinist orthodoxy, is spoken more with irony and disapproval than with reverence. But across the country the term p.c., as it is commonly abbreviated, is being heard more and more in debates over what should be taught at the universities.” Bernstein referred to a meeting of the Western Humanities Conference in Berkeley, California, on “‘Political Correctness’ and Cultural Studies,” which examined “what effect the pressure to conform to currently fashionable ideas is having on scholarship”. Bernstein also referred to “p.c.p” for “politically correct people,” a term which did not take root in popular discussion.

    Within a few years, this previously obscure term featured regularly in the lexicon of the conservative social and political challenges against curriculum expansion and progressive teaching methods in US high schools and universities.[10] In 1991, addressing a graduating class of the University of Michigan, U.S. President George H. W. Bush spoke against “a movement [that would] declare certain topics ‘off-limits,’ certain expressions ‘off-limits’, even certain gestures ‘off-limits'” in allusion to liberal Political Correctness.[11] The most common usage here is as a pejorative term to refer to excessive deference to particular sensibilities at the expense of other considerations. ….”

    Examples of language commonly referred to as “politically correct” include:[14][page needed]

    “Intellectually disabled” in place of “Retarded” and other terms

    “African American” in place of “Black,” “Negro” and other terms

    “Native American” (United States)/”First Nations” (Canada) in place of “Indian”

    “Caucasian” in place of “White”, and other terms such as the more scientifically correct “Caucasoid”

    “Gender-neutral” terms such as “firefighter” in place of “fireman,” police officer in place of policeman.

    Terms relating to lack of various common human abilities, such as “visually impaired” or “hearing impaired” in place of “blind” or “deaf”
    “Holiday”, “winter” or “festive” in place of “Christmas” ”
    *****

    Cultural Marxism – Main article: Cultural Marxism:
    University of Pennsylvania professor Alan Charles Kors and lawyer Harvey A. Silverglate connect political correctness to Marxist philosopher Herbert Marcuse. They claim that liberal ideas of free speech are repressive, arguing that such “Marcusean logic” is the base of speech codes, which are seen by some as censorship, in US universities. Kors and Silvergate later established the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which campaigns against PC speech codes.[26]

    Some conservative critics claim that political correctness is a Marxist undermining of Western values.[27] William S. Lind and Patrick Buchanan have characterized PC as a technique originated by the Frankfurt School, through what Buchanan describes as “Cultural Marxism”.[28][29] In The Death of the West, Buchanan says: “Political Correctness is Cultural Marxism, a regime to punish dissent and to stigmatize social heresy as the Inquisition punished religious heresy. Its trademark is intolerance.”
    *****

    End Quotes

  87. The right reinvented the term “PC” as a way to denigrate and marginalize a tool (inclusive language) that worked against stereotyping by attempting to change the language. It’s definition grew to include direct actions like hate crime legislation and anti-bullying legislation. They hang their hat on ‘free speech’ but their use of the term is a tool most useful to them in fending off criticism for the rights social/cultural intransigence and to deflect and defend criticism for obdurately boorish speech of its spokespersons and leaders in the media and politics. Stereotypes are useful to the right to maintain the social structure they desire and a culture that reflects those values.

    Herewith are two quotes, the first from ’92 and the second from earlier this year. I would suggest reading the second one in conjunction with a re-read of the Wikipedia article on Political Correctness. Buchanan’s article is a masterpiece of propaganda built around all of the touchstones explained in the Wiki article.

    **
    “Feminism is one of those issues which has established itself in the political correctness hall of fame. As such, it is not fashionable to take issue with or poke fun at the philosophy which underlies the movement. Those who have the courage to do so are quickly impugned as women-haters, bigots, chauvinists, sexists, and a host of other epithets.” RLimbaugh ’92

    **
    “RUSH AND THE NEW BLACKLIST
    Pat Buchanan describes how offending PC culture ‘gets you hauled before an inquisition'”

    A truly fascinating read wherein Pat defends Rush’s comments regarding Sandra Fluke. He starts off praising the HCUA and the destruction of the Hollywood 10 as a political victory and for the right, claims the left has captured the culture, mourns the loss of the Legion of Decency and the mocking of traditional Catholic and Evangelical morality and lists the new sins as “racism, sexism, homophobia and nativism.”. He declares “For who controls the culture defines what is moral and immoral, and what is heroic and villainous. And if you can set limits on what journalists write and broadcasters say, you can shape what people think and believe.”. He then states that Rush was pilloried by the media and people that threatened to boycott his sponsors and claims, in a sentence all by itself set apart as a paragraph “Thus does the left honor the First Amendment.” 03-15-2012

    http://www.wnd.com/2012/03/rush-and-the-new-blacklist/

    A couple of things. “PC” is used in the article and a few of the comments and used in a manner consistent with the invention and definition constructed by the right. It’s my opinion that those using it have fallen for the propaganda. That means to that the basis for statements made that rely on it as an appropriate description for certain motives are flawed right out of the gate. Free speech being denied as a form of social engineering by the bad old leftists/socialist/collectivist enemies of democracy is the underlying modus operandi of the fictional PC brigades. Drink not so deeply of the Kool-Aid.

    The information presented in the Wikipedia article is not new and has been presented here on more than one occasion in some form or another with cites. The Wiki article is not my first encounter with the movement to neutralize certain language- I was a card-carrying feminist in the mid 70’S and beyond. Having the language reflect human values and dispensing with negative connotation in labels and descriptions was an ongoing endeavor in several social movements I was sympathetic to. I also saw the right construct “PC” as a pejorative and turn it into what it is today. I suspect some others of the blawg commenter’s here did also. To continue using “PC” in the manner the right frames it is well known propaganda
    and undercuts any argument it is used to advance or characterize.

    I suspect what is afoot is that boorish behavior which carries with it an element of bullying and/or a disregard for others self-image is being conflated with free speech in its purest meaning. What I and others here (and on other threads) have shown (some measure of) disdain and revulsion for is boorish, hurtful, bullying with words. Just telling a victim ‘suck it up fag, embrace your reaction and change yourself’ is unsatisfying as a response. It is not an appropriate societal response.

    While I hate certain phrases used to manipulate the population such as “Think of the children” even I, childless, am profoundly disturbed that children are committing suicide, or mass murder, in major part because of the boorish behavior of their peers. Boorish to the point of extreme and dangerous. We have previously debated that young people have deficient brain construction and chemistry until their early 20s. “Suck it up b**ch, walk it off” isn’t good enough for teens, the victims or perpetrators. Boorish behavior is socially destructive in small groups and large groups.

    This article and thread has actually provided me with great assistance. I’ve been working on a thought-cloud of ideas and considerations since it was published. I have also been on the fence regarding hate speech laws. I have decided that we as a society need them. Thanks for providing a opportunity to crystallize my thinking on the matter.

  88. Now raff….. I’m going to have to quit reading your posts on here….. They are not PC and offensive…… The way I see it …… You’re taking a defensive posture on being offensive on the PC thread….. Lol….

  89. The Bears are like the Cubs. Even when they have decent teams they fold like a cheap lawnchair when the race gets hot.

  90. And who exactly gets to decide what is and what is not “acceptable”?

    Censorship no matter how well motivated is still censorship. The silencing of words you don’t approve of the first step in trying to prevent thought you don’t approve of. In the end, the danger of such laws ignore the reality of the political abuse such laws invite. In actual operation these laws where enacted in other Western democracies have a terrible track record of being used by politically powerful factions to suppress speech that criticizes them. Which is exactly what PC speech from the right would look like. “You can’t say that about the Chancellor! The Secret Police will whisk you away in the middle of the night.” The bottom line is such laws here will not pass Constitutional muster here as long as the 1st Amendment stands as worded.

    “Congress shall make no law [. . . ] abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press[.]“

    Nor does it fare well in the subsequent jurisprudence.

    Terminiello v. City of Chicago, 337 U.S. 1 (1949) where a “breach of peace” ordinance of the City of Chicago which banned speech which “stirs the public to anger, invites dispute, brings about a condition of unrest, or creates a disturbance” was unconstitutional under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

    Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969), was a landmark SCOTUS case where the Court held that government cannot punish inflammatory speech unless that speech is directed to inciting, and is likely to incite, imminent lawless action.

    National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie, 432 U.S. 43 (1977), a case rafflaw is intimately familiar with the details, allowed American Nazis to exercise their freedom of speech and freedom of assembly no matter how offensive and unpopular their positions and speech were to the largely Jewish inhabitants of Skokie, Ill.

    R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, 505 U.S. 377 (1992) has been widely cited in case against collegiate speech codes as mentioned above. A unanimous United States Supreme Court case involving hate speech and the free speech clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. A unanimous Court struck down St. Paul, Minnesota’s Bias-Motivated Crime Ordinance, and in doing so overturned the conviction of a teenager, referred to in court documents only as R.A.V., for burning a cross on the lawn of an African American family. The basis for the ruling was on the ground that the ordinance was substantially overbroad and (this is realllll important here for the pro-PC faction to realize)impermissibly content based, and therefore facially invalid under the First Amendment. Content based. Censorship in other words.

    Virginia v. Black, 538 U.S. 343 (2003) revisited the cross burning issue but in Virginia this time. Holding that the Virginia statute was unconstitutional in part because it considered cross burning as prima facie evidence of intent to intimidate and that cross-burning can be a criminal offense only if the intent to intimidate is proven. Prime facie prohibition was censorship. If you wanted to charge with intent to intimidate, a distinct crime, that intent must be proven.

    Snyder v. Phelps, 562 U.S. ___, 131 S. Ct. 1207, 179 L. Ed. 2d 172 (2011) held that speech on a public sidewalk, about a public issue, cannot be used as proof to the tort of emotional distress, even if the speech is found to be “outrageous”.

    Free speech has its costs, but at every turn through multiple compositions of SCOTUS, those costs have been found to be worth the freedom from censorship.

    The costs of censorship are much higher. Ask all those disappeared in Argentina for daring to speak out against Pinochet, or the Germans murdered for speaking out against the Reich, or the member of the Belgian Parliament was convicted in 2009 of distributing leaflets with the slogans: “Stand up against the Islamification of Belgium,” “Stop the sham integration policy” and “Send non-European job-seekers home.” or the Swedish protesters were convicted in 2006 of distributing leaflets to Swedish high school students saying homosexuality was a “deviant sexual proclivity,” had “a morally destructive effect on the substance of society” and was responsible for the development of H.I.V. and AIDS or the French cartoonist was convicted of publishing a drawing of the attack on the World Trade Center in a Basque newspaper with the words: “We have all dreamed about it. . . . Hamas did it.” In these last three examples of hate speech laws gone amok, the European Court of Human Rights affirmed all three convictions, rejecting defenses based on freedom of speech. Consider that in Poland, a Catholic magazine was fined $11,000 for inciting “contempt, hostility and malice” by comparing a woman’s abortion to the medical experiments at Auschwitz.

    Censorship is a powerful weapon and cannot be trusted in legal codification and in the hands of politicians who would merely oppress dissent and those with unpopular ideas.

    Even in Canada, where their human rights tribunal has harassed magazines for anti-Muslim statements and for republishing the famous Danish Muhammad cartoons? There has been backlash to their actions because they are so hostile to freedom of the press that efforts are under way to repeal that nation’s hate speech laws.

    Hate speech laws are the ultimate in PC language policing.

    History has shown time and again that such a censorship power is far more dangerous than the annoyances that come as part of the price for freedom of speech.

  91. lotta,

    “I have also been on the fence regarding hate speech laws. I have decided that we as a society need them. Thanks for providing a opportunity to crystallize my thinking on the matter.”

    I am still on the fence but leaning. I am concerned with the proclivity to characterize responsible free speech as PC. However, hate speech laws still seem a bit too far. I just don’t know!

    This thread, including all the irresponsible free speech being passed off as normal, is, however, most instructive. One can almost reach out and touch the hate.

    I’m not where you are yet but I know myself well enough to sense a decision is in the offering. I must guard against reactionary thinking within myself and am still in the process of crystallizing.

  92. Imagine in some dark future, Fundamentalist Christians gain control of the government. Would you be for hate speech and PC codes at institutions if they meant you can’t talk about abortion? Interracial marriage? Kosher foods? Pre-marital sex? Sex period? That you can’t criticize religion but in particular Fundamentalist Christianity?

    Censorship is a tool of oppression. Careful what you wish for. You just might get it.

  93. Gene,

    Certainly self censorship is preferred and perhaps … perhaps it is simply this relatively new medium, the internet, that is providing such a megaphone for hate mongers of all types.

    That is what I’m referring to when I say I must guard against my own reactionary tendencies to the here and now in order to keep my mind open to the dangers that history has proven censorship creates.

  94. Blouise,

    Again though, self-censorship, like one’s emotional and intellectual responses, is entirely the province and property of the self. Others cannot be responsible for defining or enforcing its expression as that crosses into censorship.

  95. Gene,

    Sh*t! You’re not going to let me get away with saying everybody should think like me.

    Of course you are right. Perhaps the hate spewed forth has been self censored and would be worse.

    However, I am stuck judging it from the viewpoint of my own sense of right and wrong.

    One’s mind can also be too open thus never reaching a decision … history has also proven that to be so.

  96. Blouise, Have not seen our son since July. He is the sweetest guy in the world, and I love his girlfriend. We see our daughter every 6 to 8 weeks.

  97. SwM,

    Good times … busy times.

    I leave for my daughter’s new house on Tues. night and will return on Friday. She is only 4 minutes away but we have our own bedroom/bath/sitting room there and she insists that we use it. The 4 year old has grand plans to sleep with us every night so that we may plot and practice our course in preparation to sneak up on Santa and catch him on Christmas Eve. She has an array of art materials laid out in her play room so that we can prepare and test treasure maps that we’ll follow to the prize … Santa. I’m going to be exhausted.

  98. Gene, really, you don’t have to take so much personal offense, you didn’t define it originally, thus your essay suffered. I like Miller and Cleland, their works suffering by right-wing authoritarian “social-correctness” under the same amorphous definition. Today, we deal with left-wing authoritarianism and still the amorphous definition. It works well for both.

    Now this : “I know this is a matter near and dear to your heart, PC Queen, but the generally accepted definition of PC will do.” This is total emotional response, and illustrates my early point of how rational people are irrational also (I realize you reframed my earlier into some silliness about me claiming people are always irrational). You just can’t let loose of Eskimo versus Inuit. can you? I respect people, however “imprecise” they may be on what they like to be called. Eh, When (I’m only imprecise by a consonant), if you had actually looked up Hook’s “epithets of abuse”, you wouldn’t go the fallacy of extremes.

    This is a catchall so broad as to be meaningless: “To wit: language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, other religions, beliefs or ideologies, disability, and age-related contexts, and, as purported by the term, doing so to an excessive extent and used as a pejorative, or more concisely, that some people and institutions feel it is their job as the PC language police to tell others how they should speak as to avoid offense to others (a purely subjective standard) which is essentially censorship and antithetical to free speech which by its very nature guarantees that at some point you will be offended by something.” That’s not a definition, it’s an essay.

    This is more succinct: “conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated”. Much simpler, without all the self-serving verbiage, and clear indication that you use the phase idiosyncratically. I will give that you understand the subjectivity of your essay, if only to cherry-pick like the Nazis did Nietzsche. If I remember correctly, you claimed Nietzsche influenced the Nazis because they cherry-picked him. Thus you influenced me, as I cherry-pick now “purely subjective standard” as typifying your essay.. Dishonest, but why should that get in the way of a seemingly good argument?

    Really, reading Sidney Hook, an ex-Communist (the purges in 1934-35 offended him to his core morality), Dewey apologist or embracer, and self-described Social Democrat, as to his take on PC would help you to avoid extremist thinking. Extremist thinking, the either-or fallacy where anti or pro lead, has no understanding that there is a middle without the “argument to the undistributed middle” or the “argument to moderation”.

  99. Healing relationships with families that are damaged takes time. I am in my first year of psychology. It is a specialized course called abnormal psychology. Apparently not all families grew up in a close nurturing family that I have. I feel you pain.

  100. The course materials suggest that those with an obsessive need to live vicariously through another are lacking a basic social skill. These can include any number of lack. They feel an unfulfilled aspect of the life they have and project aspects of others as their own.

  101. OK, “without” in my last sentence should be “notwithstanding”. Extremists will ignore this as well all else. And they won’t actually quote me, they will write my words, interpreted by them, so my words suit them for their argument.

  102. artiewhitefox,

    Christians have perverted their religion over and over again. I can’t comment beyond that experientially Christianity’s not bad, lot of good ideas. Some real bad executions though.

  103. This country is built on fundamentals Christianity which is real satanism. Had it be real Christianity what people have calling it security we would not have at all. Had we have Christianity a person could walk into a city of millions seeing an ocean of nude bodies all over doing whatever. Even having sex with no one caring at all if they see it. All kinds of sex. Imagine that, no one condemning anyone.

  104. “The course materials suggest that those with an obsessive need to live vicariously through another are lacking a basic social skill. These can include any number of lack. They feel an unfulfilled aspect of the life they have and project aspects of others as their own.”

    I have so much more sympathy for voyeurs. I thought they were different from the rest of us.

  105. Ariel,

    Really, I don’t care if you have a problem with basic definitions.

    Nor do I care if you don’t like my position on the issue of PC language.

    Censorship is a dangerously slippery slope. If you don’t like that others would rather not get on it when you have a marked tendency to embrace it? Well that would be your problem.

    Also, your excluded middle argument is moot. There is no excluded middle here. All three analytical approaches allow for narrow limited objectively rational restrictions on free speech as previously mentioned. Unfortunately for you and the rest of the pro-PC faction, “protecting your feelings” is inherently subjective and irrational as an excuse for censorship.

  106. Artie,

    “This country is built on fundamentals Christianity which is real satanism.”

    Actually this country was founded as a specifically secular government under the terms of the 1st Amendment, but that’s not the part of the 1st Amendment this thread is about.

  107. Megan Taylor Meier (November 6, 1992 – October 17, 2006 O’fallon Missouri.

    Driven to suicide just shy of 14 yrs old by a neighbor girl and her mother, the mother was the major culprit. Eventually federal charges were brought dealing wit Internet Fraud in that a fake social media account had to be set up. Convicted on one of 8 charges (a misdemeanor) but overturned on appeal.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Lori_Drew

    This problem is multi-faceted:

    The technology is capable of allowing anonymous harassment, you can’t confront your harasser. Social media is ubiquitous and can severely limit the zones of security and comfort/support for victims that they once had, just changing schools or extra-curricular activities will not do the trick; safe havens are more limited. If its one on one or a few against one it may be manageable but when it’s dozens against one due to the ability of the internet to aggregate a large number of people with some ease then you have a mob action.Adults can freely interact with children. Schoolyard vendettas in 3space, cruel as they can be, may maintain some level of equivalence. When an adult set out to mentally and emotional destroy a child it’s a whole different animal.

    Remember “my dad can beat up your dad?” If kids fight kids in the schoolyard you have some equivalence and when dads fight in the back yard some equivalence is maintained but the police may arrest them both. If a dad comes to school and punches his sons 10 year old adversary he probably do time. It’s a rough analogy for the sake of illustration.

    The technology has changed the ground rules.

    Uh oh

  108. lotta,

    Yes, that’s where part of my thought process is going.

    Man, that’s a really awkward sentence … time to get to bed.

  109. “The technology is capable of allowing anonymous harassment, you can’t confront your harasser.”

    Really. So technological communication is a one way street? Fascinating. Utter bullshit, but fascinating.

    “Social media is ubiquitous and can severely limit the zones of security and comfort/support for victims that they once had, just changing schools or extra-curricular activities will not do the trick; safe havens are more limited.”

    Social media may be ubiquitous, but it isn’t mandatory. Just like this blog or anything else on the Web, participation is voluntary. Facebook accounts can be deactivated or deleted as can other social networking platforms.

    “If its one on one or a few against one it may be manageable but when it’s dozens against one due to the ability of the internet to aggregate a large number of people with some ease then you have a mob action. Adults can freely interact with children. Schoolyard vendettas in 3space, cruel as they can be, may maintain some level of equivalence. When an adult set out to mentally and emotional destroy a child it’s a whole different animal.”

    Oh noes! Think about the childrens! And where are the “responsible” parents factored into this equation? Or does the technological tool – the computer – that some use as a nanny much like some have used/use television as a nanny, does it “have a responsibility to protect children”? No. It’s a tool. It’s not a toy even though you can play games on it. Tools can be dangerous when misused. I wouldn’t give an 11 year old a chainsaw for that very reason. I wouldn’t let them use social media either. If you want to protect your child from online predation from children and adults alike? Computers do run without an Internet connection and they do have an off switch. As a parent, that’s the responsible thing to do.

    “The technology has changed the ground rules.”

    The technology hasn’t repealed the 1st Amendment or changed that one’s emotional and intellectual responses are entirely the province and property of the self.

  110. However, all that being said, I do think there is room for improvement on laws dealing with Internet predation of all sorts, but that involves distinct crimes that have analogs in the meatspace – particularly stalking, intimidation, defamation and harassment. Like those crimes, the standards around them should be objective thresholds, not something vaguely subjective like someone’s feelings got hurt.

  111. You’ll be fine, pete. My dad has one. My aunt has enough stents in her to build a subway tunnel. It’s a fairly routine procedure these days, but I certainly do understand being nervous about it anyway. Surgery of any sort is always reasonable cause for concern. But based on their experience, if you’ve got a good doctor and you follow their instructions about whatever blood thinners (and everything else) they put you on for recovery? You’ll be fine. You’ve got good karma too. That never hurts.

  112. Uh oh cont. I’ve been having problems with this site all day and I didn’t know thi s post would be this long. My screen is flipping to weird machine code and back again, thought I better break it up.

    The Internet is one kind of mechanism whereby speech can be a weapon. It is not yet well understood by probably the majority of adults. I recall the case I linked to well. There was retribution. The names of the perpetrators weren’t published but known to some and they became internet celebrities with world wide exposure. it wrecked the families lives. They owned a business that died. It was ugly.

    There is real-world harassing behavior which the culture is more comfortable with. Throw into the mix any distinguishing feature that may set one person apart from some others such as race, sex, religion, handicapping condition. Just a relentless stream of verbal abuse and peer group shunning mechanisms. can and does drive the victims of that behavior to extreme acts.

    Now it’s all speech but what mechanism does the society have to moderate it? Missouri and Tennessee both had bills they were working just 1-2 years ago that would prohibit teachers in k-8 grades from having any discussion with students wherein the word ‘gay’ or the underlying concept would be used. Any discussion along the lines of ‘You shouldn’t call each other “gay” or “fag”‘ etc would have been out of the question. The laws never made it to a vote BTW- you guessed it, fear of First Amendment challenges. Like state abortion laws though, those legal hairs are going to be split so finely that a smart teacher will abandon any attempt at instilling a sensitivity for inclusive language or an abandonment of preoperative name calling.

    The better half needs a hand, an extra one….

  113. Pete, It’s one of the safest procedures performed. All surgery is scary as heck and if you can hold it together long enough to get on the table you’ve got it made as far as the fear goes. Once they hit you with the drugs for what little time you have to be conscious you just won’t give a shite. Tell them you hurt and are sensitive to pain afterward and they may give you some really, really good painkillers. I did that, I do have a resistance to drugs, they don’t metabolize efficiently, and I got some monster painkillers and a week off work. It turned into more of a procedure than first anticipated but no problem with it.

    I took my Pain killers and felt so good I went out and bought a whole bunch of 2×12’sx8′ and built an entire wall of bookshelves and moved books into it. Well, then I ran out of the pain-killers and I thought I was going to die! LOL,

    I went back to the doctor and he said I was healing slowly. Gave me some more painkillers, a note for a couple days extra off work and I spent like the next four days painless and happy but laying on the couch listening to music. LOL. Talk them out of a couple of days supply anyway and rack up for a day or so and listen to music, read, watch some cheezy vids. Play the sympathy card. make people fetch you stuff. Milk it. DO NOT go home and clean out the garage or build big heavy stuff. Adversity can be opportunity. :-)

    Hey, unless it’s an emergency you can postpone and get a second opinion. If you’re really unsure it’s always better to approach a medical procedure satisfied that it’s needed. That knowledge goes a long way psychologically.

  114. maybe i can get my daughter to come over and empty the litterbox for me. don’t want her cooking for me though, that child could burn water.

  115. Gene, I lost my train of thought, My postings were going someplace else but I’m just mercifully going to catch up on some vids and chill. This site froze up and I had to exit the interwebs and come back. I wasn’t having any trouble going to other sites though. It’s an omen I guess. Darn, I hadn’t even begun to close in on rude blawgers. What a loss. Sleep tight. :lol:

  116. “My aunt has enough stents in her to build a subway tunnel.” (Gene)

    The picture in my mind is not something your aunt would appreciate but I love the wordsmithory.

    pete

    Follow lotta’s advice and if no one will listen to you, come on here and whine

    The procedure is simple and given the other health issues you’ve mentioned, I’m certain your doctors will be taking special care with you. Once the stent is in place and you are home I’m sure you will notice an improvement.

  117. LK,

    The coffee is finally kicking in today, so let me point out the biggest flaw with the idea of prohibiting language about gays in k-8 and it isn’t PC training.

    It’s realistic sex education.

    And exactly whose agenda does that play to? The very same people who want to demonize homosexuals in the first place. The law of unintended consequences strikes again with a double whammy.

    Censorship is a bag of snakes.

    Any marginal benefit is simply not worth the ancillary costs and history shows this.

  118. To have a country with police, and jails saying their is freedom of speech with peoiple in jails that speak is saying an oxymoronic statement. This state wants to squelch, and bad mouth good care so the surgeons, and drug companies flourish. The rich pay for commercials so they can beguilingly sell their sorcery. They teach people to chided, and scoffed at care that they know is good but don’t want people to know anything about it to even be able to decipher between the good kind, and the kind that is not good being the equivalent of popping knuckles. The good kind of U,C,S, chiropractic practitioners can be found on a list on http://www.upcspine.com all ages birth on up. Upper cervical heath centers is another, put in your zip code. Must be U.C,S, only not a neck the twisting full spine popping kind. Free speech in the USA a whole lot of nothing. Tickle the ears of whoever saying a whole lot of nothing and you will be safe from people that have a devil in their soul. Don’t saying hard words or words that don’t tickle the ears will cause them slink away to call the authorities to arrest you or ban you from wherever.

  119. Hi, Gene,

    Your first argument is dismissal: “Really, I don’t care if you have a problem with basic definitions.Nor do I care if you don’t like my position on the issue of PC language.” Effective only to the person dismissing, since it addresses nothing other than that persons feelings.

    My point was that yours wasn’t basic enough, too verbose not succinct. And it isn’t that I don’t like your position on PC, funny you’d go to feelings, only that in some areas what you call PC isn’t except that your intransigence by your ego won’t let you budge.

    ” Unfortunately for you and the rest of the pro-PC faction, “protecting your feelings” is inherently subjective and irrational as an excuse for censorship.”
    This is why I directed you to Hook, because you’ve labeled me over one small argument, respecting people by the name they say is theirs, and conflated it to include all aspects of PC. Not rational whatsoever (rational being “agreeable to reason; reasonable; sensible”). My point earlier that rational people, especially those that constantly claim rationality, can be irrational. I think you twisted that into me claiming “irrationality” at all times. One of your reframings.

    Hook’s term “epithet of abuse” had to do with labeling so as to dismiss the person and all his arguments in all spheres where the label may apply. After all, if you’re a racist any argument of yours that in anyway can be ascribed to race is without merit because you’re a racist. Once you’ve labeled someone you’re certainly dismissive. Labeling is irrational when done from so little.

    BTW, just because I call for respecting people in one area doesn’t mean I’m PC. Far from it, because I don’t care about your feelings or anyone else’s. I do believe in respect for others, which can be objective, but that isn’t PC though you obviously claim otherwise.

    I tend to absolutism on Free Speech, speech should be countered by speech, but recognize the tar baby of societal constraints. I write nigger not “N-word”, when Chris Rock drops it so will I. The fact that Twain is so seldom read in schools because he used the parlance of the times is deplorable. America’s greatest satirist, outspoken abolutionist, and atheist, dismissed over a few words.

    BTW, Ken at Popehat speaks for me.

    It isn’t what you think it’s how you think. Which leads me to your use of censorship, a what and how. Censorship is a government function, we all censor in private life but shouldn’t allow government censorship whatsoever.
    You give me that imprecise impression that you spill it over. Noble perhaps but imprecise and dangerously so because it muddles an important concept.

    If you want to go fallacy Nazi, please quote me and dissect. Otherwise, you’re just making claims. I do understand that works well for you.

  120. Hi, Gene,

    “And who exactly gets to decide what is and what is not “acceptable”? In terms of Free Speech, all of us in our homes and our private lives, but not the Government, politically or socially.

    Pinochet was Chile, and he was just the other side of the coin that was Allende. It was the Junta that ruled Argentina, a lousy response to the problems of Peron.

    (as an aside, I have a much earlier post to you that is awaiting moderation still. I may have hit something that put it on the “OMG” need to moderate.”

  121. “It’s realistic sex education.” I have no problem with that as long as it’s put in the terms of K through oh 4 (assuming 10 to 11 and prepubescent), because their view and meaning to sexuality is not ours as adults. It’s significantly different, much simpler, and usually only curiousity about genitalia.

    The problem is when adult views are pressed on children, and their actions are viewed and judged in adult terms. Certainly irrational by adults.

    You brought up the law of unintended consequences, we call it in my family “the road to hell paved with good intentions” for metaphorical purposes because I’m married to a Christian. That law gives you 6 to 8 year-olds charged with sexual harassment, by adults, when they have no idea yet what sexual is and have no idea what they were doing was sexual because it wasn’t by their terms.

  122. I dismissed you because so far that’s what you’ve demonstrated your “arguments” merit. Your agreement is not required. If you need the definition of PC dumbed down, that’s also not my problem. I prefer accurate definitions. PC is a simplistic solution for a complex problem.

    “BTW, just because I call for respecting people in one area doesn’t mean I’m PC.”

    Really. Because calling for other people to act to your standards is exactly what PC is. That would be whether it is institutional or societal. PC is telling others what they can and cannot say which is simply censorship whether you like it or not. By the way, labels are useful when they are accurate. If you’re such an absolutist on free speech, that contradicts your earlier futile effort to illustrate why the term Eskimo is considered offensive to Eskimos. Since you’re not one, that you have a problem with it is and was irrelevant.

    “Censorship is a government function, we all censor in private life but shouldn’t allow government censorship whatsoever.
    You give me that imprecise impression that you spill it over.”

    Your failure to understand the impropriety of censorship in both the institutional and societal forms is your failing. Self-censorship? Is left up to each “self”. Not what you think a person should self-censor but by definition what they think they should self-censor. If you’re a free speech absolutist as you claim, that should be abundantly clear, but as in your earlier “arguments” you’ve demonstrated you haven’t really thought this through very well because it interferes with your proclivity to tell others how they should speak and by extension how they should think.

    The Thought Police aren’t welcome in a free society whether they come from the left or the right. It’s the ultimate attempt at violating the sanctity of others self to try to dictate what is or isn’t proper for them to think or say for that matter. I suspect your claim to absolutism on free speech is simply lip service.

    You sure use a lot of words not to say very much.

    The rest of your drivel is simply “holier than thou” drivel.

    P.S. Name dropping doesn’t impress me in the slightest. I don’t care who speaks for you. Appeals to authority are a logical fallacy used in that manner. If Ken wishes to rebut personally what I’ve said, he’s free to do so, but that he “speaks for you” is entirely irrelevant.

    Carry on.

  123. Hi, Gene,
    Wow, you actually quoted someone’s words and dissected them. I’m so proud of you for that.

    This “When an adult set (sic) out to mentally and emotional destroy a child it’s a whole different animal.” I can’t disagree with that one statement, though I can with all before, our predation and child abuse laws are based on that statement.

    “Social media may be ubiquitous, but it isn’t mandatory. Just like this blog or anything else on the Web, participation is voluntary.” I agree with you but we are just showing age bias. Social media is so very important to today’s teenagers that your argument of “isn’t mandatory” lacks understanding. Party invitations are sent by social media, not by envelope.

    “Oh noes! Think about the childrens! And where are the “responsible” parents factored into this equation? Or does the technological tool – the computer – that some use as a nanny much like some have used/use television as a nanny, does it “have a responsibility to protect children”? No. It’s a tool.” Even here you misunderstand the tool. Comparing it to television, so 1950’s or 1960’s, shows age. Going to the parent using it as nanny has no pertinence to how teenagers, or 20 year-olds, or even 30 year-olds, use this media today, or it’s importance to them. It is the media of instant communication for them, something we didn’t have and can’t fully understand on their terms. In fact, games are the nanny issue, not social media, not the computer itself.

    I’m so old-school I hate the phone. I much prefer person-to-person with all it’s cues and interplay that lead to willingness to agreement on at least some level, leaving “agree to disagree” on others without hard feelings. This social media robs that, but supplies an interaction we didn’t have. I may deplore it, but I’m forced to understand it’s meaning.

    Over a good Scotch, I prefer Islay, you and I might even come to some understanding and agreement. Here, very doubtful.

    As for technology, a pencil or a pen is a technological tool. So is a typewriter. I have a library of roughly 2500 books on a wide variety of subjects, but this “Computers do run without an Internet connection and they do have an off switch. As a parent, that’s the responsible thing to do.”, ignores that my children do all their research on line (they have no sense of the full pleasure of a book). You may be writing on 6 to 10 year olds, but all mine are teenagers. Running a computer without internet makes it a calculator and a typewriter.

  124. So: “Your failure to understand the impropriety of censorship in both the institutional and societal forms is your failing.” So Kike, Wop, Spic, Mick, and Nigger are okay by you? Those terms dropped first by societal proscription, later by governmental, the former being as wrong as the latter by your terms as quoted? You of course wouldn’t stop anyone in your home calling your black nephew a “nigger” over free speech issues. I have a black nephew.

    See your ego comes through: “Self-censorship? Is left up to each “self”. Not what you think a person should self-censor but by definition what they think they should self-censor. If you’re a free speech absolutist as you claim, that should be abundantly clear, but as in your earlier “arguments” you’ve demonstrated you haven’t really thought this through very well because it interferes with your proclivity to tell others how they should speak and by extension how they should think.”

    First, nowhere did I write “”Self-censorship? Is left up to each “self”. Not what you think a person should self-censor but by definition what they think they should self-censor.” It’s you’re take of my words, not my words. I realize you’re taking from my “not what you think but how you think”, but you misunderstand the meaning. “How you think” is dialectic, it’s the art of process of correct reasoning, and that isn’t that we end at the same point to determine correctness (Marx was an ass on this point). Dialectic is not labeling, it’s not jumping to conclusions, it’s not twisting words to make them fit humpty dumpty. You have failed over and over again in that respect. You leap so far that I fear you’ll break a leg. I’ve done that, it really hurts.

    Second, I have thought it through, and much more deeply than you, and realize that there are other factors I have to consider regarding Free Speech. Overwhelmingly, I say screw feelings, yet like you I’m reticent to call someone Nigger, Spic, Wop, Mick, or Kike. I recognize that that is feelings and societal proscription, you somehow think it isn’t censorship by “societal forms”, really? You spoke to how these words were wrong and deservedly so but they only became wrong by “societal forms”. Are you any different embracing the “societal forms” of now than then? Other than censorship…

    Free Speech is all about telling others what they should think, what the hell is an argument otherwise? Not to convince? A moment of masturbation? Free Speech is all about trying at least to show others the wrongness of their argument, and even more to convince, to change as you revealed by “educator”. However, it shouldn’t rise to the hubris of educator, as you should think that you might learn something from the other unless of course you are the height of all experience, knowledge, and wisdom. A rose can be found on a dung heap unless you so fixate on the dung heap that the rose goes unnoticed. It wasn’t the fault of the dung heap or the rose, but yours.

    Really, your breadth and depth can be measured by one use of a ruler. A yardstick would be so wasted.

  125. Hi, Gene,

    That James Brown video was so refreshing. I had no idea you could be so self-deprecating. Realizing your own failings, talking so loud but saying nothing (all sound and fury, signifying nothing), is movement in the direction to reasonable discourse. May you so continue…

  126. OK, I skimmed here, but didn’t read very deeply. I realized I agree with Gene H’s position in the article that started the thread. I can’t remember how the various ad hominem arguments started, nor could I keep them straight. I was very interested to see the collection of Bar Admissions from Swarthmore Dad. I tried to remember what state Swarthmore was in. (The mind is a dubious place to spend one’s free time, ain’t?) And then I remembered growing up Jewish (from one out of three families) in a small anti-Semitic racist town in New Jersey where everybody but one family (Black) was white Catholic either Italian or Polish in descent. In the 50s. With a brother handicapped from polio so that walking him to school I had to be both left- and right-flank defense. UNTIL a kid named, strangely enough, “Piggy” started walking with us. Now Piggy was from the one Black family in town. He was full eight inches taller than us and remarkably powerful — a stereotype from a 1950s movie, if you will. The first day he walked us to school the kids went from calling us kikes and Jesus-killers to calling us Nigger-lovers. BUT when one of them hopped off his bike to attack us, counting on help from the two other kids walking on that block, Piggy picked the instigator up bodily and slammed him (trespassionally) into Mrs. Bingham’s fence with a scowl on his face. So the kid got back on his bike and rode away. What was remarkable was what the other two did, because (a) they had been name-calling with the instigator at the “kikes, Jesus-killers” level but they saw the action; and (b) they never graduated to “Nigger-lovers” after seeing the body-slam into the fence. They suddenly became aware of the time and ran to school so fast (only a few blocks by that point) they were lost in the crowd that stood outside waiting for the bell to ring.

    My brother and I were amazed at the whole thing, and I only remembered this one after reading this thread. Piggy didn’t stop the name-calling with punishment. He made sure the name-calling did not become a call to action. That discouraged all the name-calling on that particular day.

    If people who know they can be targeted have faith in the “big guns systems” organized in their societies, THEN they can use that good old “sticks and stones” motif and go through life with great respect for freedom of speech. If, however, they cannot trust their own societies to do as well as a ten-year-old Black kid from New Jersey in 1957 was able to do, there may be a lot of challenge to free speech that can actually take on the SOUND of righteousness.

    That’s the problem. It does sound good to ban insults, doesn’t it? Nobody would even want us to try that if we knew without fear that our society was utterly devoted to protecting its members from the depredations that are often brought on by hate talk.

    In a society where the peddlers of the hatred and insults were naturally despised, disrespected and disdained, speech would really be free.

  127. “Free Speech is all about telling others what they should think, what the hell is an argument otherwise?”

    You can tell a rock to roll and it will do nothing.

    You can use the lever of argumentation to persuade a rock to roll.

    It’s not my problem if you don’t have a strong lever, Ariel.

    There is a difference between “telling” and “persuading” and that is what you holier than thou PC nitwits don’t seem to realize. “Telling” comes with the expectation of compliance. Unless someone is your child, telling them to do something and expecting compliance “because [you] said so”? Is both paternalistic and ridiculous. “Just because I don’t like it, don’t do it” – which to be clear is the crux of your Eskimo “argument” for PC and your “arguments” since – is not a sufficiently persuasive argument. Your personal satisfaction with others is not guaranteed in life and it’s pretty damn egotistical to think otherwise.

    And I’m glad you liked your pro-PC theme song so much it flustered you into some “I know you are but what am I”.

    That’s really funny.

  128. Gene and AY,

    Again here is my problem with the use of the term PC to characterize speech that is innately hateful. I categorically oppose the banning of almost any speech, but by the same token using the term PC is tantamount to licensing the use of hateful speech. This was exactly why the PC concept was invented in Faux Conservative Think Tanks and promulgated by the radically Right Wing Elite, that has labored since 1964 to make racism and ethnic hatred acceptable mainstream discourse. I don’t think that accepting the propagandist branding of opposition to hatred as some idealistic fluff used by the effete, is a good idea.

    We have seen racist attacks on a sitting President become mainstream. While I would never ban those attacks, the term PC applied to those who would oppose those attacks and their arguments on the merits, lends an equivalence of their racism to the discussion. That Obama had so many policy areas that could be attacked successfully, yet the racism became an overarching theme, highlights how much we have backtracked in almost the last fifty years of public discourse. Were it not for the fact that that these attacks actually rallied women, people of color and people of a different sexuality, they would have succeeded in taking down a President, not for his policies, but for the color of his skin. Yes, this does illustrate that bringing hatred out in the open is an effective tactic for opposing it. My argument is not with free speech, but with the unfortunate use of a propaganda technique that muddies the water.

    I also would cite JT’s taking down of the comment by Smith calling police officers “pigs” as being inappropriate and uncivil. Surely among us all there is no one with as pristine a free speech record as Jonathan’s and certainly this blog is a paradigm of free speech. How would we feel if we had someone constantly commenting using terms like: “nigger”, “kike”, “raghead”, “Chink” or “curry breath” in posts meant to demean. We know that Nick wouldn’t mind being called a “wop”, or a “guinea”, but I must admit I’m not favorably disposed to someone calling me a “kike” and never had been. I’m not for censoring these usages on this blog, but I’m also not for calling out these uses derogatorily being labelled PC. I hope you get the nuance.

  129. If only it were really politically incorrect to promulgate hatred and abuse. It is only “politically incorrect” to use taboo words. Much the shame of our not being sufficiently wise to impose, and suffer, shame for the real offenses.

  130. Mike,

    Calling censorship by any other name is still censorship. You say your problem with the term is how some use it as a rationalization for hatred. That’s not my problem with the concept of PC, but I do understand the nature of that particular problem. Hatred is hatred and rationalizing it under any guise is simply stupid. However, if you wish to force silence on those who express hatred, you only drive it underground and that has far worse consequences in the long term than being annoyed by their hatred in the present. The problem with PC is the arrogance and futility of telling others how to exercise their free speech and the intimations of being the Thought Police. Challenging a thought and dictating terms are not the same thing. Or as I previously said, there is a difference between “tell” and “persuade”. Also between “tell”, “persuade” and “object”. If someone were to call you a kike, I’d object, I’d try to persuade them that wasn’t necessary, but I wouldn’t tell them they couldn’t say it or by extension think it. Couldn’t. Shouldn’t. I have no issue with shouldn’t, but can’t posses a real problem if you value free speech. The root of my problem with it is PC is simply another form of authoritarianism no matter which side of the political spectrum promulgates it. As a fellow iconoclast, I’m sure that distinction is not lost on you.

  131. Mike,

    While I agree with you in principle….. I’d much rather know if a snake is poisonous before I pick it up….. Not all snakes are a threat to ones life…. Only Those that pose to be one thing and are actually another….

    I will also add that racism is more covert up north than it is in most of the south….. Very little candy a$$ing …….

  132. Mike and Gene,
    Where many go wrong is to think the First Amendment and “freedom of speech” applies to private settings. This blog, for example, is not truly a public forum, but a blog owned by our host. This discussion goes on over at the Daily Kos blog all the time. If someone came into my house and engaged in rude speech, such as the rant Dr. Turley deleted, that person would find themselves escorted out forcibly.

    Free speech often has consequences. When one exercises the right to free speech, one must be prepared to deal with the consequences. The two young women who posted that photograph taken at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier have both been fired from their jobs due to backlash. Rush Limbaugh’s sponsors have been fleeing him in droves, enough that it has impacted the entire radio industry–they are bleeding sponsors and radio stocks have fallen off the cliff. Papa John’s owner, John Schnatter has been scrambling back from the edge of the precipice over which he pushed himself and his company.

    http://www.wtop.com/41/3128654/Women-fired-after-Arlington-Cemetery-photo-outcry

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/22/1163952/-Rush-Flushers-seeking-to-hold-Limbaugh-accountable-for-hate-speech-have-crippled-the-radio-industry?detail=hide

    Now, fellow curmudgeons, carry on.

  133. Gene, AY and OS,

    My apologies since perhaps I was not making my point clearly. I am decidedly for the freedom of speech, even the most repugnant kind. I also agree that those who “for the best of reasons” would stifle what they deem as “hate speech” are barking up the wrong tree and I don’t agree with them.
    My issue is with the use of the term “PC” itself, by people defending free speech. “PC” has origins with a movement that actually has tried to denude the people of their freedom, while empowering the Plutocracy. For those of us of good will to use the term as “shorthand” is disturbing to me because PC’s use empowers the bad guys. Surely the argument against censorship can be made without defining it in the term marketed by the Plutocracy to foster prejudice.

  134. Perhaps Mike, but what term would you suggest in the alternative? PC is an accurate and apt term for the process of attempting to censor the speech of others based on content related to politics, but I have no opposition to a good neologism either.

  135. On the upside of what has come to be called PC, it has at least sensitized many people to some hurtful words and phrases. Obviously, as George Carlin so eloquently pointed out, some of it has tipped over into the ludicrous.

  136. Whatever a person does or says will be answer for by the one who made all. The fear of God has people fear to do bad to anyone. Don’t fear that whoever will fear Gods glory that Moses almost saw from Gods face. It is the spirit that is in whoever saying whatever word. Nakedness or sex should never be censored. That is what God made anyway.

  137. Gene, Mike S., OS,

    As a proponent of uncensored speech…… There are always consequences for any speech that is made…. Even as OS points out ludicrous speech….. I can avoid a snake by knowing that snakes bite…. They are not all venomous ….. But still you know what they are….. Unlike a two legged camellion …… They say what’s necessary to fit in and please…..only to turn around and be the most venomous snake of them all……

  138. Hi, Gene,
    “I dismissed you because so far that’s what you’ve demonstrated your “arguments” merit. Your agreement is not required. If you need the definition of PC dumbed down, that’s also not my problem. I prefer accurate definitions. PC is a simplistic solution for a complex problem.” More dismissal, and you are exceptionally good at it. Succinct isn’t dumbed down, nor is verbose more accurate.

    “There is a difference between “telling” and “persuading” and that is what you holier than thou PC nitwits don’t seem to realize.” Yet arguments are always about persuading, and I used telling and argument in the same sentence. Perhaps I contradicted myself, while you failed to read further. Dismissal is telling, not arguing, and you’ve certainly spent a lot of time telling me rather than arguing my points. I know, I know, I have no points. So you’ve told me.

    “Your failure to understand the impropriety of censorship in both the institutional and societal forms is your failing.” The very fact that you consider racial slurs wrong is actually a result of “censorship” in societal forms; 90 years ago you and I would have a more than a greater chance to consider those slurs acceptable. Please don’t think you would be some paragon of virtue by your standards today if you were born 60 some odd years earlier, that’s hubris. If you would like to argue that societal forms are censorship and thus wrong, please do. You’ll have a lot of work ahead of you to justify, even argue, censorship on racial slurs.

    I will give you one form of what you call censorship by societal form, if you called my niece a nigger in my house, I would escort you out of my house with prejudice and brutality. But horrors that’s just censorship by societal form. You conflate things that shouldn’t be and call them by the same word. Censorship is a government function through the power of the gun and the handcuff (it’s metaphorical) and why “epithets of abuse” should never be codified. You haven’t looked up the phrase yet have you? Because it’s all about labeling and then dismissing. That’s the power of PC that destroys Free Speech, labeling and thus dismissing because of the label. You have much in common with those you fight. It’s why I wrote earlier “it’s not what you think, it’s how you think”.

    If there’s a PC nitwit in all this, it’s you, no matter your arguments because you belie them at every step. I await your dismissal.

  139. You certainly use a lot of words not to say anything of consequence or substance but at least you are consistent.

    I feel sorry for your kids.

  140. Hi, M Spindell,
    “I also agree that those who “for the best of reasons” would stifle what they deem as “hate speech” are barking up the wrong tree and I don’t agree with them.” I do agree with you. “Hate speech” laws are wrong-headed and just wrong. On political issues, what you call hate speech may be my political point.

    My stance against Affirmative Action is definitely racist, not because I think it should be done by economics where all would be raised, not because I’ve seen that it helps most the middle-class (all classes) and the rich, nor because I’ve seen that it fails too many black students by putting them where they are most likely to fail, but because I’m racist. /sarc.

  141. Hi, Gene,

    by history, I assume this was meant for me: ” You certainly use a lot of words not to say anything of consequence or substance but at least you are consistent.

    I feel sorry for your kids.”

    Thus more dismissal. No argument, just dismissal. No rationality.

    But do any one of you old-timers here, male or female, have the balls to explain to Gene why that last comment was not only cheap, but despicable? Any of you?

  142. Blah blah blah, blah blah, blah blah blah blah.

    When you start making comments worthy of something more than dismissal, you’ll get something more than dismissal. To date, you have yet to offer anything that resembles a cogent evidence based argument on any topic you’ve addressed to me. You offer a lot of opinion, but your logic and evidence is practically non-existent. You couldn’t even give a valid reason why the term Eskimo is so offensive to you other than it is imprecise.

    So far on this thread you’ve given nothing more than a bunch of holier than thou horseshit about how when you tell others what to say and think its fine but yet still you claim to be an absolutist on free speech. Like you get to say whatever you like about me, but if I do the same to you, it’s suddenly “cheap and despicable”.

    Can’t have it both ways.

    Well. You can. If you’re comfortable being a self-contradictory hypocrite.

    Carry on.

  143. What about political/religious speech in a classroom setting?

    Kendra Baker, Kentucky Teacher, Under Fire For ‘Can’t Be A Democrat And Go To Heaven’ Statement

    This manages to run in to two PC walls with one shot, however, consider the context of surrounding the story: she wrote an alleged student’s comment on the white board, but it “was not part of a formal curriculum or lesson plan” during a class where they were discussing politics incident to the election.

  144. Gene, I saw that story about the lady calling the police on the bell ringers outside her store. Here is a variant on the question. Seems a convenience store parking area was a popular hangout for local teenagers. However, the groups of teens were scaring off customers. So the store owner rigged outside speakers over which he played non-stop classical music. He was particularly fond of the music of Franz Schubert. Problem solved.

  145. I love Schubert, OS. I’m particularly fond of his brothers, Orange, Pineapple and marginally confused Rainbow. ;) I remember that story too and like that story, I think the bell ringing is also an example of free speech. The SA have the proper permits and they are in a public space. That others are annoyed by it is irrelevant so long as the SA aren’t breaking any other valid ordinances such as a noise ordinance (which I doubt and are usually for residential, not commercial, zoning). There is no need to censor them.

  146. Mike,

    I’ve been thinking of a neologism but the one I like best so far doesn’t solve the “PC problem”: Private Censors. Still, a work in progress and any suggestions for different nomenclature are welcome.

  147. “You couldn’t even give a valid reason why the term Eskimo is so offensive to you other than it is imprecise. ” It’s considered an insult in Nova Scotia, It’s considered an insult in a large part of eastern Canada, and I was told by my superiors while in the USCG doing tours in Alaska to use Inuit in 1975. I told you all this over and over and over and over again, yet for you it isn’t evidence only because you can’t, won’t, or are simply incapable of accepting anything other than your own intransigent position. And it isn’t because Eskimo is offensive to me, because it isn’t about me. You can’t quite grasp that I can accept they don’t like the name, they consider it offensive, and side with them without having any personal feelings in the matter.

    As for imprecise, Wene G., it’s just another way of saying inaccurate. I tweaked you with the Inuit comment, and it’s stuck in your craw to the point of you going off to bad territory.

    Here’s why you can’t make a reasonable argument and can’t judge others arguments: “it’s suddenly “cheap and despicable”.” I wrote “But do any one of you old-timers here, male or female, have the balls to explain to Gene why that last comment was not only cheap, but despicable? Any of you?”

    And that was from your “You certainly use a lot of words not to say anything of consequence or substance but at least you are consistent.

    I feel sorry for your kids.”

    The last comment is “I feel sorry for your kids” in that quote. You are actually unable to understand “last comment” in that quote? Even with your spacing?

    Given my above, this is so pathetic as to be moronic: “Can’t have it both ways.Well. You can. If you’re comfortable being a self-contradictory hypocrite.” You didn’t understand what was written, even when I quoted what you wrote. You are certainly comfortable with yourself. The zenith of PC is dismissiveness, it’s really the whole point. Label, dismiss all, move on. You have so much more in common with what you purport to hate than I have with all your labeling. It’s the how versus the what.

    Word.

  148. ” I tweaked you with the Inuit comment”

    No. You demonstrated political correctness in most pejorative sense by trying to correct someone for using a term you couldn’t even give a rational reason for being offensive.

    Which you then turn around and try to claim you’re an absolutist on free speech.

    self-contradiction, n.,

    inconsistency between aspects or parts of a whole:

    hypocritical /ˌhɪpəˈkrɪtɪkl/, adj.

    behaving in a way that suggests one has higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case:

    Word(s).

    Unlike you, I know what they mean. For example, political correctness. The zenith of political correctness isn’t dismissal. It’s control. Dismissal is the act of treating something as unworthy of serious consideration; the zenith of rejection.

  149. Hi, Gene,

    Dismissal is control in context, especially in the context of PC. If I label you, you have to fight the label, of all people you should understand that. In the PC world, the effect of the label is to marginalize you. You’ll be suspect even for those who aren’t PC (he was called a racist, after all, there might be reason to look further as to whether he is or not). Really, how could you miss the connection? By sheer act of ego, thus arriving at a truth by ego?

    “Dismissal is the act of treating something as unworthy of serious consideration; the zenith of rejection.” Of course, it’s why I keep trying to send you to Hook, where you will never go, because he laid this out well over 20 years ago about PC and it would jar you. Labeling creates dismissal and makes you a reject. You’re so wrapped up in being dismissive that you don’t understand how dismissiveness is used in the greater context of PC. In fact I think you can’t recognize the forest because you keep going on about this tree, or that tree, pine, or ash.

    I couldn’t thank you more for that quote regarding dismissal, only because you showed you can’t connect the dots. PC is labeling, dismissal, rejection. The whole purpose of PC is to marginalize. What, you think its about Eskimo v Inuit? That’s just fun watching trivial justifications such as inaccurate, sorry, imprecise. I have been waiting for this moment, Eskimo v Inuit was the wedge, and I knew you’d get there because of your ill-formed concept of PC.

    You are an adolescent about PC, no matter you’re verbiage. . You see the parts but can’t see the whole, and go on and on about the people that say you’re wrong about the parts as being PC. Adolescent.

    Now your prediliction for definitions: Hypocrisy is “a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially : the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion.” compare to “behaving in a way that suggests one has higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case:” By your continuing misunderstanding of PC, perhaps you’re actually the latter, but both suppose a knowledge of the hypocrisy which certainly leaves you outside both as you would have to have knowledge. And this: Self-contradictory: “The act, state, or fact of contradicting oneself.” You did that so well with “Unlike you, I know what they mean. For example, political correctness. The zenith of political correctness isn’t dismissal. It’s control. Dismissal is the act of treating something as unworthy of serious consideration; the zenith of rejection.” Only because you can’t see the connections. In fact in that quote, you laid out of what PC is: control (labeling), dismissal, and rejection.
    \
    Damn, you are fun, because you can’t see labeling, dismissing, rejection as control. Hell, you camping in a forest must be a challenge for you. Look up “revisionist” in Leninist-Marxism (yeah, I know most put the L after the M), and be honest, if you had to look it up you missed one of the original PC labels. If you don’t know the full meaning of the term at a glance, you are behind the curve.

    You’ll make it more fun to argue against dismissal and rejection as part of the methodology of PC. We have the control/labeling down, you’ve just got to go further. Moving beyond adolescence is jarring, sadly, some can’t make it.

    “Unlike you, I know what they mean. For example, political correctness. The zenith of political correctness isn’t dismissal. It’s control. Dismissal is the act of treating something as unworthy of serious consideration; the zenith of rejection.” Damn, I have to thank you again for that quote, I’d almost go God for that one. In fact, I’m going to email that to my son. Why? He’s in an Honors program where he has to write a thesis for his Bachelors, with your quote and some books I have, including Hook’s, he may have a slam dunk on PC and how it is misused and misunderstood in society. He’s like Thoreau, he’ll keep rewriting until it’s exacting. May he use your quote in body or footnote?

    I’ll wait for your usual empty dismissal, only because when you quote you suck on your foot. I assume you find that distasteful so avoiding it is understandable. Toe cheese, yuk, but give your phrase from your vast experience. You got a moment to be an educator here, that purpose for free speech you so embraced in another thread. Educators never “tell” they only ever persuade. Damn, I like that quote on self-contradictory.

  150. PC people are displaying their bottoms on top. There is absolutely nothing that is or is not protected speech without some form of consequences.

    The pope today stated that Jesus’s birthday calculation may be incorrect. Nice to know from a church of frauds.

  151. Whatever you want to think. If you call that thinking. But let’s look at one more word:

    control /kənˈtrəʊl/

    1 [mass noun] the power to influence or direct people’s behaviour or the course of events:

    “Dismissal is control in context, especially in the context of PC.”

    Rejection (which is what dismissal is) has nothing to do with control in any context. I have not tried to silence you or control you. I dismiss your argumentation as facile, based on weak logic and little evidence compounded by your tendency to emotionalize because it’s a crap argument. You seem to labor under the false impression that all ideas are equally meritorious and therefor equally deserving of consideration and respect when they are not. I don’t respect your ideas. I’m indifferent about you. It’s an important distinction you can’t seem to grasp because you can’t divorce yourself from your arguments. Your attention seeking behavior though is most telling. You seem to think your arguments (and by your flawed method of thinking argumentation is personal – you) deserve greater attention than I do.

    “Of course, it’s why I keep trying to send you to Hook, where you will never go, because he laid this out well over 20 years ago about PC and it would jar you.”

    You keep trying to control me. Which is an exercise in futility. You really should have figured that out my now. Ask anyone who knows me. You also assume I’m not familiar with Hook, the authority you keep appealing to. If you can’t make an argument stand on your own, appealing to an authority will not help you. Since you haven’t made your argument, but rather keep illustrating the hypocrisy of claiming to be a free speech absolutist while engaging in PC enforcement behavior yourself.

    As for the definitions you reject? Feel free to argue with the Oxford English Dictionary all you like. I don’t mind. But when you want to make up your own definitions, you just look foolish and stray in to false equivalences and assumptions like “By your continuing misunderstanding of PC, perhaps you’re actually the latter, but both suppose a knowledge of the hypocrisy which certainly leaves you outside both as you would have to have knowledge.” I understand PC – but you rejected that definition as well because it was apparently too complicated for you. You don’t get to control the definitions of things to suit your desires. And I also understand hypocrisy such as claiming some moral or ethical superiority when you try to tell others how to speak or think (control them) yet turn right around and have the balls to claim you’re an absolutist for free speech. That’s the very portrait of hypocritical behavior.

    “Damn, you are fun, because you can’t see labeling, dismissing, rejection as control.”

    Not as fun as someone who likes to make up or cherry pick definitions when they argue. A bad habit you’ve demonstrated more than once. As for the rest of your self-affirming gibberish? It’s just that.

    gibberish /ˈdʒɪb(ə)rɪʃ/, n.,

    unintelligible or meaningless speech or writing; nonsense:

    You should shy away from verbosity in arguments too. It is not your friend. Using more words doesn’t mean you are saying anything meaningful. Although at this point, I doubt you’re capable of saying anything meaningful no matter your economy of language except different versions of “uh uh!”, “you don’t understand” and “words mean what I want them to mean” – none of which are sound rebuttals to any argument.

    Now you’ve at least gotten some attention to hopefully assuage that carpet burn on your brain from trying to reconcile your desire to control how others speak and think with your claims of being a proponent of absolute free speech.

    Run along.

  152. “PC people are displaying their bottoms on top. There is absolutely nothing that is or is not protected speech without some form of consequences.”

    Yep. And one of those consequences is the potential for being dismissed. To paraphrase Darren, “If you can’t stand the consequences, stay out of the words game.”

  153. It is interesting when one cannot be silenced in word some will go to the length of force and intimidation to Silence that which they cannot do by genuine argument or logic……

    If that doesn’t work then they try slander or libel…….

    If that doesn’t work, they try and have you arrested upon trumped uo charges….. All while playing the victim card…..

    I heard something the other day…. Why do you expect a liar not to lie…. That’s what they do…. Why expect anything else…

    Why expect anyone to be anything they are not capable of being…..they are what they are….. Regardless of what you expect…. They are as they are…..

  154. You do realize this just veiled ad hominum: “You should shy away from verbosity in arguments too. It is not your friend. Using more words doesn’t mean you are saying anything meaningful. Although at this point, I doubt you’re capable of saying anything meaningful no matter your economy of language except different versions of “uh uh!”, “you don’t understand” and “words mean what I want them to mean” – none of which are sound rebuttals to any argument.

    Now you’ve at least gotten some attention to hopefully assuage that carpet burn on your brain from trying to reconcile your desire to control how others speak and think with your claims of being a proponent of absolute free speech.

    Run along.”

    No real argument anywhere, just a monologue on how I’m not worthy. I do like that “carpet burn on your brain”, an allusion to brain sex? Only time I’ve gotten carpet burns was from sex, and only my knees, but I guess my experience is limited.

    “your desire to control how others speak and think with your claims of being a proponent of absolute free speech.” So if you tell racialists they’re wrong, you are controlling how they speak or think? You mean you aren’t arguing, assuming you’d do more than “you’re wrong” and that’s a lot of assuming given your track record, you’re censoring? Do you think racialists would cower and be quiet, thus censored, because you pronounce them wrong?

    I have no to desire to control you, especially how you think because fat is so messy and takes so much detergent to wash off one’s hands, and I certainly have no control over your speech in this venue, nor would I try to control it here or elsewhere, nor would I have control over it elsewhere without force. Control, unless you are mentally weak, takes some degree of force, and obviously the force of my arguments have no force.

    I simply point out how your wrong, give my arguments and evidence, watch you dismiss them out-of-hand and go on arguing. It’s fun.

    Really “telling” as censorship and control calls for a blankey, some milk, and a soft mat for a nap. I’m sorry I missed Kindergarten as we might have a point in common (actually, we have a lot of points in common, but I’m your “revisionist”).

  155. No. It’s a valid criticism of your style. You use a lot of words to say very little if anything of substance. You also again reveal you cannot divorce yourself from your argument. Thanks for proving my point on both those criticisms.

    “I have no to desire to control you, ”

    Then stop trying to tell me what to say and how to think, Oh PC Queen.

    Run along.

  156. Your response just leads to “but of course, what else would he write”. Admittedly you can write in brevity something without substance.

    “You also again reveal you cannot divorce yourself from your argument. Thanks for proving my point on both those criticisms.” I love your brevity, with it you make no argument, offer no proof, just declare and move on. I can fully understand now why you think others are trying to tell you what to say and what to think. They’ve questioned what you’ve said and your ego fired.

    I like this cherry-picking “I have no to desire to control you, ”, but you should really use an ellipse at the end. I do understand you think you got the gist, but the gist was only yours. I do realize again, by your definition of censorship, “telling” you is controlling you. If you knew anything about Hook, you’d know what you’re doing with “PC Queen” and it’s much worse than “telling”. This couldn’t get any better, well, except until your next comment. You have so furthered my understanding of the Frenchman on the Rampart.

    My earlier comment is still awaiting moderation but I’m sure you’ll give me more enjoyment after it posts, if it does.

  157. “‘You also again reveal you cannot divorce yourself from your argument. Thanks for proving my point on both those criticisms.’ I love your brevity, with it you make no argument, offer no proof, just declare and move on.”

    Your statements are all the proof needed that you cannot divorce yourself from your arguments and that you prattle endlessly.

    What? You don’t like it when others tell you what to say and how to think or label you?

    Who’d have thunk it.

    PC Queen.

  158. And it goes on.

    “No. It’s a valid criticism of your style.” Pot and kettle, again. I do think it’s valid to criticize dismissal as a poor style. I think I even criticized your style for that, but oh wait, I did it so it’s not valid. You do it, and “Poof”, it is. Whatever “is” is.

    I did notice you changed from “what” to think to “how” to think. I have yet to understand how I can drive, force, anyone to think either way if they don’t see the validity of my arguments. As for labels, “Obama is a socialist”, Eisenhower is a “fellow traveler”, “Kennedy is a papal puppet”. Labels are a short-circuiting of real thought, made too quickly and with too little information, and too often emotional.

    PC Queen is a badge of honor for me when I look at how you arrived at it. You may, with my resounding approval, please call me that from now on. I need the pleasure. It’s been a really hard month for me emotionally, and grabbing pleasure by your words has been, unfortunately, singular.

    Have you ever divorced yourself from your arguments? Which argument got the house and children?

  159. “I did notice you changed from “what” to think to “how” to think. I have yet to understand how I can drive, force, anyone to think either way if they don’t see the validity of my arguments.”

    You can’t.

    Enjoy your exercise in futility.

  160. Hi, Gene H.
    “I have yet to understand how I can drive, force, anyone to think either way if they don’t see the validity of my arguments.”You can’t.” And your right, my point, I can’t. Thank you for agreeing,

    “Enjoy your exercise in futility.”

    You know, one of the pleasures of discourse is recognizing when someone has so opened their mouth that a size 12 fits easily. You’re right, arguing with you is an exercise in futility. You hold to your arguments to save your testicles, as if they have ever been in jeopardy but perception can so overwhelm reality. You so make it apparent.

    OT this thread, but your “I feel sorry for your kids” hit a hot button. On reflection, I understand that you think when your kids hide, cowering, in a basement closet, hoping not to hear your footsteps, there’s no reason to feel sorry for them. They deserve it. So I can understand your “I feel sorry for your kids”. Have your kids quit their cowering? Have you given them reason to quit?

  161. For the enjoyment of reiteration, and to leave it here for all to pass. “Enjoy your exercise in futility” is the summation of arguing with Gene H. I take joy that he admitted to it, however unwittingly.

  162. To put the entire accepted legal definition would be very long. Here is a much shorter version. You can find this information in its entirety in any good law dictionary. Know what you are shouting. Freedom of speech by law, does carry these meanings.

    Freedom of speech. Right guaranteed by First Amendment of the U.S. constitution to express one’s thoughts and views without governmental restrictions. See also Fighting words doctrine; Liberty (Liberty of speech, Speech or debate clause.

    Fighting words doctrine. The First Amendment doctrine that holds that certain utterances are not constitutionally protected as free speech if they are inherently likely to provoke a violent response from the audience. N.A.A.C.P. v. Clairborne Hardware Co., Miss., 458 U.S. 886, 102 S.Ct. 3409, 73 L.Ed.2d 1215 (1982).

    Words which by their very utterances inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace, having direct tendency to cause acts of violence by the person to whom, individually, remark is addressed. The test is what persons of common intelligence would understand to be words likely to cause an average addressee to fight. City of Seattle v. Camby, 104 Wash.2d 49, 701 P.2d 499, 500.

    The “freedom of speech” protected by the Constitution is not absolute at all times and under all circumstances and there are narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which does not raise any constitutional problem, including the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting of “fighting words” which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. Chaplinisky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568, 62 S.Ct. 766, 86 L.Ed. 1031.

  163. Yes,
    “The “freedom of speech” protected by the Constitution is not absolute at all times and under all circumstances and there are narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which does not raise any constitutional problem, including the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting of “fighting words” which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.”

    The first problem is that I didn’t look up your reference, so no chronological reference for perspective, but I’ll go by my sense using Henry Miller’s works as a pivot. By his work’s, “the lewd and obscene, the profane” has pretty much been given Constitutional protection. Sexus, Nexus, Plexus, either of the Tropics can be purchased anywhere. Combine that with Hustler Magazine v. Falwell and we are done. If you look at Miller, as well Cleland and Joyce, you don’t want “including the lewd and obscene, the profane” as a proscribed speech, and the Courts have agreed. “Libelous” is problematic as it is a lie about another with intent to harm. “Fighting words” have also been dropped as well I can find, though I do think there is some justification to this “by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.” The Courts have taken the “sticks and stones” approach.

    As much as I sympathize with “fighting words”, as somethings just shouldn’t be said, the “sticks and stones” approach is more adult and better for keeping the peace.

    Ultimately, we should give “free speech” the greatest latitude, if not all latitude.

  164. The problem in today’s society is that free speech can, and do, cost people money – both individuals and organizations. The moment you speak your mind and say something offensive you open yourself up to not only criticism and scrutiny, but financial losses from those who disapprove of your position on a particular issue. People show support for and against what and who they believe in with their money. It’s always been that way in this country and it’s becoming more prevalent every day. With the increasing use of social media for activism and the importance of branding and image at various levels, it’s more critical than ever to choose words carefully.

    It’s not illegal to voice an unpopular or offensive opinion, but it might hurt you financially. Your employer may decide they don’t want the added risk of having an employee that openly voices controversial opinions. If you own a business your can be boycotted. Your company name can be the target of activism. If you have a career in a field like sports, television, politics, or another field in the public eye, you risk losing endorsements and even employment. Your personal and professional image can be destroyed. It’s no longer about challenging an idea or opinion, it’s about silencing those you disagree with via the almighty dollar.

    Can you imagine our society ever getting to the point where activism didn’t exist the way it does now or even in the past? Where people wouldn’t boycott a fast food restaurant because of offensive comments the owner made about gay people. Where citizens wouldn’t demand a politician’s resignation because of something he/she said that was offensive to Jews, Christians, Mexicans, etc. Everyone has the right to express their opinion – the caveat is they have to be willing to live with any negative consequences that arise from doing so.

  165. “You’re right, arguing with you is an exercise in futility. You hold to your arguments to save your testicles, as if they have ever been in jeopardy but perception can so overwhelm reality.”

    lol . . . I missed that gem.

    Arguing with me is an exercise in futility in your case because you came unarmed to a battle of wits, Ariel. I hold to my arguments because they are simply better than yours. Feel free to talk about my testicles all you like though. It just shows how weak your counter argument really is.

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