The New York Times publishes an OP-ED against free speech

It is hard to believe that anyone, let alone a professor, would argue against free speech. The freedom to say what you want, even if everyone else finds it disagreeable is an inherent part of American culture. It is what allows us to challenge religion, the government, and outside forces. It is also what allows us to express ourselves and live our lives in the manner we wish.

Who would want to curtail such freedom? Ulrich Baer, a professor, argues that free speech should be controlled because it might hurt some people’s feelings. It is a thing to behold:

At one of the premieres of his landmark Holocaust documentary, “Shoah” (1985), the filmmaker Claude Lanzmann was challenged by a member of the audience, a woman who identified herself as a Holocaust survivor. Lanzmann listened politely as the woman recounted her harrowing personal account of the Holocaust to make the point that the film failed to fully represent the recollections of survivors. When she finished, Lanzmann waited a bit, and then said, “Madame, you are an experience, but not an argument.”

This exchange, conveyed to me by the Russian literature scholar Victor Erlich some years ago, has stayed with me, and it has taken on renewed significance as the struggles on American campuses to negotiate issues of free speech have intensified — most recently in protests at Auburn University against a visit by the white nationalist Richard Spencer.

The two instances have nothing in common. The latter is a situation in which a group of people wish to prevent a controversial speaker from sharing his opinions while the former is a situation in which a one person challenged another person’s presentation of historical events.

Free speech is a zero sum proposition. You either have it or you do not. The moment that someone can stop you from saying anything, you lose that freedom. Continue reading

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Silencing contrarian voices

According to Sargon’s most recent video, Twitter suspended Sargon of Akkad, apparently without cause or notice.

I am not surprised. Twitter has played this game with numerous people over past years, repeatedly suspending then reinstating them. The common thread between these people is that they question progressive politics and figures. Continue reading

A Difficult Marriage

I came across an article written by a woman raised by lesbian mothers. Heather Barwick argued in her piece that while she supports the gay community, she no longer supports gay marriage. She stated:

Growing up, and even into my 20s, I supported and advocated for gay marriage. It’s only with some time and distance from my childhood that I’m able to reflect on my experiences and recognize the long-term consequences that same-sex parenting had on me. And it’s only now, as I watch my children loving and being loved by their father each day, that I can see the beauty and wisdom in traditional marriage and parenting.Same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn’t matter. That it’s all the same. But it’s not. A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are hurting. My father’s absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad. I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost.

According to Barwick, her mother married her father essentially to fit in. However, Barwick’s mother eventually came out, divorced her father, and found a woman to share her life with. Barwick’s father “wasn’t a great guy” and after her mother “left him he didn’t bother coming around anymore.”

That is a poor reason for failing to support gay marriage. Continue reading

A Dose of Stupid v103

It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. Case in point:

A 12 Year-Old Boy’s First Kiss Shouldn’t Be With a Grown Woman

I was ready to agree with that statement until I saw what it referred to:

That little peck was nothing. It is hardly worth mentioning. It certainly does not rise to the level of child rape . And yet Joanna Schroeder could not help herself: Continue reading