David French, former 'conservative' turned leftwing activist, invokes the old 'it's only censorship if the government does it' canard. This uses deflection to help him avoid confronting the implications of Musk's release of docs pertaining to Twitter's collusion with progressives, and perhaps even Democrats, and suppression of dissenting posts.
When it comes to French's claim, anyone who went through college in the 1980s knows that's bunk. At least according to liberals of the day. Much was the time that my liberal teachers and professors spent declaring Big Brother fascist censorship whenever anyone - private interest or otherwise - tried to hinder
liberal free speech.
I recall an old textbook from a Sociology class I took. In the section on freedoms and rights and free speech, it bent over backwards to say it's not just government that defines censorship. Censorship, as they stay, starts in the home. The minute you try to punish or oppress someone's attempt to express himself, that's censorship. It even had a handy sidebar article about the old Fantastic Beatles Boycott as an example. No government there, but as much naked censorship as anything Nazi Germany ever tried to do.
Of course like all things liberal, that's simply one more 'here today, gone later today' approach to principles and truth claims. As soon as liberals get caught doing something they condemn, they simply change the rules. Remember what my sons said about debating liberalism being like a game of Monopoly with someone who keeps throwing pots and pans at you?
What they mean is, liberalism understands Monopoly rules this way:
- If liberalism owns a hotel on Boardwalk and you land on Boardwalk, then you owe liberalism $2000.
- If, however, you own a hotel on Boardwalk and liberalism lands on Boardwalk, then you owe liberalism $2000.
And if you protest the obvious cheating, in come the pots and pans. It's how the Left plays the game. I'm fast becoming convinced that liberalism appeals to the amoral, the one with no core values, beliefs, or principles. The one who says yes when convenient, no when not convenient. Juror #7. Guilty. Not guilty. Who cares, just get me to the game.
Some say they're disappointed in French. For me, a person who can embrace such naked mendacity as has been the food and oxygen of post-war liberalism is likely someone whose values and principles were never deeply rooted in the first place. Which is something we're confronting every day as more and more who once waved the values of the Christian West like a war banner now trample that banner underfoot and happily toss it in the can.
My take on the film:ReplyDelete
Since jurors are in effect draftees I have a bit more sympathy for the character portrayed by Jack Warden. Wanting to get home for dinner or the weekend I think is often the most significant fact in determining jury verdicts. As for French: Pure grifter. The great service of Trump was the revelation of just how many conservative commenters were in it purely for the money.
Heh. I remember years ago I referenced the 'you can't send someone to the chair on evidence like that' scene. A fellow who said he was an attorney jumped on me and said the movie was completely unrealistic and a horrible take on the justice system. I told him I like Braveheart too, even though it's a dumpster fire of historical inaccuracies. I like 12AM because of the acting and the morality play aspects (my sons laugh that as soon as you hear Cobb bellowing out, you know what movie it is). I also like some of the subtle aspects. As much as Fonda has nearly divine levels of persuasiveness, note the two times he is taken aback.Delete
And yes, if Trump did nothing else, he brought out people who were likely never committed to the cause beyond a convenient paycheck. Now it's time for restructuring the resistance since we know the odds.
French is on someone's payroll now. Not sure he was always in it for the money. There's something odd about his career arc over the years.Delete
Note 'in it for the money' does not explain the conduct of important NeverTrumpers. David Frum and George Will are independently wealthy and cannot be bought. If anything, Marvin Olasky was financially injured by his stance on Trump.
(Tom New Poster)ReplyDelete
Withholding patronage is not censorship. That you create something does not oblige me to buy it (or require my kid, museum, library or school district to buy it). Your creation free of government restrictions is your freedom of speech. My actions (including those I exercise as a father for my kids, or a principal or superintendent for my school) are my freedom of speech.
I never bought it in the day. I remember my very liberal English teacher in high school went crazy over a story about a record store owner who wouldn't carry Madonna's Like a Virgin album because of her performance on tv. Naked censorship and fascism that was. I always imagined the person could choose not to do something like that. Which is the position held or not held by the Left, given the latest circumstances.Delete
I'm fast becoming convinced that liberalism appeals to the amoral, the one with no core values, beliefs, or principles. The one who says yes when convenient, no when not convenient.ReplyDelete
Oh there's definitely some out there like that. They are the ones most often taking over leftist causes when the true believers aren't looking. But for someone like Mark Shea (@chezami), I believe it is a core value of laziness and emotion. "Whatever I feel like is what's right" is their core value - consistency is too much work or thinking. This is something Tim Pool was pointing out the other day that the Left has really perfected: "That guy is bad, throw him out of society." Why? "Because he's a nazi!" Oh ok.
Don't have to worry about complicated topics or trying to prove guilt or innocence... I mean who would want to defend a nazi, right? Only other nazis! Don't think, just go along with wherever your emotions take you. Truth? Consistency? Ugh, sounds like more thinking, who's got time for that? We've got to go after the latest nazi!
Yep. Oddly enough, that was something that distinguished Mark back in the day: A conservative not afraid to call out conservatives. Now it's simple: The Left is immaculate and walks with the Thrice-Holy, the Right is Demon Nazi incapable of good and must be destroyed. You don't get better than that in a bad cable show. But that type of blind allegiance is always out there, the Rolfs and similar who will fall into lockstep. And you can't help but wonder how shallow and devoid of principle they were before their obvious alliance becomes clear.Delete
You're not even exaggerating. This is literally his latest tweet at time of writing:Delete
Another day, another defeat for the right wing death cult wrought be a Democrat with more in common with Church teaching than the MAGA "prolife" sham. Nice to see. https://opb.org/article/2022/12/13/oregon-governor-kate-brown-death-penalty-sentence-commutations/?outputType=amp
Not shocking. My attempts to reach out to him seem to have crashed and burned. It's very simple: Those on the Left walk with God, those on the Right must be destroyed. He almost makes it easy.Delete
Nate, he just outdid himself. I went again to look at that and saw he has now posted something about anti-vaxers being Nazis who hate Jews because, apparently per Mark, all Jews are globalists? I used to say he was like Jerry Falwell, then more like Fred Phelps. I'm afraid that just doesn't cut it anymore. He's slipped much, much deeper I'm afraid. Sad to see. But also frightening since the world has seen it before.Delete
Given that government officials were instigating the censorship, given that Twitter was a market dominant firm, given that it was a market dominant firm due in part to hacker harassment directed at Gab and to collusive attempts involving Amazon Web Services to shut down Parler, given that they were acting as publishers while being protected in federal law as if they were common carriers, given that they were imposing a contract of adhesion with their 'Terms of Service', and given that they couldn't follow their own terms of service, attempting to make a case for Twitter as a non-state actor is something no person of integrity would do.ReplyDelete
Not sure the identity of the parties financing The Dispatch has ever been revealed. We have reason to believe its a tech industry crew.
It's just amazing the low bar for actual censorship when it comes to the Left, versus when a conservative merely expresses disagreement with a progressive position. Let a conservative question gay marriage, and he's wanting to kick down doors and build concentration camps. Let Democrats work with corporations to suppress dissenting speech and it's no big deal. In fact, the big deal is now freedom of speech, which I'm hearing more and more on the Left say we have to get over.Delete
At this point it's almost refreshing, because they aren't even maintaining the illusion of any consistency.ReplyDelete
Previously the worst of it was them saying "a private company can do whatever it wants (so long as it hurts conservatives)" while simultaneously saying "if you are a private baker you MUST bake cakes in support of gay weddings." This was ridiculous, but they could try to thread the needle that their exceptions made sense.
Now they are leaning on the "but private companies can do what they want" card even in situations where the "private companies" asked the government for their marching orders AND were given additional demands from the government. Literally the only distinction between this situation and companies being forced to fall in line with an official censorship bureau is that the orders all happened in secret, instead of being public policy.
I have to wonder if anyone actually takes French seriously. Oh, he'll get lauded by the left and the Never Trumpers, but they don't actually care about his arguments. That's all window dressing for his conclusion of Musk and Tucker bad, which is all they care about. If you put them aside, French's argument is basically "Sure twitter may have suppressed a story which was relevant for an election, and sure they were falling marching orders from the government, but we were EVENTUALLY able to hear the story (long after it could have affected the election) and it's possible that the government could have applied more direct coercion, so nothing untoward happened!" Why even bother to write such an article? Who is the audience?
He exists to provide emotional validation and talking points to partisan Democrats. Pierre Omidyar per Forbes has assets of $8.8 bn, enough for an income from the rents of $175 mn a year. The $150,000 a year necessary for French to meet his inflated expenses is sofa change.Delete
Deacon Greydanus certainly does. Some time ago he posted something about how French has been the victim of hate and right wing rhetoric.Delete
As for the 'we meant it's fascism if you don't let liberals say what they want, but of course liberals can ban and censor what offends liberals' trick. In hindsight that's been going on for generations. When I was in college, our freedom rested on anyone being able to express themselves no matter what. Burn flags, mock Christians, spit on Reagan, hate America, embrace communism - all of these were required to be allowed for a truly enlightened, free and equal society to prosper. And yet at the very same time, we were being told the language must change, offensive words can no longer be said, groups can no longer be made fun of (no more policemen, but police persons; forget the N-Word, and don't ever joke about homosexuals). At that point we should have realized we were dealing with a movement that cheats and cannot be trusted any more than the pig Napoleon.
So now it is "censorship" to refuse anyone whatever platform they choose, and censorship is universally wrong.ReplyDelete
I guess you're now celebrating the Satanist display in the Illinois capital. Maybe you'll get one in Ohio soon. Far be it from you to censor drag queens who want to hold story time at public libraries! Free Speech Über Alles!
Censorship is like surgery. The bias should be against it; it should be resorted to only under extreme circumstances. That said, a surgery can be good or bad; it can save a life, or (for instance by removing the wrong kidney), cripple a life, or even be fatal. But just as it is wrong to say that all surgery is good, or that all surgery is bad, it is wrong to say that all censorship is good or that all censorship is bad. IT DEPENDS ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES. Your argument needs to address those circumstances, rather than pretend that the details don't matter.Delete
First, it was postwar liberals, not conservatives, who said a nation has no right to impose values on people. Conservatives long said a nation has a right, if not an obligation, to have values and morals and expectations that people abide by. That said, it was liberals with the famous 'here today, gone earlier today' approach that spoke out of both sides of its mouth. A record store doesn’t want to carry a particular album? Naked fascist censorship! A person made fun of homosexuals? Absolute retaliation is demanded. See the problem?Delete
That's where 'woke' came from by the way. As the left began to call out things like equality, freedom of speech, religious liberty, while banning growing piles of books, movies and other artistic expressions, they had to justify the change. The change was that they 'woke' to the injustices of such lofty standards. You heard us say equality is the holy grail of humanity? Well, we 'woke' to the realization that equality is unjust and unfair and often a tool of oppression - thus now we eschew equality in preference for equity.
That, combined with the obvious duplicity of 'we meant banning “liberal” books is censorship', is a big part of the problem. The same problem we saw when those on the left mocked conservatives for being upset about tech companies banning them. I remember those on the left saying get over it, it's no big deal. it's just social media. Find another venue if you don't like it. Only then to turn on a dime upon hearing of Musk and Twitter and scream that this could be a direct threat to democracy and our very lives. Again, a little consistency is not too much to ask.
Note how the rule of "it's only free speech if it's for the left (and against Christianity)" applies to this comment.Delete
The big conservative mistake was buying into these sorts of appeals even for a second. The promise was always "if you allow degeneracy, even forced degeneracy, then we will defend your Christian speech as a matter of fairness and equality." But once the degeneracy was in place attacks on Christianity always followed. Frank Herbert nailed the con back in 1976 when he wrote:
"When I am weaker than you I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles. When I am stronger than you I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles."
Rudolph, excellent point. When Christians were told it's a grave evil to tell someone their religion is wrong, we imagined that would include us, so we happily shut up. When we were told it's wrong to judge and call people sinners, we stopped figuring we'd be off the hook. I've said this likely why we're seeing so many leaders and national reps bail on the historical Faith. They thought they could keep one foot in each camp, since the Left was honor bound to be tolerant, open, respectful of different views, and would never judge or condemn or ban. As the Left has made its designs obvious, we're seeing them jump ship since they have no stomach for resisting or defending against this movement.Delete