Why We Fight

UPDATE: Now every day is Blog About Aaron Walker Day!  Thanks, Lee!  I’m adding the new tag and category even as we speak.  Hey lefties, you want to shut us up?  You’re doing it wrong.

Donate to help Aaron here.

A really good explanation of Tuesday’s Kimberlin v Walker hearing here, from David Hogberg.

So apparently, in the United States, Freedom of Speech just died on Tuesday, because, in effect, saying things about Person A which he/she might construe as being “mean” (even if those things are completely true) might somehow “incite” other people to do harm to Person A.

So writing about someone in a manner they don’t like can now get you thrown in jail.

Found the above post via Patterico, who posts some celebratory comments and tweets from Kimberlin supporters, threatening legal action against other critics like Liberty Chick, Lee Stranahan, Stacy McCain, Michelle Malkin, Dana Loesch, and Patterico.

This is why this story matters: because now that Kimberlin has succeeded in shutting up an opponent via legal means — regardless of how short-termed this will prove to be — he and his pals will go after more opponents.  And more.  And more.

And yet it’s people on the left who say that people on the right don’t believe in Free Speech.  Like this guy, who left a comment on this post at the Volokh Conspiracy about the Tuesday hearing.

95.  Tom Joyce

I turned to your blog, Professor Volokh, because I have found you to be an honest man. An honest man whom I disagree with, true, but an honest man.

The usual right wing hand-wringing in this case is too silly for words. Is there never a point where modern conservatives break with the conformist and sob sister gathering of bloggers?

Have you on the right all lost your mind? Nothing I have read so far has escaped the description of a lynch mob on the right trying to silence an ineffectual man whom the conservatives have simply invested with powers he does not have and could not possibly have ever had.

The transcript of Mr. Kimberlin’s attempt to get Aaron Walker to stop harrassing him reads like a man trying to get a bully to stop picking on him.

If this really is the way that you all think, and thanks to Talk Radio, it is clear that “conservatives” (I do not believe that Rod Dreher or David Frum or Daniel Larison deserve the company of the knee jerk reactionaries who gleefully act in mindless concert) value conformity above thinking, confusion above clarity, and mega-dittoing over having an active life of ideas, interests, and passion.

So let’s breakdown Mr. Joyce’s comment, shall we?

He begins with some disingenuous brown-nosing: you’re an honest man I disagree with, but the “usual right wing hand-wringing in this case is too silly for words. Is there never a point where modern conservatives break with the conformist and sob sister gathering of bloggers?”

Got it?  All of you are not only silly for blogging about all this Kimberlin stuff, you’re all a bunch of crybabies who take your cues from all the crybabies you hang around with.

It’s just “too silly for words” to care that the media seems to only portray Kimberlin — at worst, on the rare occasion they actually talk about him — as a drug dealer, as if he’s some penny-ante criminal dealing some weed in a parking lot somewhere.  It’s “too silly for words” that we wonder if the people who give his tax-exempt organizations money know who they’re giving money to.  It’s “too silly for words” to think that a guy who bragged in Citizen K about how he learned at 19 how to beat the taxman might STILL be engaged in the same activity now, with contributors’ donations.

We’re just blowing things out of proportion and then crying if someone on our side gets a legal spanking.

It gets better, if “better” can be described as “even more disingenuous.”

Have you on the right all lost your mind? Nothing I have read so far has escaped the description of a lynch mob on the right trying to silence an ineffectual man whom the conservatives have simply invested with powers he does not have and could not possibly have ever had.

You’re all crazy, aren’t you?  You’re just a crazy, out-of-control lynch mob, trying to shut some little nobody up while making him out to be Hitler’s step-brother.

This isn’t the first time the left has made the argument that Kimberlin is some nobody we’re trying to make out is more evil than Hitler.  Markos Moulitsas said it last week.  He even used the dreaded H word when he did.

Look, I don’t recall any blogger who took up the call to blog about Kimberlin last Friday ever saying he was worse than Hitler.  I didn’t.  No one’s blog I read did, either.  But by bringing Hitler into this, people like this Joyce guy are trying to make it look like we’re a bunch of crazy, unhinged kooks who are making crazy claims against some weasly little nobody.  We really should be ashamed of ourselves.

I also don’t recall anyone saying that Brett Kimberlin should be shut up and shut down.  We don’t do that on this side of the political spectrum.

All we want to do is talk about this guy’s past.  He’s a convicted criminal.  We think the world should know the extent of his crimes, so they can decide whether or not they want to give his tax-exempt organizations some money.

It’s the left that doesn’t like it when people say nasty things like the truth.  The truth can be ugly, or uncomfortable, or inconvenient, to quote Al Gore.  That’s all very true.  But it’s still the truth and not some lie.  If wee Brett’s children can get on the internet and read the mean (true) things other people say about daddy and then ask uncomfortable questions or feel bad, well, that’s not really the fault of the truth-tellers, is it?  Isn’t that Brett’s fault, for having committed the crimes in the first place?

The truth is that Kimberlin is a nasty little man who’s done nasty, criminal things.  Some of which he’s gone to jail for.  Others, apparently not.  And worse, he’s not only never shown any remorse for the bad things he’s done, he’s tried to constantly blame everyone else for his bad behavior.  He didn’t set the bombs — the ATF framed him!  The witnesses lied about him!  The government set him up and made him a political prisoner!

He can pretend that he’s not the same man now that he was then, but most of us expect more than just his word for that.  Maybe paying restitution to the DeLong family would prove he was on the path to redemption?  Nah!  He’d rather live in his mommy’s basement and pretend he has no assets than pay the money he owes the DeLongs.

If I had tons of money to donate to causes I believed in, I’d want to know about the people running those organizations, because I think character matters.  I’d want to know what their background was, because I’d want to ensure that money was to be used in a way I supported.  I also wouldn’t want my name tied to someone who is a convicted perjurer and a remorseless felon.

But maybe that’s just me?

The transcript of Mr. Kimberlin’s attempt to get Aaron Walker to stop harrassing him reads like a man trying to get a bully to stop picking on him.

And what about the 28,000 word essay Walker posted about all the harassment Kimberlin and his pals have done to him?  If you read that, would you maybe change your mind about who’s the bully and who’s the victim?

Probably not, given you’re a disingenuous piece of work, Mr. Joyce.

If this really is the way that you all think, and thanks to Talk Radio, it is clear that “conservatives” (I do not believe that Rod Dreher or David Frum or Daniel Larison deserve the company of the knee jerk reactionaries who gleefully act in mindless concert) value conformity above thinking, confusion above clarity, and mega-dittoing over having an active life of ideas, interests, and passion.

He begins by admitting that Rod Dreher, David Frum, and Daniel Larison aren’t “conservatives” like the rest of us.  And, as it turns out, I agree with him on that point.  But then, I don’t think of them as being at all conservative or even Republican.  They might have been at one time, but they’ve spent so much time working for left-wing media outfits that whatever conservative values they might have once held have long since fallen by the wayside.

But let’s get back to Mr, Joyce.  Because we all seem to be agreeing with each other, we’re mindless drones.  We just stew in the echo chamber, valuing our conformity rather than thinking and stuff.

You know, that’s funny, because I don’t recall the right coming up with something akin to Journo-list, do you?  I don’t recall the right issuing daily “talking points memos,” do you?

If you want to talk about people espousing mindless chatter, let’s discuss your pals on the left, Mr. Joyce, shall we?  How about the media who convicted George Zimmerman for murdering poor, angelic Trayvon Martin, claiming he was clearly the aggressor, because he didn’t have any wounds on his face.  (Even though he did.)  Or that he was a white man who shot a black child, until it turned out he wasn’t exactly what you’d call white, so then he was a “white Hispanic.”  It was the disingenuous media of the left plastering a picture of a 12-year-old Trayvon all over the news, rather than use a more recent image.  All to try to make him appear to be an innocent victim.  All to sell a narrative of what a bunch of racists white people are.  The truth be damned.  A man’s life be damned.  All to sell the leftist agenda.

Or how about all the stories the leftist media refuses to cover or only begrudgingly covers, because those stories, too, don’t advance their political agenda.  Fast and Furious?  Missing and Meh.  The half billion in taxpayer dollars that went to prop up Solyndra for an additional 18 months before the company went bankrupt?  Yawn.   (And Queen Nancy thinks it’s just fine for the President to play a craps game with the taxpayers’ money.  Why not?)  The administration’s attacks on the Catholic Church and people of faith who don’t want public money spent on birth control?  What?  What do you mean that’s a violation of the First Amendment?

But we sure do hear all about how weird Romney’s Mormon faith is, don’t we?  Or how weird it is that Ann Romney spends her own money to practice “horse ballet.”

Please!  You want to talk about mindless lemmings parroting garbage?  The left does it every single day.

…and mega-dittoing over having an active life of ideas, interests, and passion.

Isn’t it cute how he feigns concern that we’re just wasting our lives blogging about stuff “too silly for words” rather than going out and getting a life?  Why can’t you people find real things to talk about and care about instead of blogging from your mommy’s basement.  Oh, wait… that’s Brett Kimberlin, isn’t it?

If you want to pretend ignorance of why the Brett Kimberlin story matters, Mr. Joyce, you certainly may.  It’s a free country, and you’re entitled to your opinion.  You even have the right to spread your opinion as far and as wide as you want.  Even if it’s the stupidest shit anybody ever peddled.  But let’s not pretend that your ideas come from a place where you’ve spent hours, days, weeks, or years thinking about and debating over what the Constitution means, because I’m pretty sure you haven’t.  If you had, you’d understand why the Kimberlin story matters.  You’d be appalled that some guy is contorting the law to use it as a weapon against anyone he disagrees with, all to shut them up.

And if you’d ever spent even a few hours thinking about the implications of the leftist agenda, then you’d know how utterly devoid of original ideas that agenda is.  All the left has — all it’s ever had — is collectivism and totalitarianism, all swaddled up in the blankets of concern for the less fortunate or “oppressed” — be they the poor, minorities, gays, women, unions, or anyone else deemed a victim group.  And the answer always seems to be more government, more control, more money confiscated from the hardworking to be redistributed to those deemed less fortunate.  Even when we daily hear how wasteful that government is with our money; it never seems to sink in that the government will ALWAYS waste our money.

And anyone who disagrees and dares to tell it like it is?  They get shut up and shut down, all in the name of “civility.”  We now have a President whose campaign is encouraging Americans to report anyone who says anything that might be critical of him.  He’s been peddling this “if you hear something you need to report it” schtick since 2009.  What is this, Soviet Russia?  We’re supposed to be suspicious of our neighbors and report them if they say anything that might be unkind about the President?

Well, Mr, Joyce, would you like to know what you and yours can do with your civility?

We’re not going to shut up until you take us all away or you shut down the internet.  Got it?  And if you don’t like it, do what all Americans in past generations did when faced with speech they didn’t like: don’t read/listen to it or make fun of it.  Shutting us up is what losers do, because they know they can’t win a fair and open debate.

Update: Stacy McCain blogs about the Hogberg article, along with the meta topic of the traffic he’s getting from this story.

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A Few Kimberlin Links

Stacy McCain has an interesting quote from Mark Singer’s Citizen K book

“For three months, Kimberlin resided at the federal prison in prison in Terra Haute, Indiana, in a unit reserved for convicts awaiting long-term assignments to other institutions. . . . He had resisted a sexual predator by tossing powdered chlorine cleanser in his face. The predator was African American, Kimberlin told me, and as he fended him off he shouted, ‘You f–king n–r! You motherf–kng n–r! Get the f–k away from me! I’ll kill you, you motherf–r!’ Kimberlin enjoyed telling this story.”
Mark Singer, Citizen K: The Deeply Weird American Journey of Brett Kimberlin (1996), Page 183

Silly Stacy.  Don’t you know it’s totally cool if left-wingers are racists, as long as they’re quiet vegetarians who sell natural foods and earth shoes; are people who practice transcendental meditation; are cultured, good humored — people who care for people — and express an interest in energy conservation.

And don’t forget the kittehs.  As long as they love themselves some LOLcatz, then it’s cool to let the occasional racist tirade slip.  And throwing powdered chlorine cleanser in the offending person’s face, also cool.

However, if anyone were to do the same thing unto him?  Totally not cool.  Obviously.

You right-wing hatemongers really need to learn the rules, post haste!

* * *

It seems Erik Erickson has been SWATted.

Can’t you right-wingers just lighten up and bend over to take it already?  Geeze!

* * *

More linkage to the (good) McCain —

Now we know part of how Brett Kimberlin pretends poverty: a rich aunt makes “donations” to JTMP and Velvet Revolution.

Would anyone care to make a wager how much of her donations get laundered through Brett’s tax-exempt groups before ending up paying for his off-the-books lifestyle?

What kind of self-respecting “adult” lives in his mom’s basement in order to avoid paying his legally obligated debts?  What kind of man allows his family to pay for him and his family’s upkeep, and do it in such an underhanded, disingenuous way?  Create some bogus tax-exempt organizations, have your friends and family make “donations” (which you turn around and skim), and voila!  You, too, can avoid paying your debt to society.  What a stellar example he’s providing for his children.

* * *

Patterico has an update on the Kimberlin Wikipedia page story,   Basically, the mean article authors weren’t giving wee Brett enough credit for being a good humored guy who’s into practicing transcendental meditation, eating wholesome vegetarian dinners, and taking quiet walks along the beach — allegedly with minors.  They just focused on the being convicted of setting bombs, committing perjury, and being a miserable creep.  Honestly, he’s way more multi-faceted and complex than that, people!

* * *

Finally, not at all Kimberlin related, but awesome, nonetheless — allow me to quote M. J. Mollenhour’s post in its entirety, because it’s that good.

Who Wears the Harness? Who Holds its Reins?

05/25/2012 @ 7:30am

From President Obama’s campaign kickoff speech, Columbus, Ohio, May 5, 2012:  ”This country is at its best when we harness the God-given talents of every individual….”

Warning, Americans: For those not raised in farm country, “harness” is more than a verb implying a general, cooperative marshaling of talent.

A harness is a set of fetters strapped to a beast of burden.Some master at the other end holds the reins that control the beast.  The master uses the harness to make the beast work.  If the beast is obstinate, the master whips the beast, and uses food and water to compel the beast’s passive cooperation.

Analyze this clause, spoken by the president: “…we harness the God-given talents of every individual….”

Who, do you think he means as “we?”

You Democrats out there immediately want to react, thinking that “we” are all of us.  But, Democrat readers, all of us do not have the power to harness anyone or anything.  The masters holding the reins are the people who make, administer, and enforce the laws and regulations.  And they know it.

Who do you think wears this harness, the one our president imagines using?  Remember: this is his word.

Now, imagine a different way of thinking—in which no one presumes either to need the harness, or to have the power to strap anyone into it.  Imagine a country where people chose how they exercised their God-given talents free of the straps, buckles, reins, and whips of the master.

Revise the president’s sentence, and contrast his words with these: “The country is at its best when every citizen lives, works, rests, spends and saves as his conscience and his God guide him.”

And, do not think for a single second that the president’s use of the word “harness” was a mere, inconsequential, careless choice.  Some speech writer selected that word because that is how the speech writer—and the president—think.

I do not want to be “harnessed” by my government to do work that President Obama and his party dictate, reward, punish, regulate, penalize, or tax.

That word chosen by the president speaks volumes about the difference between two ways of thinking about America.

This is just perfection.  And this statement by Obama represents the mindset we are fighting Every.  Single.  Day.

We do not belong to the government.  We do not belong to the State.  We own ourselves, as free men and women.

His words make it clear that in his mind, we are owned.  We exist to benefit the State.

Well, no sir!