On free speech and punching.


Because that Charlottesville thread is such an unholy mess, my observations here:

  1. You can tell a lot about someone by whom he says it’s okay to punch.

  2. You can tell lot about a person by whether he thinks mere expression of an opinion justifies a punching.

  3. Anyone who says “I support free speech, but…” does not in fact support, or even necessarily understand, free speech.

  4. Anyone with a double standard on free speech is likely to have a double standard on violence as well.

It’s because of this kind of hypocritical bullshit that we have a Thug Culture thread, and also a Real Basket of Deplorables thread.

Finally, this may be enlightening:


It’s yet another manufactured moral panic. We need to keep having these until everyone wises up and stops taking the bait.

Do words have power?
Free speech and taxpayer funded censorship.


Punch a kid for the Lord

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What would Jesus do?


Yeah, I kinda liked it… the problem is…

It would be hard to overreact to a Nazi murder, or to racists marching in the streets with torches. That stuff demands a strong reaction. But if a Republican agrees with you that Nazis are the worst, and you threaten to punch that Republican for not agreeing with you exactly the right way, that might be an oversized reaction.

… the problem is when nazis get out with fire arms and what you read from certain people is that “antifascists/communists/etc are the same or even worse”


Chase merchants away from a temple while trashing their stuff.



That would be 1. There was no 0! :grandpa:

That sounds familiar.

I consider freedom of speech a very complex issue, but we’ve all heard the “fire in a crowded theater” line. Is that line tyrannical? Is any kind of limit acceptable?

And since you’ve brought it up, I wonder whom Rowland, Mr. “Might Makes Right (Or At Least Less Wrong)”, considers acceptable targets for punching. :ponder:

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Like the batboys in Taiwan?


Sometimes crowded theaters catch fire. If you happen to be the first to notice, proceed quietly to the exit and let all the other fuckers die screaming. That’s what’s called civility.

Anyone who swings a fist at me is an acceptable target for punching. No matter what excuse he offers.


That doesn’t answer the question. You said no limitation whatsoever on freedom of speech is acceptable. Do you really believe that?

Oh, so if the other person swings a fist at you, it’s tantamount to punching you? Does that include swinging it in the air to cause fear rather than to inflict damage, like raising a weapon at you?

It’s important to be clear about this because people have different definitions of violence, threat, and so on. Nowadays we’re hearing people talk about how “political warfare is warfare” (deep state memo) or about “the violence of being white” and so on.


It’s the thought that counts. Peaceful people rarely swing their fists. And only a moron waits until the other guy connects before he’ll fight back.

Never raise a fist if you don’t intend to use it. Someone may call your bluff.

These days, all calls to limit free speech are suspect at best. We’ve already got far more limits than can be justified, and they keep demanding more. That’s a bad trend. A Fahrenheit 451 trend. It’s gone quite far enough.

I can conceive of a society where restrictions on free speech might actually be worth debating, but it bears no resemblance at all to the world we live in.


The concept of freedom, is itself a double standard.

How are freedoms guaranteed? Wouldn’t that include oppressing another’s freedom, at least to their definition? (See #3 of your list) If you enforce, or protect, your freedom to whatever, then you are, in act, denying someone theirs.

If the right screams “nazis rule!” that is freedom of speech. If they hold signs to that effect, that is also freedom of speech. If the left screams “nazis suck!” that, too, is freedom of speech. This goes back and forth. If someone punches a nazi, just for being a nazi, then that is freedom of speech, too. Well, expression. It is also assault. If a nazi runs someone over wiht their car, that too is freedom of speech. Also, assault.


Dude, that’s gibberish.

You have the right to post gibberish, and I have the right to call it gibberish. No need to come to blows over it.


What is gibberish?

Defend your argument. Anyone can say anything is gibberish. Like 45’s speeches and and whatever else comes out of the WH these days. All gibberish mumbo jumbo. And the Taipei Times. Or China Times. Or United Daily.

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maybe not for you and me, but for Jesus? Hell, yeah


You want to hang out at the bottom of that rabbit hole, you go ahead. I’m not joining you down there.


I see! Rowlandia has neither libel law nor any other restriction of verbal expression. So, I can accuse you of committing unspeakable acts with unicorns (except that they are speakable!) and incite an angry mob to lynch you, and the law can’t touch me. Yet the moment I raise a fist or a weapon, I’m toast.

What if I post a photo of a fist or weapon? Is that still “speech”?


I don’t think it’s gibberish. I think the President and a small group of people know exactly what he means.

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I am not eager to absolve an angry mob from responsibility for its own actions. But beware: the mob you incite may turn on you. It’s been known to happen.

What I do with unicorns is nobody’s business.

By the way, libel is harmless if nobody believes it. The media libel people all the time and aren’t held legally accountable in most cases. But their credibility just keeps sinking lower.


If you hear the dog whistle, you’re the dog.