That Crazy Story About Making 'Hate Speech' A Crime? Yeah, That's Satire

from the it-sucks-you-in dept

Yesterday morning I came across an article on a site called "ThoughtCatalog" (which I'll admit I'd never heard of) after I saw some people I know discussing it on Twitter. The title is Here Is Why It's Time To Get Tough On Hate Speech In America by someone named "Tanya Cohen." It was ridiculous from the very start -- a poorly thought out attack on free speech, and inside our internal "writer's room" chat, I asked around to see if anyone wanted to write about it, including a few key quotes. But the more I read, the more I realized that it's satire. It has to be satire. Not only that, but it's damn good satire, because it's just stupid enough at the beginning to drag you in and make you believe it, and then, slowly but surely, over the course of a very long writeup, it starts tossing out ever more ridiculous ideas -- drip... drip... drip -- that just, gently, turn up the outrage-o-meter, such that many people don't even realize that it's satire. In fact, we ended up having a long internal debate on it (and others are doing the same on Twitter), with Tim Cushing writing up a Techdirt post ripping it apart as if it were serious. However, I've spiked that version and am inserting my own (because I'm the boss and can do that sort of thing) -- because this absolutely is satire, and it does a brilliant job absolutely mocking those who are attacking free speech at every turn.

Again, it starts out subtly, with garden-variety stupidity around free speech:
The recent controversy at the University of Iowa – in which an “artist” (supposedly an “anti-racist” one) put up an “art exhibit” which resembles a KKK member covered in newspaper clippings about racial violence – is a perfect example of why we need to implement real legislation against hate speech in the United States. The year is 2015 and all other countries have laws against hate speech along with laws against other forms of speech which violate basic human rights. As a matter of fact, international human rights law MANDATES laws against hate speech. Protecting vulnerable minorities from hate speech is one of the most basic and fundamental of human rights obligations, and all human rights organizations worldwide have emphasized this. But the United States refuses to protect even the most basic of human rights, firmly establishing itself as a pariah state that falls far behind the rest of the world in terms of protecting fundamental human rights and democratic freedoms.
Hate speech laws are almost always a slippery slope to censorship, but I can see why some people find them emotionally appealing. But the idea that the US is a pariah state that falls behind the world on this issue seems a bit nutty and ill-informed. There's the usual quoting and misunderstanding of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. That's to be expected.

Then we get the expected (again, misguided) attack on the First Amendment. All pretty standard stuff for the playbook of those looking to chip away at the First Amendment:
Even in countries with weak hate speech laws – countries where people freely spread lies and defamation about minorities – you still cannot legally advocate or justify violence against minority groups, and absolutely nobody believes that you should ever be allowed to. But, in the US, you can. The US allows people to advocate violence, murder, terrorism, and genocide – even against minorities – all in the name of “freedom”. How is genocide “freedom”? Where in the First Amendment does it say that genocide is acceptable? How can a supposedly civilized and democratic society possibly justify allowing people to freely incite violence and murder against vulnerable minorities? As an example, there have been several cases of US preachers saying that LGBT people should receive the death penalty. In a civilized country with democracy and human rights, anyone who said something like this would receive at least ten years in prison for inciting hatred, violence, murder, and genocide against a protected minority group. But, in the US, this is allowed in the name of “freedom”. Well, guess what? Homophobes inciting the genocide of LGBT people is most definitely not “freedom” for the highly vulnerable LGBT people who already live their lives in constant fear of homophobic violence. How can the US possibly justify – from any kind of logical standpoint – allowing this sort of thing in the name of “freedom”?
Of course, "true threats" are not, in fact, protected under the First Amendment, so this is already misleading. Notice how the piece shifts easily from people saying absolutely loathsome stuff, to automatically assuming that this is incitement. That's a neat trick, and one that's used frequently. But in this paragraph is the first real hint that this is clearly satire: In a civilized country with democracy and human rights, anyone who said something like this would receive at least ten years in prison for inciting hatred, violence, murder, and genocide against a protected minority group.

That brings in the idea of criminally charging and putting people in jail for 10 years for saying bad stuff. That's nutty, but not so entirely crazy that it must be satire. But the piece is, as I mentioned, subtle. Whoever wrote it is playing the long game. You need to keep reading.

Next up is another popular trope of folks who like to smash the First Amendment: the "I"m a big supporter of free speech, but..." clause. Here's how "Cohen" does it:
Like any sensible person, I am a strong believer in the unalienable right to freedom of speech and I understand that defending freedom of speech is the most important when it’s speech that many people do not want to hear (like, for example, pro-LGBT speech in Russia). Freedom of speech is the core of any democratic society, and it’s important that freedom of speech be strongly respected and upheld. Censorship in all of its forms is something that must always be fiercely opposed. But we must never confuse hate speech with freedom of speech. Speech that offends, insults, demeans, threatens, disrespects, incites hatred or violence, and/or violates basic human rights and freedoms has absolutely no place in even the freest society. In fact, it has no place in any free society, as bigotry is fundamentally anti-freedom by its very nature. The human right to freedom of speech must always be balanced against the human rights to dignity, respect, honor, non-discrimination, and freedom from hatred.
Speech that "offends" has no place? Well, yes, there are attempts to create and pass laws that say just that, but people who understand the First Amendment and recognize the true meaning of free speech don't support that.

Okay, now we get the next "drip" of "this has to be satire" -- claiming that offensive speech is on par with murder, and just to push it over the top, a claim that, when it comes to such speech, we should suspend due process and switch the burden of proof to guilty unless proven innocent:
Civilized countries consider hate speech to be among the most serious crimes around, with many countries even placing it on par with murder. In some countries, people are automatically declared guilty of hate speech and other hate crimes unless they can absolutely prove their innocence beyond any reasonable doubt. The principle of guilty until proven innocent may seem a bit harsh to some, but it makes sense when you consider how severe the crime of hate speech is – it is a crime that simply cannot be tolerated in a democracy. Hate speech is not merely speech, but is, in fact, a form of violence and the international community has established hate speech to be a form of violence many times. Hate speech doesn’t merely CAUSE violence. Hate speech IS violence.
No serious person could claim this with a straight face and be in support of free speech. The drips here become too much. The satire has taken over.

Oh, then just for fun, the article goes political, by declaring a bunch of things fascist -- and claiming that political parties that she disagrees with are undemocratic.
But, in the US, fascist political parties like the Republican Party, the Constitution Party, and the Libertarian Party are allowed to freely exist and to spread their hateful ideology, even though these parties oppose fundamental human rights and thus have absolutely no place in a democratic society. What kind of democracy allows the free existence of un-democratic parties? No society that genuinely values democracy and human rights would allow people to oppose democracy and human rights. That simply isn’t how these things work.
At this point, if you haven't been keeping track, the drip-drip-dripping of satire is just so thick that I find it impossible to ignore, but others still aren't convinced. Still, I can't see how anyone could directly claim that a bunch of political parties, including mainstream ones, shouldn't be allowed to exist and that allowing such political parties is somehow an affront to democracy. There's no way a person could think that legitimately.

There's a lot more of this, including falsely pretending that the Innocence of Muslims video was responsible for middle east violence, which somehow transitions into support for banning Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, which she calls "Islamophobic." I mean, now it's just into laughable satire territory. Figuring out a way to come out in support of Islamic fundamentalism book banning in a piece that supposedly celebrates free speech and democracy is a real trick. Only some brilliant satire can pull it off as capably as this one does.

The article then lists out "a way forward," asking for human rights legislation, with a list of types of speech that should be banned. Again, like the great satire that it is, it mixes in a bunch of ideas that some people might have sympathy for along with some absolutely batshit crazy ideas. Okay, inciting violence against people is one thing, but the proposed law here would outlaw anything that "disrespects" someone's "hair color" or "height." Also, "spreading misinformation, including climate change denial" is a punishable offense. Against immigration? Get thrown in jail. Jokes that "disrespect" the "dignity of people" are out as well. Any speech promoting "unacceptable ideas." I mean, that's straight out of authoritarian censorship handbooks.

And my favorite: "anyone saying that hate speech shouldn’t be against the law would be prosecuted, since hate speech is universally recognized as an injustice and a human rights violation."

Prosecuted how? With very long jail terms -- and the final kicker -- re-education camps:
Anyone guilty of hate speech – which should carry criminal penalties of 25 years to life – should be sent to special prisons designed to re-educate them and to instill values of tolerance, freedom, democracy, and human rights in them.
I mean, at this point, if you had any shred of belief that the article was still real, the use of re-education camps and the history they conjure should finally and totally tip the scales. But just in case you weren't convinced, one more "drip" along the way:
This new human rights law will set up state surveillance of intolerant citizens, including those who voice anti-feminist views and those who voice overt approval of a totalitarian ideology.
I love it. The sentence eats itself. Proposing a totalitarian state surveillance system, claiming to track those who approve of totalitarianism.

There are a bunch of other bits and pieces that just add some icing on the satire cake. Here are a few:
The truthfulness or factual nature of statements should not matter.

These laws would not apply to members of vulnerable minority groups.

... anger against police is something that can certainly be justified, while inciting hatred or violence against LGBT people is something that can never be justified in any way and has absolutely no place in a free and civilized democracy.

Every single man, woman, and child outside of the US strongly supports laws against hate speech.

America’s Orwellian notion of “freedom of speech"....
And, of course, it ends in a full Godwin:
Otherwise, we are truly no better than Nazi Germany was.
There are many other clues. The "author" of the piece, "Tanya Cohen," didn't exist online until the new year. Her Twitter feed is more of the same. And she also has a single post, from January 1st on Daily Kos, attacking Reddit for being "a home for numerous racists, misogynists, homophobes, transphobes, and other bigots." Thought Catalog, meanwhile, is a site that claims, proudly, that it enjoys publishing offensive content. Which would make it an odd place to go to publish a piece saying that publishing offensive content should net you 25 years in jail and re-education camps.

I recognize that some people -- including plenty I know and respect -- still aren't convinced that it's satire. But reading through the whole thing, looking for clues has to leave you convinced that it is, without a doubt, a satirical take, from a free speech supporter trying to mock all of the tropes of the "I'm all for free speech, but..." camp, while slowly dropping more and more hints that it's satire, by making it more and more ridiculous and extreme, and including increasingly insane ideas. In the classic tradition of satire, this one sucks you in. It starts with a stupid premise, but one that is plausible because we've seen it being argued. But then it keeps twisting deeper and deeper into the crazy, such that if you're not paying attention, you might actually believe it. If you don't take a second to step back, you might miss just how brilliant a satire it is.

Or, maybe it's all real and someone really is that screwed up. But you'll have to send me to prison and a re-education camp to convince me that anyone could really think such thoughts seriously.

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  • icon
    GMacGuffin (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 10:18am

    Clearly ...

    So we have a group of Techdirt writers -- who read, research, write about, and basically live with these issues all day every day -- discussing at length whether an article about banning hate speech is satire. Apparently still without consensus.

    The general public is certainly less likely to spot the satire than this group of subject-matter educated writers. Therefore the article, spreading via its own controversy, is likely to breed more converts to the destruction of free speech than "ah-hahs" at its cleverness. The potential damage to freedoms is incalculable.

    Clearly, it's satire that should be banned.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Dale (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 10:30am

    Only in Canada, eh?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 10:33am

    New LAW

    People with the name of "Tanya Cohen" and posting shit about the 1st Amendment.

    Will be charged FIRST for spewing "Hate Speech" against the First Amendment and all the people that support it by Proxy. Complete with all the penalties as prescribed in their own articles!

    I so wish one of our lame congress critters would get up there and say that!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AJ, 7 Jan 2015 @ 10:35am

    Damn

    I think we just missed a chance to dogpile the Helmet to really bring the new year.. thanks alot Mike!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Sneeje (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 10:39am

      Re: Damn

      Yeah, I really would have enjoyed Tim's take. Perhaps Mike will let us see it anyway? Please?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 10:45am

      Re: Damn

      Wrong Tim, smart guy. And, as Mike will attest, in our discussions I very IMMEDIATELY said there's no way this was anything other than satire....

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        AJ, 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:03am

        Re: Re: Damn

        You win this round Helmet... but were watching you! Next time you may not have my ignorance of your name to hide behind!

        On the serious side, Sneeje had a good idea. It would be cool to see 2 Techdirt writers with different points of view on the same material, in the same story. Especially something controversial. Just a thought.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:10am

          Re: Re: Re: Damn

          "It would be cool to see 2 Techdirt writers with different points of view on the same material, in the same story."

          I agree!! This would be fantastic. "Duelling columns" are always fun. I don't think it even has to be about something controversial. Just something interesting that the two authors have very different, heartfelt takes on.

          This would be even better if both author wrote their essays, then read the other's essay and included a brief response to be added as an afterward to it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Dark Helmet (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 1:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: Damn

          "On the serious side, Sneeje had a good idea. It would be cool to see 2 Techdirt writers with different points of view on the same material, in the same story. Especially something controversial. Just a thought."

          I am wholeheartedly in favor of this. Tim vs. Timothy. Winner takes all....the internetz....

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 10:35am

    Re: Only in Canada, eh?

    Actually hate speech is still a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada.

    The provision abolished was a section of the federal Human Rights Act.

    This was the most odious, but far from the only ban on hate speech in Canada.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 12:04pm

      Re: Re: Only in Canada, eh?

      True, but hate speech under the criminal code has to be with intent -- the provision under the human rights act allowed the human rights court to go after anyone whose speech they interpreted as "hate speech". Thus, if you can prove that someone wrote something intentionally to cause distress to another individual or group of inidividuals, it's still a crime (usually used as an add-on to sweep up people who pull the strings to get others to commit other crimes), but it's no longer a crime just to say something someone else considers hateful in Canada.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    jameshogg (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 10:36am

    Considering the recent events in Paris, I'd say that we need satire more than ever.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Eh?, 7 Jan 2015 @ 10:42am

    Eddie Aggro gets time to think

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/01/06/christie-blatchford-man-jailed-for-a-year-after-anti-islam-s peech-spurs-emergency-alarm-on-toronto-subway-train/

    If you've ever been trapped on a subway with an Aggroprop Master, you'll smile in delight at this one's fate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 10:43am

    Satire

    And the Techdirt author is too quick in dismissing the article as satire.

    All the arguments in support of hate speech censorship have been voiced by legal academics like Mari J. Matsuda, Richard Delgado and Kenneth Lasson.

    And the claim that hate speech is punishable with ten years imprisonment may be somewhat of the mark but not much -- in Germany Gary Lauck was handed a four year prison sentence for several nazi related offenses.

    If you repeat the offense twice you can easily accumulate ten years as a repeat offender.

    This is the penalty range that you get for rape, violence in Europe, and it's even more severe than the punishment for copyright infringement.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      MPAA, 7 Jan 2015 @ 1:06pm

      Re: Satire

      Note to self: introduce legislation to make copyright infringement a rapish, violent hate crime, with 3X punishment range. Call it...hmmm...equivalency harmonization. Catchy AND murky. Brilliant! Time for a smoothie!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:20am

      Re: Satire

      And the Techdirt author is too quick in dismissing the article as satire.

      I'm going to need some convincing before I believe this was written with serious intent: "This new human rights law will set up state surveillance of intolerant citizens, including those who voice anti-feminist views and those who voice overt approval of a totalitarian ideology."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rudyard Holmbast, 8 Jan 2015 @ 12:14pm

        Re: Re: Satire

        "I'm going to need some convincing before I believe this was written with serious intent: 'This new human rights law will set up state surveillance of intolerant citizens, including those who voice anti-feminist views and those who voice overt approval of a totalitarian ideology.'"


        The group responsible for the very proposal referenced in that quote includes a former President of Poland and a former Prime Minister of Spain. I have a feeling they didn't come up with those suggestions for shits and giggles.

        http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4036/eu-intolerant-citizens

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_C ouncil_on_Tolerance_and_Reconciliation




        You can't use the "this shit is too stupid to be true" standard to conclude this is satire because, as the actions of various governments, including those in Canada, Australia and most of Europe, have proved, too many people in positions of power don't believe this fascist shit is too outlandish. It's silly to mock something as "this will never happen" nonsense, something a few commenters are doing, when this shit is, in fact, happening. It's like mocking the assertion that the Earth is round right after someone has shown you a picture of the Earth taken from space.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          tqk (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 4:15pm

          Re: Re: Re: Satire

          Thanks for ruining my day, Rudyard. No, I wouldn't put it past many of the useful idiots out there to try to push this through. As if we haven't seen enough crap pushed at us recently that's just boneheaded stupid, implausible, and a few other characterizations that escape me at the moment.

          So, I'll just say come and take me away. Guilty as charged. I proudly admit I'm "anti-feminist." I'm sure they'll care not one whit that I'm strongly pro-women's equal rights. I'm also convinced the LGBTs are sick, or twisted, though harmless and I have no trouble dealing with them in most ways.

          I'm also anti-religious, so I'm oppressing Xtians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, & etc, though I similarly have no trouble dealing with most of them in any way. I'm anti-nationalist, so that makes me anti-Zionist and anti-Israel just to start.

          I could go on admitting my many facets of intolerance, but I'm sure this is enough to lock me away forever.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anonymous Dutch coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 10:53am

    it sounds like a normal genuine yankee over the top insane piece to me. nothing really different from something like fox, newsmax or the onion.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      David (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 12:42pm

      Re:

      I actually sound like something MSNBC would promote.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      OldMugwump (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 12:45pm

      Re:

      Us Yankees can tell the difference. Usually.

      (I know, to you Dutch we all look alike...)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      btr1701 (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 3:44pm

      Re:

      > nothing really different from something like
      > fox, newsmax or the onion.

      What makes you think this is something Fox would go for? They pretty much come out against any kind of hate speech or hate crime laws whenever they are proposed.

      If anything, Fox's mirror image over at MSNBC would be the ones who would cheerlead for the sort of things this article suggests.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:22am

      Re:

      nothing really different from something like fox, newsmax or the onion.

      These comments are going to be a minefield with people trying out the subtlest possible satire... but just in case, you know The Onion is satire?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:01am

    While we are at it, can we ditch hate crimes as well?

    Personally I disagree with hate crimes being anymore severe than any other crime. If someone is killed because they are hated or because they were loved(?), the effect is the same. They are dead. Why not punish based on the outcome rather than the motive?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:13am

      Re: While we are at it, can we ditch hate crimes as well?

      In the US, there are no standalone hate crimes. "Hate crime" is an add-on to crimes that are already on the books, that increase the amount of punishment for them. It's a bit like how if you use a gun in the commission of a crime (even if the gun itself is completely legal), that will increase the punishment.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:19am

        Re: Re: While we are at it, can we ditch hate crimes as well?

        Yes, and this is ridiculous. Killing someone because of "hate" or "love" or just because you want their wallet is all the same. Anyone who would take another persons life (or any other crime) should be punished the same regardless of their true motive. If you commit this kind of crime, regardless of motive, you have proven yourself unfit to function in society.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Richard (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 12:58pm

          Re: Re: Re: While we are at it, can we ditch hate crimes as well?

          As was wonderfully explained in the BBC's "Life on Mars" series:

          Sam: "Could this be a Hate Crime?"

          Gene Hunt: "As opposed to one of those "I really like you" murders? "

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          eye sea ewe, 7 Jan 2015 @ 7:14pm

          Re: Re: Re: While we are at it, can we ditch hate crimes as well?

          Killing someone because of "hate" or "love" or just because you want their wallet is all the same. Anyone who would take another persons life (or any other crime) should be punished the same regardless of their true motive.
          So defending yourself from some raging lunatic that is trying to kill you should be treated the same as snuffing someone just because?

          Sorry, but that is foolish thinking. Without understanding the motive, one cannot determine if the termination of life was justified. Otherwise, we should be locking up all the military personnel, the police forces and other such groups as well as ensuring that everyone should be ready to just die instead of defending themselves from any attacks.

          If someone tries to attack my wife, my children, my grandchildren, neighbours, etc, I think I will be doing something about it, kiddo.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            art guerrilla (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 5:57am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: While we are at it, can we ditch hate crimes as well?

            "Otherwise, we should be locking up all the military personnel, the police forces and other such groups..."

            *bingo*
            IF we had actual principles and morals, we *should*, we won't...

            let's try a little thought experiment...
            okay, i'm going to start HATING on you REALLY *hard* now, eye see ewe, ready, here it goes:
            (pretend those are 'hate' sounds)
            oh yeah, i'm really HATING on you now, buddy ! ! !

            yeah! you feeling that, sucker ?
            that really is hurting you, ain't it ?

            bwa ha ha ha ha haaaaa
            i'm so eee-vil, i should be jailed for that 'hate'...

            *snicker*

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: While we are at it, can we ditch hate crimes as well?

            So defending yourself from some raging lunatic that is trying to kill you should be treated the same as snuffing someone just because?

            What he's saying is that killing someone because he's black is no worse than killing someone because he slept with your girlfriend or because you want his wallet. Morally it's all unjustified killing, and deserves equal treatment. Justified killings are a completely different category.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              eye sea ewe, 9 Jan 2015 @ 5:37am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: While we are at it, can we ditch hate crimes as well?

              Read the second sentence again, it is not that limited. He has made the same mistake most of us make at one time or another of not thinking clearly before and after writing something so it comes out much more general than mayhaps what was intended. On the third hand, he may actually believe that killing someone is ALWAYS unjustified, in which case my comments would still stand.

              Life has turned cold for a couple of wet days.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                nasch (profile), 9 Jan 2015 @ 7:29am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: While we are at it, can we ditch hate crimes as well?

                "Killing someone because of "hate" or "love" or just because you want their wallet is all the same."

                I would say that supports my interpretation. He removed all limitations in the third sentence, but I stand by my interpretation of that random stranger's words until he says otherwise. :-)

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  eye sea ewe, 11 Jan 2015 @ 1:38am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: While we are at it, can we ditch hate crimes as well?

                  Second sentence of my quoted extract. See how easy it is for you to be confused by what is said. Tada!!!!

                  Eye waz goana calya ahh maurone, butt eye saw eet waz ann akchewleigh phunknee reespons, sew eye say tada ann hav agoodlarf eensted.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    nasch (profile), 11 Jan 2015 @ 6:58am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: While we are at it, can we ditch hate crimes as well?

                    See how easy it is for you to be confused by what is said.

                    Yes, congratulations on confusing someone by using an ambiguous statement. I hope you feel proud.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:07am

    You know what Tom Lehrer said?

    He said something like "Political satire became redundant when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize."

    Yes, this piece most definitely is a piece of self-damning hogwash jumbling together various populist themes with total disregard for their internal inconsistency.

    It's a dead ringer for satire.

    Unfortunately this is true for the majority of today's politics as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:14am

    Seems like "A Modest Proposal"

    to me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:22am

    Yesterday's satire is tomorrow's truth. Just ask Machiavelli.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      themonkeyking145 (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:29am

      Re:

      Thank god someone else knows this. I'm honestly surprised how few people know that The Big M was trolling the hell out of the Italian upper crust.

      Although that's a truly frightening thought...Tanya Cohen Leads The Charge Against Hate Speech. I can see (and shudder at) the headlines now.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Almost Anonymous, 7 Jan 2015 @ 1:20pm

        Re: Re:

        Thank god someone else knows this. I'm honestly surprised how few people know that The Big M was trolling the hell out of the Italian upper crust.
        In English class the first thing our teacher told us after assigning the book for reading was that it was intended as an "over the top" piece, essentially satire. I always thought this was a pretty universally held point of view. Are you suggesting that there is a sizeable group of people who are not aware of this?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          btr1701 (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 3:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          > I always thought this was a pretty universally
          > held point of view. Are you suggesting that there
          > is a sizable group of people who are not aware
          > of this?

          *Now* people are aware of it.

          Monkey King was asserting that the Italian elites at the time Machiavelli wrote it didn't realize it was satire.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    jakerome (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:27am

    Anagram possibility

    Hate Any Con(servative) seems like the best bet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    RD, 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:50am

    This reads like

    This reads like a Republican manifesto.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Nastybutler77 (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 12:10pm

    Anagram?

    Anyone good at anagrams? I'm almost positive "Tanya Cohen" is an anagram for something. You have H-A-T-E, and are left with "NYACON." Canyon? Maybe I'm way out in left field.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ek hornbeck, 7 Jan 2015 @ 12:30pm

    Sadly...

    I think the author entirely serious and she is not alone. Check the diary and comment recommendations- many 'respected' Daily Kos members there.

    Satire is dead. Irony is alive and kicking however.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      art guerrilla (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 1:16pm

      Re: Sadly...

      daily kos, *snort*
      AS IF they have ANY brief to actually be for real free speech, they censor for simply voicing valid plaints in opposition to their agenda...
      obama and obamacare, for instance...
      they are odious dem'rat authoritarians who care not ONE WHIT for free expression...
      *blaaaap*
      i fart in their general direction...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    OldMugwump (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 12:57pm

    Colbert

    "Tanya Cohen" is auditioning for Stephen Colbert's old job.

    If delivered in the right tone of voice, this might work...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tony (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 1:06pm

    must not know a lot of people

    "At this point, if you haven't been keeping track, the drip-drip-dripping of satire is just so thick that I find it impossible to ignore, but others still aren't convinced. Still, I can't see how anyone could directly claim that a bunch of political parties, including mainstream ones, shouldn't be allowed to exist and that allowing such political parties is somehow an affront to democracy. There's no way a person could think that legitimately."

    Sadly, far too many people DO think exactly that. I have encountered them personally. I have known quite a few people who would get behind every one of these proposals all while touting their own tolerance. It's quite frightening.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    avideogameplayer, 7 Jan 2015 @ 2:33pm

    I'm sorry, but this Hate crime/speech is bullshit...

    Where does it say I have to LIKE anyone to begin with?

    As far as I'm concerned, hate crime laws are thought control bullshit...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    San Fernando Curt, 7 Jan 2015 @ 3:47pm

    Hate speech, spate heech

    "Hate speech laws are almost always a slippery slope to censorship..." No. Hate speech laws ARE censorship.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    mrtraver (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 4:12pm

    free show

    I'm thinking about posting the original on a forum I frequent with a few members who will argue vehemently over anything, then sit back and watch the fireworks. Eventually I'll link to this article as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    eye sea ewe, 7 Jan 2015 @ 7:19pm

    List of minorities that live by hate speech

    Ah heck, too many to count, too many to list and too hot to try. Time for the kool-aid.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Adam Kissel, 7 Jan 2015 @ 7:19pm

    http://www.thefire.org/author/adamk/

    She reportedly is this person who has been posting for a year: http://www.reddit.com/user/DreamBug?count=25&after=t3_2qo10j

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rudyard Holmbast, 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:12pm

    Sorry, but the article is not satire. I have been arguing back and forth with the author on Twitter for days now, and people who write satire don't usually cite peer-reviewed legal journals to back their cases. Moreover, many of the things she is pushing are actually being proposed in Europe. Take, for example, the quote you claim is the most obvious evidence for satire:

    "This new human rights law will set up state surveillance of intolerant citizens, including those who voice anti-feminist views and those who voice overt approval of a totalitarian ideology."


    This is taken almost word for word from a proposal put forth by an organization called "The European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation". If you don't believe me, spend five seconds on Google. The group not only proposes the outlawing of anti-feminist speech, it also wants constant surveillance of supposed intolerant groups. Its leader has used the classic censor's statement in defense of this project, "We shouldn't tolerate intolerance".

    Another quote you put forth as evidence of satire is, again, the exact opposite. I am referring to this:
    "In some countries, people are automatically declared guilty of hate speech and other hate crimes unless they can absolutely prove their innocence beyond any reasonable doubt. The principle of guilty until proven innocent may seem a bit harsh to some, but it makes sense when you consider how severe the crime of hate speech is – it is a crime that simply cannot be tolerated in a democracy."

    The Gillard administration in Australia, yes, Australia, proposed just such a presumption-of-guilt standard. The same administration also proposed making it a crime if ANY religious ceremony, performed in public, offended anyone, at all. Ms. Cohen proposes just such a law in her supposedly satirical piece. Again, these facts can be readily checked on Google.

    As for her claims concerning "Innocence of Muslims", the Wikipedia entry on that film STILL heavily implies it was responsible for the Benghazi riots. This is evidence that such a belief is more widespread than the authors at this site seem to believe.

    Here is another quote from the piece you provide as evidence of satire:
    "The truthfulness or factual nature of statements should not matter."

    I hate to break it to you, but the Canadian Supreme Court has ruled that the truth is not a defense against defamation. Once again, this stuff may like out-and-out bullshit to those used to the First Amendment, but I can assure you, it is happening in other countries.

    I was initially convinced that her piece was satire as well. I even sent Tanya Cohen a tweet congratulating her for her brilliant Alan Sokal-esque gag. But the responses she has written me, including the aforementioned citations from peer-reviewed academic journals, now make me believe otherwise. The fact is, there is not a single law being proposed in that piece that has not already been proposed or enacted somewhere in the world. In the United Kingdom, the UNITED FUCKING KINGDOM, a guy was sentenced to 56 days in jail for a fucking tweet. A tweet. This very site ran a piece about the monitoring of social media by the Scottish police. That alone should prove to you that none of the fascist bullshit Tanya Cohen proposes is too silly to be believed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rudyard Holmbast, 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:22pm

      Re:

      Here are some links for claims in my above comment:

      1. http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4036/eu-intolerant-citizens

      2. http://www.ipa.org.au/portal/uploads/submission_to_the_public_consultation_on_amendments_to_the_raci al_discrimination_act_1975.pdf

      Here is a quote from taken from source #2: "Furthermore the Bill proposed that individuals accused of unlawful behaviour were to be declared guilty unless they could prove their innocence, that individuals accused under the legislation would not have an automatic right to legal representation, and that the accused would be required to pay all the costs of their defence even if they were found to be innocent."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 10:41am

        Re: Re:

        "Furthermore the Bill proposed that individuals accused of unlawful behaviour were to be declared guilty unless they could prove their innocence, that individuals accused under the legislation would not have an automatic right to legal representation, and that the accused would be required to pay all the costs of their defence even if they were found to be innocent."

        It's not quite as bad as that: " Clause 124(1)
        provides that once the complainant adduces evidence from which the court could decide, in the absence of any other explanation, that the respondent acted unlawfully, it will be presumed to be so unless the contrary is proved. The purpose of this clause is simply to require the person who is best able to explain the reason for their decision or behaviour – the respondent – to do so. The burden to do
        so will only arise once the complainant has established a prima facie case."

        So it's not presumed guilt after just an accusation. I don't know enough about law to understand what is necessary to establish a prima facie case though.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rudyard Holmbast, 7 Jan 2015 @ 11:49pm

    "There's no way a person could think that legitimately."

    I simply don't understand why you believe this to be the case. As much of this stuff she proposes is already law(or under consideration by various legislatures) in many supposedly liberal democracies, it is quite obvious that people do, in fact "think that legitimately".

    I find it hard to hold on to my initial impression that the piece is a parody for the reason that "no normal person could possibly think that way" being tested by the reality that, in Europe (and elsewhere), a whole hell of a lot of people do "think that way".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 8 Jan 2015 @ 7:00am

      Re:

      I'm not sure if it explains it, or it's a case of wicked irony, or what, but people who honestly thing that rot like that are good ideas deserve nothing but mockery and derision for their blatant stupidity, attacking of the rights of others, and double-standards('Only my feelings matter, if I offend you it's not a crime, but if you offend me, off to jail you go').

      They are nothing more than children pretending to be adults, fragile little wastes of air who would do well to remember the piece of advice 'It is better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt'.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Pragmatic, 12 Jan 2015 @ 7:41am

        Re: Re:

        Memo to me: write a paper stuffed with peer-reviewed quotes on the efficacy of cannibalism at reducing over-population and the social problems that result from overcrowding and endemic poverty.

        Wait, I think Dean Swift got there first.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rudyard Holmbast, 8 Jan 2015 @ 12:03am

    "Civilized countries consider hate speech to be among the most serious crimes around, with many countries even placing it on par with murder."


    Given all the "I believe in free speech, but..." statements I have seen in response to the Charlie Hebdo massacre, it is pretty obvious some people do believe hate speech might just justify murder.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    BMICHAEL, 8 Jan 2015 @ 8:08am

    It's painfully clear you've never read TC

    You can apply all the logic and semiotics you want to the article, the website is a trash receptacle with a long history of publishing semi-satire, semi-trolling articles that are themselves clear hate speech.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bill (profile), 9 Jan 2015 @ 3:31am

    I saw this and thought it must be satire....probably from The Onion.....sadly I was probably wrong

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jeff Rivett (profile), 10 Jan 2015 @ 8:08am

    Followup article

    She's posted a followup, and it sure doesn't sound like satire. Maybe Tim's article should be posted after all.

    http://thoughtcatalog.com/tanya-cohen/2015/01/why-do-americans-reject-human-rights-when-the-whol e-world-embraces-them/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      eye sea ewe, 11 Jan 2015 @ 1:55am

      Re: Followup article

      Agreed not satire - and an actual strongly held belief. Interestingly, I find the following two quotes from the above referenced response article to be quite telling.
      But the people responding to my column with anger do not seem to understand what freedom of speech is. They seem to make no distinction between free speech and hate speech, and they seem to believe that freedom of speech includes the freedom to say anything.
      Bigotry is not acceptable to me or to any person with a conscience, but it unfortunately seems to be perfectly acceptable to a good majority of the American public.
      Both seem to indicate that she has no understanding of what hate speech is or that she is herself is a bigot.

      Reading the various parts of her response, she is more than happy to imprison anyone who disagrees with her and that anyone who has an opposing view is to be considered as sub or non-human and hence be discriminated against.

      Hence in her espousal of her views, she becomes a bigot and espouses hate speech. What a difficult razors edge line to walk and she fails comprehensively. However, she is entitled to her views and when they come back and bite in the posterior regions, she may change her opinions. Then again maybe not.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dave Marsh, 4 Apr 2015 @ 8:45am

    Attack on Free Speech

    I find this post quote interesting, and must agree the attacks on FREE SPEECH seem just short of INSANE. But if you look at what the Leftist Progressive Socialist Democrats are doing and working to do its very close to the totalitarian idealism they want to create and enforce.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jason, 20 Apr 2015 @ 7:49am

    Definately Satire

    Hey guys, go to the same site "Thought Catalog" and look up Joshua Goldberg. Both Jewish names, using the same quotes and sources. Cannot not be satire.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    rat fink, 29 Jul 2015 @ 6:37pm

    "This new human rights law will set up state surveillance of intolerant citizens, including those who voice anti-feminist views and those who voice overt approval of a totalitarian ideology. "

    That's the clincher

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rag Tag Dude, 29 Jul 2015 @ 6:57pm

    Her article is not satire.

    She's just a nut job.

    Look how many articles she’s written about this:

    http://thoughtcatalog.com/tanya-cohen/

    Plus she’s got a similar rant in the Daily Kos

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....-in-the-US

    Hard to believe the Daily Kos knowingly published this as a satire piece, since the nut jobs at the Daily Kos probably accept most, if not all, of this sputtering drivel.

    According to the bio on the Daily Kos:

    “Tanya Cohen is an Australian-born human rights activist and writer who has worked for Amnesty International, the Human Rights Law Centre, the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, the Human Rights Working Group of the Greens NSW, and the NSW Council for Civil Liberties”

    Doesn’t seem like satire at this point.

    She's full on loony toons.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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