We are running low on exclamation points here at the Stately Manor and Office Depot is back-ordered. If you can spare a cupful, neighbor, stop on by. We’ll leave the light on and feed the attack dog.
Your perspicacious Squire has marked up today’s Sunday New York Times (07-01-18) with underlined, yellow-highlighted, and ALL-CAPS comments followed by a string of exclamation points!!!! and at least one profanity!!!! (Soon to be a collector’s edition.)
Right on Page One, upper right corner is a tendentious headline, which itself is rendered in ALL CAPS!!!!
HOW FREE SPEECH WAS WEAPONIZED BY CONSERVATIVES
RIGHT TURN FOR JUSTICES
First Amendment Cited to Reduce Regulation and Protect Bias
Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot!
“Weaponized”? Point-blank accusation that nefarious conservatives are using this constitutional protection to “protect bias.” Whose bias? (The New York Times’s bias?) Just as deplorable, “to reduce regulation.” Must have … more regulation! Government regulation of who may speak, when they may speak, and what they may say.
Who regulates? Government regulates. Yes, at the behest of the majority. May we remind the Times that the Bill of Rights protects the rights of individuals, not of the government? That it protects the rights of the minority? That those rights cannot be abridged by the majority? (Now we’re running out of question marks.)
Otherwise our democracy would devolve into two wolves and a sheep voting on what to eat for dinner. The headline on the Page 24 jump is even worse:
How the First Amendment Became a Cudgel Wielded by Conservatives
A “cudgel.” Great Middle English word. Beat it with a stick. “Cudgel” implies victims. Our liberal-progressive-socialist acquaintances feed off victims like Popeye on spinach.
A ‘more just’ society without free speech
Happily, there is some journalism sprinkled within the article itself. Reporter Adam Liptak quotes free-speech advocate Floyd Abrams, who notes that “Now the progressive community is, at the least, skeptical and sometimes distraught at the level of First Amendment protection …”
But this is what the social justice warriors do. When they can’t win an argument, they try to drown out that argument. Speak up for police in Madison schools, get shouted down. What is distressing is the number of law school professors the NY Times quotes who are opposed to free political speech.
“It’s a mistake to think of free speech as an effective means to accomplish a more just society,” says a law prof at Georgtown U. That’s straight up Vladimir Lenin.
To the contrary, free speech reinforces and amplifies injustice, Catharine A. MacKinnon, a law professor at the University of Michigan. “Once a defense of the powerless, the First Amendment over the last hundred years has mainly become a weapon of the powerful.”
Because the wrong people are speaking.
Our cudgel — if we may be allowed a politically incorrect thought — should be trained on Elena Kagan. It was that liberal Justice who used the term “weaponizing” in her dissent from Janus v. AFSCME. The court’s conservatives (presumably including swing justice Anthony Kennedy):
… had found a dangerous tool, “turning the First Amendment into a sword.”
The United States, she said, should brace itself. “Speech is everywhere — a part of every human activity (employment, health care, securities trading, you name it),” she wrote. “For that reason, almost all economic and regulatory policy affects or touches speech. So the majority’s road runs long. And at every stop are black-robed rulers overriding citizens’ choices.”
No, not “black-robed rulers” but guardians of America’s founding documents, protectors of individual rights. Those “citizens’ choices” being over-ridden are laws enacted by the majority that force the minority to parrot state-approved orthodoxy.
Such as forcing a pro-life pregnancy center to advocate for abortion. (The Becerra case, decided 6-26-18). Forcing a Christian baker to create a bespoke work of edible art against his conscience. (Masterpiece Cakeshop). Forcing a state employee to pay for state legislation with which he disagrees. (Janus.)
The right to dissent, Justice Kagan. Something you better get used to.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: The shame is that our news media, most of it, actively supports the abrogation of individual free speech. (See their complicity in the government’s John Doe II speech raids on private homes. Now THERE was a cudgel!) As long as they enjoy a generous carve-out. Imagine the State of Wisconsin ordering The Capital Times to publish both sides of an issue!