The right to speak out about hate speech

Lee Rowland, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU, overlooked something in her piece about defending speech that we hate.

While bemoaning the outcry that resulted in Ann Coulter’s Berkeley appearance being canceled, she ignores the fact that students and the rest of us have as much a right to free speech as does Ms. Coulter.

To paraphrase Rowland, when the students who wanted no part of Coulter’s hate speech soon graduate, they’ll step into the horrific “maelstrom of civic life,” where homophobic street preachers, avowed racists and others are free to spew what they will.

True enough.

Those students and others who do not respect Coulter, however, have their own right to express themselves, as loudly as they feel is necessary.

If Congress tries to pass a law that infringes on Coulter’s right to free speech, I’ll be right there with the ACLU to fight against it, but that’s not what is happening on college campuses. You would think an ACLU attorney would have a little better understanding of the difference.


Nothing silly about Trump, Nugent, Palin

“Silly rural Americans” are the last socially acceptable target for liberal mockery, a guy named Matt Bai tweeted today.

I’m not sure that’s true. I have liberal friends and family who openly stereotype Walmart shoppers, as just one example.

To state the obvious, those rural Americans and Walmart shoppers are all people. Humans, we all have much in common.

Still, Mr. Bai makes a good point, that taunting Trump supporters with a Beverly Hillbillies theme song parody (as @TrumpToons did so lamely) hardly persuades anyone to change their tune, or their views, or their votes for that matter.

Changing minds isn’t actually the objective of such stereotyping. It makes the would-be parodist feel good, I suppose, and gets a few laughs and likes, but it reflects badly on the perpetrator and on the “liberals” that Bai accuses. Conservatives routinely stereotype liberals, of course.

This is not to say that the people photographed with the president* aren’t themselves fair targets of criticism or parody. They are.

There’s nothing “silly” about Ted Nugent, Sarah Palin or Donald Trump. I don’t know much about Kid Rock and nothing about the other women in the photo.

Just lay off the generalizations about large groups of people. Not helpful.

We can always get another truck driver

Talked to an old friend of mine today, a corporation who has been worried sick that McConnell and company would chicken out of nuking the filibuster thing.

“As a person with feelings,” my friend said, “I was so relieved to see them clear the way for Judge Gorsuch to join the Supremes where he can protect my rights as a person.”

What about the trucker decision, I asked, where the guy was fired for trying to avoid freezing to death?

“Beej,” he said, placing a cold, metallic hand on my shoulder, “Beej. We can always get another truck driver.”


What to do when your “a” breaks…

Wht do you do when you hve tried your pssword 20+ times before discovering tht your “a” key isn’t working…

…or you strt to worry tht your mybe your left pinkie finger isn’t s strong s it ws yesterdy…

…nd then when you do figure it out and log in you discover that your brodbnd hs failed nd you have no internet ccess…

…so you cn’t get to your mnuscript in the cloud to work on it in the hope of meeting your dedline?

You go for   bicycle ride.

ll will be better when you get bck. Well, mybe not ll.

keys 009

New “Red Shaw” novel coming soon

Get an email when it’s published!

northofgrand_amz_2017_aA special little excerpt for my Des Moines friends…

Shaw dropped Vega at 25 East First, drove back over the river and pulled into a parking spot across from the Ruan Center. He found some humor in the towering icon of commerce being at 666 Grand. While the beastly number didn’t particularly scare him, he was glad the modest Catholic diocesan headquarters was just across the street to keep a watchful eye on things.

…but earlier…

Zach Costa didn’t see the thing that killed him. He couldn’t have described what it was even if someone had found him before his swelling, bleeding brain shut down for good. It took a few minutes.

First there was nothing. Then came a semi-conscious awareness of crushing pain, hands pushing him, probing his pockets, pulling an arm, a leg. He heard a voice, someone whispering angry words that meant nothing to him. He tried to speak. He saw his mother, his brother. An older man, too. Pop? A vision of Emma floated by, naked, beckoning. He tried to reach out. She faded into nothing.

He tried to remember something he was supposed to do. Get to class on time? Take out the trash? Get the box. That was it. If he could just get the box, he could ride on home. The pain turned to fire and blinding light and then it stopped.

Get the first Red Shaw novel on Amazon now: Blood Solutions