Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Saturday, January 10, 2015
The year is 2015 and all other countries have laws against hate speech along with laws against other forms of speech which violate basic human rights. As a matter of fact, international human rights law MANDATES laws against hate speech. Protecting vulnerable minorities from hate speech is one of the most basic and fundamental of human rights obligations, and all human rights organizations worldwide have emphasized this. But the United States refuses to protect even the most basic of human rights, firmly establishing itself as a pariah state that falls far behind the rest of the world in terms of protecting fundamental human rights and democratic freedoms.
Like any sensible person, I am a strong believer in the unalienable right to freedom of speech and I understand that defending freedom of speech is the most important when it's speech that many people do not want to hear (like, for example, pro-LGBT speech in Russia). Freedom of speech is the core of any democratic society, and it's important that freedom of speech be strongly respected and upheld. Censorship in all of its forms is something that must always be fiercely opposed. But we must never confuse hate speech with freedom of speech. Speech that offends, insults, demeans, threatens, disrespects, incites hatred or violence, and/or violates basic human rights and freedoms has absolutely no place in even the freest society.
The recent controversy at the University of Iowa – in which an "artist" (supposedly an "anti-racist" one) put up an "art exhibit" which resembles a KKK member covered in newspaper clippings about racial violence – is a perfect example of why we need to implement real legislation against hate speech in the United States.
Friday, January 02, 2015
[...] the gun manufacturer is guilty of having sold a weapon whose only purpose was killing a lot of people in a very short time.
If a carmaker made a car that was known to be wildly unsafe, and then advertised it as unsafe, liabilities would result. The gun lobby is, or believes itself to be, immune.
The underlying politics of gun control has always been the same: the majority of Americans agree that there should be limits and controls on the manufacture and sale and ownership of weapons intended only to kill en masse, while a small minority feels, with a fanatic passion, that there shouldn't.
No honest or scrupulous person can any longer reject the evidence that gun control controls gun violence. It can be rejected only by rage and hysteria and denial and with the Second Amendment invoked, not as a document with a specific and surprising history, but as a semi-theological dogma.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Friday, November 21, 2014
We believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher enforcement, and we're willing to fight for it.
We believe in science, and that means that we have a responsibility to protect this Earth.
Scientific reviews say that the Keystone XL pipeline with have no discernible effect on the environment but Liz voted against it anyway. I guess she meant, "We believe in science except when we want to posture."
We believe that the Internet shouldn't be rigged to benefit big corporations, and that means real net neutrality.
Netflicks represents a huge chunk of Internet traffic. Right now they have to pay a surcharge to the major Internet providers because of the extra cost needed to provide the bandwidth that Netflicks requires. Network Neutrality means that Netflicks gets a free ride.
We believe that no one should work full-time and still live in poverty, and that means raising the minimum wage.
No mention about where the money for this will come from. Want to take a guess?
We believe that fast-food workers deserve a livable wage, and that means that when they take to the picket line, we are proud to fight alongside them.
This is sort of repeating the last point, isn't it?
We believe that students are entitled to get an education without being crushed by debt.
More money coming from somewhere unspecified. As a former university professor, maybe she'd like to propose reducing professor's pay and increasing their class size.
We believe that after a lifetime of work, people are entitled to retire with dignity, and that means protecting Social Security, Medicare, and pensions.
Even more unspecified money. Does anyone see a pattern here? Has anyone told Liz that preserving Social Security and Medicare will suck up all the money needed for her other promises?
We believe—I can't believe I have to say this in 2014—we believe in equal pay for equal work.
Government studies have shown there there is equal pay for equal work. Liz is really asking for a subsidy for women.
We believe that equal means equal, and that's true in marriage, it's true in the workplace, it's true in all of America.
Another point that sort of duplicates the one above it. This one sounds nice but it's pretty vague. Is she talking about racism? Gay marriage? What?
We believe that immigration has made this country strong and vibrant, and that means reform.
More mush. Reform can mean anything from total amnesty to closing the borders. How about some specifics?
And we believe that corporations are not people, that women have a right to their bodies. We will overturn Hobby Lobby and we will fight for it. We will fight for it!
In Hobby Lobby's case, the corporation consists of a handful of people who object on religious grounds to a couple of birth control methods on a list made up by a bureaucrat. Even before Obamacare they covered most of the list. Is the Progressive movement really reduced to fighting for a bureaucrat's ability to arbitrarily trample religious rights?
And the main tenet of conservatives' philosophy, according to Warren? "I got mine. The rest of you are on your own.
And the main tenet of Liz's philosophy is, "You got yours, now I'm going to take it and give it to someone else."