What Is, and Is Not Free Speech

 

Welcome back to the Scuttlebutt.  AT EASE! For you landlubber civilian types that means shut your yap and pay attention!

 

Now there has been quite a lot of bullshit over the last day or two about how Alex Jones has had his first amendment rights to free speech violated!  That is a load of whale shit!

 

Let me explain!

 

People, listen up. The rights recognised, NOTE I SAID RECOGNISED, they were not granted, the constitution makes it very clear that these rights, the rights of free men, are preexistent, and the constitution merely acknowledges them and protects them.  

 

You, the gal in the back who looks constipated, are you about to say something like “what about women?!” Do NOT even open your food chute with such a comment!  It has been clear and grammatically correct since we converted from old english that “men” means mankind, when used in this CONTEXT. Now, assume the position and give me 50! PUSH.

 

As I was saying.  These rights are protected against attack by the GOVERNMENT.  There are a bunch of whiny ass individuals on MY side of the political spectrum, that are demanding that we enforce these rules against private companies.

 

This would be a mistake!

 

This is a slippery slope that more accurately resembles a cliff! If the government tells individual companies that they may or may not throw someone off their product, that they invented and operate, that they pay for and that compete on the international market place, the end result is a TAKING.  It’s the government telling you what you can and can’t do with your property, and that way always leads to grief, not to mention that it is a violation of everything that we fight and die to defend.

 

Listen people. Facebook is not a public utility. Do Not make it one.  If you don’t like their behavior then don’t do business with them. Same thing for Twitter and all the rest of the social media chorus.

 

By the same right, I expect to see President Trump be successful eventually in being able to ban people from his Twitter account. It’s HIS account.  It’s not the Federal Governments, he had it before becoming president, and he will have it after he finishes being president, however long that is. He has as much right to ban people from that account as he does to choose not to call people!  Imagine if you could sue, because the president called one of your competitors and did not call you! Or if he wished some guy a happy birthday (I don’t know why, maybe it’s his 100th!) but didn’t wish you happy birthday! For the love of Adm. NIMITZ!  How ridiculous. Now, note that I’m not talking about him giving out a contract without allowing you to bid, I’m talking about his talking to you on a personal matter on the phone.

 

The same thing goes for firing or not firing an employee for behaving in ways that cause you to lose money, especially when they are on the clock.  If you are a baker, and you have an employe that refuses to sell bagels “because they’re a jewish conspiracy” and wears a T-shirt to work that says “kill the jews”, well you would probably fire his ass, and rightly so, especially if you owned oh say, Two Rabbi’s Bagels, in the middle of the Bronx. Well, that also goes for firing football players that kneel for the national anthem, or hold up the “black power” fist, in oh say the middle of Texas.  You can get away with that shit out here in Seattle, because half of the city hates the nation anyway, and would far rather that we be Canada or France or someplace. Suggesting that in Texas however, is liable to get you HURT.

 

Under any circumstance, it’s not a violation of the FIRST AMENDMENT.  Any more than you hanging up on some telemarketer is violating their rights.  Trying to make it so, will cause a shit sandwich the likes of which you can not imagine.

 

Alright am I clear? Good! Attention! Fall out!

 

We will probably not meet next week, or if we do, I will be writing this beforehand, because I will be on an aircraft over the polar ICE on my way to Iceland, and then on to Copenhagen, where I will be getting on a ship for a couple weeks.  I will attempt to get in a couple reports on the European experience, to include the experiences of a Sailor in mother RUSSIA while I am away, assuming they don’t lock my ass in the gulag for even entering their waters. So if you never hear from me again, you may assume I have been “detained”.

 

I remain:

Yours in service,

William Lehman.

 

11 Comments

  1. As a strong proponent of free speech, here is some:

    Corporate censorship is just as reprehensible as government censorship, and I will fight it just as strongly. Those technological behemoths who have banned speech are despicable and need to be publicly despised. “I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    • Oh by all means, despise them. Refuse to do business with them, arrange boycotts, do all that… But to invite government interference is to say “gee mister government, please determine for me what can and can not be done by a company with their product.” That becomes in short order “I am government, and I say you can’t talk about this, and you must talk about that.” This is the path that leads to nights of broken glass.

  2. You’re right about what the First Amendment protects, but wholly off track about what the right of free speech requires. The latter is not as limited as the former. I’d suggest going back to the Declaration of Independence to refresh your memory on the purpose of government in the first place.

  3. Private businesses are not bound by the first amendment, but they would do well to act as if they were, especially if they are a company whose business is enabling Americans’ speech and even moreso if they hold close to a monopoly on particular modes of speech that they provide. That’s a fast way to GET common-carrier status and the company brings it upon itself.

    Moreover, I am free under the first amendment to criticize, mock, bully, blame and castigate companies who do not adhere to the principles of free speech as outlined by the first amendment, even if it doesn’t bind them. Custom can be more powerful than law.

  4. The problem with your argument is that the capture of corporate America by authorities amenable to SJW policies has occurred on the full network stack from the application level, to the network, to the very OEMs that supply everyone. At this point “build your own” effectively means “build a parallel economy and internet.” If you don’t believe that to be the case, I suggest you look up how Gab has been treated by Big Tech. Every time they try to publish an app, they get blocked. Every time they grow, a platform provider threatens to kill the whole site because they found a few Nazi LARPers grunting about da Jooz. Meanwhile, those some companies welcome Twitter onto their app stores despite allowing people like Sarah Jeong to say utterly vitriolic, racist things.

    Like it or not, we can’t reason with this. We entered the time where we need heavy-handed, punitive action when “values over profit” became the guiding motto of these executive teams. The entire presumption about letting corporate America alone was predicated on the assumption that it would generally stay neutral and not wade in as another arm of the left in the culture war. Well, that’s happened and now there must be consequences. I don’t like the idea of the government having to step in, but that’s what’s going to have to happen. We are going to need a wave of trust busting and a wave of regulation that tells social media companies that if they want S230 protection, they need to allow all lawful speech (ironically, this would not prevent them from stopping abusive people as harassment is illegal).

  5. “If the government tells individual companies that they may or may not throw someone off their product, that they invented and operate, that they pay for and that compete on the international market place, the end result is a TAKING. ”

    Does that include the revoked right to throw people, even if you don’t like “their kind”, out of your place of business??? Then you need to go back to school, because that right sailed off into the sunset in 1965, as Goldwater foresaw. As long as SOME businesses have to serve whoever walks through the door, ALL OF THEM HAVE TO. Even if the door is virtual.

    • take a good look at the most recent SCOTUS ruling on “cake”. Then talk to me again. The SCOTUS is going back to simple protection against actual racial discrimination, and other than that, allowing the market to make the corrections. Should the government say “you can’t refuse to serve someone because he’s black or she’s Jewish”? In my mind yes. If you equate being conservative with being black, shipmate you’re messed up.
      What some folks don’t seem to understand is that what they’re demanding is the same thing they rail against when the shoe’s on the other foot. Don’t want the government to say that the BSA must accept gay scoutmasters? Then don’t demand that they force Facebook to accept right wing conspiracy sites.
      Don’t want the government to tell you that you have to bake a cake for a Nazi anniversary? Don’t demand Google carry your shit.
      If you don’t want your dog to beg at the table, you don’t give him table scraps off your plate. It’s that simple.

  6. Sorry, but this argument is not convincing at all.

    Yes, we have to be careful about how we go about regulating big tech, but to argue that we shouldn’t at all is ridiculous. As technology becomes more and more important to everyday lives we must take action to ensure that our society remains one in which people can actually exercise their natural rights to free speech, free association, etc. At the moment we are on a crash course with corporate totalitarianism that should scare everyone. It’s fine and good to say, “Oh, but just create your own webpage” — But the problem is not just webpages (although, lets be honest — for most people the task of setting up a webpage is actually beyond their reach by virtue of money, time, effort, and intelligence required). We have financial services that spy into your personal life to ensure that your transactions are only for things they approve of — This should never happen. We have ISPs that are spying on the bits that you send through their cables — This should never happen. We have domain name registrars stealing domains because of speech they don’t approve of — This should never happen.

    It is simply not possible to argue from the premise that corporations should be completely free to do anything, and the only recourse available for freedom is to (a) create your own internet, from laying the cable, creating the DNS servers, the hosting servers, the ISP, the domain registrar, and then somewhere decades down the line you might be able to begin disseminating a message to — precisely no one, because all of the technology devices people use will have (often needed, because most users are not savvy enough to identify potential threat vectors) safety measures that will be programmed to exclude your network as a threat.

    This threat becomes even more dangerous when you realize we are not dealing anymore with armies of Winston Smiths redacting news articles. It will not be long before artificial intelligence / machine learning becomes powerful enough to censor speech in realtime. When a company like Google, that controls (a) half the cellphone market (b) 90% or more of the search market (c) 98% or more of the online video market (d) half of the online advertising market (e) the world’s largest inbox with GMail, (f) plus a big chunk of other tools such as online word processing, facial recognition databases, etc. becomes fully committed to the path of censorship that they have started down, it is not going to be possible to speak out in any meaningful way. It will be possible for them to completely block your interactions with the modern world, but it won’t even require secret police to do so, the AI will take care of it all silenty, instantly, and with no human effort needed.

    “But you can still speak out to people. You can still circulate your own self-printed Gulag Archipelago like Solzhenitzyn!” you might argue.

    Sure, that will be possible. But the whole point is that we want to avoid having a dark age where people are oppressed and forced to resort to desperate measures. Life is short and precious, and I have no desire to see millions of people dying (and, I don’t think it’s a hyperbole to say that if we go down this current path any further, we are going to see real violence because people are *not* going to tolerate the degree of oppression that these corporations can wield. And if the SJW crowd gets its way we will have another Cultural Revolution at hand), or to have to spend the remaining couple of decades of life fighting against corporate (and ultimately governmental, because lets be honest, the point of this censorship is to control speech leading up to the 2018 election) censorship. We only have this life, we only have this time. Arguing that because we might make mistakes when we take action to preserve a society worth living in, that we should therefore do nothing, is not an argument. And this time, with all of our technology now, there’s no guarantee that there will ever be an end if we let totalitarianism rise again.

  7. That government governs best, that governs least. (Thomas Jefferson)
    This is the principle that you must filter all things through if you want to keep civil servant from becoming civil master. As I mentioned above, by all means arrange boycotts, protest their behavior by picketing in front of their door, call them out! But to say “this is a first amendment violation, and the government must do something” is just as wrong as the left demanding that government do something about Chic-fillet. Provide for the common defense, promote (there’s the key, PROMOTE, not force or regulate) the general welfare, ensure the blessings of liberty. Liberty has nothing to do with Facebook, or for that matter the New York Times, saying or NOT saying something. Facebook saying “we won’t let this guy on our site, is nothing more or less than the NYT saying “we won’t publish that add.” Do you really want to step down that hill?

  8. The problem is that many of these places are NOT “competing in a free market” – at least not fully. They are behemoths that have squashed every other player (usually by buying it out).

    The issue of “free market” vs “anti-monopoly” has always been a tough one, and will continue to be. (As is the “free market” vs “buying into a thousand other markets because you’re so dominant in one you can afford it”.)

    BTW, one of the reasons tech is encountering this right now is because of the fact that software is generally a copyright, not a patent, meaning no one else can *ever* enter the market if you handle your code properly. (And yes, I know some code is patented; but software is treated as a copyright in general.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

clear formPost comment