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Free Speech is Only for the Left

Peggy Noonan has picked up and written about the topic virtually all conservatives know: the left views free speech as a right only for them and their views. All opposing viewpoints must be silenced.

Peggy begins her piece by summarizing four significant moments that happened in the past 10 days that illustrate her point: 1. Jim Gilchrist founder of the Minute Man project was silenced at Columbia University. 2. The left expressed dismay that Brian Rohrbough, the father of a boy killed during the Columbine killings, was allowed to express his views on Katie Couric's freeSpeech segment. 3. Barbra Streisand cursed out an audience member after he questioned her anti-Bush diatribe while on stage. 4. Rosie O'Donnell tried to silence Elizabeth Hasselbeck on The View after she countered Rosie's argument that guns should be banned.

From there Ms. Noonan gets to the crux of the situation:

It is not only about rage and resentment, and how some have come to see them as virtues, as an emblem of rightness. I feel so much, therefore my views are correct and must prevail. It is about something so obvious it is almost embarrassing to state. Free speech means hearing things you like and agree with, and it means allowing others to speak whose views you do not like or agree with. This--listening to the other person with respect and forbearance, and with an acceptance of human diversity--is the price we pay for living in a great democracy. And it is a really low price for such a great thing.


We all know this, at least in the abstract. Why are so many forgetting it in the particular?

Let us be more pointed. Students, stars, media movers, academics: They are always saying they want debate, but they don't. They want their vision imposed. They want to win. And if the win doesn't come quickly, they'll rush the stage, curse you out, attempt to intimidate.

Yes they will. And if those tactics fail, how far will they go to impose their views on the rest of us?


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Comments (81)

Okay, all you boys who love... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Okay, all you boys who loved her last week when she was bashing GWB, I really hope you're not going to abandon Peggy over a little truth like this.

She gets smacked down reall... (Below threshold)
jp2:

She gets smacked down really hard by Glenn Greenwald:

"Remember that all of these sweeping, melodramatic sermons are based on the examples of some Columbia college kids, unnamed CBS employees, Barbra Streisand and Rosie O'Donnell."

"Really, what could be more laughable and hypocritical than for someone who is a follower of the Bush movement, like Noonan, to write a column sermonizing about the need to tolerate dissent and to conduct ourselves with grace and civility in political debates while preening around as though they are on the side of dissent, grace and civility? I think the answer to that question is "nothing."

Pardon for the lifting of Greenwald - but he's a good writer and it's hard to pick and choose.

http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/#postid-updateH3

"Free speech" is the phrase... (Below threshold)
Brian:

"Free speech" is the phrase that keeps the government from silencing citizens. The Constitution says nothing to prohibit non-government entities from telling you to shut up.

You can't show me one insta... (Below threshold)
jainphx:

You can't show me one instance where the right has stopped the LLL from saying any thing.I challenge you to bring up one instance!

I'll bite, Jainph:... (Below threshold)
jp2:

I'll bite, Jainph:

http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/

"I neglected to mention the multiple instances of dissent-loving behavior on the part of the Bush administration itself, whereby those with t-shirts expressing anti-Bush views were removed from events or rallies, or even arrested. As I am reminded in comments, I also neglected to mention the recent incident where a Colorado man (accompanied by his 7-year-old son) was arrested by the Secret Service for "assaulting" Dick Cheney because he told Cheney the Iraq War was "reprehensible."

Columbia University is abou... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Columbia University is about to get a lesson on the laws of free speach and hate speach, along with possible hate crimes. The two gentlemen (one black) that appeared at Comumbia announced today that they would file a lawsuit against those involved. The black gentleman said he was called every dirty name in the book and if that isn't a hate crime there isn't one.
Here's hoping these gentlemen the best and i'm looking forward to seeing a few dozen 'X' students and administrators (demo'rats all)learning the bend over technique for bubba in the local prison.

uhhh "jackass2" when have y... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

uhhh "jackass2" when have you seen or heard someone on the right do what the idiots did at the CU the other night. But their ass is grass now because they have a hate crime suit filed against them plus the school is going to be sued for million's. "boo frigging who" to you.

OK, Krauthammer, Podhoretz,... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

OK, Krauthammer, Podhoretz, Frum and company call the elder statesmen of the Democratic Party insane, buffoons, whatever. Babs and Rosie call conservatives the same. Put them on the same stage and I would not expect to see the former group shouting down the latter (alright, maybe laughing in a somewhat condescending way). Now the other way around, I am not so sure. As far as lobbying against the appointments of Cole and Churchill, these actually seem legitimate to me. These two clowns use the protection of tenure to stifle the dissenting opinion of students they are paid to teach. Seems to go directly against what one would expect in our open-minded institutions of higher learning. And yes, I would be against appointments of those conservatives who are equally abusive of their positions.

speaking of bubba in prison... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

speaking of bubba in prison....
wonder what the "Duckster" and Ney's nicknames will be...these are Elected Republicans who made shady deals on defense contracts puting our troops at risk..
It will not be the media that changes Congress this election..
although I will admit they are overlooking, still, the heartwarming stories that should be coming out about our progress in Iraq..

Glenn Greenwald? Mr. Sock ... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Glenn Greenwald? Mr. Sock Puppet himself? The guy who has to make up names so it looks like people agree with him?

Oh yeh, he's a good one to talk. Please tell us some more comments from Greenwald. Then ask his sock puppet what he thinks as well. LOL.

Well, I gotta tell ya,I cer... (Below threshold)
Sal Manella:

Well, I gotta tell ya,I certainly would not concern myself with what any loud mouth Bi*ch like Rosie O'Donald or Barbara Streisand have to say. These people are nortoriously opioniated people. They do not speak for all people on the left. Only the fringe. Myself, I am an INDEPENDENT. O'Donald and Streisand are Boobs, the same as Bush. All extremists, that should not be taken seriously. The problem with Bush is that he is setting policy. O'Donald and Streisand are just LOUDMOUTHS, and do not affect anybody.

It has taken Fox News and t... (Below threshold)
Jo:

It has taken Fox News and the blogosophere to show us the sort of country we would have if the liberals were ever in charge. Basically conservatives would have no say at all. We have so many examples it's hard to count.

Free speech for me, not for thee, is the liberal motto.

I see JP... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

I see JP

I agree. Every loudmouth is... (Below threshold)
Sal Manella:

I agree. Every loudmouth is entitled to his opinion. If those on the right cannot understand this, then they need to re-study the Constitution. These protections are to protect citizens from government manipulation, NOT government from citizens. The Chicken Little President and his 9 Trillian dollar deficeit mismanagement HAS GOT TO GO! ONE question HAS to be asked! How on earth does the current administration PLAN to repay the current 9 TRILLIAN DOLLAR DEFICEIT??? What happened to the SOVIET UNION? They were BANKRUPTED out of existance. Are you so sure we are THAT MUCH better?

"Free speech" is the phrase that keeps the
government from silencing citizens. The Constitution says nothing to prohibit non-government entities from telling you to shut up.
Posted by: Brian at October 13, 2006 07:06 PM

Brian,You might wa... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

Brian,

You might want to do a quick history check on non-goverment brown shirt supression of speech in the weimar republic.

JP2,

The glenngreenwald seems to me to fail in his logic. He sites complaints about CBS airing the Reagans, but fails to mention democrats threatening to pull ABC's license of the path to 9/11. There is also a fundamental difference. The right was saying, 'This show is inaccurate and we will express our displeasure by not purchasing products by the show sponsors or watching your network.' In short they do not wish to associate with those who would perpetrate such lies. There were certainly some similar leftist sentiments expressed on the ABC show, but threatening to have the FCC pull their license to broadcast goes beyond individuals saying they do not want to associate with liars to a threat of government supression of speech the left did not like.

He then points out reasonable debate and characterizes that as suppression of free speech. If I say that supporting an immediate pull out in Iraq would benefit the terrorists and hurt the US, I am not supressing your speech. If I went further and said that those who support such a move are being useful idiot, unwitting dupes or allies of the terrorists, I am not supressing your speech. You can raise points to provide a different view or accept the reasoning. But for Glenn, he is siting it as an example of the right limiting free speech.

Saying "Bush lied, kids died" may be inaccurate, simplistic reasoning and insulting, but it is not supression of Bush or anyone else's speech. Shouting it at a rally so that no one else can hear the speaker is supression of free speech. But it isn't the words, but the manner. Shouting "we love Bush" so loud that people couldn't hear Bush speak would be supression of Bush's speech.

The supreme court has long held exceptions for time manner place restrictions of speech. You have a right to free speech, but you do not have a right to conduct your speech in my living room. The examples of posters or T-shirts at rallys have been tested in the courts and found consistant with the first amendment right reasonably limit speech in time-manner-place.

The case of the man shouting at Cheney is consistant with the secret service protection of the vice-president, regardless of party. The link gives very little information, but shouting at the president in public or threatening him in writing is likely to have a secret service visit take place. Once they determined he was not a threat, they released him.

Now of the examples Noonan raises, I would personally disagree with her on some. The columbia case is clearly supressing the speech of the speaker and it appears will end up in the courts. Writing letters to CBS saying they don't want CBS to give air time to people who express views they don't like is not. The Streisand example is a performer silencing a heckler, not a limitation of free speech. The View example could easily be a supression of free speech or could be a host just keeping track of the commercial break time, I would need more information to know.

But she does have a point about the lack of grace in civil discourse. The proper way for the columbia students to counter speech they disagree with is not to shut it down, but hold their own speech to counter the arguments raised with their own arguments. If you don't like being told you are an allie of the terrorists for advocating a retreat from Iraq, provide an argument as to why such a retreat would be better for the US (and not be handing the terrorist an enormous victory, undermining the support of regional allies and fueling the recruitment of terrorists by showing that OBL was right that the US would run if you hurt us). I may never change your mind and you may not change mine, but those listening into the debate may very well be persuaded to one position or the other.

I'll comment if I can ever ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

I'll comment if I can ever stop laughing.... This is pathetic. You whiners are out of control. No one from the left has done anything that those from the right haven't themselves been doing for the last 6 years.

O'Reilly shouting down his television guests, a prime example.

Ann Coulter has virtually created the Coulture of Hate in America.

It's a wake up-call, Republicans. What conservative America is experiencing is that they are no longer in the majority, and their pious, hate-filled delivery, that we've all had to put up with for years, is being reflected "right back at 'em".

The result??? They whine like stuck pigs.

Grow up.

Reality has shown that we d... (Below threshold)
keith Shrimpton:

Reality has shown that we don't need to fear a liberal takeover any more than we need to fear a conservative takover.
Its the extremists we need to fear, and they exist on BOTH sides. During the Clinton years I railed daily about the Clinton Administration. Today, I find myself disillusioned and afraid. Afraid of the abuse inflicted on the American people by a Republican President.
DID YOU KNOW, its now LEGAL for the US government to arrest you, drag you off to a secret base, torture you until you "Confess" and hold you without charge, until "Hostilies end?" Did you know this? Meanwhile, your wife and children may never know whatever happened to you? Your wife may think you ran off with someone and divorce you while you are away. Your children may grow to resent you. We are ok with this as long as we think this is happening to terrorists. Well its NOT. An innocent man, an arab-Canadian went through such an ordeal. In the end it was proven he had absolutely no connection to terrorism whatso ever. He was NOT the enemy. If this can happen to him, IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU. This is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. We have safeguards against this sort of thing built right into our system. This is part of what makes America great. Bush thinks America is great. Yet President Bush finds constitutional protections inconveiniant. He finds due process a burden. I think President Bush, regardless of his grand speeches about American greatness, has no respect for American values or American Law. He is contemptious of worker's rights against corporate abuses, he stand in the way of every American protection we have won for ourselves. You see, its all a balanceing act. Corporate rights and protections VS workers rights and protections. Bush does not seem to grasp the balanceing act. Myself, I understand it would be a disaster for the Conservatives to take over the country. I also understand that it would be a disaster for the Liberals to take over the country. We need the balance. Its our protection against EXTREMISTS. Bush has upset this. The quote below is an example of how much is simply not understood by the average person.


It has taken Fox News and the blogosophere to show
us the sort of country we would have if the liberals were ever in charge. Basically conservatives would have no say at all. We have so many examples it's hard to count.

Free speech for me, not for thee, is the liberal motto.
Posted by: Jo at October 13, 2006 07:29 PM

Lee,not to burst y... (Below threshold)
yo:

Lee,

not to burst your bubble, but those are rather weak examples.

Billy-boy can do whatever he likes, it's his show. That's akin to the aforementioned point of not be able to express your freedom of speech in my livingroom.

As for Coulter ..., (and I'm not defending what she says, so let's not get that going), whereas she may have cultivated a theater of hate, she doesn't intrude on anyone's right to speak against her. Now, the guys who tried to pie her at a speaking engagement, that's another story.

As hard as it may be to swallow, there is definitely truth in the concept of the left trying to stiffle non-agreeable viewpoints.

The blogosphere is a prime example of such. You and I have gotten into one or two tete-a-tetes, here, but I press you to find one example where either of us have attempted to do anything more than rebut one another.

Now, go to the DU, or Huffington Post, or any other liberal comments section and see how the other half handles a conservative poster. It's downright disgusting. Not to sound like a prude, or anything, but I highly doubt the word "c*nt" should be used in civil discourse (even if you are practicing your love as an ob/gyn) - and I've seen that used on numerous occassions; nor do I think immediately responding to an argument with a vile insult is proper ediquette.

But, that's what is sadly prevalent on the left, now'days.

Essentially, the arena of the left has become an echo chamber and if you're of the mind to disagree, you'd best duck.

Sad, really.

yetanotherjon has probably ... (Below threshold)

yetanotherjon has probably the best comment so far. Free speech doesn't mean not having to face other people's disapproval. The examples of Rosie and Babs seem quite a silly stretch.

The action at Columbia is far more troubling particuarly when combined with other incidents over time in Highschools and Universities. And it's not even the incidents but what seem to be the attitudes of people participating in them. At Columbia the students disrupted an event sponsored by a student group and approved. The goal was clearly to shut them up. Protests or banners or even some heckling make certain that everyone present realizes that there are people who disagree strongly but those things don't take away someone elses right to speak. But the students involved, when interviewed, seemed not to have the least suspicion that there might be something wrong with their actions. Why not?

We get quotes from college teachers and others that "free speech is not the freedom to offend."

Which seems pretty clear to me. And if the people who say it are talking about offending Muslims is it really that much of a stretch to get "my offense is justification to shut them up?" It's not even a stretch.

We get a University part-time prof telling her students to destroy a pro-life display because she feels "assaulted" or some non-sense every time she sees it.

It's not "free speech for me and not for thee" it's "free speech except for anything hateful or offensive."

So students congratulate themselves by forcing military recruiters from job fairs because they feel offended by the war, taking away the right of others to have access if they want it. This "deciding for others" is not even remotely like persuading others.

Particularly in our schools students are learning that free speech has no price, no cost, because it *doesn't* require allowing the speech with which one disagrees. The right to free speech isn't the right to offend. People *believe* this.

A sig line I see fairly often quotes the saying, I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it. (paraphrasing)

It would have been interesting if, instead of congratulating themselves for the fabulous victory of shutting down the minuteman event the protestors had expressed their disagreement and reasserted that they'd defend the right of those men to speak and others to hear what they said.

For those of you who piss a... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

For those of you who piss and moan about the nasty lefties on this and other sites. One of you most prolific posters -Scrapiron - about a week or so ago suggested that all the Democrats in Congress should be murdered.

Now, I know he's insane - his posts prove that beyond doubt. But never have I heard one of you righties criticize that. I, for one, believe that anyone, anywhere has the right to say anything about anyone anytime (absent the Supreme Court decisions about yelling fire in a theater and the like). I despise and detest Coulter but I would defend her right to say what she wants.

The truth of the matter is that both sides spend 90% (myself included) of the time yelling at one another and about 1% listening to the other. Both sided attempt to stifle the voices of the other. You cite examples, our side cites examples. Why don't we just admit it and start listening at least 2% of the time.

The Left is out of sync wit... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

The Left is out of sync with the rest of society, so they get shrill and stupid, and shout speakers down. That's all the seem to feel comfortable with.

No Leftie on this thread has shown one single example of a Leftist speaker at a forum given for his speach being shouted down by the Right.

And you know what, they can't. Because it doesn't happen. But it is an almost weekly occurrence on some college campus some where against the conservatives who speak.

This is the sign of a pathetic, dying movement. Good riddance.

Hugh, there really is no eq... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Hugh, there really is no equivalence between groups. It is there for all to see on any college campus around the country.

It's really laughable you'd try to argue otherwise.

Sometimes you just need to concede a point an move along.

I would like to hear someon... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I would like to hear someone from the right defend Free-Speech Zones.

Mitchell:My point ... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Mitchell:

My point was simple, neither side expends much effort trying to listen to the other.

I'm not trying to argue equivalence but if we must....murdering all Democrats in Congress or shouting down a speaker? You pick.

See, that's what I mean. Not listening just shouting at one another.

yetanotherjohn,... (Below threshold)
mantis:

yetanotherjohn,

but fails to mention democrats threatening to pull ABC's license of the path to 9/11.

Probably because it didn't happen.

He then points out reasonable debate and characterizes that as suppression of free speech.

He does not, he is rebutting Noonan's assertion that "What is most missing from the left in America is an element of grace--of civic grace, democratic grace, the kind that assumes disagreements are part of the fabric, but we can make the fabric hold together," implying that the right is chock full of that element. Full of something, anyway. His examples of suppression of free speech were examples of the governent removing people and occasionally arresting them for their speech and nothing more. He also so notes some right-wing morons who advoacate things like sedition prosecutions against the left and what have you. Is that your idea of "reasonable debate?"

Shouting it at a rally so that no one else can hear the speaker is supression of free speech. But it isn't the words, but the manner. Shouting "we love Bush" so loud that people couldn't hear Bush speak would be supression of Bush's speech.

Maybe so, but it's not illegal, as you seem to think. To shout someone down may be uncivilized, counterproductive, childish, and rude, it isn't illegal. The guarantee to free speech is a protection of the people from the government, not their fellow citizens.

The columbia case is clearly supressing the speech of the speaker and it appears will end up in the courts.

It may end up in the courts, but any attempt to prosecute on a free speech violation would be absurd. The idiots who stormed the stage at Columbia are not the government. That is unless Congress made a law saying the Columbia kids should take the stage. ;)

They haven't been charged with anything, to my knowledge, although I imagine they could have been charged with inciting or assault, but any civil trial is going to be difficult and ultimately pointless. The students clearly should be disciplined by the university, though. In any case it's not a free speech issue, legally. It is in the sense that things would be nicer if people could disagree without shouting each other down or otherwise attempt to shut down the speech of their opponents, which is true, but not partisan; it's universal.

The View example could easily be a supression of free speech or could be a host just keeping track of the commercial break time, I would need more information to know.

I don't need to see it to clearly tell it's not a "supression of free speech." It's a TV show! No one has a constitutional right to say shit on TV. And Rosie O'fucking Donnell is not the Secret Service, the Supreme Court, or the goddam U.S. Marshalls. It's not a free speech issue when Hannity or O'Reilly shouts someone down, it's not a free speech issue when O'Donnell does it. Their idiots, but not criminals (at least not for that, I hear Rosie eats babies).

The rest I largely agree with. Of course Noonan is right when she says there is a lack of civil discourse, and of course she is predictably wrong when she claims it comes from one side more than the other.

The left in America--Democrats, liberals, Bush haters, skeptics of many sorts--seems to be poised for a significant electoral victory. Do they understand that if it comes it will be not because of Columbia, Streisand, O'Donnell, et al., but in spite of them?

The left understands that very well. Apparently the Columbia brats and some famous loudmouths are "the left" to Noonan, because she ignores the civil debaters on the left and focuses on idiots no one listens to (Streisand, O'Donnell? Are you fucking kidding me), out of her love for civil discourse, surely.

Anyway, it's interesting that you believe what you do about free speech. Noonan of course is speaking philosophically, not legally, or correctly, but still. My favorite part of this silly little diversion of stupidity has to be Kim's, however, where she cryptically postulates about the soon to be imposed O'Donnell/Striesand police state:

Yes they will. And if those tactics fail, how far will they go to impose their views on the rest of us?

I hear they're setting up the camps already, Kim. Wolverines!

The worst aspect of the Col... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

The worst aspect of the Columbia U. incident, and other university incidents, is the reaction of the school administration.

The idiot kids rushing the stage I can understand. They are by definition uneducated, immature and childish. That's understandable and hopefully they'll grow up and gain wisdom someday.

But when the school lets the kids go unpunished they are supporting the suppression of free speech. The academics, almost above all others, should know better. Actually, I think most of them do know better, they just don't care; as long as their political point of view is supported. That's disgusting behavior from anyone, especially 'academics'.

Hugh, the example you cite ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Hugh, the example you cite is inapposite on many levels. I will spell it out for you.

First, someone's snarky post about shooting the Dem. Congressmen is not preventing anyone from SPEAKING. Do you see a difference.

Second, the issue is what happens in a forum in which someone has been invited to speak. Shall we let him speak? Do Dems and Libs believe we should, since they are really the only ones preventing speach at such events.

Third, you have not provided a single relevant example of the Right shouting down a speaker invited to speak in a campus of "higher learning" which is supposed to cherish such things, or anywhere else, for that matter.

Weak, weak, weak. You are approaching Lee on the Weak Meter.

It would be different if th... (Below threshold)

It would be different if there wasn't this idea that the right to free speech doesn't give someone the right to offend.

In that case, the only right to speech is the right to approved speech.

Even Fred Phelps has the right to free speech and if there is anyone the "right" would like to shut up it's him. The best that can be done when he's "protesting" at funerals is to try to protect the family from having to see him or hear him.

Yet Phelps gets treated better by VFW bikers than the minutemen, who no one whatsoever was forced to listen to or see, were treated by university students... who made no indications whatsoever that what they did was anything but Standard Operating Procedure at the campus.

And lest I'm *still* being ... (Below threshold)

And lest I'm *still* being too windy...

The only speech that is free is speech that is approved.

We were told--in no uncerta... (Below threshold)

We were told--in no uncertain terms--what was allowed or not allowed under the speech code at the U. of Michigan in the early 1990s. One version included "conspicuous exclusion from conversation" as a reason to be brought before their secret tribunal for punishment.

Thankfully, the US Supreme Court struck down several versions of that code.

Now tell me--which side of the political spectrum was trying to impose that code, hmmm?

Which one threw out entire press runs of newspapers that dared to print something considered "politically incorrect"?

And now, the U. of Wisconsi... (Below threshold)

And now, the U. of Wisconsin is going down the road of suppressing speech.

It's about "respect." Isn't that what they always say?

I would like to hear som... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I would like to hear someone from the right defend Free-Speech Zones.

Any takers?

The whine from the left sta... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

The whine from the left started in 2000 when they lost an election and has never let up. They drown out the noise of hundreds of jet aircraft and JFK. Whine, cry and backstab is all they've done in 6 years. Making real progress ain't you boys?

I see no one from the left mentioned Dirty Harry Reid and his family tonight. Criminals one and all and tied to organized crime tight as a mean pit bull to a post. Culture of corruption is alive and well in the democ'rat party. I see the party of tolerance is continuing the gay bashing. Even going back 10 years to start rumors that they hope will help in Nov. When you have no agenda then you run on slime and slander.

I'm telling you boys and girls, if you are in or thinking of joining the military make sure your discharge is in the first quarter of 2009 just in case the lefties win. They will hang you out for slaughter and allow you to be dragged through the streets and never look back. They could care less about you, they are a selfish bunch of basta**s. Let the left wing leaders reinstate the draft. They're planning to anyway. Some of us old soldiers will show the conservatives how to stay out, and if they force you in, you can come out with a life time pension in 12 months. It's all in the know for a conscript army.

I would like to hear someon... (Below threshold)
yo:

I would like to hear someone from the right defend Free-Speech Zones.

Any takers?

Posted by: Brian at October 13, 2006 11:33 PM


Fine. It's easy ..., "free speech zones" are necessary when those protesting, or utilizing their right to free speech have a tendency towards violence.

Not to be snarky, but often times, modern liberals are rather inclined to violence, or at the very least to be unruly. I cite the recently oft cited Columbia University students who rushed the stage and violated the speaker's "free speech zone."

Without the use of "free speech zones," we could very well see many repeats of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, '68.

Within the current political atmosphere, to ignore the possibility of violence which could (and most likely would) erupt from not using these types of zones could (and probably would) lead to either physical injury and/or property damage (most likely both).

Not to utilize such zones would be downright fool-hardy on the part of either party.


Now, what I would like to see is someone from the left defend the childish and brutish behavior so often seen coming from within their ranks which is used to specifically infringe on someone else's right to free speech.

That would be interesting.

The best I can do to defend... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:

The best I can do to defend "free speech zones" is that it is not unconstitutional. "Congress shall make no law..." The Secret Service, which sets up those "free speech zones," is not Congress and is under the authority of the Executive branch, which is also not Congress. As we have, unfortunately, had many incidents of attempted assasinations against Presidents, the Secret Service tends to be paranoid about large crowds of angry demonstrators near the President, regardless of the party he is affiliated with.

Plus this is not actually shutting anyone up. The protesters still get their message out, it's still plastered across all of the 24-hour news channels, and you can see pictures of their idiotic banners on the front page of all the newspapers the next day. It is, obsensibly, not designed to keep people quite. Now, does that mean that it could never be used to silence opposition? No, which is why it would be good for everyone to feel a little bit uncomfortable with this.

That, and Gitlow was bad law, so if you want to quote me Supreme Court rulings, find something written before the 1920's. :p

But yeah, Noonan's article was a stretch. The View is Rosie's show from what I understand. If she doesn't want dissent on her show, that's her buisness. Now, if Rosie was making fun of Bill O'Reilly for shutting up his guests while doing the same thing, we could all point and laugh at Rosie's hypocracy (and vice-versa), but we still couldn't say that she was infringing on Free Speech. However, if she went on O'Reilly's show durring a live segment and caused so much disruption that he couldn't do any of his segments, then that would be infringing on free speech, as she is messing with someone else's resources.

So when you see people at either a Republican or a Democratic convention being escorted out because they were trying to disrupt the proceedings with an opposing message, keep in mind that they were the ones suppressing speech, not the party officials and the security officers that are physically removing them. They were actually stealing the party's resources that are used to get that party's message out.

I thank you for a respectib... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I thank you for a respectible response, but I disagree on several points.

The Secret Service, which sets up those "free speech zones," is not Congress and is under the authority of the Executive branch, which is also not Congress.

This implies that the President can direct the Secret Service to detain someone who is peaceably espousing an opposing view (as Cheney's detail did). Or to prevent a newspaper from running its presses. Or to forcibly prevent dissenters from attending an anti-war event. After all, none of that is Congress making a law. But if that's not directly unconstitutional (and I'd guess that in some way it is), it's still downright scary.

Plus this is not actually shutting anyone up. The protesters still get their message out... It is, obsensibly, not designed to keep people quite.

It is designed specifically to limit the reach of the message. Ordering people 20 miles away, and that they have to whisper, also doesn't keep them technically "quiet". But it quiets their message. Courts routinely overturn laws based on their intent, even if they are technically conforming.

The Supreme Court ruled that anti-abortion protesters, even "disruptive" ones, can't be barred from the very doorstep of abortion clinics.

then that would be infringing on free speech, as she is messing with someone else's resources.

Unless Rosie is secretly a government official, that's not infringement. It's called "reality TV".

So when you see people at either a Republican or a Democratic convention being escorted out because they were trying to disrupt the proceedings with an opposing message, keep in mind that they were the ones suppressing speech

How about those escorted out simply for wearing a tshirt, without being disruptive in any way? What speech does a tshirt suppress?

"free speech zones" are ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

"free speech zones" are necessary when those protesting, or utilizing their right to free speech have a tendency towards violence.

The SCOTUS has ruled (see above post) that protesters have the right to protest, even when they're being disruptive.

modern liberals are rather inclined to violence, or at the very least to be unruly.

The FSZ were not established in response to any violence. They were established on a whim by Bush, because he didn't want to see protests, or have them in his photo ops.

Within the current political atmosphere, to ignore the possibility of violence which could (and most likely would) erupt from not using these types of zones

They do nothing to prevent intended violence. They only serve to quell a message. Remember, they apply only to those expressing an opposing view. If you wear an "I Love Bush" tshirt, you get right up close and personal. You seem to approve a system where your leader requests that those who cheer him stand close, and those who condemn him are out of sight. What does that sound like to you?

As often quoted, I thought the whole country was a "free speech" zone!

Anyone who intended violence would, of course, wear a different tshirt. FSZ are in no way a meaningful security measure.

what I would like to see is someone from the left defend the childish and brutish behavior so often seen coming from within their ranks which is used to specifically infringe on someone else's right to free speech.

I condem childish and brutish behavior in all forms. I disapprove of shouting down those you disagree with. Unless performed by a government entity, though, they infringe upon nothing.

The whine from the left ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

The whine from the left started in 2000 when they lost an election and has never let up.... Whine, cry and backstab is all they've done in 6 years. Making real progress ain't you boys?

Yep! We're almost caught up to the full 8 years that you guys did it during Clinton's reign of terror!

I have friends on both the ... (Below threshold)
Kevin:

I have friends on both the right and the left. I'll go to different parties, functions etc. where both sets exist. I always get along well with my lefty friends and can have well informed repectful conversations with them. Then they will take me to a heavily populated leftist party and the shoutdowns begin. I try to bring up a point, but faster than you can say Harry Reid I am immediatly shouted down or talked over. This has nothing to do with First Ammendment mind you, it has to do with civility. I very seldom see this from my righty friends at there functions,and when I do, I tell my friends to let the disenter finish his or her point. You don't have to look at the national debates to see this trend, just look around you.

Actually, out of curiosity,... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

Actually, out of curiosity, is the COnvention hall public property or private? If it is private property, than DO you have a right to protest wherever you want on it?

Wow.We're lucky we don't li... (Below threshold)
Xennady:

Wow.We're lucky we don't live in the Soviet block when the left was running the show.They just killed you if you expressed your disagreement with their wonderful notions.While they can't do that in this country they keep trying to silence critics in other ways-"campaign finance reform",hate speech laws,campus speech codes,mobs rushing the stage.But since it isn't a government mob...no problem! Now Brian is complaining that leftists don't get the opportunity to riot at every Bush speaking engagement.Well,too bad.No doubt if they did,and were successful in getting events cancelled,you would not object-because the mob wasn't made up of government paid thugs.Remember the 1968 Democratic convention? No problem! Just people expressing themselves! Free speech zones don't prevent people from expressing themselves-they just don't get to do it such a manner that they shut someone else up.Which is the real goal. Just face it: The left wants to silence its critics in any way possible-from lawsuits against abortion protesters to blocking conservative commentary from you-tube all the way up to mass murder.

Mitchell:Thanks fo... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Mitchell:

Thanks for your supercilious response to my "snarky" response. Again, you make my point. Amazing.

For, I thin k the 3rd time now my point was we don't listen to one another. You ignored my point and went to what you wanted to beat into my head, i.e. the view liberals are nasty shouter downers. Ok, they are sometimes.

Now you can prove my point for a 4th time if you wish. Or not .

"And if those tactics fail,... (Below threshold)
Carl:

"And if those tactics fail, how far will they go to impose their views on the rest of us?"

The liberals, if they have their way, would put opposing viewpoints in jail. That may sound paranoid but some on the left have already publicly espoused such a sentiment. It is apparent and unarguable that many on the far left find opposing POV's unacceptable and will do anything and everything whether fair or foul to silence opposing voices. "Freedom of speech for me and not thee" is their mantra.

Free Speach doesn't carry a... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Free Speach doesn't carry an obligation to be listened to.

If the people don't want to fund bozos with tax or personal dollars, there's nothing stopping the bozos from writting a book, or filing for a rally. Free speech doesn't garuantee audience and a salary to go with it.

What is mentioned by Noonan is third party blocking of a speaker where the intended forum, venue or whatever was designed to let people speak to audience who came to listen. These blockers want to interfere in that.

The liberal movement always... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

The liberal movement always rises from the ashes because those entrusted to teach the young, never bother to teach them how badly the goals of liberalism always fail. I have no doubt, that at some time in the future communism will raise its ugly head again. Orwell warned us about the evils of communism, but the human race tried it anyway.

There is no such thing in t... (Below threshold)
Buckeye:

There is no such thing in this country as freedom of speech. It has been replaced by 'political correct'.
If the Democrats win this election the terrorists will be dancing in the streets - again. Probably US streets before long.

Mitchell:Thanks fo... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Mitchell:

Thanks for your supercilious response to my "snarky" response. Again, you make my point. Amazing.

For, I thin k the 3rd time now my point was we don't listen to one another. You ignored my point and went to what you wanted to beat into my head, i.e. the view liberals are nasty shouter downers. Ok, they are sometimes.

Now you can prove my point for a 4th time if you wish. Or not .
------------------------------------------------
Typical evasion tactic of Hugh. Hugh raised a "moral equivalency" example and Mitchell showed how weak it is. Instead of responding to Mitchell 's excellent argument/facts, Hugh resorted to cheap evasion tactic again.

Hugh has proven my point for 100th time that liberals cannot be honest about who they are and they have to hide behind these empty rhetoric. "Free speech" is nothing but a tool for the left to impose their agenda. The communists did it during the cold war: using "free speech" to advance their agenda. The jihadists now doing the same. Once they have power they will silence every opposing view. Look at the universities as examples.

Gee, sorry I'm coming late ... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Gee, sorry I'm coming late to the "Free Speech" thread, and sorry I can't stay long. Just long enough to add my own perspective (which may echo several above).

I live in the SF Bay Area. Here, speech is ONLY free if you are in lock-step with the Left. Opposing viewpoints have been so roundly and soundly shouted down over time that they are rarely if ever raised any more. In the schools the kids who dare to disagree with the teachers face the very real, though difficult to prove, grading bias, and so keep their mouths shut. Editorial and front pages of the Chronicle and SJ Mercury News keep up a constant drumbeat of Leftist doom.

The SJ Mercury News has actually dared to print articles by Victor David Hanson, and has been besieged by letters demanding they stop!!! Why? Because it disturbs the echo-chamber.

There are many places where Free Speech still exists in America...the Bay Area is NOT one of them.

Hey "hughie" (linkman) the ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Hey "hughie" (linkman) the point that you make is always "pointless".


The essence of the liberal ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

The essence of the liberal problem with free speech is their insecurity in the positions they take. No one would protest so loudly were he convinced of his arguments.

And someone with grace, as Noonan pointed out, does not fear having to examine his own viewpoints, and perhaps, concede an point or two of the opposing view.

This requires a level of maturity, and elemental rationality that is so lacking in any discussion with some of these folks.

I have a liberal law partner who I often disagree with, but who respects my views, and I hers. She is one of the few liberals who, through intellectual pursuits, experience, and maturity,
is able to tolerate an opposing view, and not be offended or intimidated by it.

But, mostly, it is a defensive and immature reaction we see so often in reports of "free speech" transgressions. And it's by the childish Left.

The SCOTUS has ruled (se... (Below threshold)
yo:

The SCOTUS has ruled (see above post) that protesters have the right to protest, even when they're being disruptive.

I said "violent" not "disruptive.

Again, DNC '68, also look at any WTO demonstration - broken windows and turned over cars. That's disruptive, sure ... but it's also violent.

I highly doubt the SCOTUS allows violence within the confines of free speech.

An old quote fits quite nicely, here: "Your freedom stops where my nose begins."

They do nothing to prevent intended violence.

How do you know?

The FSZ were not established in response to any violence. They were established on a whim by Bush, because he didn't want to see protests, or have them in his photo ops.

Maybe so, however, the Left has demonstrated time and again, its inclination towards violence. They've reaped what they've sown. Act like a child, and you'll be treated accordingly.

Unless performed by a government entity, though, they infringe upon nothing.

Sure they do. Again to the Columbia example, were the Minutemen allowed to speak? No? Why not? Because the students infringed upon their freedom of speech. Had there been a FSZ set up, ala something more than a plastic chain link rope to seperate the audience from the stage, maybe they'd have had a chance to express themselves.

FSZs don't infringe free speech anymore than crosswalks infringe on a person's freedom of movement.

Free speach gives me the ri... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Free speach gives me the right to say what I want. It also gives you the right to shout me down. It is ultimately the responsibility of the university to set ground rules as to the behavior of students at public gatherings. Short of this the best thing is for conservatives to let young people stay stupid until they are old enough to realize that some serious looks at history would have benefited them more than sitting around thinking how much smarter they are than their elders. I still remember the sixties, when the "make love not war" crowd where going to change the world. Many things have changed, but probably not as they expected. As to college professors, it seems that too much thinking can offten lead one astray, and don't expect them to ever change.

But if that's not direct... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:

But if that's not directly unconstitutional (and I'd guess that in some way it is), it's still downright scary.

Indeed it is scary, but it is also sometimes necessary. This is why I stated that it would be good if no one felt comfortable with these actions, debating and even complaining about them whenever they occur. In the Federalist Papers, Hamilton wanted to set up government so that it would pit ambition against ambition. This is simply a broader example: the ambition of the people to unfettered free speech, and the ambition of the executive branch to protect the state. There should be a constant battle between security and freedom in the public forum.

Unless Rosie is secretly a government official, that's not infringement. It's called "reality TV".

in‧fringe‧ment  /ɪnˈfrɪndʒmənt/
-noun
1. a breach or infraction, as of a law, right, or obligation; violation; transgression.

Note: there is nothing saying that infringment is something only the government can do. A private citizen can infringe on someone's rights just as the government can. The difference is, the private citizen's actions are not unconstitutional. That is, the Constitution does not mandate that a violation of a citizen's rights by another citizen must be rectified by the government. It is still wrong and still may merit some penalty determined by legislation, however.

How about those escorted out simply for wearing a tshirt, without being disruptive in any way? What speech does a tshirt suppress?

I agree. That is stupid. However, keep in mind that the "rule" under which Sheehan was arrested was not enforced on a partisan basis. A Congressman's wife who was wearing a "Support the Troops" shirt was also kicked out. Now, yes, she wasn't arrested as Sheehan was, but after the Cynthia McKinney mess, I think it's safe to say that was more about special privileges for Congress members than it was about privileged speech. The difference in treatment may also be that Sheehan resisted while Young's Wife cooperated (but stories are highly inconsistent on this). But anyway, Sheehan and Young were able to inadvertantly get that rule dropped. You should now be able to go to a SOTU speech wearing any tshirt you want.

Free speech gives folks lik... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Free speech gives folks like Mitchell the right to make broad, sweeping generalizations about "liberals." Though it surprises me to hear you're a lawyer. I give you much less credit than I already have. One would think you learned not to make broad generalizations but rather to stick to the facts. Clearly, you're not a trial lawyer. It's nice to hear you have one liberal friend/colleague. It must make you feel educated about the other side.

Free speech gives loonies like Scrapiron and Love America the right to say utterly stupid things. Free speech gives me the right to make a comment about those on the other side. Free speech gives demonstrators the right to yell and scream and carry signs.

Good manners allows others to speak without disruption. Forgive me, but I don't want the right determining what anyone's freedom of speech is or should be.

Hugh:Sounds like y... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Hugh:

Sounds like you are reserving that priviledge for yourself.

First of all, the gu... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

First of all,
the guy on CBS news in no way shows how the left is infringing on free speech. He said his piece, and the left disagreed/complained about it, free speech on both sides. OTOH, Bill Maher has said he was asked to have a similar segment, but wanted to do it about religion, so CBS withdrew the offer.

Second,
Columbia also withdrew an invitation to Ahmadinejad for him to speak in late September. They said the main reason was security and logistics, but a Jewish group complained as well (as they have every right to and should have). So Columbia (and by coincidence I went to the engineering school there) has had several of these instances in the recent past. [Although when I was there, I attended several political speakers and there was never anything like this, but there were many demonstrations on the steps.]

Third,
Shouting it at a rally so that no one else can hear the speaker is supression of free speech
yet another john

Billy-boy can do whatever he likes, it's his show. That's akin to the aforementioned point of not be able to express your freedom of speech in my livingroom.
yo

These apply to the Streisand incident. The heckler was infringing on the other guests ability to enjoy the show. Also, O'reilly on his show is similar to Streisand at her show telling the heckler to shut up. Now you might say that he is a paying customer, so he has a right to do it. That is correct, and Streisand has a right to tell him to shut up as well.

Fourth,
who gives a shit about Rosie and Hasselbeck on the View.

As far as the left being silenced, the right does not do it by shouting people down, they do it through intimidation. Look at Kent State, the Civil Rights movement, the consistent statements from right-wing pundits, commenters, and sometimes even law-makers that journalists should be imprisoned or hung for printing articles about government overreach/national security.

First, someone's snarky post about shooting the Dem. Congressmen is not preventing anyone from SPEAKING. Do you see a difference.
Mitchell

That's only half the argument. The other half was about civility. Saying congressmen should be shot is most certainly not civil. On both sides, there are loudmouth assholes who most people wish would shut up, the left definitely does not have a monopoly on being assholes.

Lastly, America was founded on protest. That's essentially what the American Revolution was protest which reached a violent level. Love it or leave it, all of us will have to deal with shout downs, complaints, boycotts, etc. for the rest of our lives. It's one of the many prices we pay for living in such a free country, and I think it's great.

So quit all your whining already.
;-)

Free Speech means that you,... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Free Speech means that you, Hugh, are free to disclose your ignorance, lack of good humor, and lack of perspective.

All three of which were shown for the world to see on this blog, on this thread.

Anytime you want to argue a point, it is more persuasive, I have found, to actually argue that point, not to deflect to some rant on an irrelevant point, as you succeeded in doing in your most recent post.

Those who have been given such wonderful rights should learn how to exercise them with thoughtfulness, facts, and perspective. You, Hugh, possess these in small numbers, making your appearances here all the more ineffectual.

Have a great day.

The essence of the liber... (Below threshold)
Brian:

The essence of the liberal problem with free speech is their insecurity in the positions they take. No one would protest so loudly were he convinced of his arguments.

Yes, I suppose that if we were really secure in our positions, we'd simply accuse the opposition of treason.

I highly doubt the SCOTU... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I highly doubt the SCOTUS allows violence within the confines of free speech.

Actually they do. To do otherwise would be prior restratint, expressly prohibited. You are allowed free speech. If you are violent, you pay the consequences afterwards, not beforehand.

>They do nothing to prevent intended violence.
How do you know?

Common sense. Someone who intends harm, and knows that being an obvious opposer would prevent access, would masquerade as a supporter.

Because the students infringed upon their freedom of speech.

Again, free speech applies only to government infringement. The Constitution says nothing about the actions of college students.

Thanks Mitchell. It's folks... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Thanks Mitchell. It's folks like you who make us liberals happy.. And, of course, for I believe, the 5th time you made my point.

You're so immersed in being right you can't even see the end of your nose - the one you have raised so high on the air. Actually, you almost sound French

Folks like you make liberals happy because it's your attitude, your self=righteousness that reflects in the hubris of this failed Republican administration and congress. The administration and congress. You don't want to discuss and debate, you just want to be right. Good luck and we'll have a ball in about 3 weeks or so.

sean:Well,I was almost with... (Below threshold)
Xennady:

sean:Well,I was almost with you...until you started listing Kent State as right wing supression of speech.That's ridiculous.The civil rights movement? You mean when Bull Connor-member of the Democratic National Committee-was sicking dogs on people? Not right wing.You then list right wingers SPEAKING as an example of speech supression-what? How's that? I appreciate your civil tone,but it seems to me more that you made an argument that right wingers do not supress speech-they merely exercise their rights.

Again, free speech appli... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:

Again, free speech applies only to government infringement.

No, it doesn't. The First Amendment only applies to government infringement, but freedom of speech can still be violated by non-governmental entities. If we were to put your argument in logical form:

If there is an violation of the First Amendment, it's an infringment on free speech. (A = B)

There is no violation of the First Amendment, therefore, there is no infringment on free speech. (!A = !B)

This argument is called negating the antecedent and the consequent. It is a logical fallacy.

Indeed it is scary, but ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Indeed it is scary, but it is also sometimes necessary.

It is never necessary for a public official to hold a public event, and allow only adoring fans to attend, while prohibiting others who are nonviolently expressing an opposing opinion. If security is that much of an issue, then the event should not take place. It is not the place of government to ask your opinion on a public issue, deem that you have the "wrong" view, and then decide that you shall have a different forum for expressing that view than those that have the "right" view.

Besides, if it is so "necessary", then why has no president before Bush realized it?

Again... if you're violent, then you should be hauled away, charged, and prosecuted. But to enshrine as a matter of public policy that opposing views are to be hidden away from the eyes of public officials is wholly un-American.

keep in mind that the "rule" under which Sheehan was arrested was not enforced on a partisan basis.

I happily realize that, but that isn't the issue.

The difference in treatment may also be that Sheehan resisted while Young's Wife cooperated

My objection comes even before the arrest. As I said above, if you're disruptive or violent, you deserve to be removed. But my objection is the initial removal of someone simply for peaceably espousing an opposing view. That rule may now be gone, but its existence is attributable to the attitude of the administration under which it came to be.

It is a logical fallacy.... (Below threshold)
Brian:

It is a logical fallacy.

No, just a different definition. When people say "free speech", they are most often mistakenly extending the 1st Amendment to private parties. That's what I was responding to.

There are many legal ways for me to "infringe" your speech. If you're making a speech on my property, I can have you thrown off. If you're posting signs on a tree, I can post my signs over yours. If you post on my blog, I can delete it. If you're standing on a street corner yelling, I can stand next to you with a megaphone. I don't believe that you have a legal right to have your message heard over mine, as long as neither of us are being violent.

Brian:Great job! You've man... (Below threshold)
Xennady:

Brian:Great job! You've managed to avoid talking about leftist supression of speech and instead go on and on about whether or not the government can prevent riots at public events by FSZs,and what the supreme court has ruled about it.zzzzz...Reminds me of when-during the cold war-Americans would bring up the Soviets murder of millions of people and the Soviets would respond by complaining about the US poverty rate.Well,I'm not playing that game.This thread began with a list of leftist actions to silence criticism in the last ten DAYS.You apparantly don't have a problem with that unless the government does it.Is that really your position? So I take it you would have no problem with the KKK silencing its critics by the same tactics as the mob at Columbia? Do you oppose the McCain-Feingold bill because it restricts free speech? As a conservative I don't want my critics silenced by anyone.Leftists-including you-don't seem to share that view.Why? What are you afraid of?

Besides, if it is so "ne... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:

Besides, if it is so "necessary", then why has no president before Bush realized it?

1988 Democratic National Convention. Surprisingly, Bush was not the first to come up with this.

If security is that much of an issue, then the event should not take place.

Heckler's veto. Supreme Court has ruled that it is unconstitutional for the government to stop an event because of the possibility of violent opposition.

My objection comes even before the arrest. As I said above, if you're disruptive or violent, you deserve to be removed. But my objection is the initial removal of someone simply for peaceably espousing an opposing view. That rule may now be gone, but its existence is attributable to the attitude of the administration under which it came to be.

Have I told you how much I love how you keep argueing with me EVEN AFTER I'VE AGREED WITH YOU. BTW: What administration are were talking about? When was the date that House Rule was passed? Do you even know? What if this rule was actually passed under Clinton? Carter? Willson? Jefferson? If that turned out to be the case, would you still stand by your statement? Surely if the rule actually remained in place durring their administrations it must say something, right?

No, just a different definition. When people say "free speech", they are most often mistakenly extending the 1st Amendment to private parties. That's what I was responding to.

No, you are not. You were actually saying that the Columbia University students were not infringing on free speech because they weren't the government. Every time the phrase "First Amendment" or "unconstitutional" has appeared in this entire thread it has been in relation to a GOVERNMENT ACTION, which is entirely appropriate. The only person confusing the First Amendment with protection from private parties is you.

There are many legal ways for me to "infringe" your speech. If you're making a speech on my property, I can have you thrown off.

Actually, no. That is your freedom of speech. It is your property. By virtue of it being your property, that individual is associating you with his message. You, and only you, have the right to determine what message your resources are used to promote. That individual is the one infringing.

If you're posting signs on a tree, I can post my signs over yours.

Yup. That is legal. It is also childish and betrays some totalitarian tendancies, assuming that there just wasn't any more room.

If you post on my blog, I can delete it.

Again, this is not infringing. The blog is your resource, it is your voice.

If you're standing on a street corner yelling, I can stand next to you with a megaphone.

Childish and totalitarian. Still legal. But this and posting over fliers and confiscating newspapers and rushing the stage of a speaker you don't like are all just differing degrees of what we are talking about here.

Nobody is arguing that there is a constitutional right to have a message heard above all others. However, the democratic (small d) individual believes that the proper response to someone you don't like is not to silence him, but to challenge his ideas. You do not do this by posting over his flyers, drowning him out with a megaphone, or seizing the podium. The totalitarian believes that it's perfectly okay to make sure people who you don't agree with cannot get their message out. So, Brian, which one are you?

Free speech gives loonies l... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Free speech gives loonies like Scrapiron and Love America the right to say utterly stupid things. Free speech gives me the right to make a comment about those on the other side. Free speech gives demonstrators the right to yell and scream and carry signs.
----------------------------------------------
Hugh,
Thanks again for proving my point the 100th time that in the end the liberals have no argument to make and had to resort to ad-hominent attacks. That 's what you do when you cannot refute the argument or facts. We have shown you your feeble arg couldn't stand up to a cursory scrutiny. Then you complain that no-one is listening to your "voice".
You are approaching Lee 's league now.

Look at Kent State</... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Look at Kent State

Violent student protestors leads to more violence.

the consistent statements from right-wing pundits

Feel free to provide a case where a right-wing pundit or commentator silenced anybody.

and sometimes even law-makers that journalists should be imprisoned or hung for printing articles about government overreach/national security.

No, the argument is that they should be imprisoned FOR VIOLATING THE LAW. Print classified material and you should be punished for doing so. And, by all accounts, a reporter CAN be prosecuted for doing so.

This country does not have a special class of people for whom some laws do not apply.

It's a shame you lost your mind, because you were doing pretty good until that part there.

All I'll say is that leftists run colleges and colleges --- public ones, to boot --- engage in some of the most restrictive speech suppression out there. The gov't itself could not do to speech what colleges do to speech.
-=Mike

What if this rule was ac... (Below threshold)
Brian:

What if this rule was actually passed under Clinton? Carter? Willson? Jefferson? If that turned out to be the case, would you still stand by your statement?

Absolutely. Do you know something you're not telling us?

However, the democratic (small d) individual believes that the proper response to someone you don't like is not to silence him, but to challenge his ideas. ... The totalitarian believes that it's perfectly okay to make sure people who you don't agree with cannot get their message out.

You make my point for me. The current administration takes the latter approach, by banning dissenters from public forums. Yes, I can ban you from my private property. Should the government be able to ban you from public events simply because of your views?

I mean, really, would you still be defending this practice if it were Clinton who surrounding himself with adoring fans while restricting protesters to far afield?

So, Brian, which one are you?

Have I told you how much I love how you keep argueing with me EVEN AFTER I'VE AGREED WITH YOU. I've already stated in this thread that I'm against shout-downs and childish behavior.

Look at Kent State</... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Look at Kent State

Violent student protestors leads to more violence.

I find it amusing that the best examples from the right go back 35-40 years.

In recent times, aside from rare skirmishes, protests are largely non-violent. The pages of sites like LGF are filled with photo essays that mock liberal protests for nothing more than silly signs and funny hats. We've had protests in major US cities, with tens and hundreds of thousands of participants, with fewer problems than seen at a Brazilian soccer match.

I'm not claiming there aren't occasional problems. Liberals are disproportionately young compared to conservatives, and youths are sometimes immature. I challenge the notion that incidents rise to the level of banning opposing views from being heard in the same public forum.

You've managed to avoid ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

You've managed to avoid talking about leftist supression of speech

No, I've talked about it. But the premise of the debate is not solely about the actions of the left. It's that the left opposes speech and that the right does not. Democratic administrations have not imposed FSZs. Democratic administrations have not met with newspaper editors and tried to convince them not to publish.

I concede the left can oppose speech in obnoxious ways. The right, however, opposes it through government action. Which is more onerous?

Brian you're trying to chan... (Below threshold)
Xennady:

Brian you're trying to change the subject again.I'm still not playing.Peggy Noonan was able to come with a list of leftist attempts to silence their critics from the last ten DAYS.I repeat-TEN DAYS! You respond with talk about FSZs.That's all you have.If the right was trying to restrict free speech via the government why are any protests allowed at all? For example I'll bet the leftists mocking wounded soldiers outside Walter Reed army hospital would be a good candidate for supression.But no-they're still there.If you think the Bush administration is trying to silence its critics you live in a fantasy world.It appears you think attempting to convince the NYT not to reveal the existance of classified anti-terror programs is supression of speech.Are you insane? Or just really desperate to come up with examples of the right silencing critics? John Murtha supposedly participated in efforts to convince the NYT from publishing-is he a right winger? When NBC news was doing a story on Juanita Broderick (the woman apparantly raped by Bill Clinton) the Clintonites put enough pressure on NBC news to get them to kill the story.Then the Wall Street Journal did a full page editorial-where I read about it-and NBC did run the piece.Pardon me but I believe that qualifies as an example of a Democratic government attempting to supress criticism.Interesting that you talk about how peaceful protest marches are these days-didn't evil BUSHITLER supress them? No? That being the case it doesn't seem like the FSZs affect speech much at all-just prevent every Bush speech from being disrupted by publicity seeking moonbats.I challenge the notion that this rises the level of campus speech codes,hate speech laws,stealing and burning conservative newspapers on campus,McCain-Feingold,attacking conservative speakers on campus,suing critics to shut them up (in the 90s the Clinton Administration sued residents opposing contruction of a group home in their area-because they claimed the residents violated the potential gruop home residents civil rights!),claiming critics of a tax increase in Wash. state are providing campaign contributions by speaking out-do you get the idea? Outside of the US the left is often violent-sometimes genocidially so-in silencing critics.Like I said,the left wants to stop criticism whenever and wherever it occurs using any method available.Nice try but the FSZ argument just doesn't cut it.Got anything else?

Brain: I have come to the c... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:

Brain: I have come to the conclusion that you have the memory of a gnat, as you cannot even remember what you wrote in your own posts, not to mention what others have written in theirs. For example Brian, it was not MikeSC who went back 35-40 years ago to Kent State, but sean nyc/aa who is on your side of this debate. It's not that I know when the House Rule that got Cindy Sheehan arrested was passed, it's that you don't but you didn't let your ignorance stop you from trying to blame Bush for it. As you can't be bothered to maintain a coherent line of argument and instead what to blame your opponent for things that you have said, I see that there is nothing to be gained by further argument.

I concede the left can oppo... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

I concede the left can oppose speech in obnoxious ways. The right, however, opposes it through government action. Which is more onerous?
------------------------------------------------
The Dems just threatened to revoke ABC license if they win the house because ABS dared to broadcast their 9/11 piece.

Brian 's full intellectual dishonesty is on display again here.

Xennady, sorry, I just don'... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Xennady, sorry, I just don't have the strength to respond to your posts. They all just contain multiple strawmen of things that I did NOT say, and all they do is task me with fiscking you and pointing out that I did not say what you say I say. (A task that is not aided, I must say, by your poor punctuation.)

So fine, I said whatever you say I said, even if you can't find evidence of it in my posts.

For example Brian, it wa... (Below threshold)
Brian:

For example Brian, it was not MikeSC who went back 35-40 years ago to Kent State, but sean nyc/aa who is on your side of this debate.

Yep, you're right. I just saw that quote from MikeSC and used it to make my comment on something that I had been thinking already, based on previous citations of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, '68, etc. Made by "your side".

It's not that I know when the House Rule that got Cindy Sheehan arrested was passed, it's that you don't but you didn't let your ignorance stop you from trying to blame Bush for it.

I'm not aware of the rule being used prior to Bush. Neither are you. In the absence of evidence of prior use, it is entirely reasonable to suggest that the rule, or at least its enforcement, originated with Bush. If you have any evidence to the contrary, I'm more than open to hearing it.

Brian 's full intellectu... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Brian 's full intellectual dishonesty is on display again here.

In the last week, you seem to be using that phrase "intellectual honesty" in about every other sentence. Congratulations on learning some big words. But you clearly don't even know what they mean.

Pathetic.Brian, if you had ... (Below threshold)
Xennady:

Pathetic.Brian, if you had an argument to make, you would make it.If you could list examples of right wing supression of free speech,you would.If I conjured up mere strawmen,say how.My rudimentary punctuation doesn't disguise that I am right.Hard to defend the indefensible isn't it?

I find it amusing that t... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

I find it amusing that the best examples from the right go back 35-40 years.

Except sean brought it up.

Not me.

In recent times, aside from rare skirmishes, protests are largely non-violent.

Army recruiters driven off of campus. "Pro-Palestine" protests leading to threats against Jews. Hell, "Bullshit" showed a protest at UCLA which one of the protestors told a counter-protestor (a producer on the show, actually) that unless he stands over to the side, there might be a problem (subtle threat there). Coulter attacked with pies. Horowitz attacked with pies. Buchanan attacked with pies. Conservative student papers burned.

Funny, you don't see this happening to the lefties by conservatives.

Democratic administrations have not imposed FSZs.

Clinton most assuredly did.

And the DNC had one very much in effect in 2004.

I concede the left can oppose speech in obnoxious ways. The right, however, opposes it through government action. Which is more onerous?

Except the right doesn't.

It's not the right passing speech codes on public college campuses. It was the left who championed campaign finance reform --- and then championed abusing the system they demanded by put in place. It was Kerry who threatened Sinclair's broadcast licenses if they aired the anti-Kerry documentary and the Dems who threatened ABC's licesne if they air "Path to 9/11".
-=Mike

if you had an argument t... (Below threshold)
Brian:

if you had an argument to make, you would make it.If you could list examples of right wing supression of free speech,you would.

I have, and I did.

If I conjured up mere strawmen,say how.

How.

Lame Brian Lame.If you real... (Below threshold)
Xennady:

Lame Brian Lame.If you really believed that you would have said it instead of that whiny I'm-too-weak-to respond-but-your-punctuation-is-bad embarrassment you put up before.Still pathetic.




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