Judge Jim Gray: Liberty and Freedom From Speech

Judge Jim GrayThis was sent to me by Judge Jim Gray. He has been writing these “2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty” for some time now, but I haven’t been sharing them due to personal time issues. This, however, deals with a topic of much conversation here at IPR, so it seems appropriate to share it.

Judge Jim Gray was the 2012 Vice-Presidential Candidate for the Libertarian Party.

Disturbingly, there is a movement spreading around some of our universities and elsewhere to promote having a “Freedom from Speech,” otherwise known as a freedom from having your feelings hurt by “insensitive” speech. This has resulted in so-called “safety zones” in which people are shielded from discomforting thoughts. To this end, students and others have received lowered grades or otherwise been censored for using phrases like “the most qualified person should get the job,” or “America is a melting pot,” or for calling people who do not have white skin “People of Color.” (As to that last issue, when I was in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica, it was common for a male with Chinese ancestry to be called “Chino,” a Black “Negro,” someone who was thin “Flaco,” or a North American like me “Gringo.” Using these names was simply descriptive and not at all disparaging, and I look forward to the day that this will be true in our communities as well.)

But setting up these zones of “Safety from Discomfort” is the antithesis of Liberty, because it not only stifles free speech, it also stifles thinking. Fortunately our country is better than that. Once again, remember back in 1977 when the American Nazi Party planned to march in their uniforms replete with Swastikas in a predominantly Jewish community in Skokie, Illinois? Reprehensible and insensitive as it was, the United States Supreme Court rightly ruled that even those misguided people had a right to freedom of speech, such that they were allowed to march. Of course – and this is the key – just because some people have the right to free speech does not mean that they have the right to make us listen. But providing a cocoon wherein people will not be confronted by thoughts that might make them uncomfortable is contrary to our principles of promoting dissent. So the campus “Cyberbullies” in this case are actually the ones trying to protect build a zone of protection from discomfort. To quote George Will in one of his political columns, if this is “about American higher education: What, exactly, is it higher than?”

 

Mr. Gray adds:

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration. And, by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty.

102 thoughts on “Judge Jim Gray: Liberty and Freedom From Speech

  1. jim

    Great! Jill Pyeatt first suggests that I am “trolling” IPR, and THEN she posts this article, where Judge Jim Gray objects to precisely the kind of PC behavior that _I_ am objecting to, as well!!!
    I think Jill, when criticizing my for using the term “Neglish” (a word that, much to her presumed chagrin, was actually listed in the UrbanDictionary.com), and THEN she admits (to Paulie) that the main problem is from where the comment came!!! (From me.)
    However, I think Jill erased her message, where she agreed with Paulie that it was where my comment came from rather than what I said, which was the actual problem. This actually dovetailed with my criticism, from a few days earlier, that PC people must have it THEIR WAY, and EXACTLY THEIR WAY.

    Jill, it is highly intellectually dishonest to erase your screw-ups in that way, to conceal your mistakes and . it’s a lot like Winston Smith’s job in George Orwell’s book 1984: His job was to re-write history on a daily basis. The leaders were ALWAYS in a war with Eastasia, against Eurasia…Until that changed.

    The reality is that your and Paulie’s FOOLISH reaction to my use of the documented word “Neglish”, wherein you and Paulie PRETENDED that this word was somehow objectionable (but the definition in urbandictionary.com had no hint of being derogatory) very much shows the difference between me and you. You screwed up by admitting that the real problem was from whom the comment came (me).

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Neglish

    I say again: “If it is the truth, what does it matter who said it”.
    Apparently this is reality you will never learn.

  2. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Jim:

    1. I didn’t erase any comment.

    2. I report for this site. I post articles that concern alternate parties in this country that I think will be of interest to our readers, whether I agree with the article or not.

    3. He doesn’t use the totally debunked and utterly idiotic “politically correct” argument.

    4. Most importantly, I’d like you to notice that Judge says what he wishes to without personal attacks or name-calling to anyone disagreeing with him.

    5. I will not be discussing this further with you.

  3. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Jill,

    People do not understand our roles here at times. I have been slammed on FB for supposedly being critical of the NHLP when I posted an article where someone else was.

    I often pick things I happen to agree with because I think it will be an interesting discussion, but I also point things I don’t because they are important and I got to them first.

  4. paulie

    Very true. Also, everyone please ignore Jim, and don’t even read his comments, and if you accidentally read them please don’t respond to them, as that only encourages him. It is better to ignore him completely, except to warn other people to do the same. Same policy as with Dave Terry. If anyone chooses to ignore this advice and sees either of them post anything that crosses the line and, you believe requires further action, please let me know.

  5. paulie

    The valid points he ever makes are so few and far in between that the signal to noise ratio makes it a much better use of time to just scroll past them, except to advise other people to do the same. But, for those of you who ignore this good advice, just let me know if and when you think he crosses the line to require further action. Other than that, let’s just pretend that he does not exist.

  6. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Of course you will, William. I wouldn’t expect otherwise.

    Freedom of speech is a valid topic to discuss. I just don’t appreciate name-calling and personal attacks. I’ll exercise my free speech by not participating with anyone who does that.

    Everyone else’s mileage will vary.

  7. paulie

    Of course you will, William. I wouldn’t expect otherwise.

    Valid point. William always seems to think that hateful trolls have something interesting or valid to say. I disagree.

  8. paulie

    For anyone who didn’t know, Jim is Jim Bell https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Bell

    Which makes it all the more disappointing that he posts such nonsense in IPR comments constantly. Unless he suffered traumatic brain injury, he is too smart to believe such obvious nonsense. He must be trolling on purpose for the lulz. There is no other logical explanation. Please don’t encourage it.

  9. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    For the record, I have re-read Judge Gray’s article and agree with everything he says.

    I will continue to use my right to free speech as I wish to, and encourage the same for others.

    I will remind everyone, though, that exercising free speech isn’t a free pass to say what you want WITHOUT CONSEQUENCES. This is basic stuff I taught my son in grade school. Duh.

  10. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I agree with Paulie. Mr. Bell is clearly an intelligent man who writes well, and gets his message across in a very clear manner. What a shame he doesn’t use it in what I consider to be a positive way. His choice, of course.

  11. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    NF, Jim told us who he was and provided the info.

    Of course, the writer may not be Jim Bell at all. Who knows? At this point, I don’t care because I don’t choose to have anything to do with him.

  12. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Well, I will say this about me:

    I’m not posting many articles lately, mainly because our new writers do such a good job of finding them and posting them.

    I do seem to know what our readers want to talk about, though! 😀

  13. jim

    New Federalist: Yes, I have already said I am Jim Bell, identified that Wikipedia article. I wasn’t “outed”. My identify hasn’t been a secret.

  14. NewFederalist

    I guess I must have missed that. Sorry but I must admit I was shocked that William Saturn would “out” anyone since that would be totally out of character for him.

  15. Jed Ziggler

    “he is too smart to believe such obvious nonsense.”

    Ben Carson is a brain surgeon. Smart people can also be terrible people. He may be trolling, but don’t think he might not actually believe this rubbish.

  16. langa

    Great article. There is some very scary, very Orwellian stuff happening on college campuses these days. I thought things were pretty bad when I was in school 15-20 years ago, but now, the determination to stifle dissent seems to have been taken to a whole new level. It really makes you wonder about the direction this country is headed.

    If you think I’m being overly dramatic, read what happened to Wendy McElroy (a self-described feminist) when she dared to challenge feminist orthodoxy at Brown University:

    https://reason.com/archives/2014/11/26/is-challenging-rape-culture-claims-an-id

  17. jim

    langa: Political Correctness (PC)had its roots at least as early as 1976, when I began college at MIT. Of course, it wasn’t called ‘PC’ yet., that label took nearly another 20 years to stick.
    Not much at MIT itself, because its students were immersed in science and technology. But then, all campuses had their walls covered with posters plastered there by visitors from other schools, and the politics depicted therein was clearly oppressive. At the time, libertarianism was a very new idea to many people: I helped start the MIT chapter of the Students for a Libertarian Society, although nobody had much time for politics of any kind.
    To me, libertarianism wasn’t a choice I made: I wasn’t convinced, I was already ‘there’. During that time, conservatives were convinced that libertarians were leftists; liberals were equally convinced that libertarians were conservatives. It is strange to me to realize that the conservatives ‘got smart’ long before the liberals have: At least in the last 10 years, i frequently, even usually, see signs that conservatives don’t view libertarians as a threat. Yet, liberals clearly still do, and the liberals have adopted their own version of fascism.
    A few days ago, it occurred to me that PC exhibited the symptoms of a mass-hysteria: Doing a Google search of ‘political correctness mass hysteria’, I suppose I wasn’t especially surprised that many others had come to precisely the same conclusion.

  18. paulie

    Ben Carson is a brain surgeon. Smart people can also be terrible people. He may be trolling, but don’t think he might not actually believe this rubbish.

    It’s true that smart people can be terrible people, but Jim Bell would be too smart to believe obvious government propaganda, indeed not even question it, among other things. On the other hand, lots of very smart people troll for the lulz and to gauge the reactions. There’s no chance in hell that Jim is doing anything else here with the drivel he posts. As for Carson, it’s unlikely that he believes a lot of the crap he spews, although he may well believe a lot of it. He is likely to be trolling using a different medium, and not just for fun but also – and perhaps mainly – for profit.

    It’s not the semi-veiled racism that I have a hard time believing that someone as smart as Jim Bell would seriously believe (he may or may not), it’s more the obvious Faux News big government interventionist stuff that he also spews regularly. Not a fucking chance in hell that the same person who wrote Assassination Politics and stands by it (among other things) believes that shit for a minute. Anyone with his background would know full well that regime agencies of all levels, parts of the planet, and MSM sources everywhere lie regularly and on purpose and regardless of the phony “left” and “right” boxes that they put on a show of for the rubes so as to distract people. The character he plays on IPR pretends to be completely blissfully unaware of this.

    Also, anyone who survived incarceration as Jim Bell did for years would know full well what’s racially offensive (“Neglish,” to take the most obvious example), as opposed to the naivete on such matters that Jim pretends to exhibit here. And if incarceration had such a powerful cop-bootlicker-inducing Stockholm Syndrome effect on Mr. Bell as the Jim character on IPR frequently displays, he wouldn’t have remained an anarchist. So, all these things don’t add up. That’s just scratching the surface, but suffice it to say that I have spent far more than enough time talking to Jim as if he was sharing his honest opinions to determine with a high degree of precision that this would be pretty much impossible given his background. I gave him far more than enough benefit of the doubt before drawing this line, and it would be an endless waste of words to continue to belabor the point.

    Make no mistake. His goal here is attention, wasting other people’s time in trying to seriously answer what he posts in jest, and gauging reactions. If you participate in this game you are the prop in his joke and the lab rat in his experiment. I had a strong suspicion that this was the case for quite a while, but I gave it extra time just to make absolutely 100% sure. To take the most obvious example, no matter how much of a bigoted prick he may be, if Jim really believed that something like “Neglish” was not offensive he would not have come out of prison alive. Chew on that one for a bit while you decide how seriously to ever take anything Jim says ever again.

    Long story short: he’s trolling. No two ways about it. Don’t take the bait. That’s all there is to it, or ever will be.

  19. William Saturn

    People’s politics evolve. Look at John Hospers as an example. Was he trolling everyone when he started supporting interventionism? Just because someone supports intervention doesn’t necessarily mean they are trolling. In addition, just because someone uses a pretty minor off-color term doesn’t necessarily mean they are a bigot. When it comes to free speech, I believe Jim makes some very valid points. His latest comment provides some pretty interesting insight.

  20. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    My opinion is that Ben Carson probably believes what he says. He’s not very aware of the world around him, and his opinions aren’t sophisticated or thought through. He was by all accounts an excellent surgeon, but was probably so immersed in that demanding and exacting field that he didn’t have time for the world around him.

    When I have a sales appointment with a physician, I usually start with basic information and, surprisingly, they often don’t really understand a homeowners or auto policy because they were too busy, and probably too embarrassed, to ask about it. It’s likely Dr. Carson doesn’t really know what’s going on, so he just repeats Republican talking points.

  21. paulie

    Just because someone supports intervention doesn’t necessarily mean they are trolling.

    Not alone by itself, no. Only in context. I barely skimmed the surface in my long comment earlier tonight. I can continue to explain endlessly but it’s what known as a time sink (look it up if the concept is new to anyone) – which may very well be the intended purpose. The more you explain the more time you waste. I examined the evidence carefully over several months and the conclusion is inescapable. It doesn’t add up. The pieces can’t possibly fit together. Therefore it is trolling plain and simple.

  22. paulie

    In addition, just because someone uses a pretty minor off-color term doesn?t necessarily mean they are a bigot.

    It was far from minor. Try it out in a majority-black bar where you are not well known some time to see how “minor” it is.

    And again, context matters. In the context of the many other comments, the stubborn pig-headed defense of said term and the laughable insistence that it is not derogatory – by a man who served years in prison and came out alive, no less – that’s exactly what it means. Unless the racism is also feigned, which is entirely possible.

    Look at it this way:

    null

  23. paulie

    Excellent point by Andy Craig from another thread:

    There are few terms more meaningless than “politically correct” — and the people who like to congratulate themselves for being un-PC are almost always, as noted above, simply *factually* and *morally* incorrect.

    Say something they don’t like, and they invariably throw their own hissy fit about how you violated their own notions of right-wing PC. They just don’t call it that, but it’s the exact same thing as what they’re supposedly objecting to. Call a racist a racist, and a bigot a bigot, and watch how quickly they devolve into a temper-tantrum that you shouldn’t use such accurate words because that’s mean and they don’t like hearing the truth.

    The whole talking point is nothing more than empty sophistry, from people who know what they’re saying is indefensible on the merits, so they pose as some kind of free-speech martyr fighting against censorship. Even though nobody’s censoring them, just disagreeing with them and perhaps justifiably mocking them.

    Anybody who defends their argument with a humble-brag that they’re “just not PC”– doesn’t have anything to say worth listening to.

  24. Dave Terry

    Porky wrote: “Also, everyone please ignore Jim, and don’t even read his comments, and if you accidentally read them please don’t respond to them, as that only encourages him. It is better to ignore him completely, except to warn other people to do the same. Same policy as with Dave Terry. If anyone chooses to ignore this advice and sees either of them post anything that crosses the line and, you believe requires further action, please let me know.”

    “Crosses the line”?? Which line is that? The black lines that highlight the yellow streak down your back?

  25. William Saturn

    Andy Craig is wrong. As I’ve said previously, identifying political correctness is important in uncovering poor arguments based on whether certain rhetoric offends others rather than on the merits of the argument. This topic is exactly what Judge Gray is discussing in this very article: the so-called “freedom from speech” or the right not to be offended.

  26. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    William Saturn, so you’re essentially saying that no one can possibly be disagreeing with you on substance or for moral reasons , but they’re just wanting to be “politically correct” and not offend anyone , even though we’re offending you by
    disagreeing.

  27. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Andy Craig expressed well that “PC” is an empty phrase used when someone runs out of valid arguments.

  28. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I also REALLY have a problem that you invited back Don Grundmann. Why don’t you just keep him involved at your site? Your motives are definitely suspect.

  29. William Saturn

    “so you’re essentially saying that no one can possibly be disagreeing with you on substance or for moral reasons”

    When did I ever say that? I said above very clearly “arguments based on whether certain rhetoric offends others rather than on the merits of the argument.”

  30. William Saturn

    ” that you invited back Don Grundmann.”

    I never invited him back. I sent him an e-mail and asked him for an update. If it offends you then you don’t have to read the update.

  31. Wang Tang-Fu

    William Saturn,

    “As I’ve said previously, identifying political correctness is important in uncovering poor arguments based on whether certain rhetoric offends others rather than on the merits of the argument.”

    The phrase “political correctness” causes some problems for my translation programs. A majority of uses of the phrase in recent years seem to be by its opponents and are intended not to encourage the examination of any arguments or any kind of open inquiry, but rather to do precisely the opposite – stigmatize any opinion contrary to their own as unacceptable and irrational so that it does not have to be engaged on its merits. While the phrase political correctness started out among Marxists who meant to use it as a form of enforcing ideological discipline, it has ended up mainly being used by social conservatives to stigmatize any thought that differs from on their own on a variety of issues. Many bigots hide behind it, making the rather illogical claim that racism, sexism, homophobia and various other forms of prejudice don’t even exist, and that anyone accusing anyone at all of being prejudiced is exhibiting political correctness regardless of whether the charge is true or not.

    Meanwhile there is indeed actual political correctness of the original Marxist variety as pointed out by Judge Gray, langa and others. There’s also equally prevalent political correctness of the right, aimed at anyone questioning anything done by the police or military in any way, among other things. And there are indeed people accusing others of having various forms of prejudice even when it isn’t true. This applies equally to those who accuse others of racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of prejudice routinely as well as those who who accuse others of being “politically correct,” meant as a form of epithet, and regardless of whether the charge has any merit. The bigots who hide behind charges of “political correctness” aimed at anyone pointing out their bigotry are indeed no different than the actual Marxist practitioners of political correctness who use the term unironically in its original sense and level charges of prejudice so routinely as to make them meaningless.

    At this point, someone like Jim will come along with various statistics and anecdotes that create the impression that black people, Hispanics, Muslims and whatever other groups he dislikes are somehow inferior, evil, criminal, etc, etc. Thus, supposedly their prejudice is not irrational and not bigoted, even if it used to stigmatize many individuals solely on the basis of their membership in broad categories of millions or billions of people, which is generally some involuntary matter of ancestry or a deeply ingrained religious belief encompassing a large segment of the population or a sexual orientation, and regardless of what context any such statistics may miss. Such a person will then claim that anyone who disagrees with them or doesn’t feel like endlessly disproving everything they say can’t say they are bigots and must be “politically correct” – a charge which is either little more than a slur itself or an endless claim on other people’s time if they dare to disagree with them. In reality, calling them bigots is accurate, and simple shorthand for endless arguments that do little but waste time and regurgitate countless arguments on the same issues held elsewhere.

    At times, such bigots slip up and reveal what is beneath their mask of logic and rationality by employing a term such as “Neglish”, thus doing everyone the favor of removing all doubt. If there is any question as to whether such a term is derogatory, try asking a group of “Neglish” speakers whether they find it offensive that you call their dialect “Neglish.” I tried it online and the reaction was rather overwhelming. I encourage you to try it in person offline if you get a chance. Mr. Bell must certainly have had plenty of opportunity to do the latter while he was in prison. I’m sure he’ll continue to try to argue with feigned seriousness that it isn’t derogatory or a slur of any sort, but he must know that no one is so naive as to believe he is that naive himself, and the quality of his arguments in defense of such an obvious falsehood reveal a great deal about how much the rest of his supposedly serious critiques of various races, ethnicities, religions, and so forth are. Just in case there is any remaining doubt by anyone reading please try your own experiment, by letting a few “Neglish” speakers you don’t already know be aware that you believe they are speaking “Neglish.” Please do let us now what responses you receive.

  32. Wang Tang-Fu

    “Andy Craig expressed well that “PC” is an empty phrase used when someone runs out of valid arguments.”

    Correct. And, most of the time, that’s exactly what it is.

  33. Wang Tang-Fu

    “I never invited him back. I sent him an e-mail and asked him for an update.”

    You asked him why he doesn’t comment at IPR anymore. Whereupon, lo and behold, he commented at IPR for the first time since April last night.

  34. Wang Tang-Fu

    Yes, it’s a real stretch to view that as an invitation to comment at IPR. Suppose we should try this offline as well.

    “Hey recovering alcoholic Jack, we haven’t seen you at the saloon lately, how have you been?”

    “Hey Joe, haven’t seen your wife come into the battered women’s shelter lately. What’s new?”

    Well, you get the idea.

  35. Wang Tang-Fu

    Wasn’t William Saturn also an Robert Milnes’ blog recently, asking where he could find Vernon the nazi troll so he can interview him yet again? No trouble being stirred, obviously. If a few of the people have been laying a bit quiet since April or whenever let’s wake them up and remind them about IPR, because everyone has missed them so much here. But that couldn’t possibly be the idea, much like “Neglish” is not derogatory.

  36. NewFederalist

    William Saturn is involved with many blogs, Wang. He has at least two that I know of and they are very dedicated to free speech. Sometimes the interviews are just plain sick ( and probably just BS) but I never question his dedication to free speech.

  37. William Saturn

    “Why the fuck are you contacting him at all?”

    Because he is a human being.

    He has a POV that he is entitled to have and he has been maligned by intolerant people here. The above question is an example of this intolerance. In other words: “How dare you talk to another human being I don’t like!” The same thing is being done here to Jim Bell.

    And the examples provided as somehow equivalent to contacting Grundmann are grossly exaggerated. Grundmann committed no crime and his commenting here is no crime.

  38. Wang Tang-Fu

    Alcoholism isn’t a crime. There are lots of other examples of the same type of thing that aren’t crimes. Of course Mr. Grundmann and Mr. Bell are ever so tolerant, and the only intolerant people are those who are, supposedly, intolerant toward them by not wishing to associate with them. Are the “PC” people here (personally I prefer Linux) also being intolerant towards Vernon, his supposed killer, the “candidate” who wants to stab and shoot all Jews, and other folks you like to interview, just because we prefer not to associate with them and wish they would go somewhere else and stay gone? How intolerant of everyone else except those lovely, tolerant, forthright people. They should never be maligned or offended. Perhaps they need a safe space, or should that just be wherever they feel like going?

  39. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    NF, you’re right, William has a couple blogs where everyone is welcome. This blog tries to stay focused on third party issues, and Don Grundmann damning someone to Hell isn’t in that category. Don’s comment last night really didn’t talk about third party issues; it was a re-hash of a personal grudge he has.

    No one questions William’s devotion to free speech, nor that fact that he’s entitled to it. I think allowing Don freedom to speak on the Saturnalian should have been fine for William.

    Again, our blog here is supposed to be talking about third party stuff. And William knows that having Don show up here wouldn’t be well-received by most of us. For this reason, I question his motives.

  40. William Saturn

    You don’t have to respond to them. You don’t have to read what they write. But you should at least pay them a modicum of respect rather than personally denigrate them for having a view different than yours.

    Grundmann is like the kid getting bullied on the playground. I don’t care what the kid did or said. There’s no reason to gang up on him like that. I sympathize more with him than those who push him around.

    Vernon is another story. His supposed killer is obviously the same troll as he. Perhaps he doesn’t know this but I can see the IP address he uses at The PLAS Place. He forgot to use the anonymizer a few times. That’s all I’m going to say on that.

  41. Fun K. Chicken

    The Saturnalian has a new article out about Dr. Feldman. It’s actually a good interesting article that would make for good discussion whether there or here. And then… right next to it you have a naked Hitler being crucified on a swastika and an interview filled with just about every kind of vileness and filth imaginable and some even I have never imagined. After that you have Dr. Grundmann, and then the fascinating news that a porn star resurfaced on twitter to tell the world when she takes a dump and how much she prefers unsafe sex.

  42. William Saturn

    That’s what The Saturnalian is all about. If I didn’t post interesting articles, nobody would read it. The reason I (sometimes) post about porn stars is because, frankly, that brings in the most traffic.

  43. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    WS: “That’s what The Saturnalian is all about.”

    That is NOT what IPR is about. That’s the simple point I’m trying to make.

  44. Fun K. Chicken

    “Perhaps he doesn’t know this but I can see the IP address he uses at The PLAS Place. He forgot to use the anonymizer a few times. That’s all I’m going to say on that.”

    Of course he knows this and he did not forget anything. As has already been mentioned in IPR discussions earlier he (or they) also use IP spoofing, not just anonymizers.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_address_spoofing

    The idea is to frame someone for criminal activity.

  45. William Saturn

    For the past few months my name on IPR has ceased linking to The Saturnalian. Instead it links to Saturn’s Repository, which features more serious articles.

  46. William Saturn

    “That is NOT what IPR is about. That’s the simple point I’m trying to make.”

    I agree with you Jill and that’s why I stopped linking there from here.

  47. Andy

    William, if you have information on this “Vernon” character I would very much appreciate it if you could share it with me. This would make you a hero.

    Thanks.

  48. Dave Terry

    Jed Ziggler Dec. 1, 2015 >

    “Ben Carson is a brain surgeon.”

    Actually, I think Jed meant to write
    “Ben Carson had brain surgery”

  49. Andy

    William, the interview that you have on your site with a person who allegedly killed Vernon does not sound real. What do you have to say about that?

    If somebody murdered somebody, then why would they talk about it online? Wouldn’t there be a police report?

  50. William Saturn

    “the interview that you have on your site with a person who allegedly killed Vernon does not sound real. What do you have to say about that?”

    The interview was with someone on Milnes’s website. I am quite certain it was the same person who trolled as Vernon. Whoever it was left behind their IP address. Maybe I’m wrong and someone was spoofing. I don’t know much about that. What I do know is that the simplest explanation often turns out to be right, i.e. Ockham’s razor.

  51. Andy

    William, why would you post anything from Milnes website? Isn’t it apparent that he is nuts?

  52. langa

    To bring this thread somewhat back on topic, I disagree with the idea that “political correctness” is a “meaningless” concept. Just because a concept has been overused (or even abused), does not make it meaningless. For example, as pointed out above, charges of racism are often thrown around casually, and even recklessly. That does not, however, mean that actual racism does not exist, nor does it mean that actual racism should be ignored.

    The same is true of political correctness. Yes, it is a concept that has been applied too frequently, but it nevertheless describes a very real, and very dangerous, phenomenon. Anyone who doubts this should read the link I posted above about Wendy McElroy’s ordeal at Brown University. Or, if you want a different example, consider the reaction to Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley having the temerity to say that “all lives matter” — a statement which, although undeniably true, was nevertheless greeted with the sort of furious denunciations and righteous indignation that is normally reserved for Klan rallies.

    As I alluded to above, statements of fact should be evaluated on the basis of whether they are true, while statements of opinion should be evaluated on the basis of how logical they are. To evaluate statements not on these criteria, but rather on the basis of how they make people feel, or whether anyone is offended by them, demonstrates “fuzzy thinking” of the worst sort.

    If simply hearing a true/logical statement hurts someone’s feelings, that is obviously their problem, and should not be blamed on the person who happened to speak the “inconvenient” truth. In other words, don’t shoot the messenger. This seems to me to be beyond obvious, and I’m frankly baffled by the fact that so many otherwise intelligent people can’t seem to grasp such a simple concept.

  53. Fun K. Chicken

    langa,

    You are correct, political correctness is not *always* a meaningless concept. There is still a small, dedicated Marxist cadre that uses it completely unironically in its original sense. There are certainly many people that apply their own versions of political correctness, although the type coming from the right doesn’t get called that nearly as often. But the concept is rendered meaningless because by far its most common use is as an epithet, which means something more like political *in*correct from certain right wing perspectives.

    Then you have the right wingers demanding their own safe space, by which they mean everywhere, to be as bigoted as they want to be, because any criticism of them is the dreaded PC and hurts their feelings. If they aren’t free of strong criticism when they bully others they claim to be bullied themselves. They think straight white males are the discriminated against minority, that police have gone “fetal” (feral is more like it) because anyone dares to challenge anything they ever do or capture the worst of their abuses of power on video or once every tenth blue moon indict them for murdering and maiming people. These enforcers of right wing PC who call everyone else PC don’t believe anyone should have freedom of non-association from them or their views.

    In fact if anyone disagrees with anything they say that person is either denigrated as “PC” or told they can’t call anything prejudice or bigorty of any kind without running in endless circles to prove it.

    As for all lives matter, of course all lives should matter. Using it as a specific reply to black lives matter is sweeping the epidemic of anti-black violence and targeting by out of control police who almost always put themselves above the law no matter what they do under the rug. So is replying that there are a lot of black people killing other black people; most members of so-called races are killed by people of their own so-called race, street crimes doesn’t exist in a vacuum unrelated to government policies including but certainly not limited to the drug war, and ordinary street criminals, unlike police, aren’t generally put above the law when they kill people. Smugly replying “all lives matter” to black lives matter is sweeping the phenomenon of racial targeting and violence by out of control, virtually unaccountable police under the rug. Pointing out that these kinds of cops sometimes kill people of all so called races doesn’t help address the disproportionate targeting issue, either.

    Lastly, of course all statements are always evaluated by everyone both on the basis of whether they believe they are true and whether they believe they are offensive. That’s true of people on all sides and is pretty universal, and equally true of the people always accusing others of being “PC.”

  54. Mark Axinn

    langa–

    You might be interested in checking out Institute for Humane Studies, which like Mercatus is based out of George Mason University. IHS has “graduated” several doctoral and post-doc. candidates including the professor at Brown who invited McElroy to speak. Of course his aim was and is to promote open dialogue, just the sort of thing that is stifled by the “free speech” zones as Judge Gray wrote about in his article.

  55. Dave Terry

    P. > “But, for those of you who ignore this good advice, just let me know if and when you think he crosses the line to require further action.

    “futher action”???
    —–by Whom ???

    “crosses the line”???
    —– which line ???
    —–will you be calling a
    meeting of the Star Chamber?

  56. Andy

    “William Saturn

    December 3, 2015 at 03:13

    It was in the comments there. It is a frequent hangout of Vernon. The interview didn’t necessarily pertain to Milnes.”

    Do you believe that “Vernon” is (or was since he is supposedly dead now), a real person, as in do you really believe that he was as he said he was, or do you think that he was a made up caricature by a troll?

  57. Dave Terry

    > Jim Gray: “One of the most noble public servant positions in our society is a police officer.”

    > Rebel ‘Without a Cause’: “Nuff said by this apologist for authoritarianism, if after confronting the cops, someone’s still alive to say it.”

    Clearly, there IS something worse than anarachism: ‘Nihilism’!

    There is no such entity as a ‘generic’ police officer (or cop, as you say). Just as there are many different uniforms, there are many different men and women wearing those uniforms. They wear ‘uniforms’ to indentify themselves to themselves and more importantly to those of us who who come into contact with them.

    Let us not forget that they are individuals, just as we are, (yes, I am cognizant of the fact that they are under even greater pressure to “group think” than most of us are. THAT is why they must be held to a higher standard then the general population) but to dismiss them as gun toting authoritarians is to misunderstanding the genuine need for those to enforce the law –
    and, MORE importantly, to protect and defend the ‘citizens’ in their area of authority.

  58. langa

    Smugly replying “all lives matter” to black lives matter is sweeping the phenomenon of racial targeting and violence by out of control, virtually unaccountable police under the rug. Pointing out that these kinds of cops sometimes kill people of all so called races doesn’t help address the disproportionate targeting issue, either.

    You’re missing my point. “Disproportionate targeting” is irrelevant. In fact, with the exception of the extremely rare case of legitimate self-defense, any motivation for cops killing civilians is the same as any other. It just doesn’t matter. Look at it this way: Imagine that they fired all these racist cops, and replaced them with new cops, who weren’t the least bit racist, but were even more bloodthirsty than their predecessors. These new cops killed twice as many people as the old ones, but the demographic composition of their victims exactly mirrored that of the general population. Would that be any better than the status quo?

    To put it more succinctly: Yes, of course black lives matter. But the reason they matter isn’t because they’re black — it’s because they’re lives! The slogan “black lives matter” takes a serious problem (police brutality) that potentially affects everyone, and proceeds to frame it in the most divisive, polarizing manner imaginable — all but ensuring that no substantive actions to end police brutality will be taken. This is exactly the kind of thing I have referred to on other threads here, when I say that the powers that be absolutely love racial animosity, or any other manifestation of the idiotic “culture war”. They want their victims to see things in terms of black vs. white, man vs. woman, gay vs. straight, Christian vs. Muslim, and so forth. Anything but rulers vs. subjects, since that’s the real battle that they would prefer to sweep under the rug.

    Lastly, of course all statements are always evaluated by everyone both on the basis of whether they believe they are true and whether they believe they are offensive. That’s true of people on all sides and is pretty universal, and equally true of the people always accusing others of being “PC.”

    This doesn’t address my point. To repeat, if someone makes a statement that offends you, but you are unable/unwilling to dispute the logic/truth of that statement, then that is your problem. Choosing to attack the person who made the statement (rather than the statement itself) is simply shooting the messenger.

  59. Robert Capozzi

    L: Look at it this way: Imagine that they fired all these racist cops, and replaced them with new cops, who weren’t the least bit racist, but were even more bloodthirsty than their predecessors.

    me: Sure, but look at it this way: Imagine that they fired all these racist cops, and replaced them with new cops, who weren’t the least bit racist, but were EQUALLY bloodthirsty than their predecessors.

    We would see a more even distribution of attacks.

    Justice is supposed to be BLIND. It’s bad enough when cops overstep their authority, but it’s WORSE IMO when they target one identifiable race over another, as it further destroys the purpose of a justice system, which is to provide for domestic tranquility in an unbiased manner.

  60. langa

    If they killed the same number of people, it would be equally bad. Murder is murder. The race of the victim is completely irrelevant. Under the Capozzi Standard, which would be worse: If they killed 258 black people and 5 white people, or if they killed 256 black people and 26 white people? Is there a point system? Say, maybe, two white murders equals one black murder? How about if they kill an Asian guy? Is that 1.5?

    In all seriousness, the idea that it’s worse to kill someone of one race than it is to kill someone of another race harks back to the days of Jim Crow. I would’ve hoped that we, as a society, had moved past that sort of nonsense by now.

    To give a more concrete example, I certainly don’t think what the cops did to Jim Duensing would have been any more (or less) reprehensible if he were black. Do you?

  61. Robert Capozzi

    L, you are avoiding my point. It is bad if out-of-control cops kill, say, 300 per year. If 150 of them are black and those 150 killings were BECA– USE they were black and the other 150 random acts of insane cops, then if there were no cops that were both racist and out-of-control, the total might be closer to 150. ALL unjustified killings are tragic. When a cop is both out-of-control AND racist, that is worse in the sense that the likelihood of an insane, unjustified killing would INCREASE.

    Using a single incident is a distraction. I can’t answer your question, since IIRC JD’s case was adjudicated and he was found at fault for running. (Again, that’s my just recollection.) I don’t think he was targeted for tasing because of his skin color.

    You may reject my premise…that “the purpose of a justice system, which is to provide for domestic tranquility in an unbiased manner.”

    If blacks represent 12% of the population but are targeted by out-of-control racist cops resulting in 50% of the incidents, then I submit there are 2 problems, not just one.

    1) Out of control cops
    2) Out of control racist cops.

    Both are bad, but given that #2 has more triggers for out-of-control attacks, I’d say that’s worse, especially because it undermines a key element in the purpose of justice.

  62. paulie

    I agree with Capozzi. To make a more extreme analogy, at the risk of invoking Godwin’s law:

    Hitler attempted to wipe Jews out completely. He didn’t succeed in killing 100% but did kill a substantial percentage. He also killed millions of other people, as have several other despots in human history. But the attempted genocide of an ethnicity is generally seen as a uniquely horrible act, over and above the horror of killing that many people of any kind.

    If police kill a disproportionate number of a certain population – mentally ill/homeless people, for example – that’s a unique act of terrorizing that particular population, making them feel unsafe when law enforcement officers are anywhere around or could possibly show up (even more so than other people), feeling especially powerless because the criminal injustice system makes it so much more difficult to indict much less convict cops no matter what they do. It also leaves them without feeling they have a legal recourse in situations where most other people, rightly or wrongly, would think calling the police would be a way to get help. “Black Lives Matter” would more accurate be called “Black Lives Also Matter” – that would avoid the confusion people have been experiencing.

    It’s also not accurate to say that BLM has had no impact, or a negative impact, in holding police accountable. In fact, some police spokespeople and bootlickers are laughably claiming it is making police go “fetal,” ie afraid of enforcing the laws and going after criminals and criminal suspects. Indictments and prosecutions of officers, while still exceedingly rare, have risen. Many localities are introducing or at least talking about various reform measures. The movement is bringing the phenomenon of police violence and prejudice to the public consciousness to a greater degree. It is having at least some impact and is by no means over.

    It’s a long overdue conversation, made more urgent by the rising level of police violence and militarization even though street crime has not risen (indeed, has fallen). The rise of the warrior cop is a real phenomenon and combined with racial prejudice and being in most cases held above the law is a very dangerous thing in a supposedly free society. It’s part and parcel of a system of social division and control for fun and profit, making some people very wealthy and powerful in an undeserved manner.

  63. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    What the “black lives matter” movement did was to bring the disproportionate problem to the public’s attention and got us talking about it. Of course all lives matter, but I’m glad the conversation was started about the obvious targeting by police.

  64. langa

    L, you are avoiding my point. It is bad if out-of-control cops kill, say, 300 per year. If 150 of them are black and those 150 killings were BECA– USE they were black and the other 150 random acts of insane cops, then if there were no cops that were both racist and out-of-control, the total might be closer to 150. ALL unjustified killings are tragic. When a cop is both out-of-control AND racist, that is worse in the sense that the likelihood of an insane, unjustified killing would INCREASE.

    No, you are the one avoiding the point. You made the claim that racially motivated police violence was “worse” (your word, not mine) than non-racially motivated violence. When I refuted that ridiculous claim with an analogy, you then shifted your argument to claim that racially motivated police violence is more likely than non-racially motivated police violence. If that had been your original point, I would not have disagreed, although I still contend that the “black lives matter” rhetoric is a poor way to address the problem, since it frames the issue in terms of the racism that motivates some police violence, while ignoring the real issue (the institutional power imbalance between cops and civilians) that makes all police violence possible, and I would argue, inevitable.

    Using a single incident is a distraction. I can’t answer your question, since IIRC JD’s case was adjudicated and he was found at fault for running. (Again, that’s my just recollection.) I don’t think he was targeted for tasing because of his skin color.

    The fact that Duensing was actually blamed (and convicted) for “causing” the abuse that he suffered just demonstrates my point about the institutional power imbalance between cops and citizens. But if you don’t want to answer that one, here’s one for you. Which would be worse? A) The cops kill 50 people, all of them black. B) The same cops, during the same period of time, kill 52 people — 26 white, 26 black. The answer is painfully obvious, but somehow, I expect you’ll have a hard time bringing yourself to say it (if you even have the guts to answer, instead of continuing to dodge.

  65. langa

    Hitler attempted to wipe Jews out completely. He didn’t succeed in killing 100% but did kill a substantial percentage. He also killed millions of other people, as have several other despots in human history. But the attempted genocide of an ethnicity is generally seen as a uniquely horrible act, over and above the horror of killing that many people of any kind.

    It may be “generally seen” that way, but if so, I would say that is another example of “political correctness” (or whatever you want to call it) taking precedence over logic. I would contend that if Hitler had killed the exact same number of people that he did, it would have been just as bad (no better, no worse) if they had all been Jews, or none of them had been Jews. The same holds true for the cops here in America targeting blacks. It is no better or no worse than if they were targeting whites, or Asians, or any other group, or if they were randomly flipping a coin to decide who they were going to kill.

    It’s also not accurate to say that BLM has had no impact, or a negative impact, in holding police accountable. In fact, some police spokespeople and bootlickers are laughably claiming it is making police go “fetal,” ie afraid of enforcing the laws and going after criminals and criminal suspects. Indictments and prosecutions of officers, while still exceedingly rare, have risen. Many localities are introducing or at least talking about various reform measures. The movement is bringing the phenomenon of police violence and prejudice to the public consciousness to a greater degree. It is having at least some impact and is by no means over.

    See my last paragraph above, in the response to RC. While the “BLM” rhetoric may have had some small effect, it has not had anywhere near the effect it could have, if the issue had been framed in terms of the legal privileges and institutional power imbalance that allows, and even encourages, cops to do this kind of stuff, rather than being framed as just another example of the same old “black vs. white” narrative that has been rehashed endlessly over the decades.

    “Black Lives Matter” would more accurate be called “Black Lives Also Matter” – that would avoid the confusion people have been experiencing.

    I totally agree, but if it had been, you can almost guarantee it would have been ignored by the mainstream media (both Left and Right). It only received the coverage it did because of the inherently divisive nature of the rhetoric. It reminds me of Emma Goldman’s quip about voting — that if it changed anything, they’d make it illegal!

  66. Robert Capozzi

    L: No, you are the one avoiding the point. You made the claim that racially motivated police violence was “worse” (your word, not mine) than non-racially motivated violence. When I refuted that ridiculous claim with an analogy, you then shifted your argument to claim that racially motivated police violence is more likely than non-racially motivated police violence.

    me: I stipulate that any unjust death is the same as any other. None are “worse.” If that’s your point.

    It’s my contention that a racist cop prone to use excessive force is a greater danger to the community and domestic tranquility that a non-racist cop prone to use excessive force, all else equal. That’s because the racist cop may be triggered by skin color AND because justice by definition should be unbiased.

    Since unjust deaths by excessive force are disproportionately happening to blacks, that’s a greater social dysfunction than excessive force.

    This does not excuse any excessive force…not at all. If there were ONE instance per year of death by excessive police force, and there was no discernible racial pattern to these unjust deaths over time, each one would be tragic, certainly. But it would NOT be a topic of conversation in the Public Square.

    Why? Because adults recognize that the process of maintaining domestic tranquility is imperfect, just like everything here on the mortal coil. Even in AndyLand, occasionally the L contract will be broken.

    Deal with it.

  67. paulie

    Sounds like we are going in circles. My previous comment explained why I think it’s a greater problem when groups are targeted and that argument wasn’t addressed.

  68. Robert Capozzi

    pf: If police kill a disproportionate number of a certain population – mentally ill/homeless people, for example – that’s a unique act of terrorizing that particular population, making them feel unsafe when law enforcement officers are anywhere around or could possibly show up (even more so than other people), feeling especially powerless because the criminal injustice system makes it so much more difficult to indict much less convict cops no matter what they do. It also leaves them without feeling they have a legal recourse in situations where most other people, rightly or wrongly, would think calling the police would be a way to get help.

    me: Yes, also a good point. It may not work for Langa, with his/her atomistic approach, but it’s valid from a forest vs. trees perspective.

  69. Robert Capozzi

    L: The fact that Duensing was actually blamed (and convicted) for “causing” the abuse that he suffered just demonstrates my point about the institutional power imbalance between cops and citizens.

    me: You’ll have to be more specific about “institutional power imbalance.”

    Do you mean that cops have more guns? Or that in a confrontation, the justice system favors cops, and allows them to arrest citizens while citizens really can’t arrest cops?

    I don’t know how this is avoidable. Even in an Anarchic set-up, wouldn’t the insurance companies have a “power imbalance”?

  70. paulie

    If the points I make are going to be ignored, I see no reason to continue repeating them.

    That was my point exactly 2015/12/07 at 06:45

  71. Dave Terry

    paulie – 12, 8, 2015

    “If the points I make are going to be ignored, I see no reason to continue repeating them.”

    FINALLY, you got the message!
    Here’s hoping you follow through,
    or rather, stop following through, over & over & over!

  72. paulie

    Robert, you may have missed that my quote immediately above was from langa and that langa had not included any emoticons in the statement I was quoting.

  73. paulie

    That is, the quoted portion of me at 13:21 was langa at 00:49. For further reference see me 12/07 at 06:45 as well as the portions of 2015/12/05 at 09:14 that langa did not cover in his reply 2015/12/07 at 02:50.

  74. langa

    Do you mean that cops have more guns? Or that in a confrontation, the justice system favors cops, and allows them to arrest citizens while citizens really can’t arrest cops?

    Both, actually. There are laws that prevent certain people (e.g. ex-cons) from defending themselves. However, I was referring primarily to the legal privileges that make it virtually impossible to hold cops accountable for their crimes. For concrete examples, you should check out Will Grigg’s articles. Here’s one example:

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2015/09/william-norman-grigg/its-your-duty-to-protect-and-serve/

    I don’t know how this is avoidable. Even in an Anarchic set-up, wouldn’t the insurance companies have a “power imbalance”?

    Not to anywhere close to the same extent. In the Grigg article cited above, he notes that, for example, in one Texas county, grand juries have exonerated the police 288 consecutive times! In a stateless society, any arbitration agency (or any equivalent) that demonstrated that degree of bias would go out of business in record time.

  75. Robert Capozzi

    L: virtually impossible to hold cops accountable for their crimes.

    me: http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/07/us/chicago-police-justice-department-laquan-mcdonald-investigation/

    I’ll stipulate that there’s a thumb on the scale favoring police bad behavior. But this idea that domestic tranquility does not require some kind of authority who has some preference and deference in a contentious issue seems obvious to me.

    Otherwise you point to equivalence between McVeigh and a beat cop, the Unabomber and an FBI agent. That strikes me as silly. Most want a domestic tranquility force who will enforce the rule of law. Otherwise, you point to a Mad Max world.

    L: grand juries have exonerated the police 288 consecutive times! In a stateless society, any arbitration agency (or any equivalent) that demonstrated that degree of bias would go out of business in record time.

    me: Are you sure? I’d think that maybe the prosecutor was careful in what s/he brings to the grand jury. Or maybe the grand jurists represent the vast majority the people in that county. Maybe they get MORE business in that county should it be (somehow!) stateless.

    The stat proves nothing.

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