Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Whatever Happened To Free Speech?
I remember soon after the September 11 attacks, we had a lot of discussion about what was happening to free speech in our society. I was told that people were being called unpatriotic for questioning the government. That struck me as interesting; questioning the government, certainly, is part of what should be protected speech. So is calling someone unpatriotic. No matter, however, because in this case the “being called unpatriotic” was supposed to be a sinister harbinger of intolerable free speech restrictions yet to come.
This eerie premonition floated around for awhile, free of any noteworthy real-world examples, until Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon were booted out of the fifteenth anniversary Bull Durham celebration for having used their celebrity status to promote our “Just Don’t Fight Terrorism” terrorism-fighting strategy. Dale Petroskey, President of the Baseball Hall of Fame who made the decision to revoke the famous couple’s invitations, was a former press secretary for President Reagan…so there ya go. A solid link had been established between the “Chill Wind,” in the words of Robbins, and the government. Of course, if Dale Petroskey had simply been a private citizen with a semi-consistent track record of voting Republican, this would have been just as solid a link, but no matter. The argument was kind of legitimate. And to today’s anti-war liberal, a kind-of-legitimate argument, so long as it’s friendly to liberals, is every bit as potent as a proven fact. Ergo, George W. Bush personally kicked Tim Robbins out of the Bull Durham anniversary, as Madison, Jefferson, and other free-speech advocates spun in their coffins in horror.
“I was looking forward to a weekend away from politics and war to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of ‘Bull Durham.’,” said Robbins in his response. You know, as long as kind-of-legitimate arguments are being given the equivalent weighting of proven facts…it impresses me as a kind-of-legitimate argument that I can count all the weekends Tim Robbins has wanted to spend “away from politics,” since about 1980, on one hand. Anyway, if both sides agree the issue is keeping baseball insulated from politics, and it appears that both sides do — it all boils down to this: Is a politically-neutral gathering more safely insulated from politics when Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon participate in it, or when they are absent from it? The answer to that seems fairly obvious.
Funny. I don’t remember all this concern about “free speech” a decade ago, outside of right-wing talk-radio shows, when the Clinton administration began promoting hate-crime legislation. Very seldom was a hate-crime-bill proponent called upon to explain how our right to free speech would remain unscathed by this new legal concept, and when/if any of them graced us with an answer, it was a variant of the old “if you don’t kill or hurt anyone you’ve got nothing to worry about.”
Well, I doubt Ann Coulter’s killed anyone lately, and yet here we go with that mindless buzz phrase we never heard before the death of Matthew Sheppard: Hate speech, hate speech, hate speech…
Conservative columnist Ann Coulter received a rock star welcome at the Conservative Action Political Conference (CPAC) Friday, but when she used the term “ragheads” twice in a speech before a crowd of college students, bloggers accused her of “racism” and “hate speech.”
Referring to Iran, Coulter said, “What if they start having one of these bipolar episodes with nuclear weapons? I think our motto should be, post-9/11, ‘Raghead talks tough, raghead faces consequences.'”
“Ann Coulter Hate Speech Gone Wild” quickly became the headline story on BradBlog.com. The story then spread to the rest of the blogosphere.
The owner of BradBlog.com was one of a select group of bloggers “credentialed” by CPAC to report live on the conference. Brad Friedman, owner of BradBlog, had turned his CPAC blogger duties over to Dan Borchers, founder of the Citizens for Principled Conservatism website and CoulterWatch.com.
You know, I’m no judge, but if “hate speech” has a practical meaning to me, it would have to indicate the underlying desire to cause harm to someone’s safety or property through one’s speech. The “yelling fire in the crowded theater” scenario, in other words. I don’t see any indication that Coulter was trying to do this…and I certainly haven’t demonstrated any desire to do this in my own use of similar epithets like “weird beard” and “goat molester”. To the contrary, it would appear what Ms. Coulter is describing, is a scenario involving this “raghead” engaging in exactly that kind of malicious activity: making comments for the express purpose of injuring people and/or damaging property. And as for my own comments, I was describing someone actually doing the injury and/or damage.
Yet there’s nothing in the liberal anti-war mindset, I’m quite certain, to separate what Ann Coulter said, from what I said.
So if you’re going to muzzle Ann Coulter, for putting out phony “hate speech” about REAL hate speech, then you also have to muzzle me, for putting out phony hate speech about people actually doing things.
And by extension, logically, you would have to muzzle everyone else who says anything similar. Now we have acts of murder and property destruction, being incited on a massive scale within a certain culture and/or ethnicity, and simply noticing the patterns of culture and/or ethnicity qualifies as “hate speech.” That’s what these bloggers want.
Yeah, they’re just highly-adrenalized protesters at a speech Ann Coulter was giving. Nothing to worry about. Well, I’m not resting easy. I’ve heard that “hate speech” thing thrown around far too often over the last decade, to be relaxed about anything. It would be awfully hard for any single individual to sit down and, between his own ears, come to the conclusion that Tim Robbins is the victim of a widespread conspiracy to force his silence, and Ann Coulter labors under no simliar challenge. Yet those on the left who insist on doing the thinking for much larger groups of people they intent to mobilize en masse, are insisting on exactly that.
Watch those people closely. If they enjoy any success in what they’re doing, our right to think freely as individuals is in danger.
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