David Colborne: Cattlemen and Libertarians

cbs_bundyranch

I found part 4 of this series on Facebook, and asked Mr. Colborne for his permission to post it. The series was posted to his blog, Retroactive Ramblings. David Colborne is a Libertarian activist in Reno, Nevada, and visits us at IPR sometimes.

If you haven’t read the Cattlemen and Libertarians series, start here:

Cattlemen and Libertarians
Cattlemen and Libertarians – Part 2 .
Cattlemen and Libertarians – Part 3

This will be the last post in this series unless something changes dramatically with Cliven Bundy and his ranch.

When I first started on this series, I did so out of skepticism. Several of my friends and acquaintances in Clark County told me they were heading to this big protest outside of Mesquite because a cattle rancher was exercising his property rights and the government was taking his land away. Once I started to dig into the surface, I realized there was a bit more to it than that. My first instinct once I dug into the issue a little was that the rancher was wrong – he was renting land from the BLM, the BLM decided they wanted to use the land for something different, they went to court, he lost. It seemed at first glance that this was a case of a welfare rancher that felt entitled to public resources, and he was throwing a temper tantrum because the government was finally cutting his subsidy.

I told my friends in Clark County as much. I also still think there’s some truth to this. It doesn’t come close to telling the full story, though.

My friends, not surprisingly, told me I was wrong and that I needed to look deeper into the issues, and so I did. The “Cattlemen and Libertarians” series was, in effect, a running journal of my discoveries while researching the history of public land ownership near Bunkerville. When I first started, I thought I would write a blog entry, dig a little deeper than the news was willing to, then call it a night. It didn’t take long before I realized there was enough material to potentially write a graduate thesis, if I was so inclined (I’m not). If someone is aware of an academic paper tracing how colonial Spanish and Mexican land law affected public land policy and economic growth in the United States, please tell me about it. If there isn’t such a paper floating around somewhere, find a History grad student somewhere and tell them to get to work. I guarantee them it’ll be infinitely more interesting and compelling than a lot of historical work done these days. I’ll even buy a copy of the journal containing the paper if it’s not ridiculously expensive. Heck, if nobody steps up in the next couple of months, I might take a crack at it myself.

Researching these articles was that fun.

Since I know there’s a lot of material in the blog articles and since I know time online is often short, here’s a tl;dr version of the history behind Cliven Bundy’s protest:

Read David’s summary here

92 thoughts on “David Colborne: Cattlemen and Libertarians

  1. David Colborne

    I don’t think he’s racist in the “Cliven Bundy hates black people” sense. However, if you’re comparing something to slavery, you better have a damned good reason to do so and you better be extremely careful about it. There are a million ways to make a point about welfare dependency that don’t involve favorable comparisons to slavery – he should have stuck to one of those. That said, if you follow someone around long enough with cameras and a microphone, it’s only a matter of time before they say something stupid. That’s why libertarians aren’t fond of ubiquitous surveillance in the first place.

    Anybody that was paying attention knew that Cliven wasn’t an ideal spokesperson for the cause (i.e. illustrating issues with federal ownership of public lands). His stance that the land belonged to the State of Nevada was incoherent – if it belongs to anyone, it belongs either to the Shoshone or it should belong to private individuals, not arbitrary geographically delineated governmental jurisdictions. He also was rather firmly intent on starting a “range war”, among other things, which drew the professional protester class of the right wing. Unfortunately, he was the only spokesperson we had in a while, so everyone lost their minds trying to make him into something he was never really prepared to be.

  2. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    That’s the type of thing that happens when an ordinary person finds himself in extraordinary circumstances.

  3. Jed Ziggler

    I can hate the person and love his cause, the two ideas are not contradictory.

  4. Deran

    So not only is he a scoflaw and a thief, he is a dumb bigot who still owes me over a million dollars on rent for the public land he used to make a profit.

  5. George Phillies

    One of the local TV stations investigated when his family actually bought the land he claims to own, not to be confused so far as I can tell with the BLM land.

    The liberal Democratic \pages I scan — pages like this, except with a different political slant — would apepar to have crossed a tipping point with respect to tolerating this sort of behavior and claim. I was particularly amused that the same fellow appeared to be claiming that the United States does not exist, and that people were pointing guns at our citizens.

  6. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    My initial reaction was to support Bundy’s cause, but my Cherokee husband asked some valid questions about it, so my official position is that I don’t have an official position. The Bundy incident did show how generally “fed up” with government over reach the American people are.
    And I sure do love the image of those cowboys on horseback protecting the ranch–

  7. Andy

    “Deran April 25, 2014 at 12:40 pm
    So not only is he a scoflaw and a thief, he is a dumb bigot who still owes me over a million dollars on rent for the public land he used to make a profit.”

    How did the federal government come to own the land in question, and what portion of the Constitution gives the federal government any “legal” authority or ownership over said land?

  8. Andy

    “Jill Pyeatt Post authorApril 25, 2014 at 2:14 pm
    My initial reaction was to support Bundy’s cause, but my Cherokee husband asked some valid questions about it, so my official position is that I don’t have an official position.”

    I’ve seen your husband, Alan, and he looks like a white guy to me. If he has any Cherokee ancestry I can’t imagine that it would be very much.

  9. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Andy said: ” I’ve seen your husband, Alan, and he looks like a white guy to me. If he has any Cherokee ancestry I can’t imagine that it would be very much.”

    Odd comment, and not very polite. The ponytail past his waist wasn’t a clue??

    Cherokees don’t have a percent requirement. I most certainly have native American heritage, probably Cherokee or Lakota, but I haven’t taken the time to trace it.

    Not that you deserve an explanation, Andy. What’s your problem?

  10. William Saturn

    Jill,

    What does labeling this man a “dick” accomplish? If you disagree with his statement, rather than violating Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement, why not explain your reason for disagreeing?

    I’ve heard much condemnation of this man for speaking about race, but I’ve heard nothing refuting the validity of his comments.

    Can those of you who vehemently disagree with his views, please explain, using the upper reaches of Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement, why you disagree with his views?

    See Challenge ideas through public debate

  11. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I apologize for the use of that term. I rarely call people that, and am trying not to call people names.

  12. Jed Ziggler

    “I’ve heard much condemnation of this man for speaking about race, but I’ve heard nothing refuting the validity of his comments.”

    Don’t need to. When someone says something that racist and stupid, trying to refute it with logic makes the refuter the bigger idiot.

    “Can those of you who vehemently disagree with his views, please explain, using the upper reaches of Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement, why you disagree with his views?”

    Blacks were better off under slavery? I need to explain why I disagree with that? Have we really sunk that low as a society? I don’t think so.

    Also, I have no idea what “the upper reaches of Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement” is, nor do I care.

  13. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I appreciate William pointing out that calling Bundy a name wasn’t appropriate, but I also have no interest in defending my reaction to what he said.

  14. William Saturn

    I appreciate William pointing out that calling Bundy a name wasn’t appropriate, but I also have no interest in defending my reaction to what he said.

    I think the above comment demonstrates the knee jerk reaction to comments construed as racist or homophobic. However, if you cannot logically refute an idea, by default, you are admitting the idea is logically sound.

  15. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    You always do take exception to someone here calling racism or homophobia, William, but I guess it’s kind of like explaining a joke: if you don’t get it, explaining it will most likely not help.
    If you think that my refusal to waste time on something is having me admit that I’m wrong, well, okay, go ahead and think that. I just think we should be past all this by now, and there are more pressing issues to spend time on.

  16. Matt Cholko

    Jill, I don’t think Andy intended that comment about your husband to be offensive. It is a somewhat odd statement, but it did not seem malicious to me.

  17. Jed Ziggler

    “Please read the articles I linked.”

    No.

    “I think the above comment demonstrates the knee jerk reaction to comments construed as racist or homophobic. However, if you cannot logically refute an idea, by default, you are admitting the idea is logically sound.”

    Pretentious nonsense. I assume the articles you linked to are more of the same. Racism is racism, homophobia is homophobia. It doesn’t need to be debated, it needs to be condemned.

  18. William Saturn

    If you don’t truly understand why certain ideas are wrong, they will fester unchallenged. More frightening is the general acceptance of the decay of free speech in America. On the road we’re on, with racism considered worse than committing a felony, one can easily foresee laws being passed against so-called racist speech. This is the biggest threat to liberty in America, yet, like most Americans, the Libertarian Party seems too afraid to address it.

  19. William Saturn

    Jed,

    You are simply engaging in name-calling and ad hominem attacks, which make up the lowest rungs on Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement. Your statements appear to suggest you already know everything there is to know. However, to truly know, you have to challenge your assumptions.

  20. Deran

    No one except you give a hoot about Graham’s Hiearchy of anything.

    To whatever extent this Brundy used public lands for his personal profit, he owes me as a member of the public rent and taxes.

    I don’t apologize for refering to this fellow as dumb or a bigot. Anyone who would say such things is dumb in the sense of not being well informed and bigoted because he thinks Black people are lazy farm animals.

    And I agree that geting involved in an honest intellectual discussion about what this man said, or with him, only gives his dumb bigoted ideas more legitimacy.

    I am glad to see that in Brundy’s case the results of giving someone enough rope still applies.

  21. William Saturn

    No one except you give a hoot about Graham’s Hiearchy of anything.

    That ignorance is exactly the problem of our times.

  22. William Saturn

    geting involved in an honest intellectual discussion about what this man said, or with him, only gives his dumb bigoted ideas more legitimacy.

    Deran,

    You legitimize the views by attacking the speaker in such a crude manner, elevating him to a victim.

  23. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    William, when my child was young, sometimes he would ask me why I didn’t like something. Once in a while that was a tough question to answer. Sometimes it’s a gut reaction. My gut reaction is that it’s offensive to peg certain behavior to entire groups of people, such as Bundy did. Of course there are people who say that it’s my problem, that I should control my emotions better than that. Okay, if that’s what people choose to think, fine. If I’m offended by something, then I’m offended and sometimes I react to it or comment on it. For example, it offends me that all you really contribute here is to criticize what other writers do. I try to take what you say, think about it, and decide if there’s validity to it. You do make good points sometimes. It was fair to point out that calling Bundy a ”dick” really served no purpose (except to offend you).I should not have called Bundy a that name. It really isn’t a term I use often, especially because I’m trying not to call people names. However, I’m not going to explain why something as basic as what Bundy said is offensive. He has free speech to say what he wants, just as I have a right to say that it offends me. You have the right to tell me that it’s a problem for you. Okay. I will still try not to waste time on something I don’t think is accomplishing much, and beyond this comment, this is one of those times.

  24. William Saturn

    I don’t apologize for refering to this fellow as dumb or a bigot. Anyone who would say such things is dumb in the sense of not being well informed and bigoted because he thinks Black people are lazy farm animals.

    In this statement, you make a straw man argument against Brundy. He never said such a thing about Black people. It would certainly strengthen your argument if he did, because then he would be arguing on the name-calling level, but he never made such a statement.

  25. William Saturn

    Jill,

    I was not offended by any of your comments and am not criticizing you or anyone else. I simply saw this discussion as an opportunity to expose a problem in the discourse of society.

  26. Jed Ziggler

    “That ignorance is exactly the problem of our times.”

    Pretentious. That’s a pretentious thing to say.

    Also, Bundy is a dick. No apologies.

  27. David Colborne

    I don’t think Bundy is a racist dick, at least not in the “I’m Cliven Bundy, and I really don’t like colored people” sense. I do think he’s an old rancher that’s spent more time talking to cattle than anyone darker than a lightly tanned Irishman and didn’t have the faintest clue that comparing the societal breakdown of ’70s-era welfare programs to slavery is a Really Bad Idea for several reasons – most importantly, that slave families were often split when children were sold separately from their parents.

    Kind of hard to beat that, no matter how misguided welfare policy is.

    Also, though there are still numerous issues with our current welfare system, pointing at the issues of the ’70s and ignoring the positive effect of Clinton-era welfare reforms suggests further ignorance. Not that any of this is surprising – Bundy was just a victim of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. He didn’t know what he didn’t know, so he was far too confident in what he thought he knew. Happens to everyone.

    I do think, however, that Bundy’s personal conduct and his willingness to sit in the spotlight despite his clear unsuitability for doing so is getting in the way of the bigger issue, which is that governments own far too much land in the United States, especially in the west. Bundy’s incoherent ramblings regarding Nevada ownership of “public” lands didn’t help the situation – Nevada has no more right to land ownership than the United States or the United Nations.

  28. Andy

    “Jill Pyeatt Post authorApril 25, 2014 at 4:26 pm
    Andy said: “I’ve seen your husband, Alan, and he looks like a white guy to me. If he has any Cherokee ancestry I can’t imagine that it would be very much.’

    Odd comment, and not very polite. The ponytail past his waist wasn’t a clue??

    Cherokees don’t have a percent requirement. I most certainly have native American heritage, probably Cherokee or Lakota, but I haven’t taken the time to trace it.

    Not that you deserve an explanation, Andy. What’s your problem?”

    No problem, just stating that he did not look like an American Indian to me. A pony tail down to one’s waist does not mean anything. There are people out there who are not American Indians (or Native Americans) who have pony tails down to their waist.

    DNA tests have shown that 85% of black Americans have at least some white ancestry. So should they call themselves white, because way back they may have had one or two white ancestors?

    DNA tests have also shown that lots of people, particularly with ancestry from Europe (and note that all whites, 85% of black Americans, and most people classified as Hispanic, and for that matter, a lot classified as Native American, have ancestry that traces back to Europe ), had ancestors who mated with Neanderthals. So if a person does a DNA test and finds traces of Neanderthal DNA, should they proclaim themselves as Neanderthals?

    I have no idea if I have any Native American ancestors. I know that I have ancestors that were in America back in the 1600’s and 1700’s, but I have no idea if any of them ever “hooked up” with any Native Americans. If I did find that I was 1% or some trivial number Native American I would not proclaim myself as such, because small traces are not really relevant.

  29. William Saturn

    David,

    I agree with you completely. Thank you.

    Jed,

    Can you now see why David’s approach is a superior way to express disagreement than resorting to name-calling and ad hominem attacks?

  30. Andy

    “Matt Cholko April 25, 2014 at 6:08 pm
    Jill, I don’t think Andy intended that comment about your husband to be offensive. It is a somewhat odd statement, but it did not seem malicious to me.”

    I have spent several months in places where there were a good number of Native Americans/American Indians (some of the ones I talked to referred to themselves as American Indians by they way, not Native Americans), such as South Dakota.

    Lots of Americans have small traces of DNA from something which they do not look like. If you go back in history far enough, everyone on the planet is related. I saw a very interesting documentary on the Discovery Channel or the History Channel where this guy traveled around the world tracing the DNA of man. I can’t remember the name of it, but if you can find it online or on DVD or on a replay it is worth watching.

  31. Andy

    http://www.genealogyintime.com/NewsStories/2008/December/gene_study_shows_most_black_americans_have_some_european_ancestry.html

    Gene Study Shows Most Black Americans Have Some European Ancestry

    “Harvard University’s School of Public Health has just concluded a genetic study on Black American heritage. Using a technique known as ‘gene expression’, researchers were able to conclude that most Black Americans have some European ancestry. According to the study, the average Black American today has an ancestry of 80% African, with the remaining 20% most likely white European.”

  32. Andy

    Check out this PBS special where several famous black Americans find out through DNA testing that they have white ancestry.

  33. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Andy, I must say that this is one of the most bizarre things I’ve seen here on IPR. Why is it a big deal that Alan calls himself Cherokee when he is, in fact, Cherokee? You’ve met him once or twice, and based on that, you have a problem with it? He loves his culture and is doing his best to keep it alive. He studies the language and spends several evenings a month with other Cherokee people to celebrate some of their group customs. Yet, you’ve spent all this time doing research to convince me that I can’t call him Cherokee?

    Talk about pretentious! You’re acting like I’m trying to convince everyone he’s purple or something. Why on earth do you think it’s appropriate to question our heritage?

  34. langa

    I can’t say I really agree with either side of this debate. On the one hand, William is right that logical refutation constitutes a more compelling rebuttal than mere denigration or dismissal. On the other hand, I agree with Jill that refusal to engage in logical refutation is not equivalent to acquiescence. No one has an obligation to refute every statement that they disagree with.

    Having said that, I find it silly that people are saying they hate this guy simply because he said something stupid. Of course, you’re entitled to hate whoever you want, but personally, I try to reserve my hatred for those who have actually done evil things, rather than simply having bad thoughts. This kind of ties in with William’s point about how politically incorrect thoughts are often considered worse than actions that actually harm people, and how we appear to be headed toward the full-scale criminalization of “hate speech”, which is a very scary thought.

  35. David Colborne

    Having said that, I find it silly that people are saying they hate this guy simply because he said something stupid. Of course, you’re entitled to hate whoever you want, but personally, I try to reserve my hatred for those who have actually done evil things, rather than simply having bad thoughts. This kind of ties in with William’s point about how politically incorrect thoughts are often considered worse than actions that actually harm people, and how we appear to be headed toward the full-scale criminalization of “hate speech”, which is a very scary thought.

    I think a lot of the people calling out Bundy and his supporters on this are largely people that either disagreed with the premise of Bundy’s argument (I.e. that the BLM is a poor steward of the land), or people like myself that were more than a little skeptical about the guy and his motives and suspected he was trying to manipulate a good argument and a better movement to serve his own misguided purposes.

    I have the same problem with a lot of people that talk about “states rights”, and for many of the same reasons.

    Contrary to Bundy’s wishes, he is not going to be the “point man” in some sort of “range war”. A couple thousand people in the desert isn’t a revolution – even if it was, Burning Man has 20 times the people, so it’s not like disgruntled far-right professional protesters would win anyway. I do think his struggle raises important issues about government land ownership and I think people would be wise to pay attention to them. I also think that, even if the government didn’t own the land, Bundy’s communist attitude regarding land usage (“Screw capital, I work it so it belongs to me!”) isn’t the answer.

    What I think will happen is the press will get bored and leave – it’s kind of hard to top slavery, so unless Bundy wants to reflect on the Holocaust, I doubt he has anything else to say that the press will bother with. Once that happens, his supporters will also get bored and leave. Once he’s down to the last few bored militia members, his accounts will be frozen, his ranch will have a lien issued for the lost fines plus recovery costs, and he’ll find himself out of the spotlight and out of business. Some people will get upset about it but most of us will move on.

    As for criminalizing hate speech, it’s not going to happen, no matter how much some people might like to. However, that doesn’t mean people can’t exercise their freed of association to choose who they’re willing to listen to and converse with. If you rant idiotic nonsense, don’t act shocked when the grown-ups leave the room.

  36. William Saturn

    As for criminalizing hate speech, it’s not going to happen, no matter how much some people might like to.

    Why not? The UK did it. Anyone who opposes such a law will be automatically branded a racist, and so those opposed will be too afraid to speak up.

    Today’s reaction to the comments of Clipper’s owner Donald Sterling perfectly shows how easily a ban on so-called hate speech will be tolerated.

    The priorities of our nation are screwed up. A man commits a logical flaw and suddenly he is banned from society. Whereas a man beats his girlfriend to a bloody pulp and suffers just a few negative repercussions, remaining the idol of the many.

  37. David Colborne

    The UK does a lot of things we don’t, like have a monarch and colonize islands off the shore of Argentina. The UK also doesn’t have the Bill of Rights and over 200 years of legal and judicial history supporting a near-absolute prohibition on the regulation of speech.

    Besides, if some people talk about regulating hate speech, we can just remind them that Republicans win elections, too, and unless they want abortion literature labeled “hate speech against persons”, they might want to reconsider their stance. Maybe dust off some of the New York Port Authority’s regulations regarding imported pornography and prophylactics from the pre-Warren Court era, see how that goes.

    Like I said, it’s not going to happen. The spectre of “racism” didn’t keep Michigan from banning affirmative action, and, last I checked, Detroit is still the largest city there.

    Besides, the appropriate reaction to speech you don’t like is – surprise! – more speech. People condemning Donald Sterling, who’s a rather notorious bigot and slum lord, is simply an expression of that principle.

  38. Jeff Davidson

    I apologize if I missed it, but isn’t the premise of Bundy’s argument not that the BLM is a poor steward, but that they are a totally illegitimate steward. he’s said that he does not recognize the US government, so he doesn’t recognize the BLM at all.

  39. Deran

    I’m against bans on speech. For instances, without his right to speech Mr. Bundy would not have had the opprtunity to expund on his personal bigotries.

  40. David Colborne

    You mean these?
    Bill of Rights 1689

    Like many English “rights”, they grant freedom of speech to certain privileged individuals (Parliament in this case) while leaving the common people out. That’s not to say the English don’t enjoy some freedom of press – their press is, frankly, more willing to confront their leaders than ours is for various cultural and historical reasons – but they don’t have a near-total freedom of speech codified in law, nor enforced in common law.

    Also, to Jeff, Bundy’s position is that Nevada is the rightful owner of his lands, not the federal government. Of course, that position was only acted upon after the BLM changed the terms of Bundy’s grazing allotment, at which point he decided Nevada might make a better landlord than the BLM. Sadly, the idea of offering to buy the land in question outright has yet to be verbalized.

  41. William Saturn

    History and precedent mean nothing if not learned and understood.

    The scrutiny Mr. Sterling faces for a personal comment about his personal life, not meant to be broadcast to the world, shows, when it comes to race, the complete lack of respect for personal privacy. “The NBA is investigating the matter.” What a ridiculous statement. What business does the NBA have in “investigating” this man’s personal life? Obvious. The public demands it. When the same public decides to demand a ban on “hate speech,” is it not in the government’s interest to act, just as the NBA did? Of course it is. And they will act. They will make phony arguments that free speech is not absolute; that certain ideas have no place in public discourse. A packed Supreme Court will uphold the law, and people will be charged for thoughtcrimes. But of course, they demanded it. It’s only fair.

  42. David Colborne

    Mr. Sterling is an owner of an NBA franchise. The NBA is a primarily urban league that predominately hires minorities. It’s bad business for the NBA to have an owner that speaks the way Donald does. Also, Donald has a long and notorious history of legendarily poor franchise management, race-based housing discrimination, and race-based management practices. In short, his comment fit a reprehensible pattern of behavior that’s been coming to light over the past decade.

    In short, Donald is being hung out to dry and “investigated” because this is the smoking gun that shows that the allegations that he’s largely settled out of court against were probably true, which everyone pretty much knew anyway – there just wasn’t hard, incontrovertible proof until now. Which means, yes, it’s well within the NBA’s rights to kick him out of the league and it’s well within the rights of the rest of the public to excoriate him.

    Freedom of speech doesn’t mean speech doesn’t have consequences. It just means the government won’t be the one supplying them.

    As for somehow assuming that the public will suddenly cry for “hate crimes” legislation (good luck getting that past this Supreme Court, by the way), if that was going to happen, it would have happened in the ’60s when the American people still had a modicum of trust in their government. Nowadays, nobody would trust the government to successfully proofread “The Cat in the Hat”, much less apply “hate crime” legislation that was equitable and effective. Knowing our government, any “hate crime” legislation would exceed 2,000 pages and we’d “have to pass it to know what was in it” – it’d also include giveaways to large telcos and farm subsidies because, hell, why not.

    Put another way, the only people I see having serious conversations about “hate crime” legislation are far-right commentators that would rather manufacture fear to perpetuate ratings than have honest conversations about public policy.

  43. William Saturn

    My comment is not about Mr. Sterling. The NBA must do what it must do. My comment is not about the people’s right to boycott or express disagreement with whatever they wish. My comment is about the general attitude of society.

    It is very clear that the public views one expressing a racist opinion as “worse” than one committing violence. Do you not understand how backwards that is? Even if one acknowledges they were mistaken (ex: Paula Deen). They are stigmatized for life. This is an illogical, but prevalent attitude. It follows that the prevalence of this attitude will soon affect public policy. Similar to the bans on speech at military funerals, the bans will begin with the states, which will enact statutes against so-called “hate speech.” (The NYC council already passed an ordinance banning “nigger,” though it carries no penalty) The federal government will follow. Just as the “Respect for America’s Fallen Heroes Act” was near unanimous, I believe a ban on hate speech will easily pass through Congress. However, unlike the Court’s decision rejecting the “Heroes Act” in Snyder v. Phelps, the next generation of Supreme Court justices will likely uphold the speech ban. The reason being that the pool of justices will come from the same society where the attitude described above is now prevalent.

    This is not a “made-up” problem. This is the biggest affront to liberty today.

  44. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    William said: ” It is very clear that the public views one expressing a racist opinion as “worse” than one committing violence”

    I don’t understand what you mean by that. I don’t know that it’s clear at all. Perhaps the media makes more of a fuss about speech which might be considered offensive to some people than they do about some episodes of violence, but I don’t think that means the public does. People just can’t stop talkiong about Benghazi, or the Trevon Martin incident, plus bad, violent acts by policemen turn into viral videos. Even though many people don’t pay attention and just follow along with what the media says, many, many people don’t.

    I also agree with David that having the right to free speech is different than not having any result for something someone says.

  45. William Saturn

    Racism is viewed as an evil worse than certain crimes. For example, people will boycott those with racist views long before they will boycott those who commit crimes. The media emphasizes this because it is what people care about. Companies conform to this because it is what the public demands. Compare the treatment of Paula Deen to the treatment of Chris Brown. Was Paula Deen’s act more unforgivable than Chris Brown’s?

  46. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    No, Paula Deene’s act was absurdly blown out of proportion and was certainly nothing compared to Chris Brown’s abusive behavior, but I believe that Chris got a lot of attention for his bad behavior. I certainly will never forget how he abused his girlfriend, and it comes up in the news often. The fuss over Mrs. Deene was definitely overkill, but it went away fairly quickly.

  47. paulie

    Bundy is a racist, but he’s also right about the out of control federal takeover of Western land.

    His racist comments could easily be refuted with logic; the fact that I prefer other uses for my time in no way is any sort of admission that I could not do it. Nor would it dignify his views if I did choose to dismantle them with logic. Either a visceral or logical reaction to them is accurate.

    I have met Alan Pyeatt more times than Andy has and have no problem considering him a Cherokee. I don’t know how pure blooded he is and don’t care. He is certainly at least part Cherokee, and he chooses to identify himself that way and is recognized as a Cherokee by the Cherokees, so that’s good enough for me.

    My own ancestry is highly mixed. About 80% Jewish, but my maternal line is not, so I am not actually Jewish by Jewish law, nor am I of that religion. I am part Siberian native/Mongol, so I am also Asian (as well as born in Asia, which Siberia is part of). Many people consider me Russian because I was born in Russia, and I am part ethnic Russian, but only a small part, maybe 5% or so. If I went to Russia today they would most likely consider me an American and perhaps a Jew. My ancestors also include German, French, Ukrainian, and probably several other ethnicities. White racists would not consider me to be white, but black racists do.

  48. Jed Ziggler

    “Can you now see why David’s approach is a superior way to express disagreement than resorting to name-calling and ad hominem attacks?”

    No, not really. Maybe you think I’m some type of hoity-toity intellectual, but around here when someone’s a dick, you call them a dick.

  49. paulie

    Perhaps trying to reason with William Saturn and his idiosyncratic obsessions/hangups is not really that productive, either.

  50. William Saturn

    Here’s another good comparison:

    Clippers owner Donald Sterling made a private comment to his girlfriend about the people she hangs out with. It is racist, but it was not meant to be broadcast to the world. Let’s say that instead of making a racist comment, he was caught driving drunk. Even though DWI’s often lead to death, would the condemnation be the same? Of course not. The public views private racism as far worse than public DWI.

    Today, I see the Clipper players protesting their owner by wearing their warm ups inside-out. However, I bet they’ll have no problem accepting million dollar pay checks from him.

  51. Jed Ziggler

    “Perhaps trying to reason with William Saturn and his idiosyncratic obsessions/hangups is not really that productive, either.”

    I think you’re right.

  52. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    William said: “However, I bet they’ll have no problem accepting million dollar pay checks from him.”

    Well, duh, he’s their employer and have signed a contract. You’ll need to come up with something better for whatever point you’re trying to make for that.

  53. Jed Ziggler

    “However, I bet they’ll have no problem accepting million dollar pay checks from him.”

    Give him his money back, that’ll teach him!

  54. William Saturn

    It’s a moral statement to not take money from people/causes one opposes. This is a very common and easy-to-understand concept. The immature reaction here to logical argumentation is very disappointing.

  55. William Saturn

    The players are not willing to take a moral stand by refusing to play and refusing to take his money. If what Mr. Sterling did was as reprehensible as it is being made out to be, the players would certainly be doing that. The outrage is conjured without substance.

  56. William Saturn

    I’d appreciate it if my arguments were countered with logic rather than bad jokes.

  57. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    William said: “The players are not willing to take a moral stand by refusing to play and refusing to take his money. If what Mr. Sterling did was as reprehensible as it is being made out to be, the players would certainly be doing that. The outrage is conjured without substance.”

    I really think you are the one making a big deal about Mr. Sterling’s words. He was overheard saying somthing that was considered offensive or obnoxious by many people. There was public outrage, People involved in basketball, including some of his players, expressed unhappiness at what he said. Then, they went to work and the world goes on. My intention isn’t to make a joke about what you’re sayibng, William. I simply don’t agree with you that “hate speech” causes such a huge reaction that it will be inevitably banned.

  58. William Saturn

    I am not here to make jokes and wisecracks. I am here to debate the most important issue in the nation: the deterioration of free speech.

  59. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    It’s very interesting that you think it;s the most important issue in the nation. Maintaining free speech is important, but I think soaring unemployment and the very likely impending failure of the dollar is more important. What I think pesonally is the most important issue is the possiblity of our country going to war. If we blow up the globe, every other problem will be moot.

  60. David Colborne

    What deterioration? Free speech has been steadily advancing ever since the Warren Court ruled the 1st Amendment was a fundamental right guaranteed to all American citizens per the 14th Amendment, regardless of what state governments thought.

    Sure, there have been some setbacks here and there, but the trend line has been clearly positive for decades, and remains so, especially with the Internet now in existence.

  61. William Saturn

    David,

    You are discussing judicial decisions. I am discussing societal trends. In my opinion, these trends will enter the legal realm, and they’ve already entered the legislature and executive branches, which are the most immediate to the desires of the electorate. Just look at how easily Congress was willing to ban speech at military funerals. Look at how both the Bush and Obama administrations misconstrue opposition as “threats” to haphazardly send in the Secret Service to silence dissent.

    Ted Nugent, Paula Deen, Donald Sterling, Mr. Bundy and countless others can all attest to the trend.

    Today, people accused of being racist are blacklisted from society, just as the Communists were in the 1950s. Look at how the so-called racist contestants on Big Brother were treated. Because they committed thoughtcrime, they will never be able to realize their economic potential in the workforce.

  62. Jed Ziggler

    “I am not here to make jokes and wisecracks. I am here to debate the most important issue in the nation: the deterioration of free speech.”

    Perhaps you should do so at a debate society instead of the internet?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiFD6EFVsTg

    “And yet you provide them tirelessly.”

    LOL exactly.

  63. langa

    I think many people here underestimate the danger of laws against “hate speech”. These laws already exist not only in the UK, but in many European countries, and I see no reason why they won’t eventually spread here as well.

    Unfortunately, a lot of libertarians seem to view Right Wing Authoritarianism as a bigger threat to freedom than Left Wing Authoritarianism, which, in my view, is backwards. The Left is a bigger threat, not because their ideas are worse than those of the Right, but rather, because they are much more likely to become mainstream.

    There used to be an old saying that “today’s liberal is tomorrow’s conservative”, and that’s true, but it’s not because, as is often claimed, that people’s views change as they get older. On the contrary, most people tend to keep basically the same views throughout their adult lives. It’s just that as new generations replace old ones, the center of political discourse gradually shifts to the Left, so that those views that were once seen as far Left are now seen as mainstream.

    This isn’t necessarily a good thing or a bad thing. It all depends on the particular issue. But in the case of the growing intolerance toward any sort of offensive speech, I think that’s it’s definitely a very bad thing, at least if you really believe in freedom of speech.

  64. Andy

    “David Colborne April 27, 2014 at 9:49 pm What deterioration? Free speech has been steadily advancing ever since the Warren Court ruled the 1st Amendment was a fundamental right guaranteed to all American citizens per the 14th Amendment, regardless of what state governments thought.

    Sure, there have been some setbacks here and there, but the trend line has been clearly positive for decades, and remains so, especially with the Internet now in existence.”

    You obviously have not done much petition signature gathering. Try going on the road for a few months gathering petition signatures in a few states and you’ll see that there is a big crackdown on free speech in this country.

  65. William Saturn

    Jed,

    I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the last time I checked, IPR was not a pornographic website. The internet has many uses and political discussion is one of them. I think that’s what most of us are here for.

  66. William Saturn

    but I think soaring unemployment and the very likely impending failure of the dollar is more important. What I think pesonally is the most important issue is the possiblity of our country going to war

    Yes. Those are important issues, but how do you address them? Through speech. It’s fundamental. It’s paramount.

  67. William Saturn

    ever since the Warren Court ruled the 1st Amendment was a fundamental right guaranteed to all American citizens per the 14th Amendment,

    Actually the First Amendment, specifically freedom of speech, was incorporated in Gitlow v. New York in 1925 during the Taft Court.

  68. paulie

    I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the last time I checked, IPR was not a pornographic website.

    No one seriously thinks it is a porn site. There’s lots of porn sites, and we would not be able to compete with them on their own terms.

    Some charge money, some just push ads, others are freebies.

    But taking “the internet is for porn” literally…now that is priceless. You just can’t argue with “logic” like that. And who would want to?

  69. William Saturn

    Thank you for clarifying Paulie. I didn’t waste my time by watching the video. I only looked at the title. I like how you’re ignoring my substantive points because you know you can’t win an argument against me. I’m not here to play games.

  70. paulie

    I’m ignoring them because I don’t feel like engaging you. As you should certainly know, it’s a logical fallacy to presume that not wanting to have a long, boring back and forth argument is tantamount to “knowing that I can’t win.” I simply have other preferences for my time and energy.

    But, since it seems to be important to you and is completely tiresome and meaningless to me, I’ll acknowledge that you are the champion all time master debater and have won all arguments, now and forever.

    Now we can go back to more interesting things, like watching this dog lick his own nuts:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2gxHzyHJdY

    Or watching grass grow:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbiQtfr6AYk

    Or, well, just about anything else would be more interesting than your substantive bullshit.

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