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Jan. 18th, 2008 @ 06:33 am what was your intent?
By the end of this video (under five minutes) I was ready to jump out of my chair and applaud. I should note that I don't know a thing about this guy other than what's in this video, but I don't care. I love him at least in this context.

What was your intent?

"My answer in response to these two fascists [...] is that I reserve the right to publish those cartoons for exactly what they complain about. I reserve the right to publish the cartoons to do every offensive thing that they claim is in my heart. I am not going to try and plea bargain [...] I will not minimize my reasons so that they're palatable."

The video reminded me of the courtroom scenes in ayn rand's novels (howard roark's in the fountainhead and hank reardon's in atlas shrugged) in which the heroes defiantly admit to their supposed crimes and challenge the government to do what they will. I consider such defiance to be noble in a very pure and stirring way.
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From:meldeiry
Date:January 18th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC)

You're right...

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...this guy's my hero. Tell them to STFU.

PS STFU should really start to catch on as an acronym. Three's so many people that deserve to be told to STFU...
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From:evwhore
Date:January 18th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC)

Re: You're right...

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My userpic aside, I thought STFU was already pretty widely known and popular.
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From:meldeiry
Date:January 18th, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC)

Re: You're right...

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Hmm, I didn't realize. And here I thought I made it up. I feel like Al Gore saying I invented the internet. Oh well...

PS When r u gonna tell us how that game ends?? I wanna know now!!!
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From:evwhore
Date:January 18th, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)

Re: You're right...

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Which game? (I love that we're hijacking Paul's entry for this conversation :-) )
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From:meldeiry
Date:January 18th, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC)

Re: You're right...

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You know which, the VIEW/REVIEW game with Lloyd!

I think VIEW is the best play. Followed by the possibility of REVIEW OR QI next to VIEW. How did he win?

(sorry paul, hopefully we'll take this offline now)
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From:evwhore
Date:January 18th, 2008 07:39 pm (UTC)

Re: You're right...

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While I am a Scrabbler, I think you have me confused with someone else :-)
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From:meldeiry
Date:January 18th, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)

Re: You're right...

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Oops, ur right. I was thinking this was Evan. Let's get out of Paul's blog now...
From:silkov
Date:January 19th, 2008 04:59 pm (UTC)

Re: You're right...

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I like him too
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From:marknau
Date:January 18th, 2008 03:12 pm (UTC)
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While I support the guy on this matter, his fairy-tale talk of "inalienable rights" drained any interest I had in watching anything that came after.
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From:extempore
Date:January 18th, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC)
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I don't remember every word - what exactly did he say? I don't know what's a fairy tale about inalienable rights. The term inalienable in the context of rights only means that the individual does not recognize the state's (or anyone else's) authority in that domain. I see nothing wrong with (and much right with) such a claim regarding freedom of speech.
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From:ronebofh
Date:January 18th, 2008 06:52 pm (UTC)
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So you're suggesting that certain rights cannot be granted by any collective of people, but instead spring fully formed from the void like a virtual particle? Sounds like a fairy tale to me.
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From:extempore
Date:January 18th, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC)
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I guess I will assume you have some inkling of the vast literature behind this question, and are being your usual glib self.
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From:ronebofh
Date:January 18th, 2008 08:05 pm (UTC)
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If you want more glibness, how about the concept that "unalienable Rights" are "endowed" on us by our "Creator"? So, no Creator... no unalienable rights.
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From:marknau
Date:January 18th, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC)
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If we interpret what he's saying as being "I refuse to bow to your authority in this matter, and am making a show of this in order to attract notice and decrease the likelihood you will try to wield such authority in the future," then I'm fully on board.

If we interpret it as "There is a objective moral authority that I am appealing to, and am denouncing you as violating that moral authority," then he's in fairy-tale land.

I took his comments as the latter, but I admit to possibly being too predisposed to adopting that interpretation.
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From:extempore
Date:January 18th, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
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Objective is a difficult word here. I'd say the founding fathers captured both the problem and the solution (such as it is) fairly well with "we hold these truths to be self-evident." One doesn't make such a claim without believing those truths to be objectively true - even while knowing that for someone who does not see them as self-evident, there is probably no common ground to be had.

I consider the existence of my own consciousness to be objectively true, but if you said otherwise, I don't know how I'd change your mind.

So if I were to paraphrase him it would not be either of your choices - it would be more like "I assert my inalienable right to free speech, and I denounce you for violating it." There's no invocation of an external moral authority implied in the statement, at least not the way I think it. It is... self-evident. Or it isn't. Take your pick.
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From:marknau
Date:January 18th, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC)
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At this point, I'd love to branch out into an entire sub-conversation about what you think the implications of evopsych are on the validity of self-evident feelings, but that's potentially a big wad of discourse.

But I get what you're saying, and it is a significantly different interpretation than I had brought. Thanks for sharing!
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From:qwrrty
Date:January 18th, 2008 04:11 pm (UTC)
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Don't forget to check out the "More from EzraLevant" sidebar for more footage. There's a lot of interesting stuff there (though I haven't had time to listen to more than a little of it). I suspect you'll like the "opening arguments" clip even more.

My sense of this was summed up on another blog I read somewhere: I tend to think that people who make fun of someone else's religion are jerks, and this guy seems like he is probably not an exception, but he is clearly in the right here and he carries it very well indeed.

This all reminds me, what's your take on Ron Paul now? I was very curious to hear whether your opinion had changed in the wake of the newsletter fiasco.
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From:extempore
Date:January 18th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
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The ron paul situation is, to me, like when you've found an unusually interesting discussion thread somewhere, only to see it utterly hijacked by people making grammar flames. It's a pretty fucking bad deal for the libertarian-minded to see what might have been the one time in my lifetime (to this point, as well as what remains) to see libertarian ideas discussed in the mainstream curtailed and channeled into Round 1395854 of "Less Racist Than Thou." I consider his actual beliefs to be completely irrelevant. Very little of his support has anything to do with ron paul specifically, but that's understandably impossible for most people to understand in our completely personality-driven politics.

Like I said before, ron paul could be openly agitating for race war and concentration camps for wrongly-skinned people, and still be so far ahead of the other candidates that I couldn't see the rest of them over the horizon. I think that as a society, we are fiddling while rome burns, and that this will be pretty obvious to everyone someday (long after it's way too late to matter, of course.)
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From:evwhore
Date:January 18th, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC)
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Like I said before, ron paul could be openly agitating for race war and concentration camps for wrongly-skinned people, and still be so far ahead of the other candidates that I couldn't see the rest of them over the horizon.

I sincerely hope you are employing hyperbole here (I mean the "so far ahead" part, not the "over the horizon" part).

This is not a personal reaction as a potentially wrongly-skinned person, but an intellectual/moral one.

It's one thing if he has support from people who incidentally happen to be racists; I don't even think he necessarily needs to repudiate their support (which is a copmlaint some people have, I think?).

It's an entirely different thing to say "this might have been the one time in my lifetime, etc., therefore he could be a horrific monster for all I care as long as he agrees with me on ideas of how government should be run."

Note: I'm not arguing what Ron Paul's positions are or aren't. I'm questioning you for saying "He could be openly agitating etc. and I'd still love him so much I'd give him a hand job."
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From:extempore
Date:January 18th, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC)
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"this might have been the one time in my lifetime, etc., therefore he could be a horrific monster for all I care as long as he agrees with me on ideas of how government should be run."

In a world where numerous candidates were all basically acceptable, I would be glad to indulge this luxury - but it's definitely a luxury. If you believe as I do that everyone but ron paul is essentially the same and that all of them are driving all three hundred whatever million of us over a cliff, then you don't get too hung up on what some twenty year old newsletter said. It wouldn't be missing the forest for the trees; it'd be missing the forest for a little patch of lichen on a tree.

The guy is pursuing the position of "running the government", so it's not like I'm out in left field to prioritize "how he thinks the government should be run." He's not running for the position of Most Moral Guy.

I don't know how people visualize improbable scenarios like the one where he wins. Maybe everyone is convinced he'd be rolling out the Aryan Brotherhood Endorsement Act of 2009 and easily come up with the votes to pass it. As far as I'm concerned the guy is obviously a sincere libertarian, and it's nonsensical to be be a principled libertarian and an advocate of racism simultaneously. It doesn't compute. Maybe black people give him the willies - he's an older white guy from the south, doesn't sound too crazy. Am I allowed to say "if I were black" or is that kind of speculation disallowed by today's speech codes? If it's allowed, and if I were black, I'd be pretty quick to forgive ron paul's brand of racism (whatever it really is) in exchange for his being the only guy who wants to end the drug war. He could shout racial epithets at me for the rest of our lives if he wanted if he'd do something about that 20+ twenty year effort to turn blacks into a permanent underclass.

(Incidentally, I know I'm supposed to say "African-American" and not "black" but I categorically refuse. An African-American is, I guess, someone who came to america from africa, which includes only a subset of black people - unless you want to go ALL the way back, in which case I too am an African-American - and also includes many white people, especially from south africa. So, just for the record, "black" is a useful adjective and I'm not retiring unless something at least as useful turns up.)

I don't see why people's speculation about his personal beliefs is considered to be more relevant (let alone anywhere near as relevant) as his clearly stated positions about the government. If you want to know what his policies would be, just ask him - he's unique among politicians in that most likely he'll tell you. And I'm quite sure the policies he advocates would be viewed as racist by typical liberals since he doesn't believe the federal government has any constitutional authority to pass many of the laws they've passed. So why not have a useful conversation about why he thinks that and maybe shine a light on some of the pernicious effects of legislating equality? No, much better I guess to trot out those "unbelievably fleet-footed blacks" for the billionth time. Bread, circuses.
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From:evwhore
Date:January 18th, 2008 10:36 pm (UTC)
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It may surprise you that I find little to disagree with in this comment.

I didn't say he was running for position of Most Moral Guy. At least for the purposes of this discussion, I don't care what is positions on race were 20 years ago. I say "black" too.

If you had posted this comment in place of the one at 8:21 AM above, I would never have replied. My main objection is to the glib comment "ron paul could be openly agitating for race war and concentration camps for wrongly-skinned people, and still be so far ahead of the other candidates that I couldn't see the rest of them over the horizon."

Because while they aren't running for position of Most Moral Guy, some faults are intolerable; some prices are not worth paying.

Now, it may well be that Ron Paul's ideology would never permit him to openly advocate for race war and racially-motivated internment. I wouldn't know, I haven't bothered to research much about him -- you're the one who brought up that hypothetical. And then said you would still vote for him under that hypothetical. It's the latter part that I find repugnant.
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From:extempore
Date:January 18th, 2008 11:26 pm (UTC)
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Okay, so for future reference what I was attempting to convey was that the ron paul racism sideshow is very, very unimportant - at least, ought to be - and that was my colorful (ha) way of emphasizing the "very". Also, for extra safety, I doubt anyone who wanted to put wrongly skinned people in concentration camps would be too closely aligned with me regarding how government should be run.
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From:qwrrty
Date:January 19th, 2008 12:50 am (UTC)
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That's what I thought, which made it hard to tell what you actually meant by that comment in the first place.

In any event, I sympathize with your desire for an articulate, plausible libertarian candidate, but it's too bad that what we got instead was Ron Paul. You may think that he's "obviously a sincere libertarian," but it is far from obvious to me that a principled libertarian would support federal restrictions on immigration, same-sex marriage, or embryonic stem cell research, to name just a few of the profoundly statist stances that he has taken. Respectfully, I think that his strong libertarian positions on issues that are closer to your heart (the war, taxes, and gun control) have blinded you to the flaws in his position.
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From:extempore
Date:January 19th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC)
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Immigration: I think reasonable people (even reasonable libertarians) can disagree about immigration.

Same-sex marriage: it sounds to me like he wants to leave it to the states, as with so many other things that people say he opposes - what he opposes primarily is federal government involvement in areas it has no business. Since he wants no federal law, and you (presumably) do, it's a little strange that you refer to his position as "profoundly statist." Now independently of that, it sounds like he personally isn't a fan of gay marriage (he is religious after all) but given that he's running for president and not for governor, so what?

I'm a little mystified why people are so put off by letting states handle highly contentious issues. So many of the divisions in this country are a direct result of trying to force the same everything onto everyone. Sane people can disagree about a lot of things. Obviously there are things we don't leave to the states (reference: the civil war) but federalism has become a complete joke, and a return to it is the clearest way out of many of our problems.

Stem cells: again, you support federal funding of stem cell research and he doesn't. Who is the "profound statist" again?

And I strongly object to your characterizing me as "blind" to his flaws. He is very clearly flawed. What I am is INDIFFERENT to his flaws, because they are so spectacularly unimportant compared to his virtues - relative to every other remotely mainstream candidate of my lifetime.
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From:qwrrty
Date:January 19th, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC)
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I'm looking forward to the day when someone can articulate the libertarian argument behind forbidding people from coming to this country to work. I have not yet seen it done.

You are very generous about Ron Paul's position on same-sex marriage. He did in fact vote in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law which forbids federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

Stem cells: again, you support federal funding of stem cell research and he doesn't. Who is the "profound statist" again?

You know, this would be funny if I didn't think you actually believed it. If he were voting against any federal funding for any scientific research at all, that would at least be consistent with an anti-federalist position. To approve of federal funding for research but to deny allocating those funds to projects that are unquestionably practical and well-founded on ideological grounds? It's about as libertarian as Pat Buchanan.

And I strongly object to your characterizing me as "blind" to his flaws. He is very clearly flawed. What I am is INDIFFERENT to his flaws, because they are so spectacularly unimportant compared to his virtues - relative to every other remotely mainstream candidate of my lifetime.

That's frankly what I'm talking about. This guy isn't a candidate to you. He is your god.
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From:extempore
Date:January 20th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC)
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He did in fact vote in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law which forbids federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

Actually he didn't. He did say he would have voted for it had he been a congressperson at the time, which is close enough for your point. Here it is in his own words. But you've caught me, I don't think enforcing gay marriage at a federal level is all that important compared to a boot on my face, forever.

If he were voting against any federal funding for any scientific research at all, that would at least be consistent with an anti-federalist position.

I'm pretty sure (I'm not a ron paul authority and don't really enjoy this process where I'm pseudo-defending him by googling) that he DOES oppose all federal funding for scientific research - everything I've ever heard him say points that way. Does the constitution specify "funding scientific research" as a purview of the federal government? Then Mr. 10 says "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

However, he's fully aware that he's been elected to congress to represent the people who sent him there, and those people have had a bunch of money taken from them by force that it's his job to try to recover. The game is utterly rigged in that sense, which is why it's so astounding that ron paul, or any libertarian, has ever been elected to anything. So I would presume any example you have in mind that show a contradiction (you do have such examples, yes? you should have stated them) is a result of this.

That's frankly what I'm talking about. This guy isn't a candidate to you. He is your god.

Now who's blind? Given the way you've seen me talk about religious people in this blog, not to mention pro-lifers, does it really seem likely to you that he's the manifestation of all my dreams? The policies he would pursue are more closely in line with my beliefs about what's important than any other remotely mainstream candidate, ever - and not just what he claims he would pursue, but the fact that I fully believe him. It's as simple as that. It would be easy to line him up against ten other guys and have him come in last by that same metric - but, um, those ten guys aren't running for president and showing double digit support.

If he were such a deity to me you'd think I'd send him some money or vote for him, neither of which will I be doing. All this talk is a lovely diversion but I've never kidded myself it's anything but that. I do see his candidacy as every individual's chance to wake up and smell a little coffee.
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From:extempore
Date:January 18th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
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Oh, I should also note (as has been noted by others) that ron paul is the only candidate in favor of ending the drug war, which makes his POLICIES more beneficial to minorities in general and blacks in particular than anyone else's - by a million freaking miles.
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From:evwhore
Date:January 18th, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC)
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I'm sure those beneficial policies will be of great comfort to them as they are embroiled in a race war or rotting away in concentration camps.
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From:extempore
Date:January 18th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
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You should have noticed the impedance blockage when you mixed and matched between the obviously-not-true hypothetical presented for illustrative purposes, and the actual truth.
From:ez4044
Date:January 18th, 2008 04:42 pm (UTC)
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Hi, longtime reader from Canada here. Out of 33,000,000-odd people in Canada I'd say Ezra is about the 32,999,000th most qualified to speak up for free speech:

-Defamation lawyer, in a country known to have outrageous libel laws
-Threatened to sue member of parliament from own party over something or other
-currently involved in at least 1 ambiguously virtuous legal action, has a history of them
-response to initial complaint was to solicit subscriptions to his magazine instead of heroic defense we see on video
-more or less ignored human rights tribunals for the past 15 years of public life
-in University tried to have hate crime charges laid for an anti-Israel cartoon (I swear this is true and googlable)
-if a normal Canadian had asked to bring a camera and carried on like that the commission would've told them to get stuffed; it is nearly analogous to cheering Orrin Hatch for taking on the man while he takes liberties not available to regular citizens
-Calls people who disagree with Bush agenda "anti-semites".
-Calls pretty much anyone who disagrees with him "anti-semites"
-Ran his magazine into the ground by turning it into a Muslim hate fest.
-General wankishness is annoying

Ezra doesn't believe in "stuff". Ezra is using this as a convenient sideshow (who benefits?). Human rights commissions have been oppressing freedom of expression in this country for 3 decades and he acts like he only found out about it yesterday; presumably he was too busy labelling everything that moved "anti-semitic" to notice.

For context, a man was not long ago fined $1,000 plus costs in a Canadian human rights tribunal for referring to a third party homosexual as a 'fifi':

http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2004/10/11/quebec_gaysettlement041011.html

Bet your Canadian friends didn't tell you aboot that, eh?

Those of us who have been disgusted by this, and attacked as Nazis by guys like Ezra as well as everyday Canadians for opposing it, are not terribly impressed with either Ezra or our fellow citizens for jumping on the free speech bandwagon. I don't follow American politics much but wasn't there a hate crimes bill that was tabled recently? How did it end up? Seems to me half of America wants to round up the Christians, the other half wants to round up the Muslims, and the opportunity cost is that stuff like this comes up the middle and nobody notices.

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From:extempore
Date:January 18th, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC)
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Being acutely conscious of the potential for ad hominem, I was rather explicit about the scope of my admiration. So most of your reply is a non-sequitur.

-if a normal Canadian had asked to bring a camera and carried on like that the commission would've told them to get stuffed; it is nearly analogous to cheering Orrin Hatch for taking on the man while he takes liberties not available to regular citizens

You count that as a point against him? If "normal" people would be prevented from taping the interrogation, doesn't that make it that much more important that an abnormal person DOES tape it and publicize it? So who else was making that happen? Do you want a light shined on this or not?

Bet your Canadian friends didn't tell you aboot that, eh?

I make it a point not to have any canadian friends. A lazy, shiftless people, those canadians - AND THEY'RE TAKING OUR JAWBS.

I don't follow American politics much but wasn't there a hate crimes bill that was tabled recently? How did it end up?

Um, relevance? Are you offended on behalf of canada for some inscrutable reason? If you're a longtime reader you might have noticed I'm not exactly pro-USA.

Seems to me half of America wants to round up the Christians, the other half wants to round up the Muslims, and the opportunity cost is that stuff like this comes up the middle and nobody notices.

The only way you could get the idea that half of america wants to round up the christians is if you exclusively read angry atheist blogs, and then extrapolate very poorly to the rest of the country. And I don't know what constitutes noticing something in your mind, but we have people who notice lots of stuff. Doesn't matter much, but we notice. If you've conserved all your outrage for this subject and still have a reservoir left to apply, then you can only have done so by ignoring an awful lot of other outrageous things.

You're bitter that the wrong guy is being held up as a free speech hero without showing any satisfaction that he's brought greatly increased attention to the issue, which makes your motivations look less than high-minded.
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From:ronebofh
Date:January 18th, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC)
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Both this and your Ron Paul comment above are fascinating in that you express that you don't care who's talking about certain issues, so long as the issues themselves are held up. But issues don't exist in a vacuum, unless it's a vacuum of your own making, inside your head. Just because Pat Buchanan started making some sense once Bush became president doesn't make me trust him any more than i would, because he would never have any sort of meaningful exchange with a liberal atheist like me. Just because Scientologists are concerned over the harmful effect of drugs on people doesn't mean that i should trust Narconon as a viable recovery path.
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From:extempore
Date:January 18th, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC)
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I don't know what you think "trust" has to do with anything.

And it's not true that I don't care who is doing the talking - I would much rather it was some platonic ideal of a persuasive person, an orator for the ages, a man with no skeletons who is respected by all. However, lacking the ability to choose who ends up in the spotlight, I sure do think the issues are a fuck of a lot more important than are the personal quirks of whichever individual ends up articulating them to a wider audience. I would consider anyone who felt otherwise to be absurdly superficial, pretty much by definition.
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From:ronebofh
Date:January 18th, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
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How is it advantageous to have an issue articulated to a wider audience when the articulator is someone that the wider audience thinks is not worth listening to?
From:howardtreesong
Date:January 18th, 2008 09:23 pm (UTC)
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Doesn't that depend on precisely why the wider audience thinks that? I don't understand how the idea itself isn't of necessity the prime issue. If the wider audience won't listen to the theory of gravity because the propounder is a child molestor, how exactly does that repudiate the theory of gravity? That's simply an indictment on the perception of the audience.

Interestingly, Paul (Phillips) and I have had a number of fairly strident disagreements about current political issues, but I am right down the line with him on his conclusions here about Paul (Ron). I couldn't care one whit if Paul (Ron) were a vicious racist as a matter of his personal views: Paul (Ron, Phillips) sees in very clear light that the biggest threat to the vitality of this country is the ever-increasing level of federal power. No other candidate either sees that or is willing to articulate it in a meaningful way.

I personally find Paul (Ron) to be strident and whiny. And there are a few planks (e.g. Iraq) on which I disagree with him strongly. But despite that disagreement on that one significant issue, I think he has the basic problem exactly right, which is why I've given him money and will continue to do so.
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From:ronebofh
Date:January 18th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
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The main problem i have with Ron Paul talking about the danger of federal power is the fact that he's a hypocrite and he'll take advantage of federal power if it suits him.

So, going back to extempore 's statement of, "I don't see what 'trust' has to do with it," if i don't trust a guy, and he says something that sounds good to me, my first reaction is to wonder why he's saying something sensible. Often, it's because it can be used to further one of his more hateful agendas. Many racists advocate scaling back the federal government so they can avoid federal anti-racism regulation (i'm brutally oversimplifying, but that's the gist).

Don't get me wrong; i think the federal government is a cancer, too. And i wouldn't mind giving the opportunity to these racist bastards to try (and even succeed) in making the state more racist-friendly, because i think that everyone else in the state will eventually overcome them, perhaps leaving them to bemoan the overweening power of the state and how things would be better if the counties had more power... but i digress. As i said before, issues don't exist in a vacuum.

Yes, i'm a cynical bastard, and no, it's not merely an ad hominem attack. Nobody's perfect. But especially when it comes to politics, it pays to pay close attention to who's advocating what, and why.
From:howardtreesong
Date:January 18th, 2008 11:54 pm (UTC)

Wow!

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The main problem i have with Ron Paul talking about the danger of federal power is the fact that he's a hypocrite and he'll take advantage of federal power if it suits him.

I'm no expert, but I've done at least a bit of diligence on him and I've seen no basis for that conclusion whatsoever -- and absolutely positively no basis for it when you compare what Paul (Ron) would likely do as compared to every other candidate. I'm not sure that any other candidate even knows what the word "federalism" means. Romney understands it intellectually, I am sure, but he doesn't even try to make a persuasive case that it's the single most important organizing principle of our government. And from an economic perspective, Romney is probably the least authoritarian of the rest of the field.

Anti-racism legislation, such as it is, forces our society to consider race from an institutional perspective -- and in the long term creates more problems than it solves.
From:inet_stranger
Date:January 21st, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC)
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The question was: 'how is this advantageous'. You've not addressed it. If an overt racist has potentially popular views on government then a dissonance is created which will need, for most, resolving. The majority will seek to flaw his stand on government, rather than attempt to misintrerpret his racist position.

Then should someone clean somewhere down the line propound similar theories on fed-control, the retorts would be obvious: 'That's what *** **** the racist said'.

The wrong person/right cause can be a huge set-back. And were it accepted, only to fail for the wrong reasons, what then? Over-compensated regression?


From:howardtreesong
Date:January 21st, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC)
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You're right, I didn't answer it directly. It's a silly question. Moreover, I thought Paul already answered it. Perhaps your observation is a testament to the idiocy of the majority, who, as you suggest, pay as much or more attention to the messenger than they do to the message.
From:inet_stranger
Date:January 21st, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
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and as such, defeatist as it sounds, it's the objectivity of the public, not the individual, which should drive the indivdual's support or opposition to a controversial/inept candidate advancing the individual's marginal cause.
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From:ronebofh
Date:January 18th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC)
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By the way, i think that his defiance would be a lot more noble if he weren't trying so hard to be a dick about it.
From:hexag1
Date:January 19th, 2008 05:44 am (UTC)

phat video

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paul,
phat video. thnx.
Here is an even better speech about free speech and censorship laws in Canada.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6379618149058958603&q=hitchens+free+speech&total=21&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0

This was at a debate where the proposal was to de-criminalize 'hate speech'

and if you think that threatening canadian cartoon publishers is scary, try watching whats happening in the UK:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2668560761490749816&q=undercover+mosque&total=104&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0
From:directcodeword
Date:January 20th, 2008 12:19 am (UTC)

context required

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...it's pretty difficult to make a judgement on the nobility of this guy's position without having any clue what the charges being brought against him are...in america "free speech" has limitations, some more palatable than others, but limitations that are just as legally valid as the grant of the underlying right itself...rallying against one permutation of a law while basing your argument on a varying incarnation of the same law is simply legal argument...how noble that process is would depend on your emotional involvement in the issue i suppose, but there's nothing more special going on here than what you'd hear every day from a constitutional law professor...

...taken this into consideration i don't see what is impressive about his apparent admission of guilt aside from having the nuts to be flagrantly honest about it...probably, and this is my opinion without having any clue what the charges are, he knows he's got no real legal defense and has reverted to grandstanding to try to make a martyr out of himself when the inevitable happens...
From:dragonystic
Date:January 20th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
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it scares me that so many people find this guy to be out of line. it really does.
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From:kcolloran
Date:January 21st, 2008 09:56 am (UTC)
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Am I the only non-libertarian who reads this blog? I suppose I shouldn't be too suprised by that, but it's still disappointing.
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From:qwrrty
Date:January 22nd, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC)
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You definitely aren't. I just don't usually try to argue with Paul about it. (Hey, it *is* his blog, after all. :-)