Free Speech

Teh Internets Saved His Tongue!


John Stossel's show tonight on Fox Business was all about free speech. It included segments with great friends of Reason John Stagliano and Judge Andrew Napolitano, arguing that speech and thoughts consumed in private are nobody's goddamn business (Stagliano, the Fellini of Fetish, is facing a 32-year sentence for distributing porn videos to folks willing to pay for the privilege of watching them).

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of the excellent memoir Infidel and the new Nomad (haven't read the latter yet) and subject of a fascinating (and contentious) Reason interview was also on, talking about how the thug's veto of free speech can never be allowed.

And Ezra Levant appeared too. As publisher of the Canadian journal The Western Standard, Levant published some of the Jyllands-Posten cartoons that caused the row that eventually led to Everybody Draw Mohammed Day. Levant wrote about his travails in Reason. Fifteen government officials spent 900 days investigaratin' him, at a cost of at least $500,00 (Canadian!) to the taxpayers in the Great White North and 100,000 clams (again Canadian!) to the Western Standard crew. All trying to prove that Levant and his pub had somehow broken the law via discussion of a contentious issue (guilty as charged!).

Here's a snippet from Levant's Reason account:

The Western Standard was prepared to debate our decision to run the cartoons, but voluntarily, in a process involving our subscribers (who enthusiastically agreed with our decision), our advertisers (who were nervous at first but ultimately supported us), and our distributors (most of whom stood with us and saw strong newsstand sales). In the edition following the one in which the cartoons appeared, we ran an extended letters section, with the entire spectrum of views represented, including a worried mother of a Canadian soldier in Afghanistan, a Muslim immigrant to Canada who said she wanted to get away from Shariah law, and nutcases who said I published the cartoons only because I was Jewish. That's what a public debate in Canada looks like.

One of the points that Levant stresses is that new technologies allow for freedom of expression in ways no one really anticipates. A key part of his story (as the title to his Reason piece indicates) is that being able to document actions and tribunals in a decentralized way is a real game-changer when it comes to repressive state action. Think of it as Fox's Book of Martyrs 2.0. Here's a vid of Levant's inquisition by Canadian officials.

Go here for more vids that lay out the new ways in which government seeks to punish uncomfortable speech. Thankfully they failed this time around.

NEXT: He's Gonna Get a Case of Wine...

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  1. Sounds reasonable to me dude.


  2. OK that makes sense to me dude.


  3. OK that sounds reasonable to me dude.


  4. “Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of the excellent memoir Infidel and the new Nomad (haven’t read the latter yet) and subject of a fascinating (and contentious) Reason interview was also on, talking about how the thug’s veto of free speech can never be allowed.”

    From the Reason interview you mention:

    Ali: You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning, and you look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, “This is a warning. We won’t accept this anymore.” There comes a moment when you crush your enemy.

    Reason: Militarily?

    Ali: In all forms, and if you don’t do that, then you have to live with the consequence of being crushed.

    Reason: Explain to me what you mean when you say we have to stop the burning of our flags and effigies in Muslim countries. Why should we care?

    Hirsi Ali: We can make fun of George Bush. He’s our president. We elected him. And the queen of England, they can make fun of her within Britain and so on. But on an international level, this has gone too far.

    Reason: I want my government to protest the Rushdie fatwa. I’m not so sure they ought to diplomatically engage some idiots burning a piece of cloth or a straw figure in the streets of Islamabad. Isn’t there a huge difference between the two?

    Hirsi Ali: It’s not just a piece of cloth. It’s a symbol. In a tribal mind-set, if I’m allowed to take something and get away with it, I’ll come back and take some more. In fact, I’ll come and take the whole place, especially since it’s my holy obligation to spread Islam to the outskirts of the earth and I know I’ll be rewarded in heaven. At that point, I’ve only done my religious obligation while you’re still sitting there rationalizing that your own flag is a piece of cloth.

    Reason: Here in the United States, you’d advocate the abolition of?

    Hirsi Ali: All Muslim schools. Close them down.

    I could go on, but I think I’ve demonstrated that this Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a real champion of freedom of expression.

    1. Reason, and many of its commenters, seem to have confused saying outrageous things that piss people off and championing free expression. Not that the same person can’t do both, but here I agree with you that the second one ain’t happening.

      1. When I read something like “We can make fun of George Bush. He’s our president. We elected him. And the queen of England, they can make fun of her within Britain and so on. But on an international level, this has gone too far,” I get the impression that not only is the speaker rather authoritarian, she’s also kind of stupid. This is like biker bar talk about the Dixie Chicks.

      2. That’s offensive. Stop it.

      3. That’s offensive. Stop it.

      4. Tulpa, you are still missing the point. Like other rights, if you do not use your free speech, it makes it much easier for others to slowly erode that freedom. A lot of people in the world now seem to think that their “right” not to have people say mean things about their religion outweighs free speech. Reasonable people who care about freedom need to push back against that and demonstrate that no, they cannot and will not have the right not to be offended. Being deliberately offensive is one tool we need to use to fight this. Reasonable non-asshole people who do not like the offensive comments/drawings/whatever can ignore them and get on with their lives. The people who feel the need to seek out the offensive things and think that they can stop them through veiled threats or religious arguments deserve and need to be offended in my opinion. If such people are allowed to continue, and if media outlets continue to roll over for them, I am not hopeful that the self-censorship will become official censorship at some point.

    2. Ayan Hirsi Ali is interesting and all because of her life story, but she’s obviously not in favor of free expression that she doesn’t like. Though I don’t see where Reason is claiming that she is.

      Tulpa, on the other hand, is indistinguishable from a big floppy horse penis with a disapproving frown tattooed on its glans.

      1. The results of a recent blind taste test would seem to contradict that statement.

        1. The only thing drinking horse semen has ever done for Tulpa is activate his gag reflex.

        2. That’s offensive. Stop it.

      2. “Ayan Hirsi Ali is interesting and all because of her life story, but she’s obviously not in favor of free expression that she doesn’t like. Though I don’t see where Reason is claiming that she is.”

        Well, given the quoted passages above, is she really the right person to be “talking about how the thug’s veto of free speech can never be allowed”? She wants to attack other countries for burning the fucking flag or dissing Queen Elizabeth.

        1. Maybe not, but she is the right person to talk about how Islam sucks.

          1. well put, Warty.

          2. Was that the point of Stossel’s show or Gillespie’s post?

        2. Hey “A”, it’s nt the Fucking Flag. It’s the American flag you shithead.

          I would love to teach you some manners you faggot asshole.

          1. Ah, another champion of free speech! When can we expect a Reason profile of JohnD?

            1. JohnD is a cuntsore LGF (paleocon) Internets tuffgai. He’s the right wing version of Max.

          2. it’s nt the Fucking Flag.

            Are you implying the flag never gets any?

  5. Damn, I wanted to see what she had to say after sitting through that.

      1. That’s offensive. Stop it.

  6. How long before we got one of the Muhammed (pbuh) posts? C’mon, what, is ICarli running a marathon tonight?

  7. That was one of the better Stossels. Solid show.

    1. Does anyone else feel that there is some disconnect in the conversation above, the one between Tulpa and a.

      Tulpa, are you on some sort of meth binge? Your posts are erratic lately.

      1. Shit! This happens every time I end up at Tulpa’s house. I’m smoking crystal meth out of a lightbulb, and making nonsensical replies.

        Sorry Fist, that was supposed to be an independent comment, and not a reply.

      2. Shit! This happens every time I end up at Tulpa’s house. I’m smoking crystal meth out of a lightbulb, and making nonsensical replies.

        Sorry Fist, that was supposed to be an independent comment, and not a reply.

        1. Tulpa!

          Calm your fucking toothless whore down!
          Bitch bumped my arm and made me double post. And, Make her put her wig back on between the gaping maw and her goddamn billiard ball head, I am getting freaked out!

          1. You say toothless like it’s a bad thing. I’m no fan of the chewjobs, let me tell you that much.

            1. Not by this comment do I base my conclusion, but rather the menagerie of twisted proclivities your posts seem to indicate. My conclusion; Tulpa, you sir a sick fuck/

              1. So you like chewjobs?

                1. I will not dignify your query with a response.

                  I do have a serious question for you though. Is vector analysis used in the study of chemical equilibria. I was thinking that by using vectors to describe reactions, dissociations, acid/base, etc calculations would be simplified, but have found no literature on this.

                  1. It’s pretty common to use matrices to simplify chemical equilibria calculations, metabolic flux analyses etc.

                    1. After all, at least half of all engineering modelling involves reducing systems to linear algebra.

                    2. Yes, I know this. Think of an equilibrium constant K, it is determined by the molar amount of each product raised to the power of its stoichiometric coefficient multiplied, and all divided by the reactants multiplied; each raised to its soichiometric coefficient. This would indicate that K is a number that is the slope of an equation, and with some information can determine a definite direction with a magnitude; the definition of a vector.

                      What I was alluding to, would be to figure out pHs, concentrations, enthalpy, potential difference,etc, using vector calculus, instead of the cumbersome equations normally used.

                    3. Also, the thing I am ponderin’ on, activity coefficients, and ionic strength would complicate the mathematics but not render it useless.

                    4. I don’t really know anything about chemistry, but what you’re talking about sounds an awful lot like an optimization problem. Reduce it to a system of equations and let fmincon be your friend.

                    5. I just finished an analytical lab where we used matrices to find K values and species’ concentrations from IR spec values. I am thinking of something a little different, perhaps I should ponder on it awhile longer and coalesce my ideas.

                  2. Spatial vector analysis is usually pretty worthless because you’re limited to 2 or 3 variables.

                    More general linear algebra, as dbcooper says above, is pretty common. I’m not sure about that particular application but would be very surprised if it wasn’t used there.

            2. That’s offensive. Stop it.


        1. Follow me on this one, Toadster.

          a writes a post to point out the contradiction in presenting Ali as a ‘champion of free speech’. Tulpa uses this post as an excuse to act like Mr. Belvedere. Then, a actually responds, but his response is something I cannot wrap my meager mind around.

          1. Tulpa contains multitudes, capitol…multitudes of disapproving old ladies.


            1. Warty, go to Hacha Cha’s page that he’s put up, go to the bottom where it says “Other Submissions”, and click on the “warning: graphic” link. Then enjoy my contribution to all of this. You’ll particularly enjoy it because it’ll bring fond memories of your average Friday night.

              1. Ouch, I think you should mail me some drugs after that…FOR FREE!

              2. Oh, Goatse. I would have included goatse in my entry if only my laziness hadn’t prevented me from making an entry.

                So is there any truth to the story that Goatse dude is also the dude from the horse-fucking-some-dude video? Dude.

                1. Oh, aren’t you so above it all…except you couldn’t be bothered to take a picture of your distended anus and modify it to mock Mohammed.

                  As for horse fucking, are you talking about this dude? I’m pretty sure that’s not the same dude. Just because you fuck horses and can distend your anus that much doesn’t mean goatse dude is just like you, you know.

                  1. What are you kids doing on my thread at all hours of the night?

                  2. I don’t know. The wiki page you linked to said it was an Arabian stallion. Connect the dots, man, connect the dots.

                  3. There was a video floating around years ago that featured a guy, bent over, struggling to fit a horsecock into him. It may well have been that guy who died. I hate the internet for showing me these things.

                    1. Yeah – where’s the “unsee” button?

  8. I really don’t understand why Tulpa gets so much shit here.

    1. Offended senses of propriety are red flags to the internet.

      1. db, succinct and well phrased, you receive an A.

        1. Thank you sir, I shall note that at my lab meeting tomorrow.

      2. Offended senses of propriety are red flags to the internet.

        This. It also explain why ed often gets blasted in a similar way.

    2. My money is on envy.

      Though maybe I should hedge a bit and bet some coins on lust.

      1. That’s offensive. Stop it.

        1. Offensive, hell, it’s repulsive. Barf.

  9. I just did the connect the dot Everybody Draw Mohammed Day contest winner. I don’t get it, why are dots 31 and 32 missing? It still works if you just move on and start over at number 33.
    I still think my submission was pretty good, if I may toot my own french horn. You can see my mohammed picture, the contest winners and a completed version of the connect the dot mohammed picture @
    I will be accepting submissions of mohammed drawings and posting them on this website, if you would like to submit a picture send it to: mohammedpics AT ays DOT x10 DOT mx

    I wish I could get ahold of the other reason submissions, if anyone wants to please e-mail them to the submission address.

    1. Maybe I am retarded, but all I could see on the link given was the (awesome)allyourspeech picture.

      I thought the winner was kind of lame. Sorry to whoever made it.

      1. yeah sorry I was in the process of updating the page, they are all up, including a completed connect the dots drawing

        1. Check your inbox, dude…but be careful.

        2. Got it, even with the dots connected, it is still kind of lame. There should have been a vote for the winner, though the gold medal picture would probably be pretty vile if they let us vote on it.

          1. An example of libertarian dictatorship in action.

            1. That’s offensive. Stop it.

            2. Really? You truly are a spherical bastard.

              1. Not meant for you heller, as I am offended as well.

    2. I’m guessing they accidentally chopped them off when they posted it. 32 and 33 obviously should have completed the beard.

  10. I watched all the Levant videos – magnificent! I’d love to hear him expound at a congressional hearing. This Canadian HRC is the result of believing “there should be no limit on what the state can force a business to do”. The state must be limited, or chaos reigns.

    1. Levant was just on the Stossel show, and he was pretty slick. That fucker musta’ touched the blarney stone. Good to see someone who can proselytize like that for good ideas.

    2. After watching all the videos, I have to say Levant is fucking awesome.

  11. Tulpa, your existence offends me. Pleas stop doing so.

    1. Hey, I didn’t choose to exist. I was born that way!

  12. Max/Orel, I want your babies. Lets fuck. I’m waiting.

  13. It all came together for me just now. Reason is to /b/ and ED as something is to something else. Ok, maybe only half of it came together, but the other half will be by after it changes a flat tire and remembers to come home from the bar with the payphone.

  14. Anyone else think things are weird?

    First you have a contest from a cartoon artist who then changes it like a day later. Then you have reason shut down its comments on at least two different threads.

    I am not saying there is a conspiracy only that this issue has made many reasonable people act very very odd.

    1. I think the bravado at reason has been tempered by the reality that we live in a world where it actually requires courage and a willingness to take a risk to defend a principle like that of free expression.

  15. BTW, did anyone get the name of that apparatchik bint sitting across the table from Levant? I think it’s rather important that her time in the canadian junior fascist auxiliary should make her unemployable anywhere else.


  16. I will never get tired of that video of him telling that idiotic, bureaucratic, stunted intellect bitch that he has the right to say whatever he wants. Man, that’s some happy shit. Better than rainbows and puppy dogs.

  17. why are dots 31 and 32 missing?

    For good reason (so to speak).

  18. i love that clip

    I also like kate saying “drink”. I missed the trigger though. it was “for good reason” I assume.

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