I Don’t Agree With What You Say, But I Will Defend To The Death Your Right To Say It – A Lawyer’s Riff On The First Amendment. – Amie Gibbons

I Don’t Agree With What You Say, But I Will Defend To The Death Your Right To Say It – A Lawyer’s Riff On The First Amendment. – Amie Gibbons

First thing’s first, basic disclaimer, because lawyers all so used to the legal world that we just assume people are waiting to sue us: These are all opinions and what we call “black letter law,” as in simplified and pretty set concepts, and none of this is to be taken as legal advice, merely the pontification of a lawyer who likes the sound of her own writing. You want legal advice? Go hire a lawyer.

This week is a damn good one for a post on the First Amendment, and it’s not just because I’m doing a blog tour to promote my new book.

We all know what is happening Friday, what will probably happen all over social media and in big cities across the country, and what has been happening the past year or so whenever we open our mouths.

I’m not going to say it’s just the special snowflakes on the left coming out of the woodwork and bashing everyone right of Lenin who are the problem, because I’m sure there are people like that on the more conservative side, but the snowflakes are the ones I’ve run in to so that’s mostly what I’ll be referencing.

And if I come off as condescending in this post, that’s directed towards the snowflakes who have been pissing me off lately, not at you, the reader. If you are a snowflake, you have it coming.

Okay, groundwork… and fairly roundabout groundwork at that, laid, now onto the Constitution.

The First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

First off, the Constitution does not apply to dealings between individuals. It is only applicable to the government dealing with others. So when you post your beliefs on Facebook and the snowflake blasts you, reports you, or blocks you, he’s not violating your rights. He’s just an intolerant ass. When Facebook and Twitter ban conservatives, it’s not a violation of their First Amendment rights. There could be a discrimination argument there, which is based in laws passed by Congress, not the Constitution itself.

(Yes, there is a difference. Congress can pass laws to protect people from others, but when they do, they have to make sure they are within their powers delineated in the Constitution.)

This also extends to employers. If you post something on social media and your employer sees it and fires you over it, it’s not a Constitutional issue unless your employer is the government. Now, this isn’t to say there’s not a legal issue, there could be something covered in employment laws (that whole Congress passes laws thing), but it is not the First Amendment.

So when the snowflakes go off on social media, in articles or, I don’t know, on stage at an awards show, yes, that is protected by the First Amendment, and all of us telling them to shut the f#*k up and go back to work is as well.

This is the main issue I’ve seen pop up on social media the past week. People keep invoking the first amendment when it comes to celebs shooting their mouths off or people getting into fights on Facebook, but none of that actually involves the First Amendment (unless you say the government couldn’t stop her from saying it). A celebrity voicing her opinion at an awards show with millions of viewers is distasteful, arrogant and stupid, and could get her in trouble with the network, but her saying it was protected by the First Amendment only to the extent that the government couldn’t stop her. Most of the time, when I see people talking about that, they’re saying something along the lines of people should stop bashing her for saying it since it was protected by the First Amendment.

Hahahahaha. No. You can be as pissed off as you want and call her whatever names you want and the First Amendment isn’t going to stop you. For some reason, the snowflakes have gotten it into their heads that the First Amendment is there to shut up people when they bash others for what they say.

Let’s get one thing clear. The First Amendment, and the Constitution in general, is there to restrict the government’s powers. It is not there to restrain the individual!

This may be a pet peeve of mine.

That is the beauty of free speech in America. No matter what the snowflakes keep trying to shove down our throats, free speech applies to all, even if you don’t like what the other side is saying, and it is not meant to be used to shut up the other side, even if they’re telling you to shut up.

Yep, someone telling you to shut up does not infringe your First Amendment rights.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t limits to these rights. There are. But they have to be very narrowly drawn and there has to be a good reason for them.

The basic example is you can’t falsely yell fire in a crowded theater. Not because this would be annoying or offensive, but because it would incite panic and cause a dangerous situation.

This is from a real court case, Schenck v. United States, where the Supreme Court ruled that the first amendment does not protect “dangerous speech.” In Schenck, the court ruled that language that was a “clear and present danger” was not protected when Schenck was passing out flyers urging people to resist the draft in WWI. The actual Schenck case was later overruled, and the “clear and present danger” standard was ruled to be an insufficient reason for restricting the First Amendment. It was replaced with the standard that speech had to do more than merely encouraging lawless behavior, it had to “incite imminent lawless action.”

So the people calling for trouble at the Inauguration on Friday are actually protected by the First Amendment, up to a certain extent. In very general terms, someone can post on Facebook that the president should be shot or they hope he is, but doing something that would count as actually inciting it wouldn’t be. What would count as inciting? Well, that depends.

By the way, it depends is every lawyer’s favorite answer. Courts in cases draw lines here and there around specifics to say what is or is not allowed, but so much has to do with context that outside of extensive research, I could not give a more specific example without risking giving too specific of legal advice that could get me in trouble if anyone followed it. If you rile up a crowd and get them to riot, that probably would not be protected. If you pay people to riot, that’s really not protected.

Which brings us to another part of the First Amendment.

“…the right of the people peaceably to assemble.”

This one actually is not as complicated as the media makes it sound. See, there’s this one little word in there that draws a nice line.


We the people have the right to protest, not to riot. The second people start breaking the laws, as in attacking people, burning shit down, and looting, no, not protected by the First Amendment. And protesting on private property, no, not protected.

The laymen pretending to be lawyers on social media also may say the protests have the right to restrict traffic because it’s peaceful. Like when students park their asses in the middle of a busy street. No, they’re wrong, that’s not protected.

Yeah, let me say that again, when there is a peaceful protest, no, they do not have the right to interfere with/break laws, and that includes traffic laws. So those dumb kids from the private and very expensive university who decide they aren’t going to let any cars through the busy intersection during rush hour because their (queue the tears) candidate didn’t win, are actually breaking the law.

Now here’s the kicker, just because they break the law, doesn’t mean the cops are going to do anything about it.

Yeah. Let that sink in.

The cops can choose to not enforce the law and just let the brats throw their temper tantrum at the expense of everyone who actually work for a living and are just trying to get home.

So why? Why would they indulge these selfish children? Honestly, I can’t say for sure. I’d arrest their spoiled, useless asses and toss them in the brig till mommy and daddy sprang them. The best I can guess is the brats are louder and messier than the professionals going home from work and it’s just easier to let the brats scream because the pissed off professionals are too busy with lives to get back at the city for letting the interference happen.

And that’s the heart of the problem with dealing with these antics. The group of snowflakes screaming are loud and difficult and can make your life hell because they have nothing better to do, and the adults they’re pissing off and inconveniencing do.

So what do we do? Bend over and take it because we’re adults and you couldn’t pay us to throw temper tantrums in the streets because we have that little thing most of my generation has tossed aside called pride?

Of course not. This is what we do. We handle it like adults. We go around the roadblocks, we vote in local leaders who will give the kids a much needed spanking, we write to the masses to get them to see our side and not just the narrative that’s been shoved down their throat like… sorry, not that kind of blog.

One of the ways we get around the leftists and encourage people to explore differing views and actually think is by making our own art. And here is my not so subtle push of my new book, Psychic Undercover (with the Undead). Psychic Ariana with the FBI has to go uncover as a singer at a club to catch a serial killer… but things get complicated when it turns out it’s a vamp club.


184 thoughts on “I Don’t Agree With What You Say, But I Will Defend To The Death Your Right To Say It – A Lawyer’s Riff On The First Amendment. – Amie Gibbons

  1. Note; I have not, YET, read the post. This is just a reaction to the headline;

    I see this phrase use quite frequently. Frankly, where the Progressive Left is concerned, my take is, “I Don’t Agree With What You Say, But I Will Defend To The Death Your Right To Say It , because every single time you open your pie hole you make a complete fool of yourself, and that makes me laugh, you self-important imbecile!”

    1. This is why while the left seeks to shut people up, the not-left (in general) is willing to let them speak… saying, in essence, “You want more rope? You’re making more rope? Go ahead, make and have more rope.” The only problem is letting them speak without rebuttal. That seems to be ending. Or at least I hope so.

      I do recall some considerable time ago when there was the question of how to save AM radio. AM stereo? But it wasn’t a technical thing – FM and then digital beat it there. But then this new programming came along and… bypassed a lot of traditional stuff. And what is ‘tradition’? Sometimes it’s just a rut with PR.

      1. Exactly. The remedy to offensive speech is more speech rebutting and scorning the original speech.

      2. On “more rope,” the attitude seems to be (if they even realize it) that if the rope is long enough, they won’t hang.

        The problem with this being another metaphor, that of the very deep *hole* they’ve been digging with both words and actions… Ain’t gonna be no rope long enough to save them, if it comes to that. And I’d much rather it didn’t, as me and mine and the whole rest of the world will be caught up in it, too.

  2. I found the most egregious recent claims of First Amendment protections occurred during the recent controversy over a congressman’s posting of a constituent’s painting depicting police as members of the porcine persuasion. When opponents challenged the picture as offensive and contrary to government need to convey respect for their designated law enforcement agents, those defending the pictures argued their defense on First Amendment grounds.

    This seemed a gross misunderstanding of that amendment. The First Amendment allows the student to paint such a picture but it does not require its exhibition in a government facility. That is the sort of nuance one would think those tasked with writing this nation’s laws would grasp. One might even, in a burst of wildly unfounded optimism, hope that the news media, the most prominent recipients of that amendment’s benefits, might have sufficient cause to have analysed and understood the limits of “Free Speech” to have clearly explained the issue.

    While one was at it it might have been more practical to wish for pigs to have wings and chickens to lay square eggs — both are more likely to occur than honest discussion of the First Amendment, especially from those who make their livelihoods from abusing it.

    1. Ah, but RES, the Constitution is *complicated,* you see. It has all those “shall not”s and suchlike that apply to *gasp!* the government, of all things. The government, which is supposed to care for us from cradle to grave, seeing to it that we never suffer any discomfort from Unapproved Thought, specifically barred from doing anything at all?

      Why, then it couldn’t do *everything* to… er, I mean, *for* you.

      1. Those who take the view of the ends justify the means, be they left or right, tend to have a more nebulous idea of what our constitution says and means. Maybe because they look more at favorable opinions and wishful thinking than actual text. So it is we have Rosie O’Donald’s constitutionally clueless blathering about Trump’s inauguration and Democrat attempts to contest the electoral vote count last January 6 without fulfilling the constitutional requirement (and I notice John Lewis said nary a peep during the count).

        Really, when I saw a link to the book, I hoped it would be something like The US Constitution: A Primer for Congressmen, Reporters, Actors, and Anyone Else Who Wants to Know What it Really Says and Means. That would be a good non-fiction book for a lawyer to write . . .

    2. The Progressive Left is in a position where they HAVE to paint declining to pay for something or endorse something as censorship, because if they don’t *poof* there goes the National Endowment for the Arts. They can’t accept the position that refusing to spend public monies on offensive art is merely thrift, because all the joy they get from adolescent idiocies like PISS CHRIST comes from forcing the people it is insulting to pay for it.

      And then they are all surprised when the Great Unwashed vote for somebody like Trump, who routinely insults THEM they way they do everyone else.

      I have no great hopes for Trump on a policy front, but watching him give the Left a taste of their own for four years is going to be PRICELESS.

      1. Yup. That is the thing about Trump that I am enjoying – the SJWs getting a taste of what they have been dishing up for eight years, or longer. Yes, I relish my scoops of shadenfreude with hot chocolate fudge, whipped cream, toasted almonds and a maraschino cherry on top…

        1. Yep. Seeing people whining that ‘My priorities (LBGT, Amnesty, socjus) won’t be advancing all because you rednecks are more concerned about furriners, your sky daddy and guns’ are both annoying and funny. You think the other half of the country just holds these as more significant than you do? Last I saw the group’s stomping on people with jackboots were your antifa idiots.

        1. They own everyone. Therefore any of the fruits of our labors is theirs and what we are allowed to keep is merely their graciousness.

  3. I’m always amused by the Snowflakes who try to invoke the “shouting fire in a crowded theater” defense for their attempts at censorship. I can’t imagine that any of them realize that it was originally from a case about jailing anti-war protesters, and thus the ones most likely to have their speech declared the equivalent of shouting fire in a crowded theater are the Snowflakes themselves.

    Mark Steyn has also pointed out that “fire in a crowded theater” was an outdated cliché even when it was first used. In the days when theaters were made of wood and lit by torches, fire was a serious danger. By the early 20th century, when they were made of brick and lit with gas lamps, it was much less of one. At this point, when we have electric lighting, smoke detectors, and modern fire-suppression systems, the argument is even more absurd.

    1. Oh, then you’ll just love their latest offering:

      “The First Amendment doesn’t protect whatever define as hate speech, and in fact justifies assaulting you under the ‘Fighting Words’ Supreme Court decision.”

      1. Oh please let them try to use the “fighting words” justification! They’ll find that they really hate the turn-about that will happen to them then next time they try to light up a US flag or something similar.

        1. Oh how quaint. You think the govt would see the similarity. “That’s different cuz we say so”

      2. US Constitution, Article 1 section 1.
        “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall be consist in a Senate and House of Representatives.”
        So the Supreme Court has NO authority under the Constitution to make law. Now, show me where the First Amendment says anything about either hate speech or assault.

        1. Well so far, the Supreme Court hasn’t spoke out in favor of “hate speech bans”.

          As for “fighting words”, the Supreme Court has been more interesting in restricting laws that make “fighting words” illegal.


          So, it appears that the Lefties are imagining things again. 😉

          1. I have a severe and growing problem with the various encroachments of the Supreme Court on American freedom. It doesn’t matter so much anymore whether I agree or disagree with a particular decision: It’s that it shouldn’t have that much power in the first place.

            1. I understand what you’re saying but I like to point out where the Supreme Court is still on the side of Freedom.

        2. The precedent for a lot of judicial “overreach” or “authority” depending on your view starts with Marbury vs. Madison and the John Marshall court. It’s been *cough* a while since Constitutional History class, and my books are in storage at the moment, but I think it was Gibbons vs. Ogden and Baron vs. Baltimore that really built on what regulatory/”law making” powers the Supremes have. IANAL, et cetera.

          1. Very convenient, that the Supreme Court can grant itself powers that the Constitution doesn’t give it. Who’s to tell it no, it can’t?

            1. Well, if you read the Founders, that was what they intended the Second Amendment for. It’s got a recall process in the penumbra.

              1. Short of that, the President could publicly declare that a Court decision is unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it. This would create a constitutional crisis and require Congress, or better yet the states, to take action. The states, if they were willing, could amend the Constitution to put in a check the founders didn’t foresee would be required. It shouldn’t require a 3/4 majority of the states and a constitutional amendment to override an unconstitutional decision by the court.

                1. It shouldn’t require a 3/4 majority of the states and a constitutional amendment to override an unconstitutional decision by the court.

                  Who decides that it was an “unconstitutional decision by the court”?

                  IMO Congress has other constitutional means to “influence” the Supreme Court and should use them.

                  Sadly, some of those means should have been used before.

                  On the other hand, I remember reading about what FDR tried to pull after the Supreme Court ruled that some of his programs were unconstitutional.

                  So we have historical evidence for the Supreme Court correctly overruling the President & Congress.

                  It would be a big mistake to “fix” a problem with one Branch of the Federal Government in a manner that could allow the other Branches of the Federal Government to act in unconstitutional manner.

                  In other words, don’t let your anger at the Supreme Court leave us open to unconstitutional actions by the other Branches of the Federal Government.

                  1. Who decides that it was an “unconstitutional decision by the court”?

                    That is indeed the very question. The court is deemed competent to rule on whether the acts of the President or Congress are constitutional, but there are evident problems of self-interest when it comes to refereeing its own decisions.

                  2. The President swears an oath to uphold the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. When push comes to shove, he would have to abide by his conscience, not the court.

                    and then things get ugly.

                2. Or you could win the political argument, get enough justices appointed to agree with you, then get the offending decision overturned, see Plessy v. Ferguson. Remember that the Court can’t just rule on whatever subject it desires whenever it wants. It has to have an appropriate case and, if the decision is to have any impact outside the specific case before it, a majority opinion. That’s why the NFIB v Sebelius decision had no impact outside the individual mandate, there were four justices who said that the Commerce Clause allowed the federal government to punish economic inaction, four justices who said that the mandate violated the Constitution, and Roberts who said that the Commerce Clause did not allow the government to punish inaction, but the government could tax pretty much anything, including inaction. There’s no guidance for future courts there.

        3. The Supreme Court doesn’t make law, it excises non-laws from the statutes and interprets the Law, which is what courts have done since time immemorial.

          1. But it sometimes “interprets” the law to say something it clearly does not say, which is pretty much the same as making new law.

              1. Oh, for one Roberts interpreting the Obamacare mandate to be a tax, even though it isn’t said within the law to be a tax and the administration specifically said it wasn’t a tax. For two, deciding that there was a constitutionally-protected right to abort unborn children, via the “penumbras and emanations” clause (what, you mean there isn’t any such clause in the Constitution?). You want more, I can provide more.

                1. On the other hand, there’s no Constitutional requirement that taxes be specifically labeled as such in the legislation. If something looks like a tax and quacks like a tax, you aren’t far wrong in calling it a tax.

                  As for Roe v. Wade, that’s a logical deduction from the right to privacy which everyone acknowledges exists (though there is debate about its exact scope) even though it’s not spelled out anywhere in the Constitution (in case you were wondering why the 9th Amendment was there).

                  1. 1. I do not acknowledge it
                    2. It’s not a logical deduction from it.
                    3. The overwhelming number of legal scholars and lawyers — even those who agree with the result — admit that the decision itself was rubbish.

                    1. 1) Tell me that when somebody posts video from your bathroom online.

                      2) Sure it is, your body is your property to do with as you see fit.

                      3) Rubbish or not, they weren’t just making stuff up out of whole cloth.

                  2. There IS, however, a requirement that bills involving taxes originate in the House. This didn’t, so they called it a penalty to duck that requirement.

                    1. No, the called it a penalty because they didn’t want to campaign on voting for a tax increase.

                      The bill did originate in the House. Of course the bill the House passed had nothing to do with Obamacare, but the Senate gutted it and, with the concurrence of the House, amended it. Did that violate the spirit of the Constitution? Probably, but it did follow the letter of the rules.

                  3. So what you’re doing while trying ever so much not to, is admitting that the court is using “interpretation” to create new law.

                    1. I think that in the Obamacare instance the court was using “interpretation” to uphold “new” law — the legislative and executive branches having already conspired to enact the law in question.

                      Even Roe v Wade was a striking down of existing laws, not enaction of new law.

                    2. What you’re doing while trying ever so much not to, is admitting that you have no idea what you’re talking about.

                    3. I see Jeff, you plan to get into the old ad hominem arguments now, eh? We’re done here, I think.

          2. When it decrees what tests are to be applied to laws not yet enacted in order for them to be constitutional, it is so making law. In effect. If the Supreme court were a referee, it would not only be calling plays by the rules, it would be editing the rules.

            1. The tests are part of interpreting existing laws, which is what courts – and referees – *DO*. When the Constitution says that people are entitled to due process, what does that actually mean? Can the cops hand me a card saying “due process” when they arrest me and then claim that the Constitutional requirement has been met? The point of those tests is to give the lower courts guidance in making their decisions. Not everything is supposed to be decided by the Supreme Court.

              1. And if you believe that, we have a nice bridge you might be interested. Occasionally they get cases where they interpret. A large chunk are legislating from the bench.

    2. It may be useful to point out at this point that many building codes were put into place because of fires or other incidents at crowded theaters. So-called “panic bars” were one.

      Building codes often seem stupid until you learn the reasoning (and deaths) behind them.

        1. ::looks it up on Wikipedia:: ::shudders:: Yeesh.

          And we just had that one out Cali, too. See, this is why I don’t go clubbing. (Well, that and crowds. And too-loud music. And crowds. 😀 )

      1. I’ve assumed that it’s a big part of the reason that the doors in all entertainment venues open outwards: a panicked crowd pushing on the door will open it rather than forcing it shut.

        1. Specific case for outward doors was a theatre fire in Chicago. Specific case for panic bars was the Albert Hall Disaster (horrible thing, don’t look it up if you can’t take child deaths.)

          1. And it’s *all* public buildings. Private residences are the only places with inward-opening doors, because that’s a protective factor.

    3. The problem with the “shouting fire in a crowded theatre” argument is that for all practical purposes you probably cannot be successfully prosecuted for doing so.

      First of all, the proper phrasing ought be “falsely shouting fire” — truth remains a defense. Thus any prosecution would have to prove at least two effectively undemonstrable facts: a) that it was you, not somebody else, who yelled fire and b) that you knew it to be untrue.

      It might also depend on the circumstances of the film (or theatrical exhibition), as one might reasonably (especially in an inner city theatre) call out fire when an on-screen character in a military production (e.g., Glory) calls out, “Ready, Aim … Fire!”

      1. Even truly shouting fire can have consequences—see the recent Oakland warehouse fire in the place that was being used as an illegal entertainment venue*.

        *While that place really should have been up to code, I am in complete sympathy with the artists and onlookers who frequented that place, because from everything I’ve heard, that was the sort of sanity saver that those very broke folk who haven’t yet been forced out of the Bay Area needed. The laws around there are such that attempting to get the landlord to agree to code upgrades is a quick path to getting evicted and the location bulldozed and turned into condos. The Bay Area is crazy crazy right now, and folk who have lived there all their lives are being forced out.

    4. That’s something that drives me nuts. It’s you can’t falsely shout it because the resulting panic could hurt someone. And they toss it around to say 1st am has limits, and then try to apply the limits to something like offensive speech.

      Being offended will not hurt you, you f*#king pussies!

      1. As a rule of thumb, if a Liberal says the Supreme Court (or the Constitution) supports them, I say “let’s find out what the facts are”. 😉

  4. I think it’s especially important to emphasize your point about just what the Bill of Rights does. All these amendments restrict the government from infringing on or abridging the pre-existing rights of individual citizens. They don’t say anything about the behavior of those citizens, either to restrict them from doing something or to require them to do something. Anyone making such a claim needs to have that explained to him or her in single syllable words. Preferably loudly.

      1. I’ve always felt that to be the most wonderful thing. Tell an American he can’t do something and, by jingo, he’ll find a way to do it. In fact, that’s how I describe being an American to foreigners. We don’t, in the main, allow anyone to tell us what we cannot do. Of course, that doesn’t count for serious things such as murder, etc but I think you get my drift.

    1. The body of the Constitution is about what the government is allowed to do. More precisely, what little it is allowed to do. The misnamed “Bill of Rights” (better would be “Bill of Limitations”) for purposes of redundancy says the same thing a second time. At the time of its adoption, there was opposition on the grounds that the amendments were unnecessary, and might create the wrong impression. In retrospect, it’s a good thing that argument didn’t get the upper hand. Consider for example a Constitution without the 2nd amendment. The lawful powers of the federal government would not be changed at all — since there’s nothing in the Constitution that grants the feds the power to mess with our guns, and consequently they have no such power. But it took the 2nd amendment along with a whole lot of pounding on dim judges to have that be recognized even a little bit.
      It’s interesting that the 1st Amendment speaks of Congress and thus appears to be limited to the federal government (apart from the changes brought by the 14th Amendment, that is). But most of the others are not so limited, so a rational reading of them has to apply them to all governments. That’s rarely been done, but it’s not unheard of; Stephen Halbrook cites a Texas Supreme Court opinion applying the 2nd amendment to a state case for that reason.
      Since the BoR limits government powers, it follows that it’s nonsense to claim it doesn’t “apply” to some citizens because they are too young, or suchlike. Schools can’t legally excuse violating freedom of speech with the argument that “the Constitution only applies to adults” or some such rot. (Credit to Neil Smith to point out this and other points — he’s written a lot of good stuff on the subject).
      Given that companies get special protections beyond those given to the individuals involved, one might argue (as Neil has) that the limitations on what governments can do should be applied there as well. It certainly makes sense to do so when dealing with public utilities, such as Youtube or Twitter.
      “Hate speech” is a classic example of a concept (like “assault weapon”) invented by communists for the purpose of attacking our liberties. Other countries might have such things because they don’t have constitutions, or what passes for one doesn’t set any limits. But the USA is different — which is one big reason why I’m here and not in Holland.

      1. As far as imposing First Amendment restrictions on private companies, the tools for so doing are already in place, within the Public Accommodation* doctrine. Having inserted the camel’s nose into commercial activity by requiring any business to refrain from discriminating against individuals — by for example, denying service on the basis of race, creed or sexual orientation — it logically follows that a service provider like AOL or FaceBook can no more discriminate against certain types of viewpoints than a cake decorator can discriminate by refusing to create cake designs celebrating interspecies weddings — the Bride of Cthulu has the same right to a cake as the Milo of Yiannopoulos has to tweet.

        1. It doesn’t seem to work like that in the minds of those making the rules. We’ve already established that the Bride of Cthulu has the right to her cake but Melania Trump doesn’t have a right to her designer dress.

          1. Yep. And always fun for the wheeled goalposts to come out. One issue I have with “civil rights laws” is that it just becomes an amalgamation of the favored interest groups. And once that starts it just favors more title for tat identity politics. And then private companies gotta play nice with only specific groups.

            If you are going to say that a private company can refuse to sell due to ideology (say a publishing house) someone with an existing contract and previous results but a sole proprietorship has to genuflect to every person that walks in the door.

            1. Rule Of Law has forever meant: all the law your lawyers can deliver.

              Any promise beyond that is unicorn dust and pixie farts. It is undoubtedly unjust, but there is no binding promise of justice on anybody’s birth certificate. You can choose two from Column A, one from Column B but you won’t find True Justice on life’s menu.

              We can provide a reasonable approximation but anybody selling you True Justice is selling you vaporware.

      2. YouTube and Twitter are not public utilities. That would require that, due to space … limitations (such as only so many poles and wires will fit in a right-of-way competition is not possible. They might qualify as public accommodations or they might not. I would be very interested in an analysis of this by a lawyer with experience in the field, I could see it being argued either way.

        1. “YouTube and Twitter are not public utilities.” No, but the FCC ruled–and the ruling was upheld last year by the DC Circuit–that broadband providers were the equivalent of common carriers.

          I expect that at some point, we will see the courts address whether broadband providers are subject to the same legal regime as true public accommodations.

        2. What they are (or claim to be) is “common carriers” like the phone company, who merely transmit the content you see on them. This supposedly protects them from liability under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act for not removing such content as jihadi recruiting videos, BLM activists calling for “a day to kill white people”, etc.

          However, they don’t seem to have any problem operating as “private companies” when removing Legal Insurrection channel, kicking Milo off Twitter, removing “fake news”, avoiding search warrants, etc.

          In short, the rules for Calvinball work for them.

  5. “We handle it like adults.”

    Well, there’s the problem right there. We’re adults. The other side . . . not so much. No matter their age, those folks are not grown up, and never will be.

  6. That whole yelling fire argument is used quite often to justify imposing restrictions and constraints on the actions of our citizens. In particular it is quoted ad nauseum when trying to enact even more “sensible” gun control laws. But the truth is that the whole yelling fire concept does not one thing to prevent anyone from yelling, what it does is allow for punishment should someone do so falsely and with malicious intent that results in harm to persons or property.
    To reverse the logic such as it is, if any number of gun control laws were applied to speech we would be required to don locked ball gags before entering a theater. Attractive though that might be, I hope everyone agrees it’s ridiculous on the face of it.
    But then it would seem that reason and logic have less than a passing acquaintance with any number of our current laws and regulations.

  7. Amie, I appreciate that it would have substantially complicated the argument, but you might have discussed the whole “state agent” aspect of the problem. As I understand it, the current state of play in rights jurisprudence (dunno if that’s quite the correct term) is that an entity that is not formally part of the government may nevertheless be subject to constitutional restrictions: the example I generally hear is public colleges and universities (which of course are state agents *of the states*, not of the Federal government, but then you’d have to delve into the whole 14th amendment equal-protection business…) being treated pretty much like the government by the courts on these issues.

    1. There’s a ton of stuff I didn’t touch on. Mostly because it was long enough and my bed time when I finished it 🙂

      Also, just a general overview. Anything more specific could be its own post.

    2. Thanks to Title IX, Federally financed student loans and the Grove City College v. Bell
      decision, any recipient of Federal funding, ALL colleges, public or private (with the notable exceptions of Hillsdale, Grove City, Wyoming Catholic College and Patrick Henry College, among others) are effectively state agents and subject to Federal regulation.

      1. N.B. — All speculation that under a Hillary Clinton appointed Supreme Court a decision would have eventually been reached declaring campus access via a Federally funded highway would have established sufficient premise for Federal oversight is pure conjecture even if highly realistic.

        1. Of course. That’s no different from the existing regulations that any mud puddle is claimed to be a navigable body of water under the jurisdiction of the federal government.

  8. “In very general terms, someone can post on Facebook that the president should be shot or they hope he is”

    Of course, if the Secret Service becomes aware of your public posting, they are very much allowed to investigate and ensure that you aren’t actually aware of or involved in an attempt to do the very thing that you’re arguing in favor of.

  9. As far as I can make out, the claim is that “free speech” means guaranteed immunity from all CONSEQUENCES.
    On one of my mailing lists, we got a complaint from someone that people in the local branch of a certain organization (which I shall not name lest it set off a flame war) were “ostracizing” him. The first reply was advice to, in those exact words, “Scream First Amendment and call the ACLU.” The advisor offered no advice on what legal remedy would apply… an injunction for people to be nice to him? As Lord Salisbury said to demands that he Do Something about Captain Boycott’s trouble, “How do you make a law to keep people from leaving the room when someone they don’t like has come into it?”

  10. Somebody says “I Don’t Agree With What You Say, But I Will Defend To The Death Your Right To Say It” and I say “Where’s your DD-214?”

    It’s that simple.

      1. I trust Veterans more than I trust so-called “patriots” unwilling to sacrifice their time to preserve our country. You trying to conflate vets with bureaucrats does npt make you look particularly honest or dependable in tight places.

        1. And none of your argument has made you look either intelligent or dependable. If you’re willing to write off that much of the country in a fit of arbitrary snark, I’m not sure I’d trust you behind me with a gun in uniform or out.

        2. Nevermind the little detail that not everyone is suited to or capable of serving in the military, nor the fact that being either of those or otherwise choosing to live their lives in a way that does not involve serving in the military does not automatically make them second-class citizens or not worthy of being listened to. Or that they could not legitimately fight–be it with words or actual fighting–to protect the rights of themselves and others.

          If someone chooses to serve in the military, that’s fantastic. I’ll appreciate them for choosing to do so. But it’s their choice, and their life. If I choose to do something else with my life, that does not give them license to sneer at me–or anyone else–because I opted to do something different, anymore than I have license to sneer at someone for choosing to become a soldier. (Because that’s being an ass, and not acting like an adult who respects others choices and liberty.) Nor does it make me any less a patriot, if by patriot you mean “someone who loves and honors the principles and ideals of the United States of America, the Constitution, etc.”

    1. Well, no. Unless they are active military or hold certain elective office all citizens are members of the unorganized militia as defined by constitutional law and subject to call up to defend the country and the constitution.
      No DD-214 required.

      1. Baloney. If someone says they’re willing to die for my rights, I’ve got the right to ask them to show me where they put their money.

        1. You’re not going to win this one. Those of us who did serve recognize that it’s the responsibility of every citizen to defend the rights of others. Not having served neither exempts nor disqualifies someone from the moral duty to defend the rights of others.

          1. A) Not all who serves do so in defense of the abstract moral rights of their fellow citizens; some merely do it for the free tuition and health care.

            B) There may possibly be some small disagreements as to the precise array of rights being defended; mostly those defending seem to be defending your right to be a fool.

            C) The Evelyn Beatrice Hall quote which is the source of this essay’s title is possibly not a literal assertion of willingness to die; it was a rhetorical fillip, a grandiose statement of principle. Alternatively, it ought be noted it does not assert any claim as to whose death this right will be defended. Failure to recognise hyperbole is a symptom of a humourless mind.

            1. “…humorless mind.”
              ” “If,” said Mr. Quin, “I were to say that you did not see the great truths of science exhibited by that tree, though they stared any man of intellect in the face, what would you think or say? You would merely regard me as a pedant with some unimportant theory about vegetable cells. If I were to say that you did not see in that tree the vile mismanagement of local politics, you would dismiss me as a Socialist crank with some particular fad about public parks. If I were to say that you were guilty of the supreme blasphemy of looking at that tree and not seeing in it a new religion, a special revelation of God, you would simply say I was a mystic, and think no more about me. But if”—and he lifted a pontifical hand—”if I say that you cannot see the humour of that tree, and that I see the humour of it—my God! you will roll about at my feet.” — THE NAPOLEON OF NOTTING HILL

        2. And as demonstrated here, they have the right to tell you you’re full of it, as a few have done here. You’ve picked the wrong crowd here. As drloss said, those of us who have served understand that defending the rights of others is EVERYONE’s responsibility, whether they could serve or not.

          1. This is what I mean. Many will claim the article’s title without rubber meeting road.

            And don’t think I don’t respect all of you who win coffeeshop arguments. I just don’t believe you’re willing to defend anyone other than yourself.

            Call me humorless, tell me I lost; but when have you actually risked your life to defend someone you dislike?

            1. When have you? And have you willfully ignored where both drloss and I said we HAVE served? Or are you moving the goal post so you can maintain your self-righteous indignation?

            2. I spent twenty-five years in government service, some of it at significant personal risk both domestically and abroad. Every day of that time I considered myself to be working for every one of our citizens including sorry a$$es such as yourself.

  11. I always hate to hear lawyers (particularly woman lawyers) tell us that the First Amendment is actually a toothless “right” that doesn’t really confer anything on anyone. In effect, we have no actual right to free speech, because the only place we can safely exercise it is in the privacy of our own homes, alone, in which case what’s the point? The reason I’m angry about this is that I’m old enough to remember when we actually had free speech at work, and were allowed to practice it all we wanted, provided we simply did our jobs, which was (and is) all we’re actually paid to do anyway.

    It was only when women started coming into the workplace in large numbers that all the speech violations started happening. As I said, before women came in and ruined it for the rest of us, we were all allowed to voice any opinion we had. Why not? It’s only an opinion, and everyone is entitled to their own, correct? (I’ve never understood why women are so afraid of hearing free speech practiced; it’s as if they spend all their lives terrified of having their delusions questioned or something.) Now they’ve created workplaces where people live in fear. Hear you roar, indeed.

    These days, since women came into the workforce and started bullying white, straight men into the oppressive silence that now pervades every workplace, most men I know hate their jobs, other than the money they make and perhaps the challenge of the work itself. Like most men in the workplace, I learned years ago that making friends at work is not safe. Once feminist women took over Human Resources departments, everything a straight white male said at work can and will be used against him in a court of law, and he could lose his livelihood simply for expressing an opinion that may have been thought perfectly harmless last month but is now considered some kind of “ism.” It’s why there are so many “strong, silent types” in offices nowadays — men have learned that if you don’t keep you mouth shut, you don’t keep your job.

    Thanks a pant-load for all the “hostile work environment” lawsuits over the years — all you’ve succeeded in is silencing some of your co-workers and earning their hidden enmity. I can’t wait to retire…

    1. In my experience, problems along the lines of what you report actually have little to do with either coworkers of genders other than my own, or in fact the gender or lack thereof of HR staffers – the problem is more with the power granted to HR departments to keep on the right side of various levels of government busybody agencies.

      Power corrupts, HR power corrupts absolutely, and as an employee, its is important to not to even glance into the HR domain too long, as HR is always looking into you.

    2. Warning: Not only am I not a lawyer, I didn’t spend the night at a Holiday Inn. Do not take this as a legal opinion.

      This is going to be cold, but a private business isn’t Congress, and “Congress shall make no law . . .” does not apply. If that doesn’t seem right, I know of a lawyer who once said “What the law says is one thing; what is right is another.” If you work for Wally’s Wonked Widgets and tell customers that Wayne’s Warp Wenches makes a better product, Congress can pass no law that says you can’t say that, but Wally’s Wonked Widgets can still give you a pink slip.

      Yeah, there’s a lot of SJW crap going on, but there’s no law that says a business can’t let HR act like they’ve cornered the market on organic fertilizer. Part of freedom is the freedom to make bad mistakes. Just as nothing says we must work for a company that makes them. That’s easier said than done, of course, but if a company want to hurt productivity by being oh so politically correct, well, the business landscape is littered with failed businesses. That’s no consolation to being on the receiving end of SJW crap, but that’s the way it is.

      Does this mean the 1st Amendment is meaningless. Heavens, no. We’ve lived with it for so long that I don’t think we realize exactly how we benefit from it. Congress cannot, for example, make it illegal to hand out campaign literature for a political party, or make it a crime for members of that party to peacefully assemble, or to criticize the government or a political party. Wally’s Wonked Widgets might can fire you for cause if the management was for Hillary and spotted a Trump sticker on your car, but the Federal government cannot put you in jail for it. That’s worth a lot.

      1. A lot of this garbage can be traced to rules, promulgated by the EEOC, which has long since become a national busybody, telling businesses (in microscopic detail) that have federal contracts or engage in interstate commerce what they can and can’t do.

      2. So the phrase “Congress shall make no law that infringes on free speech” means any other entity is free to infringe? Why is that considered a satisfactory state of affairs?

        And a right that nobody is allowed to exercise unless they’re in complete isolation from everyone else strikes me as nothing but meaningless. It’s like saying I’m free to be religious provided I never practice that religion in public nor ever acknowledge that I’m religious. That’s not worth a lot.

        1. The Constitution is a delegation of limited authority to the federal government because it is a document intended to protect the People’s liberty from encroachment by that government.

          For encroachment by forces other than government there are other recourses. If Twitter or Facebook deem certain viewpoints an affront to their communities they retain power to limit those expressions — and there is nothing to protect them from consumer response to those limitations. The NY Times are free to misrepresent the views of conservatives, to ignore scandals perpetrated by liberals without consequence from the government but not without consequence in the marketplace.

          So long as government is limited and denied the authority to define what is or is not “fake” news the people are free to act through the marketplace to promote alternate media. Demanding government affirmatively defend free speech would empower the tyranny free speech is intended to preclude.

          1. The one and only way in which free-speech rules (note, NOT the First Amendment) could be binding on Twitter and Facebook is if they start trying to claim “common carrier” status for protection against lawsuits. At which point, they’d be informed that to count as a “common carrier”, you need to be content-agnostic or content-neutral. UPS doesn’t care what you put in that box you’ve asked them to deliver, they just care whether it’s fragile or dangerous. Therefore, if someone uses UPS to mail a package of illegal drugs, they’re protected from liability for those drugs, because they’ll take packages from anyone and don’t inspect the content of the packages.

            So if Twitter starts censoring particular viewpoints, they’ve opened themselves up to lawsuits based on other viewpoints that they didn’t censor. Because now that they’ve proven that they are happy to censor viewpoints that they disagree with, they’ve created a presumption that if they don’t censor a tweet that (for example) calls for a President to be assassinated, it means they agree with that hypothetical tweet. (You’d have to prove that they were aware of the tweet’s content, but in this hypothetical, you’d have reported such a tweet to their abuse process and given them a week or two to remove it, and THEN you’d file the lawsuit.)

            I know you know this, RES, but this comment worked better as a response to yours (since you mentioned Facebook and Twitter) than as a response to tobytylersf.

            1. If I had a “LIKE” function I would use it to express appreciation for the clarity of your explanation. Instead I will have to publicly convey my approval.

              1. That doesn’t surprise me in the least. But I didn’t know it for a fact, so I said “if” just to be sure I wasn’t asserting things I didn’t know to be true.

          2. The problem with your statement is simply that “private business” no longer exists. When a member of a Government Victim Group can enlist entire bureaucracies and legal process to deny your speech by raising your employer’s cost of doing business, and you have no such privilege, every case has 1A implications.

        2. “So the phrase ‘Congress shall make no law that infringes on free speech’ means any other entity is free to infringe?”

          Yep, freedom’s a bitch.

          “Why is that considered a satisfactory state of affairs?”

          Because freedom.

          “And a right that nobody is allowed to exercise unless they’re in complete isolation from everyone else strikes me as nothing but meaningless. It’s like saying I’m free to be religious provided I never practice that religion in public nor ever acknowledge that I’m religious. That’s not worth a lot.”

          That’s not what the First Amendment says. It says that the government can’t shut you up. Property owners, on the other hand, have the right to tell you to take your crap elsewhere for whatever reason. You can say what you like in public on your own property, on public property (with a few restrictions, every other citizen has a right to that property the same as you) and on private property of those who don’t have a problem with what you’re saying.

          Maybe you think that you somehow have the right to infringe on a property owner’s rights, in which case I’d advise you to pack up and take your crap elsewhere. Such ideas don’t really fly with this group.

            1. My point concerned private property, not private business. If a business decides to not fight the Progressive-bureaucracy complex over your statements that’s their decision and in no way a violation of your 1A rights.

              1. So as long as the whip and chains are only being shown to encourage slavery the slavery isn’t real?

                1. “Wheeeeet” Flag on play: gratuitous hyperbole! Fifteen-yard loss of credibility.

                  Slavery? Really? Whips and chains? All men are bound by the moral codes they have constructed for themselves, so all men are slaves to their self-conceit.

          1. “Such ideas don’t really fly with this group.”

            When you speak for me, you’ll be the second to know.

            1. I wasn’t speaking for you, I was speaking for the group. You know, the one with “taking over the world and leaving it ruthlessly alone” right on the tin?

              1. If I’m not part of this group, Sarah will tell me.

                Second, you can’t be left alone in a world already taken over by people who will NEVER do that. If you haven’t grokked that, you’re stoned. And I will look forward to your painful sobering up.

                1. While you cannot speak for the group, neither can the group speak for you. As stated, what Jeff said holds: anybody asserting a “right to infringe on a property owner’s rights” is going to find few sympathizers amongst the Huns.

                  If you want to defend the view that the government has an affirmative power to intrude into individuals’ affairs to assist them in “exercising their free speech rights” I suggest you check with Sarah before burning her band width. The arguments you have made thus far seem to point the other direction, however: that the government has already slipped from its natural boundaries and is drowning us all in red tape.

                  1. I THINK Steve if violently agreeing with everyone. IOW I think you guys are tired and grumpy. Don’t make me stop this blog and try to figure out how everyone misunderstood everyone else.

                    1. You beat me to it.

                      This Grumpy Dragon was getting annoyed at the “blue on blue” garbage.

                  2. “the government has an affirmative power to intrude into individuals’ affairs to assist them in “exercising their free speech rights” ”

                    What I am saying is that the government has already assumed that power —- but only selectively. Those rules need to be either applied across the board —- or abolished entirely.

                    Since the demonstrated track record of the Left indicates that they will never voluntarily agree to this abolishment until they experience the full measure of pain those powers can inflict, we should inflict it until surrender.

                    1. Abolished entirely — for the simple and sufficient reason you don’t see them listed among the enumerated powers in Article 1 Section 8.

                    2. However, until they can be abolished (and never brought back), the only path is to apply them to everyone.

            2. The thing that Jeff said wouldn’t fly with this group was the idea that “you somehow have the right to infringe on a property owner’s rights.” Is that what triggered you saying that Jeff doesn’t speak for you? Are you saying that you do think that you have the right to infringe on someone else’s rights?

              Or do you just not like someone else speaking for you on general principles even when it just so happens that you do agree with the idea that they’re expressing?

              Because if it’s the latter, I can still respect you.

              1. And I should note, because on re-reading what I just wrote I realize that it sounded a bit confrontational, that I do think that it’s the latter. If so, please accept my apologies for the accidentally too-aggressive nature of that comment. I only meant to be aggressive if you actually meant that you think you have the right to infringe on someone else’s rights. If that’s not what you meant, and I do think that it’s not and that you were simply saying “Hey, don’t speak for me, let me speak for myself,” then I didn’t intend any aggression, so please accept my apologies if I accidentally conveyed any.

              2. Pick your poison. I know which I meant. So does he. And frankly, so do you, because I quoted the part of the post that remark applied to.

                I’m pleased to see people who mocked the Puppy Kickers adopting their tactics of misconstruing anything that disagrees with them.

                1. I deliberately asked you which one it was, rather than assuming it was one or the other. So I don’t appreciate being accused of misconstruing your words when I deliberately did not assume the worst interpretation.

                  … I quoted the part of the post that remark applied to.

                  Genuine question: where? Because I just went back and looked at every comment you’d written, and the only place I can see where you quoted Jeff’s post is where you quoted the sentence “Such ideas don’t really fly with this group.” Could you show me where you quoted any other part of Jeff’s post?

                  Huh — I’m starting to think that maybe this misunderstanding, and your incorrectly accusing me of deliberately misconstruing your words, is because you posted (or tried to post) a longer comment including another quote, but WordPress ate it. And so you’re getting upset that I’m deliberately misconstruing your comment, but I never saw your longer explanation. Is that what happened?

                    1. I still only see the line “Such ideas don’t really fly with this group” quoted, and nothing else. So my confusion remains, since usually when someone objects to “This group won’t agree with X” and says “Don’t speak for me,” it’s because they do agree with X.

                      *shrug* Oh well, misunderstandings happen. As Drak said, blue-on-blue; please accept my apologies for accidentally misconstruing your meaning.

                    2. “Such ideas don’t really fly with this group.”

                      When you speak for me, you’ll be the second to know.

                      That’s the full post from that link.

        3. The US Constitution is like the bylaws of a club, except in this case the club is made up of states. Today we tend to think of states as provinces, but that’s not the case. Substitute the word nation and you’ll get a clearer picture.

          Each member nation ceded only enough authority to the “club” to keep things running. After the old by-laws (the Articles of Confederation), they had a good idea of what didn’t work. If you really want a kicker, as worded the 1st Amendment does not say each member cannot make laws restricting free speech. Never made any kind of study of state constitutions, but my guess is they have similar provisions.

          You call it a useless? Just because what you say could get you fired? Being fired is not the same as being shot by a firing squad, or hung, or sent to the gulags, or just disappearing in the middle of the night. If you want a whiff of what the US would be without the 1st Amendment, look into the Alien and Sedition Acts. Even that it wasn’t as bad as what’s going on in North Korea now, where criticism of the government can get not only you, but your entire family and dependents sent to a slave labor camp.

          Those who argued out the US Constitution and Bill of Rights knew very well what it was like living without the freedom of speech: they’d done so during the Colonial era. They wanted none of that crap from the new central government they were trying to hammer out. For the most part they’ve succeeded.

          1. as worded the 1st Amendment does not say each member cannot make laws restricting free speech.

            In support of this proposition. please note that at the time of the Constitution’s ratification most (all? not worth checking) state constitutions had language recognizing an official establishment of religion. That changed rather quickly over the following fifty years but clearly the Framers recognized the bar against any religious establishment as applying ONLY to the federal government.

            1. In large part because there were several different established religions, the federal government couldn’t establish one without forcing its decision on one or more states.

    3. It was only when women started coming into the workplace in large numbers that all the speech violations started happening. As I said, before women came in and ruined it for the rest of us, we were all allowed to voice any opinion we had.


      Or is this an argument from facts not in evidence? I suspect there were employees of Henry Ford and of George Pullman who did not share your views on what opinions were allowed to be expressed in the workplace.

      In my lifetime there have been repeated instances of members of the Teamsters, of the Dockworkers and of the United Min Workers unions who did not enjoy the freedom of expression you say existed. Those who tried did not typically enjoy good health afterward.

    4. I’d love to know when this magical era when there were no womenfolk in the workplace occurred. Since, y’know, women have been part of the workforce in most areas for at least seven decades, if not more than a century.

      And yeah, not buying that there was ever a magical time that even a man could say whatever he liked to whomever he liked in the workplace (say…a supervisor, or the owner, as an example) and face no consequences. Because being disruptive to the workplace, or being a jackass, or otherwise hostile–employers don’t like that, and will shut it down. And as they aren’t the government, it’s within their rights.

      I mean, just call me a silly little woman, but I have no objections to communicating as an adult and an equal with a man in the workplace. If he’s training me, I’ll listen to what he has to say, because he’s been doing the job longer than me. If I’m training him, I expect the same from him. Now, if he’s going to insult me, and tell me I don’t belong there by reason of my sexual organs, or if he’s going to make crude remarks to me because I’m a woman, then yeah–there’s gonna be a problem. But that’s not violation of his freedom of speech, that’s because he’s being an ass and apparently can’t behave like a decent human being.

      And just as a hint–you are aware that you are on a blog run by a woman, and the guest post was written by a woman, and many of us in the community are, in fact, women? And you’re not really getting your point across by shouting that it’s all women’s fault and how dare we want to earn a living.

      If you’ve had bad run ins with SJW types who happen to be women in the past, then you have my sympathies. But painting “women in the workplace” in general as the problem? Yeah, that is–to put it mildly–some pretty wild overgeneralization there.

        1. In which case, I gotta ask if our commenter above is some kind of vampire or immortal, to have been alive prior to that.

          In which case–dude, you totally should have looked into investments!! Or treasure-hoarding opportunities! You’ve had thousands of years to get to a point where you don’t have to deal with the workplace!! 😀

        2. My mom had her own business, and supported the family while my dad was in a practically unpaid internship (before I was born.) Even after she made more money than he did. My grandmother had a business and supported the family when my grandfather was unemployed.
          the myth that there was a time women weren’t allowed to work is an SJW one (that unfortunately the alt-right has swallowed hook, line and sinker.)
          There was a brief time post WWII when there were FEWER women in the work place than before. And before it wasn’t socially ENFORCED for most women to work, so wealthy enough women didn’t.
          And yes, SJWs in the workplace are a problem, but that’s an extreme left thing and the government who empowers them, not a “women working” thing.
          Throughout most of history including the industrial revolution, most women had to work, to keep the kids fed.

      1. Gee, I’m sorry, I forgot to say that women are the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human beings I’ve ever known. And thanks for trying to censor me and my feelings, I appreciate it. It’s how I know you’re a woman, when you bully me and tell me how decent human beings are supposed to behave. Where would we be without women to define and control us?

        In the early 1970s, I worked on oil rigs offshore. There were no, repeat, no women there. Everyone called each other the nastiest names we could think of, because that’s how men have fun. All the men I worked with were decent human beings with wives and families, yet the walls of the oil rigs were covered with pornography, because seeing naked women cheers men up, even decent ones. I doubt that women like you would understand that, but then you’ve already posted a long diatribe outlining your limitations.

        Yes, I’m aware that there are women on this blog, because look at how they react to any criticism at all, which was my original point. In my life, I’ve been in all boys schools and all men workplaces, and when those changed to co-ed schools and workplaces, it always ruined it for the boys and men. And I’ve never, ever found a woman anywhere (besides my wife) who was sympathetic, because for the most part, women hate men and show it whenever they can. Tant pis.

        1. When/If our Female Host kicks you out of here this Man will be glad to see you go.

          There are Female Jerks and Female non-Jerks as well as Male Jerks and Male non-Jerks.

          Smart people know the difference.

          1. Tsk. Cut Toby some slack, Drak: he only has blood enough for one head and the one he runs it through was not designed for thinking.

            1. True, but my tolerance for fools is getting low.

              Doesn’t matter if they are “Natural Born Fools” or if they are “Fools because they listened to the wrong people”. 😦

              1. Uh… pity me. I’m going to be at a (baseline left) convention all day tomorrow. And my patience too is getting short.
                I’m cutting the final panel, on awards, because I had a dream someone went off on SP and I killed him. And I look awful in orange.

                1. How did that go?

                  “Stress is the result of keeping yourself from killing somebody who deserves killing”? 😈 😈 😈 😈

                2. Ah! Here it is.

                  Stress is “the confusion caused when ones mind overrides the body’s natural desire to choke the living shit out of some asshole that desperately needs it.”

            2. What do you call a Bugatti Veyron with my grandmother behind the wheel? A slow car. It’s not just the horsepower, but what you do with it. You could have a six digit IQ but if you’re buying what the Diurnal Voice is selling you are, at that moment, not smart. Even smart people can be profoundly stupid at times **raises hand**.

        2. We are not censoring your feelings. Were you deleted?
          Your feelings are just not in tune with reality. LEFTISTS cause issues in workplaces. I’ve had friends whose careers were ruined by SJWs both male and female.
          You’re not stupid. You are misinformed.
          I went to all-girl schools. They’re hell on Earth, but not the way you think. Most of the roles assumed you’d classify as male, including the physical bullies.
          The female bully in the work place is not a function of hormones. It’s a function of affirmative action and regulation.

          1. “The female bully in the work place is not a function of hormones. It’s a function of affirmative action and regulation.”

            But of course, neither of those involve the First Amendment, because the workplace is a “private business”. “headdesk”

            The only reason the bullying works is because the bully can point to the gun, whip and shackles in that glass case called Government. Only the “proper blood types” are allowed to open it.

            And then those of us who point that out? We’re “alt-right”, because we insist that the law either works exactly the same for all blood types, or NONE of them are allowed to open that case. You can think of Trump as the transfusion reaction finally presenting.

            And I’ll stand four square behind my original assertion: anyone who doesn’t see that is exactly where we are right now is simply stoned.

            1. Because workplace bullies were completely non-existent prior to the EEOC. Bullies exist because the bully has access to power in one form or another, e.g. physical, economic, social, political, etc. Yes, EEO complaints are a powerful tool for a certain class of bully, but they’re not nearly as powerful as you seem to think.

              1. Not non-existent — but the cost of getting rid of said bully has grown exponentially. Yeah, the bully could bad mouth your company — but not the legal structure that would allow her to pick up the phone and have bureaucrats crawling all over you whose biases were on her side.

                  1. Hell, Jeff, look at how the CRA got implemented. The banks weren’t being racist in refusing loans — but Barack Obama and his fellow race hustlers could CLAIM it was, and the bureaucracy would harass the banks into compliance.

                    1. The government wasn’t involved in those cases, it was a matter of the banks deciding that paying Obama et al. Danegeld was cheaper than actually proving their case. The idiotic report from the Boston Fed certainly helped the banks make poor decisions, but they weren’t bowing down to government force.

                    2. I can’t really agree with you here. Any time you’re paying Danegeld, you are bowing down to an implied threat of force. Just because the threat is veiled in “Nice bank you have here, shame if anything like an audit might happen to it” doesn’t mean that the threat isn’t communicated, understood, and acted upon. The fact that the banks took action against their own interest, making loans to people they knew were too high risk to be worth loaning money to, is ipso facto proof that they had understood the threat that the government would take unspecified action against them if they did not.

                    3. In case it wasn’t clear, my “I can’t agree with you here” comment above was directed at Jeff Gauch’s comment of 9:57 PM.

                    4. Not necessarily. The various community organizers certainly would have taken action against them, and the administration probably would have supported that, but there’s no guarantee that the courts would have sided with the activists. Regardless of who the government wound up siding with, the banks were going to be out quite a lot of money in legal fees, which made capitulating to the threats much more acceptable. Especially when you factor in the fact that the banks thought they could use derivatives to shield themselves from the risks they were assuming.

                    5. It was a calculated risk for the banks. Bend the knee to the government and take a calculable expense or fight the government and, win or lose their case, spend an unknown but large quantity of money, time and managerial attention defending themselves in court. Add in the attendant negative publicity and the ever present shakedown from race hustlers community activists and the choice is obvious.

                      Look at the saga of Maurice R. “Hank” Greenberg and AIG, still battling the NY Attorney General’s office after ten+ years even though seven of the nine charges brought originally have been dropped. Per wiki:

                      In November 2012 a Miami court dismissed Greenberg’s claims that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York breached its fiduciary duties to AIG shareholders. In late 2011 Greenberg’s Starr International announced a lawsuit against the federal government. According to Reuters, the lawsuit seeks $55.5 billion in damages against the government stemming from the government’s financial bailout in 2008. Following a lengthy trial in Fall 2014, the Court of Federal Claims ruled in June 2015 that the federal government acted without authority, but did not award any damages. That decision is on appeal. The market value of the 79.9% of AIG Common Stock the government acquired on the day of the government agreed to loan AIG up to $85 billion was $55.4 billion. By the end of 2012, AIG had repaid all of its loans and the government had made a $17.7 billion profit on the AIG equity it had acquired as a result, plus $6.7 billion in interests and fees.

                      In July 2013 Greenberg filed a civil lawsuit against Spitzer alleging that Spitzer made repeated defamatory statements against him. In December, 2013 Greenberg filed a complaint with the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics alleging that New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had violated the state’s public officer’s law by making disparaging comments about him that could potentially taint a jury venire in any trial.

                      So long as government officials can act with impunity, bringing cases against private sector entities at no personal cost (perhaps if courts could rule that the official was personally liable for defendant court costs in cases found to have been brought without reasonable basis?) this abuse will continue, and there are very few levers to protect against such abuses.

                    6. I agree in theory (I personally would like to see juries able to return verdicts of “responsible” “not responsible” and “the plaintiff is an a$$hat” with the latter requiring the plaintiff to pay the defendant whatever they were asking for in the suit) but it’s not just government that abuses the tort system this way. It’s largely become a mechanism for extortion, e.g. patent trolls. The whole system needs to be put to the torch and rebuilt, but there are too many people making too much money for that to happen.

        3. Awww, so your widdle feelings were hurt because you couldn’t act like a six year old at work anymore? Gosh, and to think that someone might have expected you to act like a grownup! That’s not me whining ’cause I’m a woman, sweetie, that’s you not being man enough to act like a polite, civil human being. I’d call out another woman for the exact same behavior. And clearly your idea of censorship is as screwed up as your idea of ‘free speech.’ So far people have asked you to cite something other than your opinion regarding “women ruin everything!” and to maybe not sound like an asshat. So far, all I’m seeing is flailing.

          And no, that wasn’t criticism you were outing, that was you pretty much saying all women are evil men-haters because you had to act like an actual human and not a savage at some point in your life in the workplace. Projection, much?

          You’re right, I’m not sympathetic to you, any more than I would be sympathetic to a woman whining about how she can’t do anything because she’s oppressed by the patriarchy. You’re pretty much claiming the same thing in reverse, and painting all women with the same brush. So bye, Felicia. I’ll reserve my time for people capable of actually behaving like civilized adults and taking responsibility for their own actions, instead of throwing a tantrum because they can’t say anything they like anywhere without facing actual consequences for being a poo-flinging monkey rather than a human.

          1. Thanks to all the women who leaped at the opportunity to help me make my point; I couldn’t have done a more thorough job myself.

            Now, I guess I’ll go back to watching the thousands of women marching in Washington and almost everywhere else, howling their anger at a president who has done nothing but take the oath of office. Oh, yes, he did say something women didn’t want to hear, which is my point exactly.

            Have a nice day, cooking dinner for your families and preparing for church tomorrow. Right?

              1. Thanks for clearing something up about your website; I had no idea it was the type of liberal place where people don’t argue but instead name-call and accuse you of being brainwashed by Fox News, or the newer “alt-right.” I’ll make sure not to return to your blog; I have enough liberal garbage to deal with here in San Francisco.

                My original point was that free speech had in fact been removed from the workplace for white, straight men. I know, I was there. For the past 30+ years, I’ve worked in large law firms here on the west coast. From the early 1990s on, we started seeing “Hostile Workplace Environment” lawsuits, brought up (of course) by women.

                As a result of those lawsuits, every law firm I’ve worked in since the 1990s has had a form of employee conduct code, including a speech code (their own Newspeak Dictionary) which explains that no one can say anything that “might” offend women, nor minorities and their “widdle feelings.”

                This, according to some of the shrieking harpies on this page, is simply to stop us men from saying horrible things at work, because of course women wouldn’t dream of doing that. (I’ve had three separate human resources directors in three separate firms over the past decade (all women, of course) state loudly in meetings that “all men are pigs,” which statement was met with appreciative laughter from all the women. One doesn’t even need to speculate what would happen if a male human resources director (if you could find one) announced that all women are cows.)

                Anyway, why do we now have speech codes and codes of conduct in every law firm? Not just as a reaction to the lawsuits, but in order to be in compliance with the EEOC’s regulations.

                Remember that (woman) lawyer you had, telling us that there was no law against free speech? Good times, eh?

                Anyway, have fun with your widdle website. It’s always nice to live in a bubble, isn’t it?

                1. You aren’t arguing. You’re repeating a many=times disproved opinion that you’re holding onto buckle and tongue. As for bubble, do try not to sniff the volks deutsche expatriate’s farts too hard. They’re killing your brain cells.

                  1. ” From the early 1990s on, we started seeing “Hostile Workplace Environment” lawsuits, brought up (of course) by women.

                    As a result of those lawsuits, every law firm I’ve worked in since the 1990s has had a form of employee conduct code, including a speech code (their own Newspeak Dictionary) which explains that no one can say anything that “might” offend women, nor minorities and their “widdle feelings.”

                    Sarah, he’s not wrong on this one. It’s all over the tech sector, particularly in anything connected with Federal contracting. However, it’s not unique to women; every Official Victim Group plays this game. I have seen it used to avoid repercussions for everything from simple incompetence through being an asshole employee to shortstopping actual investigations into padding expense reports to the tune of $500 per week. Women do have an extra category; a black male, for example, has a far harder time proving his white male boss hit on him sexually.

                    1. Yes, so the problem is the government designating “special victims” and enforcing favorites, NOT women in the workplace.
                      OF COURSE if the government does that some assholes are going to take advantage of it. Women are human. I know, shocking.

                    2. Which is exactly what I said. Yeah, he’s absolutely wrong about it JUST being women…. although, again, women have a weapon that guys don’t have / don’t want to employ in the whole “sexual offenses” department.

                    3. True. But again, his issue is claiming it’s women in workplaces. it’s government interfering in labor contracts. If you remove that weapon from the bad women’s hands, the good women who just want to work will be fine.
                      OTOH if you remove the women, next you have to remove anyone not pasty white, anyone with any handicap, anyone… etc.
                      This is a gigantic error in thinking caused by reading propaganda and refusing to reconsider it. At least I assume so, since he’s a STEM professor. He cannot be mentally sub-normal.

                2. tobytylersf | January 19, 2017 at 2:52 pm: “In the early 1970s, I worked on oil rigs offshore.”
                  tobytylersf | January 23, 2017 at 4:28 pm: “For the past 30+ years, I’ve worked in large law firms here on the west coast.”

                  You seem to have trouble keeping a job. Given your evidence free argumentation I am not surprised you have trouble lasting with any single law firm.

                  The reason replies have mocked you is because you’ve made no comment of substance nor logic sufficient to rebut; all has been mere assertion of your personal opinion and notably lacking in objectivity. Such assertions of fact as you have made have been easily refuted: the First Amendment only limits state actors, leaving private entities free to act as they like, including censoring expressions of opinion which might be injurious to the firm’s public image. “Maintaining a hostile workplace environment” is not barred by government policy (except in such areas as the government operates an agency, e.g., firehouses & police departments, where the government as employer is perfectly within its authority to mandate codes of behaviour) but by companies’ protection of their own interest against legal action.

                3. I had no idea it was the type of liberal place where people don’t argue but instead name-call

                  Given that everything toby has posted has been unsupported assertions of facts not in evidence, coupled with name-calling and broad disparagement of an entire class of humanity, his complaints about argumentum ad hominem strongly suggest he does not own a mirror.

    5. The misunderstandings and outright errors in your post, Tyler, are so legion they’re practically forming their own army.

      To start with, as quite a few others have pointed out, the First Amendment is not toothless. It means the Government can’t legally arrest you for saying the things you’re repeating here – or saying anything else for that matter. Anything else, well, if you want to go up to someone and insult them in every way imaginable, you’re free to do that. What you’re not free to do is avoid consequences.

      Businesses are, in theory, free to serve who they choose and employ who they choose. In practice that freedom has been severely curtailed by a number of laws that had very little to do with the entry of women into the workforce and a whole lot to do with the desire of a number of people to increase the amount of control they had over those businesses.

      Women have worked, in factories, in shops, in pretty much everywhere, for about as long as people working (as opposed to predominantly subsistence farming, where everyone capable of doing anything worked) for employers has been a thing. Sensible women have done what pretty much every commenter on this board does: accepts that there will be things they don’t like about any workplace and deals with it like a mature adult.

      It’s not the women that are the problem. It’s the generations of indoctrination fed by Communist agitprop intended to destroy the culture of all the Western nations. It’s training impressionable young people to believe that they can’t allow children to suffer any adversity because it will “damage their self-esteem” leading to thirty-year-old children who can’t handle the least setback because they’ve never had to deal with failure before. It’s the second and third generation red diaper babies teaching children that their nation is evil and the only way they can be pure is to pick a victim cause and trust their feelings. Yes, some of them are women. Some of them are men. All of them are Uncle Joe’s useful idiots faithfully carrying on the Cause nearly 30 years after the fall of the Soviets and more than 60 years after Uncle Joe himself went to his much deserved reward.

      Identify the problem correctly, sir, then try again. You might get a bit more respect that way.

    1. Not sure since I can’t speak to their minds back then, but based on phrasing used in founding documents, I’d say yes.

  12. A wise man once pointed out that suppressing speech was always more dangerous for the one doing the suppression.
    If you shoot the bearer of bad news, guess what? Eventually people are going to stop bringing you bad news. Which sounds great right up until the point the angry mob strings you up by your heels.

    Only a fool or leftist believes that if you don’t hear anything bad, nothing bad is going on. Likewise, only an idiot or leftist believes that if you force people conform to an idea, they’ll never have any other ideas.
    And only an idiot or leftist believes that if you weld the safety valve closed, you won’t have to listen to that annoying whistling sound. That if one shuts off the alarms, the explosion can’t happen.

    1. Exactly. Painting over the automatic lifeboats might make them look nicer; but then you get the Sewol Disaster and hundreds of dead children.

  13. I can’t believe nobody mentioned RAV v. City of St. Paul, the Supreme Court case that said burning a cross in a Black family’s yard is hate speech – and fully protected by the Constitution.

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