Frankincense, Myrrh and Cognitive Dissonance

 

With today being Festivus, ’tis the season for the airing of grievances. So along those lines, a certain member of my family was thoroughly outraged when Dick Metcalf was fired for his article that was widely viewed by the people of the gun as taking a soft approach to the encroachment of gun control. Apparently MSNBC had singled out RF for his opinion on the matter and she concluded that it was all Robert’s fault that Metcalf was fired. “He has free speech!” she cried, “He should be able to voice his opinions, even if you disagree!” I calmly replied . . .

that Guns & Ammo is a commercial enterprise and if we (the buyers) weren’t happy with their product, then that might concern them. “So you don’t want to listen to any opposition to your point of view?” was her response. To which I pointed out that Guns & Ammo is a standard bearer for the 2nd Amendment, so they’re held to a higher standard. This week, though, she was livid and calling for Phil Robertson’s head on a platter.

So I asked her, “Doesn’t he have free speech? Shouldn’t he be able to voice his opinion?” Her response was that because it was “hate speech” it shouldn’t be tolerated, and he should be thrown out on his ass. “So he needs to be fired from an entertainment show because of one remark he made expressing his religious beliefs?” Her reasoning was that the show makes its money from sponsors, and should listen to its viewers. “But isn’t his point of view valid? It’s his religious belief, after all.” She was having none of it and declared once again that his words were “hate speech” and shouldn’t be allowed. I tried to equate the two situations and get her to recognize her own cognitive dissonance, that Metcalf’s article was just as offensive to 2nd Amendment supporters as Phil’s comments were to fans of the 14th, but she just stared at me as if I was insane.

And that’s the modus operandi of those on the left who are so impressed by their own tolerance. They love the bill of rights when it protects things they love, but anything they disagree with needs to be silenced, sanctioned and exempted from any special protection. Religious beliefs too “right-wing” for your tastes? Ban them as hate speech. Guns too black and scary? Ban them as “assault weapons.” Obviously, the bill of rights should only apply when it’s protecting something you approve of or agree with.

And I still have a full week here before I fly back to Texas . . .

comments

  1. avatar jwm says:

    Nobody will fuck with your head like family. Strangers will show more mercy and compassion than family. Wanna see a feeding frenzy? Let a family member that has accumalated a little wealth die and watch the mayhem.

    We can pick our friends. But we’re stuck with our families.

    1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      a very wise late uncle always reminded me “family is punishment for a crime you did not commit.”

      1. avatar lolinski says:

        Why do I imagine both of you as wise old men living in the Himalaya mountains?

        ;Maybe because what you said is true, I have seen what family can do.

      2. avatar William Burke says:

        DAMN! Never heard that one, Dirk. I remember growing up in Culpeper, my dad, one of eight (that and the Army taught him to be the faster eater I’ve ever seen!), two of his sister would come on Christmas Day. They evidently hated and loved one another, but were able to express love only through hatefullness.

        So each Christmas Day, I would wait to watch them get together; it was a sub rosa spectacle. It was one spiteful and hateful barb after the other; they lived in DC, but only could “tolerate” one another once a year, and on that day, CHRISTMAS DAY, day of PEACE ON EARTH, they spilled their catty resentment of one another on our living room and dining room carpet. It was entertaining, but GOD, HOW I HATED IT.
        Evil shit at a happy time. They’re both long dead, and I’m healthier for it.

    2. avatar Taylor Tx says:

      Funny, Ive grown up with a similiar saying: “No one will fuck you over faster than family”.

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        “Blood is thicker than water…and boils faster.” (attribution unk)

    3. avatar CJ says:

      ^this

      My Grandfather used to say “you never really know someone until you watch them inherit”.

    4. avatar MiketheHopsFarmer says:

      I’m a rare exception. When my grandfather died about 12 years ago, my grandmother told me about all the places they wanted to visit but never got to. All so they could leave money to their kids and my cousins and I. I was dumbfounded! They lost out on time together, filling their life’s wishes, to leave us … Stuff?! I felt so sad for them. They earned it, they shoulda spent it on themselves in their golden years. When she finally passed last year, it was like piranhas on a carcass. Especially with one aunt and her kids. Why do you think you deserve any if that stuff or their money? Just for being loin-fruit? F you! The only thing I wanted was the hand drawn family tree my grandpa did that took the family line back to the old country. That reminds me of them more than any cash or possession ever will.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        Damn. I just found out my sister and I inherited $110 from my father’s mother, who died the same year I was born, 1948. Never knew her. Her husband died when I was so young I have no memory of him. My family seems to marry late in life.

        My sister and I will split the money, with interest. I wonder how mush that would be? Can I buy a Tavor with it? 😉

    5. avatar Rad Man says:

      Nevertheless, Festivus is a time to spend with families. Btw, Nick will likely have an opportunity to respond to the Airing of Grievances with Feats of Strength later on in the day. I assume he’s big enough to pin his mom.

    6. avatar Kendahl says:

      Depends on the family. In my wife’s family, it’s hard to get rid of stuff because everybody pushes someone else to put in a claim.

  2. avatar Stu says:

    Ah…the wonders of not being able to choose your own family; atleast you can do so with your friends

  3. avatar Paul G. says:

    Both of them do have free speech. Both also have employment contracts, with private entities, and those entities can make stipulations stifling certain rights, an agreement those persons would have entered into voluntarily.
    That really doesn’t matter much in these cases, as indeed “she” is right, the viewer’s or reader’s opinion prevailed. So Metcalf is not at Guns and Ammo anymore, and Phil is reinstated, with Cracker Barrel making profound apologies for their rash knee-jerk reaction. In mass media, the customer is always right.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      There is a difference between Metcalf and Robertson. Metcalf was fired because he angered the readership of profit making organization. Robertson for fired for angering the management of a profit making organization. The customer base for Duck Dynasty was not calling for his head even if they disagreed with him. Because management fired Phil Robertson for his religious views on Homosexuality [he also classed certain heterosexual behaviors on the same level which the offended sodomites fail to mention] they are liable for a charge of discrimination for religious beliefs under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits such discrimination in employment. Under the law you cannot fire someone for their religious opinions.

      1. avatar Mike says:

        Not disagreeing too much, but Robertson wasn’t fired because he angered the management at A&E. He angered the perpetual victims from GLAAD. Then, the professional amplifiers at MSNBC et al stirred up the people who didn’t bother to read the actual quote, which made A&E cave. The problem is, those people weren’t watching Duck Dynasty to begin with. Same with Cracker Barrel. They pulled the DD stuff, only to find out the people who were screaming the loudest was NOT their main customer base! I think A&E stepped in it, and are looking for an out. The family got another taste of how much A&E cares about their reality to put it on “reality” TV.

      2. avatar William Burke says:

        Phil was reinstated today, as I understand it.

      3. avatar Nate says:

        It’s not really a religious opinion though, and it wasn’t even the worst thing he said. Guy said blacks were happier in the cotton picking days!

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      In both of these cases, and with the Dixie Chicks a few years back, it was shown that while you have the right to free speech you DO NOT have the right to force anyone else to listen.

      Also, speaking freely in a commercial forum such as Guns & Ammo, Duck Dynasty, or an entertainment interview can and does have repercussions unrelated to the First Amendment such as people will decide they don’t like you and stop buying your stuff. This is what happened to the Dixies and G&A/Metcalf. In order to protect their business interests the employers were justified in severing those relationships.

      In the case of Robertson, however, A&E drank the Liberal Kool-Aid and immediately over-estimated the potential backlash, most likely because they are surrounded by screaming Liberals in the entertainment industry who went ballistic when they heard this and then assumed that the rest of America would react in the same way. Cracker Barrel got the correction memo quickly from their customers. We’ll have to wait and see if A&E can overcome their own Liberal bias and move on.

    3. avatar daveR says:

      Bingo! There is no Constitutional issue involved in either of these debates.

      Both Nick and “she” are off the mark.

  4. avatar TommyinKY says:

    Seems pretty simple. Research and know your target audience.

  5. avatar Jeff says:

    This is all explained very nicely in the context of several current events over at Popehat. Although TTAG is not mentioned, the points made there are applicable, especially #5 (manufactured outrage is not just a “left” or “right” thing, and #6 (when corporate america [as opposed to real America…] gets involved it’s all just about money and the best way to get as much of that as possible; rights, freedoms, and apple pie be darned.
    The Popehat essay (well, the 10 points) is not a quick read, but it is very worthwhile, even if you have to go through it three times to get it all.
    See http://www.popehat.com/2013/12/21/ten-points-about-speech-ducks-and-flights-to-africa/

    1. avatar Jeff says:

      Breaking news – Mikhail Kalashnikov has just passed away.
      See the Russia Times article:
      http://rt.com/news/kalashnikov-dies-inventor-ak-47-887/

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        R.I.P. Gospodin Kalashnikov. Your magnificent weapon is but a tool and no one can be responsible for its misuse but the hand that holds it.

    2. avatar Ing says:

      Thanks to the internet and the 24/7 sensational news machine, outrage is America’s biggest growth industry.

  6. avatar brainman says:

    “Her reasoning was that the show makes its money from sponsors, and should listen to its viewers.”

    Wait. So she wants them to give Phil a medal?!?

  7. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    Trying to get into the head of a liberal is like walking into the wilderness. Trying to get into the head of a woman is like jumping off a ship in the middle of the ocean. Trying to get into the head of a liberal woman is like taking a space walk and cutting the line. There’s a lot of empty space out there, and you can easily get hopelessly lost.

    1. avatar Jeff says:

      That’s only half the story, Gov’nor. Cognitive Dissonance is spread thickly and evenly throughout our landscape.

      Read point #9 in http://www.popehat.com/2013/12/21/ten-points-about-speech-ducks-and-flights-to-africa/

      Perhaps point #10 is a good one also…

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        Neither side has cornered the market for dishonesty, but one side refuses to trade in common sense.

    2. avatar William Burke says:

      Damn, that’s good stuff. Like a draught of White Lightnin’.

  8. avatar Totenglocke says:

    Easy solution Nick – stop associating with such people.

    1. avatar Michael B. says:

      It’s his mom, I think.

      But yes, she sounds like a basket full of crazy I’d try to avoid.

    2. avatar Anonymous says:

      Tote,

      That’s his mom.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        Moms you have to deal with. You have to love and deal with ’em, unless they literally threw you to the wolves, or threw you down a well…

        Mom gave you life.

  9. avatar Delmarva Chip says:

    It is frustrating how too many people don’t understand the difference between a company employing a person and requiring that person to meet certain standards of behavior vs. a government using coercion and violence to prevent someone from saying something. The two scenarios are not remotely close to equal.

    The worst the employer can generally do is fire you, and perhaps sue you for a violation of a contract. The worst that the government can do is kidnap you, lock you up in a cage, and possibly kill you.

    1. avatar Will Power says:

      So much this. People on the left, the right, and in the middle often express outrage at what they perceive as a violation of the right to free speech. And in so doing, display their ignorance. The First Amendment bars the Federal government from interfering with free speech. It does nothing – zip, nada – to prevent those not a part of the government from placing restrictions on one’s speech. Why is it so hard for people to grasp this? I’ll write it again, slowly this time: /The First Amendment does not prevent private parties from interfering with your right to free speech./

      Nearly every forum on the web has “rules of engagement.” Violate one or more and you may well find yourself the target of the ban hammer. Your speech is free on a forum only until it pisses off the Admins, and you cannot take them to court for “violating” your First Amendment rights. When Rush Limbaugh cuts off a caller he is not infringing on his/her right to free speech. It’s his show, he gets to set the rules. The First Amendment guarantees only that the _government_ has no right to censor your speech (yelling “FIRE!” in a crowded theater notwithstanding).

      1. avatar Paul G. says:

        Even the “yelling fire” concept is wrong. OW Holmes wrote that as part of the dissenting opinion, and it was poorly thought out. One cannot lie and defend the lie as free speech.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          “One cannot lie and defend the lie as free speech.”

          Then you’d better arrest every politician in the country.

          Of course you can lie! You can say any bloody thing in the world that you want to say! How other people deal with it is entirely up to them. Making laws restricting what anyone can say is expressly forbidden.

      2. avatar Rich Grise says:

        That ‘fire in a crowded theater’ thing is the typical extreme strawman used by haters of freedom since time immemorial. Don’t limit the guy’s speech – just hold him accountable for any damage that his yelling of “fire” caused. If someone is trampled in the stampede, then it would be homicide, that sort of thing.

        Same with the “convicted felons” strawman the grabbers are so fond of.. Prosecute Bad Behavior, don’t infringe on their Creator-given, natural, human, civil, Constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms.

        1. avatar Paul G. says:

          That was my point in regard to lying by yelling fire…..you can be held responsible for that action. If the theater is on fire, yelling fire is not problematic. When you lie, as in slanderous or libelous statements, or false advertising, one cannot use free speech as a defense. Of course, when you preface the lie with “in my opinion…” you create a lot of wiggle room.

  10. avatar miserylovescompany says:

    One more reason to despise Adam Lanza is what he did to so many families across the country…maybe I’m just unlucky enough that my dad is a virtually a Communist by his own admission, and unfortunate enough that my mother left me and my little brother when I was not yet 2 years old, never to be heard from again. So I was raised by my grandparents, who were pretty conservative. The end result is that I’ve been caught in the middle of a deep chasm, and because of my own conservative, Catholic politics, neither my dad, my stepmom, nor my 2 sisters will talk to me nowadays. I’ve tried to talk to both of my sisters, but they’ve largely distanced themselves from me and virtually never respond to my emails or messages. I can’t even imagine trying to argue gun rights with any of them (oddly, my dad is or was, mostly pro-gun) to any extent. They might as well be from a different planet. When you think about the many thousands or even millions of families similarly affected, it all begins to assume a tragedy of national proportions. I really hope the good Lord is not done with Adam yet, because he has much to answer for indeed.

    Tom

    1. avatar Jeff says:

      Hey Tom (miserylovescompany):
      I sincerely don’t hope to distress you by pointing out Romans 9:18-22, but a strictly biblical analysis about Adam Lanza’s culpability might not lead you to the conclusion you’re suggesting…

    2. avatar William Burke says:

      Tom. Friend. The whole Sandy Hook thing most likely was theater. Some of the kids “killed” attended their own “funerals”. Research it. Lanza may have been the only one killed. The little boy probably could not have lifted an AR, let alone fired one. He weighed maybe 98 pounds.

      1. avatar Nate says:

        Really? If I “research it” I’ll probably find the same people trying to tell me that lizard men run the world. What you’re saying is nonsense.

  11. avatar Michael G Marriam says:

    I have this posted on my wall:

    You can’t reason a person out of a position they weren’t reasoned into in the first place.

    It helps.

  12. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

    “They love the bill of rights when it protects things they love, but anything that they disagree with needs to be silenced, sanctioned and exempted from any special protection.”

    Because the issue is never really the issue, leftists feel no need to be consistent in anything but undermining Western values and promoting socialism. Ends, means, you know.

    1. avatar Ron Burgundy says:

      Many ACLU’ers and leftists (the significant anti-gun fraction there) count to ten like this: 1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        ” ACLU has long taken the position that the Second Amendment protects a collective right rather than an individual right.”

        Wow! I thought I once heard something about them holding up the individual right. But evidently they’re collectivists too, more’s the pity.

        Actually, that “free State” part doesn’t mean state like Indiana, it means State of Freedom. There’s a precedent in Article II, section 3: “He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, …” State of the union, meaning condition. I want mine to be “The State of the Union today is Liberty.” And it’s that free State (of individuals) that the militia are there to protect.

  13. avatar rawmade says:

    Nail on the head.
    They only support the rights when they cater to their beliefs. When it doesnt they twist it to say “oh but it doesnt mean you can do THAT!”
    They cannot be reasoned with. Its a sickness.

  14. avatar 505markf says:

    Hang in their, Nick. It may not get better, but it may also not get much worse. My family had a rule that was simple: topics unsuitable for discussion at any family gathering are politics, money, and religion. Of course that meant that all we ever talked (argued!) about was politics, money, and religion. I gave up years ago trying to change any of their minds on anything and only limit my reactions to the most horrible things said. I sit in a chair and just take it all in, remembering I’ll miss this when they are gone.

    My wife, on the other hand, does as much cross-stitch as possible and drinks red wine because it makes it sleepy and happy. That seems to work for her when the family is all together.

  15. avatar Shawn says:

    Who gives a frack about Phil? It is not like it is hurting his wallet or anything.

    1. avatar Ron Burgundy says:

      So only poor people should be defended if they honestly answer questions about their religious beliefs?

  16. avatar MOG says:

    Nick, get back to Texas. Seems, at times, like Texas is the whipping post for all those enlightened masses. Is it out of hate, are we that bad, or is it out of pure mindless jealous envy of what is, so far, a free state? Family wise, no comment. Wish all of you a Merry Christmas, stay safe.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Merry Christmas, all, but Texas is not the final frontier. AMERICA is the final frontier! DEFEND IT.

  17. avatar Sab says:

    The fevered railing against cognitive dissonance exhibited by “liberals” is pretty hilarious when in the next breath the “small government” conservative demands the feds intrude and enforce their personal religious morality.

    Sorry, liberals, but freedom entails folks you don’t like exercising their rights the keep and bear arms. Sorry, conservatives, but freedom entails treating people equally.

    I know that breaks all the gun-grabbing Jim Crow loving hearts out there, but there you have it.

    1. avatar Jake says:

      “Sorry, liberals, but freedom entails folks you don’t like exercising their rights the keep and bear arms. Sorry, conservatives, but freedom entails treating people equally.

      I know that breaks all the gun-grabbing Jim Crow loving hearts out there, but there you have it.”

      It seems like you are trying to equate these two statements. Which doesn’t really work since the Jim Crow laws came from the same side of the aisle which gun-grabbing now comes from (the left). Additionally, I’ve never heard anyone in my lifetime (liberal or conservative) express support for the Jim Crow laws. So your statement just sounds inflammatory.

      1. avatar Nate says:

        Uh, no. Democrats back then were conservatives, not liberals. So to say Jim Crow came from the left is an outright lie.

    2. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

      Regardless of past history, if you are looking for genuine racism, i.e., deciding how people should be treated based purely on the color of their skin, look to the Progressives. You will find right-wing racists out there, for sure. But for a whole movement that embraces as a core principle the idea that people who happen to have darker skin are not fully capable of achievement without having their lives managed extensively by government officials? For that kind of bone-deep racism, look to the left.

    3. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

      *sigh* No. The marriage equality movement is about using the coercive force of government to change the definition of marriage. The conservatives in opposition to this are, in fact, trying to prevent the use of government to force a social change.

      The truth is that gay individuals in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriages have all the same rights that a straight individual has, the same way that both individuals have the same legal rights in a state that does recognize a same-sex union. The only difference is the how marriage is defined. In one marriage is defined in the traditional way, it is a definition based on tradition, religious beliefs and procreative biology. In the latter marriage is redefined to reject those things.

      The LGBT community on this issue has been the kid at the birthday party claiming injustice because he prefers chocolate ice cream and the hosts are only serving vanilla. Everyone at the party in fact has the same rights to ice cream, but because one attendee can’t stand vanilla and loves chocolate he makes it out to be some sort of systematic oppression against his kind.

      If you support changing the redefinition of marriage, at least be honest about what the movement is trying to achieve.

      Personally, I think the state should only recognize a “civil union” between two individuals. I’m sure there are plenty of atheists, both gay and straight, who might wish to be joined in a union that is not borrowed from religious tradition. Marriage would be a subset, or independent. And, quite frankly, the state does not have the power to define marriage in my mind. Many people say this in support of same-sex marriage but logically it is an argument against it, as marriage is already defined as a heterosexual union. Legislation like prop 8 in California only sought to affirm this pre-existing definition in law.

      Not exactly gun related but this dishonesty that few seem to catch has always bothered me deeply.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        “*sigh* No. The marriage equality movement is about using the coercive force of government to change the definition of marriage. ”

        In fact, what needs to be ended is the rampant institutionalized discrimination based on whether or not you’ve got an “S” or “M” after your name. The gays just want the same special privileges, tax breaks, and other handouts that the breeding class get.

        What the hell is the Government doing enforcing a religious ritual anyway?
        Especially one that’s essentially a transfer of title deed from the woman’s father to the new owner, her husband?

        Women are not chattel property who can be “given away.”

    4. avatar William Burke says:

      This…. we all stand for the Last Hope… or we fail miserably.

  18. avatar El Mac says:

    The Left thinks its ok for Dick Metcalf to express his anti-2A beliefs and that he shouldn’t be sactioned by his employer or his readers….and yet, Phil Robertson’s comments aren’t ok.

    Brilliant.

    The hypocrisy of the Left knows no bounds.

  19. avatar IdahoPete says:

    “I tried to equate the two situations and get her to recognize her own cognitive dissonance, that Metcalf’s article was just as offensive to 2nd Amendment supporters as Phil’s comments were to fans of the 14th, but she just stared at me as if I was insane. And that’s the modus operandi of those on the left who are so impressed by their own tolerance. They love the bill of rights when it protects things they love, but anything they disagree with needs to be silenced, sanctioned and exempted from any special protection.”

    That’s an excellent summary of the “tolerance” of the left – they are tolerant of anything except people who disagree with their personal beliefs. This illustrates that “liberalism” as practiced today is actually a very intolerant religion, with extreme punishments for people they deem heretics.

    I can summarize their rationale for banning guns: “I just don’t like guns.” Therefore, no one should be able to own (or believe) something THEY don’t like.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      Full agreement.

      The most intolerant people I’ve ever known were the champions of multiculturalism I had the misfortune to go to grad school with. They were always harping on one of my friends, who is Asian, Caucasian, and has a single remote Alaskan native ancestor somewhere in his family tree — and also happens to be gay — doing their best to shame him for not properly representing his “people,” Annoyed him to no end. He told them the only people he represented were English majors who loved books and wanted to be left alone, but they looked at him like he was some kind of misguided traitor and kept on badgering him.

      They saw racism and all sorts of ugly -isms everywhere and flung inflammatory accusations at anyone who dared to ignore (as I did) or question (as others did) their noble cause. Their crusade for what they called tolerance was a vicious endeavor that highlighted nothing so much as their own lack of it.

  20. avatar Rich Grise says:

    ” ’tis the season for the airing of grievances”

    Oh, feh. That’s all people do for the other 364 days of the year. Can’t we optimists get a break? OOOps! That’s a grievance. OK, color me guilty.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Merry Christmas, Rich….

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        Thanks! Merry Christmas to you too. And everybody else, of course. 🙂

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          There is pissed-off factor. My daughter asked for 4 things. I ordered them on the 12th. Not here in time; no notifications or excuses.

          3 of the 4 were from Jessica Alba’s company. She’s spectacular, but the company she founded is SHIT.

  21. avatar Shane says:

    True injustice of life, you can’t pick your relatives.

  22. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Bummer Nick.
    Hope the rest of the week goes better.

  23. avatar Hannibal says:

    So… you really think hate speech should be treated the same as dissenting political opinions? I think there’s something really, really wrong with that.

    I’m not saying Phil’s comments were ‘hate speech’ (don’t think they were) and I’m not saying the 1st Amendment shouldn’t apply (well, it doesn’t in this case, but generally) but I find it disturbing that someone would equate hate speech with disagreeing on guns. It’s like whenever someone wants to start calling people Nazis who follow orders as if they’re loading people into gas chambers.

    I think she was right to look at you like you were insane.

    1. avatar Paul G. says:

      What is “hate speech” besides some pc bullsh*t dreamed up by the left? There is really no difference between calling someone a racial slur and calling them a wussy or lazy or a coward, etc, most people I know would take more offense at being called a coward. Remember that old “sticks and stones” thing from when you were a kid? It’s true. Only speech that can incite strong emotions (like hate) needs protecting. The first amendment isn’t needed to protect warm fuzzies.

      1. avatar Jake says:

        I agree with Paul.

        Plus, the problem with regulating something like “hate speech” is, it only works well in a vacuum. Do I support speech designed to illicit hatred for a person/group of people? Absolutely not! But the problems arise when a person/group of people are formally or informally bestowed the power to designate what exactly constitutes hate speech. Then anything that group of people is uncomfortable with is labeled “hate speech” while vitriol against that group’s perceived enemies is shrugged off.

        I feel like a lot of the support for Phil Robertson stems more from peoples’ frustrations at the two-faced nature of self-appointed “hate-speech” regulators in this country then it does from agreement with his comments.

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      Just as the Second Amendment does not say “…shall not be infringed, except for…” the First Amendment does not say, “freedom of speech, except for hateful speech.” IMO the 1A is specifically intended to protect our right to say things that others might hate, or consider hateful. But neither is there any protection implied for the speaker against the listener’s response to that speech.

      The First Amendment guarantees the right to state an opinion, hateful or not, and in the long run religion, like politics, is just an opinion. To voice one’s religious opinion CANNOT be hate speech, no matter how much it might offend you personally. As has been stated many, many times, there is no right not to be offended.

  24. avatar C says:

    Didn’t metcalf resign instead?

  25. avatar Anonymous says:

    Nick,

    “I tried to equate the two situations and get her to recognize her own cognitive dissonance, that Metcalf’s article was just as offensive to 2nd Amendment supporters as Phil’s comments were to fans of the 14th, but she just stared at me as if I was insane.”

    You were certainly correct in this analogy. Some just don’t get it.

    Metcalf betrayed his customer base and embarrassed his employers and the sponsors funding them.
    Robertson expressed his honest opinion and embarrassed his employers and the sponsors funding them.

  26. avatar Manimal says:

    To me the two situations are exactly the same: a person paid to present a certain image and their bosses not liking it when they damage their brand.

    Neither has anything to do with free speech being violated for them being punished by their bosses, that is completely their prerogative as an employer.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      In the mid-’90s I went to work for a couple of Pakistani Muslims. Basically nice guys, reasonably good businessmen (with exceptions), but should I have been surprised if I had publicly voiced anti-Islam sentiments or kept a cross and picture of Jesus on my office wall and they decided to terminate my employment? I did not do those things, but I would not have been surprised at such a reaction if I had, especially if they could legitimately consider it harmful to their business interests. I believe the legal term is “Employment at will.”

      The failure of A&E in this matter is to have mis-estimated the reaction their audience to Phil’s comments and over-reacted to what in the end was a non-issue to anyone outside the Liberal establishment, which was not the demographic for that show. Perhaps they forgot that they have not actually been Arts & Entertainment for many years and thought the Liberal artsy types were still their viewer base.

  27. avatar Kendahl says:

    With such people, it’s not just guns or speech. In their opinion, their personal lifestyle should be mandatory and anything else prohibited or, at most, grudgingly tolerated.

  28. avatar John L. says:

    Welcome to California.

    I spent 5 years there as a grad student, then a decade in Illinois, then back for another 5 as a college prof.

    This strident double standard, and a complete ignorance thereof, is a good encapsulation of what drove me nuts living there. It took some time to realize, though.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      If, in fact, your grievances are really “his fault,” then you’re in a quandary. You have to go get that guy who hates you to fix it! Our job as grownups is to figure out how to find a solution regardless if some idiot hates me. I mean, obviously, if someone is so seriously misinformed that he doesn’t like me or my opinion, why should I give his opinion any power over me?

  29. avatar Ralph says:

    Nobody but nobody can push your buttons like family.

  30. avatar Roger says:

    Is that Michael Keaton in the photo?

  31. avatar CBI says:

    Personalizing things might be appropriate. At the proper time, a good question might be: “Why do you want me thrown into prison?”

    Quite likely that will produce a halt in the flow of conversation, along with a “I don’t want to throw you into prison” response.

    Your response: “Yes, you do. You want X (e.g., ownership of AR-15s with 30-rd magazines) to be illegal. I have X (e.g., an AR-15), which you want to be something only a criminal would do. Therefore, you think that what I do is so bad that I should be convicted as a criminal and thrown into prison. Why do you want to throw me into prison?”

    There might be some defensive language: “I don’t mean you”, “you wouldn’t disobey the law”, etc. Don’t let them avoid the issue: if something is to be illegal, it must be morally wrong and worthy of imprisonment. Keep the focus on that point. Personalize it: they are attacking *you* and not some anonymous “other”.

    You might sooner or later get the response, “Yes, that’s right. You should be in prison for what you’ve done (or will do).” If it reaches that point, say something like, “OK, at least we’re clear on that. Now you know why you have made yourself my enemy.” If they want to continue the conversation, tell them that they’re no better than a kidnapper or a slaver or some other sort of control-freak, and that you don’t want to talk with them about that subject until they apologize.

    Then walk away or change the subject.

  32. avatar daveR says:

    ” To which I pointed out that Guns & Ammo is a standard bearer for the 2nd Amendment, so they’re held to a higher standard.”

    This is true?

  33. avatar Kyle says:

    So if private enterprises have the right to fire someone over speech or censor them if they wish to stay hired, does this mean private businesses also fully have a right to prevent someone from carrying their arms into said business? Because a business doing it is different than a government doing it?

    Also, Nick, I’d have said to her the following:

    “DEFINE ‘hate speech.'” The First Amendment is there to protect speech people find offensive. No hate speech should be outlawed as it harms no one and is too subjective a term.”

    1. avatar Paul G. says:

      Private institutions can refuse you employment for quite a number of reasons, even your decision to be a smoker.

  34. avatar Adub says:

    One of the biggest liberals I know cries about how people say “offensive” things, then mocks people who shop at Wal-Mart and calls everybody who lives outside of downtown St. Louis hillbillies.

  35. avatar Jus Bill says:

    Mina, you’re needed here. Can you provide a first aid kit?

  36. avatar Rich Grise says:

    (withdrawn – the one I thought I was responding to doesn’t seem to be here.)

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Upheaval, is what it’s called. Everyone should face it, at least once in their lifetime.

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