Free Speech

Free Speech Under Fire

A new book tries and fails to make a case against freedom of expression.

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The Case Against Free Speech: The First Amendment, Fascism, and the Future of Dissent, by P.E. Moskowitz, Bold Type Books, 272 pages, $28

When a book entitled The Case Against Free Speech opens with the claim that "This book is not anti-free-speech. It is anti-the-concept-of-free-speech," you know you're in for some verbal gymnastics. When it offers a howler like "There is relatively little literature and philosophy on free speech," you prepare for some pratfalls.

P.E. Moskowitz (who prefers to go by theythem, and their pronouns) is unburdened by an educated understanding of free speech debates or an effort to present a new perspective on them. Moskowitz relies on the familiar illiberal view that free speech is mainly an instrument of the powerful right-wing few, irrelevant at best to the marginalized and powerless many.

Wealth and social standing do, of course, facilitate the meaningful exercise of many rights, including the right to counsel, the right to petition the government, and the right to enjoy reproductive health care, not just the right to speak. And yes, the government often successfully represses these and other rights, which are, after all, designed to restrict its power.

But the unequal ability to exercise rights robustly is hardly an argument against them. We do not—or should not—disdain the Fifth and Sixth Amendments because rich people can better avail themselves of the due process and fair trial rights that poor people are often effectively denied. Instead, civil libertarians strive to secure equal application of rights, confronting injustices that Moskowitz and other woke progressives are not the first people to discover.

Moskowitz is confused about the implications of that discovery, unsure whether racism and other inequities mean we should actively oppose freedom of speech or simply dismiss its relevance to all but a privileged few. Moskowitz opposes official bans on hate speech, including speech by neo-Nazis, seemingly understanding that such restrictions would be used against leftists. But they also criticize the American Civil Liberties Union for helping white supremacists obtain a permit to rally in Charlottesville, and they sympathize with suggestions that police shouldn't protect far-right marchers. (I assume Moskowitz supports the police protection regularly extended to gay pride parades.)

The book even has trouble finding "the line" between the rights that enabled the Charlottesville marchers to rally and the murder of Heather Heyer, who one Charlottesville demonstrator deliberately ran down with his car. The lines between speech, action, and violence are merely "political," it argues, as though there's no difference between a swastika and a physical assault. If the U.S. banned chants like "Jews will not replace us," Moskowitz claims, Heyer's murderer would have had "no opportunity…to strike."

In Moskowitz's wavering opinion, free speech is either irrelevant or dangerous, and restricting hate speech is either a strategic mistake that will facilitate repression of left-wing dissent or a life-saving necessity. This book has all the intellectual coherence of a Trump tweetstorm.

The Case Against Free Speech is unlikely to persuade the unconverted. Consider its attack on the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a nonpartisan organization devoted to protecting speech and due process rights on college campuses. (Full disclosure: I advise and support the group.) What are FIRE's sins? Its co-founders, Alan Charles Kors and Harvey Silverglate, have "railed against political correctness." Kors has contributed to Reason, and FIRE attracts right-of-center funders. Moskowitz also ominously (and incorrectly) claims that "ultra-conservatives George Will and T. Kenneth Cribb" have served on the organization's Board of Directors. And while grudgingly acknowledging that FIRE is not "purely a conservative front group," Moskowitz is suspicious of its president, Greg Lukianoff, because he talks about the "marketplace of ideas."

The book associates that phrase with the Koch brothers and "free market thinking." But in fact, the argument that the First Amendment protects the "free trade in ideas" derives from a famous 1919 dissent by Oliver Wendell Holmes in the case Abrams v. U.S. criticizing the Sedition Act convictions of five Russian-born immigrants for distributing anti-government leaflets.

Readers will not emerge from this book well-informed. With little regard for law and history, it asserts that "the First Amendment has rarely been enforced to protect speech." Moskowitz tries substantiating this jaw-dropping factoid with a selective look at First Amendment cases, stressing the successful prosecutions of leftists for political speech during 20th century red scares. They then note that when the Supreme Court finally recognized First Amendment protections for unpopular advocacy, distinguishing it from incitement to violence, it did so in a case, 1969's Brandenburg v. Ohio, involving a speech by a Ku Klux Klan leader. Moskowitz imagines that this ruling was simply "an attempt to defend the rights of virulent racists."

In fact, Brandenburg reflected social changes, political upheaval, and the development of First Amendment law after decades of hard-fought cases, not any particular sympathy for the Klan. Other cases from the Brandenburg era explicitly protected the rights of left-wing protesters. In Tinker v. Des Moines (1969), the Court recognized students' right to wear black armbands to school to protest the Vietnam War. Street v. New York (1969) struck down the conviction of a World War II veteran who publicly burned his flag to protest the shooting of civil rights activist James Meredith. Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham (1969) struck down the conviction of a minister who led a civil rights march on a public street without a permit. NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware (1982) held that a nonviolent civil rights boycott of local merchants was protected by the First Amendment and that the boycotters could not be held liable for damages, reversing a ruling by the Mississippi Supreme Court.

And no case for or against free speech should omit the Court's earlier ruling in West Virginia v. Barnette (1943). An eloquent defense of First Amendment freedoms, it recognized the fundamental right not to salute the flag, a right I exercised with impunity in the seventh grade.

This book doesn't just ignore particular cases that undermine its narrative. It ignores the general importance of the First Amendment and broader concepts of free speech to modern civil rights movements. Individuals who don't own media companies make themselves heard, sometimes to great effect, by speaking collectively.

I'm not suggesting that the arc of free speech law consistently bends toward liberty. Civil libertarians are well aware of our losses, such as the 2010 ruling in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project. (There the Supreme Court retreated from defending political advocacy rights, holding that criminal bans on providing "material support" to terrorists could be applied to human rights activists offering suspect groups advice on peaceful conflict resolution.) We don't need Moskowitz to remind us of the threats to speech and privacy posed by new technologies or by the war on terror. Nor do we need this book's derivative discussions of McCarthyism, FBI surveillance of civil rights and anti-war demonstrators, or the harsh crackdowns on protests today. We know there was never a golden age of liberty. But Moskowitz doesn't know or won't acknowledge that expansions of speech rights over the last century are not mere illusions fostered by the right to lull us into complacency.

This view of the First Amendment as a failure and free speech as an empty promise is common within campus censorship movements of the left. It underlies Moskowitz's claim that there is no free speech crisis in colleges—just a perception of crisis "carefully manufactured" by "right wing organizations…funded by the usual suspects of right wingers like the Koch brothers." Or if there is a crisis, that it's the assault on leftist and anti-Zionist speakers by conservative activists who have managed to present themselves as censorship's "true victims."

There is indeed no shortage of bad faith among conservatives who champion free speech only when speech they like is threatened. And campus censors do sometimes target progressives, along with apolitical speakers who criticize or discomfit administrators. But if you've followed the rise of language phobias on campus and the increasingly aggressive campaigns to exile unwelcome ideas, you know that for three decades a vocal group of progressives has equated allegedly hateful speech with violent action and framed censorship as essential to equal rights.

Conflating speech and violence justifies employing violence in response to speech. The Case Against Free Speech concludes, predictably, that forging "meaningful" speech rights requires "illegal actions, and perhaps violence." Moskowitz is free to say this because advocacy of violence is protected by the "meaningless" First Amendment. Ironies and idiocies abound.

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275 responses to “Free Speech Under Fire

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  2. “There is indeed no shortage of bad faith among conservatives who champion free speech only when speech they like is threatened.”

    Such as?

    1. Well, to be fair, lots of conservatives have shown up on these comment pages, barfing up contorted logic concerning about why it is, that Government Almighty force should be used to compel free-market outfits like Facebook and Google to show more favor for THEIR viewpoints… All while we are totally free to buy our OWN web sites (as I do at http://www.churchofsqrls.com/ ) on their own dime… Do a “force Google crawl”, and even the horrible Google will display your stuff on search strings! So I for one, don’t see what all the whining and cry-babying is about, on this one…

      1. “show more favor for THEIR viewpoints…”

        I disagree. I don’t think conservatives are asking anybody to “show more favor”, instead, they are simply asking that conservative viewpoints be allowed. Let the reader decide whether to favor those viewpoints, if only they be allowed to see them.

        1. Do conservatives think, on the whole, that Muslims should be able to pray in public as much as Christians do?

          1. Why don’t you ask at a conservative site instead of a libertarian one dumbass.

            1. (This is where he stupidly tries to come up with a rejoinder, so he doesn’t have to acknowledge that his retard ass has been asking about conservatives at the wrong site for over a decade)

            2. The articles here are libertarian, and while most of the commenters, you included, are not technically conservative, you do spend 100% of your time either sucking Trump dick or calling people names. I’m the fucking conservative here you lost, sad dumbshit.

              1. Hey look, the rejoinder I called.

                You’re nothing if not sadly predictable.

                1. Shorter Tony “I know I look stupid shitting all over a libertarian website calling everyone crypto-conservstives, but fuck you”

                  Lololololl

                  1. Tony’s stuck in a childish “us-vs.-them” loop where everyone who isn’t a sniveling leftist, desperate for precioussss governmentses to take care of them, has to be a conservative. He will never get beyond that because he seems to actively prefer ignorance.

                2. The comment I was responding to was discussing conservatives. That’s why I was also discussing conservatives. And if you think this place isn’t infested by FOX News junkies, you are… well just about as delusional as the rest of your behavior suggests you are.

                  1. And the personI was responding to has spent over a decade stupidly bitching about conservatives on a libertarian website.

                    But if you have to cry Tones, then get it over with.

                    1. I’ve been bitching about FOX News junkie asshole “conservatives” have been polluting a libertarian website the entire time.

                    2. “I’ve been bitching about FOX News junkie asshole “conservatives” have been polluting a libertarian website the entire time.”

                      Yeah, shitstain, any possibility of you honestly responding to any comment is zero; you whine about what the voices in your head are telling you.

                    3. Yeah fuckwit, that’s the ENTIRE POINT. LOLOLOLO

                    4. You could try not sucking Trump dick at every opportunity, then I might stop bitching about you sucking Trump dick.

                    5. That’s it, get it all out Mr. “There’s no excuse for rudeness”

                    6. Yeah, shitstain, any possibility of you honestly responding to any comment is zero; you whine about what the voices in your head are telling you.

                    7. I’m not making an excuse for my rudeness. While I happen to be telling the truth about you sucking Trump dick, I’m making no pretense that it’s a polite thing to say. Did you just meet me or what?

                    8. “Tony
                      September.21.2019 at 12:45 pm
                      I’m not making an excuse for my rudeness”

                      And you don’t understand how the idiom works either, apparently.

                3. “Hey look, the rejoinder I called.”

                  Yep, and the time-stamps prove it.

            3. “Why don’t you ask at a conservative site instead of a libertarian one”

              This is the site of Libertarians For Tariffs.

              Libertarians For Statist Womb Management.

              Libertarians For Government Gay-Bashing.

              Libertarians For ABC* Immigration Policies (Authoritarian, Bigoted, Cruel).

              Libertarians For Torture And Endless Detention Without Trial/

              Libertarians For Big-Government Micromanagement Of Ladyparts Clinics.

              Libertarians For Abusive Policing (Just Aim Mostly At Blacks).

              Libertarians For Trump-Pence.

              Carry on, clingers . . . until you are replaced. By your betters.

              Enjoy the rest of the culture war.

              1. Ya know, the bigoted asshole has a point, but he’s wrong about the time -span. Our “betters” have been trying to lead the unwashed to the promised land for more than 100 years:
                Partial List of ‘Elites’ Supporting Mass Murderers
                1) Lincoln Stephens
                2) Walter Duranty
                3) Joseph Davies
                4) Julian Huxley
                5) Upton Sinclair
                6) John Dewey
                7) Jean Paul Sarte
                8) Henry Wallace
                9) Alger Hiss
                10) Malcom Cowley
                11) Edmund Wilson
                12) G. B. Shaw
                13) Lillian Hellman
                14) C. Wright Mills
                15-20)Donald MacLean, Kim Philby, and the remainder of the Cambridge useful idiots
                21) Harold Lasky
                22) Jacques Derrida
                23) Harrison Salisbury
                24) Norman Mailer
                25) Graham Greene
                You’re welcome to ad to the list; the bigoted asshole deserves to know how thankful we are.

                1. Bernie Sanders, Hillary KKKlinton, Liawatha, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Joe Buythem

                2. Good list, but how the hell did you miss Noam Chomsky?

                  Also, as a journalist, Walter Duranty doesn’t really qualify as one of our betters.

              2. Go die in a fire, slaver.

              3. > Carry on, clingers . . . until you are replaced. By your betters

                I only visit Reason once or twice a week. Yet it’s almost guaranteed I’ll see at least one instance of the Rev copying and pasting this same ominous line…all the while forgetting that his side keeps losing battles in the culture war. Oh sure, you have the occasional limited temporary reversal like the lame Democrat showing in the 2018 midterms. But, overall, the totalitarian impulses of the left are in retreat all over the world (Brexit, Taiwan, Yellow Vest, etc.)

                The left acts like Trump is a threat to the 1st Amendment because he criticizes the media, yet their idols like Maddox, Stelter, Lemon, and Sharpton are all still employed. Abraham Lincoln shut down hundreds of newspapers with which he disagreed, not a world I’d want to revisit.

          2. I consider myself as if not more conservative than true libertarian and my answer is of course

          3. Yes. Should Christians have the same deference shown to their faith that Muslims do (i.e prayer rooms, prayer mats, time off of work at certain times every day to pray, etc)?

            1. It’s not Muslims’ fault that Christians aren’t devout.

              1. It is your fault that you dodged his question like a cowardly bitch.

                So predictable.

                1. Yes, Christians are more persecuted in America than Muslims. Muslims are in fact extra privileged in America. Totally checks out.

                  1. And then after being called out for dodging it, you go into bitchy queen mode to run from it again.

                    So predictable.

                    1. As I’m sure members of your family have explained to you many times, you cannot respond to insanity with reason.

                    2. “As I’m sure members of your family have explained to you many times, you cannot respond to insanity with reason.”

                      You should quit posting insane comments.
                      See? It is possible.

                    3. Yes, they see me responding to you and caution me about that.

                      Then they point out how you lamely keep dodging.

                    4. “Sean Hannity”

                      Shark status – jumped.

                    5. Sorry wrong place this website has a crap commenting system.

                  2. “Muslims are in fact extra privileged in America.”

                    They are. They hate and murder gays and women and your people say and do nothing.

                    Or are we pretending it’s, still 2002?

                    1. My people are the ones who are trying to do something about mass murder. It’s you people who want to make sure it happens at maximum frequency.

                      Of course, if it were only Muslims who had guns, I suspect you’d be singing a different tune.

                    2. “My people are the ones who are trying to do something about mass murder”

                      Unless it is gays or women in the middle east.

                      Then it’s “fuck ’em” on the PC altar.

                    3. “My people are the ones who are trying to do something about mass murder. It’s you people who want to make sure it happens at maximum frequency.”

                      We’re not the ones throwing gays off of buildings, that’s your guys.

                    4. I specifically referenced Muslims in America. Obviously, Christians are not as privileged in goddamn Yemen as they are here. I was talking about here. It’s a rather important distinction. It’s rather the crux of the whole fucking thing. Goddammit.

                      I do not defend religious fundamentalists and their violent, backward, anti-human nonsense no matter which deity they fuck children and kill gays in the name of.

                    5. “Tony
                      September.21.2019 at 12:49 pm
                      I specifically referenced Muslims in America”

                      Well, that makes your inaction on the subject OK then. It’s not like you obviously did it specifically to avoid dealing with the uncomfortable postinion middle eastern muslims put you in.

                    6. “Tony
                      September.21.2019 at 12:49 pm
                      I specifically referenced Muslims in America. Obviously, Christians are not as privileged in goddamn Yemen as they are here. I was talking about here. It’s a rather important distinction. It’s rather the crux of the whole fucking thing. Goddammit.

                      I do not defend religious fundamentalists and their violent, backward, anti-human nonsense no matter which deity they fuck children and kill gays in the name of.”

                      Wow, that’s a ton of words to just keep dodging the question you don’t want to answer.

                    7. Do you need to believe that I actually support foreign Muslims murdering gay people because then Sean Hannity wouldn’t be wrong about something?

                      Do you ever consider actually thinking for yourself? Like, having an actual, bona fide thought?

                    8. You could save a ton of words and time by not dodging the question you clearly don’t want to answer.

                    9. What was the question?

                      Fuck murderers. Fuck religious fundies. All of them.

                      You’re not going to get me to agree, on a libertarian site, that we need to let Christians take over America and then nuke the Middle East for being the wrong religion… which is, I gather, where you would like to go with this?

                    10. “Tony
                      September.21.2019 at 1:03 pm
                      What was the question?”

                      You can’t fucking scroll up?

                      Lol I believe that actually.

                      Of all your lame fucking attempts to dodge the question, that’s easily your lamest.

                    11. Hooray for Tony! Fake libertarians suck!

                      Tony, did you see https://reason.com/2019/09/20/dont-destroy-the-constitution-to-fight-drag-queen-reading-hour/ ?
                      Anti-gay and ant-cross-dressers putrid and vile sentiments flowing everywhere!

                      No response to a simple question… A VERY relevant question… Does anyone anywhere have any scientific, fact-based study saying gays and cross-dressers are more likely to diddle kids than straights are? No response… Deafening silence is all… And we all know about sex abuse in the churches…

                    12. Drag queens are fun, and I have no issue with their story hour.

                      Now could you please stop spraying shit laced spittle everywhere Whiny.

                    13. My people are the ones who are trying to do something about mass murder.

                      Oh? You’re calling for a repeal of the 21st Amendment?

                    14. Hi Jason Statham,

                      Yes, I do agree, Orange Man Bad-Ass!

                      He SOOO BAD, He be GOOD! He be GREAT! He Make America Great Again!

                      We KNOW He can Make America Great Again, because, as a bad-ass businessman, He Made Himself and His Family Great Again! He Pussy Grabber in Chief!
                      http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/01/donald-trump-scandals/474726/

                      “The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet”
                      He pussy-grab His creditors in 7 bankruptcies, His illegal sub-human workers ripped off of pay on His building projects, and His “students” in His fake Get-Rich-like-Me reality schools, and so on. So, He has a GREAT record of ripping others off! So SURELY He can rip off other nations, other ethnic groups, etc., in trade wars and border wars, for the benefit of ALL of us!!!
                      All Hail to THE Pussy Grabber in Chief!!!

                      Most of all, HAIL the Chief, for having revoked karma!

                      What comes around, will no longer go around!!! The Donald has figured out that all of the un-Americans are SOOO stupid, that we can pussy-grab them all day, every day, and they will NEVER think of pussy-grabbing us right back!

              2. My mistake. I thought you asked a question in good faith. I shan’t make that mistake twice.

              3. Also, really devout Muslims would, you know, happily slaughter you.

            2. Well this thread devolved into another flame war.

              Anyway I have worked with many Muslims. Few of them are devout especially those here. I have never known any to request special prayer rooms or any of that. There may have been a few cases over the years but it is hardly an issue.

              1. Generally it’s Muslims who come here as refugees who whine for special accommodations.

                1. Any examples? Halal food in prisons maybe. I’m Jewish and most prisons have provided kosher food for decades. And both religions I believe have a doctrine that you can eat non kosher or halal food if you have no other choice.

                  Granted both can be a bit of a scam when the prisoner suddenly finds god because the food is generally better. Still not such a big deal.

                  I have heard of some colleges where Muslim students have requested a room where they could pray. Again no big deal to me if there is one available. If not start one off campus somewhere.

                  I recall that the courts held long ago that employers had no responsibility to give employees time off or schools for religious holidays. This has sometimes been an issue for people in my religion when it comes to schools. Most are accommodating and understand, leading the other kids to be jealous because the Jewish kids get a few extra days.

                  Look it is not so simple always to be in a minority religion. Most people are fine and respectful of all religions particularly those who are more religious themselves. You come across a jerk or hater every now and then. We have a few lurking around right here.

                2. “Generally it’s Muslims…”

                  Libertarian site dude. The collective guilt section is over there at Breitbart.

            3. So would really dedicated Christians. Thankfully our Christians aren’t quite as dedicated as their Muslims.

          4. “in public” — You mean like on public roads, the city park, and at the zoo? Sure… Can’t say that I’ve seen very many Christians praying in “public”.

            Or perhaps your main target was “welfare -public- education” which shouldn’t exist anyways.

        2. Well, maybe I didn’t write too clearly. I meant, “show more favor” THAN THEY DO NOW (Google, Facebook, etc.). I’d never advocate that anyone should show more favor for one group compared to another, UNDER GOVERNMENT COMPULSION specifically. The compulsion is the critical element here that I am opposed (as I think it safe to say, is in agreement with most, or at least many-many, libertarians).

          Some, on these pages, have argued that government compulsion (especially in the form of allowing lawsuits in government courts) should be allowed to FORCE Google etc. to “play fair”. It’s Google (etc.) that is paying for the speech, that owns the forum. So introducing government compulsion here is a WAY bad move, IMHO. We need LESS government compulsion, not more.

            1. OK, I agree. And I confess of my errors. You are “an” asshole and vile troll, not “and” asshole and vile troll.

              Now will you confess to your errors in polluting these comments with vast amounts of stupid?

                1. Up your ass with broken glass, nimrod.

          1. I agree. It’s fair for conservatives to complain Google and Facebook lean left (and to vote with their clicks). That’s different than government compulsion.

            1. Government already intervened by granting them special privilege. facebook just last week stated in court filings they were publishers. They dont get both ways. Asking to remove a special protection is not compulsion dumbass.

              1. So I can “ask” that your “special protection” of your religious freedom should be removed… This is “Asking to remove a special protection…”, and then I can use Government Almighty to tell you who to worship, when, and how, and you will NOT object, then, I take it.

                And I am the dumbass!

          2. I’m not shocked you’re too fucking stupid to realize asking trans to be held to the same level as teachers when conducting activities with children is not anyway abusive fucktard. You’re asking for special priviledge and exemptions for favored deviants like yourself.

            1. I’m still waiting for that link to a scientific or otherwise fact-based study saying that trans, cross-dressing, or gay folks are more likely to be kid-diddlers than straight people are.

              I’m taking my kids to church now… I hope they won’t get molested by a “straight” preacher, ’cause his straightness will be no consolation to me. When I get back, I’ll be looking for your citation.

              1. “”I’m still waiting for that link to a scientific or otherwise fact-based study saying that trans, cross-dressing, or gay folks are more likely to be kid-diddlers than straight people are.””

                Depends, how many diddlers are men diddling boys? Same sex is gay.

                I don’t fault a group of people (gay) people for that. I fault individuals. But the diddlers within the Catholic church are examples gay priests diddling boys.

                If you agree that most of the diddling is men diddling boys, then it follows that it’s mostly a gay thing.

      2. God you’re fucking dumb. The vast majority have stated they should lose their preferred protections for not being neutral and should be held liable for contract violations dumbfuck. It has nothing to do with free speech shithead.

        1. Contract violations which are all squishy, subjective interpretations of what might get Google, Facebook, etc., in trouble for “hate speech”. If you want to fix this, get rid of all laws that try to outlaw “hate speech” and “hate crimes”. I’d be with you all the way on that! Now in the meantime, stop whining and crying that third-party forums won’t support your speech, and pay for your own speech yourself! Like I did for my own web site at http://www.churchofsqrls.com/ … My site is now the number one hit for the search string “scienfoology”… Under Google at least. Google doesn’t discriminate against me, although I bet that leftists at Google don’t like me making fun of Scientology… That’s “intolerant”.

          Would YOU like to join my Church of Scienfoology?

        2. Also please note, a VAST majority of the individual services (Gmail accounts etc.) of Google and Facebook are FREE… They typically have “we can change our terms” boiler-plate in the sign-on agreements. But the IMPORTANT thing to note is, you SHOULD be able to get back your FULL PURCHASE PRICE of $0.00 for any documented violations of agreements! After that, you should quit yer bitchin’!

      3. Well, to be fair, lots of conservatives have shown up on these comment pages, barfing up contorted logic concerning about why it is, that Government Almighty force should be used to compel free-market outfits like Facebook and Google to abide by the ToS people must agree to in order to use their services–OR openly state that certain viewpoints will be censored, disallowed, or made extremely hard to pursue right up front.

        FTFY

        1. Facebook and Google are spineless wussies, yes, true… But they also want to make money. They are running scared of Government Almighty getting on their case for YOUR “hate speech”! Yes, we do have a problem here…

          But for an analogy here… You buy gold in 1925. Your gold-seller ToS did NOT mention that Government Almighty under FDR, might mandate that you turn all of your gold over to Government Almighty! Then here comes Government Almighty under FDR, later, doing exactly that! Who is at fault here, Government Almighty or the gold seller?

          1. But for an analogy here… You buy gold in 1925. Your gold-seller ToS did NOT mention that Government Almighty under FDR, might mandate that you turn all of your gold over to Government Almighty! Then here comes Government Almighty under FDR, later, doing exactly that! Who is at fault here, Government Almighty or the gold seller?

            THIS is your analogy? This?

            Do you not understand that ‘Government Almighty’ is NOT taking anything here? Facebook, Google, Twitter et al set up their ToS, and Facebook, Google, Twitter et al are not abiding by them. People are asking for legal help with this–i.e. in your terms ‘Government Almighty’ help because Facebook, Google, Twitter et al are laughing at the people trying to get redress from them.

            Let’s fix your analogy to reflect reality–

            You buy gold in 1925 from a reputable gold seller. Your gold-seller ToS stated that you would be sent the gold upon receipt of payment. But he did not send the gold after he received the monies. He stated that he had updated the ToS to say that he would sent the gold upon receipt of payment at his convenience. He laughed when you stated that this was not what you’d agreed to. And when you sought legal action he marshaled the media against you. Paid for with the monies you’d sent for your gold.

            Notice what’s not there? ‘Government Almighty’

            The only thing anyone’s trying to compel Facebook, Google, Twitter et al to do is abide by the terms of service they set forth.

  3. This is what is taught on college campuses today. Thought control is a necessary prerequisite for Marxism. You don’t need a First Amendment to protect unoffensive speech. Sure it will start with scumbag racists, but then the bar will continue to move. If you’re worldview or ideas or better than someone else’s than you don’t need to shut them up to win. In fact, you’re better off exposing despicable ideas to the light where you can expose the lies, rather than pushing them underground where they can spread. Don’t be a useful idiot for would be totalitarians. Free speech is the pillar of civilized society. Learn to debate and provide facts instead of just throwing temper tantrums and demanding people shut up whenever you disagree with someone.

    1. The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
      H. L. Mencken

      1. Mecken, as usual, gets it exactly right!

        “If the First Amendment will protect a scumbag like me, it will protect all of you.”

        —Larry Flynt, from The People vs. Larry Flynt

    2. I had a person – a doctor in his 50s – tell me my free speech ends with somebody’s offence. I tried to mount a rebuttal trying to show and convey how monumentally absurd and dangerous this line of thinking was.

      Not only was I stunned at the assertion but the fact the guy is buying this millennialesque sophistry and gibberish as espoused apparently in the book reviewed.

      1. You should have told him you were offended by his views.

        1. You should have gotten a better job so you can afford a whole AirBnb.

    3. When was the last time you were on a college campus? Have you ever been on one?

      1. Gee, Tony just changed he subject. Again.

      2. …asks the expert of Christian fundamentalists. Wonder what church he attends for his views….

  4. P.E. Moskowitz is the author of the newly released The Case Against Free Speech The First Amendment, Fascism, and the Future of Dissent, as well as How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality and the Future of the Neighborhood. They’ve written for The Nation, NewYorker.com, Wired, and many other publications. Born in New York City, P.E. now lives in New Orleans with their dog, Remi.

    I read an infuriating essay a while back by some hipster douchebag who was born and raised in NYC and had never been outside the city. Seems a friend of theirs had moved to New Orleans and opened a New York-style bagel shop or some such and wanted this person to come visit. Being unsure where in the world New Orleans was and whether it had paved roads, cable TV or running water, it was with much trepidation that this hipster douchebag steeled its resolve, girded its loins, donned its pith helmet and ventured out into the dark unknown of the Outside The City.

    Turns out, in some primitive ways, New Orleans was much like New York and this hipster douchebag found the place to be marvelously charming in its strange, backward, primitive ways and decided to move to New Orleans to be near its friend with the New York-style bagel shop.

    And, goddammit, as soon as this hipster douchebag discovered New Orleans, wouldn’t you know it, a bunch of fucking hipster douchebags from New York City started moving to New Orleans and started opening fucking shitty-ass shit like New York-style bagel shops and these fucking New York City hipster douchebags were totally ruining New Orleans.

    If this essay wasn’t written by the same New York City hipster douchebag that wrote this book, it was written by his soulmate.

    1. (And, yes, P E Moskowitz is a genderqueer they/them/theirs, not that that’s any of your business.)

    2. Why am I not surprised to hear that they have written for Wired? For a magazine that was apparently founded by a libertarian, Wired
      delves way too often into leftwing politics, or ANY politics for that matter, considering it’s supposed to be about technology.

      Just like you don’t pick up a copy of Road and Track magazine to read about the latest iteration of a Pentium processor or how to prepare your garden for spring, you don’t pick up Wired to read about Orange Man Bad or the case for single-payer healthcare.

      1. I think you do now.

        I haven’t seen a compelling Wired story in years.

      2. Is it just me, or is this kind of creep happening faster and faster? Publications that were ostensibly neutral and enjoyable suddenly start advocating for left-wing causes.

        1. I’ve noticed it too. “Scientific American” magazine has gone pretty clearly left-wing IMHO. I am letting my subscription lapse now…

          1. Sci Am was lefty back in the 70’s when I ended my subscription. It has only gotten worse.

        2. My theory is that a lot of writers are wokescolds who always dreamed of this moment in time for their laziness.

        3. It’s Conquest’s Law.

          Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.

          Right-wingers lack the desire to change everything to suit themselves Left-wingers don’t have this lack of desire.

          1. I suspect it got a lot worse after Trump’s shocking upset election.
            Lots of people I know still haven’t gotten over it, 3 years later, despite the fact that none of the terrors they predicted have happened.

            Still, I would place more of the blame on editors and higher-ups at these publications than on wokescold writers. I write technical stuff about business software, and if I tried to slip in some diatribe about fiat currency or whatever, I’d be told to do that on my own time, as it’s not relevant. These writers need to be brought back to focus on what the publication is supposed to be about. Period.

        4. From Iowahawk:

          1. Identify a respected institution.
          2. kill it.
          3. gut it.
          4. wear its carcass as a skin suit, while demanding respect.
          #lefties

          https://twitter.com/iowahawkblog/status/664089892599631872

      3. “Just like you don’t pick up a copy of Road and Track magazine to read about the latest iteration of a Pentium processor or how to prepare your garden for spring, you don’t pick up Wired to read about Orange Man Bad or the case for single-payer healthcare.”

        Remember Rolling Stone?

    3. 1) How splendidly parochial does one have to be to not know about N-O? I’m from Montreal and went to my first Cajun restaurant when I was 13 and learned about Louisiana over the years.

      2) This reminds me of Canadians who spend a lifetime criticizing America but the second they get a chance to bolt they go and vow to never come back. I even know one guy who used to tell me I was too ‘pro-American’ for merely having positive views about America. Yup. He ended up working in Texas – and loving it.

      1. I lived in San Francisco for ten years, and was amazed by how many people depended on buses for everything, no drivers license, never traveled outside the city. Their whole world was the few blocks within walking distance, and buses were only a last resort.

        1. These are the people who insist that driverless cars are feasible.

          1. Vernon, they also believe they are more cosmopolitan than most other people.

            1. Like that old saying that petty bureaucrats (school boards, for instance) have the most contentious squabbles, neighborhood tyrants are the worst.

  5. Since we Koch / Reason libertarians prioritize #ImmigrationAboveAll, we need to recognize that free speech absolutism can be counterproductive. For instance, if opponents of our open borders agenda could be arrested for hate speech, that would be a net win for liberty.

    For a compelling left-libertarian argument in favor of speech restriction, I recommend Reason contributor Noah Berlatsky’s piece Is the First Amendment too broad? The case for regulating hate speech in America.

    #BringBackBerlatsky

    1. The sarcasm attacks are getting a little stale.

  6. Id like to buy and see whats written in that book
    یلینک

  7. This writer sounds like an uber-illiberal – to borrow his terminology.

    It’s all ‘uber’ this and ‘neo’ that and ‘alt’ this.

    1. Neo-alt-uber-goobers have taken over everywhere!

      My brain grows foggy in my old age, but… Cannot recall who… Some uber-genius once said…

      “Left minus Right = Zero!”

      1. You’re thinking of someone else. The only person who says that here is a crazy old shitposter.

      2. (sneer)

  8. So, let me get this straight. If we ban people with viewpoints we don’t like from speaking this will, in some roundabout fashion which I don’t yet understand, prevent the violent extremists lurking among them from being violent?

    So Osama Bin Laden wouldn’t have knocked over the twin towers if CAIR wasn’t allowed to protest headscarf bans? Or is this one of those convenient “solutions” to “problems” that miraculously only manifest themselves in the OPPOSITE PARTY which really just boils down to RED TEAM BAD BLUE TEAM GOOD?

    1. Free speech for me, but NO free speech for THEE!

      I wouldn’t be saying it, if it wasn’t true. I am Good and Right and True! So what I am saying, must be Good and Right and True! Goodness and Correctness and Truth is Good and Right and True, so it should have the free-est of free speech! The Truth must prevail!

      If you disagree with MEEEE, then, on whatever points you differ on, the opposite of what is Good and Right and True, is BADNESS and WRONGNESS and FALSEHOODS!!! Therefor, you must SHUT UP! For the sake of Truth!

      QED!

  9. “ P.E. Moskowitz (who prefers to go by they, them, and their pronouns)”

    Does that make “them” jointly and severally liable for the poor quality of the book?

    “With little regard for law and history, {the book} asserts that ‘the First Amendment has rarely been enforced to protect speech.‘“

    I don’t blame the author; I blame the publishing house editors who let this whopper pass.

    1. My first reaction to that and several other quotes was to wonder why any editor would accept such nonsense; but then I remembered the target audience.

    2. “Does that make “them” jointly and severally liable for the poor quality of the book?”

      Heh heh, good one. I’d also have accepted an “I am Legion” joke.

    3. Book editors have gone the way of stenographers and restroom attendants.

      1. I’m a 2nd generation restroom attendant, not really sure what you’re implying.

    4. “This book has all the intellectual coherence of a Trump tweetstorm.”

      Coffeve.

  10. Show me a country in the developed west that’s dealing with significant support for legitimately racist and neo-fascist political parties, and I’ll show you a country where they’ve probably banned hate speech. I wish more people understood that banning hate speech ultimately leads to more support for legitimately racist politicians and policies.

    Marine Le Pen’s biggest obstacle to making the National Front a legitimate, mainstream contender for political power in France was getting her father and her father’s generation to shut up about holocaust denial. Every time the NF started to make some headway in the polls, her father or one his generation in the National Front leadership would deny the holocaust to some reporter, again–and that would be then end of their campaign. If the French government had stayed up all night trying to think of a better way to make the National Front a legitimate political party in the minds of average voters, they couldn’t have come up with anything better than banning holocaust denial.

    Nowadays, the National Front leadership is too afraid of prosecution to deny the holocaust in public–and that makes it practically impossible to discredit them as a bunch of holocaust deniers. Marine Le Pen forced a run-off between herself and Macron in the last election, and she won 33% of the French vote. No way she or her party would have enjoyed that kind of mainstream support if the party’s other leaders had been free to say all the things they really wanted to say about the holocaust.

    The same thing is happening in Germany. Alternative for Deutschland hurt Merkel’s center-right party at the polls so badly, Merkel had to turn to the Social Democrats to maintain her hold on power. This would be like the progressives in the U.S. supporting Mitch McConnell for Majority Leader in the Senate for fear of a new right wing party that were far worse on race issues than the Republicans. Once again, we’re talking about a country where hate speech is banned and actively enforced.

    There were plenty of people who turned out AfD rallies who would have loved to show up carrying Nazi flags. Unfortunately for Germany, mainstream voters were never treated to such a disgusting spectacle. No way the AfD would have enjoyed so much support at the polls if the government allowed AfD politicians to say the things they really want to say–the things that would really hurt them at the polls with average voters!

    One of the reasons we don’t have a truly xenophobic political party in the U.S. like they do in so many countries in Europe is because we have First Amendment protections for free speech but they don’t.

    Imagine if there were a law in Canada when Justin Trudeau was a kid that prohibited people from wearing black-face. Maybe you think Justin Trudeau isn’t really a racist–despite the insensitivity of his youth–but wouldn’t such a law also protect racist politicians who are truly racist?

    One of the greatest things about free speech is that it protects the freedom of idiots to expose themselves as idiots. The reason racist skinheads never gained much influence in American politics is because of the stupid and embarrassing shit they said in public. Have you ever heard the stupid shit they say at Klan rallies? If you want to limit the influence of racists, don’t stop them from saying the stupid shit they want to say in public by passing hate speech laws. If you want to limit the influence of racists in politics, put a camera on the racists and give them a microphone!

    1. Agreed! Excellent write-up Ken!

      I kinda like this one the most, as maybe a summary line of what-all you said…

      “One of the greatest things about free speech is that it protects the freedom of idiots to expose themselves as idiots.”

    2. It really is true — the best way to combat anything is to let the proponents speak their piece and show what they really stand for. Otherwise it remains mostly fictional, ill-defined, and easy for the fence sitters to accept as harmless and exaggerated by the opponents, as they will because they don’t really know what it is either.

    3. ” If you want to limit the influence of racists in politics, put a camera on the racists and give them a microphone!”

      And what if they want to limit the influence of non-racists in politics? Put a camera on them too?

    4. “One of the reasons we don’t have a truly xenophobic political party in the U.S. like they do in so many countries in Europe is because we have First Amendment protections for free speech but they don’t.”

      More like because we have a two party system and there are not enough xenophobes to take over one of them. If we had a multiparty system we would have one.

      1. There isn’t even a xenophobic party in the U.S. as big as the Greens or the Libertarians, much less like what they have in Europe.

        “The British National Party (BNP) is a far-right, fascist political party in the United Kingdom. It is headquartered in Wigton, Cumbria, and its current leader is Adam Walker. A minor party, it has no elected representatives at any level of UK government. Founded in 1982, the party reached its greatest level of success in the 2000s, when it had over fifty seats in local government, one seat on the London Assembly, and two Members of the European Parliament.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_National_Party

        We haven’t had a xenophobic party in the U.S. that was able to accomplish anything like that anywhere.

        I see no reason to believe that a xenophobic party in the U.S. would fare like their European counterparts–so long as the U.S. remains committed to free speech.

        As I mentioned above, Le Pen won 33% of the vote in a national contest. The main two parties in Italy just formed a government together for fear that the xenophobic party would win more than 50% of the vote if an election were held today. Merkel’s power is crumbling under her feet because the xenophobic party keeps beating the shit out of her in regional and national elections.

        Whatever organized xenophobic party there is in the U.S. is a fraction the size of the Libertarian Party, and if the Libertarian Party of the U.S. ever polled as well as the xenophobic parties of Europe, it would be amazing–single member districts or otherwise.

        Ross Perot may not have won any seats in the Electoral College because of single member districts (and a two-party system), but he did win 19% of the popular vote in 1992. Just because the xenophobes can’t win in any district doesn’t mean they can’t poll a hell of a lot higher than they do despite single member districts. And I see no reason to believe they can or ever will poll well–so long as they keep saying the stupid and embarrassing shit they say.

        1. Cmon Ken. You have a lot to say and say it well.

          American politics is totally wrapped around two party. More than ever. There have been a few exceptions in history those are long gone.

          People here, actually here at Reason, still think that the only choice is to vote for the least bad candidate the Republicans or Democrats put up. That is really what happens.

          That is not true everywhere. Look at the Israeli election just happened. Not advocating that but see how a multi party democratic system works or does not.

          To make a little fun. Because without humor life is not worth it.

          Bark for liberty !!

          Dog 2002!!

          I have already pitched Thomas Sawyer of the venerable and noble Labrador family whose citizenship is fully established, a veteran of the squirrel wars for 3 years, as a candidate. I am fully prepared to put in…up to $100 for a startup.

          Show me a better candidate.

          1. “…a veteran of the squirrel wars for 3 years…”

            I resemble that remark!

          2. “American politics is totally wrapped around two party.”

            American politics trends towards a two-party system because of single member districts. I don’t think you grokked what I wrote above.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duverger%27s_law

            Duverger’s law prevents a candidate like the Reform Party’s Ross Perot from getting a single electoral vote or a single seat in Congress. It does not prevent 19% of the American public from voting for Ross Perot, which is exactly what they did.

            There is no xenophobic party in the U.S. drawing anything close to 1%–despite the existence of other third parties. Contrast this to the UK–which also has single member districts and is also, therefore, subject to Duverger’s law:

            “[The British National Party] reached its greatest level of success in the 2000s, when it had over fifty seats in local government, one seat on the London Assembly, and two Members of the European Parliament.

            They enjoyed enough support to actually win seats!

            Contrast this to Le Pen’s recently rebranded National Front, where Le Pen won 33% of the vote in a run off against Macron. 33% of Americans do not support a xenophobic neo-fascist anything. You think the reason 33% of the American people don’t support a xenophobic neo-fascist party is because of single member districts?!

            The reason there isn’t even a small, third-party for xenophobes in the U.S., like there is for the Libertarian Party and the Greens, is because there aren’t enough people who will support a party like that. If there’s anyone in American culture with less support than 8chan xenophobes, I can’t imagine who that would be–and the biggest reason they’re so unpopular, specifically, is because of the stupid and evil shit they say.

            Thank goodness they’re free to say it. Shutting them up could only make xenophobes like them more popular.

            1. I always assume people know what I’m talking about when I talk about things like Duverger’s law–why systems with single member districts trend towards two parties. But that isn’t stuff that they teach in high school civics or even introductory political science classes.

              Here’s another place where I made an assumption:

              “There were plenty of people who turned out AfD rallies who would have loved to show up carrying Nazi flags. Unfortunately for Germany, mainstream voters were never treated to such a disgusting spectacle.”

              It may not be the case that everyone understands that displaying the Nazi flag is against the law in Germany–and actively prosecuted. I assumed people know that, but maybe they don’t!

              The point was, what if displaying that flag were perfectly legal?

              How many people would have shown up to support an AfD rally, would have seen some Nazi flags, and thought to themselves, “Do I really want to be photographed marching in a demonstration with Nazi flags?” Just because you’re against Merkel opening the floodgates to asylum seekers doesn’t mean you want to be labeled as a Nazi–or that you support Nazis.

              Even if Nazi flags were legal, I suspect the AfD would have discourage people from bringing Nazi flags to rallies–for fear that when voters saw them on the news, it would hurt their chances in the upcoming election. They might even have accused those who carried them of being agent provocateurs trying to make them look bad!

              How many German voters, who were marginally thinking about voting for the AfD, would have seen some in the midst of AfD demonstrations carrying Nazi flags and thought to themselves, “If that’s what they’re about, then I’ll just stay home and not vote”?

              The correct answer is “plenty”.

              The reason parties who want to be popular don’t march around carrying Nazi flags is because it’s so fucking embarrassing–even among those who want to restrict the flow of immigration.

        2. Um, Ken , have you forgotten George Wallace? Lester Maddox? Robert Byrd? Or that guy who put 70,000 Japanese in camps (and yet has a memorial on the Mall)?

          We certainly had, and have , a racist xenophobic party.

          1. Do you imagine that Wallace saying “Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!” wasn’t bad for the racists? Wallace became a force for integration shortly after saying that, and he regretted saying it for the rest of his life. Again, this is an excellent example of giving racists enough free speech rope with which to hang themselves. The more they spoke their minds, the less influence they had.

            Those were the last vestiges of segregation you’re talking about as it was dying its slow death–going back to reconstruction. And the embarrassing speech of racists contributed significantly to the end of that segregation. The vestiges of segregation gasping its last breath 50 years ago is certainly not indicative of how the U.S. compares to the xenophobic political parties that are flourishing in Europe today.

  11. I would also argue that support for hate speech laws is revealing of an elitist mindset. The elitists who believe that what average people can hear should be restricted because average people will believe whatever they hear are the same elitists who believe that we should all just do as we’re told because we were told.

    The solution to that balderdash is to attack their elitism. In addition to questioning the authority of elitists because appeals to authority are irrational, we can also question their authority on the basis that it’s mostly an illusion. If your spouse won’t just do as he or she is told, the problem may not be with your spouse. Maybe the problem is that you don’t and shouldn’t have any authority. Maybe the problem is with you and your delusions of authority.

    Come to terms with that and maybe you also come to terms with the fact that If people won’t do what you say–just because you say so–then maybe they’re unlikely to take blind instructions from racists, too.

    1. Agreed. A thought I have had along similar lines is this: The elite says we need “speech control” in the form of government mandates concerning election spending and campaign contributions.

      OK, then, do the thought experiment: Hitler is raised from the grave tomorrow. He has $500 billion to spend on constant media bombardment of his clearly hateful and racist views. Is his $500 billion going to buy him the election? If so, the USA is already hopelessly lost anyway, minus the $500 billion having ever gotten spent in the first place! We are NOT the easily-brainwashed sheeple that the elite thinks that we are!

      1. We are NOT the easily-brainwashed sheeple that the elite thinks that we are!

        Um…..global warming.

  12. “But they also criticize the American Civil Liberties Union for helping white supremacists obtain a permit to rally in Charlottesville, and they sympathize with suggestions that police shouldn’t protect far-right marchers.”

    Well, maybe the Charlottesville police took that advice, from what I hear.

  13. “He” not “they” this article is fucking gibberish and nearly unreadable all bacause you needed to socal signal.

    1. Do you think other people should be able to choose your forms of address for you as well?

      1. Simply following the rules of the English language maximizes intelligibility.

        1. I agree, and the pronoun thing annoys me too. But there’s no excuse for rudeness.

          1. “there’s no excuse for rudeness.”

            Tony
            September.21.2019 at 12:06 pm
            The articles here are libertarian, and while most of the commenters, you included, are not technically conservative, you do spend 100% of your time either sucking Trump dick or calling people names. I’m the fucking conservative here you lost, sad dumbshit.

            And hypocrisy?

              1. Ah so pretending you’re not a hypocrite is an excuse for rudeness. Got it.

                1. I never said I wasn’t a hypocrite or rude. Why don’t you go up to a trans person and tell him, her, they, or xi what you think they should be called.

                  Pussy.

                  1. Ah, so there are excuses for rudeness.

                    I win.

                    1. Win what? Did you get the poopoo in the bowl this time?

                    2. You really are a pathetic piece of sadness.

                    3. Is that your current excuse then?

                      I win again.

                    4. You’re actually claiming you win an internet.

                      Of course I am taking the bait. Run along now.

                    5. You seem deeply upset about losing.

                      I win again.

          2. I want all Black people to address me as “Bossman” or “Massa”. Are they being rude if they refuse? Should other people be able to choose my forms of address for me?

            1. Make no mistake, I believe in conventional forms of address, and strict politeness requires that you don’t correct others when they get it wrong. But also, you don’t get to deliberately choose for other people what their preferred forms of address are.

              We’re dancing around the subject that 100% of the time someone is bitching about alternative pronouns, they are doing so with malicious intent.

              1. The intent is not innocent when people demand the use of “alternative pronouns”. They are demanding that others verbally endorse their concept of “gender”—to speak as if they agreed with genderism whether or not they do. It’s an aggressive attempt to enforce an appearance of uniformity of thought on the matter.

                1. Sort of how like black people once demanded to be treated as politically and socially equal to white people. It’s not a crime to try to change hearts and minds. It’s not thought policing. You’re not going to jail for being rude to a trans person, you’re just an asshole.

                    1. That’s what you say. That’s not what trans people might say. See, it’s still socially acceptable to shit on them, as we are witnessing as we speak.

                      It’s still socially acceptable to shit on black people, for that matter, in the craphole shitsville you live, no doubt.

                    2. “That’s not what trans people might say.”

                      An just like you, their mental illness makes their opinion useless.

                      I win again.

                    3. Disagreeing with someone about a controversial psycho-social theory is “shit(ting) on them”. Objecting to being coerced into speaking as if you agreed with them is “shit(ting) on them”.

                    4. You’re uncomfortable with trans people. I get it. It takes getting used to. Now tell Tulpa that being trans is not a mental illness, because that really is bigotry. Mental illness is what the DSM says it is, not what Tulpa says it is.

                    5. I see you’re upset that your attempt to mainstream mental illness has failed.

                    6. But the DSM does say that it is a mental illness. It just decided to change it in a newer version.

                      Was it wrong then? Or now?

                    7. I’m uncomfortable with being told what to think. I’m uncomfortable with being coerced into speaking as if I believe something I do not.

                      There are a number of reasons why people choose to present themselves as a member of the opposite sex. Some of them are mentally ill; some are not. It is not bigotry to notice that.

                      “Being trans” is not an objectively real thing at all. It’s just a concept, and a poorly formulated one at that. The “trans” label is used to describe people with many distinct mental problems and beliefs about themselves. It is not bigotry to notice that. It is not bigotry to disagree with these ideas.

                      The DSM is primarily a guide to how to charge third-party payers for medical services. It is also in part a political document. It is not a scientific document. It does not define who is or is not mentally ill except in the context of qualifying to have services paid for.

                    8. “The DSM is primarily a guide to how to charge third-party payers for medical services. It is also in part a political document. It is not a scientific document. It does not define who is or is not mentally ill except in the context of qualifying to have services paid for.”

                      It’s also an argument from authority

                    9. It’s okay to argue from authority when the authority actually is legitimate.

                      You guys learned just enough in school to be stupid about everything. It’s exhausting.

                    10. A gender dysphoria diagnosis is often required for a Managed Care Plan to pay for a gender reassignment surgery.

                  1. Classic example of “begging the question”.

            2. I look it at more like if you were to meet someone named Robert and he tells you, “Just call me Bob.” If you refuse the request and keep calling him Robert, it would be kinda rude. Should it be illegal? Of course not! The government has no place policing etiquette, but etiquette still exists.

              1. Too much common sense and kindness for these here parts! Put up yer dukes; prepare to defend yerself!

              2. It’s not like that at all. When someone you know to be male asks you to refer to him as “she”, he’s doing more than just expressing a preference about what to be called. He’s asking you to endorse the concept that he has become female. He’s telling you what you must think about genderism, or at the least, how you must express yourself about it, as a condition of having any relationship with him. That is aggressive and manipulative on his part. Rude, even. Is it illegal to refuse his request? No, but there are sanctions imposed on those who won’t cooperate, and sometimes by government, such as by government employers and government schools.

                1. There are sanctions to being a rude asshole, yes. Not legal ones, but you won’t have any cool friends.

                  1. Have you ever actually addressed the content of what any other commenter says, rather than attacking them personally? Even once?

                    1. Read yourself closely. You’re whining about “being told what to think.” Are government goons closing in on you ready to throw you into thought prison?

                      No, you’re just being left behind by an increasingly more tolerant society. That really is the better direction for a society to go, to my mind, but of course there will always be people bitterly clinging to their comfort zone.

                    2. I’ll take that as a “no”.

              3. I look it at more like if you were to meet someone named Robert and he tells you, “Just call me Bob.” If you refuse the request and keep calling him Robert, it would be kinda rude.

                The problem I have is that they’re not saying, ‘just call me Bob’. They’re saying, ‘when I’m not here, and you’re talking to someone else about me, use ze and zis.’ Because I don’t generally use someone’s pronouns in a conversation with them.

                1. I had just such a conversation over lunch about someone who uses “they” pronouns. It’s pretty awkward since you’re constantly emphasizing it and discussing it while trying to just talk about the person. One of my companions finally said “I’m saying she, OK? She’s not here.”

          3. “But there’s no excuse for rudeness.”

            Agreed. Demanding people use idiotic pronouns is exceptionally rude.

            …but you didn’t mean THAT rudeness, did you?

            1. Wow, damikesc, I do have to honestly say I agree with you on this one… Too many weird requests like this strain my brain!

              But if you can be burdened with this request, I prefer to be referred to as “Zis Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzzed, EXTREMELY Delightfully Zuzzed, Uber-Zuzzer”. But only if it’s not too much trouble…

    2. “He” not “they” this article is fucking gibberish and nearly unreadable all bacause you needed to socal signal.

      “Excuse me, stewardess, I speak woke.”

      1. It’s “attendant” you sexist prick!

  14. This garbage book doesn’t deserve a 10+ paragraph review.

    1. Click bait, and comment fodder. Eyeballs attracted = $$$.

  15. Heather Heyer, who one Charlottesville demonstrator deliberately ran down with his car.

    It’s not clear that that’s what happened.

    1. The jury thought so.

      Why are you standing up for a convicted Nazi murderer? You people should see yourselves from the outside. It’s fucking weird in here.

        1. He’s literally a convicted murderer by the only definition that exists in our society.

            1. Yes, it is accurate to describe him as a Nazi. Also a murderer.

              But the real problem are college freshmen using pronouns you don’t like.

              Ya’ll are some fucked up assholes.

              1. “accuracy is weird, but because I don’t want you to keep pointing out how dumb I look, OVER HERE!!!”

                1. Why don’t you ask Vernon if he even wants you defending his position for him?

                  1. “accuracy is weird and HEY LOOK OVER HERE AGAIN!!!”

      1. A jury thought OJ was not guilty.

        1. This was kind of on videotape.

          Also, still defending a fucking convicted murdering Nazi!

        2. Perhaps a nit-pick, but “not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt”. If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit! Give me ANY article of clothes, and I can make some show of not being able to put it on!

          9 months trail? Wow! How much justice do you want? How much wealth and fame do you have?

          http://www.angelfire.com/mo3/nateman/Jokes/OJSimpsonJokes.txt

          I like the one about Cancun! (I guess I am a horrible racist).

      2. Because once you unperson one person, it becomes easier to unperson more and more people, which makes you the Nazi, you fucking cunt.

    2. Heather Heyer, who one Charlottesville demonstrator deliberately ran down with his car.

      It’s not clear that that’s what happened.

      Because that’s not what happened at all.

      He drove into a crowd of people who were in the street attacking two other cars. THAT’S what happened.

      And it’s on video, as Tony notes.

      He didn’t know Heather Heyer and had no way of knowing that she was in that crowd. Much less aiming for a specific person.

      Facts.

  16. “the harsh crackdowns on protests today”

    Hey, what?!? Have I missed something? Have the Portland cops decided they’ve put up with enough and gone on a night-sticking frenzy among the Antifa Fascist-weenies?

    I’m prepared to accept any and all links to something other than Lefty ‘Protesters’ being arrested in batches for flagrantly breaking the law. It is against the law to strike somebody. It is against the law to break windows. It is against the law to block traffic in a public street. In many places it is against the law to wear a mask to conceal your identity while breaking other laws. Antifa has a right to protest, even though I grow more convinced daily that for many of them it is a hobby rather than a Cause. But people also have rights, including the right to ignore Antifa and get on with their day.

  17. “P.E. Moskowitz (who prefers to go by they, them, and their pronouns)”

    Fuck THEM.

    1. ^This^

      It also explains the statement “There is relatively little literature and philosophy on free speech,” as you won’t find many books on free speech on approved leftist reading lists.

    2. They is an ass.

    3. Would it accept “dey and dem”? How about “le chic” (freak) – cockney rhyming slang?

      1. I think “it” is most appropriate

    4. Does them realize that if the US ( meaning the federal government) is allowed to ban any speech, that the current administration would be filling camps with anti-trumpers?

      What an idiot

  18. What a shock that a mentally ill tranny is advocating the end of free speech. If I was a mentally ill tranny, I’d probably want the government to force people not to point out that biology isn’t a social construct, so it’s hardly a surprise that this basket-case is pushing it.

    1. It’s bizarre that they think that they will be the ones in control.

      It’s pure kindness that is not having people beat the shit out of them for being fucking morons.

      1. If I were…

        Yeah. Subjunctive tense. But since English grammar has not been taught in public schools for decades, we need to be forgiving of anyone under 50 for not knowing that.

        1. “But since English grammar has not been taught in public schools for decades,”

          I blame the lack of an edit button.

  19. Conflating speech and violence justifies employing violence in response to speech. The Case Against Free Speech concludes, predictably, that forging “meaningful” speech rights requires “illegal actions, and perhaps violence.”

    Did it require running over Heather Heyer?

    1. You have to admit, it did make her a good Antifan.

  20. The sequel is called “The Case Against People Like Me Voting”

  21. The same thing that allows the white nationalists to do and say what they want is the same thing that allows the left to talk about trans issues and suggesting transitioning for children.
    What do you do?
    I say meet in the middle and have Nazi trans kids. That way everyone is at least partially happy and they’ll probably just eventually grow out of both.

    1. There are already trannie muslims, pretty much the same thing.

      1. The country with the highest rate of male-to-female transsexual surgery is Iran.

  22. Books like Lady Chatterly’s Lover and Naked Lunch have been banned and publishers have been charged with obscenity. The First Amendment wasn’t enough to protect them, it seems. They had to go to trial and convince a court that the works were not obscene and moreover had literary merit.

    1. Obscenity is different. It’s bullshit, but until we remove the Miller test and all that crap it’s going to be a legal way to shut down speech. I think the gov has learned you can’t go after music including just the album art. They still got porno wins. When is the last time they went after a book that wasn’t a comic book?

      1. What if hate speech were subjected to something like a Miller Test? Americans seem to be happy with these standards for the most part. Very little these days is banned due to obscenity, perhaps hate speech would benefit from the lax treatment accorded to obscene speech.

        1. We already have such case law for determining when strong speech crosses the line into illegal threats. I see no need to go any further.

          1. We already have Chaplinksy V New Hampshire and “fascist” is big word to call someone these days. Ironic, isn’t it?

            1. In these days of Antifa and mob cancel culture, it could be argued that calling someone a “racist”, “homophobe”, or “transphobe” is inciting an “immediate breach of the peace” and “fighting words” beyond First Amendment protection.

        2. “Americans seem to be happy with these standards for the most part.”
          I’m going to disagree with you on that. Most Americans don’t even know about the Miller test. Unless you’re into reading about government overreach or you are in someway affiliated with a medium they’re going after then you don’t hear about obscenity cases. Most Americans would be pissed and the news rarely covers it properly so most think it is something like kiddie porn when it clearly isn’t. That’s why they never went after gay porn because gays would be loud and proud.
          I don’t think a “hate speech” Miller test would work or be favored. It would have to have bias to stop everyone from violating it and you and I both know that blacks would be subject to all kinds of charges resulting from such legislation.

          1. ““Americans seem to be happy with these standards for the most part.”

            I’m only saying this because I don’t see the agitation over onerous obscenity laws. Certainly not to the degree we see over hate speech.

            Isn’t it the private sector that is more censorious than the government in cases of obscenity? The whole movie ratings business is about as murky as you can get and is totally private. If the movie you submit has one fuck too many, you could lose your ability to advertise in certain media. Where is the first amendment here? It seems that with hate speech too private sector will carry on firing people over things they say at work which the man doesn’t like. Again first amendment nowhere in sight.

            1. If you ask the average American what the last three obscenity cases in the US are or even what was the biggest they won’t be able to tell you. They don’t know and don’t understand what obscenity cases entail. As a result they aren’t agitated by it. If ISP’s are forced to block porn sites due to them being obscene they’ll become agitated.

              Porn is released all the time and they say fuck a lot, but they also show penises, vaginas, and anal sex. They do it without the ratings board. You don’t need the ratings board to release a movie. No violation of the 1st amendment. Congress made no law forbidding it.

              1. “If you ask the average American what the last three obscenity cases in the US are or even what was the biggest they won’t be able to tell you.”

                No doubt about that. I had to go back to the 1950s to come up with notable examples. Perhaps hate speech will become less of an issue as time passes. Like the obscenity issue.

                “Porn is released all the time and they say fuck a lot, but they also show penises, vaginas, and anal sex. ”

                Mainstream movie business has its own ratings board. You need a passing rating to be able to advertise in certain media.

                1. Last case I can think of was 2006 with manga. Obscenity cases are so rare and even in the US v Extreme Associates case the judge threw it out because he said it was unconstitutional to bust them, but then it was appealed and they ran out of money so they plead guilty.
                  “Mainstream movie business has its own ratings board. You need a passing rating to be able to advertise in certain media.”
                  That’s their thing. I don’t agree with it, but they made the party and ask that you wear a suit to be a part of it. If you noticed, directors found a way around it by releasing the film the board wants and then cashing in on blu-ray and DVD sales by releasing the full directors cut of the film. It has gotten to the point where I’m sure the studios do it intentionally to cash in.
                  Here is the thing about obscenity that makes it unique. You can make the film. You can show others the film. You can get busted if you sell it, but mainly for shipping it across state lines. Even if you ship it free of cost. Obscene material is 100% legal to own as long as it doesn’t break some other law like abuse laws.
                  Obscenity laws need to be discarded. You don’t know if you even broke the law until a jury tells you that you did. Even if you plead guilty before a jury trial you still don’t know if you violated a law.

                  1. You make some very fair points and I’m not defending obscenity laws, but merely pointing out how outmoded they’ve become and also how social change rather than actions owing to the first amendment have been responsible for the weakening of obscenity laws.

          2. “I’m going to disagree”

            Well you’re an idiot so no one cares.

            1. Hi Tulpoopy,

              Your moronic, vapid, empty-headed style of writing fools no one. You’re the fool, we’re not. PLEASE either grow up, or go away, and let the grown-ups talk without this constant threadshitting!

  23. This article was unnecessary confused by the liberal use of the singular “they” pronoun, I kept thinking I had missed a part wherein other people or a group was introduced. In future, referring to the subject by name would be more elucidating than the usually plural “they”.

    1. ” In future, referring to the subject by name would be more elucidating than the usually plural “they”.

      How about this? Plural – they, singular – thay.

      1. How ’bout this? Males, he; females, she.

          1. Nonbinary: Patient #___________

            1. Good idea. just tattoo the number on their arms.

        1. They is not too bad. It’s already a part of English, not like creations like ‘herm’ which tend to grate on older ears. Pronouns in English have always been fluid. She can be a ship, We can be a monarch. They can be one person. If a person doesn’t wish to draw attention to their sex, they is a serviceable replacement.

          1. I always have trouble with this because I can’t tell if it is singular or plural when it comes to who someone is talking to me about. If you have a singular person that goes by “they” in a group and someone is talking about the group and refers to the singular person you always think the conversation is referring to the entire group.
            I learned after having these issues and constantly being corrected for having to make this accommodation for 1 person that I could avoid it all if I just pretended that person didn’t exist. I don’t run into these problems now. Probably not what the other person wants, but oh well. If they can’t deal with it then why should I? I use this method for every instance where I encounter a “they” person. If they want to do that to me as well then I’m cool with it.

            1. I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting a ‘they’ person. I sometimes have a hard time keeping track of all the hes and hims if there are several men being talked about.

              1. “I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting a ‘they’ person.”

                Trans people are more genuine. You can observe that the “they” person likes attention. They enjoy being catered to while the trans people just want to fit in, be accepted, and not have them being trans be a thing. “They” people exist to have it in your face. At least the ones I’ve come across. I’m sure there are ones that don’t constantly correct everyone because they realize that everyone changing their normal behavior for one person is not something anyone should expect.

                1. This.

                  Trans people are transitioning. They’re hoping to get to the point where people simply call them ‘he’ or ‘she’ without needing an explanation of why they should do so.

                  Most of the rest of the gender spectrum folks aren’t actually suffering from any kind of dysphoria. They are, as trans people say ‘transtrenders’.

                  They imagine that there are other actual sexes they can be as well as pretending that every sexual preference is it’s own distinct gender.

                  They are, quite literally, trying to be snowflakes, each unique and distinct and special.

                  They haven’t yet learned that while each snowflake is a beautiful crystalline form of water, a mountain of them are just an annoying hazard that needs to be cleared away.

                  1. They’re hoping to get to the point where people simply call them ‘he’ or ‘she’ without needing an explanation of why they should do so.

                    Which, for most of them, never happens. Doctors and therapists are cruel for holding out the hope that it will.

                    1. Why is your concern about how other people choose to live their lives so disproportionate to your apparent total lack of contact with the world they live in?

                      You won’t encounter many trans people in your life. And if you do, you’re probably not going to go out of your way to be a cunt to them, I hope. So what are you actually worried about?

                    2. And once again, you try to make the conversation about me rather than attempting to engage with the content of what I’m saying. You’re boring.

                    3. I do happen to know a handful of trans people, and nobody has a problem calling them their transitioned pronoun.

                      The entire subject of your posts is yourself and your sensitivities, so that’s why I’m making it about you.

                    4. The entire subject of your posts is yourself and your sensitivities

                      No, it isn’t, but apparently that’s all you see. I will no longer attempt to converse with you. ‘Bye.

                    5. That’s a shame since I’m probably the best source you’re going to find here for what actually happens in the trans community, unless there’s an actual trans person here I don’t know about.

                      Ignorance is no crime. But pontificating on a subject you apparently know nothing about and rejecting any information that might make your worldview more complete is immature.

                    6. That’s a shame since I’m probably the best source you’re going to find here for what actually happens in the trans community,

                      No, Tony, I don’t think you are. I don’t think you have a clue what happens in the trans community.

                      I have relatives, friends, acquaintances, and business colleagues in both the trans–as in transitioning, and trans as in transtrender communities. I interact with those communities on a daily basis. And I would not attempt to say that I’m a source for what happens in those communities. Never mind ‘the best source’–even here.

                      But you have repeatedly shown yourself to not know the first thing about any of it.

                    7. Better than Vernon, who has a lot of feelings on the matter.

                      Calling my friend Roberta (nee Robert) “she” only took a little practice. It was practically nothing at all.

                      Some people seem to find this literally the biggest crisis of our time.

  24. 1969’s Brandenburg v. Ohio, involving a speech by a Ku Klux Klan leader. Moskowitz imagines that this ruling was simply “an attempt to defend the rights of virulent racists.”

    That’s an interesting argument, given the left-wing memes I’ve seen declaring that Brandenburg gives Antifa types the right to “punch a Nazi”.

  25. “We know there was never a golden age of liberty.” Amen. Beautiful sentence.

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