Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Come on, tell the truth. You all missed mynym, didn’t you? Well let me show you his latest bit of stupidity, wherein he takes me to task for opposing censorship by a public university while banning him from leaving comments here. It seem that our favorite little halfwit still doesn’t recognize the difference between a private forum and a public one. The Constitution’s free speech provision applies to governments, not to privately owned webpages, or family homes, or even privately owned businesses. The University of Alabama is a public, government-run institution; as such, it falls under the coverage of the first amendment and it is unconstitutional for them to place vague limits on free speech. This webpage, on the other hand, is privately owned. I pay for the domain name and for the web hosting. So guess what? I decide what is allowed to be posted here and what does not.

Free speech doesn’t mean you can say anything you want to anyone you want at any time or place you choose. It means that the government cannot restrain or punish your speech except in certain very narrowly drawn circumstances. It is perfectly legal for someone to rant and rave about how much they hate gay people, for example, and I would fight for their right to do so free from government interference. That is precisely why I oppose hate speech codes at public universities. But if you rant and rave like that at my home, I’m going to throw you out on your ass – and that will have precisely nothing to do with your right to freedom of speech. This distinction should be obvious to anyone with an IQ over room temperature, but our intrepid whiner apparently doesn’t qualify.

Comments

  1. #1 Troy Britain
    February 28, 2005

    This distinction should be obvious to anyone with an IQ over room temperature, but our intrepid whiner apparently doesn’t qualify.

    I’d say we’re looking at an IQ below zero in this case…on the Kelvin scale.

  2. #2 Bill Ware
    February 28, 2005

    Ed,

    I left this at his blog site:

    Mynym,

    Ed is a libertarian and fiscal conservative who favors a smaller, less intrusive government. To call him a leftist because he promotes “liberty and justice for all,” just exemplifies your deluded state of mind and how your hate filled disposition leaves you out of touch with reality.

    You left post after rambling post at the rate of one post every six minutes for hours on end and after thousands of words of discombobulated babbling failed to answer a few basic questions on the topic under discussion.

    You are perfectly free to use your right to speak to go to the public square and expound on any topic you like, but if you come to my house and insist on going on and on with your incoherent nonsense laced with gratuitous schoolyard slurs, then I am perfectly free to show you to the door. Ed gave you every chance to make a positive contribution to the discussion. When you did not, Ed had the same right to close the door to his site to you as I would at my home.

    It’s a shame that someone with your potential talents would choose not to make a positive contribution to society.

  3. #3 Ed Brayton
    February 28, 2005

    Mynym is one of those folks who simply cannot think outside of the simple left/right dichotomy. Anyone who disagrees with his views is immediately placed in the category of “liberal” or “leftist” and that allows them to casually dismiss them by association with commies and other assorted bad guys. It’s not really thinking so much as the use of ingrained defense mechanisms by which one can protect their views from criticism. Perhaps we should call this fallacy argumentum ad labelum (is labelum a genuine latin word? Not likely, but you get the point). This is when one dismisses an argument merely by placing the person making the argument into a category for which they express disapproval. For instance:

    Person A: “I think President Bush rushed to judgement in Iraq when he should have allowed the UN weapons inspectors the time they requested to find out whether Hussein really had the weapons we claimed he had.”

    Person B: “That’s a typical liberal thing to say.”

    Now, Person B actually thinks that they have engaged the argument of person A, but in fact they haven’t even touched it at all. They have merely labelled it, and they really do think that merely by labelling it, they’ve disproven it. It’s quite illogical, but also quite common. And Mynym seems to specialize in it. By merely applying the label of “leftist” or “radical egalitarian”, he thinks he has defeated an argument when all he has really done is assign it a category.

    Of course, the notion of calling a libertarian a “radical egalitarian” is quite silly. It conflates two entirely different notions of the word “egalitarian”, one being the notion of equality under the law and the other being the notion of equality of outcome, particularly in economic matters. Libertarians are certainly egalitarians in the first sense, but there is nothing the least bit radical about that. It’s the same sort of egalitarianism found in the statement that all men are created equal, i.e. all men (and women, of course) are equal under the law. Libertarians are certainly not egalitarians of the second sort, being staunch advocates of the idea that through hard work and ingenuity in greater proportions, some segment of the population is going to become far wealthier than other segments of the population, and not only is there nothing wrong with that, it’s absolutely indispensible and commendable.

  4. #4 Bill Ware
    February 28, 2005

    Some people think they will be heard for their much speaking. The lack of information presented seems to them irrelevent.

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