21 thoughts on “A Note for Disgrunted Commenters

  1. Roger E Watson April 30, 2014 / 3:09 pm

    And don’t that let that door hit you in the ass on your away out !! 😉

  2. Don April 30, 2014 / 6:00 pm

    This is a narrow and dangerous interpretation of the idea of freedom speech.

      • Don April 30, 2014 / 11:43 pm

        Governments do not need to arrest people to violate their right to freedom of speech and mobs can abridge freedom of speech by intimidation. Your interpretation of the concept of freedom of speech remains narrow and dangerous to a liberal and civil society.

        • Brooks D. Simpson May 1, 2014 / 12:21 am

          Try again. All you are telling me is that government may violate one’s free speech rights. There’s recourse for such violations. Besides, you’re sniffing in the wrong direction. No one can claim a free speech right to comment on the blog. Are you seriously saying that I should allow every comment that’s submitted (including spam) to appear because not to do so is to violate someone’s right of free speech?

          I didn’t think so.

          As I’ve given no extended interpretation of the First Amendment, period, for you to presume that I have (followed by your claim that it must be wrong) is bizarre. Thus ends the exchange.

  3. Ira Berkowitz April 30, 2014 / 8:46 pm

    Love it.

  4. Neil Hamilton April 30, 2014 / 8:53 pm

    Freedom of speech does not give you the right to crap on someone’s living room floor or blog.

  5. John Randolph April 30, 2014 / 9:07 pm

    Unfortunately, I think a lot of folks interpret freedom of speech to mean their freedom to tell everyone else what they think, as well as what to think, in any manner they wish without criticism or consequences. Those that are being told have the freedom to shut up and listen, other than to indicate agreement. That doesn’t sound like much of a free society, does it?

    • Mark May 1, 2014 / 11:20 pm

      >> Those that are being told have the freedom to shut up and listen, other than to indicate agreement. That doesn’t sound like much of a free society, does it?

      Look, everyone should take a breath and think about the elements here before pronouncing judgement. Because no one here is really expressing the complete picture, and so some are talking about a different parts of it in disagreeing. I see three components.

      1) Is the cartoon a correct expression of free speech? Yes.
      2) Was the speech repugnant and indefensible? Yes
      3) What the airing of a private inflammatory conversation in public creepy and disturbing? Yes.
      4) Is it creepy that in the case of the Clipper’s coach, his racism was known to the NAACP who was giving him awards? Yes

      So there you go. The Liberal host Bill Maher summed it up pretty well “… what’s creepy to me is that we can’t even speak in our own house anymore. I don’t know how the tape gets out there, I don’t know why it’s legal. But I am much more concerned about things like that than I am the NSA, which I am concerned about, too.”

      Where this type of thing takes us politically is scary. It’s not just about the 1st amendment rights. It’s about whether any of us have a right to a private life anymore or not. It’s about whether the 1st amendment is now obsolete and irrelevant.

      • Jimmy Dick May 2, 2014 / 4:57 am

        It is called freedom of choice. I have the choice not to listen to people who lie. I have the choice to ignore people who make up stuff. I have the choice to reject racists. You can say whatever you want, but no one has to listen to you if they do not want to. When it comes to a venue such as this blog, the person or entity who owns or controls the blog possess the right to block pretty much anything.

        The result of that is up to the people who read this blog. They have the choice to pay attention to it or not. I could read other blogs of any type. I choose to read and participate on this one and several others. I do not choose to participate in some others due to the lack of intelligence on some of them. Some are nothing more than advertisements for racist beliefs which I find repugnant and immoral. I do not wish to be associated with evil so I do not participate on those blogs nor do I bother to read them. That is my choice.

        On this particular blog some people complain that they aren’t allowed to post on it. Based on what they’ve posted in the past I understand why. They do not tell the truth. Others want to present a racist version of history that suits their beliefs, but is riddled with lies and missing context and facts. Some want to present a fictional version of the Civil War which has been proven on multiple posts to be incorrect. If the owner of this blog chooses to block those people from wasting his and everyone else’s time that is his choice. Those people can go to other blogs. Many have and have been blocked on them as well. Freedom of speech only goes so far.

        • Mark May 2, 2014 / 3:04 pm

          > It is called freedom of choice.

          A swing and a miss, Jimmy. Are we talking about the same thing? Because for the racist coach, someone chose for him. You entirely missed what I said and answered your own question. At least John Foskett understood what I said.

      • John Foskett May 2, 2014 / 10:16 am

        The ‘privacy” issue in Sterling’s case is ludicrous. As I understand it, he knew he was being recorded by his “archivist”. (I’ll leave for another time the sanity of all of this). In addition, I have no problem with the revelation of this character’s vile thoughts, because they are completely inappropriate for his membership in this voluntary group. This isn’t about anybody’s “right to a private life”. It’s about whether somebody can conceal and mislead regarding views which are wholly at odds with the group he’s been allowed to join. Pick your mistresses carefully and use your (presumed) brains if you’re going to bloviate into a recorder.

        • Mark May 2, 2014 / 3:28 pm

          Now that’s creepy John. You’re advocating that we examine the content of private messages before we decide whether they should be broadcast?

          Hey I’m an IT guy and manage other’s data. Sometimes when the data backs up stuff spills out of a queue. I choose not to examine it and decide whether or not to broadcast publicly. I put it back in the queue, and if I had to examine it to fix the situation (as happens occasionally with corrupted headers) I do not regard what is inside and forget about it after. Unless it is something illegal life child-porn or a terrorist threat where I’d be morally responsible to notify authorities.

          It’s called personal ethics. Not broadcasting personal information publicly without consent. You however, apparently wouldn’t respect the rights of others if you don’t approve of the content of what they said. Wow. Just wow. I sure hope not many people think like you do, but I’m afraid they do. And you can be glad I don’t, no matter what you say. Be glad I don’t say Hello TMZ. Did you hear what John Foskett said? And if you complained it was unethical, I guess I’d just tell you “Well what did you expect John, you should know your messages weren’t using strong encryption!” How is that any different from the rationalization you’ve given us here?

  6. Nancy Winkler April 30, 2014 / 10:06 pm

    I means the government can’t censure you, but the rest of us don’t have to listen to you. Call it “Freedom of Listening.”

  7. Buck Buchanan May 1, 2014 / 11:49 am

    As my late father used to say your ight to free speech and expression ends where my nose begins.

    You have the right to say…that doesn’t mean I have to listen, agree, pay attention or not sue you for slander when you free speech is a lie.

  8. MS61 May 1, 2014 / 1:10 pm

    Great cartoon. Good to see someone in the creative community finally speak up in favor of the Hollywood Blacklist.

      • MS61 May 1, 2014 / 5:59 pm

        I don’t think the cartoonist thought through the implications but he does believe that, even if I don’t. I agree with your characterization of the First Amendment and in your right to handle comments as you choose on the blog (in fact I wouldn’t mind seeing you exercise that discretion more as I’m tired of the lunacy of the Southern Heritage crowd and have gotten to the point where I skip over those posts). My problem is with the cartoonist who is making a broader point, about the right of whomever is the “in crowd” to expel anyone they don’t like from their livelihood if they express opinions they do not like. So yes, the cartoonist is justifying the Hollywood Blacklist. As Pete Townsend said “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”.

        • Sandi Saunders May 2, 2014 / 3:21 pm

          Claiming “the in crowd” expelling, or rejecting anyone as being an endorsement for the so called “Hollywood Blacklist” ignores the blatant abuses of the Congress and Communist hunters who first exposed those people, and in that political climate tarred all around them with that same accusation. The “blacklist” was wrong, but it was not just the whim of “the in crowd”. The very real possibility of being called before Congress, labeled a Communist and the subsequent troubles that went with it have to be part of the equation. But for the Congressional Communist hunters would there have been a blacklist?

        • John Randolph May 2, 2014 / 3:53 pm

          I think that it’s quite a stretch to argue the cartoonist is “justifying” the Hollywood Blacklist and other like actions. I think the cartoon merely points out the reality that there are always potential consequences in regards to the exercise of free speech and if someone doesn’t like what you say, that person has the right to try to sanction you. People in a free society do have the right to impose sanctions on others in retaliation for exercising their right to free speech, as long as such retaliations are legal and constitutional
          The question of justification is one of right and wrong, which is a political, social or moral consideration rather than a legal or constitutional one. Protesting, boycotting, or banning someone from posting on an Internet blog are not inherently good or bad actions in and of themselves and are certainly not illegal or unconstitutional. Furthermore, would anyone really be concerned about a dangerous and narrow interpretation of free speech arising from the boycott of a business organized in retaliation for public comments made by it’s owner in support of Holocaust denial, Islamic extremism or pedophilia? People are dismissed, transferred and demoted all the time for making comments which are fairly or unfairly considered to be contrary to the interests and reputation of their employers, especially in “employee-at-will” situations. If I am a salesperson at a Chevy dealer and exercise my free speech rights to advise all my customers to buy a Ford instead, it shouldn’t come as any surprise to me if my employer fires me The NBA banned Donald Sterling from any association with the league for life as a sanction for exercising his free speech rights to make vile racist comments. Was that reasonable? I think so, but the answer will depend on who you ask. Given the circumstances in any situation, you may or may not believe that a particular sanction against the exercise of free speech is justified, but that’s separate consideration from one’s right to impose such a sanction.

          • MS61 May 3, 2014 / 6:57 am

            1. I believe the cartoon was published before the Sterling incident (though the way xkcd archives makes it difficult to confirm) and my comments weren’t made with regards to it.

            2. I agree with John that this is not a constitutional issue as I pointed out in my initial post and, in the specific case of Sterling, I agree with the NBA decision.

            3. However, my point was about recognizing the broader implications of everyone in our society trying to “sanction” each other about everything they disagree with – that is, the category of such things seems to be rapidly expanding – which would ultimately be poisonous to our ability to operate as a society in the long-term.

            4.Those implications are made clear in the way that Sandi has to construct a tortured argument to make the Hollywood Blacklist, an action by private business owners against members of a secret society under the direction of a foreign power dedicated to the destruction of the American system, a “government” action. If all this is about is sanctioning and firing people we disagree with and then constructing elaborate justifications to avoid action against those we agree with, then we are in deep trouble.

            5. While I agree with the actions taken in the Sterling case it does present some troubling issues both in the way a private conversation became public (there is some factual dispute over whether he agreed to the tapping, but ask yourself, if he did not, would you feel differently about the NBA action?) and in what to do about other disturbing remarks by NBA owners and players. I urge people to think more broadly about the path we seem to be on recently. In the case of Sterling his remarks and longer-term behaviors outweighed those issues for me though I think reasonable people can disagree but, for instance, the firing of the Mozilla CEO is much more troubling for its long-term implications, though both decisions are Constitutionally permissible.

            6. So, yes the creator of the xkcd cartoon, no doubt unintentionally, is providing a justification for the Hollywood Blacklist.

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