Archive for April 22nd, 2010

First Amendment Symposium Part IV: The First Amendment is Properly Rated (But Perhaps for the Wrong Reasons)


“What he [John S.] says may be irrational, incoherent, unfounded, and foolish, but I defend to the death his right to say it.”

-Josh*

*I have as much claim to this phrase as Voltaire.

This response will proceed in three steps. First, I will respond to misguided presumptions that underlie John’s critique of the First Amendment: 1) that the goal of the First Amendment is not to suppress any speech and 2) that free speech absolutism is the only interpretive option for the First Amendment. Second, I will refute John’s two main claims: 1) The First Amendment is only aimed towards preventing government suppression of speech, but the coercive non-governmental forces and differential access to forums are problems just as serious that the First Amendment promotes or, at least, does nothing to prevent. 2) There is nothing inherent about the First Amendment that promotes the Millian benefits that flow from free speech. Third, I will discuss the Citizens United issue separately since it’s sufficiently distinct from the other issues in this response.

Citing Mill, John fallaciously argues that “the general principles that underlie actual liberty of thought and discussion” are primarily grounded in opposition to the “suppression of opinion, whether it be by government or any entity….” [emphasis added].

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Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Fresh Meat 2, Week 3 Power Rankings

“It’s time for her to come out here and save me.”—Wes


“I’m going to shake things up a bit, and I really don’t see you as a threat…”—Kenny

MTV has done a really good job of promoting and editing this season of the RW/RR Challenge so that it seems like “Kenny vs. Wes,” and in some ways it is. There are clearly two well-defined (though not as well-defined as we might think, as the episode eventually revealed) alliances on the show now; MTV even took the trouble of showing a montage of each one, making the division all but official. Kenny and Wes are the ones in charge of each alliance.

Last night’s episode, though, proved that Evelyn is far more important to Wes’ alliance than Wes himself is. Of the two epigraph quotes, the first was spoken by Wes about Ev, who he needed to win the challenge to prevent Kenny from getting immunity; Wes later admitted that, with Mandi as his partner, he was not a real threat to win challenges. Continue reading

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