Saturday, March 5, 2011

I'm Proud to be an American / At Least Phelps is Free

Isn't it neat that the John Galliano thing happened within a few days of the Snyder v. Phelps verdict? Where would you rather be? In France where you can be locked up for calling someone a fucking kike, or the U.S.A., where you you can tell grieving parents that god hates them and their recently killed son is in Hell.

I choose the latter. I'm proud of my right to be rude. The First Amendment tells us, "You guys are big boys and girls. As long as nobody is physically hurting anyone else, I trust you to fight it out between yourselves."

But even in America, Land of the Free and Home of the KKK, people on their own are forcing this you-can't-offend-anybody pussiness on others. Recently an anti-abortion group put up an ad drawing attention to the prevalence of abortion among Niggers (Yes! This is America! That word is still legal!)
You don't like it? Big deal. Pro-abortion people are never going to like anti-abortion ads. I don't like HSBC's ads where they misuse numbers and quote irrelevant statistics (There are more vineyards in Turkey than in South Africa. Bank with HSBC). I'm also offended with those gruesome ads trying to get you not to drink soda. But I don't make a fuss. I just try to ignore them. We are adults. Part of life is getting offended. Deal with.

But apparently I'm wrong. Apparently it's an outrage that anyone ever needs to endure offence related to race (or sexual orientation, to a lesser extent). The mother of the girl in picture is "furious," "devastated," and wants an apology. Well lady, when you took your kid to the stock-photo studio, you signed away your rights to the picture. Too bad. Honor your agreement, and live with it. This ad is just pointing out a fact, that lots of Black fetueses are aborted. No, Daily News, they are not comparing abortion to genocide. (Seriously, where did the Daily News see anything about genocide?) They are pointing out a statistical fact in a provocative way. Isn't that standard for advertising?

Together with the right to free speech comes the possibility of getting offended. Live with it.


  1. I am personally not on the side of "phelps" in Phelps vs. Snyder.

    I do believe in a broader right to privacy and a stronger protection from mental harm currently available under our SCOTUS decisions.

    Yes, we need to "deal" with it. But I don't think that funerals are a place where we should "deal with it." Yes, there is an opposing right, Free Speech, which is often the one that trumps the others. However, we do have precedent that the venue needs to be appropriate....

    PS, Guardian article on the rash of public antisemitism:

  2. Yes, I agree that funerals are not a good place to make people deal with it. If it were possible to fully keep our right to free speech and make the WBC's activities illegal, I would be all for it. But methinks that from there it would be a slippery slope to reach where France is at.

  3. Having just now looked further (wikipedia) into the case in order to rebut, I must now restate my opinion.

    I was going to say that it should be legal as long as more than, say, 1000' away from the service, and/or cannot be seen/heard by the procession/attendees.

    Apparently, this was the case. In fact Snyder didn't even know about the protest until the next day. The SCOTUS included these factors in their decisions.

    As long as such protections are made, then I am cool with the whole Phelps thing.

  4. dialectics; F***k Yeah

  5. Not like I don't appreciate your delightful company, but I'm wondering why no one else has commented on this post. Where are are stalwart commenters, TRS and Sarabonne?

  6. I actually meant "my." Have you nothing to say about the post?

  7. Everytime I tried to post a comment there was a service error. Anyways, "Don't you wish we had a white history month?"
    ps. You owe me a comment.

  8. Yes, we should have white history month.

    I just found out about Larry Summers, the former president of harvard, and his unforgivable speech concerning women. It's quite a horrible

  9. Um, what shall I say, that I'm also proud to be an American?

  10. And now while on the topic of American pride and strong language:

  11. I was just thinking if it was a picture of any of us, in the anti-abortion ad.
    What would you think if it was a picture of e, instead of that girl? (And it said: the most dangerous place for a white person....)

  12. I am not saying that I like the ad or that I like WBC or that I like John Galliano. I'm saying that when nastiness shows up, you shouldn't throw a fit.

    So to answer your question, if I agreed to model for a stock photo, and a picture ended up in a place I don't like (for example in a Chabad brochure with the words, "Learning Chassidus with Rabbi Mendy has brought such depth to my life") I wouldn't be happy, but I'd recognize that I'm bound by my agreement and move on.


    This was discussed during the 08 primaries when a similar story occurred (view above video.

    But you jumped to conclusions not made anywhere but in your mind. All she asked for is an apology.
    Now she may not be legally entitled to it, she may have even had it coming, but she still has the right to ask for an apology.

    One of the things that seems to get lost upon people in Freedom of Speech discourses, is that while it may be in peoples' right to say some things, there actually is a concept called "civility," which although not a legal requirement of citizens, it is a reasonable expectation, and we shouldn't demonize people that call for and even expect it.

    And as a note to all people that resort to legalese and strict letter of the law etc.
    you may be legally entitled to something, but that don't make it civil.

  14. one of the ideas behind of "free speech" is that we hope that other people will be so outraged that the bad speech will be marginalized by the people.

    its not meant to encourage bad speech, its meant to give voice to the dissenters of free speech, in order to show that it doesnt have a place in the marketplace of ideas.



    ps e people mostly blog evenings

  15. I did not jump to conclusions. The mother said that she was furious and devastated, and self-righteously demanded an apology. The 3 a.m. girl behaved admirably. She said her opinion but didn't get all indignant with Clinton.

    Yes, civility is cool, but when people don't act civil, don't make them quit their jobs, go to court, etc.

    I don't demonize people who call for and expect civility. I demonize people who throw temper tantrums when faced with incivility.

  16. ps. again, isn't that poll a bit counter-productive?

  17. Perhaps non-productive. But counter-productive?

  18. scratch the counter part. I realized you could get your answer just from counting how many people voted in total.

  19. Dumb it down for me. I didn't really get what you said.

  20. Well it might be considered counter-productive in the sense that if someone voted "no," they wouldn't be telling the truth by the very fact that they are voting. So your statistics would be skewed.
    However if you count how many people actually voted on the poll, you might be able to say that in 35 days, x people voted on your blog's poll.

  21. But counting total number of votes wouldn't be that great, because it wouldn't tell me what percentage of the general population are poll voters.

  22. Well to find that out, you'd have to use a means that's not a poll. Unless you compared the amount of votes to the amount of people who view your blog but I don't know how you might go about doing that.

  23. As you may have guessed, statistics-gathering was not the primary motivation for this poll.


Forth shall ye all hold.