Some First Amendment Rights More Important than Others

Cartoon circulating among University of Virginia alumni…

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16 responses to “Some First Amendment Rights More Important than Others”

  1. OK, this cartoon is not entirely fair. UVa President Jim Ryan has pledged not to take down the Jefferson statue. But the cartoonist is justified in pointing out that the administration is willing to go to back to protect some students’ first amendment rights and freedom of expression are worth protecting, while it is willing to ignore other the violation of others’.

    1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

      The fact that the statue is there and (for the foreseeable future) will remain is tangible evidence that those “others” have had their say.

    2. Speaking of First Amendment rights, are you aware of what’s happening to The Conservative Treehouse? I’m not familiar with the site, but am very concerned about the trend.

      …”given the incompatibility between your site’s content and our terms, you need to find a new hosting provider and must migrate the site by Wednesday, December 2nd.”

      “What does this mean? It means CTH is being kicked-off the WordPress website hosting platform because the content of our research and discussion does not align with the ideology of those who define what is acceptable speech and what is not.”

      “What was our violation? After ten years of brutally honest discussion, opinion, deep research and crowdsourcing work -with undeniable citations on the events we outline- there is no cited violation of any term of service because CTH has never violated one.”

      “The WordPress company is not explaining the reason for deplatforming because there is no justifiable reason for it. At the same time, they are bold in their position. Perhaps this is the most alarming part; and everyone should pay attention. They don’t care.”

      1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

        Now you don’t respect private enterprise?

        1. I don’t respect institutions who misrepresent themselves and don’t live up to their own agreements with customers.

          Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and others are free to promote themselves as forums for a limited spectrum of views. But if they advertise themselves as open forums, that’s what they should be.

          Again, I’m not familiar with this particular site, and don’t know if the above quotes accurately represent the situation. Maybe they have done something egregious which is not in keeping with the platform’s Terms of Service.

          But if not, there are serious legal and ethical issues here. December 2 isn’t much notice to move a site and its content. Bacon’s Rebellion also is hosted by WordPress. Is James next?

          1. Private enterprises only have the capacity to meaningfully restrict speech or political expression when there is little or no alternative to their use. When it comes to Twitter and Facebook, you could reasonably argue their limitations on speech constitute violations because they function as public forums with no comparable alternative. Re: WordPress…there are other viable options remaining. Substack may be one of the better ones.

            Pour moi, the most worrying trend in this space is financial institutions and payment/money transfer services shutting out certain industries completely — primarily in regard to firearms sales. Gunbroker had to build its own stablecoin platform because of restrictions placed on it by PayPal and some major retail FIs. It’s not a lost cause, but it’s getting increasingly difficult to route around such things.

          2. novalad,

            Let me restate my concern. I wouldn’t be troubled if WordPress openly refused to do business with conservative groups. I wouldn’t even be that concerned if they made a public announcement of a change in policy and gave conservative groups 6 months or a year to create a new site and migrate their content.

            Instead, with no warning, no specifics, and no opportunity to address the problem to maintain their site, CTH appears to have been told to completely get out in 3 weeks.

        2. I’m glad we agree that private enterprises [like bakeries — i.e. Masterpiece Cakeshop — and photographers] can decide whom it will provide services to…

          1. It’s worse then Masterpiece Cakeshop which was up front with its customers. WordPress accepted their business for 10 years, then gave them a couple weeks to move their site. That would be like agreeing to back the cake, then backing out on the eve of the wedding.

  2. Nancy_Naive Avatar

    Thomas Jefferson wasn’t universally loved when he was alive. You’d be much better off defending the man than trying to create a legend. He loved the French, burned his Bible and wrote his own, was a staunct proponent of public education, and had more than a little touch of Jungle Fever. Given the Republican positions on those, why they are so enamored with him is beyond me.

    1. djrippert Avatar

      I’ve never understood why the plantation elite in Virginia hold Jefferson in such high esteem while effectively ignoring George Washington.

      I also find it absolutely comical to watch General Assembly members who strike down democracy, dissolve checks and balances and expand government at every turn speak of “Mr Jefferson” in hushed reverential tones. If Thomas Jefferson were reincarnated and met Dick Saslaw Jefferson would call him a disgrace. Washington, or course, would kick the entire General Assembly’s ass.

    2. James Wyatt Whitehead V Avatar
      James Wyatt Whitehead V

      Hamilton and Aaron Burr were also not universally loved alive. In fact they destroyed themselves and each other. And it didn’t even matter by 1804. The Virginia Dynasty of TJ, Madison, and Monroe lasted a quarter of a century.

    3. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      Ignoring George Washington? Uh, no. But Nancy is correct that all of the flaws we see in Jefferson today were evident and pointed out while he lived. My political progenitors run more to Adams, Hamilton and Marshall. Was TJ one of the essential founders? Clearly.

      1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

        Thank you. I have always admired Jefferson for his practicality (his 8-day clock) and other handyman rigging on display at Monticello.

        Fact is that the Marshalls and Hamitons were really hopping mad when TJ made what has to be the 3rd greatest real estate deal in history. He came just this much ( —– ) short of being literally pilloried, and tarred and feathered for “squandering” something close to half of the US reserves. Had they had their way at the time, UVA wouldn’t have the statue.

        There has been only 2 better deals.

  3. Baconator with extra cheese Avatar
    Baconator with extra cheese

    The email gets the “Don’t Give a Dime” part right. Stop sending money or giving your time to groups supporting ideals you personally don’t support. It is that easy. Let the woke foot the bill for wokeness.
    And that includes not supporting the sportsball teams too.

    1. John Harvie Avatar
      John Harvie

      “And that includes not supporting the sportsball teams too.”

      Exactly, BWEC!

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