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The ACLU Appears to Endorse a Ban on Catcalling, Despite Huge Free Speech Concerns

What a deleted tweet says about the direction of a civil liberties organization.

On Friday, the American Civil Liberties Union seemingly called on America to follow France's lead—and ban catcalling. The tweet was swiftly deleted, though I obtained a screenshot.

CatcallingScreenshot via Twitter

A U.S. ban on catcalling—defined as street harassment of women, usually by men, often of a sexual nature—would likely violate the First Amendment, unless the law was very narrowly tailored to prohibit only severe, pervasive, objectively offensive conduct, or threatening behavior. Even then the Supreme Court might strike it down; think of Snyder v. Phelps. As obnoxious as catcalling is, the government simply can't prevent men from talking to women in public. This is something that many anti-catcalling groups understand explicitly, which is why they often oppose attempts criminalize such behavior.

So it's pretty telling that the ACLU could forget, even for a moment, that banning catcalling would be a significant blow to civil liberties, and would likely undermine other important goals, like criminal justice reform. (In the U.S. at least, the government would disproportionately arrest poor people, immigrants, and people of color for catcalling.)

Yes, I am aware that a single tweet does not indicate a broad structural shift in the ACLU's thinking: most likely this was done by one social media editor. I am still astonished that such a person—someone who is deeply confused about what the ACLU ostensibly stands for—would find themselves in the position of running the ACLU's Twitter feed. Did free speech not come up during the job interview?

I previously expressed concern that the American Civil Liberties Union was wavering on its ironclad commitment to free speech, given concerns raised by former ACLU board member Wendy Kaminer. Another friend of the organization, former president Nadine Strossen, disputed this characterization.

My fear—and it's a fear that this stray tweet would seem to confirm—is that free speech is becoming a secondary concern for the ACLU. Generic lefty social justice goals take precedence. And so the notion that the organization would stridently oppose catcalling legislation is no longer obvious to the people who work there; they think it's a progressive organization, not a civil liberties organization.

Imagine if France had just banned burqas, and the ACLU had retweeted a news story about it with the added caption: "Your move, America." This would be an outrageous betrayal of the organization's core mission, would it not?

Photo Credit: RICHARD B. LEVINE/Newscom

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  • Jerryskids||

    "Your move, America"

    I'm going to pretend they're advocating a national round of cat-calling France. Whether they're males or females, they're pussies.

  • Quixote||

    Contrary to the author's assertion, "catcalling" is by no means protected by the so-called First Amendment of the American legal regime, any more than an inappropriately deadpan "parody" is protected when it damages the reputation of an NYU department chairman who also serves as a distinguished envoy to the Vatican. Clearly, whether or not catcalling should be considered a crime depends on the respective social standings of the perpetrator and the victim. See the documentation of our great nation's leading criminal "satire" case at:

    https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  • Rigelsen||

    Catcalling is a form of defamation?

  • Quixote||

    No, catcalling is not a form of defamation, but it is no more protected than inappropriately deadpan "parody" that damages a reputation. Both convey unacceptable messages that nobody likes. Obviously, no "First Amendment" allows anyone to address such "speech" to a woman of good social standing, even if the content of the message is true, any more than it allows anyone to damage, however truthfully. a well-connected academic's reputation with inappropriate "parody."

  • ThanksForTheFish||

    "Both convey unacceptable messages that nobody likes"

    Right. That's the "it offends us" exception to first amendment protections.

  • Quixote||

    Surely you would not dare to defend the "First Amendment dissent" of a single, isolated judge in our nation's leading criminal "satire" case? Or foolish efforts of "liberal" academics who disagree with Eugene Volokh's appraisal of the line separating forms of "speech" that do and don't deserve protection? See for example this so-called "opinion" piece:

    https://forward.com/opinion/385050/

    The sooner such unacceptable "opinions" are banned from the Internet, the healthier our society will be.

  • Toranth||

    I find your "opinion" unacceptable, and demand that you immediately remove it, and yourself, from the internet. For the sake of a healthier society.

  • RoyBoy||

    I second that motion...all in favor say "I"...

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    God, I hope you are being deadpan snarky. Because if you believe, even for an instant, that allowing the Government to punish 'offensive' speech won't end up with whoever is in power at any given moment to declare that any speech that criticizes his agenda is offensive, your naive the is breathtaking.

  • Quixote||

    Surely neither of you is defending the inappropriate "First Amendment dissent" of a single, isolated judge—a text that so clearly poses a danger to public order and safety? For as the majority understood, deceitful "parody" that damages the reputation of an NYU department chairman and Vatican envoy must be punishable by jail, precisely because it poses such a severe danger to the basic foundations of our society.

  • operagost||

    High quality troll.

  • Sevo||

    "No, catcalling is not a form of defamation, but it is no more protected than inappropriately deadpan "parody" that damages a reputation."

    Brand new dimwit.

  • Quixote||

    Hmm, this must be a satirical comment, as my statement was clearly true.

  • Procyon Rotor||

    Pay a little more attention Sevo. Quixote's not new. He's been here for years, banging on about his one and only hobby horse. The correct response is to not engage. As long as no one replies to him, he just makes one post linking to that page and then goes away.

  • Quixote||

    Surely Sevo's words "brand new" were also a specific act of satire. Like the many distinguished appellate judges in our nation's leading criminal "parody" case (including the author of Albany's decision, who tragically committed suicide a couple of years later—apparently her own brother had already taken his own life, just weeks before Albany's decision was published), we here are all perfectly capable of figuring out what's meant ironically and what isn't.

  • Fractal Consciousness||

    I truly hope this is satire. Catcalling is not a form of defamation, but it constitutes sexual harassment. By no means does the First Amendment protect a right to harass others, even on the street.

  • Quixote||

    Fractal, I also hope these contributors are trying to be ironical and simply expressing themselves poorly. Nowhere have I said that catcalling is a form of defamation. But I do think it's reasonable to regard it as a kind of Trolling.

    Furthermore, my point is that the criminal courts, in the context of America's leading criminal "satire" case, have found an excellent way to get around the "false and malicious" standard that generally applies in defamation cases; they have held that inappropriately deadpan "parody" that damages, however truthfully, a reputation, may be criminalized; and they have created a new set of distinctions between acceptably "puerile" speech or speech that "conveys a message," on the one hand, and speech that "damages a reputation," on the other.

    In the same manner, the courts can, and should, remove any so-called "constitutional" protections from catcalling, and forge some basic distinctions between, say, catcalls that are puerile enough to avoid being criminalized, ones that convey acceptable messages, and others that we really don't like, which should be rapidly criminalized everywhere in our great nation.

  • RabbitHead||

    No right to harass others? Is it just sexual harassment that is unprotected or is poltical harassment ok to prosecute also?

    Because if so, there might be some lefties in trouble for their treatment of current administration employees in public.

  • Sevo||

    Procyon Rotor|8.4.18 @ 1:01PM|#
    "Pay a little more attention Sevo. Quixote's not new. He's been here for years, banging on about his one and only hobby horse. The correct response is to not engage. As long as no one replies to him, he just makes one post linking to that page and then goes away."

    I've been here since at least the Bush II admin, and don't remember this bit of idiocy. But thanks for the advice, and I'l watch what this imbecile does.

  • DenverJ||

    Brand new? No, he's been trying to fit his square peg court loss in any round hole story on reason for years.

  • Agammamon||

    So . . you're saying 'Don Quixote' is about catcalling?

  • Vernon Depner||

    Catcalling is a form of defamation?

    Well, maybe if you called out, "Damn, bitch! You UGLY!"

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    No one gives a shit about the lengths you go to draw specious comparisons to your personal ax. Go grind it somewhere else

    It is protected. Discussion over.

  • Quixote||

    100%, you're perfectly free to ignore my comparisons between two forms of insidious Trolling if you don't like them. But the discussion is not over, because—as the ACLU understands—catcalling is no more a form of protected "speech" than inappropriately deadpan "parody" that damages a reputation, however truthfully. Let's focus our efforts on protecting civil rights that are worth protecting, not on defending unwanted "speech" that nobody likes.

  • ThanksForTheFish||

    I'm guessing you will be willing to help society define speech that's worth protecting and what speech isn't?

  • Quixote||

    Naturally I would be more than willing to help out, but my esteemed comrade Eugene Volokh has already done a good deal of the work in this domain, and America's skilled prosecutors and criminal courts have also made it perfectly clear that the so-called "First Amendment" can easily be gotten around when we are confronted with forms of "speech" that we really don't like. People have even been rightly arrested and prosecuted in our great nation for writing bank slogans on the sidewalk with chalk (they have a right to convince a jury, if they can, that their intent was not criminal, just as Pussy Riot did in Moscow), and you believe that the "First Amendment" protects catcalling?

  • Quixote||

    And, ThanksForTheFish, shall I take it that you are also willing to help us determine the legally binding line established by the Second Circuit in our nation's leading criminal "parody" case, between texts that cannot be criminalized because they "convey a message," others that are "puerile" enough to escape prosecution, and ones that are clearly intended to "damage a reputation"? When exactly does a "message" cross that line? I'm sure all of us here can figure out the standard here, just as we all know the difference between addressing a polite compliment to a woman, and catcalling.

  • Sevo||

    Quixote|8.3.18 @ 10:40PM|#
    "100%, you're perfectly free to ignore my comparisons between two forms of insidious Trolling if you don't like them."

    And I'm personally free to call you a fucking ignoramus, fucking ignoramus.

  • Quixote||

    Sevo is indeed, for the time being, free to illustrate the lack of basic civility that has taken over the Internet, and that will hopefully one day, along with catcalling, be eradicated, banned, and suppressed by the appropriate legal authorities.

  • ||

    See, now I know you're just a pompous asshole. Oh, fuck off with that 'civility' shit. That started to pop up when violent lefties started to project their teeny-bopper, illiterate, hyper narratives onto everyone else.

    And I'm as mild-mannered as they come around here. So that should give you pause at how much your comment annoyed me.

    By your insipid comment, me calling you an asshole should be handed over to the authorities because 'civility'? Did I read and interpret you correctly?

  • Quixote||

    Surely you are not defending the "First Amendment dissent" of a single, isolated judge in our nation's leading criminal "parody" case? Do you actually believe, as that judge apparently does (fortunately he is no longer on the bench, having reached the mandatory age of retirement), that any form of incivility that takes the form of "speech" is protected by the "First Amendment"?

  • ||

    My calling you an asshole may be uncivil but not cause to curb speech. It may hurt you but not illegal. As proper.

    I don't need a fricken judge to tell me that basic reality.

  • BigT||

    You are the rudest, most outspoken Canadian I've ever come across.

    Nevertheless, mild-mannered by American standards. That's why we love you.

  • Quixote||

    Don't be so sure. That's what all the Twitter impersonators think, who send out deceitfully deadpan "parodies" in the names of our nation's distinguished university presidents and other revered figures. They think their electronic conduct is "not illegal," but thanks to the precedent set in America's leading criminal "satire" case, any one of them can be arrested at any time. At least in New York, and hopefully soon across the entire nation. It's okay, anyone who is arrested will have an opportunity to demonstrate to a jury that their tweets are sufficiently "puerile" not to be criminalized, or that their intent was to "convey an idea," not to damage a reputation, which is what they are actually trying to do.

  • NashTiger||

    The only insidious trolling I see is you , here

  • Quixote||

    On the contrary, I'm making a perfectly valid and accurate point: catcalling is precisely on the same level as illegal trolling. In fact, it poses a severe danger to public safety—just like inappropriately deadpan parody that damages, however truthfully, the reputation of well-connected academics holding prestigious chairs at institutions like New York University and serving as envoys to the Vatican—and should be criminalized accordingly.

  • Sevo||

    Quixote|8.4.18 @ 12:47AM|#
    "On the contrary, I'm making a perfectly valid and accurate point: catcalling is precisely on the same level as illegal trolling. In fact, it poses a severe danger to public safety..."

    I see you still are full of shit.

  • Quixote||

    And you are still free to violate basic principles of civility, until we close some more of the loopholes, as we began to do in our nation's leading criminal "parody" case.

  • JoeBlow123||

    This is so me OBL level trolling. Got a number of them.

  • Quixote||

    Thank you for joining my campaign to stamp out the Trolls—including those who engage in the abhorrent practice known as catcalling—so we can become a great nation again.

  • operagost||

    If we stamp out the trolls, doesn't that mean you'll have to go away?

  • Quixote||

    Not any more than stamping out inappropriately deadpan "satire" means legitimate civility will have to go away. Remember, our nation's laws were artfully crafted, and are meant to be randomly and arbitrarily applied.

  • jay||

    how do you damage a reputation- truthfully??

  • Quixote||

    Clearly the easiest way to damage a reputation is to tell the truth about someone, especially when that individual has engaged in misconduct. That is why only "false and malicious" defamation lacks First Amendment protection in civil lawsuits for libel. This principle, one that is actually quite deplorable, was "enshrined" in your infamous American case called "NYTimes v. Sullivan." Of course in the criminal context, the standard is lighter, one need only prove an intent to "damage a reputation," whether truthfully or maliciously. That is precisely the new standard invented by the courts in—the fortunate outcome of—America's leading criminal "satire" case. And that is precisely why Eugene Volokh wisely remains silent on this matter.

  • Fractal Consciousness||

    Catcalling is sexual harassment, and has nothing to do with defamation or libel.

  • Quixote||

    As I indicated above, I agree with you. My point is simply that just as the scope of the so-called "First Amendment" has been narrowed in our nation's leading prosecution of criminally deadpan "parody," so it can and should be narrowed in catcalling cases.

  • Curt||

    "just as the scope of the **so-called** "First Amendment" has been narrowed"

    As Inigo Montoya would have said: you keep using that phrase. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • Quixote||

    Point well taken. How about "so-called freedom of speech in the great American nation"? Does that convey my meaning a bit better? This "free speech" we keep hearing about doesn't protect catcalling any more than it protects inappropriately deadpan mockery of an academic department chairman and Vatican envoy. If you want either to mock, or to compliment, a dignified member of the community, make sure you're appropriately reverential about it, otherwise you will face arrest and be transported to one of the places we have waiting for those who give offense in our country.

  • DJK||

    You're way out of your element here. The lower court convicted Golb on a variety of charges. The court of appeals affirmed the convictions on fraud-related charges but explicitly reversed numerous charges due to 1st Amendment concerns. This case literally means the exact opposite of what you think it does.

  • Quixote||

    No, you are the one misreading the case. If it were as simple as that, the First Amendment would "trump" the fraud charges. In fact, what happened is that the Second Circuit upheld Albany's newly created "harm to reputation" standard and its retroactive application to the defendant. The Second Circuit then distinguished between emails that were "puerile" enough not to be criminalized, as well as ones that "conveyed a message"—also protected—and others that were, according to the court, intended to damage a reputation, which were not protected.

    Allow me to add that this is highly pertinent to the question put by Fish, who asked me earlier if I would personally be willing to help set the standards between offensive and non-offensive speech. We must all now accept that the criminal courts of the great American nation have the expertise to distinguish between inappropriately deadpan parodies that "convey a message," ones that are sufficiently "puerile," and others that are clearly intended to "damage a reputation." There is the line established by the courts in our nation's leading criminal "satire" case, and it should stand as a model for further "First Amendment" litigation everywhere in the country.

  • TeamsterX||

    This looks like a solution looking for a problem...we all ready have these rules on the books, under sexual harassment.

  • Quixote||

    Except that people are coming on here trying to argue that the "First Amendment" protects catcalling, the same way New York's highest court held, in our nation's leading criminal "satire" case (and wrongly held, in my view) that it protects "annoying" speech.

  • Sevo||

    "A U.S. ban on catcalling—defined as street harassment of women, usually by men, often of a sexual nature—would likely violate the First Amendment,..."

    Pretty safe bet there.
    Wonder how long it'll be before the IJ and the ACLU ar on opposite sides of a case.

  • croaker||

    Not that long.

    The CL stands for Communist Lawfare -- they just haven't admitted this out loud yet.

  • FlameCCT||

    I thought they stood for:
    A merican
    C ommunist
    L osers
    U nited

  • Hunthjof||

    To answer the question that started when the memo was released basically stating that unpopular speech wasn't going to be in their wheel house anymore.

  • Muzzled Woodchipper||

    Started way before that.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Why does Roberto limit catcalling to objectifying women? I've had gay men make lewd comments to me in public when I'm out jogging. So unwoke.

  • Morbo||

    I've had gay men make lewd comments to me in public when I'm out jogging.

    For some reason I read that as logging...

  • MasterThief||

    It's a silent J

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    I thought it was silent Bob

  • MarkLastname||

    Something something punching down something homophobia

  • Oli||

    I'm always a bit flattered when a gay man smiles at or flirts with me. Then again, I'm in a position of (at least equal, physical) power. That's often not the case for women who are getting unwanted attention.

  • Cyto||

    I've had this happen a few times as well. It really points out what a different world men and women live in.

    Apparently women get so many complements on their appearance that it is not only boring and old hat, but actually becomes offensive.

    I wonder what it is like to live in a world where "hey, you are really attractive!" is insulting.

    I've been for-real sexually harassed on the job.... I even worked in a hospital lab where the women (a 48-3 majority of the workforce) openly plotted to drive the few men out. But that never converted to "you are attractive" as an insult. I've had drunk-girl crushes show up uninvited, unwelcome and naked in my bed back in my college days and I didn't take it as some kind of soul-crushing objectification. I just went and crashed on the couch while they slept it off.

    Maybe it is because we only get those situations a handful of times? That "walking through Manhattan" video where a bunch of guys say "hi" to the young lady really shows how "tough" women have it. She had more strangers be overtly friendly to her in that afternoon stroll than I have in the last 10 years. I don't get the "misogyny" angle, but I suppose it could become tiresome, or even a little threatening if you were smaller than most of the people catcalling you.

  • Sedona Vortex Hunter||

    I think part of it is that many women are not actually inherently offended and would not mind if they had not also had some incidents turn into much more worrisome circumstances beyond just comments.

    For instance my wife had some guy from a night community college class start following her home after at first making comments to her in class, which then escalated into stalking after a few weeks.

    Or some guy follow her to our apartment after riding the 38 Geary in San Francisco from downtown to our apartment 20-25 years ago. And being fairly small, incidents like these could cause her anxiety.

    I too have had gay guys 'harass' me, or even call the public phone from an apartment with a view of the the bus stop I would use after high-school basketball practice way back in the day when we had strange phones just randomly planted on street corners. This actually happened sort of often since my transfer stop was castro in SF, but I never felt in danger and it did not bother me because I did not feel physically threatened.

  • TeamsterX||

    Dave Chapelle said it best...."If I was wearing a Cop uniform, and you were getting mugged....you would assume I would stop it.....ladies...do not wear the uniform."

  • Agammamon||

    No, they're genuinely offended - because the sort of men who catcall them are, in the woman's opinion, supposed to be below them. The sort of man who they would not be interested in in a million years. And he's supposed to know that.

    So the very fact that he even *dreams* he has a chance with her means he doesn't consider her out of his reach when he should. And that by itself is a major insult.

  • CharlotteHaze||

    "I wonder what it is like to live in a world where "hey, you are really attractive!" is insulting."

    Wonder no more, for I can offer a chick's perspective.

    It's rarely, "hey, you're really attractive!". For young urban females, it's more like an unrelenting barrage of "I like dat ass", "bet your pussy taste sweet", "smile Mommy", and "Oooh yeah... solid as a rock, right up the poop chute". It's exhausting to listen to this rude & lewd background noise all day (but for me it's not a "there oughtta be law!" kind of exasperation, more like a "the next doofus who advises me to smile is going to get his teeth knocked in!" kind).

    You feel like you're an involuntary contestant in some loathsome lowbrow pageant.
    .
    But, like I said, I don't advocate legislation.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Why does Roberto limit catcalling to objectifying women? I've had gay men make lewd comments to me in public when I'm out jogging. So unwoke.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Why does Roberto limit catcalling to objectifying women? I've had gay men make lewd comments to me in public when I'm out jogging. So unwoke.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    You should hear what the squirrels are saying about you.

  • Eddy||

    "Imagine if France had just banned burqas, and the ACLU had retweeted a news story about it with the added caption: "Your move, America." This would be an outrageous betrayal of the organization's core mission, would it not?"

    Combine the two - burqas *and* catcalling.

    "Hey, baby, I bet you got something good under that hood!"

    "Is that a present for me? Can I unwrap it?"

  • Eddy||

    "Show me your face, I want to know if you're my dream girl, or the Grand Wizard."

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Hijab porn is a thing. Google it and enjoy.

  • Eddy||

    No thanks, I don't to seem too serious.

  • TeamsterX||

    Mia Khalifa getting her impant detsroyed during the NHL championship is hilarious.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    The worst part about catcalling is that cats will usually ignore you out of spite.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Kitties don't take a whole lot of shit.

  • Longtobefree||

    It's not really spite; they do not think about you enough for it to be spite. They are just being cats.

  • David Emami||

    Because cats are libertarians.

    "Mr. Roark, we're alone here. Why don't you tell me what you think of me? In any words you wish. No one will hear us."
    "But I don't think of you."

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    Who was Mr. Roark talking to, Ronald Reagan?

  • David Emami||

    Ellsworth Toohey. It's a quote from The Fountainhead.

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    I got that. It was an Ayn Rand reference; some journalist once asked her what she thought of Reagan, and she said "I don't think of him. And the more I see him, the less I think."

  • David Emami||

    Ahhh. Yes, I remember that now.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    I tried whistling back at the guys at the construction site once. The next day the assistant supervisor brought in his boombox to play Spanish lover songs in the background and offered to help me lift anything heavy that I had to move. It was difficult to think of a gentle way to say I was only being sarcastic and I don't date coworkers.

  • Trollificus||

    "double-victimized" there, man! Toxic gay masculinity and toxic heteronormativity!

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    Bitch there's nothing toxic about gay dudes wanting to run you up their flagpole.

    JOIN US.

  • Just Say'n||

    LOL

  • Just Say'n||

    I should be careful, the ACLU may decide derision is also not protected by the First Amendment.

    What a joke

  • Quixote||

    That have indeed already decided that, and rightly so, which is why they were not involved in our great nation's leading criminal "parody" case. See the documentation at:

    https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    A bit too early to tilt at windmills, aintcha?

  • FlameCCT||

    It's never too early nor too late for him/her/it! Reminds me of Hihnsanity without the All Caps or Rev AK without the Carry on Clingers.

  • perlchpr||

    It does seem to only come here to advertise its blog, but at least it usually bothers to think up something new to say each time, instead of just straight up cut / paste.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Aside from the Democrats moving toward the Koch / Reason position on immigration, one of the most promising developments of these terrible Drumpf years is the ACLU becoming more explicitly left-libertarian. Whether they're making the pro-liberty case for gun restrictions or embracing a more nuanced, intersectional concept of "free speech," the ACLU is one of the most important organizations strengthening the progressive / libertarian alliance.

    I urge my fellow libertarians to send a donation (if this atrocious Drumpf economy permits, of course).

  • cc2||

    Left off the /sarc?

  • Sevo||

    It is supposedly a parody account.

  • Trollificus||

    Is the parodic element targeted at the new libertarian obsession with open borders, or am I misreading it?

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    Among other things. It basically parodies the views of a leftist-libertarian, who is willing to compromise on all freedoms in the name of "equality", but does so from the viewpoint of an optimistic leftist.

    I'm not good at explaining (in part because I'm drunk right now), but OBL is one of the most entertaining trolls we have here.

  • Sevo||

    "...OBL is one of the most entertaining trolls we have here."
    YMMV

  • ThomasD||

    Be offers the ingenious version of their ordinarily disingenuous arguments.

  • ThomasD||

    He, not be.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    #StillWithHim
    #InternsToo
    #SaxThenSex

  • Longtobefree||

    So what to do with the resistance following Whats-her-name's advice to abuse all conservatives?
    Can each 'person' abusing Sarah Huckabee in a press conference get fined $750?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Faggoty shit like that ACLU tweet makes me want to go give a dirty hippie a beatdown.

    Just because.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Meh,

    "Faggot" is like "bitch". It's rude to talk dirty unless you're on a date with someone who is into that sort of thing.

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    That explains Yellow Tony's overuse of faggot, and Red Tony's (that's me!) overuse of bitch.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    So Sharm, is that your way of hinting I should ask you out to dinner?

  • FlameCCT||

    What the hell do cigarette butts have to do with shit?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "A U.S. ban on catcalling—defined as street harassment of women, usually by men, often of a sexual nature—would likely violate the First Amendment, unless the law was very narrowly tailored to prohibit only severe, pervasive, objectively offensive conduct, or threatening behavior."

    Says Robbie?!

    Bullshit.

    There's no gray area there, Robbie, you phony ass Bozo.

  • Hugh Akston||

    It must have been really embarrassing for you to realize right after rage-posting that comment that Robby wasn't advocating a position but rather speculating on how the Supreme Court would rule on such a law, since they have carved out narrow exceptions to the First Amendment for threatening and obscene speech. Especially since in the very next sentence after the section you quoted he said that such an exception would be unlikely in this case.

    But Robby's a good guy. I'm sure he'll accept your apology for the childish name calling when you post it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Actually, that statement is consistent with plenty of other statements Robbie has made showing that he doesn't really believe in free speech.

    And when did the Supreme Court rule that the First Amendment doesn't protect "offensive conduct"? You got a link for that?

    And why would a libertarian free speech advocate argue that the Supreme Court shouldn't protect offensive conduct?

    P.S. Fuck you, with my finger in the air, hope you're offended.

  • Rigelsen||

    Incitement or threats to imminent lawless action are indeed a First Amendment exception per current SCOTUS jusrisprudence. But too many posters on the Internet seem to skip the "imminent lawless action" part, and just go with the "incitement/threat" part.

  • Ken Shultz||

    So you don't have a link, and you're changing the subject to violent threats?

    Even if violent threats weren't moving the goalposts, here, the Supreme Court ruled that offensive conduct--including threats to assassinate the president--are protected by the First Amendment.

    See Watts v. United States

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.....ted_States

    Show me a case where the Supreme Court ruled that offensive conduct isn't protected by the First Amendment.

    P.S. Up yours! Hope you're offended.

  • jay||

    it isnt an exception. An actual threat isn't just speech, even if you do nothing. Saying I hope you die is not the same thing, or principle as, I am going to kill you.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Indeed, the First Amendment doesn't protect violating other people's rights with your speech any more than the Second Amendment protects violating other people's rights with a gun.

    But let's not get sidetracked.

    Robbie didn't just say that legislation to ban cat calls would pass the First Amendment test because it would limit itself to prohibiting violence. He also said it would pass the First Amendment test if it restricted speech that's offensive--and that's what I called out.

    Rigelsen was simply moving the goal posts, and we shoudln't treat his hand-waving as if were pertinent to this conversation.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    An actual threat isn't just speech, even if you do nothing.

    Really? What component of a threat is something other than speech?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Sorry, I don't have a link to the Supreme Court saying the First Amendment doesn't protect offensive conduct, because I never claimed they did. No one actually has, as far as I can tell.

    And why would a libertarian free speech advocate argue that the Supreme Court shouldn't protect offensive conduct?

    That's a valid question. Has anyone actually made such an argument?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "I don't have a link to the Supreme Court saying the First Amendment doesn't protect offensive conduct, because I never claimed they did. No one actually has, as far as I can tell."

    Now you're playing stupid?

    Here's what I wrote:

    "A U.S. ban on catcalling—defined as street harassment of women, usually by men, often of a sexual nature—would likely violate the First Amendment, unless the law was very narrowly tailored to prohibit only severe, pervasive, objectively offensive conduct, or threatening behavior."

    You responded by claiming that Robbie was speculating about how the Supreme Court would rule--based on past Supreme Court rulings that never happened?! Seems absurd, doesn't it?

    And that's the point. If Robby is speculating about how the Supreme Court will rule, he's doing it based on his own interpretation. Apparently, Robbie doesn't think the First Amendment protects offensive conduct--and that belief isn't based on any Supreme Court cases. It's just his reading of the First Amendment?

    Is that so hard for you to see?

    P.S. Shove it up your ass. Hope you're offended.

  • Cyto||

    Yeah, "objectively offensive" is an objectively offensive term. And an oxymoron.

    Fag used to be a pretty mild term. Gay men routinely called their girl friends "fag hags" when I was younger. Dire Straits sang about "that little faggot, he's a millionaire" without catching any flack.

    Now it is the worst insult anyone could ever use. It is exactly the same as Hitler. Worse even.

    Objectively offensive.... give me a break. There is no constitutionally granted power to punish "offensive speech". That one isn't even close.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Ever listened to some of TSOL's early work?

    This song's about the joys of neophilia!:

    Middle of the night
    so silently
    I creep on over to the mortuary
    Lift up the casket
    and fiddle with the dead
    Their cold blue flesh
    make me turn red!

    Do what I want and they don't
    complain
    I wanna fuck I wanna fuck the dead.
    And I don't even care how
    she died
    But I like it better if she smells of
    formaldehyde!

    Never on the rag or say leave me alone
    They don't scream and they don't moan
    Don't even cry if I shoot in their hair
    Lying on the table she smiles and she stares

    'Cause I can do what I want
    And they won't complain!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpZJLjrb4vU

    Offensive as fuck and protected by the First Amendment.

    Robbie doesn't like it, fuck you.
    Robbie finds it objectively offensive?
    Fuck you!

    The First Amendment protects it anyway.

  • FlameCCT||

    Don't forget with the other finger sideways for his horse too!

  • esteve7||

    Get with the times, Reason. The ACLU is no longer a civil liberties group. They no longer care about individual rights, it's all about the progressive stack now.

    From your own site:

    reason.com/blog/2018/06/21 /aclu-leaked-memo-free-speech

  • Devastator||

    They do seem to be only up for defending antifa and hard left progressives who favor statist removal of basic freedoms as of late *sigh*

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    If we remove the people threatening our basic freedoms, then our basic freedoms would no longer be threatened.

    Something to consider.

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin Pot||

    This should be good...

    Trump cultists talk with CNN about Qanon

    Oh yeah, that was everything I thought it would be.... Whew!

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    Who cares? Why do you care? And how do you have time to watch that shit?

    Get your head out of Trump's ass and go improve yourself. Learn a language or something.

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    Personally, I think English would be a good starting point for him.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    What would be good is if every stinking commie piece of shit just dropped dead.

  • SimonP||

    Every one of these pathetic posts by Robby trying to work himself up into a froth over every perceived affront by the ACLU against the First Amendment - they wrote an internal memo! and their public statement wasn't full-throated enough! and whatabout this tweet I managed to screenshot! - reminds me a little too much of trying to derive maximum titillation from the scrambled cable channels of my youth, if you know what I mean.

    Be careful, Robby, you're going to rub yourself raw. And your mother is noticing the state of your socks and her depleted lotion bottles.

  • Sevo||

    Yeah, imbecile, an 'internal memo' which suggested the US follow the froggies in fining people for a wolf-whistle. And whoever wrote that memo was not run out of town on a rail, as he (and you, you pathetic piece of shit) should have been.
    Fuck off.

  • SimonP||

    You haven't been following the various stories on the ACLU, evidently. The internal memo had nothing to do with catcalling.

  • Cyto||

    I don't get the hate.... the ACLU has definitely been walking back their commitment to free speech lately, bowing to pressure from the left.

    Is your complaint that they haven't really gone over to "all speech must be controlled by the state" yet, so we should just leave them alone?

    As a donor to the ACLU dating back to my college days in the 80's, I'm appalled at their new "woke" attitude.

  • SIV||

    I previously expressed concern that the American Civil Liberties Union was wavering on its ironclad commitment to free speech

    You're late to the party, Roberta. Charles "Brickbats" Oliver called out the American Communist "Liberties" Union for this shit in the print-zine back in 1990 when Reason was an actual pro-liberty publication.

  • Curly4||

    Ban catcalling and the 1st amendment be damned! That is understandable for the progressives.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Because it's racist to think that words have meaning, a ban on cat calls has the potential for plenty of lawfare against progressives. ;)

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin Pot||

    Yes, I am aware that a single tweet does not indicate a broad structural shift in the ACLU's thinking: most likely this was done by one social media editor.

    And yet there's a whole story here on Reason about said tweet. When did you become such a snowflake, Robby?

  • Mark22||

    "Snowflake" refers to people who are fearful of someone else's speech.

    Condemning someone else's speech is not being a "snowflake".

  • Mark22||

    My fear—and it's a fear that this stray tweet would seem to confirm—is that free speech is becoming a secondary concern for the ACLU.

    "Becoming"? The ACLU was an organization founded by leftists for defending leftists against constraints imposed by conservatives. Civil liberties for anybody else has been a fig leaf for their primary purpose.

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin Pot||

    Bitch please.

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin Pot||

    Sorry, I meant...

    Bitch,

    Please.

    And if you don't believe our words, judge us by our acts. We represent Milo Yiannopoulos in a suit against the Washington, D.C. Metro system for suppressing ads for his book. We are defending a student group in San Diego that was penalized for publishing a satire of "safe spaces" that some students and faculty deem offensive.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Exactly.

    They are by no means Purist Libertarians. They have many blind spots with many individual liberties. They obsess over a relatively small number of them, I'm guessing because it's what their donors want them to do, and they often get involved in issues that are only tangentially related to civil liberties.

    But we should give credit where credit is due.

    Even though I can't stand Trump, I'll say he deserves credit for his efforts to reduce the regulatory state.
    And even though I can't stand the ACLU's inconsistencies, I will give them credit for when they do defend liberty unapologetically.

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    If I were a prog, I'd give you snaps.

    Since I'm not, I give you claps.

    Applause for this statement, chemjeff. I routinely like reading your posts, even though I often disagree with you, and this is an instance where I can say for a fact I agree with you all the way.

  • Mark22||

    And if you don't believe our words, judge us by our acts. We represent...

    Yes, skilled propagandists trying to hide their true agenda will do such things.

    There is no need to support the ACLU; they don't have a monopoly on defending free speech. And given their history and their political positions, they can't be trusted.

  • SimonP||

    I love how unironically a bunch of "libertarians" cite this history, as though it condemns the ACLU. So, an organization existing to defend the political rights of a disfavored political party, invoking protections in the Bill of Rights that exist to do precisely that, is to be shunned?

    Hey, conservatives have their civil liberties-pursuing-but-biased groups, too. A little bit of a hard time keeping them out of Russian kleptocrat money, but hey, what's new on the conservative side of things?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Idiot, it's democrats that are in thrall to the Kremlin. Just like Teddy Kennedy when he conspired with Yuri Andropov to bring Reagan down in 1984, or Obama and Clinton when they gave control of 20% of our uranium reserves to the Russians.

  • Sevo||

    SimonP|8.4.18 @ 9:34AM|#
    "...A little bit of a hard time keeping them out of Russian kleptocrat money, but hey, what's new on the conservative side of things?"

    Gee, did you miss the money the hag collects from the Russkis, you fucking ignoramus?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Don't give your resident SJW's your Twitter password if you want to maintain credibility.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Well Reason has been on an anti-ACLU tear for a little while now. And they deserve a great deal of criticism, they are not nearly the consistent defenders of civil liberties that their noisy defenders claim that they are.

    However, this tweet is vague enough that it's not entirely clear what they meant. Yes, one reasonable interpretation is that they want America to follow suit and ban catcalling like in France. Or, another reasonable interpretation is that they want America to demonstrate to France why banning catcalling is a bad idea.

    This type of article - trying to contextualize one tweet into a vast manifesto of the tweet author's reasoned opinion - is the same type of nonsense that a lot of Trump critics fall into when Trump issues one of his unhinged tweets. I think we have all learned by now that Twitter is a very imperfect platform for trying to discuss any issue with any sort of depth or substance. Sure, a Trump tweet about North Korea could mean that Trump wants to incinerate the nation with nuclear war. Or it could mean that Trump was just having a bad morning and he took it out on Twitter. We can't really tell just from tweets. To really understand a person's considered opinion on anything, we have to look beyond facile tweets. It's the same thing here with the ACLU. Or with anyone.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Okay guess I should have actually read the article. So they quickly deleted the tweet, suggesting that it was the former explanation, that they want to ban catcalling, or at least the person sending the tweet wants to. Well then that is a little disturbing. Tweets however are nevertheless a terrible medium for discussing any issue with any amount of depth.

  • SIV||

    Unless you're the President.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    If you really think there's any question about what the intended meaning of the tweet was, it's surprising that you survived past living in a crib.

    Funny that your Cartesian skepticism about deciphering the meaning of problematic tweets only applies when it's a leftist getting caught making them. But you're totally libertarian, right?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Who the fuck cares about the labels?

    On the issue of taxation, if I said "I'm a leftist who wants lower taxes", is that worse than if I said "I'm a rightist who wants lower taxes"? Why not just accept the support of someone who wants lower taxes, regardless of that person's positions on other issues?

    You tribal idiots are just obsessed with your labels. And furthermore I'm more than a little pissed off by this implicit assumption that libertarians are supposed to be reflexively "anti-leftist". No, libertarians should be reflexively anti-collectivist. Leftism is not the only source of collectivism. And there are parts of leftism that aren't collectivist. Such as, for instance, this particular case of the ACLU - yes, a left-leaning organization - when they do defend individual liberties, as imperfectly as they do. For heaven's sake, libertarian socialism has been around for over 150 years. And I don't agree with the collectivism of socialism in any context, but I will happily accept the support of a libertarian socialist who respects at least some rights of the individual, even if I don't agree with that libertarian on economic liberty.

  • ||

    "You tribal idiots are just obsessed with your labels."

    I coulda sworn this was a practice common among progressives during the 20th century.

  • cc2||

    I would bet that there are lots of marriages that started with the guy whistling or commenting as she walked past.

  • Rockabilly||

    The ACLU is now the American Communist League United

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    To those calling the ACLU "communist": How about a little intellectual consistency?

    You demand of Trump-skeptics that we give credit when Trump does happen to do something right. So how about giving an organization of the left a little bit of credit when it does something right?

    The ACLU defended Milo's right to post advertisements in DC.

    The ACLU defended the Unite the Right protestors' right to protest.

    The ACLU has been defending Nazis' right to protest for *decades*. If it's just some "fig leaf" or pretext, it's a pretty durable one.

    They are not perfect and they have a blind spot with a lot of civil liberties, most notably the Second Amendment. That is unfortunate.

    But quite frankly libertarians could use all the allies that it can find when defending liberty of any kind.

    So if you don't like the ACLU because you think they're "communist", fine, whatever. But at least give them credit for the times when they do defend liberty. Deal?

    The ACLU

  • Just Say'n||

    Oh lord. They spend most of their efforts suing religious bakers and suing Catholic hospitals for not performing abortions and transgender surgery. And they've backtracked quite a bit on defending speech.

    You're falling over yourself defending an organization that's a greater threat to liberty than a defender of it.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The ACLU's agenda is to protect groups that fit its agenda. It is not to defend Liberty or free speech or civil rights for all.

    Not sure what Milo is, so no comment.

    United The Right is a neoNazi group. Nazis are socialists. (Lefties)

    Nazis are socialists. (lefties)

    The ACLU is not what they want the public is led to believe.

  • Cyto||

    This just simply isn't true.

    They've taken the hard line of "speech that offends us is precisely the speech that needs defending" for many decades.

    They have also been historically staffed by mostly those of the far-left.

    What is different of late is that the national level has said they don't want to take on defending the Klan or Alt Right or people marching to protest "de-confederacy" monument removals. They've also made some noise about not having a problem with "hate speech" laws, which would be a terrible position to take.

    But they have been the primary defenders of freedom of speech for at least 50 years. Don't over-sell the hate.

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    The ACLU has been defending Nazis' right to protest for *decades*

    Maybe you missed it but the point is that appears to be changing. So, bringing it up doesn't really get you anywhere.

  • Sidd Finch v2.01||

    You have to be one of the most naive human beings alive to believe the the national branch ACLU occasionally defends far right people out of principle.

  • Devastator||

    Clearly they aren't right on every item, but recently they've been sliding toward supporting authoritarian statist control of what they consider "hate speech". Sure they still do some good things as well. Few organizations or people are entirely evil; most still probably love their kids and shit.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    If their kids are evil then loving them is evil.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    Trump doesn't identify himself or present himself as libertarian, so when he surprisingly does something libertarian it is cause for celebration and praise.

    Whereas the ACLU claims to support American civil liberties (right there in the fucking name!) without restriction. So when they fail to meet this standard, it is cause for opprobrium and criticism. Your argument here is as harebrained as when you criticize the NRA for not fighting for non-firearm-related rights.

    And I have a strong suspicion that the reason they support the right of far-right groups to march is because such marches help leftist organizations and leftist politicians immensely, by inspiring donations and GOTV come election time. They were very tardy in their support of more mainstream conservative organizations (like the Tea Party) rights' which were being violated.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    And I have a strong suspicion that the reason they support the right of far-right groups to march is because such marches help leftist organizations and leftist politicians immensely

    Even if that is true - SO WHAT?

    We all know Trump does the things that happen to align with libertarian priorities - such as criminal justice reform - not out of any sense of deep principle. But you expect me to praise him nonetheless. So if the ACLU supports someone's civil rights not out of some principle - why should you treat them any different?

    If you want me to judge Trump by his actions and not by his intentions, then I expect you to do the same with those eeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil "leftist" organizations.

  • Echospinner||

    I think women can handle this.

    True story.

    I was taking a class downtown with two coworkers. These particular coworkers were young women and exceptionally attractive. I am just an older married shlub.

    After the class they asked me to walk them back to the parking lot. The reason as I found out was there was a construction site on the way. As soon as we started walking past the guys start catcalling the ladies. The girls did not miss a beat. They just took my arms, snuggled up close to me, and we casually strolled on past. Gave the construction guys a look and they just shook their heads and walked away.

    That was a good day.

    Look you can't regulate everything. Life is too messy and interesting for that. Some things you just gotta deal with.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Call in the favor before its too late!

  • No Yards Penalty||

    the American ''Civil Liberties" Assocation is pro-civil liberties like contemporary ''liberals'' are pro-liberty.
    That is, not at all. Or, at least, selectively.

  • Devastator||

    And contemporary conservatives are for "fiscal responsibility"

  • jay||

    you know, you are right. conservatives have done a crap job cutting spending, so therefore when liberals violate individual rights we shouldn't complain. It isn't fair. Fairness is tolerating crazy deficits and a police state.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    If "fiscal responsibility" were somewhere in the word "conservative" that would be a great point.

  • Cyto||

    What exactly do conservatives stand for these days? Larger defense budgets? Border security (but not enforcement on already existing worker documentation laws, rendering anything at the border almost meaningless)? Neocon wars of opportunity? (strangely exactly the same as those pushed by Obama and Clinton.. WTF??)

    I have no idea what conservatives stand for these days. Maybe limited regulations is an issue out on the fringes of conservative thought. Oh, and cutting taxes. Not one particular taxation scheme... just "cut taxes".

    Mostly they seem to be united by "not team blue".

    In that they are much like the left. Most of the democrat base is not with the progressives on anything. And most of the democrat establishment looks pretty much exactly like a bunch of neocons, only they are for more taxes. They love them some undeclared wars, whatever they may have said when an (R) was in the top job. And they love them some government largess. Strangely, they'll cut defense - even while expanding the role of the military.

  • Cyto||

    The only coherent parties are the Greens and the Libertarians. And they are both filled with crazies. At least our party (libertarian) has an internally consistent philosophy that isn't at odds with reality. The greens have an internally consistent philosophy that is batshit crazy. But at least it is consistent and you can use it to project where they will stand on different issues.

    The only thing you can use to project where conservatives, progressives, (D) and (R) will stand is "what position did the other side take?"

  • Vernon Depner||

    There is something a little inherently crazy about being principled.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "A U.S. ban on catcalling—defined as street harassment of women, usually by men"

    Does the French law only "protect" women?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The aclu's time is past.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The ACLUs time past when they decided which civil liberties they would defend.

    Im looking at you 2A!

  • Devastator||

    First they came for the catcalls and no one said anything...

  • Jerryskids||

    I've been thinking about this and I think the problem is that the ACLU has lost its way, it doesn't know where it is any more. The problems started, or at least became readily apparent, with the aftermath of the Skokie case where they defended the right of the Nazis to march and consequently lost so many members and donors that they had to decide whether or not this was a hill worth dying on - and they decided it wasn't. Given that the ACLU has a lot of Jewish roots and support because the Jews know better than most about guarding against the slippery slope of government laws against unpopular activities, it's ironic that they didn't see the slippery slope they put themselves on - if this isn't a hill worth dying on, what hill is worth dying on? The slippery slope is that eventually you decide no hill is worth dying on and then Niebuhr's warning kicks in.

  • Jerryskids||

    But now, it's so much more than that. The ACLU had a mission of protecting the rights of the marginalized minorities, protecting them from the rich white straight males that ran everything. But now that the rich white straight males are themselves a marginalized minority, the ACLU has trouble defending them because the narrative is that the rich white straight males are still the oppressor class. Nobody wants to admit that the tables have turned and now that the "oppressed" minorities are in charge, rather than ushering in this era of equality and fairness that they've been yammering about all along they're doing the same oppressing as was done to them. They don't want fairness, they want vengeance. And the ACLU doesn't know what to do with the fact that the guards and the prisoners have switched places in the prison yard and the people they used to defend are now the people they need to defend against.

  • Jerryskids||

    Don't believe me that the tables have turned? Look no further than Elizabeth Warren and James Damore and Roseanne Barr. Look at all the big corporations and institutions with their "diversity" programs that are simply affirmative action programs to give privileges to minorities to the point where the privileged minorities are now the ones running the show. Who routinely shuts down and controls business decisions with claims of racism and sexism and other forms of ungoodthink? You think Warren claimed to be Cherokee because Indians are an oppressed and marginalized minority and she wanted to be oppressed and marginalized? You think James Damore would have been fired for expressing his opinion in a call for opinions had he been black or female or gay? You think if Roseanne Barr were a Korean woman making racist and sexist comments about whites and men she would have been fired? You think if a job or a promotion is available and two candidates, one a white male and the other not, are being considered it's just a flip of the coin as to which one gets the nod, and the coin just so happens to come up heads 100% of the time? The simple fact of the matter is that in large swaths of American society today, being a minority gives you privileges and immunities not enjoyed by non-minorities and the terrible thing about it is that the ones with the privileges and immunities are still claiming that it's the unprivileged and the non-immune that have all the privileges and immunities.

  • Jerryskids||

    Or look at Hillary Clinton. The widest, sturdiest plank in her campaign platform was "Vote for me because I'm a woman" and look at how many of us scoffed at the idea that this was a winning strategy. And yet she won the popular vote and came within some 40,000 votes of winning the presidency on that strategy. Did you ever once hear Trump saying "Vote for me because I'm a rich straight white male"? and can you even imagine a candidate running on such a platform? It's ridiculous to think about, which suggests being a rich straight white male does not in fact grant you the special treatment that non-rich, non-straight, non-white, non-males get.

  • jay||

    roseanne was fired because everyone knows she voted for trump. She said what she said because she thought she could get away with anything. The reason she thought she could get away with anything is because the kinds of things she said in the past, as moronic as they were, she was never called on. The women ran for president in an antiwar party, joined the occupy movement and advocated the guillotine as a solution to the financial crisis along with a 100% tax for all wealth over 100 million. And everyone just smiled, until she called someone a monkey.

    She has the same values shaped by the culture who encouraged her. Now that culture wants to pretend they also didn't create the racism

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I am still not convinced that Rosanne voted for Trump.

    She seems like an old school Lefty who cannot get away with her "relate to you but not like you" jokes.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The ACLU is donor driven. The reason they don't support the Second Amendment and don't support free speech the way they used to is because the opinions of their donors don't support free speech and the opinions of their donors have changed in regards to free speech.

    I've seen the same things happen with big-name environmentalist groups. Despite the fact that natural gas releases 40% less CO2 into the atmosphere than coal, the Sierra Club and others came out against fracking and opposed opening new natural gas plants that were replacing old coal plants. Why would they do that?

    It's because fracking was in the news, and opposing fracking became fashionable among their donors. It's a market based thing, really--if the people paying the bills change their minds about something, so do the beneficiaries of their donations. You could get a lot of donations by being on the vanguard against fracking there for a while--so that's where the Sierra Club and others went in order to chase those donations.

    It's the same thing with the ACLU. The honest liberal is an endangered species if not already extinct. Donors these days want social justice and racial equality more than they want the First Amendment and free speech. So, the ACLU is changing its tune in order to appeal to donors. I think it's as simple as that.

  • Overt||

    This is very true, and I just wanted to digress on this point:

    " Despite the fact that natural gas releases 40% less CO2 into the atmosphere than coal, the Sierra Club and others came out against fracking and opposed opening new natural gas plants that were replacing old coal plants"

    The real sad thing is that groups like the Sierra Club, WWF, and Greenpeace spent decades telling the US it should follow the EU's lead on reducing CO2. And guess how the EU largely met its Kyoto Treaty goals? By converting all of its dirty, Eastern European infrastructure to Nat Gas in the mid nineties.

  • ThanksForTheFish||

    They also periodically come out against wind power projects, because of the danger to wildlife.

  • Overt||

    I know that Sierra was real anti-wind back in the day. I wouldn't be surprised to find that they have changed, just as they (and other enviro-groups) changed on their stances for natural gas.

    And that is the point that Ken is making. When these organizations started, they were led by concerned citizens with a specific ideology. Sierra wanted to protect natural environments and ACLU wanted to protect civil liberties. Over time, donors and people joining the organizations have shifted them to the typical liberal tropes. Sierra cares less about pristine nature, than stopping corporations and capitalism because they think that is an existential threat to "nature" in general- who cares how many birds get chopped up by wind farms, or roasted in solar concentrator stations. And the ACLU's civil liberty ideologues have been replaced by squishy liberals who conflate social justice with liberty.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Sierra cares less about pristine nature, than stopping corporations and capitalism because they think that is an existential threat to "nature" in general- who cares how many birds get chopped up by wind farms, or roasted in solar concentrator stations.

    I think even this position gives them too much credit. Modern environmentalists seem to support wind and solar simply because they and their donors have invested heavily in wind and solar and stand to gain mightily by government mandates and regulations in their favor. It's rent-seeking plain and simple.

    They support electric cars for the same reason... Essentially in most of America they are supporting coal-powered cars. This certainly isn't an environmentally conscious position.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    You know who else is donor driven and doesn't support the things they used to...

  • Vernon Depner||

    Vampires?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Organ donors?

  • Modus Pwnens||

    Funny thing is, Nazi/KKK marches are far more beneficial to the professional Left than to the marchers. SPLC/NAACP etc rakes in donation from terrified leftists, leftists are more inspired to get out and vote, etc. While I don't think I've ever heard of someone joining the KKK or even becoming sympathetic to them because they saw a march.

    If I didn't know better, I would think the ACLU fights for the first amendment rights of racist idiots in order to help the Left get donations and get out the vote. They were useless when it came to fighting for the rights of more mainstream organizations like the Tea Party, leading me to wonder if I really do know better.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    They were useless when it came to fighting for the rights of more mainstream organizations like the Tea Party

    ACLU & Tea Party Patriots co-sponsor advertisements opposing government surveillance

    ACLU: IRS is abusing its power in targeting the Tea Party

  • Modus Pwnens||

    Yeah, after the fact they gave some token support. Advertisements and press releases are weak tea.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Now you're shifting the goalposts.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Well Jeff, shifting goalposts is something whee you have expertise.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Thats what is so funny about the terror. Nazis are Lefties yet Lefties are "scared" of the Nazis. They are scared like communists were scare of Nazis. The Nazis might take over and kill them first.

  • RabbitHead||

    The experienced lefties know that killing fellow collectivists with impure ideas is integral to the game plan.

    You want to try to make sure you end up on the right side of the firing squad

  • Echospinner||

    I was there in Skokie. The Nazis for reasons unclear, having won in court, did not show up.

    Jews again.

    Because after that incident wealthy influential Jewish donors abandoned civil liberty for ethnic identity politics. That plays into the whole conspiracy.

    Was that the point?

  • Rich||

    the government simply can't prevent men from talking to women in public.

    However, it *can* prevent women from talking to men in public. Right, Iran?

  • ThanksForTheFish||

    I think what we are seeing is the struggle between the old generation, that does value free speech, and the new generation, that sees free speech as a white male oppression tool.

    Social justice is becoming the driving force. It's sadly just a matter of time.

  • MaleMatters||

    Except there's this:

    "Being there for ten years, I'm also a little offended that I didn't get cat-called like that." -Jillian Barberie-Reynolds, of "Good Day LA," appearing on the Joy Behar Show Sept. 15, 2010, and commenting on the Ines Sainz cat-call case.

    From:

    "In-depth: How We Waded Into The Sexual Harassment Quagmire -- Taking the Long, Hard Path Out: One Man's View" http://malemattersusa.wordpres.....-quagmire/

    Parts of this may be shocking, but it's probably the most thorough analysis you can find of what I believe has for a very long time been the sexes' most alienating and destructive behavioral difference.

    This difference, supported by both sexes, spawns not only most of the "ordinary" sexual harassment we hear of, but also much of the sexual coercion of women.

    The commentary shows what happens when toxic masculinity meets up with toxic femininity.

  • Reshufflex||

    Short version: a stiff prick has no conscience.

  • Cloudbuster||

    ACLU has been nothing but a leftist advocacy organization for a long time now.

  • vek||

    Jesus Christ, a FINE for catcalling??? IN FRANCE! I mean they're not as bad as the Italians or Spanish with it I don't think, but it actually being illegal is a little nuts. Sure it's annoying, but lots of stuff is dumb or annoying.

    WTF is the world coming to. I really wish I had been born about a century earlier...

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I think it's still ok for Frenchmen to rub up against women they don't know.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    would likely violate the First Amendment, unless the law was very narrowly tailored to prohibit only severe, pervasive, objectively offensive conduct, or threatening behavior.

    Pretty sure harassment and threats are already illegal, so a law narrowly tailored to these would be superfluous.

  • jay||

    "Yes, I am aware that a single tweet does not indicate a broad structural shift in the ACLU's thinking: most likely this was done by one social media editor. I am still astonished that such a person—someone who is deeply confused about what the ACLU ostensibly stands for—would find themselves in the position of running the ACLU's Twitter feed. Did free speech not come up during the job interview?"

    At first glance I thought he meant" it does not indicate a broad structural shift" because the ACLU has always been very poor at actually defending what it claims to stand for. But then I read the paragraph again, and it appears the writer is actually "astonished" and assumes it must be the work of a single rouge editor. Although, I find it hard to believe anyone could be astonished by this.

    I would be more astonished if freedom of speech DID come up in the job interview.

  • Overt||

    When I read this article last night, I went to try and find who the ACLU's Social Media intern was by surfing through linkedin. I didn't find the person, but I did note that many of the interns were clearly your standard east coast liberal. One even had a facebook page full of pictures of him on Hillary's plane during the campaign as (I assume) a member of her campaign.

    This is where you lose an organization, including Reason. I share many commentor's belief that Reason is staffed with people who are more ideologically Social Liberal than Civil Liberal, and this leads them to give a pass or half-hearted condemnation of Social Justice causes while needling people on the right who are not ideologically pure libertarian. And this has continued as they recruit young people from these specific enclaves of elitist white, liberal thought. I get that it is hard to find that young conservative libertarian from the midwest. Yet this is why I often have the fear that in 20 years we will see Reason looking much like the ACLU, with scores of people like Gillespie and no one like (say) Bailey. I have no real beef with the former, but feel Nick's reflexive libertine sensibilities need to be balanced against other pro-liberty viewpoints.

  • Cyto||

    It would be nice if reason could rope in someone more like Amash than ENB as an intern. Heck, I'd even take a Balko, even though he's of the left-libertarian crowd. At least he was hard-core.

    A southern version of Kmele Foster would be perfect. Even better if he's a she from small-town Mississippi. They need a right-libertarian in the room who is also of appropriate gender and hue for street cred while spade-calling.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Reason could find all sorts of libertarians. Ask for interns that can telecommute and dont have to live near shithole DC.

    I would 'intern' just to provide a constitutional angle to this website if I could do it from Georgia. I am not what Reason staff wants except to get web traffic.

  • ||

    'Your move America'?

    Is the ACLU seriously taking cues about freedom of speech/expression from....FRANCE?

    FRICKEN FRANCE?

    Who's next? Props to Germany and the UK?

    Hey, Canada made it illegal to not use a proper pronoun on gender! YOUR MOVE AMERICA!

    For shame. Just plain old ignorant shame.

  • Fractal Consciousness||

    Catcalling is a form of harassment. Sexual harassment, in fact. Nowhere does the right to harassment fall under free speech or expression. And you call yourself an American?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Harassment requires a pattern, not a single outburst.

  • ||

    Exactly how I interpreted it.

    I'm willing to listen if I'm wrong.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    What spec was the priest?

  • Sevo||

    Christina Robert|8.4.18 @ 1:54PM|#
    "HOW MY BROKEN MARRIAGE WAS RESTORED BACK. My husband and I were always having issues, he cheat on me with different ladies,..."
    Maybe if you spoke English, you might not have had those problems.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Outlawing catcalling?

    Stale-thinking, maladjusted boors have rights, too.

    A catcall should no more be unlawful that calling a Trump supporter or faux libertarian a half-educated, bigoted, backwater-inhabiting, superstitious, economically inadequate, gullible, disaffected, spectrum-inhabiting, right-wing loser should be unlawful.

  • ||

    Or calling Obama and Hillary supporters out as faux-liberal, half-literate, ignorant bigoted progressive morons wallowing in their abject misery and stupid safe spaces of faux-outrage, one-dimensional, authority deferent, faux-righteous, anti-science, anti-religious, financially and economically brain dead, statist, violent Marxist gibberish-rhetoric.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Or chastising an able-bodied woman for parking in a handicapped spot.

  • Fractal Consciousness||

    Treating women as a piece of meat is a form of idolatry, and hence breaks the 2nd Commandment. Catcalling is a form of sexual harassment, and is already a crime in America.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Catcalling has never been a crime in the USA.

    We have free speech here.

  • No Longer Amused||

    Go fuck yourself, ACLU....

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You sound disaffected and insecure, No Longer Amused. What's wrong? Lost the culture war?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Arty, be careful how you address your betters.

  • Sevo||

    Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland|8.4.18 @ 5:45PM|#
    "You sound disaffected and insecure,..."

    You ARE an annoying asshole.

  • Fractal Consciousness||

    Catcalling is sexual harassment. Harassment is a crime in America. People who advocate sexual harassment need to go chop their penises off.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    No. We have the 1st amendment here.

  • Vernon Depner||

    According to JunkScienceIsJunk, it would be acceptable for male bystanders to physically assault catcallers, and if the catcallers defend themselves, they should be arrested. They would have no right to defend themselves, because they started it. We know all this because Television has taught us that violently defending the honor of a lady against insults is considered right and good in our culture.

    So, don't be a pussy, guys! Man up and kick some catcaller ass! If one of them harms or kills you in self-defense, rest easy knowing he's going prison, unless you're in Florida and he's white!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    To Lefties, speech is violence.

  • Fractal Consciousness||

    Sexual harassment doesn't constitute free speech. Catcalling is also known as "street harassment". Your mention of "free speech concerns" protecting a right to "sexual harassment" is absurd. This could be implemented in America, to the chagrin of those advocating sexual misconduct as yourself.

  • Cyto||

    Is that a parody? Or is it serious? I can't tell.

    Just in case, here's the appropriate definition that defenestrates that position.

    sex·u·al ha·rass·ment
    noun
    harassment (typically of a woman) in a workplace, or other professional or social situation, involving the making of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks.
  • Vernon Depner||

    Parody of the left has become impossible.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Speech is speech. Start putting prior restraint on any speech, and you aren't going to like the result.

  • Vernon Depner||

    you aren't going to like the result.

    Well, WE wouldn't like the result. He might.

  • jagjr||

    wish I could say I was surprised. ACLU has very selectively supported the First Amendment for decades, never supported the Second in any substantive way, and been very selective in supporting the other elements of the Bill of Rights. they're most supportive of the Fourth. but have their issues even there when it conflicts with certain government prerogatives.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The ACLU only supports causes that further socialism. Look closer at what they fight and why.

  • BigT||

    " I am still astonished that such a person—someone who is deeply confused about what the ACLU ostensibly stands for—would find themselves in the position of running the ACLU's Twitter feed"

    Been living under a rock the past 20 years, Robbie? This ain't your father's ACLU.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Well, this comment section certainly brought out the difference between those who will accept help from any quarter when it comes to defending liberty, and those who want to fight some tribal battle against the "commie" ACLU regardless of the good that they do.

    Liberty has few enough defenders as it is. If all you want to do is "defeat the left" - or "defeat the right", for that matter - you are no friend of liberty. You are just another collectivist tool.

  • fdog50||

    Most states already have criminal laws making "harassment" a crime. Where I live, it is a petty misdemeanor, with a maximum fine of $1000 and/or a jail term of up to 30 days. Where I live, that statute requires that a person have an "intent to annoy, harass, or alarm" another person and "insults, taunts or challenges another person in a manner likely to provoke an immediate violent response" or "that would cause the other person to reasonably believe" that person would cause physical harm or property damage to them or another person. Its obviously meant to handle situations where someone approaches and either challenges by word or action to fight or assault someone or to taunt and insult someone. If catcalling rises to such a level, then it is already a crime. The problem I see with the catcalling situation, is that often what women complain about is catcalling by large groups, such as men at construction sites. that means a problem with identifying the actual culprit.

  • TxJack 112||

    In this country we do not ban speech, we work to change societal attitudes to such speech is no longer appropriate. To attempt to criminalize speech would mean we have made a fundamental departure from the liberty on which this country was founded. Unfortunately, the tweet supports the claims of former member, Alan Dershowitz, that the ACLU no longer fights to defend all civil liberties but rather only those ideals they support

  • Enemy of the State||

    If I can't engage in cat calling, how will my pussy ever find it's way home?

  • xnaxygunner||

    So now they advocate regulating speech?

  • Olga||

    Free speech is the ability to speak any idea or any opinion, even an unpopular one. However, speech is limited when there is more harm than good. No yelling FIRE is a crowded theater if there is no fire. Should yelling the N word at a black person walking by be considered free speech? Should yelling at a woman you don't know -- nice ass or suck my dick be protected speech? The purpose of yelling racial epithets and cat calling is not about expressing an opinion, but it is about making the other person fearful of walking in public, it is to lord power over them and to reduce the freedom of the person that is the object of the abuse.

    If a man want to create a sign that states -- "I believe men are better than women" that is free speech. It expresses a horrible idea, but that should be protected speech. However, picking out a random woman and yelling "Nice ass" or "Come over here and suck my dick" are statements of abuse and has nothing to do with free speech. it is about making the woman afraid and making her life more difficult and maybe make the guy feel powerful.

    Within the confines of the bedroom, men and women can consensually say whatever they want to each other if that is what makes them happy. However, in that case the woman had the opportunity to consent to the objectification.

  • Hangionut||

    The ACLU lost it's way as a balanced arbiter of civil liberties a decade or two ago.

  • vcx||

    ACLU has always been cowardly in relationship cases. In the alienation of affections case they ran away. The rights of individuals are beneath their notice. France also has a Stazi variant of turn in your family for "hate crime" speech passed last fall.

  • texexpatriate||

    The ACLU has nothing to do with civil liberty anymore in the same way Planned Parenthood has nothing to with planning parenthood. They are both merely political organizations in the business of pursuing income and power.

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