“We have finally established the contours that define the supercluster of galaxies we can call home … This is not unlike finding out for the first time that your hometown is actually part of much larger country that borders other nations.” -Brent Tully

It’s been another remarkable week here at Starts With A Bang! Full of science, stories and a slew of information you won’t find anywhere else, we’ve hit on a number of fantastic ones for your perusal. The news you haven’t heard? My upcoming book, on the real-life science behind the technologies envisioned by Star Trek, now has a listing on the publisher’s website! If you missed any of the science we’ve covered, take a look back at all of it:

A week from Monday, I’ll be delivering a public talk at 7:30 at OMSI on February 20th on the controversy over the expanding Universe. If you can make it to Portland, OR, don’t miss it! I also had an appearance on Rochester public radio, and I’m particularly pleased with the latter half, where we discussed expertise. Now, with all that out of the way, you’ve had a lot to say, so let’s get right into our comments of the week!

The Giant Magellan Telescope, as it will appear upon completion. Image credit: Giant Magellan Telescope / GMTO Corporation.

The Giant Magellan Telescope, as it will appear upon completion. Image credit: Giant Magellan Telescope / GMTO Corporation.

From Michael Richmond on advances in telescope cameras: “Ethan, you state that we can use photomultiplication to detect 20% of the incident photons. Well, we can use photomultiplication, it’s true, but the best CCDs these days can record of order 80% – 90% of the photons which strike them, without photomultiplication.”

This is outstanding! For those who don’t know, Michael Richmond is an observational astrophysicist at R.I.T., and a much better expert than I am on those matters. This highlights a problem when you ask someone with lots of expertise but not necessarily the most expertise: you’ll get an answer that’s incomplete, out-of-date or otherwise insufficient. Even if you know your information may be out of date and you go looking for better things, you may not find it. Be open to new information, to improved conclusions or analysis you may not have heard of, and to updating your conclusions. Even about the issues you feel most strongly about. The world is changing. Knowledge is growing. And if you don’t keep up, you’ll get left behind.

Thanks for catching me up, Michael.

The XKCD version of Free Speech. Image credit: xkcd/Randall Munro, from https://xkcd.com/1357/.

The XKCD version of Free Speech. Image credit: xkcd/Randall Munro, from https://xkcd.com/1357/.

From Denier on the issue of rights: “I believe this [referring to my statement that ‘I am starting to think that you and I have very different views on what a “right” is, and that may be the root of where we differ on oppression as well.’] to be an accurate statement. A “right” is a legal entitlement. My interpretation of the First Amendment is along the same lines as the ACLU’s. You’ve admitted in the past that you don’t really understand it as it is not your field of expertise. No problem. A lot of people can’t back up any of their positions with any sort of substance.”

What I’ve admitted, for clarity, is that I don’t understand the modern legal interpretation of the First Amendment. It was a link that someone (Narad? eric?) provided to popehat that was very informative concerning where — as above — my understanding was way out of date. Rights are far more extensive than the first amendment, however. Note the rest of the constitution, the other amendments, and all the court rulings that reflect that. If you want some substance about where I get my concept of rights from, it was from studying Thurgood Marshall. For example, read this:

“What is striking is the role legal principles have played throughout America’s history in determining the condition of Negroes. They were enslaved by law, emancipated by law, disenfranchised and segregated by law; and, finally, they have begun to win equality by law. Along the way, new constitutional principles have emerged to meet the challenges of a changing society. The progress has been dramatic, and it will continue.

The men who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 could not have envisioned these changes. They could not have imagined, nor would they have accepted, that the document they were drafting would one day be construed by a Supreme Court to which had been appointed a woman and the descendent of an African slave. We the People” no longer enslave, but the credit does not belong to the Framers. It belongs to those who refused to acquiesce in outdated notions of “liberty,” “justice,” and “equality,” and who strived to better them.

And so we must be careful, when focusing on the events which took place in Philadelphia two centuries ago, that we not overlook the momentous events which followed, and thereby lose our proper sense of perspective.” -Thurgood Marshall, 1987

Note that this is a strong argument against constitutional originalism, and is one instead in favor of Marshall’s “living document” approach. The idea is not that “laws give you rights” but that people have rights, inherently, and it is the responsibility of the legal system to lift those rights out of the laws that are written. Now, I don’t expect you to agree with Marshall or with me, but let’s not pretend that scientific expertise — matters of true and false — are the equivalent of legal expertise, which are not.

Images credit: Hubble's original paper (left) and W. Freedman et al. for the HST Key Project (right).

Images credit: Hubble’s original paper (left) and W. Freedman et al. for the HST Key Project (right).

From Dr. Hazel-Connie Low Chi Leong on the two contributions to a galaxy’s recession speed: “According to this article, galaxies are moving apart from each other. This article talks about the speed that galaxies are moving apart from each other. […] This speed depends on two factors: 1.)The FIRST factor discovered by scientists: Force of explosion caused by the “Big Bang”. 2.)This article talks about a second factor: Mass of Galaxy. […] A large part of the speed of the recession between two galaxies is the speed caused by the force of the Big Bang. This SECOND FACTOR DOES EXIST!,……BUT the speed calculation answer change is relatively insignificant. It just makes the answer more accurate.”

Here’s the deal when it comes to a distant galaxy: it’s not quite “the force of the Big Bang” but rather the physics of the Universe’s expansion. This is driven by initial conditions at the Big Bang, but also by the matter, radiation and dark energy content of the Universe. On the largest scales, this effect dominates. And by “largest”, I mean scales of about 100 megaparsecs (~326 million light years) or more. Those scales are way larger than galaxy scales. On smaller scales, gravitation dominates. The galaxies within a cluster can move at relative speeds of thousands of kilometers-per-second, and that is hugely important. Hubble’s original graph, above and to the left, is entirely dominated by peculiar velocity.

The peculiar velocity dominates due to the local gravitational field inside a galaxy cluster. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Brews ohare.

The peculiar velocity dominates due to the local gravitational field inside a galaxy cluster. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Brews ohare.

Only on the largest scales can we neglect peculiar velocity, or the effect of masses on the local Universe and the galaxies within it. The whole point of the dipole repeller concept is that on scales of our local supercluster, you cannot neglect this term, and the void in the direction opposite to Laniakea is exactly what we need to account for the hitherto unexplained peculiar velocity.

The longest-lasting tidal disruption event from a distant supermassive black hole has now surpassed a decade in duration. Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/UNH/D.Lin et al, Optical: CFHT, Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss.

The longest-lasting tidal disruption event from a distant supermassive black hole has now surpassed a decade in duration. Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/UNH/D.Lin et al, Optical: CFHT, Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss.

From MobiusKlein on breaking the limit of black hole accretion: “Can you expand on the ‘faster than the Eddington accretion limit’ part?”

The way Eddington limits work in general — and this started for stellar luminosity — is that you can imagine a star is a combination of two things: fusion in its core generating an outward radiation pressure, and the gravitation of its full mass holding it together. The Eddington limit basically says, “if you go past this mass, the radiation pressure will be greater than the gravitational force at the surface, and so the mass will drop back down and the outer portions get blown off.” Simple enough, right?

This artist’s impression depicts a Sun-like star being torn apart by tidal disruption as it nears a black hole. Image credit: ESO, ESA/Hubble, M. Kornmesser.

This artist’s impression depicts a Sun-like star being torn apart by tidal disruption as it nears a black hole. Image credit: ESO, ESA/Hubble, M. Kornmesser.

Only, you can add additional parameters in: rotation, angular momentum, or you can have a temporary condition! For the Eddington accretion limit, that’s just a luminosity derived from the matter falling into it. But there is an unknown parameter in that Eddington limit equation, and it is a parameter that cannot be measured. (It’s epsilon, the fraction of the gravitational potential energy radiated away.) If that number turns out to be small, the Eddington rate (which has epsilon in the denominator) could turn out to be tremendous. So that’s the elaboration! And if you want more, Garret Cotter of Oxford has some lecture notes on this here.

Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova, as imaged during its last (2011) pass near Earth. Image credit: Tim Puckett.

Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova, as imaged during its last (2011) pass near Earth. Image credit: Tim Puckett.

From PJ on news from the sky: “FYI
http://bit.ly/2kncwez
Comet to be seen over the next few mornings”

Yes, there has been a binocular-only (i.e., telescopes can see it too, but not the naked eye) comet this past week in the sky! It has a spectacular tail, a green coma, and it’s a wonderful object if you have clear skies and know where to find it. The comet is named comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova, after it’s three co-discoverers in the 1940s, and it appears to originate from the asteroid belt. There’s not very much that’s unusual about this comet, despite what others are saying, but it’s always a treat to get to see one. If you have clear skies and the right equipment, go for it!

An illustration of the Sun-Moon-Earth configuration setting up a total solar eclipse. The Earth's non-flatness means that the Moon's shadow gets elongated when it's close to the edge of the Earth. Image credit: Starry Night education software.

An illustration of the Sun-Moon-Earth configuration setting up a total solar eclipse. The Earth’s non-flatness means that the Moon’s shadow gets elongated when it’s close to the edge of the Earth. Image credit: Starry Night education software.

From Sinisa Lazarek on the Moon’s eclipse shadow: “don’t think it’s strange that the shadow is ellipse since everyday experience shows you that.. one ball casting shadow on another ball”

This is right, and was one (the first) of the three big points I made. The thing that’s strange is that from our vantage point on Earth, all of the shadows we see of worlds on other worlds appear to be circles. This is a visually awesome and impressive phenomenon.

The occultation of Jupiter's moon, Io, with its erupting volcanoes Loki and Pele, as occulted by Europa, which is invisible in this infrared image. GMT will provide significantly enhanced resolution and imaging. Image credit: LBTO.

The occultation of Jupiter’s moon, Io, with its erupting volcanoes Loki and Pele, as occulted by Europa, which is invisible in this infrared image. GMT will provide significantly enhanced resolution and imaging. Image credit: LBTO.

But don’t let this visual effect fool you, as Sinisa correctly points out! What might appear to you to be a circle from afar belies the fact that the surface of these worlds are actually curved, and what you’re seeing is a two-dimensional projection from a very particular perspective. If you were to look at the shadow on the (curved) surface of the world itself, it would be stretched by that curvature, and hence would appear elliptical or elongated in some fashion. Hence, not a big surprise, but you haven’t to think about that effect too!

How cosmic inflation gave rise to our observable Universe, which has evolved into stars and galaxies and other complex structure by the present. Image credit: E. Siegel, with images derived from ESA/Planck and the DoE/NASA/ NSF interagency task force on CMB research. From his book, Beyond The Galaxy.

How cosmic inflation gave rise to our observable Universe, which has evolved into stars and galaxies and other complex structure by the present. Image credit: E. Siegel, with images derived from ESA/Planck and the DoE/NASA/ NSF interagency task force on CMB research. From his book, Beyond The Galaxy.

From Wow on why science won’t know everything about the Universe: “And that’s well outside science, since science is about the discovery of the processes in the real universe. So doesn’t tell you about maths, or logic, or even language. Despite it being fairly core to the process of science.
At the moment, it looks like there are some known unknowable unknowns. And there’s no reason to suspect there aren’t more.”

All of this is true:

  • Even if every particle in existence was known and measured to an arbitrary accuracy, much about the past and future would still be unknowable.
  • Even if everything about our observable Universe’s past and future were known, there is still the unobservable Universe which goes beyond our own.
  • And even if we knew all about the unobservable Universe, there’s still a region of time — before the Big Bang — that contains information that is unknowable, and appears irrelevant for all the things we can observe.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth investigating or theorizing about, but it does mean that there are both inherent uncertainties (when an electron and positron annihilate, which direction will their photons go off in?) and inherent unknowns (beyond the causal horizon? before anything impacting our Universe today was around?) that limit what we can ever know.

Artist’s logarithmic scale conception of the observable universe. Image credit: Wikipedia user Pablo Carlos Budassi.

Artist’s logarithmic scale conception of the observable universe. Image credit: Wikipedia user Pablo Carlos Budassi.

From eric on the possibility that these barriers may someday be overcome: “Its certainly possible that we develop new theories that tell us about the pre-inflationary period and make other testable, separable predictions. We can then gain confidence in one over the other by testing the bits of those theories open to us.”

It is possible, and many are trying. What I’ve asserted, above, is only true if our present best theories about the Universe are true; they may not be. There may be some other, more fundamental truth, and it may wind up meaning that some of the inherent problems I listed aren’t inherent problems at all.

But that doesn’t change the original fact of what I wrote:

“The total amount of information accessible to us in the Universe is finite, and hence, so is the amount of knowledge we can gain about it. There’s a limit to the amount of energy we can access, the particles we can observe and the measurements we can make. There’s a whole lot left to learn and a whole lot that science has yet to reveal, and many of the present unknowns will fall in the near future. But some things we will likely never know. The Universe may yet be infinite, but our knowledge of it never will be.”

Empty space with no matter, energy, curvature, gravitational energy, etc. Image credit: Amber Stuver of http://www.livingligo.org/.

Empty space with no matter, energy, curvature, gravitational energy, etc. Image credit: Amber Stuver of http://www.livingligo.org/.

From Jimmy Couch on nothingness: “You talk about “nothing” being a completely and utterly NIL state of being. No energy, matter, anti-matter, time…..absolute, total, physical(being defined as ANYTHING labeled by physics) nothingness. […] Nothingness means a completely static state of non being. If there is nothing there, there can BE no energy…”

One of the points I’ve made repeatedly, but I don’t mind making again, is that there is a distinct difference between what “nothingness” means in our Universe (i.e., to a physicist) and what it means in our own conceptual minds (i.e., to a philosopher). In our Universe, there are some Universe-defining things that still exist: spacetime and the laws of physics. In our minds, we can take that all away, but in the Universe, we can’t.

If you take away time, then how does something “come into existence?” There’s no “cause” or “effect” or “before” or “after” if there isn’t time. If you take away space, how can you distinguish between existence (which needs a place to exist) and non-existence? And if you take away the laws of physics, then you’re not talking about anything relevant to the one special case that physicists care about: our Universe.

You may like your definition of nothingness — a completely static state of non-being — but it doesn’t make physical sense. You are welcome to entertain it all you like, to think about it, to philosophize about it, to infer theology from it, etc. But it’s a non-starter to a scientist. Your definition is irrelevant to the real Universe.

Reaching, broadcasting and listening for the evidence of others has so far returned an empty, lonely result. Image credit: Victor Bobbett.

Reaching, broadcasting and listening for the evidence of others has so far returned an empty, lonely result. Image credit: Victor Bobbett.

And finally, from John on what’s now become a 1000+ comment thread (the original firestorm-starter): ”
[Ethan:] “Science can never prove or disprove the existence of God, but if we use our beliefs as an excuse to draw conclusions that scientifically, we’re not ready for, we run the grave risk of depriving ourselves of what we might have come to truly learn.”

Thanks. That – all of that – needs to be said and stressed more often”

There are two ways I can generally categorize a “search for God,” as it were. One is to look at the question as being completely outside of the realm of what’s knowable about the physical Universe. To place God in the realm of fully outside the natural Universe we experience. To put that concept alongside the other unknowables like “where did spacetime originate,” “where did the laws of physics come from,” “did the Universe have a beginning or is it eternal,” and so on. (If these questions become answerable, i.e., if they ever come into the realm of scientific inquiry, God will either be discovered or will be pushed out.) That’s fine by me; we have questions that are unanswerable in principle, and looking beyond what science can address is a find way to raise possibilities, albeit without a test, none are compelling.

The reionization and star-formation history of our Universe, where reionization was driven by these faint, early but theoretically numerous galaxies. At last, thanks to Livermore's work, we're discovering them. Image credit: NASA / S.G. Djorgovski & Digital Media Center / Caltech.

The reionization and star-formation history of our Universe, where reionization was driven by faint, early but theoretically numerous galaxies. Image credit: NASA / S.G. Djorgovski & Digital Media Center / Caltech.

The other is to use God as a placeholder for any presently unknown or unexplained phenomenon. A “God of the gaps.” What a small God to have! A God that can be (and likely will be) squeezed out into non-existence simply by discovering more about the natural Universe is a God that is just screaming to be disproved. Indeed, a great many Gods (and stories about Gods) have been scientifically disproved in exactly this fashion, although proof is not necessarily enough for its believers.

I won’t tell anyone what to believe, but as soon as your belief causes you to divorce yourself from reality, I’m going to be there doing my best to inform you — and the whole of humanity — about what our physical reality actually is. Because we know what physical reality is, and no amount of belief is going to change it. There may be many powerful people claiming that “we live in a post-fact world,” but the world itself tells us otherwise.

Comments

  1. #1 Wow
    February 12, 2017

    “Dr. Hazel-Connie Low Chi Leong ”

    You mean that wasn’t an attempt to get a googleranking plumping for a Malaysian shop?

  2. #2 Wow
    February 12, 2017

    To put that concept alongside the other unknowables like “where did spacetime originate,” “where did the laws of physics come from,”

    Actually, it puts god into deist and deist alone.

    Or some non-theos idea of “God is just another name for the universe” which we might as well retire the word “God” for.

    For the second case, it’s patently “God doesn’t exist”. And it’s no wonder that science can’t prove the existence of that god, since nothing other than faulty logic can “prove” a nonexistent thing exists.

    For the former, there’s really nothing to say and call it god anyway. It’s Calvinism taken to 11. It is not even unknowable, but not even a thing, a person, an entity, whatever you want to call it.

    The deist god is so non defined (as opposed to badly defined or even not defined: both those indicate some actual definition was possible) that it can’t be labelled god.

    Not without removing all meaning of the word.

    The deist god is no different from “Branes” or “Virtual particle foam”, if either those were the “reason” for this universe existing at this moment.

    But NOBODY would call those god. Neither would it be worth caring if it exists, the query is moot from its meaningless change between knowing and not knowing it exists or doesn’t as a matter of fact.

    By any utility for the word “God”, it has to be a complete thing, with positive action. And if it doesn’t act in this universe changing it, then why care if it exists or not? Again, if it doesn’t do any of that, there’s no change between knowing and not if such a god exists if it is not an individual with the ability to engage positive actions. And if it can’t do anything here, then it’s pointless to wonder if it exists.

    But if it does act and can act in this reality, then this reality changes, and that’s an objective and measurable fact.

    Which is precisely what science does: measure this objective change in this reality then form a model of why. Then test it to see if the theory holds true.

  3. #3 Wow
    February 12, 2017

    I do think it should have been including the “that” which was before the quote, else someone has to load up the kilothread to see what the indefinite article was pertaining.

    Kinda mean to browsers to make that necessary.

  4. #4 John
    Baltimore
    February 12, 2017

    Thanks for the reference, Ethan.

    And thanks again for the original quote!

    “Science can never prove or disprove the existence of God, but if we use our beliefs as an excuse to draw conclusions that scientifically, we’re not ready for, we run the grave risk of depriving ourselves of what we might have come to truly learn.”

  5. #5 Denier
    United States
    February 12, 2017

    @Ethan wrote:

    If you want some substance about where I get my concept of rights from, it was from studying Thurgood Marshall.

    Bullshit. If this were remotely true you would know why you are completely wrong. Thurgood Marshall’s take on the First Amendment is right in line with mine. The following was written by Thurgood Marshall in Police Department of City of Chicago v. Mosley (1972):

    But, above all else, the First Amendment means that government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content.

    Now let’s look at what you wrote that kicked this whole thing off:
    Ethan wrote:

    Perhaps we have a right to be free from misinformation masquerading as truths, too.

    …and later you clarified your idea:
    Ethan wrote:

    yes, I suggested that perhaps the government should pass a law to regulate this.

    Now you’re claiming that you get your ideas on the law from Thurgood Marshall?

    By the way, your XKCD strip is wrong. Berkeley is a public university and as an arm of the government they could not cancel Milo’s speaking event because it would have violated the First Amendment rights of Milo and the College Republicans who invited him.

    It seem that ‘How to Think Like A Scientist’ means go with a gut instinct, ignore all counter evidence, lie about sources you think support your position, and use your platform to spread misinformation.

    You’re wrong here Ethan. I’ve been there and I have some free advice that you can take or not: When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

  6. #6 AJKamper
    February 12, 2017

    Oh man, I don’t usually read the comments but I’m an attorney and a progressive and was looking forward to shooting down Denier and his theory of rights and the First Amendment.

    Lo and behold, I track back on the posts and determine that he’s right, or at least more right than Ethan. (Though the idea of certain rights as inherent has a certain utility that Denier’s “legal entitlement” lacks.) thatI hate it when that happens.

    A simple rule may apply here: if you’re in favor of giving the government the power to pass a certain kind of law, would you be comfortable with the government still having that power when the opposition party, in its worst imaginable form, takes power?

  7. #7 John
    Baltimore
    February 13, 2017

    @ #6
    “… if you’re in favor of giving the government the power to pass a certain kind of law, would you be comfortable with the government still having that power when the opposition party, in its worst imaginable form, takes power?”

    The U.S. has recently begun just such an experiment.

  8. #8 Denier
    United States
    February 13, 2017

    @AJKamper wrote;

    the idea of certain rights as inherent has a certain utility

    Progressives. ::eyeroll:: Using Jesus to get around jurisdictional and temporal limitations. jk…..sorta

    @AJKamper wrote:

    Oh man, I don’t usually read the comments but I’m an attorney and a progressive and was looking forward to shooting down Denier and his theory of rights and the First Amendment.

    Lo and behold, I track back on the posts and determine that he’s right

    Thank you for that.

  9. #9 Wow
    February 13, 2017

    Lo and behold, I track back on the posts and determine that he’s right, or at least more right than Ethan.

    So Denier is more right about what Ethan thinks and means than Ethan is about what he thinks and means?

    Lo and behold, you’re WRONG!

  10. #10 Wow
    February 13, 2017

    A simple rule may apply here: if you’re in favor of giving the government the power to pass a certain kind of law, would you be comfortable with the government still having that power when the opposition party, in its worst imaginable form, takes power?

    So we mustn’t allow governments to arrest people or pass laws because some other government may pass bad laws or arrest people for no good reason.

    Right.

    You’re a moron.

  11. #11 Wow
    February 13, 2017

    Trump gets in because of all the complaints that politicans are corrupt liars, and we shouldn’t vote liars in. Hence Trump.

    Yet when THEY are at risk of being pilloried for lying, suddenly it’s all about how it’s bad to restrict speech and make people limit themselves to truth and reality.

    Dumbasses.

  12. #12 eric
    February 13, 2017

    Berkeley is a public university and as an arm of the government they could not cancel Milo’s speaking event because it would have violated the First Amendment rights of Milo and the College Republicans who invited him.

    IMO It’s worth pointing out that the Berkeley administration *defended* the CR’s right to invite their speaker. They did not attempt any censorship. The vast majority of students didn’t either; they were peaceful protestors exercising their first amendment rights too. The disruption evidently came from this ‘black bloc’ group, which is the only group here doing something legally wrong.

    Going forward, Berkeley could certainly make a blanket policy that said no student groups can invite in outside speakers. I very much hope they *don’t* do that, but if they were bound and determined to stop some speakers and they were willing to reduce the educational opportunities and experience they provide to their students to accomplish that, then that would also be a legal policy as it would be content neutral.

  13. #13 Wow
    February 13, 2017

    Blocking Milo would not be abridgement of the first since Berkley would not be arresting him or stopping him from speaking, it would only not let him use their facilities to do so.

    Also, regarding this free speech shit, Abu Hamsa.

    Not forgetting your “fighting words” doctrine.

    But when the only thing you think you have left is the first and second amendments, you fight to the death for them and raise them to Holy Writ.

    As long as it’s in your favour…

  14. #14 Wow
    February 13, 2017

    “The disruption evidently came from this ‘black bloc’ group, which is the only group here doing something legally wrong.”

    Note

    1) We have recordings of rightwing activist organisations trying to pay leftwingers to protest illegally.
    2) This was a tiny group NOT from Berkeley
    3) Despite this, only the riots are ever mentioned here by the right wing, as “proof” the left are worse
    4) Trump supporters STILL insist that the only violence they heard about came from the anti-trump crowd (lefties), despite the many reports of violence in the campaign for election.

    So there’s ample reason both for this to be arranged AND that the result was profitable for the right wing rhetoricians that this was a false flag operation, not actually the left at all.

  15. #15 eric
    February 13, 2017

    Blocking Milo would not be abridgement of the first since Berkley would not be arresting him or stopping him from speaking, it would only not let him use their facilities to do so.

    It would be abridging the CR’s rights. Creating a content-based rule on what types of speech and opinions this student group may foster through speakers. The Uni can say no student’s can’t invite speakers. The Uni can say yes students can invite speakers. The Uni can’t say students may invite lib speakers but not conservative ones.

    The argument I’ve heard that attempts to get around content is to say Milo has harassed and doxxed individuals by name, and the school should be able to prevent speakers if they have a credible suspicion that the individual will illegally harass a student. The problem is, AFAIK Milo has never actually been successfully sued for harassment or found guilty of incitement. So in the eyes of the law, he doesn’t have a record of “illegal speech.” The CRs could probably easily win a suit against the Uni by saying they are making up an extra-legal, arbitrary, and ex-post-facto standard of what counts as ‘harassing speech’ because they don’t like Milo’s message. On top of that problem, the courts in the US really, really don’t like prior restraint. Newspapers in the past have announced that they have classified information and plan on releasing it, and even in those cases the courts have said no, no prior restraint on speech; the government must wait until the papers actually commit a crime before going after them. So a university claiming they’re going to impose prior restraint on the CR, when their speaker has only engaged in legal speech in the past (as far as the law is concerned) would have a very uphill battle to fight. All IMO.

  16. #16 Wow
    February 13, 2017

    “It would be abridging the CR’s rights.”

    What right?

    There is no first amendment of “Let someone else speak for you”.

    They can speak for themselves!

  17. #17 dean
    February 13, 2017

    “the idea of certain rights as inherent has a certain utility”

    makes perfect sense to decent people, no need to make any assertion about relying on “jesus” as support for this.

    On the other hand, looking at the Constitution explicitly identifying rights and saying none exist if not there is also suitable — if you’re a moron libertarian who doesn’t want “icky” people to be able to enjoy the same things he does.

  18. #18 eric
    February 13, 2017

    “It would be abridging the CR’s rights.”

    What right?

    The right to equal treatment and non-discrimination under law. The CRs have a legal right to be given the same speech opportunities as other student groups with other ideologies. To be free of viewpoint-based censorship of their activities, which includes inviting speakers.

    Now you’re right, the Uni could say ‘speak for yourselves!’ But only if they were willing to say that exact same thing to all the student groups on campus – preventing all student-invited speaker engagements. They aren’t doing that…thank goodness.

  19. #19 Wow
    February 13, 2017

    What right?

    There is no first amendment of “Let someone else speak for you”.

    They can speak for themselves!

    You missed a bit.

    Trolling is not healthy. Milo is a troll. What someone can do in the CR is speak THEIR mind about whatever Milo would do, which would get the ideas out there without getting the troll along with it.

    You don’t let imams from Syria to pop up and start preaching how the USA should be bombed to preserve Allah’s domain, even though it’s speech.

    You also have laws against spam mail.

    You already have restrictions. And the nutjobs (the difference between left and right are fairly nonexistent at the extremes, the only real difference is that there’s no equivalent teaparty leftists since, well, sometime in the 80s) on the right are exploiting it for their benefit.

    They’re using the free speech as a human shield.

    Then fucking you over with it.

  20. #20 Wow
    February 13, 2017

    “But only if they were willing to say that exact same thing to all the student groups on campus ”

    No they wouldn’t. Just point out that it has to be somewhat constructive and not mere provocation.

    Indeed the complaint I had about the “Draw mohamed day” was that it was really just there for many to piss off Muslims.

    The cartoons which “started” it off were, apart from one, actually quite good. Not because they were making fun of mohammed, but because they actually had some thinking to them. One, for example, showed some muslim, obviously intended to have been a suicide bomber, being told by St Peter that they’d run out of virgins. Funny and thought provoking if you were a muslim and thinking about this entire suicide bomber rationale. It wasn’t just take the piss out of the religion. The exception was a picture of a bomb in a turban.

    Turned out that cartoon wasn’t one of the originals,it was added by the Imams when they wanted to inflame the populace, leading to riots and eventually the murders at Charlie Hebdo.

    Milo is trying to run the fake comic, purely to rile people up. If he’s let talk, he’ll rouse the like minded morons. If he can, he’ll raise the ire of those against his trolling. But there’s actually no positive point to his diatribes.

    He’s there purely and solely to disrupt, and he doesn’t care who gets agitated, either side is enough.

    Because he’s a RL troll.

  21. #21 Wow
    February 13, 2017

    Here’s another valid scenario for just going “Sling your hook, mate” to a “Invited Speaker”.

    Lets say Ken Ham is invited to a discussion about the evidence for Creationism vs Evolution. You know, a repeat of the Nye/Ham debate.

    Pointless.

    In his audience asked question “What would convince you you are wrong?” Ham flat out admitted that nothing could possibly make him think he was wrong.

    It would therefore be pointless to invite Ken Ham to a discussion about the literalness of the bible, because he’s not there to do anything but repeat without change the earlier claims of bible inerrancy. That’s not a discussion, it’s a waste of time if Ham is there.

    Deepak Chopra or William Lane Craig are also bad speakers to have. Not because they’re trolls or even that they’re incapable of involving in a mutual discussion, but because they proclaim an expertise that just doesn’t exist. They make claims that are 100% false. Not shades, not areas of dispute, not even defined areas. Just flat out woomancer wrong. Unless used as a tool to show how to skeptically debunk, anything either of these two could do would be a waste of time. Reality and even the meaning of words are void in a discussion where they exist as speakers.

    So as an institute of learning, the use of those two characters would merely be as a waste of time and entrench parties more firmly in their positions.

    And to confuse a very few (one would hope) to a ridiculous ideology via abuse of language and rhetorical entrapment.

    An antithesis of the point of universities.

  22. #22 eric
    February 13, 2017

    Trolling is not healthy. Milo is a troll.

    Healthy or not, if UC allows students to invite speakers, they can’t ban one using the reason “he’s a troll, and this is unhealthy”

    You don’t let imams from Syria to pop up and start preaching how the USA should be bombed to preserve Allah’s domain, even though it’s speech.

    That’s another example of a speaker students could bring in.
    Though if he gets very specific (you, Wow, should bomb the Empire state building) and immediate (right now), he could get prosecuted for incitement. Even if the University thinks that’s going to happen though, the courts would very likely not allow them to enact a prior restraint.

    “Draw mohamed day”

    And a student group could also invite a ‘Draw Mohamed day’ promoter to speak, and the Uni couldn’t stop them by arguing they don’t want that viewpoint expressed.

    Lets say Ken Ham is invited…

    The Uni would have to allow a student group to invite Ken Ham to speak. Even without Bill Nye. “Pointless” is still protected speech.

    Deepak Chopra or William Lane Craig are also bad speakers to have

    But again, if a student group invited them under the current rules, the Uni would have to allow it.

    This is not hard: the university cannot engage in viewpoint discrimination to quash student invites to speakers. The person can be a troll, the event can be pointless, they can call for the overthrow of the US government, they can commit multiple religious blashpemies, and it doesn’t matter. If you allow student groups to invite speakers, you can’t selectively decide which speakers they invite.

    An antithesis of the point of universities.

    The College Republicans are a student group. They have no obligation to only invite speakers with educational value, or only speakers who forward the mission of the university. They could invite a speaker who argued against the Uni mission itself, if they wanted. Or they could invite Bozo the Clown to put on a show which has zero redeeming cultural or educational value. Which, arguably, they did. 🙂

  23. #23 Wow
    February 13, 2017

    Healthy or not, if UC allows students to invite speakers, they can’t ban one using the reason “he’s a troll, and this is unhealthy”

    Yes they can. Why not?

    “Pointless” is still protected speech.

    So? “Protected Speech” doesn’t mean “you get to be given a soapbox”. You can still invite Ham to speak. Just not on that sort of subject, since it would be pointless. Talk on bible literalism? Sure. As a debate between bible and science? No. Pointless.

    It should be as avoided as making geology students investigate the 100’s of myths of how the earth was formed. Because it is a waste of time to do so for geology.

    ID isn’t in schools, despite it being “protected speech” BECAUSE IT’S POINTLESS in schools to “teach” it.

    It really is no more than news agencies agreeing to, well, tell the truth. Or advertisers not to lie about products. Or any other situation where the truth actually should mean something rather than be a rhetorical plaything to keep people fragmented.

    Stop giving air to the moronic unless they start agreeing that they’ll represent reality as it is. When some woomancer goes on about “Quantum red chakras sucking in light and infrared and how wearing red clothes choke your chakras” is bullshit and to be kicked off the stage NOT because “Chakras” is woo, but because they misrepresent QUANTUM to “support” it. Don’t use “planes of vibration” until you’ve explained what it is and shown it has use. AND KEEP TO IT. Gish gallop? Kicked off the stage.

    Talk about Chakras or astral projection all you like, but if you’re going to BS about science and abuse the language to confuse rather than illuminate, you’re not there for education, you’re there to baffle. It’s not like you can’t just go into the mythological expression of these theories. Do so. “I don’t know” is 100% valid as to “How do they work?” or “How do you know they’re real?”. But “It’s the quantum observer field of collapsing reality that makes the virtual phtons vibrate to the spirit level and increase the chi field as shown by the latest version of the images of the CMB!” is not merely lies, not merely wrong, but “NOT EVEN WRONG” and a deliberate attempt to bamboozle.

    And that’s not merely pointless, it’s anti-productive, and kicking it off the stage is entirely justified for a house of learning.

  24. #24 dean
    February 13, 2017

    ” Or they could invite Bozo the Clown to put on a show”

    Well, at this time, that would be nothing more than a reenactment of “Weekend at Bernie’s” – but I agree with your larger point.

  25. #25 dean
    February 13, 2017

    “It would be abridging the CR’s rights. ”

    Only if they insisted on hosting their favorite fascist on campus. They could have brought him to any off-campus venue that would have him and them.

  26. #26 eric
    February 13, 2017

    Yes they can. Why not?

    Because, as I’ve told you, it violates the rights of the CR students for their speech (and invites) to be treated differently than other students’ speech (and invites).

    “Protected Speech” doesn’t mean “you get to be given a soapbox”.

    Well, that depends. If the Uni gives all the other students a soapbox, then they can’t deny it to conservatives just because they find some bit of conservative speech pointless. OTOH yes its entirely possible for the Uni to say “nobody gets a soapbox.”

    ID isn’t in schools, despite it being “protected speech” BECAUSE IT’S POINTLESS in schools to “teach” it

    This is entirely legally wrong. It can’t be taught in US schools (as a theory) because it fails the Lemon test and is therefore unconstitutional endorsement of religion. Courts found this not just once, but several times across a few decades of cases for different flavors of creationist attempts to get into schools. In the US, states are free to require the teaching of pointless stuff, even wrong stuff…so long as it doesn’t violate the first amendment’s ban on establishing religion. In fact IIRC one SCOTUS judge said this explicitly in one of the creationism cases; that the law doesn’t require the states to teach good science, it only requires them to avoid establishing religion. So your understanding of US law regarding freedom of religion in this case is pretty much backwards.

  27. #27 Wow
    February 14, 2017

    Yes they can. Why not?

    Because, as I’ve told you, it violates the rights of the CR students for their speech

    And I’ve told you it doesn’t.

    (and invites)

    Not them either.

    to be treated differently than other students’ speech (and invites).

    It isn’t. It’s treating them the same. If the liberal campus want a troll, they’ll be banned from having them.

    “Protected Speech” doesn’t mean “you get to be given a soapbox”.

    Well, that depends.

    No it doesn’t.

    If the Uni gives all the other students a soapbox,

    They do. Milo isn’t a student.

  28. #28 Sinisa Lazarek
    February 14, 2017

    One note/question/observation from my side regarding freedom of speech and what happened in berkley and milo thing.

    I don’t know if US has something similar in law, but I’m sure/hope it has, and it has to do with the ban of hate speech or speech that entices violence and similar things.

    If it has, then someone like i.e. Milo… should be allowed to give speeches where ever he is invited to.. as long as his speech/lecture, whatever.. isn’t violating anyones rights, isn’t calling for discrimination, isn’t enticing anyone to break the law etc.. If his speech is deemed as being “hate speech”, then he ought to be prosecuted for violating that law.

    What happened at Berkley was a boycott by one group, which then escalated. And this will happen more IMO as time moves, since there is a clear and obvious struggle at the moment between far right and left/center in the US (and rest as well). What US is I think starting to realize (just look at Stephen Miller) is that they didn’t get a republican president and goverment… they got far right radical one.. and what’s gonna happen is anyone’s guess.

  29. #29 Wow
    February 14, 2017

    SL, on one of the previous SWAB threads on free speech with denier’s pathology on show, I pointed out all the exceptions to the first amendment.

    “Fighting words doctrine” include what the UK calls incitement and hate speech.

    What happened at Berkley was a boycott by one group NOT FROM BERKLEY.

  30. #30 Wow
    February 14, 2017

    And, no, banning a speaker is not only allowed to stop criminal speech. So “Why not get them for hate speech” doesn’t follow. If nothing else, you’d need to have the AG take the case on.

    Which won’t happen when the courts are already overworked.

    And when the rightwing nutjobs are so terrible at taking criticism, and doubly so when they’re in power, the chance of the state taking it on disappears.

  31. #31 Sinisa Lazarek
    February 14, 2017

    Not saying Berkley did anything wrong. Personally, I would have probably behaved in same way and canceled the whole event dues to safety concerns for all sides.

    But that event aside… this will surely happen again. Be it right or left…next time some youth liberal will go to some uni in carolina.. he’s gonna get the same welcome just from the other camp. And it’s a downward spiral from there.

  32. #32 Wow
    February 14, 2017

    The problem with that is the assertion of slippery slope means we don’t do anything.

    We should not make laws against false advertising because someone may just rise to power and call a news organization “Fake news” and get them closed down.

    And you don’t think that there’d be the same rioting from the right? Ever seen a trump rally??? It’s already happened. “But what about if the other side uses it” is here being use to make sure that the left doesn’t use it. The right already been there and bought the t-shirt.

    It’s too late to hand-wring over rioting when a deliberately inflammatory moron comes on to incite rioting. It’s irrelevant to complain that “you’re harming your own side” when no matter what is done, the harm to “your own side” is assured because the other side has found out that you won’t do anything to stop them.

    Go read about Carver in Terry Pratchett’s “Nightwatch”. The rightwing are Carver. They know that they don’t have to care about obeying the rules, and everyone else is harmed by insisting everyone else must.

    But what CAN be done is to refuse the Carvers of the world a place in it. If someone wants to make the same spiel as Milo would, they can do it themselves.

    Allowing Milo to spout bollocks is no better than “John” over on the kilothread screaming that I’m wrong but when asked to prove his claim, going “But ETHAN said…”. If someone in Berkley’s conservative group wants to spout the arrogant and disgusting rhetoric that Milo does, they can do so. They’ll have to live with their statements, and that’s all. By getting Milo to spout it, they get their vicarious shouting at the leftists, but to disclaim saying it themselves.

    And then whine that they’re being unfairly classed as saying what Milo does, when they didn’t. They “just” allowed Milo to speak.

    Own up to your statements, If you want to post up someone else’s words, then they become yours, otherwise you would not be posting their words as support.

    But by ignoring the rioters were not from Berkley, you’re continuing a lie of assumption not supported by evidence.

  33. #33 eric
    February 14, 2017

    SL:

    I don’t know if US has something similar in law, but I’m sure/hope it has, and it has to do with the ban of hate speech or speech that entices violence and similar things.

    We do not have any law criminalizing hate speech. If you commit a normal crime (vandalism, theft, etc.), then the courts can consider whether it was a ‘hate crime’ when they sentence you, but in the US being hateful cannot make an otherwise legal action illegal. Hateful, bigoted speech is not illegal here.

    Yes, we have some forms of illegal speech; incitement to criminal acts, harassment, slander. Like the UK, we also have ‘fighting words’. However these things tend to be very narrowly defined in US law. For example, you can literally publish someone’s picture, address, the message “this person kills babies” and paint a gun sight over their face, and that doesn’t count as incitement. Given that extremely high bar, no, Milo’s speech almost certainly does not meet the legal requirement to be incitement.

  34. #34 Wow
    February 14, 2017

    “We do not have any law criminalizing hate speech. ”

    WRONG.

    http://freespeechdebate.com/en/case/the-brandenburg-test-for-incitement-to-violence/

  35. #36 Wow
    February 14, 2017

    And how many frigging times do I have to mention in a single thread

    FIGHTING WORDS DOCTRINE

    The fighting words doctrine, in United States constitutional law, is a limitation to freedom of speech as protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. In 1942, the U.S. Supreme Court established the doctrine by a 9–0 decision in Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire.

    Not the first time I said, but no, nobody listening to what’s said, only what they want to see.

  36. #37 Wow
    February 14, 2017

    And when it comes to US, they disregard international law binding them, but they sure like to smack the “allies” banhammer on others for doing it.

    See Nuremberg (where the USA was in favour of all countries obeying international law)

    https://www.article19.org/pages/en/hate-speech-more.html

  37. #38 eric
    February 14, 2017

    Wow:

    It isn’t. It’s treating them the same. If the liberal campus want a troll, they’ll be banned from having them.

    That would also be illegal viewpoint discrimination under US law. Here are some quotes from SCOTUS cases.

    “The ordinance, even as narrowly construed by the State Supreme Court, is facially unconstitutional because it imposes special prohibitions on those speakers who express views on the disfavored subjects of “race, color, creed, religion or gender.” R.A.V. vs. City of St. Paul. Rules that create special prohibitions on certain viewpoints are facially unconstitutional, and in fact Milo’s type of hate (a disfavored viewpoint on gender) is specifically called out as an example of the sort of viewpoint you can’t discriminate against.

    “the access policy adopted by the Perry schools favors [460 U.S. 37, 49] a particular viewpoint, that of PEA, on labor relations, and consequently must be strictly scrutinized regardless of whether a public forum is involved… Perry Ed. Assn. vs. Perry Local Educator’s association. Here the court is saying that any rule that has the effect of favoring a particular viewpoint must meet the court’s highest review standard before it can be legal. Note also that the court is saying that government viewpoint discrimination has to be scrutinized and is likely unconstitutional even when the government has not created a public forum.

    “In a public forum, by definition, all parties have a constitutional right of access and the State must demonstrate compelling reasons for restricting access to a single class of speakers, a single viewpoint, or a single subject.

    When speakers and subjects are similarly situated, the State may not pick and choose.” IBID. Seems pretty self-explanatory.

    You’re just wrong on US law on this subject, Wow, and baldly asserting that you’re right without any evidence or argument doesn’t cut it.

    As a bonus, here’s a SCOTUS quote to back up the point that you’re also wrong about why creationism gets banned in US schools;

    “The Louisiana Creationism Act advances a religious doctrine by requiring either the banishment of the theory of evolution from public school classrooms or the presentation of a religious viewpoint that rejects evolution in its entirety. The Act violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment because it seeks to employ the symbolic and
    financial support of government to achieve a religious purpose. The judgment of the Court of Appeals therefore is
    Affirmed.
    ” Edwards vs. Aguillard. Its about religion, Wow, not ‘pointlessness’. Another:

    “The parties are in agreement that an applicable test in the case sub judice to ascertain whether the challenged ID Policy is unconstitutional under the First Amendment is that of Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971), (hereinafter “the
    Lemon test”).”
    Kitzmiller vs. Dover. Note here that the court is saying that *even the creationists* accept that the Lemon test – not Wow’s vague “pointlessness” test – is the correct standard to use when evaluating whether ID can be taught. You’re not just wrong, you more wronger than the creationists about this.

  38. #39 Wow
    February 14, 2017

    “That would also be illegal viewpoint discrimination under US law”

    No it wouldn’t. Nobody is obliged to carry your speech for you.

    “You’re just wrong on US law on this subject, Wow, and baldly asserting that you’re right without any evidence”

    Right. So all those links and the fighting words doctrine never were said.

    You’re a moron, eric.

  39. #40 Wow
    February 14, 2017

    eric, you “may” be thinking “Milo’s trolling doesn’t fall under fighting words” or some such bullshit, but what you SAID was this:

    #33

    SL:

    I don’t know if US has something similar in law, but I’m sure/hope it has, and it has to do with the ban of hate speech or speech that entices violence and similar things.

    We do not have any law criminalizing hate speech.

    Then when I say

    #34:

    WRONG.

    http://freespeechdebate.com/en/case/the-brandenburg-test-for-incitement-to-violence/

    (not forgetting fighting words, death threats, harrassment, etc laws and, yes, actual hate crimes, see note at end)

    YOU coming back with “You’re just wrong on US law on this subject, Wow, and baldly asserting that you’re right without any evidence”, mistake me not, YOU ARE A MORON.

    note:

    Since Sept. 11, 2001, the attorney general said, the Justice Department has headed more than 1,000 investigations into acts of “anti-Muslim hatred” and bigoted behavior, leading to more than 45 prosecutions — including of a New York man who e-mailed death threats to an employee at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and of a Texas man convicted in 2013 of threatening to bomb an Islamic center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

  40. #41 Gary S
    So Cal
    February 14, 2017

    There is a (perhaps subtle for some) difference between ideas and concepts TAUGHT in a class and a voluntary student organisation who can invite an outside speaker to be heard by a voluntary audience. Only subjects taught in a classroom can be controlled, unless it is inciting violence.

  41. #42 Wow
    February 14, 2017

    There’s also the waste of resources Gary. And there should be no reason to demand Milo be allowed. He can speak freely. Just not using the university resources.

    Look at it this way: if he’d not been invited, there would have been no riot.

    No riot, no police and no damage, therefore no cost. That money could be spent elsewhere on something that is actually useful.

    The only “reason” to let him is some asinine “But muh fri speach!”. Well, who is silencing them? They’re freely able to speak elsewhere.

  42. #43 Wow
    February 14, 2017

    Gary, if you want to see what it’s like having a “discussion” with someone whose only claims they’ll admit to are “This person says this:….” go over and look at the kilothread.

    A shitload of whining about “I never said any such thing, and you’re not the first to put words in my mouth!”.

    If the conservative group couldn’t find anyone who wanted to speak from on the campus, then there’s nothing to be gained by letting the troll just come up and prime the rightwingnutjobs with stock phrases.

    And that thread shows amply why “Just let them speak” is not what speech is supposed to be about, because when you’re up against a psycho nutbar like “John” over there, it devolves to complaints about people trying to engage and being told “Just ignore them and don’t read the thread”.

    If you’re not reading the thread, what was the point in the first place? And all someone needs to do to shut down this blog is to shitpost without listening or caring what anyone else is saying, like teabaggie is doing, and then nobody is listening.

    eric has a self-described “right to invite a speaker” but, frankly, unless they’re a member of the university, there is no right to speak there. And if there’s no member willing to make that speech and own having made it, then there is no value in letting someone else come along temporarily, drop a steaming pile of incitement and then run off to leave the toxic waste to putrify when the one who dealt it is well away and immune.

  43. #44 eric
    February 14, 2017

    Right. So all those links and the fighting words doctrine never were said.

    Did you miss the part in @33 where I mentioned and discussed incitement, harassement, and fighting words?

    What I said was that we have no laws against speech based on their content being just hateful. If they’re hateful and incitement, then that’s illegal. If they’re hateful and fighting words, then that’s illegal. And so on. But simple hatefulness or pointlessness is protected speech.

    There’s also the waste of resources Gary. And there should be no reason to demand Milo be allowed. He can speak freely. Just not using the university resources.

    Once again, and I’ll try and make this the last post I make on the subject, it is NOT MILO’s RIGHTS that would be infringed by banning him. It would be the college republican’s rights. Because if the university gives students the right to rent space and have speakers, they cannot then enact viewpoint-based censorship on the CR’s right to rent the space and have speakers. The CRs have the right to equal protection under law (the 14th amendment). Which means the university cannot make viewpoint-based decisions on who they – or any other student group – can invite. This is very well settled. Free speech groups at Berkeley have invited holocaust deniers before, and the same thing applies. If someone were to invite the KKK’s Grand Dragon, the same thing applies. And so on.

  44. #45 Wow
    February 14, 2017
    Right. So all those links and the fighting words doctrine never were said.

    Did you miss the part in @33 where

    Did you miss the part where I quoted what you claimed was wrong and gave the link for??? And the bit where you said I gave no evidence?

    In what way do you saying that they exist make my evidence not there? And in what way does it make your claim that there were no such laws less wrong???

    it is NOT MILO’s RIGHTS that would be infringed by banning him

    Then stop whining about freedom of speech which is not what
    college republican’s rights
    are about. Since they patently are not speaking. Indeed if they WERE speaking, then it wouldn’t be Milo, would it.

    Moreover, why does a group get rights about free speech?

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.[1]

    The only group there is the “press”, which is about the ability to produce words without needing the consent of government, and the “freedom to assemble”.

    Their freedom to assemble are either as the university college republicans, in which case Milo is not one of them, or the right of random people to assemble, which doesn’t make a demand for the university to accede to. They can go to the pub and assemble there with Milo.

    The pub landlord may decide to just bar them, mind. But again, that wouldn’t be any first amendment problem, either.

  45. #46 Wow
    February 15, 2017

    When you’re crying about the right wing being shut down, think back to what I said about the rightwing already doing this in the silence of non reporting, so they’re using “Free Speech” as a human shield to beat the left up over, watch this:

  46. #47 Wow
    February 15, 2017

    When you’re crying about the right wing being shut down, think back to what I said about the rightwing already doing this in the silence of non reporting, so they’re using “Free Speech” as a human shield to beat the left up over, watch this:

    [https://]www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2XI1P1Kxwk

  47. #48 John
    February 15, 2017

    So about the evidence you have not provided to back up your claim, when will you produce some scientific evidence to support your claim that Science can prove the existence of God?

  48. #49 Wow
    February 15, 2017

    So about this question that isn’t asked anywhere, why do you keep insisting I have to ask it, teabaggie?

    The question is not “prove the existence of god”, dumbass.

    Meanwhile we await ANY proof of your claim that science cannot prove the existence of god.

    The closest you’ve come to that is a circular argument where you define god as something science can’t prove, therefore science can’t prove it.

    Which, being circular, is no proof at all.

  49. #50 Wow
    February 16, 2017

    So, Ethan, I can continue doing this

    http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/files/2012/09/tumblr_mamdj8qGZZ1qe0wbo.gif

    to “John” here and continue to beat the shit out of him on the thread, but

    a) there’s nothing BUT shit in teabaggie here, meaning nothing will be left of him
    b) there’s a continental shitberg of crap in the moron, meaning it will go on until the site breaks

    and

    c) Nobody else is interested, despite it being a damn good example of why there should be a limit to free speech and all the merkin rhetoric about its primacy (since, really, you don’t have anything else special to hug to your breasts to make you feel better. The Brits got used to being crap generations ago, we’ve come to terms with it, note the difference between British and American humour) is bullshit, because it only applies in the abstract, when it doesn’t really affect you or annoy you.

    So it really isn’t going to do anything to make people visit, and will instead put people off.

    Since teabaggie insists on using your words to say that it proves science can never prove or disprove god’s existence, you either need to correct him on that or engage with me on whether that is a conclusion supported by anything other than dogma or circular reasoning.

    Teabaggie has demonstrated he neither reads, understands, nor cares what is said, only that he gets to insist that science can neither prove nor (and this is most important to him) disprove the existence of god. Specifically the christian one. Because he thinks that the Muslim god isn’t the Christian one. A fetish only Christians disagree with. Muslims totally get the idea. To them, Christ is just another prophet of the same god. To the Jews, Christ wasn’t a deity nor the son of Yahweh, and they accept that it’s the same god as both Christians and Muslims worship.

    It’s only the christians who think that theirs is a different god.

  50. #51 Wow
    February 16, 2017

    Further on the free speech BS for eric: Milo was not doing it for free, they were getting paid.

  51. #52 Denier
    United States
    February 17, 2017

    @Wow wrote

    And how many frigging times do I have to mention in a single thread

    FIGHTING WORDS DOCTRINE

    Even though I know this is completely pointless, here goes:

    The Fighting Words Doctrine, for all practical purposes, doesn’t exist today. It is little more than a dark reminder that even our system of government can be corrupted by a populist strongman.

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt implemented changes to our economy and government via the National Recovery Act Code Authorities that were rooted in Syndicalist economic theory. It was the same corporatist ideas championed by Benito Mussolini and the Italian Fascists. The difference between the US and Italy was that it was against our constitution and our Supreme Court neutered it much to FDR’s frustration. Through intimidation and attrition over the next decade FDR managed to flip or replace every judge in the US Supreme Court with a justice who would rubber stamp anything he wanted to do.

    By that time, it became clear that Italy was not our friend and we vilified them as part of the WWII war effort. That FDR had been trying to implement the same Fascist economic ideas here was not something FDR wanted thrown in his face. Walter Chaplinsky was in an altercation where he accused a law enforcement official of being a Fascist and was arrested. The case made it all the way to FDR’s packed Supreme Court where they criminalized the epithet in a 9-0 decision via what was later named the Fighting Words Doctrine.

    Over the intervening years similar cases have made it to the Supreme Court and lost though the core Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire decision still remains intact. Technically everyone referring to Trump as a Fascist could be imprisoned. They aren’t being rounded up because no one today treats the Fighting Words Doctrine as a real thing. If someone were to be charged today with calling Trump a Fascist it would likely result in voiding the Fighting Words Doctrine entirely.

  52. #53 Denier
    February 17, 2017

    @Wow wrote

    Further on the free speech BS for eric: Milo was not doing it for free, they were getting paid.

    That you can pack that much bad information into such a short line is quite impressive.

    1 – The term ‘Free Speech’ is short for ‘Freedom of Speech’ and has nothing to do with compensation

    2 – Compensation is completely irrelevant in that the Supreme Court ruled that money itself was free speech

    3 – Milo in fact does not charge speaking fees. There are actually instances where he’s paid security fees for students so he can speak to them.

  53. #54 Denier
    February 17, 2017

    @Wow wrote:

    When you’re crying about the right wing being shut down, think back to what I said about the rightwing already doing this

    That you would think this video is an infringement of Free Speech goes to show how poorly you understand this issue. Groups cannot force speakers into events they don’t organize. The Berkeley Communists couldn’t force the Berkeley College Republicans to give time to a Communist speaker. The Communists could organize their own event and have the Communist speaker there, but they couldn’t take over the Republican’s event because that would violate the College Republican’s Freedom of Speech.

    That is what happened with Ana Kasparian. The student body wanted to force the organizers of the Diversity Week event to give Ana stage time in their event. The organizers declined to invite her. That doesn’t mean she was banned from speaking at the campus. If someone wanted to organize an event with Ana Kasparian as a speaker, there would have been no problem.

  54. #55 Wow
    February 17, 2017

    GoFundMe Is Helping Pay for Milo Yiannopoulos’s Tour of Hate – Slog …

    UC Berkeley to Refund $7000 Security Fee Following MILO Riot …

    a bit o googling.

    And the one saying he don’t get paid is Milo.

  55. #56 Wow
    February 17, 2017

    Fighting words mean that the claim “no such law” was wrong.
    Duh.

  56. #57 John
    Baltimore
    February 17, 2017

    @ #52

    “Even though I know this is completely pointless, here goes …”

    It’s only pointless for one of your audience. While I may have a different take on some of the your positions, they’re worth reading.

  57. #58 Wow
    February 17, 2017

    Boooring.

    So, teabaggie, aren’t you jkeyes1000?

    jkeyes1000 | This WordPress.com site is the bee’s knees
    jkeyes1000.wordpress.com/
    The term “Sixties Sleaze” might well have been coined by a disgruntled consumer of chop shop erotica, who had the misfortune to purchase one or more risqué …

    .cos that’s one hell of a co-inkey-dink when “john keyes” can be seen here (see 0:44):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmgKfjr7T8Y

    seems like my assertion it was just christian apologetics was 100% on the button…!

  58. #59 Wow
    February 17, 2017

    That you would think this video is an infringement of Free Speech goes to show how poorly you understand this issue.

    That you think that is in any way relevant, denier, shows that you didn’t watch the video before coming to your conclusion over it.

    Do you normally make claims on known incompetence and ignorance?

    Apart from AGW, that is.

  59. #60 dean
    United States
    February 17, 2017

    really? someone is still defending one of the most famous racist homophobes around and repeating the lie he is neither? And argue his freedom of speech was hurt? Sorry, he’s still free to spew all the racism, bigotry, homophobic, misogynistic crap he likes to people who are as despicable as he is. He simply has one less stage from which to do it. The scum who defend him can still listen to him and have their favorite targets demonized by him. They just shouldn’t be expected to be taken seriously when they claim they are being picked on.

  60. #61 Denier
    United States
    February 17, 2017

    @dean wrote:

    And argue his freedom of speech was hurt?

    I’m not sure who you’re talking to but I’ve never said Milo’s Freedom of Speech was hurt. UC Berkeley didn’t ban him, and they didn’t cancel his show. Law enforcement made clear to the organizers that they couldn’t maintain safety and the organizers would be held responsible they went forward while knowing people would be hurt. The organizers cancelled the show. They’re allowed to.

    As for the outcome, it was better than anyone could have imagined. Progressives were blamed and condemned. It did damage to their brand in a way no speech ever could. Milo was front and center on every major news outlet in the country, and his book shot to #1 even though it isn’t even written yet. The leftists who believe they were successful against Milo in Berkeley are delusional.

    @dean wrote:

    He simply has one less stage from which to do it.

    Wrong again. UC Berkeley is still a public university and *CAN’T* ban him. Milo has already announced plans to return to Berkeley.

  61. #62 Wow
    February 17, 2017

    I’m not sure who you’re talking to

    Then why did you assume you had to respond?

    Guilty conscience?

    As for the outcome, it was better than anyone could have imagined. Progressives were blamed and condemned.

    And here we see the proofs of why this is liable to be a black flag op. It’s characterised by libertards as “better than anyone could have imagined”.

    MOST people on seeing riots would think it a BAD thing.

    But it went better than denier and the libertards could possibly have dreamed of.

    NOTE: anarchists and libertarians are pretty much 100% identical. The only difference is that libertarians think that government should not restrict the freedoms of individuals, whilst anarchists insist it should be NOBODY can restrict the freedoms of individuals.

  62. #63 Wow
    February 17, 2017

    Wrong again. UC Berkeley is still a public university and *CAN’T* ban him

    Wrong again. UC Berkeley is not a public space any more than a shopping mall is. And they CAN ban him.

  63. #64 Denier
    United States
    February 17, 2017

    @Wow wrote:

    UC Berkeley is not a public space any more than a shopping mall is. And they CAN ban him.

    Shopping malls are privately owned which makes them private property. UC Berkeley is part of the government which makes it public.

    In the words of UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks:

    Since the announcement of Mr. Yiannopoulos’s visit, we have received many requests that we ban him from campus and cancel the event. Although we have responded to these requests directly, we would like to explain to the entire campus community why the event will be held as planned. First, from a legal perspective, the U.S. Constitution prohibits UC Berkeley, as a public institution, from banning expression based on its content or viewpoints, even when those viewpoints are hateful or discriminatory. Longstanding campus policy permits registered student organizations to invite speakers to campus and to make free use of meeting space in the Student Union for that purpose. As mentioned, the BCR is the host of this event, and therefore it is only they who have the authority to disinvite Mr. Yiannopoulos. Consistent with the dictates of the First Amendment as uniformly and decisively interpreted by the courts, the university cannot censor or prohibit events, or charge differential fees.

    ….or if you prefer, in the words of UC Berkeley’s legal council:

    While we realize (and regret) that the presence of certain speakers is very likely to upset some members of our campus community, the U.S. Constitution, and thus University policy, prevent campus administration from barring invited speakers from campus based on the viewpoints those speakers may express. Contrary to widely held beliefs, the courts have made it very clear that there is no general exception to First Amendment protection for “hate” speech or speech that is deemed to be discriminatory. Our Constitution does not permit the University to engage in prior restraint of a speaker out of fear that he might engage in even hateful verbal attacks.

  64. #65 Wow
    February 17, 2017

    “UC Berkeley is part of the government which makes it public.”

    But not a public space.

    “….or if you prefer, in the words of UC Berkeley’s legal council:”

    Yeah, looked at the constitution, and it doesn’t say that. UCB may be interpreting it that way. After all, they CAN decide to make policy any way they like. But it is their decision, and blaming the constitution for it is not valid.

    Solicitors covering their asses by saying “We can’t, because the law says so” when it doesn’t? How normal…

  65. #66 dean
    United States
    February 17, 2017

    I was speaking to the only person here who sees nothing wrong with any of: racism, homophobia, misogyny, other bigotries, or dishonesty in general: denier

  66. #67 Wow
    February 17, 2017

    Oh, if you;re going to claim they get government funding, sorry, doesn’t work. Private contractors ger government money, but aren’t government (when it comes to whose fault it was when it screws up)

  67. #68 dean
    February 17, 2017

    And if working against the vile things denier and milo push (all the racist, misogynist, bigoted, hatred that they love) makes progressives bad, you
    a) have a serious ethical problem and a serious misunderstanding of what constitutes “bad”
    b) are among the worst of the worst in the country

  68. #69 dean
    February 17, 2017

    stupid hands – I have missed my morning dose of anti-shake medication

    First line should be:
    And if you think working against the vile things denier and milo push …

    The rest is unchanged.

  69. #70 Denier
    United States
    February 17, 2017

    @Wow wrote:

    Yeah, looked at the constitution, and it doesn’t say that. UCB may be interpreting it that way. After all, they CAN decide to make policy any way they like. But it is their decision, and blaming the constitution for it is not valid.

    You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Do they have that saying in the UK? If you want the information, it is there. If on the other hand you want to remain ignorant there isn’t anything anyone can do to stop you.

  70. #71 Wow
    February 17, 2017

    “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.”

    IOW you have nothing but fall back to insinuation in place of “educating”.

    Yeah, either lazy or wrong. Quite possibly both.

    PS ECHR, bitch. Like I said before, just because you have nothing left to make yourselves feel special over, but still WANT to feel special, you hug your gun ownership and speech laws as Sole Americanisms, when Europe has had a shitload more (and for longer: where do you thin kthe idea for the constitution’s contents came from? France), you cuddle those things as if they were more special than they really are.

    You can lead a horse to water and even show it a diagram and video of how to drink, but the nutbars would rather look at the blinkers and pretend it’s night time.

  71. #72 Wow
    February 17, 2017

    PPS, denier, did they teach you English at school? The constitution is written in it.

    Helps to be able to speak it like a native.

  72. #73 John
    Baltimore
    February 17, 2017

    @ #70

    Or possibly, in this instance, “You can lead a horticulture but you cannot make her think”. (Dorothy Parker)

  73. #74 Wow
    February 17, 2017

    Certainly you didn’t learn from your attempt to defend christianity from reality with Brian.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmgKfjr7T8Y

    See 0:44 for teabaggie here’s first youtube appearance!

  74. #75 Wow
    February 21, 2017

    Denier:

    The 2006–07 budget totaled $1.7 billion; 33% came from the State of California. In 2006–07, 7,850 donors contributed $267.9 million and the endowment was valued at $2.89 billion.[72]

    Public? And is Milo from Calif and paying taxes there?

    As for “It’s part of the government”, please try to walk through the back of your local DMV where it says “Staff Only” or book one of the rooms for a strippergram party…

  75. #76 Wow
    February 21, 2017

    See also (for the USA):

    The halls and streets (including skyways) in a shopping center may be declared a public place and may be open when the shops are closed. Similarly for halls, railway platforms and waiting rooms of public transport; sometimes a travelling ticket is required. A public library is a public place. A rest stop or truck stop is a public space.

  76. #77 Wow
    February 21, 2017

    Which is pretty much the same definitions as for the UK, off whom much of the USA’s legal system is constructed (with a lot of French Revolutionary thought added in, though most of that in the federalist papers)