• Free Speech Fascists Like Me

    February 27, 2017

    Tags: ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Post-Constitution America



    For espousing the same beliefs about the First Amendment I did on November 8 (everyone speaks always, unfettered), I am no longer a patriot.


    Many of the groups and people who supported me then, and once supported the First Amendment absolutely, now call me a nazi, fascist, enabler, racist and normalizer.

    Because we live in odd times, and because too many people only read a sentence or two before losing their sh*t, I feel the need for a disclaimer. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a nazi, fascist, enabler, racist or a normalizer. I do not like people who are those things. I didn’t vote for Trump and I think he’s a lousy human. ‘Kay?

    But I very much am concerned about people in a nation whose core value should be free speech, people who claim they are resisting nazis, fascists, enablers, racists and normalizers, acting like them. Because anyone who uses violence to stop someone else’s speech is a fascist. Also, a bully. Have a look:




    So there’s the video. A guy is exercising his First Amendment right. He happens to be doing that by flying a Confederate flag, a symbol of hate. But what anyone is saying is irrelevant to how the concept of speech works. Indeed, the concept exists not to chat about the weather, but for the hard stuff, the offensive stuff. Including Confederate flags.

    If you take away the flag guy’s rights by violence you accomplish nothing but setting up the next retaliatory round where someone takes away your rights by violence. And if you can’t see where that leads, then you are far too stupid to be allowed outside on your own. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re on the barricades, or fighting Hitler, or #resisting something. You want your First Amendment rights, you accept others have them, too, and you are not the one to judge instead who is allowed to talk.

    Yet multiple media sources said things like “It is as good and as just to tear down Confederate flags as it is to punch Nazis.” The idea is if someone on the “right side” determines someone else’s speech is wrong, then it is “OK” to silence them with violence.

    You want to worry about authoritarianism? It always includes shutting up people you don’t want to listen to.

    I never, ever, in my life thought the right to free speech would be challenged so harshly from the Left. It makes me very sad, and very worried.


    BONUS: Inevitably some idiot who recently read something online will bring up “hate speech” as not being allowed under the First Amendment. Explained here. That link also covers the idea of speech that might incite a riot, another standard excuse for busting someone’s right to speech.

    Inevitably some idiot who recently read something online will argue the “OK to punch nazis” line. Explained here.

    And speaking of free speech and flag burning, here’s that explained, kids.

    For that guy who will inevitably write in, yes, of course I know the First Amendment applies to government, not officially/legally to some guy in the street who jumps yellow tape. But for America to stay away from fascism, we cannot dismiss the broader concept of unfettered speech and the exchange of ideas. We all know you would not be making the same back-of-the-classroom legal argument if the Confederate flag guy beat up a POC to silence him, admit it.

    The newest catch-phrase to use as an excuse to deny someone the chance to speak is “platform,” as in “The First Amendment doesn’t require us to give him a platform to speak at our school.” Well, sure, but of course if you only allow one line of thought to be spoken out loud, you are indeed denying speech. You just make it seem nicer to yourselves by using the word platform.

    Let them speak, all of them.



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    Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

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  • Recent Comments

    • Mitch said...

      1

      Peter.

      Well done.

      Couple things to expand on…

      First… Yes I know this is contrary to “popular” belief… But.. ” Confederate flag “….. It never was a symbol of hate….it was a symbol of. “states rights”….

      Next….. You said…

      ” I never, ever, in my life thought the right to free speech would be challenged so harshly from the Left. ”

      Ummmmmmmmm…….. Where the hell have you been?????…

      That’s pretty much all I ever “see” …. With One noteable exception, I have seen a hell of a lot of that right here at WMW.
      The “left”, near as I can tell… Is only tolerant….. As long as the “left ” agrees with what you have to say, and you are extreme enough…

      If the “left” does not agree…… God help you….. That’s when twister begins… Demonized… Attacked…. Distorted facts… Blatant lies…. Etc…. Insert new words and phrases… Etc.

      All the protesters.. Riots… Editorials… All of it…. For policies Not really any different than Obama….but…. This time…. They are from the “other ” guy.

      So… Where the hell have you been?

      ( yes, Rich… Your the exception ).

      Last….” normalizer”….. What the hell????….. That’s a new one on me.

      M

      02/27/17 7:25 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      2

      Free speech doesn’t matter when you don’t bother to vote.

      Just read today that we need more ships and planes…to fight whom? Gonna get rid of the EPA and State to pay for it.

      Talk all you want. The guys pulling the rope around your necks aren’t listening.

      02/27/17 7:34 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      3

      Alert to one sentence morons who attack PVB; Are you the same fuckers who complained when people (in very small numbers) protested Obama as a corporate drone killing “Liar in Chief” War Criminal? Second Sentence Alert; Are you the ones protesting Trump now, because he is an R.? Get the Fuck out of the way. “Fire” ! Killery/2020

      02/27/17 7:36 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      4

      Vote ? The powers with the rope control the Parties with $trings Rich.

      02/27/17 8:17 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      5

      “back of the classroom argument”… nice!

      02/27/17 10:29 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      6

      Freedom of speech… “I did not have sex with that women” and “grab that pussy”. Stop all violence you war mongering power piss faced mother/father fuckers, or should I punch your fucking asses into the ground. Drone me? Have a nice day. Sarcasm is still allowed here? Wage Peace. Kumbaya, and have a nice day. Chelsea Clinton takes 2 year old to 1st protest! Was it BDS protest or tomorrows Goldman Sachs protest at the Wall Street Bull(shit)? Smile!

      02/27/17 10:37 AM | Comment Link

    • traven said...

      7

      I feel the limits of speech lay at the point they impinge on other humans right to exist.
      We are now living in a period of neo fascism where all power exists in the hands of the corporate state who builds a common meme on lies. I tend t feel that makes the definition of ” free speech” almost meaningless since lies have become common usage.

      02/27/17 11:16 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      8

      “You talking to me?” If I see one more comment by me I am going to protest. (deleted)! What did American Family’s talk about the day after Truman killed (nuked) and kiled hundreds of thousands? We won?!! Peace?! Stop the Terrorists?! God Bless Amerika?!

      02/27/17 11:20 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      9

      So when we are sent to detention camps, at least we will be free to bitch about it.

      02/27/17 12:29 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      10

      Did you see there was a Obama siting on Fifth Ave. a few days ago! That’s what he is. I think it was of him leaving Starbucks. The D and R’s suck the life out of the people. Exhale ! Vote? Take another hit.

      02/27/17 12:40 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      11

      Nothing succeeds like failure. The Defense Dept, the same one that can’t pass an audit, will be given even more of the taxpayers’ money, so says the NO MORE WASTE Presdent.

      GAO: DOD remains one of the few entities that cannot demonstrate its ability to accurately account for and reliably report its spending and assets. DOD’s financial management problems remain one of three major impediments preventing GAO from expressing an opinion on the consolidated financial statements of the federal government,” the report stated.

      Trump: FAKE News

      02/27/17 1:46 PM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...

      12

      “Let them speak, all of them.”
      PVB, ditto.

      02/27/17 1:46 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      13

      ditto

      02/27/17 1:50 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      14

      Trump has now called Obama the enemy of the people.

      Damn, ain’t free speech great.

      02/28/17 6:46 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      15

      Free speech, fake news and Trump’s lies

      Trump was asked in an interview on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” if he believed Obama was responsible for the town hall protests against Republicans this month.

      Do you believe President Obama is behind it and if he is, is that a violation of the so-called unsaid presidents’ code?” Trump was asked.

      “No, I think he is behind it. I also think it is politics, that’s the way it is,” Trump replied.

      Trump then discussed the leaks that have disrupted his first month in office.

      “You never know what’s exactly happening behind the scenes. You know, you’re probably right or possibly right, but you never know,” Trump said in the interview, a clip of which was released Monday night. “No, I think that President Obama is behind it because his people are certainly behind it. And some of the leaks possibly come from that group, which are really serious because they are very bad in terms of national security.”

      Trump did not offer any evidence for his claim in the clip released by Fox Monday night.

      That, my friends, is a dangerous president.

      02/28/17 6:59 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      16

      Free speech is never to have to say you are sorry

      President Donald Trump was asked by the crew on Fox & Friends about the failed raid in Yemen that took the life of Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, and the president was quick to deflect blame onto others.

      When asked about criticism from Owens’s father about the failed raid, Trump pointed out that planning for the mission actually started under former President Obama.

      “This was a mission that was started before I got here,” Trump said. “This was something that was, uh, you know, they wanted to do. They came to see me, they explained what they wanted to do, the generals, who are very respected. My generals are the most respected that we’ve had in many decades, I believe. And they lost Ryan.”

      FYI. Trump approved it while he was eating dinner.

      Sounds like a great movie title: “Who should have soldier Ryan?”

      02/28/17 9:26 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      17

      Rich.

      Question 1.

      What makes you think for one second the Yemen raid failed??????

      Question 2.

      What makes you think Obama is not playing games???

      Statement 1.

      Seen Nikki Haley’s comments on the UN security council meeting?

      statement 2.

      Stop being polarized… Your too bright for that dumbass crap.

      M

      02/28/17 10:48 AM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      18

      People have been lulled into thinking free speech only applies to talking about sex, not politics or economics or social issues

      02/28/17 11:00 AM | Comment Link

    • art guerrilla said...

      19

      @ rich bauer-
      *seems* like we have a similar take on the world, but that would make your statement “free speech doesn’t matter when you don’t bother to vote”, as either extreme sarcasm of some stripe, or extreme pollyannaism…
      regardless, i come here to bury mssr van buren, not to praise him ! ! !
      TOO MANY so-called ‘good citizens’ (just ask them!) A. do not have a clue both what freedom and free speech necessarily imply; B. do not LIKE IT when they are told what it is, and may not WANT IT…
      sad but true; the sheeple have been so thoroughly propagandized for so long, they don’t know their own interests if it bites them in the ass…
      to wit: as mr buren avers, and as your chomsky will repeatedly teach you: free speech implies you support the right of your worst enemies to voice their most vile words…
      similarly, true freedom means a person is free to make ‘bad’ (*ahem*) choices; whether it is carrying a confederate flag around, or saying stupid, hateful shit, or whatever…
      AND
      @ a snowflake-in-training traven:
      “I feel the limits of speech lay at the point they impinge on other humans right to exist.”
      *sigh* this will not end well…
      here is why it will not end well: i will apply principles of fairness, logic, rational thinking, and universal applicability; and you will simply reply that someone, somewhere, might feel the sads for a moment in their life…
      here is the logic part:
      just WHO has been killed WITH a confederate flag, or any combination of specific words ? ? ?
      LISTEN TO ME NOW; not ‘offended’, not ‘mortified’, not ‘hurt’, not ’emotionally scarred for life’, i am talking about who has been LITERALLY PHYSICALLY injured/killed by a confederate flag or any combination of ‘hateful’ words ? ? ?
      please, surely there must be an endless list of them, but let’s start with just ONE PERSON who was killed by looking at a confederate flag, or hearing a bunch of hate-filled words…
      one…
      name one…
      somewhere, anywhere, anytime in his story…
      just one…
      why is this taking you so long ? ? ?
      oh, i know (warning, here comes the rational thinking part), because no one was ever physically hurt or killed by words themselves…
      (oh please, dear dog almighty, please don’t let them think some sophistry like ‘ready, aim, fire…’ is what is at play here…)
      anyhoo, that is already far too much logic and rationality for a feelings-based nekkid ape, so i will leave you with only one more point:
      true free speech is THE BEDROCK RIGHT upon which all others depend and are predicated…
      you somehow think you have turned a corner of his story and YOUR views and groupthink are paramount… not only are you wrong, but you are foolish to not realize that when the worm turns, YOUR FREE SPEECH RIGHTS will still be protected by those of us ‘free speech nazis’ trying to protect your adversaries free speech now…
      wise up, snowflake…
      you have the right to NOT be assaulted,
      you do NOT have the right to NOT be insulted…

      02/28/17 11:01 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      20

      Insulted, yes. Slandered, no. To slander an ex pres as the covert leader of a government insurrection, words fail Us. That speech ain’t free and it can start an uncivil war that will rip US apart, not that there is anything wrong with that. It will make the rest of the free world a safer place. Slander on mr trump, you fucking moron.

      02/28/17 11:19 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      21

      peas…

      02/28/17 11:33 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      22

      Scenes from 2020

      “It turns out Trump’s organization seems to do a lot of these protests that only Reublicans can’t see around the country that he is trying to destroy US. Do you believe President Trump is a Russian agent and he is working for the Russians to destroy US?

      The new president: I think he is behind it. I also think it is politics. That’s the way it is. We are looking at his tax records for Russian influence. If there are, we will burn his fat ass.

      02/28/17 11:56 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      23

      The difference is the Trumpsters are who they say they are:

      I’m a Leninist,” Bannon reportedly said. “Lenin… wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”

      02/28/17 12:00 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      24

      It’s not what free speech you say that matters, it’s what you don’t say:

      “Trump has offered no words of condolence for the grieving widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who died from his gunshot wounds,” the Kansas City Star editorial board penned. “The president has expressed no sympathy for Kuchibhotla’s best friend, Alok Madasani, who continues to recover from bullet wounds and the trauma.”

      The letter continues, “Surely the White House team could have cobbled together a statement of some sort, a response to at least address growing fears that the U.S. is unwelcoming of immigrants, or worse, that the foreign-born need to fear for their lives here.”

      “Tuesday night, the country and the world will be watching when Trump addresses a joint session of Congress. He should use the opportunity to thoughtfully —and belatedly — address this brazen act of violence,” they noted. “Because with each passing day, Trump’s silence is even more telling.”

      02/28/17 12:35 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      25

      Imagine a Presidential Candidate talking to a Foreign Govt.. Russia? The House of Saud? Israel? Iraq/Iran?!

      02/28/17 1:00 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      26

      BDS

      02/28/17 1:01 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      27

      I like Ike. Have a nice day.

      02/28/17 1:05 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      28

      Art,

      Want an email address ?

      Mitch

      02/28/17 2:04 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      29

      Let them all speak…behind bars:

      (CNN)A Georgia couple who rode with a Confederate flag-waving group that made armed threats against African-Americans at a child’s birthday party were sentenced to prison Monday.

      Jose “Joe” Torres, was sentenced to 20 years, with 13 years in prison, after a jury convicted him on three counts of aggravated assault, one count of making terroristic threats and one count of violating of Georgia’s Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.

      Kayla Norton was sentenced to 15 years, with six years in prison. She was convicted on one count of making terroristic threats and one count of violation of the Street Gang Act.
      “Many people tried to make the case about simply flying the Confederate Battle Flag,” Douglas County District Attorney Brian Fortner said in a statement. “This case was about a group of people riding around our community, drinking alcohol, harassing and intimidating our citizens because of the color of their skin.”

      02/28/17 2:06 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      30

      Art, don’t do it. Mitch just wants to sell you Amway stuff.

      02/28/17 2:07 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      31

      Bush, Clinton, Obomber + amwayMIC

      02/28/17 2:11 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      32

      Just Say No, to Profits before people. Thank you to rich and poor for helping! Keep on…

      02/28/17 2:19 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      33

      Trumpists using the old fascist playbook.

      Hitler: Commies burned the Reichstag. Poland attacked Germany. Germany had to defend itself.

      Trump: It’s Obama who is behind the protests. The Jews are behind the threats against the Jews. The media is the enemy of the American people.

      Makes Hitler look like an amateur.

      02/28/17 4:48 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      34

      Rich.

      Do you know my ex wife?

      Just curious… She was real big on sensational claims, low documentation, and dire predictions.

      In the end… It only spelled her doom.

      M

      02/28/17 6:37 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      35

      Only in the biblical sense.

      02/28/17 7:18 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      36

      I can already imagine Trump “softening” in ways he feels will help if he runs for a second term. His ego would not accept being a one term POTUS- way too Jimmy Carterish.
      But maybe he won’t run and say he has sacrificed enough for “his” country and he has bigger and better things to do than being POTUS.

      02/28/17 8:00 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      37

      Rich, and several others…

      Something you should read.

      Very interesting points about the entire Flynn mess for you…

      Starting with the damage that leaking the information to the media actually did to the intelligence agencies abilities. After all… The bad Russians now know for sure that all their calls are being tapped. ..

      Kind of explains the witch hunt for the leskers, quite well

      It also opens the doors on a million other questions.

      http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/is-there-more-to-the-flynn-story/

      M

      03/1/17 7:43 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      38

      The Bad Russians ain’t stupid. They know all about Edward Snowden.

      The Bad Russians also are wise to the Santa Clause myth.

      03/1/17 9:03 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      39

      Rich.

      Did you even read it?

      One of the big points was, because of the IC leaks, the big bad Russians have changed their protocols

      M

      03/1/17 10:14 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      40

      We keep assuming everyone is as stupid as US.

      03/1/17 10:26 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      41

      Exceptionalism! USA (repeat). Have a nice day.

      03/1/17 2:49 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      42

      So… It either did not have a approved visa… Or an Extreme Right that voted for Brexit.

      Or… Just looking for a new life in the San Francisco Sanctuary.

      http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-39130580

      M

      03/1/17 3:14 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      43

      Someday…. People will learn…. The heroes in the Military… And their families….

      Are OFF LIMITS !!!

      http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/01/ex-clinton-volunteer-slammed-loses-job-after-swipe-at-widow-fallen-seal.html

      They are very special people, who takes oaths, that if necessary, to die for the people of this nation… Whether they agree with them or not… Or even like them.

      They deserve respect… Just for that.

      M

      03/1/17 4:07 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      44

      03/1/17 4:34 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      45

      Sorry, did that women protest Obombers Drones Mitch?! Have a nice day.

      03/1/17 5:11 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      46

      Chuck.

      Doubt it… They only protest non-liberal events

      M

      03/1/17 7:14 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      47

      mitch, the best way for Americans is to support and show respect for our troops is to keep their lives out of the hands of mad men. We failed that duty repeatedly – see the Vietnam War, the Iraq War, the Afghan War.

      Trump understood the foolishness of that. He’s smart, he will you himself. He is a chickenhawk, but he ain’t stupid.

      03/1/17 7:41 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      48

      Trump understood Fake News has been with US for a long time, e.g. the Vietnam Domino Theory. The way to defeat fake news is to use critical thinking to see through the lies.

      03/1/17 7:54 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      49

      Rich.

      Notice you left Obama out of your list.

      Obama, who added 5 wars to the list…. Obama who tripled military deployments around the world.

      A little over a month in….

      And Trump is the Chickenhawk?

      M

      03/1/17 8:56 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      50

      Yes.

      03/1/17 9:12 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      51

      Trump: America first. The rest of the world can eat dirt.

      President Donald Trump has proposed large cuts to foreign aid at a time of acute need across Africa and the Middle East, with four countries approaching famine and 20 million people nearing starvation, according to the United Nations.

      It is the first time in recent memory that so many large-scale hunger crises have occurred simultaneously, and humanitarian groups say they do not have the resources to respond effectively. The United Nations has requested $4.4 billion by March to “avert a catastrophe,” Secretary General António Guterres said last week. It has so far received only a tiny fraction of that request.

      The details of Trump’s budget proposal have not been released, and large cuts to foreign assistance will face stiff opposition from Congress. So far, U.S. funding for the hunger crises has come out of a budget approved last year under President Barack Obama. But the famines or near-famines in parts of Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen underscore the reliance on continued U.S. assistance to save some of the world’s most desperate people.

      In Nigeria, millions have been displaced and isolated by Boko Haram insurgents. In Somalia, a historic drought has left a huge portion of the country without access to regular food, as al-Shabab militants block the movement of humanitarian groups. In South Sudan, a 3-year-old civil war has forced millions of people from their homes and farms. In Yemen, a civil war along with aerial attacks by the Saudi-led coalition have caused another sweeping hunger crisis.

      Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/world/article135842003.html#storylink=cpy

      03/1/17 9:13 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      52

      Rich.

      I think we agree that the United States is 100% responsible for ISIS.

      Unless we finish those messes, all of them, which Trump did Not create, we as a planet, will have far more to deal with that can ever be overcome.

      We have to… Or the United States… And every other democracy on the planet with become pages in history.

      I sure as hell don’t lime it…. But it is a reality we have to face.

      Blaming Trump for decades of bungled “statesmanship” is not going to make that pill any easier.

      The famines…. That is what war brings.

      Take the people away to war… No one to produce food…. That is also a pill that really sucks.

      The UN…. They have a great deal of responsibility in all of that.

      And the UN blaming Trump…. Does not change that.

      The UN… They came do all the press releases they want… Shifting the responsibility….

      It does not change their responsibility in the matter.

      Suggest you do some looking into the Haitian crisis.

      Makes the UN pretty clear.

      In order for the US to be able to help anyone…. We have to have a strong economy… So that we have disposable income in which to help them with

      Pretty simple math.

      And… NO…. I don’t like it… But… It is a reality.

      M

      03/1/17 9:40 PM | Comment Link

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